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, September 21, 2013

Will the real fake Gandhi please stand up? And leave?

Faux heroes are everywhere! Click to enlarge.

As most of you who have been following the saga of serial scammer Kevin Trudeau know, he was jailed on September 18, 2013
and was then sprung the next day, with a few conditions. I wrote about it here, of course, and the story has been all over the news media and the blogosphere, with one of the most acerbic commentaries appearing on The Daily Beast. The Beast article quotes Quackwatch's Dr. Stephen Barrett, who, love him or hate him (some don't like him because of his hard line against alt-med), has been a diligent Trudeau critic even longer than I have. (Here's a January 2006 article from the Skeptical Inquirer about the claims in Katie's Natural Cures books and infomercials.)

Needless to say, some of Katie's loudest detractors, not all of whom are necessarily concerned with justice, were disappointed that he got out of jail. But they hold high hopes for a longer stay in the clink after he returns to court on September 26 for a follow-up hearing. For his part, Katie is presumably engaged in trying to convince the court-appointed receiver and the court that he really, really, really is trying to cooperate with the investigative efforts to dig up his hidden assets. The FTC isn't buying it. The judge probably isn't buying it either, but is indulging him for a little while longer.

Anyway. You may be wondering what all of this has to do with Gandhi. Well, in the past year or so, as Trudeau has become a little more desperate in his campaign to get people to give him money so he can go on scamming (he bills his struggle as a FirstAmendment issue and a fight against government tyranny), he has started to play the martyr theme a little more dramatically. On more than one occasion -- in a couple of his videos, for example -- he has compared himself to Jesus H. Christ and to Gandhi. This was good for lots of laughs among his critics.

Here's an October 18, 2012 video
where I know he compared himself to Christ; that bit starts at about 44:00. I don't remember if Gandhi is mentioned in this one or not, but I do know that Trudeau has compared himself to Gandhi, and some of his followers have as well. And in this 2005 article on Salon.com, he mentions Gandhi as one of his role models.

A little more recently -- earlier this year -- Kevin's ex-marketing guy Peter Wink, using his IBMS Master's Society alias, compared himself to Gandhi. Peter was getting a lot of criticism (and still is), but said he didn't care because it just meant he is successful and the critics are jealous.

I had a bit of fun with that earlier this year, in this post about Peter and Loony Coldwell's poor man's Global Information Network, the IBMS Master's Society (scroll down to "And let's not even get into the fear-mongering, gun-nuttery, and krazy conspiracy theories. On second thought, let's do").

And now Peter is passing on the mantle of Gandhi-dumb to his and Loony's little buddy Abe Husein, which caused a lot of laughs on the Facebooks the other day. Hence the pictorial tribute at the top of the post. I'm still half inclined to believe that Peter was just being facetious and/or was trying to get a rise out of the "haters" and "losers" who long ago figured out that Kevin Trudeau isn't the only -- or even the worst -- scammer in Scamworld. But on the off chance that he was actually serious (or was trying to convince Abe he was serious), it seemed to be worth a cheap shot. I'm not going to let a perfectly good Photoshop op go to waste.

The big question I have is why everyone and his little brother seems to want to be Gandhi. A 2011 bio of him
suggested he wasn't the pure and perfect hero that so many folks seem to think he was. Well, yawn. None of our heroes and heroines is perfect. They are/were only human, after all. And just because Gandhi reportedly slept nekkid with his teenage great-niece, and reportedly thought Mussolini was an okay guy and Hitler was his friend, and reportedly left some of his fellow activists in the lurch on more than one occasion, that doesn't take away from the truly good things he did. But I just thought I'd point this out.
Click to enlarge. Source The Atlantic Wire, March 28, 2011

At any rate, Kevin Trudeau isn't fit to wear Gandhi's diaper, and neither, I'd wager, are most of other folks who have at one time or another compared their own struggles and achievements to those of Gandhi. More to the point, it seems clear to me that Kevin Trudeau isn't the only faux-hero and phony-martyr in Scamworld -- he's just an infinitely smarter and more skilled one than some of his former staff members, ex-b.f.f.s, and unprincipled wannabes. True-dough may be down for now, but he has had a nice long run in Scamworld, and still has thousands of fans. And I would surmise that almost no one is fooled by the goofy Gandhi-invokers and Namaste-sayers who are scrambling to take his place.

PS ~ The caption on the lead graphic is a paraphrase of a widely-quoted Gandhi quotation, "Be the change you wish to see in the world," something that apparently Gandhi never actually said. It's a very nice sentiment but not a real Gandhi-ism. Another fond illusion bites the dust...

For more hilarious updates on the Three Stooges who make up the "GIN justice team," see this post. I just updated it with yet more screen shots.

Bernie weighs in on the latest hilarity as only he can.

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