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.)

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Kevin Trudeau: The trial of the century...or the week...or maybe just another trial

Will Kevin Trudeau be caged again or ultimately set free?
That will be determined by a jury and a judge
at his criminal contempt trial, which got underway
on Monday, November 4, 2013.
(The document pictured above is a statement of the charge,
for which he faces a potential prison sentence.)

Please note updates of and additions to original post, denoted in bright orange text. These are particularly important because new court documents were filed after I last signed out of PACER on Sunday evening (November 3).
~CC, 4 November 2013


Subsequent updates in cyan text.
~CC, 5 November 2013

 
As I write this it is Sunday night, November 3, and tomorrow morning, November 4, at 9:00 AM Central Standard Time, serial scammer Kevin Trudeau's criminal contempt trial will get underway. [United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Case # 1:10−cr−00886−1, Honorable Ronald A. Guzman presiding.] I've been yammering about this thing for months, here and on Facebook, trying to make sense of it all and to help others make sense of it as well.

There's actually been precious little about the criminal case in the mainstream media so far; for the past couple of months the journos -- with the notable exceptions of
Kansas City, Missouri's Ryan Kath (KSHB-TV), and the crew at ABC News -- have mostly been concerned about Katie getting jailed, and un-jailed, and re-jailed, and re-un-jailed, and so forth. (Ryan Kath and ABC did more extensive investigative stories about Trudeau's big Ponzi-like monstrosity, the Global Information Network (GIN).)

All of the in-and-out-of-the-joint action has been in regard to the related civil case [same court as above, Case # 1:03−cv−03904, the Honorable Robert W. Gettleman presiding]. The plaintiffs and the court have been holding jail -- or coercive incarceration, as they like to call it -- over Katie's head as the court-appointed receiver has struggled to find his hidden assets, while he has continued, on the one hand, to thumb his nose at all of them by going shopping for pricey stuff; and on the other hand, to whine and plead abject poverty, particularly when he's clad in orange and standing humble before the judge.

I've made no secret of my opinion that even though I think that Trudeau is a lifelong scammer and GIN is a scam (something I've been harping about since late 2009), I still don't think he belongs in prison, particularly not for fifteen to eighteen years or longer. That is one point on which some of my allies and I may respectfully disagree.

Some people thought this case would never actually get to trial (I was one of them, for a while), but it looks like it really is. For real.

Just to recap: Trudeau is going to trial for criminal contempt for violating court orders he'd previously signed. The prosecution says that even though he'd promised not to do so, he willfully misrepresented, in infomercials, the contents of his book,
The Weight Loss Cure "They" Don't Want You To Know About. His supporters say his First Amendment rights are being violated, and that he is being nailed just for claiming a diet is easy. But it's really about so much more than that. I think that both the FTC in the civil case, and the U.S. Attorney's office in the related but more recently initiated criminal case (the one that's going to trial tomorrow) have made a very strong case against Katie. I just don't agree with the proposed punishment.

Trudeau still has plenty of detractors, but he also still has plenty of loyal supporters, and some have recently said that they were called upon by Katie's lawyers during the pre-trial conference stage to provide testimonials about Trudeau's goodness and heroic qualities, as well as about the ease and efficacy of the hCG weight-loss regimen that is at the heart of the criminal contempt trial. The problem there is that the prosecution has been trying to do everything possible to keep such testimonials out of the trial, because they claim that such things will derail the proceedings and cause a sideshow trial that will only confuse the jury.

But Katie's lawyers continue to insist that these testimonials are relevant, as are other pieces of evidence that they say the prosecution is unfairly trying to suppress.

The main aspect I've found a little troubling about the criminal case is the potential long prison sentence, and the fact that even though the jury will decide guilt or innocence, the judge will decide the sentence. And the prosecution wants to prevent the jury from considering the potential sentence when rendering their verdict. It appears that they are doing everything they can to avoid a prosecutor's worst nightmare:
jury nullification.

