Sunday, February 03, 2013

Meet the new scam, same as the old scam, Part 2

About a week and a half ago I wrote about a new flopportunity in Scamworld, the IBMS Master's Society. This is a scheme run by two ex-associates of serial scammer Kevin Trudeau, and it was inspired, in several painfully obvious ways, by Trudeau's scammy Global Information Network. The self-described "Supreme Partners" of the IBMS seekrit klub are Not-Doctor Leonard Coldwell and his sidekick, the Marketer of Marketers, Peter Wink. Since they're pretty much joined at the hip now, I suppose we can simply call them Petard Winkwell and just save a little space.

I've been blocked on Facebook by both of these fine gentlemen. I suppose that is what one of them would describe as "being voted off the show." Since they can't communicate directly with me via Facebook at present (and in any case, wouldn't want to be caught lowering themselves to do so any more), they've been sending some of their new-age ninnies to convey messages to me on one of the Facebook forums, thanking me for the free publicity for the IBMS Master Baiter's club. Or maybe the ninnies sent themselves on behalf of the guys. Well, you're welcome, fellows (and ninnies)! Consider this post to be yet more fee publicity.

Petard Winkwell and at least one "founding member" of the seekrit klub, as well as a few possible recruits, recently got back from a weekend horsey camp in Georgia. Originally this event, which took place at the Southern Cross Guest Ranch in Madison, Georgia, was billed by Lenny Coldwell as a “spiritual retreat,” as well as another one of his trademark "Champion" events.
He had advertised it as being a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have some priceless one-on-one time with him -- and all for only $3,900 a head!

...Each spot on the ranch at certain times of day has very spiritual significance. As do the topics. Everything will revolve around “Self Leadership.” You will also get to work with me one-on-one on any issue you’d like. You will get to know me in a way never before possible. I’m also going to let you present me with a business idea. If I like it, we may start a business on the spot. You never know. As part of this weekend, you also will have the opportunity to share one of my passions with me --- horseback riding.

Imagine us riding together, relaxing and discussing success, money and leadership. Imagine all of us sitting together around an intimate fire relaxing, talking and networking under the bright night stars. Lifelong friendships will start here. Right now, we only have 7 spots left. That’s it. I cannot get anymore. Like I said, this is a very intimate affair. By the time you leave, we will know each other as if we’ve been friends for 20 years. One more thing --- Your registration will include your meetings with me, IBMS Life therapy, meals, and horseback riding. Usually, an event like this would cost $9,998, but if you register by November 15, 2012 you can attend for $3,900.

A friend of mine commented that the above passage is "disturbing in so many ways." Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. Using the words "intimate" in conjunction with Lenny is just plain icky, and using the word "spiritual" in that context is, in many ways, even more disturbing. My friend had looked up the actual low-season rates at the Southern Cross Guest Ranch and noted that usually a weekend stay would cost $699 all-inclusive. Obviously it's the presence of Lenny and his wisdumb that makes it worth the extra $3,200. That's how they roll in Scamworld.

Even so, I seriously doubt that Lenny was able to get 20 people to pay $3,900 a piece for the privilege of getting saddle sore with him. I imagine he had the place booked for months, had a nonrefundable deposit, and just decided to take some of the “founding members” of the IBMS Master’s Society along, as well as a few of Lenny's staff members and faithful followers. No doubt the weekend included pitches for the IBMS Master's Society -- a chance to get in on the ground floor of this flopportunity.

Looking at some of the photos -- and the video -- from the historic horsey weekend, it appears that Peter did not participate in the riding activities -- unless he was on horseback and handling the camera work. On the other hand, perhaps he has yet to get over his fear of large animals.
He was apparently traumatized by a hungry cow in Texas shortly after he went to work for Joe “Mr. Fire” Vitale in 2008. Good times!

Here's the movie, schlocky Western-theme music and all (notice that comments are disabled):

One thing I did notice was that the horses the Chumpions were riding, though lovely in my eyes (since I am enamored of the entire equine race) were not the "elegant thoroughbreds" that "Dr." C promised in his advertisement for the horsey ranch retreat. But as a friend of mine pointed out, Thoroughbreds are not exactly your ideal dude-ranch horses. And Lenny has never been known for his accuracy.

It's been a looong time comin'...
To many observers, particularly those who have so recently been burned by GIN, the new Peter and Lenny show seems more than a little exploitative. Peter has said they're getting lots of responses from interested people, and on a recent Facebook post Lenny said they have more than 3,000 interested people (which he claims is "so exiting [sic]").

But you know and I know that interest doesn't equal paying members. And considering that this number comes from the guy who claims to have cured 35,000 people of cancer and other dread diseases, and to have a 92% cancer cure rate, I'd say we need to take that 3,000 number with a smidgen of skepticism.

At any rate, this new club is not really all that surprising. After all, from the time he was newly divorced from GIN, Lenny was spouting off on Facebook and on his blog about either saving GIN by booting out Kevin Trudeau (a prospect that in retrospect seems like even more of a joke than it was), or starting a new club that had all of the "good" features of GIN and none of the bad.
Here's a link to a May 2012 post on Lenny's site, discussing some of these issues.

In the following months, the possibility of a new club continued to be discussed not only by Lenny but also by numerous other ex-GIN participants. Some people loved the idea of starting a new club that offered all of the GIN "training" or something similar -- as well as networking opportunities and the chance to hang with "like-minded people" -- but without the MLM aspect. Some toyed with the idea of nabbing the GIN training materials they'd already paid for or had otherwise acquired, and re-packaging/re-branding, but making them more reasonably priced than the membership levels in GIN.

Others liked the idea of keeping the MLM money-making ops but thought there could be a more equitable structure for that aspect of the club. MLM or not, most people who were in favor of a new club seemed to agree that the GIN membership levels were much too expensive. And since many had either just found out about Kevin's felonious past, or knew about it but had finally decided that the leopard really hadn't changed his spots, they focused on Kevin as the problem. GIN was a good idea, they said; it was Kevin who was the problem. They felt they could do it better without him.

