When I publish factual errors on this blog it is never intentional, and I always appreciate it when people correct me. I am more than willing to publish corrections when I get them. At the time I originally wrote and published this blog post on May 31, 2012, I was a tad confused about a very interesting late-1990s German Web site that seemed to document some legal actions by and/or against the subject of this post, "Dr." Leonard Coldwell, the former Bernd Klein, aka Bernd Witchner, of Germany. I am limited because I cannot read German, and the Google translation into English was rough and bumpy, to say the least. So I published my speculation about what I thought the document said, though I provided a link to both the original German and the English versions, so that people who were interested could see for themselves and perhaps could help me with corrections. I did, however, make it clear that I wasn't really sure exactly what the German issues were all about.
Recently a friend of this blog, who lives in Germany and is fluent in German, clarified things for me. I'm sorry this is a bit overdue, but both my friend and I have had many other things on our respective front burners. However, better late than never. And the basic points of my original post are still valid, as is its purpose: to encourage people to question not only the credentials, but the credibility, of the man who claims to have The Only Answer to Cancer.
Just so things will be extra clear, I will publish the new text in this lovely manly color (RGB 234-153-153), in tribute to the little man who "can rock pink like a Boss," as one of his devoted followers recently put it (it was somewhere on Facebook). I hope this color is not too hard on your eyes against this dark background.
~CC, September 2012
Dr. C. is the first step for many of them.
(but who, thankfully, is waking up)
Anyhow, once upon a time Lenny lived in Germany and was named Bernd Klein. Or sometimes Bernd Witchner. The son of Gerda Raudszus and Julius Klein, Bernd was an ambitious man who, in his heyday in Deutschland, had quite a string of health-huckster bidnesses going. Things were going well for a time, and Bernd, if we are to believe the part of the story that he tells today, was curing and helping people by the thousands.
But then the German anti-cult peoples stepped in, some time in the mid to late 1990s. That may very well be just the tip of the iceberg of Bernd's troubles in his native land, but I honestly do not know the whole story...yet. I wish I could read German. If I could, I would have a better understanding of this page on the ABPF.de Web site, which is dedicated to "Information on cults...and the psycho-market." http://www.agpf.de/Coldwell.htm
Here is the awful Google English translation.
This page was initiated in 1998, which was the same year that Bernd changed his name to Leonard Coldwell. Here's a PDF of the name-change petition. I haven't been able to find out why he changed his name, and why he chose "Leonard Coldwell." Maybe he can explain it.
I hasten to add that there is nothing intrinsically evil about changing one's name legally. Entertainers do it all the time, and many authors use pen names. But I can't help observing that many sleazy players in the selfish-help industry have done it too, beginning (in the modern era) with John Paul Rosenberg, who changed his name to werner erhard and inflicted est/The Forum/Landmark Education on the world. Not that the name change issue alone marks Bernd/Lenny as sleazy, but I wonder why he couldn't have just decided to be "Coach Bernie" or "Dr. Bernie." That would have been acceptable to Americans, I'm sure.
I suppose it is possible that Bernd just wanted to totally dissociate himself from his abusive father. He hints at a thoroughly unpleasant childhood in this interview on "Mum's Not Having Chemo," an alternative-cancer-treatment blog.
Interviewer: You mention you’ve had your car bombed and you’ve been shot at. What do you do now to protect yourself ?
Dr C: I have death threats – about twenty a day – but I do not have any fear. All my life I lived with the fear that my father is beating my sick mother to death when he was drunk, or the fear that my mother would be dead when I came back from school. All my life -when I came from school- I opened up the bedroom door to see whether my mother was still alive. And one day I made the decision that from now on I will live like this day will be my last. I will tell all my loved ones what I feel and I will treat anybody like I would meet them the very last time today.
But what about the legal action I mentioned? As I said, I've found it a little difficult to understand those Web sites I linked to above. But as I noted in my revised prelude above, I have received more details since this post was first published. The information I now have still does not really explain why Bernd left Germany -- though nonetheless it makes him look pretty dodgy (not to mention pretty silly) -- but it will clarify some points about which I was not clear in the beginning.
My able translator is long-time friend of this blog Yakaru, who has a wonderful blog of his own, Spirituality is No Excuse. Though not German (he hails from Oz), Yakaru lives and works in the Fatherland and, totally unlike yours truly, is fluent in the native tongue. Yakaru says he welcomes any further corrections to his own efforts, particularly from those who have an understanding of the German court system. I welcome them too, believing that this blog post is a work in progress.
Here is what Yakaru wrote to me about the information on that German Web site:
Good job, Bernd! You're all about the free speech and the expression of opinions, and you always have been, it seems... for you, anyway. But not so much when it comes to people who want to criticize you and your schemes. Alas, all of your efforts to trample on their rights only make you look more foolish.
The interpretation on your post is slightly wrong, which is not surprising, given German legalese is hard enough for a native speaker -- let alone someone using a Google translation.
Coldwell brought a civil case against Karin Paetow-Froese, who is in a community group that raises awareness about cults. (That German website is run by this group.) He was complaining about her saying he used cult-like methods similar to Scientology. He was trying to get an injunction to prevent her from saying those things publicly.
The move clearly backfired because this woman had only made those statements in private, in the context of giving her opinion as a member of that anti-cult group, to members of the public (apparently Coldwell's stool pigeons) [more on that in a little while ~ CC] who inquired if Coldwell was brainwashing people.
That is, she hadn't even said those things publicly, but he was already trying to get an injunction to stop her in advance.
Not surprisingly, the court rejected it and noted that her statements were now on the public record anyway, thanks to his lawsuit.