Over the past couple of months I've shared quite a few of the court documents that are publicly available via PACER.gov. I've downloaded thousands of pages and have shared many documents from both the civil and the criminal case on the publicly viewable Facebook forum GIN Network Truth, and also on Scribd.com, with links to the latter in various blog posts on this Whirled. However, for the benefit of those who haven't yet seen all of the docs or who just want to review them and don't want to go hunting all over the place, I'm providing a handy list of links. Each link below -- with the exception of the civil and criminal dockets -- is a PDF that is actually several documents in one. I often combine documents so there won't be so many different links to follow.




Some relevant court documents for your review
Please note updates of and additions to original post, denoted in bright orange text. Court documents don't tell the whole story, of course, but as I've noted before, they give a more complete picture than you'll find on revenge-driven amateur videos or even on sight and sound bites generated by the mainstream media. These are some of the most important recent documents, beginning with the pre-trial motions filed early in September. The ones not included are simply one-page minute entries making note of a proceeding but giving no details beyond that.
  • Criminal case docket as of 11-03-13 [updated from original post]
    This is the complete criminal case docket, as of November
    3, 2013 (the most updated version as of my most recent visit to PACER). The dockets of both the civil and the criminal case give a good encapsulated history of the proceedings. (NOTE: You cannot follow the embedded links and get to the individual documents unless you have a PACER account and are signed in.) This docket was initiated in October 2010 and is now 11 pages long, having generated more than 1,100 pages of court documents.
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/181221048/Trudeau-criminal-case-docket-as-of-11-03-13-pdf
  • Criminal case, pre-trial motions, Documents 82 through 91, filed on September 6, 2013. These include the proposed jury instructions.
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/180368274/Trudeau-Criminal-case-Documents-82-through-91-09-06-13-pdf
  • Criminal case, responses to pre-trial motions, Documents 93 through 95, filed on September 23, 2013.
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/181217149/Trudeau-Criminal-case-Documents-93-through-95-responses-to-pre-trial-motions-09-23-13-pdf
  • Criminal case, Documents 97 through 106
    More pre-trial activity, filed between September 30 and October 11, 2013.
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/181217677/Trudeau-Criminal-case-Documents-97-thru-106-09-30-13-thru-10-11-13-pdf
  • Criminal case Documents 109 through 125
    Still more pre-trial activity: documents filed between October 22 and November 1, 2013.
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/181218504/Trudeau-Criminal-case-Documents-109-thru-125-10-22-thru-11-01-13-pdf
  • Criminal case Documents 127 through 132, filed on November 3, 2013. These were filed after I signed out of PACER on November 3 and originally published this post. They include numerous important documents, such as the government's revised jury instructions, government witness and exhibit lists, and Kevin's lawyers' ongoing attempts to argue that the evidence the government is saying is irrelevant is in fact extremely relevant, and central to the case.
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/181463886/Trudeau-criminal-case-Documents-127-through-132-11-03-13-pdf 
  • Criminal Case Document number 133, filed 11/04/13:
    This came in after I posted the group of documents linked to above. Rather than uploading to Scribd right now, I'll just copy and paste from the document itself, since it's a short one.

    DEFENDANT KEVIN TRUDEAU’S WITNESS LIST
    Defendant Kevin Trudeau hereby discloses the following witnesses who he may call during the upcoming criminal contempt trial that is currently scheduled to begin on November 4, 2013. Trudeau reserves the right to add further witnesses to this list before trial and as trial proceeds. In addition, Trudeau incorporates by reference all witnesses on the government’s trial witness list.
    1. Donald Barrett
    2. Ron Braver
    3. Rob Curan
    4. Heather Hippsley
    5. Daniel Hurtado
    6. Laureen Kapin
    7. Dorothy Cornelius Kiraly
    8. Marc Lane
    9. Jim Leto
    10. Jackie Lyon
    11. Dru Martin
    12. Michael Mora
    13. David O’Toole
    14. Suneil Sant
    15. Michael Sciucco
    16. Loretta Wilson
    17. Tina Wilson
    18. Business Records Custodian From At Least The Following:
a. United States District Court for the Northern District of New York
b. United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
c. Alliance Publishing Group
d. Federal Trade Commission
e. ITV Global Inc. and Affiliated Companies
f. Jenner & Block LLP
g. The Law Firm of Marc J. Lane P.C.
h. Alliance Publishing Group, Inc.
i. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
j. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
k. Buffalo News
l. MSNBC