Despite disagreements among some folks and disputes over details, the idea of a new club would not go away. It was ripe for the picking. And who was in a better position to do that picking than two former Trudeau/GIN insiders, who had access to GIN marketing materials and mailing lists?

[Update, February 6:] At the time I first published this post, I'd forgotten that I had a screen shot of Lenny's September of 2012 announcement that a new club was about to form, and it would be free except for the cost of events:

Obviously the "free" bit has changed. Or maybe it's just that the formation of that "free" club was contingent upon Kevin Trudeau's arrest and the official "bancruptcy" of GIN, which hasn't happened yet and may never happen. Besides, the IBMS Master's Society isn't just another "club," its founders assure us. It's something that has never existed before. (See Bernie O'Mahony's "Quick Read" commentary here.)

At any rate, a Petard Winkwell club has been a long time coming. Judging from what I've seen so far, the IBMS Masters Club will be like GIN without the MLM (and without KT, of course, but with someone who is, in my opinion, much worse in many ways). Actually I can't even say for sure that there will be no MLM or commission program, since, as Peter noted in some of his pre-launch promotional copy, "Additional perks will also be available to those Members who attain their goals and identify new Members for the society." (Emphasis mine.) It sounds as if, at the the very least, it is a contradiction to Peter's declaration in his original response emails -- and in the introductory video that is currently on the home page of the IBMS Master's Society -- that members won't be paid commissions for bringing in other members. I suppose if they call it a "perk" instead of a "commission" it's all okay.

A call for content
I do wonder how the Supreme Partners will come up with the exclusive content that they plan to offer in order to justify the ongoing monthly fees. It's true that Lenny has a lot of his own stuff that can be recycled and re-purposed, and Peter has no doubt created content of his own, alone and in conjunction with some of his other New-Wage/McSpirituality/selfish-help buds. He is, after all, trying to make a bigger mark in that industry, and has even set up a new Facebook page that categorizes him as a "Public Figure."

It could be that the Supreme Partners will also be mining content from the peanut gallery. Peter recently wrote on the Facebook page of ex-GIN member and Lenny fan/business partner Abe Husein:

If you have an ebook, audio, or video that you would like to add to the new IBMS Master's Secret Society library --- please email it to [Peter's email address]. Thousands of members will see it. Great publicity. Many thanks!

I wonder if these amateur content creators will be offered any monetary compensation for their work, or will be paid only in "publicity." With Peter's connections in the selfish-help/New-Wage/McSpirituality industry -- Bob Proctor, Joe Vitale, Esther Hicks, Peter Ragnar, Ron Ball, and all of those he lists as past clients on his bio page and on his
Wink Promotions site -- you would think he would be able to effortlessly acquire professional content for the IBMS library. On the other hand, those professional content providers and established New-Wage gurus would want a cut -- in real money, not just in publicity -- and most of them are not cheap.

Maybe Winkwell can sign on convicted killer and star of The Secret James Arthur Ray when he gets out of prison; Ray may be willing to work cheaper while he is on the comeback trail.
I hear he performed satisfactorily on his Functional Literacy work assignments in prison, and he apparently has at least an eighth-grade level of functional literacy himself, so he's certainly qualified to submit his work to the IBMS Master's Society. For that matter, he may be over-qualified.

The IBMS Master's Society Member: A rare breed!
Just what does it take to be an IBMS Member? I'm glad you asked. You could go to the IBMS Master's Society site and see for yourself, of course. Maybe you already have. But for those of you who haven't, or those who just want to review, you can start with the
"About the IBMS Master's Society" page. It begins:
The “IBMS™ Master’s Society” is private, members-only US-based secret society.
It is a society created by “achievers” for “achievers.”

Well, at least they put the word "achievers" in quotation marks. Now, there's a little unintended honesty.

The bulleted list begins by stating that all petitioners must be a minimum of 16 years of age. (Cue frantic little German-accented voice: "Und mit any luck, a maximum age of 25 for ze girlies! 30 absolute max!") Even without the extra ick factor of Lenny, the idea of indoctrinating people at a young age to be hucksters is more than a little disturbing. And the idea that the IBMS Master's Society is even thinking of starting a Kidz Klub at some point -- according to what Peter Wink said on an intro vid that is currently on the IBMS Master's Society site -- is even more disturbing. Then again, Scientology and the late Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation empire like to start 'em young too. It's all part of the bidness model.

Also near the top of the list is the notice that an IBMS Master's Society member "never judges a member based on religion or politics." Um-kay. But I suppose you get extra points if you are a right-wing nut-cake who, like Lenny Coldwell and some of his most faithful idiot followers, hates Barack Obama and believes he is a dictatorial, treasonous Anti-Christ who wants to take everyone's assault weapons away. By extension, it's perfectly okay to lash out at anyone who disagrees with that perspective, as Lenny and the ninnies do. It's okay to call people who don't agree that Obama is the Anti-Christ a bunch of ignorant, asleep sheeple or treasonous lib-tards. Presumably no sheeple or lib-tards will be allowed in the IBMS Master's Society.

There's also mention on the list of "a solid IBMS™ learning curriculum," which members are required to study and follow. No doubt it will be based mainly on Lenny's IBMS material, supplemented by recycled content that can be found elsewhere for cheaper or even free. But no worries, that's just part of the business model inspired by Kevin Trudeau and GIN -- and for that matter, by most of Scamworld. As for following the curriculum, I suspect that although it may just seem like busy work, it will actually be indoctrination. Just like in GIN.

Naturally, IBMS Master's Society membership also requires that all information imparted to members remain confidential. Well, of course. All of those top-seekrit seekrits that Lenny and Peter know about the government, Big Pharma, the medical establishment, the New World Order, and other evils definitely need to be kept under your hat. Even in the highly unlikely event that among the rants and upsells is information that would benefit everyone, only the people who pay Lenny and Peter for the seekrits deserve them. (We'll get into more of those seekrits in a little while.)

I can only assume that "confidentiality" also includes no sharing of any gossip about the personal behavior of one of the Supreme Partners. It used to be that if you did talk about the little Teutonic twerp, he would merely issue lawsuit threats in writing or death threats in person. But as an IBMS Master's Society Member who spills the beans on Lenny's behavior, you'll get kicked out of the seekrit klub, which is a fate worse than death threats.

