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 …
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.