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, July 27, 2013

Another Whirled blogaversary: The 7-year (b)itch

 
Can you believe it's been seven years since I created this Whirled? I was originally inspired by Steve Salerno's SHAMblog, which I still read and enjoy, but this blog quickly took on an identity of its own. It started out as a lark but became a little more serious over the years.

Instead of reinventing the wheel with another historic look back,
I'll just link you to last year's blogaversary post. If you haven't read it, do so now, and I'll wait.

Things are mostly the same as they were last year, except there's no London Olympics this year, and in the time since I wrote the six-year-blogaversary post, I have learned that I am a former prostitute who is on drugs and is infected with AIDS, and who is being paid by Big Pharma to write blog posts that nobody reads, in order to discredit alt-health heroes. This is from last October (in later posts the little twerp spread the AIDS lie):



The things one learns about oneself when one reads the senseless rants of lunatics!

Loony C wasn't the first to slam me, of course. Over the years I have been accused of being a hater, a whiner, a jealous loser, and a naysayer who hates seeing other people succeed. I've been called a bitch and some things much worse. I've received death threats.

I've been accused of being too skeptical and disbelieving, and not skeptical enough. (
Here's a lengthy post about that, with more links to other posts.)

But I've also received thanks and kudos for "telling it like it is," for entertaining and even, on occasion, informing, and in some cases for helping steer someone away from a financial or sexual predator.

I've enjoyed these seven years, and I appreciate everyone's support throughout the years. And by the way, if you want to lend a little monetary support to this effort, there's a "Donation" button up there on the left. (
I even wrote a poem about it a couple of years ago.) For various reasons, donations are more appreciated now than ever.

Donation or not, I'm very glad you're here. And keep those comments coming.

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Friday, July 26, 2013

No cage for Katie (sorry, Lenny)

I very rarely post twice in one day, but just wanted to share an update about Kevin Trudeau's civil court case. Despite predictions from certain daft ex-Trudeau buddies, KT is not going to jail. Not yet, anyway. But the judge did find him in contempt (again), and he has to transfer all of his assets to a receiver. Here's the link to the NBC5 Chicago story about today's decision.

On Facebook, judicial expert Loony Coldwell weighed in with his opinion that the criminal case with Judge Ronald Guzman will result in a 15-year jail sentence for Katie.





Coldwell also says once again (he just can't quit crowing about this) that the IRS is after Katie too. It's true that according to the FTC, at least $6 million in federal and state tax liens have been filed against Trudeau. So it is reasonable to assume that the IRS -- and numerous other agencies -- have had their eye on Katie for years. (But I wonder how many agencies have their eye on Coldwell. After all, he put up a video a while back, with the title, "I would tell the IRS to go get lost!", in which he said that the US income tax is illegal and people don't have to pay it, in his opinion. That video was posted on several sites but seems to be gone from most of them now, and in the one remaining link I found, the bit about telling the IRS to get lost seems to have been edited out. Lately, Loony and his buddy Peter Wink have been saying that you have to join their IBMS Master's Society seekrit society scam in order to get information about the IRS and related sovereignty issues that "they" don't want you to know about.)

Regarding the 15-year prison sentence, it is true that the government filed a document this past April regarding their recommended sentence if Kevin Trudeau is convicted in his criminal contempt case
(number 1:10-cr-0086, with the Honorable Ronald A. Guzman).   Originally it was set to go to trial on June 3, but numerous delays occurred -- including a possibly short-lived bankruptcy case -- so the trial is currently scheduled for late August, subject to change as always.

Anyway, as I wrote in a May post, in that April document the government recommended a sentence of between
188-225 months in prison -- or between 15.66666666 and 18.75 years. They used a specific formula for determining this recommendation. But there is no guarantee that this case will even be tried, much less that Trudeau will be convicted, much less that he will be sentenced to prison for nearly that long -- or at all.