There's also some verbiage about how the IBMS Master's Society intends to teach its members how to improve personal and professional relationships. Judging by context -- other content on the site, and some of Lenny's and Peter's public statements -- this basically involves ditching the people who are losers and only keeping those who can help you get ahead.

I'm sure it will come as no surprise that the IBMS Master's Society also "aims to teach its members how to be happier and healthier through natural health practices." I imagine that this teaching will involve $200 "cleanses," expensive vitamins, and lots of food-grade hydrogen peroxide and pink Himalayan salt. (And possibly, lots of bourbon too. I think Lenny hates to drink alone.)

Most amusingly, there is the stern admonition against joining the IBMS Master's Society "in the hope of personal gain or advancement at the society’s expense." Well, I should say so! That's not the way it's supposed to work. The society -- or rather the Supreme Partners -- are supposed to personally gain at the expense of members. It's a time-honored tradition, and if you try to turn it on its head, you will be expelled.

And then there's this, related to the above: "Assumes the petitioner is not petitioning to join for mercenary or other unworthy motives." Well, duh. Leave the unworthy motives to the Supreme Partners.

Rather puzzling is the requirement for all members "to demonstrate loyalty to their respective country." How do they do this? By singing the national anthem of their country to the Supreme Partners? By sending pictures of themselves saluting the flag of their country? And how does this line up with the "Member Expectation" (see below) to uphold the U.S. Constitution?

Finally, we learn that the IBMS Master's Society "believes that the pursuit of wealth, health and sovereignty is of the utmost importance." Notice that "wealth" is the first item on that little sequence.

As if that weren't enough to digest, there is the IBMS Master’s Society
Member Values. This is a short list of things that all members of the club MUST value (emphasis theirs). Personal development and lifelong learning top that list, followed immediately by "physical body and mental health." (Never mind that one of the Supreme Partners drinks like a fish, eats like a pig, and behaves in a rather deranged manner much of the time.) Also on the "MUST value" list is "Natural health practices and internal cleansing/detoxification." If you ask me, these people are disturbingly obsessed with internal cleansing and overpriced laxatives. One can be forgiven for speculating that a chief objective of this seekrit klub is to sell that colon-blaster that Lenny and Abe and Peter have been pushing.

"Finances and investments" are also on the list of required values -- but remember, you can't be in the seekrit klub for mercenary reasons. Members are also required to value "each minute of every day." I'm not sure how the Supreme Partners will determine whether a member is valuing or failing to value a particular minute on any given day. Is documentation required? And how many failures to value a minute does it take before a member is booted out?

Members are required to also value personal and professional relationships, and family and friends. That is, unless any of those people are losers (see below).

Finally we have the “IBMS™ Master’s Society”
Member Expectations. “IBMS™ Master’s Society Members are a rare breed of individual," we're told at the beginning of a very long list that also appears on the Member Agreement page. Every IBMS Master's Society member in good standing is expected to work towards his or her goals ever day, respect his or her follow members, be charitable to fellow members, and help fellow members with their personal and professional challenges. At the same time, "Never make other people's problems your own." Hmmm. Fine line, there.

Here are a few more items on that list of Member Expectations [with a few annotations by yours truly]:

  • Listen to motivational, educational, and inspirational CDs everyday while walking, driving, jogging, exercising and relaxing. [Tune out real life, go for the unicorn dreams. It will make you a more pliable member. Just like in GIN.]
  • Dress like a winner — not a slob. [May we suggest a pink shirt, a pink tie, and a turquoise or white suit? Or maybe something a little louder, something to match the upholstery.]
  • Stop worrying as it makes the situation worse. [However, instilling worry and fear in others in order to get them to give you money is perfectly all right. See the section on fear-mongering and crazy conspiracy theories, below.]
  • Avoid stressful people and situations.[Such as those who suggest to you that you are once again being brainwashed, bamboozled, and hornswoggled. Got it.]
  • Drink plenty of water everyday and refrain from overeating. [Cue little German-accented voice: "Vell, ofereating ees okay eef you reely enjoy your food. Und drink plenty of the elixir of life: bourbon! Cancer cannot exist in a bourbon environment!"]  
  • Stay away from the influence of losers — even if family members. [ESPECIALLY if family members. So much for "valuing family and friends." We need to qualify that: Only value the ones who are not LOSERS. Got it!]     
  • Take advice from people who have been where you are and attained their goals with no handouts. [But if they attained their goals by manipulating and intimidating and scamming other people, that's okay. Just as long as they didn't get government handouts.]  
  • Practice natural health and do a complete bodily cleanse of their choosing at least once per year.  [Especially if it's that overpriced laxative that Petard Winkwell sells, and that Kevin Trudeau has also recommended for years. Again, these people seem to be seriously obsessed with colon cleanses. Maybe there is something after all to that "Irritable Bowel Syndrome" connection that my puckish friend mentioned when asking what IBMS stands for (see Part 1).]  
  • Abstain from whining, complaining, bitching and moaning to others. [Unless you're one of the Supreme Partners, in which case, whining AND LYING about your critics is SOP.] 
  • Laugh out loud. [I can do that, and I'm not even a IBMS™ Master’s Society Member in good standing.]
  • Spend time with loved ones. [Unless they're losers and are trying to keep you from getting ahead. Then ditch 'em and shout, "Next!"]     
  • Beware of other people’s agendas. [Except the agendas of the Supreme Partners. Move along, nothing to see here.]
  • Follow their gut feelings, intuition, and instinct when making decisions. [My gut instinct tells me to run like hell from this flopportunity, but that's just me. And several ex-GIN members have told me that they picked up a "bad vibe" from Lenny from the first time they saw him.]  
  • Never take other people’s opinions as fact. [But feel free to believe anything the Supreme Partners say.]
  • Forgo gossiping about others. [Unless you're one of the Supreme Partners and want to get some gratuitous digs in at some of your critics (or crow about the death of one of your Scamworld rivals, for that matter).]
  • Uphold the Constitution of the United States of America. [Even if you're a citizen of another country and have adequately demonstrated your loyalty to that country to the Supreme Partners' satisfaction. And even if you're committed to sovereingty, which is another important principle the IBMS Master's Society will teach. Don't ask questions. Just fill out your application and send in your payment. ]
  • Bear arms with if they so choose.  [Bear arms with what?]
  • Refrain from long-term usage of pharmaceutical drugs, except in certain life-threatening instances. [Bourbon is okay, though.]
  • Work toward becoming a sovereign individual. [Yeah, more on that below.]
  • Walk away from negative people. [Especially if they're warning you about the Supreme Partners or any other Scamworld player. They're just trying to keep you from getting ahead in life.]
  • Associate with people who are working toward their goals and are positive and uplifting. [Even if they curse and rant at their critics and anyone else who crosses them.]
The paramount Member Expectation, however, is this: "LIVE A SUCCESSFUL LIFE BY THEIR OWN DESIGN!" Well, yes, as long as you use the template supplied by the Supreme Founders.

