Monday, December 29, 2014

Salty Droid: Not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning

I’ve been little more than an observer here :: stirring a pot full of ugly turds … and making internet jokes about the bubbles. It’s not a totally useless thing to do {laughing is good … truth is good … conversation is good} :: but it’s not changing the waterline in the turd bucket :: it’s not popping holes in the side … and it’s for sure not kicking the bucket over in angsty bearded rage à la {not baby} Jesus...
...I've watched long enough.
~ Jason Jones as Salty Droid, Christmas 2014

Though I'd known for months that it was coming,
Salty Droid's "farewell" Christmas post still made me a little sad, as it did many other folks. After nearly six years of fierce, funny, and sometimes poignant blog posts, Jason Michael Jones is putting his little fake robot into semi-retirement so he can go forth into the real world wearing grownup clothes, using traditional punctuation, and embarking upon the next phase of his battle against Scamworld.

But what a run it has been. Though scammers have hated him to the point of death-threatening him and physically as well as cyber-stalking him, and even some anti-scam types either failed to take him seriously or were a little put off by his brash style, he has created an impressive body of work. His serious investigative efforts and passionate muckraking have been brought to vibrant life through a prose style that was often cryptic, sometimes a little obscene, sometimes sentimental, and almost always spot-on, enhanced by hilarious photo-comps, info-graphics, and wickedly clever videos.

And he wasn't just sending out words and pictures into the blogosphere; some of the mainstream media took notice as well, and Jason was (and continues to be) a valuable source of information for investigative journalists and reporters who are keen to shed a little light on Scamworld and its loathsome gurus. Included among these journos are those who are working on stories about
now-imprisoned serial scammer Kevin Trudeau. Professional journalists take Jason seriously because he knows what he is talking about.

Now it all seems to be coming to an end... but it's not an end in the sense that the scammers would probably prefer. It appears that even as there are no neat and tidy endings in Scamworld, there are no neat and tidy endings in anti-Scamworld.

* * * * *

Apart from the noticeable decrease in frequency of posts over the past year and a half or so, there were subtle and not-so-subtle hints that the Salty Droid blog was winding down; among the not-so-subtle was
this January 2014 effort, in which Jason summarized his gradual awakening "in watery metaphors":

Five years of The Salty Droid :: from Perry Belcher to Herbalife …

– I’m going to drain this disgustingly scummy pool :: and it’s going to be easy … and awesome!

– Wait :: this pool is kinda Olympic size … but I’m sure there’s a drain plug down here somewheres.

– Jesus … this pool is a lake!

– Holy fuckstars … this lake is Lake Michigan.

– OMG … I’m in the ocean.

I. Am. Pointless.

Hear that badguy d-bags? Post it to your private facebooks … tweet it to Kevin Smith … pay $6500 to have a local “news” program run a bullshit segment about it. I’m fucking pointless :: and now … even I know it.

I can not win.

I will not win

And that was the beginning of a year in which new Salty posts were very few and far between.

I embedded the Kevin Smith link above for the benefit of those who don't understand the reference. In a nutshell, film director/writer/actor Smith, whose work I've long admired but whose Scamworld advocacy efforts lessened my admiration for him considerably, took up on Twitter for Internet scammer Naomi Dunford, who was the subject of several scathing Salty blogs a few years ago. Smith and others made it into a misogyny/woman-bullying issue, though it was anything but misogyny, at least from Salty's end. (And I can't help but wonder: where have all those chivalrous Hollywood-celeb heroes been for the past two-and-a-half-years while I have been attacked in a truly misogynistic way by the stupidest and surely one of the most evil men in Scamworld? I'm no home-wrecking Internet marketing rockstarlet, but don't I rate?)

But this is about Salty Droid/Jason Jones, not about me. Well, okay, it's a little bit about me -- maybe a lot about me -- because of the influence that Salty has had on this blog as well as on the larger conversation about Scamworld. So let's talk about me for a while.

I confess that when I was first introduced to the Salty Droid blog in 2009 I counted myself among those who were a little put off by his... um... salty style. It wasn't so much the colorful language that gave me pause as what I felt was gratuitous taunting of some of the scammers. And he and I had some conversations about this. Don't get me wrong: I felt and still do that the scammers had more than earned the harshest derision for their scammy, scummy actions. But making fun of them for more personal things such as aspects of their physical appearance that might have been beyond their control -- e.g., their weight -- felt more like schoolyard bullying than like effective blogging.

Moreover, I hadn't heard of most of the folks Salty wrote about in the early days, such as Perry Belcher and Harlan Kilstein. Reading about them on his blog, it was clear that they were loathsome, but as so-called Internet Marketing gurus, were they really relevant to my beat? I wasn't really sure.

As time went on, and after a few conversations with Jason, I came to understand the taunting, which he explained was part of the fake-robot persona and not the real Jason (and having talked with him a few times I have every reason to believe that the real Jason is anything but a schoolyard bully and is actually a very nice guy). The taunting and teasing, Jason-as-Jason explained, were deliberate attempts -- and admittedly not always successful ones -- to get the scammers' attention and possibly shame them a little, since simply calling them out on their scamming usually didn't seem to faze them in the least. So while I never joined in the worst of the taunting, and some of it still continued to make me uncomfortable, I came to realize that there was real heart and a genuine purpose behind the Salty blog that made the name-calling seem relatively insignificant.

I also quickly came to realize that despite my unfamiliarity with the Internet Marketing scammers Jason targeted, there were many areas where my Whirled beat intersected with the Salty Droid's. In fact I was originally led to his blog by some Aussie friends with whom I'd been corresponding about one of their lesser countrymen, disgraced star of The Secret star David Schirmer,
who was a fairly frequent blight on my blog in 2007 and 2008. It seems that Schirmer came to Jason's attention because of his Stateside joint-venture shenanigans with some of Jason's blog subjects.

So you might say that I came to Salty Droid for Schirmer and stayed for the rest. And the more I read, the more I realized that many of the obscure-to-me Internet scammers Jason wrote about were actually in cahoots with many of the guys and gals on my selfish-help/New-Wage/McSpirituality/alt-health beat, and that the Salty Droid blog was adding a whole new dimension to my knowledge. Although I have years -- decades, actually -- of experience observing (and formerly participating in) the subcultures I write about, Jason was and is much more knowledgeable than I am about the sophisticated and sneaky ways that the gurus work their Internet scams. I have learned much from reading his blog, as well as from reading the articles by other journalists who have used him as a source.

* * * * *

It being Christmas and all, Salty chose to frame his goodbye around the sentimental holiday classic It's a Wonderful Life, laying out a Scamworld scenario that would have unfolded had Salty never existed.

