To home page

To contents

To Contents

To Culture

To culture

This topic is closed for discussion. Items concerning the DOM of special interest to the Rotuman community will henceforth be posted on the Newspage, Bulletin Board, or other appropriate location. Anyone wishing to continue the discussion can do so via personal email.

The Dominion of Melchizedek

As reported on the news page

of this website, a man calling himself David Korem, representing the so-called Dominion of Melchizedek (DOM), visited Rotuma recently and tried to persuade the Rotuma Council to secede from Fiji and join the DOM. The comments below have been sent to the Rotuman Forum in response to that posting.
Link to David Korem's
draft Constitution for the Republic of Rotuma
Sefo (29 January 2000)

Is it April Fool's again? I was going to write something serious but after checking out this American gentleman's so called organisation, I almost wet myself laughing instead. Lord almighty, please don't tell me our great Council of Chiefs on the Island have been conned by another bullshit artist. How gullible are we?

Rotuma needs Fiji more than Fiji needs us. Let's think LOGISTICS not Independence (or becoming another Banana Republic). I hope the Fiji Government is not taking this too seriously.

Still laughing -

p.s.: Wasn't there a David Koresh at Waco a few years back?

Taraivina (29 January 2000)

Congratulations David, Divine timing-

From an anonymous observer (1 February 2000)

Regarding the "Rotuman History," touted by the self proclaimed Gagaj Sau Lagfatmaro II, it's obvious Henry's at it again. I can't believe the persistence of this power hungry man!

He says people should await the publication of "A comprehensive history of ROTUMA." Who's history will we read? Henry's? I am sure that a history written by Henry will only benefit and further the claims of King Henry.
Dear Michael:

In an attempt to correct some of the factual errors you have made and horrible poetic liberties you have taken in reporting about DOM, etc., DOM press has posted your articles, adding and subtracting therefrom, with equally great poetic liberty. I hope that you will not be as offended as I should have been and that you will see the one jab at humor. (See )

I'm glad you have found DOM a worthy story to follow and look forward to seeing your writings evolve as DOM grows.

By the way, I have been aware of the adventures of Oliver since 1991 and have had some experience in the Pacific before my visit to Rotuma. Some of my experiences have included Hawaii, (I visited the "Queen and King" thereof in both Maui and at the UN), I was actually in the Marshall Islands when Iroijlaplap Remios Hermios of Taongi granted DOM a sovereign lease for 50 years, and let's not forget about that itinerant Polynesian "King Mitchara" that sold us the fantasy island he called, "Karitane".

It doesn't seem that you have taken a serious look at the DOM web sites, but have mostly relied on false information found from unreliable sources.


Tzemach "Ben" David Netzer Korem,
Head of the House of Elders of the Dominion of Melchizedek
The following messages were sent to Michael Field (New Zealand/South Pacific Correspondent Agence France-Presse) in response to a news report he authored concerning David Korem and DOM that appeared on the
Pacific Island News Website on 2 February, 2000.

In response to your article on Rotuma, your reporting was not factual. I, taraivina Rae of Rotuman Heritage took Dr. Tzemach David Korem, Head of the House of Elders for the Dominion of Melchizedek (DOM), to Rotuma to visit with my beautiful family.

It was a holiday and a fact finding mission for myself to see how I could help Rotuma stand on it own two feet economically. I saw a major need for proper infrastructure, something the Fiji Government has been no avail.

With the help and Aid network of Dr. Tzemach David Korem, I saw an immediate need for the one and only high school to get wired for electricity. The generator and computers having been waiting patiently for three years for the Fiji govt. Also included, are sponsorships for two young Rotumans for Higher education in the USA, plus equipping the Rotuma hospital with state of the art equipment.

Completing my village hall and Rotuma Sport sponsorship are just some of the community projects I've committed on behalf of the Dominion of Melchizedek. Is this all so bad???

I've found a way to help my people! It seems like Divine timing!

Any Aid to Rotuma is greatly appreciated by my people, regardless of your unfounded accusations towards Dr. Korem. It's time for Rotuma to benefit!

Dr. Korem and myself flew out on our scheduled Air Pacific flight FJ810 to LAX from Nadi on the 27th of Jan 2000. We would have gladly answered any questions regarding our stay in Rotuma, if only we had been approached.

Thank you Mr field for helping start a ripple that's turned into a wave of awareness across the world. For the first time Rotuma is being spoken of at a global level, regardless of your ignorance. If you have any questions, please contact me at

Faiaksia and Vinaka !!

taraivina Rae
Humble servant to Rotuma & DOM
From Gale (5 February 2000)

I am not living in Rotuma, though we do have family there. I firmly believe that it should be up to people who live in Rotuma to decide what they want. However, I do wish that people would be just a little careful before believing anyone who stops in as to what they can/are able to do for Rotuma--and do be a little suspicious of total strangers who have absolutely no ties to Rotuma who suddenly want to go and "help" them out.....out of what?

I am extremely concerned about this Domain of Melchizedek character who is an alleged millionaire. Fortunately, there is an FBI office in our little town and I am going to see what, if anything, they are able to tell me about this character. After all, it is pretty difficult from Rotuma to find out about outside people. How do you know that even the businesswoman from Nadi or the Rotuman man who brought this American are not getting some personal benefit out of it? That's not to say that there is something wrong, but how do you know there is not? If I do find anything, I will attach what I receive from them (FBI) and I would definitely leave it up to whoever wants to, to find out from the same authorities themselves. I would not want anyone to just take my word for it....this is a very dangerous practice. There are those who have very good intentions but are also misinformed. I am un-informed, but intend to find out. It doesn't involve me? Perhaps not, but it involves family for whom I am very concerned. Also, about what Dr. Mua was saying, there is already a problem with people having land disputes. It would be a real cyclone if suddenly all Rotumans had to return at one time to Rotuma; that would make for an upheaval.

However, that again, is not my say. What I am concerned about is, for example, when the hospital which has been provided by the Fiji government would be taken down, who is going to provide all the medication, the wages for all the medical staff, etc.?

