Friday, January 31, 2020

Kevin Trudeau asks Judge Robert Gettleman for post-prison scam guidance

Pity the poor imprisoned serial scammer whose release date from a Federal Prison Camp is "soon" -- though more than likely not nearly as soon as he would like, despite his strong implications to his fan base that freedom is just around the corner for him. Especially pity him if he has all sorts of grandiose plans for new ways to get people to give him money once he gets out of prison, and is even partnering with a "legitimate" organization on the outside to set the groundwork for future money grabs -- but he's at a loss as to just what he can get away with and avoid being re-caged. He can't ask his high-priced lawyers because gosh, he still owes them hundreds of thousands of dollars, and they're not speaking to him anymore, and besides, they didn't keep him out of prison anyway, so screw them.

What's a poor perplexed flim-flam man to do?


In case it isn't painfully obvious, the imprisoned serial scammer to whom I'm referring is Kevin Trudeau, aka KT, aka Katie on this blog, whom I've been writing about almost constantly for over a month now.

And I'll tell you what Trudeau did in order to try to clear up his puzzlement about his post-clink career options: he wrote an email to
Judge Robert Gettleman, who presided over his long-running civil case, turned it into a civil contempt case, and guided it towards becoming a criminal contempt case, the latter of which was presided over by Judge Ronald Guzman. Judge Guzman is the one who actually handed down the 10-year sentence, but Judge Gettleman has been a key player in Katie's legal saga for many years.

I didn't find out about the email to Judge Gettleman until earlier today, or I would have added the info to my previous post, in which (among several other issues) I speculated about Trudeau's post-prison fate. I shared my opinion that to a large extent his future was pretty much in the hands of the Hon. Judge Gettleman, at least in matters pertaining to the case that landed him in prison. Clearly Trudeau sees it that way as well, judging by the questions in his email to Judge Gettleman, as reported in a January 26, 2020 article in the Chicago Sun-Times.

The email arrived for U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman early on a Friday afternoon. Its author opened with eight simple words:

“This is Kevin Trudeau. You may remember me.”

There is little chance Gettleman forgot. Federal prosecutors accused the fraudster, onetime TV pitchman and author of “The Weight-Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About” of brazenly defying Chicago’s federal courts for more than a decade.

But Trudeau, 56, has quietly been serving a 10-year prison sentence for contempt of an order from Gettleman. Now, though the U.S. Bureau of Prisons says Trudeau is not due to go free until May 2022, he wrote in a Jan. 10 email to Gettleman that he “will be released in the near future.”

And he claims he doesn’t want to get into any more trouble.

“I am writing to you to ask some specific questions about what I can and cannot do when I am released,” Trudeau wrote. “As you can imagine, I never want to be held in contempt again.”

He followed the comment with a smiley face.
Well, Katie hasn't been serving all that quietly, but I'll give the writer a pass on that small detail. That writer is Jon Seidel, federal courts reporter for the Sun-Times. It's his job to keep his eye on the court dockets, and if I'm reading him correctly, Trudeau's email was placed on the docket on Thursday, January 23.

Now, it's been quite a while since I've pored through the lengthy Trudeau dockets myself; at the height of the court battles in 2013 and 2014, and even for a while after that, I downloaded and read hundreds of pages, blogged about what I'd read, and uploaded numerous documents to Scribd -- not just the dockets but also a variety of motions, responses, pleas, and even a few transcripts. (
This is a link to my posts tagged, "Kevin Trudeau court cases, but it's probably not comprehensive.) I'm currently trying to reactivate my PACER account just to see what I can see, but meanwhile we'll have to go with Seidel's reporting and my reporting about his reporting. Fair enough?

Seidel, who is clearly cognizant of Katie's messaging style, wrote that the January 10 email was "classic Trudeau."
He quickly brought up Nelson Mandela — quoting the late South African leader — and he told the judge, “when I come back to society, you will see a wonderful happy and peaceful new man, ready for a new life with only gratitude and love in my heart.”
Yup, yup, yup... we've heard it all before. Katie has been working up that mythic tale of faux-redemption and spiritual McMiracles since his MCC (Chicago lockup) daze. (And besides Mandela, he has also frequently evoked Gandhi and other historical figures.)

Apart from talking about what a Changed Man he is and taking a potshot at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding those diet-book refunds, the main purpose of Trudeau's email was to ask Judge Gettleman specific questions about his payment obligations and his career options after his release.
He asked how much money he is still expected to pay the court, how he should expect to make payments — “the receiver took every penny I had, and confiscated and liquidated everything,” he said.

Finally, he asked, “when I am released from prison, am I allowed to earn money or must I still turn over 100% of all the money I would earn to ‘someone,’ and if so who?”

He also asked if he could start a business, earn royalties or speaking fees, or receive “donations and gifts.”

He said his attorneys won’t give him advice, “as I still owe them over $200,000 in legal fees.” Following the advice of counsel didn’t work out too well in the past anyway, he said.

“So I come to you directly,” Trudeau told Gettleman, “as YOU are the ONLY source that can answer these questions, as only you KNOW the answers.
He added that based upon all that's happened, he has become "quite radioactive."

At this time I have no idea whether or not Gettleman has responded to Trudeau -- I'm guessing not, but I don't know for sure -- but it's no surprise that the email ended up in the public record anyway. That's just the way this stuff works. And in fact, over the years quite a few personal communications about his cases have been entered into the public record, there for anyone with a PACER account to see. I'm sure that I haven't seen nearly all of them, but I've seen and posted about some of them.

What I do know -- and Seidel reported this too in his article -- is that Judge Gettleman has called Trudeau a liar, and that in 2015, when the judge was talking with lawyers about attempts to collect judgments against Katie, he said that they hadn't collected nearly what they should have, but perhaps would do so someday. Gettleman also added, "And when he finishes serving his time, he's going to have to come back here and explain that to me."

That was then, this is now. As I noted in
my previous post, I don't know how much money Trudeau still owes, and his email to Gettleman indicates that he doesn't know either.

