Speaking of Spiders

fighting fake robots

How you like me now Naomi Dunford?

Shit Storms happen!

 

It’s probably best not to do your own viral marketing campaign for my site during a run-up to a ShitStorm :: unless you have a “career” death wish {not to be construed as a death threat [allegedly]} … but maybe I just don’t know cause I’m not a problogger.

Above are the pageviews for the last seven days on the FakeRobot and ChubbySpider websites. Her views peaked on the 30th :: the day after her fake death threat post. But with a little {/lot} of help from MetaFilter :: she couldn’t quite surpass the number of people she was driving to MeanSite2. According to bigger-than-life-size pile of cow crap Naomi Dunford …

“We’ve received over 100,000 visitors over the last 48 hours and an outpouring of support that defies my imagination.”

Nope! Not even close …

But I’m sure everything else in her completely exploitative post about someone else’s murdered mother is totally true.

In spite of the fact that Naomi has just reappeared on the Internet after a tawdry and conspicuous six month absence :: A-teamers tweeted out her faux-feminist wolf crying …

Chris Brogan

This is very important. Please read through and share it – http://ow.ly/6gXzC

Yes … it is very important.  Thanks for linking to me by proxy Brogan … good fucking plan.

Says Sonia Simone :: after the death threats had been debunked :: but before I published the Spider Shit Storm …

As always @NaomiDunford let me know how I can help. I feel horribly for Dave, he’s done nothing to deserve this shitstorm.

Oops! Surprise :: you’re in the Shit Strom too Ms. Simone. I suppose you also did nothing to deserve it? Funny how you won’t print my comments :: but you will send everyone you know to my site for one of the most bang-bang little truth nuggets ever released here.  Great job … that’s remarkable communication!

These posts started a conversation that needed to happen :: big black waves.  Here’s some of the highlights :: mostly based on voting … motherfucking democracy FTW!

@Lanna …

This is about the B-team n00bs being fleeced. This is how I read it:

Naomi chats up Dave and says, ‘Hey, I’m tired of running this business that makes $100,000 to $200,000 a year. Do you want it, like, for free?’

Dave must’ve been a kick-ass PM at Lockheed, because he’s all like, ‘Specifically, what tasks would I be responsible for?’

The spider thinks he’s seen through her con (He hasn’t!) and abandons her carefully constructed lie about being tired of running it, not being a detail person, etc., etc.

(Her bio on her website says she’s a “word nerd” and “worked for ten years in marketing and corporate communication for a few Fortune 500 companies,” which is all about being a detail person. I know, I know, her bio’s probably a lie, too. Later she sleazes her way out of explaining her sketchy accounting by saying “[e]xplaining isn’t my strong suit,” when explaining is basically also what corporate communication – and fucking blogging about blogging – is all about. She’s bad at what she does when it suits her con job. The rest of the time, she’s an expert!)

@bohica …

(5) Dave Navarro ripped of Syndicate sleaze Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula, niched it down to launching ebooks, and Naomi was his biggest revenue generator. Not surprising because her audience would likely lean towards a frauduct like that. She took advantage of this position and lured him into her spider web.

(6) Dave Navarro and Naomi Dunford just implicated the entire Turd Tribe in this little chat, calling them out and stating their honest opinions. While not surprising, it is definitely interesting.

Bottomline, all the BS about Dave leaving his family, Naomi & Dave’s secret love nest, Naomi’s fake death threats… None of that matters!

Salty just exposed Naomi & Dave for what they are (scammers)… and what they most definitely are not (experts).

@Carla …

Her total of $12k and some change and it building a school, again it seems pretty specific to be a lie. But going back to the Oprah thing, they spotlighted a charity, “America Assistance for Cambodia” that built schools in partnership with Cambodian organizations and the Asian Development Bank. It got a lot of attention around that time (here is a story about a school teacher that subbed to raise money to fund a school.)

For a $13,000 donation, individuals can sponsor a school. $10,000 goes straight to construction and the remainder goes into an operating fund. For each donation, an additional $20,000 is provided by the Asian Development Bank.

Based on the timing and details, I’m pretty sure she was referring to that charity. 12k alone wouldn’t build a whole school even in Cambodia.

Did she actually donate? You can look at the schools and donors page to see for yourself. The links on the school names are to pictures of the actual opening ceremonies for the schools. I don’t see anything that could be associated with Naomi or IttyBiz, and if she actually donated, I’m pretty sure she would take credit it for it based on her personality.

@Behind the Facade …

Here are two people presenting themselves as knowledgeable, experienced, successful “internet marketers.” Selling high-priced “advice.” And yet, in their own lives:

————————————————————–

Dave Navarro: ok, I have like, a month of money in the bank

Naomi Dunford: More than I got. :)

————————————————————–

@Barbara {to a troll} …

@Wait ::

I was reading your comments with great interest until I read this:

“Allison, the one Salty Droid has been so concerned about this whole time, the Godly one.”

Why would you call this woman names? I feel great sympathy for a woman who has been walked out on by her husband leaving her with three sons and no support. Why would you say something so obnoxious about her?

You are not some neutral party seeking information. You are here to carry water for Naomi Dunford. That was a really cheap shot at a woman who did not deserve it.

@Enlightened (Formerly Confused) …

Dave regularly spoke about how you didn’t have to “be an expert” to create a business around your expertise. He said “if you’re a 5 in web design, you can teach the 1′s and 2′s.”

This is a fucking problem. Why is someone who is a 5 in web design teaching 1′s in 2′s about web design – shouldn’t they be fucking creating websites for clients?

That’s the whole point here. I see it every day, someone who has a retail store is selling eBooks on how to create a successful retail store. Well if you were so successful, why are you on Twitter 24/7 promoting your eBook about it?

Or a raw food expert helping other raw foodists learn how to create a brand out of being a raw food expert. Shouldn’t she be sharing her raw food advice for people who want to go raw?

It’s ridiculous. And this “third tribe” / hipster syndicate has created this dream. Just today I fell into a blog by a girl who coaches creative businesses. Yet she’s never had a creative business besides selling her coaching and products. How does that work?

@Syndicate H8r …

i·ro·ny1    [ahy-ruh-nee, ahy-er-]
noun, plural -nies.

1. Bragging about not having a paper trail on paper
2. Being a success coach who admits she sucks so bad at business that she has to sell her “how to make easy money” system

@_cartman_ …

Beliefs are not proven, that’s why they are called beliefs. Ironically, much like the income statements and suckcess stories relied on to buy into the unicornian dream.

See it was thought many many years ago around the 1960′s Thales thought the earth was flat, but sometimes in the ’80′s bugs bunny proved it was round by throwing a baseball and it came back with all the flags of the earth.

That is why on Easter we look for rabbits, because bugs bunny showed us the way.

@Cosmic Connie …

To me the big issues aren’t the alleged tax evasion, or whether Naomi and/or Dave owe back taxes, or how much they owe. To me one of the main issues is the general framework of deception on which Naomi appears to have built her business, and the way that Dave got caught up in that whole web.

And the other main issue is the disgusting way that Naomi threw in the “misogyny” red herring.

Some have tried to excuse Naomi by saying that the incongruity between her “online/business persona” and her real personality is NBD. But when the reality of Naomi’s life is so much at odds with what she is teaching, I think it is a pretty big deal.

@Doctor Mario …

Would you pay big bucks for:

… a fat-ass personal trainer or fitness coach?
… a decaying-toothed, foul-breathed dentist?
… a schizophrenic, maladjusted psychotherapist?
… a 5-times divorced marriage counselor?
… a tool-less, shop-less, brainless auto mechanic?
… an ugly, smelly, herpes-face prostitute?
… etc etc etc etc

If you answered yes to any of the above questions … please do continue to support Naomi Donefor & her frauduct peddling scam. You are an idiot, and there are few future joys waiting for you. Your life will continue to magnify the pain, suffering, and disappointment you have felt as long as you keep grasping for illusions.

For anyone on the fence, I truly hope these super-simplified analogies have helped you understand that this transcript is NOT ABOUT TAX EVASION (tho that is “icing on the cake” as the IMers are fond of saying when recording their conspiracies … er :: “business” meetings).

The real takeaway here, unless you are a total fucking n00b … is that Naomi Donefor is selling advice on that which she is not capable of doing.

Why would anyone buy the high-flying, unicorn-riding dream lifestyle Naomi’s pitching, when she CAN’T EVEN GET DAVE TO THAT POINT! {as so appropriately noted by @Slowly Walking}

@SpideySenses …

As a former member of Third Tribe I can tell you they’re selling a dream but very few are profiting. 3Ters are paying for membership, info products and webinars but still can’t afford take a vacation, attend a conference or quit the dayjob. They keep buying and not doing, which is the point. Instead of saving their money for future independence, they’re spending hundreds and thousands of dollars in hopes of becoming rich now. I’m happy I caught on before I went totally broke. I wasn’t going to be one of the people who give up food before giving up 3T.

@Madge Crikey …

But quit being in such a damn hurry to tell other people how to fly when you haven’t gotten your pilot’s license and flown around enough yourself. I’ll see if I can find you the address of the place where I bought myself the sign in my kitchen that says, “We don’t speak bullshit here” 40 years ago. It’s a good reminder to read first thing every morning while you’re eating your pancakes.

@hrmmm …

I read all of this stuff for the first time last night. I wasn’t sure what the hell to think, so I slept on it (for a few hours, anyway) and today…I’m still not sure what to think of it.

I’m a customer of both Naomi’s and Dave’s. I run a small online business based on my credentials (degree, experience in my field, and extra accredited training) selling a service that is not marketing.

I do not make a lot of money, but I do make a small living. I attribute some of my success to the marketing basics I learned from Naomi and Dave. I’m sure that perhaps what I learned was very, very basic since I am totally new at this, don’t have a mentor to turn to, and am basically on my own. Perhaps it was even overpriced, but I feel it did help me.

However. Reading this chatlog and the ensuing comments pointing out the really big red flags here, made me feel a little sick.

Am I a complete rube?

Have I picked up unethical, not-kosher marketing attitudes and techniques from Naomi?

I really thought my moral compass was more finely tuned than perhaps it is. It makes me afraid to think what kind of influences I might’ve uncritically picked up from following their advice.

I feel like a moron.

—-

I’ll be conducting a fine-toothed review of everything I’ve done in my business, how I’ve treated my clients, and how I’ve marketed my services, in response to this.

As bizarre and nastily-worded as saltydroid is, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the information exposed here, though it wasn’t exactly pleasant reading.

I did notice for the past couple of years how incestuous the online marketing guru kingdom seems to be – all the same people giving each other testimonials, guest blogging for one another, doing JVs together – but I also just assumed that’s the nature of the business of online marketers marketing their own online marketing businesses which sell online marketing advice to other aspiring online marketers …

But knowing that the people I relied on and in some senses modeled my business after are (alleged) tax cheats, and admit to being pretty shitty business owners to boot? That concerns me quite a lot.

I don’t want to turn out to be an asshole.

@Barbara {again!} …

Naomi on Public Relations:

“Public Relations is arguably the funnest part of marketing. (Yes, I just said “funnest”. It’s my blog. I can say what I want. Besides, people pay me good money to write stuff. I’m a professional, dammit. I don’t have to prove anything to you.)”

“Giving things to the destitute and then alerting the media is a good way to get press.”

You mean like pretending your sending seventy girls to school in Cambodia but there is absolutely NO RECORD of your ever having given a dime to a Cambodian school? That’s the “funnest” part? Maybe if you’re Satan…

And lastly :: long time friend of the site @Slowly Waking :: sharing parts of his very personal story … just a taste of the kind of hate mongering you can expect to find at The Salty Droid …

It’s also like, when you take the bait something in your gut tells you not too. But you get their well-oiled sales funnel, hemorrhaging money all the way down, and you’re too embarrassed to ask any of your loved ones for help. Either that or you get caught in a desperate loop, going from infoproduct to infoproduct hoping the next one breaks you free. (Or from launch to launch. See: Navarro, Dave.)

In my case, my wires got crossed after life’s one-two-three punch of (1)traumatic breakup of looong relationship; (2)sudden unemployment in the worst economy of my life; (3)an honest-to-God natural disaster fucking up my town and my remaining emotional stability. Thoroughly upended and desperately vulnerable, Satan led IMers to my door because I hadn’t had enough long nightmares.

I dunno. Getting out can take a while. Maybe I needed to build my self-respect back up before I got mad enough to tell scammers to go fuck Satan, or to get away from tapping on the computer hoping it came up triple-cherries. (I certainly didn’t need “a custom consulting session” or a magic niche with 100,000 searches/day and SEOC of 4.) My two big triggers were finding this site, and my brother. He has a small, successful programming/database business. He was worried about me, so he hired me to do some keyword research he didn’t really need. The paycheck was beyond generous, the triple-cherry jackpot, but with a footnote that it come from love and worry, not from earned effort. I never cashed it. I just got my shit together, deleted everything “info” on my hard drive, and unsubscribed from everything. I kind of wonder if he planned it that way.

To readers on the fence about IM being a vehicle of God or Satan: you can tell if I’m full of self-deception from the tone. Compare it to some of the people writing about why they think their six figure business is the bee’s knees. Which resonates more in your gut? Anyhoo.

Why did I keep going after Module 1? Module 1 is always a lousy Camtasia vid on GoDaddy’s hosting. Why keep going after Module 2, then?

Because by then I had made so many small compromises, waking up in a “community” of dazed scam victims didn’t freak me out. 99% of us had no chance of building a successful business offline or off. 100% were getting Kerned. But we were all there together, so we would each be the lone person who succeeded.

Every step was a baby step. My first: “Gah, I’m a wreck. I’ve got to buckle down and make more money. I’ll do some research.” A weekend at the library led me to skim that awful book by Tim Ferriss, who gets just eviscerated in the most hilarious pan here. Money quote: “Some of this junk might actually work, but you’re going to be embarrassed doing it or admitting to your friends that you’re trying it. This is a man who, after all, weighs his own feces…”

So I hoped this junk, like Ferris’ “muse” idea, would work; because it was embarrassing, I wouldn’t tell anybody until I got it up & running. My long backpacking trip through Europe let me see myself in his chapters on “geoarbitrage” and “mini-retirements.” So I could also see myself in his chapter on the “muse,” sprinkled with enough Princeton dust and Valley glitz that I knew it could be real. It’s like those aspirational magazines: Dwell, with gorgeous slick homes you’ll never live in, but wouldn’t it be nice?

After enough baby steps I wound up paying seventy bucks for Desperate Buyers Only. This seminal IM “ebook” explains how to sell to people through their deepest open wounds. (At this point, those deepest in IM are protesting, “But that’s just what marketing is!”) Somehow, Ferris guided me to Google, who took me by the hand to an article here, a link there, and I’m at her sales page. Several steps were surely fakes, flogs, whatever, but I didn’t know enough then.

It took a month, maybe three, to get there? I don’t know that I’d read another sales letter at that point. I still had some open wounds from my life collapse I shared in that earlier comment. I recall being outside cutting a fallen tree limb, chainsaw in hand, her bullet points that hit their marks stuck on loop in my head. Some of these ideas get in there, and when you’re emotionally spent they can hijack the script. When it got loud enough, I stacked the wood and ran inside and bought the damn thing. The sales letter worked.

Months later I heard Ken McCarthy, the man who gave Frank Kern the keys to the infomarketing kingdom, say about copywriting, “bullets wound.” Meaning, “Write those sales letters with hundreds of bullet points about people’s fears, frustrations, and failures because one of them will be a direct hit! Did I mention Netscape?”

I nursed a little skepticism. I never bought anything by Frank Kern, Eben Pagan, the Syndicate. I stayed away from the high-ticket stuff (which they imply is why you’re not making money yet– take massive action, with a massive pricetag). I tried to keep my integrity and not sell things I didn’t believe in. For instance, I never sold Online Business School as an affiliate; though tempted by the only blogs I saw that seemed to make money, I never set up a “make money like me” blog. I felt smarter than a lot of the IM space, like the Clickbank crowd. Clearly those were scams– I would find a better way.

Unfortunately, that skepticism made it easier to go further up & further in. “Well, this part of Juarez looks pretty bad, but I’m street smart. Let’s see what that noise was over there.” Eventually when none of the really bad stuff I feared– like credit card fraud– happened, I let down my guard more.

The Third Tribe, or people like them, were there. (I’m not sure who all’s officially in.) McCarthy and his crew clearly knew more about marketing– and I didn’t yet know most of the 3T stuff was dumbed-down versions of Kern, Jeff Walker, Yaro Starak. But the 3T were younger and not as square as the first two. They were dumpy/dorky/approachable enough. Their cross-pollination of each other’s blogs made it easier to accept as legit. Havi and Naomi, Naomi and Clay, Clay and Johnny, I didn’t yet realize that all those vapid “me too” blog comments were for SEO because someone said blog comments got you traffic.

As I learned, you can’t start a business dabbling around. I had been getting by on my freelance work, but I lost clients to the recession. So I decided to scale back and go all-in with the online business. At this point, I’d been in for probably 9 months or so. I had several web sites, including a service-based site with a few customers who complimented what I was doing. Most people are nice, I doubt they thought too hard about it.

I’d been groomed to go all-in by blog posts, ebooks, audios. Things like, “You have get in a situation where you’re forced to succeed,” “you have to get out of your comfort zone,” “you have to reprogram your subconscious so your subconscious knows success is its only option, or else it will sabotage you,” whatever that means. I never cut off my family like Jeff Walker suggests, but I sure as hell didn’t talk over my decisions with them. “They don’t understand the Internet, they wouldn’t get it.” My few attempts at getting friends to join up with me– just on techie stuff, like SEO, WordPress development, and AdSense– were met with the skepticism comfort allows. So I started working full-time on this stuff, alone with my “community.”

The community was incredibly helpful. It was a continuity program with a forum, a hundred-odd members, and a video course. I “met” people and read their posts, saw their “businesses” being cobbled together. The vast majority I could tell even then were utterly clueless about business and tech. Nobody ever said aloud what many of us were thinking, lest they get ostracized or break the spell.

