The first confesstimonial was a big hit :: and in a more interesting than usual comment stream … it spawned the second confesstimonial. Once your blog posts start producing progeny :: you can retire to the beach to live the tanned twinkie lifestyle … fact.

The video is The Vergecast from the morning the Scamworld article printed. It’s pretty funny to listen to real Internet experts laughing about fake Internet experts :: and then Danny Sullivan calls in to ruin my laughter … but I’ve let go of that anger now because I am mature.

Anywayz :: at about 7:30 they start talking about how it’s not fair to call people who get sucked into these scams idiots … or the like. According to The Verge editors :: Verge readers are more “critical :: savvy :: and street smart” than average folk {something not on evidence in the Scamworld2 comments} … but lots of people are still naive in the ways of the web and can’t be blamed for falling prey to these terrible liars.

That sentiment is appreciated by me :: victim’s advocate … and hater of victim blamers. But it’s not strictly accurate. Critical :: savvy :: street smart Internet people get sucked into these Internet Marketing scams all the time. Regular readers of The Verge get sucked into these Internet Marketing scams all the time. Doctors :: lawyers :: teachers :: cops :: programers :: journalists … all susceptible.

It’s not about who you are … it’s about how you are.

Flatley started the Scamworld article like this …

On a warm summer day in 2002, in Charlevoix, Michigan, Richard Joseph’s bad luck began. The lawyer, husband, and father of two was walking across the driveway with a bag of garbage when his bare foot slipped in a puddle of water that had collected beneath his car’s air conditioner… He’d never walk again.

… it was a great way to start … because so many of these sad scam stories begin with another sad story. People are put off their game by the struggles and calamities of life … and that’s when the bastards pounce. When you’ve lost a spouse :: or a job :: or a parent :: or a religion :: or a self identity :: something transformational that’s left you confused and drifting … that’s when you’re vulnerable. It doesn’t matter who you are :: or what you’ve accomplished … because in that moment of flux :: or fear :: you’re not you.

With that introduction :: here’s @What the what’s beautiful comment about her brush with the dark side … Confesstimonial 2.

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A few years ago I was a trial attorney. I hated it. I absolutely hated everything about it. It was the wrong career for me. I had decided at 19 that I wanted to be a lawyer and I worked my ass off to get into law school. I worked with a single minded focus to get excellent grades. I didn’t go out that much. I didn’t have hobbies. I had only a couple of friends. I had two things in my life, my job and school. I got into law school on a scholarship. After the first year I knew I hated it but I did well (again, working at school with a single minded focus) and was in the top 15% of my class. Halfway through my second year, I called my mom and asked her what she thought about me leaving law school. I was so hoping she would say, that if I hated it I should just leave. I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. Everyone in my family (parents, aunts, uncles, grandma) was so frakking proud of the future lawyer. Long story short, I stayed, and was absolutely miserable. Then I got my first job as a trial attorney, I worked 60 hour weeks and hated every second of it. After a few years I couldn’t do it anymore. I was broken and burnt out. I drove to my parents house in tears and begged them to not be disappointed in me if I wasn’t a lawyer anymore. I begged them to approve of my decision to leave my job, my career. I needed them to approve of it because I felt like a complete failure. I was twenty eight years old. For almost ten years my entire life was devoted to becoming, and then being, a lawyer. It was who I was. It was the sole source of my pride in myself as it was actually the only thing in my life.

They gave their approval because they saw how devastatingly unhappy I was. So I quit my job. I had some savings and moved back home to take some time and figure out what I would do next. I was as broken and vulnerable as I have ever been. I didn’t even know who I was anymore now that I wasn’t a lawyer and I had no idea what I was going to do with the rest of my life. It had never even occurred to me that I would do anything other than practice law. That person is exactly the type of person the IMers are looking for. And that’s where I was in my life when I first got introduced to IM. I stuck a toe in just to see what it was all about. A free seminar here, a free e-book there. I started planning some sites and writing some draft articles about things that I “had passion” for. I had absolutely no expertise in these areas and I had no business giving anyone any advice about them. But Ed Dale said I just needed “passion” and I just had to create “quality content”. So I did.

Luckily for me, I was having drinks with a dear dear friend of mine. He asked me what I was up to and I told him all about my adventures in IM (at this point I was just starting. I had bought a few domains and had written a few articles. I hadn’t decided on a product yet to sell. But I was SEOing like a mad woman. There was always something in the back of my mind that there was something not quite right about what I was doing but I kept going anyway). He looked me in the eyes and said “I love you, and I know things are really hard right now. But what you’re doing isn’t a real thing.” All told I had spent maybe a couple of hundred dollars. And shortly thereafter I found Salty Droid. I think I read every article and every comment on this site in the course of one weekend. That Monday morning I got up and pulled the plug on everything. I just walked the fuck away. (Thankfully I didn’t have a list and hadn’t actually recommended any products. Hell, I don’t think I even had any page views. So I was able to just shut it down without taking any further steps).

I am so grateful that my friend had the guts to be honest with me and that I found this site before I did any serious damage. It kills me because at one point, while talking to my mom about what I was doing with IM, I had encouraged her to get started in it. Every time I come to this site I think about the fact that I had almost fed not just myself, but my own frakking MOTHER to these people. (She told me once, “I don’t know what this stuff is all about. But you are really smart. And you are really good at research. So if you say it’s genuine, I believe you.” ) And I read the stories about people who lost everything and think…”My God. That could have been us.” I listen to this and I think that could’ve been my mom.

So this shit that Koenigs, Kern, Pagan, et al say about not working hard? They’re full of shit. I was someone with an incredible work ethic. I spent tons of time on my seminars, writing articles, researching. And no one cared what I had to say. No one saw my sites. I didn’t “fail at IM” because I was a slacker. I didn’t “fail at IM” because I didn’t take “Massive Action”. I wasn’t successful because IM is bullshit. I wasn’t successful because I hadn’t started feeding victims into the sick machine. I wasn’t successful at IM because I ESCAPED IM. You know who is successful? The people that sacrifice others to the “sick machine” for the affiliate pay outs.

And I didn’t get suckered because I’m stupid. I studied economics on a scholarship. I went to law school on a scholarship. I was trying cases on my own after only a year in practice and winning. Those things don’t mean I’m super smart. But it does mean I’m not a total idiot. The important thing is that I was vulnerable and scared and hurting and broken. That’s all it takes.

So, @Amanda (and anyone lurking around who might be in the same situation), if you are for real? Good luck. I hope you get all the way out. I hope you find something that’s real and that will make you happy and that isn’t IM or biz-op. And if you are genuine then you will excuse what I say next because you will have read my story and understand where I am coming from.

If you are just a troll here, like @Frances Flynn Thorson or @Charles Frey, then fuck right the fuck off. You don’t get my name because these fuckers have my name and they have more of my personal information than just my name from signing up for the scams. And these fuckers have no morals. They don’t care who they harass or who they destroy. I found my way. I am going into a new career I absolutely LOVE. A career that is an actual real thing. I’m moving forward. And these fuckers don’t get to be the cause of any more damage in my life.

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@What the what got the hell out … and you can too!

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