Buyer be warned!
Mount Warning Eco Village- a fresh face and a different name for the same old game.
Attractive online façades with changing names and faces conceal a long line of creditors pressing for restitution. Promoted by Mark Darwin, the current lure, “Mt Warning Eco Village” is sold as an exciting opportunity to be part of an up-market “intentional community” dedicated to an alternative lifestyle. The sales pitch sounds smooth, but baited buyers are not warned that habitation is not permissible on the residential sites offered for sale.
Once hooked, new financiers soon wake up to harsh reality; a hidden history of hurt, harm and betrayal that has already spat out many disillusioned investors.
Mark Darwin and Associates
|Mark Darwin, Caroline Coman|
A renowned snake-oil marketing master, in 2014-2015, Mark Darwin presented himself as a former high-flying finance-monger who says he had a glorious epiphany when he was healed of a brain tumour by Tyler Tolman’s celebrity father, Don Tolman.
He tells how he was reformed to serve a higher cause, transmogrified from a scurrilous money-grubber into a humble lifestyle guru, saving people from corporate enslavement - for a fee - by sharing "Freeman"/"Sovereign Citizen" tricks, such as how to get off paying fines and how to use the legal system for commercial advantage.
"Sovereign Citizens" live by their own mashup of common law that's held above government statute. They assume that an imagined collectivist cause confers on them the right to trample truth, discard moral and ethical oversight and ignore legislation that constrains normal mortals from anarchy.
Truthology - A Matrix of Lies
Beginning in 2014, followers of Mark Darwin were enticed to fund the venture through an online front, “Truthology”.
“Freedom Summits” linked with “Create A Foundation” apparently aiding abused girls, flying under the radar of a dynamic, compassionate activist movement with a sagacious international following, presented a land-share venture offering sale of residential lots.
Darwin called for “selected” investors to jointly buy land and form a “Village Community.” By 2015 he had acquired $1.5 million and established “Bhula Bhula Village Community” at 3222 Kyogle Rd, Mt Burrell, NSW. But his contractual terms were later dismissed or switched, after investors had fully paid.
The Law of the Brute: They score the loot, investors get the boot.
Employment of a town planner enhanced appearances that development permits were in process, but investors were misled by lack of warning of risk, with the silent omission of known restrictions on potential land use and hidden "Sovereignty intentions".
Tweed Council also strongly warned the aspiring developers that no community would be permitted on that property because parts of it are protected as rainwater catchment. Yet these warnings were all kept hidden from investors.
Soon after the communal venture began, families who had been camping, preparing to construct their dream homes discovered too late that the supposed Village Community was set up to be governed by an un-executed Trust that was later used to betray the trust of the supposed "unit holders" when investors who paid for the land were disenfranchised with only a beneficial interest in the empty Trust.
After Tweed Shire Council took legal action, the developers forced investors to leave the Mt Burrell property without return of their money.
Mark Darwin’s partner, director and sole shareholder in the company owning the land, holding a single share of value $1, still asserts control as the illegitimate yet legal sole owner of the land asset.
"Recreating the Village" Promotional Presentation in Sydney
By August 2015 the hidden intent of the developers was revealed. An archived video recorded at a sales pitch in Sydney, “Recreating the Village” was posted online, but is now removed. “Recreating the Village” demonstrates how the developers set up an apparently impenetrable fire-wall protective structure using the services of the conveyancer, lawyer Wroth Wall.
During the sales presentation, (min 40) Mark Darwin assures his audience that “sweeping legislation allows for habitation” on the Land and he demonstrates contempt for local authorities and neighbours:
Mark Darwin: “We’ve already been contacted by Tweed Shire Council, 48 hours after settling... the locals have already contacted Santa Clause ... they’ve accused us of carrying out illegal works and all sorts of stuff. But we want to develop a relationship with them... Cough-cough.”
AB: “Bullshit!... We’ve ruffled a few feathers.
Mark Darwin: “And if you know AB and I, we don’t get bullied by authorities!”
Darwin admits that apart from their willingness to comply with construction safety standards for residences, they do not intend to seek any prior Development Approval, but intend to get “current approval status” extended.
Only an inner circle knew that the advertised lots were reserved for future water catchment to a proposed dam at Byrrill Creek.
In December 2015, an independent town planning report was issued, advising that multiple occupancy would not be allowed. The report was hidden from investors, who were encouraged to build dream-homes with exotic mountain views.
The developers then appointed themselves co-directors of a new company, Rainmaker Eco Investments Pty Ltd, and used investors' funds held in the trust fund of lawyer Wrothwell Wall to purchase an adjoining commercial precinct, at 3220 Kyogle Rd, including Sphinx Rock Cafe, shops, fuel servo and a caravan park.
|Mt Burrell Commercial, purchased by Darwin and associates in 2016|
The Mt Burrell land-share venture was first exposed as an alleged scam in October 2016 in a Nimbin GoodTimes article, The Truth About Bhula-Bhula by Gi Linda
“Legal action is in process by disillusioned investors in a community at Mt Burrell, near Nimbin. The community was founded by Mark Darwin through his organisation, ‘Truthology’. Investors warn that ‘Truthology’ presents a matrix of lies, using misleading marketing to facilitate acquisition of multi-million-dollar properties.
