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.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Kevin Trudeau updates: court docs still flying, minions still crying, GIN ripoffs still trying

If you landed here hoping to (finally!) see Part 2 of my five-part post on the awful new up-again/down-again bio site of Mockter Leonard Coldwell, ex-b.f.f. of caged serial scammer Kevin Trudeau (Part 1 of the Loony C post is here), I'm sorry to say that this isn't that post. But don't worry: that will be coming up soon...prolly next. I just need to do a little more tweaking, mostly for word flow. As many of you may know, I got sidetracked by some really serious sh-t that Coldwell has been pulling since July 14, falsely accusing me of poisoning his pit bull Blue. But let's take a break from that little skeev for now. He is beginning to bore me.

Besides, there's a ton of amusing stuff about Trudeau, or KT as he likes to be called, or Katie as he is fondly known on this Whirled -- as well as some buzz about a few Katie wannabes. Let me catch you up...


Court case updates
Civil contempt case [1:03-cv-03904, Hon. Robert Gettleman presiding]
As you no doubt know, what is arguably Trudeau's biggest scam of all, the Global Information Network (GIN)
was sold in May 2014 to a group of Katie's buds. And on July 7, 2014, Robb Evans & Associates, the court-appointed receiver, filed its fourth report and supporting exhibit, as well as a request to be paid for all of its hard work. The report is on Robb Evans' site, or you can grab it here. This doc provides a summary of the receiver's activities since they took over in August 2013. It's good catch-up or review for anyone, including you reporters and producers out there who might need to get up to speed on the case.

Here are some of the numbers from the receiver's report:

Closing the Receivership Estate and Distribution of Cash
The Receiver anticipates that after completion of the forensic accounting report in the near future, there will be very little in ongoing fees and expenses associated with collecting the amounts discussed above.

The Receiver is currently holding approximately $5.1 million. After collection of all of the funds, the Receiver estimates over $8 million will be available for distribution upon future instructions from this Court.


This money, or most of it, is supposed to go to help pay Katie's $37.6 million fine to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which is eventually supposed to distribute it to the consumers who complained about losing money as a result of buying Katie's weight-loss book years ago. But who knows where that cash will ultimately end up?

Apropos of the above, something that is not on the Robb Evans site is the document in which the receivers ask the court for approval of fees and expenses, and provide an account of their activities over the past few months.
I shared this on Facebook on the GIN Network Truth group, but you can also find it here. On July 10 these documents were presented to the court, and the court, as expected, approved the payments to the receiver (Document number 867).

Criminal contempt case [1:10-cr-00886-1, Hon. Ronald Guzman presiding]
As reported here previously, Katie
finally got the money together to file the appeal for his criminal contempt conviction, which resulted in a ten-year sentence in a Federal lockup. Currently he's at a minimum security sleepaway camp in Montgomery, Alabama, while it's all sweetness and light on his Facebook fan page as his proxies continue to pretend he's having a wonderful time on his "adventure." Frauduct peddler and GIN "faculty" member Mary Miller wrote on a post that was published on the Katie fan page July 20:
From Mary Miller...
Last week I had the opportunity to visit with Kevin. He looks very healthy and is very much at peace with his new home. He continues to grow and learn. All of us hit bumps in the road from time to time..Seeing Kevin reminded me that these are truly opportunities to change and grow...I left him reminded that I am only a victim of my life when I give over control of the driver's seat. It was just the right day to visit..Mary Miller
"Bumps on the road?!?" Is that what you call a ten-year prison sentence? But last time I checked, the post had 654 "likes" and more than 50 comments, most of them very supportive of Katie.