* * * * *

This recent attempt to reach out to Judge Gettleman isn't the first time Trudeau has tried communicating with the judge via email. Some of you may recall that back in 2010, Trudeau was sentenced to 30 days in jail for harassment after he urged his fans to write to Gettleman begging for mercy for Kevin. He published the judge's email address, which in all fairness had previously appeared on at least one public site, but then again, on that site it had not been posted in the context of urging thousands of deluded followers of a scam artist to flood the judge's in box. (Here's one of numerous links about that incident; I've blogged about it too but can't find my own link at the moment.) The judge's computer and BlackBerry were flooded with hundreds messages from the minions, some of them threatening. No doubt that made a lasting impression on Gettleman.

One part of me thinks that the judge owes Trudeau an honest answer to his current questions about what he's allowed to do following his release, even if he has no serious intention of mending his ways but is merely trying to convince Gettleman that he wants to be a good boy from now on. I can't help thinking that while he's trying to maintain a facade of being respectful and compliant, Trudeau is also plotting ways to slip the surly bonds of government reach and sail off somewhere to enjoy those assets that many of us think are almost certainly hidden in various far-flung places.

But there's also a big part of me that thinks that perhaps Trudeau's seemingly being left in the dark about these basic questions is some sort of poetic justice for hiding the truth for years from countless followers -- particularly ex-GIN (Global Information Network) members -- about what he was doing with their money; about who really owned GIN (he did, of course, though the club was promoted either as being "privately owned" or being "owned" by the membership); and about the fact that the "GIN Council" was a big lie; and so forth. Secrecy was a big thing in GIN, and I'm guessing that it still is, given the fact that the current leadership is composed of long-time Katie buddies.
 
F'rinstance, I'm willing to bet that most current GIN members are just as much in the dark about the total actual cost to reach those advanced membership levels that the club touts as members were back when Trudeau was at the helm. Even though the web site does reveal the cost to join GIN, and the monthly fee, that's just for Level 1. There are no dollar figures listed, at least not that I can see, for higher levels.

But I'm guessing it still costs extra to upgrade to each level, just judging from the fact that the chart on the Share GIN Bonus page indicates that members get a percentage of upgrade fees paid by the folks they refer. And more than likely, the membership levels grow progressively more expensive. GIN is not an MLM anymore as it was at the height of the Katie daze, but it appears that there are still monetary incentives to refer as many new members as possible to the club, and to encourage them to stay in the club and upgrade, upgrade, upgrade.

In any case I don't think one can go far wrong by assuming that Trudeau himself remains, as Judge Guzman said upon sentencing him back in 2014, "deceitful to the very core." Still, in theory, I think that he deserves to have the parameters of his post-release job ops spelled out. Maybe that will finally be determined when he is released. Meanwhile, we may be able to get a pretty good general idea just by taking another look at an existing document.

The original sentencing order 
Some of the conditions of Trudeau's release were, of course, stipulated at the time he was sentenced in March of 2014. In addition to 10 years in prison, Judge Guzman sentenced him to "supervised release," i.e., probation, for five years following his release. In this September 2014 blog post I posted several links to court documents, including a link to a very long document (actually several docs in one), that I had uploaded to Scribd.

Included in that long doc is a copy of the judgment signed by Ronald Guzman on March 17, 2014.
Here is a direct link; the judgment document begins on page 137. There are several other items that may also be of interest if you want to know more about the case or if you just want to refresh your memory.


But if you don't feel like plowing through all of that, here are screen shots of all seven pages of the original judgment. (As always, click to enlarge.)

Signed, sealed delivered: here's page 1 of the original judgment,
handed down on March 17, 2014 and filed in the court on April 3, 2014.

The actual sentence is spelled out on page 2, while most of the conditions of supervised release
are on page 3. Notice that only a couple of items are checked as applicable on the top part of page 3,
but it appears that all of the standard conditions below that part apply.
More conditions are listed on pages 4-5.



Aw, gee... it appears that Katie can't go to casinos any more (see page 5, under "Special Conditions...").
But maybe his cronies can continue to market his big Baccarat scam.


Notice Item F on page 7: "Special instructions regarding the payment of criminal monetary penalties" --
It appears that Kevin Trudeau's question in his January 10, 2020 email to Judge Gettleman,
regarding who he has to pay, is answered in this judgment,
but that the actual amount he owes cannot be answered until the time of his release.


My own opinion regarding what Trudeau should and shouldn't be allowed to do upon his release will probably come as no surprise to you if you've been following this blog for any length of time. Knowing his long history, and judging from the content that, through various proxies, he has been pouring out onto the Internet since he's been locked up, I don't think he has changed in any significant way; instead he has merely enhanced his hero/martyr narrative, making his story more compelling to credulous people in the service of picking their pockets. And no matter what he does and how much of an altruistic or holy spin he tries to put on his messages, I remain convinced that Kevin Trudeau has been, is, and always will be all about the hustle.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Eight misbehavin'? GIN is using imprisoned founder Kevin Trudeau to promote their Level 8 "training"



On paper, GIN and Kevin Trudeau are divorced. But they're clearly still in love.
 

If some of this post looks familiar, it's because it is a slightly expanded version of what was originally an addendum to my previous post. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that this matter deserved its own post. I've changed part of the title from the original, and modified some of the text, to reflect the fact that GIN is using Kevin Trudeau to promote their own "Level 8" training.
~ CC


It is becoming more and more apparent that rumors of Kevin Trudeau's imminent release from prison, which I discussed at length a few days ago, have been greatly exaggerated, and that the source of said exaggeration is, indeed, Kevin himself, as I'd speculated earlier. It is also becoming increasingly apparent that the Global Information Network (GIN) still has a cozy relationship with Kevin, founder of the organization, even though he no longer has legal ownership. They haven't turned their backs on him, nor he on them.

Shortly after I published my previous blog post exploring the buzz on Facebook that Trudeau might be released from prison "soon" (i.e., ahead of the May 2022 eligibility date), there was another Important Announcement about him, not only on several Facebook pages, but also on the official GIN site. This one seems to walk back the previous messages about the imminence of Trudeau's release. And it purports to be straight from the incarcerated horse's mouth.

