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7 (2014)
Tunnelling Towards Hope


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28 February - 6 March 2014

Ukraine History

A Stronghold of Rulers and Rebels

With the recent death toll jumping to nearly 100 and 1,000 injured, Hrushevskoho Street, one of the strongholds of EuroMaidans three-month-long protests, made headlines around the globe. It was here, on 19 January the countrys stand against government corruption, abuse of power, and the violation of human rights turned from peaceful protest to all-out revolution. Having witnessed much over the years, Hrushevskoho is a street with a history, and not only care of recent days.

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Ukraine Today
Acelebrity using their status and intelligence to influence public views and opinion is rarely seen in modern society, even less so in Ukraine. Here, the majority of celebs use their time, effort, and money to enhance or further their career rather than put their name to something that can do good for others. However, as EuroMaidan intensifies, some are making themselves heard and they fall either side of the EuroMaidan divide.
It used to be that when rebellion and revolution occurred, the intellectual, creative, and spiritual elite would be front and centre.

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Ukrainian Culture

When Walls Can Talk

People have been writing on walls since the dawn of civilisation, we call it graffiti, and ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. Sometimes it is merely the creator wanting to leave his or her mark; sometimes there is an underlying social or political reason. And it is due to the latter that graffiti has exploded across Kyiv in recent months. Anti dictator messages aside, we peel back a few layers of paint to look at graffiti in the city in general.

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Whats Up?

US 'Millionaire Mentor' Arrested

In one of the more peculiar stories to appear recently, a middle-aged American who makes what appears to be a pretty decent living "mentoring" Ukrainians-for $3000 a pop - in how to become millionaires was arrested at the Russian border. Apparently Robert Fletcher, who runs the become-a-millionaire seminars through his company Global Systems Training -was trying to cross into Russia using a false Ukrainian passport on the Kyiv-Moscow train.


The incident throws light into one of the murkier corners of ex-pat culture here in Eastern Europe - the small group foreigners who come to the former Soviet UNI0N to take advantage of what remains of this region's 'Wild East' spirit and profit from whatever prestige their Western 'credentials' give them among naive natives. Fletcher seems to be an industrious fellow, in his own way: the Global Systems Training website indicates that he's involved with a disorienting array of projects here in Ukraine, from the 'Azov Sea Sport and Wildlife Resort' to the Premiere Limousine company that promises to "provide you with a limo at discount prices", and from a Crimean cruise outfit to something called 'Pizza Maximus'. There's also the Premiere' Business Club in Sevastopol, described as one "of the projects of honorary professor, doctor, academic, Millionaire-Mentor Robert Fletcher." Fletcher himself is a chubby chap with double chins, perpetual five o' clock shadow and long, greased-back blond locks that flow off a mostly balding head. His shiny clothes don't fit quite right and he doesn't look like someone who can teach you how to make millions. His website biography describes Fletcher as an Alaska native who grew up working in fisheries and at McDonalds before making a not-fully-explained bundle himself. "Robert reached the millionaire level himself with the help of millionaire mentors and his formula Time, Money, Contacts, Skills/Abilities, Credibility and now teaches others the secrets of millionaires. And he really has lots of experience and knowledge to share. He has 25-years experience in sales and marketing, 20 years in advertising, investing in stocks, business, real estate, during 10 years he was a National Sales Director of the USA, along with this he has been a consultant and adviser for a number of big American companies and made more than 2000 seminars and training." What a 'National Sales Director of the USA' exactly is, the site doesn't explain. Nor does it mention what 'big American companies' Fletcher consulted and advised for. And how, by the way, did Fletcher end up in Ukraine? To find a wife, of course. Subsequently, "He was thinking about retiring to live a quiet family life, but after he communicated with some Ukrainians, they did their best to convince him to become their mentor." There's no word yet on why Fletcher was using a false passport to enter Russia, nor on whether he'll be running his seminars in Kyiv anytime soon - assuming, that is, he remains a free man. The website seems to indicate that the seminars are being held so far in Sumy and Cherkassy, which will presumably soon see a spike in millionaire activity. Meanwhile, local media is reporting that Fletcher's business might have been a pyramid scheme, and that he's been accused in the US of swindling.


