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, February 09, 2014

Hidden transcripts, media whores, and the lipstick on the pig



GIN doesn’t exist :: it’s the lipstick on the pig … after you wash it off with a hose that whore pig is going to tart right back up. It’s the pigs involved that need to be stopped if anything is going to be stopped … not the shell corporate entities organized in the name of young Ukrainian wives.*
~
Salty Droid, December 11, 2012

Since there's no earth-shattering new news in the saga of serial scammer Kevin Trudeau, and I'm too distracted in a good way with real-life stuff to go back and finish one of a dozen or more half-finished blog posts about other topics, I'll just copy and paste some of my comments from recent Facebook threads, and add a few paragraphs and links to make it seem a little more substantial. If you've already read the content below, I apologize for the redundancy and for my own laziness. But here goes anyway.

Recent court transcripts now available -- for those who want to go to the hassle of getting them
Two documents were filed on February 6 in Trudeau's ongoing civil case, but aren't available yet through PACER and won't be until May 7. One doc is the transcript for the December 19, 2013 hearing and the other is the transcript for the January 30, 2014 hearing. If anyone is interested in pursuing this and possibly obtaining the transcripts before they are released to PACER, the instructions are on the docket as follows:


Document 818, filed 02/06/14:
TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS held on December 19, 2013 before the Honorable Robert W. Gettleman. Court Reporter Contact Information: Nancy L. Bistany, CSR, RPR, FCRR, nancy_bistany@ilnd.uscourts.gov, (312) 435-76

IMPORTANT: The transcript may be viewed at the court's public terminal or purchased through the Court Reporter/Transcriber before the deadline for Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date it may be obtained through the Court Reporter/Transcriber or PACER. For further information on the redaction process, see the Court's web site at www.ilnd.uscourts.gov under Quick Links select Policy Regarding the Availability of Transcripts of Court Proceedings.

Redaction Request due 2/27/2014. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 3/10/2014. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 5/7/2014. (Bistany, Nancy)

..........................

Document 819, filed 02/06/14:
TRANSCRIPT OF PROCEEDINGS held on January 30, 2014 before the Honorable Robert W. Gettleman. Court Reporter Contact Information: Nancy L. Bistany, CSR, RPR, FCRR, nancy_bistany@ilnd.uscourts.gov, (312) 435-7626.

IMPORTANT: The transcript may be viewed at the court's public terminal or purchased through the Court Reporter/Transcriber before the deadline for Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date it may be obtained through the Court Reporter/Transcriber or PACER. For further information on the redaction process, see the Court's web site at www.ilnd.uscourts.gov under Quick Links select Policy Regarding the Availability of Transcripts of Court Proceedings.

Redaction Request due 2/27/2014. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 3/10/2014. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 5/7/2014. (Bistany, Nancy)
If I were getting paid for doing this I would certainly go the extra mile and nab the unredacted transcripts while they are available. As of now, though, I'm kind of adopting the Katie attitude and platitude: "Care, but not that much." But if you want to go get them and share them with me I won't argue with you.

Tabloid(ish) editorial calls out Katie and his infomercial enablers
The New York Post has been criticized as a tabloid-ish newspaper, perhaps a baby step above The National Enquirer but a few giant steps below the New York Times --
although for better or worse, the division between highbrow and lowbrow, or respectable and "yellow," journalism is becoming ever more irrelevant. Be that as it may, the Post's Phil Mushnick came out with an editorial on February 8, 2014, calling out TV execs for helping perpetrate Kevin Trudeau's frauds by accepting his infomercials. My friend Julie Daniel found this and shared it on one of the Facebook forums.

Mushnick's editorial contains some minor inaccuracies; he indicates that Trudeau is in jail right now for fraud, which isn't technically true. Right now he's in jail for civil contempt (related to probable fraud, I'll grant that), and is awaiting sentencing on his criminal contempt conviction (also related to probable fraud, and there may be more criminal charges forthcoming). For now, though, Katie's in the cage for civil contempt. Mushnick also insinuates that Kevin Trudeau isn't Katie's real name but may just be a "TV stage name." But everything I've read indicates Katie's real name is Kevin Mark Trudeau -- though granted, he has used other aliases over the years for various purposes. The meat of Mushnick's editorial, though, is pretty sound. He thinks that the TV networks and stations should be held more accountable for running Katie's infomercials, and that the lame pre-infomercial disclaimers just "don't cut it."