Some of you may be asking, "If Trudeau is locked up, how can he be posting online at all? Isn't that sort of stuff forbidden, even in minimum-security facilities like FPC Montgomery?" Well, not exactly.

I've
previously reported that Trudeau does not have direct access to the Internet or even to regular email, but he does have limited email access through the internal prison system. This was the case even when he was locked up in Chicago's notorious MCC a few years ago, pending his criminal trial. It's still the case now that he's at FPC Montgomery, which he likes to call "Camp Cupcake."

All of his emails are monitored by prison staff, and there's only a small group of "approved" correspondents with whom he communicates. It is these folks who actually post the messages on social media and on various web sites, but he's in charge. Until and unless I am presented with credible evidence to the contrary, I am going to continue to assume that the schlocky promotional copy I'm reading on Facebook and the web sites in question is being dictated or guided by Kevin Trudeau.

So let's get to that more recent Big Announcement: on January 24, 2020, there was a cross-posting on several of the Katie-friendly Facebook pages,
including on the "official" Kevin Trudeau Fan Club page.

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT FROM KEVIN TRUDEAU!

This is my official announcement that I will be personally teaching and delivering live and IN PERSON, the Level 8 Success Mastery Course (SMC) Training for The Global Information Network (GIN)!

AND I am giving it to everyone FREE as my gift to Global Information Network Members!

You read that right. The ENTIRE Success Mastery Course (SMC) Level 8 Training will be FREE for qualified GIN Members!

The SMC Level 8 will be over 200 hours of personal instruction, teachings, and processes delivered directly by me in person.

Over 200 hours of highly advanced, never before released "Total Success" Training!

Regular "motivational speakers" or "success experts", would charge well over $100,000 for a 200 hour "success course".

They charge right now $15,000 - $35,000 per week for "success training".

However, NO ONE has ever taught the material in Level 8 SMC Training.

Even though the value of this Training is well over $100,000, every qualified GIN Member will be given the entire Level 8 SMC Training at ZERO COST...absolutely 100% FREE.

This is a gift from me as a "Thank You" to all those people who have supported me over the last decade.

The Level 8 SMC Training will be a 4 week course, taught in 4 separate week-long sessions over a 12 month period, starting in the summer of 2022.

This is over 200 hours of personal training with me. All the details will be coming soon from The Global Information Network.

You must be a Member of the Global Information Network (GIN) and have completed Levels 1-7 of the Success Mastery Course.

You must be signed up for the Level 7 Success Mastery Course no later than December 31, 2021 in order to receive the Level 8 SMC Training for FREE...

...If you are not a GIN member, I encourage you to contact Rahelios by clicking here: [link]

...and immediately join GIN. Be sure to ask how you can get on the special "Fast Track" to Level 7 by December 31, 2021 so that you qualify for the FREE Level 8 Success Mastery Course Training that I will teach in person.

Make sure you tell everyone you know about this opportunity of a lifetime.

Sponsor as many as you can into GIN so they too can take advantage of this incredible life changing event...

...The Level 8 Training contains material that has never been taught or available to the public. Up until now, much of this material has been reserved for the Global “Elites”, Royalty, and those in “Private Exclusive Organizations”.

Take advantage of this gift. You must act now or you will not have time to qualify.

But I have one more gift to give you.

Everyone who completes the Level 8 Training with me will also receive something very special and “valuable”. I cannot tell you exactly what this “Bonus” is. All I can say is that it will be a huge “Boon” for you that is simply too good to mention here.


I can tell you this, those who are lucky enough to complete the Level 8 Training with me are going to be doing a “happy dance” and feel like you just hit the lottery (really!) I cannot tell you more at this time. But if you are not one of those at this Training, when you hear what the “Boon” is, you will be kicking yourself in the head saying “I SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE! I JUST MISSED OUT ON SOMETHING HUGE!”

When you come to this Training, expect a Miracle, because one is waiting for you and has your name on it!

....I can assure you one thing. When you complete the Level 8 Training, YOU WILL NEVER BE THE SAME!

Much love, light and consciousness.
Your friend in prosperity,
Kevin Trudeau

Go to
GlobalInformationNetwork.com for all the terms and conditions of this offer and all the details about exactly how to qualify for the free training. Click on The CLUB VISION and The SHIP VISION for more information.

https://gurukev.com/the-club/

https://gurukev.com/the-ship/
The above is just a smallish portion of a very long message. But what I found particularly interesting is that almost the exact same message is on the official GIN page -- though I should note that there's no mention of Rahelios or the GuruKev links about "The Club," and that creepy Scientology-like "ship," as there are on the Facebook pages. (I wrote about those on my Guru Kev post in December. Even if you don't read my post, do follow  "The Club" and "The Ship" links for some eye-popping grandiosity that indicates Kevin Trudeau has not changed a bit since he first began dreaming up GIN, and that he's paving the way for another huge con -- which may or may not be offered in conjunction with GIN. I'm still trying to figure that out but will get back with updates when I do.)

Here's the official GIN link.

WTF is GIN doing actively promoting KT?
Or at the very least, why are they passively promoting him, by allowing his hype-filled copy on their official site?

Well, it seems that what's really happening -- and I'm just speculating here -- is that GIN is desperately trying to increase its membership, and they've never had a draw nearly as big as Kevin Trudeau (despite the fact that Trudeau's former b.f.f., the stupid and evil Not-Doktor Leonard Coldwell, whom Trudeau fired in spring of 2012, absurdly claimed that HE was the big attraction, and that GIN membership dropped dramatically after Coldwell's departure). So GIN is using Trudeau and his hype to boost their numbers, and he in turn is using them to keep one foot in the big Scamworld that he hopes awaits him on the "outside." (You scratch my scaly back (no offense intended to reptiles and fishes), and I'll scratch yours (and possibly stab you in it if I need to).)