Other documents on the site include the original of his letter to the court -- an incredibly petty and litigious piece of whining. He was complaining, for example, that Ms. Paetow-Froese had used the present tense when referring to "Bernd Klein" instead of the past tense [as he had changed his name to Leonard Coldwell ~ CC]. (There's a particular verb, "heissen" which is involved. He complained that she used “heisst” (present) instead of "hiess" (past).)
And he also claimed to have received numerous anonymous phone calls saying that Ms. Paetow-Froese is herself a Scientologist. This is especially stupid, given that the group she belongs to is openly connected to the Lutheran Church, as well as the CDU [Christian Democratic Union] political party.
There is also a list of companies with which Coldwell claimed to have been running his Fit for Life program, including Lufthansa and IBM. However, the site [making this claim] disappeared a few months after it was put up in 1999, after a German TV documentary exposed it as a fraud and talked to reps of the various companies Bernd had claimed to work with, who denied any knowledge of him.
Bernd's name change documents are also on the site. It's extremely unusual for Germans to even think of changing their name, and the laws here are very strict. Basically you have to be a recognized artist or author with work published under the name you to change to.
He actually did the name change in the US and then complained to the court -- barely a year later -- when Ms. Paetow-Froese failed to grammatically acknowledge it was no longer his name.
He used a PO Box from the US as his contact address, which the court refused to accept. Eventually, the court reluctantly accepted his address as being “care of” his mother's address!
This is also really strange for Germans, and totally unheard of for legitimate business people. There is an entire department in Germany that collates peoples' addresses, and basically nothing is possible if you are not registered at an address. I can't begin to explain how weird that is. It would be almost like bringing a lawsuit in the US and refusing to give your name. The fact that he even tried it suggests a highly peculiar psychology...
Of course if Bernd...I mean Leonard... was already established in the US at the time of the lawsuit, it might not be so odd that he didn't have a registered German address. Then again, why would he be suing an obscure (to those in the US, anyway) German woman over a basically nonexistent issue, i.e., something she said about him in private to other Germans? Yakaru added in a subsequent comment:
And in any case, the fact that he didn't know how to address a German court appropriately (i.e. the US address and the fake Dr title) shows he's really got a screw loose. No German would do that! Some cliched loud mouth American might do it, but no native German, and certainly no businessman.
Fit For Life, by the way, was not originally a Bernd Klein shtick. It was/is a Harvey and Marilyn Diamond franchise, which hit the big time in the 1980s with the publication of the Diamonds' best-selling book by the same name, and continued into the 1990s. But Bernd apparently had some business interests with Harvey for a while in the late 1990s, and they did at least one gig together in Florida in the summer of 1999, according to the documents on the German web site.
Word has it that the Diamond-Coldwell relationship ended on a very sour note, with Lenny complaining about not getting the money he was owed. I don't know details but if true, it may point to Bernd having a long history of complaining about being screwed by his business partners and just about everyone else he worked with. Kevin Trudeau is evidently not the first person to have deceived and cheated him, according to Lenny's spin, anyway. Oh, goodness, why do such bad things happen to such good men?
I do want to clarify, to the best of my ability, the speculation about Coldwell and Scientology, since some of what I originally wrote may have been confusing, and some of my readers are apparently convinced that Coldwell himself was/is a Scientologist. Despite those opinions, he has insisted he is not. His ex-buddy Trudeau has expressed admiration for Scientology and Dianetics, and has recommended both on numerous occasions (such as in this office memo from 2003), but Coldwell has indicated that he's no friend of El-Ron. In fact, he has often warned against cults (and cult leaders), apparently without a trace of irony. Yakaru elucidates on the Scientology issue:
Regarding Coldwell and Scientology, he explicitly states in his letter to the court that he's not a Scientologist. Part of his claim was that it's defamatory to call him a Scientologist and damages his business. So if there was evidence for him actually being a member, he'd be guilty of lying to the court. (I don't know if that's also called perjury in a civil case).Fair enough, but at the very least, as noted above, some people in Germany did apparently feel strongly that Coldwell was practicing cult-like tactics in his own work. Yet when one of them privately expressed that opinion, presumably in an effort to help others, Coldwell did his best to shut her up -- as he has been continuing to try to do to his critics since he moved Stateside. Later on in this post, in the first paragraph under the section titled, "Snark tank," I link to a 2010 blog post ("Obama Hoax Chump of the Day") that dared to make fun of Lenny. Follow that link, and you will see that a "Dr. Hohn MD" threatens to expose the blogger's sordid past and publish it. "Dr. Hohn" (who in this case is almost certainly Lenny pretending to be Dr. Hohn) groused:
I doubt that he would be SO stupid as to take someone to court under such circumstances if he really was a Scientologist.
Who is paying you?But I am getting ahead of myself. Here's more from Yakaru:
Dr Leonard Coldwell Cured Former President Ronald Reagan from colon cancer – I was part of the treatment – So where do you get paid from to waste your time to protect Berry Seotoro alias B. Hussein Obama ?
Its too obvious you government looser Dr Hohn MD
and of course you will not publish this comment – that will proof my point plus I just ordered an investigation about your person and past – I will publish it – my website is the most visited site on the net in regards of health – Dr Coldwell is the Author of 14 best selling books his Videos The Only Answer to Cancer is on 1. 4 million websites and the book with the same title is sold out in 3 Editions already within 4 month after publication. You will hear from me again lets publish the truth about you
This is kinda funny though:
There are strict laws in Germany about who can call themselves "Dr" -- it's restricted to people who have a real doctorate (novel idea, I know!), so Coldwell's letter to the court is signed "Dr. Leonard CoIdwell, Post Box 3432 Warrenton, V.A. 20188 USA." I imagine that this is not only because he didn't have a registered German address, but also because he'd be prosecuted for calling himself Dr in Germany.