I hope no one is mistaken enough to think that anyone's money is endless, for it is not. Secondly, whoever, especially privately, tells you that they will put a lot of money into this or that--what are their intentions? Will everyone receive equal benefits or will it basically be his or her family members first and/or foremost? Also, just because some aid has come from America/Americans/American organization(s)/etc., does that mean that it is on an ongoing basis? This is beginning to sound like when the New Zealand people helped out after the bad cyclone--some people were convinced that New Zealand would be forever providing assistance if Rotuma was to go under the New Zealand government. All I ask is that people stop, think before they move, and don't just take the word of anyone--(no, not even mine)--but first find out the facts. I have had people I love dearly tell me things and I could not just assume they were right just because I loved them and knew them to be honest, upright people. We need to know the facts. I will try my best to find out some facts about this character Colin David (or David Korem, or whatever it is) and his Domain of Melchizedek. I will contact the forum again.

Thanks for your time. I remain yours truly for a safe and happy Rotuma

From Helge (5 February 2000)

See to it so you can become an independent nation in a free association with Fiji, like the Faroe islands and Greenland here in Scandinavia. The Fijians and the Rotumans have so much in common. An independent republic or kingdom is not possible. Rotuma might be to small for that. but a free association is a different matter. You deserve to become masters in your own house. And I don't think the Fijians will object to that. But stay away from con men, be it Fijian. Rotuman or European. Go for it, you deserve the best.

From Rachele Mataere in Sydney, Australia (9 February 2000)

I believe that there are two issues here which need to be addressed separately. Rotuman independence is one of them, but the more immediate question is why we would want to have any affiliation with this DOM organisation.

If independence is the best thing for Rotuma and it's future, then so be it, but unfortunately I have neither the right nor the education to make a judgment. However, as uneducated as I may be, I can read and after reviewing the background of the Dominion of Melchizedek, I greatly fear for Rotuma's future.

This organisation is obviously a fraud, out to capitalise on our home, culture and heritage. I believe it is painfully obvious that they do not have our best interests at heart, namely that of the future we leave for our children and children's children. It scares me to think that a Rotuman has actually invited this person and his organisation to our home and has even gone as far as noting that this man, David Korem has written a constitution on our behalf.

There are many educated, professional and successful Rotumans around the world, whom we should be proud of, and who can aid in writing a constitution for Rotuma; one for Rotuma by Rotumans, so I fail to see why we would call upon foreigners to act on our behalf.

Rotuma faces many problems at the moment; very bad roads, lack of electrical power and lighting, poor domestic waste management, lack of a Rotuman owned shipping service, but perhaps more importantly, the lack of any substantial and sustainable economic resource (natural or otherwise).

Independence is the least of these; it's way down the bottom of what some perceive as a bottomless pit of problems.

The burning issue now is not independence but dependence and how much Rotumans in Rotuma can make that dependence less burdensome on the Republic of Fiji and equally so on relatives who reside outside of Rotuma.

I can't see Rotuma's salvation coming from DOM, a practical nonentity, existing only in cyberspace and having been implicated in major international fraud.

I'd hope that we Rotumans could have more foresight when thinking, talking and deciding the future of our fragile yet beautiful home and way of life.
From Alicia Mataere in Sydney, Australia (9 February 2000)

I am writing to the forum for two main reasons, firstly to express my personal opinions on Rotuma's latest move towards independence, and to question the real motive of the "American" who is behind it. I was shocked and angered to read the newspaper clipping's that were posted on the web site. It seems hilarious to me that a nation that wants independence so badly is unable to attain it independently.

If that's not bad enough, according to a member of the Council of Chiefs, it appears that only Rotumans who live on the island are eligible to have an opinion about the issue of independence. He was quoted in the Daily Post, 28th January, as stating that "it has only to do with Rotumans on the island." Funny isn't it--Rotumans living in Fiji and elsewhere in the world have no right to have an opinion, but an American with no connection to Rotuma does?

That leads me to my next question for the pro-Korem independent supporters. What are his real motives? I was shocked to read about his dominion on his websites, and about him. I think that Rotumans really need to ask these questions, and find out his real motive. Is it religious, or political, or maybe he's just that generous..........NOT. Rotuma needs to ask these questions, and find out what it is that he wants in return for his so called help. From the information available and his quotes in Pacific Island News it appears that all he wants is "dry land" for his physco cyberspace nation.

I do not mean to be so harsh, as I completely understand the wishes of the Council of Chiefs for better facilities and infrastructure for Rotuma that have been promised by the Fiji government for so long. I, too, had a taste of Rotuma's highway just this month, and completely understand. However, do you really believe that independence will bring these promises to fruition? It appears to me that the responsibility for the fulfillment of these promises is in the hands of the Council of Chiefs and those Rotumans who have been elected into government by their people. In order to have action taken upon these promises ROTUMANS need to take the initiative. We need to take the initiative to achieve all the things that Rotuma needs. Independence by definition means being totally self sufficient, where you do not depend on anyone, and most importantly are not controlled by anyone either.

Another point I would like to stress is that a key component of independence is unity--something that with Rotumans seems at times to be somewhat of an ideal. I truly believe that what Rotuma needs right now is not independence as it will probably again just turn out to be another power kick for a select few while others continue to suffer.

From the articles posted on the net the only argument given by the Council of Chiefs for independence was to improve facilities on the island and to fulfill the promises of last years government visit. However, again the only real resolution for this is for them to fulfill their responsibility to Rotuma and lobby the government and politicians in order to achieve these goals.

Finally I pray that Rotuma is not stupid enough to be sweet talked by this convicted con-man, for the sake of Rotuma and it's future generations.
From Gillian (10 February 2000)

This so called "DOM" thing is such a joke, I also pissed myself laughing .... Gotta be kidding ....

1. What do the supporters of the so called DOM get out of this ?
2. Why is an American "Millionaire" trying to take over Rotuma ?
3. Who are the 2 Rotumans who were involved with this American man ? and what do they get out of this ? (Personally)

I totally agree with some of comments I have read inregards to "NO INDEPENDENCE" ... as one comment said, Rotuma needs Fiji more than Fiji needs us, which is totally true.

