Failed Community Leaves Families Broke
|Defrauded family - the Kirkwoods|
"A COLLAPSED shared-living community at Mt Burrell serves as a warning to potential investors of alternative housing schemes. With its court-ordered dismantling this week, the Bhula Bhula Intentional Community has left in its wake at least 20 financially ruined investors and a litany of complex legal clashes.
"Investors were lured with the concept of a self-sustainable community, with permaculture gardens and shared labour. Former investor Neil Pascoe and his partner poured $80,000 into the project in 2014 when it was marketed at an "anti-government" Freedom Summit at Byron Bay. "Everyone wanted to get together and make something amazing, to grow food, and to try to create an oasis," Mr Pascoe said. "We wanted to live in self-sustainable container ships - earth ships - and beautiful log cabins. Now people are on the verge of losing their life savings, living in a nightmare."
"Suffolk Park resident Emanuele Agus and his wife claimed to have invested $120,000 into Bhula Bhula after they heard about an "off-the- grid community" from a friend. "Things started (to) go wrong when people started asking too many questions about the increasing amount of money missing, and the lack of financial transparency."
According to emails seen by the Tweed Daily News, a man described by some as the co-founder of the community, Mark Darwin, promoted units for $180,000 each in the 'intentional community' via email in 2014, under his "Truthology" and Freedom Summits movements.
"But in a statement to the TDN, Mr Darwin denied any leadership over the Bhula Bhula community, instead saying his involvement was limited to that of an interested "community member"."
|Mark Darwin - Co-Founder Bhula Bhula Community|
Open Letter to the Editor
To: Editor, Tweed Daily News
Re: "Living a Nightmare" - Request for correction
From: Gi Linda
Thank you for covering this story, I hope the warning will save many people from loss and harm, but, as one of the defrauded investors in the community featured in Alina Rylko's "Living a Nightmare", I'm disappointed with her report. Perhaps a "poor victim" tearjerker sells better than more complex truth, but "Living in a Nightmare" misses the real story!
I’m a former BBC reporter and independent documentary filmmaker working on social justice issues. Alina phoned me for a quote, saying she was past deadline with only moments to talk about criminal charges I am bringing against the kingpins running the scam and the mega-million-dollar defamation charges they have brought against me for exposing their fraud. As a professional journalist I'm sorry to say that your reporter either ignored what I said, or didn't listen.
I would like to request a correction, including the following facts:
The fraudulent "Bhula Bhula" venture was a set-up by Mark Darwin and Adrian Brennock to sell home sites on land protected for rainwater catchment, where no dwelling is permitted. Some investors knew no development approval would be granted, but were encouraged to take the risk, so they fought council for a year in court, and lost. Others, misled by Darwin's dreamweavers, were not told of environmental restrictions.
I was deceived by dishonest marketing. In 2015, Mark Darwin was inviting participation in a progressive community as an escape from a dysfunctional society on the brink of collapse. I have lived several years in successful self-sufficient communities that were built on Christian principles of love, truth and justice. I hoped this new community, founded by Darwin and Brennock under a banner of "Truthology", would uphold integrity.
In 2015, on the basis of false assurances and mistaken trust, I invested $120,000 for a 3-acre site to build a garden, not a home, before realizing I had bought into a scam.
I soon saw that Darwin and Brennock had formed a tightly controlled Sovereignty Cult, attempting to establish a pirate community on land where no habitation is allowed, by hiding known environmental restrictions from investors.
Defrauded investors who woke up to the scam and requested restitution were threatened, harassed and defamed. We were rejected from the “community” without return of our money and driven off the land with gag orders. I refused to leave without return of my investment, so they smashed my garden, stole my mobile home and belongings, then charged me for "cleanup".
Adrian Brennock, the delinquent fiduciary, controls the company owning our land. As self-appointed director and sole shareholder with a single share value $1, Brennock is currently attempting to crash the company, burn investors and buy back the land for the private commercial profit of the Darwin/Brennock Sovereignty Cult.
To achieve this phoenix move, on July 7th, Brennock took a $1m loan on the company he claimed was insolvent, to pay their front company, Mt Warning Eco Village Pty Ltd, to purchase the land for $1m over market value!
Together with other defrauded investors, I publish an online blog exposing this scam, and have brought criminal charges of fraud and larceny against Darwin & Co in a private prosecution pressing for restitution and retribution. I am also litigating against them in Sydney Supreme Court for defamation.
A warning! Darwin, Brennock & Phillip Dixon have now expanded their scam to "Mount Warning Eco Village" on a neighboring property, where they continue selling dream home-sites on environmentally protected land. It’s their brazen audacity that stands out; as they menace disenfranchised investors into silence, they continue selling fake dreams in a failed community on land where dwelling is forbidden. As more and more defrauded investors are spat out, new victims are needed, so buyer be warned, before your dreams disappear into the back-pocket of a slick stranger’s snakeskin pants...