Not a good week for hustledorks
While I'm working on finishing yet another Access piece, I want to do my part to spread some recent news. I'm late to this party only in announcing these items here on this Whirled; I did announce them on my Twitter page last week and have been participating in the discussions on other blogs as well.
First up is the news regarding our favorite Blunder From Down Under, aka The Wanker of Oz, aka David Gary Schirmer. Last week it was announced that the Australia Securities & Investment Commission, ASIC, which is the Oz equivalent of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has banned David Schirmer for life from providing financial services. According to the piece on the ASIC site...
ASIC found that between August 2004 and December 2006 Mr Schirmer:
- provided financial services on behalf of another person who carried on a financial services business while not being authorised to do so
- engaged in conduct in relation to a financial product or financial service that was misleading or deceptive, or was likely to mislead or deceive
- failed to act in accordance with representations made by him to participants in the 2005 and 2006 Platinum programs
- made false statements to participants in the 2005 and 2006 Platinum programs, and
- engaged in dishonest conduct.
David Schirmer had been under investigation by the ASIC for quite some time, and nearly a year and a half ago, as reported right here on this very blog, he wrote a blog post announcing that he had been "cleared" by the agency. He added that he was going to proceed to sic the "best defamation barristers" on some of the people who had accused him of wrongdoing or had reported on those accusations. He said he was looking forward to "this interesting journey." And it probably has been interesting, come to think of it. A few days later, however, he modified the wording to that blog post, and finally removed it altogether.
During the time that David was busily fighting the good fight against his detractors, one tactic he used was to claim that said detractors had violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). This was his way of getting various damning videos about him removed from YouTube. Those segments from the Aussie tabloid show "A Current Affair," for example, were just so annoying, you see. Schirmer apparently invoked the DMCA to claim that he owned the rights to the vids, and most were taken down, only to pop up elsewhere, on other sites. (Google them; I won't provide links here.) One of the folks against whom Schirmer filed his false DMCA claims was my pal Salty Droid, but that didn't make a dent in the Droid's resolution to expose scammers, and certainly didn't stop SD from reporting on David's latest misfortune, which he duly did on June 24.
Even so, I wouldn’t put anything past Schirmer in his attempt to salvage his New-Wage/hypoChristian career. The U.S., alas, is still a pretty open market. As I noted in a conversation on Twitter just the other day, the ban won’t keep David Schirmer out of the biz. He can still hawk his frauducts (as Salty would call them) — in the U.S. as well as in Oz. And if he doesn’t try to blame Satan or a so-called “scorned woman” for the ASIC’s actions — as he has for nearly all of his other troubles — he might pull a Kevin True-dough and simply use the ban as a marketing tool: “My programs worked TOO well. I was making too many people rich, and THEY don’t want you to be rich, so they’re trying to silence me.”
And, sadly, some people will buy that. Yes, even now.
But maybe the ASIC ban will put a little bit of a pinprick in his balloon.
* * * * *
In other news, a project that has been nearly nine months in the making finally appears to be coming to fruition. On June 25, SHAMblog's Steve Salerno announced on his blog that ABC will air an hour-long special "devoted entirely to James Arthur Ray, magical thinking, and the oft-overlooked dangers of the New Age." The show airs Tuesday, June 29, at 10:00 PM EDT on most ABC stations.
Steve says ABC first contacted him about these matters last fall, and adds that he covered a great deal of ground during lengthy sitdowns with Senior Producer Miguel Sancho at his (Steve's) home, and anchor/reporter Dan Harris in New York. Dan Harris, as you may recall, was the lucky chap who got to cover a Joe Vitale Rolls-Royce Mastermind session.
For several reasons, I am looking forward to viewing this special, which was originally intended to be a 20/20 episode but now is being aired as part of the network's Primetime/Mind Games series. Here's a link to the teaser page for tomorrow night's episode. Whether this turns out to be the ultimate exposé or not — and judging from the story on that teaser page, it looks to be mostly a rehash of the same story that's been told numerous times already — at least ABC is going to mention Colleen Conaway's (non-sweat-lodge-but-still-James-Ray-related) death, so already this looks to be a more responsible show than the NBC Dateline special a couple of weeks ago. (Steve Salerno says he has been assured that on the actual show, the lens will be a bit wider than it appears on the web page. He adds that some outtakes from the sessions will be on ABC's Nightline tonight (11:35 PM EDT).
Now go out and have a wonderful evening, Dear Ones, but please, don't slip and fall in the Schadenfreude.
PS added 30 June 2010 ~ I was pleasantly surprised by ABC's June 29 Mind Games episode, and not just because the producers gave my pal Steve Salerno some quality air time. It was also amusing to see a couple of New-Wage hustledorks cornered and flustered, even if momentarily. (And Hoshun the Russian Wish Dolly even got some face time!) Although I'd halfway expected a fluff piece, I think it was quite good, overall. As Steve noted on Twitter, Dan Harris was brilliant. Judging by some of the comments on ABC's web site, some of the hustledorks' fans have a different opinion.
Here's a link to a piece on the ABC site that features highlights from the episode. And here's a link to a page where you can view the entire episode.
Just to balance things out, I suppose, ABC ran a separate little fluff-ish piece with footage from Joe Vitale's January 2010 Rolls-Royce Mastermind session with a fitness model. Joe seemed more in his element during that one, but got visibly rattled during the subsequent sit-down with Dan Harris, snippets of which were incorporated into the Mind Games episode.