What would we prefer, an island with high rise hotels or just the way it is with a few improvements in regards to facilities with the help of the Rotuman people and the Fiji Government or by some unknown millionaire, all of a sudden had an interest on some island he has never visited before.....or has he ?

Anyway my case rests for "NO INDEPENDENCE" and I hope the Council of Chiefs in Rotuma will get this message.

Another "waco" alright ..... "NO INDEPENDENCE".
From Itu Taito in Sydney (12 February 2000)

There appears to be sufficient evidence and information published on this so called "Dominion" to cause scepticism and concern. If the allegations of fraudulent behaviour and criminal convictions prove correct, then any documents signed by this group would simply be null and void. As such , one would hope that an episode such as this will ensure that any future dealings with "foreigners" (espousing such ludicrous ideals of independant nation states within a state) will at least provoke indepth research and study before any such dealings are finalised.

From Vanessa Charters (5 March 2000)

I was in Fiji at the time Korem was declared persona non grata. It saddens me that idiots with more money than sense continue to believe that they can swan into our island and tell us how to run our lives. Reading about it again on your website re-fuelled my rage and I was moved to send the following message to Korem's email address :

"Read your website. If you seriously want to attract citizens you might want to read up on Government 101 or Basic Marketing 100. Take my advice and leave Rotuma alone. We get crack-pots like you for a dozen a penny, coming to the island and saying 'join my paradise now'. They all left and have been forgotten. So will you. Thank goodness the Fiji goverment has declared you persona non grata. I am only sorry that poor Tara got dragged into all this.

"Nothing personal, you understand. But leave our land, leave our people, leave us alone."

I hope that others are also exercising their freedom of speech, and telling him to sod off.

From David Korem in response to Vanessa Charters (10 March 2000)

Dear Vanessa:

Since you have posted your letter to me on a Rotuman public message board, I hope you don't mind that I respond in the same fashion.

I'm sorry that you feel the way you do, but I do appreciate your taking the time to write.

We are not interested in joining the ways of the world in marketing or governance.

Why is the Fiji government so afraid of me to ask me to refrain from returning there? Because I want to help the same Rotuma that Fiji fails to keep its promises to? Because of my actions, Fiji is under pressure to perform. If you are really Rotuman, I would think you would thank me for that.

Tara hasn't been dragged into anything. She is a bright and capable young lady. We are very proud that Taraivina is our Minister of Environment.

If I am forgotten, I'm forgotten, but I doubt it will be any time soon, should your desire be fulfilled.

Have you shared your feelings with Tara?

How can I leave your land when I am in California. I hope to return to your beautiful Fiji and that DOM will be an eternal blessing to it and your people.

May God bless you with unlimited peace and joy,

From Sefo Avaiki to David Korem (12 March 2000)

It amazes me that you'd travel thousands of miles across the ocean to help us when you reside in a land where indigenous peoples continue their struggles with your American Government for the return of their land. Native Americans and native Hawaiians have been fighting for years for the rights to their ancestral land to no avail, yet you see fit to accuse the Fijian Government of not keeping up to its promise. Lend your American brothers and sisters a helping hand.

Another area you could have offered your help would have been to bring peace and harmony to the schools in America. When I'm reminded of the tragedy in Columbine I ask myself, why? But, alas my good sir, it's never too late and you can still help so be a good human being and help your neighbours and fellow countrymen. If, however, you find it too far out of your way, then I suggest you hop along to East Los Angeles and help the youth there. Put your vision into practice and solve problems that exist where you are right now. Or run for the office of the President of the United States. Convince Bush and Gore for a televised debate on the issues brought forth in your proposed "constitution" and convince the American people of it's usefulness. Come to think it, why try to be a "big fish" in a small pond when you can be a "whale" in the ocean.

I'm sure you are aware of the saying..."the road to hell is paved with good intentions".

The other reminder is..."charity begins at home", so get busy in America. You can be helpful in the Bronx, too.

From Alicia Mataere to David Korem (17 March 2000)

Who the hell do you think you are? Or more pointedly should I ask who the hell do you think we are? I have read your response to Vanessa Charters letter and would love to tell you my response but unfortunately I don't think Mr Howard would be able to post it, so I' ll water it down for publishing.

Firstly, in your letter you seem to question Ms Charters Rotuman heritage. Well, Mr Korem, all I have to say is at least she has Rotuman heritage, and who are you to question it? And, as far as the definition of cultural heritage goes, it is something that comes from an ancestral linage, it means having a biological link to a certain culture--in this instance the Rotuman culture, and to my knowledge you have yet to prove yours. Considering this, I believe that the correct manner for situations such as this would be for you to refrain from commenting AT ALL on whether someone is a real or true Rotuman for fear of insulting them or their culture.

Mr Korem, you say that we should thank you for what you have done. I'd like to know what exactly it is that you have done that we should be thanking you for. From what I've seen, all that you have done is cause problems for Rotumans and Rotuma. You seem to praise yourself by stating that you have put pressure on the Fijian government to perform. However, I'm wondering how stupid you think we really are? There have been many, many Rotumans who have been placing pressure on the government for years. Furthermore even if it is possible that you have put pressure on the Fijian government, which I highly doubt, it would more than likely be to the detriment of the Rotuman people. Thanks to your so-called efforts the Fijian government will be even more reluctant to fulfil their promises for fear of Rotuma severing all ties with Fiji.

Last of all please don't flatter yourself in thinking that the Fijian government or anyone else for that matter is afraid of you. I hope that you take Sefo Avaiki's advice and help those in need in your country, and in doing so stay out of ours.

Fi-ax-ia (spelling?)
Dear Alicia:
Dear Dr. Howard:
Dear Sefo:
Dear Vannesa:

I hope that I haven't broken some cultural protocol by addressing you all in one letter. If I have, please accept my apology and let me know so I won't do it again. For anything I have written in the past or now that offends any of you in any way, I also apologize.

