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.)

Monday, November 18, 2013

GIN is dead! Long live GIN!

Just because serial scammer Kevin Trudeau has been convicted of criminal contempt and is currently in custody pending sentencing (scheduled for February 6, 2014 -- his birthday), that doesn't mean the story is over. ("No neat and tidy endings," remember?) A rash of post-trial motions will no doubt show up around mid-December (they're due by December 17), with replies due on January 3. Lots can happen between now and February 6, is what I'm saying.

As for what is arguably Trudeau's biggest and most elaborate scam to date, the
Global Information Network (GIN), there's been a lot of buzz about that in the past week. Some who have made GIN's demise their life's mission are crowing because GIN is finally dead, thanks to announcements made to the GIN staff last week by the court-appointed receiver, Robb Evans & Associates.

Before we go any further with that,
here is a link to the newest court documents filed by the receiver: Document 790 and exhibits, filed November 15. (Exception: 790-2 (89 pages of photocopied/scanned financial exhibits) is not included because I could not get it to load properly. But the docs I am sharing should give you a very good idea of the receiver's activities.)

Basically Document 790 is a summary of the receiver's activities between August 7, 2013 -- the day they took over Trudeau's business entities -- and September 30. It's also a bill, and a hefty one, which of course has fueled a whole new round of invectives from the Loony-tic fringes, which we'll get to in a while.

The big news regarding GIN is that, provided the court approves the receiver's recommendations (which will presumably be presented before Judge Robert Gettleman at the upcoming civil case hearing on November 21), the affiliate program is being $hit-canned. That's the MLM scheme, the legality of which the receiver had been questioning for months, and I have been questioning for years. And that has apparently caused quite the uproar: celebration and self-congratulations from the "GIN Destroyer" contingent, and shock and outrage from some of the remaining GINfolk at all levels.

Although almost nobody got rich from the GIN affiliate scheme except a few at the very tip-top of the pyramid (Kevin, his lovely estranged bride Nataliya, Neo-stinker Mark Scamilton, and a guy named Brian Baschnagel who apparently downlined a lot of French folk), lots of people did have downlines and were making some income. Not being the successful elite billionaires that GIN had promised them they could be, some were actually counting on that extra income to help make ends meet. And no doubt lots of folks were able to get and keep their downlines by promising people that they could eventually become a rich elite by selling GIN memberships. So there's that unicorn dream down the toilet. No wonder people are pissed off. Add that to all of GIN's other broken promises (see Bernie's GINtruth.com site for documentation), and you can see that there may be a few...um... problems keeping GIN alive.

Nevertheless the GIN leadership is putting a positive spin on the changes, as indicated in this email from last week. And some remaining members -- including some with whom I am friendly -- are trying to keep the faith.

Here's that email:

November 15, 2013

GLOBAL INFORMATION NETWORK ANNOUNCEMENT

Dear Valued Members and Affiliates,

In order to improve your membership experience, solidify GIN’s future stability, as well as improve our operational and financial feasibility, we would like to inform you of some of the exciting developments that are underway. These improvements will be implemented in the near future and are designed to build on our strong foundation as we prepare for an exciting 2014!

First, this year’s Family Reunion event was a tremendous success. We welcomed dozens of newly inducted Level V and Level VI Members, joining the ranks of some of our most highly trained and decorated Members. And, we are excited to inform you that we will be holding GIN's next Major Leadership Event in early 2014. The details will be released in the coming weeks. We look forward to seeing you at this event!

As many of you may know, GIN has been under recent and close scrutiny. We at GIN Headquarters are sensitive to the uncertainties and inconveniences this may have caused. Please know that necessary changes will pave the way for many new and exciting club enhancements as outlined below.

Operational Enhancements
As evidenced at our recent Family Reunion event in Washington, D.C., several key members of the GIN Staff and the GIN Advisory Boards guided the organization through many of the recent transitions that GIN is undergoing. The dedication, perseverance, and leadership of these individuals through these times of change have provided our organization the transitional foundation needed to carry GIN to its next phase of growth and development. We would like to thank each and every one of these individuals for their incredible hard work and dedication through this phase of GIN’s lifecycle.

