Whirled Musings

Across the Universe with Cosmic Connie, aka Connie L. Schmidt...or maybe just through the dung-filled streets and murky swamps of pop culture -- more specifically, the New-Age/New-Wage crowd, pop spirituality & religion, pop psychology, self(ish)-help, business babble, media silliness, & related (or occasionally unrelated) matters of consequence. Hope you're wearing boots. (By the way, the "Cosmic" bit in my moniker is IRONIC.)

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Mr. Fire meets up with true dough

Note to all: I've expanded this post a bit since I first published it on January 4. So if you read it then, you might want to read it again because there's more now. And don't forget to read the "comments" section for more information, entertainment and links.
~CC (1-06-09)


Forget that brief fling between Joe "Mr. Fire" Vitale and the now-failed Succeed Magazine,
one of embattled Aussie Secret star David Schirmer's boondoggles. That is sooooo last year. Now we have what is potentially the absolute ultimate Match Made In Hustledork Heaven (or at least New-Wage Nirvana).


I give you Joe Vitale and Kevin Trudeau, infomercial king, bestselling author, and convicted con artist. Joe recently had a three-hour dinner with Trudeau and his lovely young wife, Natalie. A good time was apparently had by all, as they drank expensive Scotch and talked about everything from infomercials and other moneymaking schemes to Joe's car collection (I know, big surprise on the latter).

In his blog post, Joe mentions in passing that he is aware of Trudeau's troubles:

I'm well aware of Kevin's long term fight with the government, his prison time, his current federal restrictions, etc.

Yet the man I met is sincere, passionate, and dedicated. He is on a mission to help people get healthy and get out of debt. He's been to sixty countries in search of health cures that truly work. When he finds them, he reports on them. He's fearless about it, too.

As usual, most of the responses to this post were positive. A guy named James, however, just couldn't let go of the issue about Kevin's bad press:

The guy gets major negative press though. What's up with that?
ABC 20/20: John Stossel Exposes Liar Kevin Trudeau
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YN5ihrECJms*
To which Joe responded:

James, see my Dec 24 post about paying attention to the mainstream media.
Blessings,
joe

A little later another reader named Paul chimed in:

James, You can't trust the media. If they have no bad news they'll create it. They are trying to create dirt on Kevin Trudeau. I call him Kevin Truthdeau. I like his stuff. I have Natural Cures They Don't Want You To Know About the 1st and Second Edition and More Natural Cures Revealed. Joe are going to invite kevin to the Zero Limits event in April? It would be really cool if you did. It goes to show that sickness starts in the mind and cancer is no exception to the rule. I believe in home remedies and natural cures. It seems like the best of both worlds in the same place at the same time.

Joe failed to respond to Paul's question about the Zero Limits event, so Paul repeated it a couple of days later. Paul also responded to another reader who was critical of Trudeau, saying, "You can't believe the government or the media. The government and the media has [sic] a personal vendetta against Mr. Trudeau." Which, of course, has been Trudeau's big line of defense to his customers.

Yet another reader, Wendy, was bothered by Joe's association with Trudeau.

Hi again Joe:
I have looked further into Kevin’s troubled life and quite frankly I am surprised that you would assoicate yourself with him. Sorry but I have to question your judgement on this one.

Joe responded:

Hi Wendy. I had dinner with the guy; I didn’t marry him. Besides, unconditional forgiveness is the path to magic and miracles. If I sat in judgement of Kevin and denied his offer to have dinner because of what the media says about him, I’d be a limited-thinking fool. As it turned out, the evening with him was unforgettable and wonderful. He was very helpful to me. In fact, one of my dear friends is ill and Kevin was right there with support and resources to help. Had I passed on the dinner with him, i would have passed on an oppourtunity [sic] to learn and grow and to help a friend.
Blessings,
joe

I hope you will forgive me – unconditionally, of course – if it seems to me that Joe's deliberate glossing over Trudeau's troubles is tantamount to admitting that it really is all about the "hypnotic" marketing and the money after all, and little else matters, even when you dress it up with talk of "magic and miracles." In both his blog post and his comments to concerned readers, Joe has repeatedly made it known that he doesn't give a rat's behind about the trouble Kevin has been in. It is simply not important to him. He concluded his post by stating that he has decided he needs to hang around Kevin, and successful people like Kevin, more. "He stretched my thinking, challenged my thinking, and enriched my thinking," Joe enthused.

As it happens, Kevin Trudeau was the very example I used more than once
when responding to comments on my own blog regarding David Schirmer (as well as other hustledorks and New-Wage schemes). When speculating about Schirmer's plans to come to the US and make it big on these shores, one person mentioned that because of his growing legal and personal troubles, and the resulting bad publicity, there was no way he would ever be accepted here. I tried to temper that optimism by mentioning Trudeau, whose work has been refuted by experts in numerous fields, who has been the target of hundreds of consumer complaints over the years, and who has actually done prison time for fraud...and yet he's back, bigger than ever, and his products continue to sell like hotcakes.

Now, don't get me wrong. I recognize that few issues are black and white; there are shades of gray to be sure. Yes, the US government can be intrusive and has been known to imprison people, or worse, on questionable charges (and I'm being charitable here. Very charitable.). Yes, the pharmaceutical industry often seems far more interested in profits than in actually improving people's health (and once again, I am being very charitable). Yes, the mainstream medical profession as a whole can also seem to be a bit jealous of its turf when it comes to "alternative" health products and practices (although I still like to think that most doctors are primarily motivated by concern for the well-being of their patients). And certainly one has to temper the offerings of the mainstream media with the knowledge that most media outlets, including news divisions, are in business for ratings, which translate, of course, into money, money, money.

Trudeau, however, has been nailed time and time again while jumping from one deceptive scheme to the next. I find it hard to believe that this is because the media and the US government and "Big Pharma" and the medical profession are all out to get him.

Here's a link to a good blog post that concisely summarizes why Kevin Trudeau is not to be trusted.

If you want more details, here is
an article from Skeptical Inquirer.

If that's a bit too...well...skeptical...for your taste, try the offering from Salon.com, the online magazine,
which ran a feature on Trudeau a few years ago.

My pal Steve Salerno at SHAMblog has written about Trudeau a few times too, most notably
here and here.

And here's
yet another useful page from another skeptic, Robert T. Carroll of Skepdic.

But I think you get the idea. There's a lot of information out there about Kevin Trudeau, and most of it is not good.

As for the mainstream media (of which
the John Stossel link mentioned above is a more representative example than those in the paragraphs just above), despite the ratings factor, not everything in the media is a lie. As I noted, it's not all black and white, and that goes for the critics as well as for those being criticized. The profession of newsgathering and reporting still includes many people of great integrity; I know several of them personally. Very simply, they're not all mercenaries who are out to assassinate the characters of poor helpless con artists...er...entrepreneurs...in order to get a good story.

And what about the hundreds of Amazon readers who blasted Trudeau's books; are they also part of "the mainstream media" (or the government, or the pharmaceutical industry), and therefore not to be believed? To wit:
And so on.

If all of these dissatisfied readers are not to be believed, then by logic, we must also take with more than a grain of salt all of the five-star reviews of Trudeau's work (not to mention all of those glowing five-star Amazon reader reviews of Joe Vitale's many titles).

And here's a site linking to consumer complaints about Trudeau. Judging from the dates on the most recent complaints, the man is still apparently bilking consumers left, right and sideways. And getting away with it.

Then again, maybe these "complaints" are simply more fabrications of the mainstream media. Or maybe they were planted there by Big Pharma. Or maybe they, as well as those pesky one-star Amazon reviews, should just be dismissed as opinions, and everyone knows that
opinions are like...well...you know.

On a more serious note – and here I'll acknowledge that I am venturing dangerously close to Godwin's Law territory, albeit without the Nazis – if more people truly did follow the increasingly popular advice about completely ignoring the mainstream media (and/or practicing "unconditional forgiveness"), there might be some unintended consequences. It's possible, for example, that Radovan Karadžić, the alleged Bosnian Serb war criminal who was captured last year, wouldn't have even had to grow a beard and assume the identity of a dead man in order to win followers. He could simply have broken into the New-Wage/selfish-help bidness as himself. Nobody would have cared, as long as he offered the requisite miracles and wonders for which people are so hungry.

As for unconditional forgiveness, how far are we really willing to take that concept? On a personal level it's one thing; truly forgiving someone who has wronged you personally (whether or not they ask for forgiveness) can be very healing. But that's a choice that can only be made by the individuals involved, and one has to wonder how this sort of forgiveness even applies to Joe Vitale and Kevin Trudeau. Has Kevin in some way wronged Joe personally or professionally? If not, then for Joe to even imply that he has the right to "forgive" Kevin for scamming thousands of other people is nothing short of arrogant.

And what about "unconditional forgiveness" on a societal level? Are we willing to take it far enough to set wrongdoers of all kinds free to do as they wish? If so, that's great news for the infamous Bernie Madoff, whose appalling misdeeds Joe all but dismissed on the above-mentioned December 24 blog post. Joe hadn't even heard of Madoff till a reader asked if the victims of Madoff's high-dollar scamming had somehow "attracted" their victimization. Joe responded with his usual advice that folks were better off ignoring the mainstream media, and, yes, he implied that perhaps some of the victims were also responsible for what Madoff did to them.** He even suggested that some of them might have actually been relieved to have lost their fortunes (perhaps because of their subconscious beliefs that money is evil). It was apparently all too complex, in a Law Of Attraction and perhaps karmic sort of way, for Joe to waste much time speculating about; his main point was that people are simply happier, overall, if they ignore the news. Psst, Bernie, if you ever get out of prison, maybe you too can hook up with Kevin Trudeau, and then you can bilk people on levels you've only dreamed of.

Granted, Kevin Trudeau's scams are hardly on the scale of Karadžić's alleged war-time atrocities. I get that. But it seems clear that he is a scammer nonetheless, arguably as bad in his own way as Bernie Madoff, or perhaps even worse – and yet so many people seem not to care at all. Trudeau himself told Joe that no matter what happens, he, Trudeau, can't be beat and will always win. And maybe he's right, if "winning" can be measured in terms of earnings and material success. Trudeau certainly seems to have plumbed the murky depths of the collective consumer heart, having proven repeatedly that millions will jump at a chance to be privy to "secrets" that "they don't want you to know about." A lucky few will get to make millions off of the masses who long to be privy to these "secrets."

It remains to be seen if Mr. Fire will actually enter into any joint ventures with Kevin Trudeau, but I wouldn't be surprised. When money calls, Joe answers. (Although I have no way of knowing, I wouldn't be at all surprised if he received a bit of compensation for writing that complimentary blog post about Kevin. I'm just speculating, of course, but it's not beyond the realm of possibility.) Plus, he has been known to have his head turned by flattery, and it looks as if Kevin and his lovely young bride flattered him plenty.

Kevin’s wife seemed starstruck. Turns out she is a big fan of all my books. And I mean all of them. They went on a shopping spree at Amazon and bought every title they could find by me.

Natalie, his wife, had lots of questions about the Law of Attraction and my writing career. She hung on my every word, as did Kevin. It was very flattering.

Kevin and I spoke about many things, from performing magic (we’re both lifetime members of the Society of American Magicians), to infomercials (he had no idea of my experience with them) to network marketing to health cures to hypnotic storytelling.

I told him about my own infomercial for The Awakening Course. He asked about numbers and results, none of which I had at hand.

He said I should be on TV more. He said I am good looking, articulate, and sincere. (Thank you, Kevin.)

This might even trump having an old Hawaiian mystic (speaking of Zero Limits) tell you that you're one of God's Original 10, or that you are the Jesus of business, or that he (the old mystic) should be sitting at your feet because you are "as gods." (Read all about it here; scroll down to the section titled, "Joe Almighty.") Hey, that mystical/god stuff is all right, but given a choice between being fawned over by an old geezer or a cute young blond, I strongly suspect that most red-blooded hetero guys would choose the latter every time.

Particularly if that blond happens to be attached to a potential fame ticket and unprecedented money op.***

PS ~ Here's a link to some laughs at True-dough's expense. Unfortunately, it is really not much of an exaggeration.

* John Stossel's 20/20 segment about Kevin Trudeau isn't new, of course – Trudeau has published several more books in the interim – but it's very revealing nonetheless. Also revealing are the recent responses to the video (more than likely a result of the link Joe provided on his blog), painting critics of Trudeau as idiots who have been brainwashed by the mainstream media, the pharmaceutical industry, the government, etc.
**
Actually, in a few cases it's true that some people "attracted" Madoff, or at least deserved him; some folks apparently invested with Madoff because they suspected he was cheating (though they thought it was by illegal insider trading, not an illegal Ponzi scheme). But it doesn't take some convoluted crap about the Law Of Attraction to explain pure and simple greed.
*** Here is a link to an article in the online edition of the Salem (MA) News about the June 2008 wedding of Kevin Trudeau and the lovely Natalie. It was a civil ceremony held at the City Hall in Beverly, Massachusetts, a spot chosen because, as Kevin explained, "We decided this is a nice, beautiful courthouse." The bride, a native of the Ukraine, wore traditional Ukrainian attire and jumped excitedly up and down, kissing Kevin while his new mother-in-law snapped photos of them in front of City Hall. The article said the couple planned to have a more lavish ceremony overseas at some point, but they didn't know where or when. The purpose of the Massachusetts ceremony, according to Kevin, was that "We wanted to make it a U.S. marriage." Now, that's patriotism. God bless the U.S.A.! To me the most noteworthy points of the wedding story were the quotations from the switchboard operator at the courthouse. Apparently a passionate Kevin Trudeau fan, she gushed about how handsome the groom was, and said she nearly fainted when he shook her hand after he signed her copy of his natural-cures scam book, and his bride gave her the wedding bouquet. For the life of me, I do not understand how people can be so starstruck over this hustler, but they are. Look at this comment from "mike alaska," for example, on Joe Vitale's blog.

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81 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly, Connie, Karadzic still has huge popular support in the Balkans. His disguise was an open secret amongst the local police politicos and populace--how else would he evade capture for so long? He is by no means generally reviled as a war criminal.
I guess the vagaries of human nature could account for the continuing poularity of Trudeau and Vitale also.

Sunday, January 04, 2009 6:27:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Anon, it *is* sad about Karadzic having continuing popular support. Still, if more people were more "unconditionally forgiving" (and/or ignored the mainstream media), Karadzic wouldn't have even had to disguise himself at all.

And I do want to emphasize again that I'm not comparing either Trudeau or Vitale to war criminals. However, both Joe and Kevin do apparently have enough of an understanding of the vagaries of human nature, as you put it, to be able to successfully exploit some of people's deepest longings.

Sunday, January 04, 2009 9:03:00 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Kevin’s wife seemed starstruck. Turns out she is a big fan of all my books. And I mean all of them. They went on a shopping spree at Amazon and bought every title they could find by me.

(...)

She hung on my every word, as did Kevin. It was very flattering.

Kevin and I spoke about many things


...the most important of which, however, was that...

I should be on TV more. He said I am good looking, articulate, and sincere. (Thank you, Kevin.)

No, thank YOU, Joe, for the unintentional joke of the week. (A month? A year?)

Connie, this is hilarious. A real love-fest between those two.

BTW, WV: astral. Only on Whirled Musings...:)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 1:46:00 AM  
Blogger Steve Salerno said...

Great, great post, CosCon. I continue to be amazed at the impudence--OK, the balls--of some of these people. More than that, I continue to be amazed at the way they can say/do things that insult people's intelligence, or should insult people's intelligence, and yet a fair portion of their customer base remains faithful and even laps it up.

Notice, also, the spin of Joe's brief rendering of Trudeau's legal problems--his "long term fight with the government," almost as if to cast KT as some mythic warrior and patron saint of the oppressed masses who's been engaged in a heroic struggle for truth, justice and the American way. Folks, the guy's not Lech Walesa. Trudeau's a scam artist of the first order, and he and Vitale deserve each other.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 7:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Joe Kersey said...

Hi Cosmic!

Just found your blog. Great work! After receiving Joe's latest spam e-mail promoting Trudeau, I sent a comment to JV's blog, asking him if he had any kind of arrangement with Kevin, and suggesting that his readers deserved to know whether he had any vested interest in Trudeau's scam (I didn't call it a scam in the comment, however; I was respectful.). Naturally, he didn't publish my comment, which says a lot in itself, don't you think?

Below is a snippet from the e-mail Joe sent out. You tell me whether he's promoting Trudeau or not. Here's the snippet:

"What's a cure for cancer?

How do you lose 45 pounds in 45 days?

What's a brilliant way to sell 30,000,000 copies of a book in 30 minutes?

How do you handle problems so they
are actually welcomed?

Visit my blog and get all the answers."

The way I read it, Vitale is promoting Trudeaux's discredited scam "treatments" as being viable. Perhaps whoever sold Joe his "Doctorate" will revoke it... HaHaHa!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 8:24:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

LOL, Elizabeth. And if you want more giggles, check out THIS Jan. 5 comment to the Trudeau blog post from one of Joe's faithful readers, a guy named Josh:

== BEGIN COMMENT ==
Josh says

Wow 30 million books!!! Thats helping a lot of people. Yes there are natural cures. I call them the ‘Pepto Bismol of life” because we all need to get “unstuck” and be one with the Universe. I mean, we already are, but fight it and then things go outta wack. Seriously, go out and read Joe’s Books. Join a group and surround yourself with people who want to enjoy the Universe. Get out of your head and get into Joe’s Rolls. P.S. I will give anybody reading this post a free domain name. If you are into positive actions and results then this is a very catchy domain name that you can register. I thought of it and never registered it myself. The Universe told me to give it away. Here it is…:”Abundanceamongus”

==END COMMENT==

Ummm...Josh, I don't even know where to begin. How is Pepto Bismol a "natural cure?" And isn't Pepto more often used for diarrhea rather than constipation, in which case its function would be to get you more "stuck" rather than "unstuck?"

Josh did seem to hit on something right when he advised people to get out of their heads and into Joe's Rolls. I think a person would have to be somewhat out of his or her head to plunk down five grand to ride around in Joe's Rolls with him. (In the interests of full disclosure, however, some of the "Phantom Riders" seem very pleased with the results of their evening. One lady even...hold on to your hats, folks, because this is BIG...was so inspired by her Phantom evening that she actually launched a new blog. Wow.)

As for the Universe telling Josh to give away that domain name, "Fungusamongus," or something to that effect... well, gee, all I can say is what we've so often said before: You can't make this stuff up.

Then again, maybe the name "Josh" is a clue in itself. Perhaps the writer is just "joshing" Joe.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hi, Steve. Impudence, balls, unmitigated gall; all describe Trudeau, IMO. And yes, you hit it right on the head when you said Joe was attempting to paint Kevin Trudeau as a martyr. That is exactly how Kevin paints himself. And millions apparently believe him.

Here's the real kicker, though, as pointed out in another blog post I linked to in my own post. Ironically, even though Kevin claims the government is out to get him, the government is really his best friend...

==BEGIN QUOTATION:==

Kevin Trudeau has been sued by various government entities over the years and they have all ended the same way. The state accepts a large payment from Trudeau, often for millions of dollars, and in exchange Trudeau is not forced to admit to any wrongdoing.

While this leads to extra money for the government, it’s an extremely poor way to punish a snake-oil salesman like Kevin Trudeau. Trudeau continues to brush off criticism by proclaiming that he has never been proven to be misleading people. In fact, he has turned it into a marketing gimmick by telling potential customers that the government is “out to get him”.