First, Dr. Howard, I thank you for your coverage of the events relating to DOM and Rotuma. However, the DOM is not "a country that exists only on the Internet". The fact is, that the Dominion of Melchizedek was officially recognized by a UN member state on June 3, 1993 long before DOM had any presence on the Internet, and we have always referred to DOM as "an ecclesiastical sovereignty" not "a country." You have made two links to two separate web sites operated by Jay Adkisson that repeat his propaganda word for word. What is the purpose in doing this? At the request of Adkisson a debate has begun between us and can be read at:

Again, if I have offended any of you I apologize, it is just that my experience face to face differs completely from most of the treatment and words that those claiming to Rotuman have expressed on the Internet. It seems unfair that you and others claiming to be Rotuman treat me as you do when you have never met me before. I haven't seen a negative response from any of the Rotumans that I have met in person, whether they be on Rotuma where there is no Internet, or in Fiji where most of those I met do have access to the Internet, and those quoted from Rotuman by the press.

Those Rotumans that I have gotten to know have impressed me as well educated and highly intelligent people. The people of Rotuma on the island itself seem to me to be the closest people in the world to God.

I, above all people should not believe whatever I have read in the press, but what I have read indicates that Fiji has stepped up their efforts to come through with their promises to Rotuma based on the pressure resulting from my trip to Rotuma. One journalist referred to this as cyber-politicing. If it is true, I don't want any credit for it, however, I only brought this up in response to an attack on my actions posted on this board by a person claiming to be Rotuman. How should I know whether or not the person writing is either Rotuman, or non-Rotuman writing under the name of a Rotuman, and for that matter, you don't even know if I am really Tzemach "Ben" David Netzer Korem writing this letter or an imposter.

Yes, charity begins at home, but what do you know of my works in American? The work of the Dominion of Melchizedek is for the entire earth, and I consider myself Melchizedekian above and beyond, "American".

Certainly if I were not asked to visit Rotuma by a Rotuman friend, we wouldn't be having these exchanges of feelings and ideas. I only go where I am welcome, and where rejected, I will not return. Your reactionary rejection of me is probably based on negative things (mostly untrue) that you have read about me, not from any personal experience. If you are Rotuman, I hope that I provoke you to do more for your homeland and its own sovereignty.

Yes, I was one of the scribes that wrote the draft constitution for Rotuma while on Rotuma, but I was not alone and the Rotuman aspects were incorporated by Rotumans and at least one of the Rotuman chiefs. It is also written in the Rotuman language and therefore a genuine Rotuman document.

How have I caused any problems for Rotuma? Or Rotumans?

DOM should have been an inspiration for those in the world that are struggling such as those two boys in Colorado, because DOM shows imaginative ways to "create a new reality" for those who can't live with the one in which they find themselves. A teacher called me from San Francisco and told me that he uses the DOM as an example in anger management because of the DOM 's spiritual wars on California, France and Serbia, since we do not resort to violence to fight our enemies. All three wars were won by DOM, California, because the Secretary of State recognized the laws of DOM after the war was declared, France ceased nuclear testing two tests ahead of schedule and our war on Serbia was declared months before military action began which drove Serbia from Kosova.

Further, I hope that I am an inspiration to ex-cons and those currently in trouble with the law, that think that there is no legal way to succeed in the world once convicted whether or not the convict was guilty or innocent like myself. Not only do I have the stigmatism of being a double convict, but I am denounced by the press for that background, and it is a daily battle to overcome and lead the Dominion of Melchizedek when my stigmatism rubs off on DOM. On the other hand, these weaknesses are also my strength, because I have been through extraordinary suffering wherein I have learned patience and matured. As the old song goes in the old western TV show, Gunsmoke, "Branded, marked with the cowardly shame, what do you do when you're branded, but you know you are a(n innocent) man?"

DOM does support sovereign movements, not only the well known ones of Kosova and East Timor, but the American Indians (I even have a little American Indian blood running through my veins, from the Iroquois), Kingdom(s) of Hawai'i, Enenkio, Maori, etc..

May God bless all of you with eternal peace and joy,

Davida (Isn't that the Rotuman spelling of David?)

From Sefo Avaiki in Nanaimo (21 March 2000)

Ouch! Burnt my hand when I grabbed your 'halo'. Why do you keep apologizing? Don't patronize me with your sanctimonious, hypocritical and sarcastic apologies. Save them for your disciples and the gullible.

I compare you to a cancerous tumour that won't go away. A pest of some sort. For us Rotumans to make deals with you would be like Mr. Clinton making one with Saddam Hussein. God forbid should such a deal occur. I pray we don't fall prey to your 'state within a state' proposition.

What egotistical maniac would dare compare one's 'dominion' to the Vatican? Again, using Ghandi, Dr. King, and Mandela as similarities is a revelation of how twisted and egotistical you have become. These three are men of goodwill who were courageous and wise in their efforts to terminate the ill and unfair treatment of their people. They were men who unfortunately were born into a world of abuse and persecution because of their skin colour. You, on the other hand, have the audacity, arrogance and nerve to use them as examples to your pathetic past. Get Real! You're a fiction of your own imagination.

Ever since the intrusion of development and modernization by the 'learned man', indigenous peoples the world over have continued to lose out on their We in Rotuma are one of a very few that maintain full authority over our inheritance. Surely you have raised some issues, but don't pat yourself on the back, for the wheels of repair and restructure were already in motion long before your falsified visitor's visa to Fiji was given the stamp of approval. Slow as it may seem, the Fijian Government has yet to take our land away.

To foster a continuous harmonious and peaceful relationship with the Government and the people of Fiji, we Rotumans need to be prepared for lengthy dialogue and negotiations regarding affordable and realistic improvements in Rotuma. We need to be willing to mend bridges, persistently pursue avenues whereby solutions for improvement can be achieved. But, in our discussions, we must never forget that land does not grow. As it stands, Rotuma will only be destroyed by us Rotumans. We don't need the assistance of a convicted felon. He's busy in his dominion.

