Sex cults, dead dogs, dead docs, scammer skirmishes, sticky fingers... just another day on my Whirled
It has been a busy and crazy few weeks, both in the real world and on my own Whirled beat, though you might not think the latter, judging by the couple of weeks of silence on this blog, which, incidentally, will celebrate its tenth birthday on July 27, 2016. It isn't that there is nothing to write about; on the contrary, there's almost too much, and I've been busy with other things. But I wanted to throw together a few snippets and musings to catch you up so you'll have something to occupy your brain while you're monitoring the coverage of the Clown Party Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.
Since this isn't a political blog, except of course when it is, I won't delve too deeply into the clown show; there are plenty of other blogs and sites to do that, and they'll do a far more thorough job because that's what they do. But I did want to share this Mother Jones piece that nailed what the GOP, the fabled "party of Lincoln" has become: the party that from all appearances has finally and fully embraced the politics of being an a$$hole.
So this week the Republican Party is poised to anoint a man whom House Speaker Paul Ryan, the GOP's highest ranking elected leader, has said made racist remarks. That is—or should be—stunning. But even this highly significant fact becomes lost in the torrent of Trump's offensive conduct. And most of the GOP has accepted him as the nominee, enabling and legitimizing his behavior. Per its electorate's wishes, the party has shoved aside traditional conservative principles, basic decency, and fundamental standards of competence—this guy didn't know what the nuclear triad is—to embrace hatred, nastiness, and cruelty. With malice toward none, with charity for all? No, it's opposite day. This convention marks the moment when the party of Lincoln has become the party of reality-show trash talking. As Trump might say, sad!
Apropos of that, and particularly of the pre-Trump-tive Clown Party nominee, my husband Ron Kaye wrote a short blog post today about the decline of real journalism, which he worries about as much as he does "the rise of bullies who would lie, threaten, bully, and frighten their way into public office, because journalists who are brave enough to demand truth are our single best weapon against tyrants."
Yeah, what Ron said.
And now to the snippets and musings. I've posted some but not all of what follows on Facebook, so if some of it seems familiar, I apologize for the redundancy.
Access Consciousness in the news again; Whirled Musings, not so much
As long-time followers of this blog know, I've been writing about the wackadoodle sex-and-money-obsessed cultlike scam known as Access Consciousness (formerly Access Energy Transfer) since 2007. My Access posts remain the most-read posts on this blog, which probably isn't saying much since this is not exactly the world's most hottest spot in the blogosphere, but it's something.
Anyway, Access made the news again earlier this month when Complex.com posted an article announcing that "Ricky Williams is in a Cult." Williams is a former Pro Bowl NFL player who has also recently made the news for his cannabis-centered gym. He first made Access-related news in 2012 when he accepted a $50,000 donation for his Ricky Williams Foundation from none other than Access founder Gary Douglas. Natch, I wrote about that here.
As such articles go, the Complex piece is a pretty good one, despite the fact that, as the Houston Press's Craig Malisow wrote in a short post about the piece, "...we wish the writer had prodded Williams a little more about the most troubling aspect of Access, which is this: Douglas, the group's founder, believes that 'young children are incredibly sexy.' To those of us who aren't card-carrying members of NAMBLA, language like that is a bit spooky."
Craig, to whom I'd given assistance and information while he was writing his November 2012 feature article on Access, gave a passing nod to all of the writing I've done on this topic. Craig said my research into Access "still stands as some of the best work on the subject."
Alas, the Complex article didn't acknowledge my blog at all, merely noting, "There are over a dozen blogs and forums that have lent considerable bandwidth to deconstructing the validity of Access Consciousness." The link embedded in the word "blogs" directs to post on a Christian blog, "Women of Grace," warning about the evils of Access.
So -- no love for Whirled Musings in most of the media, despite the fact that I was the first blogger to write about many loony things regarding Access, including the fact that the scam originated in the 1990s when founder Gary Douglas started channeling Grigori Rasputin and assorted other entities. That detailed story was published in June 2010, and I'd made a big fat snarky deal about the matter in my first Access post in June 2007. I was also the first to snark about the "9 Trannies" (May 2011). And so on, and so forth.
But at least I got a mention on this Access apologist site a few years ago, a site whose main purpose seems to be to invalidate Craig's 2012 article. Being the phony good sports that Accessories are known to be, the person or persons responsible for the page wrote: "Connie Schmidt writes a blog that is very funny and her articles poke fun at Gary, Dain and Access Consciousness in general. Her work is provocative and engaging so it usually inspires people to go to Access Consciousness website for more information. Her 'Whirled Musings' are not really a creditable source of accurate information about Access Consciousness."
(Pssst. Yes, they are.)