As I noted above, it's apparent that GIN has never completely disavowed Kevin. He still has many fans, inside and outside of GIN. And technically it's not a violation of any court orders or government agreements (that I know of) for GIN to express support of Kevin. Furthermore, the proposed "Level VIII" Big Event is slated to take place, if it takes place at all, after Trudeau is released from prison; hence the mention that it will start in the summer of 2022. (And again, that's a definite departure from the previous breathless hint that his release will be "soon...we think it could be this year.")

But still... WTF? I'm not the only one wondering; one person told me that they thought Kevin was "banned" from GIN. But this person wasn't sure what that means, exactly. We know, of course, that Trudeau no longer has legal ownership of GIN after all the receivership and other court actions years ago.
I wrote about that extensively at the time it was happening. But it does seem that Kevin Trudeau's shadow is still very much over GIN, though of course some would view it as a light rather than a shadow.

The big question remains as to whether Trudeau will continue to promote GIN after he's released, or if he's laying the groundwork for his own rival club and is planning to siphon members from GIN. I'm guessing nobody really knows the answer to that question except Kevin, who seems to be keeping all of his options open, much to the confusion of some, I'm sure. Adding to the confusion is the fact that for a few years, since he's been locked up, he has been promoting a "Science of Personal Mastery Course," to which he claims people who donate to his legal defense fund and/or subscribe to his newsletters will get free access. In a February 2016 blog post I quoted one of Kevin's numerous pleas for money:
If you can give some financial assistance for my lawyers the time is now to do so. Please go to [link to the KT Legal Defense site] and make a contribution of any amount. All proceeds go to my Attorneys. If you can help financially please do so today. Please tell others to help as well. Remember also, if you want the Nuggets of Gold monthly Newsletter and The Science of Personal Mastery Course that comes with the newsletter each month, you can get that as a gift for a contribution of just $19.95 per month or a one time annual contribution of $210 is also available. I sincerely appreciate your help.
And via Facebook, Trudeau has had his proxies promote the Science of Personal Mastery Course numerous times over the years, with the implication being that it is his own creation.

Yet in the current cross-promotion on Facebook and on the GIN site, the course in question is the Success Mastery Course, which GIN promotes as its
"core GIN training on how to have, be and do anything and everything you want in life." Only paying members ($495.00 to join, and $150.00 per month thereafter) have access to this training. There are multiple levels, seemingly congruent with the original GIN vision of 12 levels, although it appears that thus far, only seven levels exist, and Level 8 is in the works.

And yet... and yet... on the page about "The Club" on the GuruKev site, one of the member benefits is clearly listed as "The Success Mastery Course (levels 1-12)."

This may lead some to ask if these courses are one and the same, or is Trudeau in fact building a foundation for a new club, but exploiting the GIN base just because he's allowed to do so? I was momentarily confused about those courses myself, having forgotten that I'd addressed the issue in this very blog years ago. (And if the blog post title is any indication, there is at least one other person who seems to assume that the two "courses" are indeed one and the same.)
 

When searching my blog archives for something else, however, I came across this April 2015 post where, under the sub-head, "Selling GIN from the clink," I wrote:
...Katie continues to spread his New-Wage/McSpirituality wisdumb from the confines of Camp Cupcake, aka FPC (Federal Prison Camp) Montgomery, Alabama. He's still apparently pooping those Nuggets of Gold out on a regular basis, along with something he calls the "Science of Personal Mastery Course," which he emphasizes is not to replace the famous Success Mastery Course (which you buy into when you join the Global Information Network (GIN)), but only to supplement it. Rest assured that via his Facebook fan page, a page which I am allowed to read but on which I am not allowed to comment, Katie is still very much pushing the club that his close buddies took over last year. But one of his main agendas, particularly with the Nuggets of Gold poop machine, is to raise money for his legal defense fund to help defray his enormous legal expenses as well as, of course, to fight for "Free Speech and Civil Liberties for all." You know Katie, the First Amendment Stuporhero. Well, Katie, if you're so enamored of free speech, why am I not allowed to write on your Facebook fan page?
The posts appear fairly frequently on Katie's Facebook page, some of them just some standard New-Wage nonsense about the Law of Attraction and so forth, and there was even a brief announcement of an estate sale that was held earlier this month to clear out his Oakbrook, Illinois McMansion (they had the Ojai, California McMansion rummage sale last year). He still generally gets hundreds of "likes" for every one of these possibly dictated-by-Katie but proxy-written posts, along with numerous fawning comments. So, even as Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead, Katie still has quite the enthusiastic fan base, and if anyone can keep a good scam going from the clink, he can. If he can get around those pesky Feds when he gets out of the clink, he'll be ready to hit the ground scamming.
So it would appear that Katie's "Science of Personal Mastery Course" is not, in fact, the same as GIN's "Success Mastery Course." Regardless, I sense that there may be a little brand confusion going on here, and both GIN and Trudeau may be benefiting from the confusion.
 
* * * * *
 
Some folks may scoff at the whole idea of Kevin Trudeau being able to do much of anything upon his release from prison. They point out that there's still a civil case against him and that as soon as he is released in 2022 (or whenever), there could very well be US Marshals waiting to slap the cuffs on him again for the civil contempt case, for which he actually was jailed briefly a few times before his criminal trial and conviction.


I do wonder about the status of that very long-running civil case (1:03-cv-03904), which gave rise to what was once a $37 million-plus fine. (Here's a capsule summary of events surrounding the civil and criminal cases.)

I know that some of the big fine has been paid off through recovered assets, through the selling of some of Trudeau's pretentious life trappings, and through royalties from sales of his books and other info-frauducts (I wrote about the latter several years ago; see under the sub-head, "Katie is still on TV, and here's why). And I know that refunds have been disbursed to some of the folks who bought his diet book, The Weight Loss Cure "They" Don't Want You To Know About -- the work for which Saint Kevin was martyred. I wrote briefly about the book refunds in a June 2016 post; see under the sub-head, "Trudeau diet book scam..." (My post includes a screen shot of one person's refund check; it was a whopping $4.95!)

In short, the government has, by various means, acquired at least some of the money it was demanding, and in turn has refunded money to at least some of Trudeau's dissatisfied customers. (Ex-GIN members who were screwed out of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars may never get justice, though.)