Despite filing multiple lawsuits over the years, the government is largely to blame for Trudeau continuing to rip people off. The settlements are always for far less than the profits that Trudeau receives from selling his sham products. Occasional government penalties are simply written off by Trudeau as operating expenses for his business.

==END QUOTATION==
source of the above quotation:
http://www.tinydad.com/5-reasons-why-you-should-never-trust-kevin-trudeau/

Despite his repeated claims that he knows all about Kevin's troubles, but that they don't matter, Joe may be getting himself into deeper doo-doo than he realizes.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

LOL, Connie! And I thought Joe was funny! While there comes Josh...

Oh my, oh my. This is an endless supply of comedic material -- and some of it because of my own dimness, I admit. 'Cuz when Josh exhorts us to get out of our heads and into Joe's Rolls, I had to pause, not sure which rolls he had in mind. Either way, it just sounded unappetizing to me.

Fungusamongus... I'm sure there is a natural cure for that too. (BTW, sounds like a great name for a blog.)

Alright, off I go to surround myself with people who want to enjoy the Universe or somethin'.

P.S. $5,000 for plunging into those rolls...?? I mean, Rolls? Even the Spitzer hooker did not charge so much.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 12:05:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Well, hello, Joe Kersey. I recognized your name as one who previously confronted Joe on his own blog; as I recall, Joe went to some lengths a few months back to explain to you, in response to a comment you made to one of his posts, that NO, he doesn't know David Schirmer, and he didn't even know that David Schirmer was associated with the now-failed "Succeed" Magazine until all was said and done.

Of course I was reading between the lines, as I so often do, but it seemed to me that Joe was at least marginally aware of Schirmer's alleged misdeeds in Australia, and knew that Schirmer had pretty much been disgraced, and he sensed a potential PR challenge. So he had to make it very clear that he had nothing to do with Schirmer.

So why would he do this with Schirmer, and yet go out of his way to boast about his dinner with Trudeau? I think the answer is obvious. Schirmer, as we know, is small potatoes compared to Trudeau. It's true that if he has done all of the things he's been accused of, he has hurt many people both professionally and personally, and I am not discounting their losses and emotional suffering. But Trudeau has scammed on a much larger scale than Schirmer, and he continues to scam, and he continues to rake in the big bucks that I imagine Schirmer can only dream of.

My guess is that Joe, sensing that Schirmer was too small-time to be worth the potential PR nightmare, thought it worthwhile to openly disassociate himself from Schirmer (even though he continued to exploit that cover story about himself on Schirmer's magazine).

But Trudeau...ah, that's a different story. Now we're talking big potatoes, earnings-wise. The profit potential for Joe surely must have been a consideration not only in his blog post about Trudeau but on his email blast. That's worth taking up the mantle of Trudeau's defense, painting him as a martyr who is fighting the good fight for consumers everywhere. (Plus, controversy equals publicity, and there's no such thing as bad publicity, right?)

So yes, I think you nailed it when you said that Joe is promoting Trudeau, albeit indirectly, in that email you quoted. Another correspondent is also on Joe's list and sent me the email in full.

The email itself is VERY deceptive,
by the way (no big surprise there, eh?). In his message Joe says you'll find the answers to the questions, "What's a cure for cancer?" and "How do you lose 45 pounds in 45 days?" by reading his blog post. Which, of course, you don't. The only "answer" you really get by reading the post is the name of the "controversial" marketer he hints about, but whose name he doesn't mention, in the email.

I think I know Joe well enough to know that he's not going to go to the lengths of writing a blog post, and creating an email blast to boot, about someone unless there's $omething in it for him. It seems clear that he's doing some sort of promotional thing for Kevin. Think of it: it's win-win. Joe gets more money, even if he has to do it in a circuitous way to avoid FTC/FDA problems, and Kevin, by associating with the "Buddha of the Internet" will get into the good graces of a large and gullible market that he hasn't yet reached.

I did see that the very first commenter on Joe's blog asked him which "German method" of weight loss Kevin used. Joe claimed he didn't know but that it was in Kevin's book, "The Weight Loss Cure 'They' Don't Want You To Know About." Though I have no way of knowing, I am sure that in fact Joe knows very well what "method" Kevin used; they probably discussed it in detail, as weight loss has been an area of concern for Joe for many years.

Regarding that weight-loss method, as numerous critics have pointed out, the only people who can really follow Kevin's plan are those who have lots of money. It's all but impossible for the average person to follow, as it involves frequent and expensive body cleanses of various types, expensive hormone injections, and lots of supplements. In fact, even if you plunk down the thirty bucks or so for Kevin's weight loss book, you STILL don't get all of the answers you need. You have to go to his web site and pay to get more information. And then you have to buy all of those products.

Here's a link to a summary of Kevin Trudeau's weight-loss method that "they" don't want you to know about:

http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/240/RipOff0240019.htm

In short, I think that the Joebots would do well to remember that Kevin was advising Joe on how he, Joe, could make lots more money using Kevin's marketing methods. Hold on to your wallets.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Connie... You can't do that to unsuspecting folks (me). Lordy lord... I followed your link to their "unforgettable" dinner story on Joe's site...

You can't do this to the innocents. Seriously. Next time attach some kind of a warning, OK? PG-13, R, something. Or S for mind-boggling stupidity.

How can one even read this without spontaneously exploding? (Though I'm sure there is a cure for that in Truedough's book too.)

He said cancer was usually due to stress, and usually concerns unexpressed grief. He said methods such as Roger Callahan’s tapping technique, called Thought Field Therapy, could help release the wound up psychic energy behind cancer. He added that simple relaxation audios could also help.

Kevin lost 45 pounds (in 45 days) after discovering a German method for losing weight. It’s one reason why he looks so much younger these days.


And the crap goes on and on, including that priceless bit about Truedough's invincibility or such.

There are no words, really, at least in my current state of mind, to express an appropriate response to this load of crap (and that's probably a charitable description).

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

Elizabeth - You should keep in mind that crap does play a useful function in the grand scheme of things, and is a valuable contributor to the overall well-being of the ecosystem. As such, I find your labeling Vitale / Truedough's efforts as "crap" to be not only inaccurate, but downright offensive... to crap.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Elizabeth, I'm sorry if your appetite was ruined or you were in any danger of spontaneously exploding. But you're right; there is rich comedic material here. I think I see YouTube in our future...

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Re crap: yeah, what Ron said.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Okay, Eliz (and everyone else), more comedic gold. Here's another comment recently published on Joe's blog post about Truedough:

==BEGIN COMMENT==
Anna says

hi again everyone:) when I was re-reading these posts again today I couldn’t help but notice that some of us seem somewhat shocked or prejudiced - I mean Mr. Trudeau - I know he’s had some…uh, let’s say “unusual” experience but I seriously can’t see him as a bad person - he was sentenced to jail, he’s had some governmental issues..but still this does not mean he’s…”doomed” does it?
I think everyone deserves a second, third, fourth etc. chance - I mean, look - I myself have been promising my family that I’d get a grip and get over this bulimic phase I’ve been having for a year now. I keep promising, and then breaking these promises I’ve made - and still they don’t think ill of me. They keep trying to help and I keep trying to recover (- thanks to Joe life seems rich and easy and I dare to think of future without bulimia)…

so, form my own experience - I believe we should not judge anyone. no matter what they do, and what others will think about us or our associating with this particular person(I mean within certain limits…but even if a mass murderer asks for help (s)he should not be denied it). everyone should have a chance for a little “redemption”:)

I mean it might sound a bit strong for this case, but I can’t find any other words to explain it save for this shocking example:) so don’t think ill of me please:))

cheers:)))
==END COMMENT==

Hmmm. Anna has bulimia, which apparently threatens to destroy her and is a matter of great concern to her family. Trudeau is a mass scammer. How are these two things even remotely comparable?

That's the sort of thing that makes me want to laugh till I...well...puke. Then again, it could be that Anna is just playing Mr. Fire for a fool.

Come to think of it, *that* possibility is even funnier.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 1:15:00 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Connie and Ron, my sincere apologies to crap.

Now, one of the commenters on Joe's site (under that horrible dinner post), who clearly is smitten with all things Kevin and Joe, says that Kevin's book (books?) is great and has been totally useful to him and his wife, cuz they found "a couple of solid" tips or somethin' such in it.

Sigh.

Do people know that they can find a couple of solid tips on anything by performing a simple Internet search, which is free and which will connect them with reputable organizations and sources of information? (Duh.) Or is it just a post-facto rationalization of a totally unnecessary expense? (Plus a reluctance to abandon the "positive thinking" frame of mind...)

This is all unbelievable, taken altogether. Connie, what can I say, I admire your fortitude in pursuing these folks. While it can be funny to an occasional dabbler and observer like myself, the problem is depressingly serious, really, and I think it takes nerves of steel and then some to delve into it full-time, more or less.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 1:16:00 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Connie, I think Anna is pulling everyone's collective leg. She can't be serious... can she?

Don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 1:19:00 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

OTOH, I think I should start getting out more often (or not!) Today I've stumbled upon some site discussing the death of Travolta's son, and the comments expressed by some folks literally took my breath away. You can't make this stuff up, you're right, Connie. It's so rich in tragicomedy that it rips your heart apart even as you laugh at its outward... er, naivete. Like Anna's comment. Gosh...

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 1:25:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Elizabeth, apology accepted, at least on my part, although I cannot speak for Ron or for crap. I'm sure Ron will speak for himself. And if you'll give me a minute I'll go into the living room and consult with the cats' litter boxes...

...Okay, I'm back. As it turned out, I didn't even have to consult the litter boxes, because there was a little cat turd sitting right there on the floor. Either Sabu found a new toy, or he was simply reminding me that it's time to clean out the boxes. Anyway, I spoke to the little turd telepathically (I'm talking about the cat doot, not one of the hustledorks I've been writing about), and it (the doot) said it understands your remarks; it and its fellows are quite used to being reviled. But they accept their place in the grand scheme of things and are proud of it.

The turd told me many other things about life, the Universe, and everything, and I was so inspired that I am now in the process of creating an e-book about it. I am also going to produce a New-Wage moviemercial featuring a stellar lineup of feces from different species. I have learned that each type of turd has something unique to convey to us. And since we are surrounded here on The Ranch by cats, dogs, horses, cows, donkeys, mice, roaches, and rabid coyotes and skunks, I have access to an astonishing variety of wisdom.

I'm so excited my hands are shaking...

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 1:40:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Eliz, I'm of two minds about Anna. My first thought was that she HAD to be joking, but if so, she's carrying the "joke" onto Joe's next blog post. He just published a boast about being in a slick hustledork car collectors' mag, and Anna (I'm assuming the same Anna) was the first to jump in and congratulate him.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 1:43:00 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Connie, I'm proud of you! I knew you had this in you. :) I can't wait to read your Crapbook! It's going to be quite a treat, I know.

And thanks for speaking to crap on my behalf (why didn't I think of it myself? It's so easy to do from my corner of the world). I'm relieved that Crapsters are not offended and are so forgiving in general. Frankly, I would not expect anything less of them. Give'em my best... Or, wait, I can do it myself (duh). Be back later. ;)

P.S. One of my WV this morn was fecetundo. Ya think they are on to us...?

P.S.2. This one is munge. No comment necessary

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 1:50:00 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Alright, Connie. I admit it's all my fault. I've been guilty of not paying proper attention to your posts the way they absolutely deserve. Mea inattentive culpa.

Scrolling down your site, I found the link to The Quantum Conscious Catalyst, Dreaming-Bear Kanaan, "blending spoken word artistry with inspired transmissions"...

No. No, no, no. No, no. Nooo....
No. NO.

It's hard to describe what happens in my body and mind when I'm confronted with gurus or guru-wannabes. Suffice it to say that I'm acutely allergic to this stuff.

But, but... Just look at that inspired face -- how can you not love and trust the guy, right?

Ugh. Help.

I'm so freakin' unenlightened that such awesome amount of Holy Wisdom and Love makes me break out in hives.

There is that video of him in Israel.... On his "Tour of Tenderness" (nooooo!)... He uses ancient (of course) Hawaiian (why not) wisdom (obviously) called O Ho porno porno... I mean, Ho O pono pono, my dyslexic mistake, to spread his message of Enlightened Love: "All we have to do is love each other without shame! There is salvation at last! Let me love you without conditions!"

Forgive me, oh inspired Bear, but hearing these words makes me want to buy a gun. And keep it, loaded, in my pocket at all times.

Gawd.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 4:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL that is so hilarious. Just watch we'll see Vitale screwed over by Trudeau in a heartbeat.

Don't they get why they Trudeau's were soooooooooo interested in what Vitale had to say. There is a sucker born every minute.

Leopards DO NOT change their spots and all the Davey Schirmers and Kevy Trudeau's out there have only ONE thing in mind and that is to get rich quick off other people and I bet they all sit around boasting about their incredible relationship with GOD. I'm just not sure who their GOD is, I suspect he has an $ shaped figure.

I am an UNBELIEVER of these people because of personal experience.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 5:06:00 PM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

"hearing these words makes me want to buy a gun. And keep it, loaded, in my pocket at all times."

God, I love it when you talk dirty! With all the asshats peddling snake-oil nowadays, I knew you'd come around eventually! :-)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 6:54:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Eliz: "Fecetundo?" "Munge?" Oh, my, those WV 'bots are over the top (or under the bottom, as it may be). Funny, in a scary kind of way.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 7:07:00 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Well, Ron, what's a girl to do...;)

But I misspoke and I apologize.

I'd keep the loaded gun in my (carefully selected for the outfit) lovely handbag.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 7:08:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Eliz, not to worry about not spending more time on my crazy Whirled. I have, I admit, had a lot of fun at Dreaming-Bear's expense. I think my best work about him was my post in September of 2007, regarding his adventures at the annual Burning Man gathering in Nevada:
http://cosmicconnie.blogspot.com/2007/09/dreaming-bear-speaks-of-burning-man.html

Interestingly enough, I recently received a private email from Dreaming-Bear himself. Or at least it was from someone who claimed to be Dreaming-Bear, and wrote remarkably like Dreaming-Bear. And the email address was from the Love Evolution Foundation, which is one of D-B's organizations. So I am assuming that it was indeed D-B who wrote it.

I won't go into detail about it right now because I have yet to secure permission from him to publish it. He did seem to imply that he wanted me to share it but that he doubted I would. However, as he didn't actually say it was for publication, I wanted to make sure before I published it.

I received the email on December 18 and answered him on the same day, asking him if I could publish his email on my blog. I never received a reply. Thinking that perhaps his spam filter had nabbed my email (as sometimes happens with Juno email addresses by default), I sent another email to him the day before yesterday, from my gmail account. I still have yet to hear back from him.

I've said time and time again that I welcome hearing all points of view, including those from the very people I snark about. And I will be glad to share D-B's perspective on my blog, but I still want to get his permission. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 7:40:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Anon 5:06 PM, it sounds like you've had some bad experiences with hustledorks. I tend to agree with that old saying about leopards not changing their spots. And yes, I'm sure Kevin is out to make all the money he can off of his association with Joe, and vice-versa.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 7:43:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

LOL, Ron.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009 7:45:00 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Connie, I read the Burning Man post from Sept. '07. As always, a great read.

That pic of D-B on a horse... LMAO.

I'm guessing that whatever malady drove him into a wheelchair has been miraculously cured by now, through the Power of Unconditional Love, of course.

I'll be very interested in reading the letter he sent you, if he allows you to share it. Lemme guess (you don't have to answer, btw) -- he exhorts you there, among other Very Important Things, to open yourself up to Unconditional Love, to Accept Yourself as God (or God's flawless child), and invites you to come to his lair... er, temple or whatever he may call it, to experience first hand (wink wink) The Divine Truth and Boundless Love that flow as freely through him as The Holy Wind does through his magnificent hair. (Sorry if I'm skipping some Important Details and Life-Changing Metaphors, but I'm not fully enlightened yet. Nothing a session or two with D-B would not fix, mind you.)

Anyway, segueing into the D-B story seems oddly appropriate in this thread, devoted, after all, to crap and its wisdom.

P.S. Also read the "endorsements" on D-B's site and the awed comments from his faithful worshipers. Un-freakin'-believable. Though I must say that I know personally several brilliant, well-educated and seemingly rational women -- and men -- who would swallow this crap without a blink.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009 12:00:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Well, Eliz, I still haven't received a response from D-B, but let's just say that your speculations are not entirely inaccurate. However, he did have more to say than that, and he deserves to have his say. I would still love to publish his letter if I get his permission.

I will say this, regarding the wheelchair: He says he was severely injured in an accident a few years ago and has had to have several back operations since then. He says he cannot walk without a walker, and is legally disabled. He further said that to attack a legally disabled person is wrong, that the disability rights advocates would agree with that, and that there are karmic consequences for allowing comments attacking a legally disabled person.

Anyway, I'm still trying to get hold of him to secure permission.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009 2:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'karmic consequences'

That's guru-speak for revenge, isn't it?

Wednesday, January 07, 2009 2:59:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Anonymous 2:59 PM said...

"'karmic consequences'
"That's guru-speak for revenge, isn't it?"

Well, I was paraphrasing. I will take the liberty of quoting this little bit from Dreaming-Bear's email to me:

"karma is real, words have a way of boomeranging & breaking a lot of hearts in the process."

Since this was stated in the same context as his mention of disability rights advocates, I was thinking more along the lines of that being an implied threat of a libel lawsuit.

I have always been careful to state that what I write about him is opinion and speculation on my part (based upon his public persona), and that I have not substantiated what others have written about him to me. I have also published numerous (anonymous) defenses of him, including some that sounded as if they were written by him.

But, as I've stated, I do want to let D-B speak his piece here on this blog. While permission to publish his email is pending, however, I wanted to err on the side of what D-B might label "tenderness" by at least sharing what he told me about his physical disability. He may be playing me for a fool -- and if so, it certainly wouldn't be the first time someone has taken advantage of my basic soft-heartedness (okay, stop snickering). However, real physical injuries and handicaps are nothing to joke about, unless you're one of the Farrelly Brothers. So despite my having fun at D-B's expense regarding his mystical-poet shtick, I certainly do not wish him ill, and if he has indeed been injured as he says, I wish him continued recovery.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009 4:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So libel law suits, enforced with the weight of the state, it's courts, police, prisons and all the pain and physical harm that is inflicted through the use of force in by that state- the epitome of primate power politics in it's silver-back-gorilla-hit-young-pretender reality, all that would be just 'karmic consequences' out of the guru's hands?

That is where where 'spiritual leaders' often show themselves in their true colours- when they use the same profane forces anyone else uses, especially the ones who are supposed to be offering the other cheek.

'Cops with tazers, because sometimes prayer just isn't enough'

I have the feeling that DB probably is more chilled than that, though I could be wrong.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009 11:03:00 PM  
Anonymous mojo said...

He further said that to attack a legally disabled person is wrong, that the disability rights advocates would agree with that

Well, that depends on what you're "attacking" them about (realizing of course that Connie is paraphrasing D-B, so I'm not precisely sure what he's getting at).

Clearly, making fun of a true disability is wrong. But a few years back I did some PR work for a fair number of politically active disability advocates regarding Olmstead issues (independent living vs. forced institutionalization, which happens far too often). The hundred or so I hung out with (a diverse group comprising of physical, mental and psychological disabilities) were all pretty strident on insisting that they are treated with EQUALITY, and NOT given preferential treatment.

