Robert Schoch Raising $600,000 for Fringe Research, Wants to Turn His Life Story into "Blockbuster" Movie
Did you know that fringe geologist Robert Schoch, famous for claiming the Sphinx dates back to the Stone Age, has a nonprofit foundation to collect money to fund research into a lost civilization? I didn’t until a link showed up in my Facebook feed this week. It turns out that this was all part of the plan.
The corporation is called the Organization for the Research of Ancient Cultures, an awkward name presumably chosen for the ORACUL (i.e. “oracle”) abbreviation they were able to craft for it. According to the nonprofit’s website, the company is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit registered with the IRS. I checked the IRS’s online records, but I could not find a listing for it, suggesting that it has not filed a current form 990 for tax year 2015. (They have a valid EIN: 463844668.) The company was registered in the state of Nevada in 2013 and is headquartered at a P.O. box in Poughkeepsie, New York, but according to public records it only became active in 2015, after the IRS ruled on its 501(c)(3) request. Donations are tax-deductible but presumably small since its current reported income is $0, according to its 2014 IRS form 990.
That might sound like nothing special, but consider this: Schoch has been circulating requests for… wait for it… $604,000 that he wanted to raise to promote fringe history ideas about a lost, Atlantis-style civilization. In 2014 Schoch appeared at a roundtable hosted by financial services company Steven Feldstein & Associates for assistance in raising cash, $604,000 for his research foundation and undisclosed sums for a fictional movie he wanted to make based on his 2012 book Forgotten Civilization. “We have conflict, we have drama!” He participated in Feldstein’s annual business roundtable in 2014, and Feldstein, a true believer in Schoch (“He is changing the history of mankind… one of my heroes!”), gave him a platform to raise money for what Feldstein called “a billion-dollar movie.”
Here’s Schoch’s presentation to Feldstein’s business roundtable:
Robert Schoch from Susan Ridley on Vimeo.
According to the materials provided for potential ORACUL investors and offered publicly online, the organization would be devoted to publicizing fringe research from an interdisciplinary group of primarily non-American academics through translating their work into English and publishing it via e-readers. The organization would also fund Robert Schoch’s field work on archaeological sites chosen to further fringe history claims. They plan to offer free online courses to teach fringe history to the public, which they hope to provide by paying instructors little or nothing. (Yes, they promised little or nothing as pay in the proposal!)
The unnamed “executive director” took a $12,000 salary in Year One (presumably 2015, based on the late 2014 date of the document), and the organization planned an aggressive public launch for Year Two, which was to include the launch of their publishing house and public outreach efforts. Presumably the higher profile ORACUL is assuming on social media is part of the staged rollout. The organization launched its first fundraising campaign in February of this year and promised to ask for more money in the future:
The documents state that the nonprofit has a $60,000 annual operating budget, including $12,000 for the executive director, $4,000 for advertising, $7,000 for computers and software, and $1,500 to pay for the cellphone plans of the three officers (Schoch, his wife, and ORACUL president Brett Miller). They plan to raise almost $500,000 to travel to Easter Island in search of clues to a lost Mu-like civilization. According to an attachment in the documents, Schoch believes that “primitive” Easter Islanders were not able to carve basalt Moai, so a lost civilization had to have done it in the Stone Age. Schoch plans to film his Easter Island adventure with a film crew hired at a $75,000 expense. According to the proposal, airfare to and from Easter Island is expected to cost $54,000.
In the proposal for the movie, Schoch describes himself as “the real-life ‘Indiana Jones’” (because, who isn’t?) and quotes his publisher as calling him “the Galileo of our time.” The film would tell the “epic” story of how evil academics viciously persecuted him for 25 years because he believed the Sphinx to be Paleolithic in origin. Schoch would have presented the Turkish site of Göbekli Tepe, dated to around 12,000 years ago, as dramatic proof of his lost civilization. (This is despite the lack of evidence for agriculture, cities, or other hallmarks of what Schoch proposes this civilization achieved.) The film was to climax with Schoch’s belief that a solar flare destroyed pseudo-Atlantis and will do the same to us, in the last minutes of his film, vindicating him in a fiery consummation. It is “Indiana Jones meets The Day After Tomorrow,” he claims. Schoch says that there is already a screenplay, and he feels that the movie has the potential to be both an international blockbuster and an Academy Award winner, not to mention serving to indoctrinate audiences in fringe history. It is, in short, a planned bit of propaganda.