Even so, given the way that Katie's luck has been going with judges in the past year or so, I am thinking that his appeal will not be successful. And someone mentioned to me that it could backfire, noting that if an appeals court judge decides that a sentence wasn't harsh enough, he or she can change that. In addition,
according to this piece on trial, sentencing, and appeal...
When appellate courts review cases, they may affirm the decision of the lower court, reverse the decision of the lower court, or affirm only a portion of the lower court's decision and reverse other portions of it. Although a reversal accomplishes the same thing, they also have the power to order the whole case dismissed, as if it didn't happen. More often, if this is the case, however, the appellate court will remand the case, which means that it is returned to the trial court and may be retried. If they feel strongly about what the ultimate outcome should be in a case, they will indicate reverse and remand. If the appellate court indicates that there was insufficient evidence to convict in the first place, the state trial court cannot even retry the case because double jeopardy protection kicks in. In any retrials the state cares to do, they cannot charge the defendant with anything other than what they were charged with in the original trial, but the sentence at the retrial can be harsher following a successful appeal.
In addition, today (July 22) I stumbled upon some letters to the court that appeared on the criminal docket since my last visit to PACER. I'm sure that hundreds if not thousands of letters and emails have been sent about this matter since Katie's sentencing, but the ones that just popped up on the docket are mostly anti-Trudeau.

One thing that people just can't seem to understand why Katie's infomercials are still on TV.







I've explained the infomercial thing here (see under the sub-head, "Katie is still on TV, and here's why"), and some mainstream journos such as Jason Meisner at the Chicago Tribune have too, but it hasn't sunk in.

Look, people, you all have a perfectly valid point, but what you need to know is that the big sick machine is so big and so sick that scads of other scammers will continue to find ways to make money off of the Katiescams, even though Katie's in a cage. NO NEAT AND TIDY ENDINGS, Y'ALL.

Point is, there's a lot of anti-Katie sentiment out there. Here's some more of it...




This is the one supportive letter that appeared on the docket.


If those five letters are representative of the ratio of anti- to pro-Katie messages coming in, it appears that sentiment is running 4 to 1 against him. But I can't say for sure.

At any rate, more than likely there won't be any decisions made on the appeal until some time in October at the very earliest. Katie asked for extra time to prepare his appeal brief, through his new lawyer, Mr. Christopher M. Bruno, Esq. (another attorney with Katie's long-time firm Winston & Strawn, LLP).
Here is the link to the document requesting more time.

Bruno, who has primary responsibility for preparing this brief, explained:

Winston & Strawn LLP was trial counsel for Mr. Trudeau and has continued to represent him on this appeal on a pro bono basis. I was recently admitted to the bar of the Seventh Circuit and entered my appearance on July 3, 2014. On June 17, 2014, the Court notified Mr. Trudeau that all necessary fees for his appeal had been paid in full, after Winston & Strawn LLP paid the appellate fees.
To justify the request for more time, Bruno cited the complexity of the case, the unique aspects of criminal contempt, and the fact that Bruno has other projects whose deadlines conflict with the deadline for the Katie case. He also noted:
8. Finally, Mr. Trudeau is currently in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons at Maxwell Air Force Base Prison Camp. Given that he is incarcerated at a location far from my office [Bruno is in Washington D.C.], I do not meet with him in person. Accordingly, to provide him counsel, I am required to separately schedule calls with him and communicate by mail. Although the Bureau of Prisons has been accommodating, these realities create delays in the process of effectively preparing Mr. Trudeau’s appeal.
9. Transferring responsibility for this appeal to another attorney at Winston & Strawn, LLP would be an inefficient use of resources, given the time I have already spent researching the legal issues and reviewing the record in this matter.
Bruno anticipated that he could prepare and file Katie's brief by August 22, 2014. Just reading between the lines, it appears to me that Winston & Strawn, LLP does not want to spring for air fare for Chris Bruno, since they're already doing so much work pro bono anyway. But on July 14, 2014, the motion for extension of time was approved. So at least Katie was granted that much.



Meanwhile, Katie's supporters continue to try to raise money for his legal battle -- and they'd better work hard, because if the above is any indication, those bills will continue to pile up despite the pro bono stuff.