The court refers to him as:
Herr Bernd Witchner, [born] Klein
(vorher unter dem Kuenstlernamen: Leonard Coldwell im Rechtsstreit aufgetreten) [previously appearing in court records under the "artist name" Leonard Coldwell]
So the German court doesn't recognize his name change, and refuses to even mention his US "Dr" title.....
By the way, when I recently mentioned to Yakaru that some people have speculated that Coldwell left Germany because he was no longer allowed to practice his doctorin' there, Yak replied:
I couldn't find anything on that site saying he's not allowed to work in Germany any more, but Germany strictly regulates anyone who offers any kind of service publicly. There is a standard woo diploma here which every spiritual person seems to have, and without it you can't practice. If Coldwell doesn't even that lowly degree, then he's not even qualified to scratch himself. That credential is Heilpraktiker. [More about Coldwell's creds, or lack thereof, are below. ~CC]
In a subsequent communication to me, Yakaru elaborated on some of the points about the court ruling:
Coldwell also claimed damages in the amount of 50,000 Marks (this was pre-Euro) (probably about $30,000), but the court reduced his claim to 5,000 Marks (they can do that kind of thing here!), which meant it could be heard at a local court.
The court reduced the sum because the case was about preventing statements made in private being made public. But the court states specifically (this is point 1 in the court's decision) that the complaint is admissible. This is in the document titled "Urteil" -- which means "verdict." [Yet point 2] says it is Unbegrundet -- which means literally ungrounded -- unfounded.
The reasons given in point 2 are that Paetow was consulting in her role as member of a registered sect-awareness group, used news articles in support of her position, and the "witnesses" clearly requested her opinion. And of course because she hadn't repeated the claims publicly yet.
Point 2b states that the court sees no need to prevent her from repeating the statements publicly because she clearly stated that those particular opinions were expressed in in private, in her role as a consultant for the anti-sect group...
...The court certainly gave him a ding on the head for bringing a frivolous case, as far as I can read between the lines, and was clearly disturbed by the irregularities in his behavior (fake Dr title, no proper address in Germany, frivolous case.)
Regarding that claim (mentioned above) about stool pigeons, Yakaru wrote:
It's also plainly clear (though not proven) that the two witnesses were stoolies that Coldwell sent along to ask leading questions and attempt to trigger a defamation. In my opinion that's clear enough from the documents that it fully deserves a "probably" rather than a "possibly."On the other hand, it could have been Coldwell himself, pretending to be someone else. Several others have told me that Coldwell has a practice of disguising himself in order to "test" people -- or entrap them.
As far as I can see, Paetow is ... a counseller/consultant... for that anti-sect group. She had spoken to the media previously, and that's probably what made Coldwell seek revenge. On my reading, the case is about personal revenge and shutting up a critic rather than dealing with any serious threat to his livelihood.According to Yakaru -- and after careful consideration I tend to agree -- the real story about that lawsuit may just be that there is no story, at least not of the scandal-mongering kind. Nevertheless it reveals much about Bernd. Wrote Yak:
The site also said that Coldwell claimed to have worked with a list of companies including Lufthansa and IBM (they're listed in a column), and that a TV documentary uncovered that he hadn't worked with them. If he was also not qualified to, I could not tell from that document.
He just made an ass of himself in a frivolous lawsuit and demonstrated that he prizes vanity over business sense... If he'd ignored Ms. Paetow-Froese, no one in the English speaking world would have heard of her. Instead he (seems to have) used a couple of stooges to try and provoke some slander, and then put the slander on the public record himself in his own statutory declaration and consequent judge's ruling.And I agree, particularly with the part about Bernd making an ass of himself. No offense to asses, of course. I happen to be fond of donkeys.
And done it so ineptly that he got his butt kicked by the court for not having an address and having a fake doctorate.
I think that's worth a laugh!
Apart from the documentation of the court case, one of the most valuable aspects of that document, in my opinion, is that it includes Bernd's name change info. The relevance to the court case, as Yak explained, is that Coldwell took umbrage at having been referred to by his birth name, and he complained about it in his letter to the court -- "an incredibly petty and litigious piece of whining," as Yakaru put it in the comment I cited above.
By the way, Yakaru also pointed out to me that some people might consider Karin Paetow-Froese's criticism of Coldwell to be a conflict of interest, since she belongs to a church-based anti-cult group. Such an affiliation wouldn't raise an eyebrow in Germany ("Secularism is an entirely foreign concept here," notes Yakaru), but some US-based skeptics who are no fans of religion might question Ms. Paetow-Froese's credibility. (Reportedly, Coldwell himself is no fan of religion either, but he has pandered to the Christian market with some of his relaxation and health CDs. Anything to make a buck, ja?)
Yakaru acknowledges the problems some secularists might have with a religious anti-cult critic, and accordingly, he was kind enough to translate another document on the German site: a 2001 statutory declaration from a psychologist, Dr Hansjörg Hemminger (a real "Dr.", in other words), who apparently has no religious agenda. And much of what that document declares see,s to be in sync with the observations from Ms. Paetow-Froese.
Included in this document (and again, this is Yakaru's translation):
On the flip side of irrational attacks on “enemies” stands an equally irrational idealized self image. [Coldwell] possesses the “only holistic self-help system in the world”, which is a rather courageous claim, given the glut of obviously similar self help systems currently flooding the market. Coldwell promises perfect health, cures for cancer and AIDS, and presents himself as the ideal model for these promises. Fake references from large corporations complete the picture of an illusory public image.
One must assume, with Coldwell, a personality with an egoistic, unreal self perception, and unreal perception of others [psych terms], which consequently is highly aggressive towards critics and towards every form of questioning.