Of course Mushnick is hardly the first person to call out TV networks and stations for their complicity in Scamworld; I've mentioned it a few times on my blog (
including on this November 2012 post; see under "Media: a two-edged sword"). Salty Droid and other critics have also made note of it more than once -- not just in relation to Trudeau but to other infomercial fraudsters as well (e.g., Anthony Morrison). Then there are selfish-help gurus who are not known for their infomercials but have achieved fame and infamy in their own way -- such as one of The Secret's "teachers" James Arthur Ray, who was enabled for years by prominent talk show hosts and their producers. Even after having been charged, tried, convicted, and imprisoned of killing some of his followers, Ray has some big-time TV and infotainment media in his corner.

But back to Katie. On the thread about the Mushnick piece, Julie wrote, "I have decided that maybe to pull off a con as good as the one's kt is behind it takes a village." Indeed.


And what about all of the enablers and partners and pals behind the scenes -- those who have profited by helping perpetrate the lies and fraud? Like ITV Venture's
Donald Barrett (who produced some of Katie's most notorious infomercials)? And Reno Rolle (who helped Katie create and promote his first books, and is even now profiting from his association by being one of the producers of a fictionalized movie about Katie)? And Janine Nubani Contursi (she's everywhere Katie is and has been for years)? What about Trudeau's foreign cohorts, such as Lee Kenny, who's safely in the UK for now? What about cohorts he may still have in Australia, Europe, and other parts of the world? It's been argued that these folks were only doing what they were hired to do or told to do by Katie, and that Katie is the true mastermind. But as Julie says, it takes a village -- and in Katie's case it's a global village.
 
My guy Ron had a good point, though, when he wrote: "If the TV stations were to be required to vet all the infomercials, they'd also have to vet the claims of all products that appear in their commercial spots, and would likely begin using network/station management's personal agendas as litmus tests... And besides, we already know that the media are whores, right?"


Right. 

And the rebrand plays on
Meanwhile, the struggle for control of Trudeau's big flopportunity the Global Information Network, or GIN, continues. The fate of the rebranded (new logo, no Katie) GIN remains uncertain but there are, as noted in recent blog posts such as
this one and this one, some passionate contenders. At the moment it appears to me that the current GIN establishment has the best chance of assuming control of GIN, but you never know what's really going on behind the scenes. (Some are saying that the original folks interested in buying GIN have dropped out, but I've heard buzz to the contrary, so I am taking a wait and see attitude.)

While you're waiting for more news, if you're feeling a little rundown and hormonally imbalanced or erectiley dysfunctional and/or challenged by electromagnetic fields (EMFs), and if Fred Van Loony's swamp water and/or E-Pendant hasn't worked for you, why not sample a little bit of raw, vegan, "wild crafted" and egregiously overpriced
pine pollen from the Kramers' GIN Store? A February 7 email sent from the GIN Store bore this header:
Boost Testosterone and Block EMFs for Under $70 (Website glitches fixed)
Imagine your spouse, family, and friends commenting on how much younger you look!

Imagine experiencing these benefits in just the 
next few days!

Yes, just imagine! And keep on imagining, because with placebos, imagination is the key.

Oops, there I go sounding like one of those naysayers again. After all, according to one of the testimonials in the email, a man named Todd in Utah took the pine pollen and oh my, on the very first day, he "definitely experienced a boost in sense of well being, strength, and even confidence." And he apparently woke up the next day with a boner. Goodness.


Actually, the bit about blocking EMFs refers not to the magickal pine pollen but to a special magickal frauduct called the Performance Amulet Bracelet, a $24 value that you get free when you order your pine pollen for only $64 plus shipping and handling. But you have to do it by midnight February 8, so you're already too late. Oh, well. Better luck next time.

The special brand of pine pollen that the GIN Store is peddling is "Surthrival," which, when you say it, sounds like you have a speech impediment. But hey, don't listen to me. Maybe you need to buy some and take it, and maybe, as promised in the promos, you'll get a renewed spring in your step, which all of your friends will notice, and they'll shower you with compliments, especially if you're wearing your GIN Strong hoodie.


I'm sorry, but I can't think about pollen without
thinking about this.