Those are some pretty interesting names. The list includes some of Kevin's past lawyers and associates (Marc Lane was his asset-shuffling co-conspirator... I mean... his asset protection professional). Suneil "Neil" Sant is a long-time buddy of Trudeau's and former financial officer at some of his companies. He's been part of the court cases for years. And Alliance Publishing Group is actually one of Kevin's companies, formed to disguise the fact that his books were self-published and that the most of the money from book sales was going into his piggy bank.

I wonder if Dorothy Cornelius Kiraly is related to Perry Kiraly, the GIN member who is currently orchestrating the "let's take back GIN campaign I discussed here previously (I first mentioned it
here; scroll down to "And in other news..."). Also, I noticed that Donald Barrett is at the top of the list. Barrett was head of ITV Direct, the company that produced the infomercials at the heart of this criminal case (and the civil case as well). Donald Barrett is a scammer in his own right and I still need to tell that part of the Trudeau story. I have just the person to help me tell it too: my friend Julie, who worked for ITV back in the day.

From civil to criminal in ten easy years...

You may still be wondering how a civil case morphed into a criminal case. It's a long, long story -- more than 14,000 pages long, to be exact. I don't pretend to understand it all myself. But once again the court documents tell the story better than I can.

  • Civil case Docket as of 10-31-13
    This is the complete docket of the civil case, as of October 31, 2013 (the most updated version as of my most recent visit to PACER). This is the case involving the $37.6 million dollar fine from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)). Again, note that you cannot follow the embedded links and get to the individual documents unless you have a PACER account and are signed in. This docket was initiated in June 2003 and is now 61 pages long, having generated more than 14,000 pages of court documents.
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/181221903/Trudeau-civil-case-docket-as-of-10-31-13-pdf
  • Older documents from the civil case: the history of that big fine
    While I have downloaded and shared many hundreds of pages of court documents, there's no way I can download and share every page that has been generated in this case, which, as noted above, has dragged on for longer than a decade. However, there's one small group of older documents I downloaded and combined the other day, because they provide some historical perspective for the benefit of those who are wondering how the FTC fine got to be so large ($37.6 million-plus).

    I combined a 2010 order from Judge Robert Gettleman (Document 336) with some relevant 2009 documents that show how the FTC calculated the $37.6 million fine. Note that these are older docs, but they are enlightening nevertheless. Here's that link:
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/181222940/Trudeau-Civil-Case-Documents-OLD-docs-336-04-16-10-and-267-and-269-11-13-09-pdf
One point of interest is that these older docs show some correspondence from Trudeau's asset protection lawyer Marc Lane, who was earnestly giving his word that he and Trudeau would cooperate with the FTC and the courts... at the VERY SAME TIME that (as we now know, based upon more recent court documents) he and Trudeau were diligently planning the asset shuffling as they prepared for the launch of GIN.
I also noticed this interesting snippet from the Chicago Tribune:
Although the court record is massive, it establishes very little about Trudeau's finances or the book's performance, and the author is pleading poverty.
"I've been pretty much wiped out," he said in an interview last week. 'Their intent is to bury me."

