Gypsies” date back more than 1,000 years and are a criminal subculture of a larger ethnic group of people called the Rom or Romani (also spelled Romany). But just because someone is Romani does not make them a criminal. It would be like mistakenly equating all Sicilians with the Mafia. Sicilians are not crooks. They’re people from Sicily. However, years ago a group of Sicilians formed what has become known as the Mafia in order to practice crime as a way of life.
Similarly, not all Romani people are crooks, and the Rom are an ethnicity and should be treated fairly as such. However, at some point in time, a particular group of Rom evolved into a subculture of crooks who choose to this day to practice crime against those outside their own as a way of life. This group became known as the “Gypsies”. In fact, they were given that name because centuries ago they lied to Spanish royalty in order to gain admittance into Spain to live there. They told the Spanish royals at the time that they were the lost tribe of Israel but had converted to Christianity. As Spain was Catholic and concerned with keeping things that way, the royals saw this as great PR. So they let their newfound “Gypsy” friends in, their new friends proceeded to steal and scam their way through Spain, thus creating a reputation for themselves that hasn’t changed today because they still live this way (well, except for the livestock-stealing part and the covered wagons, obviously). The “Gypsy” moniker came from the fact that they had told the royals that they had last been in Egypt. Just like the mob, each generation of Gypsies culturally indoctrinates the next generation into their criminal lifestyle.
Please note the distinction between “Rom” or Romani and “Gypsy”. This web site is not intended to be racist or portray any ethnicity in a bigoted way. The fact is, among the Rom there exists a criminal subculture that lives inside our western culture. It does not assimilate into it, especially its moral code about stealing, and instead preys upon it. This subculture literally believes, as part of its way of life, that stealing from gadje is a perfectly acceptable and expected means to live. Gadje is the Gypsy word for nonGypsies or, literally translated, “the great unwashed”. Hmm, the Gypsy term for anyone outside of their own group sounds a little racist to me, what do you think? Do you like being thought of as “the great unwashed”?
On a few occasions, this web site has received some “fan mail” where it’s accused of being racist, hence I thought I’d clear up this issue. However, in all but one or two instances, this “fan mail” criticizing the web site has come from Gypsy con artists themselves–no surprise seeing as we’re alerting the public to the fact that they’re ruining victims financially and getting away with stealing hundreds of millions of dollars nationwide annually, assumedly going unreported to the IRS. Victims are being conned into thinking their well being is at stake if they don’t trust their Gypsy fortune teller who has conned them into thinking they’re cursed or some similar plight. These victims are instructed to hand over what’s often tens of thousands of dollars to Gypsy fortune tellers, who assure them that money is only going to the “spiritual work” being performed on their behalf to save them, and is not being used as income by the Gypsy and her family. Meanwhile, according to police and victim accounts, that money in reality is being stolen and is going towards luxury cars, home entertainment systems the victims never see as well as trips to casinos (according to police, Gypsies flock to casinos like “Gypsy moths” to the flame, and blow most of the money the victims handed over in trust and in secrecy).
The flimsily-crafted racist argument put forth by the Gypsy cons takes the same form every single time: “If you replace the word ‘Gypsy’ for ‘Black’, ‘Hispanic’, ‘Jew’ or ‘Asian’, that would clearly be seen as racist.”
That is certainly true, however here’s where their logic falls apart. None of the minorities the Gypsy cons use in their discrimination argument practice crime as an inherent aspect of their culture (again, the Sicilian vs. Mafia distinction we clearly strive to make). Yes, there exist criminals among African Americans. But African Americans do not collectively practice crime as a race. There exists criminals among Asians, Hispanics, Jews, Native Americans (pick your ethnicity or religious group) but none of these populations practice crime as a part of their race or ethnicity. If the Gypsy population did not institutionally practice–and more importantly, condone–criminal behavior, then that would mean that they wished to live honestly, get jobs, pay taxes, keep their kids in school through high school rather than using home schooling as an angle to avoid truency charges. It would mean they sought to be accepted and treated fairly, just like African Americans, Hispanics and other minorities seek to be treated fairly by being offered the same job opportunities and lifestyle opportunities as every other American. If Gypsies wished for the same opportunities, the same esteem, then absolutely they should and would be entitled to receive the same regard as the ethnicities they reference in trying to play the race card. They don’t. They want to remain criminals instead.
