Kevin Trudeau gets ready for last hurrah in DC, while Hollyweird prepares for his close-up (maybe)
As the remnants of serial scammer Kevin Trudeau's huge Ponzi-like Global Information Network (GIN) wraps up what may very well be the last GIN Family Reunion (and perhaps the last GIN event ever, unless the org can be re-branded and reorganized without him), Kevin himself is prepping for what may very well be his last public appearance for a while, his fundraising event, also in the Washington DC area. As reported here on October 16, and elsewhere in the mainstream media, Judge Robert Gettleman said True-dough can attend the event on Monday, October 21, before attending his hearing on October 22 and then surrendering himself to the US Marshal, who will presumably escort him to Chicago's MCC. Reportedly Katie's long-suffering parental units put their home up again to back his $200,000 bond.
The GIN DC event appears to be a group of hardcore loyalists putting on a brave face, as indicated in this video from Friday night the 18th. But apparently at least one old-timer with some renown and money is at the event; a Facebook friend who is attending the Family Reunion said it was a hoot to see former Congressman and long-time motivational speaker and Trudeau pal Ed Foreman talking about "that joker from South Carolina" who used to stand up on stage and spew filth. I imagine that Mr. Foreman is referring to ex-Trudeau bud Mocktor Loony Coldwell, who was notorious for using foul language during some of his GIN presentations, as well as pointing out women in the audience and boasting that he'd had sex with them. (This is according to numerous reports by ex-GIN members who saw things like this happen, though there have been various versions of the tale (e.g., see screen shot, which is a comment from a September 2012 post on Salty's blog).) Either way it played out... way to rock a "family" event, Loony.
Meanwhile, some folks who RSVP'd yes to the October 21 Trudeau fundraiser, which will run from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM at the Holiday Inn in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia (yes, that is in the DC area) have told me that they were contacted by a woman named Janine, who said she's known Kevin for 35 years. More than likely that would be Janine Nubani, aka Janine Contursi, recently let go from the GINpire by the court-appointed receiver. Janine is a longtime business partner, past co-defendant, and loyal friend of Trudeau; they dated for a while too, way back when. Janine told my contacts to "bring a check."
I do wonder how much money Kevin will actually be able to raise -- hopefully at least enough to cover the bond should he decide to make a run for it after all (as some have been speculating). At least then his folks won't lose their home.
But it's very possible Kevin will come back and face the music, and will continue to rack up martyr points among the faithful, jail or no jail. And his criminal trial is set to begin on November 4, with a possible 15-18 year sentence should he be found guilty of criminal contempt. (His lawyers mentioned in an earlier court document that he is facing a possible life sentence but I have not seen any other document to back that up.)
Meanwhile in La-La Land (well, actually, in beautiful Downtown Burbank)...
I would be remiss if I were to fail to mention a few details regarding the big news about the Kevin Trudeau Major Movie Project -- at least it's big news in that it showed up on a few isolated Facebook forums, as well as getting a brief mention on Emmy Award winning journalist Ryan Kath's latest Trudeau story. A California film production company, Adventures In Film, Inc., has expressed interest in telling the story of Trudeau and GIN, and last month they contacted the most vocal anti-GIN activist, Abe Husein, and apparently signed him on as a script consultant.
Ever since then Abe has been waving his new film creds around on Facebook as proof that he and he alone "gets results" and that the rest of the GIN critics are "loosers" and "hatters" who are jealous of him because he's the go-to guy for the media and film makers. It doesn't do any good to 'splain to him that even in this era of blatant media whoredom, where attention is one of the most powerful and sought-after forms of currency, some of us remain perfectly happy working behind the scenes, occasionally nudging the media (in fact a certain Cosmic blogger nudged ABC last November on Abe's behalf), occasionally being nudged by the media, and so forth. Not everyone wants to be in front of the camera.
