On The Daily Beast, T.D. Allman gives us an excerpt of his book Finding Florida, which looks at the true history behind the famous Sunshine State. According to Allman, Disney used former CIA operatives and an army of lawyers to create ghost cities in order to create a "unique legal situation and set up an unconstitutional form of government."
At a secret "seminar" Disney convened in May 1965 Helliwell came up with the approach that to this day allows the Disney organization to avoid taxation and environmental regulation as well as maintain immunity from the U.S. Constitution. It was the same strategy the C.I.A. pursued in the foreign countries. Set up a puppet government; then use that regime to do your bidding.
Though no one lived there, Helliwell advised Disney to establish at least two phantom "cities, then use these fake governments to control land use and make sure the public monies the theme park generated stayed in Disney's private hands. On paper Disney World's "cities" would be regular American home towns except their only official residents would be the handful of hand-picked Disney loyalists who periodically "elected" the officials who, in turn, ceded complete control to Disney executives.
In early 1967, the Florida legislature created Hallowell?s two "cities, both named for the artificial reservoirs Disney engineers created by obstructing the area's natural water flow. When you visit Disney's Magic Kingdom, you are visiting the City of Bay Lake, Florida. The other was the City of Lake Buena Vista. In both cities, in violation of both the U.S. and Florida Constitutions the Disney-engineered legislation established a property qualification for holding elective office, requiring that each candidate for office there "must be the owner, either directly or as a trustee, of real property situated in the City" in order "to be eligible to hold the office of councilman."
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