By Reverend Paul N. Papas II
February 2, 2021
Many feel a little battered right now and the Black and Blues are beginning to show.
I grew to understand that cheating does not pay. At times the cheaters appear to gain the upper hand and appear to have gotten away with their scam.
Bernie Madoff an American former market maker, investment advisor, financier and convicted fraudster who is currently serving a federal prison sentence for offenses related to a massive Ponzi scheme. He is the former non-executive chairman of the NASDAQ stock market, the confessed operator of the largest Ponzi scheme in world history, and the largest financial fraud in U.S. history. Prosecutors estimated the fraud to be worth $64.8 billion based on the amounts in the accounts of Madoff’s 4,800 clients as of November 30, 2008.
Madoff founded a penny stock brokerage in 1960 which eventually grew into Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities. He served as its chairman until his arrest on December 11, 2008. The firm was one of the top market maker businesses on Wall Street, which bypassed “specialist” firms by directly executing orders over the counter from retail brokers. (1)
Madoff thought he had it all, wealth, power, prestige, world recognition and status. Madoff commanded, bought and sold companies and people to his own advantage for years. Madoff had a secret that he shared with few; the secret was he knew he cheated his way up the ladder. Madoff had to continue to cheat people because the moment he stopped cheating his world would come tumbling down like a house of cards.
On March 12, 2009, Madoff pleaded guilty to 11 federal felonies and admitted to turning his wealth management business into a massive Ponzi scheme. The Madoff investment scandal defrauded thousands of investors of billions of dollars. Madoff said that he began the Ponzi scheme in the early 1990s, but …. may have begun as far back as the 1970s.Those charged with recovering the missing money believe that the investment operation may never have been legitimate. The amount missing from client accounts was almost $65 billion, including fabricated gains. (1)
Madoff figuratively built his house on sand or quicksand by cheating. When the rain and floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it, from a multi-Billionaire to a broke federal prisoner.
Perhaps Madoff could have expended the same or less energy on a legitimate investment business, done well, and then died a happy and free man. He would have been a great contributor to the economy instead of a drain.
Matthew 7:24-27 ESV
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
In my opinion, Madoff couldn’t understand others’ feelings. He often broke rules or make impulsive decisions without feeling guilty for the harm he caused, just your basic sociopath.
Madoff’s actions resulted in bankruptcies, foreclosures, ruined lives, depression, anxiety and suicides, including his own son. Madoff was a multi-car train wreck.
Perhaps Madoff could have expended the same or less energy on a legitimate investment business, done well, and then died a happy and free man. . He would have been a great contributor to the economy instead of a drain.
Then there is a father, probably another sociopath, who ruined his daughter’s and other people’s lives.
Genie was a girl born in California in 1957 who spent nearly all of the first 13 years of her life locked in her room. Born to mentally unstable parents, at a very young age Genie was diagnosed as developmentally delayed and her father took that diagnosis and decided on his own treatment for Genie.
Genie spent the next 12 years of her life locked in her bedroom. During the day, she was tied to a child’s potty chair in diapers; at night, she was bound in a sleeping bag and placed in an enclosed crib with a cover made of metal screening. Her father beat her every time she vocalized, and he barked and growled at her like a dog in order to keep her quiet.
He also rarely allowed his wife and son to leave the house or even to speak, and he expressly forbade them to speak to Genie. By the age of 13, Genie was almost entirely mute, commanding a vocabulary of about 20 words and a few short phrases (nearly all negative), such as “stop it” and “no more”.
Genie was discovered at the age of 13, when her mother ran away from her husband and took her daughter with her. (2)
Would you hazard a guess as to the mental health and financial issues Genie’s father created and how many lives he ruined? Genie’s father certainly was a dictator, a despot with respect to his family. Genie’s father seized power in deed.
It is generally thought that dictators and despots seize power in third world countries by various means. Some are bloodless coups. Some countries are honest enough to announce an official candidate for you to vote. Then there are some like Venezuela that went out of their way to rig the entire electoral process to install an official candidate who issues one edict after another without use of the legislative body.
Dictators and despots seize power and remain in power by controlling the message, the news, and the means of communication. They only permit the official narrative to be disseminated to the population. In addition to censorship they control population movement. They rule by fear. They want us all to be just as Genie before she escaped.
A true popularly elected leader does not need a fence around the capital city to keep those who gave him consent to govern out of the city.
The story does not end here.
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