Speaking for myself, as an avid movie consumer who has practically zero interest in producing, writing, filming, or even consulting for movies, I say, "More power to the film producers!" -- that is, if they actually do their homework and talk to at least a few people in Trudeau's life who don't have an axe to grind.
Understanding that the project is only in its earliest stages and that the concept, title, and storyline can change several times as things progress, I still think that the description in the blurb misses the mark on both extremes: Trudeau is neither an "evil genius" nor a "terribly misunderstood do-gooder." Genius he may very well be, but he's not evil (though it could certainly be argued that he is part of a greater evil). And he is certainly no misunderstood do-gooder, as I've mentioned a few times on this Whirled. He's an interesting phenomenon somewhere in between those two extremes, and I'm hoping the movie can capture that. I'm hoping it will also at least touch on the fact that even if Trudeau ends up demonstrating that orange is the new black for a while, he and GIN are just a drop in the Scamworld bucket. There are hundreds -- thousands -- of scams and scammers.
And Trudeau himself has planted a firm legacy. IBMS Master's Society, anyone? And what about the Omnia Society, now in pre-launch and co-founded by former GIN director and International Pool Tournament principal Deno Andrews, and ex-Website Solutions employee Stephen Lee?
Regarding the question of whether Trudeau is evil, however, I too raised it briefly on my First Amendment Stuporhero blog post in August 2011, under the subhead, "Evil emperor, or buffoon in a silly hat?" Trudeau may be sociopathic and an irredeemable scammer, but I have never thought of him as actually evil. Loony Coldwell, on the other hand, comes closer to the definition of evil than anyone I've ever written about on this blog. Nevertheless, Loony has been bragging on Facebook that the film producers have contacted him too. One can only hope they are merely exploiting him for any legitimate inside information or gossip he might have that would enhance the storyline, and that they are not intending to work him into the plot as any kind of hero.
I think even the people who want to believe in Abe as a GIN-destroyin' hero know that the real tale of Trudeau -- and GIN -- is much more deeply rooted and complex than a story of the "kid who brought GIN down by himself" spin that Coldwell and KT's ex marketing guy, Peter Wink, have fueled and nurtured, and that Abe has at least implicitly allowed. Abe even said from the beginning, when he first started talking about the film project on Facebook, that the producers were interested in exploring how Trudeau could attract people with his outrageous lies in this day and time. That's something I wondered about for years myself (and yes, snarked mercilessly about in the beginning). I think that what it boils down to is timing, more than anything.
GIN succeeded as well as it did for one simple reason: Trudeau was selling big dreams in hard times.
GIN was launched in late 2009, though it had been in the planning stage for well over a year before then, as evidenced by many now publicly available communications between Trudeau and his chief asset hider, Marc Lane. The economy had cratered, the US was facing the deepest recession in many years, and people were desperate. And along came GIN, all dressed up in lofty idealistic clothes, with lots of sweet talk about community and like-mindedness and even about actually changing the world for the better. But beneath that luminous garb and sweet talk was the body of a cynical, money-hungry streetwalker (no offense to actual streetwalkers) who had been around the block more than a few times. The streetwalker cynically promised wealth and happiness to those who would just give of their time and their treasure. And people were willing to do that, because so many of them felt they had no other choice.
Big dreams, hard times... and now Trudeau may very well be facing some hard time himself. But even now, with all of his legal troubles, and the near-certainty of at least a little more jail time, he still has his staunch defenders. As Ryan Kath wrote in his October 17 report, "legions of loyal followers continue to line up in Trudeau’s corner. Judging from the endless court battle, Trudeau has proven he isn’t going down without a fight."
The story isn't over yet, and once again I think I can predict with reasonable certainty that there will be no neat and tidy endings.
Labels: GIN, Global Information Network, IBMS Master's Society, Kevin Trudeau, Kevin Trudeau court cases, Kevin Trudeau fundraiser, Kevin Trudeau jail, Kevin Trudeau movie, Leonard Coldwell, The Omnia Society