And a former "Accessory" who "did" Access Consciousness for quite a few years wrote in an email to me a few months ago, "I remember Gary Douglas mentioning you on a number of occasions. He basically vilified you and also the journalist Malisow... It clearly rattled him and he was reacting and trying to deny and dismiss any negative comments."
This person also wrote, "In the upper echelons of Access I've heard that Gary and Dain [have claimed] that if people are causing problems for them or those close [to them] that they will crush their universes."
Gary Douglas himself had actually written to this blog several years previous to that. He fake-thanked me for making people aware of Access. My former Accessory correspondent said that Gary told his classes about writing to my blog, but this person seemed to share my opinion that Gary's good-sport response was just a veneer, perhaps a way of whistling past the graveyard. "Clearly," my correspondent wrote, "you've gotten to him, or he wouldn't mention it."
Take that, mainstream media people who think that you're being really scoopy when you tell the world about about Ricky Williams' "cult." I may be doomed to eternal obscurity, but I still manage to get under scammers' skins.
And despite my narcissistic whining about getting no love, the important point is that Access's lunacy continues to receive publicity, which one can only hope will encourage parents to carefully vet any activity that is even remotely related to Access before they entrust their kids to the care of crazies.
Dog daze and deja Blue (or: LoonyC gets Snopesed...again)
Earlier this month the scourge of Germany, fake doctor Leonard Coldwell, copied and pasted a fake news article to the blog on his main web site, regarding the supposed arrest of Snopes founder David Mikkelson for involvement in pit bull fighting.
The dog pictures in the fake news article were taken from various real stories about incidents that had taken place in various parts of the country over the past couple of years. A reverse Google image search can easily uncover this fact. But if you don't feel like reverse-Google-image-searching, the author of this article from the hoax alert section of the Lead Stories site has done it for you. The picture of Mikkelson supposedly being arrested was a poorly Photoshopped piece that had been used for another fake Mikkelson arrest story last year. I wrote about that here. The Lead Stories site also covered it.
But just as he did with last year's hoax, LoonyC copied and pasted the pit bull article to his own site as if it were real. He soon deleted last year's post, but the latest one is still on his site as of this posting.
The source of the current hoax article about Mikkelson is News 4 KTLA, a fake news/clickbait site, Granted, unlike some other sites, News 4 KTLA doesn't trumpet the fact that it's a fake news/parody/satire site. But the clues are in the text, for those with the snap to see them. The Snopes/pit bull piece, for instance, begins like this:
Nearly a dozen people are in custody, including Snopes CEO David Mikkelson, following a bust of a major dogfighting ring. The San Fernando Police Department and the FBI all took part in the early morning raids targeting the home of the popular Internet “writer” who is known for making his money by copying the original writings of fake news sites. [emphasis mine ~CC]
I tried twice to post a comment on Coldwell's blog post, using my full real name. I 'splained that the article was a hoax and that the source of the article is a notorious fake news site, and I also cited the original sources of the photos used in the fake article. I was respectful, despite the fact that Coldwell deserves no respect whatsoever, but my first comment was not published. And when I tried to post a second time, it appeared that I had been blocked from even trying to comment.
But these people were allowed to comment. The second commenter, who posted twice, is particularly disturbing.
Don't get me wrong. As a lifelong dog lover I think people who abuse dogs and our other fellow creatures should be dealt with harshly. But David Mikkelson did not do what the fake article accuses him of doing. Yet LoonyC's idiot followers, who apparently bear the same irrational hatred of Snopes that Loony does, didn't even question the veracity of the article.
It all reminds me eerily of what I was going through two years ago at this exact time, when Coldwell was publicly and repeatedly and falsely accusing me of poisoning his pit bull dog, Blue (and publicly and repeatedly publishing my home address and cell phone number, and telling his sympathetic fans to get in touch with me). I wrote about this at great length here and here. (Those of you who have been with me a while know this whole story, so again, my apologies for the redundancy.)
His fans, who had no idea who I am and apparently didn't bother to question his claims, were ranting on his Facebook pages about the horrible things that should be done to me in punishment for the crime I had supposedly committed against Lenny and his dog. They were suggesting that I should be hunted down, shot, poisoned, tortured. Someone even threatened to burn my house down in the middle of the night. It was pretty scary. And I had no legal recourse; though I reported the matter, law enforcement said there wasn't enough evidence to pursue the matter.
So I feel for David Mikkelson.
Dead holistic docs conspiracy rages on
One topic I addressed in last year's Lenny-got-Snopesed post -- and here's that link again -- was the dead holistic doctor conspiracy drama that so may people refuse to relinquish. Here is one of all too few rational articles about the matter, published last year. Granted, the body count was lower back then, but this doesn't invalidate the need to be skeptical of the conspiracy narrative, particularly since not all of the people on the supposed list of dead docs were even doctors, and of those who were, not all of them could be considered "holistic."
