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Probe launched into God’s own oil company, drilling in Israel

Probe launched into God’s own oil company, drilling in Israel

This you should know about Zion Oil and Gas, founded by American ‘born-again Christian’ John Brown, above: it’s not found a drop oil in Israel despite drilling for around 10 years, it’s $168-million in the red – and it is being investigated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

But, according to this report, the faith-based Zion, via its website, is still seeking idiots to invest in the company. It baits it hook by saying:

Zion is unique. Zion’s shareholders are unique. They are more interested in benefitting Israel than they are to make a quick dollar.

John Brown, who said in a video that he was a Catholic until he got “saved”,  now calls himself a Christian Zionist, or one who believes that establishing the state of Israel was a prerequisite for the return of Christ.

Once a manufacturing executive in Michigan and a recovering alcoholic, Brown had a “religious awakening” in the early 1980s and moved to Texas, determined to start an oil company after hearing a sermon suggesting the Bible revealed that a massive oil field lies beneath Israel. He founded Zion in 2000.

Brown, who remains chairman of the board, said:

This is a faith company, created by faith, created by God.

His former CEO, Victor Carrillo, who recently resigned from the post, is equally deranged.

I believe that God led me to Zion …

Glen Perry, President of Zion Oil and Gas, left, with Victor Carrillo, the company CEO, at a Zion well site in Israel in October 2015. Photo: Zion handout

Carrillo, who earned a master’s degree in geology before putting himself through law school, said in 2016  that his job as Zion’s Chief Executive Officer was:

To bring the geology that informs the theology. We make our plans for how and where to drill, but ultimately, the outcome, that’s in God’s hands.

The serving of a subpoena on Zion suggests that an “investigation has progressed to the point that senior enforcement officials have taken a look and think there’s good reason to arm the staff with a compulsory process,” said Jason C Rodgers, a former SEC enforcement attorney who is now a defence attorney with Jackson Walker in Fort Worth.

Andrew Summey, the company’s Vice President for Marketing and Investor relations, said:

Internally, we were not overly surprised [by the SEC investigation] because of the unique character of the company.

He said that many of the company’s investors:

Almost have a donor mentality: They understand they might just lose it. They put the money in as if they’re approaching a non-profit.

Yolanda Holtzee, who lives in Seattle, said she reported the company to the SEC because she suspected it of affinity fraud, which involves calling on a class of investors that have a similar ethnic, religious or other background.

I don’t like to see naive investors get fleeced. On and off  for 10 years, I’ve tried to make the SEC aware of what’s going on. Innocent until proven guilty, but – whether it’s Jesus, Hashem, Buddha, Muhammad — I don’t like to see God’s name evoked this way.

Though not commenting on the details of the Zion case, Rodgers said that with affinity fraud:

There’s a heightened betrayal of trust than in a typical scam, because the perpetrators are appealing to individuals as members of a group and holding themselves out as like-minded, when in reality they’re targeting a group of people in a single scam.

Zion noted in an SEC filing.

The company needs further financing for exploration and development activities.

8 responses to “Probe launched into God’s own oil company, drilling in Israel”

  1. gedediah says:

    Well, how are you supposed to resist taking advantage when you’ve found a whole group of such gullible people? I mean come on.

  2. Broga says:

    Totally, bloody bonkers and especially those who buy into the scam. Tonight, I will say a prayer of thanks for being an atheist – to the cosmos.

  3. Eric says:

    Ironic isn’t it that the land gifted by god to his chosen people is devoid of oil but the enemy countries bordering are richly endowed with the stuff. So much for god that he did not have the foresight to recognise that oil would one day be a hugely valuable commodity. Nor has he latterly miracled the stuff under Israel to amend for his unbelievable lack of attention. Totally incompetent.

  4. andym says:

    I bet they both love that bit in the Bible about a fool and his money.

  5. AgentCormac says:

    Victor Carrillo said: ‘I believe that God led me to Zion …’

    In fairness, what I think he meant was: ‘I believe that Gold led me to Zion …’

    Oh, BTW. Trump. Relevance? He’s also a shameless liar and an unapologetic conman. Want me to STFU again, Stonyground?

  6. Cali Ron says:

    “…calls himself a Christian Zionist” WTF Yeah, that’s like me saying I’m a god fearing atheist.

    AC: I saw that comment and was going to respond, but noticed it’s missing now. Hmmmm.

  7. AgentCormac says:

    @Cali Ron
    Epithets such as Christian Zionists are indeed utterly pointless.

    Myself and the missus were in SF a few years ago and got approached by people handing out tracts from a group calling themselves ‘Jews for Jesus’. A year or so later, back in the UK, we were confronted in Manchester city centre (which at that time was our wonderful, amazing, adopted hometown) by people handing out similar leaflets. So I asked the woman who thrust the flyer into my hand whether her beliefs made her a christian. She told me ‘No’, she was a Jew who thought that Jesus wasn’t a prophet but the messiah. So, erm…. isn’t that christianity? Apparently not.

    I have to confess, my head sometimes spins at the theoretical and logical knots in which religiots can bind themselves while trying to justify their irrational beliefs.

    If only they would accept reality, the world would be a sane place.

  8. Cali Ron says:

    If only. ..
    I hope for the best, but recent history has me fearing the worst. I have engaged some jews for Jesus and they are indeed some very conflicted and confused nutters. Of course, all who are religious are deluded, for some the delusion is more extreme.

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