Whirled Musings

Across the Universe with Cosmic Connie, aka Connie L. Schmidt...or maybe just through the dung-filled streets and murky swamps of pop culture -- more specifically, the New-Age/New-Wage crowd, pop spirituality & religion, pop psychology, self(ish)-help, business babble, media silliness, & related (or occasionally unrelated) matters of consequence. Hope you're wearing boots. (By the way, the "Cosmic" bit in my moniker is IRONIC.)

Friday, September 30, 2016

The Whirled wags on

I'm back.

And once again I'm just under the wire for the end of the month, scrambling to keep up my tradition of blogging at least once every month. I've managed it so far for more than ten years, but lately I've been terribly lazy. Last month I cited the summer doldrums, which was valid enough, but in reality I can't completely blame summer for draining my blogging energy. I've been devoting much of my energy and attention to the
horror, which just keeps getting more horrible, of a potential Trump presidency, and have been spending most of my non-work-related writing time on Facebook conversing about the unfolding nightmare.

Trump not only
sucked all of the oxygen out of the room, as he promised/threatened in advance of announcing his 2016 presidential campaign, but he also sucked a lot of energy out of this blog. The latter is entirely my fault, and I apologize to readers who might have been expecting something more.

Before I return my attention to my normal non-political beat, though, let me state the obvious:
Hillary Clinton did indeed win the first presidential debate, despite the inane ramblings of Drumpf and the Drumpfians -- at least to the extent that it could be called a "debate," and to the extent that it could, in fact, be "won." Not surprisingly, the cynical conspiracy mongers and alt-right hucksters, most notably Mike "the Health Ranger" Adams of Natural News infamy, put a different spin on it. But that is pretty much what one would expect from someone who, in all apparent seriousness, has written:
Keep in mind that if Hillary Clinton wins this election, it's really over for America. It's DEATH under Clinton, and LIFE under Trump.
You really should read that DEATH/LIFE post linked to in the quote above. In a fit of histrionics and hysteria, faux-hero Adams claims that under a "Clinton dictatorship," the entire independent media (read: alt-right) will be "censored out of existence" for publishing stories that criticize Black Lives Matter, radical Islam or the Clinton administration itself. As well, warns the Health Rager (that's not a typo), your individual rights to free speech will disappear under a Clinton regime -- unless you're a "lunatic leftist," that is.

Never mind about
Donald Trump's continual threats to the free press and the First Amendment, and his implicit and explicit threats to sue the bejeezus out of any media outlet or individual who criticizes him. I still wonder if Adams really does believe half of the stupid drivel he writes. Whether he believes it or not, though, clearly his legions of critical-thinking impaired followers do. And many of those people can vote. So please, all of you rational people who are eligible to vote in the U.S. presidential election: get out there and do so. If sane people stay at home or vote for a "third party," the real dystopian nightmare could come to pass, not under Clinton but under Trump.

My name is Cosmic Connie, and I approve the above message.

So now on to my normal beat.

LoonyC and "Watchgate"
It's been a while since I've written about the stupidest and most evil man in Scamworld, the fake doctor/cancer quack/conspiracy nut/demented little bigot
Leonard Coldwell, aka Lenny, aka LoonyC. But my pal Longdog in the UK (author of the fabulous RationalWiki piece on Lenny) has been busy on his own blog -- and this September 7 post is one of the best takedowns of LoonyC ever. It's long, but worth the read.

I didn't actually see the Facebook post that started the little drama, but Longdog did, and he
took a screen shot. Apparently Lenny has been getting some criticism from some of his German followers and readers as he has tried to expand his IMBS-ing U Master's Society scam into Germany. Some had recently been questioning his extravagant claims and his boasts of enormous wealth, and some had even admonished him for lowering himself to that level.

Well, apparently they got under his thin skin. Hmmm. Maybe we should call him "Thin-skin Len." I rather like the sound of that.

Anyway. It seems that in a fit of pique, and in order to prove to his detractors that he is indeed as rich as he says he is, Lenny posted a picture of three Rolex watches on his main German-language Facebook page,
Dr. Leonard Coldwell. But he pretended that his assistant "Catherine" was actually doing the posting. Along with the pic was this text (translated from German to English via the Bing auto-translate on Facebook):

To all the jealous people here is at the request of many a small part of dr cs Rolex collection, these are the 3 especially for him from Rolex made watches. Value for the 3 watches 290 000 euro. 22 and 24 carats are the brilliant, the dr c on champions weekend was wearing. If it's the envious people to stomach ulcers can help. Catherine

On his blog post Longdog recorded many of the jeers that Lenny received in response. Longdog himself went on Twitter to mock the post, and claims that within minutes of his tweet, Lenny's post had been deleted from Facebook. An hour or two after deleting the post, Lenny wrote an "incandescent-with-rage screed," as Longdog put it, explaining that the Rolex post had only been published as a test to weed out stupid, jealous, loser-type people. Again,
you can read all about it here -- not just the screed itself but also Longdog's annotations. It is an excellent capsule debunking of Lenny's most outrageous lies.

Clearly Lenny has a profound emotional stake in appearing to be materially wealthy and successful. His recent German posting isn't even the first time he has shown off his tacky, overpriced watches. I had a fun little snark about it on this Whirled a few years ago, in
this post about a Smaug-like little Lenny proudly showing off his watches, gold coins, U.S. currency and horsey statue.

Increasingly, people in both the U.S. and Germany are refusing to buy his tall tales. And increasingly, he is making it easier to catch him in his lies, particularly when -- to give just one random example -- he posts pictures on Facebook of luxurious homes, and boasts that he has purchased them, and then basks in the accolades from clueless followers who don't even bother to question him.

Let me just say that Google reverse image search, and public tax records that reveal the real property owners, can be the nemesis of daft little liars.

Caged Katie and his fellow scammer: "Life is but a dream" at Camp Cupcake
It has also been a while since I've written about now-imprisoned serial scammer
Kevin Trudeau, aka KT, aka Katie. I'm still following his ramblings-by-proxy on his Facebook fan page. Earlier this month there was a post from one of his fellow scammers.