Here's a video that tells you more about walking away from all of those negative losers in your life. Apparently Peter has been having problems with family members who don't totally approve of his Scamworld activities. "But not my wife!" he hastens to explain.

As I mentioned in Part 1 the other day, Lenny also advises that you should ditch a loved one if that loved one doesn't want to go along with your hare-brained schemes. Here's one of Lenny's new pals on Facebook, talking about the first time he met Lenny at the airport in Cancun, Mexico. This was apparently back in days when Lenny was in GIN -- possibly the launch in November 2009. Anyway, the man makes reference to Lenny's advice about dumping a dead-weight partner and yelling, "Next!"

It appears from his comment that Mr. Hammer kept his wife, though.

Reading the list of "Member Expectations," which cites all of the things IBMS Secret Society members are expected to do -- presumably on a daily basis -- the words "obsessiveness" and "indoctrination" came to mind. I am reminded of the GIN "Checklists" I discussed in my
Independence Daze blog post in July 2012. I wouldn't be surprised if Peter had a hand in creating those disturbingly obsessive checklists for GIN. Perhaps when creating the IBMS Master's Society lists, he was just borrowing again from some of the work product he created when he was under contract to his felonious ex-boss.

But that whole indoctrination thing all seems so... Scientology-like. Which isn't all that surprising, I suppose, since
Kevin Trudeau himself has endorsed Scientology and Dianetics, and Peter says he has done marketing and promotion consultation for the Church of Scientology.

The Interwebz are full of information and probably misinformation on Scientology indoctrination techniques. I don't want to get you too far off track here,
but in case you are interested, here's one article.

Neo-stinkers can join too!
It is not at all surprising to me that the IBMS Master's Society Supreme Partners are trying to mine the Neo-Tech/Novatech/Nouveau Tech/Neo-thinkers. Mark Hamilton, known on this Whirled as Mark Scamilton, who is head of the Neo-stink empire and whose late daddy Frank Wallace founded that empire, is a long-time friend and bidness partner of Kevin Trudeau. Kevin and Scamilton's daddy met in the early 1990s when both were doing prison time. I wrote about Neo-stink and Scamilton in August of 2011,
on this post and on this one.

Scamilton got into GIN in a big way, and is reportedly one of the few KT business partners who has made millions from the scam. In the wake of Trudeau's and GIN's mounting legal troubles with the FTC et al., there have been reports from some people (mostly Scamilton's fans and defenders) that Scamilton has recently expressed regrets getting involved in GIN, but I haven't been able to substantiate that. For now I think we can assume he is still making money from the scam and that he and Kevin are still on reasonably friendly terms. All the more reason for Peter Wink to mine Scamilton's fan base, urging Neo-stinkers to become members of IBMS Master's Society as well as -- or perhaps instead of -- Neo-Tech.

As a friend of mine wrote in response to this, "Nothing wrong with having multiple streams of income reduction."

And that's what it's all about, in Scamworld.

"Do as we say. Not as we do."
As may be apparent from the lists cited above, IBMS Master's Society members are expected to adhere to an impeccable code of conduct, which includes eschewing negativity and gossip about others. Yet Lenny Coldwell's own very public temper tantrums and rants about other people -- his Scamworld rivals, his critics, and President Obama, among many others -- make these fine ideals look worse than ludicrous in context.

For the most part, Peter exhibits considerably more finesse than Lenny, but still manages to get in some good bashing, off and on the record. One example of on-the-record bashing: In my previous post I mentioned a "Life After GIN" teleconference that Peter and Lenny hosted in October 2012. At the beginning of that phone call, Peter made it very clear that the call was not going to be about bashing anyone. He said that instead it was about standing firm and "staring down evil" -- and then he and Lenny proceeded to bash Kevin Trudeau. For more than an hour. Then they hit the listeners with their MLM pitch.

As I've noted before, in my opinion Kevin and GIN deserve a good bashing, as do most other Scamworld hucksters. True, Kevin's misdeeds are more blatant than many, and he has been on the radar of scambusters perhaps longer than any other Scamworld player. But he's far from the only scammer driving the big sick machine. In any case, to hear two career hucksters bashing a more competent huckster is amusing, to say the least. And for Lenny Coldwell to continually bash, threaten, and lie about his critics for something as simple as questioning his credentials,
his 1998 name change, and his past in Germany... well, that should be a huge red flag to anyone who is considering paying good money to join a club where one of the membership requirements is to vow not to practice the same type of behavior in which the club's leaders regularly engage.

And let's not even get into the fear-mongering, gun-nuttery, and krazy conspiracy theories. On second thought, let's do.

As may be obvious to anyone who has read any of his online rants or other written material, and/or attended any of his events, Lenny and his minions (Lenions?) are very much into paranoia against the government, fear-mongering, gun-nuttery and c-r-r-r-r-azy conspiracy theories. Lenny has been pushing these themes for years, which is one major reason he fit so well into Trudeau's stable of hucksters in GIN. Both Kevin and Lenny have gained and maintained a following among
the Alex Jones demographic.