Sounds like yesterday's news, right? Not quite. It was from an article dated September 14, 2009. Yes, boys and girls, at the very time that Katie was preparing to launch GIN -- AND using his lavishly wealthy lifestyle as a big selling point for GIN -- he was pleading poverty to the courts. Someone call the waaaahhhhmbulance! And that was more than four years ago. The more things change...
I remember the ad copy that appeared on the (now defunct) official Your Wish Is Your Command site, and still can be seen on countless poorly designed affiliate sites (as well as eBay stores where the seller is desperately trying to unload YWIYC for pennies on the dollar, and on certain snarky graphics on this Whirled)...
Once I finally learned the right information from the Brotherhood, billionaires, the politically elite, captains of industry and the members of the Illuminati, Freemasons, The Skull and Bones and other secret societies, I cracked the success code.

And now I live an exciting, fun and free life filled with financial wealth and happiness.

Here are some other things I achieved and accumulated ONLY when I learned and put these secrets to work...
- My companies have done BILLIONS of dollars in sales.
- I have owned TV networks, publishing and manufacturing companies and other corporations in many countries - all over the world.
- My associated companies have employed well over 3000 people.
- I attained the status of "New York Times #1 bestselling author" AND sold over 50 million copies in over 18 countries.
- I have lived in multi-million dollar homes all across America and on 3 continents.
- I have owned super luxury cars including Rolls Royces, Ferraris, Bentleys, and various Mercedes Benz cars.
- Collected millions of dollars in luxury jewelry.
- I have traveled first class everywhere in private jets and limos and stayed in the most expensive hotel suites.
- I've had servants including a butler, private chef, chauffer [sic] and bodyguard.
- I have wined and dined in the finest restaurants and enjoyed the most expensive wine and champagne.
- I have associated with some of the richest most powerful people in the world including Presidents and Prime Ministers, Generals, business
tycoons, and the world's most famous Hollywood celebrities.
- I have dated some of the most beautiful sexy women in the world and now am outrageously happily married to a stunning woman who is well traveled, well educated and one of the nicest people you could ever meet. I am enjoying an amazingly satisfying romantic loving relationship beyond my wildest dreams!
- I also have unreal almost super human health. I virtually NEVER get sick!

There's no question that you can have everything you want. You can attract any amount of money! You can meet your soul mate and have the relationship of your dreams! You can live in a beautiful home in an affluent community! You can drive the car of your dreams! You can wear expensive, stylish, designer clothes!

And most important of all...

YOU CAN BE TRULY HAPPY!

And so on, and so forth. This copy was being generated and distributed at the same time Katie was telling the courts and anyone else who would listen that he was just a poor boy because the mean old FTC was wiping him out. As I said, the more things change...
Context is so important, and the lawyers on both sides in the criminal trial are trying to keep the entire context from the jury. That's their job. But we who are not directly involved in this case have the luxury of context. If you look at all of the information that has been made available so far you can easily see that the government isn't a knight in shining armor here. From where I sit, however, all of this information -- particularly the info in the court docs -- also makes Katie look even more sleazy and smarmy and deceptive than even I have been portraying him in my years of blogging about him. No, I still do not think he belongs in a cage for the rest of his life, but that context thing is definitely a two-edged sword.

At any rate, this should be a busy couple of weeks for Katie. The trial is expected to last two to three weeks, and Katie is also due back in court for another civil case hearing on November 21. I'll do my best to keep you updated. And within the next couple of days I might even finally publish a PACER tutorial so you can go hunt and gather documents for yourself, if you feel so inclined.


PS ~ Let's make this a real conversation.
I believe that most people who are well-informed and are totally honest with themselves know that the issues at stake here are not all black and white. I do not see the government as the force of unequivocal good fighting the force of pure evil (Kevin), but neither do I see Kevin as the troubled hero fighting the big evil Goliath government on behalf of free people everywhere. One point I do want to make here is that the real evils committed by government in other areas do NOT excuse or exonerate Trudeau or other similar scammers, and I believe that those arguments are often used as red herrings, to distract people from the real issues. Even so, just with the saga of Kevin versus the government, I believe that there are enough gray areas here that reasonable people can disagree. 