Some of the deceased parties in the conspiracy narrative have been murdered, while the deaths of some were reported as suicides, and some died of heart attacks or other ailments. Not surprisingly, the conspiracy buffs refuse to accept that any of these good people committed suicide, despite the fact that doctors and other medical professionals have a relatively high suicide rate, at least in the US. And the conspiracy fans insist that the docs who died of various ailments had been in perfect health up until their deaths. The deaths reported as homicides, of course, are self-explanatory and fit perfectly into the dastardly-plot narrative: Clearly, Big Pharma and/or other forces opposed to natural healing are somehow responsible.
In any case, as of this writing the latest so-called "holistic doctor" supposedly done away with by some nefarious cabal of Big Pharma and New World Order operatives was a 65-year-old Asian woman living in Palo Alto, California, Jenny Shi, whose stabbing death Health Nut blogger Erin Elizabeth announced with her customary "heavy hearts" on July 13. Erin has remained front and center in the parade of dead-doc conspiracy alarmists, despite continuing to insist that she is not implying a conspiracy of any kind.
Apart from the fact that she owned a chain of acupuncture clinics, Jenny Shi had much more going on in her life than "holistic" doctoring. She was an international businesswoman with enterprises that included real estate and angel investment, and she had business connections in Shanghai and Beijing, China. Investigators suspect that Shi knew her attacker. She reportedly rented rooms in her home to multiple tenants, and detectives are investigating these as well as her numerous business relationships.
But the conspiracy believers are out in force, apparently because according to them, the late Dr. Shi spoke out against "the vaccine establishment."
As the debunking article I linked to above concluded:
Saying that these deaths are a coincidence may be supported by the facts and our understanding of statistics, but it is emotionally unsatisfying to our pattern-seeking brains. We find apparent patterns in the world very compelling, and we want there to be an underlying explanation. We just don’t like the idea that the pattern is an illusion. That is why we fall prey to excessive pattern recognition and hyperactive agency detection (seeing a deliberate agent in random or natural events).But don't expect much of that critical-thinking stuff from Erin and gang.
When the apparent pattern fits our pre-existing narrative or world view, the temptation to accept the pattern becomes overwhelming. Only the most diligent application of critical thinking can overcome such a temptation.
Katie and the Supremes
As reported here in Febuary 2016, currently imprisoned serial scammer Kevin Trudeau, aka KT, aka Katie -- also a frequent snarget on this blog -- lost the appeal on his criminal case. Now he is trying to do take his battle to the Supreme Court.
Here's a link to the Petition. Stay tuned.
Has Troy McClain become an impotent figurehead in GIN?
Speaking of Katie, his biggest scam ever, the Global Information Network, or GIN, is still chugging along. I've heard from more than one knowledgeable source that there has been a massive power struggle because the GIN principals and staff just don't care for GIN CEO Troy McClain, former star of Donald J. Drumpf's "reality" TV show, The Apprentice. The mass dislike apparently has something to do with Troy's yuuuge ego and lack of ethics. (I thought those were job requirements for a Scamworld player, but there do seem to be some actual decent human beings on the remaining GIN staff who seem genuinely dismayed by the unethical stuff. As for the principals, it's just one big clash of egos and behind-the-scenes scammer skirmishes.)
Our most recent Whirled visit with Troy was back in March of this year, when Troy was making a big self-righteous stink about removing someone from "our Club" for some great ethics violation. Well, apparently lots has happened since then. Long-time Katie buddies Chris "Voldemort" McGarahan and Blaine Athorn, a couple of the co-owners of GIN (along with Troy and another fellow), are reportedly trying to force Troy out of their tree house club altogether. Blaine is reportedly in charge of GIN now. That may prove to be a win for Katie, eventually, since Troy reportedly does not like Katie, but Blaine presumably still does.
But Troy has worked hard on revamping the GIN branding, particularly with the new GIN Evolve web site. Gone is the old GIN site; it's Troy's brand baby now. And Troy still apparently owns the KT Legal Defense Fund site, leaving me to wonder again if all of the online donations to help Katie actually go to help Katie and not Troy.
So I wonder how this will all play out. As I find out more, I'll be sure to tell you. Or you can tell me, if you know more. We all help each other around here. In any case, as far as I'm concerned... Troy, Blaine, Chris... meh. They're all turds of a feather.
Speaking of The Apprentice...
Salty Droid has been busy, and here he is again, ruminating on The Donald and some of the scammers Drumpf hath wrought. Important stuff here.