And as I have said before, even I do not believe that a prison sentence, particularly a lengthy one like that, is really justice for a nonviolent criminal like Trudeau. For one thing, it doesn't scratch the surface of the money, time, energy, and emotional/mental well-being he has stolen from untold thousands of people (though I also realize that many of his fans and followers do not feel he has stolen anything from them). That $37.6 million civil case, and the related criminal case, are only about Trudeau's weight-loss book and only marginally related to his massive Ponzi-like scheme, the Global Information Network (GIN).

As I have also said before, it is t
oo bad our justice system does not allow for a forced life of humble servitude and subsistence living. THAT would be the worst punishment of all for Trudeau, who is an insufferable elitist. That would be mainly punitive and would not do much to compensate any alleged victims of Trudeau's scams, but it would be poetic justice.

Many of his fans would say that the fact Trudeau feels compelled to live in exile is punishment enough. They have been suitably indoctrinated by Katie, and believe the government is the real culprit in the Kevin Trudeau saga. What a horrid punishment -- being forced to live in luxury digs in Zurich, one of the world's most expensive cities. Now all he has to do is manage to get back there at some point, and I have a feeling that he will.

Meanwhile, the party is going on in Zurich -- the GIN summer conference, which lasts through tomorrow (July 28) -- even though the fearless leader cannot be there in person.


And who was it who said there will be no neat and tidy endings? Oh, yeah. The Cosmic Slut.

PS ~ Here is a link to the order issued by Judge Gettleman on July 26.

This order references a document filed on July 15, which may also interest you. That document, number 713, is
important because it contains a handy summary of the case since 2007, explaining how the contempt issue just kept growing. And more importantly, it has a summary of the tangled web of Kevin Trudeau's business entities -- information that points to serious efforts at asset concealment. There is also a summary of the way KT has blown through money over the past few years -- money that the FTC claims could have been used to pay down the $37.6 million fine. It's a good nutshell summary of the FTC's case against Katie. Here is that link.


More True-dough on this Whirled:


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Leonard Coldwell and Kevin Trudeau: love and marriage and pots and kettles

While we're waiting for the latest news on today's court activities re serial scammer Kevin Trudeau (here is my previous post about same), I thought I would share some entertaining tidbits. Kevin's former b.f.f./"personal physician in Europe"/alt-health pitch man, Mocktor Loony Lenny Coldwell, is all agog about some of the filed-under-seal court documents that emerged on PACER.gov a few days ago, particularly a document that indicates Kevin was married three times before he wed his currentlovely bride, Nataliya Babenko. (Kevin's brother Bob had told me this some weeks previously, but I didn't share it because I thought that it was a story better told in Bob's upcoming book about his brother.)

The document that has Loony in a lather is from the many hundreds of pages of exhibits, filed under seal, that the FTC used to try to convince the court that Kevin should NOT be allowed to leave the USA.

Anyway, Loony claims that Kevin used his Norwegian ex so he could do bidness in Europe.


You know the drill. Click on pic to enlarge.

But it sort of looks as if Kevin isn't the only person who may have married for reasons other than being head over heels in love. Bernd Witchner, anyone? By the way, as you may recall,
Bernd's new name recently celebrated its fifteenth birthday as a legal name.

You'll want to enlarge this one too.

Loony is also blathering on about other misdeeds by True-dough, such as KT's use of Scientology and other manipulative techniques -- conveniently overlooking the fact that Loony himself has been accused of doing some of the same sorts of things.

The little twerp is working on a movie about his former b.f.f.

A Facebook friend of mine noted, "It's really funny that Lenny is condemning Kevin for using hypnosis and NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming) in Your Wish Is Your Command, since Lenny was doing the exact same thing in his audios that he produced for GIN, like 'The Magic of GIN.'"
 

Indeed, that CD, which sells for $99, is still listed on Loony's Web site.
If you follow that link you will see that he has a couple of other GIN-related CDs, also selling for $99.00 each.

Loony has said that meditation and other mind techniques can be harmful, but what he is really trying to convince people of is that everything but his IBMS (Instinct Based Medicine System) shtick is either harmful or ineffective or both. It is at best hypocritical for him to slam Katie for using hypnotic or coercive techniques. (And let's not even get into the suggestions that Loony used hypnosis and devious manipulation techniques on some of his alleged victims...)