Now, as I've written before, I've never claimed that the government is blameless (it obviously isn't), nor have I claimed that Big Pharma and other huge multi-billion dollar industries have our best interests at heart (they obviously don't), nor have I claimed that tyranny does not exist, even on the hallowed shores of the good old US of A (it obviously does). However, the atrocities committed by government and big industry, and the presence of tyranny, do not excuse the misdeeds of hucksters who make a living instilling exaggerated fears -- and hatred -- in other people.

Here's a little piece by Lenny, posted on the site this past December. It's all about the things that every American should know about being a sovereign citizen, as opposed to a slave of the state. (By the way, notice Lenny's increasingly long list of credentials:  Board Certified NMD DNM PHD D.HUM LCHC CNHP DIP.PHC)

Judging by those lists of IBMS Master's Society values and expectations and whatnot above, "sovereignty" seems to be one of the selling points of the club. Exactly how they define sovereignty, however, I couldn't say, though both Lenny and Peter may have provided ample hints on their own Facebook posts over the past few years. But just for grins,
here's some info on the "Sovereign Citizen Movement." And here's more on the related "Redemption Movement" -- with yet more links.

Will somebody do me a favor and read all of that stuff, so you can help clear something up for me? I am a little confused about the issue of upholding the U.S. Constitution, which is a requirement for all IBMS Master's Society Members (whether they are U.S. citizens or not). After all, Number 17 on Lenny's article on states:

17. You CANNOT use the U.S. Constitution to defend yourself because you are NOT a party to it!  The U.S. Constitution applies to the CORPORATION OF THE UNITED STATES, a privately owned and operated corporation (headquartered out of Washington, DC) much like IBM (International Business Machines, Microsoft, et al) and NOT to the people of the sovereign Republic of the united States of America.  (Padelford Fay & Co. v The Mayor and Alderman of the City of Savannah 14 Georgia 438, 520)
So why would you swear to uphold the U.S. Constitution if, according to one of the Supreme Founders of the IBMS Master's Society, you can't even use it for your own benefit? Are they asking you to uphold something that is a product of some huge evil corporation? Or is there some subtlety that I am overlooking, some seekrit that can only be learned if one joins the IBMS Master's Society?

Coldwell recently shared another conspiracy theory on his Facebook page, courtesy of one David Wynn Miller, self-proclaimed King of Hawaii and nutcase extraordinaire. Careful, though; this one might really make you go postal:

Here's a snippet from
the Wiki entry on David Wynn Miller.

David Wynn Miller (born September 17,[1] 1949),[2] also styled :David-Wynn: Miller, is a former tool and die welder[3] and current activist in a tax protest group affiliated with the Sovereign Citizen Movement.[4] He is a proponent of the use of certain syntax he created to be used by people involved in legal proceedings. He refers to his syntax as QUANTUM-LANGUAGE-PARSE-SYNTAX-GRAMMAR which he asserts constitutes "correct sentence structure communication syntax."[5] Defendants have attempted to use Miller's syntax or ideas in courts of the United States and Canada, without success
Miller lived in Ohio before moving to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He describes himself as a "Plenipotentiary-Judge", an ambassador, banker, postmaster,[11] King of Hawaii, and a genius with an IQ of 200.[12][13][14] He has told audiences at his seminars that in 1975 he died from surgical complications and was not resuscitated for 35 minutes. He says he was awake for eight consecutive years following the incident and has not aged since that time.[15]

Whether Lenny really believes in the loony Millerism he shared on his Facebook post or not is not entirely clear. But it seems to me that if he thought it was nuts-o, he would have mentioned that on his original post -- or would not have shared it in the first place. And he does appear to preach a lot of the same nonsense that David-Wynn Miller spouts.
Here's a link that will get you to the vid previewed on Lenny's Facebook post above.

The bloggers who wrote that have also cited Lenny more than once on their blog, such as on this post, where they write, "Dr. Leonard Coldwell has done the research for you."

Those conspiracy loons have to stick together, you know.

Like many sovereignty and redemption fans, Miller and Lenny both seem to share an interest in what Miller describes as "fraud and corruption via syntax." But what about corruption of syntax? Lenny's crimes against written English are legion. Shouldn't we be doing something about that?

A friend of mine, commenting on the fact that Lenny had shared the post office conspiracy link, wrote, "I am starting to believe his legal team planned this all out in case he gets arrested for one of his alleged crimes; he is building a case for an insanity plea in advance." Could be; we'll see.

[Please see my update at the end of this post, regarding Lenny's co-author for his book, The Only Answer to Tyranny. ~CC]

And where would paranoia porn be without gun-nuttery? Here's a comment from aforementioned Lenny supporter Abe Husein, posted shortly after the Sandy Hook school shooting in December 2012:

The idea of more fanatics with AK-47s is kind of scary, particularly if they're Lenny supporters. More recently, Abe has decided he is going to run for national political office, but meanwhile he's forming his own pro-gun activist groups. Though Abe doesn't seem to have been promoting the IBMS Master's Society very much -- at least not where I can see -- Lenny is apparently still very supportive of everything Abe says and writes. (By the way,
here's a post from my friend Steve Salerno on SHAMblog, regarding the "conspiracy" theories around the Sandy Hook tragedy -- theories that Abe and others have been espousing.)

As for Lenny himself, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that he was forming a militia, and has a stockpile of weapons and ammo along with all of those piles of money he has bragged about. Of course if he's using the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to back it up -- and he seems to be quite the fan of the Second Amendment, judging from this list of his "heros" -- he should keep in mind that the Second Amendment is all about "a well-regulated" militia, and as a pal of mine pointed out, nothing that Lenny has anything to do with would be regulated.

(For the record: I am a strong believer in the right to own firearms, but I am not a paranoid nutter about it. And I am also a supporter of President Obama -- though I don't agree with everything he has done -- and I voted for him. Twice.)

People who have been to Lenny's events say he spends a lot of time ranting about the things that are "really" going on in the world, according to him. They say he has made all kinds of loony predictions about stuff that's going to happen and when it's going to happen -- predictions that, like his specific predictions about the fate of Kevin Trudeau and GIN -- have so far failed to come true.