The video course was not as helpful. It was a webcam/Powerpoint affair that, after a few modules on web hosting and setting up an autoresponder and WordPress (which some of my peers never did figure out), gave an overview of infomarketing online. Lots of action steps, little detail. Write ebooks, find niches no one’s found but don’t fear competition, use his “secret tricks oh my God I can’t believe I’m telling you this” like buying exact match domains. The guru, a student of Naomi Dunford named Clay Collins, did long weekly calls where he met questions with credible-sounding answers. An early video was, “Why Picking a Market Can Be a Pain in the Ass: And Why You Should Chill the **** Out :-)”. The First slide read, “For Some This Just Isn’t About Money. It’s about identity. It’s about mission. It’s about spiritual decision. And it is, by necessity, about money.” He charged $97 a month, had a pressure-sales launch with limited spots that sold out almost immediately. Relive it here: he at one point used this video (sorry, it’s an 88.4 mb FLV, and clicking will download to your hard drive. It shows him sitting in his chair talking about studying people who take businesses from $0 to $10,000 in 2-4 months. At 01:53 he says, “I’m not trying to produce a bunch of millionaires, I’m just trying to get you, you know, 5-10K a month and to help you live a life of massive freedom.” There’s more, but it’s hard to watch. I apologize that it’s not another video of Marnie Stern). He also lifted from David Deida a lot. Cognitive dissonance is a bitch.

His mission, as he admitted in a later sales letter, was to prepare his next product, the “Irresistable Offer,” based on the launch for Project Mojave. He spoke variously of the “freedom business” and the “mission business,” “finding your purpose.” It sounded like Rick Warren, and his delivery often reminded me of a traveling preacher. But his About page moved me: he wrote an emotionally-charged piece about his grandfather’s orange farm. An appeal to the soft eco heart: he knew his targets.

Lanna asked about what kept me going. Clay’s promises should have sent me running. Obviously I figured out once inside Project Mojave that this was bullshit– he turned out a few striving clones for testimonials, but the typical experience we already know. Back to square one, only 3 months to 5 years older.

Part’s the baby steps. You took no leap, so being somewhere strange doesn’t feel strange. Part’s the community. You feel connection to flickering pixels that stand in for strangers, and they approve of the strangeness just by keeping their doubts quiet. Best not to ruffle feathers. Part’s the blitz: once in the sales funnel, you are bombarded by a scheduled series of launches. (“Launch” is a military term because you are under attack. The tough boys behind IM love those powerful metaphors.) You’re getting blog posts, emails and videos left and right, so you respond by reflex and base instinct. If you want to understand, sign up for an launch’s email list. Part is the goal. We go into the IM scam with a goal in mind, a certain emotional outcome. IM is not the goal, just a means, but eventually abandoning IM feels like abandoning the goal. Further up and further in, you feel like you have fewer and fewer options so IM HAS to work or your hope is dead. It’s throwing good money after bad, one of our charming, sad flaws. Meanwhile, the gurus all tell you to focus on your goals. Think about those great things you’re going to end up with so you’ll get the powerful emotional drive to get them, probably so the gurus can “anchor” themselves to your goal. Whatever. That overestimates the gurus. Really it’s just that you get on this path to mend a wound. Maybe it’s my life’s sudden collapse; maybe it’s a worry, like with your kids’ future, or safety from threats to your womanhood. Naomi likes playing both those cards. Maybe it’s just that we’re getting older every day and some of the loose threads in our lives look like they’ll always stay untied. That’s life. Maybe the wound gets center stage in our minds and runs on a loop, going way past Module 1, taking us step by step to places that are beneath us.

Whatever it is, know that Naomi and Clay and Frank and Eben, Ken McCarthy and Dan Kennedy and all their buddies work manic overtime to dig deep down into your wounds and see how much money’s in the meat.

I haz smarts readerz!

Special shout out to Chris Mooney and Project DoD for keeping the site mostly alive during that craziness :: much unpaid late night code monkeying was required. Thanks Chris!

>> bleep bloop

519 thoughts on “Speaking of Spiders”

  1. Wow.

    That’s impressive – you didn’t post a *single* comment from the other side’s point of view, even though some of them are voted as “winners”.

    I also noted it was possible to vote multiple times on the same comment.

    That’s a “unique” new form of democracy right there…

    1. @also waiting,

      None of these frauds would allow a single comment from SD on their own blogs.

      They have a scam to protect. What’s yours?

    2. @also waiting, You know, it’s fine to have an opinion and all, but you are really starting to grow tiresome.

      1. @Whatthewhat,

        It has become more and more obvious that “@also waiting” has been rooting around here, manically, attempting to do “under the radar” damage control/distraction for someone else.

        @also waiting has only ever given a bare minimum of lip service to the numerous thoughtful comments that collectively show a really dark problem exists, and then, as if by fixed pattern, @also waiting shifts into “defend the offenders” mode.

        This person came here with an agenda, and it is patently obvious that it is not an honorable one.

    3. @also waiting,

      I don’t want your ‘side’ of the argument to be left out so I will stand in and defend Naomi.

      Here goes…
      —————————————————————————–

      Dear Salty,

      So what if Naomi steals from people. Who the fuck are you to judge how someone puts money in their pocket. Bloggers who blog about blogging play by our own rules. You self righteous prick.

      THIRD TRIBE RULES
      —————————————————————————–

      Does that make you feel better Still Waiting

    4. @also waiting,

      “That’s a “unique” new form of democracy right there…”

      [sarcasm] A cynic could argue that voting fraud is a well established, well respected part of democracy. [/sarcasm]

      But seriously: I think the multiple voting problem was a side effect of the site being overwhelmed.

      Truthfully, I didn’t see a whole lot of “opposition”. There was a contingent, like me, that were coming to this site for the first time that were initially very suspicious and turned off by the colorful language, the mocking, and the level of animosity displayed.

      I do remember one poster who was simply pointing out that, just as IM scammers have an agenda, SD has one too. And that he sometimes doles outinformation slowly to increase dramatic tension. (Which IMers also do.)

      I didn’t really see that as an attack on SD or even particularly negative. SD and IMers also both use English and breath air (well I guess a droid technically wouldn’t need to breath air, but the person part of SD does I’m guessing).

      Certain ways of communicating with people and holding their attention are more effective than others. Some techniques for getting someone’s attention are inherently scammy. (E.g. falsely proclaiming to be the victim of death threats.) Most techniques are not inherently scammy.

      I really am all about open debate and dialectically seeing both/all sides of an issue. It gets harder to give someone the benefit of the doubt though when there’s an actual log of them talking to someone where they reveal that they’re totally NOT an expert about something and that thing that they’re NOT an expert about is the very thing that they charge people lots of money to consult on.

      At that point, the only way for a Naomi supporter to defend her is one of:
      1. call the authenticity of log into question
      2. ignore the log exists.
      3. admit the log exists, but claim it’s unimportant and doesn’t apply

      All of those options fall under a particular kind of thinking error called “wishful thinking”. (Wishful thinking, btw is a close relative of the lesser known but more insidious “magical thinking”.) It’s basically the last refuge of a failed belief.

      Or if you want to be more positive about it, it’s the first stage (Denial) of the grieving process for a deeply cherished belief that has just been dealt a mortal blow.

      (This is my actual sig and has been for years. If people see any connection to Naomi it’s purely coincidental.)


      Furry cows moo and decompress.

    5. @also waiting ::

      Oh I’m sorry :: my bad.

      The other side then …

      Here’s the thing about books, though – they take time to read. Time when I can’t do anything else – when I could be doing any of the countless other things that need doing in my business.

      … okay we got that out of the way.

        1. To everyone who replied to my comment and voted it down – thank you for proving my point so perfectly.

          I knew I could rely on you.

          1. @also waiting ::

            So do you consider this trolling “working on your business” {seems like time wasting to me}?

            Maybe go listen to some Tony Robbins tapes and then take some massive actions on investing into your unicornian dreams … you can do it!

            1. @SD,

              Isn’t calling a legitimate poster a troll a fairly basic trolling technique ? I’d imagined you were more advanced.

              My bad, I shouldn’t feed.

              Don’t worry, I’m leaving now.

              @slowly waiting,

              Thanks again for your eye-opening post, and keep looking for the good !

              I’ll carry on spending plenty of time with my family, partly thanks to listening to audiobooks in the great outdoors instead of reading on my couch, despite @SDs lame attempts at ridicule.

              1. @also waiting ::

                So let me just sum up all of your useless fake mouth flapping …

                1. Naomi is good at biznez

                2. Books are too hard.

                3. I’m not good at ridicule.

  2. Can’t vote it up because it was part of SD’s post but I really want to applaud Slowly Walking’s insightful and obviously personal comment.

    That will help a lot of unikern chasers if they’ll just take time to read it.

    1. @Hal (the original Hal), Agree about it for being insightful, but also so brilliantly and memorably written.

      I feel maybe too corny saying it, but I could feel tears and pain of so many other victims thorugh the writing he did there. Just beautiful for getting in the real impact of his message to people.

  3. Not that I normally notice such things, but I went to Dave’s site and noticed he’s closing things down. One wonders where it’ll all end for him, and his family? Naomi has one child, Dave many more – and I’m still reeling with some sense of sadness about the kids whose lives have been turned upside down. For what? An Internet Lifestyle?

    What’s wrong with a life at Lockheed or any other “job” – where you can honestly provide for your family, build deep relationships with your children, love your wife, grow old together and contribute value to people you care about, and who care about you? So what if you don’t get rich? So what if you’re not famous? So what if you don’t write a book? Or have a million Twitter followers?

    I’ve been building businesses for over 30 years, but I don’t understand what people think money or popularity or fame will buy. Seems to me that Naomi, Dave and many others are like dogs chasing cars. What if you catch them, then what are you gonna do?

      1. @DeVille,

        Actually Naomi says she is the mother of three children. I don’t remember exactly where she said it, it was just a throwaway comment on one of her IttyBiz blog pages.

        I have no idea where the other two are, only one is with her. I believe the other two are known as the lucky kids.

        1. @Barbara, It was in the story about the tattoo. She was talking about not wearing a bra that day though she wanted the tattoo “above the bra” line. The throwaway comment was about having nursed three ungrateful children. Nice.

          1. @Anna,

            Thanks, I knew I had read that recently but I can spend no longer than ten minutes a day at Naomi’s site without becoming violently ill.

            That “three ungrateful children” line of Naomi’s sounded awfully familiar to me. Naomi is channeling Roseanne Barr.

          2. @Barbara, None of her kids are with her now. The much discussed preemie was left behind when she went on the run with Dave Navarro.

            1. @DeVille,

              So you mean even the preemie, ( who I’m fairly sure is five years old now- even though Naomi speaks as if he were born yesterday), has also been left behind?

              It’s going to be tough to continue to raise money on the basis of having a preemie if the kid has been shed like so much surplus baggage. Well, I guess now all three of her offspring can be considered fortunate.

    1. @Randy Cantrell,

      You help people in the art of being remarkable…

      I didn’t know there was such a thing as a ‘being remarkable’ coach. I wonder what I am missing?

      1. @Anonymous

        Just not being like you, Anonymous. That’s all. I’m a business consultant, that’s all.

    2. @Randy Cantrell,

      I’m always suspicious of anyone who grabs a link off this site. Then I visit your site and I see you coach people in the art of being remarkable.

      I didn’t even know something like this even exists.

      I’ll bite…why would anyone need to be coached in the art of being remarkable? Can that actually be taught?

      …and do you consider yourself remarkable since you’re teaching others in the art of being remarkable? What is so remarkable about you?

      I’m sure you will supply well articulated answers…thanks in advance

      1. @Anonymous

        ALL my work has been in the offline world of face-to-face customer service delivery. You’ve never had BAD service? Or REMARKABLE service? There is a difference and it’s not an accident.

        1. @Randy Cantrell,

          I get suspicious when I think someone is attempting to slip under the radar here at saltydriod and grab an ass kicking SEO link. post as if they’re not like the people they claim to be against

          I read your about page and the words customer service delivery never even appear.

          I then listened to your video on ‘Business Workout For Solopreneurs & Small Business Owners’ on your workout coaching page and there’s no mention of customer service delivery at all in the entire 14 minute video.

          Then I randomly listened/read to about 10 of your ‘posts’ and not one discussed anything at all about customer service delivery or even remotely discussed business tactics.

          They all sounded like Pep Talks…life coaching at best

          You also used the new cover for the likes of Dave and Naomi: I WORK with offline companies

          I did find this on your site:

          Since 1997 I have had the pleasure of helping solopreneurs (we didn’t call them that back then), small business owners, sales managers, artists, writers, speakers and other people who wanted to find ways to be paid (more) to do the work they love. I’ve coached these people on everything from branding to marketing strategy to social media marketing to leadership and culture change. I’ve worked with men and women, twenty-somethings and sixty-somethings. The work is always quite personal and focused because we’re talking about your life!’

          Sounds very familiar: “your an expert but you just don’t know it and I can show you how to create big monies’ gobblygoop

          I especially liked this line: ‘Show people how to get paid to do work they love’…oh yea lets slip in (more). Don’t want anyone to think these people weren’t already in business.

          I get suspicious when people who have never posted here post with links back to their sites.

          I’m sure you will have a well articulated answer, thanks in advance

          1. @Anonymous

            The Droid has been in my RSS feed since early 2009. I was unaware SD had an anonymous commenter policeman. Congrats on the new position. And thank for reading and reposting content from my site here. Much appreciated.

            1. @Randy Cantrell,

              Somebody questions your claims and you attack. that’s the best you got?

              You posted here with a link back to your website

              You did that because you wanted people to visit your site

              I visited your website and asked a few questions

              You replied in both posts in a disingenuous way

              I reread your website to confirm your lack of candor and then pointed it out

              If I’m wrong then I’m sure you would simply point out where I was mistaken

              You didn’t – you attacked…you deride

              BTW 99% of the people who stop by and comment here are anonymous

              Those that share a real name hardly ever use a link back to a website

              Those that do coincidentally all have blogs where they sell ‘your an expert but you just don’t know it and I can show you how to if you hire me’…

              Was it a coincidence that you do exactly the same thing?

              Those that do put a link in their name have an agenda…just like you

              If that makes me a policeman then so be it

              If your idea of remarkable is to attack then maybe you need to get ‘being remarkable’ coaching

              …and if I am wrong then anybody here can post in your defense and I will gladly listen and learn

              There’s a lesson for you and everyone else who trades in the unicorn fantasy coaching business…people are going to question you, especially here

            2. @Randy Cantrell ::

              Your first comment was really funny. I definitely lol’ed at the dogs chasing cars thing. Although :: if you finish that off … the dog gets run over by the car … which may be construed as a death threat by a certain paranoid spider.

              I think coaching is mostly/completely bullshit.

              But I also think what Ross Jeffries does is mostly/completely bullshit. He also leaves interesting comments that sometimes make me lol.

              It’s fine for you to comment here … but I think it’s also fine for people to openly criticize your copy and your tactics … like they do RJ appox 50% of the time. Some of the criticisms above sound pretty valid to me.

              Comments left by people in the gray area are some of the most insightful. People in the gray area could go either way … when some people cheat if forces everyone to cheat … so gray area people could do worse than hanging out here.

              ___

              For those of you who think I paint with too wide a brush :: please note the slow and reasoned response to Randy vs. the motherfucking pitbull response to Tim Brownson and Michael Martine.

              If you’ve touched the hem of the ring :: then don’t you dare come here and say one motherfucking word until you’ve issued your name naming apology for your MASSIVE lapses in ethics and judgement. I mean :: you can come here :: it’s just that I’ll make a dessert out of you and your fucking bullshit.

            3. @SD

              ** I clearly need comment coaching. ;-) **

              I certainly didn’t take a defensive or offensive stance toward any criticism. I’m willing to own my words while @Anonymous clearly wants to hide, which is fine…as I suspect her real name may be Naomi.

              Anybody with a website that doesn’t want criticism should shut down their website. Oh, wait a minute, Dave is doing that, isn’t he? I don’t plan on shutting mine down. My 9 subscribers would be quit upset with me. You, @Anonymous or anybody are welcome to criticize all you want. Just don’t expect me to listen to your coaching, ahem, I mean “criticism.”

              It does seem some people are just opposed to BUSINESS, period. Anybody who sells anything, markets anything, makes money doing anything is suspect and I don’t agree with that, but I’m not going to argue it. I’m unashamed of being a business person…or of my work, which is entirely focused on business building. My clients own what the world calls “traditional” businesses…people who aren’t in the business of selling business opportunities, but people who actually sell products or services. I personally wouldn’t even know how or want to help somebody pitch a “how to make money” offer. I think people earn what they’re worth by providing real value, building lasting customer relationships and doing honest work.

              I honestly didn’t include my url for any traffic generation purpose. Besides, if my traffic grew to 10 visitors a day it would create havoc with my hosting!

              I do enjoy your work, Salty! Honestly, I do.

              (going back into my no-commenting-troll mode now)

          2. @Anonymous

            Where are your credentials to make any comment on SEO? There is little no SEO value in a link in a comment on a blog, yet you post such a comment here for the world to see. Think of all the poor little bloggers you’re steering down the wrong path. For shame!

            Just a little tongue in cheek, but it seems you don’t have anything better to do either.

            1. @Name,

              My apologies to the blogging world. I am stating something as fact when I don’t know for certain.

              I am not privy to Googles algorithm but a link on a site where there’s tons of traffic does have value, which is what he wanted with his post.

              As for my time…it is well spent drinking while gambling online

              BTW I happen to disagree with you emphatically…SD.info is hot, current and often visited and posted to which scores very high points with Google post Panda…but that’s just my drunken opinion. My proof SD posts always show up #1 for all these people he writes about within 24 hours and stays).