In my experience disability rights advocates will be the FIRST to tell you that owning a wheelchair does NOT make someone a saint, and by all means, if someone in a wheelchair is behaving in a manner you find objectionable they should be called on it, just as you would anyone else. Anything less is condescension.

I don't know that much about D-B's behavior except what I read here, which is colored by both Connie's worthy humor and my own prejudice that my eye candy should just keep his fool mouth shut so the fantasy isn't ruined. (Like, you see some pretty twenty-something, and your little hormones go "Oooh!", but then he opens his mouth and suddenly he's Beavis and Butthead combined. High school style romantic poetry isn't much better, except I assume it would be recited in a sort of a breathy fashion, without quite so much moronic snickering.)

Oh, and as the self-proclaimed Queen of Crap (it's my title on the certificates I give out with the stuff I sell on eBay), I respectfully request people leave the poor crap out of it. You're DILUTING MY BRAND with, um, well, REAL crap.... and not the good, compostable type (although I guess it can be argued that the self-help variety is likewise recycled again and again).

PS: I nominate Elizabeth's line "Even the Spitzer hooker did not charge so much" as deserving of some special award. Kudos!

Thursday, January 08, 2009 5:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cosmic - Are you just being politically correct when you back-track about In-his-dreams Bear, or are you covering your butt because his email sounded like a threat?

Thursday, January 08, 2009 7:28:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Anon 11:03 PM: I am not sure exactly what Dreaming-Bear's intent was, but I am still awaiting permission to publish his message so y'all can decide for yourselves. He did mention "borderline libel" at another point in his long message (although not immediately in the context of the disabilities thing), so at this point one can only speculate about his intentions.

Thursday, January 08, 2009 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Mojo, my paraphrasing D-B about the disability advocates was pretty close to a direct quotation, so it captured the essence. The only "attacking" I've ever done re D-B's disability is to say I wouldn't be surprised to learn that some of it was exaggerated for effect. Here's what I wrote on my post of 22 July 2008 ("Dreaming-Bear: rolling with the punches"):

==BEGIN QUOTATION FROM JULY BLOG POST==

May Goddess forgive me for my initial reaction to the news about the wheelchair bit. I actually had a brief thought – misguided, no doubt – that the wheelchair was just another prop, and that if DB wasn't actually faking his disability, he was exaggerating, or at the very least milking it for all it is worth. I was having flashes of that old Frasier episode, "Wheels of Fortune" (Episode 203, originally airing 2/26/02) featuring Lilith's half-brother Blaine, a lifelong con man (played by Michael Keaton). In this episode, Blaine is in a wheelchair and has become a traveling preacher. He charms everyone but Frasier, who is convinced that Blaine is faking it all and is still a scammer. In the end, Frasier is taken in too and gives Blaine some money, and too late finds out that he was right all along.

But, like I said, I'm sure those thoughts are way out of line. I imagine I am not alone in wishing Dreaming Bear a speedy recovery.

==END QUOTATION FROM JULY BLOG POST==

I have published a couple of comments from people who also speculated that DB might be faking it, but no one was actually accusing him of doing so.

And that's the extent of the "attacking" of people with disabilities.

I quite agree with you about Elizabeth's comment re the Spitzer hooker. That comment deserves a place of honor indeed, and will probably get on in an upcoming snark bit.

Thursday, January 08, 2009 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Oh, also, Mojo, I apologize if all this talk about crap in any way diluted your brand. That was not our intention. But as I discovered yesterday, we have a lot to learn from real turds, and I am going ahead with my plans for my e-book and DVD.

Thursday, January 08, 2009 11:51:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Anonymous 7:28 AM said...

"Cosmic - Are you just being politically correct when you back-track about In-his-dreams Bear, or are you covering your butt because his email sounded like a threat?"

I'm not exactly the P/C type. I meant it when I said I was erring on the side of kindness, tenderness, etc. by going out of my way to at least share what D-B said about his disability. Whether I'm being played for a fool or not remains to be seen, but I'll take my chances.

Ron was in a car accident some years ago and his back was injured, and he has never really recovered from the injury. He's still in pain all the time. However, he opted NOT to have back surgery, because he did some research and learned that more often than not, surgery for his condition not only didn't help, but made the problem worse. So there was a little bit of empathy/sympathy creeping in too...just in case D-B was telling the truth about his condition.

Also I was covering my butt. :-)

But I stand by my opinion of D-B's general shtick. Even so, I still want to publish his email to me.

Thursday, January 08, 2009 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Ha ha ha, thank you kindly, Mojo and Connie. I'm still stuck on the thought of diving into Joe's rolls... er, Rolls. It's just disturbing, you know?

Now not to spoil the imagined taste of eye candy (and apologies if I do), but I can't resist sharing with you this precious bit from D-B's blog (or something called a blog):

In a world of Oneness there is no such thing as inequality… like a lush for Love I always keep a keg of stars on tap for you & will often pour out glasses of galaxies for wayward travelers as the Beloved squeezes the last drops of liquid light from the tender smile of the sun. Right now I am spoon-feeding you baby bites of full-on-ness as we ride the sparkling waves along this ocean of understanding. I see you’ve dropped your smile again, let Dreaming-Bear dust it off for you & re-adorn that masterpiece of magnificence upon the soft walls of this worlds joy, because I’ve been told by more than one recently mended heart, that when you pull back the blushing red curtain of your lips to reveal that choir of teeth all dressed in white & dancing so playfully upon the altar of your tongue, it gives the shattered soul a reason to rise & be whole again. A new day is dawning within you as a living opportunity to be happy & carefree. Let yourself be playfully innocent without having to be spiritually or politically correct. I want only for your heart to be happy, & I know it will be once you reach within & gently untie your wings.

The whaaa...? Oh dear Lord.

Yep, I bet you can hear that choir of my dancing teeth... Especially when he tells me to be playfully innocent without having to be spiritually or politically correct.

Because of course as a real guru worth his poetry, he wants only for my heart to be happy -- once he unties my wings or somethin', you betcha.

But wait, there is more! Right here: http://tinyurl.com/89dpaf

Thursday, January 08, 2009 5:20:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Oh, Elizabeth of the Dancing Teeth (hey, that could be your new faux-Native American name: Dancing-Teeth!)...thank you so much for sharing that bit of verbal effluvium with me. My mouth is a blushing red curtain now, for sure. I tried to follow the link you provided, but, tragically, tribe.net is temporarily down for emergency maintenance. So I shall have to satisfy myself with the brief sample you provided. No, that’s all right; you don’t have to provide me with more while I’m waiting.

You mentioned in an earlier comment that DB uses Ho'oponopononononononononononononononononono (sorry, that's one of those words I know how to spell, but I don't know when to stop). As you may be aware, Mr. Fire himself wrote THE book on a modern proprietary form of Ho'opo that is taught by an old Hawaiian mystic named Dr. Hew Len. The book is called "Zero Limits." Joe first got interested in Ho'opo etc. after he heard that Dr. Hew Len had magically cured an entire ward full of criminally insane people, just by using Ho'opo etc. Joe was so impressed by that story that he wrote a little piece about it, and it spread over the Net like wildfire back in 2006. People just ate this story up.

Here's the original link:
http://tinyurl.com/nz7pq

By sheer luck, I later caught up with yet another old Hawaiian mystical guy, who taught yet another ancient Hawaiian secret. Naturally, I wrote about my astonishing experience:
http://tinyurl.com/9c9bjk

Just thought you’d like to know, in case you hadn’t previously read these amazing stories.

Thursday, January 08, 2009 8:09:00 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

No, Connie, I hadn't heard these amazing stories... My mouth is wide open and my eyes glazing over now. Just when I thought I've heard the most inane/insane SHAM story, you manage to come up with yet another, even better one. This is a bottomless pit, isn't it.

Off I go to now, to learn more about Dr. Hew Len's stunning therapy method.

Yours truly,
Eliz Dancing-Teeth, channeling inspired blessings (via amalgam fillings).

;)

Thursday, January 08, 2009 8:51:00 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Connie, this just in -- an update from the Hopoononononononoland by your correspondent, Eliz Dancing-Teeth.

I looked up Dr. Hew Len. I did. I'll pay a heavy price for it, no doubt, but now lemme share just a tiny bit of what I discovered. It's really amazing. It's even more amazing than the amazing stories I've heard so far. (Bear with me, it's long, but very exciting.)

First, however, let me pay my respects to this fantastic therapist who heals patients (criminally insane, no less) without even seeing them. Ever. Not once. As Dr. Vitale reports:

Len told me that he never saw patients. He agreed to have an office and to review their files. While he looked at those files, he would work on himself. As he worked on himself, patients began to heal.

Now how awesome it that? And, gosh darn it, why didn't I think of it?? I wonder how much he charges for that... therapy.

As I went to investigate the amazing healing methods of Dr. Hew Len, I found this ad for his (life-changing, of course) seminar. Here are some choice cuts (caution, unintentional humor ahead):

NOW Available On Audio

July 15, 2008 Ho'oponopono Teleseminar
with
Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len and Mabel Katz

On July 15, we welcomed Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len and Mabel Katz for another Amazing, Enlightening Presentation of Ho'oponopono where they covered in depth, HOW TO clean, to be guided to what is perfect and right for us, and experience Peace beyond ALL understanding.

Every call with these two incredible teachers seems to have a theme. I AM so thrilled to say that The Theme of this call is HOW TO.

This call, that was supposed to be a 1½-hour call, turned into over two hours as Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len and Mabel Katz got deeper and deeper into the specifics of HOW TO work with our Inner Child.

On this audio you will hear, not just the importance of working with our Inner Child, but HOW TO WORK with your Inner Child to Be At Zero where Divinity resides.

As questions are presented on the call, we hear exactly how Dr. Ihaleakala & Mabel would clean in this situation---what they are saying to their Inner Child, to enlist the help of their Inner Child to clean and erase the memories replaying.

We learn Specifically HOW TO talk to our Inner Child to release the memories, that have been stored in the subconscious Mind for eons and BE FREE.

On this audio, you will also hear the importance of, and HOW TO Clean BEFORE a memory/problem arises.

We learn that there is something inside us that is attracting ALL of it--what we see in "others" in ourselves, and the importance of taking 100% Responsibility, which leads to our Freedom.

(...)

We learn HOW TO get to Zero where the healer is, where the bank is, where the Love is...AT ZERO.

(...)

Ho'oponopono...It just keeps getting Better!

AND Ho'oponopono Works, when we do it, and it works for Everyone...no exceptions.

Whether you are new to Ho'oponopono or have been practicing for a while, this is a wonderful opportunity to learn MORE from Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len and Mabel Katz.

If you'd like, you can order your copy of this Amazing July 15, Ho'oponopono Teleseminar with Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len & Mabel Katz.

You'll be glad you did.


I thought the inner child was passe, so 1990s... Though I admit I could use some help in cleaning -- and who couldn't? But I appreciate an opportunity for a hearty laugh even more. This is by far my favorite unintentionally humorous statement:

We learn HOW TO get to Zero where the healer is, where the bank is, where the Love is...AT ZERO.

The one about getting your Inner Child to do the cleaning for ya ain't bad either -- but is this legal? I think they had a Law and Order episode about it last night.

To be contd.

Friday, January 09, 2009 12:39:00 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Contd. from the Hoponononoetc.land for The CosConComCen (Cosmic Connie's Comedy Central):

If you want to attend Dr. Hew Len and his charming partner's seminar in person (and of course you do!), it'll cost you about $1,400 at the door. If you get hot and bothered by such an expense, don't worry, you can cool down (and heal yourself at the same time) with Dr. Hew Len's Blue Solar Water, which

Erases Toxic Memories. When we drink this water, we allow the Divine in us to erase toxic memories in our subconscious minds that we experience as physical, emotional, spiritual and financial problems.

Can you imagine being able drink away pain! ~ Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len.


And just when you think this is all a bunch of cr... oops, sorry! a bunch of nonsense (and why would you think that?), I direct you to the testimonials from the forever grateful beneficiaries of Dr. Hew Len's healing methods:

Testimonial from Cassy
"Any of you that are feeling some skepticism. Trust me this works.
Once I got some help cleaning I immediately saw huge relief on over
40 thousand in bills. They didn't go away but I was given some
breathing room to pay some of them. I am still under a mountain, but
the pressure is less and I know that it was due to the cleaning.
Three major bills including foreclosure on our mortgage and IRS
debt have backed off. I can't thank Mabel, Joanie, and Jimmy and
the rest of the class enough for helping me clean. I am a believer."
Cassy

Testimonial # 1 from Hazel
"Something I wanted for awhile was to have my vision perfect again.
And actually it is. It's gone from bifocals to 20/20 just about. Right from bifocals and having a problem to I don't wear anything anymore.
Thank you. Now I know anything else is possible."
Hazel

Testimonial # 2 from Hazel
"I am absolutely excellent. I thank both of you for the teleseminars.
I listen to them all the time. I use all the cleaning tools as much as
I can. My energy is always high. I love you."
Hazel


As we often say, can't make this stuff up. So let's finish with the words of The Master Himself:

A problem is only a problem if we say it is.
And a problem is not the problem ~ how we react to
the problem is the problem. ~ Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, Ph.D.


-----
You can continue with Dr. Hew Len (and of course you want to!) here:
http://tinyurl.com/7sllkf

Reporting from The Twilight Zone,
Eliz Dancing-Teeth.

P.S. O.M.G.

Friday, January 09, 2009 1:06:00 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Alright, Connie, last but certainly NOT least, your interview with Dr. Yew is priceless. You nailed him. (I mean Dr. Yew, of course.:)

Friday, January 09, 2009 1:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't care how cheesy it is, I love it!

I think you should lower the slippery flaps of your love plane and take a charter flight to the destination of dreams.

Friday, January 09, 2009 1:13:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

LOL, Elizabeth; I can see you are overwhelmed with the thrill of discovery; you can well understand why this type of “research” is so addicting. :-) (At least you now know the secret to why I'm blue; I've been drinking and bathing in too much Blue Solar Water!)

And thanks for the compliment on the Dr. Yew piece. A couple of people actually wrote to me privately and expressed uncertainty about whether or not it was satire.

One of the things that I found both humorous and a bit distressing about the “real” story is that so many people who were spreading the story of Dr. Hew Len and the criminal nutters apparently didn't even bother to question the veracity of the story. It was enough for them that it was a tale of an apparent miracle.

I did an extensive amount of research -- well, extensive for me, anyway -- and near as I can tell, the Hawaii State Hospital, which actually has numerous branches, has been kind of a mess for a very long time, though things are supposedly improving now. I'm thinking that their record-keeping might not be all that great, particularly for stuff that happened decades ago. In short, it's probably impossible to prove or disprove the particulars of the miracle story. And it's well-nigh impossible to prove that even if the patients in that particular ward did get dramatically better, it was due to Dr. Len's Ho'opo'ing. Such are the elements of which legends are made, though.

I find it interesting that Dr. Hew Len now seems to be doing events with Mabel Katz. Mabel was into Ho'opo, studying with Dr. Len, years before Joe had even heard of Dr. Len or Ho’opo. When Joe discovered it he was understandably fascinated, hence the Internet story and, ultimately, Zero Limits, which was published in July 2007. Dr. Len and Joe did a few Zero Limits events together before and after Joe's book was published, and in fact they're doing their final one this coming April. However, Joe has long since gone on to other miracle discoveries and money ops; Ho'opo is sooooo year-before-last. (He does, however, claim that he claims he still uses the Ho'opo cleaning tools in his life).

Not suprisingly, Joe weighed in on Mabel’s new web site, http://hooponoponoisbeyondthesecret.com/
There’s a quotation from him saying that Dr. Len’s brand of Ho’opo is “beyond The Secret.” Of course, Joe himself has also come out with several products that are beyond The Secret, or are the Missing Secret. (He has two separate DVD products called “The Missing Secret,” and one called “Install and Transcend The Secret,” plus a book called “The Key,” that takes up where The Secret left off. In addition, he recently discovered a Fourth Stage of Awakening, despite the fact that in Zero Limits he said there were three stages. So he produced an Awakening Course to teach people about it.)

But I digress. I don’t know if you’ve yet found your way to my very long (two-part!) review of Zero Limits, but yes, I did read the book – twice – and reviewed it on this very blog, because I had been requested to do so by a publicist who was working on the ZL campaign. (Yes. Really.)

Here’s a link to Part 1 of the review (and Part 1 contains a link to Part 2):
http://tinyurl.com/7cm3u6

Finally…ah, yes, the inner-child stuff. The inner-child industry has never really died; it’s just been dormant for a while. Naturally, I have had to snark about that too…
http://tinyurl.com/56hyec

Anyway, thank you as always for the delightful comments. This stuff is just way too entertaining...

Friday, January 09, 2009 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Anonymous 1:13 AM said...

"I don't care how cheesy it is, I love it!

"I think you should lower the slippery flaps of your love plane and take a charter flight to the destination of dreams."

OK, but only if Ron can come along too, and we can fly first-class.

Friday, January 09, 2009 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Oh, dear Connie... Briefly now, more later time permitting.

You're right that I'm overwhelmed. And that's probably an understatement. Just when I think it can't get any more ridiculous, you show me yet another crushing example of this huckstery. It's un-freakin'-believable. Now, I think Dr.(?) Hew Len takes the cake, but I suspect you are going to throw another couple of names here that'll make him look almost rational. Gulp.

I read your Inner Child post -- great fun, as always. And that pic! Nice! :) (Along with the very understandable Ron's comment. ;) I was in thrall of Bradshaw for a brief moment of my personal history. Never quite bought into the Inner Child misery (that's why my IC has died of neglect -- please do not notify the authorities!), but thought many of his ideas were useful. Sigh. It's been a while, a long while, so of course now I don't even remember what ideas were those, or why I liked them so at the time... Though self-pity probably played a role, I'm guessing. :)

OK, more later, I hope.

P.S. What's Hew Len's doctorate -- psychology? If so, why isn't he pursued and censored -- or something -- by professional associations for making such stupid and irresponsible claims (like curing criminally insane by 'working on himself' in the privacy of his office, without meeting his clients even once? What a bunch of hooey. Dangerous hooey.)

Friday, January 09, 2009 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

P.S. WV was bablopath. :)

The Universe is definitely trying to tell me something. And that's too bad, I think, 'cuz with my short attention span, I'm not inclined to listen...

Friday, January 09, 2009 1:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These people freak me out and frankly so does the governments reaction to them. Have we all become so obsessed with money that a payout will get you ANYTHING?

God help us all and any wonder our beautiful country is in such a shocking mess. I wonder what Obama would say about Trudeau?

These people are parasites in our society. Sucking off all the good people to survive. I wonder if they have considered justice.

Saturday, January 10, 2009 12:31:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Elizabeth, as far as I can tell, Dr. Len has a legitimate Ph.D. in psychology. He was pretty much doing conventional Western therapy for years. Then he started hearing miracle stories about a native Hawaiian healer named Morrnah Nalamaku Simeona, who had invented a new form of Ho'opononpono (a traditional Hawaiian form of conflict resolution). Morrnah was giving lectures at universities and even at the UN, according to the story Joe tells in Zero Limits. Dr. Hew Len attended some of her lectures and workshops. He thought she was kind of crazy at first but he was still fascinated. Then she supposedly healed a child of his of shingles (!); no details are given about this in the book, but apparently this added to her credibility in his eyes. At some point he decided to study with Morrnah.