Moving forward, GIN is pleased and excited to announce that the appointed Receiver has named a new Chief Operating Officer (COO). It is with great pleasure and optimism that we welcome Jeffrey Devine as the organization’s new COO. Jeff’s background and expertise in association management, organizational governance, and convention management, along with his tenure within the Global Information Network will help align GIN’s new business operations model with our future Member initiatives. We are confident that he will prove to be a leading partner alongside the GIN leadership. Please join us in congratulating and supporting Jeff in his new role!

Affiliate Program
In recent weeks GIN has undergone an Affiliate Program evaluation regarding the program’s offerings. As a result of that evaluation, and with the advice of legal counsel, it has been determined that some immediate transitions will be necessary. However, we will continue to review replacement programs, including those listed below, now and in the future.

These transitions will secure the best possible future for our club, as well as provide legal stability as we set the new direction for growth. With future enhancements to come, the Affiliate Program as you know it will conclude as of November 30, 2013. For those of you receiving commissions, your last payment from the Affiliate Program will be in December 2013 for commissions earned during the month of November 2013. Any modifications to the Affiliate Program will not affect or change the number persons recorded in your personal business organization or the current recognition pin level. In addition, Affiliates will continue to have access to the website.

Member Rewards
Updates that take the place of the current Affiliate Program will include a new program called Member Rewards, the initial details of which will be announced in December. This program is designed to allow you easier methods to invite your network of family, friends, and colleagues to join the many expanding benefits of GIN membership.

Member Rewards will offer promotions for recruiting that will pay out in various ways when you introduce a new Member into GIN. Some of these may include:

Earning Credits for recruiting new members into GIN
Earning Credits when someone in your organization upgrades
Earning Credits to attend Member Events
Frequent Recruiting promotions and discounts
Enhanced Recognition programming

Increased Education
Introduction to a new event format was made at Family Reunion in October. Members and Affiliates enjoyed the offering of a diverse education program. It consisted of Breakout Sessions never before offered at our Major Events. The Breakout Sessions focused on education topics to which GIN Members will begin to have greater access in 2014.

Beginning immediately, GIN Headquarters will continue to embrace and partner with the membership via the Advisory Boards to guide the new direction of GIN. Some of these new enhancements under consideration and in the works include:

An expansive new multi-track educational curriculum
A dynamic certification curriculum
New online training portals
An increase in live training seminars and events
Advanced Level Trainings
Additions to the Online Library
The impressive new Member2Member program

Member Engagement
Additionally, we are looking at adding new programs for Members to participate in during the Major Events and throughout the year. One of the member engagement programs is the new Volunteer Corps. There will also be opportunities for Members to get involved in the future direction of the organization via specific committees. The committees will serve as important contributors to the strength and effectiveness of the organization. This will allow the current leaders of GIN greater influence and may be supported by a new apprentice program. The apprentice program will groom new Members to be our future leaders as we continue to grow and will provide a field mentor to ensure a successful membership journey for new Members.

A Bright Future
GIN is a club that has touched the lives of many people. We continuously receive many testimonials and stories about the incredible benefits of being a part of GIN. We recognize the strength of the networking within the club, the success of the business partnerships that have been formed, and the life-long friendships that have been made. This organization is held together by the incredible and unbreakable bonds and relationships within the GIN community.

GIN has recently undergone changes that we have never faced in the past. However, we are optimistic that with our new leadership alignments, future membership benefits, and a continued sense of community, we will together as ONE, arrive in 2014 bigger, better and stronger than ever before!

As our GIN training has taught us, no matter the challenges we face, the future and foundation of GIN is about more than any one person. More than one purpose...it is a community bound together by a belief system committed to improving the lives and experiences of the family Members it serves.

May this serve as a call to action to drive forward and build a palace upon our current GIN foundation. We appreciate your continued loyalty and commitment to the organization as we move forward together.

