Some people invest in antiques, Hobby Lobby Founder David Green and his wife Barbara invest in dead Jews.
The eccentric Evangelical billionaires are betting the house the relative handful of surviving Jews left on Planet Earth will one day be antiques. They’ve begun buying the rights to future Jewish corpses in the expectation that the attacks on the world’s shrinking Jewish community will one day prove too much.
“I’m not making an anti-Semitic statement with these purchases,” said David Green, 76. “I’m merely recognizing the inevitability of the many conspiracy theories directed at the world’s Jews. The actuarial charts I’ve seen suggest their luck could very well run out in my lifetime.
“I can either wail about the inherent unfairness of this mathematical projection or profit from it,” he add. “As a proud capitalist, I choose to profit from it. I guess you could say I’m essentially ‘establishing a short position on the continued survival of the Jewish people.’ ”
With the global ratio of non-Jews to Jews now at a record 467:1 and 97 percent of the world’s 15 million Jews concentrated in The United States and Israel, the odds of their continued survival are increasingly remote.
Catholic Reformer James Carroll estimates there would be 300 million Jews today if not for the massacres directed at them by political and religious opportunists. By that measure, only 5 percent of the world’s Jews remain.
Jews have been a convenient scapegoat for many groups because of their alleged designation by God as “The Chosen People,” according to Carroll. It’s easy to convince the uneducated this special status somehow diminishes them and they may secure it for themselves via genocide and substitution.
“You remember that Saturday Night Live skit with Steve Martin as a smart cave man and Bill Murray as a dumb cave man?” said Hunter College Maintenance Professional C. C. Farley. “At the end, Bill kills Steve and says ‘now I’m smart, too.’ Well, that’s exactly how some idiots see killing Jews. They think ‘now I’m the chosen one.'”
Jews have been scattered around the world since their defeat by The Roman Empire in 70 CE, with significant populations in almost every Islamic nation. The Islamic world gave The Jewish People somewhere to run to during the Spanish Inquisition in 1492, when members of both faiths were forcibly converted and exiled from Spain by Catholic extremists.
However that changed after the long sought rebirth of the State of Israel in 1948. Ironically, having a nation of their own has actually made Jewish survival more tenuous in some ways, according to Farley.
Today, many past Islamic refuges are now closed to Jews. And many isolated Jewish populations, like the Beta Israel group in Ethiopia, have been relocated to Israel.
Leon Black, cofounder of the Ap0llo Global Management private equity firm, called Green’s shorting of Jews “repugnant” and “insensitive.”
That said, Apollo is now in the process of establishing a similar investment vehicle of its own. Its “Distressed Humanity Fund (NYSE Symbol HUF)” will begin operations Oct. 1.
Unlike Green’s population shorting operations, HUF will purchase the right to future corpses from a wide range of distressed populations. From Amazonian Indian tribes, to honest politicians, to members of the Alt-Right, to business leaders who can turn a profit without cheating.
“Business is business,” said Black, a former associate of Junk-Bond King and convicted felon Michael Milken.
“This really isn’t any different than dead peasant insurance to my way of thinking,” Black said, alluding to the insurance policies some publicly traded companies discreetly take out on their employees.
Black sold the rights to his future corpse to Green for a record $400,000 in June.
Green normally pays just $10,000 per body, but agreed to Black’s elevated asking price in recognition of the longtime business rival’s contributions to savage capitalism.
Filmmaker Mel Brooks, who is best known for the classic comedies Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, has also sold his future corpse to Green. He received $25,000 and was miffed to learn Black was worth more.
“Green must be paying by the pound, because I’m way better looking than Leon,” Brooks said. “But seriously, what do I care. I’m going to be dead.
“Plus, he threw in an unlimited supply of paddle ball rackets,” Brooks added. “I love those things.”
Green’s investment in future Jewish corpses is quite small right now, with just 2,300 contracts worth an estimated $760,000. It’s more of a “hobby” than a business, but one which he expects it to grow to $1.5 billion over the next 10 years.
Green got the idea of buying Jewish corpses in advance while watching “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Specifically, the scene in the film where The Collector offers to purchase Groot’s future corpse.
