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, February 06, 2016

Kevin Trudeau's Birthday Present: He Gets to Stay in Prison


Since it's still February 6 on my part of the planet I want to take this opportunity to give a big Happy Birthday shout-out to one of this blog's favorite serial scammers, infomercial huckster Kevin Trudeau. He turned 53 today and is currently languishing in "Camp Cupcake," which is his fond nickname for the blissful retreat where he's now confined and serving a ten-year sentence for criminal contempt. Its real-world name is Federal Prison Camp (FPC) Montgomery, Alabama. 

And now, thanks to a recent decision by an appellate court, he gets to stay right where he is.

The decision [U.S. v. Trudeau, 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 14-1869] was actually handed down on February 5, so I guess it could be considered to be an early birthday present. Here's a link to the decision. It gives some good background and context on this long, drawn-out case.

But here's even more -- and better -- context from a former GIN member and my good friend and blogging colleague, Bernie O'Mahony at GINtruth. I'll have much more to say about this soon but I'm kind of on the run right now (no, not on the run from the law -- it's just that I have real-life things to do, and Ron is just about to put supper on the table).

So enjoy Bernie's take on things, and I'll see you back here soon. Maybe even as early as tomorrow.

PS: If you want more insider views from a former Trudeau fan and former member of Trudeau's biggest scam of all, the Global Information Network (GIN), read my friend John Foster's book


Addendum, February 11, 2016
It took a few days, but Katie and/or his proxy finally spoke up on his Facebook fan page regarding the failed appeal. In case you can't get to that link, here's the complete text of his post, which was published on February 10, 2016 and has more than 200 "likes" at the time I'm writing this, as well as scads of gushing comments from devotees the world over, who insist that Katie is their hero.
As you all know, I am being held in a US Federal Prison Camp for "contempt of court". This is not a felony and not even a misdemeanor. I was charged with "contempt" by a single judge. As part of the "punishment", the US government has confiscated all of my personal, business and family money and assets worldwide. They took all the money and assets of other family members as well. They even confiscated all current and future "income", forbidding me to earn any money for the rest of my life, as all money I earn forever must go to the government.

In addition, I was given the longest contempt of court prison sentence in US history: 10 years. I appealed both the conviction and sentence. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has just ruled against my appeal. This has shocked every legal scholar I talked with.

That means I will be serving approximately 7 more years before I will be released. I will be appealing this decision to the US Supreme Court. The costs of the US Supreme Court appeal are huge. A "good" lawyer can charge over $300,000 for this case. I need your help to get a lawyer to file and argue my appeal to the US Supreme Court. I need to get the funds to pay for the legal bills. There are still outstanding legal bills that also need to be paid.

If you can give some financial assistance for my lawyers the time is now to do so. Please go to
KTLegalDefene.com and make a contribution of any amount. All proceeds go to my Attorneys. If you can help financially please do so today. Please tell others to help as well. Remember also, if you want the Nuggets of Gold monthly Newsletter and The Science of Personal Mastery Course that comes with the newsletter each month, you can get that as a gift for a contribution of just $19.95 per month or a one time annual contribution of $210 is also available. I sincerely appreciate your help.
As for me, I am taking the surprising news as simply news. There is no good or bad news. There is only news. YOU make it good or bad with your thinking. Most people would feel depressed, sad, or shocked. Many would have anxiety attacks, cry, or feel overwhelmed with fear. I know, however, that this news is good, because I can choose it to be good with my thinking.

First, I can give you many rational logical reasons why this is good. I get another 7 years of rest, relaxation and the opportunity to rejuvenate and refresh by body, and mind. I have the unique perfect stress free environment to read, study, meditate, exercise, do yoga, learn German and most importantly write the best training materials I have ever put together. This is the perfect opportunity for me to master my own ability to control, still, and quiet my mind, and burn off all my remaining "karma".

I actually sat down and made a list of all the wonderful benefits that I am thankful, grateful, and appreciate for that I will receive by staying here for another 7 years. The list was many pages long! Doing the list was fun and made me feel wonderful! When you focus on all the things you are thankful, grateful and appreciative for, you feel great! Then, I meditated on the fact that the best things I will personally gain from this adventure are off my radar screen. I do not even know what the best things that are coming to me from this news are yet. I cannot even image them yet. But I KNOW that there are so many amazing wonderful glorious things off the radar screen that ARE coming to me because of me losing this appeal!