Yeah, that sounds about right.
Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Coldwell...
Okay. Enough already with the pink (for a moment, anyway; there will be a little bit more below). Whoever he was or wasn't in the past (and here are some more interesting German sites), today Bernd Klein is now "Dr." Leonard Coldwell, who claims to be a Ph.D. and a naturopathic physician. Yet, according to another pal of mine who is really into research and has access to many more resources than I do, there are no records of him ever earning any degree, no thesis and no connection to the German medical establishments he references in his books. Outside of his own material, there is not one documented case of him curing anyone of anything, even though he claims to have cured 35,000 cancer patients. My friend wrote:
His... degrees... apparently are all from American Universities when he speaks to Germans and from German institutions when he speaks in the US.... In German court he couldn't even prove he had a High School diploma from any German school, yet here in the US he claims to be a German doctor, consultant to medical professionals AND he owned a hospital.But here's what it says on Lenny's ChampionsNation.com web site:
Dr. Leonard Coldwell is a world-class healer, coach, teacher, speaker, and author.
He cured his own mother from hepatitis C, liver cirrhoses and liver cancer in the terminal state with the prognosis 6 month to live. (Mama Coldwell is still alive today 40 years later and perfectly healthy.)
Dr Coldwell has cured over 35,000 cancer patients, as well as hundreds of people with various other terminal diseases. It is also estimated that he has helped at least 2 million people through his (20) mega bestselling books and hundreds of CD systems.
His IBMS® (Instinct Based Medicine System®) is the most endorsed self-help, self-healing and stress-reduction system ever. He is endorsed by every significant physician and healer and has seen over 65,000 patients and spoke to almost 4 million live seminar attendees.
Dr. Coldwell is estimated to have reached over 57 million people through his tele-seminars, webinars, written publications, and thousands of TV/radio interviews. He is the star guest on all significant shows including Coast to Coast, Dr. Stan Monteeth, and the KT Radio Network. Dr. Coldwell’s speech, in support of our troops, with 5,000 live attendees, is the only one that was transmitted by Clear Channel radio worldwide!
As a consultant…Dr. Coldwell has consulted with nearly every major institution including the Naval Weapon station, firefighters, police officers, military personnel, IBM, Deutsche Bank, Deutscher Herold, world banks, DVAG, all major insurance companies, and Europe’s largest health insurer AOK. Dr. Coldwell is endorsed by the world leaders in medicine and natural medicine. He is endorsed by Dr. Rima Laibow, Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, Dr. Betty Martini, as well as leading consumer advocate Kevin Trudeau. [Well, obviously that was before the divorce. ~CC] He is also on the board of the American Anti-Cancer Institute and was awarded and honorary Doctor Degree for Humanity by the University in Louisiana in Shreveport, for his contribution for humanity.
Um-kay. "An HONORARY Doctor Degree for Humanity by the University in Louisiana in Shreveport." That definitely qualifies him to be a cancer doc. I can see why all of the significant doctors endorse him and his healing MLM frauduct, and all of the insignificant ones presumably ignore or fear him.
And apparently his momma changed her name to "Coldwell" too, at least if we're to take that copy literally. A Facebook friend of mine accompanied someone to a GIN event last fall and met a smirky guy who claimed to be Lenny's nephew, and my FB friend said the "nephew's" name on his bidness card was Coldwell too. Maybe the whole family changed their names? Or maybe the "nephew" was from a Coldwell branch of the family, and only Lenny and Momma changed their names.
Anyway, here are some examples of "patients cured against all odds" by "Dr. Coldwell's message and proof of hope."
For those who are into history, here is some Wayback info on Lenny, circa 2001, back when he was just Lenny the Life Coach, "Europe's Leading Self-Help Expert!", and apparently hadn't gotten his doctorates or medical degrees yet: http://web.archive.org/web/20020803090934/http:/www.goodlifefoundation.com/LeonardColdwell.html
This bit is interesting:
The noted Professor Doctor Peter Lange, Director of Germany's Charities (the NIH of Germany) says of Leonard Coldwell,
"Not at any time or from anyone have I learned so much than from my colleague Dr. Leonard Coldwell and in such a short amount of time. Leonard Coldwell for me, is the David Copperfield in his field." The foremost Professors, Doctors and also Minister Regine Hillebrand gave Leonard Coldwell a standing ovation for his outstanding performance for the medical profession.
Now, as you may know, Lenny wouldn't be the first person in his industry to have questionable degrees. I've written about that a bit on this blog in the past. Iffy degrees are a time-honored tradition in this racket. Good on you, Lenny. It shows you are ambitious.
My German-speaking pal Yakaru also made a comment on a PDF I'd recently shared: one of Coldwell's promotional efforts for a Trudeau frauduct. Looking at Coldwell's claims about his numerous credentials, as listed on that PDF, Yakaru wrote:
-- there is NO WAY this guy has ever practiced medicine in Germany. He would be locked up if he [made those kinds of claims] here. I notice it says that he was a physician in "Europe", so I suspect it means some former Soviet country with no regulations. The disclaimer at the end saying he's "not responsible for any factual errors" makes me think he probably doesn't even have a fig leaf of any such practice in any country at all.Yakaru also had some comments about the disclaimer that currently appears at the bottom of every page on Lenny's main Web site. I've mentioned this peculiar -- and peculiarly transparent -- disclaimer on numerous forums over the past few months but it's worth another mention here:
The Dr Leonard Coldwell Foundation e V is responsible for the content of this website, all legal issues have to be addressed to Dr Leonard Coldwell Foundation e V Germany. Due to a hack on our sites we cannot retrieve the origin of some articles used on this website. We apologize for that. Articles are also from our friends, colleagues and fellow freedom fighters like: www.rense.com, www.seedsofdeception.com www.goodlifefoundation.com, www.ktradionetwork.com, www.robertscottbell.com, www.healthfreedomusa.org www.dorway.com, www.prisonplanet.com, www.nvic.org, www.naturalnews.com, www.mercola.com We appreciate the great work and research of Jeff Rense, Kevin Trudeau, Dr Rima E. Laibow, Dr Betty Martini, Dr Thomas Hohn, Jeffrey Smith, Dr Mercola, Mike Adams - The Health Ranger, Alex Jones, and others.Here is what Yakaru says:
...this Dr Leonard Coldwell e V Germany doesn't even seem to exist. I find no contact details for it anywhere on the Internet. It's only mentioned in that disclaimer as far as I can see. Here's the wiki page explaining what an e. V. is in English -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eingetragener_Verein. If it exists it would show up on this search engine:Why am I not surprised? This does add yet another layer of questions about why Lenny left Germany, though. It seems that Germany would have been a rich environment for him to practice his "healing"...if only he'd had anything resembling a legitimate degree.