A short while back, I had the pleasure of seeing my dear friend Kevin at his present address at the Federal facility in Montgomery, Alabama. I’ve known KT since 1996, so I guess we celebrated our 20th anniversary of friendship that weekend in the deep South.

Prior to my visit, I had a sliver of unease about seeing him; it had been a couple of years since I’d seen him last. But I was immediately put at ease when Kevin appeared in the common meeting area of the facility. He looked thin and well- in fact, in better shape than I’d ever seen him. His eyes were clear and spirited.

We spent hours talking, sharing news, disagreeing (profoundly) over Presidential politics, reminiscing, laughing.

Kevin has always been a remarkably positive person in my life; I owe him a great deal relative to my career and to my own personal growth. We’ve also had an incredible range of experiences together.

What I always loved about Kevin was his indomitable mettle- and sense that everything- energetically, spiritually and in physical, tangible ways- would be fine, as long as you projected that to the universe. “You are what you think”, I recall KT saying. “Go as far as you can see,” he said, “and when you get there, you’ll see further.”

Even given his present circumstance, Kevin still sees further than most. He remains steadfast in his belief that everything that has transpired in his life was meant to be. He sees his current state of affairs as life lessons, teaching him what he needed most. Equally, he remains the same hopeful, powerful and spirited force that he always was- even more so. I laughed when he said that he used to spend tens of thousands of dollars to go to fancy yoga and meditation retreats (we’ve been to a couple of those in our day!)- but now, he gets it all for free. He seems relieved that his life has become more simple but somehow even richer.

I wasn’t surprised that a couple of Kevin’s new acquaintances inside the facility credited him with helping them not only endure but thrive. KT’s gift as a teacher and sage has only grown over the past couple of years. There is not an ounce of “victim mentality” about him. If “life is but a dream”- an old song lyric I recall him particularly liking (and occasionally singing)- then his present situation is not a predicament, but a moment in time- a unit in time- that is giving him greater illumination and self-knowledge.

In that way, and many others, Kevin Trudeau is more unfettered than most of us. In fact, he may be the most free man I know. That’s why his teachings and insights are so valuable to me personally- and to us all.

I look forward to seeing him again soon, wherever the universe- and his incredible life force- takes him.
Jon Denny

A quick Google search for Jon Denny/Kevin Trudeau revealed this old Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint regarding "unfair or deceptive acts or practices." I know, I am just as shocked as you are.

Denny was also involved in another Trudeau boondoggle: the International Pool Tour (IPT), for which he served for a while as Executive Director. (I wrote about the IPT in this April 2013 post; see under "The International Pool Tour.")

Meanwhile, Katie's lawyers are still trying to get the Supreme Court to hear his case, a point I mentioned on
this July 2016 post (see under "Katie and the Supremes"). Here again is a link to the petition. As of the September 23 Facebook post on his Facebook page, the Court has yet to decide if they're going to hear it. I'll let you know when I find out something more. Or you can let me know. As I like to say, we all help each other out here.

That's it for now; I'll be back soon with more.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Those lazy days of summer

Don't worry. I'm still here, and I'm not resting on my laurels just because my Whirled has survived for a decade. Chalk up my absence to a case of the summer doldrums -- August often has that effect on me -- combined with some real-world engagements. There's a lot to write about, and I will. Soon. Thanks for stopping by, and if you've a mind to donate a few bucks, thanks for that too.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Ten years after...

In the beginning there was a mere stub of a blog post.... and it just grew from there.

Thank you all for your support throughout this first decade.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Trumpdeau redux: Kevin Trudeau is excited about Donald Trump's vibes

As the
Democratic National Convention kicks off today in Philly, with wild buzz about the potentially disunifying, even shattering, effects of the Debbie Wasserman-Schultz scandal, one of this blog's favorite snargets, imprisoned serial scammer Kevin Trudeau, aka KT, aka Katie, is holding forth on social media (with a little help from his proxy) on the presidential campaign and his own spiritual superiority and prognostication skills. It's all in the service of selling some of his frauducts so he can keep feeding money to the lawyers who are trying to spring him. 

On a Facebook post today he boasts about having all but called the election results over a year ago. And he brags that he sent his prediction to the New York Times (they've been strangely silent about it, but I'm sure he would say that this is just because they're part of the liberal establishment that has worked so hard to shut Katie up).

Katie has never made a secret about his admiration for the GOP nominee, Donald Trump.
I discussed that here a few months ago.

And now here he is again, boasting about making his predictions to an elite group of his fellow prisoners, a group that he takes time to assure us "included former billionaires, CEO's of major US Corporations, a judge, former Politian's [sic], Washington DC insiders, lawyers and others."

Katie outsmarted them all. As he tells it:

In May 2015 there was talk about a possible Trump run for President of the USA. Immediately a group of men here got together and began discussing the upcoming primaries. I was invited to participate.
The group included former billionaires, CEO's of major US Corporations, a judge, former Politian's, Washington DC insiders, lawyers and others. On the Democratic side, Clinton was a foregone conclusion. Everyone agreed it would be a coronation for her. As for the Republicans, they talked about Bush, Rubio and others, but at the end. everyone agreed 100% that Bush would win easily. No one mentioned Trump.
I remained silent for over an hour as each man made their points and gave their opinions. They all sounded smart, knowledgeable and rational. They all made intelligent comments. After all, these are amazing men with amazing backgrounds. I knew I could learn a lot from them.
As the discussions were winding down, someone mentioned that I had not said a single word! I was actually listening intently, taking some notes, and during the discussion wrote a short prediction about the primaries that I intended to send to the NY Times.
Everyone turned and looked at me as I was asked for my opinion and what I thought about the primary elections. I sat quiet for a moment.
Everyone just looked at me in silence. You could hear a pin drop. I smiled and thanked them for asking for my opinion.
I told them I had written a prediction that I was going to send to the NY Times. I said I would like to read it. Here is what I read (as I still have the original), "I make the following prediction as to the Democratic and Republican primaries. This is what is going to happen.
On the Democratic side, Sanders will push Clinton to the very end. But the fix is in, and the system is rigged. The insiders choose the candidate, not the people.