The upshot is that Trudeau may not be in immediate danger of re-arrest when he is released in 2022, unless there are other pending charges as a result of other rumored investigations. It's hard to find up to date info on the status of these cases just by casually surfing the Net, so I may have to reactivate my PACER account. I'll do some digging, and provide updates or new posts as I get additional info.

For now, I speculate that much of Trudeau's fate regarding that civil case is dependent upon the judge who presided over that case,
Robert W Gettleman, who said, back in 2014 (after Trudeau had been convicted on the criminal charge but before he was sentenced) that he might someday finally be satisfied that Trudeau was telling the truth. He added that he wasn't there yet. "I may never be convinced," Gettleman said. "Maybe when this is all over he'll go to Ukraine or St. Kitts... to enjoy his treasure."

Or maybe he'll be able to stay in the US, or travel all over the world in a big ritzy ship.


* * * * *

Back in January 2015, Business Insider published an excellent piece by Aaron Gell about Trudeau's background and his life at FPC Montgomery. Looking it over again just a while ago, I was struck by this passage:
Trudeau works in the prison kitchen, a sometimes frustrating experience for a guy who has done as much as anyone to bring the organic-food revolution to a mainstream audience. “They have a greenhouse and a bakery, and yet everything is canned!” he says incredulously. “Why not let inmates make their own food and learn a valuable trade?”

As for his own extremely valuable trade — motivational speaking — he says he’s been forbidden from doing education on any real scale. “People ask my advice and I give it, but that’s it,” he says.
But that's not quite true; despite being incarcerated Trudeau has been actively promoting his own schemes, and those of his cronies, ever since he's been locked up, dictating content that his loyal minions dutifully post on Facebook and several web sites. So this latest load of hype about "Level VIII" should come as no surprise.

In any case, regardless of whether you read the "Level VIII" message on the Facebook pages or on GIN or on both, it's the same song, different verse. It's the same tired old copy that helped launch GIN eleven years ago, the same genre of hype that was pulling in gullibles long before GIN: all those promises about the exclusive material that "has never been taught before" (except to Royalty and the Global Elites and members of seekrit societies, of course)... and the information that "they" don't want you to know about (and which Kevin is offering at enormous personal risk)... and the marvelous magickal transformations you will experience if you pledge your heart, soul, and bank account to the "teachings"... and the exciting "Bonus" that is so exclusive and marvelous that Kevin can't even tell you what it is yet... and it can all be yours if only you'll join and upgrade and, and, and...

As we (well, I) like to say on this blog: It's deja screw, all over again.


UPDATE, 31 January 2020: I don't know how I previously overlooked this, but on January 26, 2020, the day before this post was published, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Trudeau recently reached out to Judge Gettleman for guidance on how much of a huckster he can be once he gets out of the clink. But that's worthy of a blog post of its own, so here it is.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Rumors of Kevin Trudeau's imminent release from prison are flying, with a little help from Kevin himself

Today I popped onto Facebook to see if there were any updates on imprisoned serial scammer Kevin Trudeau, aka KT, aka Katie on this Whirled, whose "GuruKev" shtick I blogged about in December and again earlier this month. Was I surprised to see the news that he is going to be released from prison very soon, presumably far ahead of his first eligible release date in May 2022.

Well, maybe calling it "news" is a bit of a stretch. So far there's just the word of one of his pseudonymous supporters
who claims to have heard the word straight from Katie himself. Looking it over, it appears to me to be just another gimmick to fire up the base and pull in more money. But you be the judge. And if you do actually have any real information about this matter, I'm all eyes.

What I saw today was a January 20, 2020 cross-posting, on several Katie-friendly Facebook pages, of a message from someone going by the name "Rahelios," who claims to be a KT friend and mentee.

It was on the
GuruKev Facebook page...
...and the
Free Kevin Trudeau Facebook page...
...and the
Kevin Trudeau Teachings page...
...and the "official"
Kevin Trudeau Fan Club page...

...and this is what it said:

KEVIN'S FIRST PUBLIC APPEARANCE!

From RAHELIOS:

Hello all you wonderful people! KT asked me to let you all know that he is going to be released soon. No one knows exactly when, but we think it could be this year.

When Kevin is released, he will make a major public appearance somewhere in the USA.

He will invite to this event ONLY those people that have supported him during his incarceration. This includes anyone who made contributions to his legal defense fund; those who are subscribers to the Nuggets of Gold Newsletter; those who are students of the Science of Personal Mastery Course; and those who have sent money to Kevin's prison commissary account.

THIS IS IMPORTANT. When you see Kevin again, you will see a man that has undergone a complete transformation, a metamorphosis, a transmutation where all the old has been released and everything has been made "new".

Throughout history, "world changers" have gone to prison (such as Mandela and Gandhi), or gone into seclusion (like Buddha, Moses, the Pandavas, or Rama). When they "emerged" they were different than before. Their vibrations, frequencies and levels of consciousness were higher than ever. Their sense of knowingness was fully established, and their "powers and abilities" were fully released.

They were fully "connected" and "plugged into" Source.

We can tell you that you will absolutely want to be at this first event. Everyone in attendance will get a personal one on one picture with Kevin, and much more.

We encourage you to email KTLegalDefense@gmail.com and ask how you can sign up for the Nuggets of Gold Newsletter, or send some money to Kevin's prison commissary account so you can be on the "Exclusive Invitation List".

We also encourage you to tell others about this. Getting more people to subscribe to the Nuggets of Gold Newsletter (by making a contribution to Kevin's legal defense fund) will earn you many "energetic merits" and give you a huge "boon".

No one knows when this event will happen. It could be this year or next year.

The sooner you qualify to be invited, the better!
Do it now!
On the Kevin Trudeau Teachings page, on which I found to my surprise that I am allowed to comment (for the time being, anyway), I posted a brief question: 'Is this for real, or is this just one of those law-of-attraction tricks where you "act as if" and pretend it's happening, hoping that the Universe will make it so?' So far I haven't received a response, but I'll update if I do.