              I gotta get back to my gambling…later

            2. @Anonymous

              “I am not privy to Googles algorithm but a link on a site where there’s tons of traffic does have value, which is what he wanted with his post.”

              Not true. I simply completed the comment form…and you’ll notice I didn’t insert a url on any following comments.

              My gravest sin is that I’m not a seasoned commenter like you. At least my comments remain on point though. It does help knowing you’re drunk though. That explains quite a lot.

            3. @Anonymous

              Lucky you, I am drinking a Diet Pepsi. Ick.

              I don’t dispute the SEO value of the site itself and the posts that Salty makes. That power is actually quite amazing and even frightening. I’m just talking about links in comments. They don’t hold much value.

              Cheers.

            4. @Anonymous,

              To be fair, anybody versed enough in SEO to want links for SEO purposes will easily discover that any link posted in these comments is NO-FOLLOW. As in, of no real benefit for that purpose.

              Besides that, meaningful, random direct click throughs from even the most high traffic blogs are generally few and far between as well.

              In the absence of evidence showing participation with known DBs, or DB-style activities, I’m going to default to the view that a catchphrase like “Be Remarkable” is about as worthy of dogging someone as “Fantastic Haircuts.”

              If that’s all you’ve got, I hope he keeps being remarkable.

          3. @, WTF does that mean?

            Yep I’m a Life Coach and I have coached many hundreds of clients. Not every one was a runaway success, but a lot were and for many it was a life changing process.

            And yep, I can point you to as much peer reviewed data to support coaching than you could read in your life time. Work done at places like MIT and by some of the worlds leading neuroscientists.

            We now know that our brains are effectively plastic and the advances we have made just in the last 5 years using PET Scans and fMRI’s in understanding what happens during the coaching process are phenomenal.

            If you actually wanted to understand rather than rip it from a standpoint of ignorance, I’d suggest you check out ‘The Brain That Changes Itself” by Norman Doidge MD and maybe even “Coaching With The Brain” In Mind by David Rock. Although the latter is very heavy going and more of an academic publication.

            The sad fact is though, that there are thousands of incompetent coaches that never bother to learn the basics or have any ongoing training and they screw with the entire industry. And they can do so because it’s not regulated, which is a shame imho, but it is what it is.

            So yeh the industry is in a flux and at the moment I don’t see any way of remedying the situations as Life Coach training companies market it as an easy way to make money and the fastest growing industry in the US.

            What they really mean by that is that it’s growing because of more coaches and not because of more clients wanting coaching. Most every coach I ever talk to is really struggling and so did I for the first 3 years or so.

            Maybe Salty could go after some of the big fish in that pond, because they are selling a dream that for 95% of coaches turns out to be a big fat lie.

            Of course I won’t use my real name and link back to my website because that would just mean I’m exploiting the situation to gain traffic. Because let’s face it, everybody clicking through from a site like the Salty Droid is really open to the potential of Life Coaching. Or maybe not eh?

            1. @Life Coaching At Best?,
              Well I sure would be curious to see some of that peer reviewed science-y neuroscientist data that proves the effectiveness of “life coaching”.

              But I suppose even that’s a bit of problem right there, isn’t it? What I’m getting at: to be scientifically rigorous, just how should we define the phrase “life changing”? Are you really going to go with the naive assumption that the client determines what qualifies as “life changing”?

              ’cause if we define “life changing” simply to mean that “the client feels that their life was changed for the better after the coaching” then I already know dozens of placebos and various fake remedies that have that affect on people.

              … Though I suppose you could argue that “life coaching” is the “honest” version of that sort of thing–that is to say, instead of pretending to practice acupuncture or chiropracty or some other not-better-than-placebo “cure”, you just skip that and talk to the person and give them a pep talk. Yeah maybe that can work. But how much training does it really require?

              Yes the brain can rewire itself true. And with willpower, we can literally modify our own thinking, true.

              But to my mind, it’s still a bit of a leap from that point to the assumption that 1) life coaches can really change people and 2) life coaching is a good thing.

              Are there any peer reviewed journals on that?

              Life is a messy blob.


              Furry cows moo and decompress.

            2. @ Wyrd (formerly Iam3r)

              The real work is always done by the client. The coach is merely the facilitator, who has to ask the right questions to help the client change. The same way as all hypnosis is self-hypnosis, hypnotherapists are just guides.

              However the guiding process is hard and requires a lot of skill and concentration to get good results.

              I can only speak for me I’m not really interested in defining life changing because it’s completely subjective. I’m interested in one thing and one thing only with clients, and that is “Was it worth your time and money?”

              If the answer is no then either I fucked up, they did, or we both did. If the answer is yes, then I’m happy.

              And coaching has nothing to do with pep talking. That’s the mistake that so many people that don’t understand it make. I rarely pep talk my clients, it’s not my job to do that.

              I listen and I ask questions designed to shift their thinking. If I can’t shift a clients thinking, then I’m not doing my job properly. Pep talking is for football coaches and the movies.

              And that’s my problem when people slam coaching, 9 times out of 10 they don’t understand it and the other 1 is usually a person that signed up with a horrible coach and thinks we’re all like that.

              In over 6 years of coaching full time I have NEVER had a client ask for a refund other than because we got finished in less sessions than they paid for.

              I don’t do long-term contracts with people because I think it’s BS. Too many coaches want to keep selling their services whereas I want clients in and out as quickly as possible.

              As for your final point, I really don’t understand it. If people are being helped to make the change they want, then how can that not be a good thing? But, and it’s a big but, there are a lot of bad coaches and that muddies the waters for the professional coaches that are doing brilliant work.

              If you knew how many leaders in business employ coaches you’d be stunned. It’s just that sports coaches are often highly visible whereas personal coaches are usually in the background and fairly anonymous.

              And yeh, I came clean on my name. I realize I may take some shit, but I’m trying be as open and honest as possible because coaching rocks and I have hundreds of clients that would agree and that’s all the proof I need.

              1. Hi Tim.

                Your a life coach huh? How convenient for me … cause I’m a life coach coach … let’s start our consultation shall we?

                1. Did you write a book called :: “How to be Rich and Happy: Whatever you want, Whenever you want”??

                2. Is this you with “Johnny”?

                http://johnnybtruant.com/tim-brownson-wont-give-up-despite-having-seen-the-jam-in-1979/

                and this …

                http://charlieandjohnnyjamsessions.com/

                And oh hey there’s Dave and Naomi as well.

                Gosh aren’t we all just a happy family?

                3. You said :: “I listen and I ask questions designed to shift their thinking. If I can’t shift a clients thinking, then I’m not doing my job properly.” :: but as your life coach coach I feel I should tell you that you don’t want to be making statements like that. In court that could sound like an admission that you were attempting to practice medicine without a licence.

                On a venue like this you’d want to say things like :: “It’s mostly just for fun … for entertainment purposes.”

                Cause you understand how maybe some people who don’t understand the coaching lifestyle might think it’s dangerous for a person whose only background is in sales to be “shifting people’s thinking”.

                4. “I have hundreds of clients that would agree and that’s all the proof I need.”

                … not really.

            3. @Tim Brownson

              Thank you … this exchange between you and Salty should be pretty funny (at least from everyone’s perspective but your own).

              On a serious note … WHY?

              Why come here just to get slapped around? Clearly you operate in a grey, fuzzy, “woo-woo”, area of business that this site is clearly meant to expose.

              Did you not think that your association with people who have categories on this site would not be pointed out?

              Clearly all you have done is made yourself a target.

              If you really believe in what you are doing then whatever … I really don’t care. I have never hired and don’t plan to ever.

              You should have consulted YOUR “life coach” before coming here and making a dumb ass move.

          4. @Anonymous, it sounds to me like you’re pretty suspicious of a lot of stuff. But jumping to conclusions based on unfounded suspicions isn’t necessarily a good idea.

            I don’t know who Randy Cantrell is, whether he’s a scammer or a stand-up guy. But jumping to conclusions based on a pretty innocuous first post seems a little paranoid to me.

            It seems that this site has had a lot of new exposure over the last few days with the last couple of posts, and the free advertising from the targets of those posts. Rather than assume that someone you haven’t seen here before is trying to take advantage of a link, maybe you should consider that these latest posts have piqued their interest, like they apparently have for lots of other people.

            It’s people like you who make a lot of visitors think this site is full of crazies, which tends to make them doubt the information on the site. If people were a little more objective, and a little less quick to say stuff they would probably never say in person, maybe the message would spread even quicker.

            1. @Anonymous Bastard, Great comment! I don’t know Randy either, but I don’t think he deserved such an unprovoked attack.

            2. @Anonymous Bastard,

              People like me who make visitors think this site a bunch of crazies…I love that line

              Let me set the record straight…this is my opinion and not anyone else

              I don’t speak for a group…this group or SD

              Read the posts on this site about James Ray. Read the posts on this site about all the so called coaching

              Call it whatever you want.

              The problem with BS coaching, get rich quick, internet marketing is that not ENOUGH people question it.

              Things like the secret are total bullshit.

              I think the whole coaching thing needs to be discussed because it’s screwing people just as bad as the Frank Kerns

              I think life coaching is BS. Just another way to sell someone who is down some shiny course on how to turn their life around

              I think the whole concept of things like teaching the art of remarkable and the like is just well packaged BS.

              Why can’t I question it?

              If you think the life coaching industry isn’t as fucked up and loaded with corrupt phonies then you have your head up your ass

              If you think life coaching, success coaching and the like aren’t preying on people then you need to open your eyes

              You want to attack me …have at it

              you want to give me a negative rating…go ahead

              What I don’t see randy or anybody here doing is DEFENDING the coaching industry and the tactics being used to screw people

              …and the drinking comment was tongue in cheek

              …and no follow links and comment in blogs have SEO value…they’re not the end all but they certainly have value

              Randy posted his link to get visitors to his site…I answered his request

              btw Randy I asked this before…I read all your posts here and I don’t see anything remarkable…just attacks

            3. @Anonymous,

              Here’s the thing. You paint entire groups of people with a pretty broad brush, based on your experience or perceptions of a certain subset of those groups.

              Are the majority of life coaches, internet marketing gurus et al thieves and scammers? Maybe, I can’t say for sure either way because I haven’t dealt with most of them. Some sure are. And some most likely are not.

              I think this site serves a valuable purpose, but the biggest problem I have with it and others like it is that most of the commenters automatically lump everyone together. As soon as someone says something in defense of anybody who is perceived as being “evil” they’re vilified by a whole bunch of people.

              And most of those comments are inane, childish insults – not valid arguments. I don’t think that exactly counts as “death threats” the way Naomi Dunford seems to have spun it, but a lot of those comments are insulting, threatening or both.

              That doesn’t make for very good discussion, and it makes most people on the other side of the fence not bother to try to defend themselves because it’s like arguing with a child who keeps saying “I know you are, but what am I?”

    3. @Randy Cantrell,

      “I’ve been building businesses for over 30 years, but I don’t understand what people think money or popularity or fame will buy”

      It doesn’t buy anything except wanting “more” — ask James Arthur Ray — it was never enough and never will be. Even with four deaths under his belt, the only thing he can think of is making more money for what it “won’t” buy.

      1. @Bonnie, And so do his co-conspirators from The Secret. The Secret sporned the Dave and Naomis out there. The ones are are living with blinkers on. Notice how the fools from The Secret have all gone so very very quiet lately. The fact is that the world has changed, our economies have changed and peoples needs have changed. All the crap that they were “professional world experts” on is now just superfluous fluff and useless because they have blown their fake covers. People can see right through these shysters but they blindly keep on living the dream and hoping that one day it will all turn around for them and they really will get a few bucks to live off. In the meantime deny the incredible negative affect they have on everyone around them. They are all a bunch of wannabe weasels who would steal from their own mothers given a chance. Oh wait they probably already have.

    4. @Randy Cantrell, Additionally, what’s wrong with a job at Lockheed, not being famous AND writing that book…a REAL book, something of value…in your spare time? It’s not wrong to have dreams. I doubt seriously anyone here would take the stance there is no sense in dreaming. But you have to stay rooted in reality enough to keep your job, pay your way, and contribute something of value to the world and follow your dreams with the extra time and effort you can muster after you have the rest covered.

      And you have to remember no one else holds the answer to your dreams.

      1. @Poop Chute, agreed but that’s not the context of this conversation or these events. Discontentment is more the theme. It’s a never ending quest if people can’t find satisfaction in things that matter more.

      2. @Poop Chute,

        Maybe he didn’t feel great about working for a company whose primary business was creating machines to kill other human beings.

        I have no comment to make on this whole mmo thing, but I find it strange that people suggest working for an arms manufacturer is a respectable alternative.

        1. @maybe,

          That would be an incredibly enlightened point of view for someone who regularly sells the products of people who have psychopathic tendencies just to get affiliate payouts.

          1. @Anonymous, It would be different if that’s WHY Dave said he left. I don’t recall seeing that anywhere…any time…from anyone. Did you? Anyone? Anyone?

            Consider this: MAYBE Dave left because, although the money making death-dealing weapons systems was good, the money scamming people barely struggling to live looked better and it really doesn’t matter to him WHAT he does for money so long as it’s more than he has any right to make?

            Personally, I can’t imagine someone “bothered” by making money building weapons systems etc. switching to scamming old ladies and struggling wanna-beez because it somehow morally makes more sense. Can you? Anyone? Anyone?

    5. @Randy Cantrell, as far as what he’ll do next… The beauty of the Internet is that Dave (and Naomi) can pop back up tomorrow with a new name, a new profile pick, and the same vaporware frauducts slightly shaken and stirred. In fact they’re probably out there already, “scratch-my-back”-linking away with the Syndicate. IM n00bs: beware sites with names like “ittyshiz.com,” “shittybiz.com” and derivatives thereof.

  4. The personal account written by Slowly Waking was a searing account of how a good person can be sucked into an evil vortex. In many ways it reminded me of some of the accounts written by those caught in James Ray’s sick web.

    You take a basically decent and moral person who has taken a couple of swift kicks from life, they’re vulnerable, and they hear the siren song of the scammers and gurus. “I can make you rich…I can make your business thrive…I can make you loved…”

    If you fall into the clutches of Naomi or Dave they’ll swiftly empty your wallet. Sadly a few who were mesmerized by Ray’s brand of deceit paid with their lives.

    Oh, and the above graph? A thing of beauty!

  5. I just think its cute that you consider Alexa an accurate source of how many pageviews a site is getting.

      1. @Jack ::

        Actually :: I think it’s quite accurate for doing a certain kind of comparison {similar size … similar type … medium traffic} :: in spite of that SEOmoz doubt.

        And of course I have other data points about the size of this particular traffic surge since I was getting just under half of it :: and Naomi’s disgusting blog wouldn’t be receiving much non-death-threat traffic due to her little disappearing act.

        @_stop_using_cartman’s_name ::

        It’s pretty accurate … it usually tracks this site dead on. Of course :: I don’t think it’s accurate enough to bring it up during a business negotiation where big time liabilities are at stake :: like Naomi Dunford …

        I’d need you to take over all the little things like getting the Speak audio up, getting the emails out saying “there’s a Speak call this week”, I’d need you to make a coherent posting schedule if that’s what you were into. That sorta thing. I’ll stop babbling till I know you’re back. Oh, and stats: feeds: 5400 alexa 58k

        1. @SD,

          “And of course I have other data points about the size of this particular traffic surge since I was getting just under half of it”

          Not something I thought about yet, it’s true. And one thing we can know for sure is Dumbford didn’t get the “Massive Outpouring” Of the-claim-of “100,000 visitor” support.

  6. My biggest dissapointment is that in over 1,000 comments and posts on this you’ve all called Dave a dude with Moobs.

    The easier and funnier target (and one I recommend) is the Lunch coach. That, he’s well qualified to do, quite obviously.

    I can’t believe that nobody got it.

    P.S. There’s some glitch that expossed _cartman_s email here.

        1. @Not_Jack_and_or_also_maybe_not_me, So you know about how to slamcritic SD’s Alexa graph, but don’t know about enough for clearing up a field and put the new values into it?

    1. @NOT_cartman_ ::

      I’m hoping I won’t have to be mean to Dave :: The Droid doesn’t much care for smacking the B-team around … they’re already getting smacked around.

      But if I do have to :: I just might prolly be able to think up a couple jokes … not that I don’t think “Lunch Coach” is an instant classic.

  7. Luckily for Naomi she doesn’t believe in Alexa, Naomi on the subject:

    “First of all, — I’d like to let you know that according to Alexa, this website, IttyBiz, gets no traffic. Nope, not even from you. (Alexa is a website traffic ranking website that compares your traffic to other sites.) Back when this site was getting 15,000 hits a week, it was about the 60,000th most popular site on the internet.

    Now that it’s getting 100,000 hits a week, it is the 357,930th most popular site on the internet. The lesson here is to not even think about your Alexa ranking unless it is getting better. If it is getting better, obsess over it and use it as proof that you are, in fact, the next (redacted)”

    So…basically only belive in your favorite facts. This is just how the creationist mindset operates.

  8. Whoah! Naomi has quite the attitude towards her customers who dare to complain about her products. (Complaints Naomi mentioned specifically like the videos should come in the same zip file as the audios, or too many buy buttons cluttering pages). Here’s Naomi’s response to her “clients”:

    “I really don’t want to get all “Don’t you know who I AM?” here, but really. I am in the business of making very popular information products. In those products, I pimp the people I like. Really, really hard. PEOPLE PAY ME TO TELL THEM WHO TO BUY FROM! I do the same thing with my blog and on Twitter.

    Is it really in your best interests to have your first communication with me be nasty? Would it not behoove you to give me the benefit of the doubt? Is assuming I’m trying to fuck you REALLY a good idea?”

    Well, that all depends, doesn’t it? Because if you are trying to fuck them, (your words), it sounds like these were some fairly shrewd people.

    I can’t believe she actually said “Don’t you know who I AM?” All I could think of was Arthur Brown…”I am the God of Hellfire and I bring you…FIRE!”