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Elk Grove Attorney | 20.02.2010 21:29

Thanks for forwarding this. Yes, this perverted tone of fletcher victim sounds like Alton Mead, Chris Headley or Mario Sebastian. Alton lives in the bay area, Mario works at Elk Grove High School and Headley is up by Redding. We will take it from here.

Sacramento Lawyer | 20.02.2010 01:52

Dear Fletcher victim.

If there was a John Malvitz as you say who committed such horrible crimes hopefully he will be indicted and prosecuted. I would strongly advise you to not confuse this individual with Mark J. Malvitz.

Whoever gave you the so-called bogus information is obviously related to the Glenn Peterson group. Glenn W. Peterson lives in Auburn. Your false information was obviously stated by the registered sex offender family of Alton Mead, Mario Sebastian, Chris Headley or perhaps even a convicted felon Gary R. Wisner.

We will find out soon enough.

I would caution you that posting falsely stated criminal information certainly makes you liable for a major lawsuit especially with the hideous statements you are making here.

Evidently, there is a major lawsuit that will be hitting the Mead family et. al and these people who collaborated with them in the very near future. Most importantly to you, continued postings of this sort will certainly land you in Superior Court soon enough. No doubt, you shouldnt be too hard to track down.

Regards,

Vance

Elk Grove Attorney | 17.02.2010 00:40

Frankly I think Malvitz ought to round Peterson and these people up, file against them as joint tort-feasors, and watch Glenn squeal like a little girl. There is no way in hell I would put up with this.

Andreas | 16.02.2010 17:01

Thank you for the email. The ip address is traced to a Carter residence in Folsom. Hope this helps and Good luck.

Andreas

Jeff | 16.02.2010 09:44

Apparently Mark Malvitz goes after trashy folks like this to bring them to justice. Hope they dont deport Fletcher back to the U.S. Malvitz will tie this guy in a knot.

Elk Grove Attorney | 16.02.2010 09:11

THE PASTOR'S NAME IS MARK MALVITZ. It was Pastor Mark Malvitz-Ellis from Lodi and Stockton who defeated a Super Lawyer whos clients ranged anywhere from convicted felons, statutory rapists, criminally insane and one sodomite who was released from an eight year prison sentence for rape and murder. Glenn W. Petersons ongoing legal trouble seems to be plaguing him. A definite pattern.

Elk Grove Attorney - I helped assist in this one | 16.02.2010 08:57

The main phony information source with the failed lawsuit led by Attorney Glenn Peterson was the jailed and convicted criminal Gary R. Wisner of Lodi California who was issued a $25,000 bench warrant for his arrest and also thrown in jail for child endangerment and sued by the Bank of Lodi for over $250,000 ending in bankruptcy. Wisner was also prosecuted on 15 felony counts including criminal assault against law enforcement agents. Wisner was ordered to post $310, 000 bail while incarcerated before facing his criminal trial.

A Stockton attorney stated: "Gary Wisner is a major fraud case and an obvious liar as he is facing multiple felony perjury crimes. He has been sued excessively for medical malpractice, breach of contract / warranty, fraud, harassment, defamation as well as criminally indicted, prosecuted, and jailed for child endangerment. He even attempted to file bankruptcy in the state of New York in order to keep from paying child support from his defrocked marriage. They ought to lock Wisner up in San Quentin and throw the key away."

Elk Grove Attorney | 16.02.2010 08:51

After his failed attempt against Malvitz-Ellis, Glenn W. Peterson was later sued for professional negligence according to Sacramento Superior Court records.

Im not sure if Glenn Peterson made some kind of settlement in lieu of a full trial against him and his fledgling law firm.

Back to Fletcher victim | 16.02.2010 08:44

Probably Alton Mead. I attend Jubilee Christian Center in San Jose where Alton Mead stated that he was the youth pastor. www.jubilee.org Isnt this Alton guy's dad (William Mead Sr. )a statutory rapist?