Reminder: 'charity begins at home' keep on, keeping on in America.

Sefo Avaiki.

From David Korem (22 March 2000)

Dear Sefo Avaiki in Nanaimo

My apologizing is sincere.

I don't intend on patronizing you with any sanctimonious, hypocritical or sarcastic apologies. Actually my apologies were more directed at those others addressed, yet applied to you as well. If you really believe that I am a cancerous tumour that won't go away, a pest of some sort, why keep the debate going with messages that compel me to answer. It seems you have recovered from your uncontrolled laughter and have taken more time and thought regarding DOM.

Strange that you would compare Rotumans to Mr. Clinton and myself to Saddam Hussein. Is it that you believe you are as smart as Clinton, but that I am as stupid as Hussein? Or that I would take military actions and use biological weapons? Perhaps you are as smart as Clinton, but the comparison to Hussein puts you in the category that you tried to put me in of being out of touch with reality. Any Hussein comparison is certainly worse than my difficult comparisons.

"Comparisons are odious," Mary Baker Eddy, wrote. I hope you change your prayers. Why not pray that if God knows anyway that I can help Rotumans, that he will lead me in that direction, if you believe my efforts are misdirected? It is hard to compare the 'dominion' to any other political entity on earth, but since the Vatican is the most famous ecclesiastical sovereignty in the world, what other one should we use as a comparison, The Sovereign Military Order of the Knights of Malta? That would not work as a comparison in the constitution, because the SMODM has not even the 66 acres territory that Vatican enjoys.

Regarding my trip to Rotuma, using Ghandi, Dr. King, and Mandela (and Moses?) as similarities was first brought up on a Fijian message board by someone I've never heard of before. I will be the first to admit that I do not compare to those stars of the first or second magnitude. However, any comparison that I have made is based on the fact that these men served time as political prisons, not that I was more or less deserving in the punishment that I have received, nor that my works have in any way reached such lofty levels of attainment.

I am a realist. It is not a figment of my imagination that the US Marshall in Sacramento upon being history's first US Marshall to be presidentially appointed 5 times to the Marshall's post was reported by the Sacramento Bee to have stated that the case against me "was politically motivated." It was just brought to my attention that Mother Teresa is now beginning to be attacked by the press as a crook that she had $50,000,000 in a NY bank and did a poor job of taking care of the poor. Can you imagine that? To me she was a real saint and the best modern example to follow, regardless of the spurious attacks on her.

I agree with you about protecting land rights, and that is why I included in the proposed constitution for Rotuma that the landowners are sovereign owners of their land. It may be the first constitution in history to include such. To be a state within a state, DOM would need very little land on Rotuma, a 99 years lease on a small island such as Solkope, for example, which is an uninhabited island.

Thanks for encouraging me to "keep on, keeping on in America." I'm glad you have engaged me in this debate, and am hoping to meet you someday in the future,


From Vanessa Charters (25 March 2000)

Dear Mr Korem:

Oh dear, Mr Korem! How lucky that you welcome the debate, yet how interesting that it remains rather one-sided. I note a number of people rejecting your proposals. And yet the only person coming to their defense would seem to be your good self. Oh, and Tara. Aside from you two, I wonder who else is in favour of your ideas?

I have two points which I would like to make, having read the other correspondence and the document which (I cannot believe) you are calling a constitution. You may recall that I had previously recommended you look into some basics of government - a recommendation which you immediately dismissed. Therefore I have no regret in calling your proposal ludicrous and pathetic. You created a document which says nothing. It wouldn't even pass as a constitution for a members-only leisure club. Consider the "People's Constitutional Charter" which was introduced during the Rabuka government. That was a fine, thought-provoking document which embodies (or tries to embody) the spirit of a nation. Another fine document is the USA constitution. It maps out a guideline which has created one of the most powerful nations of all time. I see no similarity between these two texts and your piece. I see nothing which speaks to our Rotuman values or our systems of belief.

Unless I am missing something, all your document intends is to create a structure (being Upper & Lower houses) without referring to what this structure is supposed to achieve or, more importantly, how this structure is supposed to be an improvement on what currently exists. What reference is there to a civil service which will execute the directives of these two Houses? Where will Rotumans get the money to afford these positions? How can this structure will cost less than the taxes currently paid by Rotumans to our Fiji government? Isn't one of the outcomes of your proposal that we will have more taxes, less resouces, and severed ties with Fiji? How will we export produce? Educate our children? Create ties with the outside world? You propose, not to give us more effective government, but to create more layers of government for us - a nation of under 15,000 people, of whom under 2,000 actually live on the island - while at the same time stripping us of the rights we now have in Fiji.

So my first point is this. If you and your supporters (both of them) really want to invite serious debate on this topic, then please do not continue to insult the intelligence of the Rotuman people. At least take the time to create a serious constitution, one that will be worthy of discussion, and would at least pass muster in a first-year university course.

Rotumans are not oppressed by the Fiji government. We are not tortured, subject to a 'glass ceiling' or otherwise prejudiced against. We are represented in all levels of Fiji society. Fiji has given us as good a chance at excelling and developing as they give to their own people. And the Rotumans in parliament, in government or in senior positions set a good and godly example for the rest of us to emulate (with a few exceptions, of course). My second point is : We're doing okay - why the heck should we listen to you? What, exactly, are you offering? If you can explain to me this, in a logical manner, then I would be happy to engage in serious discussion on this matter. In other words, I challenge you to convince me to take you seriously. Apologies don't cut it. Give me truths.

Yours most sincerely
(Mrs) Vanessa Charters
Hong Kong
From David Korem (27 March 2000)

Dear (Mrs) Vanessa Charters :

The reason that I believe you are in the dark as to how many approve of the proposed Rotuma Constitution draft is that you are so far removed from those actually living on Rotuma. When were you last on Rotuma? When did you last speak to a Rotuman presently living on Rotuma?