 
Accordingly, I really would like to hear from all of you -- whether you're pro or con Trudeau and/or GIN, or just on the fence. I've read hundreds of comments and have participated in scads of discussions on Facebook, but believe it or not, not everybody is on Facebook (in fact I've heard numerous times that Trudeau himself has advised people to stay off of Facebook because it's a waste of time). Even if you just copy and paste some of your own comments from Facebook or other conversations to the comments section here (why reinvent the wheel?), I'd like to have a variety of opinions represented here. You can be anonymous if you wish, or use your own name or a pseudonym.

Just be patient, because, due to spammers and true evil doers, I have my blogs settings so that all comments do have to be approved -- and I can only do that if I'm signed in to Blogger. So more than likely your comment will not show up right away. But I will publish pretty much anything, no matter how critical it is of me or what you think my "agenda" is. I do generally draw the line at excessive obscenities, what I see as potentially actionable content, or obvious spam. Beyond that, just about anything goes. And even though I may snark about Trudeau and GIN, I'll treat you with more respect than you may have encountered on the forums of some of the so-called "GIN destroyers."

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12 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Connie, this is a valuable forum. I admire how you are able to put forth objectivity AND your own views simultaneously. Thanks for keeping us all informed. "Whirled Musings" is the 1st site that I look to for updates.

Monday, November 04, 2013 5:35:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thanks, Anon, I appreciate your support!

Monday, November 04, 2013 8:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You write well, ~although I think sometimes pontificate into a bit of a drama queen. Thank you for covering Kevin's trials and information. You definitely are the most current source of information for those of us supporting KT. When we get together your name is always mentioned as how we stay in the loop, albeit with quite a bit of discernment.
I don't know why you think GIN is such a scam. I am a GIN member and love the club. We're happy, healthy and excited about enjoying time together as a club. We have gotten more than our moneys worth in priceless relationships that could never have happened elsewhere.
I am a full fledged level 6, Inner Circle, Platinum and all the other things you talk about on your blog.
I would do it again in a heartbeat.
I am happy with the money I spent.
Most of us don't care that much about the affiliate program, but it does make money and I have made many thousands while hanging out with some of the most fantastic people in the world. I would like to mention that this includes KT.
Abe Hussein and company did not paint such an accurate picture of our club in the media. I'm sure you have read it, but you should look up the story of Abe's sponsor where he mentions how Abe conned the system and tried to fake it to get paid.
Anyway - we wish Abe and Dr. C and Wink and Deno (you call him Dean) and Steven the best - they are just trying to live their destiny.
We are all one energy moving in the right direction.
I wanted to thank you, Connie Schmidt, for taking the time to spread the news about one of our members, Mr. Kevin Trudeau. Kevin is a great guy and has helped a lot of us reach just a little closer to our full potential.
Please keep up the good work.
I look forward to a positive outcome from this trial so KT can spread more truths to people who quite frankly need to know.

Thursday, November 07, 2013 7:28:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

LOL, Anon, I do get on my high horse at times. But I don't pontificate -- I Con-tificate. :-) I acknowledge that my blog, which started out in 2006 as a light, snarky humor blog, has become more serious in recent years, on certain posts. Quite without intending to, I think I have developed a sense of purpose, beyond entertainment. However, I hope it never comes to the point where I take myself or this blog too seriously. :-)

Anyway, I appreciate your comments.

And I am glad for you that you're happy about the money you spent in GIN, but with all due respect to you, I still find it difficult to believe that most people who joined GIN do not or did not care about the affiliate program. The affiliate program was what was so aggressively promoted by KT and his top dogs, with the Lazy Man's and Platinum Bonus programs, and Go Platinum in 90 days seminars, and so forth.

As for Abe Husein: While I was once a supporter of Abe's efforts to publicize what I still believe to be a scam, I modified my opinion about him considerably over the months. In large part this was because of Abe's alliance with the abhorrent "Dr." C, which to me seemed to indicate a lack of a moral compass on Abe's part. But increasingly it was also because of the distorted picture he was painting of his own role in the saga of Kevin and GIN (a picture he painted with plenty of help and "edification" from Coldwell, Wink, and a handful of supporters).