Dave Navarro would be gone {his kids unsupported}. [Dave Navarro figures into the saga of the above-referenced Naomi Dunford. ~CC]
Vemma would be pimping out all our finest bros.
Leonard Coldwell would be :: you know … yuck and stuff … look away!
The government’s inaction would be interrupted only by their issuing of press releases extolling their own effectiveness.
Harlan Kilstein would be … scamming dogs?
Sweat lodge homicider James Arthur Ray would be out of jail already … promoting a new $30 e-book which promises to “literally set your life on fire.”
Which, of course, is precisely the Scamworld that unfolded anyway.

(James Ray's newer promos ("literally set your life on fire") are in particularly awful taste, considering that it was the deadly heat caused by firethat killed three of his victims in the phony sweat lodge inOctober 2009. But he's now out of prison and scamming away once more, exploiting the wreckage of Death Lodge to promote his new old shtick.)

So... was the Salty Droid blog all for naught?

Of course not.

Scamworld was, I think, a little shaken by Salty's efforts, or at least parts of it were shaken, here and there. His efforts were far from wasted, and he has influenced and helped many people -- not just victims, but those who want to do something about the problems he writes about. Read the comments on his farewell post and you'll get a sense of the impact he has had on others.

One of the things that his blog did for me, as well as many others, was to help us realize how serious -- and sometimes deadly serious -- the problem of Scamworld really is. I'd been playing it on the light side for so many years, my basic theme being that Scamworld was mostly silly but for the most part harmless. Of course the James Ray death lodge helped to turn the tide for me (and for this blog), making me newly aware of the dark side of Scamworld, but it was also during this time that Jason really began to hit his stride, and his compassion really started shining through. If there was any doubt prior to that, Jason's coverage of the Ray debacle showed that he really wasn't all about the anger and the taunting. It was clear that he truly cared about the people who are most egregiously hurt by scammers.
And it was the Salty Droid blog that gave me more compassion for Scamworld victims in general, as well as for fans and followers who perhaps haven't been victimized in dramatic or obvious ways but are still clearly being manipulated by someone who has an unfair advantage over them. In the past I've sometimes made unnecessary fun of these fans, choosing snark, sniping, and cleverness over compassion, when the latter would have been far more appropriate. Salty's posts made me rethink a lot of this. As crude and rude and brash and bold as the little fake robot has been, the real boy behind him has set a compassionate example that I wish many more folks would follow.

Despite the good he has done, though, I don't blame Jason for sometimes feeling frustrated by his blog's seeming failure to accomplish everything he had hoped. I can empathize. Even though I never had any particular sense of purpose with my own blog -- certainly not to the extent that Jason seemed to have with his -- I have sometimes felt frustrated, for as I've noted many times before, it seems at times that the only thing we critical bloggers have really done has been to help build a better scammer.

We would jeer, for instance, at some B-list guru's amateurish promo copy or the inconsistencies in some of their narratives, and next thing we knew, the copy would be polished and the inconsistencies wiped away or rationalized. We would write critically of scammers' extravagant promises and claims, and very soon afterward the promises would be modified to seem marginally more honest and realistic, tempered by additional disclaimers and double-talk. What it comes down to is that we've done a lot of unpaid marketing and image-consultancy work for some of the scummiest scammers in the business. That doesn't really feel good.

And then there's that whole "why am I doing this" question, which has even plagued me at times, despite my cheerfully admitted lack of purpose and what I like to call my profound shallowness. Over the years I have been, by turns, seriously questioned and childishly taunted by those who ask me exactly what I am trying to accomplish with my blog. Some have jeered that I have put so much effort into this thing for so little apparent return; after all, I'm obviously not making money from this obsessive hobby, and the scammers of Scamworld are still scamming as if I'd never existed.

And I've often conceded many of these points,
even making light of them when I finally began asking for donations, back in 2010. (Donations do come in on occasion, and are always appreciated, but they don't qualify this blog as a moneymaking venture.)

But despite my occasional feelings of frustration, my blog's insignificance has rarely caused me the angst that Jason seems to feel regarding his blog. That could be simply due to my own modest expectations (or laziness, or lack of ambition), and to my philosophy that has become a mantra that has become a brand: NNATE. © No Neat and Tidy Endings. © In this context, that's really just another way of saying I accept that there are no permanent solutions to the problem of the big sick machine.

But I applaud Jason for his ambitions and for the new direction he is taking because, given what I know of his plans, I think that he really can and will make a difference. The world isn't changed by blogs; the world is changed, or at least some of its awfulness is mitigated, by qualified and dedicated people who do real work. And some of that real work is done in the courtrooms of the United States.

* * * * *

In my comment to Jason's "Merry Christmas Goodbye" blog post, I wrote about my commitment to continue blogging, noting that it will be a little lonelier now. But I am well aware that this type of loneliness is as illusory as any sense of solidarity I may have ever had with Jason or with any other bloggers who work this beat. Of these I include not only
Bernie O'Mahony at GINtruth, and Omri Shabat at Glancingweb, and Alexandra Nouri of Aunt Alex's Army, but also some of my early influences in blogging, such as Steve Salerno at SHAMblog, Chris Locke at the latent but still relevant Mystic Bourgeoisie and Jody Radzik at Guruphiliac.

I am friendly with all of these people, though we have never met in person. We support each other by linking to and quoting each other in blog posts and on social media. But when it comes right down to it, blogging carries its own form of existential alone-ness, much like the process of entering or leaving this world (though generally with less blood, sweat, and tears). Blogging, like most writing -- even writing with a purpose -- is solitude more than it is solidarity. Contrary to the rabid rants of
the profoundly stupid and evil Leonard Coldwell, there has never been anything like a concerted effort among the small number of bloggers on the Scamworld beat. Certainly there has never been anything remotely resembling collusion or conspiracy, paid or otherwise, although Coldwell's manic insistence that Salty, Omri, Bernie and I are paid criminal conspirators who are out to destroy him and his "grounds of business" has made for some hilarious blog fodder for several of us over the past couple of years.

The truth is and always has been that we are each our own blogger, writing about what we want to write about when we want to write about it.

That said, it will still seem a little more lonely without Salty, darn it. But at least it appears that he will be leaving his blog up on the Web as a much-needed resource. And while many of us will miss the promise of regular new posts, rest assured that Jason has not given up on fighting Scamworld. He's simply taking it to a new level, about which I'm sure he'll tell us more when he is ready. I have used this analogy on his blog and on Facebook, but... remember that scene from the second Lord of the Rings movie, The Two Towers, where Gandalf returns? "Yes...that was what they used to call me. Gandalf the Grey. I am Gandalf the White. And I come back to you now -- at the turn of the tide..."

So if you happen to be poking around the Facebook feeds of Mocktor Coldwell and you see him boasting that he and his mighty "legal team" are responsible for shutting Salty's blog down, give him the derision he deserves. Post on his threads, if you're able (though he blocks so many people that you might not be able to even see the posts, much less participate). Know that Coldwell is still licking his wounds from the beating he took when he actually tried to sue Salty and Omri in February 2014, thinking they were the same person. The case was dismissed in April. Most of you probably already know this story, but
read it again just for grins and giggles.

