An Australian land-share venture at Mt Burrell, NSW, that began in 2014 as Bhula Bhula Village Community, was renamed Nightcap Village and Nightcap on Minjungbal, and 2021 is now marketed as Earth-Haven Sustainable Communities and Display Villages.
For many of those whose funds and hopes sunk in this venture during the last seven years, the promised "Haven" turned into Hell on Earth.
In 2016, the venture was exposed as an alleged fraud in local newspapers, on social media and in blogs by investors who claimed they lost life savings when marketing representations were not fulfilled.
Years of costly and damaging litigation by the controllers of the venture against aggrieved creditors, attempting to gag the increasingly vocal investors pressing for restitution, succeeded during 2019-2020 in obtaining Court judgements that excused the failure of the promotors to fulfil marketing representations as "incompetence" but not fraud.
With the promotors protected by Court Order from allegations of deception, bullying and fraud, the land-share scheme soon became a living nightmare to unrequited creditors who, after being denied the use and co-ownership of property, promised in exchange for their life-savings, were further denied a voice of reclamation.
Landowner Peter van Lieshout
|Landowner Peter van Lieshout and Nightcap promotor Tyler Tolman
In 2017, Bhula Bhula was turned from a costly failure into an even bigger and better idyllic dream with a new name. The venture was expanded to 3,500 acres with addition of a neighbouring property owned by Peter van Lieshout and promoted by famous faces with large followings.
Fronted by American celebrity Don Tolman and his son Tyler Tolman, Bhula Bhula was rebranded as Mt Warning Eco Village, until mountains of warning from angry investors triggered another name change to Nightcap Village.
|Don and Tyler Tolman marketing Nightcap Village, 2018
After the original co-founder and promotor, Mark Darwin, was removed from the project, Mark McMurtrie, Derek Zillman and other sovereignty activists gained control as they expanded the venture to greater heights of ambition, with greater depths of harm to their clamouring creditors.
Nightcap Village is now selling "Native Title" to "Rural Dwelling Sites" without development approval, on properties taken from others who provided funds for their purchase.
Nightcap's rebranded "Earth-Haven Sustainable Communities" may sound like a dream come true to cashed-up ingenuous idealists seeking a life-change, but for the disenfranchised who provided funds from 2014-2015 to buy the properties and were left with nothing but loss, hurt and harm, the re-imaged land-share scheme has been very far from Paradise, and the soothing mantra parroted by the promotors, "do no harm" does not heal the deep wounds of many creditors.
Advertising on gumtree.com, Mikala Lowe, director of Nightcap Village Holdings Pty Ltd, offers sale of company shares in the venture. The company shares, negotiable from $295,000, are ostensibly convertible to prospective 2.47 acre dwelling sites in the "World's largest Eco Village".
Claimants allege that the advertiser, Mikala Lowe, is implicated in a phoenix move. Her husband, Eamon Lowe is executive consultant to the agency Christies Prestige, that, on June 19, 2020, held a Receiver's auction of the property paid for by the angry creditors.