The story on Silk Road, an on-line drug bazaar, shows the power of rationalization and self-deception

Cover of “American Kingpin” from Amazon. Used under fair use.

The sad tale of Ross Ulbricht and his on-line drug bazaar called Silk Road is a good study of the outer limits of how far rationalization can carry a person.

It is also a frightening illustration of Jeremiah 17:9. From the New International Version, ponder:

The heart is deceitful above all thing and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

Considering the tale of Silk Road is useful for accountants wanting to learn about the outer fringe of the internet and he investigative power of the federal government, believers who would like an illustration of the frightening level of deceit that lives in the human heart, and anyone else wanting to learn more about the dark worlds that normal people will never see.

My posts are gathered into two collections on my other blog, Outrun Change:

Part 1 is a collection of posts I wrote from 2013 through this summer based on what articles caught my eye.

Part 2 is a series of 9 posts commenting on a book written by Nick Bilton called American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road.

My discussion focuses on the frightening impact when a person makes decisions without any external frame of reference. Without any reference point other than what Mr Ulbricht thought at a moment in time, he talked himself into allowing the sale of any drug in existence, guns, explosives, and body organs. He even rationalized beating up and then hiring a killer to murder one of his former employees. In fact, he hired four more executions. Turns out he was getting scammed, but he believed strongly enough that the five hits were carried out to pay the supposed killers.

For more details, feel free to check out either or both pages.

Oh, just so you know the end of the story, Mr. Ulbricht is currently in federal prison serving a life sentence.

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