Safe, stable, and boring lives, filled to the rim with paperwork (yawn), have caused white males to set off to challenge themselves and do stuff — such as climbing the highest mountains, trekking across our frosty poles in bitter solitude, or go beer hunting with their bare hands — just to confirm to their egos that Yes! I am a Man!, and life behind the boring desk can be a little more manageable. Personally I ended up crossing our oceans after I had hitch-hiked from the most northern tip of Europe to the southernmost creak of Africa.I am not alone in my unorthodox quest for kicks. A Polish friend of mine went on holiday in Somalia, not to mention my two buddies who rode a moped from LA to Buenos Aires. People have even been jumping down from space. Now that the Asians have joined in on the trend, adrenaline tourism has been taken to a whole new level, as we noticed when a Japanese truck driver spent his single week of holidays on the front line in Aleppo earlier this year. He was a photo enthusiast, and liked to take pictures of sunsets, flowers, and dead people.
Normally the white man syndrome will lead you into silly (and most of the times stupid) situations that will, if you get out of it, make a good story in retrospect. (Theoretically speaking its perhaps exploitation of the white mans naivity, sweetly mixed with general non-western hospitality that makes the white man syndrome possible.) Everything usually works out, and your worst case scenario usually involves you ending up in a hospital raped, or dead, or both. But you hardly ever put anyone else but yourself in danger. Thats why its OK to be crazy and do stupid stuff for the lolz of it.
But if you fuck it up, like the two Norwegian dudes who went to Congo to become hit men and shot their driver dead ending up with a life sentence in a jail, then there will be no one to help you.
However, if you want to combine the White Man Syndrome with some role play, an academic vocabulary, self confidence from hell, and a convincing appearance, then you might just end up selling imaginary information to the Syrian intelligence, and get hired by the Norwegian intelligence as a reward — after you have managed to dodge your jail time.
Meet Richard Ringheim, The Norwegian Con Kid:
At 19 the Norwegian con artist called the American Embassy in Oslo, introduced himself as the Prime Minister of Norway, and demanded to talk to the American Ambassador. – “It’s urgent,” he said.
This was sometime in 2002, and the then 19-year-old Richard Ringheim had a 10 to 15-minute long conversation with the American Ambassador where he encouraged the United States of America to invade Iraq. At other occasions the Con Kid (as he was called) siphoned hundreds of thousands of dollars from businesses by claiming to be a Russian Diplomat.
Many of Richard’s cons were harmless and to a certain degree funny. However, after having worked under multiple identities for some time Richard could not resist the temptation of becoming a real life James Bond.
In the early 2000’s he presented himself as a Norwegian Security Agent, an identity that he kept for months while he worked on his wicked plan: to sell fake Norwegian Intelligence documents to the Syrian Embassy in Stockholm.
Though it’s hard to find solid information about R.Ringheim, many believe he cut a deal with Norwegian Intelligence Agency (PST) in 2003 by arranging trades with different Arab embassies in both Oslo and Stockholm. He then used this opportunity to sell false intelligence information. The operation resulted in the denial of entrance for several Syrian and Iranian high-ranking diplomats and officials to a number of European countries.While selling faux information to the Assad regime might sound like a scary idea, the young con artist saw it as an opportunity to perform a criminal masterpiece. – “What are they going to do? Turn me in and admit that they bought false intelligence?”, he’s been quoted saying.
The fate of those Syrians he falsely accused of being traitors is still unknown, but it’s unfortunately way too easy to imagine. Richard himself claims to have no idea what sort of treatment could be expected for treason in Syria. – :I hope Syria adheres to the Geneva Convention. If not, it’s out of my hands,” he says.
In 2004 he was sentenced to a short stint in jail, but the con artist obviously had no problems navigating the Norwegian judicial system. After many rounds in the court system he ended up serving 82 days in an open jail facility in Sweden. R.Ringheim himself called the place semi-luxurious; The prisoners were able to walk freely around an area with a 2-km radius. In addition he worked with milk production (which is common for Scandinavian jails), and drove a tractor around fields for almost 2 dollars an hour – meaning he probably made more money in jail than the Syrians he fucked over did in real life. However, to put it straight, it is believed he cut a deal with PST and the police to get his sentence reduced considerably.
The myth goes that the Con Kid was such a “Natural born spy” that the Norwegian intelligence had no other choice than to hire the young opportunist. And for a bored white guy with tendencies towards greed and selfishness, maybe it is be better for everyone if he works for the Government.
Anyways, Richard Ringheim’s version of Bored White Mans Syndrome developed into something that became dangerous to others, and he became a criminal.
If you want to know more about the Con Kid you can Check out the documentary below:
Ringheim has apologized for his stunts of the past, but has still not revealed how he gets his kicks these days!
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