And yes, I have read extensively about how Abe tried to cheat and game the system. I was not fully aware of that back in the days when I was fully supporting Abe, but I have since become much more aware.

And I did read the screen shots of the posts from Abe's former sponsor. While others who attended the same events as Abe and his sponsor have a different view of some details than the former sponsor expressed (e.g., they say that the sponsor seriously understated how aggressively the tools and promos were promoted), those other people did confirm many of the sponsor's critical observations of Abe's behavior.

The truth as I see it is that Abe played a small role in the whole KT/GIN saga, but because he got in front of a camera a few times, and because he is now involved (presumably as a paid consultant) in a film project about KT that may or may not ultimately come to fruition, he is able to stay in the limelight. However, much of his information is inaccurate or misleading, in my opinion, and Abe utterly fails to see the larger picture. He calls out Trudeau for being a scammer and GIN for being a scam, but completely fails to see that he's still soaking in Scamworld himself.

By the way, the screenwriter for the movie, Robin Mizrahi, would very much like to hear from people who are still involved with GIN. I believe that she is trying to get a fuller, richer picture of what is really going on.

As for me, I play no part in this saga except as an observer from the sidelines. I am trying to be fair but I will most likely always be snarky too, when it comes to Trudeau, because I have not changed my basic opinion about KT being a scammer. Even so, I do not think he belongs in a cage. And BTW... he is not "one of your members." He owns your club. I figured that out back in 2009, and in more recent years, the court documents have confirmed it.

As for Coldwell... he is just plain evil, in my book, or as close to just plain evil as anyone I have ever written about on my blog. And I think that he does belong in a cage, but so far he has been able to slither out of formal charges, much less conviction.

Friday, November 08, 2013 10:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is Anon-1 again. Really good comments from both of you! Don't you just LOVE riveting dialogue?!

OK, so, for someone who wears his salesmanship on his sleeve as does the uber-slick KT, who WOULDN'T know how opportunist he can be? You can see him coming a mile away. You'd have to be off the turnip truck to not recognize these hard-sales tactics. This means that people KNOW how persuasive he can be, so they buy his products with their eyes open. Therefore, since consumers know that they're getting the hard-sale, I have a real problem with the government's protecting consumers from themselves. Additionally, while ITV might have had difficulty providing refunds for "The Weight Loss Cure", I've never heard of anyone being denied a refund for any of GIN's or NC's products. THAT's the remedy -- if you don't like the product, you get a refund. You don't expect the government to issue a ridiculous remediation judgment -- way out of proportion to the alleged transgression -- and trounce one set of consumers to remedy another set.

At least customers get value out of KT's products. I feel more abused by goofy laws, and price and tax increases; events in which I have no choice and from which I always lose value. At least KT's customers had a choice. If you measure a scam by the degree to which it causes damage to customers who didn't see it coming, then the FTC's the biggest scammer in this case.

Every diet-book publisher advertises that their diet is "easy". Customers automatically discount that claim because everyone makes it. The FTC implies that the word "easy" sealed the deal for most buyers of the book. I'll bet that most customers keyed into the infomercial's other "commercial speech" that convinced them to buy the book - words that resonated with them about being able to reset their metabolic chemistry enough to finally take the struggle out of their weight control efforts. Wouldn't it be interesting to do a study of ITV's WLC customers to prove just how much (or little) the book sales had increased because of the word "easy"? I'll bet it would be minuscule. Hence, the FTC's case is moot.

This is why I think that both the civil and criminal trials are just witch-hunts to keep the FTC and receivers like Robb-Evans in business.


Friday, November 08, 2013 2:32:00 PM  
Blogger Cody said...

One question - who is Katie? If it's your condescending name for Kevin why don't you use it throughout instead haphazardly?