Where things can get muddy is how you use the terms “Rom” or “Romani” and “Gypsy”. Again, using established police terminology, “Romani” is the ethnicity, and we have no desire to label them in any negative way, and “Gypsy” refers to the existing subculture of Rom actively committing crimes, primarily the fortune telling spiritual work scam, as an established component of their culture, even to the extent that it’s actually a part of their arranged marital practices (see further down for details). Originally, those among the Rom population wanted people to make this distinction and refer to them as Rom or Romani, seeing the term “Gypsy” as having the same negative connotation as mobster, etc. The problem now is that they’ve done a 180 and now want to refer to themselves as Gypsy. That’s fine but where things get confusing, using their own race card attempt, is that it would be like African Americans deciding that they want to call themselves “Gangbangers” as their ethnic identity now, and are demanding that police no longer use “gang member” or “gangbanger” to help provide a description to a type of crime for the purpose of aiding in stopping it. The fact is the criminal subculture among the Rom exists and has no intention of stopping, at least they have not made a statement as such to the public declaring their intention to become law abiding citizens. So if they wish to redefine Gypsy as their ethnicity, then we’ll need to create a term for the criminal subculture as a means to warn people. For now, we’re satisfied with the police definition.
Again, this subculture believes that stealing from those outside of their culture is perfectly acceptable. And this site was meant to warn people about the spiritual work crime being perpetrated specifically by Gypsy con artist families using an organized, interstate network. Our goal is to permanently end the ability for this specific confidence crime to be perpetrated any longer by creating an educated public who will be able to identify it before even considering visiting a fortune telling parlor. As the crime is part of the Gypsy subculture, and the structure and rules of this criminal subculture’s way of life are what enable it to get away with the scam across the country with no easy way to stop it, educating the public on the subculture will hopefully help root out the crime. After all, if the “Gypsy” population really does want to be treated equally, then naturally they should be all for this web site–we’re helping them root out the criminals among them so they can become the law abiding citizens they clearly must wish to be, right?
So how did this subculture of the Romani originate?
According to the book License To Steal: Traveling Con Artists, Their Games, Their Rules — Your Money, by John Dowling and retired police detective Dennis Marlock, the Romani people originally hail from northern India, which explains why the Gypsies you see and may be dealing with right now typically look dark in hair color.
The Gypsy people are a very strict, closed subculture that has lived outside the law of every nonGypsy culture they prey upon. In fact, they have rules about Gypsies only marrying other Gypsies, which explains how their physical traits have stayed so consistent.
So where does their culture of crime originate? Ironically, they’d have you believe it’s with the story of Jesus, which explains some of their use of Christian imagery and so-called prayer in their homes. But the story you’re about to read is quite a departure from our notion of Christianity.
According to Marlock and Dowling, the story that Gypsies teach and pass down from generation to generation basically goes that on the day before Christ was to be crucified, a Roman soldier found a Gypsy blacksmith, who had set up shop on the edge of town, and ordered the Gypsy to create four spikes (nails) which the Romans needed the following morning for a crucifixion. The Gypsy blacksmith created the spikes, but that night the Gypsy kept hearing a voice outside his tent saying, “This is my son they’re going to crucify.”
The Gypsy couldn’t see anyone outside though, but the voice continued. That next morning, when the soldier arrived, the Gypsy first displayed his handywork to the Roman soldier sent to collect the four spikes, and then rolled them in a cloth to give to the him. However, the Gypsy had performed a bujo, or “trick” and kept one of the spikes. He then fled with that fourth spike — the spike, as the Gypsies tell the tale, meant to be driven through Christ’s heart.
God was so pleased with the Gypsy that He decreed that from that point forward, any member of the people who stole the fourth nail could steal for a living. God had granted them permission to do so. There was only one rule God stipulated: a Gypsy could not steal from another Gypsy, only from gadje, or non-Gypsies. (but, again, that’s not racist against gadje, right?)
Any of you who are Christian are by now laughing at the absurdity of the Gypsies’ story. Crucifixion was of course designed to deliver death by means of torture. Driving a stake through a victim’s heart and killing them instantly kind of defeats the whole purpose. Also, I highly doubt God runs around granting cultures the open license to steal.