Lenny also seems to have a bit of a hero/potential martyr shtick going, making
Trudeau's First Amendment Stuporhero shenanigans look almost sane by comparison. Though Lenny loves to issue threats to others, he has repeatedly made a big deal about how his own life is continually being threatened -- not just by Big Pharma and the medical profession, but also by the “tyrants” in the U.S. government. And he seems to be working to convince his dimwitted followers that his critics are part of the threat and are as much of a danger to him, to his family, and to the followers themselves as are the most dastardly government or Big Pharma operatives. That's either clever marketing, or he really is totally deranged. Or maybe both.

Here is Lenny addressing, via some "unknown" author, the matter of tyrannical authority.

I just got this: Repost: The Oath of a Champion (Author unknown)
I will always get even! I do not forgive -- I do not forget. I will get even 10 fold.
In case you falsely arrest, detain or kidnap me — YOU will pay for it. I (and or my friends) I will find you and I will get even!
In case you taser me — I will find you and I will get even. I hope you and the people you love like electricity.
If you assault me you will face an act of self-defense you have never seen before.
If you illegally attack, harass or harm me or any of my family members or friends — I will find you — and everything and everybody that is important to you and we will — “educate you and them about the law of the land”
If I disappear or get illegally detained or arrested — you and one of yours will pay for it every single day until I am set free.
I see people that have to die anyway based on illness or age — getting even with the tyrants to protect their children and grand children’s future before they die.
If you try to illegally get my guns you may get my ammo first.
If you make me commit suicide — there are measures in place to make sure you and everybody and everything you love, will get what you deserve.
If you deal with one of us you better be prepared to deal with all of us.

Though Lenny claims the author is "unknown," that "Oath" has his mark all over it. The bit about not forgiving but getting even echoes a declaration that
Lenny himself himself posted recently on Facebook.

In the unlikely event that this "Oath of a Champion" was not written by Lenny, I'd say it was penned by one of the potentially dangerous half-wits whose misplaced paranoia has been ignited by Lenny, perhaps at one of his Champions events. But the fact that Lenny posted it shows that it resonates for him. He is clearly playing to the fear/conspiracy crowd, as well as encouraging the group of vigilante fans that he claims to have -- people who would be willing to die for him, or so he has claimed. I'm thinking that he really is the author of these words and just wants to slightly distance himself so that it will not look so much as if he is issuing a threat himself. No doubt he also wants to fan the flames of drama and urgency in order to attract more members to his and Peter's seekrit klub.

A couple of people on Facebook protested the vigilante mindset expressed in the "Oath of a Champion," and one respondent cited people such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., who preached passive resistance and nonviolence. To which Coldwell scoffed, "They're all dead." (Tell that to Peter Wink, Lenny. Peter, as you'll see in a moment, has used Gandhi as a fine example of someone who was criticized but went on to do heroic things.)

My point, in case it isn't obvious, is this: This is the person in whom people are expected to place their trust? The person for whom they are expected to fill out an intimate, detailed application form sharing some of their most personal information, and to whom they are expected to send their sensitive credit card and/or bank account information? The person who, along with his current chief enabler, Peter Wink, is supposedly going to show them a foolproof route to realizing all of their fondest hopes and dreams, while cluing them in on the secrets about what is really going on in the world?

In other words: Lenny is the person to whom people are supposed to be looking as a guide and a role model? Seriously?!?

(And while we're discussing Lenny's qualifications to lead people to success and tell them what's what, let's not forget that this is the guy who is constantly whining that he is being "hacked" on the Internet. The latest hilarious example is that he has confused some Facebook spam with "hacking," and is apparently blaming "a guy in Japan." That would be blogger Bernie O'Mahony, presumably. And Bernie has already blogged about it. Complete with screen shots.)

I don't mean to be disrespectful of potential Petard victims who may be sincerely looking for leadership and direction in their lives, but how much of an
idiot does a person -- particularly one who was burned by GIN -- have to be to believe that the IBMS Master's Society scam will enrich anyone but Petard?

Oh, those losers...
"But, Cosmic Connie, what if Peter and Lenny really do have good intentions?" some of you may be asking. "After all, look how successful they are! Look at their track records, both individually and collectively! Look at all of their accomplishments! If anybody is qualified to deliver results, surely it's Peter and Lenny!"

Well, first of all, Hypothetical Persons, y'all need to take it easy with those exclamation points. Secondly, I have looked at what Petard Winkwell say about themselves, and I have to admit they have a pretty darned impressive record of promoting themselves and each other. As for results, well, I don't know how to measure something that hasn't happened and may never happen. But I am sure that at the very least they are extraordinarily well-qualified to deliver the result of your bank account or credit card being depleted by $499, and an additional $89 a month (or possibly more) until you say, "Enough already!" If then.

Other less charitable people may sneer that this post, like everything else I've ever written on this blog, is clear evidence that I'm just an envious negative loser.

Envious of Peter and Lenny? Um... I don't think so. Loser? Maybe by Scamworld definitions. As for negative, well, apparently it doesn't matter if I am being negative. Peter says he welcomes negative press. Loves it, in fact. As I mentioned in my previous post about this topic, he has told me that negative posts are a best friend, and that the bloggers' negative posts about him and Lenny have just made the two of them more popular. They're getting more popular all the time, he said, "so popular it's scary." So no doubt he will consider this post yet another gift. I hope the surge in popularity isn't too scary for him.

He's also spreading the criticism-is-really-good-after-all message to Abe Husein, who has been getting quite a lot of flak himself as a result of his association with Lenny. Said Peter to Abe fairly recently on Facebook:

If anyone criticizes you online that's a good thing. It means you are in the game doing something with your life. There are always naysayers to the successful. They are usually bitter jealous people who are afraid to get in the game and stake their claim. This is an indisputable fact. Just do some research. They also always without fail [and] lend credibility and good publicity to the one they are criticizing. The only challenge is that they never seem to have a big following because people can see through complainers and naysayers and in the end want nothing to do with them. Keep doing what you're doing Abe Husein!