Several participants on the various Facebook threads also asked for details. A couple of folks wondered if maybe the Free Kevin contingent had finally gotten through to Donald Trump, to whom Kevin's fans have been sending hundreds of annoying messages for several years -- messages that Trump himself probably never saw. (
I've written about that matter several times here.) A few folks even expressed skepticism about the news of the imminent release. But the Kevin fans who asked for clarification didn't get any satisfactory answers either, at least not that I could see.

I tried to find out who "Rahelios" was, and on what authority he based the announcement of a possible early release for Katie. My cursory search only led me to a "Letter From a Friend" on the Kevin Trudeau dot com site; Rahelios was tagged as the author, although that was not the name that appeared on the signature. (This led me to an original erroneous conclusion that Rahelios was just a pseudonym for the person who signed the letter, Eugene Gourevitch. More on that in a while) And although it may seem like a bit of a diversion from the original point of this post,
here is the link to the letter, which is important to some of the larger themes on this blog.

The missive is rife with the usual free-speech-martyr lies and distortions that Trudeau and his minions and followers have been spouting for years. There's the big lie that Katie got thrown in the clink just for writing a book that had info that "they" don't want you to know about. (It's a variation on the big fib that he was prosecuted and persecuted simply for saying on TV that a diet was "easy.") There's the lie that he wasn't even charged with a crime but that his long sentence was chiefly the result of the petty vengeful nature of a federal judge. There's the lie that his 10-year sentence is the longest ever imposed for contempt (I cited two longer contempt sentences in a February 2016 blog post; see links at the end of this post).

There's even the lie that Trudeau was living comfortably in Europe when his troubles began. Nope, his troubles began decades before
he was semi-hiding out in Zurich (and accused the ABC News team that tracked him down in that expensive city of "ambush journalism"). Yes, it's true that for a while, in the time leading up to his criminal trial, he did travel from his luxury digs in Zurich in order to show up in the US for court hearings when his presence was required. But it wasn't to "stand up for OUR RIGHTS and OUR FREEDOMS"; it was most likely a combination of an arrogant assumption that he would end up getting off easy, and an effort to make it look as if he was trying to cooperate with the US government's "unreasonable" requests. However, his passport was ultimately confiscated, and he was forbidden to travel back to Zurich when he asked the court for permission. At that point he was apparently deemed too much of a flight risk.

Unsurprisingly, the Letter From a Friend also includes the obligatory praise for Kevin's character and "honor" and his seemingly superhuman powers.
I did not want to make this letter too personal, but Kevin has been as good a friend to me as anyone could possibly wish for, whether in prison or on the street… There is no place you could ever get to know a person as well as you do living next to them 24-hours a day, seven days a week for almost three years in close quarters. You don’t even spend that much time with your spouse or children.

Kevin is truly one of the most honorable people I have ever met and I’m proud to know a person of such rare vintage.

They just don’t make ’em like that anymore.
[smiley emoji]

I also admire his fortitude and constant cheer and sense of inner peace in the light of the massive injustice that has been perpetrated upon him. He is always blissfully happy, and nothing ever “gets him down”. His attitude is simply “superhuman”.

Kevin was living a comfortable life in Europe when this drama started to unfold. He did not have to come back to America to face these ridiculous “contempt of court” charges brought against him by a single vindictive judge. He did so to stand up for OUR RIGHTS and OUR FREEDOMS. Please take a few minutes out of your day to do the same for him. 
The letter is signed, as I noted above, by Eugene Gourevitch, who is apparently one of Katie's former prison buds. If the name Eugene Gourevitch sounds familiar, it may be because Gourevitch, like Kevin Trudeau, is a crook and liar, who helped rob a former Soviet republic blind, and whose wild and crazy story was written up in Bloomberg a few years ago. Gourevitch was convicted of wire fraud related to insider trading, and sentenced to five years in prison.

Here's a summary of the tale, just in case you can't get past Bloomberg's paywall.
...After then helping his captors perpetrate a massive insider-trading scheme, Gourevitch became desperate to escape. He had authorities bearing down on him from Kyrgyzstan, as well as from Italy, where he was accused of taking part in a tax avoidance scheme that somehow involved the Italian mob.

With seemingly nowhere else to go, he turned to the U.S. government to become an informant against his captors, even though he knew he would be implicated as well.

But deep into the investigation, Gourevitch suddenly reverted to his criminal ways. He stole $6 million from Bakiyev’s bank account and tried to undermine the authorities’ investigation. He ended up getting busted and turned over the cash to the U.S. government...
So let me get this straight. A known crook, fraudster, and liar -- Eugene Gourevitch -- is not only giving his wholehearted endorsement to a second crook, fraudster, and liar -- Kevin Trudeau -- but, more importantly, he is urging you to show your support for Trudeau in any way you can (including, by implication, monetarily).

Even though Gourevitch didn't go on about "energetic merits" or about a Big Event in the future to which only people who had given money to Kevin will be invited, he still urged everyone to educate themselves about Kevin's "travails" and to "support" him in his noble fight against "tyranny." This implies monetary support as well as advocacy efforts, though Gourevitch's ask re the former isn't as blatant as that in the messages by Rahelios and others who have apparently been managing Trudeau's messaging since he has been incarcerated. I know from long years of covering Trudeau on this blog that every message from him or his proxies or his good buddies involves either the intention to sell/upsell a frauduct or flopportunity; outright solicitation for money; or both.

Gourevitch's "Letter From a Friend" is yet another reminder of the well-documented fact that prisons, whether they're grim holes or white-collar sleepaway camps, aren't so much corrective facilities as they are incubators for further crime. Kevin Trudeau is proof of that.

After all, it was while he was incarcerated back in the early 1990s that he met a convicted cocaine distributor named Jules Lieb,
with whom he struck up a business partnership following their release. They went to work for an MLM firm called Nutrition for life but were operating through their own company, Trudeau Marketing, through which they sold a variety of frauducts while aggressively recruiting other distributors. Trudeau and Lieb were eventually nailed for operating an illegal pyramid scheme and for failing to disclose felony convictions and bankruptcy, as the law required.