Monday, November 11, 2013 1:48:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thank you for your question, Cody. "Katie" is my *fond* nickname for Kevin Trudeau, aka "KT." I use it haphazardly rather than consistently because variety is the spice of life, and a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

Monday, November 11, 2013 3:53:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thank you for your comment, Anon-1 (Friday, November 08, 2013 2:32:00 PM). I used to have more of a cynical view of Trudeau's consumers too: I thought they had to be dumb or irresponsible or somehow impaired to fall for his cons, when it is so well known that he has a history of conning. But he is very skilled, and sometimes people find themselves in circumstances that make them more vulnerable to slick-talking sales pitches. So I've modified my views about Trudeau's fans and customers (and I do agree with you that much of the entire diet industry is based on deceptive or overly simplistic claims).

But as I've said before, the Trudeau cases do NOT rest on the simple declaration that the diet is "easy." Both cases are considerably more complex than that. But I realize that Trudeau's fans will never see it that way and will continue to insist that he is being unfairly prosecuted (and persecuted) for stating a simple opinion.

However, I also recognize that the cases are not all black-and-white. Even so, as I've also said before, government mistakes or deliberate misdeeds -- and silly laws and repressive taxes and so forth -- do not excuse the misdeeds of serial scammers such as Trudeau.

But in a larger sense, I too have long questioned how far the government should go in protecting consumers from themselves. I wrote about it on this long 2010 post, in another context besides the Trudeau cases.
http://cosmicconnie.blogspot.com/2010/03/self-help-regulation-necessary.html

Ultimately I feel that education is the best remedy -- not more regulations, and not throwing all scammers in a cage for life.

Monday, November 11, 2013 4:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon-1 appreciates your thoughtful reply, Connie.

We both agree that two wrongs don't make a right - neither 1) alleged misleading advertising nor 2) repressive legal action serve the public. (I say alleged because KT's case is so complex and subjective.)

Thank you for the link on "protecting consumers from themselves". You must have a fabulous indexing system to track all of those posts!

However, I'm not sure that educating consumers is enough to stop opportunism. I believe that opportunists succeed in being persuasive because they touch an emotional or spiritual chord that education can't. Opportunists pick up on these emotional voids and fill the gap with their promises and products -- like a magnet to metal. Trying to fill consumers’ voids is futile because as soon as one is filled then a new one pops up. In fact, these voids make the economy go round – marketers depend on them. As long as consumers aren't injured by the nefarious products and can get their money back, then they are giving themselves the best education possible. Rational consumers won’t make the same mistake twice. In a strange way, opportunists are providing valuable lessons about what works and what doesn't and about how to do one’s homework better next time. Who hasn't bought at least one “As Seen On TV” product? In the meantime, Internet sites like yours are providing a valuable service for consumers who want to make informed decisions. There is so much real-time material available with which consumers can do their homework. Giving folks purchasing tools and being patient with them when they fall for the hype is key. Calling Weight Loss Cures buyers “Zombies”, for example, makes them want to double-down and justify their decision even more – the emotional gap just got wider - not that WLC was a bad decision for ALL buyers. I’m glad to live in a country where I’m free enough to learn from both my brilliant decisions and my mistakes.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013 1:23:00 PM  
Blogger Alex said...

Hey Connie, well for starters, I think you're freaking HOT. But I do have a beef with you, (grant it that I read your recent article on Kevin Trudeau and The Global Information Network correctly).

I have several questions for you and due to the fact that I don't know when you'll respond to this, I'll "fill in the blanks" sort of speak to your immediate answers...