Yet according to Marlock and Dowling, this is the story the Gypsies have handed down to each generation. While Gypsies are master cons, having perfected their craft over centuries of living outside the rest of society, they’re on a whole uneducated. Many are functionally illiterate, though I personally believe that’s changing with the upcoming generation. They’re very superstitious, and in my opinion they’re culturally brainwashed people themselves. The Gypsy subculture is harsh and unfair, particularly to the women, who actually do the brunt of the breadwinning (or “breadstealing”, as it were) since a good Gypsy fortune teller can bring in a small fortune, pardon the pun, each year.
If any Gypsy cons still want to accuse this site of promoting oppression (well, actually, what they really want is to see this site go away so they can restore their fortune telling revenue back to what it used to be before this site went live), I’ll agree with them on one point: I think their own culture does a great job in oppressing its women, who are put into arranged marriages as a teen and then expected to bring in most of the family’s income through crime (the main source being the fortune teller spiritual work scam as it brings in the most money). Gypsy men, meanwhile, score points among their male peers the less they have to work and the more they can live like their wives’ pimps, laying on the couch all day watching tv while their wives raise the children and commit the spiritual work scam. The men commit crime as well, typically outside the home in the form of ruse home entry/burglary, driveway blacktop scams and insurance fraud.
In Gypsy society, marriages are arranged between families, with the groom’s family having to pay a daro or bridepeace/dowery determined by the bride-to-be’s fortune telling (read: swindling) potential, almost like a sports scout sizing up the potential of a promising young athlete. The Gypsy girl’s family sizes up her particular fortune telling con artist potential and what they estimate it would translate into for the groom’s family over the course of her adult life. Then the bride’s family sets a price for her accordingly. Many of these marriages take place before the Gypsy girl is even of legal consenting age.
Gypsy children are typically truent from school and eventually removed from it entirely once there’s any risk they might become too Americanized and assimilated into our western culture. It certainly might put a damper on things if they were to adopt traditional American moral values–you know, like treating everyone equally and not stealing.
Any Gypsy woman who does not follow the rules of her Gypsy society is marime or impure, the ultimate stigma to be avoided at all costs.
The Gypsy fortune teller’s storefront or ofisa is where she practices her scam. Gypsy families, familia, will relate to other closely related families who live in other parts of the country, forming a mutual assistance network called a vitsa. Members of a vitsa are housed, fed and entertained when in town.
Locally, one large Gypsy family or a combination of families or family members either from the same vitsa or even multiple vitsi will form a common crime organization called the kumpania. Kumpaniyi work together to exploit a particular area. The Kumpania is ruled by a rom baro, a male patriarch selected from among the different patriarchs in the families making up that kumpania. The rom baro would be what the police would refer to as the “Gypsy King”. He is the father figure that leads the families involved. However, while there is a rom baro, there really is no such thing as a “Gypsy King” as much as Gypsies would like to have us “gadje” believe. According to the police who specialize in Gypsy crime, a more accurate definition of “Gypsy King” would simply be “bail bondsman”.
Members of the kumpania will often form a wortachiyi or work team sharing duties, expenses and profits equally. This might be Gypsy women working from the same fortune telling parlor or group of parlors in the same area or town.
From what we’ve learned from law enforcement, and what we’ve seen from the countless victims who have shared their stories in order to warn you, the Gypsy crime families concentrate on particular areas of the country. You have the Johns, Stevens and George families in the Midwest and Eastern U.S., the Marks, Merino and Mills families in California and other western states, as well as other commonly used Gypsy crime family alias last names, including Mitchell, Wanko, Tan, Ely, Adams, Williams, Uwanawich, Nicholas and Johnson, to name some of the more common names Gypsy cons assume. The last names and first names Gypsy cons use as aliases can be switched so often that it can become convoluted to try and follow and you have to understand the cons adopted these names and will use them interchangeably to avoid legal action or any kind of trail of criminal activity. Law enforcement is wise to this, and documents any know aliases a particular Gypsy con has used and is currently using.
(Source: License To Steal: Traveling Con Artists, Their Games, Their Rules — Your Money, Paladin Press, 1994)