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, May 31, 2013

ABC has fun with Kevin Trudeau, and life goes on

Click on pic for direct link to read the ABC News story about KT and watch the video.

It's not that I didn't enjoy
the latest ABC News report on serial scammer Kevin Trudeau, which aired on Wednesday night, May 29, 2013. I really did enjoy it. Thoroughly. The producers and reporters obviously put a lot of time and effort and expense into bringing us some rollicking good entertainment, and perhaps in the process they opened a few more eyes to the fact that... duh... Kevin Trudeau is a scammer, and his Ponzi-like Global Information Network (GIN) is a scam. I'm not trying to sell ABC short at all. ABC has had KT's number for years, as have numerous other mainstream and not-so-mainstream media outlets.

But some of the public has been slow to get the memo. Some never will, no matter how many good stories come out about KT. Even so, I have to believe that every critical story of a lifelong scammer like Kevin Trudeau does at least a little bit of good.

Trying in vain to get an interview with True-dough the normal way, the ABC News crew "ambushed" him (Kevin's words) in his new hometown of Zurich, Switzerland, one of the most expensive cities in the world. They also managed an interview at his "Dream Weekend" near Dallas this past April, although -- and this is no big surprise -- he wasn't very forthcoming with reporter Bill Weir. And on March 8, a little over a month before Dream Weekend, Bill Weir and crew picked up self-proclaimed GIN destroyer Abe Husein at the airport in Chicago in one of True-dough's leased Bentleys, and they all took a trip to the GIN offices in Chicagoland, as well as to KT's rented McMansion. (Abe got to drive the Bentley for a little while too.)

Immediately after the joyride, Abe was crowing about it all over Facebook, saying it was the best day of his life, and that it was sweet mother justice, and so on. Abe's mentor
Loony Lenny Coldwell, former GIN speaker and ex-KT b.f.f., declared that on that momentous day, Abe had single-handedly destroyed GIN. Even the more reticent Peter Wink, former GIN marketing director and ex-KT b.f.f., sang the praises of a 27-year-old "kid" who had been able to accomplish what all of the big guys who'd been chasing KT for years had been unable to do. (About a month later, GIN sent an email out to its members about the upcoming ABC story as well. Here's Omri at Glancingweb, talking about that.)

So Abe had another moment of glory, and was, at the very least, a useful prop for the Chicago chapter of the story.

At the invitation of the ABC crew, Abe Husein climbs into the back seat of one of Kevin Trudeau's rented Bentleys,
armed with some GIN material (and, for some reason, a copy of Secret creator Rhonda Byrne's book, The Power).

Abe told the ABC reporters that at one time he believed
there really was a secret GIN Council,
and that it possibly included Will Smith and
Arnold Schwarzenegger, and perhaps Ron Paul as well.

But did that joyride in the Bentley really mark the end of GIN, as Loony Coldwell was saying? Did it mean that Kevin's scamming days are over for good? Probably not. That might make a good movie script someday, but the truth is much more complex, and as I have been saying nonstop for more than a year now, there will be no neat and tidy endings to this story. There rarely are, in Scamworld.

Still, the ABC show was good, and presented some pretty damning evidence against Kevin Trudeau, most of which those of us who have been following this story closely already knew. It was good to see it presented to a wider audience, even if it ultimately doesn't make much of a dent in Scamworld.

The story took a lighthearted, humorous approach -- a few have even said it was too lighthearted, to the point of being cartoonish. And some folks were disappointed because of that. Some think that this humorous, almost ridiculing approach may have actually worked in Kevin's favor. No doubt some KT fans fell even more in love with him after watching the show, and will continue to see him as the brave hero fighting the big bad government. (One diehard KT fan with whom I communicate on Facebook said she enjoyed the show a lot.)

Although there's been quite a lot of post-show buzz on Facebook and in the blogosphere so far (see links below), the net effects of the story remain to be seen. But keep in mind that this may not be the end of this cycle of KT coverage from ABC; I am sure they have many more hours of footage that they may roll out at some point.

In any case it is true that unlike
ABC's relatively in-depth 2010 coverage of the James Arthur Ray debacle (with some side stories about some of Ray's fellow "stars" in The Secret), the ABC/KT segment Wednesday night was more "gotcha!" It was actually the kickoff for a new consumer-oriented ABC summer series, The Lookout, under the umbrella of Nightline/Primetime. Trudeau took up the first half of the hour-long premiere, and the second half was devoted to mold inspection scams. Next week: fat-burning machines and bedbugs. (Or locksmith scams and the truth about thread counts in sheets. ABC has run several different promos over the past few weeks so I imagine they're kind of making it up as they go along.) And so it goes.

The problems with Kevin Trudeau, of course, go far beyond consumer issues, and even beyond the white-collar crimes the FTC and probably several other government agencies have been trying to pin on him for years. There are also serious issues related to the selfish-help/New-Wage/McSpirituality industry and Scamworld -- issues such as
manipulation, cult tactics, and just generally messing with people's minds and emotions (and little wonder, since KT has admitted being a fan of Scientology). But I wouldn't expect ABC to go into all of that regarding a scammer who, unlike James Ray, has so far not killed anyone (that I know of, anyway).

Despite the growing collection of evidence about Kevin's wrongdoings, he may, rightly or wrongly, still end up walking. Some have been speculating for months that this may be the case.
Here's one guy, David Connelly, who, though far from the first to suggest such a scenario, does so in the context of responding to the ABC story. In his video Connelly purports to be an impartial observer, but later in one of the comments he says he is an unabashed Trudeau fan. Even so, and despite his apparent unwillingness to entertain any issues of morality or ethics, Connelly makes some good points about Kevin's clever maneuverings of funds (though I don't buy Connelly's (possibly tongue-in-cheek) suggestions of a "conspiracy" involving a GIN council).*

Despite his many fans and followers, Kevin Trudeau isn't out of hot water yet, legally or morally. Following
his evidentiary hearing on May 21 -- a hearing in which he pleaded the Fifth Amendment nearly 400 times -- he is due back in Judge Robert Gettleman's court on June 26, when the court holds his former attorney and GIN co-founder Marc Lane's feet to the fire. At that point Judge Gettleman may or may not make a decision on whether or not to incarcerate Kevin, and for how long.