Also well worth reading: the interview, published in The New Yorker, with the person who really wrote The Art of the Deal, ghostwriter Tony Schwartz. To this day Drumpf brandishes the book as proof that he's the greatests, and that he's qualified to be the leader of the free world. Schwartz has earned millions in advance and royalties for writing this book, but he never really felt good about it, and has pledged to donate royalties from here on out to groups of people that Trump's bigotry, xenophobia and elitism could seriously harm. Schwartz reveals some pretty disgusting things about Drumpf, which of course won't make a bit of difference to the Drumpfians, but go ahead, read it anyway.
Are Freddy's fingers in Coach Coral's scam pie?
Another Whirled unfavorite, Fred Van Liew, long-time friend and defender of Kevin Trudeau, is apparently involved in cross-promotional (or should that be crass-promotional?) shenanigans with scammy "life coach" Coral Grant and gang. In January I wrote about a lawsuit against Coral and her hubby Mac, but it appears that it's just business as usual for Coral despite the lawsuit. Fred posted on his Facebook page July 16 about an event he attended with "Best Life Coaching Society," a company in which Coral and Mac are currently involved. They're not listed as the owners of the company; that honor goes to Scott and Jen Kazmierczak, "the true power couple," according to the Best Life Coaching Society web site. Coral and Mac are simply listed as the head trainers, although according to the site, Scott and Jen "never got any real results until a few years ago, when they met Coral and Mac and learned their Subconscious Release Technique..."
But back to Fred, who posted a big picture of himself and Coral beaming into the camera. I made a comment on that pic, complete with a link, asking him how the lawsuit is coming. As of this writing he hasn't answered.
As you know if you've been here a while, apart from being a long time Trudeau buddy and now an apparent Coral buddy, Van Liew is also involved in multilevel marketing schemes -- particularly one that's a lot like Herbalife. It's a Youngevity/Livinity merger called 90forLife -- and again, there's a Trudeau connection, as Barb and Dave Pitcock, proteges of Trudeau, are principals in the MLM. And Fred has his own line of pseudo-scientific products to purify water and protect people from various evil electromagnetic forces.
As I've also mentioned here before, Fred was quoted in an excellent piece by Aaron Gell, published by Business Insider in January 2015.
After high school, Trudeau found work at an auto dealership, where, Van Liew says, he soon became the No. 1 salesman by eagerly chatting up the customers whom his colleagues stereotyped as window shoppers and cheapskates. “The other guys would say, ‘This guy’s a loser,’ but Kevin didn’t do that. And he’d sell them car.”
He also became adept at pushing auto loans. “He would tell people, ‘Save your credit with your bank in case you need it for something else,’” Van Liew recalls. “Was it the best advice? No. Was he doing it to get you the best deal? Hell no. He was in it for profit and money! He knew most people are idiots.”
"He knew most people are idiots." To me that sums up the contempt in which most con artists hold their marks. My friend Julie Daniel, who formerly worked with some of the Trudeau enterprises, agrees. She says, "I heard some of the back-room conversations, and if people only knew what exactly was said about them... [Mark] Hamilton likes to say that his little group is a family. But when they are not listening, they are brain-washed sheep." (Mark Hamilton, aka Mark Scamilton, is the Neo-think founder and former co-scammer with Trudeau in GIN.)
Anyhow, it appears that Freddy and Coral have a good thing going on. Or maybe Fred is just trying to keep a close eye on Coral for the benefit of his true scambuddy Trudeau. I've heard scuttlebutt that Coral and Kevin aren't really as tight as Coral has implied in the promos where she brags that she is one of the few folks to have been personally mentored by Katie. Word has it that she pretty much pushed and shoved her way into Kevin's inner circle (not to be confused with the now-defunct GIN Inner Circle, whose members paid $50,000 to $75,000 for that privilege back in GIN's heyday).
At any rate Coral and Fred seem to be scratching each other's backs, which I assume is only a figure of speech because the thought of any literal physical contact between the two is enough to put you off your feed for a month -- but be that as it may, here's a disturbingly topless-looking Coral in mid-June 2016, praising Freddy after an "energy work" event at which he was one of the "trainers." She describes the training as "getting into it [whatever it is] on the scientific but not on the 'woo-woo' level." She also calls it, "...Insane... absolutely the best training I've ever been to..."
Well, okay. The "insane" part is probably correct.
In any case it seems pretty clear that Freddy and Coral have their sticky fingers in each other's schemes. The road goes on forever, and the scamming never ends.
That's it for now (isn't that enough?). Stay safe, stay cool, and don't let the circus this week or next week eat up too many of your brain cells. I'll be back soon.