    1. @Barbara :: PLEASE keep up the hilariously Naomi-damning work of transcribing her own more tasteless utterings. I have LOLed so much at the quotes you’ve pasted here, and can only imagine the suffering you must have endured {reading Naomi’s blog} to share them with us.

      Thanks a lot for the Naomi Donefor Greatest Hits of “Career” Self Destruction. @SD could do an entire article just of the quotes you posted in comments that would be almost as bad as the Spider Shit Storm itself.

      Naomi :: You are yucky.

      1. @Doctor Mario,

        Thanks! In that last exchange of hers with the “Don’t you know who I AM?” (capitalization is Naomi’s- not mine) I didn’t know what comparison to make, her hubris is so great. I thought of the God of the Old Testament,God said to Moses “I am who I am”,or Popeye, “I yam who I yam” but finally I had to go with the great Arthur Brown. Because Naomi does bring hellfire to anyone who associates with her shittybiz.

          1. @Slowly Waking,

            Watching Motorhead perform on The Young Ones is one of my favorite television moments!

            “If you like to gamble, I tell you I’m your man
            You win some, lose some, it’s – all – the same to me
            The pleasure is to play, it makes no difference what you say
            I don’t share your greed, the only card I need is
            The Ace Of Spades”

            Good times…great memories.

  9. @Slowly Walking:

    To the man/woman that wrote that -thank you for giving something of real value – a connection way more powerful than some fraduct.

    Seriously – Thank you.

  10. I smiled all weekend about this. Who would’ve thought Naomi would want to invite so many people to come here…and watch SD hit the ball out of the effing park? Good times.

  11. Alexa is not completely accurate because they don’t run server side log or scripts like analytics on any of these sites. You need server side data to be 100% accurate. Alexa gets information from US based ISP’s and their own toolbar or widgets. So they’re likely to be 70-80% accurate if the information from the ISP’s with whom amazon made deal adds up with toolbar data. IMO, ittybiz is not even close to 1k per day, she gets traffic leeching from other bloggers like brian clark, darren rowse etc. or dave.

    1. @Spiderman ::

      Yeah … I agree with all that.

      And Alexa data can be useless if the person you’re dealing with knows how to manipulate it.

      For instance :: and A-team guru might offer to sell you a domain with a mind boggling Alexa ranking … like 2500. But Alexa is a 3 month running average … and one email blast sequence from 80% of A&B teamers can propel you to such a number … even though your site may have literally zero stand alone traffic.

      It’s a loose gauge at best.

      On the other hand :: if a “guru” tells you that they get a million hits a month :: and they have an Alexa ranking in the millions :: then they are lying.

  12. Grats SD on your continued success in your quest to destroy lives. Your posting of transcripts without citing a source yet claiming that proves other people are lying when they do the same thing is pure genius. The absolute glee that you take when your site receives more hits than another site is a delight to observe. Nothing warms my heart more than to read the comments of the many people who worship at your feet, just quivering with anticipation to “save” the many innocent people being scammed on the internet. It is particularly beautiful to watch the love and concern that is being expressed for internet “noobs” who obviously are incapable of making their own judgements and decisions. How wonderful it must feel that you have singlehandedly saved the universe. We could have used you in the Old West to ferret out all the Snake Oil sellers and run them out of town on the rail. You are indeed a credit to mankind. Keep up the good work.

    1. @Yvette,

      As an educated man I think If I were to stumble upon this site and found this story and just read this story I might share a few of your comments.

      Then I would have read the site and the many detailed posts saltydroid has shared with the visitors of this site.

      You would have listened to all the tapes shared on the site and concluded at a BARE minimum the self appointed Guru’s who sell millions of dollars in the Internet Marketing/make money online/biz op world is CORRUPT

      You may not like his style, you may not like the cursing of the commenters but you can’t dispute the simple fact that at a BARE minimum the self appointed Guru’s who sell millions of dollars in the Internet Marketing/make money online/biz op world is CORRUPT

      So corrupt they work as a team and are willing accomplices in each others scams.

      WHY you skip over that BLATANT fact is OBVIOUS:

      When reason fails ATTACK

      1. @Shit Storm, My bad. I was working from Jason Jones pov that most people commenting here understood that aggression is a joke.

        1. @Yvette,

          ….while aggressively marketing a no-hoper, make-money con to vulnerable people is a sound business proposition, not a joke?

    2. @Yvette, I detect a distinct hint of derision in your tone.

      Were you going to keep going on like that, or did you have an actual point somewhere within your screaming fit? If this were a slashdot-style site, I’d mod you “-1 Boring”.


      Furry cows moo and decompress.

        1. @Yvette,

          Maybe that odor you’re smelling is some of Naomi’s shit you stepped into. And, by the way, you said of the Droid “We could have used you in the Old West”, I just wanted to say I’m surprised a woman of your advanced age could even use a computer. You didn’t have them in the “Old West” after all.

          1. @Barbara, Thank you for making my point so eloquently. I do not have a problem with exposing fraud or scams or even with naming names. In fact I think it is helpful and in some cases important. What I do have a problem with is exposing it along with personal details that are potentially destructive to not only the scammers themselves but also to their families and affiliates. For me personally, I find it distastful that it also fosters an environment that allows you as a stranger to me to insult my vision (I don’t know where I’m stepping), my age, and my computer skills without giving you a pause. My reference to odor and smell came from Jason Jone’s interview and what he spoke of himself. Facts are great. Facts and clean hands can’t be beat.

            1. @Yvette, you wrote: “…potentially destructive … to their families and affiliates.”

              Is your criticism based on a sophisticated ethical stance regarding the former, or a financial interest in the latter?

              Maybe you meant “affiliates” as “associates,” but with Dunford and the rest it usually means people who take on liability to sell their products on commission.

            2. @Yvette,

              … my age, and my computer skills without giving you a pause.

              You said you could have used the Droid in the “Old West” — implying that you were alive in the “Old West”. Barbara (editor extraordinaire) pointed it out to you.

              See? It’s funny. I don’t laugh when folks jump on each other for spelling errors, or even “your” vs “you’re”. But a logic error like this — it’s funny.

              Even funnier? That you probably didn’t get it.

            3. @Yvette,

              Nice try with the reasonable stance but it’s all bullshit. You came here insulting Salty Droid. Fact.

              Now you act as if you’re concerned with the little people, the families and affiliates of the scammers. People who might suffer from the scammer’s activities…acting like you’re concerned with fairness and justice…kind of like that guy, you know…what’s his name…oh yeah..The Salty Droid!

              You’re not fit to touch his three wheeled feet.

  13. So, my comment is shared up there in the post.

    This expose was upsetting to me, mostly from the ethical standpoint of having taken advice from people who have been exposed for being unethical. And that still bothers me, and I’m still figuring out what exactly I need to do about it.

    But @Slowly Waking ‘s post…which seems to have been put forth as a summary of the scam at play – describes an experience that I simply never had.

    I do not know if I’m just one of the lucky 1% or whatever. As I mentioned in my previous comment, the whole icky incestuous internet marketer contingent – yeah, I saw it churning in comment sections and affiliate links, and yeah, I thought it was sleazy. I also thought it was pretty naive to think a person with no business or marketing training/experience would suddenly decide “I’m going to run an online business and get rich!”

    I feel for the people who were emotionally vulnerable and got sucked into something so unlikely to work. I don’t know if @Slowly Waking had a business built on an actual skillset from his previous career, or if he was trying to reinvent himself as an IMer, but either way – I think he got a shitty deal, and I’m sorry it worked out that way. I’d be pissed too, especially given the emotional manipulation at play.

    But again, his story doesn’t resonate with my personal experience, and this further confuses me. I’d like you all to help me understand if you’ve got the patience.

    Years ago, I decided what I wanted to do for a living – the exact training I wanted to get, and the exact focus my work would take. I went out and got that training, and around the time I was finishing up, I ran into Naomi and some of the other Third Tribers.

    What I got from them, before spending a cent of my money, was an entire business model laid out before my eyes. I’d gone into my trade assuming I’d do it the traditional, brick-and-mortar way, but when I saw what they were doing, it occurred to me that my business could very feasibly be translated to the online space, and actually make more money that way.

    I already had a blog. I already had an audience and a pretty large potential market of people who trusted me. So I registered a business, finished my training, and started selling my services on my website. It worked.

    I am by no means rich, God knows. But just over two years ago, I was living in a slum, working a job I disliked after having been laid off from the one I did like, and the thought of working for myself, from home, in slightly nicer digs? It seemed like THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM. But goddamn if that’s not exactly what I am doing today.

    I make a modest living, I live in a nicer place, and my business is growing.

    I used Naomi’s SEO shit and got my site to rank #1 (just checked today for the first time in 2 years) for a term relevant to my interests, and on the first page of results for a couple others. But I never DEPENDED on search traffic for my business, and I never set up niche sites, or any kind of out-of-the-tin, set-it-and-forget-it business model.

    So I never really felt scammed. I do feel I bought stuff from people who were doing shit in the shadows that really damages my trust in them, and makes me question a lot of how I’ve promoted myself. But I never felt directly scammed by them, and I’m still not sure that I have been.

    I paid for some stuff, and maybe overpaid, because I liked how it was presented, and I knew it could help flesh out and implement an online version of my real-life skills. It did actually work.

    So am I one of very, very few people? Did I get scammed in some way that I’m unaware of? Is more evidence coming to light that I should know about?

    I am totally confused and would appreciate your input.

    1. @hrmmm,

      To me, it doesn’t sound like you’re doing anything wrong. To me it’s clearly possible for people with an existing skillset to make money online.

      However, if you suddenly use your “success” to start teaching marketing to others, then you’re stepping into dangerous waters. Your success isn’t easily duplicable by others since they would have to go off and spend years getting the same qualifications you got.

      Or if you start training others with your qualification to be successful online that strikes me as dodgy too since you’d probably be lying about the size of your market. If your business is doing well you’ll focus on growing it, not educating your competitors.

      There are so many grey areas with all this infoproduct stuff!

    2. @hrmmm, I think you’re okay … if only because you’re self-aware enough to be asking these questions.

      It is possible to learn really good things from really bad people. It’s also possible for really bad people to take really good things and do bad stuff with it.

      I’m not saying that Naomi/Dave/3T is “really” anything. I’ve been reading this storm of stink just as you have, and am confused too.

      There are some who SD might consider IMers, but are people I personally like/respect (I’ve not seen their names here … yet). There are others I would like to see SD go after, because I think they are scammy/icky/stinky.

      When I ventured into this space, I was skeptical. In all honesty, they were wearing me down to the point of drinking the kool-aid when Naomi’s death threat post came out. I take that stuff seriously. Very seriously. Even exaggerating on that stuff is verboten as far as I’m concerned.

      Forgive the rambling.

      All of that is to say that you’re asking yourself good questions. Keep asking. And listen hard for the answers. I bet you already know them.

      Use what is worthwhile and discard the rest.

    3. @hrmmm, I’m a little embarrassed to comment in this thread but I’ll bite.

      Some people come here for the trainwreck, or think Salty’s an evil gleebag who hates success and so can you. A lot stick around and find there’s more to it.

      Some people (like me) go there, to the bizopp gurus, for a side business, an extra $400 a month, or to improve their freelancing. Small hopes, no greed.

      As you peel away each onion, you find very different cores.

      I can only guess at others’ typical experiences based on my own (see my reply in the other post to @also waiting). Meanwhile, the people behind these scams are required by law to provide verifiable proof of customers’ typical experiences. And… they don’t.

      For you, sounds like it’s going well. But it does sound atypical. You knew what you wanted to do, got the degrees, and then set up the business? Most everyone I know has spent years wandering in the wilderness. My cousin got an ed degree from one of the country’s best small schools, yet now he slogs in management at an investment corp. I know lawyers who don’t lawyer, people like me who are “bomb awesome” as they say at things nobody’s paying for any more, and more than one educated 30-something headed back to school. You mentioned my business, I was a freelancer doing alright in ’05 while following my then-partner’s career. Times were tougher three years later; thanks to the Internet fewer people are buying what I’m selling. It’s a standard thing these days, and the “creative destruction” out there’s chomping up the highly educated as well as the middle class. And there’s other people just unhappy at work, who want time with their kids: I read and now can’t find a piece on overemployment the other day, that in addition to widespread unemployment we’ve got others are stuck doing 60- and 70-hour weeks as businesses require more from less. A lot of this is structural and nobody knows what’s around the bend. Uncertainty, worry, America in decline.

      Skim the sales letters and see how they focus on people in this situation.

      http://web.archive.org/web/20091023075254/http://ittybiz.com/store/online-business-school/?

      http://web.archive.org/web/20090522145319/http://www.projectmojavesite.com/goinside/

      Ah, I forgot Navarro was in on Project Mojave. Dunford also strokes people’s vulnerabilities. See:

      http://web.archive.org/web/20091102093059/http://ittybiz.com/when-you-feel-like-a-raging-failure/

      Page around Archive.org and reread her posts putting on the mind of a raging failure, since that’s who she’s looking for. How’s that feel?

      Anyway, I don’t doubt your claims. But you’re a 4 hiring 2’s for advice. See how Naomi’s SEO advice helps when your keyword is competitive, and you have to be one of the 10 best among 549,000,000 other strivers. Or how it helps when Google’s next update goes even more corporate.

      It’ll take you a while to figure out where you stand. Let it simmer. I’d just ask you, if you ultimately agree that they’re predators, not to fund predators? Thx

      1. @Slowly Waking,

        “As you peel away each onion, you find very different cores.”

        This, in a single line, is the basic point of my posts here. This is not a simple, black-and-white issue.

        Everyone who sells IM or MMO advice online is not evil.

        Anyone who buys IM or MMO advice is not evil, or being scammed.

        Qualified people may un-knowingly sell products to people who will never benefit, or even suffer as a result.

        Un-qualified, horrible people may deliberately sell shoddy products to good people who use them for honest success.

        As Tommy said somewhere – alcohol and tobacco can kill you. Cars can kill you. Medicinal drugs can kill you if used incorrectly.

        It’s complicated.

        1. @also waiting, ???

          I put it elegantly, I must admit. Not seeing the connection to your points though. One onion’s got a pungent outside and a good core, the other a golden shell and a maggots inside. Agree that sorting through stuff is complicated.

          Just please don’t start quoting Tommy! He’s hella confused.

          1. @Slowly Waking,

            That wasn’t really a reply to you, I should have deleted the @. I put the comment here because you summed it up so well.

            My point was, your elegant phrase describes the “onion” of the IMers so well. Some are immoral and incompetent. Some are well-meaning and some I suppose are “evil” although it’s a label I use with extreme reluctance.

            Too many people (not you) are judging others using impossibly “black and white” definitions. It’s not that simple. I’m not a christian, but the phrase “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” springs to mind.

            1. @also waiting ::

              Maybe it springs to your “mind” :: cause you’re a poser troll. But it’s really not applicable at all.

            2. @SD,

              To the accusation of trolling – I refer you to my reply above, where I was being mischievous, I admit it.

              @slowly waiting,

              You and Jaime are the two people here whose comments I have the most respect for. I hope something truly wonderful happens in your life soon. Leaving this site would be a great start, in my opinion…

              [follows own advice]

            3. @also waiting,

              You chose the phrase, “mischievious” as your own self-centered way of rationalizing and trivializing your consistently disgusting behavior here.

              The most accurate description of your behavior would be “flogging like an out-of-control, conscienceless asshole.”

              Get to know yourself better:

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopathy

          1. @Michael Martine,

            I apologize Michael — I didn’t remember seeing it on the other thread. I’ve also done a lot of rethinking of my own since then. We all make mistakes which is what humans do. I am not immune to that, human being that I hopefully am.

    4. @hrmmm,
      (I’m testing to see if html works)

      I do not know if I’m just one of the lucky 1% or whatever. As I mentioned in my previous comment, the whole icky incestuous internet marketer contingent – yeah, I saw it churning in comment sections and affiliate links, and yeah, I thought it was sleazy. I also thought it was pretty naive to think a person with no business or marketing training/experience would suddenly decide “I’m going to run an online business and get rich!”

      Well, yeah I would say you probably did fall into to the lucky x%. I’m not sure what size x is yet, but I strongly suspect it looks a lot like delta or epsilon do in a limit theorem (i.e.–starting off very, very tiny and getting even tinier as you watch).

      The way the IMers usually run your pitch, it makes it very easy for you to hear just those parts that resonate with you personally and the rest of it flies by you.

      I personally never lost money to these d-bags, but I can tell you that based on how I felt, emotionally, about the specific d-bags that I thought were kind of cool (before I came here), I very easily could have fallen into their crap if life had happened to deal me one or more ugly blows as happened to @Slowly Waking.

      @Slowly Waking ‘s story is not my story, but it could have been if circumstances had been different–except I don’t own a chainsaw, but you know what I mean. That could’ve been me there daring to hope that maybe something good could come out of all that pain and misery.

      Your situation was a lot different as you say: you already had a business and you had training and you had a following that already trusted you.

      Part of the “gotcha” of the IMers is that, given the right circumstances, their advice (most of which they copied from other people or books then “sexed up”) probably can result in better page rank or whatever.

      And then those same IMers can go to you, @hrmmm, or someone like you and ask you for a testimonial.

      Later when the interview is posted, the shrewdest IMers will even preface the main interview by telling their audience, “Now folks, this gentleman @hrmmm has been at this for a long time. He’s been building a following, etc. And he’s recently used my PLF/spammy/spammy/spam-spam package and he’s seen a {huge} improvement since then.”

      That is: somewhere in their opening spiel they will point out that you didn’t just start your biz just now. They might even mention, during the interview, that it really does take time (maybe years) to build up your online business.

      But somewhere towards or after the end of the interview, they’ll spout off the non-promise promise of Instant Gold and Instant Gratification: “Take Action Now! What are you waiting for? Do you really want to be a craven cubicle wage slave doing work for someone else for the rest of your life!? It’s time to start living for *you* now! Click through the links and shell out $100*1D10 for my totally r0x0rs .pdfs and flash video of a .ppt with me droning on in the background! It’s time to change your life!”

