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.)

Friday, February 03, 2012

A. Rose by any other name would shill as sweet

So there I was one recent morning, minding my own beeswax and casually checking my email, when I came upon the helpful notice from Amazon.com. Amazon's intrepid bots, which are always on the lookout for books and other products that might tickle my fancy, had decided that I might be interested in purchasing a book, Free Money "They" Don't Want You To Know About, penned by one of my fave snargets, Kevin True-dough. As I write this post, that book has a pathetic two-star-average Amazon reader rating (17 five-star, 5 four-star, 10 each of three- and two-star, and a whopping 56 one-star reviews).

As might be expected, though, the promo blurb paints KT as a hero:

Kevin Trudeau is fast becoming the nation’s foremost consumer advocate and exposer of corporate and government corruption. Claiming to be a secret covert operative for almost twenty years, Kevin knows from personal experience how big business and government try to debunk individuals who promote products that could hurt the profits of giant multinational corporations. Trudeau spends most of his time spearheading a website that promotes education about natural healing therapies and a website that exposes corporate and government abuse and corruption. He is actively pursuing lawsuits against the individuals, corporations and government agencies that take advantage of the average consumer. He is also dedicated to the formation of various foundations to pursue these goals, and intends to donate much of his fortune for that purpose.
Cue heroic music. But notice the hedging copy, "Claiming to be a secret covert operative for almost twenty years..." As in, "We ain't saying he was a covert operative, and we ain't saying he wasn't. But he claims he was."
Just for grins, I decided to read some of the five-star reviews of Free Money, and one in particular caught my eye. Written by someone named Alicia Rose, the review had attracted a few dissenting responses. One person accused Ms. Rose of working for True-dough and fraudulently posting the review. Ms. Rose countered that she does not work for KT and is a legit customer and admirer of KT's work, and that she was simply giving her honest opinion. Subsequently someone named R. Winnett mentioned that KT had been fined $500,000 and then $5 million for fraud -- upon which Ms. Rose jumped in with both feet to defend him:
There are a lot of rumors on the Internet about this bestselling author. This happens to be one of them. Learn the truth about Mr. Trudeau at http://www.ktradionetwork.com

You will, as I have, find him a responsible Consumer Advocate who cares about people.

His books are good reference books; well researched.
Well, I just couldn't let that slide. So I popped into the party with this:
Alicia Rose, Kevin Trudeau is a convicted felon. That's fact, not rumor. And R. Winnett was understating, if anything. Since KT got out of prison in the 1990s he has been fined much, much more than $5 million. You need to stop drinking that GIN-soaked Kool-Aid. Of course if you're getting compensated in some way for these "honest reviews," then I guess you feel you have no reason to stop drinking the Kool-Aid. (BTW, I found this thread because Amazon recommended this title to me. Even their bots screw up sometimes, I guess. Obviously, said bots don't read my blog, Whirled Musings.)
And then we were off to the races, with Ms. Rose insisting that I was relying on rumors spread by the media, when I could easily go straight to the source to find the truth. Sources she mentioned included some top Amway folks whom she had befriended during her time as an Amway distributor (1994-97), and who had nothing but good things to say about our boy Kev. A brief Google search I subsequently conducted revealed that these folks had been in a bit of trouble themselves for getting involved in some illegal pyramid stuff. But the mainstay of Ms. Rose's argument was that, according to her, True-dough was a top Amway distributor at the time she was in Amway, and that he could not possibly have built his business to that level if he had been in prison during the time everyone was saying he was. In one comment she wrote:
You claimed the following, I quote you: "The information that I have read states that in 1991 he pleaded guilty to credit-card fraud in federal district court and was sentenced to nearly two years in prison. This implies that he spent (only) a couple of years at the most, presumably in the early or mid 1990s, in prison."