In ZL, Joe wrote that Dr. Hew Len was also experiencing difficulties in his marriage at the time, so when he left to study with her, he left his family as well. Apparently Joe felt it necessary to add, "That’s not too unusual. There’s a long history of people leaving their families to study with a spiritual teacher." (I'm sure this fact made Dr. Hew Len's family feel better about the whole thing.)

Anyway, Dr. HL told Joe that he stayed with Morrnah till her "transition" in 1992 ("transition" is, of course, the enlightened-spiritual euphemism for "death"). It was during the time HL was with Morrnah that the miracles with the criminal nutters supposedly took place. By the account in ZL, it was between 1984 and 1987.

Interestingly, though, if you follow one of the links I provide in my satirical “Dr. Yew” piece, you see a listing of several radio programs about Dr. Hew Len. In the description for one of the programs, you see that it says he worked some miracles in the Hawaii State Hospital in the 1980s. Yet in the description of an earlier program, it says he did some magic there in 1967. Typo or not? Hmmm….

Anyway, here’s the link: http://www.newsforthesoul.com/drlen.htm
Look at the second item down, and then the third item. I never could get the links to work myself, so was unable to listen to the actual radio programs. Maybe you will have better luck.

All this by way of saying that over the years, Dr. Hew Len has apparently worked as a conventional therapist and a Ho’opopo healer, and at times the two worlds must have overlapped. Whether or not he has ever been professionally censured, however, I don’t know. Since he’s not working as a conventional therapist these days, I suppose the point is moot.

I can at least believe that Dr. Hew Len worked at the Hawaii State Hospital at some point, and even that he was given some leeway, at least for a while. If the hospital system, and especially that particular ward, were in chaos (as seems to be the case), oversight might have been lax, and/or administrators might have been desperate to try anything. Plus, I’m sure that with the resurgence in native-Hawaiian pride over the past few decades, there would have been more tolerance for use of indigenous healing methods, even in a Western-medicine setting. So I can believe the bare bones of Dr. Hew Len’s story. But I also know that it’s the sort of situation that’s wide open for embellishment. Who, really, is going to check? Joe did publish a letter from another worker in the ward who substantiated Dr. Len’s story. Still, that’s…well…anecdotal. And it’s really all we have to go on.

But you know, to most of the people who want to believe in Ho’opo and/or Joe, it really doesn’t matter whether the story is literally true.

By the way, Joe’s personal assistant, Suzanne Burns, has created a little cottage industry of her own from Ho’opo. She has a web site called Intentional Treasures, where she sells everything from jewelry to scarves to $150.00 magic cleaning wands. All are infused with special Ho’opo power. http://www.intentionaltreasures.com/

And did you know that Joe’s Zero Limits web site is the first web site ever designed to clean you as you browse it? http://zerolimits.info/

Finally, you suggested that I might have some more stuff on my Whirled that would make Dr. Hew Len et al. look rational. If you have more time to waste, visit some of my posts tagged “Imaginary friends.” Of course you know about Jerry and Esther Hicks and their imaginary pal(s) Abraham, but are you familiar with, for example, Gary Renard (who’s really making the New-Wage conference/expo circuit these days)? Read my June 13, 2007 post. Then there's Vladimir Megre, who learned everything there is to know about life from a young naked babe, Anastasia in the Siberian woods (March 7 and April 6, 2007). These folks and more are all on my Whirled, and all tagged:
http://cosmicconnie.blogspot.com/search/label/Imaginary%20friends

And that, I imagine, is more than enough crazy-making stuff for one day. :-)

Saturday, January 10, 2009 12:00:00 PM  
Anonymous mojo said...

Any offense I might have conveyed stems more from D-B's "defense" than whatever various people may or may not have said about him. My interpretation of D-B's use of "attack" took it as "you can NEVER criticize me about ANYTHING I do because I have a disability". While this "argument" is occasionally effective among those who feel afraid or awkward or threatened or guilty around wheelchairs and whatnot, it is so obviously wrong on sooooo many levels I'm not quite sure where to begin.

But of course that might not have been his intention, which is why I asked for clarification. Looks like I'll have to wait for him, since your explanation (through no fault of your own) shed no further light.

As for the use of crap, I say welcome to the inspiring and magickal, poetical world that Mojo has wallowed in lo these many years. I believe we are walking the same path, although you seem to be taking the muckier road of Enlightenment and blue solar ionized wunder water while I am still focused (in my drone-like, brainwashed unenlightened state) on the crassly material--i.e., selling things on eBay for filthy lucre.

Mojo is the most munificent of creatures--as even her most suspicious enemies will concede, at least when she forces them to--and while I think I have a pretty strong legal claim to the title "Queen of Crap" as I peruse the crap literature I find there are several fine titles still up for grabs. Some that come immediately to mind you might wish to consider include "Goddess of Crap", "Crone of Crap", "The Malcolm Gladwell of Crap" and "The Tiresomely Petty, Bureaucratic Time-Wasting Pooh-Bah of Crap". The latter has the responsibility of taking all the minutes at the meetings, but the added bonus of accepting various bribes from people, "no matter how lowly".

As for Elizabeth's dancing teeth, that could be easily remedied by proper oral hygiene, regular checkups by a dental professional, and, of course, daily flossing. But I fear consulting with a scientifical boogey-man with real academic credentials like a DENTIST will probably do horrible detrimental HARM to your Ineffable Spirit. I never quite understood how, in the "Body, Mind and Spirit" crowd, often the Mind part ends up reviled as the enemy and expected to take a back seat in the proceedings, when The Mind is actually the source of much of what keeps you ALIVE as well as doing other useful tidbits.

For example, I happen to be a fan of Jill Bolte Taylor's TED talk (though less of her book, which sort of bogs down in the middle) and while I too thrill at the idea of giving one's right hemisphere more respect and attention, I can't help but point out it was her LEFT BRAIN that freakin' SAVED HER LIFE in the first place, thereby allowing her the opportunity to spread her message. I'm pretty sure, not knowing the woman, that JBT would agree with my wishing to accord both hemispheres truly equal respect. But there are so many "anything left brain must be EVIL" folk out there who only hear the so-called "right" half of her argument it makes me despair. The stuff that Connie links to and Elizabeth quotes I can barely contemplate over the screaming in my head of agonized, dying brain cells. I can only take so much.

(Unless, of course, your Ineffable Spirit is more like The Bobs' one-liner from their "Slow Down Krishna" song--at least as sung in concert; I don't think it's on the recording. The lead singer, after a lengthy "instrumental" section that somehow devolves from mystical music into the pop song "Tequila", says something like "I just had an out-of-body experience!" whereupon one of the other singers replies, "Yes, I know, I can smell it from here.")

So I guess my innocent Inner Child, as re-experienced through my seven-year-old nephew, is right. It all comes back to potty-talk with the kiddies, don't it?

(My verification word is "ruing". Somehow I don't like the sound of that....)

Saturday, January 10, 2009 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Anon 12:31 AM: I agree with your assessments, but then again, one person's parasite is another person's fount of infinite wisdom. Which, of course, is precisely why the "parasites" are laughing all the way to the bank while untold numbers of honest people wonder where next month's rent is coming from.

Saturday, January 10, 2009 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Mojo, I agree with you that if D-B was indeed using his disability as either a weapon or a general defense against any criticism, that is indeed wrong on many levels.

I didn't think he was out of line merely for bringing up the subject of his disability when he wrote to me, as it *had* been a topic of speculation on a couple of my blog posts. Moreover, there have been a couple of occasions on this blog when I misinterpreted situations or events (or simply mis-read between the lines), and people have corrected me. With factual errors I've always made a point to make corrections public b/c I do like to get my facts straight.

Despite discussions here about lawsuits and such, I will assume, unless informed otherwise, that D-B simply intended to set the record straight about his injuries.

And now on to the matter of crap. Mojo, I think that your segment of the crap industry is a much more honest one than the murky Whirled of pseudo-enlightenment in which I wallow. Not to mention that your type of crapmongering is more satisfying: who, after all, doesn't like to be surrounded by bright shiny objects -- things you can touch and admire and pick up and take to your extra guest room or your garage, where they gather dust till you can get rid of them on eBay?

Those are the fine and simple things in life, and truly, I am not worthy of treading on your territory. But no matter: since the project that Elizabeth and I were discussing has to do with actual animal feces, I can certainly find another word besides "crap" to expand my brand. (I briefly thought of "scat" but I think that's a genre of music.) Anyway, the point is that I don't have to deal in "crap" when there are so many other words. English is such a rich language.

You made some good points about the body-mind-spirit crowd and their general disdain for the mind and intellectualism. They seem to be all about listening to your heart and your gut instead of your head. (Yet they always like to invoke "science" when they're trying to sell their b.s. to someone.)

I am reminded again about that bit from Josh, the Joebot whom I quoted earlier in this thread. Josh was advising readers of Joe V's blog post about Kevin True-Dough to "Get out of your head and get into Joe’s Rolls." In other words, stop thinking so much and just plunk down five grand and to on a Rolls ride with Joe. Uh-huh.

Interesting point about Jill Bolte Taylor too. As for me, I'm neither right-brained nor left-brained, but back-brained. There's always something in the back of my mind that I can't quite retrieve, but I just know that it's running my life. And it's doing a good enough job without my interference, so I'll just leave well enough alone, thank you.

As you said, though, it all comes back down to potty-talk with the kids. And THAT'S something we can all get behind.

Sunday, January 11, 2009 3:37:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Also, Mojo, since you brought up the subject of left-brain/right-brain stuff (which is related to right- or left-handedness) -- AND since I've been providing links on this thread to some of my previous half-witticisms -- I thought you might be interested in this old article parody from my BLP (book-like product), "Cosmic Relief":

http://home.swbell.net/moonshad/Non-dominance.pdf

Sunday, January 11, 2009 3:45:00 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Crazy-making is right, Connie.

But you are going out of your way to be fair and balanced, aren't you, LOL?

I, OTOH, have no qualms stating that healing (whatever that means) criminally insane (whatever that means) patients (whatever that may mean in this particular context) by simply reading their charts and working on oneself (whatever that means!) in the privacy of one's office is A BUNCH OF CRAP (with apologies etc.)

Crap. Bupkus. Baloney. Certifiably stupid.

And of course I wanted Dr. HL censured (thank you!), though censoring him sounds like a good idea too.

Sunday, January 11, 2009 4:12:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Yeah, Eliz, you're right; I do sometimes go out of my way to be fair and balanced, although in truth I am fairly unbalanced.

As for the miracle healing tale -- baloney it may be, but it sure was lucrative for Mr. Fire (and presumably for Dr. Hew Len, who was listed as his co-author).

Rolling my eyes...

Sunday, January 11, 2009 4:50:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

So, OK... back to the original topic of this blog post. (Not that I minded the diversion at all; I like the way some threads take on a life of their own.)

Anyway, I visited Mr. Fire's blog today and saw a new comment from a young admirer, Jonathan Browne. He wrote:

"What is it with people buying the hook line and sinker 'kevin tradeua [sic] is a scammer' ploy the government and media want you to believe.

"If your [sic] so confident that he is a scammer, please name a scam he has participated in. The way I see it, he writes fantastic books which have helped millions of people."

Kinda makes you want to take him and shake him by the shoulders and say, "Wake up, kid!"

Jonathan Browne is all of 23 years old, and brimming with worldly wisdom. The blog to which he linked in his comment to Joe is called, "Get out of debt, handle debt collectors and creditors, and become financially free."
http://howtodealwithcreditorsandgetoutofdebt.blogspot.com/

He writes:
"I'm a 23 year old with a huge appetite for knowledge and a desire to truly help people live better more fulfilling lives. I am also a musician and you can listen to my music at www.myspace.com/mykblaze. I created this blog to help people and because my next step in life is to go to college and get a degree in music. So please help yourself and help me by purchasing Debt Free In Three, checking out one of our sponsors if anything they display interests you, or donating. Donations WILL be used exclusively to pay for college tuition. I've dealt with debt in the past and had plenty of conversations with debt collectors. I'm now on my way to financial freedom and abundance and I know my advice can help you get there with me. You can be debt free. You can learn to budget and save money. You can take control of your life."

He also has several other blogs, including one called "Secrets of Attracting Woman, Seduction, and Dating."
http://seduceyourdreamgirl.blogspot.com/

A post dated 31 December, 2008, is titled "10 steps of attracting beautiful woman." Here's a sample:

"3. Look good and smell good
If your goal is attracting beautiful woman you might want to put some work into your own beauty. Make sure your well groomed and clean. Wear clean laundered clothes that fit. Don't forget to wear new socks. Don't touch your face, wash it twice a day with a non comodegenic [sic] cleanser, and keep a nutrious [sic] diet low sugar diet, so you have nice skin. Never douse yourself in cologne or aftershave. Be subtle."

And so on.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Connie, LMAO! JB is just a fountain of universal wisdom. And at 23! Wow. A guru in the making... What am I saying, a bona fide guru!

Friday, January 16, 2009 6:27:00 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Connie, oh Connie... There goes my Friday evening (and I have so much to do!). You got me hooked on JB. I went to his "seduction" site and pulled out even more fantastic tidbits:

To attract a beautiful woman you simply have to have a little finesse and some social grace. There's no need to learn complicated scripts or neurolinguistic programming. Learning those things may be beneficial, but simply follow these steps and you shouldn't have a hard time attracting and being attractive, to beautiful woman.

Wow, that's great to know. I was about to send my sons to NLP classes, but I'm relieved to learn that their natural finesse and social grace will suffice. Phew! Think how much money I'll save right here!

1. Learn how to tell when woman are attracted to you.

Here are some common signs: They run their hands through their hair a lot, they bite their lip, you catch them gazing at you, they smile at you, or they make stupid excuses to talk to you.


Oh, Jonathan, my hair is already falling out from running my hands through it so much, and my lip is bleeding as I type! And, oh, if you could only see my smile! Not to mention hear all the stupid excuses I'm concocting just to talk to you... Mhm hm!

2. Be outgoing and sociable

It's up to you to start conversations with the people around you as well as attractive woman. You are the man. Be proactive and friendly with everyone around you. Talk to all the woman you see that you think might be worth knowing, not just the ones you "have your eye on". Talk to her friends and win them over, they will be your best help or worst enemy when it comes to attracting a beautiful woman. If you seem to be a very friendly and sociable man, almost every woman around will be attracted to you. Social skills demonstrate your high value.


I like how he sets "attractive woman" apart from "the people." I think this is an important distinction that too often gets overlooked by today's men. And I totally agree that social skills demonstrate "high value" or something.

3. Look good and smell good

If your goal is attracting beautiful woman you might want to put some work into your own beauty. Make sure your well groomed and clean. Wear clean laundered clothes that fit. Don't forget to wear new socks. Don't touch your face, wash it twice a day with a non comodegenic cleanser, and keep a nutrious diet low sugar diet, so you have nice skin. Never douse yourself in cologne or aftershave. Be subtle.


And you can't get any more subtle than new socks or wearing thereof. Touching your face is a total no-no, that's for sure, and a noxious diet is a must. Wait.. what? Isn't it the same thing?

4. Smile and be cool

Stop worrying about yourself, relax, and smile. Learn to enjoy yourself wherever you are instead of worrying and overthinking things. Be cool. You'll be attracting beautiful woman who will fall over themselves for you if your cool. Everyone is attracted to cool.


Totally! 'Cuz cool, is, like, you know, totally awesome! And the woman will fall over themselves, like, totally, too.

5. Make steady, natural, scintilating eye contact

Don't strain. Simply overcome your anxiety and look into her eyes while you speak to her. Don't stare at her body or think about how beautiful she is. Try to connect to who she is as another human being. Woman are used to being treated like objects by men. Show her your not another one of those guys by making warm friendly eye contact with her.


Yeah, I tells ya, this woman are so used to be treated like objects that she totally hates those guys. And you may think that warm and friendly is enough, but I tells ya, it's gotta be scintilating, like he said. Which means you should not strain and cross your eyes or make one of thems stupid faces when your eyes are bulging out of your sockets (which can easily happen when you strain too much).

6. Be clever and funny, but don't TRY to be clever and funny

All woman, including beautiful woman, are attracted to clever, funny, witty men. That doesn't mean you should try to be a standup comic. Don't prepare stupid pickup lines. Just be natural and direct. You probably can make your buddies laugh, so treat her sort of like one of the buddies. Tease her a little bit. Don't be cocky, mean, or tasteless though. Just be lighthearted and wry. If shes becoming attracted to you, she will most likely laugh, even if your not hilarious or even particularly funny.


Yep, wry does it! Ha ha ha ha ha! Hahahaha!!! (Can you tell that I'm becoming attracted already? Even though he is not hilarious or even particularly funny?)

7. Don't brag, be a little mysterious

Don't try to impress a beautiful woman by being a braggart. Reveal things about yourself naturally during conversation. Be a little mysterious though about what your truly all about. It's fine to make up some things in a fun obvious way when she asks you personal questions. You can say your dream is to become a traveling circus performer or something. Make her press you to reveal your real dreams and aspirations. Make her feel rewarded by the things you tell her, not annoyed


Mmmm... Traveling circus performer.... Whoa! (pulling more hair) And I didn't even have to press him for that! Can it get any more mysterious, or rewarding (and not at all annoying)?

8. Listen, Listen, Listen

Woman (and mostly anyone, really) love to talk about themselves. To be a great conversationalist ask questions, listen carefully, and ask follow up questions/make comments based on what the other person says. Don't act like your doing an interview for rolling stone though either. Allow a vibe to develop and don't be afraid to switch subjects suddenly.


I like this one in particular. First of all, women again are juxtaposed with the rest of human race -- and why not, right? Second, listening is always a good thing, especially when you're suddenly switching subjects. This so totally adds to that mystery and circus performer thing discussed above. No?

9. Two Steps Foward, One Step Back

Create sexual tension. This is the key to attracting woman. It's also known as Push-Pull. If you give her a couple compliments, that's great. Don't keep feeding her compliments. Tease her a little bit. Keep her guessing. If your in a movie theatre and you start to hold hands, then maybe you make out for a little bit don't keep doing that the entire time. Not only will your palms get pretty sweaty, but you'll ruin the sexual tension. Pull back, withdraw your hand and go back to paying attention to the movie you payed $8.00 to get into.


That sexual tension, man, that's the key. If you payed (yeah) eight bucks to get into the movie (yeah), you better work on the sexual tension, or it's a waste of money. And if your sweaty hands seem too much of a problem, you can use some of the push-pull method on the movie theater chair (but only if it's upholstered; if not, you risk making some awkward and unseemly noises that will create tension, for sure, though not of the sexual kind).

10. Improve your self!

The number one thing you can do to improve your chances of attracting beautiful woman, is work on yourself. Get more physically fit, get a better sense of fashion, upgrade your wardrobe, keep the place you live clean and organized, be self disciplined, get a job/start a business/etc. Personal development is one of the best things you can do for yourself to become a more attractive man and start attracting beautiful woman left and right!


And while at it, invest in a spell check or a dictionary, why not.

But a word of caution: if you start attracting beautiful woman left and right, then 1. she has a split personality, or 2. you are hallucinating in 3-D. Either way, it's time to call a psychiatrist.

=====

Ah, good times... But in fairness, Jonathan did his very best, obviously, and his very earnest, too. Even though he stripped himself of that ever-important sense of mystery in the process. But, all in all, some of it is reasonable advice, the new (and clean) socks especially.

