In a recent Bloomberg article about Patri Friedman’s new venture Pronomos Capital Chad and Nadia found themselves caught in the crossfires in what appears to be the author’s vendetta against Peter Thiel.
The article stated:
“In April a couple proclaimed their small fiberglass pod, 14 miles off Thailand’s coast, was its own nation”
As this is exactly what the Thai government was charging Chad and Nadia with doing we requested that Bloomberg provide proof of this unsubstantiated claim. We felt that this was akin to printing a story stating that someone is a murderer before any evidence nor trial has taken place (stating that Chad and Nadia committed the crime of declaring their own nation within Thailand’s waters).
Upon requesting proof of such a statement (back before Christmas), the Bloomberg writer began searching for such proof.
We knew that they would never find anything as it was never our intention to form any sort of new government or new nation inside the waters of Thailand. That would make no sense in any way for us to do as we knew that we were not 200 nautical miles away from any nation. We fully complied with every law required of us as a vessel 14 nautical miles from shore. We spoke with 3 different lawyers and they all gave the same response when we asked if they could help us communicate with the Thai government. They basically told us that being outside of Thailand territorial waters we would not need to. Either way, we were beginning the process of forming an official Board of Investment (BOI) company that would require us to go in front of a Thailand government review board in Bangkok and explain our business (such a BOI company allows for ownership by foreign investors). Our business plan always included fully cooperating with the Thai government, just as we are doing now in Panama.
This week, Bloomberg finally admitted that there was no proof that they could find where Chad and Nadia (or Ocean Builders for that matter) was proclaiming a new nation. To their credit they did update the article focusing on the use of the word “governance” mentioned in the video. The updated blurb in the article refers to the proclamation of the home “to be self-governing”.
Considering everyone in their own home has their own rules and systems in place for how they govern their own home we are ok with this statement in the context that Chad’s proclamation that every Tuesday on the XLII seastead is “Taco Tuesday” is the extent of the self governance achieved and that we do not believe that Thailand should find such self governance to be a threat to their national sovereignty.
While Bloomberg may have made a mistake and jumped to conclusions about the intentions of Ocean Builders building a home in the open ocean, we appreciate that they were willing to admit that they were wrong and correct their mistake. We would hope that Thailand can do the same by closing the case against us, allowing Nadia to be reunited with her family.