Meet me in St. Louis: Neo-stinkers rally to Katie's defense
The other day someone alerted me to a discussion taking place on
the Twelve Visions Party page on Facebook. As you may know, the Twelve Visions Party (TVP) is an invention of Mark Hamilton -- real name Wallace Ward, Jr., Whirled name Mark Scamilton -- a long-time buddy of Kevin Trudeau and current head of the Neo-Think/Neo-Tech/NovaTech/Nouveau Tech/Society of Secrets Scampire. On July 9, Jill Reed, former U.S. presidential "candidate" for the TVP, shared the status of a Neo-stinker named Kenneth W. Townsend. Jill wrote:
Kenneth W Townsend was one of the original founders of the Twelve Visions Party Sunday Night Calls. I remember when he went to Chicago to meet Michael Dilworth and Jay Solether II to check out sites for 2009. I now am in those same shoes! Planning an event with the hopes that you will join me as we make the next leap into the Great Technological Revolution as this party's only goal is to "Make All The People Wealthy Including the Poor!" The computer dynamics (dropping prices and rising values) are here! Enjoy what Kenneth has to say.
And here's what Kenneth had to say:
In July 2009 Kevin Trudeau spoke at the first Twelve Visions Party national convention. Not sure whether he did it as a favor to MH or because he wanted to introduce the people who attended to GIN it doesn't matter which. You see I don’t know what I don’t know and I don’t even know if Kevin supports the Twelve Visions Party, but what I do know is that the Twelve Visions Party supports Kevin and everyone else who has been pushed around, put down, called names, or bullied because force and threat of force is unacceptable. With a Twelve Visions Party Government Kevin would never have been prosecuted for a crime he didn’t commit. Yes I said a crime he didn’t commit. You see Kevin never forced or threatened to force anyone to buy his book, The Weight Loss Cure “They” don’t want you to know about.
I bought the book, the information in the book was accurate and I lost weight therefore I believe the information in the book is not fraudulent. So Kevin ended up being sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Those of you who “stand by Kevin” should be interested in knowing that with a Twelve Visions Party government in place Kevin will be granted a full pardon. I am taking action and doing everything I can to get the Twelve Visions Party in place.

Now, I am paraphrasing Edmund Burke here when I say, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men and women to do nothing.” You can continue doing nothing and go along with the ruling class government and you will see more and more injustices being done like what was done to Kevin or, you can Take Action and support the Twelve Visions Party which will end the rule of man and launch the wealth of mankind.

There is a Gateway to Prosperity Party in St. Louis Missouri July 25th and 26th. This event is the beginning of the end of the ruling class that put Kevin in prison. Please join us in St. Louis. You can register for this event by calling Jill at [phone number redacted] and even if you cannot attend this event I strongly encourage you to register and support a new beginning for America, a new beginning for America where the government does not use force, threat of force or fraud against the people. Help get Kevin a full pardon and help yourself to a wealthy and healthy America by supporting the Twelve Visions Party. You can learn more about the gateway to prosperity on Facebook @gateway to prosperity.
Take action now call Jill [phone number redacted] and register for this life-changing event, you will be glad you did the first one hundred people to register whether you attend the event or not will be sent a value worth more than what it costs to register after the event. Call now! Jill Reed [phone numbers redacted]
Thank You and I Hope to See You All There
With love Kenneth
Clearly, the Neo-stinkers are supporting and promulgating Kevin's martyr-to-the-government shtick, which I first wrote about back in August of 2011. The sad thing is that thousands of people apparently still believe Katie's spin.

But it's not surprising that Neo-stink would come out in support of Katie, although to my knowledge Scamilton himself --
who really cleaned up in GIN's defunct-for-now MLM, as reported here back in September 2013 -- has been mostly silent. I've heard he is expected to be at the St. Louis wingding later this month, though. Some ex-GIN folks, who are still loyal Neo-stinkers, intend to confront him about GIN. But something tells me he won't be very confrontable, provided he even shows up.

As you no doubt remember if you've been a Whirled visitor for any length of time, I've written about Neo-stink and Scamilton and Katie several times. Apart from the September 2013 post linked to in the paragraph above, there's
this May 2013 post elaborating on the Neo/GIN connections, and this December 2013 post about a new Neo-stinkin' flopportunity.