It was also during that first prison stint that Trudeau reportedly met
Nouveau Tech/Neo-Tech scampire founder Wallace Ward (father of Neo-stinker "Mark Hamilton," aka Wallace Ward Jr.). The Wards, particularly the younger one, were instrumental in helping Trudeau sell the GIN scam, particularly targeting older consumers who had more money than sense.

And since he's been at FPC Montgomery, Katie has been working nonstop to keep old schemes going and cook up new ones with some of his roomies. Besides Eugene Gourevitch, who at the very least seems to be laying a foundation for some future venture with Trudeau, there's foreclosure-rescue scammer
Jason Sant, whom I mentioned in my December 2019 GuruKev post. Apparently inspired by Kevin, Sant started a scheme he calls the SCC Mastery Course.

Leopards and spots, Dear Ones, leopards and spots...

It's not that I think everyone with a felony conviction should be thrown to the wolves and never given a second or possibly even a third chance. I don't feel that way in general; to the contrary, I lean towards a
"ban the box" philosophy. But Kevin Trudeau is a lifelong con artist, a repeat offender whose scams and offenses are very well documented. The writing is on the wall (and on the Internet, and everywhere else that there's writing).

Sadly, though, none of that seems to matter much to Katie's fan base. And if the comments on the various Facebook pages are any indication, there's still a very enthusiastic base of people who are willing to swallow Kevin Trudeau's hero/martyr story, as well as his present and future schemes, hook, line, and sinker. In fact, there seem to be a significant number of fans and followers who don't even know that Trudeau is in prison. A couple of them on the Facebook threads I cited above were completely unaware that he's locked up, and they wanted to know what had happened. Clearly his propaganda is being disseminated by sources that fail to mention his troubled history and current incarceration.

So will Kevin Trudeau soon be free from prison? Your guess is as good as mine. But I suggest taking everything that he says, and that his cronies and enthusiastic supporters say he said, with more than a few grains of salt, and possibly a giant margarita to accompany that salt, if that's your thing. (Have one for me; I don't drink alcohol.) I'll keep you posted about this, and I hope that you'll do the same for me.

But definitely see the January 26 addendum following the P.S.

PS added 25 January, 2020
~
I hadn't seen this link at the time I published this post, but I  stumbled across it yesterday. It's a page from the site of an advocacy organization, Keeping a Family Foundation/Saving Grace, founded by a man named John O. Sinclair, that ministers to prisoners/ex-prisoners and their families. Sinclair was another one of Kevin Trudeau's prison buddies, and Trudeau and other cons such as Enron's notorious Jeff Skilling wrote letters that Sinclair says helped influence the decision for his early release. (Here is a direct link to Trudeau's letter, dated September 2018.)

Pending my actually being able to find out more information about Sinclair (such as the reason for his imprisonment), I am not automatically going to relegate him to the status of serial scammer. (And no, he's not the John Sinclair that comes up most often on the search results; that other guy is a white poet who was given an excessive prison sentence for marijuana charges.) If this John Sinclair is doing legitimate work to help deserving people who are or were in prison, particularly people of color who
unjustly received harsher punishment than their white counterparts, more power to him. But I'm thinking that perhaps he needs to choose his friends more carefully.



 Addendum, 26 January 2020


It is becoming more and more apparent that rumors of Kevin Trudeau's imminent release from prison have been greatly exaggerated, and the source of that exaggeration is, indeed, Kevin himself, as I'd speculated earlier. It is also becoming increasingly apparent that the Global Information Network (GIN) still has a cozy relationship with Kevin, even though he no longer has "official" ownership. They haven't turned their backs on him, nor he on them.

Since I first published this blog post there has been another Important Announcement, not only on several Facebook pages, but also on the official GIN site, regarding Trudeau. This one seems to walk back the previous Facebook messages about the imminence of Trudeau's release. And it purports to be straight from the incarcerated horse's mouth.

In a nutshell: GIN is actively promoting its incarcerated founder, Kevin Trudeau -- or, more accurately, using him to promote their "Level 8" training. Well, actually, they're doing both.

The day after publishing this addendum, I turned it into a separate blog post and expanded upon it. Here's that link.

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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Blow, Gabriel, Blow (or, The Eyes of Flatley Are Upon You)


Back in this blog's early daze, when I was still mostly trying to be funny, before the darker side of Scamworld (and later, the real-life dystopian novel that is Trumpistan) began weighing down these pages, I used to snark a lot about a variety of New-Wage/McSpirituality/alt-health kooks. One such was a character who calls himself Gabriel of Urantia (formerly Gabriel of Sedona).

Gabriel, born Tony Delevin in Pittsburgh, PA, runs a multi-generational cult community in southern Arizona, where he teaches folks about their cosmic origins and the end of the world and whatnot. In addition to being a cult spiritual leader he is a "musician." I had a bit of fun with him years ago, the predictable result of which was that I got blowback from some of his supporters.

In particular,
an April 2007 post got the Gabe-heads' feathers ruffled. One guy, who claimed to be a cousin of Gabriel's, was annoyed by my calling his cuz a scammer, as well as by my general "sarcasm." Another person was intensely annoyed by my elegant critique of Gabriel's vocal talents; I had described the holy man's voice as sounding like Neil Young might sound if Young were completely unable to carry a tune and had been kicked in the balls and then run over by a Mack truck. I don't know why anyone would be offended by that, particularly since I'd compared Gabe to the great Neil Young. Some folks are entirely too sensitive, if you ask me.

I hadn't thought about ol' Gabe in years, but yesterday I got a notification from a Facebook friend of mine, investigative journalist/author/filmmaker Joseph L. "Lenny" Flatley. Naturally, this sparked my interest, as I've been following Flatley's work off and on for years,
and cited him on this blog a few years ago. In May of 2012, drawing in part upon info from another pal of mine, Jason "Salty Droid" Jones, Flatley wrote an excellent piece for The Verge about Scamworld. A few months later he posted a followup article in which, among other matters, he discussed at length a super-scam called Miracles Coaching, perpetrated by one of this Whirled's favorite snargets, Joe "Mr. Fire" Vitale.