      See? If they are shrewd they can work the disclaimers quietly into the conversation, but then still throw out the Lie of the Big Quick Money with such intensity that it completely washes out the disclaimer.

      And what happens in the end is this two contradictory messages each go into separate parts of your brain and memory and they stay there.
      Your rational mind remembers the part that makes sense: get rich quick never works–this is just some marketing advice for if you happen to have a business, nothing more.
      Meanwhile, your emotional mind feels it has tapped into something really powerful: all I have to do is really commit, believe it can work, throw a lot of money at this guy and I’ll have a passive money making engine up and running in no time!

      So then you get on with your day. But now the seed has been planted in your emotional, non-rational mind. It’s basically dormant virus-meme in your mind. The next time your figurative immune system is weakened (like if you lose your job), the emotional part of your brain will take over for a bit. You throw down the chainsaw and throw down the cash because, when we’re desperate we’ll try anything that we think might work. And that’s just human nature, I’d probably do the same thing given the same circumstances.


      Furry cows moo and decompress.

      1. @@Wyrd (formerly Iam3r),

        brilliant breakdown of how this works.

        Your bit on testimonials– say @also waiting offers that testimonial. It helps them lure their next mark, but it also hurts @also waiting when something like this blows up.

        Like Havi, whom I mentioned in my loong story. Yoga teacher, seems nice, makes chakra-y feel-good promises, as do most yoga teachers do. Not my thing, skimmed her blog because she was in Dunford’s orbit. She still a product she did with Dunford, they’ve linked each other a lot. Now it looks bad. If Havi’s a totally honest person giving good advice with happy customers, the association’s unfortunate. She apparently didn’t retweet the death threats post though. Just saying that online it’s easy to endorse, easy to associate, hard to erase.

        1. @Slowly Waking,
          @Yvette, you wrote: “…potentially destructive … to their families and affiliates.”

          Is your criticism based on a sophisticated ethical stance regarding the former, or a financial interest in the latter?

          Maybe you meant “affiliates” as “associates,” but with Dunford and the rest it usually means people who take on liability to sell their products on commission.

          Sorry, I am a bit confused on what you are asking me. If the question is does it bother me to see people torn apart, lives torn apart, then the answer is yes it does. As far associates or affiliates, my thought was with exactly the example of Havi that you cited above. My concern is for innocent people with good intentions. If you are asking me if I have a financial interest in any of this then the answer is no. I didn’t know who any of these people were a couple of days ago. I stumbled into this and watched it unfold. I felt I needed to comment because the level of viciousness that was directed at a person not what the person did was disturbing and hurtful to me as a fellow human being.

          1. @yvette,

            There is an old religious saying that says “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

            I think you are misreading or misinterpreting “good intentions” in this case. Their only intention is to take money out of people’s pocket … they will take it out of your pocket if you let them.

            That’s part of the con … they want you to feel good about taking your money … want you to feel that there is “value” in handing over your dough. They want you to perceive their intent is good but behind closed doors [salty has some of those on tape] they reveal their true nature. They know they are conning people. It’s deliberate and they deserve the attention they are getting here.

          2. @yvette, I was fishing to see if your righteous anger is because you’re somebody with an undisclosed financial interest in the people you defend.

            You say you’re not, good enough for me.

            If, as you say, it “bothers me to see people torn apart, lives torn apart,” where were you two years ago when the people you’re defending had such an active role in tearing my life apart? When it was already pretty bad. Because I sure could have used your help.

            1. @Slowly Waking,
              I am sorry for any pain that you have experienced. Two years ago I was going through a similar experience in my own profession. Perhaps that is why I am so upset by this. My defense of the people stems not from what they have done or what they are doing at the present but the far reaching ripple effect this will have in their lives and more importantly their families lives. Suppose after this blows over and they reconstruct their lives and one of their children is searching the internet and happens on a website like this in which people have torn apart their parents in every way possible. How will that child feel? If these people are scamming people, should it be stopped? Yes. Should they be called out on it? Absolutely. Should their personal appearance, parenting choices, or private lives be attacked? I just don’t see any good coming from that and it hurts me as a human being to watch it happen. What goes on the Internet stays on the Internet. People may believe that these people deserve anything they get but it goes far beyond them. That is what I mean when I say people torn apart, lives torn apart and destroyed. For the record, I am not directing this at you personally. I haven’t read all your comments but I haven’t seen you attack anyone’s personal appearance, parenting choices, or private life. I am sorry for your personal pain.

            2. @yvette,

              How does your unusual, don’t talk about the truth “philosophy” apply to murderers, since one day they may get parolled and have to “reconstruct their lives” as you say?

              Maybe you should go around defending Charles Manson, because he could conceivably be parolled and have to “reconstruct his life,” and maybe he has family that might be bothered by any mention of his horrific crimes.

              Or we could just cut to the chase right here and recognize that what you say is total bullshit and nothing more than a smokescreen for your friend, the spider.

    5. @hrmmm ::

      I like people who are confused … because this is a confusing situation.

      All types of people get sucked into this … not just vulnerable and hurting people. But you are a vulnerable person … in that you’re vulnerable to having your life consumed by destructive forces outside of your range of perception.

      Once you’re sucked into the funnel … you start taking baby steps like @Slowly Waking said … and you probably don’t notice that changes are being made to your baseline personality … to the heart of what you are … and how you see yourself.

      “I used Naomi’s SEO shit and got my site to rank #1”

      Really? Do you know enough about SEO to say that? I used a super special SEO method that I like to call “not caring at all” … and that system also landed me at the top of SERP’s for all kinds of d-bags names and phrases. There’s a correlation/causation problem there that the badguys rely on.

      And a final consideration :: not directed specifically at you …

      If you’re not a shark :: an you’re not a victim :: consider the possibility that you’re the window dressing that the sharks are using to eat the victims.

      For an example of window dressing :: search this site for Dr. Armstrong. Ideal window dressing is someone with respected credentials … like doctors and lawyers … who offer up zero dissent. Credentialing by osmosis.

      1. @SD, these are definitely things I’ll be thinking about. And I won’t be giving any testimonials anytime soon.

        1. @hrmmm,

          Here’s a quick test that you can do.

          You think your site is #1 for a keyword?

          Go to a computer that you’ve never used before, at a location you’ve never used before. Check your site’s ranking there.

          Why?

          Because Google tracks the sites you’re interested in, and they push those sites up in your personal search results.*

          That means that the search results you see are different from the search results that I see, even if we search for the same keyword at the same time. Your search results will push up your personal sites, because Google knows those are most likely to be the sites you’re interested in.

          In other words, #1 is a meaningless concept, and any “expert” who claims to teach you how to achieve it is either incompetent or lying.

          *That’s true whether you’re logged into a Google account or not.

          Proof: From the official Google blog, back in 2009–

          “What we’re doing today is expanding Personalized Search so that we can provide it to signed-out users as well.”

          http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/12/personalized-search-for-everyone.html

            1. @Jack,

              At the risk of running down a rat-hole (the real point being, whoever coached hrmmmm on SEO was incompetent) —

              Google tracks by a wide variety of factors besides the things blocked by Incognito mode.

              The EFF has shown that simply tracking the combination of (IP address + operating system + browser configuration) is sufficient.

              Example:

              “The user at (IP address) running OS X Lion running Chrome with plugins A, B, & C.”

              You can’t block that info from going upstream, and it’s enough for Google & friends to know that it’s you.

            2. @Just Jake, That is all very true, but I bet it would at least throw Google off for a few hours if we just wore a different pair of pants. That should be just enough time to discreetly search for “Phyllis Diller Sexy Time.”

            3. @Jack, It can be tested against many other seo-ranking tools like link-assistant, seomoz, and other ones and it’s always worked to now yet.

          1. @Just Jake,

            Thank you for the advice. I’m definitely going to try this and see what happens.

            Obviously I need to do more legit SEO research (though, again, I reeeeeeally don’t rely on SEO for my business. It was just an interesting supplement, I figured.) WOW DO I FEEL STUPID.

  14. SD,

    I’m honored and humbled to have my thoughts conveyed in your post.

    I’m also in silent awe of @Slowly Waking’s post. Beautifully put and very heartfelt.

    Interesting that the naysayers are now commenting – not about the emotional comments you’ve included, but instead debating Alexa statistics.

    They like looking at pictures (coz they can’t read) or they’re using tech speak to muddy the waters.

    Either way it’s laughable.

    What you’re is doing here is very good work, because as @Slowly Waking pointed out in his/her heartfelt post, there are a lot more people that are wrapped up in the scams than those of us who saw what was happening and ran for the exits.

    -bohica

  15. From the mouth of Naomi:

    “My real dream is to write Harlequin romance novels, ideally Christian ones.”

    “I never finished high school but I am considering going back to school for seven or more years because it would be cool to be called Dr.”

    You want to write Christian romance novels even though all of your webposts are liberally laced with “fucks” and “I said cocks and balls twenty-three times!” and stories of taking your toddler shopping in sex shops? Newsflash: Christian don’t like the dirt-mouth talk.

    Of course any doctoral program would accept Naomi based solely on her desire to be cool. Doctor ShittyBiz, that’s got quite a ring to it.

    Naomi on lying her way into getting a waitressing job:

    “I figured that the only way I could legitimately have a lifetime of experience in waitressing but no references or resume was to be from another country. I faked being English for nearly six months..”

    Seriously? You had to lie to get one of the lowest on the totem pole jobs there is in our socity? Most people lie their way out of waitressing…leave it to Naomi to lie her way in. The sky’s the limit now. Janitor is next. If you want your head to ache badly try to imagine Naomi’s faked British accent. That’ll put you off your tea and crumpets.

    1. @Barbara ::

      So I wonder if she’s a high school drop out :: or a college drop out? I’ve seen her say both :: but they’re pretty far from the same thing.

      1. @SD,

        I’ve seen her claim both types of drop out status as well. With Naomi it would be impossible to distinguish the truth from a lie. Oh what a tangled web, and all that crap.

        Once she claimed to be a high school drop out living in a homeless shelter, with a newborn infant. ( get out your teeny tiny violins here) Sadly, no info on whether the child was a Preemie(!) so I lost interest…

    1. @SD, dude if you like Marnie Stern you gotta see this (yeah I’m breeching the comment zone with insane off-topicness but I can’t resist sharing my love for Marnie with the sense of synchronicity I felt after tweeting something about her
      this morning and then coming here to read you were listening to her :)

      Check it out SD. Big love by the way. Dunford’s bizness practice is shitheap full of stink.

    2. @SD, I have all her albums. Listen to Crippled Jazzer on repeat to feel like I can scale skyscrapers : ) She is funny as hell too. Long live Marnie!

  16. @you’re so silly,

    You’re so right or is that your. I completely missed the humor reference. I don’t think as fast as I used to. Imagine that, I totally thought I was being insulted. Thank you for clearing that up for me.

    1. @yvette,

      No prob.

      You’re a softy, I can tell. You care about people. About fairness. I’m a bit of a softy too.

      The Droid is hard. But the Droid is fair. The Droid doesn’t pull punches. But his fight in honorable.

      Believe it or not, for all its cussing and fussing, this blog is a bastion of real journalistic integrity. Society needs Droids.

      When you start to feel bad for the Naomis or Dave Navarros or Harlan Kilstiens … read more Droid. Those feelings will fade.

  17. I am a fairly new reader who has been lurking about and became compelled to make a comment on behalf of those whom are are not here (necessarily) for the comedy or the drama.

    I am an Entrepreneur who is not chasing the American dream, only survival. My balls are bigger than my brains, and my resume would list “street smarts” as my special skill, if I chose to revisit the humiliation of having a hapless, gel-ed up HR punk judge the entire merit of my life based on a sheet of paper and the color of my tie.

    People like me are not looking for short cuts or favors, as we pride ourselves on our work ethic and resolve. In a fair race, I have a good chance of winning…but it appears there are no fair races. I am not clever or callous enough to devise the shortcuts and deceit I read about here, nor would I want to live in the skin of a man that was.

    Fortunately, by the grace of God, I manage to stay afloat running a real business that is funded by my own sweat and tears. Basically, I buy products like electronics, furniture, or whatever, fix them, refinish them, or whatever, and try to sell them for a profit. Seems simple enough, but through every step of the process I am constantly having to navigate around scammers and frauds. From the people I buy from, to the sellers in China that sell me the parts and materials, to the online buyers, and now I realize, from those that I would hope can teach me to expand and grow my business.

    I want to address the people who are defending—in any way—the people who perpetrate fraud and deceit. Real consequences, real pain, and real damage come from these practices. The damage does not only come from the price tag on said “Crush-it Tool for Easy Wealth & Happiness”, but in the precious time lost, and the even more precious hope and spirit which buckles under these onslaughts.

    To hear how these Gurus knowingly and intentionally peddle overpriced hype & illusion to people like myself, who are just trying to survive via an honest living is infuriating. Supporting the perpetrators is a de facto alliance with these shameful and insidious practices, making it nearly as infuriating. Is like trying to argue the merits of Nazi ingenuity to the Jewish Defamation League—whatever points you make are lost in your unbelievably poor taste.

    1. @Albert, the trouble is, some people come here to defend people who *aren’t* necessarily perpetrating fraud, but many of the commenters jump right to “it’s a scam!” as soon as they see any direct response marketing being done.

      SD doesn’t do that, he tends to back up his posts with facts. But many commenters, mostly anonymous, go on crazy tirades about things they know little or nothing about.

      1. @AB, The “trouble is” is you.

        The above comment was articulate, inarguable, and straight forward.

        Then, look at what you did to that comment.

        You hijacked it and attempted to bastardize and deflate it by attaching your negative generalization.

        The nod to SD at the end was no more than an attempt to make what you said palpable, which is ironic, because most of the comments here are in agreement with SD in the first place.

        Today’s featured word is “disingenuous.”

  18. @Dale

    Wow, I went back and reread my post several times to try and figure out why you felt compelled to so completely misunderstand my intention. It was written with careful thought and a sincere desire to explain to Slowly Waking what I meant in a conversation I was having with him. I hate that you took it to mean something else. I find it hurtful that while you may not agree with me about what I wrote, you managed to take something I wrote from the heart to twist it into something that became a personal attack. Wow.

    1. @Yvette ::

      Oh please!

      It’s like the fucking amateur hour around here.

      Please go read 300 other posts and see how this happens on damn near every post. You’re going to have to do like 500% better if you expect to fool anyone.

      1. @SD,
        I’m sorry. I certainly was not intending on trying to fool anyone. I am definately an amateur. I was just commenting on how all this was making me feel. I don’t comment on blogs much and I was just trying to give my opinion. I thought that I had a valid point of view. My mistake.

        1. @Yvette ::

          Yes :: your mistake.

          This is not a site for amateur commenting.

          I’m sorry that you sounded exactly like a troll … why don’t you go off and practice looking at the Internet … then come back here and leave another comment in say like … 10 years.

          1. @SD,
            Point taken. I will go away. I was sincerely disturbed by what I have already discussed in previous posts. I’m not sure what a troll is but if I sounded like that and provoked this kind of response then it must be a bad thing. Wishing you the best in your quest for the truth.

        2. @Yvette, Bullshit! You are being very manipulative.

          Here is a simple breakdown that shows EXACTLY what you are trying to pull here.

          There are:

          1. Customers (human beings) getting lied to and deceived.

          2. Scammers (inhuman beings) doing the lying and deception.

          You are advocating putting SCAMMERS first, in order to protect and insulate them from their OWN actions.

          This completely disregards their VICTIMS, and it only makes it easier for there to be more FUTURE VICTIMS, because keeping bad behavior a secret does just that.

          How totally manipulative of you to play the sympathy violin and emphasize the “emotional distress” of SCAMMERS and their families, at the cost of the real VICTIMS and THEIR FAMILIES.

          If you haven’t noticed, this blog is about helping good people, not protecting bad ones.

  19. Hey, it’s really annoying to have to un-hide all the comments that have been voted down. Obviously, we all read them, so why hide them?

    1. @Orenthal, Why? Because it is the voice of the people that votes comments down. It can help to delineate troll-centric bullshit from comments that reflect genuine humanity.

      For example, knowing the inherent goodness and perceptiveness of people, I can predict that your comment will be voted down.

      Here’s why:

      http://tinyurl.com/2fwka9

    2. @Orenthal, Having been a part of many communities disrupted and sometimes destroyed by trolls I think it’s an excellent practice. It forewarns me that I’m going to read something that may make me flaming mad. If I’m feeling depressed I can just leave it there. If I recognize the name as being from someone who typically makes me flaming mad I can just leave it there. And even if I DO read it, I have the comfort of knowing that this a-hole doesn’t represent any generally agreed to opinion in the community. I like that.

  20. From the Gospel according to Naomi:

    “I write titles that frequently utilize words like “topless”, “thong”, “shitless”, “breasts” and “toilet.” Suffice it to say, the people who come here from Google leave very, very quickly.”

    “Here at IttyBiz, my traffic sucks. Mine is the only website I know with three times the subscribers than daily pageviews. Nobody comes to the site unless they’re commenting. The thing is, up until recently, I didn’t actually care if people visited the site or not. If I got 100 comments on a post, and 100 visitors that day, I was pretty happy with that. Now that I’m looking into advertising, though, I’m changing the strategy.”

    So you mean you are changing the strategy to “HELP! I’m gettingg DEATH THREATS!”?

  21. Okay, I just read something so disgusting at Naomi’s blog I don’t think I can ever go back.

    It’s not about cheating or scamming or lying. But it’s guaranteed to turn your stomach. Do not read this if you’re eating or drinking or planning to eat or drink. Naomi says:

    “I was hiding from my children in the kitchen, squatting under the table between an iMac and a car seat, and peeing into a juice pitcher.”