And read
this post from September 2012, when Lenny offered a $600 reward for the first person who could give him info about Salty that had actually been on Salty's blog for years.

this one from December 2012, when Lenny was bragging about how he and his then-lawyer, the affable and mostly-retired-from-lawyering Bill Hanahan, were putting the finishing touches on the lawsuit that would utterly destroy Salty ("the marinated troll") and me (Salty's "playmate").

Be sure to remind Lenny and his fans of what really happened, should he actually be so stupid as to try to take credit for blasting Salty out of the blogosphere.

For that matter, if you've a mind to, write a comment
on this bogus video by "James Dyson," which was clearly made by a scammer wannabe who hates Salty. This vid pops up near the top on search results for Salty Droid, and Not-Doktor Stupid even posted it on his own Facebook page to "prove" what a loser Salty/Jason is. The video is edited so that it juxtaposes footage from a CNN expose of real cyberstalkers with footage of Salty, making it appear that CNN actually did a story about Salty. It's totally contrived.

And if you happen to be poking around the Facebook feeds or other forums of any of the other slimy scammers Jason has tackled over the past five years, and they're high-fiving each other over the demise of the Salty Droid blog, do whatever you can to inject a little truth into the conversation.

As Salty himself writes in his Xmas farewell:

Don’t be sad.

This is not the end of the story.

It’s just the end of the juvenile beginning.

I’ve watched long enough.
The little fake robot is taking a well-deserved rest. But I sense that the real boy in the suit and tie, doing un-fun but necessary things, is just getting started.

Suck it up, scammers.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Earth Diet evangelist v. Bourbon Diet buffoon: trouble in imaginary paradise?

Oh, dear. It looks as if there will be one less pretty face in the shrinking group of stragglers who show up at the semi-annual IBMS Master's Society gatherings, hosted by Mocktor Leonard Coldwell, former b.f.f. of serial scammer Kevin Trudeau. Not that the 2014 T-Day weekend "mega-seminar" attendance in Charlotte, NC (the most recent event as of this writing) was terribly impressive...

...particularly in comparison to the ginormous (or GIN-ormous) crowds that Lenny was able to draw -- mostly by default -- when he was still scamming with Kevin in the Global Information Network (GIN). He still uses this pic for his social media cover photos, though it's doctored a little to make it look like it was purely a LoonyC Chumpions event:

[Update 6 January 2015: I sense that, given the sparse turnout at every Loony event since he was fired from GIN in May 2012, he might be exaggerating a little bit on this January 6 post, regarding how many "tickets" he has "sold" so far to his upcoming May 2015 "Mega-seminar." Unless this will actually be a live expo or online event of some sort, at which he will merely be one of the speakers.]

My point is that increasingly, it appears that IMBS-ing U is not doing very well at all. Why, I didn't even see
co-founder and Supreme Partner Peter Wink in the pics of this latest event, in contrast to the happy-couple photos that were snapped at the IBMS wingding a year ago:

Maybe Peter was hiding behind the camera for the whole thing (that seems very un-Wink-like, though). Or maybe his wife didn't let him go. Or maybe Peter stayed home to roll up his sleeves and make yet another desperate stab at becoming a New-Wage A-lister instead of just a serial pimp.

Or maybe it has finally dawned on him that surgically attaching himself at the hip to someone like Coldwell was the stupidest move ever in a career filled with questionable moves, although the screen shot above would tend to negate that theory. Maybe he put that shot up to placate Lenny or circumvent any questions or raised eyebrows regarding his seeming absence from the little huddle in Charlotte. Someone please find out if "Captain Winky" (thanks, Kenneth Reimer) was or was not at the IMBS-ing U event and tell me, and I will correct, clarify, or retract as necessary.
Not that Peter will probably appreciate my earnest attempts at accuracy, since he clearly no longer likes people who write BLOGS. I guess he sort of hasn't liked me in a long time, even though we used to be such good frenemies. But Coldwell was the line in the sand. Here is a link to a video from early 2014, where Peter grouses about critics, including people who write BLOGS. The still shot below captures him at the precise moment when he says the word "BLOGS." He really has the crazy eyes in that one. But sometimes I have that effect on people, particularly scammers and their enablers.


Be that as it may, Peter was not the one I had in mind when referring to "one less pretty face." It appears that LoonyC has had a falling out with one of his former trophy girls: the lovely young Liana Werner-Gray, founder of the Earth Diet and author of a book by the same name, and winner of the Miss Earth Australia pageant in 2009... okay, so apparently she wasn't exactly Miss Earth Australia 2009 after all (that was Melinda Heffernan), but she evidently was in the contest. Most of her publicity material reads something like this blurb from the site:
She was named "Miss Earth Australia" in 2009 by People's Choice, the third largest beauty pageant in the world. During the same competition, she was also awarded "Best in Environmental Speech", "Green Achievers" and the "Innovators Award."
That sort of sounds as if she won the whole shebang, and that is apparently how most people -- myself included -- interpreted it. Maybe it is just a poorly structured sentence. But I am told that the People's Choice thing is sort of the equivalent of Miss Congeniality. Still, it's an honor, and there is no doubt that Liana is very pretty, which is probably the main reason that Lenny tried to use her as a prop for as long as he could. Here's a post from March 15, 2013:

The girl fight between Ms. Earth Diet and Mr. Bourbon Diet only broke out fairly recently, although I sense that it has been brewing for a long time. Maybe Lenny tried to stick his filthy bourbon-soaked paw up Liana's miniskirt one too many times. Maybe underneath her pretty smile and cheery demeanor she harbored a growing revulsion to Lenny. Or maybe there were some business deals that went sour. I honestly don't know. But until recently, all looked hunky-dory on the surface; Liana was a speaker
at the aforementioned tiny IBMS gathering on T-Day weekend (and here's another publicity shot of that).

But something happened... and it seems clear that as of now Liana and Lenny are on the outs, and Lenny has been Facebooking his rage again. (Liana has actually been pretty silent, but then she has more to lose at this point. Lenny has nothing to lose; he has already revealed to the world that he's a nut job.) He chose December 7, the day that
Liana had a book signing in his neck of the woods, Charleston, South Carolina, to rage under his own name on the timeline of his friend Sarah Barendse:

I'd take that "served with the official legal documents" thing with a few grains of Himalayan pink salt if I were you, though. Lenny's a great one with the bluster about people getting served with legal documents and whatnot. More on that below. (And it's Barnes and NOBLE, you moron, not "Nobel.")

Lenny found other things to fuss about regarding Miss Earth Diet, including something about her snubbing the "taxi cap" service he ordered for her. You'd think that a rich man like Lenny would have sent the very finest private car service for his star speaker -- a stretch limo at the very least. But apparently not.