In a subsequent Facebook post on Abe's wall, Peter continued to play on the theme of critics as losers:

Not to worry, though: Abe assured Peter that he pays no attention to what the critics say. That earned him an Attaboy from Peter.

It seems that this issue won't go away, though, because this comment just appeared on the IBMS Master's Society page on Friday, February 1. This version is unsigned, but sounds remarkably like Peter, "Hugs" and all:

Maybe if Peter says it enough, he will eventually convince himself.

Peter also recently wrote this private message to
whose first post about Lenny focused (among other things) on Lenny's questionable credentials. Here's what Peter wrote to Bernie:
I know you hate Dr C for some reason and I'm not going to try and sway you as it's not my place. One thing I wanted to mention to you is that I know as a fact he is a real doctor. I've seen his medical credentials twice when visiting his office. There are reasons he does not discuss them. There are differences between what a doctor and a speaker can say publicly. This is something you have no experience with. I do and have dealt with it for years and completely get it. One other thing to consider is to stop diluting your energies from the Trudeau battle. If you appear to fight mulitple people at once, you look like a hate monger. This is the challenge for Connie and the Salty guy. If you notice, I do not get caught up in anyone but the one person I target. This keeps my credibility very strong. That said... I appreciate you and really value the GIN Truth site... Again, I hope we can stay focused as the nail is close to being completely driven in. Thanks Bernie!!
Wow... "appreciation" mixed with condescension: now, that's a great way to keep an ally. Actually it sounds a lot like some of the stuff Peter used to write to me, particularly the part about not getting "off topic." But what does Peter mean when he says Coldwell does not discuss his "credentials?" Lenny is ALWAYS bragging about his credentials. As in...
...I am a board Certified NMD NMD PHD and licensed physician with 19 best selling books and tens of thousands of testimonials... There is not even a doubt on the fact that I cured my own mother from hepatitis C, Liver cirrhosis, and liver cancer in a terminal state (with a prognosis of 6 months to live 42 years ago). This has been confirmed by countless hospitals and major medical institutions. If you have any information on the cosmic slut in any form, please send information to [email address]. WE need to eliminate these kinds of cancer tumors of society together for your own good and safety.

Oh, my yes, Lenny is very careful about what he says publicly. The entire message quoted above -- which is one of numerous lies and threats Lenny posted about me --
can be found and discussed here.

And then there are all of those times that Lenny, citing his own professional expertise, has remotely "diagnosed" people he doesn't like as having various sorts of mental illnesses.
Here is one example. Another example: He diagnosed the woman in Germany whom he sued in the late 1990s as being mentally ill. Naturally, Lenny has also diagnosed Salty Droid as being mentally ill, and says I am too. At various times Lenny has called me a delusional sociopath and paranoid schizophrenic with a Napoleon complex. It seems that I am also a "neurotic nobody" with brain damage. Here's a blast from the (recent) past... just this past November:

Lenny has diagnosed Bernie O as well (manic-depressive or multiple personality disorder or some other outdated diagnosis, if I recall).

At any rate, I'm sure Peter changed his mind about appreciating Bernie and the site after Bernie published
that post about him on GINtruth. And this one. Oh, yes, and this one. Despite what Peter tries to make people believe, people DO listen to Salty Droid (Jason Jones), and Jason gets quoted in the media, and has even been referenced in legal briefs in actions against Internet scammers. He does apparently have the ears and eyes of people who matter, including Federal investigators. Peter has told me privately that he believes Salty has no credibility because of his bad language. I wonder what Peter thinks about the foul language for which Lenny has become notorious.

As for me, I have always had a broader focus than Kevin Trudeau, and Peter knows this. I was never ripped off by Trudeau or Coldwell or any of the people I have written about for the past six-and-a-half years, and have never claimed to be. But I was and am indignant about the way they have, in my opinion, ripped off so many others. So I never "lost focus."

on the cheap (compared to GIN, anyway)

Once again, the point that really sticks out for me -- as it did with GIN when I first learned of it in late 2009 -- is that this new "secret society" panders shamelessly to elitism and to people's need to feel that they are special -- more knowledgeable, more willing to learn, more "awake," and somehow better than the ordinary Joe or Jane. The promotional copy for the IBMS Master's Society reflects a disdain for mediocrity, with the clear message being that the majority of people are mediocre and the new "society" wants none of that lot in its ranks.

Maybe most people are mediocre, but the plain, sad truth is that if it weren't for widespread mediocrity, and so many people's desire for relatively quick fixes (as well as their apparently endless need to have their egos stroked), the selfish-help/New-Wage/McSpirituality industry in its current rapacious form would simply not exist. And the selfish-help gurus and marketers who claim to disdain mediocrity know this. Kevin Trudeau knows it well, and has called even some of his most loyal followers "losers." But he continues to take their money. Lenny and Peter also know this truth all too well, and they exploit it fully.

All in all, it seems to me that Petard Winkwell learned very well from their association with GIN and KT, and I am not just talking about the fear-mongering and the pandering to elitism. It appears that they're also doing everything they can at the outset to protect themselves from future members' future disillusionment. After all, there are those warnings about any money paid to the IBMS Master's Society being nonrefundable. And there's that stuff in the
Member Agreement about not ever, ever suing the IBMS Master's Society, the Supreme Partners, or anyone or anything even remotely associated with any of them. They still have that "do not sue" item listed twice on the bulleted list on the Member Agreement page. It's all a pale echo of GIN and the Member's Agreements.

Peter recently wrote on the IBMS Master's Society Facebook page:

Another surge of new Members last night! Kicking everything off in a couple weeks. Already talked with several Members and helped with many of their challenges. I've never had so much fun meeting so many tremendous people and making a difference. There is nothing more important than helping another person with an issue, problem or challenge. This is what it is all about. Hugs!

I wonder if the challenge he was helping them work through was their reluctance to part with $499.

All in all, this new "secret society" seems to be such a transparent money grab for its Supreme Founders -- despite the admonition that others must not join for mercenary reasons, on pain of removal -- that if people do join in droves, I may very well give up hope for the human race.

