A wide-eyed and dishevelled Pete Evans has fended off questions about a controversial hippy commune he’s promoting by calling a reporter ‘fake news’.
The disgraced celebrity chef, 48, appeared in promotional videos for the land development scheme in northern New South Wales, which promises healing hubs, a ‘sacred geometry pub’ and solar-powered cabins.
But the Nightcap on Minjungbal venture at Mount Burrell near Nimbin in the Byron Bay Hinterland has raised eyebrows with a host of mum-and-dad investors who say they’ve been left thousands of dollars out of pocket by the same developer in a past venture.
Evans appeared gaunt and was noticeably shaking when confronted by a film crew from Channel Nine’s A Current Affair over the bizarre development.
A wide-eyed and dishevelled Pete Evans (pictured) has fended off questions about a controversial hippy commune he’s promoting by calling a reporter ‘fake news’
But the anti-vaxxer and 5G conspiracy theorist quickly dismissed the accusations.
‘Nightcap is a wonderful project that I’m looking forward to being a part of,’ he told veteran reporter Steve Marshall.
‘I didn’t create it. You do understand that don’t you. I’m not selling anything.
‘You do promote fake news over and over.’
At the centre of controversy is that the shared-housing community is set to be built on the same site where a similar project recently failed – leaving creditors and would-be residents owed more than $2.5million dollars.
The Bhula Bhula Community Village, a colony where people paid up to $160,000 each to live off the grid in ‘earthships’ made from tyres crumbled in 2017, leaving a trail of legal clashes in its wake.
There is no suggestion of impropriety in the Nightcap development.
Adrian Brennock, the sole director of the company that owned the land, placed the firm into voluntary administration but now he’s back marketing the 3,500 acre of land with the help of Evans.
Nightcap on Minjungbal (site pictured) is being developed at Mount Burrell near Nimbin
Developer Adrian Brennock said the area has unlimited water and sunlight for solar power
Mr Brennock in a promotional clip says the commune will act as a ‘sanctuary’ to protect residents from disasters that can take place in the outside world.
‘If we do get locked down or there are food shortages, or whatever disasters befall us in the future, we are in a position here to be completely self-reliant,’ he said.
Investors’ funds are set to go towards a commercial development on the site, which will include businesses such as service stations and pubs that can generate income that will feed back into the community.
Community centres, a ‘sacred geometry pub’, medical centre and healing hubs are also being designed to be erected on the grounds, under the ethos of the sanctuary: ‘do no harm’.
But as it stands the development project is yet to receive any council approval.
People can buy a block of land then build their own dwelling. Pictured is a blue print for a potential cabin
Despite this, fanatical fans of Evans can purchase a block of land at the Nightcap development for $290,000.
Tony McMurtry, Mr Brennock’s brother, said: ‘A lot of people seem to think he is responsible for what previously went wrong, which he isn’t.’
But one investor who shelled out $80,000 for a plot of land at the previous site said he doesn’t believe a word the developers and Evans say.
‘We constantly get emails saying everything will be ready for you guys in another month and that has been going on for two years,’ the investor said.
‘I have zero faith in these people, trust is totally broken.’
Evans’ land endorsement comes after a litany of controversies which have seen the My Kitchen Rules host slapped with fines and bans from social media platforms.
Fanatical fans of Evans (pictured) can purchase a block of land at the Nightcap development for $290,000
The website says: ‘We are very open “alternative” style dwellings such as Earth-ships, Shipping Container Homes and so forth’. Pictured is an example of a cabin built by a designer who is working on the project
In a documentary, developers said there is ample wood from surrounding structures (pictured) that can be used for people to construct their own dwelling
The conspiracy enthusiast was hit with an almost $80,000 fine for allegedly trying to profit from fraudulent Covid-19 treatments online.
It’s the second time he’s run foul of authorities after previously being fined $25,000 for trying to sell his so-called BioCharger for $15,000 a pop on Facebook.
He insisted the light could cure Covid-19 and protect users from infection – but had no evidence to support the wild claims.
Despite the first fine, the craggy-faced conspiracy theorist continued to try to sell the light to the unwary, along with a string of other fake treatments.
In May, he was hit with another $79,920 in fines for advertising the BioCharger and several other unapproved and totally ineffective treatments.
The site was recently bought for $2million and was previously home to a similar project that collapsed, owing would-be-residents and creditors $2.5million, they claim (Mr Brennock pictured right)
A map of the building site where prospective residents can buy shares into the company that owns the land in exchange for an exclusive lot
He also advertised two oral medicines, static magnet products and hyperbaric chambers to breathe pure oxygen in a pressurised environment.
Evans falsely implied the products were endorsed by health professionals, but he has now been ordered to remove the posts, and to cease all adverts for them.
The former reality TV star has also been permanently booted off Facebook and Instagram for sharing misinformation and conspiracy theories.
He has repeatedly made posts opposing Covid-19 vaccines and masks, and falsely claimed in a podcast that the coronavirus is a hoax.
Evans was a judge on My Kitchen Rules between 2010 and 2020, and had more than one million Facebook followers until his forced exit.
Worrying moment a gaunt Pete Evans shakes when confronted by reporters about a bizarre business