Hello friends, colleagues, partners, and supporters of Paralelní Polis.
We decided to write this appeal to you because we think that after ten years of our existence, we can turn to you for help at a critical moment.
A few months ago Paralelní Polis fell victim to its credulity and was financially ransacked and pushed to the brink of bankruptcy by two people. While we have evidence in the form of email correspondence, personal testimonies, and blockchain records, our doctrine of independence from the state essentially prevents us from going to the police or state courts. Our only leverage is reputational pressure, and that is what we are now asking you to do.
Paralelní Polis was founded nine years ago, as a non-profit organization dedicated to creating an environment that, in the form of a four-story building, explores theories of technology as emancipatory tools from the state. For the past nine years, cryptocurrencies have resonated at Paralelní Polis, for which the house serves as an incubator. For almost a decade, concepts like General Bytes, Satoshi Labs, Braiins, and others have been growing locally alongside us. One of our biggest achievements is pushing the implementation of cryptocurrencies into the e-retailer Alza, which locally has caused a reversal in the perception of cryptocurrencies as only a tool for speculation. In our existence, we’ve hosted upwards of a dozen conferences that have been attended by luminaries such as Andreas Antonopoulos, Adam Beck, Amir Taaki, Richard Stallman, and many others. The principle of organizing conferences is always the same, Paralelní Polis is the organizer who either builds an organizing team of volunteers or hires an external agency.
To control our financial flows as a non-profit organization and to ensure that any surplus goes back into the development of the non-profit organization, we decided to set up such an agency ourselves. The founding members of the Duct Tape Production (DTP) agency were current Paralelní Polis Supervisory Board members and one hired production manager. Josef Jelačič was appointed as managing director. The purpose and goal of DTP was to organize educational events for Paralelní Polis and to return any financial surplus to Paralelní Polis. Due to the negligence of The Supervisory Board, Josef Jelačič, as managing director, acquired a majority share in this entity. The Supervisory Board, particularly the founders of Paralelní Polis, only became aware of this once Joseph Schweitzer raised a significant funding surplus for the ETH Prague event, which he first communicated to us as financial resources for the non-profit organization, and then transferred the money to an unknown address (record of transactions here).
Josef Jelačič later claimed that the organizer was not Paralelní Polis, but the DTP agency, of which he had fraudulently become the majority owner. Paralelní Polis therefore issued an invoice to this agency for the use of the premises during the preparation and the actual events of DeFi Summit and ETH Prague, at the same list prices paid by other external event producers, such as Monerokon.
Paralelní Polis was laconically informed that DTP does not accept our invoice and will not pay it. Josef Jelačič refused any negotiations. When, after several months, we managed to arrange a meeting with a mediator, Josef Jelačič refused any search for a solution, arguing that Paralelní Polis had no legal documentation to support its claims.
The disagreement escalated to the point where one of the members of the Supervisory Board of Paralelní Polis threw a glass of water at Josef Jelačič in frustration. As a result, this person was physically assaulted by Josef Jelačič.
The most absurd part of the whole affair is the very intention of Josef Jelačič, who used the ETHPrague to attract partners and funding for his dubious lending platform PWN.
The figure of Joseph Schweitzer played a crucial role in the whole story. This person was suggested by Josef Jelačič for the position of CEO of Paralelní Polis. After a three-month trial period, it was established that he was unable to operate the four-floor building in a normal, i.e. sustainable, manner. In those few months, he drove the income from the operation of the building below the subsistence level. He continually argued that he would make up the deficit with money raised from sponsors, which never happened, and Joseph Schweitzer disappeared from Paralelní Polis with the $200,000 that, as you will read in the appendix, was earmarked for the operation of the house. His interventions in the routine activities of the house have resulted in inertia to this day.
We, the founders of Paralelní Polis, took over the house in complete disrepair, in debt and still had to pay 200,000,- CZK VAT on the invoice that Josef Jelačič refused to pay on behalf of Duct Tape Production.
Paralelní Polis has with your help already overcome the COVID crisis, so we will surely overcome this one in time as well. With this burden, we cannot fight for hosting the next edition of ETHPrague, although negotiations with a new organizing agency have already taken place. There is therefore a risk that the next edition of ETHPrague will be a direct tool of Josef Jelačič and his production agency to drain funds from partners to indirectly finance PWN.
Addendum: According to the latest findings, the actors involved in this case have established a new company with an almost identical name (the original company Duct Tape Production s.r.o.), which allows them to maintain the original partners under the illusion that it is the same production company. It also enables them to disregard the original agreements and commitments to the non-profit organization Paralelní Polis and continue organizing ETHPrague independently for enrichment.
We, the undersigned, ask everyone who has even the slightest possibility of appealing to Josef Jelačič and Joseph Schweitzer to pay the rent from the budget for organizing the ETHPrague event. Then let them fulfill the agreement, i.e., transferring 3 parts of the surplus of the ETHPrague organization to Paralelní Polis. If they do not do so soon, then we will systematically spread the call to boycott all events organized by Josef Jelačič’s agency Duct Tape Production. In addition, we will be obliged to inform all of our partners from previous editions of ETHPrague not to continue to cooperate with these scammers and to continue to be wary of any of their businesses, including their support for the controversial PWN platform, which from our perspective appears to be a sucker of capital, including social capital, from functioning and successful entities whose cooperation with us we value.
On behalf of Paralelní Polis:
EMAIL COMMUNICATION BY JOSEPH SCHWEITZER TO PARALELNÍ POLIS CREW
FEBRUARY 24, 2023
MAY 9, 2023
MAY 14, 2023