Then there is
a related criminal case [1:10-cr-0086] with Judge Ronald Guzman. The fact that the hearings are being dragged out in the civil case has probably altered the docket of the criminal case, which was originally scheduled to go to trial this Monday (June 3). Again, there's no certainty that any of this will result in Trudeau's being thrown in jail.

And speaking of the Fifth... Goodness me,
June 26, the day Kevin is due back in court, is the fifth anniversary of his marriage to his beautiful young Ukrainian bride Natalie Babenko, "a successful businesswoman in her own right" (that's how the ABC story says KT's lawyers describe her). One wonders if the happy couple will be together in that courtroom making goo-goo eyes at each other. I am inclined to think not.

Natalie Babenko, aka Mrs. Kevin Trudeau, is gorgeous in canary yellow.
Will she eventually sing like a canary to protect herself? Stay tuned.
(The pic on the left is from a
series of photos from happier sun-kissed, GIN-soaked days...

* Addendum, 7 June 2013: David Connelly has since "switched sides" re Kevin Trudeau, as indicated in this more recent video. I think it's more accurate to say that he merely solidified a position towards which he'd been leaning for a while. My opinion is that Connelly, like so many others who are constantly making videos, likes the attention and likes to be controversial. But it also seems clear from the bit at the beginning of this latest video that he is revolted by some of Trudeau's ex-b.f.f.s -- namely Loony Coldwell -- whom he perceives to be worse than Trudeau (and many, many people agree with that).

Now, to me it's not an either-or situation. I can be anti-KT AND anti-Coldwell and other scammer/predators too. But then, I've learned over the years to "think big," because Scamworld is a big, big place.

More reactions to the ABC story about Kevin Trudeau:

More True-dough on this Whirled:

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Blogger Mac said...

I was rather disappointed with the different news stories.

It hardly went into the court case, with the exception of fun facts here and there.

But really if Kevin had scammed more money, he would just pay the fine, and move along just like Scientology has done so many times, mostly due to their amount of money and religious status that seems to be untouchable.

All well, maybe some interesting things will happen in June, as we wait some more.

I don't get why GIN would collapse, with the exception of losing members,

Friday, May 31, 2013 4:25:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

There are any number of reasons GIN could collapse, but that doesn't necessarily mean it will do so any time soon, no matter what Lenny and Abe want to happen (and no matter what I myself was thinking -- and predicting -- a few months ago). The big question is whether enough people will continue to believe that GIN is worth the money and effort. Trudeau himself has repeatedly shown an amazing ability to get people to believe just about anything, and to throw their money at him. So even if GIN does go away, I'm pretty sure Kevin won't.

Friday, May 31, 2013 5:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

GIN is PHENOMENAL! The training has positively impacted my life in more ways than I can recount here. The quality of my life has gone up significantly since applying the information! And Connie, I don't care how brainwashed you think I and the thousands of other members are, this is a great movement.

Monday, June 03, 2013 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thanks for your input, Anon. I'm reading the latest court documents that tend to put a not-so-bright-and-happy face on GIN... but enjoy it while it lasts!

Monday, June 03, 2013 1:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Connie, GIN will be fine. A lot of lessons have been learned, and it's going to be even better going forward! Court documents don't mean squat when thousands of people can attest to the improvements they have experienced in their lives as a result of being in GIN. Even if the government shuts GIN down, it will re-emerge under a new name :-)

Monday, June 03, 2013 5:16:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Well, if I were a GIN member I would be more than a little outraged at some of the stuff I've seen in the court documents. But the diehard KT fans and those who have financial and/or emotional stakes in GIN will continue to make excuses for KT and will agree with him that he is entitled to all of the luxuries to which he wants to help himself.

As for the legal import, I imagine that Kevin is clever enough to have shuffled funds in such a way that the government will never really be able to nail him -- at least not enough to stop him for any length of time. The more I study these complex cases, the more I think that even though KT has done many things that are unethical at best, he probably has most of his legal bases covered. As I've said before, this isn't the first rodeo for him and his lawyers.

And I know y'all are getting tired of hearing me say this, but... there will be no neat and tidy endings here. The scams go on forever, and the scammers never quit.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013 1:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Connie, it's one hell of a scam! Listening to the GIN training would do alot of people alot of good, just like it did me! Does KT live good off of GIN? Why not? It's his business. He started it. Was there ever anything stated about KT doing this purely for philanthropic purposes? In any case, us business owners tend to see things a little different than journalists and bloggers like yourself. GIN is a good thing, and I'm glad my brain is nice and clean from all the washing! And by the way, his other products and information are top notch as well.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013 8:00:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Condescension duly noted, Anon. I'm both a business owner and a blogger -- a blogger who recognizes scams and scammers when she sees 'em. KT (who by the way has repeatedly said GIN is NOT his business) did in fact put a big altruistic shine on his big GIN scam for a while -- apparently convincing many good people that GIN was going to change the world for the better.

But you're right; he's never been shy about admitting he's out to make money too. In fact making money and spending it on himself has apparently been his top priority for years. The signs were and are everywhere for those who have eyes to see.

But hey, just keep on doing what you're doing -- making excuses for Kevin. If you're happy, who am I to argue? But plenty of people are not happy.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013 11:47:00 AM  

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