Saturday, July 27, 2019

Blog Mitzvah? Whirled Musings turns thirteen

Today, Whirled Musings is thirteen years old. As I wrote a couple of years ago on the Whirled's eleventh blogaversary, and have mentioned numerous other times, this all began as a humor blog about New-Wage/selfish-help/McSpirituality/alt-health culture and scams and scammers. But it grew more serious as the darker side of this culture became more glaringly apparent; the James Arthur Ray "sweat lodge" deaths in 2009 marked a turning point. And in later years, Whirled Musings grew more political as well. I still try to be funny once in a while, and I am sure there are times I'm unintentionally humorous, but there are some serious messages as well in these hundreds and hundreds of pages.

And as I wrote on
a New Year's post at the beginning of 2016, I never dreamed when I first began blogging that I would even keep it up for so many years. I simply decided to start writing and see how things went. Over the years I've gained a modest following, with the emphasis on "modest" rather than "following." And I've received my share of feedback over the years -- lots of criticism to be sure, but also lots of messages from people who have thanked me for either validating their own experiences or for helping to keep them from wasting money, time, or emotional energy on some scam or scammer. That's one of the factors that keeps me going.

For the most part, my blog posts (even the more serious ones) have been on the superficial side, but there's still almost always a deeper message or larger theme. Like me, my posts may be shallow, but they're shallow in a profound way. I've rarely broken any journalistic ground here, and haven't pretended to, although mainstream journalists have contacted me for help with major stories and features over the years.

And I have also covered a few topics that haven't been critically written about in many other places, such as the partially-Scientology-inspired sex-and-money cult
Access Consciousness... and the cult of Anastasia (not the late tsar's daughter but the imaginary babe in the woods)... and alt-health quack/conspiranoid/fascist Leonard Coldwell (who unsuccessfully sued me a few years ago)... and a predatory poser performance artist in Maui who calls himself Dreaming Bear... and more. I've also written about some scams and scammers that several others have criticized, but are worth a mention here, such as the Abraham-Hicks racket. I covered the civil and criminal cases of now-imprisoned serial scammer Kevin Trudeau extensively. And, oh, yes, I recently broke the news about Joe "Mr. Fire" Vitale's divorce, which he apparently isn't talking about yet in public.

last year's Blogaversary post I described my blog as a fool's errand, which in a sense it is, because I'm just one little barking, snarking dog watching an endless caravan of scammers who will scam on no matter what. But I intend to keep on blogging anyway, and eventually I may even finally update my template, as I've been promising to do for the past eleven or twelve years.

For now, if you're looking at the Web version, there's a Donate button on the left-hand side, right under the blog description. (If you can't find it, just Paypal to or, or use the shameless beg blurb below.)

In other words,
please feel free to feed the Snark! But even if you can't donate, thank you for stopping by, and thank you again for your support over the years.


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Anonymous said...

Hello, Connie? I just discovered your blog today, but through a post from 2013 about Matt Dubiel and Andrew Henderson. (I came here based on my interest in Henderson.) I've been wondering if I'm missing some connections between him and Kevin Trudeau. For instance, Henderson produced infomercials in Phoenix back in the 2000s. Were any of these Trudeau's?

Please have a look at my Wikipedia article-in-progress on Henderson (it's a draft--needs more mainstream sources to be an actual article, i.e. to prove that the subject is sufficiently "noteworthy"), and by all means, feel free to make any corrections or additions / subtractions you think appropriate:

Best wishes, Dawud

Cosmic Connie said...

Hi, Dawud, and thank you for commenting. I actually don't know anything about Henderson beyond his indirect connection with Trudeau, via Matt Dubiel, a few years back. I am thinking that Henderson was probably not involved with any of Trudeau's infomercials, but couldn't say for sure. I know (and have written about) Trudeau's partnership with Donald Barrett and ITV Direct (based in Kevin's former home state of Massachusetts). Barrett helped produce some of Trudeau's infomercials in the early 2000s. I'm sure Trudeau partnered with others before and after that to produce his infomercials, but I'm not sure about names.

But I'll do a little digging around and see if I can come up with any additional information. Meanwhile, this 2005 Salon article, which I've also cited and linked to on some of my numerous blog posts about Trudeau, might point you in a direction for further research.

Good luck on your Wikipedia article, and if I come up with any info that will help that effort I will contact you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Any dirt on Matt Dubiel? He seems to have distanced himself from Trudeau later, and from what I can tell on the internet, does honest work nowadays. I found one video Henderson did about Trudeau years ago,

which does not add much information. And here's a video testimonial about Matt Dubiel, who Henderson calls his mentor:

I've been searching through for the names of Henderson's associates, e.g. the speakers at his conferences from 2014-2016, and they are a motley crew of doomsters, gold bugs, Bitcoin enthusiasts, right-wing libertarians, Austrian-school economists, expat pickup artists, and one guy who later became known as a white nationalist. But they all seem to be doing their own things, and don't necessarily agree with each other (or with Henderson, who has changed over the years as well). It's a bit like the New Age movement, with lots of gurus who come together for the psychic fair.