Candidates are selected, not elected. Clinton will win, because the Democrat insiders will make sure she wins. On the Republican side, Gandhi's 4 step process of breaking the status quo will be obvious. Trump will first be ignored. Then he will be laughed at. Then he will be attacked. And then he will win.
Trump will win the Republican nomination easily, even though the system is designed to "elect" the "chosen" candidate. Trump will win because the overwhelming energy of the people is consistent with Trump's vibration.
He will resonate with a powerful energy, and activate and awaken a dormant energy in people. This energy is very intense. I know this because I can read the energy of the public.
"The group just laughed. I did send my prediction to the NY Times, and also to Janine and some other close friends. I also shared it with Donald. I say this not to brag or show off. I share this with you to point out the power of being able to read "group energy".
You too can release this power.
You too can be able to "read group energy". All you need is desire, and the right training by a person who has this power released. (I also predicted the UK vote to leave the EU). I am not saying who will make the best President. The group energy, intention, and desire will determine the outcome of the election and how our government is run.
The play of consciousness that we are all a part of is a "perfect" play. Sometimes it is a drama, sometimes a horror show, sometimes a comedy, and sometimes a romance. Rather than be a part of it and feel all the emotional ups and downs, you can observe and witness the play and simply enjoy the show. Much love..KT

So. There is Katie, blathering away from the confines of Camp Cupcake (his fake-fond nick for FPC (Federal Prison Camp) in Montgomery, Alabama), telling us some things that everyone already knows about American politics (the behind-the-scenes maneuvering, the fact that the fight is fixed in many ways, and so on).

But that's not what grabbed my attention enough to warrant a whole blog post about the matter. What made this Whirled fodder is that Katie, currently serving a ten-year sentence for criminal contempt related to fraudulent advertising -- is posing as the serenely detached prognosticator and McSpirituality guru who can see the human condition so much more clearly than most of us fast-asleep sheeple, and even more clearly than the other elites in Cellblock B -- but never fear, for he is willing to gift us (for a price, of course!) with his special training so that we too can be able to "read group energy."

And the proceeds from sales of this special training will presumably all go to his legal defense fund, so he can continue his fight to get out of that blissful retreat in Alabama -- a fight that has already cost him and his followers many millions of dollars. He loves it there so, so much, but he so wants his freedom.

By the way, Gandhi's
"4 step process of breaking the status quo," which Katie referred to in describing Trump's road to victory, is bogus. There is no evidence that Gandhi ever said that. It is one of several phony Gandhi quotations that people love to pull out of the hatbox of cliches (along with "Be the change you wish to see in the world") when they are trying to be inspirational or profound or something. Trump has used that phony quotation about the four steps himself, but in all fairness so have Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, according to Politifact. But more than likely the veracity or lack thereof is is a non-issue to Katie, who has never been shy about invoking Gandhi when attempting to polish his own hero/martyr image. Gandhi seems to be quite popular in Scamworld.
At any rate, Katie constantly touts his relatively newfound serenity as being the result of his ability to transcend emotion and judgment. He begs us to believe that he has achieved that consummate state of detachment so vaunted by Buddhists and practitioners of other spiritual paths. He encourages us to be like him, to eschew participation in the "perfect play" and simply to look upon the events around us as entertainment.

But it's pretty hard for anyone who actually participates in American life -- unlike Trudeau these days -- to be entertained by the prospect of a Trump presidency, to dismiss it as a mere play. Granted, it was entertaining at first; now it is
mostly terrifying, and only becomes more so as the resistance weakens and more people fall into lockstep with Trump's scary vision.

And heaven forbid if the "overwhelming energy" of America as a whole is "consistent with Trump's vibration," as Katie claimed about the throngs who pushed Trump to the nomination. Fortunately there are many folks in this country
whose vibes aren't consistent with Drumpf's. (And lots of folks in other countries are similarly unaligned with the Trump vibration.) I don't think I like the "dormant energy" that Trump has awakened in his followers. As far as I'm concerned, Cheat-o Jesus' crowning achievement has been to fuel the hatriarchy.

And I guess I am just not evolved enough to dismiss this as mere entertainment.

* Apropos of the scandal regarding the leaked emails and hacked DNC accounts, there's this... which sounds like a wild conspiracy tale on first glance but may not be.

PS ~ I don't want to let this day go by without mentioning that today -- July 25, 2016 -- is the seventh anniversary of the day that
Colleen Conaway died at a San Diego shopping mall during an event hosted by another one of the scoundrels that Katie has defended (and vice versa): star of The Secret James Arthur Ray. Although Ray served a brief prison sentence for the deaths of three people -- Kirby Brown, James Shore and Liz Neuman -- who died as a result of his gross recklessness at an October 2009 event in Sedona, Arizona, he was never charged, tried or convicted of any criminal wrongdoing in Ms. Conaway's death. Here are my past blog posts about this sad anniversary. I haven't written a blog post on every one of the anniversaries but I have acknowledged it on my social media and on the blogs of others, such as Salty Droid.
And finally, although this isn't specifically about Colleen Conaway, here's the post I wrote in October 2010 on the one-year anniversary of the Sedona travesty: Musings on a tragedy and its meanings.

Never forget.

