The devices, which were based on a design for cheap golf ball finders and which contained no working electronic parts, resulted in needless deaths and maiming in Iraq in particular, which bought 6000 of them over 2 years for more than £26m as a result, it has been discovered, of the bribing of senior Iraqi officials who knew they were toys but who did not care. Thousands of civilian and military personnel, many of them British or American, were put at risk as the “detectors” intended to protect the checkpoints failed because they were illusory.
Thankfully it is rare to find someone who so blatantly and deliberately set out to exploit the lives of unknown innocents for his own gain, though of course there are others in our history of infamy. McCormick is in the news today for his total lack of compassion and abuse of an opportunity to do good in countries in need, but his scam succeeded because he was helped by other similarly greedy and callous individuals, some of whom have since been punished, others who walk free. Was their conscience ever troubled, I wonder?
These men, some in prison, some not, bear a heavy responsibility for suffering on a major scale and will bear the karmic repercussions for it. However, the responsibility is not just with this corrupt businessman and his associates but also with those who placed substantial orders for the fakes in good faith but with no checks – governments, security firms and others who did no tests or research into the effectiveness of the bomb detectors and who were dazzled by the eloquence of a conman. The simplicity of the apparatus - a hinge and an antenna – should have at least warranted analysis by an expert, and some of them are in use still, albeit still useless.
This sad case is an example of naivete, possibly stupidity and certainly callous avarice. The fingers point just at John McCormick, despite the many others involved knowingly or not; he is behind bars now but once, no doubt, was laughing all the way to the bank at the gullibility of those he conned, and who enabled his success.
Claire Montanaro is a spiritual teacher, channel and blogger. Loves nature and wildlife. Author of Spiritual Wisdom.