Eingetragen means in this context "recorded in an official registry book". And that site is the book, so if it's not there, it's not "eingetragen". So that makes it a little difficult for anyone to hold the "Dr Leonard Coldwell e V" responsible for anything. I guess it's not a crime for someone outside of Germany to lie about having an e. V., but inside Germany he'd be in trouble.
Although the people in charge of checking up on e. V.'s in Germany are incredibly slack and probably wouldn't bother even if he were here. The laws governing them are also incredibly slack and there's a lot of legal scamming going on within that system anyway. The system was originally for things like the chess club or sport club, not for "internationally acclaimed businessmen" like Coldwell. The idea that he is using such an amateur club structure as a front is completely laughable. No German businessman would use such a thing for the HQ of his business like Coldwell is. (That group that Karin Paetow-Froese belongs to is an e. V. for example.)
But what really interests me about Lenny is that, as most of you reading this may know, he has been a front man and cheerleader for True-dough and the Global Information Network -- until fairly recently. There's a lot of speculation about the reasons behind the great divorce. Some say Lenny was booted out by KT/GIN. Some say he left voluntarily. Some speculate that he's really still in GIN and is just trying to fake the haters and doubters out so they will leave and the remaining faithful GIN elite can get down to the real business of changing the world in a good way. (Personally I think that latter theory is a little nutty.) Recently on Facebook, when KT's ex-Sales and Marketing Director Peter Wink and Lenny were still apparently trying to do a little damage control, Lenny mentioned that he still had a ten-year contract with GIN.
Here it is -- at least the part of it that Lenny shared publicly (click on pic to enlarge).
But then shortly after that he said GIN backed out of the contract. And after that, it was a free-for-all as Lenny began slamming True-dough every chance he got.
I'm not claiming that the damning stuff Lenny is saying about KT is untrue. Not at all. It sounds credible to me. But it's funny how people open up about the con they were a big part of when the money dries up for them. Yeah, I know I've said that before, but I think it is worth saying again.
Snark tank: what others are saying about Lenny
I realize that I'm not really treading any new ground here, snarking-wise. I'm certainly not the first person to make snide remarks about Lenny. There's this bit from 2010, naming Leonard Coldwell as the "Obama Hoax Chump of the Day" for some anti-Obama nonsense he'd been sprouting on his blog: http://amfoi.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/obama-hoax-chump-of-the-day-leonard-coldwell-dr-mistletoe/
Curiously enough, however, Lenny's anti-Obama blog post has since been deleted. Maybe he couldn't take the ridicule. Or maybe the evil New World Order cabal conspirators deleted it.
Then there's this snarky post on the techyum blog from April 2011, in response to an anti-Snopes urban legend that Lenny was apparently spreading via email: http://techyum.com/2011/04/the-truth-about-snopes-obama-and-aspartame/
And here's a discussion about Lenny on a skeptics' forum, regarding one of Lenny's videos claiming that "Every cancer can be cured in weeks." The discussion was initiated in January of 2010, but in February 2012 this commenter summed up Lenny's biographical challenges quite nicely:
...I've been trying to piece together his professional life story from his multiple web sites (he does not publish a chronological CV anywhere that I can find). However, using only information published by him, he has at least 2 "Doctor" degrees (DNM and NMD) and at least four PhDs, yet he practiced as a "general practitioner for 16 years" prior to devoting himself to curing stress related diseases such as cancer. He has cured 35000 patients of cancer, with a cure rate of more than 90%.
Assuming that he began his advanced medical and PhD work at age 20, and that each degree took him 3 years to complete (I have never met anyone who completed a PhD or other doctorate in less than 3 years), the 6 degrees would take him 18 years to complete (minimum age 38). Let's assume for simplicity that he did not actually work professionally with any of these degrees until completing his multiple educations since that merely extends his age to the absurd. He then spent "16 years in general practice" before devoting himself to curing cancer, which made him 54 when he started his cancer work. (Somewhere in the process he also served as consultant to numerous fortune 500 companies on business matters, getting rich quick and other schemes according to his website, but let's assume he did that during evenings and weekends since it otherwise adds even more years to his age).
So at age 54 he starts curing 35000 patients of cancer. It is reasonable to assume from his websites that virtually every patient he treated was cured, so he did not need to waste much time with patients who died of cancer. We need to understand that cancer is difficult to treat, so even someone of "Dr." Coldwell's prowess could not cure them in a single visit. Let's assume that each patient required an average of 10 visits before they could be declared completely cured, and that each visit required 1 hour of the great man's time. 35000 patients x 10 hour visits = 350,000 hours. Assuming that he worked 60 hour weeks x 50 weeks per year, he could handle 3000 visits, and cure 300 patients per year. At that rate, it would take him more than 100 years to cure 35,000 patients of cancer. During this same period, he was also writing numerous scholarly works, giving numerous acclaimed lectures, dealing with "Nobel Prize winners" as his "patients or students". We can assume he was doing that extra work during evenings and weekends.