Friday, January 16, 2009 9:16:00 PM  
Anonymous mojo said...

Ah, yes, of all the advice I would not wish to pay money for, DATING advice has to be my FAVORITE. It's too lengthy to relate here, but I once blogged about my own brief exposure to the genre here (it even has an obligatory nod to CC, who must have posted something on the topic):

http://tinyurl.com/6wolvm

What I like best about JB's "rules"--besides my suspicion that English is NOT his first language--is how some of them SOUND simple enough. Like "Be clever and funny" and "Create sexual tension".

Heck, why stop there? Here's some more:

Be really, really smart.

Be fabulously wealthy.

Be, like, really, REALLY, *RILLY* attractive.

Be a little mysterious, so she doesn't realize you're a dweeby twenty-something dodging your creditor's phone calls because you can't pay your bills.


Ooops, wait, sorry, that's another blog. My mistake. I get overly confused and bedazzled by all the sexual tension in the air. We girls get that way, ya know.

Saturday, January 17, 2009 2:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'There's always something in the back of my mind that I can't quite retrieve, but I just know that it's running my life. And it's doing a good enough job without my interference, so I'll just leave well enough alone, thank you.'

Now, if Jonathan could just find his way to his back brain or that something in the back of his mind, he could give up all that ponderous thinking/advice and just enjoy being himself, with his women and everybody else.
There is nothing, for this woman (and I would hazard most others), like the turn-on of being in the company of a man who is genuinely enjoying the moment.

Saturday, January 17, 2009 4:44:00 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

What I like best about JB's "rules"--besides my suspicion that English is NOT his first language--is how some of them SOUND simple enough. Like "Be clever and funny" and "Create sexual tension".

Yes, Mojo, don't they?

"you simply have to have a little finesse and some social grace"

Simply finesse. Oh, what could be easier than that, I ask you?

To think of it, Simply finesse sounds like a good name for some SHAM-related business. :)

Saturday, January 17, 2009 9:20:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hey, all, I'm sorry for not participating in the conversation for the past few days; it's been a busy week. I'm back for a few moments and then off to take care of more errands. Anyway...

Very astute observations, Eliz and Mojo, re the young but infinitely wise Jonathan Browne. I got much the same impressions of JB, particularly in regard to English not being his first language, and to his having some credit challenges. I can certainly identify with that second item, but in my view, jumping on the Kevin Trudeau defense bandwagon is not going to help JB with those credit problems -- or anything else, for that matter. Granted, becoming a champion of the eternally persecuted Mr. Trudeau might make him feel as if he's engaged in some large and noble cause, which could possibly take his mind off of his problems for a while...but...oh, well, he'll just have to find out for himself, I guess.

Eliz, I hope your hair has started to grow back and your lips have stopped bleeding. But I can certainly identify with your excitement; we woman just can't resist a guy who not only is a good listener, but is able to switch subjects suddenly, is wry, AND has clean socks.

Mojo, good piece on "How Not To Pick Up Wimmins." Judging from the fact that you wrote it in September of last year, I'd say that your "nod to CC" was a reference to a snippet in this post from September 3:
http://tinyurl.com/9yw84z
That snippet can be found under the header, "Mr. Fire 'splains the workings of the Universe."

And, gals, don't forget to visit Jonathan's MySpace music page:
http://www.myspace.com/mykblaze

Here's a bit from the blurb about his group, The Five Percenters:

"They plan to usher in a new era of concious self aware rap that attempts to educate and inspire. Don't think they aren't cocky, fun, and sexy though, because they have something to say about that too."

All righty, then!

WV: waryolso

Hmmmm....

Sunday, January 18, 2009 5:16:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Anon 4:44 PM: Well, when Jonathan is not busy thinking and dispensing advice, he is making music, and that, I suspect, is his real passion.

Sunday, January 18, 2009 5:21:00 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Thank you, dear Connie, I've managed to stop the bleeding; however, growing out my hair will take longer. But, oh, what we woman (yes) don't do for love! Or at least some scintilating finesse.

Of course I went (no, ran!) to JB's MySpace site and found a pic of two dudes comprising his awesome band. I can only guess that JB is this one:

Prophit aka Reflekshun. Formerly known as Robbin Hood until he asked himself was robbin good? He is the creative force, manager, rapper and singer for the 5 percenters.

There is also a little blurb there (from Twitter?) titled What am I doing? where JB aka Prophit* aka Refleshun answers in this scintilating manner:

In the studio, making hits with my dawg myk blaze. Can't fuck with it. Peace.

I think this is a perfect example of that finesse and social grace that JB discusses in his dating advice. Not to mention being lighthearted, wry and mysterious, obviously.

*I think he tried to say Profit, but misspelled again. :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009 9:26:00 PM  
Anonymous mojo said...

Sorry, but I just couldn't bring myself to check out JB's assuredly AWESOME music. Just knowing he was in a BAND, on top of everything else, was more than enough clichés, oops, I mean, excitement, for me.

So, rap, huh? Please tell me they're white. Young white middle class suburban boys doing the whole gangsta peacock display thing--now, that would just REALLY make my day. Or not. I can't tell anymore. Total awesomeness befuddles my brain yet again....

Although I *AM* wondering how a person with apparent credit issues is paying for studio time. Back in college when I was a sound engineer it was $50 an hour to use the school's facilities, and over $100 an hour for a commercial studio. And that was twenty-five (plus) years ago. Maybe by "studio" they actually mean "my parents' basement"? Second language issues and all...

Monday, January 19, 2009 5:09:00 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

So, rap, huh? Please tell me they're white. Young white middle class suburban boys doing the whole gangsta peacock display thing--now, that would just REALLY make my day. Or not. I can't tell anymore. Total awesomeness befuddles my brain yet again...

And yet, Mojo, your powers of (psychic?) perception are as sharp as ever.:) Yes, white middle class suburban boys, very much so. And the studio likely is the basement of the parents' house -- you're most likely right about that too.

Monday, January 19, 2009 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Eliz wrote:

"I think he tried to say Profit [as opposed to 'Prophit' ~ CLS], but misspelled again. :)"

Well, at least he'll fit right in with rap culture, which has (and I am being kind here) never been known for its spelling skills. In fact, misspelling -- deliberate or not -- seems to be a badge of pride in the rap/hip-hop world.

Monday, January 19, 2009 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Mojo, as you'll see if you read Eliz's comment immediately following yours, your instincts were right on target, at least about the demographics of the Five Percenters.

Now, as for the parents'-basement scenario, that's anyone's guess, but it would certainly be my first guess too. Studio, schmudio! These days, anybody with a minimal amount of computer equipment (hardware and software) can make music, or something vaguely resembling music, and can burn it to a CD, design their own labels and CD covers, put their music on YouTube and MySpace, etc. I understand that one doesn't even need a basement (or a garage). :-)

In any case, the goal of the Five Percenters is to be the best darned rap group ever, and, of course, to awaken and inspire people. New-Wage rap -- hey, that's even better than Christian Rap, which (and I hope you'll pardon me for saying this, Mojo) I used to call C-RAP. But not any more, of course, since you have awakened within me a new respect for crap.

Monday, January 19, 2009 12:23:00 PM  
Anonymous mojo said...

She shoots-she SCORES!!!

I grew up in a totally Wonder-bread Martha Stewart wanna-be "Leave It To Beaver" middle class suburb in CT back in the 70s, so my exposure to rap is practically nonexistent, aside from watching (and ultimately rather liking) the movie "8 Mile" with Eminem.

It's got the whole one man against the world cliché and all, but the improvisational rap battles are just phenomenal, at least to someone who's never seen such a thing before. Sometimes I put on the final rap battle to watch as a pick-me-up, because it's actually a very Aikido-esque "leading with your weakness" lesson. It's pretty cool.

So on the strength of this one Hollywood movie I an wildly guessing that what the rap community lacks in spelling skills the GOOD ones make up for it with sheer linguistic virtuosity. Once you get past the eff-this eff-ing that, eff-eff-eff every other word, that is. (Just not what I grew up with, is all.)

Of course the operative word here is "good". The special features on the disk have Eminem battling with some local talent and there's a serious chasm between those who can do it well and those who just THINK they can.

And yeah, not to totally rag on making your own stuff, even if it is in your parents' basement. That's where the South Park guys got their start. But they have a certain degree of talent in what they do. (Whether you like it or not is another story.) And I'm of the opinion that Madame Talent is the one bugaboo that really trips up all the wishful thinkers out there. Talent is usually the result of YEARS of hard, obsessive work, and there's just no getting around that.

Just finished reading Malcolm Gladwell's latest book on "Outliers" and one of the first things he sez is, the Big Thing that separates the men from the boys is the number of hours one practices at whatever it is you're doing. The big round figure to reach (according to MG) is 10,000 hours of SERIOUSLY working on your craft.

I'm guessing many wanna-bes and poseurs in any field probably have a few more hours to go....

Monday, January 19, 2009 3:42:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Yeah, Mojo, I'll grant that there are rappers and hip-hop artists who are linguistically skilled. Even though I'm not a big fan of the genre I don't dismiss it entirely and I certainly can't discount the influence it has had on pop culture. As for our friend JB of the Five Percenters, I noticed when reading one of his blogs that he is soliciting donations. Apparently his ambition is to go to college and get a music degree, and he needs a bit of help financing his dream.

Rather than begging for money, maybe JB simply needs to use the special Prosperity Prayer/Affirmation that Mr. Fire recently shared on *his* blog. This is courtesy of Mr. Fire's pal Will Bowen, the Complaint-Free purple plastic bracelet man. (Oh, yes, you only THOUGHT affirmations
were passe...soooo late 1980s and all that. Well, it shows what you know.) Granted, there is no instant gratification here. You have to read this thing aloud every day for 30 days in order for it to work. It's a New-Wage novena of sorts, though it drags on much longer than nine days.

Here is the link:
http://blog.mrfire.com/prosperity/the-prosperity-prayer/

Anyway, maybe our young friend JB could benefit from that.

Ah, South Park! One of my not-so-guilty pleasures. I love it, and cannot understand why Ron does not share this love. My only regret about this past Christmas is that I didn't do my customary annual viewing of the original "Mr. Hankey The Christmas Poo" episode. Since I own it I can watch it any time, but it's just not the same when the air isn't reeking of Holiday Spirit.

You're right about the wannabes and poseurs. But hope springs eternal, and I'm sure that these wannabes make up a large part of the market for the New-Wage gurus/career dilettantes who only made it big themselves after years or decades of trying one thing after another, but are now blithely peddling the idea that they've discovered "shortcuts" to success. ("What I have learned can save you YEARS of frustration and struggle!") I have seen this again and again. And truly, it makes me sigh...sometimes with envy, if you want to know the truth.

IGFMAS (I Gotta Find Me A Scam)...

Monday, January 19, 2009 4:40:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Oh, and speaking of prosperity affirmations... The only thing better than a prosperity affirmation/prayer is a RHYMING prosperity affirmation/prayer.

Barry Thomas Bechta, whom I mentioned in my post of 10 January, was apparently inspired by Mr. Fire's blog post about the prosperity affirmation. Barry, who recently paid five grand to ride in Joe's Rolls-Royce (but, alas, couldn't afford to attend Joe's "Attract Wealth" workshop a few weeks later) has created a powerful rhyming affirmation. It begins thusly:

"Today is the day, my beliefs empower myself and others right away!

"Today is the day, I AM Financially Free, Hip Hip Hurray!

"Today is the day, I have a beautiful new car in my driveway!

"Today is the day, I own my dream home and in my pool I love to play!

"Today is the day, I travel to exotic places worldwide with loved ones, yes today!

"Today is the day, my laughter bubbles forth with giggles and hurrays!"

And so on. For the full, unexpurgated version, follow this link:
http://tinyurl.com/9fbeof

Hmmm. Maybe the Five Percenters could turn this into a rap hit.

Monday, January 19, 2009 5:07:00 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Connie... Bechta -- OMG! LMAO. And some more. And still more.

Jee-bus. If you did not provide real honest-to-goodness links to these bozos, I would swear you're making this all up.

You are not making this up, are you...? Lordy lord...

Monday, January 19, 2009 11:07:00 PM  
Anonymous mojo said...

Re: South Park--I was an internet fan of the original "Jesus vs. Santa" ages ago, but since I didn't (and still don't) have access to cable I could only look on in envy as the Cartoon network picked it up. Since then I've only seen bits and pieces when people lend me their DVDs.

Some nice person made me an audio tape of the Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics CD when it came out. That year I went Christmas shopping with my Favorite Older Sister and as we were driving I put it in and said it would get us in the holiday spirit. I was singing along all innocent-like and she started laughing so hard I feared I was going to need new car seats.

They can be hit or miss, like most intentionally offensive things, but when they hit they're pretty funny. I saw the movie and while I was LMAO for the opening song, I think I fell asleep in the theater during the actual war, so I've never seen it all the way through.

(Oh, and I'm not a huge fan of rap, either. But "8 Mile" kinda showed all the work and art and skill behind it, FWIW. Plus a lot of the put-downs in the rap battles are just really funny.)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009 9:04:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Eliz, no, I'm not making it up. That's one reason this blog is so easy to write. It practically writes itself. :-)

Friday, January 30, 2009 10:44:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Mojo, how lucky you were to be able to take Mr. Hankey's Christmas classics mobile. I bet it really added to the Christmas Spirit. As for rap/hip-hop, yeah, I like some of it too. But in small doses.

Friday, January 30, 2009 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Update on Mr. Fire & True-dough...

A guy named Matthew wrote to Joe Vitale's “Meeting Kevin Trudeau” blog post, attempting to answer our friend Jonathan Browne's question regarding scams True-dough has been involved in. Matthew did get one fact wrong, regarding the legality of the injections necessary to follow True-dough's weight loss plan, and Joe jumped on that – but didn't address the other stuff. Anyway, here is the exchange, followed by some more comments and links from yours truly:

==BEGIN==

# Matthew Adams says

Wow…where do I start?

I guess I will just keep this simple.

This is to Jonathan Browne (name a scam).

Let’s start with his infomercials on cures. Have you noticed how he never finishes the cure in his book? You have to finish reading up about it on the internet…his website…which you have to subscribe to…for a monthly fee.

And…here is the funny part…when you do buy the book from the infomercial…without telling you…they subscribe you to the website…just TRY getting off that one, customer service will not pick up…or, they will just hang up on you.

His diet book…WOW…through out the infomercial…he LIES. It is NOT easy, it DOES require a doctor (remember…injections that you CANNOT get in the U.S. because they are illegal), and you cannot just eat what you want…not to mention the daily calonics [sic (he meant colonics)].

Then there is ITV Ventures.*

Hmmm

And this is a man that you call a friend?

Wow!
Matthew Adams


January 24th, 2009 | #
# Joe Vitale says

Hi Matthew. I used to think like you, but I went and checked the facts. Turns out the weight loss cure is not illegal in the US at all. I called my medical doctor and he sells it. Yes, the diet requires medical supervision, but anyone needing to lose a lot of weight and is serious about it should have a doctor watching them. Thank God Kevin Trudeau is helping the public with this informaiton [sic].
Blessings,
joe

==END==

So…no big surprise… Joe is still trying to paint Kevin as a brave warrior who battles on, trying to help the public despite being repressed by the government and vilified by the media.

* The aforementioned ITV Ventures was a (now-defunct) scheme run by another apparent ripoff artist, Donald Barrett; Kevin Trudeau joined the team in 2006. Here's a link to a page on Ripoffreport.com, detailing one former employee's experience with ITV Ventures:
http://tinyurl.com/ctbpk3

And here's a link to more reports on the same site:
http://tinyurl.com/b4l74l

ITV went out of business, and Donald Barrett started up a new company, EVS Group. According to the blurb on EVS’s Squidoo page (http://www.squidoo.com/evs_group), Barrett was “leaving the health and wellness product business” because of “run-ins with the FTC.”

But, guess what… EVS seems to be out of business too now.
http://tinyurl.com/d5zwck

Those pesky gummit agencies just keep harassing them honest con men.

As for True-dough, although he is apparently banned from appearing in infomercials until 2011, he’s definitely not out of the game.

One more amusing link, and then I’ll sign off for now…
http://tinyurl.com/65htaa

Friday, January 30, 2009 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger lpcyusa said...

#

##

#What It’s Like to Chill with the Most Ruthless Men in the World
Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic:
Confessions of a Female War Crimes Investigator


Retrospectively, it was all so simple, natural and matter of fact being on a boat restaurant in Belgrade, sitting with, laughing, drinking a two hundred bottle of wine and chatting about war and peace while Ratko Mladic held my hand. Mladic, a man considered the world’s most ruthless war criminal since Adolf Hitler, still at large and currently having a five million dollar bounty on his head for genocide by the international community. Yet there I was with my two best friends at the time, a former Serbian diplomat, his wife, and Ratko Mladic just chilling. There was no security, nothing you’d ordinarily expect in such circumstances. Referring to himself merely as, Sharko; this is the story of it all came about.

It all began as former United States President Bill Clinton spearheaded NATO’s war against Serbia, Montenegro and Slobodan Milosevic (March 1999). Thirty-five years old, conducting graduate study work at the New School for Social Research in New York City in political science, I planned graduating spring 1999 with an area study emphasis in international law and human rights. I was naïve then, still believing strongly in democratic liberal concepts such as freedom of academic thought. Hence, I never anticipated my political views would impede either my graduation or completing my master’s thesis work on whether NATO member states committed gross violations of customarily accepted international criminal law in launching military aggression against Serbia and Montenegro owing to not acquiring United Nations Security Counsel approval prior.

Then as hit with the identical smart bomb dropped on Milosevic’s presidential palace in Serbia the night of April 22nd 1999, political science chairperson then at the New School, Professor David Plotke, summoned me into his office before class that evening and dismissed me from the master’s program at the New School owing to what he considered my possessing unsavory political science opinions.


Only having to complete two more classes to graduate, I always thought my future in political sciences as wide open with innumerous possibilities; unfortunately this proved untrue. Plotke told me in no uncertain terms that I was not the type of person the New School wanted walking around with a degree stating the New School’s prestigious name on it.

Ironically, the New School was an institution I attended only owing to its’ placing great pride and emphasis on allowing students complete academic freedom of thought without dictating what is and what is not politically correct to discuss. Yet surprisingly, dismissal from the program and blow to my graduate work should not been completely unexpected since the semester immediately prior, the school refused allowing me to conduct my graduate thesis work on the subject of whether the NATO and Bill Clinton committed war crimes against the former Yugoslavia during the Kosovo war (1999) and internally suggested I write about infringement of Muslim human rights in France. I suppose with the likes of Hillary Clinton and Tony Blair hanging about the fourth floor of the school at the renown World Policy Institute in 1999, I should have expected the university would not take kindly to student‘s speaking out critically against Bill Clinton and the Kosovo war (1999) he went down in history for advocating. Then again, in 1999 I still believed in the school’s core ideals of academic freedom, especially since I was paying no less than one thousand United States dollars a credit to attend. My civil rights lawsuit against the college is another story in and of itself not deserving extended amounts of space here, except what I already mentioned.

Dismissal from graduate school left me in a complete state of scholarly anomie seeking empathy and solace from my few friends and confidants at the time including many diplomats I studied with at the New School for several years. The list included but was not limited to ambassadors from Iran, Oman and a newly appointed First Secretary of the Bosnian Mission to the United Nations in New York, Darko Trifunovic.




