How do you make moral decisions if you have no frame of reference other than your own opinion? The tale of Silk Road, part 3.

August 30, 2017, 7:44 am

What Dread Pirate Roberts thought he paid for when he wired out a bunch of bitcoins. Not once, but five separate times. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Let’s see where he ended up with this Be-Your-Own-God routine.

The feds busted one recipient of a pound of cocaine.  He was a moderator on the Silk Road site. The feds kept this guy under wraps.

Dread Pirate Roberts, who also went by DPR, concluded that this person, who worked for Silk Road, had absconded with the dope and dropped out of sight. The feds gained control over the guy’s computer.

(This is part 3 of a discussion of a book on Silk Road, American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road, written by Nick Bilton. Read parts 1 and 2. Since writing the initial draft of this series, I’ve added two more posts and another 700 words.)

An undercover fed pretending to be a big time drug dealer was in contact with DPR.  So during their conversations, DPR happened to complain that someone had ripped him off. This undercover cop offered to send some of his goons over to rough up the guy.  DPR agreed to have his correspondent get some of his guys over there to work over the double-crosser.

So Carl Force of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and Shaun Bridges of the United States Secret Service pretended to torture this guy for DPR’s benefit by actually torturing the guy, taking pictures as they repeatedly dunked his involuntarily cooperating head in a bathtub full of water.

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How do you make moral decisions if you have no frame of reference other than your own opinion? The tale of Silk Road, part 2.

August 29, 2017, 7:24 am

Above organs were reportedly available for purchase at Silk Road. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

While developing Silk Road, Mr. Ulbricht had a girlfriend, whom I won’t name. She knew he was raising and selling dope on the website and broke up when he would not end his involvement with the site.

(This is part 2 of a discussion of a book on Silk Road, American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road, written by Nick Bilton. Part 1 here.)

His girlfriend came to a saving faith in Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior later in the book, well after they broke up. (Based on a few ways that the description of her conversion and faith are described, I will make a wild guess the author of the book is not a believer).

At one point when they got back together for a while, his girlfriend persuaded him to attend worship at what appears to be a charismatic congregation that operated without a formal pastoral leadership structure.

After the worship she asked him what he thought about the morals that were discussed during the worship service.

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How do you make moral decisions if you have no frame of reference other than your own opinion? The tale of Silk Road, part 1

August 28, 2017, 7:02 am

On what basis do you decide which is the right path?   Image of “decisions” by Impact Hub is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

What is the relative moral ranking of people selling the following illegal products:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Weapons
  • Explosives
  • Lethal poisons
  • Harvested body parts

Early in the growth of the Silk Road, which was a hidden place on the internet where you could buy anything you wanted, and I mean aaaaanything imaginable, a debate emerged about the outer limit of products that would be allowed on the site.

The website was set up and run by Ross Ulbricht. Ultimately the feds busted him, his senior staff, and another couple hundred people who worked for Silk Road or sold stuff there.

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Want some free CPE course material? Not for credit, but for learning? Included is some material I wrote.

February 11, 2016, 7:50 am
Cover of course courtesy of CCH.

Cover of course courtesy of Wolters Kluwer/CCH.

CCH (Wolters Kluwer) makes the material for some of its courses available for no charge.

If you want CPE credit there is a fee for grading the exam and awarding credit. However, if your goal is learning the materials are available gratis.

As I write this post, the following materials available:

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Primer for local churches on legal and finance issues from Church Law & Tax

August 20, 2015, 7:46 am

A 21 page e-book, Protecting our Ministry with Integrity, is available from Church Law & Tax, which is the writing platform for Richard Hammar. If you are new to leadership in the church world, he is one of the leading writers on legal issues in the community.

At the price of signing up for future sales pitches (when you consider the quality of the resources available, that is a really low cost), you can read about: Read the rest of this entry »


Price cut on print books

February 4, 2015, 8:27 am

I’ve dropped the prices for the print copies of my books available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes store.

Here is what you can find on-line:

tragedy-cover

 Tragedy of Fraud – Insider Trading Edition

Story of Scott London’s fall from regional audit partner at KPMG to prison inmate because of his insider trading.

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ECFA provides two books on tax issues for churches and clergy; ‘price’ is just to register at their site

December 19, 2014, 9:04 am

The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability is graciously making two resources available for the really low price of registering at their website.

I encourage churches and parachurch organizations to seriously consider becoming accredited members of ECFA.

As you ponder doing so, you really ought to register at their site. They provide a variety of information even for those who merely register. If you do that, which already makes sense, then the books free.

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