And Lenny's good and faithful servant, little Amy Chappell King -- who renounced her parents more than two years ago and
ran away from home to join the Coldwell circus -- piped in as well.

All things considered, the things Lenny and Amy were going on about seemed quite petty.

Lenny wasn't content to Facebook-fume under his brand name; he did so under one of his favorite fake names as well: Rudi Kauder. He must have truly thought he was writing incognito on this December 7 thread, but as you'll see, I called him out there, and I'm calling him out again here.

Here's more about Loony as Rudi

And earlier this year he also popped in on one of Omri's Facebook threads:

The thread containing "Rudi's" catty comments disappeared from Sarah's page soon after I called him out; at least, I can't see it any more, and soon after that Sarah posted a message about how she was tired of people posting under fake names. She wrote, "...if you don't have the balls to say what you want to say as yourself then you likely have no business saying it......that goes for everyone."

But Rudi was on a roll, and he waddled right on over to
Liana Werner-Gray's public Facebook page. This is also from December 7, 2014:

I would have called him out there as well, but had recently been banned from commenting on Liana's page, and I'll 'splain why in just a moment. Fortunately the intrepid Armza Kimbo stepped in, as did this really cool guy I know named Ron Kaye. As of today (December 16) the whole thread is still up there on Liana's page. But I wouldn't be too worried about it if I were Liana; it just makes Lenny look stupider.

I know only bits and pieces about some of the conflicts that have been going on, and almost nothing about the part that directly involves Lenny, though I can probably make a pretty educated guess. The conflict that I do know about involves Sarah Barendse, who
had a few complaints about Liana's Earth Diet "coaching" scheme. She was concerned not only about what seemed like a series of false starts and broken commitments, but also about a four-year non-compete agreement that prospective "coaches" were asked to sign along with their nondisclosure agreement. Four years does seem pretty extreme, and if Sarah was quoting the agreement correctly it seems that the wording was vague enough to prevent any Earth Diet coach from doing pretty much anything in the field of nutrition and alt-health. So Sarah asked for her money back, and... well, read the blog post yourself, and you can see the story from her perspective, complete with screen shots of conversations.

At any rate, I actually spoke up on Sarah's behalf on Facebook.
Here is the link to my comment (and here is a link to the main thread). Believe me, my participation raised a few eyebrows. Some folks were justifiably confused. How could I be so anti-Lenny and yet seemingly pro-Sarah on this one, given the close friendship and business relationship between Sarah and Lenny?

It's simple. I was seeing things through the filter of my own years of observation, and I've seen numerous cases of other people being misled or actually screwed by similar "coaching" schemes. I have also seen many cases of people -- men as well as women -- who became insufferable divas after reaching a certain level of New-Wage stardom, forgetting their friends and business partners who helped and supported them on the way up the ladder.
Rhonda Byrne (The Secret), anyone? (Closer to home (since I once knew him personally): Joe "Mr. Fire" Vitale, anyone?)

Accordingly my very first thought was that Sarah could possibly have a legitimate gripe about
Liana's Earth Diet Coach scheme, details of which are here -- and possibly about Liana's behavior as well. And so I wrote a supportive comment on Sarah's Facebook timeline and even nosed in on related threads on one of Liana's Facebook pages. My comments were quickly deleted from Liana's page, and I was blocked from further participation.

It's no news to me that Sarah has been an enabler of Coldwell for more than two years, and she and I have had our conflicts as a result. But we are civil to each other these days, and notwithstanding any issues we may have with each other, she did speak up on my behalf when
Loony was accusing me of killing his dog. So there's that. On the pages where she has admin authority, she also deleted some of Lenny's posts that were endangering me because he posted my address and cell phone number. I'm sure Lenny was not happy about that.

Notwithstanding the above, I see now that I may very well have stuck my nose in the controversy prematurely, before I fully realized that Lenny might actually be behind a lot of the agitation. I am a little slow on the uptake at times. But I did not see the Loony posts until after I spoke up for Sarah. Even so, I'm not retracting my semi-supportive statement of Sarah. It is possible that she and some of the other prospective "coaches" may have had a legitimate gripe; I simply don't know. That's between these individuals and Liana. I will say this: even Sarah
has since written that many of the Earth Diet Coaches' pages seem to be up and running, though she insinuates that there are still some issues with people who want a refund of the $399 fee that they paid to become part of the coaching program.

Sarah explained on her blog post that after some back-and-forth, she got her $399 back, so it would seem that in her case, the issue probably isn't lawsuit fodder. In her original blog post she also wrote that she has an issue with Liana not paying her for social media and graphic design work she did for Liana -- but again, that is between the two of them and isn't necessarily lawsuit-worthy at this point.

But even so, it appears that Lenny is waving around lawsuit threats, because... well, that's what he does. For any and everything. In this case it's a recipe for comical disaster if I ever saw one. If anyone does have a legitimate legal issue with Liana's coaching scheme or with her, Lenny is only messing things up for them if they get at all involved with his dramas.

Many of you may remember what happened -- or didn't happen -- with those "class action suits" against GIN and Kevin Trudeau, which Lenny was supposedly orchestrating back in 2012. He totally hosed it for any potential plaintiffs who eagerly and hopefully boarded his scamtrain, and possibly he hosed it for anyone else (other than the government) who may have had a valid legal case against Katie. But it was no skin off of Lenny's back: more than likely he grabbed hundreds if not thousands of names for his mailing list. And he was able to make himself look like a hero, for a while anyway, to no telling how many shell-shocked ex-GIN members. (I wrote a little bit about that
on my first Lenny post in May 2012.)

So the big story here is not about Sarah and the other Earth Diet coaches or would-be coaches. That was only my portal to getting marginally involved in some Facebook kerfuffles, foolishly or otherwise. The big story is that Lenny now seems to be on the warpath against Liana, bound and determined to "expose" all of his former promotional partner's alleged lies and deceptions. The entertainment value in that alone is enormous, since any missteps Liana may have made pale in comparison to Lenny's blunders, lies, and worse. While we're waiting for the popcorn to finish popping, let's snack on a little bit of perspective.

Putting it all in context
It's a given that in general, New-Wage coaching/affiliate schemes often over-promise and under-deliver. At the risk of overstating the blatantly obvious, a "coach" of this sort is little more than a brand ambassador, and "coaches" have to march to the beat of the brand. (Someone who' fiercely independent like Sarah would probably not do well under such a plan, unless given enough leeway to do her own thing too.)

Leeway or not, I am reasonably certain that very few of these types of "coaches" can ever really quit their day jobs, if they're lucky enough to have one of those -- whether they are an Earth Diet "coach" or
an Access Consciousness "facilitator" or a "life coach" through Kevin Trudeau buddy Coral Thomas Grant's "Secrets to Life Coaching" scheme, or for that matter, a "certified" IBMS Coach (which will set you back many thousands of dollars for a basically worthless "certification"), or even if they become involved in a boiler-room (in this case, Prosper Inc.) scheme like Joe Vitale's "Miracles Coaching." (What... you didn't really think Joe does the actual coaching himself, did you?)