“I thought to myself – you know – I’m rich, I’m stupid, I could do that,” Green recalled in his self published autobiography “Jesus Must Love Me Cause Nobody Else Does.”
The newest addition to the Green’s investment portfolio compliments their collection of more than 1,000 Torah scrolls and $2 billion in Israeli coins. Most of the Torahs are kept in the “Torah cellar” of their hollowed-out volcano in Oklahoma City, Okla. Just like rolled-up bottles of wine, according to The Daily Beast.
“For me, the Israeli coins are a no-lose investment,” Green said. “They’re legal tender as long as Israel survives. But if – God forbid – she should be destroyed they’ll instantly be transformed into antiques worth their weight in gold.”
Torah scrolls are considered holy by Jews. They’re kept in a special synagogue vault called an “ark” when not in use and congregations stand when they’re removed.
Torahs and other Jewish artifacts are the newest status symbol for wealthy Evangelicals, as well as a convenient tax dodge.
Decommissioned Torah scrolls go for $1,000 to $1,500 apiece. However, purchasers can spend a grand restoring them and then claim the parchment scrolls are worth upwards of $90,000 for tax purposes.
“Monetizing religion is the new capitalism,” said Green, whose fortune is estimated at $5.6 billion.
Ken and Barbara Larson, owners of the Midwestern furniture chain Slumberland, have more than 300 torahs. They donated one to the Rawlings School of Divinity at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., in 2015, along with two aging moyels and former Bronx deli owner Drew Kagan on Sept. 1.
“Boy was it hot in there,” Kagan said as he emerged from a Fexdex shipping box to a round of applause at the Evangelical seminary. “I’m schvitzing like a motherfucker.”
Christian collections of Jewish artifacts and Jews themselves have been an ongoing problem for members of The Tribe.
The Pope kept a captive community of Jews at Vatican City for centuries in the belief they were essential to the prophecy of a Second Coming. It was a necessary precaution for a Catholic hierarchy which habitually incited and perpetrated violence toward Jews prior to The Holocaust.
Nazis have a similar fetish with the vestiges of their preferred scapegoat. The Third Reich amassed huge collections of Jewish hair, gold teeth, jewelry, slave labor and corpses.
Green’s collection of Jewish artifacts would do them proud.
“I traded a lamp shade made from human skin from Auschwitz to Ken Larson just the other day for an authenticated pair of baby booties form Buchenwald, which had been appraised at $23,000” David Green said. “Straight up. I don’t know what he was thinking. I really Jewed him down on that one.”
Historically, Jews have also been plagued by forced conversion efforts. Like those embraced by the Catholic Church during the Spanish Inquisition.
The group of modern-day inquisitors named Jews for Jesus continues the practice in a lesser form today. It’s a notorious advocate of Christian substitution, whose members still plague Jews with unsolicited conversion efforts, despite a 2015 edict from Pope Francis calling upon Christians to stop badgering Jews about Going to Hell.
Executive Director David Brickner confirmed what many Jews had long suspected – that he cloaks his own supremacist beliefs in scripture – when he described a 2008 terrorist attack on Jews as “God’s Judgement” for their failure to convert to Christianity.
Brickner, a Baptist Minister, is also a big fan of Dead Jews and Torah collecting. He thinks Jews should be forcibly indoctrinated with Christian dogma and compelled to read Christian Scripture.
Why can’t he and his fellow modern-day inquisitors just leave Jews alone?
“Everybody has to have a hobby,” said Brickner. “Some people like baseball, some people like woodworking, I like harassing Jews.”
“God wills it,” according to Brickner.
The Brickners and Greens of the world present a dilemma for modern Jews, according to filmmaker Eli Roth, who played “The Bear Jew” in the film Inglorious Basterds. On the one hand, they dearly deserve a beating. On the other hand, if you do anything to them you risk a huge anti-Semitic backlash.
“I really think that’s the attraction for them,” Roth said. The idea that they can act like a badass without ever having to back it up. These guys have no idea what it’s like to be constantly and grossly outnumbered.”