"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 date."

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 tolerated.

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 success."

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 is practical
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 recorder off."

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."

TABLOID.NET
Also in this issue:

New Utopia to Rise From the Sea!
(DEC. 9, 1998)


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(DEC. 9, 1998)


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