Shameless Schirmer: he’s baaaaaack
One of my informants from Down Under sent me a heads-up re a couple of new TV segments about David Schirmer, the Australian Secret star and investment adviser who has been embroiled in a bit of a financial scandal since last spring (or autumn, in his part of the world). You may recall that I have blogged about Schirmer a few times. One of the new links was to a video from the Aussie show A Current Affair (ACA), which has previously reported on David Schirmer’s shenanigans. The other was to a video from a New Zealand show, Close-Up.
At the time I wrote this post I hadn't yet been able to access the ACA video (I've since watched it; see link below), but I did watch the Kiwi offering, Close-Up. Apparently Schirmer had recently put on an "unlimited-wealth" seminar in New Zealand (for which participants paid $120.00 a pop – $89.60 in US dollars), without disclosing that he was under investigation by authorities in Australia for mishandling hundreds of thousands of dollars in other people’s money. Close-Up’s Robyn Janes sat down to interview Schirmer, and all was going well until Janes started asking him about all that money he owed the folks in Australia. Schirmer clearly did not want to talk about that. "I just want to focus on the positives of The Secret," he replied. He said ACA, the show that had previously exposed the allegations against him, was "a gutter journalism show," and he added that the ACA reporter, Ben Fordham, had "one purpose and one purpose only: to defame me." When Robyn continued her questioning, Schirmer said the interview was over and promptly left the room while she followed, still questioning him.
He took refuge in a public restroom – an appropriate spot, I suppose, considering what he’s peddling. Robyn chose to err on the side of decorum and not follow him into the john, but Schirmer’s PR guy, a man who definitely has his work cut out for him, did talk to her. She asked him, "Wouldn’t it be a positive thing if David would just answer the questions?" Mr. PR replied, "But you’re focusing on the negatives. Even answering negatives is still focusing on the negative."
Spoken like a true New-Wage apologist. Robyn, I feel your frustration; we get a lot of that stuff Stateside too. After a while Schirmer came out of the bathroom and did promise that he would grant a live interview at some point in the future, but when Janes tried to pin down a date for that interview, Schirmer shut up, and he and his PR minion took off down the hallway.
Granted, the people who attended Schirmer’s latest snake-oil show have a bit of responsibility in this matter as well. Were they completely unaware of the scandalous scoop about this guy? New Zealand is not that far away, geographically or culturally, from Australia. And if I knew all about Schirmer, you’d think the Kiwis would.
But perhaps the point is irrelevant. Maybe Schirmer will be able to rise again no matter what he is accused of, or ultimately convicted of. After all, hope springs eternal, whether it’s hope for easy money or, for that matter, easy weight loss. Look at US infomercial con artist and author Kevin Trudeau. He has a shady past, to say the least. His "natural cures" have been pretty well discredited, he’s been fined millions of dollars by the US government, and the vast majority of readers on Amazon have given a low rating to his latest offering, The Weight-Loss Cure They Don’t Want You To Know About. Yet here is that book’s current Amazon sales ranking:
Amazon.com Sales Rank: #96 in Books (See Bestsellers in Books)
Popular in these categories:
#1 in Books > Health, Mind & Body > Diets & Weight Loss > Diets > Weight Maintenance
#5 in Books > Health, Mind & Body > Personal Health
#5 in Books > Health, Mind & Body > Diets & Weight Loss > Diets > Weight Loss
And it has recently been in the top five in the "Advice/Miscellaneous/How-to" category on the New York Times bestseller list too.
And then there are the numerous New-Wage gurus who, though they may not be breaking laws or violating government regulations, are surely skating on thin ice ethically (not to mention logically, spiritually, scientifically, and many other ways). Many have proven themselves time and time again to be, if not quite sociopathic by clinical definition, at least lacking in much of a conscience. (Read what Steve Salerno has to say re the emerging culture of sociopathy.) These borderline sociopaths and smarmy narcissists can make the most outrageous and morally repugnant statements, brushing off all criticism as being a symptom of the critics’ shortcomings, and still their fawning followers and bubbly bobbleheads continue to line up, checkbooks or charge cards in hand, proclaiming, "Thank you, I love you!"
So who knows how the fortunes of Shameless Schirmer will turn? The Aussies are wise to him, and very soon the Kiwis will be as well, but who knows what he’ll try next? There is, after all, a whole thriving market of gullibles in the US. And, as been proven time and time again, people have short memories.
Well, that’s enough Cosmic Contificating for now. Here’s the link to the Close-Up (New Zealand) video.
And here’s the link to the ACA (Australian) video, which provides a backstory and nicely supplements the NZ piece. I received this link Wednesday, November 14, the day after I published this post. If the link still doesn’t work, I’ll let you know as soon as it's up on YouTube.