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Dominion of Melchizedek
|This article is of poor quality and needs improvement. You can help improve the article by editing it. The discussion page may contain suggestions.|
|Motto: Monotheistic, unity, peace|
Musical Anthem: tba
|Type of entity:||Micronation|
|Location:||Various Pacific Ocean islands and part of Antarctica|
|Existed||1986 - 2009 (?)|
|Leadership:||Unknown, the website does not list anyone in charge|
|organisational structure:||Constitutional and Ecclesiastical state|
|This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Dominion of Melchizedek. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with MicroWiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.|
The Dominion of Melchizedek (DoM) was a micronation widely known for facilitating wide-spread banking fraud across the world
Origin and Status
The DoM was created in 1986 by Evan David Pedley and his son, Mark Logan Pedley. The latter also uses a number of pseudonyms, including "Tzemach Ben David Netzer Korem" and "Branch Vinedresser" (which is a rough English translation of the Hebrew). The Pedleys have published a translation of the Bible known as the Melchizedek Bible (see below). During the 1980s the Pedleys were convicted and imprisoned for multiple various land and share-related frauds. The elder Pedley is now reportedly deceased, while the younger no longer has any association with the DoM. Two separate regimes have ruled the micronation since the days of the Pedleys, with no reports of illegality. In July of 2003, the DoM elected its first post-Pedley administration, that brought Richard James McDonald to the Presidency. http://gov-dom.org/news_20030723-01.htm. A former law enforcement officer, McDonald soon announced the younger Pedley's departure from government service.
Supporters of DoM assert that it is an "ecclesiastical sovereignty," similar to Vatican City. While its flag incorporates Christian, Jewish and Islamic symbols, DoM sponsors no established church or formally constituted religion.
DoM also claims Jerusalem as its "homeland." The claim is based on the Biblical legend of Melchizedek, who is said to have been priest-king of Salem. However, as no person associated with DoM is known to reside in Jerusalem, and as the DoM apparently has no recognized means of enforcing its claim, this claim is also generally rejected.
During the 1990s DoM began to claim sovereignty over a number of Pacific islands. DoM's claims include Taongi Atoll (near the Marshall Islands); Malpelo Island (a claimed possession of Colombia; Karitane Shoal (a reef often submerged under 9 metres of water); Solkope Island; and Clipperton Island (also a claimed possession of France). DoM also claims a large section of Antarctica. While some of the DoM's claims are not supported by all major nations, Governments such as Nigeria, the Central African Republic and Cameroon have all signed treaties with the DoM and have formally established diplomatic relations, http://gov-dom.org/faq.html.
The DoM does maintain a diplomatic mission in the Central African Republic, Cameroon and several other nations. DoM's web site additionally notes that it has since been "recognized" by several other African nations, including Burkina Faso. http://gov-dom.org/faq.html.
The Marshall Islands originally acknowledged the DoM's sovereignty. However, after allegations of illegality were raised by the U.S. State Department, the Marshall Islands issued a diplomatic note to other nations, urging nations friendly to it not to recognize claims of DoM in the Marshall Islands. The recognized Iroijlaplap (chief) of Taongi was later quoted on an Australian television current affairs program as saying he had granted DoM a 50-year "sovereign lease" over the Taongi Atoll island. However, the Marshall Islands now argues that sovereignty over the atoll (as opposed to land title) belongs to the Marshall Islands and not to private citizens, therefore the Iroijlaplap's action should be considered a nullity. The DoM asserts that historical maps and territorial claims by the Marshall Islands did not include the Taongi Atoll island until the U.S. State Department interceded in the mid nineties. Although a dispute between the DoM and the Marshall Islands exists concerning the status of the DoM's "sovereignty," the DoM continues to assert physical possession and governmental rule over Taongi with no challenge by the Marshall Islands, the United States or any other nation.
Over 300 investors in various parts of the world have lost money in purported investment, passport and employment scams run by several "banks" who purportedly bought sub-license from Melchizedek licensed banks, including one operated by a supposed "diplomatic representative".
Apologists have suggested that there is no link between Melchizedek and the illegal activities conducted by such "banks" it has "licensed", however this is disputed; in an address to the 4th International Financial Fraud Convention in London, 27 May 1999, John Shockey, a former special assistant in the office of the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency, stated:
- "Melchizedek first came to my attention in June 1990, a few months after Mark Pedley was paroled from a 1986 conviction. Inquiries were received concerning bank names: Banco de Asia, Guardian Savings & Guaranty and Express Bank among others. Investigations that these entities had bank charters from the DOM and obtained through an entity named Consortium Finance Corporation headquartered in Lake Tahoe, California. Further investigation disclosed a principal alternately named John Hayden and Branch Vinedresser. Shortly thereafter the FBI took Branch Vinedresser into custody and revealed that he was Mark Pedley, who then was charged with violations of his parole."
At one stage in the early 2000s, DoM maintained a post office box address in Canberra, the capital of Australia. Coincidentally, one of the individuals identified by Philippine authorities in November 1998  as the ringleader of a series of frauds perpetrated in the name of DoM was John Gillespie, a former Australian felon who was convicted on the basis of his involvement in the Fine Cotton horse substitution racket during the 1980s. According to a media report originally published in The Nation (Bangkok) on 30 May 1999, "hundreds of Filipinos, Chinese and Bangladeshis paid up to US$3,500 to Gillespie's gang for worthless Melchizedek travel documents," and some had also paid significant amounts of money to obtain "government jobs" on one of the uninhabited Pacific islands claimed by DoM. The total amount defrauded was estimated at one million dollars. While the other gang members were arrested, Gillespie himself eluded capture.