Anyway. In light of all of the bad press Katie and GIN have been getting, the big branding challenge remains. I've discussed this matter here before, but the way I see it is that the big branding dilemma the GIN "leaders" are faced with now is figuring out how to appeal to two opposing factions:

1. Those who want nothing more to do with Kevin and the lies on which he originally built GIN -- lies such as the mysterious GIN Council; Kevin's background in a seekrit group called the Brotherhood, and so forth. In addition many people have a very bad taste in their mouths from the many broken promises -- the bonuses and incentives not paid out, the seekrit knowledge promised but never delivered. These people may always associate GIN with Kevin, which, from the perspective of those trying to promote GIN, is not such a good thing.
2. Those who still very much love or admire Kevin and fear that GIN will be an empty shell without him -- but are willing to do anything to carry on his legacy. These people won't let Kevin's name die either, no matter how hard the leaders might work to de-Kevinize GIN.

I realize there are gray areas and that many people fall somewhere in between those extremes, but it seems to me that those two factions are the major points of concern.

Can GIN leadership have it both ways and somehow manage to win the hearts and wallets of Katie haters and fans alike? Maybe. In the end, though, it may be that shoving Katie into the background is probably the way to go for now in order to trick... oops, I mean to appeal to the most folks. It will also be one way to convince the court that GIN deserves another chance at life. Accordingly the GIN site has been scrubbed clean of Katie,
and at least one of his big GIN lies has been publicly negated -- the one about the apocryphal "GIN Council."

But there's this to consider: Many anti-KT ex-GIN, having given up on ever getting money owed to them, will at the very least be expecting apologies -- big time apologies -- from the leadership. If they can't get an apology from Kevin, which would no doubt give them the most satisfaction but which seems the most unlikely, they'll expect the leaders to apologize. And if they have lost a lot of money in GIN, they will probably not be satisfied with anything less than a full scale renouncement of Kevin on the part of the GIN leadership, and possibly some intense self-flagellation on the part of some of those same leaders.

But then... um... this could alienate the Trudeau fan base. What to do? Well, that's GIN's problem. I'm sure they're busy planning their strategies even as I write this.

Some may be asking:. What is GIN without Kevin Trudeau? Well,
ask yourself what Landmark Education is without Werner Erhard (the founder of the 1970s selfish-help craze est). Of course their rebranding involved several name changes over the decades, but they are still a farce to be reckoned with in the selfish-help industry. And yes, I know I have used this example several times before but it seemed appropriate to bring it up again. Here's more from Mother Jones about Landmark; this is from 2009. And here's a whimsical graphic that compares Landmark and Scientology and other selfish-help and LGAT trends.

But I digress. The advantage GIN leaders and any eventual owner(s) have is that the public has a short memory and a seemingly endless capacity to be taken in by hucksters, so the anti-KT contingent should not be much of a problem long term.

And the passion of Trudeau's remaining fan base cannot be overestimated. It is both pathetic and frightening that so many folks still seem so worshipful of Kevin and that they really seem to believe he has some sort of magical or messianic powers. This belief is still being ruthlessly exploited and I have no doubt that even though Katie is caged for now, there are some folks who do not actually believe that he really is even remotely magical or messianic -- but they have a stake in encouraging others' beliefs in that regard.

In other words...the lies and manipulation continue.

What seems clear is that people are desperately fighting to keep GIN alive and/or to form a GIN spinoff or ripoff, no doubt hoping it can be a cash cow for them -- either again, or FINALLY.
Perry Kiraly's World Information Network (WIN) is one case in point.

Insidious brainwashing
Others -- the truly brainwashed -- are simply desperate to cling to what they have come to see as their "family." MLMs and cults alike nurture this type of sick dependency. Scientology does it -- and Kevin certainly did it and now his minions are carrying on his work. Read
the Rick Ross cult education forums and you will see this same story repeated over and over.