As I noted above, I don't even have to know much about Liana -- and I really don't know much about her -- to be pretty certain that any deceptions she may have committed, either on her own or at the behest of publicists, agents, publishers, image consultants, etc., are small potatoes compared to the whoppers that Coldwell has been telling for decades. And for that matter, the money that any of the prospective Earth Diet coaches may have spent to join the team is trivial in comparison to the many thousands you'd have to spend to be one of Coldwell's IBMS "coaches." (Yo, Dr. Tom, you are truly a sucker.)

But back to Liana. I'll admit that I never really bought her story about curing herself of a precancerous throat tumor, or that her mom was cured of advanced stage breast cancer just from adopting a more natural lifestyle. Liana goes into some detail about her health problems in her book, but those deets are still something you pretty much have to take on faith. (Still, her own claims in that area are modest compared to Coldwell's boasts that he cured 35,000 cancer patients, "many in a terminal state.") Beyond the iffiness of her personal health narrative, though, I have no particular objection to Liana's Earth Diet message or her cookbook, which was recently picked up by
major New-Wage publisher Hay House.

If you are a New-Wage author/speaker/guru/content provider, being picked up by Hay House is a very big deal, so from a purely marketing and platform-expansion standpoint it is quite an impressive accomplishment, if you're inclined to be impressed by such things. But since Hay House has also published the works of imaginary-friends scampire founders Esther and (the late) Jerry Hicks
of Abraham-Hicks fame, as well as numerous other New-Wage gurus whom I have snarked about on this blog (like this clown), I think that the Hay House bar for integrity and honesty in their authors is set pretty low. Truth, in other words, isn't a priority at Hay House; marketability is. I get that. Fair enough. Hay House is a bidness, and exists to make money.

Apropos of the above, it seems that little Lenny is trying to give Queen Louise a run for her money regarding the "true causes" of various diseases. Louise, as many of you may know, earned her original fame decades ago by publishing a list of physical diseases and what she opined were their true emotional/spiritual causes, along with affirmations -- or "new thought patterns" -- to correct the disease in question. The list was first distributed via a booklet called Heal Your Body, which in 1984 was expanded into the perennial New-Wage/McSpirituality/alt-health bestseller
You Can Heal Your Life.

Flash forward to Lenny on Facebook, December 12, 2014:

Compare to this (and
here's the link to the article from which I took the screen shot):

I wonder if it is just coincidence that Lenny is currently posting about the specific emotional "causes" of a specific type of cancer, or if it is just another sneaky way of trying to steal a little thunder from Liana through attempting to steal thunder from her famous publisher. Or maybe that's too subtle for Lenny's little mind. I dunno.

Whatever you might think of Louise Hay's list of diseases and the emotional/spiritual causes (and the "new thought patterns" to help heal them), there's no denying that she has been much, MUCH more successful over the years than Lenny. (And interestingly but not surprisingly, caged Kevin Trudeau has been flogging Louise's work via his Facebook fan page, e.g., on
this December 13, 2014 thread, and on this December 5 thread, on which he also flogs Abe-Hicks and Rhonda Byrne's infofrauducts, among many others.)

But I digress. Even as my main objection to Liana is not her Earth Diet message, it is not her Hay House affiliation either. My big objection is and always has been to her alliance with Leonard Coldwell. I mean... ugh.

Omri seemed to sum it up very well, back in January 2013.

But there's a larger context to all of this too. Decades of observing the New-Wage/selfish-help/McSpirituality/alt-health industries -- which have increasingly become part of that larger entity that some of us bloggers call Scamworld (
thank you, Salty Droid) -- have convinced me that branding throughout these industries is built almost entirely upon illusion... or to put it more bluntly, on deception, misrepresentation, and bald-faced lying.

Now, if these industries and their gurus billed themselves merely as entertainment and entertainers, this probably wouldn't matter too much, ethically or legally. But when you are clearly in the business of selling people advice on how to live their lives, and you are promising or at least strongly implying that you have the keys to health/wealth/happiness/emotional healing/spiritual fulfillment -- and you're marketing your own accomplishments and life as "proof" of the validity of your claims -- you should be held to a higher standard of truth than, say, a Hollywood celebutante who looks pretty but acts ugly.

I wrote about this issue here a few years ago;
go read it now if you haven't already. I'll wait.

In various ways over the years, I have played on the theme of the sweet little lies that gurus tell about themselves in order to market themselves and their frauducts and flopportunities. (
This is one such post, from earlier this year.) If there's one thing I have learned in the eight-plus years that I've been blogging about New-Wage/selfish-help/McSpirituality/alt-health, and the many years before that when I was participating, observing, and later satirizing the gurus and the sub-cultures, it is this: Scamworld gurus and wannabes fluff their resumes. Rare is the one who doesn't.

And they do it not only with exaggerated claims of accomplishments (complete with
phony degrees, in many cases), but also, quite often, with a big dramatic backstory about how they came to be a peddler of whatever it is they are peddling. In most cases the details are vague enough, and/or the events of the backstory are far enough removed in time and/or distance, to make verification impossible. Sometimes the stories are totally woo-ish and involve other-wordly entities or miracles from on high, removing them even further from the verification process. Think of Abrascam-Hicks, or of Access Consciousness founder Gary Douglas and his partnership with Rasputin and a few disembodied entities no one ever heard of...

All that is necessary is for the backstory to be wow-worthy in some way -- it has to be, or it wouldn't work to convert wide eyes into wide-open wallets (and/or, in many cases, wide-open legs).

The gurus are working at an advantage anyway in most cases, because many if not most of their marks don't even want to bother with trying to verify those backstories -- particularly if the guru in question is likeable or attractive, or makes audiences feel good about themselves, or reinforces their beliefs and biases. For many people, in other words, the facts don't matter if the story is good. (
Where have we heard that before on this Whirled?)

The point, of course, is that having a dramatic backstory is almost a requirement to really make it in Scamworld. Everyone from Tony Robbins to
Rich Dad Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki to Internet marketing scammer Brendon Burchard has a story. You can see capsule versions of some of their backstories in this article about the 25 most influential Scamworld gurus of 2014. (You don't hear Tony's rags-to-riches backstory so much any more, because he's so well known that he doesn't need that story any more to draw people into his funnel. But he used to tell it all the time.)

And the other point -- bringing it back home -- is that in the dramatic back-story area, as well as the resume fluffing, I'd say Liana has a long, long way to go before she catches up to the veterans.

The same goes with the getting-too-big-for-one's-britches area; again, to cite but two examples, see links to
Rhonda Byrne and Joe Vitale above (or in this sentence, if you don't feel like scrolling). Maybe Liana has been acting like a diva. Maybe all of the attention she's getting has thrown her off course a bit. I really don't know.