Alex: Have you ever watched the movie Hitch?
Connie: [Yes]
Alex: Ok. Well you know the scene where Eva Mendez and Will Smith are duking it out at the speed dating event?
Connie: [Ya...]
Alex: Well you know the parts where Will takes the upperhand and says, "That's your source?" and "You weren't listening... and "...you need to get your facts right..." and how he reminded her that she printed a mass article on her "facts" and ended up destroying peoples lives?
Connie: [Ya...]
Alex: Well I compare that scene to what you just did with Kevin Trudeau and GIN. Here are 3 YouTube videos. One on the scene I just mentioned, one on a testimonial you NEED to hear with FACTS, not opinions, on what's really going on and one that's an interview that I think most people haven't seen.

hitch
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N00j56lHVUc&feature=youtube_gdata_player

One on a testimonial you NEED to hear with FACTS, not opinions, on what's really going on
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fDHSPK1CXw&feature=youtube_gdata_player

One that's an interview that I think most people haven't seen
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGW8LfwuEXM&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Bite your tongue for a moment and LISTEN to what is being said. Then after you have gathered concrete information, you can do as you please. Good journalism is writing in good conscience after all FACTS have been researched and then revealing the TRUTH.

Alex

PS Calling MLM and network marketing companies schemes is not nice and technically not accurate. There are things out there that HAVE given REAL and ETHICAL and CREDIBLE companies out there a bad name so don't put them in those categories. Every time I hear someone say, "it's a pyramid scheme", I ask them, "What do mean? Define a pyramid scheme?" and I almost always get the answer when someone is describing Corporate America ;-)

Hey Connie btw, I just found this video about Kevin Trudeau when he first got incarcerated that I thought you might want to see.

The reason why Kevin Trudeau went to jail
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-h8O38ze3k&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 9:05:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hi, Alex, and thank you for reading -- and writing to me.

As it happens I have seen "Hitch" and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I have also seen all of the videos to which you linked and I still believe that Kevin Trudeau is a scammer and GIN is a scam.

I also believe that virtually all MLMs are set up to make a lot of money only for a few. And I believe that the very structure of MLMs offers more opportunities for deceptive marketing than other business models. MLMs also foster a "culture" that in all too many cases becomes more cult-like than cultural.

Those are my opinions and I believe they are informed opinions. My blog is primarily a platform for my opinions, though I always attempt to provide sources to substantiate my declarations.

But I always appreciate hearing from folks who disagree with me. So thank you again!

Thursday, November 21, 2013 10:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alex, Anon-1 appreciates your links -- especially "The Reason Why Kevin Trudeau Went to Jail". That ties up a lot of loose ends for me. I know that KT pushes lots of limits, but they've always seemed to be within the objective legal boundaries. I can see how the average citizen would be tempted to do the same thing that KT did because credit reporting is stacked in the creditor's favor and it is terribly frustrating to get caught up in red tape. I don't think that KT believes that rules are meant to be broken, and I believe that he complies with them, but he's obviously creative with working around the red tape.

Connie, if I'm tracking with you, you see both MLM's and traditional Corporations as benefiting “the few at the top”, but it's the cult-culture of MLM's that is most troublesome to you? Traditional corporations attract employees with paychecks and potential bonuses/promotions, but unless the employee buys stock in that company and/or unless the company offers some kind of profit-sharing plan, then there is no way for an employee to share in the company's profits; aka, residual income. Therefore, because the employee is not subject to the motivational hype of an MLM, they are better off with the unwritten corporate subculture, static income potential, and can be laid off at any time? All business founders should be rewarded for taking the most risk -- be it a traditional corporation or an MLM. Therefore, all businesses can be seen as pyramidal. Since MLMs' members are both customers AND employees, they must use carrots instead of sticks to motivate their members to join and grow the organization. Other than for misconduct, an MLM can't afford to "fire" a member; unlike a corporation that can motivate employees to perform under the threat of termination. Thus, MLMs have gotten very good at motivational techniques because they've had to. Are you saying that any business that has to rely on persuasion techniques to grow is a scam? Are persuasion techniques, whether used in corporate marketing/advertising campaigns or in MLM recruitment campaigns, inherently deceptive? If you consider only persuasion that "over promises" or applies "fear mongering" as deceptive, then where does one draw the line? What constitutes going overboard?

Curiously yours,
Anon-1




Friday, November 22, 2013 2:55:00 PM  

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