Another shyster who demands mention is barry oCONnell, who has morphed himself from self designed rug "expert" to EBAY rug purveyor to born again Christian rug saint and finally back to self proclaimed rug "expert".
oCONnell first came to RK's attention in 1997 when mentions of rugs were few and far between on the net.
Doing a Yahoo search revealed a curiously large amount of web pages mentioning yours truly.
After accessing them and seeing the completely inane at best, and BS at the worst, this tubby little miscreant deemed himself qualified to publish we picked up the phone and gave him both barrels.
oCONnell immediately apologized and agreed to remove them.
His immediate retreat and profuse mea culpa impressed us and even got us to talk about rugs with him from time to time over the next few months.
Upon our return to the East Coast, we had been in San Francisco at the time, we even went to visit barry at his home in Maryland and met him and his wife, Jody.
For some time thereafter we allowed this shyster to con us into believing he was truly interested in Oriental Rugs.
However, the bloom of that myth soon faded fast and for a number of reasons we closed the gate on him and stopped calling him or responding to his calls.
Some months later we heard he was selling a fair amount of rugs on Ebay, in fact he was supposedly doing thousands of dollars a week in sales.
Good for him we thought, even though the pieces he was dealing were low quality pseudo-collector rugs presented as, well let's just say he wasn't afraid to present sow's ears as silk purses.
We then heard he had gone belly-up, quite a feat for a roly-poly figure like his, and owed tens of thousands of dollars to those unfortunates who had consigned rugs to him, as well as to those who had sent money and never received their purchases.
This story was supported by the fact oCONnell disappeared from EBAY and his website also took a nosedive, big time.
Some long months later we heard oCONnell had re-emerged a born again Christian, pledging to make right all the debts he had run up and quoting the Bible in every second breath.
Well, good enough for him we thought, at least he faced his transgressions, no matter if God made him do it or not.
We don’t know, nor do we care, whether or not oCONnell repaid those he conned but we do know he continues to con people, though he doesn't take their money now he just presents himself as a rug expert -- a thing he surely is not.
Like jim aka jimbo allen, who by the way oCONell has described on his website as “…one of the truly great men of Turkmen collecting and scholarship.”, he plays on the ignorance of people who are either completely naïve about the rug world or those who are so gullible as to believe the self-promoting crapola jokesters and con-artists like allen and oCONnell dish out like short order cooks at busy truck stops.
The website oCONnell maintains, along with a Yahoo email group, is littered with erroneous and farcical pronouncements, like his completely ridiculous comment about allen.
Yeesshhh, this is a free country and RK is well aware of everyone’s right to free speech but the BS some, like oCONnell and jimbo allen, feel entitled to mouth stretches the pizza dough way too thin, as far as we are concerned.
Unfortunately those in high places in rugdom are too preoccupied with maintaining the status quo of their positions, or just to dumb and stupid, to recognize how the humbug and quackery shysters like allen and loud mouth know-nothings like oCONnell disseminate destroys not only the credibility of those who truly have something of value to say but, more importantly, turns off intelligent folks who are genuinely curious and interested in learning about Oriental Rugs.
We know for a fact some instances when this has happened to individuals, who have had the misfortune to run into rug posers like oCONnel, allen and lets not forget professor price=clown when mentioning rug posers and imposters.
Nope, this situation is outrageous and totally out of hand.
Unfortunately RK’s call for rugdom to begin with us to censor, or at least counter as we do here on RK.com, the public displays these conceited hypesters feel entitled to cock up has fallen on the deaf ears of those who profess to have, at heart, the best interests of the weavings many of us cherish.
oCONnell, who believes his efforts at rug scholarship are noteworthy and significant could not be more mistaken and in our last conversation, which was the first in a number of years, that took place quite recently he defended them vehemently, especially after RK told him how worthless and piss-poor the majority of them actually are.