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Monday, July 18, 2016

Sex cults, dead dogs, dead docs, scammer skirmishes, sticky fingers... just another day on my Whirled

It has been a busy and crazy few weeks, both in the real world and on my own Whirled beat, though you might not think the latter, judging by the couple of weeks of silence on this blog, which, incidentally, will celebrate its tenth birthday on July 27, 2016. It isn't that there is nothing to write about; on the contrary, there's almost too much, and I've been busy with other things. But I wanted to throw together a few snippets and musings to catch you up so you'll have something to occupy your brain while you're monitoring the coverage of the Clown Party Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

Since this isn't a political blog, except of course when it is, I won't delve too deeply into the clown show; there are plenty of other blogs and sites to do that, and they'll do a far more thorough job because that's what they do. But I did want to share this Mother Jones piece that nailed what the GOP, the fabled "party of Lincoln" has become: the party that from all appearances has finally and fully embraced
the politics of being an a$$hole.

So this week the Republican Party is poised to anoint a man whom House Speaker Paul Ryan, the GOP's highest ranking elected leader, has said made racist remarks. That is—or should be—stunning. But even this highly significant fact becomes lost in the torrent of Trump's offensive conduct. And most of the GOP has accepted him as the nominee, enabling and legitimizing his behavior. Per its electorate's wishes, the party has shoved aside traditional conservative principles, basic decency, and fundamental standards of competence—this guy didn't know what the nuclear triad is—to embrace hatred, nastiness, and cruelty. With malice toward none, with charity for all? No, it's opposite day. This convention marks the moment when the party of Lincoln has become the party of reality-show trash talking. As Trump might say, sad!

Apropos of that, and particularly of the pre-Trump-tive Clown Party nominee, my husband Ron Kaye wrote
a short blog post today about the decline of real journalism, which he worries about as much as he does "the rise of bullies who would lie, threaten, bully, and frighten their way into public office, because journalists who are brave enough to demand truth are our single best weapon against tyrants."

Yeah, what Ron said.

And now to the snippets and musings. I've posted some but not all of what follows on Facebook, so if some of it seems familiar, I apologize for the redundancy.

Access Consciousness in the news again; Whirled Musings, not so much
As long-time followers of this blog know, I've been writing about the wackadoodle sex-and-money-obsessed cultlike scam known as
Access Consciousness (formerly Access Energy Transfer) since 2007. My Access posts remain the most-read posts on this blog, which probably isn't saying much since this is not exactly the world's most hottest spot in the blogosphere, but it's something.

Anyway, Access made the news again earlier this month when Complex.com posted an article announcing that
"Ricky Williams is in a Cult." Williams is a former Pro Bowl NFL player who has also recently made the news for his cannabis-centered gym. He first made Access-related news in 2012 when he accepted a $50,000 donation for his Ricky Williams Foundation from none other than Access founder Gary Douglas. Natch, I wrote about that here.

As such articles go, the Complex piece is a pretty good one, despite the fact that, as the Houston Press's Craig Malisow wrote
in a short post about the piece, "...we wish the writer had prodded Williams a little more about the most troubling aspect of Access, which is this: Douglas, the group's founder, believes that 'young children are incredibly sexy.' To those of us who aren't card-carrying members of NAMBLA, language like that is a bit spooky."

Craig, to whom I'd given assistance and information while he was writing his
November 2012 feature article on Access, gave a passing nod to all of the writing I've done on this topic. Craig said my research into Access "still stands as some of the best work on the subject."

Alas, the Complex article didn't acknowledge my blog at all, merely noting, "There are over a dozen
blogs and forums that have lent considerable bandwidth to deconstructing the validity of Access Consciousness." The link embedded in the word "blogs" directs to post on a Christian blog, "Women of Grace," warning about the evils of Access.

So -- no love for Whirled Musings in most of the media, despite the fact that I was the first blogger to write about many loony things regarding Access,
including the fact that the scam originated in the 1990s when founder Gary Douglas started channeling Grigori Rasputin and assorted other entities. That detailed story was published in June 2010, and I'd made a big fat snarky deal about the matter in my first Access post in June 2007. I was also the first to snark about the "9 Trannies" (May 2011). And so on, and so forth.

But at least I got a mention on
this Access apologist site a few years ago, a site whose main purpose seems to be to invalidate Craig's 2012 article. Being the phony good sports that Accessories are known to be, the person or persons responsible for the page wrote: "Connie Schmidt writes a blog that is very funny and her articles poke fun at Gary, Dain and Access Consciousness in general. Her work is provocative and engaging so it usually inspires people to go to Access Consciousness website for more information. Her 'Whirled Musings' are not really a creditable source of accurate information about Access Consciousness."

(Pssst. Yes, they are.)

And a former "Accessory" who "did" Access Consciousness for quite a few years wrote in an email to me a few months ago, "I remember Gary Douglas mentioning you on a number of occasions. He basically vilified you and also the journalist Malisow... It clearly rattled him and he was reacting and trying to deny and dismiss any negative comments."

This person also wrote, "In the upper echelons of Access I've heard that Gary and Dain [have claimed] that if people are causing problems for them or those close [to them] that they will crush their universes."

Gary Douglas himself had actually written to this blog several years previous to that. He fake-thanked me for making people aware of Access. My former Accessory correspondent said that Gary told his classes about writing to my blog, but this person seemed to share my opinion that Gary's good-sport response was just a veneer, perhaps a way of whistling past the graveyard. "Clearly," my correspondent wrote, "you've gotten to him, or he wouldn't mention it."

Take that, mainstream media people who think that you're being really scoopy when you tell the world about about Ricky Williams' "cult." I may be doomed to eternal obscurity, but I still manage to get under scammers' skins.

And despite my narcissistic whining about getting no love, the important point is that Access's lunacy continues to receive publicity, which one can only hope will encourage parents to carefully vet any activity that is even remotely related to Access before they entrust their kids to the care of crazies.

Dog daze and deja Blue (or: LoonyC gets Snopesed...again)
Earlier this month the scourge of Germany, fake doctor Leonard Coldwell, copied and pasted a fake news article to the blog on his main web site,
regarding the supposed arrest of Snopes founder David Mikkelson for involvement in pit bull fighting.