Noteworthy of mentioning, both the ambassadors from Iran and Oman both confided in me their own extreme dissatisfactions and the scholarly problems they themselves currently encountered at the New School for Social Research. On the last day attending the school, both aforementioned men explicitly complained to me the school was holding them back from graduating owing to their own so-called extremely unsavory political viewpoints. In particular the Iranian ambassador, Amir, was writing his master’s thesis on the Iranian contra affair and the man from Oman told me for years he was being held back from graduating because Greek Professor Addie Pollis strongly disdained his Islamic religious and cultural views insofar as human rights and multiple marriage partners by Muslim sultans in his country of origin. It was May (1999).

Riddled with uncertainty about my future scholarly status, I immediately applied for graduate study at Farleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey where I studied an additional two years before encountering similar problems with the graduate school faculty there. Ironically it was only FDU professors whom formerly studied themselves at the New School still in touch with the faculty there, who were later responsible for my having to leave the graduate program at FDU in early 2002.

Between the time of my dismissal from the New School and my dismissal from FDU the fall (2002), I stayed in touch with many scholars and other politically active persons sharing similar anti-war views as myself regarding NATO’s 1999 Kosovo war including: Professor Barry Lituchy (NYC), Ramsey Clark’s people at the International Action Center, and a couple of new acquaintances I’ve chanced meet online in Serbian political activist forums. One of those people was, Darko Trifunovic.

Darko and I were e-mailing each other regularly by early spring (1999) at which time he informed me that he became the newly appointed First Secretary of the Bosnian Mission to the United Nations in New York City and wondered whether I would pick him up at JFK airport when he arrives in a few weeks; I acceded. Darko arrived first, his very beautiful wife, Bojana, arrived as expected about one month later after he was settled.
Darko greatly impressed me at the time. Being a former political advisor to the to the former female President of the Republic of Srpska in Bosnia, he had a degree in international law, diplomatic immunity, was a writer, handsome, and fun to just hang-out with and work. The three of us became extremely close friends and confidants. I even became voted in as the executive director of the Law Projects Center Yugoslavia in New York . The Law Projects Center was a United Nations accredited NGO and offshoot of the Yugoslav Coalition to Establish and international criminal court. Darko and some political people originally founded the organization in Belgrade Serbia prior his arrival in New York City in diplomatic capacity. I worked fervently legally registering the organization in New Jersey as a legally filed non-profit successfully. The Law Projects Center and its activities demanded Darko, his wife and I often stayed the night over each others’ apartments often; many times working days at a time with very little sleep.

From winter (1999) until fall (2002), Darko, his wife and I worked daily at the Bosnian Mission to the United Nations in New York City co-authoring two books: 1) The Bosnian Model of Al-Qaeda Terrorism and; 2) The Srebrenica Massacre. As a young student of war and peace in the former Yugoslavia, I was in scholarly heaven accessing the United Nations to work with Darko daily. This enabled my meeting many of the most fascinating people in the world. I vividly remember Senator Bill Richardson at the time giving nightly press interviews on television about meeting with OPEC members states, “setting them straight about lowering oil prices in 2000.” Yet when I’d chit-chat with the Iranian ambassador in the city before class asking him about it he would say to me something to the effect as,” We at OPEC are so angry about former colonialism by England and America, OPEC will continually attempt bringing both the United States and England to their financial knees on energy issues…And by the way Jill, Russia does not in any manner intend to halt weapon sales to Iran.”






In fact Amir and I, notwithstanding our theological differences, got alone well. We’d often sit together before class acceding on a great many matters. In particular I remember us sitting one night and looking me square in the eye stating, “You know Jill, I will never believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” I replied, “And I Amir will never convert to Islam.” Now that we got that out of the way, we both smiled at one another getting down to discussing real issues.

The Bosnian mission to the United Nations in New York City in 2001 was an extremely interesting place. Reflecting the rotating ethnic presidency existing in Bosnia unto present, Mission employees were comprised of people of completely bipolar ethnic, theological and politically ideological viewpoints. The Head Ambassador of the Mission post 9-11 was then combating rumors of his soon becoming persona non grata in the United States for allegedly giving Osama Bin Laden a visa to travel through Bosnia illegally when previously stationed in Italy in 1993. There were also rumors he confessed to the United States Department of State of running international arms trades in connection with Al-Qaeda. The number two man at the Bosnian mission, the First Ambassador was Serbian, Orthodox Christian and a doctor of medicine by university degree. The First Secretary of the Mission was my friend Darko, the Consulate department was headed by an ethnic Muslim lady from Bosnia, and there was an ethnic Croatian woman floating around with other various diplomats being of Roman Catholic Croatian descent.

My time at the Mission was primarily spent fixing Darko’s laptop computer which became daily infected with computer viruses he continually claimed emanated from other employees at the Mission who were allegedly trying to sabotage him because of his ethnic Serbian background. I vividly recall the constant bickering between all the mission employees; always accusing each other of committing war crimes and giving each other computer viruses making it virtually impossible for any of them to get along. The Croatian diplomat usually stayed to herself with her office door shut while the others present usually just listened to Led Zeppelin rock music on their personal CD-ROM players. They told me repeatedly they had nothing else to do with their time at the United Nations beyond an occasional meeting except for listening to music and playing computer games.
Sad and ironic was the few things I noticed all the Bosnian mission employees agreeing upon was their undying love for the rock band, Led Zeppelin.

A year had come and gone while I totally immersed myself into political inquiry as to just who was guilty of committing war crimes in the former Yugoslavia. My favorite subjects of inquiry included: NATO, Kosovo & Metohia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and persons of interest such as Mladic and Hacim Thaci (Albanian Leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army). It was not enough for my merely taking in nightly news reports from CNN and other mainstream American media; to conduct an investigation for inquiry of social fact, I needed to go to Serbia and investigate for myself.

Only after seeing firsthand the goings on in the Balkans could I make a discriminate determination of guilty parties insofar as genocide there. After my fateful month long trip to Serbia and Montenegro in the fall 2002 I later concluded all warring parties involved had blood on their hands (Croats, Serbs, Muslims and the NATO); there are no innocents. But in 2001, neither my finances nor busy schedule allowed such a trip. Moreover, not speaking fluent Serbian coupled with the anti-American sentiment existing in Serbia then listed on the United States Department of State travel warning website caused going to there an unfeasible option. Hence, my life and studies went on as usual.

Several seasons went by and now it was spring 2001. Darko and his wife Bojana had time off which they spent visiting friends and family in Serbia for about two weeks. Because of this Darko was unable to function in full diplomatic capacity. In spring 2001 there was a preparatory commission meeting of plenipotentiaries to establish an international criminal court at the United Nations in New York City. Topics of the meeting included but were not limited to defining interstate acts of aggression, court financing etc.. Darko asked me if I would sit in for him at the meeting taking as many notes possible owing to the Law Projects Center possessing United Nations accreditation as a NGO (non governmental organization) with full observer status at the United Nations; I acceded.


Darko faxed me all necessary paperwork enabling my application attendance at this crucial meeting; I filled out the necessary forms and faxed them to the appropriate United Nations office for approval. It was an extremely exciting time for me. My close friend and colleague, Arnold Stark (History professor and Columbian University PhD) drove me into Manhattan walking me through the United Nations main entrance and security the day of attendance. Professor Stark himself was an old foreign service man from way back in the day and he told me I never looked as professionally sharp as I did on that day; I wore a navy blue pin striped suit. I must admit, I looked good.

Only post attending that day did I truly understand the total lapse of security existing then at the United Nations in New York City. I say this owing to the social fact that the Law Projects Center was indeed registered as an United nations accredited NGO it is true. However, closed meetings of this sort meant attendance was strictly limited to head ambassadors of valid United Nations member state missions and non governmental organizations possessing observer status were not allowed.

Unto present, I’ve yet understood whereby I gained entrance into this privy closed meeting consisting of only United Nations ambassadors, but I did. Walking to the basement floor of the United Nations building that day, I merely wore a visitors badge given to me at the front desk in no manner indicating that I was an ambassador of a United Nations mission; least of all the Bosnia mission as required for entrance. Totally unaware I didn’t possess necessary credentials to enter the meeting, I walked confidently towards the entrance door and past the guard stationed outside it. The guard never bothering to examine the type of badge I wore around my neck simply said “good day Madame” and urged me into the meeting; it was just about time to begin.

I immediately sensed something wrong once through the door past the guard. First, I was uncertain where to sit. Everyone else had a sign in front of their seat stating their country of origin. The Israeli ambassador sat in front of the Israel sign, the Spanish lady sat in front of the seat indicating she represented, Spain etc..

I looked fervently around the room seeing no seats indicating seats for United Nations observers anywhere. The last thing I wanted to do was to embarrass myself by taking the seat of an important ambassador; I noticed a couple of men seeming from some African state grabbing some meeting paperwork nearby so I inquired of them. I told them I was a newbie and inquired where to sit and what I should do. With heavy African accents one of them said, “just grab a bunch of these papers, sit there and look like you are busy,” so I did. In fact, I grabbed as many extra copies as I could without looking conspicuous when noticing another peculiarity.

The meeting papers indicated they were for restricted for the eyes of state mission heads’ only (chief ambassadors of countries) and allowing other persons and/or United Nations employees to view them was a punishable offense. Uncertain what to do, and with the meeting beginning, I merely sat there stunned. My seat and the one the African gentleman next to me took seemed extras because they neglected having any indication regarding country origin in front of them on the table; I felt safe.

As totally immersed and interesting as I found the topics, the African ambassador seated found boring. I say this owing to noticing during the entire meeting he was merely doodling nonsensical pictures on some legal pad. I think that no one took more notes that day than me. I was especially interested in the interstate bickering about financing the international criminal court should and when it came about. Spain was particularly forceful in vocalizing its opinion that the countries giving the most monetary contributions to the court itself ought have more power over both its staffing and its innocent and guilty verdicts as well as judges appointed. My suspicions’ equally shared by scholars such as Noam Chomsky and former attorney general, Ramsey Clark were now fully justifiably confirmed. The court itself was a great travesty of justice and I was actually witnessing quarrels between countries insofar as controlling the courts judges and verdicts based on financial contributions rather than on law and true international justice.



The most shocking point of the meeting for me was when the Israeli ambassador admitted openly to the other attendees that Israel was indifferent to war crimes, crimes against humanity and would in no manner support any international structure limiting its’ ability for practicing war and peace against any other state and/or party it considered a threat to its national interest. The ambassador representing the United States that day strongly and equally explicitly backed the Israeli position making clear American attendance was more for information gathering purposes and show than true concern for international law, world peace and social justice. When the meeting ended I slipped quickly out the front entrance of the United Nations; notes and papers in hand; I would read them in detail later that evening.

It must have amazed Darko upon returning from Serbia I actually gained entrance to the ICC preparatory closed meeting because within a week he invited me to the city to attend another important meeting at the United Nations comprised of diplomats from some very selective and prestigious NATO member states. I don’t recall the date but by his return fully I understood the definition of a closed meeting. Upon approaching the meeting door I became at once cognizant the meeting stated “closed meeting,” on the door. I did my best to point this fact out to Darko who told me to go in with him anyway; we did. Darko obviously thought because I gained entrance to the ICC meeting I ought not have in his absence, perhaps if I were with him, he covertly could gain access this closed NATO meeting; no dice. Upon entering the room, immediately some important looking man called him over and diplomatically informed him that “Serbia was not invited.” Darko pointed to me explaining that he was with the American lady but he was asked politely to leave; I followed him out the door embarrassed.

The following year was mundane. Filled with activities like shuttling back and forth to FDU for graduate school, fund raising for the Law Projects Center and co-authoring two book with Darko. The fateful day of 9/11 and the attacks by Al-Qaeda on the World Trade Center Towers in New York City changed my venue forever. Post 9/11 Darko became a man on a personal mission seemingly unrelated to the Bosnian mission itself.
He told me it was the utmost importance to publicize the alleged fact that the head ambassador of the Bosnian mission was in his estimation involved with Al-Qaeda. Darko had a seemingly ton of secret documentary evidence emanating from the ministry of internal affairs in Belgrade and Bosnia seeming true bolstering his allegations in my eyes then.

Asking me to fervently work on editing a book on which topic was meant for exposing the head ambassador of the Bosnian mission at that time; I acceded. The publication was later published by the Repubika Srpska information agency in Bosnia. The Serbian government in the Republika Srpska in Bosnia then was seriously pressing Darko for a fast publication so we stayed up many nights over his apartment in Forest Hills, New York working to do so. The book was entitled, ”The Bosnia Model of Al-Qaeda Terrorism. It can probably still be found and read online. Last time I checked it was posted on the website: http://www.analyst-network.com/profile.php?user_id=240.

Darko always told me I possessed full rights to this and other publications we worked on together. Although I edited and co-authoring the Al-Qaeda work, a few years back I noticed Darko removed my name on the inner front cover page as editor replacing it with the name of a Serbian editor. When questioned about it Darko told me he kept my name from being published because of the death threats and dangers to my life that he himself encountered because of its publication. I do vividly remember Darko receiving a great many death threats and threats towards his wife at the time, Bojana, so it is possible he was telling me the truth.

Even prior completing our work on the Al-Qaeda book together Darko was obsessed with manifesting the Bosnian Chief ambassador at the time as a terrorist. At the time I had no reason to doubt Darko’s word and assisted him in rabidly writing an open letter to all the United Nations member state missions exposing him as such. I surmise this is when Darko’s job at the United Nations as First Secretary of the Bosnian mission became jeopardized.



Today I surmise Darko’s employment at the United Nations genuinely became compromised owing not only to the inter-ethnic conflicts existing between him and the head ambassador then, a proud Muslim man, but also owing to the fact he forged birth certificates to acquire his position in the first place later becoming a social fact from the interior ministry in Bosnia. It was an emotional shock when Darko informed me a by summer 2001 that he lost his job and he and Bojana had to immediately return to Belgrade to work out the matter in court. This was also a great emotional blow to me also owing to the fact that I always possessed a crush on Darko and he knew it. This was a social fact I never publicly admitted previously to writing this book. I once even asked Darko if he wanted to have an affair with me but he declined stating he would never be unfaithful to his beautiful wife, Bojana. This left me in an extreme morally uncomfortable position because Bojana was my best friend. I continually told myself being attracted to her husband Darko was a non-option. Working so closely with him on an almost daily basis however made my attraction to him difficult to overcome.

I was also engaged to Professor Arnold Stark at the time and wore the ten thousand diamond ring he bought me on my finger. Arnold became increasingly jealous of Darko in time and eventually forbid me to work with him altogether. Notwithstanding, I continued working with Darko against Arnold’s wishes. This coupled with my trip to Serbia and Montenegro in 2002 eventually led to my breakup with Professor Stark and after almost an entire decade, my relationship with Arnold never fully recovered.

Darko tried keeping his job in diplomatic capacity at he UN as long as possible but the bipolar friction and hate existing between himself and the chief ambassador at the mission proved too much. The chief ambassador in contact with the Bosnian government at the time in Sarajevo eventually had Darko dismissed as first secretary of the mission. To the best of my recollection Darko was no longer receiving a monthly salary from Sarajevo by spring or summer 2002 (approximately).



I often came visiting Darko and Bojana’s apartment in Manhattan then situated on a side street within walking distance from the UN to help them out financially by buying them inexpensive dinners and such in Manhattan and chauffeuring them around (they did not own a car for the majority of their stay in the States).

In July 2002 as I remember the three of us spent many memorable moments going to the beaches outside the city and just spending time talking etc.. At the time and owing to my being in graduate school at FDU, I had plenty of extra money to burn owing my taking the maximum GSL student loans totaling about twenty thousand dollars a semester. Then one day that summer Darko informed me he and Bojana were only awaiting the Bosnian government to wire them a sum of five thousand dollars to pay off their American bills, last month rent and they would make a hasty exit back to Belgrade permanently. I was emotionally crushed.

Desperate not to lose contact with Darko because of my personal feelings towards him, I told him my summer classes at FDU were about to end August 2002 and although the fall semester was about to begin, I wanted to visit him in Serbia as soon as possible. Soon for me meant as soon as I received a check from the United States government for the total of that semesters’ student loan money in the amount of about ten thousand dollars.

Darko, hesitant at first soon gave in to my constant petitions to visit him. The day I brought them both to JFK to return to Serbia permanently, Bojana whispered something in Darko’s ear as we hugged saying our goodbyes all three of trying to hold back tears of parting and Darko looking me in the eye said something to the effect, “Jill, don’t worry as soon as you can afford it call me and we’ll arrange your visit.” Darko never could stand to see me cry which on many occasion I did owing to the loss of my two children and other personal challenges in my life. They turned and boarded their plane to Belgrade as I drove back to New Jersey. Driving home I felt an odd combination of extreme sadness at the loss of my two best friends mixed with the cheerful prospect I would shortly be boarding a plane myself destined for Serbia and Montenegro by mid August 2002 when my student loan check arrived.
Upon arriving home I immediately began making all necessary arrangements for my forthcoming trip.

The day following Darko ‘s departure, I bought a great many prepaid phone cards for the purpose of calling him owing to both my missing him and also my primarily wanting to began making all necessary arrangements facilitating my forthcoming visit from JFK to Beograd. I had countless questions such as: how much money will I need, how will I obtain a VISA being an American citizen with all the US State Department warnings against US citizenry traveling to the region, etc., etc., etc.. I had already obtained a valid United States passport many years ago which I always carried with me. I’ve always held the strong opinion that having a valid passport with you at all times is just a good idea. It enables one the necessary freedom to go to the airport and catch a plane going anywhere at anytime.

Darko told me that I need not worry about all the complicated VISA requirements listed on Serbian government website required of other Americans that he would handle everything. I was told merely to bring with me about five thousand United States dollars in cash spending money and it was a done deal. I went to buy some new suitcases and clothes for my trip in Wayne, New Jersey during the first two weeks in August 2002 in preparation. Packing was always a problem for me as Darko can attest to owing to my medically diagnosed attention deficit disorder. I had a difficult time deciding what to bring, so I tried to bring everything I thought I needed. The day of my departure my suitcases weighed way over the weight limit restrictions indicated by the airline.

Getting to JFK for departure in mid August 2002 proved to be an almost insurmountable task in and of itself owing to my heavy luggage and everyone I asked to drop me at the airport that day had strongly held views against my going. Arnold Stark declined to bring me owing to his personal jealousies insofar as Darko and everyone else had one or another excuse rooted in the anti-American sentiment in Serbia at that time and danger involved.



Undeterred, I finally convinced Archbishop John LoBue, my priest and confessor at the Holy Name Orthodox Christian Church in West Milford, New Jersey to take me as far as the Port Authority in Manhattan; from there I took a bus to JFK managing myself.

Post 9/11, JFK was supposedly safe beyond reproach insofar as security; this proved untrue. I had not traveled outside America in many years so I was unfamiliar with the new travel restrictions on such items as nail scissors etc., being illegal to bring onboard flights and carried several very sharp ones right passed JFK security inspection inside my purse on board out of my own ignorance of new flight rules. It was not until I arrived on my stopover in Paris, France that I was boarding onto a JAT (Yugoslav Air Travel) flight for Belgrade that the security officer of JAT told me that he had to confiscate the aforementioned items owing to new security precautions implemented post 9/11.

I informed him upon boarding my initial flight at JFK in New York, the security guards at the gate allowed me to board my flight to Paris carrying them in my purse. The JAT security employee merely shook his head in amazement mentioning something insofar as his seriously questioning American security in general stating that Jugosalv Air Travel obviously took airline and passenger security much more seriously.