It seems that your objection is the first to be constructive. However, either you have read a different constitution or have made comments thinking that others will not read it and trust what you have said to be true. The proposed constitution is not that much different in structure than that of the USA, although it is uniquely engineered to the Rotuma traditional hierarchy.

If you feel that you can add something to the constitution to make it more thought provoking, then why not post those statements here and/or on the message board? The current draft provides a more than sufficient structure for those living on Rotuma to govern autonomously or independently without Fijian foreign rule. The fact that the Rotumans are not physically oppressed should not be a reason for Rotumans on Rotuma to be under the control of a foreign power. Is Fiji better off now that they are independent from Great Britain, or should they go back to being a colony?

A constitution does not need to be a book covering the history, beliefs and culture of a people, those are included in the invisible constitution of the people living on Rotuma Island. I have been delaying the idea of adding to the proposed constitution that the Republic is 100% a Christian Nation, but will offer this suggestion as well, since it is true and will not turn the constitution into a book and may cover the most important part of being a Rotuman living on Rotuma.

Through the Upper House a president (Chief Executive Civil Servant) can be elected, laws and rules legislated. Money can be printed, and Rotuma can do all of those things which are God given and international rights already belonging inherently to Rotuma, but must be put in writing to be effective and recognized by foreign nations.

Why need there be a specific reference to a civil service which will execute the directives of these two Houses when the executive branch should handle that? How much do you think it will cost Rotumans living on Rotuma to afford these positions? Why should Rotumans living off island pay taxes to Rotuma? Why not form a tax free non-profit Rotuma Island foundation for Rotumans living abroad to donate to, get a tax break and send the money to Rotuma for development?

Your question about taxes indicates you haven't read the constitution, at least more than perhaps just to skim through it. And this, since one of the outcomes of the proposed constitution is that Rotumans will have a constitutional tax ceiling of 10% and that it can only be realized through taxation by inflation. Also, as an autonomous or independent nation, Rotuma 's resources will expand, and severing ties with Fiji is not necessary

Rotuma can export produce as it does now, but with more control. Education can continue on as it is and be improved? For example, DOM has agreed to, and may have already provided wiring to the Rotuma High School so that the classes will have electricity to run the computers.

Creating ties with the outside world is easy once Rotuma is an independent or autonomous nation based on its own constitution. Taiwan will most likely be courting Rotuma with millions of dollars for infrastructure in exchange for recognition.

How would there be more layers of government for Rotuma if Fiji is removed from the governance, when that would actually be less?

What rights do you have in Fiji that you wouldn't enjoy in Rotuma under the proposed constitution.

Have you studied constitutions in a first-year university course? I have studied under the world's greatest authority on constitutions, the late, honorable Albert Blaustein, albeit not in a university setting. My response to your suggestion that I take marketing and government 101 was not to imply that I have no knowledge of these subjects but that I'm not interested in following the ways of the world in either regarding DOM. However, Rotuma is a different issue, since its marketing and governance are not up to me, but I do hope that our contributions will always be positive and progressive.

Why would Rotumans living outside of Rotuma be effected negatively by an autonomous or independent Rotuma?

I'm not asking you to listen to me, and you seem quite removed from the question living in Hong Kong, since this is a question more for Rotumans on Rotuma. Why should I have anything to say about the subject? The Dominion of Melchizedek has resolved to support Rotuma regardless of the outcome for us. If DOM ends up with no "state within a state" status on Rotuma and/or gains nothing financially, we are proud and happy if we can do anything to assist Rotuma in its quest for progress and complete self-sufficiency.

So far what have we gotten out of this? More negative and unasked for news, attacks on this board, and I have been banned indefinitely from Fiji and Fiji even sought counsel as to whether or not they could charge me with sedition. What has Rotuma gotten so far? It has come out in the news that Rotuma is one of the most beautiful islands in the world, the initial support DOM has given to Rotuma so far, and Fiji's apparently taken their promises to Rotuma more seriously. Plus, the burning issue of autonomy or independence has once again come to the forefront.

What DOM is offering is plain and simple, to assist Rotuma in any and all ways that we can lend our helping hands. As long as Rotumans living on Rotuma welcome us, we will continue with our support.

With life, truth and love,


From Henry Lorenzo, Attorney at Law (8 May 2000)

The Dominion of Melchizedek is the black sheep of the micronation community. On the surface, it's one of the most mature of the bunch. Based ONLY on the INTERNET and not on uninhabited Pacific island. Claiming a chunk of Antarctica and the city of Jerusalem, Melchizedek has corporations, banks and a university. Its ecclesiastical ruler, David Korem (born Mark Pedley), says it is "something like Malta, or the Vatican."

Citizen Stan Lipton, a TV producer in Florida, says he's looking forward to retiring to Melchizedek 'the Pacific island part, not the Antarctic section' when it's built up.

Unfortunately, a set of Melchizedekian officials were arrested in the Philippines last year for selling passports to job-hunting immigrants for $3,500 each. And Melchizedekian banks have been on the hit lists of several governments, including Britain's and the United States'.

"We've issued several alerts to the banking industry about their involvement in unauthorized banking activity," says Janis Smith, spokeswoman for the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the banking-regulation arm of the Treasury Department.

Korem is nonplussed about his nation-non-grata status with the U.S. government. "Where have we said our institutions are secure? We like to give everyone a chance, you know."

Korem himself was convicted of mail and interstate fraud in 1983 for selling real estate he didn't own, and was sentenced to another eight years in 1986 for a currency scam involving Mexican pesos. He started the most recent incarnation of Melchizedek when he was paroled in 1990.

From David Korem in response to posting by Henry Lorenzo (27 May 2000)

T0: Henry Lorenzo, Attorney at Law

Perhaps the jurisdiction wherein you practice law, there are no laws regarding plagiarism, since you clearly copied almost word for word from the story without giving credit.

The Dominion of Melchizedek is the black sheep of the micronation community.

Perhaps "black shepherd" would be more logical.

On the surface, it's one of the most mature of the bunch. Based ONLY on the INTERNET and not on uninhabited Pacific island.