The dog pictures in the fake news article were taken from various real stories about incidents that had taken place in various parts of the country over the past couple of years. A reverse Google image search can easily uncover this fact. But if you don't feel like reverse-Google-image-searching, the author of this article from the hoax alert section of the Lead Stories site has done it for you. The picture of Mikkelson supposedly being arrested was a poorly Photoshopped piece that had been used for another fake Mikkelson arrest story last year. I wrote about that here. The Lead Stories site also covered it.

But just as he did with last year's hoax, LoonyC copied and pasted the pit bull article to his own site as if it were real. He soon deleted last year's post, but the latest one is still on his site as of this posting.

The source of the current hoax article about Mikkelson is
News 4 KTLA, a fake news/clickbait site, Granted, unlike some other sites, News 4 KTLA doesn't trumpet the fact that it's a fake news/parody/satire site. But the clues are in the text, for those with the snap to see them. The Snopes/pit bull piece, for instance, begins like this:

Nearly a dozen people are in custody, including Snopes CEO David Mikkelson, following a bust of a major dogfighting ring. The San Fernando Police Department and the FBI all took part in the early morning raids targeting the home of the popular Internet “writer” who is known for making his money by copying the original writings of fake news sites. [emphasis mine ~CC]

I tried twice to post a comment on Coldwell's blog post, using my full real name. I 'splained that the article was a hoax and that the source of the article is a notorious fake news site, and I also cited the original sources of the photos used in the fake article. I was respectful, despite the fact that Coldwell deserves no respect whatsoever, but my first comment was not published. And when I tried to post a second time, it appeared that I had been blocked from even trying to comment.

But these people were allowed to comment. The second commenter, who posted twice, is particularly disturbing.

Don't get me wrong. As a lifelong dog lover I think people who abuse dogs and our other fellow creatures should be dealt with harshly. But David Mikkelson did not do what the fake article accuses him of doing. Yet LoonyC's idiot followers, who apparently bear the same irrational hatred of Snopes that Loony does, didn't even question the veracity of the article.

It all reminds me eerily of what I was going through two years ago at this exact time, when Coldwell was publicly and repeatedly and falsely accusing me of poisoning his pit bull dog, Blue (and publicly and repeatedly publishing my home address and cell phone number, and telling his sympathetic fans to get in touch with me). I wrote about this at great length
here and here. (Those of you who have been with me a while know this whole story, so again, my apologies for the redundancy.)

His fans, who had no idea who I am and apparently didn't bother to question his claims, were ranting on his Facebook pages about the horrible things that should be done to me in punishment for the crime I had supposedly committed against Lenny and his dog. They were suggesting that I should be hunted down,
shot, poisoned, tortured. Someone even threatened to burn my house down in the middle of the night. It was pretty scary. And I had no legal recourse; though I reported the matter, law enforcement said there wasn't enough evidence to pursue the matter.

So I feel for David Mikkelson.

Dead holistic docs conspiracy rages on
One topic I addressed in last year's Lenny-got-Snopesed post --
and here's that link again -- was the dead holistic doctor conspiracy drama that so may people refuse to relinquish. Here is one of all too few rational articles about the matter, published last year. Granted, the body count was lower back then, but this doesn't invalidate the need to be skeptical of the conspiracy narrative, particularly since not all of the people on the supposed list of dead docs were even doctors, and of those who were, not all of them could be considered "holistic."

Some of the deceased parties in the conspiracy narrative have been murdered, while the deaths of some were reported as suicides, and some died of heart attacks or other ailments. Not surprisingly, the conspiracy buffs refuse to accept that any of these good people committed suicide, despite the fact that doctors and other medical professionals
have a relatively high suicide rate, at least in the US. And the conspiracy fans insist that the docs who died of various ailments had been in perfect health up until their deaths. The deaths reported as homicides, of course, are self-explanatory and fit perfectly into the dastardly-plot narrative: Clearly, Big Pharma and/or other forces opposed to natural healing are somehow responsible.

In any case, as of this writing the latest so-called "holistic doctor" supposedly done away with by some nefarious cabal of Big Pharma and New World Order operatives was a 65-year-old Asian woman living in Palo Alto, California, Jenny Shi,
whose stabbing death Health Nut blogger Erin Elizabeth announced with her customary "heavy hearts" on July 13. Erin has remained front and center in the parade of dead-doc conspiracy alarmists, despite continuing to insist that she is not implying a conspiracy of any kind.

Apart from the fact that she owned a chain of acupuncture clinics, Jenny Shi
had much more going on in her life than "holistic" doctoring. She was an international businesswoman with enterprises that included real estate and angel investment, and she had business connections in Shanghai and Beijing, China. Investigators suspect that Shi knew her attacker. She reportedly rented rooms in her home to multiple tenants, and detectives are investigating these as well as her numerous business relationships.

But the conspiracy believers are out in force, apparently because according to them, the late Dr. Shi
spoke out against "the vaccine establishment."

As the debunking article I linked to above concluded:

Saying that these deaths are a coincidence may be supported by the facts and our understanding of statistics, but it is emotionally unsatisfying to our pattern-seeking brains. We find apparent patterns in the world very compelling, and we want there to be an underlying explanation. We just don’t like the idea that the pattern is an illusion. That is why we fall prey to excessive pattern recognition and hyperactive agency detection (seeing a deliberate agent in random or natural events).

When the apparent pattern fits our pre-existing narrative or world view, the temptation to accept the pattern becomes overwhelming. Only the most diligent application of critical thinking can overcome such a temptation.
But don't expect much of that critical-thinking stuff from Erin and gang.

Katie and the Supremes
As reported here in Febuary 2016, currently imprisoned serial scammer Kevin Trudeau, aka KT, aka Katie -- also
a frequent snarget on this blog -- lost the appeal on his criminal case. Now he is trying to do take his battle to the Supreme Court.

a link to the Petition. Stay tuned.