The hypocrisy goes even further. As many may know, as far back as the late 1990s in Germany, some people were concerned that Lenny was using hypnotic/manipulative techniques. He apparently went so far as to entrap a woman into suggesting he was using Scientology like techniques, and then he sued her -- and lost. That's what that German lawsuit
that I went into in my Bernd bridges post last year was all about.

In other words, virtually everything he has been accusing Kevin of, Coldwell has done or is doing himself. And for a couple of years he was getting paid quite handsomely by Kevin to carry on the very scams he now condemns. (He also likes to boast that he knew about a lot of the scammy aspects of GIN all along.)

Anyway. I'm sure the film world will be bowled over when Loony comes out with his movie, A Life Of Crime the Trudeau story. Maybe someone else is working on one called,
A Life Of Slime: The Leonard Coldwell Story. I would suggest that someone give the information to American Greed, but Bernd/Lenny isn't really an American, despite having tricked the US into granting him citizenship a few years ago... and besides, I think that a latter-day (and more responsible) version of To Catch a Predator might be a better match to Loony's story. Just sayin'.

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Remembering Colleen Conaway: victim of James Arthur Ray's recklessness

It seems like just a year ago today that I was commemorating the death of Colleen Conaway, faithful follower of New-Wage guru, star of The Secret, and convicted killer James Arthur Ray. Of course at the time Colleen was following Ray, he wasn't yet a convicted killer. And he has yet to answer for her death.

Colleen, as many of you may know, was attending a James Ray "wealth" weekend in San Diego in July 2009, and ended up jumping (or falling?) to her death from a third-story balcony in a San Diego shopping mall. As noted in last year's blog post, Colleen reportedly had no history of emotional or mental problems, but apparently had a psychotic episode at the event. The circumstances of her death were tragic and puzzling, but what happened afterward was appalling. If you don't mind my quoting myself:

After Ray found out about [Colleen's death], he and his top minions apparently worked to cover it up, shielding the rest of the attendees from the unfortunate event, and they all partied on that night. If you don't know Colleen's sad story, my pal Yakaru has written a good summary of this tragedy, linking to several Salty Droid posts.
In early August of last year, Salty Droid commemorated Colleen's death with a heartbreaking interview with Colleen's sister Lynn. Here is that link.

And so another year has gone by, and here we are at another sad anniversary. Four years.

And in October, we'll be looking at the fourth anniversary of the deaths of three other people -- Kirby Brown, James Shore (October 8), and Liz Neuman (October 17) -- who also died as a result of Ray's recklessness (although actually he was charged with -- and served an outrageously short prison sentence for -- negligence, rather than recklessness). He is now out of prison, serving out his probation in Arizona, and no doubt preparing to re-enter Scamworld in a big way.

It seems that prison did little to put a damper on his elitism. A couple of months before his release,
his brother was whining about the possibility that Jimmy Ray Jumpsuit might have to stay in a halfway house with riff-raff. No word yet on exactly where JAR landed, but I'm sure there are people digging around for that information.

And in related news,
the summer 2013 meeting of the Transformational Leadership Council (TLC) began yesterday, July 24, and lasts through the 28th. There is no word on the TLC site about where this one is going to be; they're usually pretty coy about that. This is relevant because Death Ray was a founding member of that cartel, though rather unceremoniously dropped from the membership roster after the sweat lodge debacle. I wonder if they'll let him back in, now that he's out of the joint.

I do know that good people are pursuing justice for Colleen Conaway's family, trying to get answers and doing everything they can to see that James Ray is held accountable for her death.

And meanwhile, the big sick machine grinds on -- mostly taking people's money, time, energy, hopes, and dreams, but sometimes taking their lives as well.


Related and recent:

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Kevin Trudeau asks court to let him go to Zurich, FTC sez no, judge sez no too

Click on pic to enlarge, and there's also a link
to the entire document in this post.