But at least I will have more to blog about, as if I needed more.

Update, 4 February 2013:
I know this post is already more than long enough, and this topic probably deserves its own post, but I decided to add it here, for convenient one-stop browsing. A friend of this blog, who goes by the name "Doc Bunkum" (aka "Bunky") just sent me a notice of an ongoing conversation on the anti-fraud Quatloos! forum, regarding the Global Information Network. The discussion actually began in June 2009, when GIN was first being announced and publicity efforts had begun -- months before the official kick-off event in Cancun, Mexico. Anyway, Lenny shows up around page 3.

What really interested me was the information -- on the GIN thread and
on a separate one -- about Lenny's co-author for his Only Answer to Tyranny book, Dr. Sam Kennedy.

If you think Lenny is off his rocker, wait till you read about Sam. Or I should say, Dr. Glenn Richard Unger, which is Sam's real name. Sam/Glenn is a real doctor: an orthodontist. But I don't think he's putting in many braces these days. Instead he's rabble-rousing for the above-mentioned "Sovereign Citizen Movement" and the "Redemption Movement." There's a little tidbit about him at the bottom of
this Fall 2010 Intelligence Report from the Southern Poverty Law Center Web site:

Dr. Glenn Richard Unger
Clifton Park, N.Y.
The host of the popular online radio show "Take No Prisoners," who uses the alias of "Dr. Sam Kennedy," Dr. Glenn Unger is one of the more secretive redemption leaders. In addition to using a false name, Unger doesn't keep a marketing website and doesn't allow followers to videotape his speaking engagements. He markets his "Beneficiaries in Commerce" program as a cure-all for everything from tax bills and debt elimination to what he calls "prison extraction." Unger was a founding member of the Guardians of the Free Republics and received some unwelcome publicity earlier this year when the FBI investigated the group for threatening state governors. In a recent coup by fellow sovereign Tim Turner, Unger was pushed out of the Guardians group. Despite his stealth, the IRS found Unger and hit him with a $116,000 federal tax lien last September. Furthermore, at least three of Unger's clients have gone to prison as a result of following his program; in a fourth case, the judge found the defendant mentally unfit to stand trial as a result of the nonsensical documents he filed with the court.

Kennedy/Unger seems to be a perfect companion in drama-queendom to Lenny Coldwell, as indicated by this 2010 announcement upon the release of The Only Answer to Tyranny:

The Authors may be killed (or get committed suicide) [sic] or die in a mysterious way but if you preorder this book...You will get the book no matter what. Maybe from a different Country or via email but you will get it -- the enemy will not be able to stop it.
That has Lenny written all over it. (Reference that Chumpion's Oath above.) Here's the link to the page on which the Tyranny book announcement appears. You will have to scroll down a bit to find it.

But Unger/Kennedy is, to put it mildly, a bit daft in his own right, as indicated in this
January 20, 2013 article from the Ogdensburg, New York Journal.
Who is Glenn Richard Unger?
Federal prosecutors portray the former Potsdam orthodontist as an armed and reclusive anti-government tax cheat who was involved in a 2010 letter campaign to intimidate state governors, and who harbored a small arsenal inside a rented town of Lisbon home, from high-powered assault rifles to a handgun under his mattress.
Dr. Unger presented himself during a court appearance earlier this month as a gifted healer, a writer and man of God known only as Glenn Richard, who steadfastly refused to give his address and compared his prosecution “to what my savior went through.”
Court documents made public last week only add to the complex picture of a wanted man who reportedly surrendered quietly when approached by state police, then identified himself to troopers a short time later as a 1922 silver dollar.
Wow. A man who is not just a man, but a silver dollar as well! That's even better than a Coin-Operated Boy!

Here's a link to the motion for detention for Unger, filed on January 14, 2013.

Members of the IBMS Master's Society can only hope that Lenny Coldwell's co-author and brother-in-arms against tyranny will be an honored guest speaker at one of the IBMS Master's Society events.

PS added 6 February, 2013: If today's Facebook come-on/rant by Lenny Coldwell is any indication, much of the "sovereignty" information in Petard Winkwell's seekrit klub will indeed be based upon Lenny's anti-tyranny shtick (and possibly that of his loony co-author, Kennedy/Unger). Sez Lenny with his characteristically mangled syntax, "I happen to know that everything that will be discussed in the IBMS Masters Society as is factual and we will grant you that these Secrets of America!"

A friend of mine who was at one of Lenny's live events a couple of years ago (this was back when Lenny was still in GIN) said that Lenny was sharing some of the seekrits about What Is Really Going On In The World, as he is wont to do at his little gatherings. One of the things Lenny told the group was that there are 600,000 Chinese troops hiding in bunkers in California. That's because, according to Lenny, we gave California to China to settle the U.S. debt. Those troops are due to emerge from their bunkers any day now. My friend was laughing but said others in the group were taking it all very seriously; a lady in the room even screamed in horror when Lenny shared the seekrit about the Chinese troops, because she lives in California. My pal also said that Lenny has spoken several times about FEMA camps being set up for when the New World Order takes over. This is apparently the sort of info to which you too can be privy if you join the IBMS Master's Society. But only "I [sic] you have the guts!"

More True-dough (and Lenny) on this Whirled:

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RevRon's Rants said...

I don't have the time to go into all the idiocy that passes for "logic" among the scammer crowd, but one thing really gave me a good chuckle - your statement about Lenny's attempt to safely distance himself from criticism in response to his (and his bromantic partners') inane conspiracy theory rants.

You wrote, "the fact that Lenny posted it shows that it resonates for him." Well, duh! Ironically, I've recently wasted altogether too much time trying to make that same very obvious point in an online discussion started by - of all people - someone who actually ridicules Lenny's obvious disconnect from reality, while remaining blind to his own. I wonder if Abe might suffer from what was once called multiple personality disorder... :-)

mirele said...

Glenn Richard Unger is currently awaiting trial on tax fraud:

Not-Doctor Lenny (and Squiggy) Coleman ought to take note that Sovereign Citizen nonsense is a sure way to (a) attract government attention and (b) end up in a world of legal hurt.