Where are you getting your information? I know for a fact Kevin Trudeau could not have been in prison during the years you are trying to place him in prison. During that time frame he was seriously working on his Amway Distributorship. By the time 1994 arrived Kevin Trudeau was one of the top Amway Distributors with a very lucrative distributorship. Amway Distributorships take years with a huge amount of effort and time spent to become as successful as Mr. Trudeau's distributorship in Amway. All in Amway, including myself, in the 1990's wanted Mr. Trudeau's Amway checks! There is no way in the 1990's Kevin Trudeau could have done prison time.
She also defended what is arguably KT's biggest scam, the Global Information Network or GIN, saying she'd received many benefits from her membership. I questioned her for details about those benefits but she remained vague. I also pointed out the fact that GIN is "organized" in Nevis/St. Kitts, and I speculated that this was done to avoid any legal hassles from the government or from disgruntled members who found it to be a financial black hole. She insisted that GIN is based inside the U.S., although at the same time it is a worldwide, exclusive club. And more than once she mentioned that GIN is based on a legitimate business model designed by M.I.T.

In a later post -- and I know this will come as a huge shocker -- she accused me of sour grapes. (Where have I heard that argument before?) Ms. Rose mused that perhaps I'd always wanted to join GIN but had never been invited. She said she was more than willing to invite me; I had only to ask. (I respectfully declined.)

She also continued to take issue with the claims about KT's prison sentence. It seemed to me that she was arguing that True-dough was never in prison, but in her most recent (as of this posting) comment she clarified:
You seem to misunderstand my argument in our debate. I am arguing the when, the time frame of occurrence.

According to More Natural "Cures" Revealed (I have the book here at home) I quote "committed over twenty years ago" and the edition I have was published in 2006 by Alliance Publishing Group. If you subtract 20 from 2006 it equals 1986. Therefore, his prison time would have been before 1990, at the earliest being 1986. It is my understanding that this incident occurred much earlier, exact date I do not know. Mr. Trudeau has made it clear publically that he was very young when he did this particular prison time you keep referring. Kevin Trudeau was 29 in 1990. That is not an age a man would refer as "very young." He further has made it very clear that he learned his lesson. Your quote from More Natural "Cures" Revealed collaborates this.
In my response to that comment, I cited the documents from The Smoking Gun Web site, which included True-dough's indictment for credit card fraud (dated September 11, 1990); a six-page handwritten letter from his mom, asking the judge for leniency (dated 1991); and an April 1991 letter from a psychiatrist who had examined him, also suggesting leniency. Although in compliance with Amazon's policies about external links I did not supply the direct link on the Amazon discussion thread, I told Ms. Rose she could Google "Would You Buy A Used Cure From This Man? | The Smoking Gun."

I have blogged about this before, but
here again is the link to the information. Within the article are links to the individual documents mentioned in the above paragraph and in my comment to Ms. Rose. If she searched and followed the links as suggested, she would have seen that The Smoking Gun article concludes:
After serving 21 months in Uncle Sam's custody, Trudeau was released in August 1993 and placed on two years probation.
I'm sure that Ms. A. Rose will be back as soon as she finishes digesting this information. Meanwhile, if you want to read the entire Amazon exchange, follow this link to the review and the comments. You can only participate if you have an Amazon account and you sign in, but the convo itself is viewable by all.

By the way, I've received some great moral support and good information on these matters from my new pal Lynn Edgington, who runs the anti-fraud site
Eagle Research Associates. Mr. Edgington has also written about True-dough on his site.

And finally, on a related note, I'll leave you with a love letter I received today via email:
From: [I will mercifully withhold his name. ~CC]
Sent: Fri, Feb 03, 2012 02:33 AM

Subject line: what is wrong with you?
I'm not trying to offend you but maybe you really should consider getting a life. Kevin Trudeau is doing so much to better society right now and you have the audacity to even mock his name. I didn't bother reading all that negative spew about your blog but it shows why KT is a Multi-Billionare and you are just a loser blogger. I'm sorry but you're a loser and you're always going to be a loser. I bet you love cancer? Perhaps not everything thing the man says KT says is %100 true but I guarantee not every you say is true. No one is Jesus we've all said something that might stretched the truth. My dear friend from Canada cured her Emphysema because of his works. Not to mention through the Global Information Network she is able to earn thousands in true walk away residual income each month. I personally am on the fast track to doing the same. Free cruises, financial freedom, amazing health, countless friendships, and so much more have been added to my life because of KT. I'm not trying to make you feel bad about yourself. My motto is everybody love everybody. I just saying maybe your time should be better spent else where. Instead of talking about things you no nothing about. I highly suggest you at least listen to this CD series and consider joining the GIN. www.globalinformationnetwork.com Affiliate Code: [####] There for free you can become an affiliate. Then after you check it out I'd love for you to get back to me on becoming a member. You'll never regret it.