Has Troy McClain become an impotent figurehead in GIN?
Speaking of Katie, his biggest scam ever, the Global Information Network, or GIN, is still chugging along. I've heard from more than one knowledgeable source that there has been a massive power struggle because the GIN principals and staff just don't care for GIN CEO Troy McClain, former star of Donald J. Drumpf's "reality" TV show, The Apprentice. The mass dislike apparently has something to do with Troy's yuuuge ego and lack of ethics. (I thought those were job requirements for a Scamworld player, but there do seem to be some actual decent human beings on the remaining GIN staff who seem genuinely dismayed by the unethical stuff. As for the principals, it's just one big clash of egos and behind-the-scenes scammer skirmishes.)

Our most recent Whirled visit with Troy was back in March of this year, when Troy was making a big self-righteous stink about
removing someone from "our Club" for some great ethics violation. Well, apparently lots has happened since then. Long-time Katie buddies Chris "Voldemort" McGarahan and Blaine Athorn, a couple of the co-owners of GIN (along with Troy and another fellow), are reportedly trying to force Troy out of their tree house club altogether. Blaine is reportedly in charge of GIN now. That may prove to be a win for Katie, eventually, since Troy reportedly does not like Katie, but Blaine presumably still does.

But Troy has worked hard on revamping the GIN branding, particularly with
the new GIN Evolve web site. Gone is the old GIN site; it's Troy's brand baby now. And Troy still apparently owns the KT Legal Defense Fund site, leaving me to wonder again if all of the online donations to help Katie actually go to help Katie and not Troy.

So I wonder how this will all play out. As I find out more, I'll be sure to tell you. Or you can tell me, if you know more. We all help each other around here. In any case, as far as I'm concerned... Troy, Blaine, Chris... meh. They're all turds of a feather.

Speaking of The Apprentice...
Salty Droid has been busy, and
here he is again, ruminating on The Donald and some of the scammers Drumpf hath wrought. Important stuff here.

Also well worth reading: the interview, published in The New Yorker, with
the person who really wrote The Art of the Deal, ghostwriter Tony Schwartz. To this day Drumpf brandishes the book as proof that he's the greatests, and that he's qualified to be the leader of the free world. Schwartz has earned millions in advance and royalties for writing this book, but he never really felt good about it, and has pledged to donate royalties from here on out to groups of people that Trump's bigotry, xenophobia and elitism could seriously harm. Schwartz reveals some pretty disgusting things about Drumpf, which of course won't make a bit of difference to the Drumpfians, but go ahead, read it anyway.

Are Freddy's fingers in Coach Coral's scam pie?
Another Whirled unfavorite, Fred Van Liew, long-time friend and defender of Kevin Trudeau, is apparently involved in cross-promotional (or should that be crass-promotional?) shenanigans with scammy "life coach" Coral Grant and gang. In January I wrote about a lawsuit against Coral and her hubby Mac, but it appears that it's just business as usual for Coral despite the lawsuit. Fred posted on his Facebook page July 16 about an event he attended with "Best Life Coaching Society," a company in which Coral and Mac are currently involved. They're not listed as the owners of the company; that honor goes to Scott and Jen Kazmierczak, "the true power couple," according to the Best Life Coaching Society web site. Coral and Mac are simply listed as the head trainers, although according to the site, Scott and Jen "never got any real results until a few years ago, when they met Coral and Mac and learned their Subconscious Release Technique..."

But back to
Fred, who posted a big picture of himself and Coral beaming into the camera. I made a comment on that pic, complete with a link, asking him how the lawsuit is coming. As of this writing he hasn't answered.

As you know if you've been here a while, apart from being a long time Trudeau buddy and now an apparent Coral buddy, Van Liew is also involved in multilevel marketing schemes --
particularly one that's a lot like Herbalife. It's a Youngevity/Livinity merger called 90forLife -- and again, there's a Trudeau connection, as Barb and Dave Pitcock, proteges of Trudeau, are principals in the MLM. And Fred has his own line of pseudo-scientific products to purify water and protect people from various evil electromagnetic forces.

As I've also mentioned here before, Fred was quoted in
an excellent piece by Aaron Gell, published by Business Insider in January 2015

After high school, Trudeau found work at an auto dealership, where, Van Liew says, he soon became the No. 1 salesman by eagerly chatting up the customers whom his colleagues stereotyped as window shoppers and cheapskates. “The other guys would say, ‘This guy’s a loser,’ but Kevin didn’t do that. And he’d sell them car.”

He also became adept at pushing auto loans. “He would tell people, ‘Save your credit with your bank in case you need it for something else,’” Van Liew recalls. “Was it the best advice? No. Was he doing it to get you the best deal? Hell no. He was in it for profit and money! He knew most people are idiots.”

"He knew most people are idiots." To me that sums up the contempt in which most con artists hold their marks. My friend Julie Daniel, who formerly worked with some of the Trudeau enterprises, agrees. She says, "I heard some of the back-room conversations, and if people only knew what exactly was said about them... [Mark] Hamilton likes to say that his little group is a family. But when they are not listening, they are brain-washed sheep." (Mark Hamilton, aka Mark Scamilton, is the Neo-think founder and former co-scammer with Trudeau in GIN.)

Anyhow, it appears that Freddy and Coral have a good thing going on. Or maybe Fred is just trying to keep a close eye on Coral for the benefit of his true scambuddy Trudeau. I've heard scuttlebutt that Coral and Kevin aren't really as tight as Coral has implied in the promos where she brags that she is one of the few folks to have been personally mentored by Katie. Word has it that she pretty much pushed and shoved her way into Kevin's inner circle (not to be confused with the now-defunct GIN Inner Circle, whose members paid $50,000 to $75,000 for that privilege back in GIN's heyday).

At any rate Coral and Fred seem to be scratching each other's backs, which I assume is only a figure of speech because the thought of any literal physical contact between the two is enough to put you off your feed for a month -- but be that as it may, here's a disturbingly topless-looking Coral in mid-June 2016, praising Freddy after an "energy work" event at which he was one of the "trainers." She describes the training as "getting into it [whatever it is] on the scientific but not on the 'woo-woo' level." She also calls it, "...Insane... absolutely the best training I've ever been to..."