Pocket Rocket | 16.02.2010 08:37

The propaganda filled lawsuit abruptly ended with Attorney Glenn W. Peterson shamed with fines and sanctions by the Superior Court of Sacramento, California. Petersons bogus information sources were two individuals, Alton Mead and Mario Sebastian, who were dismissed from employment due to extreme moral failure at the ministry where Malvitz-Ellis was the Senior Pastor in the mid 90's.

After his failed attempt against Malvitz-Ellis, Glenn W. Peterson was later sued for professional negligence according to Sacramento Superior Court records.

Back to Fletcher victim | 16.02.2010 08:21

Why don't you reveal your true identity?

Charles | 16.02.2010 06:17

I dont know. i think that people who are into get rich quick schemes should be screwed.

Red flag | 16.02.2010 05:19

Many Ponzi schemes share common characteristics. Look for these warning signs:

High investment returns with little or no risk. Every investment carries some degree of risk, and investments yielding higher returns typically involve more risk. Be highly suspicious of any guaranteed investment opportunity.
Overly consistent returns. Investments tend to go up and down over time, especially those seeking high returns. Be suspect of an investment that continues to generate regular, positive returns regardless of overall market conditions.
Unregistered investments. Ponzi schemes typically involve investments that have not been registered with the SEC or with state regulators. Registration is important because it provides investors with access to key information about the companys management, products, services, and finances.
Unlicensed sellers. Federal and state securities laws require investment professionals and their firms to be licensed or registered. Most Ponzi schemes involve unlicensed individuals or unregistered firms.
Secretive and/or complex strategies. Avoiding investments you dont understand or for which you cant get complete information is a good rule of thumb.

Slow return | 16.02.2010 05:17

Bernard L. Madoff, who is currently serving a 150-year sentence in federal prison, orchestrated a multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme that swindled money from thousands of investors. Unlike the promoters of many Ponzi schemes, Madoff did not promise spectacular short-term investment returns. Instead, his investors phony account statements showed moderate, but consistently positive returns even during turbulent market conditions.


This should help | 16.02.2010 05:13

A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to separate investors from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors, rather than from any actual profit earned. The Ponzi scheme usually entices new investors by offering returns other investments cannot guarantee, in the form of short-term returns that are either abnormally high or unusually consistent. The perpetuation of the returns that a Ponzi scheme advertises and pays requires an ever-increasing flow of money from investors to keep the scheme going.

The system is destined to collapse because the earnings, if any, are less than the payments to investors. Usually, the scheme is interrupted by legal authorities before it collapses because a Ponzi scheme is suspected or because the promoter is selling unregistered securities. As more investors become involved, the likelihood of the scheme coming to the attention of authorities increases. While the system eventually will collapse under its own weight, the example of Bernard Madoff illustrates the ability of a Ponzi scheme to delude both individual and institutional investors as well as securities authorities for long periods: Madoff's variant of the Ponzi Scheme stands as the largest financial investor fraud in history committed by a single person. Prosecutors estimate losses at Madoff's hand totalling $64.8 billion.

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    Ukraine Truth
    Rights We Didnt Know We Had

    Throughout EuroMaidan much has been made of Ukrainians making a stand for their rights. What exactly those rights are were never clearly defined. Ukraine ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1952. The first article of the Declaration states all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, they are endowed with reason and conscience, and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. The ousted and overthrown Ukrainian government showed to the world they dont understand the meaning of these words.


    Kyiv Culture

    Pulling Strings
    Located on Hrushevskoho Street the epicentre of EuroMaidan violence, home to battles, blazes and barricades childrens favourite the Academic Puppet Theatre had to shut down in February. Nevertheless, it is getting ready to reopen this March with a renewed repertoire to bring some laughter back to a scene of tragedy. Operating (not manipulating) puppets is a subtle art that can make kids laugh and adults cry. Whats On meets Mykola Petrenko, art director of the Theatre, to learn more about those who pull the strings behind the show.

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