Another fraud involving DoM is tied to Jeffery Thayer, who was the Governor of the Bar Association from 1997 to to 1999 and past General Counsel and Humanitarian Projects Coordinator. Thayer practiced law under a license granted by DoM, although he was suspended in California for non-payment of dues, http://members.calbar.ca.gov/search/member_detail.aspx?x=133194. He authored the book, The Corporation Sole, Its History, Significance and Creation, which goes into the history of corporate soles. Thayer also teaches seminars on how to organize and operate a church or ministry as a tax-exempt non-profit religious corporation.
Lawsuit against CBS
In April of 2000, CBS's 60 Minutes II, aired a report critical of Dominon of Melchizedek. Prior to the program being aired, Mark Pedley claims he had a conversation with 60 Minutes II producer Janet Klein, in which Klein promised Pedley fair coverage of DoM. In the opening of the program, CBS made a claim that Pedley was a prophet. During the interview, Bob Simon asked Pedley if he was a prophet. Pedley replied, “I try to avoid making any predictions about the future”.
After airing the program, DoM demanded a retraction of statements made during the program. As a result of the bad press, DoM filed a lawsuit (in their own judicial system) on May 9th, 2000 seeking damages for libel against CBS in the amount of $1 billion. The lawsuit named Klein, Simon, and CBS as the defendants. On July 25, 2000, DoM entered a default judgement against CBS, claiming that the company failed to respond to the lawsuit. Because of the lack of jurisdiction of the lawsuit, CBS has refused to acknowledge the judgement.
David Evan Pedley
David Evan Pedley (born April 8, 1929 in Daly City, California) is one of the founders of the Dominion of Melchizedek. He wrote the Melchizedek Bible's preface, translated Genesis, Exodus, Matthew and parts of Revelation as his "gift" to the Dominion of Melchizedek according its "Introduction" which was first published in 1986. He also wrote the Glossary, which is called the "Key of David."
Pedley graduated from the University of California. He attended classes of Dr. Josiah Merriman, a doctor turned Christian Science Practitioner. Dr. Merriman emphasized the importance of resurrecting the Dominion of Melchizedek from antiquity.
After being convicted of several financial crimes in the 1970's, including stock fraud, Pedley was incarcerated. Pedley claims the charges were false and the result of a "witch-hunt" against him. While incarcerated, he started a cattle business, which Ben David operated for him in Los Angeles, California. 
Released in 1975, Pedley partnered with his son Ben David in a real estate enterprise in Northern California. Pedley came under repeated grand jury investigations that resulted in further indictments against him. In 1982, he and his son Ben David fled to Mexico to avoid arrest. Ben David was arrested in January 1983 by Mexican immigration for not renewing his visa. After being deported to the U.S. Ben David was held pending trial. David Pedley surrendered to Mexican authorities. While incarcerated in Mexico, Pedley apparently began work on the Melchizedek Bible which was written over a period of 5 years by hand and on a computer (which he received from his son Ben David).
While in Mexican custody Pedley apparently died, though the circumstances are not clear. A closed casket funeral was held in Altadena, California in 1987. At the funeral, FBI agents approached the Pedley family and requested to fingerprint David Pedley’s body. This request was denied by the family and allegedly some government regulators believe that David Pedley is still alive. 
Mark Logan Pedley
Mark Logan Pedley (born July 19, 1953 in Los Angeles, California) (also known as "Tzemach Ben David Netzer Korem" and "Branch Vinedresser") is the son of David Evan Pedley. He serves as the Head of the House of Elders, Vice President of the Executive Branch, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of DOM. Pedley is the author of the Melchizedek Bible. 
In 1983, Pedley was convicted of mail fraud and interstate fraud. He was sentenced to three years in federal prison for that conviction, and later to eight years for a racketeering conviction in 1986. Pedley was released on parole from Walla Walla Federal Prison in 1990. Upon his release, he started DoM’s website offering numerous services including passports, banking facilities, university degrees and lawyers’ certificates. DoM also allows for incorporations and trust formations as tax havens. 
He had his parole revoked by his parole officer in late 1991 due to a violation of his conditions. Pedley was released from his parole in July 1994. 
In 1976, Pedley married Janith Marie Wardy. The couple had two daughters, Rachael Grace and Yvonne Marie. In 1994, Pedley married Pearlasia, a Pilipino woman who shared a common interest of furthering the cause of DoM. 
According to its preface, The Melchizedek Bible combines an interpretation of metaphor with the King James Version which claims to "guide students to the hidden treasure of Holy Writ", and was first published in 1986.
The opening verses of the Melchizedek Bible give an idea of how the entire work reads, for example,
Genesis Chapter I verse 1:
- KJV: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
- MB: Only God reveals noumenon and phenomenon
- KJV: And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
- MB: And phenomenon is without form and void, with ignorance "upon the face of error," yet divine thoughts move upon the visage of God's elements,
- KJV: And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
- MB: Declaring, "Let there be enlightenment; and there is enlightenment."
- KJV: And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
- MB: God beholds the enlightenment, that it is good; and God separates the enlightenment from ignorance.
- Official site
- Cyberfraud: The Fictitious Dominion of Melchizedek - Article detailing the criminal history of the founders of Melchizedek and their associates.
- Scamdog - Another article describing Melchizedek's criminal activities.
- Warning from the Comptroller of the US Treasury Department.
- 1999 US Securities and Exchange Commission civil case involving bank licensed by the Dominion of Melchizedek
- Scam Without A Country" Dallas Observer, August 2, 1996
- Fantasy Island