Galt's Gulch Chile
“”Almost all of the buyers and investors into GGC – 73 families paid in over $10 million – are libertarian and as such they have been attacked publicly as rich, greedy misanthropes who were so hopelessly naive as to think they were escaping the government by moving to Chile. Being libertarians, many of GGC’s investors were against the use of government courts to correct the injustices and receive the property they paid for. But what they found was that there simply was no other way to regain their stolen property without doing so.
|—-Jeff Berwick, realizing why government exists for the first time|
Galt's Gulch Chile was a
libertarian paradise in the making completely obvious catastrophe conceived by John Cobin, Jeff Berwick, Ken Johnson, and Josh Kirley. Galt's Gulch Chile was advertised as being 11,000 acres of land located in picturesque valleys full of fresh air in a low-tax country. It was marketed to libertarian Randians people who believed in capitalism, limited government, and self-reliance as a place where they would be able to form a sustainable community that expressed their ideals. (Spoiler: It went to shit.) In keeping with the beliefs of the founders, Galt's Gulch Chile even offered discounts for those who paid in Bitcoin or precious metals.
The founders started selling properties in late 2013 and early 2014 until a marketing event in April, where it was found that the properties had never been zoned correctly for sale (e.g., no water rights in an arid environment). In fact, even the houses that were to be built at that time had not been finished; worse, there were a number of outstanding bills to contractors that had not been paid (and who refused to perform further work). After seeing the presentation, a number of the original investors that showed up for the event had lost so much faith in the project that they requested their money back. These responsibilities fell to Ken Johnson, who, according to the other owners, never did his due diligence in checking on the property, instead ranting about unknown enemies of the project all around. During this period, Johnson looked to consolidate his ownership of Galt's Gulch, but accidentally transferred ownership to Mario Del Real. Both Johnson and Del Real showed the obvious
lack of business skill that caused this catastrophe as things disintegrated. This began a finger-pointing soap opera between the owners which has stuck the project in limbo and the Chilean courts.
In unraveling the legal documents of Galt's Gulch, now owned completely by Mario Del Real, it is shown that the company holds the rights to the entire property and some part of the $10.5 million in investments. This could be much less due to claims of Johnson's extravagant lifestyle, debts, and confusing accounting documentation. Chile has attempted to get the property back, but there have been claims of Del Real or Johnson hiring gunman in order to intimidate officials and employees complying with the ruling. Investors have now started a group called the Galt's Gulch Recovery Team in order to get their funds back. (Spoiler: Very unlikely.) They successfully won a judgement in May 2016, but as of yet they are still determining how (or if) it will be possible to enforce it.
- Whatever Happened to Galts Gulch Chile
- Galt's Gulch Website
- Atlas Mugged: How a Libertarian Paradise in Chile Fell Apart
- National Post: Freedom and Liberty not Enough to Save Galt's Gulch
- Patheos — Galt's Gulch Chile Is Going Great
- Facebook page of Investor Sick of Being Fleeced
- Letter:All You Need to Know about the Demise of Galt’s Gulch Chile
- GGC Recovery Main Site