The proposal also claims that Schoch has developed a spiritual belief in reincarnation: “The film’s ending offers a metaphysical message, as well: that the ancient Egyptians might have been right all along in their belief that, upon death, we are literally reborn as stars in the sky, hinting at a grander cycle of life than heretofore believed.”
So far as I can tell, nothing has come of the movie in the year and a half since Schoch’s presentation.
3/20/2016 09:28:46 am
Yep, Schock isn't just about the dating of the Sphinx, but all the other fringe chestnuts as well.
3/20/2016 04:31:46 pm
Question, who would play him in the movie? I mean, none of the three stooges are available and Charlie Sheen is usually too high or drunk.
3/20/2016 04:31:49 pm
I'd say he is running a scam, this person wanting a kick starter for a fringe movie, but actually Roldan Emmerich loves this kind of stuff, so only if he could get the guy to do it...then again he did. 10,000 BC had essentially the same suggestion about Egypt as he claims. Is he suggesting a seqel to 10,000 BC, perhaps 9,000 BC or something?
3/20/2016 05:00:01 pm
>>Happy palm Sunday
3/21/2016 02:41:05 pm
The Lord their God will save his people on that day
3/21/2016 08:48:44 pm
Were you ever off the Horn?
3/21/2016 12:49:11 am
I just don't see a successful block buster movie coming out of this. At least The Da Vinci Code had a captivating plot. What does this have which to appeal to the general public?
3/21/2016 04:33:31 am
Given the role of tax breaks in the story of the Vinland Map, I wonder if we need to look more closely at their connection with fringe history funding in general.
3/21/2016 05:15:53 am
Fringe History should become a charity, like scientology.
3/21/2016 05:17:11 am
"And their eyes were opened",
3/21/2016 07:47:31 am
Apparently you've missed a veritable deluge of recent articles circulating that have picked up on studies into chimpanzee religious behavior, and further ignored similar findings as they relate to pre-homo sapiens species and the development of religious behavior.
3/21/2016 08:56:32 am
Thanks for mentioning that chimps are far more intelligent than you, Clint
3/21/2016 08:58:12 am
Do the chimps partake of the Holy Anointing Oil, Clint.......
3/21/2016 12:36:49 pm
At least Clint read his source before referencing it. ;)
3/21/2016 08:59:36 am
Why get a job when you can get people to give you their money for "research?"
3/21/2016 09:15:30 am
Those chimps could simply be clearing their territory of rocks and stones and nothing else. I'll read James Harrod's paper for a laugh, and see if he's as barmy as Dr Dolittle.
3/21/2016 10:38:32 am
When I see chimpanzees taking mind-expanding substances in a religious ritual, that's when I'll take chimpanzees and religion seriously. There's nothing remotely "religious" about what those chimpanzees are doing with those stones other than clearing their territory.
3/21/2016 11:20:25 am
I like that chimp religion behavior theory simply because it fits into my own belief that human tendency to religiosity is caused by an undiscovered gene contained by about 60% of us. I view this gene as a serious defect in our makeup. Seeing as how chimps are 99.whatever percent identical to us, i would not be at all surprised to find out that chimps have the same defect. Of course, i have absolutely no facts to support my belief.
3/21/2016 03:32:43 pm
should have written "....emerged almost simultaneously about 5500 years ago."
3/24/2016 01:20:57 pm
I always have to laugh when someone is either described or describes himself as a "real-life" Indiana Jones. In spite of the fact that Indie has a day-job in the movies as a teacher of archaeology, he really is nothing but a treasure hunter who collects artifacts without ever bothering to take note of their archaeological context, thus rendering them worthless to the study of the cultures they came from. In essence, he plunders valuable treasures because of their monetary (and/or spiritual) value.
8/6/2018 06:58:20 am
With so much religion and belief creeping into the science, who needs the nutters?
3/4/2019 03:17:34 pm
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