"You're a loser"... as I've said before, spoken like a loyal True-doughnut. In fact KT and his army of sycophants have hurled the epithet "loser" numerous times in reference to skeptics and critics. (Here's a link to a previous post about some hate mail I've received from members of the KT Smarmy Army.)

As it happens, I do have a set of the CD series, Your Wish Is Your Command. Someone thoughtfully sent it to me as a gift. And as I've also noted several times previously, it's basically an upsell for the ludicrous and even more expensive GIN scheme.

To any True-dough fans reading this, I will make the same offer I made to Ms. Rose on Amazon: I'll be here for moral support if you ever decide to come off of your GIN-spiked Kool-Aid bender. Maybe I can at least take the edge off the hangover. Laughter is good for that kind of thing.

More True-dough on this Whirled:

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Blogger Mariah said...

I don't know, Connie, that person who wrote you that letter has a friend in CANADA who benefited from this guy's stuff. Are you sure he's not legit? And this person who wrote that letter is ON HIS WAY (or her way) to good stuff. On their way to having the goodies for how long, I wonder!

Sunday, February 05, 2012 6:20:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

LOL, Mariah. They're all "on their way." Alicia Rose herself indicated that she's "on her way" to success because of Kevin. Go on the Global Information Network Facebook page and you'll see lots of empty cheer leading and mutual back-patting from folks who are "on their way." But most of them never get there...

It's sad.

Sunday, February 12, 2012 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger Roger said...

Coincidentally and consequentially, I myself am also planning on writing a book, entitled: "Scamming people. The secrets "they" don't want you to know about".

I wonder if Kevin Trudeau will write the foreword?

Unfortunately, I've come to the conclusion that, legally, there is little that can be done to curb money-sucking leeches like Trudeau. Much of the legal world views scamming practices as unethical, not illegal. In this sense it reeks suspiciously of the same sort of stuff that white collar crime excretes upon society: thieving, scamming bastards hiding behind a false wall under a fake disguise of legitimate business practices. Much of the world is disgusted by it; while policing it under current legislation remains ominously difficult, mostly due to sheer volume of it occurring, and further that these useless unproductive members of society know how to twist the greedy little egos around the law. When caught, charged and found guilty, the punishment is usually no more severe than a slap on the wrist.

But hey, unethical, not illegal... that's cool. Thanks to the power of free speech, there's nothing stopping people from telling other people how much of a slime-coated parasite KT is. Thank you free speech!

Friday, February 17, 2012 8:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Jonathan - In the Limelight said...

Yeesh, Mariah, what's with all the CAPITAL letters for emphasis?

Why does it seem extra important to you that the friend was from CANADA?


Great article, Connie. There is one blogger whom I used to follow and greatly enjoy reading. He was from the same neck of the woods that I am, and seemed to be on the road to success with a very interesting take on his niche.

Well I can't even stand to lay eyes on his blog anymore, the man has totally jumped the shark. Nothing but article after article on "Your wish is my command" and the top secret GIN that he supposedly "manifested" the money to join. Nevermind all of the gag inducing articles and youtube videos on network marketting that have followed.

Sad. Really sad.

Friday, February 17, 2012 9:34:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hi, Roger! Seems that you and I think alike on the entire legal v. ethical issue. I'm sure that True-dough, who by his own admission has many expensive lawyers on his team, is pretty careful for the most part not to overtly break any laws (or at least not to get caught breaking 'em). But of course there's no law forbidding him from using over-the-top marketing techniques to get more suckers to pony up, such as telling all kinds of tall tales about his past membership in a "secret" brotherhood.

And fortunately, as you pointed out, there's no law forbidding you or me from pointing out how silly or downright stupid most of his claims are.