Curious that a man of such prodigious accomplishments would be acclaimed on the internet only on his own websites (or those of his partner and "patient", Mr. Kevin Trudeau, himself convicted multiple times of theft and fraud).
Who would have thought that news of such a magnificent healer and humanitarian could be so effectively suppressed in the age of the internet? I marvel at the "cancer industry" and "tobacco lobby" in all their glorious omnipotence.
It is kind of touching that such a great man would retain the authority of his cute little German accent, like so many of the great scientists (Freud, Einstein, Warburg, Krebs, Meyerhof, Schroedinger, Coldwell). Strange that such an adorable authority with his lovely German accent has such a non German name. (Incidentally, I found a reference in the Amazon reviews of one of his books from somebody who actually went to the trouble to look up four of the European institutions at which he had allegedly served with great distinction, and none of them had ever heard of him. Ungrateful!)
And so on, and so forth. Of course we have cleared up the mystery about Lenny's non-German-sounding name, and as for the hours Lenny must have put in curing all of those cancer patients, well, he has said that cancer can be cured in a matter of hours or even just a minute in some cases. And although the chronologies are vague and confusing, as befits a New-Wage huckster, Lenny has, after all, claimed that he has been curing and healing for most of his life, so no doubt some of the cancer cures and such happened before he got his advanced fake degrees. But most of those other mysteries that the forum participant mentioned are still as mysterious.
The yeah-but part (or my brief attempt at devil's advocacy)
Despite my snarking and everyone else's, I have no doubt that Leonard Coldwell is sincerely interested in health issues and research about alternative treatments for some of humankind's most devastating diseases. I don't think he would have made a career as a health "expert" if he weren't at least interested in the subject. There are so many other ways he could have picked people's pockets.
Moreover, I have a pretty good understanding of why people, particularly those whose lives have been devastated by cancer, would be hungry for alternatives to the horrors of conventional treatments -- chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery (or poisoning, burning, and cutting) -- which are very often as bad as or worse than the disease itself. I get that.
I even understand that the profession of medicine, like most professions, is tainted by politics and egotism, and that to a certain extent the credentials we accept as legitimate in our culture are arbitrary and are a result of a long history of fighting and politicking. That mainstream Western society accepts M.D.s as the chief medical authorities is partly a result of the most bullheaded (some would say bullying) guys winning.
I also acknowledge that in the US, M.D.s are not the only people who are legally allowed to call themselves "Dr." People with a Ph.D., and certain medical practitioners such as osteopaths, chiropractors, and naturopathic doctors, can call themselves "Dr." if their degrees are legitimate.
But I think it is disingenuous and even dangerous to completely vilify evidence-based Western medicine and categorically claim that all medical doctors and other Western-med practitioners and researchers are only out for the bottom line. (Lenny is also one of those ant-vaccination ranters, so there's that to consider.) And just because Western medicine is far from perfect, and doctors make mistakes and are sometimes arrogant -- and just because conventional cancer therapies are horrid -- none of this necessarily validates any of the alt-med peddlers.
More to the point here, I wonder why Lenny seems so cagey about his own credentials, and why he feels the need to exaggerate in such a smarmy, New-Wage marketing way. Shouldn't his work stand on its own, with or without credentials? I know it's kind of a Catch-22, because legally one does have to be careful about the claims one makes regarding health issues, and also because all too often we have a tendency to conflate "credentials" and "credibility." Given these factors, it is understandable, though not excusable, that some people would want to fudge a little. But still, Lenny's claims about himself seem more than a little over-the-top.
My friend whom I quoted above noted:
I have to hand it to [Coldwell's] handlers: they really seem to have buried his past. It seems he kept a low profile for a few years while the web was exploding and came back to life a few years ago. I've noticed this pattern with many of the shills and partners of Kevin Trudeau. They either change their name or bury their past before starting their new lives. In this case there are at least 2 name changes and a lot of burying and SEO. Reading his court case they mention that [Coldwell's] lie-filled webpage vanished prior to the lawsuit.
The bottom line is that there is so much we don't know about Lenny. There was a Wikipedia page at one time, but Wikipedia removed it more than two years ago because "Notability is based on unsourced claims, and on claims from reliable sources." I think that just about sums it up. Maybe someone will eventually enlighten us on the missing pieces of the puzzle. But don't bother asking Lenny these questions, particularly on his Facebook page, and for gosh sakes don't call him "Bernd," or he will block you. That seems to be the way he has been handling criticism so far.
Government is evil (till you need it)
Lenny apparently had problems with the authorities in Germany, but clearly he has no love for some of the authorities in the US either. On his disclaimer page he blatantly thumbs his nose at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and pretty much the entire US government. Under the heading, "FTC, FDA, etc. Disclaimer," Lenny has this, which I did not edit:
To the clowns out there acting as if they where a legitimate government: I do not consent to you having any kind of jurisdiction over me or my work. I do not give you my consent to contact me directly or indirectly. I do not consent to your courts authority or your corporation regulations or company policieswhich have no power over me. I do not consent to your admiralty courts or being contacted or trialed by them. I am a free man living on the land and do not consent to be trialed by admiralty or marital law. I insist on the application of common law and only accept trial by jury in a common law procedure and by the court of record. So you get it? I do not consent to anything that you the corporation or the ones acting for the corporation imposing to by our rulers or dictators or for that matter a lawful government....Whatever I do or say now or in the future, does not mean I give you jurisdiction over me or my matters. I will never give you jurisdiction or consent to anything. You do not have any consent to anything regarding me, I will never give you and further, you do you have any jurisdiction or authority over me or my matters. No FBI, FTC or FDA etc has any jurisdiction over me as a free citizen of the Republic. The constitution is the supreme law of the land and every law, rule, act etc that is unconstitutional, has no enforceable lawful value. The only jurisdiction are my unalienable rights and the constitution of we the people and the bill of rights. Get it guys? I do not consent to anything regarding you! ...
