Category Archives: fraud

On Feigned and Factitious Diseases

England, land of malingerers

Dalrymple enjoys Hector Gavin’s 1843 work, which, he notes,

says something that has resonance in a land such as ours in which the numbers of sick people have so overtaken the numbers of the unemployed, to the delight of government statisticians, doctors, and the unemployed themselves.

Gavin writes:

Medical certificates must not be compared as a practice (as they have been) to that of alms-giving; in the best hands they are liable to great abuse; and however pure and disinterested the motives, much evil not infrequently results from them—none more than the inevitable depreciation of the medical character, which cannot fail to follow from their being given in a careless or lax manner.

Dalrymple comments:

This is enough to make one blush.

How many of the English are pretending to be ill in order to be able to live on handouts? In Britain, Dalrymple points out,

we have the remarkable situation where we have more invalids than after the First World War: 3m, of whom 2m could probably work.

It is, he says,

a fraud on a large scale: deeply corrupting of the recipients, who wrongly believe they are sick; the government, which shifts people out of the unemployment statistics; and the medical profession.

The entrepreneurial parasitism of benefit recipients is, he explains,

not recognised by naïve bureaucrats. The recipients know how to manipulate things to get the maximum benefit; they are reacting to incentives.

Oxfam, criminal conspiracy

Dalrymple writes that for years he banged on that Oxfam was

a criminal organisation.

People, he says,

would roll their eyes.

He asks:

Are they rolling their eyes now?

Orgies with underage prostitutes in Haïti are, Dalrymple writes,

the least of it. The orgies are a market-driven stimulus for the Haïtian economy, if an extremely tasteless and immoral one. That is more than can be said for most of Oxfam’s activities.

Bogus charity’s extreme hypocrisy

Oxfam’s real aim, he points out,

is to provide employment to those who work for it. (Governments are of course the biggest donors to this corrupt scheme.)

Legalised fraud

Money donated to Oxfam ends up in the pockets of those who work for it, including the staff, numbering 888 at the last count, at the fake charity’s grandiloquent head office in London.

Dalrymple notes that

the hypocrisy of this legalised fraud is symbolic of very many modern activities.


is not the only criminal in this field, and may not be the worst. The field itself is criminal.

Fraudulence and adolescent vacuity

Malodorous mass murderer

Effrontery, writes Dalrymple,

has made strides as a key to success in life. Ordinary people employ it routinely. There are consultants in effrontery training who not only commit it but teach others how to commit it, and charge large sums.

There was a time when

self-praise was regarded as no praise, rather the reverse; now it is a prerequisite for advancement.

The consultants in effrontery, Dalrymple notes, speak in pure cliché, practically contentless, but with a force of conviction that, if you discounted what they say, you might think they were people

of profound insight with a vocation for imparting it to others.

When he catches glimpses of US television evangelists, Dalrymple is full of wonder as to how

anyone could look at or listen to them without immediately perceiving their fraudulence.

The fraudulence is so obvious that it is like

a physical characteristic, such as height or weight or colour of hair, or an emanation,

like body malodour, such as that of Che Guevara. How, asks Dalrymple,

could people fail to perceive it?

Please dispose of the EU in the dustbin of history

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 23.00.36Systematic fraud, writes Dalrymple,

is not a deformation of the European Union but very nearly its raison d’être.

An organisation whose auditors

have never once, in its entire history, dared to sign its accounts as being a true and accurate representation of its financial situation is unreformable except by abolition — by far the surest, easiest and most efficient solution.

A weed in the garden

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 08.19.30The soil that allows bogus peer review — a relatively new form of fraud — to flourish, writes Dalrymple, is

the pressure on academics to publish, irrespective of whether they have anything to say, either for the sake of promotion or even of mere continuance in post.

It is, he notes,

a modern variant on Gogol’s Dead Souls.

Evil tenants

G.J. Pinwell, Landlord and Tenant, 1871

G.J. Pinwell, Landlord and Tenant, 1871

Recently one of the tenants of Dalrymple’s next-door neighbour

did a bunk, owing him £3,000 in rent.

A quick investigation

established that she had done this all her life: she had cheated and swindled landlords for decades. She had many court judgments against her; not one had been executed. Obtaining such a judgment only added to the losses incurred by her successive landlords.

Tenants have a tendency to

turn their rented properties into sties, make unreasonable demands, withhold payment and regard any ill-conduct towards their landlord as justified ipso facto.


have little redress against the ruthless or dishonest.

The characteristic deformation of the liberal conscience

'I have learned to be polite to the people who make these calls. I imagine that for them it is just a job like any other. Some of their contemporaries went into sales, others into the bank, yet others into insurance; they went into fraud (only a relative, not an absolute, distinction).'

‘I have learned to be polite to the people who make these calls. I imagine that for them it is just a job like any other. Some of their contemporaries went into sales, others into the bank, yet others into insurance; they went into fraud (only a relative, not an absolute, distinction).’

We are enjoined to put ourselves in other people’s shoes before judging them too harshly, but…

When (doubtless ill-paid) telephone fraudsters ring up from India, Dalrymple asks whether showing them politeness is humanity or pusillanimity. He writes:

We often think that to make excuses for others is kindness, to make excuses for ourselves dishonesty.

Therefore should we show a bit of kindness, a bit of consideration, to members of the telephone fraudster community?

After all, perhaps not. Dalrymple says:

To make excuses for others but not for ourselves easily becomes condescension or a sense of superiority moral and even existential. We are responsible for what we do, they are not. We act, they only react.

They called this totalitarian a liberator

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 22.57.49A cupboard packed with skeletons

Freud excelled in the arts of totalitarianism, says Dalrymple. The father of psychoanalysis

denigrated, excommunicated, falsified, minimised, concealed, lied, distorted history, embargoed, and resorted constantly to that ad hominem (which is something of course that I would never do), in a way of which Stalin might have been proud or at least not ashamed.

Ironie assez macabre

Alexandre Stavisky

‘La tombe de Stavisky [pictured] se trouve dos-à-dos avec celle d’Édouard Drumont, l’un des plus féroces antisémites français,’ explains the Cimetières de France et d’ailleurs website

The secret of Madoff’s success

Screen Shot 2013-03-24 at 21.51.22The appeal to snobbery was part of it, explains Dalrymple. (As Aldous Huxley notes in his essay ‘Selected Snobberies’, we are all snobs about something.) Bernard Madoff’s originality, writes Dalrymple,

seems to have consisted largely of offering not fabulous, but steady profits; his pretence of being indifferent whether anyone invested with him or not; and the successful creation of an impression that his fund was for an élite, not for the hoi polloi. One of the reasons for his success (if success is quite the word I seek) was his appeal to snobbery. His story is proof, if proof were needed, that in finance, as in art and science, originality is not in itself a virtue.