“Investors paid up to $120,000 for fake shares in the 640 acre property and some also transferred their superannuation, falsely assured that development applications were in process and would be fast-tracked to approval."
Instead of making reparations to creditors, Darwin and associates sued Gi Linda for defamation, extended the “Village Community” to a neighbouring property, formed a new company, Rainmaker Eco Investments, then went fishing for more investors.
After being exposed in several other local newspapers, Darwin and cohorts simply scrubbed online references to the venture, issued threats of extreme litigation to their opponents, then popped-up a new front and continued marketing a “once in a lifetime opportunity to own a town”.
The land-share scheme resurfaced as they continued re-selling the proposed residential lots using a new façade: “Mt Warning Eco Village”.
Darwin says they’re “recreating the village”. He promotes the venture as “ethical, sustainable and green” as he continues flogging shares in the community fiasco.
Great profit and special privilege can evidently be gained from the simple intent to “re-inhabit” land that is not legally habitable.
|Sites for sale on protected land|
Puppet directors Steven McSween and Richard Moate were set up to run the re-emerging "Community".
Despite the restrictions to potential use of the land and the failure to lodge development applications, the advertised "Community" is promoted nationally and internationally, and loans are sought to facilitate purchase of more land by Darwin and associates in a prospective shareholder agreement with neighbouring landowner Peter van Lieshout.
In 2016, with shares in the failed Bhula-Bhula Community still being sold, Mt Warning Eco Village was advertised as a unique opportunity to buy into an “entire town” on 3,500 pristine acres. Plans include a medical cannabis university and dispensary with a luxury spa hosted by international celebrity health coach Tyler Tolman, who runs an expensive Bali resort offering “Heal Thy Self” juice fasts.
In August 2016 Mark Darwin posted online: “Now we've just bought the entire township of Mount Burrell, and are taking on investors who wish to join us... Tyler Tolman has secured space at our Intentional Community near Mt Warning.” Asked about his participation in the alleged fraud, Tyler Tolman confirms he is collaborating with the venture.
Mt Warning Eco Village
|Kelly McSween, Sales|
Tweed Shire Council continues to warn the prospective developers that, as with the adjoining "Bhula Bhula" property, the area they are advertising as designated for residential lots in "Mt Warning Eco Village" is reserved for future water-catchment — no habitation is permitted.
For two years, with marketing by Kelly McSween, Darwin’s development team has continued advertising and selling residential lots in a purported “harmonious community,” headed by “new young energy”, without revealing their lack of DA approval, environmental constraints on use of the advertised sites, occulting the developers' hidden allegiance to the "Sovereignty cause" while also covering up the profound harm and loss caused to the original dispossessed creditors.
To silence critics, promotors aggressively confront and make defamatory ad hominem attacks against all who expose or oppose them.
The “village”, intended to span multiple properties with a projected total of 2,300 dwellings, is now advertised at mountwarningecovillage.com.au: “Recreating the Village through Community Spirit and Respect of the Planet”.
Distancing the elitist Mt Warning Eco Village from neighboring communities of farmers and local pot-growing hippies who keep alive the communitarian values of Nimbin's 1973 Aquarius Festival, potential buyers are assured in marketing offers: “Make no mistake, these aren’t your daddy’s hippy communes”:
“Those who find themselves on the pioneering growth edge of communal living are calling for a return to our roots… and are advocating for a cultural resurgence of a new form of village living. Learning from both the successes and missteps of our parents’ generation, conscious Millennials and Gen-Xers are uniquely poised to Re-Inhabit the Village in ways the world has never seen.”
|Location of the property|
Tours showcase the environmentally protected areas that are offered for sale with optional cabins for only $150,000:
“We encourage you to book a tour with us to explore this incredible 3,500 acre project. The tours are usually twice a month (on weekends) and commence at 8am (NSW time) and conclude with a lovely lunch at a log cabin in the middle of the property over looking Tallow Wood Dam at around 1pm. During the tour, you will meet the Founders, existing members, and also some local tribal elders who will welcome you to country, and show you how to introduce yourself to country over time…”
|Environmentally protected land offered for habitation at Mt Warning Eco Village|
To date, no development application has been approved for the establishment of a village on the protected land, and despite assurances by promotors that the venture does have green-lit DA approval, no Development Application has even been initiated.
Anyone who enquires about the advertised “ethical investment opportunity” in the Mt Warning Eco Village is first required to reveal their phone number. The automated response is slightly menacing: “We’ve got your number.”