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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Nothing Exceeds Like Excess - Michael Scripps and The Dark Side

I have to thank Oscar Wilde for giving me the inspiration for this title. This post just happened because I read the salacious details of the Michael Scripps' case in the paper. It seemed to have just about everything in it that the 'Dark Side' stands for - greed, lust, betrayal, family in-fighting, fraud, some strippers and a porn star. It was, quite simply, a bit hard to pass up.

It also demonstrates how the wheels of justice can coincide with the 'Life Cycles' 'significant years'; something I have written about several times before. In Scripps' case, he was in his all-important age 36 'Year of Revolution', as he was being found guilty of stealing $3.6 million from his mother and mentally impaired uncle. He was recently handed a 9 year prison sentence. There is no doubt his mother, Melissa Scripps (pictured here), raised him in a chaotic and dysfunctional family setting; however the decision to defraud his mother and uncle was his alone.

So let's backtrack a bit with this. Melissa Scripps was a descendant of James E. Scripps and in the 80's she inherited an $11 million share of the empire. She also took over her elder brother David's share (said to be more than hers), because he was mildly autistic. Then things got really crazy. She spent millions on her own whims; such as flying her dogs to their second home in the Caribbean by private plane, treating relatives to first class round-the-world holidays, buying two of Princess Diana's gowns, a Napoleonic tiara and teddy bears that cost thousands of dollars. Add to this her daily marijuana habit and legal bills from her four marriages and you have millions being squandered.

Now there was a fateful day (said to be around 2002, so I can't be sure, but Michael may have been in his first adult age 24 'Year of Revolution') when Melissa, Michael and a friend were together at an Atlanta strip club and the bill for the night was $90,000. Must have drank a lot of champagne. But I must say, of all the people I would feel uncomfortable with at a strip club, my mother would rank number one. Melissa must have been fully loaded when Michael took photos of her in a compromising position with an exotic dancer. If you think about this, it's completely wacky. You're with your own mother (high on booze and pot) at a strip club and she gets into a 'compromising position' with an exoctic dancer? Then you take a photo??

Michael himself, it must be stated, had already married a college student, who worked as a stripper so he knew something of the business. So, just how this went down must be quite a story. Let's say for example, he could have set her up, as he had been concerned for some time, that she was going to 'blow his inheritance' with her reckless spending. Mind you he had his own six-figure trust fund and a $3,900 monthly allowance, but it wasn't enough. He was greedy and he could also have seen this opportunity by accident and it was too good to pass up. Whatever the reason, later on when her financial advisers question the bill, he shows them the photo and she agrees to let Michael take over her and David's finances. I think blackmail is the correct word here.

Well, it wasn't long before Michael was into the moolah, courtesy of his college pal and financial adviser Richard 'Duke' Gleeson, who he appointed to manage the funds. He spent lavishly on his romantic interests :- his first wife Anna (who was a part-time stripper), to whom he gave piles of jewels and then from 2003 it was porn star Jenna Bearden (pictured below, whose stage name was Kiki Daire). He paid for her college education and an apartment in Memphis, breast enhancement surgery and diamond earrings. He was no different to his mother really. However, mum had to find out eventually and in 2006 there was quite a scene when she did. She cut off the money supply. It was reported that the relationship of Michael and Jenna was already beginning to fracture when the money dried up and one night during an argument, he held a gun to his head and demanded she call his mother. What the upshot of all this was, was not clear, but some two years later in Michael's age 31 'Year of Broken Pathways' in 2008, his fraud of $3.6 million was settled by Merrill Lynch and his actions were reported to the FBI.

Typical of how a 'Year of Broken Pathways' unfolds Scripps tried to justify his actions. His mother knew all along he said in court, he used the money to set up a real estate business, he had become a changed man and on and on it goes. However Merril Lynch (Melissa's advisers) required that as part of the settlement she notify the FBI of his criminal actions against the estate. So, we have the genesis of 'getting his hands on the money' in his age 24 'Year of Revolution', which set in train a 7 year journey to his actions being reported to the FBI in his age 31 'Year of Broken Pathways' to his eventual sentencing and imprisonment in his age 36 'Year of Revolution' (thus beginning his new age/new era).

This is exactly the same criminal 'Life Cycles' case history model, as the more infamous Jordan Belfort:- the self-styled 'Wolf of Wall Street'. How so, I hear you ask? Well, it's all in 'The Life Cycles Revolution'. Evidence so stark, so predictive of the theory, that it would convince the greatest skeptic/rationalist. Till next month :- "may the cycles always bring you good fortune".


  1. Neil, even uglier than what people do for money, is what money does to people. When one thinks of all that money and the misery that came out of it, one is grateful to be poor and content.

    1. Yes Marty, there's nothing truer than 'money is the root of all evil'. I once saw a financial advisor demonstrate that a retiree could live comfortably on a modest income or completely overspend on a big income and run out of money. It's all about how content you are with your lot. Yesterday the winter weather was perfect and I spent the morning running and swimming at Bondi Beach. It's paradise and it's free. Yes, be content.

  2. Neil, your post title fits perfectly (and I am a fan of Oscar Wilde). The Michael Scripps case is a Dark Side bonus because it has it all and then some on the dark, down side of human nature!

    Despicable is too mild a word to describe Michael Scripps’ behavior. Amazing how he was in his age 36 “Year of Revolution” when he was found guilty (although he deserved much more than 9 years but I believe his mother would not testify against her son). Despite what a pathetic role model his mother was, the choice to defraud his mother and mentally-impaired uncle was his choice alone. We all come to forks in our lives when we have the choice to take the high or the low road, and Michael chose the very low dirt road.

    Going to a strip club with his mother, yikes! Gave me the creeps just reading about it. Further adding to the creepiness was the fact that Michael took photos of his mother, fully loaded, in a compromising position at the strip club. Who in the world does that?! Since he was already familiar with the strip club business having married a stripper, certainly could have been a set up. No matter what the reason, the way everything happened after that, with mom handing all her money and her mentally-impaired brother’s money over to Michael, sure smells like blackmail and it stinks.

    I recall reading about Michael Scripps and the porn star Kiki Daire. Interesting how he maneuvers getting the money at age 24, things start really unraveling at age 31, and by age 36 he’s found guilty. All significant Life Cycles years. Excellent post, Neil, and again proving the Life Cycles theory and showing how important these years are in the cycles of our lives.

  3. Hi Madilyn, Yes, you are so right. I had to think about my own mother, or indeed anyone else's mother I knew when I was growing up, and this behaviour was all so completely foreign, as to be like 'another planet'. Much later, as a middle-aged adult, I did meet a female (who could be considered an alcoholic, but otherwise very middle-class), who I believe would have been capable of this type of behaviour.
    Yes. the 'Dark Side' is a path we alone choose at some point and to a greater or lesser extent it forms the basis of a criminal or immoral career, that can be analysed in 'Life Cycles' terms. Thanks again for your comments..