Monday, October 22, 2007

Monday Morning Reality Check

Southern winds of change
Indian elected governor of Louisiana

Hollywood enjoys painting a picture of the South that usual consists of Cooter and Billy Bob in their pick up truck, waving a Confederate flag and looking for Blacks, Jews and Gays to beat up or worse. Unfortunately these stereotypical images have been embedded in the mindset of urban America as well as the mainstream press.

This past weekend those negative images took a turn for the better as 36 year-old Republican congressman Bobby Jindal was elected governor of Louisiana. Jindal defeated about a dozen candidates receiving over 53% of the vote in an open election. What makes Jindal's election historically significant besides his youthful age is that he is the first Indian-American elected to a governors mansion in U.S. history. He also is the first non-white to win the office in Louisiana.

Jindal's parents immigrated (legally) to America when they were graduate students. Their son was born in Baton Rougue and adopted the name Bobby after the Brady Bunch character. He was born a Hindu, but converted to Catholicism as a teenager.

Jindal's election serves as a reminder that we have come a long way in America despite the rhetoric of Jesse Jackson, John Edwards and the ACLU. The fact that the son of immigrants from India could be elected governor of any state is a great statement about our nation. However being elected from a Southern state especially Louisiana is an accomplishment of greater bounds.

Jindal will have his hands full in what many believe is the most politically corrupt state in the union. Politicians and pundits including your brilliant blogger have never supported giving the state government a dime for Katrina relief since chances are very slim it would help rebuild the hurricane decimated areas and just end up in a corrupt politicians or union leaders pocket. The city of New Orleans is just as bad if not worse. Hopefully Jindal can help restore honesty to the government, making it more attractive for businesses to come to Louisiana, which is the only way to rebuild the state. Congrats Bobby or shall I say Mr. Governor-elect.

Snake-oil salesman in court
Kevin Trudeau finds himself in a familiar position

For over 15 years you have seen him on television pitching some miracle product of sorts. In the early 90's it was Mega-Memory which eventually led to Mega-Math and Mega-Reading. Recently you have seen Kevin Trudeau promoting his books regarding Natural Cures for illnesses, Natural Diet Cures and Debt relief. In each case Trudeau claims that their is a conspiracy between the government and big business to prevent people from learning about these medical miracles that can be found in your kitchen or health food store.

In 1990, Trudeau posed as a doctor in order to deposit $80,000 in false checks, and in 1991 he pled guilty to larceny after he had provided information he obtained from credit card customers of the mega memory product. He served 2 years in prison and I can tell you first hand that after he was let out he found new ways to deceive his fellow man.

In 1997 I began working for a telecommunications company that specialized in infomercial phone sales. Trudeau was part-owner of our company. I didn't know much about this guy who claimed to have this amazing memory system and was pushing multiple education (math, reading) products. What I did learn from day one is that Trudeau has a cult following of supporters who work for him and would jump off a bridge in a heartbeat if he asked them. Many of his supporters left lucrative careers and moved their families across the country with the belief he would make them wealthy beyond their wildest dreams.

Back then Trudeau was at the top of a multi-level marketing scheme called Nutition for Life. Simply put they sold health and beauty products, but the idea was to get people to join the program for a fee of about $1000 and they would have to buy a minimum amount of product monthly and get people signed up under them to earn residual income. The concept is popular and legal. Trudeau was guilty of illegal recruiting practices and had to pay fines of nearly 200k. That was chump change to the millions he made yearly from the con-game.

When I worked in his phone center I met people who had 60-70k a year jobs with a 401k and great benefits, which they left because Trudeau said he had a great opportunity for them. I recall one gentlemen who was a very nice family man who was in virtually tears one night because he hadn't been able to pay his mortgage in 6 months and his daughter needed money for a girl scout outing the next day. He left a 70k a year job for a 30k sales position and Trudeau's promise of wealth. I loaned him a $150 for his daughter and never saw a dime of that money again.

I recall a preacher and his wife from Pennsylvania who left his congregation with a promise to return as a rich man and help his congregants. I believe bankruptcy was their final wake-up call.

A for yours truly I was always frowned upon for not joining Nutrition for Life. Within a few years Trudeau had outlived his products worth and he was on the road to new scams which we see today has landed him in Federal court. Eventually the phone room went under, his immediate entourage joined him for newer ways to deceive the desperate and I'm sure a few dozen if not hundred people still haven't never fully recovered from their lives ending up in financial ruin.

As for your brilliant blogger, I have always regretted that fact that I helped put money in this criminals pocket. I was young and impressionable and in my own way believed in his products, but I think I was lying to myself to justify my job. The one positive is that I was often the sole voice of reason in a company that was run by brainwashed Trudeau wannabees.

Once again he finds himself in court, which he will use to make his claim that the government is trying to silence him. He will turn whatever 6 figure fine sentenced upon him to a multi-million dollar book or product to be sold at 2am on VH1 or Bravo.

There is a great lesson to be learned from felons such as Trudeau. They often take a legitimate idea such as multi-level marketing, home or natural remedies and common sense approaches to finances and corrupt them. They profit from a fad or craze often giving a good idea a bad name. No matter what you do or embark on, remember that sources and providers are just as important as the idea itself. When your source is Kevin Trudeau you have already been swindled.



At 2/09/2008 4:02 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Paulie

Are you saying that Trudeau's programs don't work? Does that mean that my application of what I thought was a brilliant memory program is really NOT working for me? Are you saying that I'm rich beyond my wildest dreams because I really can't remember anything?

I'm sorry for your loss of confidence in the man Trudeau, I wish you every success in starting to believe in yourself and becoming great at being "the best you" that you can be.

I pray that once you've shaken off the bitterness, you'll awaken to your one and only life that you have. Use it greatly and live it wisely.

At 2/09/2008 8:54 AM , Blogger Paulie said...

Anonymous- Did you even read what I wrote? For a guy who claims that Mega Memory made him rich "beyond mt wildest dreams," you sure missed the point.

You are obviously part of his cult following and it wouldn't surprise me if your last name is Athorne or Freeman and I know you know exactly who I am talking about.

If it makes you feel better about yourself that you worship a man who has swindled millions of people out of their money and has ruined the lives of dozens I personally know of because of his false promises, then I guess whatever gets you through the night as John Lennon said.

BTW have the decency to sign your name istead of whimping out under an anonymous posting.


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