This is contrary to what ABCNEWS wrote, and DOM was recognized as an ecclesiastical sovereignty by a UN nation two years before DOM had any presence on the Internet. Such a statement, for you to write that DOM is based only on the Internet reveals gross ignorance of the facts, or intentional propaganda.

Claiming a chunk of Antarctica and the city of Jerusalem, Melchizedek has corporations, banks and a university. Its ecclesiastical ruler, David Korem (born Mark Pedley), says it is "something like Malta, or the Vatican."

This statement that you copied word for word from betrays your prior statement that you manipuated from ABC news story.

Citizen Stan Lipton, a TV producer in Florida, says he's looking forward to retiring to Melchizedek 'the Pacific island part, not the Antarctic section' when it's built up.

Unfortunately, a set of Melchizedekian officials were arrested in the Philippines last year for selling passports to job-hunting immigrants for $3,500 each. And Melchizedekian banks have been on the hit lists of several governments, including Britain's and the United States'.

Melchizedek was completely vindicated in the Philippines arrest of a few that overstayed their visas. In fact the Philippines has recently accepted a DOM Ambassador-at-large bearing his DOM diplomatic passort.

No such hit list exists. The USA has only sent out notices of several DOM licensed banks that the USA suspected of having an address in the US without registering with the Fed.

"We've issued several alerts to the banking industry about their involvement in unauthorized banking activity," says Janis Smith, spokeswoman for the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the banking-regulation arm of the Treasury Department.

"Their involvement" is not referring to the government of Melchizedek, rather banks incorporated under laws of DOM.

Korem is nonplussed about his nation-non-grata status with the U.S. government. "Where have we said our institutions are secure? We like to give everyone a chance, you know."

Korem himself was convicted of mail and interstate fraud in 1983 for selling real estate he didn't own, and was sentenced to another eight years in 1986 for a currency scam involving Mexican pesos. He started the most recent incarnation of Melchizedek when he was paroled in 1990.

I have never sold real estate that I didn't own. My father and I as a partnership under the name, Pacific Park Properties, legally acquired approximately 19,000 acres of real estate in two counties in Northern California. This fact was brought out by the prosector at my trial. The second trial was not for a currency scam, but a real banking business involving conversion of Mexican pesos, where our bank paid out $8,800,000 real US Dollars (confirmed by the FBI at my trial) to desperate Mexicans and the false charge against me was for Racketeering in that case.

I believed in my innocence so much that I refused to accept bargains offered to me that would have given me very little time, but faced 100's of years if convicted on trial. Both of my cases were appealed to the US Supreme Court to no avail. That is justice in America. Sometimes the innocent lose and more often the guilty go free. If it were a capital punishment case, but now, through the necessity of persistence I would have proven my innocence. I was not proven guilty, but only by theories of government employees impressed on the minds of easily manipulated jurors was I "found guilty".

Back to a more import reason for this message board, does anyone care to speculate on how the current crisis in Fiji is effecting Rotuma?


Tzemach "Ben" David Netzer Korem,
President of the House of Elders of the
Government of the Dominion of Melchizedek

From Ian Collingwood in Fiji (27 June 2000)

I have met David Korem and found him to be a very interesting and entirely likeable character. I am not sure what his final intentions are for Rotuma, but it seems to me that DOM is willing to put some $ into this community. It is my understanding that this would suppport the formation of SME projects to be owned and operated by Rotumans. Also that they plan to assist with the provision of infrastructure and equipment for the hospital and school and will provide funding for youth and community activities.

I am not a Rotuman and would not profess to offer any comment on the matter of linkages between the DOM and Rotuma. I would suggest that I am open minded enough to think DOM has some very interesting (if not challenging) perspectives.

Given that DOM has been able to build and grow a virtual nation suggests this is an organisation driven by a "Brains Trust" somewhere. It would be easy enough to dismiss all of this as a 'flash in the pan' but in my mind it resembles a possible shape of things to come.

Like it or not, the internet has broken the geographic bounds that previously defined our formal assembly. These are certainly interesting times.

From Sefo Inoke (30 June 2000)

It is funny how business people time their entry just at the right moment. A bit of desperation means a window of opportunity!

Is the sudden resurfacing of DOM an attempt to take advantage of the present difficulties faced at home as result of the coup? An opportune time for a coup of your own, eh.....what say DOM?

Even our airline tycoon is into the act! Mr. Collingwood, you say that you do not want to offer any comment but the fact that you feel fit to put a comment on the website is comment in itself. What is the motive behind a comment which is, in my view, supportive of DOM? Even when you admit that you don't know what the final motives are? I hope you are not suggesting that the Rotumans go to bed in cyberspace with DOM without Korem telling us his real motives, or worse still, without knowing his real motives, just because he is offering some money. Has the coup made you lose your usual sound judgment? Like it or not, you have considerable influence on and respect from the Rotuman people. Any comment by you, whether favourable or not, will have an impact on our people. Why don't we let the Rotumans decide for themselves.

And on that point, may I suggest that this decision is not entirely for the chiefs and the people in Rotuma. Rotumans all over the world have a stake on the island and therefore legally and morally have a say on any decision that is going to affect sovereignty of our home. I hope our chiefs don't lose sight of that.

Remember, our land has "eyes and teeth" as the saying goes.

From Ian Collingwood (2 July 2000)

I am not qualified to offer  comment on the nature of linkages between Rotuma and any other nation or community.In this respect I agree entirely with Mr.Inoke that such decisions are best left to the people of / from Rotuma.

My original posting was not meant to come across as a pro or anti anything statement in respect to Rotuma but rather an expression of my interest in how the internet is bringing people together.

Sent in by Sefeti Walker (14 July 2000)
Article from the Daily Telegraph - 14/07/00
By Cindy Wockner
King Con

USING a country which existed only in cyberspace, and two fictitious businesses, a Sydney con man duped investors out of more than $10 million to fund his extravagant lifestyle.

George Andrew Balos convinced more than 300 investors to part with amounts up to $300,000 by using two non-existent investment firms, based in the imaginary Dominion of Melchizedek.