Well, okay. The "insane" part is probably correct.

In any case it seems pretty clear that Freddy and Coral have their sticky fingers in each other's schemes. The road goes on forever, and the scamming never ends.

That's it for now (isn't that enough?). Stay safe, stay cool, and don't let the circus this week or next week eat up too many of your brain cells. I'll be back soon.

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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Cheat-o Jesus's Prosper-ity gospel, #Lexit, and other wacky Whirled matters

The past few weeks have been pretty crazy, and as summer (in the Northern Hemisphere) and the political season both heat up, it is almost certainly going to get even crazier. But just for the sake of putting in my two-cents' worth on some of the craziness, here are a few tidbits and aggregated links.

Salty Droid and Daily Kos dig into Drumpf U's Prosper connections
In case you were worried about the little fake robot's prolonged absence, there's no cause for concern. Salty Droid returned earlier this month with
a teaser about the yuuuuge scam formerly known as Trump University, which he had exposed years ago for the massive fraud that it was/is. In the teaser he took a potshot at Donald Trump's obnoxious, tone-deaf self-congratulations in the immediate wake of the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida on June 12. Salty also put together a short video that competently demonstrated the cynical lie that was Trump U.

That was just the appetizer. A few days later
Salty came back with the main course, a post focusing on the intimate connection between Cheat-o Jesus' phony institution of liar education and notorious Utah boiler-room company Prosper Inc.

As many of you may know, Salty has been on
Prosper's and Utah's case for years, being one of the very first to call out that "rotting vortex of fraud," as he put it. Salty's postings inspired me more than once to add my own voice to the (still-too-small) chorus too. One reason I found the matter of such interest was that Joe "Mr. Fire" Vitale, a frequent snarget on this Whirled, "partnered" with Prosper years ago for his extravagantly overpriced "Miracles Coaching" scheme. Over the years, others such as In the Limelight blogger Jonathan Timar, as well as The Verge, have also nabbed Joe for Miracles Coaching and its dependence upon the Prosper-generated hard sell. There have been consumer complaints about Prosper's "business coaching" as well -- see here and here and here, for instance.

Apparently, though, Prosper's co-founder Ethan Willis
got out of that racket and into another one. If I'm reading things correctly, it appears that Prosper changed hands a couple of years ago and morphed into something called Achieve Today LLC. But according to their website, Vitale and his McMiracles machine are still "partners."

At any rate, Trump U is far from the only scam in which Prosper has been involved. But it seems clear that Trump U got a lot of help and enabling from the Willis boys -- not just Ethan but his brother Damon -- back in the day when Prosper was still Prosper. The bottom line, according to Salty:

It’s not enough to call this fraud. It’s intentional manipulation :: a full degree darker than deception … and it works like a motherfucker. These guys are so good at it :: scary good … which is why they generally contract to take more than half the money in these deals.

Trump University didn’t slide gradually into scam after being confronted with the reality of the web’s unprofitable profit model … as happens to so many companies. Trump came to this game partnered with Prosper … because he was always going straight for the jugular.
That sounds pretty accurate.

By the way, Salty isn't the only one on the Prosper/Drumpf U connection. Lenny Grover put some good info together and published it on The NewsHub and on Daily Kos.
Here's the Kos link.

But as I noted on my own
very long post about the Drumpf U playbooks -- a post that totally overlooked the Prosper connection, I'm sorry to say (and really, there was no excuse for that, since Prosper was mentioned in the playbook PDF to which I linked) -- I don't think that knowing that Donald Trump is a scammer will make any difference to the hatriots and scammer wannabes who are pushing for a Drumpf presidency. For the scammer wannabes, in fact, it will just be a selling point.

LoonyC gets out of Facebook jail, and he's loonier than ever
Another frequent snarget on this blog,
Not-Doktor Leonard Coldwell, was recently sprung from Facebook jail. I wrote about his most recent 30-day suspension in late May, detailing his whines about being "banned" because, according to him, he was writing posts in support of Donald Trump. More than likely, however, he was suspended for hate speech -- not that it stopped him from posting on Facebook. The only account that was actually suspended was his main English-language page, but he continued to post on his main German page, as well as several other pages he maintains, and he even created a new fake account under the name "Eyn Rand."

Well, Lenny has been back on Facebook in full force now for a few days, and he hit the ground whining that he is probably going to be blocked again. Even more amusingly, he is boasting that he has a huge fortune of 100 billion dollars... or maybe euros; he doesn't seem to be sure which it is. And he is going to use that fortune to create his own sovereign nation. Now, where/when have we heard that before?
Oh, yeah, here -- back in April 2013 when he was boasting about having purchased 130-plus acres in South Carolina, near the Georgia border.

Bernie at GINtruth had some fun with Loony's latest claims.

As I noted on my comment on Bernie's blog post, in all of the posts that Lenny wrote immediately after getting out of Facebook jail, he hasn't made one mention of having been “banned” because of his pro-Trump posts. Yet his Trump advocacy was the excuse he gave at the beginning of his 30-day suspension. Post-suspension, he is only blaming the New World Order, or NWO. Maybe, I suggested, he just doesn’t remember the lie he told previously. Then again, that was 30 days ago, and probably (at least 30) bottles of bourbon ago as well.

And it seems that Lenny hasn't learned his lesson about hate speech, or perhaps he is simply trying to bait Facebook so he'll get suspended again, and can whine about it and gather more names and email addresses for his "exclusive" newsletter. On his German page, under the name "Dr." Leonard Coldwell, there's this, from June 23, 2016.

In that post he links to this awful German-language site.

Here's a link to the Googlish-translated page.

And even before that -- while he was still suspended from using his main English language Facebook page -- he shared
a link to this atrocious anti-Semitic work.

Post-suspension, and writing as Eyn Rand, he shared one of his favorite links -- again. And again:

Which makes his former lawyer's "eternal vocational suicide" defense of Lenny seem all the sillier. 