When you think about that fact, you feel even better! You know you have been given a priceless gift! You can always overcome any adversity in your life. You can always feel good no matter what the conditions and circumstances in your life. I am teaching all this in The Science of Personal Mastery Course that you get free when you contribute to the
KTLegalDefense.com This is the perfect time to contribute (as I need the help right now!) and the perfect time for you to get the Newsletter and Course. The Course comes to you each month. Each month you get the current Newsletter and a Lesson in the Course. Everyone starts with Lesson 1. The Course came out last year. Students who started right at the beginning are doing Lesson 13 now. They are enjoying it immensely…

Go to
KTLegalDefense.com and contribute now. I need the financial help for the legal Team… Thank you all for you love and support. Come back here often for more updates. The adventure continues!
Yup. Katie has been pooping out those golden nuggets for more than a year now. It's all for a good cause, of course, apart from your personal growth, and that cause is springing Katie from the clink and liberating him from his big "adventure."


One fan wrote, in response to the above:

Mr Trudeau I thank you for the sacrifice you have made and are still making. The fact that you have been incarcerated for contempt of court longer than anyone in the history of the United States judicial systems bears witness to the truth of your writings and your workshops. Your sacrifice have brought out the arrogance of this government. And no matter what you will come out on top.
But the thing is, "Mr. Trudeau" is fibbing about his sentence being the longest one ever for contempt of court. An easy Google search revealed this 2009 ABC news bit about a 73-year-old Philadelphia lawyer who served 14 years for contempt. And here's a 2011 article about a guy in Illinois who got a 20-year contempt sentence. His lawyers even mentioned that sentence in the appeals argument, so you can't say that Trudeau is speaking from ignorance. He is flat-out lying to make people feel sorry for him and inspire them to give money to his cause. (What else is new?)

It makes me sad to see so many people still buying into Kevin Trudeau's hero/martyr story. One person, also responding to the above-quoted Facebook post, wrote, "I am deaf and live in London. You are my hero. Now I am going to transfer $19.95 per month." Later the same individual wrote, "I did it [smiley face icon]/ KT legal team, please let me know that my PayPal pays for KT from today..." Someone else wrote, "You're innocent. It's 1984. Thought crime is the only thing you did." Another person wrote, "OmGod how aweful [sic] of these people! I will pray, they must release u and ur finances in Jesus name!! Amen!"

Still another fan wrote:
Don't you think it's actually the "Brotherhood" (as he calls them), or what Peter Dale Scott calls "deep government", which has decided to punish KT for revealing their secrets? And/or the pharmaceutical industry getting back at him for exposing their corruption, along with the FDA by the way, in KT's 2004 bestseller "Natural Cures They Don't Want You to Know About?" And that therefore, as long as these crooks are holding the real power, behind the scenes, they won't be letting him out? Sorry for these thoughts, I think the Law of Attraction doesn't dispense us from being lucid and clear-minded about what's really going on, otherwise we can waste a lot of energy trying to solve things legally, when in fact, the issue has nothing to do with legality, in a country (the US) that's really turned into a banana republic, a dictatorship of the worst kind? Whatever the case, may the best come out of it!

And another deluded soul wrote:


K.T I'll say this again you are a saint and an angel. Seems like the closer one is to the truth that is love and light, the longer the sentence in jail. But I know jail is your ultimate freedom. Gods ready for you to evolve even further and now go within yourself to access that inner bliss and paradise that we know as god. You are infact the most luckiest and blessed being in the universe. I'd give anything to be in your shoes right now. You gave certainly achieved self mastery and ultimate bliss and enlightenment. Clever lucky and wise kevin trudeau. You are a true genius in every sense of the word. God is hugely immensely pleased upon you that's why you are infact protected in jail so you can have the ultimate freedom. You earned yourself to enlightenment! You lucky prodigy! Much love to you k.t!!