But ever since the GIN sh-t hit the fan, Lenny has been trumpeting about how KT is going to get his come-uppance from the FTC and maybe even the FBI. Lenny has been suggesting that people who have been harmed by GIN and Kevin Trudeau might want to contact some of these government agencies. So I guess he is saying that they have jurisdiction over True-dough and GIN but not over Lenny. Maybe those agencies really do quake in their shoes before the presence of such a powerful man who has cured so many thousands of people.
Dissenters and dueling agendas
Defenders of True-dough and GIN are trying to "out" Lenny for all sorts of things now. That's because he has been very open on Facebook and on his blog about his disdain for KT and GIN. He has figured out that the Brotherhood/seekrit-society tale KT has used to sell GIN is crap. He has figured out that Jerry and Esther Hicks, whose material was part of the GIN reading list, made up the whole Abrascam thing, and that the Hicks are money-grubbing hypocrites. Not surprisingly, he has used his outing of the Hicks to promote his own stuff. On Facebook he wrote:
If the law of attraction really works without doing nothing else No plan, no goal no action why did the Law of Attraction guy die of cancer ( there is and there never was an Abraham in that content )
Jerry Hicks' death from cancer, according to family members, came after he chose conventional medicine that rejects the "teachings of Abraham." Esther and Jerry Hicks readily acknowledge his receiving "heavy chemotherapy," but no one at the Abraham Hicks marketing company openly admit that the illness that might mean the death of Abraham Hicks.
So they are all just talkers and when it come down to it the truth comes out. Positive thinking without positive action as my IBMS system is teaching it is BS Love Dr C
Et cetera, et cetera. And as I've noted, he's really mouthing off about all of it now, basically saying all of the stuff that we hater bloggers have been writing for years. (See here and here for two examples of my addressing the Hicks/cancer hypocrisy, for instance. Those are from just last year, but I've been writing about the Abrascam for years.) My point is that if Lenny is such a smart man, how come he is just now figuring out that Jerry and Esther simply made up the whole Abraham thing? And, more important to the pending lawsuits at hand (more on that below), why is he just now figuring out that there never was a seekrit brotherhood GIN council? I don't even have any fake letters after my name -- heck, I never even went to college -- and I figured all of that out years ago.
But I'll say this for Lenny: At least he is being upfront about throwing one of his former meal tickets (or promised meal tickets) under the bus. Over the years I have observed that most of the New-Wage/selfish-help/McSpirituality scoundrels stab each other in the back behind the scenes. Many of them really don't like each other very much, and no wonder; it's a fiercely competitive industry. But at least in public they keep up appearances and masturbate each other like crazy. But Lenny, at enormous risk to his standing in Scamworld, is showing his true fake colors. "You'll never work in this town again, Lenny!" But hey, he's a rebel, and maybe he doesn't care.
At any rate, he now claims to be spearheading a class-action lawsuit against True-dough, and he has apparently been
One of the commenters to my blog has apparently made that very suggestion to Lenny, and for his efforts got blocked from Lenny's Facebook page.
Not surprisingly, some GIN defenders are doing everything they can to discredit Lenny, mostly by dishing about his current personal life. But I don't care about any of that stuff. *
In any case it seems to me that most of Lenny's detractors -- at least the ones I've seen on Facebook -- are motivated by a desire to hang on to their increasingly tenuous territory in KT's corner of Scamworld. One guy on Facebook even wrote (and here is that nutcake theory I alluded to earlier):
It is as simple as this. The GIN council has created and is carrying out a master plan that will effectually ensure the weeding out of vibrationally/energetically incompetent GIN members and spies. It was also to ensure that anyone who wants to join GIN for selfish or parasitical reasons would be demotivated from even joining when they would be exposed to the lies being masterfully perpetrated. This was the plan of The Founding Council all along and stupid people will take the bait. Remember, Artists use lies to tell the truth while corrupt government uses them to cover up the truth. None of the GIN council are individuals who seek to spread true deception. These are men of the highest integrity and character.
Am I saying that it may certainly be the case that Dr Coldwell is actually spreading the discord on his facebook and websites at the behest of the GIN council to weed out undesirables? Quite certainly I am granting you the ability to see how that would be the case...
GIN will not fail or fall apart as the false "Dr C" has so eloquently put it. It seems GIN trolls and hackers are weeding out idiots from GIN. So if you believe the DR C on facebook then hang yourself for us in regard to GIN so we dont have to wait for it...
Uh-huh. That's what KT wants you to think. He's prolly guffawing into his E-Pendant reading such comments, knowing he still has a few gullible followers. By the way, the guy who wrote the screed above also claims KT has been a member of that seekrit society The Brotherhood since the early 1950s. KT was born in 1963, so that would be quite an accomplishment. Maybe The Brotherhood, recognizing KT's great prowess, made his membership retroactive.
But let's get back to Lenny -- and you.
Think about what YOU want
Lenny Coldwell is looking ahead to life after GIN for sure. He has invited all of the newly escaped GIN members to a freeeeeee Healing Life Super Summit in Charleston, South Carolina on June 9. Afterward he'll have a blowout session on Life After GIN. But hurry! There are only a few seats left! (See Robert Cialdini on fake scarcity.)
