The Lure of Exclusivity
A sampling from the eight-page letter with a letterhead proclaiming The Royal Society of Liechtenstein:
Your name has been chosen from a select group of active investors and financial experts for possible membership into what may soon be the world’s most exclusive investment organization … This is an exclusive, personal invitation. It will never be repeated. Each potential member has one chance―and one chance only―to join. If you do not accept this opportunity, you will never hear from me again and our society will wipe your name from its invitation list forever …
You see, we don't believe that any of the investment information you can get in financial newsletters, magazines and newspapers will ever make you rich. That's because mass publications, by definition, are written for the masses. They've got to be somewhat trite and conventional.
The letter was signed by one Alexander Ross-Barclay “for the Society.”
The true perpetrator was a newsletter publisher in Boca Raton, Fla., Joel S. Nadel, who’s other newsletters included “Confidential Report” and “Gold Hotline.”
Nadel’s offer: The monthly “private communiqué” … Overnight Investment Bulletins … Confidential Telephone Alert … Insight and Advice from “our network of financial experts” … “Completely novel and devastatingly powerful insider strategies and techniques to beat the investing public to the punch” … “Three brand new and strictly confidential 'White Papers'” … and more.
The cost: $100 plus your agreement that “Once information received from the society brings me a net profit of at least $10,000, I agree to contribute, whenever I can, to the growth and development of the society.”
The BBB Nails Nadel
In 1990, the Better Business Bureau of West Palm Beach concluded that The Royal Society of Liechtenstein was not royal, not a society and had absolutely no connection to Liechtenstein. Nadel was ordered to shut down the operation, which he promptly renamed The Oxford Club.