    I’m revolted beyond words. Her excuse for this reprehensible act is that she’s pregnant. ( this was written in 2008, she’s not breeding again…I hope) She says ” I thought about peeing in the sink but it was full of dishes.” She then claims all pregnant women do this.

    I have had three children. I’ve worked as a nurse with hundreds of pregnant women. I have never, ever, ever in my life heard of such a thing. Naomi, you are a liar and a disgrace to all women, everywhere.

    I’m going to go throw up now.

    1. @Barbara, That is beyond crude. What’s worse, Naomi has such poor judgement she actually put it on a public blog and held it out with pride for the world to see.

      Nobody with an ounce of decency or self-respect would ever claim this type of person to be their “role model.” Appalling.

      1. @Kevin,

        Appalling is the word for this display of narcissism. Seriously, I now believe this woman is mentally ill. I’m not joking or exaggerating, this type of conduct is so far beyond societal norms that there must be some identifiable pathology behind it. If there are family members who care or have influence they should get this person some help.

        1. @Barbara, @Kevin: In light of this and some of the other gems from Naomi that have been shared on this blog over the past week or so, blogger Annie Sisk’s comment about how the participants on Salty’s forum are misogynists holds even less water (no pun intended). Annie wrote:

          “Oh – sorry – one more thing: If ANY female blogger wants to put out a sexually aggressive persona that’s totally her choice. Using that language to attack her, though, is NOT OK.

          “Piss-poor real world analogy which is NOT to be taken as an equivalency: if a woman wears a short miniskirt and spike heels, and drinks the guys under the table, and tells raunchy jokes at the bar, is she asking to get raped?”

          http://anniesisk.com/web-3-0-bullies-death-threats-and-slut-shaming/comment-page-1/#comment-129

          It IS a piss-poor (sorry, but SHE said it :-)) analogy. And snarking about a woman’s looks is not equivalent to rape, as even Annie admitted. So why even bring it up?

          Anyway. Good follow-up post, Salty.

        2. @Barbara,

          I don’t think it’s mental illness. It’s smart and manipulative. When her readers read that and accept it, it’s like they are somehow participating in her degradation. She is dehumanizing them, numbing them to things that violate normal codes of decent behavior. The same goes with her profanity- it’s not to shock, its to make them accept that non-decent behavior is the norm and maybe a requirement for all marketing success.

          1. @Not an immer,

            You may well be right, personally I don’t think Naomi’s that smart.

            Connie,

            Annie Sisk’s pathetic attempt to even introduce the topic of rape into this conversation screams RED HERRING even louder than Naomi’s sorry attempts at bogus death threats.

            Both women should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. But I doubt anyone who urinates in their kitchen sink is capable of feeling shame.

  22. Dave interviewing Naomi in 2008 …

    http://www.rockyourday.com/interview-with-our-favorite-snarky-marketer-naomi-dunford/

    Naomi …

    Somewhere out there, there is a man who is terrified he can’t keep up. He wants to be a good husband but he doesn’t really know what that is. His wife says she’ll leave him if he doesn’t start spending more time with the kids, and God knows, he wants to. But the whole of Western society is telling him he’s a failure if he doesn’t provide. Except he can’t provide because some young jackass with an MBA is about to take his job and he will be jobless and wifeless and homeless if he doesn’t get his shit together very soon.

    He gets up in the middle of the night, telling his wife he’s going to answer some emails, but in reality, he’s weeping at the kitchen table, BlackBerry in one hand and scotch in the other. He wants his kids to be able to pick him out of a line-up, he wants his wife to actually want to have sex with him again, he wants his father to still be alive so he could get some advice and a hug.

    That is a man who needs time and peace. If you find this man, you won’t need to sell a g*ddamn thing. His Visa will be on the table so fast you’ll both get whiplash.

    1. @SD, Also go onto kick him in his nuts, laugh at him with your friends, and then the most important will be to make sure he thanks you making a new perspective for him, because mindframe-change = $$money$$.

    2. @SD, I’m nearly speechless after reading that, and I’m not often speechless. Wow.

      To anybody who has recently blogged, tweeted, or shilled for this psychopath: you should be ashamed of yourself!

    3. @SD,

      Am I the only one who sees that Naomi not only seems to try to target Dave’s own personal story in this interview, but does so precisely “because” he is doing the interviewing and she wants to do it to manipulate him, however subconsciously? (subconsciously on “his”, part, not “hers” — I’m sure she was all too aware of what she was doing!)

      1. @Bonnie,

        Maybe, but it’s more likely that Dave and Naomi wrote this together.

        A lot of good, emotional writing comes from personal experience. That sounds so much like Dave’s story.

        It’d be easy to believe he was behind it. No matter how sorry I feel for Dave, he’s not to be trusted.

        1. @You’re so silly,

          I really do feel sorry for Dave — and as much as I know that he is an adult and was capable of making his own decisions and did, I can’t help feeling that maybe he was just brainwashed and led astray and “followed along with everything that he was taught like a good little sheep”. I may be wrong, but I hope not — and I’m hoping that with his now “giving away the shop” that he has had a change of heart and come to his senses. I guess we shall see. But something deep within me is telling me that he’s not such a bad guy after all — only that he learned and did some not so good things. I think everyone deserves a second chance — “if” they deserve it ;)

  23. I just discovered this site over Labor Day weekend. I am thrilled that a scrappy bot with an attitude is taking down scammers left and right. I was already awake (to a degree) but this site really pushed it to a new level. (And this is going to be a long comment.)

    BSD: (Life Before Salty Droid)

    Years ago, my brother gave my husband and I the book, “The Secret.” I was suspicious. Lots of airy-fairy promises made, beckoning the clueless to join them in unicorn utopia where you can always find a parking spot close to the door by envisioning it. Um. No. Still, because I love figuring out manipulative people, I kept an eye on a few.

    James Arthur Ray was making a “special appearance” in our town. It was a free event. I decided to go. The sleaze-meister did a bang-up job in getting everyone “motivated.” But the kicker was at the end.

    In almost a complete 180-degree turn from Ray’s warm and fuzzy “you can do anything” platitudes, his persona transformed into a fiery maniac. Jekyll and Hyde come to mind.

    “Are you really happy with your life? If not, then you need to get to the back of the room RIGHT NOW and grab these books!!! RIGGGGHHHTTT NOOOWWWWW!!!” The words aren’t verbatim but he was literally screaming at people to go to the back of the room to buy his books. His face reddened. Veins bulged on the side of his neck.

    Then he’d shout crap like, “WHAT ARE YOU STILL DOING SITTING THERE? LIFE IS SLIPPING AWAY….GOOO….GOGOGOGOGO!!” It was insane. I looked around and sure enough, some were almost running to the back of the room. I knew I was witnessing a narcissist unleashing the full power of his perceived glory to control people. I looked at the people sitting next to me (who were also not running to the back of the room) and shook my head. Ray’s scammy ways were exposed more than he realized.

    I mourned the deaths of those who followed this psychopath. Especially after I read this interview about a woman who wrote a book, who was on the “inside” if Ray’s sick kingdom and found more Death Ray’s victims:

    http://www.seattlepi.com/lifestyle/blogcritics/article/Book-Review-Tragedy-in-Sedona-by-Connie-Joy-1644869.php

    Although I knew there were scammers, I was still shocked by the extreme measures some will take to protect their kingdoms.

    Now we have “The Third Tribe,” which purports:

    “Mention the words “Internet marketing” to some, and images of obnoxious “gurus” spring to mind. You know the guys: big red headlines, yellow highlighting, crazy promises and hype. And yet real Internet marketers (not get-rich-quick scam artists) are some of the smartest, wealthiest, and most ethical entrepreneurs you’ll ever meet.
    Mention the words “social media marketing” to some, and images of touchy-feely idealists who promote community over cash come to mind. And yet some of the smartest people in online marketing successfully participate in social media for higher traffic, better search engine optimization, and larger profits.

    You might have guessed that there’s an overlap between the best and brightest of both of those two tribes. In fact, the “middle” marketers are the ones to watch.

    This middle tribe avoids excessive hype and snake-oil offers. But they have no problem asking for the sale and making money. Lots of money.”

    Rest assured, “Third Tribe,” we are watching you.

    I joined 3T for about, thirty seconds. Like some of you, I wanted to build a business and liked some of what I was seeing. Even though I saw through Death Ray’s over-the-top antics, I thought there had to be a better way. At first, I thought I found it. Then I noticed something. Everyone was pretty much saying the same thing.

    The “third triber” gurus couldn’t be found too often in the forums. The recorded phone calls sounded no different than what someone else in the group was offering. In effect, the Third Tribe became the IM version of Cerberus, the Greek mythical multi-headed hound who guarded the gates of the underworld. Except now they guarded the gates of of IM unicorn-land where empty promises masqueraded as “expertise.”

    And speaking of expertise, I have to say I am especially happy to have found the Salty Droid, because this is the only place I’ve found that has criticized the “tribers,” especially Chris Brogan.

    I never understood the popularity of Brogan. In all of my research, I’ve not found anything that supports his credibility as a marketer. I remember at one point, he snidely criticized those who questioned him because he didn’t have a marketing degree, basically by claiming that gosh — look at how popular he is and that he’s making loads of money. (Well golly darn, Chris, guess you told them.)

    But as much as Brogan tries to come across as having the “right stuff,” he falls woefully short. His blog posts lack substance and real business smarts. And then he wonders why no one wants to join his silly Kitchen Table Companies paid membership site? (Again, for that mystical “only $47 per month!” fee…) Not to even mention paying him for blog topics.

    Funny how he touted Groupon in July 2009:

    http://www.chrisbrogan.com/groupon-clever-collective-buying-site/

    And then caved to attract buyers with his own “deal” in April 2011:

    http://www.chrisbrogan.com/kitchen-table-companies-at-daily-success-deals/

    You know what? People are becoming wise to scammer ways. They’re starting to question why in the hell they’re forking out hundreds of dollars for business expertise from someone who never ran a business.

    Now..

    ASD: (Life After Salty Droid. Otherwise known as “God, Yes. Give Me The Red Pill.”)

    I’m on Dave Navarro’s list. Out of the blue, found the “goodbye friends” email and thought, “Hmm. Haven’t heard from him in a long time.” He was another one I followed for a short time before deciding he wasn’t worth my money or time. But because I’m curious, I started to search to figure out why someone who was running around with the likes of Dunford (who I never liked and never followed) and being endorsed by Sonia Simone (who I do like but now think she’s either missing her BS detector or is in on the whole mess) — is leaving IM.

    I found the “Letters to Dave” site. And then I found Salty Droid.

    So I read off and on throughout the weekend, just going, “Wow. Wow, wow, wow.” I’m not surprised. Once you get on the crazy train of promised fame and fortune, propped up by the fake niceties of whomever are “the chosen few,” it’s damn near impossible to get off.

    My heart goes out to the families that have been torn apart because of this.

    But what is truly important – and I may be assuming here — is that this site is trying hard to make sure scammers are exposed so that the repercussions of these scams (abandonment of families, divorce, homelessness) do NOT happen.

    So, I gladly throw in my lot with all of you. Yes, I’m still building a business on the side, but again, I’ve researched to find real experts who are not (surprisingly) hyping themselves up on Twitter. In fact, quite a few of them are already dead.

    One in particular is David Ogilvy, who started his own ad agency in 1949. I’m reading his book, Ogilvy on Advertising. Guess what lesson he talks about first?

    Doing your homework.

    For any account his agency got, they did months of research to learn about the product. They did market research. Then they wrote the copy. (And it converted like crazy.) So yes, I’m learning about copywriting and marketing but not from some dunderhead who had to lie to get a waitressing job.

    Glad I found the Droid. His beeping is a lighthouse, warning (I hope) more and more people to stay away from the scammy-scummy shores of the IM unicorn-world.

    1. @Module_One, – Right on. For the life of me, I can’t figure out Brogan’s appeal. Why on earth would anyone follow him?

      “He (Chris Brogan) has 16 years of enterprise telecommunications and wireless experience prior to all this.”

      Unbelievable.

  24. The reason why I haven’t commented for a while is because I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. Slowly Walking’s story made me see things from a different perspective and I now I do not feel so sure about what I was saying before.

    I love marketing, and IM (the guru sleaze kind) is not the only kind. Sites like Marketing Sherpa and ClickZ have been around for many years educating business on the real non-icky marketing. There are also times when I really hate marketing, and what I hate the most about it is how it seems to make people cynical and how it can so easily cross the very thin line between helping someone and taking advantage of them. There is a big difference between identifying a problem that you can solve for a market and exploiting vulnerable people. And the latter is the last thing I would ever want to do. I would never want anyone to have a “Slowly Walking story” about me.

    So I am rethinking how I do things and am going to make changes to how I operate and market.

    And even though not everyone here was very nice to me, I feel that I owe you guys some thanks for what you’re doing here.

    1. @Michael Martine, no offense, but I had never heard of you before I visited the combox of this site. I think you sound like a thinking man who genuinely wants to do the right thing. I wish you the best toward your efforts.

      I understand what you’re saying about marketing and agree. I have a day job in marketing and for the most part, love it. I love exploring different ways to promote our services and also love creating content. I think where many IMers go off the rails is when 1) They lack expertise in the offline world 2) They do not produce any original content but instead swipe material from one another and slap their “brand” on it and 3) Hyping their “product” when they know deep down inside it’s a fraud. (Love that term, “frauduct.”)

      If you’re original and your products or services genuinely help people, then I believe you’ll find success. I also think going above and beyond the expectations of customer service will put you miles ahead of the pack. One of the most irritating things to me is when one of these popular IMers gladly take your money, but then are MIA if you have questions or concerns. I remembered emailing or Twittering some of them (and this was after I bought something from them…) and found it amazing that not only did I not hear ONE WORD from them — I didn’t even get a stinkin’ auto-responder email! Good night, people. If you’re going to sell stuff, you better damn well be available to your buying customers. That right there left a bad taste in my mouth.

      You, @Michael Martine, have a challenge. If you want to regain the trust of people who have been burned, you’re going to have to work harder toward being trustworthy. I think this includes absolutely stellar customer service, transparency, owning up publicly to any mistakes – hell, even writing a blog about how this whole house of cards is crashing down and you’re sorry for your part in building it.

      I still believe in ethical marketers, but it’s going to be even tougher now to be trusted as a marketer.

      But I’ll continue to look for originality and critical thinkers. Even if I have to go back to the 1800’s, I’ll find ’em. :-)

      P.S. Michael Arrington is a jerk.

      1. @Module_One, I was part of the conversation in the previous post. And your points are well-taken. Marketing is always a challenge. As others here have pointed out, scammers also work very hard. :) But the Force has a good side and a dark side.

    2. @Michael Martine, Now this is really strange. I was just moving my denture cup next to the computer and all of a sudden the screen lit up with Salty’s blog. Now that’s just Oh, I see what I did. My denture cup must have pushed up against the mouse and it made my computer come on like that. I guess I need to find another place for my denture cup.

      Well, anyway, I saw your comment Michael Martine. I’m Madge. It sounds like you may be doing some soul-searching. That’s always good as long as you stick with your own soul and don’t get into someone else’s soul’s business. You know the old saying, the proof is in the pudding, right? I don’t much like pudding, but it’s still a good saying.

      Now I went and typed your name in the Google search box, and I have some bad news I need to tell you about. There is a picture that came up and it has you in it, and that Brian Clark Copyblagger fella in it, and it’s the SAME picture. Meaning it’s not a separate picture of you and a separate picture of that Brian Clark just put side by side.

      The point I am trying to make Michael Martine is, that Brian Clark fella is what one of the nice ladies in our sewing circle would call a “REAL PRICK.” Now that’s just my opinion, cause I think that Brian Clark is a mean, ornery bastard unfit to be left alone with the raccoon in our back yard. If you get yourself all tied up with an ornery bastard like that, people aren’t going to want YOU around them or their racoons either.

      That’s something for you to think about Michael Martine. There’s another saying also, if you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas. Not all dogs have fleas of course, but many of them do, especially if they are no good internet marketers. I sure hope you don’t end up with fleas Michael Martine.

      I’m gonna cross some of my fingers for you Michael Martine. Don’t you go let Madge down now.

    3. @Michael Martine ::

      I thought @Slowly Waking’s story was about you. Was it not?

      Wasn’t it about a big sick machine that turns people into meat? A machine built with hapless cogs who subvert their own morality to push a unicorn dream on the hurting? A machine operated :: almost exclusively :: by psychopaths of epic proportions?

      Cause that’s what I thought it was about.

      What I like is seeing change :: not hearing people talk about change. So forgive my skepticism … but I am fucking skeptical.

      And I won’t be used in some anti-guru charade … just so you know.

      1. @SD, It is a big machine. A fun house made of smoke and mirrors where you see the same things reflected no matter where you turn.

        And your point about talk vs deeds is well-taken. I agree, and would never dream of “using” you in that way.

    4. @Michael Martine,

      So remarkablogger.com isn’t loading right now. Are we going to talk about that? (Or talk about it without talking about it?)

      1. @Lanna,

        It looks up from my end … although having to say your site is about “no bull shit blogging” screams of BULLSHIT … just saying.

        1. @RT,

          Oh, it’s back up. Just a temporary – possibly regional – nameserver glitch, I guess. I though maybe Michael had taken @SD’s “seeing change” comment to heart and pulled it down.

  25. The commenting system and trolling here is a joke. I wrote something about it:

    http://saltydroidhelp.wordpress.com

    And here’s the text to save you the effort of clicking.

    ***

    THE SALTY DROID – WHY YOU NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU COMMENT THERE

    This is a guide to help anyone considering posting at the site “The Salty Droid” (saltydroid.info)

    If you’ve come here without reading anything on The Salty Droid first, I suggest you don’t bother, and leave this site now.

    The Salty Droid will not enrich your life – far from it. Especially not the way you’ll get treated if you disagree with what you read, and decide to comment.

    If you’ve already been there or decide to go ahead anyway, take a look at the comments on the site with the points I mention here in mind – I think you’ll find them quite accurate.