And before that, way back in August 2011 (that was a busy month for me), there were these:
Everybody was Kung Fu fighting
If attending a Katie party in St. Louis in July won't work for you, maybe a martial arts flopportunity in Park Ridge, Illinois in August will make your qi quiver. On July 6, 2014,
an invitation was issued on Katie's Facebook fan page.
Hello,

I am Grand Master Tsai and I am hosting a Life Changing Qi Gong workshop to help my dear friend and Kung Fu student Kevin Trudeau. I have known Kevin Trudeau for over 25 years. He is a very unique mentor to a lot of people. Although I taught Kevin Kung Fu I have also learned life changing knowledge from him.

I want to share the priceless life changing benefits of my Qi Gong studies experience and knowledge with people like you and take this opportunity to rally donations to assist Kevin Trudeau’s court case.

I believe my tiny effort with our workshop will show Mr. Trudeau our heartfelt appreciation for all that he has done for us.

The workshop will take place on Sunday, August 9th from 1p-5:30p in Park Ridge, Il. The exact location will be emailed once you have made a contribution of $200.00 or more at the link below. Just put "GMT" in the memo box. I sincerely look forward to meeting you there and supporting our dear friend!

[Link to KT Legal Defense page]


Here's a little bit about Grand Master Tsai. Here's a lot more about Grand Master Tsai. I'm no martial arts expert (truth be told, I'm one of the miniscule number of people on the planet who find the whole martial arts thing rather boring -- so shoot me), but one thing seems clear to me: Grand Master Tsai and Kung Fu Katie are practitioners of that most venerated martial art of all: Ka-Ching.


Lamp unto my feet
While Katie cools his heels in sleepaway camp and the minions cry for his release and think up new ways to try to get suckers to fork over to pay his legal bills, business goes on in the newly purchased GIN, which has apparently resumed its weekly calls to the suckers, and is excitedly planning the next Family Reunion in September in Phoenix, Arizona (any symbolism in that? Phoenix? (
See January 24, 2014 update on this post.)). There's been some excited buzz on the Facebooks recently...




Bidness seems to be going on as well as in the GIN Store, which, besides selling the usual GIN-branded merchandise, is busily promoting its frauducts as per usual. For instance, a post from the GIN Store popped up on my Facebook timeline in June. It was a promo for a frauduct called The Mind Lamp, "THE WORLDS FIRST MIND MATTER INTERACTION DEVICE," according to a promo pic that was posted on July 1. 



"YOU THINK... IT RESPONDS," promises the copy on the July promo. The June 24 post from the GIN Store Facebook page 'splains it all:
What color is your chief aim?

For the first time ever in the history of GIN, we now have a device that PROVES and demonstrates before our very eyes that our minds really do affect matter! We have hinted about this here on Facebook before, but we felt this was so big that we weren't ready to divulge the details UNTIL NOW! We are thrilled to introduce THE MIND LAMP!

In case you're tempted to think this is some fly-by-night gadget, or something like the old "mood rings," we'll explain a little bit about the origins of the Mind Lamp. A team of scientists from Princeton University began exploring mind-matter phenomena several decades ago, and now have DECADES of extensive, documented PROOF that our thought vibrations really do affect the physical universe and can influence events in our lives! Basically, they are proving scientifically what we GIN members have known all along!

Known as The PEAR lab, or Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research, these Princeton Engineers began constructing devices called RANDOM EVENT GENERATORS (or REGs) which allow you to see in action how your mind can affect a physical machine. The Mind Lamp is just one of the devices that we have partnered with PEAR to offer to GIN members. PEAR's research was virtually unknown to GIN members prior to its discovery by one of GIN's Inner Circle members. The research they have published, and the products they have invented, we believe, are ESSENTIAL to understanding the concepts we are taught in GIN, as it firmly grounds it in quantifiable reality!

The premise of the Mind Lamp is simple: The lamp starts out white (neutral) and changes color when the computer inside of it picks up various thought vibrations. The lamp may turn a lighter color if the thought vibration is a little weak, or it may turn a deep, vivid color if the broadcast is really intense. One other observation is that with a bit of practice, the lamp seems to turn one specific color for a specific thought. One of our staff members observes that when he thinks about his chief aim, the lamp turns pink; another staff members observes the lamp turning yellow when he this about his chief aim. Because of this, the Mind Lamp is a PERFECT Intention Training device! Just think...if you can train your thoughts to turn the Mind Lamp one specific color, and hold the thought pattern as long as possible, using the Mind Lamp as your gauge, you could virtually train yourself to blast out 68 second vibrations virtually all of the time!