Even so, the laws and the economy seem to be working in KT's favor. Since serving his 21-month prison sentence in the early 1990s he has been fined repeatedly by the US government, and has paid those fines (although he's currently fighting the latest and largest of them). And he just keeps on gaining followers, who buy not only his frauducts and flopportunities but also his cover story of being a heroic consumer advocate. Since so many people are still without jobs, he is also able to play on that desperation with his promises of independent wealth through GIN.

He has also been able to convince many of these folks that they too are part of an elite army whose mission is to fight for the truth. Of course they have to put up $1,000 to $1,500 initially, and then $150 a month, to really be part of this army, but in return they get the opportunity to recruit more suckers.

Monday, February 20, 2012 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hi, Jonathan. As a Canadaphile myself, I am pretty sensitive to slurs against my northern neighbors, but knowing Mariah as I do from her own blog posts, I am reasonably certain that she was just making fun of my detractor and was not dissing Canada or Canadians.

It really is sad when people get caught up in the whole GIN routine -- not just because more than likely they're throwing their money away (assuming they're paid members and not just "free" affiliates), but also because they're throwing their time away. GIN affiliates and paid members are strongly encouraged to listen to "Your Wish Is Your Command," the 14-CD upsell for GIN, again and again and again. And if you've seen any of the GIN Facebook entries, they all write (and no doubt speak) like robots. And not the good kind like our fake robot pal Salty Droid either.

I guess all we can do is hope that your fellow blogger comes to his senses someday before he sells his soul to True-dough.

Monday, February 20, 2012 12:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Jonathan said...

Oh well, you never know, this world is a crazy place. I mean, Newt Gingrich is even making campaign promisses to us Canucks, which is odd because even if we could vote for him, we, uh, wouldn't.

That said, I did't really think it was a slur, I was being kind of toungue and cheek, which never fails to fail on the internet. :)

I have had it with the greed mentality of our culture, and GIN is just the epitome of this. Everything is about money now. Does no one ever wish for something that is not related to monetary gain?

I recently read and article from a former paliative care nurse who listed the top ten death bed regrets from men. Number one? I wish I hand't worked so much/spent more time with my loved ones.

People ought to think about that, of course, I understand it is difficult in out Wal-Mart culture where everything is too busy working their asses off, saving money, and living better.

GIN is a parasite.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 8:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Lynn Edgington said...

I wanted to take a moment to thank Connie for her kind comments about Eagle, and I consider it an honor to be her friend/pal. I am a big fan of her writing.

I also found the comments here quite interesting, as well as informative.

It is going to be interesting to see what happens now that the Appeals Court has ruled in favor of the $37+ Million dollar fine against KT.

As for GIN, he could not have picked a worse name for his program. GIN was also the name of a major Ponzi scheme a year or so ago that stole over $40 million before they ran with the money. So there are a lot of HYIP Players that would not touch the "new" GIN with a ten-foot barge pole; which is a good thing.

While KT may think he is safe by having this "registered" in St.Kits & Nevis, it does not make him bullet-proof. He could be opening himself up to scrutiny by the SEC and finding himself in violation of their regulations. Before I could totally comment on that aspect, I need to know more about the operation. Not sure being a "free" member provides you with that information. I seriously doubt it. I think all you get as a free member is the hype and vague promises of wealth.

The good news is this is getting the exposure it needs, and I am sure there are people who were considering joining that have now changed their minds. One can only hope this is true.

Friday, February 24, 2012 4:30:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hi again, Jonathan. Sorry the tongue-in-cheek bit went right over my head. :-) I agree with you that GIN epitomizes the greed and laziness that permeate our culture and allow the scammers to keep right on scamming!

Friday, March 16, 2012 3:43:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hi, Lynn... sorry for the delay in publishing your comment. My excuse is in my latest blog post (Mar. 16) :-))

Anyway, I do appreciate your comments, as well as the work you're doing on your own site. I think you're right that being a "free" member of GIN just brings a person to the head of the line for endless hypes, promises of wealth, and carrot-dangling as only KT can do it. And yet, and yet... hope springs infernal, as another critical blogging colleague, Steve Salerno at SHAMblog, once put it. People still think they're gonna get rich off of this stuff.

I'm hoping Salty Droid will bring his fake-robot voice to the anti-KT chorus soon.

Thank you again for your comments and your continuing support.

Friday, March 16, 2012 3:47:00 PM  

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