[UPDATED to reflect court docs filed after this post was first published. ~CC]
 

Will serial scammer and huckster extraordinaire Kevin Trudeau show up in court this Friday, July 26? Not if his lawyers have anything to say about it. After all, he has high-level GIN disciples who are waiting to touch his hem in Zurich later this week, and they have paid big bucks for the privilege. The wheels of commerce should trump the wheels of justice, say the lawyers.

I guess it pays to visit PACER just about every day. I visited on July 18 (five days ago) and wrote about and shared some of the documents that were filed on July 15. Apparently more documents were filed and made available later in the day on July 18, and then even more were filed in both the civil and criminal case on July 22 and July 23 (today). Kevin's lawyers have been begging for a continuance of the July 26 hearings, and have also been begging for him to get his passport back to enable him to travel to the GIN summer conference in Zurich, which is scheduled to begin in a few days. (According to the documents, he did return to the US on July 10, and handed his passports back as ordered.)

His attorneys asked for a continuance of the scheduled July 26 hearings until July 30, or as soon as possible thereafter. They wanted him to be allowed to go to Zurich for the big GIN summer scamfest on July 26-28, and to have time to come back to the US and recover from jet lag and whatnot... maybe have a spa day, get a pedicure, kick back and relax with a fine cigar. Alternatively, they wanted the court to waive the requirement that Katie has to show up at all. He's been there for all of the evidentiary hearings, said the lawyers. He doesn't really need to be there for the oral arguments, does he?

I uploaded a PDF of one of the documents from the criminal case (Number 1:10-cr-00886, Hon. Ronald A. Guzman presiding). The same requests were filed in the civil case as well. The uploaded document includes a proposed motion for Judge Guzman to sign, allowing KT to travel.

Here's the link.

Not surprisingly, the FTC has filed pages and pages and pages of documents explaining why Kevin should NOT be allowed to travel again.

Here is one of them, filed under the civil case
(Number 1:03-cv-03904, Hon. Robert W. Gettleman presiding).
 
Not to be outdone, Kevin's attorneys filed a response, explaining again why the FTC is being grossly unfair to Kevin Trudeau, claiming, among many other things, that to incarcerate him over the civil case would be the equivalent of debtors' prison and therefore illegal.
Here is a link to that document.

See Footnote number 6 in the above, which again mentions that mysterious Nevis corporation, GIN FDN. Some think that this is where the real money is hidden, out of reach of the Feds (click to enlarge).


As was the case with the July 15 documents, there are also hundreds of pages of exhibits, some of which were filed under seal so I won't share them. But the document I linked to in the paragraph above should give an idea of the FTC's position. They were in court this morning (July 23) presenting their case as to why KT shouldn't be allowed to go to Zurich and should be thrown in jail immediately.

Now, I'm still not saying that Kevin Trudeau belongs in jail, although that would certainly give him an opportunity to polish his martyr image and get started on
that epic book he's been threatening to write about his heroic struggles. But I do think that the courts have been far too lenient on him, and one thing that the FTC was concerned about was that if he were allowed to go to Zurich, he just might not come back.

Well, at least his sweet old parents,
who had put their home up to secure his bond so he could travel to Canada, presumably get to stay in that home.
 

UPDATE: The request for a continuance has been denied, and apparently Katie isn't going to be allowed to go to Zurich, unless his attorneys can do some more fancy paper shuffling. Latest docket entries (click to enlarge)...

Civil case...


Criminal case...





Addendum, 24 July: Two more days remain till the court hearings, in which both judges are expected to make rulings -- although of course this could change. You can bet your bottom dollar that Katie's lawyers are still working overtime to delay the procedures in any way possible.

The GIN scamfest in Zurich is also only two days away, and some of Katie's detractors are crowing that the event will surely be cancelled now that Katie won't be there, and that GIN will be forced to refund thousands upon thousands of dollars to the people who have paid to attend the event, and that GIN will finally and totally collapse.

I've been indulging in some more Facebook conversations on forums that include GIN/KT supporters as well as detractors. As you may know, Trudeau's supporters, and even some of his detractors (including his brother Bob), think that the Feds' case against Trudeau is bogus. They say it's just one more example of government tyranny.