I'm sure Katie would gladly trade places with that person who would "give anything" to be in Katie's prison-issue footwear right now, but that's not the way the justice system works. Anyway, the kissing-up goes on and on and on like that. I'm not allowed to participate in the conversation on that page, but I'm not sure I would at this point. Trying to argue someone out of their devotion to phony heroes -- not to mention their fondness for conspiracy theories -- is pretty much a waste of energy.

Context is everything

As I've said numerous times on this blog and other forums, reasonable people can disagree over the justice, or lack thereof, of Katie's prison sentence. Most (though not all) of the disillusioned ex-GIN members I've heard from, and pretty much all of the critical bloggers I know, say he is right where he belongs, but I've taken the rather unpopular position that the sentence was a bit too harsh since he is a nonviolent offender. (Yet of course there is the question of how he could legally be kept from playing full-on in Scamworld if he weren't locked up. After all, he's still scamming, though marginally less effectively, from behind bars.) Reasonable people can also disagree over the legal issues surrounding civil and criminal contempt, and the fairness or unfairness of the fact that judges can pretty much jail people indefinitely for these offenses.
 
As is the case with most controversial figures or issues, people on both sides who have passionate feelings have a tendency to oversimplify and overlook nuances. The anti-Katie contingent, particularly those who lost money or felt they were screwed by Trudeau in some other way, may be less apt to consider the nuanced legal and ethical issues about contempt, for example, and most seem glad that he is in prison. The pro-Katie contingent, on the other hand, seem inclined to buy his dramatic tale that he was jailed for being a whistleblower, and that the government prosecutors cooked up a big phony case against him because he was threatening the establishment or Big Pharma or the food industry or the medical profession or the New World Order or what have you. Some Katie fans continue to insist that he was jailed merely for writing a book and/or for expressing his opinion that the diet described in that book is easy.

But context matters: legal, historical and ethical/moral context. And it appears to me that the pro-Katies are less willing to consider context than the anti-Katies.

Consider the legal context. Though I am no lawyer, I have been following Trudeau's civil and criminal cases pretty closely for years and have downloaded and read many hundreds of pages of legal documents pertaining to the cases. It appears to me that from a legal standpoint the government had a solid case against Trudeau. Historical context is important as well, and in those court documents the prosecutors carefully outlined Trudeau's history of pulling scams. For those who don't want to go back and pour through thousands of pages of legal docs (I don't blame you), a good capsule summary of the legal cases was provided in
Aaron Gell's fine piece about Trudeau, published by Business Insider in January 2015. (Here's my post about Gell's article, if you haven't already read it and have some time to waste.) And if you would like to read the document that explains the reason for the denial of Trudeau's appeal, here again is a direct link.

Moral context is important too. And once again I'll cite
Bernie's recent GINtruth post, as it has a good summary of the ways that people were hurt by Trudeau's scams. Although Trudeau was not tried, convicted or sentenced for his huge Global Information Network (GIN) scam, I have little doubt that that scam played a part in the prosecution's case and helped form a basis for the ultimate court decision.

Salty Droid understands the context too, perhaps much better than many, and explained it in a 2014 blog post (and yes, I know I've cited this before, but it belongs here as well):
It wouldn’t be surprising to learn that the total revenues from Trudeau’s life of scamjobery had topped a billion dollars. This book :: that book … whatever … the books don’t matter. It’s about cartels of badguys buying {preselected for sadness} people in bulk from media/info companies :: and then trading those people around until they become empty vessels … robbed of their money … and often of their sense of self.
The media :: the government :: and the courts … will all tell you a different story though. A much less complicated story :: disconnected from the hard problems of reality …
“He is a habitual liar and a fraudster,” Assistant U.S. Attorney April Perry said.
As a result of the size of the fraud and Trudeau’s two previous felony convictions, federal sentencing guidelines called for 20 to 25 years in prison, a range that Guzman said he thought was “appropriate.” However, he eventually agreed with prosecutors who said a 10-year term was sufficient since — unlike in many fraud cases — no one who bought Trudeau’s book was financially ruined.
Just a little bit :: totally …wrong.

And if the opinions stated on the appellate decision are any indication, it seems that some judges "get it" as well:
Based on the size of Trudeau's fraud and the flagrant and repetitive nature of his contumacious conduct, the ten-year sentence -- about half the bottom of the guidelines -- was not unreasonable.