Sincerely,

GIN Headquarters
Of course, some people still don't get it and are now (or once again) accusing the receiver of fraud and deceit for continuing to run a fraudulent organization. They still don't understand that the receiver was under a legal obligation (per court order, which is on public record) to keep GIN running until and unless they could prove that it was illegal. Also, my understanding is that any decision the receiver makes has to be confirmed by the court -- Judge Gettleman, in this case, as this is part of the civil case. (It is possible that the court has already granted the receiver permission to take the actions regarding GIN, and I just haven't seen the documents yet. I am keeping an eye out for them.)

As I noted above and have explained previously on this very blog and on various Facebook forums, months ago the receiver raised the question about the legitimacy of GIN's affiliate program. Their question was based upon their doubts about whether or not there was a real "product" for sale. Some of us could have told them years ago that paid membership in a scammy scheme run by Kevin Trudeau is not a real product, but courts don't tend to listen to bloggers. Anyway, they apparently finally decided that the MLM does not offer a real product so they are apparently recommending that the MLM portion be shut down.

But some resentful little lunatics just won't let up on the receiver. Here's Katie's ex-b.f.f. and former alt-health front man, Mocktor Loony Coldwell:


Coldwell has been ragging on the receiver for months. Here's something from this past September, in case you missed it. As for those "800 GIN members" Loony claims have contacted him in the past few days, we know how fast and loose Loony plays with numbers. And regarding Loony's claim that the GIN web site contains "false, deceptive, outdated information," my friend Gina pointed out, "This is funny coming from him, considering he Photoshops GIN pictures for his website, so it looks like he has followers."
Pot meet kettle... again. Coldwell accuses GIN web site of containing
deceptive info, when his own Facebook cover photo was Photoshopped
using a GIN event to make it appear he has many more followers than he does.

Not to mention all of the other false and deceptive content on Loony's web sites and his Facebook rants.

Anyhow, just in case you do not feel like plowing through the legal documents I linked to above, the passage to which Loony is referring, re the GIN web sites, is this:

Case: 1:03-cv-03904 Document #: 790 Filed: 11/15/13 from Pages 4-5 of 11 PageID #:14193-94:

11. Mindful of the Court’s direction in the Receivership Order that the Receiver may only continue and conduct the business of any of the Trudeau Entities to the extent it is possible to operate such business legally, the Receiver has continued to review the legality of such businesses and has commenced tailoring the Trudeau Entities’ operations accordingly. For example, the Receiver has begun the process of causing the Trudeau Entities to remove false and misleading claims from its websites. As reflected in its First Report, the Receiver is continuing to work on a marketing plan that can be operated lawfully. As provided by the Receivership Order, if the Receiver determines that a Trudeau Entity cannot be operated legally, the Receiver will promptly notify the Court and parties and seek the Court’s permission to terminate the entity’s respective operations.
No matter how you spin it, though, the news about the GIN affiliate program very probably coming to an end is significant indeed. I'm not trying to downplay that at all.

Not surprisingly, some are spinning this development as the result of grass-roots efforts initiated by a single disgruntled ex-GIN member. I continue to believe that it would have happened with or without those efforts because for better or worse, the government and courts were on this case for years. And the seeds of GIN's demise were actually planted during the now well-documented planning sessions between Kevin Trudeau and his asset protection attorney, Marc Lane, back in 2007 and 2008, before GIN was even launched.

This doesn't take away from the satisfaction that many may feel about GIN in its original form going away, though as indicated above, GIN is apparently not dead yet. I actually do feel bad for those who lost thousands or perhaps even hundreds of thousands in this scheme. I know of some who spent far more than $100,000 in GIN. Some haven't come to the forefront because they would rather just forget it and put it all behind them.

I also understand the desires of some to keep GIN alive under new terms, and I do not wish them ill; there are GIN defenders and KT fans whom I like and respect. I just think that they are pursuing a pipe dream at this point... but in my view, they always were.

One point seems certain: These latest developments may provide the true litmus test for the legitimacy of the claims, by some defenders, that (1) the real value of GIN is in "the training," not in the get-rich promises; and (2) most people who joined GIN and stayed did so for the "training" and not for the promises of (eventual) wealth.