There are less than 200 Mind Lamps available and the manufacturer is not sure WHEN or IF they will be available again. Be sure to own one TODAY while supplies last, and take your GIN training to a whole new level!
And kids, it's only $249! And the words "quantum" and "nano" are used in the promo copy on the GIN Store web site, so you know it's real scientifical.
Because of the Mind Lamp's technology, its behavior is not predetermined, and is ultimately driven by probabilities derived from the nanoscopic realm.

The most interesting feature however, is that probabilistic devices and systems like the REG used in the Mind Lamp can be influenced by the human mind. In other words, our MINDS which includes our thoughts, intention, emotion, and our subconscious processes can influence the colors of the lamp.
And now indulge me for a little bubble-bursting. Contrary to what the June GIN Store promo copy implied, PEAR -- the Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research Lab -- wasn't "virtually unknown" until a GIN Inner Circle member "discovered" it. In fact there's a lot of info about it online. Start with Wiki, which notes, "Despite the name, the project had little to do with engineering but rather was dedicated to the study of parapsychology."

Then there's this,
from Skedic:
Perhaps the most disconcerting thing about PEAR is the fact that suggestions by critics that should have been considered were routinely ignored. Physicist Bob Park reports, for example, that he suggested to Jahn two types of experiments that would have bypassed the main criticisms aimed at PEAR. Why not do a double-blind experiment? asked Park. Have a second RNG determine the task of the operator and do not let this determination be known to the one recording the results. This could have eliminated the charge of experimenter bias. Another experiment, however, could have eliminated most criticism. Park suggested that PEAR have operators try to use their minds to move a 'state-of-the-art microbalance' (Park 2008, 138-139). A microbalance can make precise measurements on the order of a millionth of a gram. One doesn't need to be clairvoyant to figure out why this suggestion was never heeded.
Skeptical Inquirer/CSI published a couple of articles about PEAR as well, one in 2006 and one in 2007.

So there's that, for those who don't automatically filter out anything that contains the word "skeptic." In any case, I think my friends and I can out-lamp those GIN store hucksters. I have a lamp shaped exactly like that, and even though it doesn't change colors it's pretty cool. Ron bought it for me at Ikea for twenty bucks years ago. I leave it on at night in our office because it emits a soft blue glow for the dogs who sleep there.

I also have an LED nightlight that does change colors randomly, and that little gem has been going strong, 24/7, for more than seven years. I got it for 99 cents at a 99 Cent Only Store in Houston. It's plugged into a room in the cats' part of the house. I wonder if they use their nefarious feline brains to influence the color changes. I wonder if they know about quantum tunneling and whatnot! Oh, my, I think I could build an entire scam around this thing.

My Facebook friend Jonathan wrote that he has a pyramid salt stone lamp that changes colors randomly. It cost him $14 at Earthbound Trading Company in the mall. Another friend named Roger had some sage advice: "If you grab a single white glove, fill it with rocks, and slap yourself with it every time you do something dumb, it will influence your thoughts (you are guaranteed to be horrified of white gloves too). Info brought to you by my fake medical team."

Elron would be so proud... maybe: SciWINtology updates
One of my favorite GIN ripoffs, the World Information Network (WIN), released
an update video on June 18, naming WIN's board of directors and regional directors. Head honcho Perry "I don't need no stinkin' combination" Kiraly has neither gained any charisma nor lost any of the creep-out factor since his last video update.