I am thinking that maybe you should think about whether you really want to take a "free" seminar from this man. Do you really want and expect him to guide you to and through "Life After GIN?" Do you really think he will help you create a new golden era of anything? I don't care if he does claim to know the REAL truth about 2012 (which of course he'll share with you in South Carolina on June 9); how "free" do you think this "free" seminar will really turn out to be?
And do you really think that he will help you get back the money Kevin Trudeau owes you? I mean, really?
Okay, maybe you just like Lenny as a person, or you like his persona. Peter Wink told me Lenny is really a very nice guy who is one of the most caring people in the self-help industry. So maybe you just want to go hang around Lenny and party. Fine, but leave your wallet in your hotel room.
I know that some of you also enjoy Lenny's "health" information. Maybe he shared a tip that helped you with a serious or perplexing condition, such as a swollen middle finger or some syndrome or fatal disease that nothing and no one had ever been able to help you with before. (That food-grade hydrogen peroxide can work miracles, I'm told. Here's more about it.) Maybe you think that results, real or imagined, are more important than credentials (real or imagined). But isn't it possible that you can just read Lenny's books or his blog or web sites to get tips?
Or perhaps you enjoy Lenny's wingnutty New-World-Order paranoia porn and anti-Obama and anti-Snopes rants. Fine, but I am thinking that you can get the same thing by listening to Alex Jones or Sean Hannity or Rush.
Maybe you simply enjoy the fellowship and camaraderie of fellow disgruntled GIN members. All well and good, but y'all have shown that you are perfectly capable of organizing on your own, though it appears that a few people have infiltrated the private groups and are hitting them up with yet more "ground-floor" ops and MLM sales talk. I don't think that is very cool. But I do think that making and maintaining true friendships is extremely cool.
All I am really saying is that maybe you ought to seriously think about all of this stuff.
Then again, if you don't follow Lenny or any of the other recently separated GIN speakers such as Peter Ragnar or Ron Ball or one of those other guys who are also rumored to be defecting or thinking of it, what will you do after GIN? I'm reminded of the final scene in one of my favorite movies, Demolition Man, when the bewildered, newly liberated citizens are wondering what's next. The tyrannical leader has been eliminated and the perfect, but perfectly oppressive, society he built is coming apart at the seams now that the horrendous cryo-prison -- which was one of the tools that kept everyone in line -- has been destroyed.
Chief George Earle: [confused; takes off his glasses] What will we do? How will we live?
Edgar Friendly: I tell you what we're gonna do. We're all gonna go out drinking, get shit-faced, and paint the town, literally. I mean graffiti, slogans. It'll be a blast.
John Spartan: Whoa, Whoa. I'll tell you what gonna do:
John Spartan: [to Chief Earle] Why don't you get a little dirty?
John Spartan: [to Edgar] You... a lot clean.
John Spartan: And somewhere in the middle... I don't know. You'll figure it out.
And you will. I'll be here for moral support if needed, and I won't even try to sell you on an MLM or the Only Answer to whatever is ailing you. Salty Droid is around too, if you don't mind some salty language and some harder truths than I have ever delivered on this Whirled.**
I think there really is a whole new wonderful life after GIN, but it may not be the life that Lenny is trying to sell you. You have choices to make, and choices can either be liberating or they can suck you back into the same old vortex. Don't cut yourself off from self-help stuff completely if you think some of it may be truly useful. But don't ever be afraid to read books and listen to information that is critical of the self-help industry and its leaders. Whatever you do, though, hang on to your wallet, because there are toilets everywhere that are hungry for your money.
PS ~ My assessment about self-help and motivational gurus includes but is not limited to Kevin Trudeau, Leonard Coldwell, Abraham-Hicks (aka Abrascam-Hicks; as I insinuated above, you'll find plenty about "them" on this blog), Peter Ragnar (whom I haven't covered yet, but wait for it; I think it will be worth the wait),*** and on and on. Oh, and that Rich Dad Poor Dad guy? Just another fibber. That's not new news at all, but if Robert Kiyosaki is on your GIN reading list, keep it in mind.
And to tell the truth, I wasn't thinking only of KT and GIN when I wrote this little song-without-a-tune, even if a lot of it could apply. It's just a commentary on the M.O. and business models of so many in this industry.
* Re Lenny's personal life: I have somewhat modified my opinion that his personal life is totally irrelevant. More soon. ~CC, July 2012
** Re Salty Droid (and Lenny's personal life): If you think I've been hard on Bernd, read THIS and then read THIS. Obviously I did not know about the more serious allegations at the time I first published this blog post in May 2012. ~CC, September 2012
*** Re Ragnar: Sorry to disappoint but he is just going to have to wait in line. Other subjects are ever so much worse.
More True-dough on this Whirled:
- May 2012: Can alien DNA save Kevin Trudeau's GIN?
- May 2012: Does a canary with a GIN hangover sing as sweetly?
- April 2012: Viva Lost Wages: Sin City Becomes GIN City for a weekend
- February 2012: A. Rose by any other name would shill as sweet
- December 2011: True-dough updates: Bad poetry for KT, hate mail for CC
- November 2011: A jumpsuit for Jimmy
- August 2011: First Amendment Stuporhero
- August 2011: Calling all lazy men: let's build a pyramid together!
- August 2011: Everything old is Nouveau again (or, Neo-scam by any other name), Part 1 of 2
- June 2011: Holy Guacamole! True-dough's racist rants
- June 2011: For he's a jolly good felon: True-dough speaks out for Death Ray
- December 2009: Illuminutty: the secret brotherhood of the chronically gullible
- November 2009: How to take over the world
- July 2009: Horse farts and related matters
- January 2009: Mr. Fire meets up with true dough
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