Meanwhile... this just in, and I will have more info as soon as I can sort through all of the new docs that were just filed in the civil case today (November 18, 2013) --- Ohio GIN member Perry Kiraly and friends have now officially "intervened" in the case and their motions are now on the docket. Among other things, they filed a preliminary injunction against the receiver to prevent liquidation of GIN's assets. This could get interesting. Or maybe not...the court could decide right off that the FTC made a strong enough case that GIN was/is a Trudeau-owned entity that Perry and gang's case will be moot. Anyway, for those of you on Facebook, the court documents in question are currently available on the publicly viewable GIN Network Truth page.

Update 19 November, 2013: Here is a link to the entire group of documents on Scribd.com. It doesn't take a fine legal mind to speculate that Perry et al. are probably fighting an uphill battle, particularly since the lawyers they retained, Daniel and Timothy Shimko, seem to have had some challenges of their own (as indicated in Document 792 and 795). And then there is the matter of Perry's own past troubles, as previously noted on this blog (scroll down to, "And in other news...").

Still more legal threats from Loony...
Loony Coldwell is apparently continuing his pattern of using the promise of "class action lawsuits" to lure people to his daft and chronically under-attended events. He first did it in May-June 2012 for his South Carolina exploitation fest (where he first "edified" Abe, and where he and
former GIN marketing principal Peter Wink rolled out their new Longevity/Youngevity MLM affiliate scam). Of course, nothing came of that class action suit -- an outcome I accurately predicted on my first Loony post --  but Loony was able to get plenty of people to send him their personal info for his own use.

More recently Loony has been blathering about another "class action law suit" against GIN et al. (and possibly the receiver). He was boasting a while back that the law firm of Merritt Webb had agreed to take it on (
here's another September 2013 post containing some info about that). But nothing has come of that that I know of.

Now it appears that Loony is targeting Jeff Devine, the newly appointed COO of GIN, with his impotent threats. This is from Sunday, November 17.


One noteworthy point is that apparently, if you go as a guest of Abe's, Loony's $200 wingding in Panama City, Florida this December will be free (except for travel and hotel and meals and intoxicants). My pal Tim speculates:

Tim Donohoe The seminar is now free, makes me think less than 5 paying members want to go. It will be the 3 lackeys who go for free, and maybe 4 others who would be willing to pay. This could turn into a 3 figure weekend for Loony and Wink. I bet they will fight over the $200 they make.
As for Abe, he will apparently not be satisfied until and unless GIN is completely dead. And he is earnestly recruiting people into Loony and Wink's IMBS-ing U web.

Meanwhile, in the wake of the latest announcements, master copywriter Wink has issued this all-caps directive on the Facebooks...
ATTENTION GIN MEMBERS AND AFFILIATES!

NOW THAT GIN TOOK AWAY ALL YOUR COMMISSIONS AND NO LONGER HAS AN AFFILIATE PROGRAM --- BE SURE TO GET REFUNDS FROM THE GIN STORE ON ALL USELESS AFFILIATE TOOLS, CDS, DVDS, AND EVERYTHING ELSE!

CALL YOUR BANK AND ASK THEM TO ISSUE A CHARGEBACK.
Once again, here's Tim:
What Wink really doesn't understand is how transparent he is and how little respect people have for him. This is an obvious ploy to position himself as an anti GIN crusader in front of a small group who got ripped off by Gin and Wink. He goal is to get people to forget that he was a big part of the scam for which he is advocating the charge back. Once he gets the most gullible members on his side, he can pitch the IMBSingU plan to them.

So, it's bidness as usual: More GIN scavengers, "carrion" on a proud Scamworld tradition.

The big question now is this: Will GIN be totally shut down or will it go on, like Celine Dion's heart in the Titanic theme song? If the latter, can GIN truly thrive without Katie? Will it become a ho-hum Generic Information Network, brimming with hustledorks and B-listers and Scamworld wannabes... or will the members actually be able to sustain it and restore it to its rightful place in Scamworld? Stay tuned.

The story is not yet over.



Related posts about GIN scavengers:

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1 Comments:

Blogger Tyler Ray said...

Connie did you do any Gin training? I mean obviously the guy doesn't want to go to jail but he ain't that smart as to how this can benefit long term. At this point it is what it is you have to look forward with a decent mind set.

Thursday, November 21, 2013 12:24:00 PM  

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