I'll grant that where Liana is concerned, at least some of her critics could be simply jealous or envious. Since Liana is from Oz, I'll honor her by bringing up an expression that my Aussie friends tell me is popular in their part of the world:
"the tall poppy syndrome." Sometimes this expression is used to describe the tendency that some people have to want to cut down anyone who is successful, whether the successful person truly deserves criticism or not. Sometimes, though, it refers to the justifiable humbling of someone who is flaunting their success and being arrogant. There are various shades of meaning to this expression, which may or may not apply to Liana. Again, I don't know.

But I know this for a fact: not everybody who criticizes a "successful" person is doing it because of envy and jealousy. And that is another point that prompted me to horn in on conversations that were probably none of my business on Liana's Facebook pages. Sometimes -- quite often in these industries, in fact -- people have legitimate gripes about the criticized person's teachings, practices, or behavior. It's not surprising, because these industries seem to attract more than their share of the egotistical, the narcissistic, even the sociopathic or psychopathic. (Not that I am in any way suggesting that Liana is a sociopath or a psychopath, of course. I reserve such judgments for the likes of Lenny.)

But the point is that sometimes it's not about cutting down a poppy simply because it's tall and lovely, but because it's obnoxious or toxic. Even so, an accusation of jealousy is often the first line of defense that New-Wage gurus and their fans and followers use against their critics.

As you probably know, I get that fairly frequently myself because of this "hater" blog. In fact, I've gotten it quite a lot from Lenny, and I'm anything but a tall poppy chopper-downer. Here's how Lenny started off the New Year 2014 on Facebook:

And Lenny couldn't have been more wrong about me, or about Bernie, or about "James" (actually he meant Jason, aka Salty Droid. At that time, he didn't mention Omri because, apparently, he was still operating under the wacky delusion that Omri and Jason are the same person.).

Does Lenny have a legit beef with Liana? I don't know... but I'm thinking probably not.
Liana may very well have snubbed Coldwell in some way, but it's hard to tell whether he has a legitimate (as in lawsuit-worthy) complaint or not. Knowing Lenny's past history, though, I tend to think not. All Sarah would say on her December 1 blog post about the matter was this:

Up until now I have kept this out of the public because of Liana’s professional affiliation with my very good friend Dr. Coldwell who was supposed to be working with Liana to open the Earth Diet Bakery and Cafe… Apparently though Liana has decided that loyalty and friendship are worth less to her than money as a bigger investor has come along…..Yet she snapped up the opportunity still to speak at the [latest IBMS Master's Society] event, taking every chance to promote herself while stepping on others.
Well, jeez, if it's mainly about the Earth Diet Bakery and Cafe, I wouldn't be too concerned if I were Liana. Lenny has apparently been making big promises to people for years. Some of you may recall that he was going to help his little buddy Abe Husein open an organic fast-food restaurant back in 2012. Abe was trying not to get too pumped about it but clearly was, and said that "Dr. C" was going to talk to him about it in earnest once Coldwell got back from Germany. I let Abe know that the Internet trademark and business registration listing sites are riddled with information about failed Coldwell enterprises. Abe didn't seem to think that was any big deal. Well, heck, see for yourself. This is from November 3, 2012:

But after that thread, we never heard another peep from Abe or Lenny about the big plan.

And Lenny has mouthed off about so many other things over the past couple of years --
that 130-acre "health resort" he supposedly purchased, for instance -- and has then said nothing more. So I think that anybody who takes any of his business propositions or ideas seriously is only fooling herself or himself.

In other words, if Liana wants to open the Earth Diet Bakery and Cafe, she can probably use her own star power to do it, without giving Lenny another thought. 
[Note: See 31 December update below, as well as 2015 updates. ~CC]

A closer look at some other Lenny gripes about Liana
Regarding the Alive New York Expo: In one of his comments to Sarah under the nick "Rudi Kauder," Coldwell mentioned the Alive New York "Hoax and scandal." It may have been a hoax but it really wasn't a scandal -- just another New-Wage con (or maybe just one of those "good ideas" that the people with the idea were too crooked or inept to bring to fruition). I wrote about it
on this blog post last year.

At the time the "scandal" happened in April 2012,
Lenny was righteously siding with "my dear friend Liana Werner-Gray," who he said was a co-founder of the Alive NY event. Lenny was totally blaming the other co-founders, Josh and Anna Scurry, for the mess-up. "They took her money and as I see it they screwed Liana over."

Liana was even touted by Mike Adams and Lenny as being the "whistleblower" in this matter. And in June 2012, when the Scurrys announced that the event was being canceled/postponed and that they would honor ticket sales and sponsorships at the "next event," Lenny said that Josh and Anna were "nothing without Liana."

As per usual, during the heat of the controversy Lenny was shaking his chubby little fist and threatening to sic his legal team on the Scurrys. But apparently Lenny is now blaming Liana for being one of the screwers instead of one of the screwees.

Quite honestly, I don't know who did what to whom, but at the very least, the Alive NY incident would seem to be yet another indication that Liana does not choose her business partners very wisely.

Regarding the lawsuits that are supposedly flying around now, at least according to Lenny:
As for those legal sabers Lenny is apparently now rattling, I know next to nothing about that, as I noted above. But as most of you who have been following this and a few other blogs probably know, Lenny has a long history of either lying about legal action or filing groundless lawsuits. Remember
the false alarm about his lawyer "finishing off" the "marinated troll/droid" (Salty Droid) and his "playmate" (me) back in December 2012? If you don't feel like reading the entire post linked to in the previous sentence, here is a direct link to a screen shot of Lenny's lie, which, as I noted, he wrote in December of 2012 -- more than two years ago

(In case you're wondering, Salty and I have not yet been driven to the poorhouse, and neither one of us is dining on dog droppings yet, though I am constantly almost stepping in cat droppings, due to a certain spiteful pooper in our household. And none of us lives in a trailer either, though actually I think trailers are pretty cool (and here's a very cool book about them). Maybe LoonyC just isn't "dont" with us yet.)

More recently, Coldwell told his fans that his lawyers have been dealing with me for four years. But I've never heard a peep from any of them.

And do you remember Lenny's
impotent threats to sue Bernie O'Mahony at GINtruth?

And even when he does occasionally follow through with his legal saber rattling... remember his
unsuccessful lawsuit against Salty Droid and Omri Shabat?

Then, of course, there was that German lawsuit initiated by Lenny in the late 1990s against a German cult expert, Karin Patow-Froese. Lenny lost the lawsuit, though he has claimed otherwise.
Here is the English translation of the document that has extensive information about the lawsuit.

Less well known is a South Carolina lawsuit in which Lenny sued his former business partners for infringing on his intellectual property rights and for hacking his web sites; the suit was dismissed, apparently because one of the defendants actually owned all of the rights to the very property that Lenny was suing over.