    Not safe for work

    First, know that at any point in the stages listed below, the language is likely to be “colorful”, and you’re likely to be insulted personally, sometimes quite viciously. Many of the replies will include offensive language – regardless of how quiet or polite your tone is.

    Some of the attacks are deeply personal, and potentially very hurtful.

    Trolls

    At any stage you are likely to accused of being a “troll” – meaning your comments are there to deliberately incite further debate, simply for the pleasure of winding people up or wasting their time. More info here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet)

    Jason Jones, who writes and posts using the Salty Droid character, is an expert at the troll technique of baiting, and admits so himself, in an interview here:

    http://www.seobook.com/salty-droid-interview

    Interviewer: Have you ever thought about creating the ultimate guide to online baiting? Not “debating”, but “baiting?”

    Jason Jones: No, I could. That is something I have expertise on. No. Because what I’m doing, not to be immodest but it’s for professionals. You have to be careful talking like that. If you’re good enough at baiting, you can destroy someone. That’s not very nice. You should keep that mostly to yourself.

    So if you want to comment on The Salty Droid, make sure you’re up for it.

    Some things you should know:

    You’re wrong

    Expect to be disbelieved.

    Any comment that disagrees with the original post without offering details will be answered by “you’re wrong – prove it”

    Voting

    It will also be “voted down” by regular readers, and quickly hidden. Currently it seems that anything with a score of -4 or less disappears.

    People can still read the comment by clicking a link, but there are still two important effects:

    Regular readers assume hidden comments aren’t worth reading, so valid dissent is never even read.
    Hidden comments are harder to find on the page, since you can’t do text search to find them. This makes following arguments harder, and means that consistently posting when your comments are hidden is very tedious.

    It also seems to be possible to vote multiple times on the same comment, meaning that votes simply reflect the strength of feeling of the people voting, rather than the number of people voting.

    Newbies aren’t welcome

    Comments about the tone of the site, or scepticism about the claims, will be answered with contempt – if you’re not already part of the club and “in the know”, you’re not welcome.

    “The Sequence”

    There’s a fairly well-established sequence of replies given to all dissenting comments. Namely:

    – If you give details anonymously, you’ll be called a liar
    – If you give examples then if they include large numbers you’ll be called a liar and a scammer
    – If the numbers are modest you’ll be mocked for being a loser or a noob
    – If you do provide “evidence” in the form of a name or link, this will be scrutinised.

    Here are the options:

    – If your content includes any “internet marketing” or “make money online” content, you’ll initially be branded a scammer
    – If you protest and manage to convince people you’re genuine, you will be branded a lost soul and urged to close your site, get a real job and shut up
    – If your content is in another area, you’ll be told that your success has nothing to do with the IM or MMO techniques you’ve been “scammed” for – or that you aren’t as successful as you say you are, regardless of how modest your claims are
    – Make sure you can type

    Grammatical errors and typos will always be mercilessly ridiculed – after all, poor spelling and grammar is proof you’re a liar.

    If they decide you aren’t lying

    – If your content is deemed “clean” your credentials will be attacked – be it qualifications, experience or credibility
    – Any humorous, satirical or ironic content on your site or in your comments will be taken at absolutely face value, and probably quoted out of context.

    This in itself is ironic, since the entire tone of saltydroid.info is supposed to be tongue-in-cheek. After a while you may start to question whether this is really the case

    Asking for evidence

    – Requests for “proof” of the allegations on the site will be answered with calls to re-read the post you’re commenting on or it’s comments, or look through the archives.
    – If you do so, you’ll find more posts along the same lines, namely heavily edited videos or quotes from other sites claiming to prove that the people involved are evil scammers.

    (Some of them may be, for all I know, but the “evidence” is always thin and circumstantial, *always* out of context and always uses a set of other posts as “supporting evidence” – each of which inevitably turns out to be as unconvincing as the original)

    The Final Judgement

    If you’ve actually endured all the abuse, anger and sheer tedium of The Process above and are still commenting on the site, you will in the eyes of The Salty Droid and his crew, have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are a troll – see above.

    After all, if you don’t agree with them, you must be a liar, brainwashed, or insane, right ?

    Congratulations. You can now enjoy all of the above, with extra added abuse.

    Go for it !

    I hope this guide has given you an insight into what happens when you comment at The Salty Droid, and you may now make an informed decision as to whether you’d like to join the fun or not.

    Commenting here

    Comments are very welcome, however a valid email address is required and they are moderated – abuse of any kind will not be tolerated.

    Please also watch this short video first.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=cfwwHa-7Ux8

    And always remember:

    Never argue with an idiot, they’ll just drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.

    1. @for sucks fake,

      Well, “yvette” that was bizarre and psychotic. NOBODY writes something that insane unless they have something to hide, and skin in the game. You are obsessed AND a lunatic.

      You’re right about one thing though. Your comment is going to vanish, TROLL.

      1. @Bob,
        I am a bit confused about whether you are accusing me of making the website or just assigning the person who did my characteristics. If you don’t recall I was asked to leave last night which I did. Isn’t there some way you can check to see who made that website cause I can guarantee I’m not smart enough to figure it out. I must say, however, it did reflect how I felt about my experience here. I did leave a comment over there but I think I left it in the wrong place cause I simply can’t get the hang of this yet. I will tell you that I am Yvette Scott. I live in North Carolina. I have been a registered nurse for 15 years. I believe in life, love, fairness, truth and my country. I am a single mother to a 6 year old daughter who is way more internet savvy than I am which is what caused my concerns I expressed last night. I hadnt heard of Naomi or Dave until this past weekend and I was directed here by a friend (albeit misguided) who knew how much I love the pursuit of truth and fairness. I have no agenda or however you put it “skin in the game.” Let me know if you need anymore info to check those facts cause dude I have nothing to hide.

    2. @for sucks fake,

      Thank you for alerting me to Sivers’ videos — I followed the trail and found more of them by him and the fact that he was the founder and creator of CDBaby. The video you quoted was right on in many ways in this more and more uncaring world of ours. I will be the first to admit that many times I feel that posters here are unfairly beaten up and beaten down — but that seems to be the nature of this kind of site, and also the “tone”, thus that seems to be who it attracts a lot of — people who enjoy beating up and beating down people, even those who are innocent. Not that most of them are. But many, I have seen, are and are unfairly treated, as I have said. Just my opinion, from just an old fart who believes in treating people with respect and dignity — when they deserve it, of course.

      1. Well, isn’t that sleazy of “for sucks fake” to make a lunatic comment, and then another one below it pretending to be “Bonnie” and agreeing with her own first comment.

        This is a perfect example of the kind of internet marketing SNAKES that crawl around scamming and ripping people off.

        What deception. Thanks for the example for the world to see, troll.

        1. @SNAKE ALERT,

          Sorry, Snake Alert, but I “am” Bonnie, and I “did” write that post — and to clarify, I was “not” agreeing with the whole post, I was merely thanking the poster (I prefer not to quote the poster’s name because I am not crazy about foul language, no matter what their reason) for making me aware of Sivers and his videos, particularly, but also via the one quoted in his/her post on the blog (I’m not sure if the video shows up here — I followed the link to the blog and read it there, then did a search for the quoted video on YouTube and found more of Sivers’ videos in the same realm).

          Again, my response was merely to thank him/her for alerting me to Sivers’ video and videos, which I do agree with.

          1. If you were Bonnie, why would you “thank” someone who is clearly a bad-intentioned troll and who just posted a psycho comment totally TRASHING SD, this site, and the commenters here?

            This certainly doesn’t sound like “Bonnie”:

            “I feel that posters here are unfairly beaten up and beaten down — but that seems to be the nature of this kind of site, and also the “tone”, thus that seems to be who it attracts a lot of — people who enjoy beating up and beating down people, even those who are innocent.”

            There’s just no way that regular “Bonnie” would throw an anti-Salty troll a bone like that.

            I’m not buying it.

            Is lying Naomi upon us?

            1. @SNAKE ALERT,

              Give it up, Snake Alert. I AM Bonnie, and I was NOT agreeing with the post or poster — if you read my post carefully, you will see that what I was doing was merely thanking the poster for making me aware of Sivers, and for “agreeing” with the video he/she posted by Sivers, in that I believe that too many people are unfairly attacked and treated in life — and I said “clearly” that I believe that some of the posters here are as well — you seem to have ommitted the first part of my comment you quoted, being, “that many times” I feel that posters here are unfairly beaten up and beaten down — I did not say “always” or even “most of the time” — I said “many times”, and I also said that it was “my” opinion, from where I sit and what I see. I also said in my second post that I believe in treating people with respect and dignity — “when” they deserve it. I’m probably old enough to be your grandmother, Snake Alert, and I come from a different world and a different set of values, but that does not mean that they are still not relevant in today’s world — if only more people would adapt to those values and/or go back to them, we would probably find ourselves in a much kinder and caring world. But I won’t hold my breath — mostly because I don’t have that many left to take and I want to enjoy every single one of them. :) ;)

            2. @SNAKE ALERT ::

              It is Bonnie … she just liked the video. She also doesn’t like Louis C.K. :: who seems kinda tame compared to me … so it’s great that she’s hanging out here at all.

              @for sucks fake ::

              I’m sorry that your user experience was not all you’d hoped it would be. Our goal here at The Salty Droid is 100% non-paying-customer-satisfaction. Please contact Debbie in customer support and see if she can’t comp you some super bowl tickets or something for your trouble.

              @Yvette ::

              Give it a rest already … swim back over to the shallow end.

            3. @SD

              Debbie has been totally unresponsive to my requests all week … perhaps you can put in that request for super bowl tickets on my behalf :-)

        2. @SNAKE ALERT, Really? And you know this how? I would think it’s far more likely that YOU’RE @For Sucks Fake trying to ‘prove’ your point that Salty’s followers are S-O-O mean and unfair.

      2. @Bonnie,
        Hi. I checked out the Sivers’ video and I also liked it and agree with it. I also checked out Sivers’ site (just a bit). He seems ok, but if you sift through the massive number of books he claims to have read, you’ll see Richard Branson (did some scammy/dodgy stuff way back when, I gather) and Tim Ferris (Mr. Four Hour Work Week) mentioned in a long with all the others.

        I don’t know that Sivers’ is directly in on the Syndicate or anything–so far it looks like he’s more a general self-help guru.
        I think “guru-dom” in any/all of its forms is inherently flawed. I think I already knew that once, but forgot.


        Furry cows moo and decompress.

    3. @for sucks fake,

      A few thoughts…

      1. You have WAY too much time on your hands. I can’t imagine reading all that drivel, yet alone writing it.

      2. It’s obvious from your 2000+ word dissertation that you are very unhappy with Salty’s commenting system.

      3. Rather than just posting your comments here and your lame wordpress blog, you should also post them on Naomi’s IttyBiz blog. I am sure you will find many more people who agree with you over there, as opposed to here.

      4. On the other hand, scratch #3. She doesn’t allow dissenting opinions AT ALL and has completely ELIMINATED the ability to comment.

      1. @Sue,
        (And in anticipation of @for sucks fake’s counter-argument…)
        @for sucks fake,
        You might argue, @for sucks fake, that Naomi was forced to disable commenting because her site was being overwhelmed by negative comments from saltydroid.info readers. I have no idea if that’s a true statement or not, but facts don’t seem to matter much in these sorts of debates.

        So… IF it were the case that Naomi’s blog were overwhelmed by negative comments and she was therefore forced to turn off comments, ask yourself this: Why hasn’t SD had to turn off comments here? Why is simply suppressing them in a fold sufficient?

        saltydroid is a site where unfavorable comments are (sometimes) derided and ridiculed but not actually deleted.

        Oh, but I would love the opportunity to post comments on Naomi’s blog. I wouldn’t use any curse words or call her bad names–I’d just ask her some pointed, direct questions. I probably wouldn’t get very far. I expect she would deny, dodge, and cast dispersions. It would be great to have the opportunity though.

        Personally, I wish folks on this site wouldn’t use the name calling and curse words so much. I mean sure it’s fun. But IMHO, it’s a bad habit as it fosters knee-jerk reactions, makes you look like a dick, and totally shuts down the open flow of conversation.

        We should show the world we’re more civilized than the opposition.

        Disclaimer: Of course I’m still pretty new here, and I reserve the right to do a total 180 and curse like a sailor six months and many exposed scams down the road. ;-)


        Furry cows moo and decompress.

        1. @Wyrd (formerly lam3r) ::

          I think comments were closed on the ShittyBiz before I started … for sure they were on the new posts. There was already some dissent in the ranks {probably only on the home wrecking front}.

          The comments are actually mostly really interesting conversations by totally reasonable people. But … we have a very unique kind of troll thing going here. D-bags :: and their swarms of totally reliant affiliates and downlines :: take advantage of the open comment system to pose as all forms of neutrals in an effort to protect their monies. Those “conversations” must be quashed with mockery or moderation to make the real conversation possible. I don’t feel moderation is appropriate given the situation … so mockery it is.

          Welcome btw.

          1. @SD,

            Welcome btw.

            Thanks. Now that I’ve gotten over the initial shock, it’s good to be here. :-)

            And as @Barbara keeps digging up stuff sifting through Naomi’s old blog posts and comments, that woman (Naomi) just keeps looking ickier and ickier.


            Furry cows moo and decompress.

          1. @anonone ::

            True :: I do sometimes delete comments that attack the families of the victims.

            But :: I don’t delete the follow-up comments where shiteaters are whining about it like a little girl.

            1. @SD,

              Sometimes who is the victim and who is the crime is a matter of opinion. Sometimes the scammer is also the scammed. But you knew that.

              1. @anonone ::

                And sometimes the families are ALWAYS innocent of what I’m talking about here. And sometimes {like for instance ALWAYS} I do research before I start talking.

                And you can still go fuck yourself.

            2. @SD,

              Family members who put up very PUBLIC websites to publicize, comment on, and judge the private personal actions of other family members, AND WHO ALSO COME HERE TO COMMENT ON THEM have made themselves part of the discussion.

              So you can try to pretend that they are somehow outside the realm of discussion, but the reality is that they aren’t, by the virtue of their own very public actions.

              People who use the internet to smear other people, including family members, are despicable.

              But, hey, it is your website and thanks for letting me whine like a little girl.

            3. @anonone, Your only purpose here is to to defend bad people and attack good people. You’ve got evil intent. That makes you lower than dogshit. Salty gave you perfect advice: go fuck yourself.

    4. @for sucks fake :: Comments at Saltydroid are the tits! They are like >80% of the word count on any post.

      And actually, I think much of the advice you offer … while unnecessarily tainted by your boring tone of self-pity … is totally on-point and correct.

      It could pretty much apply to any satire / inflammatory site on the web :: “if you want to comment … make sure you’re up for it.

      ((( Obviously @Tim Brownson didn’t read your article :: and is henceforth downvoted … Unwelcome N00b Award! {/pwnd/} )))

      However, @for sucks fake, it is clear you are missing the forest for the trees here – as someone who was obviously on the receiving end of the local brand of merciless ridicule. Let me go out on a limb and guess you were probably even:

      “insulted personally … [perhaps] quite viciously.”

      Here’s the thing ::

      To me (and many here down-voting you), this shit is fucking-ROFLx10-highlarious!!!

      Think about it.

      If you come here:
      … and start disagreeing,
      … and making a big off-topic fuss about foul language, name-calling, fake robots, exposing sources, etc,
      … esp. under an ANONYMOUS moniker,
      … only reading 1 or 2 posts before you start voicing your {uninformed} opinion,
      … and then KEEP commenting & debating – even once scarred by the “colorful” antics & ridicule of the shark pool …

      … How do you think that huge emotional investment makes you look???

      HINT :: Maybe a little {Affiliate}d with the scammer on blast? Maybe like an actual scammer – with more than a little skin in the game?

      But don’t worry.

      It is normal for people in a closed belief system to rail uncontrollably against those who try to expose the flaws in their delusional “reality.”

      It’s why the cult indoctrination process is so damaging & complex to reverse!

      It’s also why it’s so fun / fascinating / funny to watch you crazy self-destructive masochist trolls … like Icarus moths attracted to a fiery light … getting burned even under your {seemingly} protective masks of anonymity!

      It’s even funnier when IMers / Life Coaches / etc arrive under your real names (thx-4-da-LULZ @Tim Brownson!) … like you are the extra-special exception – come here to prove there really IS a glowing unicorn turd among the pile! Super!

      I mean — any sane person — once seeing the sharks in the pool — would just skip the swim … right?

      Of course … the obviously not-sane n00bs trolling here are a different breed … Strangely addicted to the punishment delivered by @SD’s local humorists. It’s what makes this site so special!

      As a side note – for the incessant trolly-birdz chirping “Where’s the source” …

      You obviously have never heard of filing a defamation lawsuit ::

      defamation is a false and unprivileged statement of fact that is harmful to someone’s reputation, and published “with fault,” meaning as a result of negligence or malice.

      If @SD posted something here that was veritably untrue, don’t you think these frauds would be filing suit faster than you can say “call my attorney”?

      @SD isn’t being a dick when he says “You have to be careful talking like that. If you’re good enough at baiting, you can destroy someone.”

      He could have gone on to say :: If you’re not good enough at it … that “someone” will be yourself.

        1. @Tim Brownson,

          One of my all-time favorite songs is “You’re so Vain” by Carly Simon. It’s like you read @Doctor Mario’s post about the Icarus thing and the moth and melting wings and yet you still think this is all about you in particular instead of you as a specific example of a larger group. You feel that, at this point you have to defend yourself.

          But on this website, doing that–it’s like struggling when you’re in quicksand or a tarpit. (Side note: I forget if Mythbusters confirmed or busted the notion that struggling in quicksand makes you sink faster.)

          Your statement:


          @Doctor Mario, You mean any coward would avoid the swim, or anybody with stuff to hide.

          implies that you have nothing to hide. Let’s test that assertion.