In this July 2012 post I discuss some of GIN's Scientology-like indoctrination tactics. I linked to some suggested GIN "checklists" that were almost disturbingly obsessive, including the 515-question "Monthly Checklist" that included these little gems to reinforce belief in both GIN's scammy MLM and the scummy leaders. Though apparently not official GIN material, they were, as I have now come to understand even better, congruent with the GIN mindset.
6. Would you rate your belief that the MLM, network marketing, or referral marketing industry works for those people who work it; and it can and does lead to financial freedom and independence, at a level of 5 or higher on a scale of 1-10?
7. Would you rate your belief that the MLM, network marketing, or referral marketing industry works for those people who work it;and it can and does lead to financial freedom and independence, at a level of 6 or higher on a scale of 1-10?
8. Would you rate your belief that the MLM, network marketing, or referral marketing industry works for those people who work it; and it can and does lead to financial freedom and independence, at a level of 7 or higher on a scale of 1-10?
9. Would you rate your belief that the MLM, network marketing, or referral marketing industry works for those people who work it; and it can and does lead to financial freedom and independence, at a level of 8 or higher on a scale of 1-10?
10. Would you rate your belief that the MLM, network marketing, or referral marketing industry works for those people who work it; and it can and does lead to financial freedom and independence, at a level of 9 or higher on a scale of 1-10?
11. Would you rate your belief that the MLM, network marketing, or referral marketing industry works for those people who work it; and it can and does lead to financial freedom and independence, at a level of 10 on a scale of 1-10?
12. Would you rate your belief that the leadership in GIN has ethics, integrity, experience, and expertise at a level of 5 or higher on a scale of 1-10?
13. Would you rate your belief that the leadership in GIN has ethics, integrity, experience, and expertise at a level of 6 or higher on a scale of 1-10?
14. Would you rate your belief that the leadership in GIN has ethics, integrity, experience, and expertise at a level of 7 or higher on a scale of 1-10?
15. Would you rate your belief that the leadership in GIN has ethics, integrity, experience, and expertise at a level of 8 or higher on a scale of 1-10?
16. Would you rate your belief that the leadership in GIN has ethics, integrity, experience, and expertise at a level of 9 or higher on a scale of 1-10?
17. Would you rate your belief that the leadership in GIN has ethics, integrity, experience, and expertise at a level of 10 on a scale of 1-10?

And so on, and so forth. It is the same type of mind-numbing, maddening, obsessive repetition of the same question, over and over and over, that is employed in Scientology "auditing."

I am now even more cognizant than I was a year and a half ago of the Scientology influence on these checklists, which are actually a creation of GIN member and
avid Scientology fan Yon Cole and are part of a web site he created, mygin.ws, to suck people into GIN. (Yon even did a "reverse blind auction" to sell memberships in GIN's early days so he could become a "founder" of GIN.) Yon, as I've mentioned previously, has since cast his lot with Perry Kiraly and WIN, and there's some buzz that the WIN "training" will be based on Scientology content. But for all I know Yon may be hedging his bets and working with the GIN establishment too (in any case, trying to get to the home page of mygin dot ws now leads to the official GIN site -- which may simply indicate that Yon surrendered the domain because he is no longer involved at all in GIN).

My point is this: whatever you do, whenever you're around an earnest GIN leader or one of the earnest, long-winded WINners -- or anyone else who is pushing a GIN alternative to you -- hang on to your wallet. Be especially cautious if you are approached by individuals who are walking with a special "spring in their step," wearing GIN Strong hoodies and possibly sporting pine pollen-induced boners. What they are offering you is nothing you really want.

As for the new rebranded GIN: It may be a new shade of lipstick, but it's still only lipstick, and it probably has all kinds of toxins in it... and that's still only a pig underneath the garish paint.*

* Standard disclaimer applies: no offense intended to pigs or to lipstick. Or to whores.


PS ~ In related news, my pal Bernie at GINtruth.com just got a phony lawsuit threat from Trudeau's ex-b.f.f., Mocktor Loony Coldwell. Read all about it here.

Labels: , , , , ,

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Connie,

I really enjoy reading your blog. I feel it's a great way to catch on news about Kevin Trudeau's case and is probably the most reasonably argued source out there. Most other sources are heavily biased, but your blog is BY FAR the most objective and fair source I've seen. I say this as a Kevin Trudeau fan (from the Natural Cures book, not a GIN member though, I was suspicious of the claims from the start).

There is just one nagging observation I make on the blog, however. It's the use of strange nicknames. Loony and, especially, Katie. Why call Kevin Katie?

Just wondering.

Mike

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hi, Mike, and thanks for stopping in. Thank you too for your kind words.

Katie = a play on Kevin Trudeau's nickname/initials, KT.

Loony is a variation on Lenny, which is a nickname for Leonard. Not that "Dr." C likes being called Lenny or even Leonard. He wants everyone to call him "Dr. C," which I refuse to do because he is no more of a real doctor (M.D., naturopath or PhD) than my dogs are. If you've read any of my previous blog posts about him, or some other bloggers' posts about him (Salty Droid, Glancingweb, GINtruth), you might be able to see why I've often substituted "Lenny" for "Loony." Frankly I think the man is pretty loony.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 4:06:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home