Lenny has been involved in a few other civil actions too, including
one against a transport company that was responsible for moving some office equipment to Germany back in the early 2000s.

At any rate, the records available on the Charleston County SC Clerk of Court's public index really don't seem to support Lenny's frequent claim that he never, ever, ever lost a battle in his life.

And for that matter, since he is listed as a defendant in at least one of these cases, it sort of makes a liar out of the proud but awkwardly stated claim on his Bio web site:
Defamation, Libel, Slander and the Conspiracy to Destroy Ground of Business: To preempt any form of doubt creation: Dr. Leonard Coldwell has never been sued, arrested, indicted, trialed or convicted of any crime.
Well, it appears that he has at least been sued, doesn't it? And that may just be the tip of the iceberg. There may be a smattering of other lawsuits here and there with him as either the fuming plaintiff or defendant; I don't have access to all of those records. But I'm hearing some buzz...

Anyway, from what I have seen, I'd say that Liana probably does not have much to worry about from Lenny's "legal team" or any of the other supposed lawsuits that he says are coming at her from Australia and all over. More than likely he is just blowing hot air. However, since Liana is a woman and he's clearly a misogynist (notwithstanding his ladies' man shtick, and notwithstanding that he used to slobber all over her), she can probably expect some more vicious, catty attacks from him.

But legal action or no legal action, I think that Liana's association with Lenny was a huge mistake and could possibly be an ugly pink splotch on her career for years to come (the "pink" is in honor of Lenny's favorite shirt and tie color). Even so, I suspect that his very public railing against her -- even apparently turning some of his own former friends and allies against him -- will put an even bigger black splotch on what is left of his career.

Pass the popcorn.

Lenny is loony, but it DOES take two to tango...

To me, the truly popcorn-worthy part of this is that Lenny, using the ridiculous cover of Rudi Kauder, has been going all mean-girl on Liana on Facebook, making fun of her looks and so forth ("humongous feet and hands Male like NO lips and too tiny teeth"). WTF, Lenny? He seems to have conveniently forgotten that
he joyfully used her as a prop to shore up his own sagging ego for years. In addition, he proudly embraced Liana's narrative that his advice/protocol was a source or inspiration in her own healing process.
He even went out of his way to promote her book launch in October of this year, and some of the pre-launch activities in September:


As you can see, his promos describe Liana as being "Miss Australia," which seems even less accurate than her own promos that imply she was Miss Earth Australia 2009. In light of that, Lenny and Amy look even sillier and more petty for meowing about the way Liana listed her beauty pageant title.

On the other hand, it appears to me that Liana also shamelessly used Coldwell to expand her own platform -- although it is equally obvious to me that she was always destined for bigger things than being a speaker at meetings of a GIN ripoff club (that would be IBMS, of course). She always had several irons in the fire, having lived in New York for a few years and being involved in acting, modeling and so forth. If she did actually do something to cheat Coldwell in some way, business-wise (which at this point I seriously doubt), that makes her just as wrong as he. But that's between the two of them.

What's clear is that for an extended time Lenny and Liana were allies, promoting each other all over the place, even as recently as the October 26, 2014 NAVEL Health Expo in New York.
Here's Liana's blog post about it... and here's mine.

And here is a link to a video that Lenny has been promoting again recently (he posted this link on his various Facebook pages on December 18, 2014). It includes the portion of the October 2014 NAVEL Health Expo where Liana, apparently introducing keynote speaker Lenny, clearly states that it was her application of "Dr." Coldwell's books and practices to her life that healed her from her numerous health challenges. It starts at about 4:35 (be sure to read the comments too, particularly the one from Tom Banjo).

And in the extensive Acknowledgements note towards the back of Liana's book The Earth Diet (page 198, top of column 2), Liana writes:
Dr. Leonard Coldwell has been so generous with me, a real fountain of resources and insights on what would be important to include in the book. Dr. C, I want you to know how much I value your friendship and mentorship.
On the Resources list, also towards the back, Liana lists Coldwell's ridiculous, poorly written tome, The Only Answer to Cancer (page 189, under Recommended Books, "For the Body").

So as lovely as I think Liana is, and as nice as her message about healthy eating and environmental awareness seem to be, there is that Lenny thing. It may not be quite the turds-of-a-feather deal that it was when Lenny started opening fire on his ex-buddy Kevin Trudeau, or for that matter when Lenny and Fred Van Liew started taking potshots at each other. I'm open to hearing more, from all sides in the controversy. But as I recently told someone who was puzzled about my speaking up for Sarah and who asked me where I really stand, if someone forced me at gunpoint to choose sides I would choose Liana over Leonard Coldwell any day. That may be damning with faint praise, but truly, it's the best I can do at this point.

Oh, yeah, and I did order
her book, The Earth Diet. It looks interesting. I'll let you know what I think of it.

Update, 31 December 2014: It appears that the fighting is still going on.
Sarah Barendse wrote a new blog post, "Burning Bridges," about the Earth Diet coaching glitches, this time linking to a complaint and an online petition by one of Liana's unhappy would-be coaches in Oz, Susanne Wilder of Perth, Western Australia.  According to the complaint, Susanne wants her $400 back and a public apology from Liana. She also claims that there are forty other "Healthy Living" coaches who also want refunds and have not received any responses from Liana and company. And she makes a catty and totally gratuitous (in my view) remark about Liana living rent-free in someone's home in New York.  Susanne also claims that she has learned a lot about Liana's scamming ways by speaking to "others in the States" about her.

Now, I'm not saying that the would-be coaches have no legitimate complaint; as I mentioned above, I don't know. As I also noted above, this type of "coaching" is pretty much b.s., in my opinion, at least as a viable income source. It's all in the service of promoting the brand -- and in this case, I don't really know how much control Liana herself even has over her brand any more, now that she's all signed up with Hay House. But I do know this: if one of those people in the States that Susanne spoke to was Loony Coldwell, I'd take everything he said with a grain of salt if I were her. Coldwell's entire career is built on lies, and I've documented dozens of the most egregious ones on this blog.

On Susanne's Facebook page she posted a couple of links to her petition and to Sarah's blog posts about the coaching glitches. Lenny was right there front and center, foaming at the mouth about all of the legal actions being taken against Liana. He even complains that Liana has turned some of his friends and allies against him, and vows that he and his "legal team" are going to handle that.

Coldwell also mentions the "Earth Diet Bakery" issue again, and this time
I looked it up and found this on Trademarkia. The Earth Diet Bakery Bistro Cafe trademark registration was filed by "Dr." Leonard Coldwell of 112A Argus Ln #314, Mooresville, NORTH Carolina 28117-6977.

There's also this on the site.

