Barnaje Review: Sovereign citizen nutjob gifting scheme
Barnaje presents itself as an “anonymous DAO that’s community powered & fraud proof.” This is an instant red flag.
In MLM, admins hide behind claimed decentralization to avoid being named as owners of scams.
The truth is an MLM company doesn’t set up itself. It is set up and owned by an individual or individuals. Typically, these individuals are the primary beneficiaries of the scam.
Another red flag is Barnaje’s marketing videos hosted by robodubbed AI avatars. Again, this is Barnaje’s admins hiding themselves from company affiliates.
Update 20th January 2024 – Further research reveals an official Barnaje Vimeo channel.
On the channel we have official Barnaje marketing videos, hosted by Lynford Theobald.
Theobald, an 80+ year old Utah resident, is a serial promoter of illegal MLM gifting schemes.
BehindMLM first came across Theobald in 2014, as a promoter of the Gold Crowdfunding gifting scheme. /end update
Barnaje’s website domain (“barnaje.com”), was privately registered on May 9th, 2023.
As of December 2023, SimilarWeb tracked top sources of Barnaje website traffic as the US (82%), UK (9%) and Ecuador (7%).
As always, if an MLM company is not openly upfront about who is running or owns it, think long and hard about joining and/or handing over any money.
Barnaje has no retailable products or services.
Affiliates are only able to market Barnaje affiliate membership itself.
Barnaje’s Compensation Plan
Barnaje affiliates participate in a twenty-one tier 2×9 matrix gifting scheme.
A 2×9 matrix places an affiliate at the top of a matrix, with two positions directly under them.
These two positions form the first level of the matrix. The second level of the matrix is generated by splitting each of these two positions into another two positions each (four positions).
Levels three to nine of the matrix are generated in the same manner, with each new level housing two times as many positions as the previous level.
Positions in a Barnaje affiliates matrix, at any tier, are filled via direct and indirect recruitment.
Barnaje affiliates must buy-into each gifting tier sequentially with tether (USDT):
- Bronze 1 – 50 USDT
- Bronze 2 – 100 USDT
- Bronze 3 – 200 USDT
- Silver 4 – 300 USDT
- Silver 5 – 500 USDT
- Silver 6 – 700 USDT
- Gold 7 – 1000 USDT
- Gold 8 – 1400 USDT
- Gold 9 – 1800 USDT
- Emerald 10 – 2200 USDT
- Emerald 11 – 2600 USDT
- Emerald 12 – 3000 USDT
- Sapphire 13 – 3500 USDT
- Sapphire 14 – 4000 USDT
- Sapphire 15 – 4500 USDT
- Ruby 16 – 5000 USDT
- Ruby 17 – 5500 USDT
- Ruby 18 – 6000 USDT
- Diamond 19 – 7000 USDT
- Diamond 20 – 8000 USDT
- Diamond 21 – 10,000 USDT
Starting from Silver 4, Barnaje pays a 25% matching bonus on gifting payments received down two levels of recruitment.
Note that to receive the Matching Bonus, the receiving affiliate must have bought into the gifting tier being matched.
Barnaje affiliate membership is tied to a minimum 50 USDT gifting payment.
Full participation in Barnaje’s gifting scheme costs 67,350 USDT.
Barnaje is a classic illegal gifting scheme, run by anonymous scammers in cryptocurrency.
Whoever is behind Barnaje is predictably inclined to sovereign citizen nutjobbery:
That’s not only cliche Barnaje follows. There’s also the typical dOnAtIoNs and cRoWdFuNdInG nonsense;
Barnaje is a dynamic and innovative community donation platform that thrives on collaboration, empowerment, and growth.
Barnaje’s goal to remain a private, unregulated community underlines its distinct approach compared to publicly accessible or regulated sales of securities, crowdfunding, and cryptocurrency platforms.
Unfortunately for the scammers behind Barnaje, gifting schemes are regulated. They’re illegal.
Barnaje’s admins of course know this. And so we have the Barnjae whitepaper – twenty-two pages of “let me tell you why my illegal scam isn’t illegal” waffle nonsense.
Incriminating evidence, by way of intent to mislead and defraud consumers, can be found in Chapter 10 – Legal and Regulatory Compliance.
This section clarifies the measures and principles that brace up Barnaje’s compliance with existing laws, distinguishing it from illicit financial schemes.