I loved flying JAT! Not only was I completely satisfied the flight from Paris to Belgrade was many times more secure since JAT searched boarding passengers more thoroughly than JFK, the hospitality, food and drink was excellent. I say this owing to my being a well seasoned traveler having previously visited places such as Indonesia, Thailand and Hong Kong, etc.. It was extremely laid back on the flight. People moved around switching seats and chatting with good friends and the food was the best! My favorite Serbian food and drink were served and all airline employees shoed me the highest level of hospitality. I was extremely pleased with the professionalism and service on JAT I later began an online blog about it on Yahoo360.



Upon my flight arriving in Beograd, all passengers left the plane in the usual manner except Serbian citizens were shuffled through customs quickly merely showing their passport. All others including myself were asked to relinquish their passports and told to wait an unspecified amount of time in a holding area at the airport. An airport security officer went around confiscating our passports afterward leaving us merely standing there not knowing what to expect next. No other announcements were made; I did the only thing possible I relinquished my passport to the Serbian custom official along with the other western Europeans and/or Americans (if there were any) which I surmised like myself were attempting to enter Serbia from countries that were NATO allies in the Kosovo war against Slobodan Milosevic in 1999. There must have been about twenty persons with me just waiting.

All types of nagging thoughts plagued me such as “perhaps my friends were correct that I ought not have taken this trip…was it really too dangerous to travel to Serbia with all the anti-American sentiment and what would happen if Serbian customs decided I was an American spy, kept my passport and I ended in some unknown jail and/or murdered….who would find me…what could I do about it etc., etc., etc..”

It seemed nearly an hour passed; me and the others were still standing there waiting. I didn’t want to seem scared or overly curious by asking either Serbian custom officials or anyone else waiting with me anything as to not cause unnecessary attention to myself. I also kept checking my watch wondering if Darko knew I was here waiting. I had hoped with his government connections he would at least inquire about my arrival since he told me he would pick me up. I drew comfort from the fact Darko was always very punctual picking up and bringing himself and others to airports. On numerous occasions I gave him and others rides to and from them. These and other thoughts plagued me when suddenly I heard a voice on the loud speaker call my name, Jill Starr, asking me to go to a customs area to claim my passport. I was the first person called so I don’t know what happened to the others standing there still waiting. I hurriedly went to obtain my passport and was told that I cleared; the guard pointed the direction for me to go claim my luggage. You have no idea what a relief that was!

I took in my new surroundings pleased that I made it into the country successfully. As a young child my father took me with him traveling the world when he was an active nuclear engineering consultant for Chas T Main, USAID and the IMF. I had been in Indonesia during the turmoil in East Timor so I was used to being in war zones surrounded by soldiers with guns. I was presently older, but still I found such travel extremely exciting more than dangerous and looked forward to enjoying the rest of my vacation with Darko and Bojana.

Making it to the baggage claim area successfully I was relieved seeing Darko standing their waiting for me. I was not fluent in Serbian and didn‘t want to publicize it by asking people questions in English manifesting I was American. I hurried to him giving him a large hug.

I was so glad to see Darko. I noticed upon my arrival at the Belgrade airport that there were many female police officers equipped with guns wearing short mini skirts and extremely high heels. I asked Darko how they apprehended criminals in such high heels and he replied smirking that they don’t have to run, they merely shot those not halting in the back and that stopped them.

Like a dream come true, there I was in Beograd Serbia against all odds and complaints from my friends. Darko helped me get my luggage to his friend’s vehicle telling me we could talk about everything I had to say later because we had to hurry. Darko‘s friend, a German man living in Serbia for years and an important military employee of the Serbian government in a grayish older large SUV vehicle with what seemed a special license plate was impatiently waiting at the front gate of the airport for us. Darko’s friend did not speak fluent English but he did speak fluent German and Serbian. Darko told him to help lift my luggage into the trunk in Serbian and he did. Darko always liked to brag and as usual he introduced me to his friend giving me the details of his being an important man in the Serbian military etc.. We went straight from the Beograd airport to the home of Bojana’s family in the suburbs of Belgrade and all became reacquainted.

Bojana and I hugged; she introduced me to her family (father, mother and brother who was a high school student in Beograd).
Afterward, Darko showed me the room upstairs where I would sleep which was actually Bojana’s room also informing me of our three week itinerary; he had it all planned out. Darko told me we would all spend the night over Bojana’s house, the next day sleep at his apartment outside Beograd and later explained the next day we would stop at his father’s family’s house for dinner and leave from there making our way into Montenegro for a ten day vacation staying at his friend’s resort on Budva’s seaside coast. Along the way Darko told me he would give me the best tour I could ask for and he did. He showed me military installations and one of my favorite stops was the NATO bombed Chinese embassy which I stood in front of only several yards from.

My night at Bojana’s residence was wonderful. I was never showed as much love and hospitality as I did from her family. Although it was late in the evening (about 11pm Serbian time) when we arrived, Bojana’s mother, a wonderful woman, treated me as her own daughter. She insisted that Darko, Bojana and I enjoy what seemed a 10 course home cooked meal. She was still cooking while she served us a variety of cooked steaks, vegetables and pastries. And like many Italian families she insisted I tried and ate everything. To top the night off before bed Bojana and her father performed an accordion duet live in the kitchen for me. Apparently, Bojana and her father were professional accordion players and Bojana explained that her father’s employment consisted of playing nightly in a local bar. Thereafter, we went to bed with full stomachs.

The next morning we all enjoyed an equally exquisite breakfast. Bojana’s family had livestock in the backyard and her mother cooked us a fresh eggs and steak for breakfast like never before experienced. We said our parting goodbyes and left for Darko’s apartment in the hills of Beograd. We brought my suitcases in and upon entering I noticed there were lots of stray dogs around the apartment entrance. One in particular was very cute and Darko explained that the various residents fed it because it was so adorable. I found it interesting that so many old men were just hanging about the entrance to the apartment building drinking and just sitting there with seemingly nothing to do. They remained there throughout my entire trip.

Even when Ratko Mladic came to see me on my final day in Serbia in full military regalia giving me a parting gift (a book he inscribed to me entitled Serbija) while Darko took pictures of Mladic with his arm around me, the men remained there merely looking like old bums. Retrospectively, I wonder if they weren’t some watchmen and/or guards. Unto this day I always wondered what Darko did with those photos.

I was surprised what a very large apartment Darko owned. He showed me into his guest room and I unpacked my suitcases in just enough time to inform me I was to consolidate all my truly necessary items for Montenegro into one small bag that would reasonably fit into his trunk in the morning because he needed enough room for his and Bojana’s luggage also. He laughed at all the things I brought with me to Beograd telling me that I had no idea how to pack.

By the time I was done with that task Darko told me it was time to go meet some friends at a local café for coffee. It was late summer and the outside café’s in Beograd were the best ! We met up with a few friends in some restaurant in Beograd; there was about five of us sitting there just chatting and drinking coffee when I noticed an older gentleman sitting a few seats down with feathered salt and pepper colored hair not saying much except for an occasional laugh and nod at us. I wondered wherefore Darko a man about thirty would associate with such an older person, as for me being several years older than Darko, I thought to myself, what a cute guy. Then upon closer inspection, I realized it was doctor Radovan Karadzic. I knew he was a psychiatrist. By no means was this to be our last meeting. Throughout the time I spent in Serbia Darko met with Karadzic on many occasions in Beograd. The meetings were usually brief; only to exchange oral information and/or a few papers with Darko and whisper something or other in Darko‘s ear. He looks as the news media portrays him dressed in his gray wrinkled suit and tie and salt and pepper colored hair. He was a perfect gentleman all times I met him with Darko. After finishing our coffee, Darko said we ought leave and get a good nights rest because we had to leave early the next day for Montenegro.



The next morning we all got into Darko’s blue Audi (car) and left for his Father’s house. I remember arguing with Darko about wanting to bring lots of luggage with me and he replied I didn’t need all that stuff and I could only bring one normal sized bag with me and I had to leave the rest of my things at his apartment; I did. On the way to his father’s, Darko made a few important stops for the purpose of giving me the grand tour. We only stopped briefly at some military installations; we didn’t get out of the car. We drove up to the gates and Darko pointed out, “look Jill, this is an important military facility.” Darko always sarcastically smirked as he pointed out these places to me. The only place we got out was in front of the bombed out Chinese embassy in Beograd. There were Serbian military officers in front of the embassy. I was amazed owing to I always had thought bombed out buildings were totally demolished. But standing in front of the Chinese embassy that was bombed by the NATO in 1999 taught me the definition of a “smart bomb.”


Only the portion of the building hosting the embassy employees on the upper level of the building itself was demolished and in particular the window where the Chinese embassy officials worked. I could see in the window and I even got a sad glimpse of the Victorian styled chair sitting there empty in the bombed out window. I wondered who used to sit there and if they were dead or alive. No other parts of the building was seriously damaged. There were even flowers and trees still growing untouched in front of the building. I strongly believe that NATO knew exactly what they aimed at when they bombed the building.

I brought a digital camera with me on my trip but upon returning to the United States, all the film Darko claimed to snap for me was returned by my local film developer as blank. I wondered if Darko told me the truth about snapping photos for me at all. Throughout my trip he insisted on taking all the photos I wanted claiming I take poor pictures. It since crossed my mind he may have removed the film from my camera prior my departing Serbia so I could not take it back with me. One thing I am sure of is both Darko and Bojana refused having any photos taken of them throughout my entire stay.

After leaving the scene at the Chinese embassy, we made our way to the home of Darko’s father driving through a beautiful park not dissimilar to Central Park in Manhattan along the way. I can’t be certain what park it was because I didn’t know the geographical area; we soon arrived at our destination. Darko’s father lived in the most incredibly beautiful green hills in an area of Serbia existing somewhere between Beograd and Montenegro. Immediately upon entering and meeting his father, stepmother and grandmother who recently passed away, I felt part of the family. Although his family did not speak English, Darko and Bojana translated for me.

Darko’s grandmother was an extraordinarily warm and wise woman in whose presence I felt comfortable and happy the entire time. Before dinner there was the customary libation of grappa (a Serbian hard liquor of incredible potency). If only I could find grappa here in America. After another dinner that would give Manhattan’s top chefs a run for their money, Darko brought me upstairs into a guest room to take a nap.

I told him I was not tired but he insisted I nap saying we would be driving all night before reaching Montenegro and I need my rest. I must have slept an hour before he awakened me to say our parting goodbyes and begin our journey. I was extremely excited; Darko promised me a three week Adriatic holiday allowing me swimming privileges at every beach from Hercegovni to an area he said was only ten meters from Kosovo’s border. We couldn’t go into Kosovo Darko said because it was too dangerous. I knew Darko had been shot several times and almost killed in Kosovo previously so I didn’t push the issue. As a former lifeguard and avid swimmer, I couldn‘t wait for my vacation to start and Darko delivered it to me as promised.

The onset of our journey began at sunset; still adjusting to the time zone differential I dozed off in Darko’s backseat; for how long I’m uncertain. I dozed on and off until sunrise when we reached the Montenegrin border. I mean, there wasn’t much to see driving in the dark cover of night. The wider well lit highway we initially set out upon gradually narrowed as the highway lights became fewer. Eventually there were no highway lights at all. My body continuously shifted from one side of Darko’s backseat to the other making sleep difficult.
It was obvious the road we traversed was analogous to Pacific Coast Highway in California driving through Big Sur. It was mountainous, dangerously ridden with hairpin turns and no guardrails. In Montenegro, inexperienced travelers could almost mistake the scenery for Big Sur with the beautiful blue Adriatic sea hugging the bottoms of the cliffs we not so cautiously traveled. I asked Darko to slow down because he was driving like speed racer. He replied not to worry explaining he could drive these roads blindfolded he knew them well. I thought to myself, better safe than sorry buddy. It is a good thing I had some prescription Xanax with me, I popped one, maybe two just to relax while simultaneously trying to hide this act from Darko since he hated drugs in general. He especially hated my taking the prescription medications my doctor gave me saying I didn’t need them, they were addicting and poison. He also strongly disdained cigarettes; Bojana smoked covertly.

The sun was just rising when Darko awakened me excitedly pointing out the tunnel we were driving through. I think he said at the other end we’d be entering Montenegro. Driving to the Budva Riviera in Montenegro we drove through some similar tunnels; the scenery was unbelievably breathtaking. There is no other place in the world I’d rather be than in Budva Montenegro and I recommend everyone vacation there. We were making our way to a seaside resort a friend of Darko owned. Still driving like speed racer around the hairpin turns and mountainous cliffs compromising the road, we finally arrived at our destination safely. I admit Darko is an excellent driver; his driving is reminiscent of agent 007 in James Bond movies.

Because of the Kosovo war, there was not one functional ATM in either in Serbia and Montenegro. To be safe I split the five thousand dollars we had between Darko and I. I held onto half and he the other. One of my favorite stories I tell people of my trip is how I swam with my money throughout the trip; it made me feel secure always keeping some cash on me at all times; even when I was swimming a quarter mile out in the Adriatic sea. Darko told me not to; I did anyway.



Owing to that, the cash I held was often wet. One particular time we went to a bank in Montenegro. The banks there are so remarkably careful of counterfeiting, they refused exchanging my United States dollars for Euros because my money was wet; the three of us returned to the hotel using my blow dryer to evaporate the dollar bills until dried. The three of us henceforth joked about this saying we laundered the money.

Upon arriving at the resort, Darko introduced me to his friend and we worked out the financial gratuities for our stay. We paid him eight hundred United States dollars for ten days; meals included. Unlike hotels in America, meals meant an extremely large home cooked breakfast consisting of large varieties of meat, coffee and juice. Lunch and dinner consisted of many course meals where main dishes consisted of either freshly caught seafood or meat. Our accommodation consisted of two medium sized rooms with separate entrances; one for myself and another for Darko and Bojana. To reach the beach we only needed to walk across the street and down a small path; one could see Italy at the other end of the horizon on a clear day. I was ecstatic loving to swim. Since Bojana didn’t swim, Darko couldn’t always accompany me to the beach so I‘d just walk to it myself for periodic swims throughout the day; August was a very hot month. Of any country I’ve visited, Serbia and Montenegro wins my top prize for fun, food, beauty and hospitality. Everyone is friendly, warm, the atmosphere is relaxed and laid back and most persons speak some English owing to children learning English as a second language in school at a young age. Unfortunately, American school children do not grow up learning another language other than native English which leaves them I feel at an intellectual disadvantage.

Each day Darko took us to another beach for a day enjoying food, drink, music, perhaps some shopping and primarily, swimming. As long as I could swim for hours each day I was happy. By the time nighttime rolled in all of us were so tired each day we usually had dinner and retired early, except for one night. This just happened to be the one night of my entire vacation I was overly exhausted wanting to retire early at any cost. Inversely, this was the one evening both Darko and Bojana incredibly excited informed me to take a shower, dress and get ready for a big surprise.


When I asked Darko what this surprise was and its great importance being I was so tired; he merely insisted I go get ready for it. Darko was always very bossy in my estimation constantly telling us when to sleep, awakening Bojana and I up early, limiting our time before breakfast for dressing, blow drying our hair etc. which the two of us always complained about privately to each other. I always accepted this as part of his personality but this night it annoyed me to no end; I simply wanted sleep, surprise or not. As usual I gave into to Darko’s demands by hurrying to my room, showering, changing, and preparing myself for a night out. If you’re a woman, you understand when you have a crush on someone as I did Darko, you usually give into his demands easily; so I did.

Upon changing, Dark and Bojana were waving me to hurry to the car; exhausted I got in and slammed the door. Less than ten minutes up the pitch black road Darko pulled the car over and we got out. Darko and Bojana said, “Hurry Jill look down there.” At the bottom of the cliffs was the most beautiful city of lights I’ve ever seen. Darko said proudly, “this is Budva Jill, that‘s where we are going.” It was many times more beautiful that Paris or Manhattan at night and situated in a valley about a mile and a half wide forcing the Montenegrin peninsula farther out. It was a remarkably amazing sight, Budva itself being lit up with a wide variety of bright lights surrounded by an aura of pitch black. By this time Bojana started complaining to Darko to move his car in more because someone may come around the sharp turn in the darkness sideswiping it. Darko never worried much about illegal parking or his speed limit owing to whenever getting pulled over, he just made manifest to the officer his huge governmental badge and they let him go; the badge was at least three times larger than the usual American police officer badge and was gold in color.

Darko became annoyed with Bojana’s complaints so we returned to the car, got in and descended about five minutes down the treacherously dark road into Budva and parked. I couldn’t believe it! It was like a dream, We walked down around Budva, Darko pointing out everything.

We stopped to have a drink at one of the many outdoor bar/café’s and listened to the live entertainment while we sipped our drinks. Then I went to buy another bathing suit at a small shop when Darko told me to follow him and Bojana into the most amazing bar I’ve ever seen, anywhere in the world. The bar itself was actually a small island rocky island; to reach it one had to walk underground maybe a little less than one quarter mile. Upon entering the bar it had many levels; all outside surrounded by the roaring nighttime surf of the sea and live entertainment. I saw a few people illegally swimming and asked Darko if I could swim there too. He informed me the swimming was closed for the evening. We ordered drinks and sat there chilling for a while. On the walk back Darko showed me all the gambling casinos along the Riviera. It looked like anyone could get whatever they wanted in Budva if they had the correct amount of money with them. Montenegro was to me akin to a luxurious playground for the ultra rich, famous as well as infamous. We then walked back via way of the tunnel, stopped at a small outdoor restaurant all ordering a type of delicious pancake we enjoyed by dipping it in chocolate syrup and drove back to the hotel to get some rest.

The next day Darko took merely us to another gorgeous beach. It was reminiscent of Greece. The water was sapphire blue, clear and warm. The beach itself was not large, but completely hidden by huge rocky cliffs. The three of us took a kind of small craft about a quarter of a mile out into the Adriatic; Darko and I jumped in for a swim. Bojana was partially nude sunbathing at the time on the boat and since she was unable to swim, Darko teased her by stealing her clothes, pretending not to give them back to her. She immediately became upset demanding Darko return her clothes; Darko soon complied with her demands. Thereafter, we ended the day with lunch and drinks. The following day was one of my vacation high points. We visited the Ostrog monastery.

Driving to the Ostrog monastery was long, hot and boring. It lied somewhere deep beyond the Montenegrin coastline inland. We drove a long windy road without even so much as a store on it. After a couple of hours, Darko stopped for lunch at the only restaurant I noticed the entire trip. You’d think it would be small being situated in the middle of what I considered, “nowhere.” However, this was not the case.

There was actually a long line and tons of people there having lunch. I could only imagine like us they were on their way to visit Ostrog. The restaurant itself was classy and I can only liken it to seeing a luxurious restaurant in the middle of the Mohave desert. While I was visiting Ostrog monastery in Montenegro, Darko introduced me to a Serbian priest asking me if I wanted confession. The man looked almost verbatim to Karadzic in his monks getup. I mean the way the latest news photos of Karadzic in his monk getup looks. I only became cognizant of this recently since the photos of him since his arrest have been made publicly manifest. In particular I remember the priest’s large darker curl on the top of this priest’s head like in the recent Karadzic photos; I wondered who would make their monks hair like that. This priest blessed me and told Darko in Serbian he could not hear my confession owing to his not understanding English well. He gave me a gift, a book about the monastery itself which I gave to Archbishop John LoBue in West Milford (my priest).

