Ever wish there was a way to instantly erase all of your financial debt without actually paying back one cent? Who hasn’t, right? Well, an Indonesian guru claims he can do just that for the followers of his mysterious debt forgiving cult, Swissindo World Trust International Orbit.
With most of the world’s wealth concentrated in the hands the elite, excessive lending has become virtually the only way to ensure that the rest of the world can maintain a decent lifestyle. Over the past couple of decades millions of people around the globe have incurred massive debts that they are unable to pay off. Facing constant pressure from banks or Government financial institutions, many of them are left with no other option than praying for a miracle. And that’s exactly the kind of solution that Swissindo, a cult-like organization in Indonesia, offers – to magically rid the world of financial debt with the help of a massive stash of gold and platinum.
Based in Cirebon, Indonesia, Swissindo bills itself as a non-profit humanitarian organization that can magically erase anyone’s debts. Its leader, Bapak Soegihartonotonegoro, a.k.a. M1, claims to be a descendant of ancient Indonesian royalty, and the sole inheritor of an unimaginable treasure that will allow him to give any man woman and child on Earth $6 million at some point in the future. But until he’s ready to share his massive wealth with the world, M1 helps members of his organization settle their debts with banks or Government fiscal administrations by providing them with official vouchers stating that Swissindo will cover their debts.
You would think that anyone would be crazy to believe such outrageous claims, but you would be wrong. Swissindo World Trust International Orbit has ardent followers all over the world, from the United States to Europe and even Australia, many of whom turned to the organization out of pure desperation. They consider M1 a sort of god-like savior of the world and claim that it is only a matter of time until he rids the whole world of the burden of financial debt.
Kimarie Teter, who left California to join M1 in Cirebon, told VICE that she used to be bullied by the IRS over a $10,000 debt, but after joining Swissindo, all her problems went away. All she had to do was sent in her birth certificate and $400, and her account at the IRS magically disappeared. She didn’t provide any proof for her claims or an explanation as to how Swissindo was able to erase her debt, but her faith in the controversial cult seemed unshakable.
Kimarie, who holds the title of ‘Prime Minister of Love’ at Swissendo, is just one of the many followers who genuinely believe in M1’s power. Indonesian banks have long been complaining about groups of aggressive Swissendo members showing up at their branches and demanding that they erase their financial debt in exchange for the organization’s vouchers. These so-called official documents state that the person has signed off their debt to Swissendo, and they are thus absolved of any financial responsibilities.
Soegihartonotonegoro will not divulge the location of this massive stash of gold and platinum that’s enough to cover all the world’s debt, for fear that his enemies will try to steal it. However, he claims to have exchanged some of it for a few billions of dollars kept in banks around the world, which he uses to extinguish the debts of his followers. Banks on the other hand, say that it is all a fraud, adding that the bank account numbers on Swissendo vouchers are fake.
M1 claims that his organization is standing up for human rights, and fighting against banks and other institutions attempting to put people into financial slavery, but its critics call it a pyramid scheme. They argue that the charismatic leader of Swissendo takes advantage of people’s desperation to line his own pockets. He charges them an administration fee in exchange for the false promise that their debts will be erased and a meaningless voucher.
Swissendo is currently being investigated for fraud by Indonesia’s financial crimes agency, the OJK, as an increasing number of people are presenting its vouchers to local banks, but M1 denies any wrongdoing and even threatening to retaliate should anyone try to put an end to hi organization.
“The OJK made a big mistake by condemning Swissendo and calling us illegal,” he said in an interview with VICE. “If you don’t want to make peace, I am ready to issue a statement of war to the world.”
Asked what he meant by that, Soegihartonotonegoro said “Anything! Nuclear? Why waste time creating nuclear weapons if they are not being used?”
That hardly sounds like the benevolent saviour M1’s followers make him out to be, but in their eyes he can do no wrong. They appear willing to stand by him come what may, and help him fulfill his mission of riding the world of financial debt.
Time will tell whether or not Swissendo is just another pyramid scheme praying on people’s desperation, but it is definitely proof that people on the losing side of global capitalism will always turn to a charismatic guru who promises to make all their problems magically disappear, no matter how outrageous his claim.