However one feels about Kevin Trudeau, there is no doubt that he still has lots of supporters, whether they are GIN members or not. And yes, the US government has done some appalling things over the past couple of decades (well, for the past couple of centuries, but who's counting?), so we can be reasonably certain that KT and his loyal supporters will continue to conflate government crimes and misdemeanors in other areas with Kevin's own troubles. And many people will continue to accept that conflation.

After all, as I have said numerous times before, many people are pissed off at the government for something or other (justifiably so, in many cases), and are therefore easily convinced by Kevin's shtick that he is fighting for the rest of us as well as for himself.
He has been using this shtick for years.

To claim, as he and his supporters continue to claim, that the whole ten-year-plus FTC case is about Katie expressing a simple opinion in a book, is, in my opinion, a ludicrous oversimplification and misrepresentation of the case. But people continue to believe it and to repeat that story.

But make no mistake: Kevin will use every avenue available to him to capitalize on the situation, no matter what happens to him. I still do not think he will be incarcerated -- at least not for any length of time (although there is always the possibility that one or both of the judges may have become so disgusted and impatient by now that they may surprise me).

And as I have also been saying for some time now, I do not necessarily think Katie belongs behind bars. But if he does get locked up, he will continue to gather support -- financial and moral -- and to run scams any way he can.
Alternatively, if goes to jail for the civil case, he may miraculously come up with the money for the fine, or most of it, and they will most likely let him go. Whether or not he pays the fine or a portion thereof, he will be able to use it as a symbol of government oppression and repression for years to come, so either way he wins, in a sense.

There is still, of course, the criminal contempt case, which may or may not go to trial. It certainly seems to be progressing in that direction, but there is still a possibility that it could be settled or dropped. That may depend upon how determined a few FTC lawyers and investigators are.

If anything comes of other agencies' investigations of KT (as reported from various sources but not completely confirmed), those will be whole separate cases -- more time and money spent.


As for the Zurich event, there is always the possibility that Katie and his GINions can arrange a videoconferencing setup so he can address the attendees live from Chicago, provided the courts allow that. (And if they don't, his attorneys can use that as further proof that the authorities are tying Kevin's hands so the poor boy can't earn more money towards the fine he owes.)  Naturally, if he gets to address the troops in Zurich, whether live or via some remote technology, he can rally them with his martyr act.

If he is unable to do that, then Lee Kenny and Chris McGarahan can exploit it to the max. "Now more than ever we have to show our strength and solidarity with Kevin! We are GIN! We are GIN!"

Or there may be some last minute paper shuffling that allows Katie to go to Zurich after all. There is also the possibility that on Friday the judge(s) could simply decide not to incarcerate him. Who knows, they might even give him his passport back and let him go to Zurich, at least for the closing ceremonies, as long as he promises to be back for his criminal trial, assuming that it goes on as scheduled.

As I said, either way Kevin and the top minions will be able to capitalize on it. In light of the numerous exploitation opportunities, it would be foolish of GIN to cancel the Zurich event.


And if GIN really does collapse as a direct or indirect result of the court actions, I predict two things:
1. Abe Husein will take the lion's share of credit for it, and will declare victory, and will be on more videos where he humbly talks about what a service he has provided to humanity by taking down Kevin Trudeau.
2. It will probably be no big deal to Kevin Trudeau. He will find something else to do. He always does. In other words: No neat and tidy endings. And no big loss to Scamworld, which feeds upon the hopes and dreams and longings, as well as the fears and insecurities, of millions of people who are on a perpetual hunt for The Next Big Thing.




