An article accompanied by a video published in The Wall Street Journal (‘Hedge-Fund Priest: Thou Shalt Make Money’ dated 28 October 2015) has been met with a flurry of criticism by the man who it was written about.
Reverend Father Emmanuel Lemelson, 39, contacted Neos Kosmos to voice his disappointment with the article and point Neos Kosmos to two open letters he had written to The Wall Street Journal in response to its claims.
He pointed out 14 “significant errors” with the article, containing what he claimed were falsities centring on his life as a priest, his personal circumstances and The Amvona Fund run by him.
“Rob Copeland’s recent Wall Street Journal contains dozens of factual errors, misstatements and major errors of omission amongst a litany of insinuation and innuendo,” he said.
“This is an extraordinarily error-laden article that projects an utterly inaccurate view of The Amvona Fund, LP and its manager.”
He rebuts claims that he labelled Benjamin Graham’s (‘the father of investing’) book The Intelligent Investor ‘the Good Book’, that he boasted about ‘crashing stocks’ and that his hedge fund ‘operates with almost no official scrutiny’.
Of the religious insinuations Father Lemelson refers to, he further refutes claims that he lives a double life (through his role with the Greek Orthodox Church and as a hedge fund manager), that he was a ‘disciple’ of investor and tycoon Warren Buffett (a play on religious terminology) and that he instructed investors to ‘pray for the fund and disregard short-term performance’ as a rule of thumb – he also disproved the use of the term ‘Turkish Archbishop’, one he says is non-existent.
Of all his grievances, the most alarming were Father Lemelson’s claims that some of the recorded quotes included in the original text were fabricated, others were misrepresented and omitted, and interviews with supposed colleagues were with individuals he had never even met.
Writing to the editor of The Wall Street Journal – Daniel Fitzpatrick – Father Lemelson stresses the falsity of the article in its entirety.
“Rob Copeland’s recent Wall Street Journal article reads like a directory of fallacies. Inductive reasoning is used throughout to shift between affirming the consequent, begging the question, poisoning the well and equivocation to set up both false causes and false dilemmas in his story,” he wrote.
“What was published was a thinly-veiled ad hominem (personal) attack based apparently on Mr Copeland’s personal feelings, the insinuation and innuendo of which are wholly unsupported by evidence.”
He finishes his letter by questioning the reporting standards and ethical principles adhered to by the publication.