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.)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Kevin Trudeau gets some mainstream media lovin'

When Abe Husein of Kansas City, Missouri, realized he'd been sold a bill of goods by serial scammer Kevin Trudeau and Trudeau's Ponzi-like Global Information Network (GIN), he did more than just get mad. Abe went to the news department of one of his local (Kansas City, Missouri) TV stations, KSHB-TV, with an idea for a story about this global fraud. He spoke with Emmy-award winning investigative reporter Ryan Kath. And after three months of investigation, the story is finally complete. It will be airing on 41 Action News on Monday, November 12, 2012 at 6:00 PM CST.

I will provide a link to this story when it goes online, but for now,
you can watch the promo video on this public link on KSHB-TV's Facebook page. You can also get to that page by clicking on the graphic above, which is a screen shot of my own Facebook Timeline shout-out.

Since 2009 I've been blogging about Trudeau and what a scammer he is and what a scam GIN is (see list of links below). Numerous other bloggers, commentators, and mainstream journalists -- mostly print and online journos, but some TV journos as well -- have documented Trudeau's many, many misdeeds over the years. He has been well known as a con artist, and his nearly two-year stint in Federal prison (1991-93) has been on public record.

Yet he has been able to go on conning, through infomercials, online promotions, his KT Network "radio" show, and direct-mail promotions. He has very successfully marketed himself as a hero for free speech and a sharer of information that "they" -- the government, Big Pharma, the food industry, and the Illuminati -- don't want you to know about. When GIN was launched in 2009, and promoted through infomercials for a 14-CD set called Your Wish Is Your Command, its big selling point was that GIN members and participants would not only be privy to all of the seekrit information of the world, but that they could also become almost effortlessly rich through selling GIN memberships and other KT frauducts.

I blogged and blogged and blogged about how absurd all of this was, apparently to no effect. (As one of my most humorously deranged detractors has been trying to convince everyone, my blog only has two readers, so maybe that's the problem.) In any case, almost nobody paid any attention to me or to any of the other critics who have much wider readership, and the GIN party went on. And on. And on. And that's understandable, since part of Trudeau's cult tactics was that he continually discouraged his followers from listening to critics and naysayers.

Meanwhile, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and numerous other government agencies and authorities had their probes up Trudeau's assets, as they have for many years -- and that story ain't over yet by a long shot -- but the party still went on.*

Then the disgruntled GIN members -- such as Abe -- started grumbling, and the grumble became a roar. And who knows how loud that roar will become?

Many people have been eagerly awaiting the KSHB-TV 41 Action News story, including yours truly. Some have speculated that it will mark the absolute and utter end of GIN and of Trudeau's scamming. Frankly, I am not that optimistic. Neat and tidy endings just don't usually happen in these cases. Then again, I am always prepared to be pleasantly surprised. But even if this story, with the exposure it will surely enjoy, only knocks a dent or two in the big sick machine, it will be well worth it.

I have not yet seen the finished story or even any of the raw footage, but I have been told about some of the content, and I think it's going to be pretty good. So I applaud Abe Husein, and I applaud Ryan Kath and his team, for taking these steps. It's still all too rare for a TV station to go after infomercial scammers in any significant way, since the stations and networks do, after all, benefit from infomercial revenue.
This 2005 (pre-GIN) Salon.com article discusses Trudeau's "Natural Cures" infomercials:

...one source in the direct-response industry who asked not to be named estimated that Trudeau is spending a million dollars a week on national cable and could also be spending another half a million on broadcast channels. The source suggested that Trudeau’s return from that investment would be about $2 million to $4 million a week. “He’s got the formula down and he knows how to trick people,” says the source. “And he’s got enough money to do it. The FTC can’t stop him because the amount they fine him is nothing compared to what he takes in.”
And that was in 2005, before GIN and the Your Wish Is Your Command infomercials, even before the "Debt Cures" infomercials.

So again, good on Kansas City's 41 Action News for digging into Trudeau's biggest money grab. At the very least, I think that this story will be,
as the punch line for everyone's favorite lawyer joke goes, "a good start."

PS ~ For some interesting, detailed documentation on the fall of GIN, see Bernie O'Mahony's GINtruth.com.
* Here's Salty Droid's perspective about the Feds and the likelihood of "Caging Kevin Trudeau."

More True-dough on this Whirled:

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Blog Connie!! I needed that reminder. That being what a Con!! I hope he gets what he deserves and is stopped before conning many more people....Absolutely!!

Thanx Cosmic Connie!! :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012 8:29:00 PM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

One should not overlook the fact that scams like Trudeau's are successful in large part due to the greed and/or naiveté of its victims. This is certainly not to diminish the appropriate disdain for the scammers, but we've seen plenty of folks who willingly work within the framework of a scam - some even knowingly complicit in perpetuating it - only to abandon it when their greed is unfulfilled, subsequently attempting to categorize themselves as warriors for truth and justice.

I feel compassion for those who are genuinely duped, but think we need to look "with hunter's eye" at the warriors' history before pinning medals on chests, especially those who jump from one sinking scam ship, only to sign on to another. They can call such skepticism "negative" and unfair if they want. I call it common sense.

Sunday, November 11, 2012 10:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems that the movers and shakers behind this news story are currently setting up a new MLM vitamin scam with fake doctors and overpriced starter packs. These people have been harping on Trudeau for months now, it seems they've collected enough names on their get rich quick mailing list to roll out their next money grab.

Idiots beware, they are coming for your money. If you want to see how this will all end, look up Trudeau's vitamin scam from the 90s.

Sunday, November 11, 2012 3:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Dashaun Carter said...

I agree with RevRon. Trudeau could not have pulled this off if it weren't for the greed and desire of people to have easy riches. Its always easy to scam people who are looking for the fast buck. It might sound like a mean thing to say, but that's what GIN was selling...so-called secrets to easy wealth. I even recall one promise being that members would learn how to manifest $10k overnight.

I've gotta admit though, the GIN thing was pretty fucking genius. Take people's fascination with secrecy and secret societies, people's addiction to self-help, people's desire for easy riches, etc., package it all up into one and sell it.

Monday, November 12, 2012 1:57:00 PM  

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