Indeed, judging by some of his Facebook posts, it would appear that Coldwell actively identifies with Hitler. This is from his German page:

A translation of the caption under the Hitler pic:

And then there's this: a clip from Lenny's June 28, 2016 interview with one of his long-time buddies, conspiracy nut and hate-monger Jeff Rense. This isn't the entire segment but it's enough to clearly call Lenny out for a particularly vicious form of anti-Semitism, marked by Holocaust denial and expressions of admiration for Adolf Hitler, whom he and Rense both portray as the egregiously misunderstood hero of history. Vocational suicide, indeed. Lenny's rants are the words of a maniac who has no real vocation left to destroy.

In light of the above, I'm all for Leonard Coldwell forming his own sovereign nation, but I hope it's far, far away from the United States. Actually, I'm thinking that the location for Loonyland might be somewhere in Russia, since Lenny has such a mad man-crush on Vladimir Putin and is supposedly going to be talking to him soon about how to save our world.

The more I think about it, the more I think that Russia would be a perfect place for Lenny, because overall people there are even more gullible than they are in the US,
as I noted in this September 2009 snarkfest.

In any case I had been wondering about Lenny's letter to Putin. I didn't have to wonder long; on June 26
he posted this on his German page:

Here is the link he shared to the letter to Putin. It's in German, but if you don't speak that language, you don't have to mess with Google or Bing's awkward machine translations. Here is the page in English.

If I'm reading his garbled garbage correctly, it appears that Lenny did not personally reach out to Putin; he merely signed an online letter. So are we to believe Putin is singling Lenny out of the 93,000-plus other souls all over the world who supposedly signed the same online letter, and that Vlad is going to be meeting personally with Lenny?

I think we all know the truth here: Lenny is just another silly Putin fanboy,
as are millions of other conservative wingnuts in the US, UK and elsewhere (e.g., Donald Trump, UKIP leader Nigel Farage, et al.). Perhaps Lenny even has a big poster of a shirtless Vlad on horseback taped to his ceiling. And so what if Amy doesn't like it? She's just a woman, and real men like Lenny don't let their wives tell them what to do.

Perhaps Lenny fantasizes about himself and Vlad prancing shirtlessly on horseback together, parading around the new sovereign nation of Loonyland, supervising drills of Lenny's Pinkshirt troops, overseeing the Lenions toiling in the organic gardens or attending the animals. Possibly he envisions Vlad and him hunting and shooting shirtlessly together like the man's men that they are.

Now that I've spoiled your appetite for dinner, let's get back to that sovereign nation notion. Like his idol
Donald Trump, Lenny has been a big and mostly ignorant advocate of #Brexit. Lenny has also gotten behind #Amexit (the US leaving the United Nations) and #Texit (Texas seceding from the United States). Well, I'm here to get behind what I hope will be a

Goodbye, Lenny, and good riddance.

Burning soles redux: it's not the firewalk that's the main problem
Nearly four years ago, the Emperor of Scamworld Tony Robbins' firewalking shtick made the news because some folks at a California event got their tootsies burned. I blogged about it here. Well, it has happened again, this time in Dallas, Texas. (My pal Steve Salerno at SHAMblog was invoked by ABC News to provide insight, but they apparently did a piss-poor job of it; they ran a mere snippet of a prolonged comment he'd made after the 2012 incident.)

Not surprisingly, Robbins' faithful followers claimed that the injured people got burned
because of a lack of focus. But at least one participant said that it appeared that staff members didn't allow the coals to cool enough before adding more to the pile.

Maybe convicted, formerly imprisoned and now freed killer James Arthur Ray can get a job with the Robbins scampire.

In any case,
as Salty Droid noted back in 2012, after the California burning soles event:

bad things that scale + the internets = very scary

6000 people walking down 10+ lanes of hot coals for 90 minutes :: seems like a big bad … but it’s not the big number we should be worried about. Each one of the those 6000 people represents approximately 100 other people who were offered the opportunity to Unleash the Power Within in San Jose July 2012 and declined. Hundreds of thousands of sales messages constantly spammed across all mediums :: to the whole world … generating the contrivance of attention.

Tony Robbins will never stop telling you that the way to move forward with your life is to keep giving ever larger amounts of yourself and your life to Tony Robbins :: but he’ll never give it back … because he is a nothing and a nobody so he can’t. As shallow a god as ever there was.
But he is a shallow god who is still able to collect millions from the hopeful and the vulnerable.

Update 27 June: Salty Droid weighed in on the latest Tony's toasted toes episode, and as usual nailed it.
The media doesn’t do stories about the huge harms done by Tony Robbins. But they love the shit out of the #footburn #ambulance thing.
Yep. But the problem goes deeper...
People want solutions for their unsolvable problems … and scammers are allowed to use deception and manipulation to take advantage of that.

It wouldn’t be possible without buy-in from liars at
every level of our completely corrupted :: propaganda based … power structure.
The problem isn't just with Tony Robbins and Donald Trump. When someone as influential as former President Bill Clinton (whom I have supported, as I now support his wife) calls Tony Robbins a "very good friend," you know the malaise goes all the way up.

Sez Salty:

We best Awaken the Revolutionary Within … before there’s nothing left of our great democratic experiment but lies and burnt feet.
Update 30 June: And here is Steve Salerno, who also gets the big picture in relation to Robbins, Trump et al. and America's "Positive Mental Attitude-mania" -- a mania that has eroded common sense.

Trudeau diet book scam: come, thou long awaited refunds
Finally, and for what it's worth, many months after
U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman approved the Federal Trade Commission's proposal to start compensating purchasers of Kevin Trudeau's fraudulent diet book, it appears that the refunds are finally being issued.

My friend Julie Daniel has shared this redacted screen shot of one person's huge refund.

Judging by its news releases, the FTC seems to be patting itself on the back for this one. Small victories, I suppose. It's nothing, though, compared to the millions that Trudeau scammed out of members of his mega-scam,the Global Information Network (GIN).

That's it for now... more soon.

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