And as for that Scientology connection I've been blogging about (
here and here, for instance), credible sources tell me that WIN is going to hook up with WISE, the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises, which, according to Wiki, promotes the ideology of Scientology and its wackadoodle late founder, Elron. One source told me:
The Church has a business branch called W.I.S.E. that allows businesses to become members or buy/sell church services. If a business becomes a member, depending on their membership level, they pay either a flat fee for services or ten percent of income. The course that Perry wants everyone to take is a $50.00 course. WIN would buy these in bulk, and then resell them to everyone. The church will eventually push to get people's personal information...When someone joins WIN, and wants to move up the levels, they will have to buy this course. They will NOT be told [beforehand] that it is from the Church of Scientology. They will see it is indeed from the C of S once they get the course pack as it is written all over it, etc....the church will give a 10% "commission" to Perry for each person in WIN that takes any service from the C of S.. Even Kevin Trudeau did this with GIN--- and was caught....I just wanted you aware that whatever is being put on your site is getting to Perry--and will eventually get to the C of S so that they can figure out PR on how to get around it all with the members...
'Nuff said. But y'all have been warned. And so have I. If any Xenu's pals come knocking on my Whirled door, I will let you know. For lots more about Scientology's wacky horridness and horrible wackiness, see Tony Ortega's fine site, The Underground Bunker.

Another Katie wannabe ends up behind bars
Finally, Eric Plantenberg, another "successful" GIN speaker, was sentenced earlier this month to a year in Federal prison for failing to report $1.3 mil in income. He wasn't really on my Whirled radar that much, but in any case the news wasn't all that surprising. Here's a vid Eric and his dear wife made about his "adventure."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hykAcMVNuqE&feature=youtu.be

Here's a blog post he wrote a few days before his sentencing:
http://www.blog.ericplantenberg.com/choice/
"Above all, find gratitude in each moment.
be free!
eric"

Here's his GIN Store page:
http://www.theginstore.com/category_s/121.htm

Here's
an October 2013 story about the indictment.
Here's an April 2014 news story about Plantenberg pleading guilty.
And here's
a July 8, 2014 story about his sentencing.

From the July 2014 story:
Starting in 2000, Plantenberg became involved in the Church of Compassionate Service, taking a vow of poverty to avoid paying taxes. Plantenberg’s income, and that of other church 'ministers,' was given to the church, which then gave the money back to its ministers.
Wow. Nice work if you can get it, eh? Those crazy kids and their "churches."*
Someone who told me about Plantenberg's sentencing said they had been to one of his workshops, promoted by GIN and costing $99, a discount from $495 (or so GIN said. But Scamworld is always offering those amazing "discounts."). This person also said there were rumors that Eric's company bought Mega Memory. I don't know if this is true but it does seem that many of Eric's infofrauducts are about memory and brain-training. My correspondent added, "Also in his video he claims he used the money for schools instead of taxes.  What schools?  His 4-day 'life changing' seminar that cost $4995 or so?  I'm calling bullsh-t.  He was simply greedy and got caught."

Yep, that sounds pretty accurate.
Although this source (which exists to promote one of those Scamworld books about inspirational "heroes") says Eric started "a language school for children in Egypt."

Okay, so that makes it all right.

Le me say that in general, I do NOT believe in prison sentences for tax evasion. That said, this story is one more example of the M.O. of so many Scamworld players. (Maybe Eric should have run away to Thailand or some place.) But hey... a year in the clink and he can come right back out and start hustling again, perhaps adding some "lessons learned in the lockup" content to his shtick.

Well, that's it for now (isn't that enough?). Stay tuned for more. Soon.



* Another example of a spurious "Church," which of course I have mentioned before, is The Church of Inner Healing: http://www.churchofinnerhealing.com/
THAT church may not have been a tax evasion thing so much as a way to dish out medical advice without getting into trouble. In any case it is apparently now dissolved as a corporation, according to this:
http://www.bizapedia.com/nv/CHURCH-OF-INNER-HEALING-LLC.html. (BTW, Jens Anskohl is the real name of "Nicholas Coldwell" -- Lenny Coldwell's half-brother.) Also, regarding The Church of Inner Healing as a fake church, there's also this listing on the Universal Ministries site: http://universalministries.com/charter.php#SC

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Charlie said...

You know Connie I really want to express some love and gratitude towards you for keeping an update on the Kevin Trudeau matters. While our opinons do vary, I am just grateful to have some source that is keeping some updates on his situation. Thanks again love ; )

Sunday, August 24, 2014 10:08:00 PM  

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