More True-dough on this Whirled:

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Kevin Trudeau: The FTC is really, really mad now...sort of...well, maybe not really


This coming week, on Friday, July 26 at 2:00 PM, serial scammer Kevin Trudeau is due back in court to continue hearings on the Federal Trade Commission's case(s) against him. I haven't been able to find out yet if he has returned from his mission in Canada --
a mission for which his aged parents put up their 60-year-old home in order to secure a bond for his release -- but I was able to find another ream of court documents, filed this past week, on PACER.gov. [UPDATE, 23 July: Apparently he did return on July 10 and handed in his passports. ~CC]

On July 15, several documents were filed regarding the civil case (1:03-cv-03904, before Hon. Robert W. Gettleman), including hundreds and hundreds of pages of exhibits. (I shared them on a couple of Facebook forums the other day, but feel they belong on this Whirled too.) I still haven't been able to plow through all of the pages, but one that I though y'all might find interesting is titled, "Plaintiff's Post-Hearing Brief in Support of Motion to Hold Defendant Trudeau in Contempt for Violating the June 2, 2010 Order, Incarcerate Him, and Order Him to Provide An Accounting of and Turnover Assets."

Whew!

Essentially, this is the FTC's reiteration of all the reasons that KT has utterly failed to prove that he is unable to pay the $37.6 million fine the FTC says he owes. They are farting in the general direction of all of those thousands of pages of documents his legal team has been throwing their way, and are still claiming that incarcerating Katie is the only way to get him to cough up the dough. Or might be, unless the court decides otherwise. Or, as the document concludes in Part V, "Relief":

Trudeau is a triple contemnor who will not comply with the Court’s order that he compensate his victims unless the Court forces him. Accordingly, the FTC asks the Court to incarcerate Trudeau immediately until one of three conditions is satisfied: (1) Trudeau fully complies with the Court’s Order To Pay; (2) the Court finds that continued incarceration no longer serves a coercive purpose; or (3) Trudeau completes a full accounting and turns over all assets that he controls. With respect to the accounting, the FTC further asks that the Court order the FTC to nominate an appropriately qualified independent accounting firm, that Trudeau pay to engage that firm, and that Trudeau, as well as all the companies he controls, cooperate fully with the firm (including any requests for information it makes).
I've uploaded that document to Filesend, and you can download it by clicking here (filename: Trudeau-civil-case-Document-716-07-15-13.pdf (124.45 kB)) 

But just in case you really think that this is it for Katie, and that the FTC is really, really putting its foot down this time,
take a look at this document filed on October 15, 2012, nine months previous to the one cited above. It says a lot of the same things that the July 15, 2013 document says. (Link courtesy Salty Droid, in his still-highly-relevant November 2012 post, "Caging Kevin Trudeau.")


And if you really have a lot of time to waste and are truly interested in this case, there's a 366-page document, filed as an attachment to the July 15, 2013 doc above, that includes the transcripts of his May 21, June 26, and June 27 hearings. You may recall the May 21 hearing was the one where he invoked his Fifth Amendment rights nearly 400 times. (Let's just say the FTC was not impressed.)

I uploaded that long document too, and
you can download it here (filename: Trudeau-civil-case-Document-716-1-attachment-07-15-13.pdf (1.46 MB))

Meanwhile in the criminal case (1:10-cr-00886, before Hon. Ronald Guzman), an order was filed on July 16. It was short and simple:

The parties have previously been ordered to submit all pretrial motions by August 13, 2013 (Dkt # 57). That order is now expanded to include proposed jury instructions. The parties are ordered to submit on or before August 13, 2013 a full set of proposed jury instructions with citations to supporting law and arguments for any proposed non-pattern instructions. The parties should come prepared to discuss jury instructions at the August 20, 2013 pretrial conference.
So apparently they're still planning to go ahead with
the criminal contempt trial. 

But I'm still thinking that True-dough will not end up in jail, 
as much as the very daft Mocktor Lenny Coldwell might like to 
see him there, and has been predicting KT's
imminent incarceration at least since last October. 
Not surprisingly, Loony is all hot and bothered 
over the July 15 doc, (forgetting how similar 
it is to the one filed last October 15), 
though apparently in order to keep it seekrit from 
"hater" bloggers, he is posting exclusively on 
Abe Husein's Facebook page -- from which most of the 
"hatters" and "loosers" are blocked -- rather than
on his own blog, which is publicly viewable.


And so the story goes, on and on and on and on... 
 

More True-dough on this Whirled:
 
 

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