Here's an unrelated thought: Trudeau claimed to have joined a mysterious "Brotherhood" of rich people. Most people assume that he just made this up (or copied the idea from Napoleon Hill), it possible that he was a Freemason? Not that it matters very much, but this might be his way of describing his old lodge. --Dawud

Cosmic Connie said...

Hi again, Dawud. I don't have any real dirt on Matt Dubiel, but like most of those online "marketing experts," I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him. :-) I don't think one can go too far wrong by assuming that most of those guys are hucksters.

Quite honestly I think (and have thought for the more than 10 years since I found out about Trudeau's "Brotherhood" tall tale), that Trudeau was just making all of it up as a marketing hook. More than likely he has simply had a lifelong fascination with "secret societies" and "forbidden" knowledge and so forth. But I suspect that the "Brotherhood" scheme was solidified by his alliance with the Neo-Tech/Nouveau-Tech/neo-thinker scampire (Mark Hamilton and Hamilton's late father Wallace Ward Sr., whom Trudeau reportedly met when he was in prison in the 1990s).

Years ago I asked one of Trudeau's former marketing guys, Peter Wink, who was supposedly close to Trudeau, if Trudeau had ever given him the straight story about the "Brotherhood." Peter, who is a Freemason himself, didn't really give me a straight answer at the time, though later on, after he and Trudeau had had their falling out, he laughed about Trudeau's "Brotherhood" story. At the time I first asked him, though, Peter gave me a non-answer about secret societies being a repository of forbidden information throughout history, but told me that he hadn't actually asked Kevin about it. I knew he was dodging but didn't push it.
(under the sub-head "Earning some true dough")

A couple of years later, though, Trudeau fired Peter from GIN, and Peter then became one of the guys "exposing" Trudeau for the con man that he always had been. And though I had been overly nice to Peter in my "conversations with Peter Wink" posts, I maintain to this day that Peter knew all along that Trudeau was a con artist and just went along with it as long as he was making money.

Anonymous said...

And thank you again! BTW, I now realize that Henderson produced *radio* informercials, while Trudeau did TV informercials, so I guess there's no connection here. I'm still confused about exactly who Matt Dubiel is, and what he's been doing all these years. Apparently he worked for Trudeau in some capacity, then went out on his own? And later went to work for Alex Jones and "Info Wars"?

Henderson (in the video linked above) reports meeting him in 2012, then taking several more years to follow his advice to get out of the conference business and help people more directly. This makes it sound as though Dubiel advised him to switch to offshore consulting; however, there was an intermediate period in which Henderson tried to get people to join his "Nomad Society" (USD 1000 per year got you access to videos and smaller conferences), and it occurs to me to wonder if that wasn't what Dubiel actually recommended, since some of the sales techniques seem similar to the older MLM ones (joining the society led to further pressure to spend money, e.g. for conferences). Anyway, I'm wondering how Dubiel and Henderson met--through what circles.

While Henderson's conferences did not touch on alternative health or spirituality, I do notice that Henderson claims to believe in what he calls the Law of Abundance. This sounds as though it came from someone in the Trudeau circle, possibly Dubiel. Henderson at the time was more negative about the USA and its probable Orwellian future (one of his speakers offered tips for not getting tracked by the NSA!), and while Trudeau seems not to have spoken in this vein, Alex Jones definitely does. (Any idea how Dubiel transitioned to Jones?)

The Masons are not very secret, and few of their members are very interested in its esoteric aspect anyway. (Most find the rituals boring, and few can be bothered to read Pike's "Morals and Dogma," a hefty book which most of them receive as gifts.) Most of this stuff can be found online anyway, and I'm sorry to say contains little in the way of practical tips for getting rich. The Shriners began as a "fun" order (members were known for drinking), but the Masonic hierarchy anticipated a PR disaster and ordered them to start doing charity, hence the children's burn centers.

As I look up the diverse bios of Henderson's speakers and collaborators, it occurs to me that this loose grouping might also be called a kind of "Brotherhood," as long as we avoid attributing to them too much of an esprit de corps. Henderson himself complained (in another video) about how too many conference speakers turn out to be old cronies who scratch each other's back by inviting each other, and in effect doing the same conference again and again. But this would be post-Trudeau, not proto-Trudeau. --Dawud

Cosmic Connie said...

Sounds like you have a pretty good handle on what is going on with these guys, Dawud, and I really appreciate your participation here. I noticed many years ago that there is an overlap among the new-agey/pop-spirituality/metaphysical belief systems and industries, and those more focused on motivational/self-help/success and other more mundane concerns. Several of my blog subjects, such as Joe Vitale and good old Kevin Trudeau himself, have tried to grab all they could from all of these sectors. They all borrow (or steal) from each other, endorse each other if it will increase their income, and talk nasty about each other behind each other's backs.

I hadn't heard of Matt Dubiel until I learned of him through the Trudeau connection, but as I indicated in my previous comment, basically he's just another hustler, as far as I'm concerned. I guess I've been too focused on the Scammer in Chief, Donald Trump, in recent years to be much concerned with Trudeau's old cohorts. But I do thank you for bringing some of these guys back to the forefront.

You're right about the Masons... they're NBD, secrecy-wise. Heck, even *I* have an ancient copy of "Morals and Dogma" that I got at a garage sale decades ago. I read quite a bit of it, hoping to find some secret, forbidden information, I suppose. :-)