Here Barnaje provides eight points of pseudo-compliance defense.
1. No Expectation of Return:
A defining characteristic of Barnaje is that all donations made within the community are executed with no expectation of return.
This principle aligns with the ethos of donation, differentiating Barnaje from traditional investment schemes where returns are expected.
Look, obviously the only reason anyone participates in a gifting scheme is to steal money from people recruited after them.
To prove a point though, here’s financial incentive marketing from Barnaje’s own official marketing documentation:
2. Licensing Agreement:
Upon joining, members enter into a licensing agreement to utilize the Barnaje platform for their capital raising endeavors.
This formal agreement underscores the legitimate and structured nature of the community’s financial interactions.
You can’t “licensing agreement” your way out of financial fraud. That’s all that needs to be said on this point.
3. Freedom of Private Contract:
Embodied in the US Constitution is the principle of freedom of private contract, which Barnaje and its members uphold.
The voluntary and contractual nature of membership within Barnaje underscores its adherence to this constitutional principle.
Cornell Law School defines freedom of contract as the ability of parties to bargain and create the terms of their agreement as they desire without outside interference from the government, contrasting it with government regulation1
This definition aligns with the broader understanding of freedom of contract in the U.S. legal framework, which balances individual contractual freedoms with necessary governmental regulations for the public good.
This brings us back to sovereign citizen nutjobbery.
Simply put; nothing in the US constitution allows scammers to run gifting schemes, through which they steal money from the majority of participants they lure in with false promises of wealth.
4. Transparency and Automation:
The transparent and automated operation of Barnaje, facilitated through smart contracts on the BNB blockchain, ensures a clear and open process devoid of deceit or misrepresentation.
This transparency is antithetical to the clandestine and manipulative operations characteristic of pyramid or Ponzi schemes.
With anonymous owners lying through their teeth about the legality of gifting scams, pretending Barnaje is transparent is laughable.
Good on Barnaje for recognizing its lack of transparency constitutes “deceit and misrepresentation”. Ditto the alignment with pyramid and Ponzi schemes.
5. Community-Centric Model:
Barnaje’s model is geared towards community financial empowerment rather than individual enrichment at the expense of others, a hallmark of pyramid and Ponzi schemes.
The structured and cyclical donation process within Barnaje is designed to benefit the community collectively.
Stealing money from people only “financially empowers” those doing the stealing. The truth behind every MLM gifting scheme is the majority lose money to admins, early participants and top recruiters.
6. Adaptive Compliance:
While Barnaje operates in a novel domain potentially bereft of specific regulatory guidelines, it is committed to adaptive compliance.
As legal frameworks evolve, Barnaje is poised to engage with regulatory authorities to ensure its operations remain within the scope of the law.
Gifting schemes are illegal and have been for decades.
7. Educational Engagement:
Barnaje prioritizes educating both its members and the broader public on its operational model to dispel misconceptions and foster a correct understanding of its legal and operational framework.
Lying about the legality of illegal gifting schemes doesn’t make them legal.
8. Repetitive Cycle:
Barnaje: Encourages a repetitive cycle of donations to sustain the community financial support system.
Pyramid and Ponzi Schemes: Operate until the collapse under their unsustainable financial structure, leaving later entrants with losses.
That second paragraph is an accurate description of Barnaje’s business model and the inevitable conclusion.
Barnage’s whitepaper goes on to address US securities law, citing the Howey Test. I won’t go into depth on this as gifting schemes are typically regulated by the FTC (civil) and U.S. Postal Inspection Service (criminal).
A recent example of this is 8 Figure Dream Lifestyle, a gifting scheme launched in 2017.
The FTC sued 8 Figure Dream Lifestyle for telemarketing and consumer fraud in 2019.
A USPIS investigation resulted in criminal charges filed in 2023. 8 Figure Dream Lifestyle’s three co-founders have since been arrested.
Like 8 Figure Dream Lifestyle, Barnaje’s gifting scheme is illegal. Targeting of US residents brings it under the jurisdiction of the FTC and USPIS. In an attempt to evade authorities, we have all the decentralized nonsense.
As with all MLM gifting schemes, once recruitment stops so do the gifting payments.
Primary beneficiaries of MLM gifting schemes are the admins who run them, those who join early and/or top recruiters. In order for this to happen, the majority of participants in the scheme lose money.