Utne Blogs > Mind and Body

A Financial Debacle of Biblical Proportions

by Staff


Tags: oil, Armageddon, apocalypse, Ness Energy International, Israel, Hayseed Stephens, Shannon Stephens, Mother Jones, Mariah Blake,

For those who find the authority of Jim Cramer’s Mad Money insufficiently Biblical, the Jan.-Feb. issue of Mother Jones provides a financial narrative that hinges more squarely on the Good Book. Mariah Blake reports on apocalypse-minded evangelicals defrauded by Ness Energy International, a company claiming access to untapped Israeli oil fields. Faithful investors believed the tall tales of unknown reserves because of Biblical hints that the discovery of Israeli oil signals Armageddon. The prophesized oil was never found, and many investors were swindled out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Still, some continue to display a strange optimism. James Cojanis, an early investor who lost over $100,000 and may invest $100,000 more, emphasizes his sunny outlook:

“I’m glad the stock price is in the tank,” he says. “When they hit oil and the stock goes sky-high, that means Armageddon is around the corner.”

 Michael Rowe