So, really, Katie fans: it's not just about a damn diet book.


Legal, schmegal: the house that Troy built
On a recent Facebook discussion my friend Kenneth
pointed out something of which I'd not previously been aware. The domain for the KT Legal Defense Fund does not belong, as one might expect, to Katie's lawyers at Winston & Strawn LLP. Rather it is owned by Troy McClain, current head of GIN and owner of the AXS Investment Group that bought GIN. You've met Troy on this Whirled a few times, such as this post, written in 2014 when the GIN sale was still pending.

Now, I'm not saying that all moneys contributed to the Legal Defense Fund will go into Troy's pockets. But I will point out that
the terms disclaimer on the KT Legal Defense Fund page says that all contributions are nonrefundable and will go towards Katie's "management and legal fees" -- and I can't help but notice that "management" gets top billing here. It seems to me that in theory, Troy could justify taking any amount of the pot because he is performing "management." The physical address for sending payments does direct to Winston & Strawn, so old-school types who want to send a check can probably be assured that the lawyers will get their contribution. But for those who opt for the convenience of online contributions, recurring or not...um... I'm not so sure.

Moreover, as I may have mentioned before, GINsiders have told me that Troy really doesn't like Katie all that much and never did (which indicates to me that Troy is both a hypocrite and an ingrate, since Katie gave him so much free exposure back in the day), and that Troy has been making noise about shuttering the Illinois office entirely and moving the whole shebang to Troy's home state of Idaho. And in light of the fact that it looks like Katie may indeed be imprisoned for the duration, this seems more likely to happen. Given the whole no-honor-among-thieves phenomenon, I wouldn't be surprised by anything Troy does.

But no matter how long Katie is left to languish at Camp Cupcake, and no matter if Troy (and Katie's other former GIN cronies) desert him altogether and head for the hills with their own scams, leaving him twisting in the wind, Katie still has a fiercely devoted fan base who continue to insist that he is a hero, wrongfully imprisoned. For years his ego has been propped up by people who were willing to accept his story of being
a martyr fighting for the First Amendment. And in 2012 the Koch-funded Libertarian think tank the Cato Institute even tried to take his cause to the Supreme Court, filing this amicus brief, which in the words of Salty Droid, supported "Kevin Trudeau's right to do whatever Kevin Trudeau's heart-of-a-car-salesman-lion-champion-patriot tells him to do..." (The efforts, as reported on this very Whirled, were ultimately unsuccessful.) 

On the arguably less intelligent front we have the fans who, rather than filing amicus briefs on behalf of their hero, write bad poetry about him or, even worse, produce appallingly bad videos.

So the songs and videos will continue to be made, and the people will continue to believe and spread Kevin Trudeau's narrative about being the put-upon hero, and new scams will be built upon old scams, and there will be no neat and tidy endings. Though the extent to which he'll be able to capitalize on adulation is debatable, I think it's safe to say that Kevin will, at the very least, always find people who are willing to believe him and make naively indignant proclamations about his unjust suffering. As I said in the context of writing about one of the loathsome scammers that Trudeau unleashed, first through his Natural Cures scampire and then through GIN, "the facts don't matter if the story is good." That really comes as no surprise to me.

Nor is it surprising that Trudeau is bound and determined to take his case to the highest court in the land, and to spend hundreds of thousands more of your dollars in order to do so. At the same time he pleas for your help in getting out, he continues to express gratitude for the blessings bestowed upon him in Camp Cupcake, as if this were the best thing ever to happen to him. He's using his down time to burn off the rest of his karma, after all, and is apparently using the fire from that karma-burning to cook up more scams. (And to learn German. Interesting choice of languages, but I digress.) So my advice is to keep your money, or send it to me if it's burning a hole in your pocket.


The bottom line is that whether you believe he deserves ten years in a relatively privileged prison camp, or a harsher sentence, or no prison time at all, Kevin Trudeau does not deserve your tears or your cash. As my pal Tim wrote, "Remember when kt felt bad for all the people in GIN who lost huge sums of money and did something to help them out? Yeah, neither do I."

Labels: , , , ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home