"Honduras claims a 200-mile exclusive economic zone, so without
recognition of New Utopia as a sovereign nation we can't begin
construction without risk of being annexed by Honduras at some future
If it sounds like these people are talking about building their own
country on a fake island in the sea -- well, that's because they are.
Once an agreement with Honduras is reached, the founders say, the reefs
will be fitted with steel girders and gigantic platforms of pre-fabricated
concrete. Construction of air and sea ports will commence, followed by
housing, a university, an anti-aging clinic, offshore banks and a casino.
Citizens will live in a tax-free constitutional monarchy not too far off
the coasts of Mexico and Honduras. Marijuana will be legal and polygamy
The Ageless Sovereign
His Royal Highness Prince Lazarus Long wants it known that he is not
joking. As Howard Turney, he had a long and successful career as a
maverick businessman after initial stints as a cowboy and soldier. He was
in the restaurant biz, marketed groceries, farmed shrimp and sold used
generators, before having his life changed by the human growth hormone,
London's Independent reported.
In 1990, at the age of 59, Turney was a badly aging mess, with a
44-inch waist and shaky hands, the paper reported. After reading a report
about the magic of the then-illegal human growth hormone, Long got a
connection in Monterey, Mexico and began mainlining the stuff. Now,
without exercising seriously, he's lost the shakes, has rock-hard muscles
and a 32-inch waist, the paper said.
"I'm 66 going on 40," he told the Independent. "And I've not had
any negative side effects at all."
Moved, Turney founded a network of anti-aging clinics administering the
wonder drug, and made a bundle. It was then that he really began
identifying with one of the signature heroes of the novels of libertarian
sci-fi scribbler Robert A. Heinlein -- Lazarus Long.
In "Methuselah's Children," and especially "Time Enough for Love,"
Heinlein's Long holds forth as an ageless man of wisdom and sex, hurtling
through the centuries with fabulous naked babes on his arm, and dispensing
philosophical tidbits with wit and humor. At age 64, Howard Turney became
Lazarus Long; soon after he declared himself prince of the New Utopia.
As a dispenser of his own wisdom, Long echoes many modern-day followers
of objectivist Ayn Rand when they try to talk about foreign affairs:
"The United States used to prosper because it was relatively free in an
unfree world," he writes on the website. "Now, without changing much
itself, the U.S. is relatively unfree in a much freer world. This creates
a competitive condition, which tends to favor an enclave like Hong Kong,
which practices true free market capitalism, rather than a welfare state
like the U.S., which is committed to burdensome taxes, which penalize
Long tries his hand at a sort of poetry:
"Excellence can be attained if you care more than others think is wise
Risk more than others think is safe
Dream more than others think
Expect more than others think is possible."
A Tropical Venice
New Utopia already has a constitution, a board of governors and more
than 500 citizens, the website says. Prospective residents need only to
buy a $1,500 five-year bond, payable at 9.5% compound annual interest. The
projected price tag on creating an island where there is now only water is
$216 billion, which will be financed by Long, citizens, prospective
businesses and old-fashioned real estate developers.
Offshore finance, tourism, medicine and education are targeted as the
main sectors of New Utopia's economy, and Long plans on building a
stimulating environment for the super-citizens.
Utopians will enjoy "classical architecture, immaculate public parks, a
comparable governing body, and a stable political structure, with the same
freedom from crime and taxation," the site says. "Resident citizens and
visitors will experience it more as a tropical 'Venice,' complete with
waterways and gondolas."
Free from messy bureaucracy like property taxes, welfare rolls and
industry regulation, residents will serve as guinea pigs for the newest
drugs and surgical techniques.
"There are things on the horizon that people today can only dream
about," Long told the Independent. "We are not that far from being
able to live multiples of what we look at now as the maximum lifespan. ...
[There are] things I can't tell you about because they were told me in
confidence. ... Tests and studies are going on. ... Turn your tape
For now, New Utopia planners will continue processing immigration
requests from their office in East Tulsa, Oklahoma. The first concrete
platform is now scheduled for January, though the date has now been pushed
back at least six different times. And the pesky Hondurans, currently
distracted by the brutal wreckage of Hurricane Mitch, still need to
recognize New Utopia's sovereignty.
Still, "We are steadfast in our date of December 1, 1999 as the
celebration of our birth as a nation. Even if all the desired
infrastructure is not in place, it will be in the construction phase, the
airport will be finished and the government will be in office."
New Utopia to Rise
From the Sea!