Alois P. Swoboda
From Kook Science
"Positively the Last Appeal", Engineering and Mining Journal 118: 403, 1924
THE BUSY PROMOTER, like the famous (or infamous) impresario, finds profit in the reiterated statement that the public, unless it seizes the opportunity now offered, may find itself unable in the near future near future at least to spend its money on so worthy an object as the one being promoted. Whether the exhibit in our isue of June 21 had any effect on the policy of Alois P. Swoboda we have no means of ascertaining, but we do know that an appeal for more money addressed to those who merit the title of "Friend and Pupil," was issued under date of July 23, in which each is reminded that "This is positively your last chance . . . It is now or never." With the possibility of further publicity and its unpleasant concomitants it may be likely that he is speaking the truth. "Even if this mine pays only $100 for every dollar invested, it will mean that $100 invested will be turned into $10,000, or $200 invested will be turned into $20,000." This is old stuff; the worm doesn't even hide the hook. But this promotion artist has a new scheme: "I have," he says, "evolved a plan under which I am willing to guarantee my pupil against the loss of a single penny."
The "guarantee" is in the form of a letter to him, to be signed by the "pupil," which reads:
"I inclose .............. Dollars, which please invest for me in your Valenciana proposition on a guarantee basis, in which you personally guarantee me against the loss of a single penny.
"I am hereby giving you one-half, or 50 per. cent. of all profits which my investment will bring. I am doing this because you guarantee me against loss.
"In view of your guarantee, I hereby give you complete control over my investment. You are to hold the shares in my name and possession and to collect dividends or to sell the shares as your judgment dictates, so as to bring the greatest possible results. I realize that unless you have control over my investment it would be impossible for you to guarantee me against loss."
On the back of this is another form, also addressed to Swoboda, on which the applicant for a share in the promised wealth is induced to affirm that:
"This money is sent to you with the understanding that you guarantee to return it to me, without the loss of a single penny, if you do not raise the entire $150,000, as explained in your letter.
"It is also understood by me that you are making this a strictly Swobodian proposition, and that you are not accepting subscriptions from anyone who has not been your pupil.
"Furthermore, I understand that it is your idea to make this a proposition for those of moderate means, by making up this fund, if possible, without permitting anyone to put in more than $200, as explained in your letter. I approve this plan to help those who need it most.
"I am sending this money to you because you are backing this proposition with your honor, your reputation, your future, your sincerity and your own money.
"It is understood by me that I shall receive stock certificates of the capital stock of the Valenciana Deep Mining Company when this $150,000 transaction is completed.
With unrestricted promotion of this character being carried on in the heart of New York City, is it any wonder that the man in the street considers investment in mining a risky undertaking?