It really makes me wonder what sort of agreements Liana and Lenny actually had regarding this business venture idea. Did Liana actually give him the go-ahead to apply for those trademarks under his name -- when the Earth Diet is clearly her brand? Lenny, if you want to write to my blog and tell us, go ahead.
Liana, you of course are also welcome to comment here. [Note: See July 26, 2015 update below. ~CC]

Lenny seems to be on a foodservice kick again these days; I found a couple of other businesses registered to "Dr." Leonard Coldwell of 112A Argus Ln #314, Mooresville, North Carolina 28117-6977, which Google street view reveals to be a strip center in the Charlotte NC metro area. There is, for instance, Food You Can Trust (filing date September 1, 2014). And there is The Good Old Days Are Here Again (filing date September 1, 2014).

And as for Liana claiming that she has been picked up by extraterrestrials... if she actually did say that (you never know, with Lenny), and if she wasn't joking (which she very possibly could have been; I don't know), it seems to me that's no weirder than all of the crap that some of Lenny's closest friends claim to believe in -- Abraham-Hicks, anyone?

You can also see Lenny's infamous echolalia at work here as he blathers on about Liana's entire life being built on lies and deception. He goes on about informing the FTC about her for deceptive advertising, and the FDA because she is "potentially practicing medicine without a license." Say what?!? Pot and kettle, Loony Tunes!He claims that the long post is a "summery" [sic] post from "the entire IBMS team" (and what a mighty team that must be -- how many people are we talking about? Three or four?).

He also claims his lengthy rant was "posted by Nicky for our team and specifically Dr C." By Nicky, I am assuming he means "Nicholas Coldwell," sometimes spelled "Nicolas" Coldwell, which is the fake name that his twelve-years-younger half-brother Jens Wilhelm Anskohl uses. (Or, more accurately, the name that Lenny uses for Jens.) Jens is probably off playing online poker somewhere or picking up young beautiful women, the way Lenny reportedly always wanted to but never could, and more than likely he doesn't give a rat's a$$ about this girl fight. I wonder again if Jens knows how Lenny is using his name...

Anyway, on the shots following Susanne's original post you will see Lenny, pretending to be someone else but fooling no one, closing out the year in top form, 31 December 2014.


I said it above and I'll say it again here: although it's never a good thing to break your promises and then fail to give refunds to the folks to whom you broke those promises -- and Liana should certainly do everything in her power to make good on her promises to her would-be coaches -- I also have it on very good authority (from several sources) that
Leonard Coldwell's very expensive IBMS (Instinct Based Medicine System) "Coaching" courses are a ripoff that makes Liana's scheme look tame by comparison.

[Update 6 January, 2015: Here's Loony mean-girling Liana again on Sarah's Facebook page. This is from January 5-6, 2015. Once again, echolalia and pot-and-kettle seem to be very much in evidence here.]
"...never...cured cancer...uneducated, unsophisticated,
and a [sic] ignorant sociopath..."
Looking in the mirror again, Lenny?

I mentioned this above but it is very much worth mentioning again, and emphasizing. I have heard from various reliable sources that Coldwell used false promises of a huge guaranteed client base in order to promote his IBMS "Coaching" courses and to persuade good people to fork over upwards of $20,000 for a totally worthless "certification." Once they had spent the money to get "certified," the base of potential clients mysteriously dried up. I have no idea if any of the certified IBMS coaches have asked for their money back, but I'm thinking that they darn well should, because I doubt that one of them has made any money at all from their "certification." (And if they used their credit cards to purchase these phony-baloney classes, couldn't that constitute credit card fraud?)

I wish Sarah and Susanne the best in their endeavors, and hope for Susanne's sake that she doesn't get sucked into Coldwell's dramas and lies. As for Sarah, frankly I think the best thing she could do for herself is to burn her bridges with that lying lunatic Coldwell.

Update, 25 March 2015: I was surfing around and came across this notice of opposition, which was apparently filed by Earth Diet/Liana Werner Gray against Leonard Coldwell on March 2, 2015:

Update 26 July 2015: And... Lenny answered the opposition, also in March, although I just became aware of the document the other day. Here's the link:

If the 2013 agreement displayed in the document (see Appendix A, or screen grab below) is genuine, it appears that Liana did indeed foolishly grant rights to the Earth Diet name to Coldwell, at least as it applies to the would-be bakery/bistro concept. That was back in the day when she and Lenny were good buddies, posing with their arms around each other at every opportunity.

But I wonder how the "agreement" would actually hold up in court. I am no lawyer, of course, but that agreement looks to me like the product of amateur lawyering, at best. Look at the screen shot below and you will see what I mean. There are no lawyer or notary signatures, just this "agreement," which is so clumsily written that it appears to have been penned by Lenny himself.

If you look at the entire opposition document (here's that link again) you will also notice how Coldwell redacted his address in Appendix B (actually the name is also redacted, come to think of it). He's so coy about that, yet has no qualms about publishing the private addresses of others (including me) in efforts to compromise or endanger them.

Coldwell also makes numerous claims in the opposition document that Liana made several written "threats" to him, and you would think he would have included at least a couple of those written threats in the document. But they seem to be as absent as the "proof" that I sexually harassed Loony by phone and email.

On one of the most interesting pages of the document, Leonard Coldwell actually says he was licensed in medicine until he retired in January 2015. This is in complete contradiction to his numerous other claims on the Internet that he "retired" from working with "patients" many years ago, around the time he moved to the U.S. (He makes that very claim on the Bio web site to which he links on this opposition document! Here are his actual "credentials," as documented by Loony himself.)

On this same little whine he also makes reference to pending legal actions against people who wrote Internet articles about him... but we all know how that ended, a little over two months after the opposition document was filed. (If you don't know, you can read about it here.) Anyway, here is a screen shot of Lenny claiming that he was licensed in medicine until his "retirement" early this year.

This is yet one more indication out of hundreds that the little moron can't even keep his lies straight. This is not a court document; nevertheless I wonder if it is a crime or civil offense to lie about one's credentials to the U.S. copyright/trademark office...

I also think it's interesting that according to comments made in this opposition, Coldwell still seems to be using Bill Hanahan, the semi-retired South Carolina lawyer who literally would rather be sailing than lawyer-ing, at least to send cease and desist letters or something equally lame. As some of you may recall,
Coldwell was invoking Bill's name to threaten Salty Droid, Bernie, and me back in 2012, but nothing ever came of that. He probably couldn't get any other lawyer to handle his stupid trademark case.

Bottom line: It appears that Liana made a very foolish mistake in getting involved with Lenny at all. I'm sure she learned from the experience, as has virtually everyone else who has ever been involved in any sort of business venture with this little lunatic. Even so, from her perspective I think it's for the best that they had their falling-out. Had Liana chosen to pursue the bakery/bistro enterprise with Lenny I have little doubt that it would have gone the way of pretty much all of his other business ideas: nowhere, fast. As it is, it appears that the opposition failed and he is the owner of the Earth Diet Bakery concept. But I very much suspect he's being a little dog in the manger (no offense intended to dogs) and is simply holding the trademark hostage.