And yesterday Lenny invited me to a new Facebook page of his called
The So-Called Prophet from Pittsburgh.
The So-Called Prophet from Pittsburgh is Gabriel of Urantia, a self-proclaimed holy man who currently presides over a spiritual community (some call it a cult) in the desert of Southern Arizona. In a fenced-in compound, three generations of the Global Community Communications Alliance soak in Gabriel's teachings as they wait for the end of the world. Join investigative journalist Joseph L. Flatley as he travels around the country, speaking to Gabriel's ex-followers, cult experts, and people who knew him before he was a so-called prophet. You'll learn why people join a group like this, why they stay as long as they do, and the challenges they face when they decide to leave. And you’ll hear some groovy music in the process.
Podcast. New episodes released on Tuesdays in January and February 2020.
I'm looking forward to catching up on the adventures of Gabriel and his extended family of cosmic minions (cosminions?); in Flatley's able hands it should be quite a journey. Here's a link to a short teaser video, which ends with a cliffhanger: Gabe reveals that he has been misrepresented by the corporate media. Wow, didn't see that coming.

And
here's the link that will lead you to the podcasts that have been released so far. They're also available on:
iTunes / Stitcher / Google Play / Spotify / PodBean / Castbox / TuneIn

Happy listening.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

So long, Marianne: McSpirituality star Williamson drops out of 2020 race


As you may know, McSpirituality guru Marianne Williamson has finally dropped out of the 2020 US presidential race. She made the official announcement on her campaign web site a couple of days ago.
January 10, 2020

I ran for president to help forge another direction for our country. I wanted to discuss things I felt needed to be discussed that otherwise were not. I feel that we have done that.

I stayed in the race to take advantage of every possible opportunity to share our message. With caucuses and primaries now about to begin, however, we will not be able to garner enough votes in the election to elevate our conversation any more than it is now. The primaries might be tightly contested among the top contenders, and I don’t want to get in the way of a progressive candidate winning any of them.

The extent to which Williamson was able to "elevate our conversation" is debatable; I've written quite a bit on that and related topics on this blog (see links at the end of this post). As I've noted on some of those earlier posts, Marianne made a couple of valid points on the debate stage, and the policy outlines on her campaign web site seemed well thought out. For the most part, though, the snide memes and other responses inspired by her candidacy were well-deserved.

Reporting on the news of Williamson's exit from the race,
Vox's Emily Stewart led with a snark.
New Zealand’s prime minister can rest at ease that she won’t be getting a call from Marianne Williamson in January 2021 — at least not from Marianne Williamson from the White House.
Stewart's reference was to Williamson's vow at the first Democratic debate in June 2019 that her first action in office would be to call the Kiwi PM, "who said that her goal is to make New Zealand the place where it’s the best place in the world for a child to grow up. And I would tell her: ‘Girlfriend, you are so on.’ The United States of America is going to be the best place in the world for a child to grow up."

The Vox piece provided a capsule review of some of the controversies surrounding Williamson, most of which her critics have known about for years, but which gained wider attention once she hit the campaign trail.
Williamson’s record...came under scrutiny, including not only some of her weird tweets but also some of her questionable advice on weight loss and seeming suggestions that mental illness can be addressed through spirituality instead of medical treatment. (Her campaign has said that Williamson believes Western medicine should come first and she would “never tell anybody to get off their medication.”) On the campaign trail, Williamson’s comments about vaccines were also scrutinized after she called mandatory vaccines “draconian” and “Orwellian” at a campaign stop. She later walked back the comments and said that “many vaccines are important and save lives,” though she understands the skepticism around drugs “rushed to market by Big Pharma.”
But it wasn't the sheer fact of being controversial that stymied Williamson's efforts. Nathaniel Rakich, writing for FiveThirtyEight, offered a more analytical view of why her run for prez never really caught on.
Maybe one reason why Williamson didn’t fare better in the polls is that the more voters got to know her, the less they liked her. According to an average of polls conducted in May, Democrats were not very familiar with Williamson; 13 percent of them had a favorable impression of her, 10 percent had an unfavorable one and the remainder didn’t have an opinion. And even though Williamson’s favorable rating increased by 9 points after the first two debates (according to an average of polls conducted Aug. 1-25), her unfavorable rating increased more — by 16 points. This made her one of the few Democratic candidates who was more unpopular than popular among members of her own party — generally speaking, not a good place to be.

Williamson may have hoped that her New Age rhetoric (“
I’m going to harness love for political purposes”) would help her appeal to the spiritual side of the Democratic Party, but it looks like it just turned voters off. As my colleague Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux wrote in September, although “spiritual but not religious” people make up around one-third of the Democratic Party, they are not a cohesive group, do not vote as a monolith and tend to prioritize shared values and policy positions over a shared spiritual identity. They also tend to be more highly educated than the broader public, which might disabuse them of a candidate who has heterodox views on vaccines and antidepressants or who ridiculed the idea that “wonkiness is going to deal with this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country.” Ultimately, it was harder than Williamson probably expected to get, as she once quipped, “everyone who has a yoga mat” to vote for her.
While that gives me hope for the survival of critical thinking in America, at least among the more progressive voters (yes, even some of the McSpirituality-inclined folks), Rakich concludes that most likely, the failure of Marianne Williamson's presidential campaign ultimately came down to money, or lack thereof. Marianne simply wasn't able to raise enough cash to continue appearing on the debate stage, or to continue maintaining a campaign staff, which she laid off earlier this month. Apparently even the donations of puckish republicans, who willingly gave money to Williamson's campaign because of her entertainment value, were unable to keep the love guru's boat afloat.

Williamson insists that a "politics of conscience" is still possible, and that "love will prevail." I'm not so sure, but in any case, I think I'm far from the only person whose first thought, upon hearing that Marianne has officially taken her hat back out of the ring, was, "Good riddance." I'm all for entertainment value, but given what we currently have sitting in the Oval Office, we need to clear the stage as much as possible for the serious candidates.

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