While visiting Ostrog, we venerated the holy relics leaving an offering of either food or money at the door leading to the holy relics; I can’t remember which now. Leaving, we looked around the gift shop, had coffee at the small Ostrog monastery café and Darko gave me a tour where the monks sleep and shower. Then we made the long drive back to the hotel. We had the usual dinner at which time Bojana was overcome with a terrible toothache. I told her I’d pay for the filling tomorrow; Darko knew a dentist 10 meter from Kosovo‘s border. Tomorrow we‘d swim there and have Bojana‘s tooth looked at. The town we went to the next day possessed an ethnic Albanian majority and organized crime was everywhere.

Before retiring for the evening I went for a small walk around the corner from the hotel to buy some snacks; there was a small store there. I never felt endangered at any time by anyone. During my stay in Montenegro I walked to the store myself almost daily buying drinks and other items I could enjoy privately in my room at night. I never noticed previously to that evening’s walk just how many persons actually were vacationing from Western Europe in Budva the fall 2002 like me.


After promenading to the store, upon returning to the hotel, a German man sitting outside the hotel and speaking in broken English introduced himself. When I told him that I was from New Jersey in the United States he became extremely interested and warmly said he is pleased I was able to enjoy the area. I replied, “I was tired and needed to retire.” Saying he understood he returned to his card game.

We had the usual dinner at which time Bojana was overcome with a terrible toothache. I told her I’d pay for the filling tomorrow; Darko knew a dentist ten meters from Kosovo‘s border. Tomorrow we‘d swim there and have Bojana‘s tooth looked at. The town we went to the next day possessed an ethnic Albanian majority and organized crime was everywhere.

We awoke early as to get Bojana to the dentist. This is actually where the Montenegrin bank had refused to exchange our money for Euros. Managing cash was difficult in Serbia and Montenegro owing to that the national currency in Serbia was still dinars and in Montenegro it was Euros. Most businessman preferred either Euros or American dollars, but one never knew which.

Upon parking, Darko led the way down the busy street towards the dentist who I remember being an ethnic Albanian man. Apparently, they visited this dentist previously and he was extremely friendly. Not at any time did any ethnic Albanians cause me, Darko or Bojana any problems because I was American and they were Serb. The dentist was going to take a while and since the bank would not exchange our American dollars for Euros, we could buy neither lunch nor anything else and we all possessed a ravenous hunger for lunch.

Ignoring Darko’s warnings not to go wondering myself, I left the dentist office under the pretense of going for a walk while Bojana had her dental work completed. Before Darko could catch me I was gone. I walked up the main street about one mile and began asking people in English where I could exchange United States currency for Euros. I came upon a well dressed ethnic Albanian high school student, a girl speaking perfect English who told me to walk up the street about another half mile and when I see men selling the cigarettes outside on a bridge table, ask them to do the deed; I did.
The girl asked me about America saying her greatest wish was to study in New York City one day. When I told her about my experience at the New School for Social Research, being dismissed for my anti NATO views on the Kosovo war she replied to me, “maybe she was wrong about wanting to study in Manhattan.”

I made my way to the table with about five ethnic Albanian men hanging about selling cigarettes and asked them in English if they could exchange money for me; they did. They were definitely organized crime. They took my wet cash, examined the bills, one man walked into an apartment building with my cash while I merely waited. He didn‘t rob me and returned with my Euros. Surprisingly, I found everyone in both Serbia and Montenegro very honorable in their business dealings; even if those dealings are organized crime.

Upon receiving my Euros from the men, I walked away back to see if Bojana was through with the dentist; she was. I excitedly told Darko that I had successfully managed to exchange American dollars for Euros thinking he’d be pleased with me; he wasn’t. Darko was always very protective of me. Instead of commending me he immediately got very angry; scolding me he said exchanging money illegally in the streets of Montenegro was both illegal and dangerous. You can’t change the past so I diplomatically apologized and Darko soon forgot his anger I lieu of the fact that now we all could have lunch. Afterward, Darko brought us to a beautiful beach nearby. The majority of the sunbathers were ethnic Albanian and again no one harassed us based on our ethnicity. I tried pushing Darko into driving into Kosovo but he flatly refused. I found it interesting that the international news at this time was reporting that there were hundreds of thousands of homeless ethnic Albanians being ethnically cleansed to Albania, I did not see one ethnic Albanian or Roma homeless on the streets anywhere. All seemed normal only ten meters from the Kosovo border. After a day of swimming and partially nude sunbathing, we returned to the hotel.





Insofar as sequence of events, at this junction in time it was the last few days I spent in Montenegro; it’s difficult now to remember the exact timeline of events. In other words, I remember visiting Old Town and Podgorica also in Montenegro but uncertain of which locations we visited first. During the last two days, Darko took me one day to Old Town in Montenegro for dinner; there we greatly enjoyed an expensive seafood meal after which we walked around. Darko got a parking ticket that night in Old Town and greatly complained about its five dollar fee; for some, five dollars is equal to an entire week pay in Serbia. I think I offered him the five dollars for the ticket feeling guilty because it was only for my benefit he parked there at all. Darko wanted to show me Old Town; he already knew what the beautiful cobble stone streets looked like.

We also went to the Montenegrin capital, Podgorica. I really don’t remember much of Podgorica except for walking around the streets one night. Since we didn’t swim there so it wasn’t a high point for me. When our ten day stay in Montenegro was finished we all packed and returned the way we came in Darko’s car. The day before we left, Darko’s car required maintenance. We didn’t have enough cash on hand left to pay for the needed repairs so I called Arnold Stark, my fiancée in the states, asking him to please wire us five hundred dollars cash to Montenegro; he did. This is a fact that Arnold himself can verify being that he alone possesses the charge card receipt for wiring us the money through Western Union to a town not far from Budva. With Darko’s car repairs complete, we returned home for Beograd.

On the way back to Beograd we made two more important stops. One was Hercegovni where we met up with Darko’s cousin, a soon to be freshman college student and her friends. We had a couple of drinks, snapped some photos and Darko and I went for a quick swim in the sea. When it began to rain, we called it a day. The other stop was somewhere on the way back, where I have no idea. We pulled up to a large lake. Darko pulled his car onto a large ferry boat. There were some people on the ferry, but primarily soldiers from the Serbian military. Reaching the other side we drove around but I can’t remember much.


Returning on the ferry, we piled into Darko’s car and appeared at his apartment several hours later. We were all extremely exhausted and passed out as soon as possible in our separate rooms. Again, we walked past the same old men sitting in front of Darko’s apartment building seeming to do nothing; they waved at us.

There were only two days left of my vacation at this point; I didn’t feel like doing much of anything. I’d come down with terrible stomach symptoms that began in Budva several days prior. This was probably owing to my ignoring Darko and Bojana’s warning not to drink tap water but only bottled; a lesson I ought have learned in Indonesia as a young girl. We were all feeling tired and slightly under the weather merely wanting to recuperate. Notwithstanding, Darko, always an avid early morning riser, insisted we promenade Beograd’s renown indoor marketplace; an extremely large indoor flea market. We walked approximately an hour or two. I tried on several dresses before finally buying myself one; the type I can’t recall. Bojana bought herself Serbian brand makeup after which Darko informed us it’s time to leave.

Shopping was always boring to Darko unless it was for himself and during his stay in the United States Darko, Bojana and I hit many malls in New York and New Jersey such as Willow brook in Wayne, New Jersey. Other favorite stores we often visited were Daffy’s and Macy’s in Forest Hills, Queens, New York. I vividly remember the Republika Srpska diplomatic contact to the Hague court in the Netherlands visiting. Me, Darko, he whose name was Dan in English, along with my daughter little Jill went to Macy’s at the Willow brook Mall in Wayne NJ allowing Dan to buy some gifts for his girlfriend back in Bosnia. Afterwards, we all enjoyed a wonderful lunch at Six Brothers Diner on Route 46 not to far from Montclair State University in New Jersey.

I can’t recall whether it was prior to vacationing in Budva or after, but close to the Beograd marketplace we visited the apartment of a Serbian basketball player and his disc jockey roommate (the walls of the apartment were covered with music CD’s from around the world). It was a very impressive CD collection. He said he often spent time in Manhattan studying when not having to compete.

I became increasingly sad during this time owing that in another day I’d again be saying goodbye to the man I loved, Darko; perhaps leaving Serbia forever. I wanted to stay and live in Beograd permanently but I had duties to my graduate studies at FDU in Hackensack, New Jersey. Had I known the university (FDU) would be soon dismissing me from their graduate program similarly to the New School for Social Research, I would have stayed in Beograd. I always told Darko my greatest desire was to live in Serbia and/or Montenegro. He always replied, “Jill you have your children and your studies now. After your children leave and you complete your graduate degree, then you can come reside in my country.” After the New School discriminated against me and I was recently receiving poor grades at FDU from professors that had formerly studied and graduated from the New School themselves, I felt I wanted to leave America thinking strongly I would have more academic freedom in Serbia. In fact during my entire Serbian trip, I discovered that myself and others freely spoke our minds on a myriad of subjects such as politics and theology without being badgered. This was my personal experience and I know allegedly not all Serb citizenry under previous regimes enjoyed such privilege.

Upon leaving the marketplace we enjoyed lunch at Darko’s which Bojana prepared; she was an excellent cook! My favorite Serbian food is Gibanica (I think this is the correct spelling). Gibanica is an exquisite main dish comprised of Greek filo dough, beef, cheese and sometimes spinach baked in layers similarly to Italian lasagna. After lunch, I decided to walk by myself to a local store for purchasing some items. I wanted some air alone outside not wanting Darko to see me cry. As aforementioned, I became extremely sad about returning to the United States the following day. When returning to the apartment, Darko suggested I nap a while so I did. I don’t remember what time it was when Darko knocked on my door waking me up. He informed me we were heading out soon to meet up with a friend of his named, Sharko, he wanted to introduce me.

We left Darko’s apartment after dusk and about ten minutes later parked nearby a beautiful green park lined with trees along the river, somewhere in Beograd. Uncertain exactly where we were going, I allowed Darko and Bojana to lead.

Strolling down the narrow paved path a few feet wide cutting into a grassy hill, we headed directly towards a boat restaurant. Traversing the small shaky wooden bridge, we boarded. The place was empty; we were the only persons present besides one waitress. We sat as follows; Darko and Bojana sat next to each other as in American restaurant booth’s and I sat alone across vis-à-vis. The boat itself was very luxurious resembling the interior of several large boats formerly owned by the late Aristotle Onassis. I have several books on Aristotle Onassis so I have seen photos of the interior of his large boats. The waitress came over to take our order; there was no menu. We verbally told her which libation we wanted; as she walked away Sharko came in. Sharko was Ratko Mladic; he wore old faded blue jeans sagging a bit around his waist.

I wasn’t scared at all. When first shaking hands with Mr. Mladic I thought quietly, this couldn’t possibly be happening; but it in objective reality it was really happening. I’ve met many interesting people since graduating WPUNJ in New Jersey in 1997. I personally coined the term, extreme sociologist which I consider myself. I may not be rich, but achieved my scholarly goals notwithstanding either FDU or the New School for Social Research in Manhattan dismissing me from their graduate study programs. Since completing my undergraduate degree, I’ve desired to better understand our world by meeting with and talking with the world’s most controversial individuals. I believe in traveling to hidden and seemingly remote places around the world, partaking in local cultural activities for better understanding wherefore people behave as they do.

Mladic first seated himself across from me, in a separate chair the right of Darko. The waitress returned asking Mladic what he preferred to drink; he ordered expensive wine saying jokingly it was “two hundred dollars a bottle,” smiling. I was already drinking an alcoholic beverage of some sort I can’t remember along with Bojana. Darko rarely drank and sipped on something non-alcoholic. Extolling me to Mladic, Darko explicated whereby I was the only American college student standing firm on grave issues pertaining to international justice insofar, the NATO and the former Yugoslavia.


Darko finished boasting about me to Mladic after which I in an extremely forceful forthright manner explained to Mladic my political views insofar as NATO’s breaching international law by launching military aggression against the former Yugoslavia, by bombing the Chinese embassy in Beograd, and, by purposely bombing other civilian targets in Serbia and Montenegro in 1999. I have a film of when NATO bombed a newborn baby hospital unit in Beograd; disgraceful!

Mladic seemed impressed with my viewpoints on war and peace. He was very warm friendly man; very relaxed and laid back. He smiled the entirety we were chilling out just enjoying each other’s company and drink. Hanging out with Mladic was no different than chilling with my other friends back in America. I ordered another drink with Darko’s disapproval. As aforementioned, Darko strongly disdained mind altering substances, always trying to help me overcome my craving for them. Then, Mladic opened his wallet, showing me photos of his wife and children; he had a very attractive family as portrayed in his wallet sized photos. I think he missed them, perhaps empathizing to the loss I felt being estranged with my own two children for so many agonizing years.

Like General Mladic, I possess very few photos of my own children. The photos Mladic had in his wallet were obviously very old because his children were still very young in the pictures. It was evident he didn’t have any recent photos of his family in many years; I sympathized with him in this respect. After reminiscing over family photos he got up sitting next to me across from Darko and Bojana. I let him hold my hand gently massaging it. He kissed my hand, inviting me to spend the night with him in the hills of Beograd; I declined on account of my strong Orthodox Christian theological convictions. I admit Mladic having warm inviting hands and greatly enjoying the manner in which he touched me. I did consider him an attractive man; yet as aforementioned I declined his invitation. He accepted my decision although he did ask me again; again I replied the same answer. It was getting late and I was departing Serbia the following day in the afternoon. Still sipping my drink, I began urging Darko to return to America with me making a life for himself teaching as a professor at a university.

In retrospect, I now feel tremendous guilt and shame because of my advances towards Darko owing to Bojana my best friend sitting there with me vis-à-vis. Feeling a bit tipsy from drinking, Mladic continued making sexual advances towards urging me to go home with him. Darko laughed seemingly thinking Mladic’s advances towards me were cute stating, “go ahead Jill, spend the night with Sharko, it’s fine…Sharko‘s a good friend of mine…don‘t worry if you want to…I promise you’ll not miss your flight back to America tomorrow…“ I continued declining the advances and when it became obvious I wouldn’t change my mind, Darko said we had to leave because I had to finish packing for my flight and get a good nights sleep.

We all departed identically to boarding the boat restaurant, crossing the small narrow wooden bridge; Sharko/ Mladic departed with us. After exiting, Mladic and I stood in front of the boat restaurant for several minutes. I began crying because I loved Serbia not wanting to leave the next day. Mladic pulled me close to him and embracing me, he kissed both my cheeks. I kissed his cheeks also embracing him.

Darko and Bojana were walking ahead towards the car leaving me and Mladic alone. Knowing, I’d continue crying, I broke our embrace saying “goodbye.” Mladic promised to visit me the next day dressed in his full military uniform before I left Serbia. I didn’t want to part; but I did. I saw Darko and Bojana walking towards their car up the grassy hill and followed. I walked briskly catching up with them; I was exhausted and still had to finish packing back at Darko‘s apartment. Once more I turned and saw Mladic drive away in an old brown Mercedes Benz on its left front side. I was surprised to see it was scratched and slightly dented. Arriving back at Darko’s place, I completed preparations for departing the following day and fell fast asleep.

The next day I woke up around mid morning feeling depressed so I went for a walk to a local store picking up some things. Returning to Darko’s, we were standing outside his apartment discussing something when I turned seeing Mladic approaching me in full military regalia. We shook hands glad seeing each other. Of all photos I’ve seen online, Mladic never looked better than he did then.
His military uniform was clean, ironed and he wore every military metal ever earned it seemed to me. He was as honorably decorated as any of the American Joint Chief’s of Staff; even wearing his gold colored in sigma upon his green military cap. He had many gold colored metals hanging from his uniform on the left side by his chest. I was privileged to see him this way; I confess being impressed.

I was surprised to say the very least. Darko said to stand next to Mladic insisting on snapping some photos of the two of us. Mladic placed his arm around my shoulder and I his; we both smiled as Darko snapped some photos. When finished Mladic presented me with a gift. The book I posted online for you all to view, signing it to me under the alias name, Sharko thanking me for beautiful times spent together in Beograd. We embraced and he left as Darko interjected saying we had to hurry to the airport before I miss my flight.

Darko’s German friend delivered me back to Beograd airport the same manner as picked up. There was little time, my flight was actually locking the gate and about to depart without me. Darko ran up to someone important showing his governmental badge as I recall, asking them to hold the flight until I board. There was hardly time for JAT to weigh my luggage; they did however inform me it weighed over the limit allowed. Darko said there was no time to be picky about what I was bringing back to the States ; I obeyed leaving one full suitcase behind with him as to not miss my flight. Quickly helped me through customs and the gate, I tried prolonging our goodbye. Darko didn’t want seeing him cry and urged me on as the Serbian flight attendant waved me to hurry. The gate was closed up and I had to run with my carry on to board the plane. One last time I turned briefly to see Darko; he tried hiding the tears swelling in his eyes as I. I took my seat on the JAT flight back home to America. Upon reaching JFK my luggage was lost and it was delivered over the weekend to my home in Bloomingdale New Jersey. This is what it’s like to chill with the most ruthless men in the world. No biggie really.

THE END

http://sites.google.com/site/jillstarrsite/jillstarrinternationalnews
http://members.fortunecity.com/lpca1/lpc.htm

Law Projects Center Int’l [Beograd / New York]
Miss Jill Louise Starr [Director of LPC New York]
138-A Hamburg Tpk.,
Bloomingdale, N.J.
07403 U.S.A.
Lpcyu@optonline.net
To: All Interested Parties
Date: March 11th 2001
Subject: Int’l Criminal Court Preparatory Commission Meeting Report [Draft Documents on
Establishing a Permanent ICC]
March 1st – March 9th 2001
United Nations, N.Y.C.
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
In the true spirit of former United States President, Woodrow Wilson’s American Democratic
Ideals#, I hereby forward you draft documents from the recent United Nations meetings held
in New York City on establishing a permanent International Criminal Court.
I strongly believe, if all countries in our world will soon be submitting both themselves and
their citizenry to a new ICC establishment possessing exclusive international legal jurisdiction
over the entire world, that you should fully comprehend its meaning and raison d’etat.
Hence, I believe that all persons possessing a strong commitment to enhancing democracy,
internationally applying equitable social justice and peace for our perpetual human survival and for our posterity [without prejudice], should read these documents.
Respectfully Yours,
Miss Jill Louse Starr

PS: I probably have other documents I’ll have to check. Start reading these including a scanned photo image of the secret Richard Holbrook and Radovan Karadzic Immunity Agreement.


http://sitelife.usatoday.com/ver1.0/Persona/PersonaRSS?plckUserKey=3220f59d7be16...

http://sites.google.com/site/jillstarrsite/jillstarrinternationalnewshttp://sites.google.com/
http://sites.google.com/site/jillstarrsite/

http://picasaweb.google.com/lpcyusa/

http://obamavideos.bottmer.com/i-am-a-witness-in-the-icc-war-crimes-trials-10047.barack

http://lpcyu.instablogs.com/

Sunday, April 12, 2009 6:10:00 PM  
Blogger lpcyusa said...

I don't think he is guilty of war crimes at all; Karadzic and Mladic are nice guys and fun to chill out with :L)
J Starr

Sunday, April 12, 2009 6:11:00 PM  

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