Balos, 52, spent the money on a high life of luxury cars, houses and hotels, supersonic air travel and corporate suites at the Sydney Cricket Ground and Sydney Football Stadium.

Balos was eventually caught by investigators from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and NSW Police and today faces a sentence hearing in the NSW District Court.

Although he had no formal qualifications, and worked at his family bookbinding business, Balos had all the hallmarks of a legitimate and successful investment adviser.

His companies had official-sounding international addresses, he entertained in lavish style and lived at Sydney's Hilton Hotel.

He offered the 300 people who decided to invest with his two companies fabulous interest returns of four to 12 per cent per quarter. But instead of interest, the investors have been left with little hope of seeing their savings again.

Balos paid some "interest" to investors Ð but only so they would encourage other friends and acquaintances to put more money into his scheme.

Most of the cash went on exclusive cars Ð two Rolls-Royces, a Bentley and a Mercedes costing a total of $250,000 Ð living and gambling at Melbourne's Crown Casino where he bought $3 million worth of chips and lost $1 million, and a failed attempt to buy a $3.6 million luxury home in Bellevue Hill, where he lost his $360,000 deposit.

Even the country where Balos claimed his business was registered Ð the Dominion of Melchizedek Ð was nothing more than a site on the Internet, invented by another con man from the United States.

The Dominion of Melchizedek exists only in cyber-space Ð a virtual country supposedly made up of Pacific Islands and some of Antarctica Ð used by fraud artists around the world and well-known to law enforcers.

It has its own website with an elaborate seal including a Christian cross and the Star of David and its own government.

Balos used two investment vehicles, Commodities International and British Marine Bank, to lure would-be investors.

But the companies did not exist. In fact, the name British Marine Bank was chosen by one of his staff using numerology.

Balos worked in the bookbinding business when he began his scam in 1995, telling a successful businessman investing in currencies, government bonds, futures and commodities.

Together with two agents, to whom he promised commissions, Balos succeeded in getting up to 300 investors from NSW and Queensland to invest their money.

On the basis of a 90-day continuous call loan Balos promised the delighted investors interest was too good to be true but invested several times.

Of the $10 million he received from investors, Balos paid $3,382,977 into investors' accounts as "interest" payments. Investors received official-looking monthly loan statements.

But, as court documents reveal, Balos took most of the money and spent it on himself. ASIC's NSW enforcement director Allen Turton said the investors were aged between 30 and 70, with most in the upper age bracket who each invested between $10,000 and $330,000.

Balos has been found guilty of 46 charges of false promise and false pretence between February 1995 and September 1997.

The charges of which he has been found guilty relate to $2.2 million of investor funds, although the ASIC investigations revealed he had raised $10,9885,718.

Judge Rod Howie will begin hearing sentence submissions today.
To all Rotumans,

Please refrain from any future acknowledgment of David Korem's articles, and the D.O.M. organization's publications on this site as it may serve as an encouragement for stupidity on such a hallowed site for us, the indigenous people of Rotuma.                                    

Fereti,  le' fa on Furisau ma Misini

From David Korem (19 July 2000)

Dear Sefo Inoke:
You stated that you do not know what my motives are. I am glad to inform you that I was raised by my parents to live according to these rules for motives and acts: that neither animosity nor mere personal attachment should impel my motives or acts. In my upbringing, divine Love alone governed our family; and a Melchizedekian reflects the sweet amenities of Love, in rebuking sin, in true brotherliness, charitableness, and forgiveness. The citizens, officials and diplomats of Melchizedek should daily watch and pray to be delivered from all evil, from prophesying, judging, condemning, counseling, influencing or being influenced erroneously. Although I may have fallen short of these lofty teachings from time to time, these rules for my motives and acts are a part of my being and I will continue to strive to reach the horeb heights of perfection as I slowly grow in grace and wisdom as I work to impart the same desires to my offspring.

Dear Fereti:
I am curious to know how it is that if those you addressed do not "refrain from any future acknowledgment of David Korem's articles, and the D.O.M. organization's publications on this site (that their lack of refrain) may serve as an encouragement for stupidity on such a hallowed site for us, the indigenous people of Rotuma"? If you decide not to answer according to your own advice, I accept that.

Dear Sefeti Walker:
Regarding your bringing "King Con" to the attention of the Rotuma website audience, please take note of my response to the Editor of the "Con" article:

Dear Editor:
As the president of the *House of Elders of the Dominion of Melchizedek, I am compelled to respond to your front page article, "King Con".

Thank you for recognizing that Melchizedek has its own government and a web presence at, however DOM was not founded by a con artist, is not imaginary, and does not exist only in cyberspace.

The Dominion of Melchizedek is officially recognized (by at least one United Nations member state) and is a bone fide, ecclesiastical sovereignty with valid territorial claims and rights, including: Jerusalem as Melchizedek's biblical homeland, the formerly unclaimed 90-150 degrees West Antarctica, Taongi Atoll, Clipperton, Malpelo Islands in the North Pacific, Karitane Shoal and now Solkope Island of Rotuma in the South Pacific.

One of the modern day founders of Melchizedek, the late Professor Albert Blaustein, was the world's leading expert in writing constitutions for dozens of countries.

Marine Bank was incorporated under the laws of Melchizedek until 1996 and licensed to engage in a legal banking business. Its owner, however, betrayed the trust of the former owner that sold the shares of the bank to him. The other entity that you mentioned in your article was never incorporated under the laws of DOM. The incorporation laws of Melchizedek have been recognized in Nevada, California and other states around the world.

Although a few con men have abused legal entities incorporated under the laws of DOM, more numerous con men have abused legal entities incorporated under the laws of Australia, or Vanuatu to give only two examples. But I doubt you can find any jurisdiction in the world that has experienced fewer con men than DOM has suffered.


Tzemach "Ben" David Netzer Korem,
President of the House of Elders of the government of the
Dominion of Melchizedek

Footnote: *The House of Elders is the legislative branch of government



To home page

To contents

To Contents

To Culture

To culture