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.)

Monday, June 28, 2010

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.

Anyway, kudos to Dan and producers Miguel Sancho and Kimberly Brown for a fine piece. As Steve also noted on Twitter, they really kicked Dateline's butt on this one.

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Anonymous disillusioned said...

Slip and fall in the schadenfreude?
Past a certain point in life there is no greater pleasure than a damn great wallow in it.

Years ago when I was suffering agonies of humiliation over some slight a good friend (Russian, with a cultural penchant for tragedy) remarked that our purpose here on earth is solely to provide amusement for our neighbours. I didn't appreciate the remark at the time but then I was callow.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 1:52:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

I see your point, Dis, but after watching last night's Nightline segment I have to say that it might be too soon to make a judgment, schadenfreude-wise, about the second item I wrote about in my post, the ABC "Mind Games" episode. It might not have the teeth and claws that some of us had been led to expect. We have to remember that for the networks, it's all about ratings. (I know that for news outlets it's *supposed* to about balanced reporting, but ratings trump even that.)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

After watching last night's episode of Mind Games on ABC, I stand corrected. Half expecting the producers to cut the New-Wage hustledorks more slack than I, personally, think they deserve, I was pleasantly surprised.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010 5:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Judas said...

Mr Schirmers latest trick is to become what I call the LOL Leader of Love. It seems he has been LOL-ing for a good many years and it might be his way of having a fake suck up to his wife for all I know and probably because he has nowhere to go now. Who knows but the guys is shameless and has treated people with total disrespect. He seems so dillusional about his position in life yet he somehow can still suck people in. No doubt he will resurrect the new age crap because thats pretty much all he has left. Its easy to make up, dont have to justify anything and it makes people feel good. What better marketing tool than to sell people HOPE.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010 6:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know that there are a lot of people who are still struggling with what this guy did to them. Undoubtedly, some people are shameless and this guy is one of those people. The angst this guy caused people is profound yet it appears he remains completely and defiantly ignorant about it. you've got to wonder at what point do some of these people seriously stop and think about what they have done that has caused so many people so much sadness. And now it seems he has a new profession, one of being the love guidance counsellor, yes I'm serious just look at his last twit post. It appears this is a guy who has a history far reaching and a religion that ok's and embraces every evil aspect of life. Sad case indeed and even sadder is the fact that it appears his own family even buy into the shameless acts. At least the authorities can see straight through him pity many more didnt before they got caught up with him.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010 11:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eeeeeww that guy creaps me out.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010 8:29:00 PM  

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