          I checked out your site, and I also checked out how your site looked circa December of last year. In the past you listed Naomi as a testimonial and now you don’t, and so far I haven’t seen you speak on that topic here. But there are a lot of threads–so maybe I just missed it?

          I can understand removing Naomi as a testimonial, and I can understand that on your website you might not want to go out of your way to draw attention to the fact that–just maybe–Naomi wasn’t such a good person to be associated with after all.

          But for the record, are you right here willing to admit that you previously listed her as a testimonial and that you removed her testimonial?

          Would you care to state exactly why you removed her testimonial?

          It’s just, you know, I think that would be the sensible thing to do… since you don’t have anything to hide…


          Furry cows moo and decompress.

  26. Just suppose I have invented a new invention – say “A Fart On A Stick”.
    Now if I want to market this on the internet, how do I do that after reading all this? SD says I will be evil.

    Nobody will ever enjoy Fart on a Stick now.

    1. @Fart on a Stick ::

      … putting things on a stick is inherently evil.

      If God had wanted that … would he have given us cans?

  27. I’ve just got done reading a few of Naomi’s posts on her sites and the post here. She is to date, the most unpleasant character I’ve seen in the IM world.

    It seems her “business” angle is to be a complete psychopath and then tell people how great you are and dupe the most desperate for their last cent. At least some of the other scammers try to put on an act of cleanliness and human decency. She is very manipulative, but the thing is her level of sophistication is laughable. This woman seems the kind to dig through people’s trash and then lick her fingers after she’s done, so to speak.

    She comes across as not genuine, but also as nasty. You know the kind of nasty that picks their own nose and eats it in public with no clue about social etiquette or consideration for others and then wonders why people don’t want to be around them. She makes me physically nauseated from just reading her posts. Beauty is only skin deep, but this kind of ugliness shows through and through to the bone.

    Someone please call 911 and give this woman a flea dip and a rabies shot.

    1. @422,

      The IM world is littered with dirty sleazebags. The internet allows them to (at least for awhile) create a polyanna persona that makes them look for all the world like upstanding citizens.

      This isn’t limited to women, and my comment is not intended to be a slam against women in IM (or any field, for that matter) and I’m sure there are plenty of guys who fit the same profile… but I just wanted a way to link Naomi to Aloha Arleeen and the disgusting shit she pulled a few years back… when she was twitter spamming and stealing from the Special Olympics.

      http://saltydroid.info/aloha-arleen-and-goodbye/

      http://damontucker.com/2009/09/09/wheres-the-aloha/

      http://damontucker.com/2009/09/13/remind-me-never-to-rent-a-place-to-alohaarleen/

      1. @bohica, What a flashback.

        Who would ever have thought that polyanna-ish looking Aloha Arleen would have been ripping people off and stealing from the Special Olympics?

        Probably the same type of people who refuse to take a long, hard critical look at Naomi Dunford and question what comes out of her crass, vulgar, lying mouth.

    2. @422, Your comment deserves a special GOLD thumbs up for hitting the nail squarely on the head. What an accurate summation of what this “woman” is all about.

  28. Naomi Pimping Dave…HARD!!

    “Dave is a member of the new-business generation. This means he gives great service and does not turn into an asshole if you want a refund or need support. So buying from Dave is unscary and risk free. This is one of the big reasons he’s my partner on several projects — he gets it.”

    “So if you’re thinking you need a few more hours in the day to get your IttyBiz off the ground and tell your boss to go fuck himself, give Dave a shot.”

    “All of his products are on his UnSale Page. (They’re not on sale, per se. Just the price is going up because he appears to have only just realized that his prices are the cheapest in the industry and that’s really dumb.)”

    But has anyone actually received a refund from Dave? If you have, I’d like to hear from you. God knows Naomi turned into a giant asshole when the woman she stood up for online coaching wanted a refund.

    More from Naomi:

    “So I’m on IM with Dave — we’re doing a new hush-hush thing together and we do this every day under the guise of business development — and I’m complaining about it.”

    Hmmm, could that “hush-hush thing” have anything to do with leaving your marriages?

    Anyway, Naomi pimps Dave’s ebook “Becoming an Early Riser”. Basically it tells you to get out of bed at 5:00am everyday and you’ll have more time! Voila! And it’s only $27! But wait, there’s more; Naomi pimps Dave’s ebook 30 Hours a Day:

    “30 Hours a Day is for the people who are Very Serious About This Shit. This is not for the feint of heart.”

    Of course we know Naomi should have spelled it “faint”, as in losing consciousness briefly, not “feint” as a pretended attack or blow. But what am I saying? Naomi is a professional writer and editor who makes loads of money blogging, she wouldn’t misspell a common word. Except she did.

    Naomi:
    “This is the real deal. This is not some “I’m short on cash so maybe I’ll make an e-product”.

    Yikes! Naomi came awfully close to spilling the beans there.

    Naomi:
    “If you’re broke, you can’t afford this. (It’s $147.) If that’s the case, try Early Riser instead.”

    Because in Naomi’s world even if you’re broke she and Dave will gladly take your last $27 to tell you to get up early. And you will, because that’s when they wake you up at the homeless shelter. Thanks Naomi and Dave!

  29. Anyone who checked the videos on the amazon s3 (posted here in some of the comments on SD) can understand the scam naomi put up on videos. What they were thinking while making those videos ? that people who get into lists are fool ? you’re teaching how to fool your mailing list ? is that ethical naomi ? you’re teaching others how to play with your readers ? customers ? look at the tone, i just can’t stand and easily see through that. The way you presented these videos proves that you guys are scammers. Nobody even needs to listen to your side.

    I can give you some points on “the launch coach” —- dave, especially for productivity section, but for the rest, it’s not worth 7 bucks, though its nice presentation.

    Ironically both dave and naomi are saying that you should not name your list as “newsletters” – and still they’re using that name on one of the list. Like this you can pick up many things from these wanna-be gurus. Read SD’s posts first and then check these videos, then if you’re in B-team you’ll understand where you’re wrong.

    Seriously, thanks to whatever drama happened between these two guys, atleast people are now waking up against these scam IM’ers and bloggers in third tribe, problogger community and many other who are ripping off readers by selling them fake stuff.

    My Scam List –

    Brian Clark
    Naomi Dunford
    Dave N
    Christ Brogan
    Sonia Simone
    Yaro Stark
    Tyron Shum
    Pat Flynn
    David Risley
    Kevin Riley (warrifor forum scam king)
    Steven wagenheim
    Sockpuppet Alexa Smith
    Paul myres

    ….and goes on.. anyone falling for these guys.. beware..

    1. @Spiderman, here’s what I finally started to notice. I’m on many lists, operated by some of the ones you mentioned.

      What gets me is this belief they have that “their” products will be happily snapped up by the same list their fellow IMers are using. After awhile, all the information starts to blend into each other. No one is saying anything original. It’s just the same regurgitated crap that (as others have pointed out) can be found on the Internet for free. And they think their customers aren’t noticing?!

      And the “paid communities?” Those I really loathe. What is the point? It’s actually kind of creepy, now that I think of it. A community surrounding one person, the “tribe leader.” Yuck. It’s just another opportunity to make an idol out of that person and before you know it, you have a Jim Jones situation.

      This year has been very eye-opening for me. First it started with Death Ray, then a well-known figure in my religion turned out to be a fraud, then another well-known person I admired ended up showing his true colors… and now Dave Navarro and the scatter-brained, light-weight Naomi. It’s just that now that everything happened at once, I have a very clear picture of these manipulators.

      It’s gotten to the point where I’m not sure if I should admire anyone.

      1. @Module_One,

        If I might interject (and please feel free to ignore me, that’s cool too):

        On the same-ness of the IM scammers’ message:
        Yes. And be wary again. Just when you think you’ve got them all worked out, another slightly modified strain of their meme-virus will come along. That is to say–once you get used to, and can easily ignore the (now old) style marketing pages with all the big, yellow flashy letters, then in comes Third Tribe or some other scammy thing. And at first it will appear to be New and Different. But then you’ll discover that it is, yet again, the Same Damn Thing. Just dressed up in a trendier web page.

        On to admire or not to admire:
        I think admiring people is ok. But whenever you find yourself getting too much in awe of any one person (or organization), you need to take a step back and de-infatuate yourself soon.

        Because no person is perfect. No organization is without flaw or error. If you think you’ve found someone who is an exception then that means your infatuation hasn’t worn off with respect to that person yet. There is an old saying that goes: “Never meet your heroes.”


        Furry cows moo and decompress.

      2. @Module_One, The paid community forums are the worst kind of ripoff because the gurus are absent. I left Darren Rowse’s paid forum because he didn’t promise what he delivered. He wasn’t there and left some clueless bimbo in charge. I tried 3T too but where’s Brogan? Where’s Clark? Simone is there sometimes but no other founders are. I don’t want to pay a buttpile of money for advice from people just like me. I’m never paying to join another community. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

        1. @SpideySenses, and the gurus are all in the upstream forums bitching because the upstream founders are absent and they can only get advice from each other! “Well, I’m not paying for advice from Dunford! I want a refund.”

          The upstream founders are off in a private torrent site, posting questions to the forum like, “So… we have every infoproduct ever made in here for free. Anybody actually making any money?”

        2. @SpideySenses,

          For what it’s worth, Brogan, Clark and Sonia have all done Q&A calls very recently, all have been posting in the forums and Chris G is everywhere. If that’s what you think it’s all about.

      3. @Module_One, it’s okay to admire great people doing great things. But only if they don’t have a publicist. Or a web site.

        I admire a friend of mine who’s a dad with five kids because he’s really good at it and he didn’t have a dad.

        I admire some religious figures– usually ones that have been dead for a few decades if not hundreds of years. Dietrich Bonhoeffer comes to mind.

        For most public figures, I just try to enjoy them. Then if they flame out, I don’t have to stop enjoying them.

        1. @Slowly Waking, @Wyrd, @SpideySenses, thanks for your comments. As I’ve said, this has been the year of disillusionment/re-alignment/realistic expectations for me.

          I do think there are plenty of people to admire. But most of them aren’t charging $497 for one hour of coaching. ;-)

          I like Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He was amazing.

          @A triber, I don’t know what’s going on in the 3T forums now, but I joined when it first started. I was in there for 3 months. During that time, I didn’t see “the founders” comment too often. And the calls? They were vanilla. Nothing I hadn’t heard already from their blogs. I think you’d be better off networking with a live business group (there are plenty of FREE Meetups around…) than some paid membership site that will cost you around $500 a year. Think of what you could do with that extra $500. Oh, I know. Pay for the membership of a business referral group and still have change left over — plus… you’d get REAL business.

          I’m not sure how many on this site have cranked out an ROI for these IM investments but I’d be very curious to see the results. So many IMers claim, “You’ll make back your investment within a month!” Or some such. Interesting that no one puts a guarantee on that.

          @SpideySenses, I was in Darren’s silly forum for awhile, too. Got in at the very beginning (for something like $1 a month) but didn’t see him around much, either. After awhile, I was like, “What in the hell am I doing? This is stupid. I’m not even visiting this forum.”

          Tell you what — I’ve only learned about Salty Droid in less than a week and have gotten more value out of the comments here than I ever did at one of those forums.

          People pay those outrageous monthly fees to get someone like Brian Clark or Chris Brogan to notice them and give them advice. How often does that happen? Methinks not often enough.

          @Slowly Waking, that video was epic! He should be the patron saint of IMers. Winning!

  30. Hai guise,

    Thanks to everyone for the vote ups, and thanks to @SD for quoting me. I’m so excited to see my writing on a gen-u-wine blog that I’m gonna hafta add this to my credentials:

    Lanna O., Copywriter, as featured on The Salty Droid!

    Oh, wait, that probably won’t get me the right kind of attention.

    Anyways, in all cereal-ness, like @Michael Martine, I haven’t commented for a while because I’ve been thinking. (I’ve also been doing what us 5s are supposed to do – projects for paying clients.) I’ve been thinking about @Slowly Waking’s recommendations for trying to pry some friends loose from these scams.

    I don’t want to expose my or my clients’ reputations to any sleazy maneuvers, so I don’t think I can ask for these friends’ help, try it and then keep asking why it isn’t working. I’m going to have to try the “How’s that workin’ for ya?” approach. Baby steps, like @Slowly Waking says.

  31. What a pisser that I can’t reply under Salty, but nevertheless I’ll do it here.

    I did co-author a book called How To Be Rich and Happy with John Strelecky and we already sold the rights into Netherlands, German, France and China and the book is due out in all 4 countries next year.

    However in the US we are selling it on our website and ALL the money we make (it actually says 90% on the site, but the reality is its over 100% because we are both out of pocket) goes into producing free copies for good causes. To date we have given almost $150k worth of books away to charities all over the US. We even donated some to the troops in Afghanistan for Christmas.

    In the US we are giving the book away to good causes and tomorrow I’m driving 200 miles (on my time and with my gas) each way to deliver and sign 500 copies of the book to a University in Fort Myers.

    We could sell the rights into the US easily and make a nice bundle of cash, but we won’t because then we won’t be able to give it away, and we even recently turned down an offer from one of the UK’s biggest publishers because we didn’t want the English ebook version to get back into the US.

    I coach cuz I fucking love it, I love helping people and I’m good at it. I make shit money because I’m crap at selling my other books and I only ever see a maximum of 3 clients per day.

    I don’t own my own home, I have no 401k or savings, we live hand to mouth, but I don’t care because it’s why I’m here on this earth. I used to make great money in sales and it sucked.

    How To Be Rich and Happy isn’t about rich in the financial self it’s about doing what you love and feeling rich in spirit. When I had loads of money I felt empty and worried about it all the time, now I have little I’m a pretty happy and content person.

    My client testimonials (and I have plenty that aren’t even on the site) are genuine. They are real people and just because you want to jump to assumptions that because I worked in sales before I started coaching I can’t do it, so be it.

    The reality is I have a load of experience, a load of training, a load of happy clients and a that’s all I need. I really don’t need your approval. Go and dig around mate, but you are wasting your time, because all my skeletons are out in the open.

    Yes I do know JBT, and shock horror, I actually like the guy, even though to be fair I’ve never met him or used any of his products. So maybe he eats babies in his spare time.

    I also know Naomi Dunford (never met her either), but I’m not going to comment on her because enough has been said. I know who Dave Navarro is, but I don’t know the guy per se and wouldn’t recognize him if he walked into a bar.

    I have never been to a blogging convention and I see myself as a coach that blogs rather than a blogger that coaches, so my main interaction with these people is actually via Twitter.

    If you want to hang me because I know some people who you don’t like, well knock yourself out fella. Next we should expose all the families of serial killers and rapists for not knowing, right?

    I had no idea that ND was doing what she was doing. I have no idea wtf happens in the 3rd Tribe as I’ve never been a member. I don’t know Chris Brogan, Brian Clark or Darren Rowse although Sonia Simone does occasionally say hi on Twitter so I guess I’m culpable there even though I don’t really know the woman.

    I have never bought any of the info products talked about on here and I have never affiliated with any of the people mentioned here. I almost always turn affiliate offers down unless I’m intimate with the product. Other than Amazon I bet I don’t do more than 2 a year and they are usually self development products that I have used.

    Full disclosure, I also know Michale Martine better than any of them and he is one of the most ethical people I have worked with. He’s just a stand up good guy and I don’t give a crap what anybody else thinks. He’s helped me tremendously with my business and I even offered to go into bat for him when you first attacked him, but he didn’t want me to get dragged in.

    Not that you will believe me, but MM actually cares very much about the work he does, unlike some of the others.

    You’re lumping way too many people together here and you’re presuming everybody is guilty until they prove themselves innocent. Is that how US justice works?

    Maybe I should take the advice of a blog reader who unhappy that I made a joke about Sarah Palin on my blog 2 or 3 years ago said “Why don’t you fuck off back to England you Limey Queen loving bastard?”

    1. @Tim Brownson,

      I was introduced to the concept of life coaching by one of my mentors, a psychology professor who has served on multiple Presidential committees. One of her PhD graduates had opened a life coaching practice, which she explained as “therapy for the well.” In this context, I understand and appreciate life coaching as a legitimate thing – helping people see and eliminate the behavioral tics that limit their success, but don’t even come close to qualifying them for a “borderline personality disorder” diagnosis.

      You, however, Tim Brownson, you are one Landmark Education event away from receiving a free unicorn saddle with purchase.

      1. @Lanna, So profound. You slayed me with your amazing logic and I feel so foolish now.

        Never done Landmark and never will, but amazingly enough I have had clients that did and every single one (about 5 from memory) enjoyed the process if not their insane heavy sales techniques.

        Presumably you have done it and that’s why you feel able to comment on it.

        1. @Tim Brownson, You should demand a refund from whoever is supplying you with that low grade snide. Whatever you pay for it is too much.

          Lose the defensive posture and consider the water you swim in. It’s infested with sharks, and there have been a lot of shark bites lately. People are wary. You chose to swim in that water, so you should expect a higher than average level of cynicism, and more demand for proof that you are not just another scammer.

          That is the reality of where YOU chose to be. Lamenting it with a defensive posture or returning skeptical fire is a foolish response. If you aren’t always being proactive at keeping a clearly observable, substantial divide between yourself and anyone even on the supporting periphery of the shark industry, then there is really no available defense. You are going to get what they get.

          Some people won’t like your personality, or what you have to say, and that’s that. Unfortunately, that’s also the most common self-delusion of people who’ve suddenly grown a dorsal fin. Swimming in those waters can do that. Hope it doesn’t creep up on you.

          1. @Sam the Shrubbist, WTF are you talking about? What water? I interact with hundreds of people and as a rule I trust them until I learn to do otherwise.

            I know most of these people through casual Twitter conversations and some chats via phone. I have not met in person ONE SINGLE person mentioned in this. They are not close friends they are casual acquaintances you muppet.

            I can’t vet every person I ever interact with and neither can you. I have no doubt you know unscrupulous people, because guess what, do does EVERYBODY.

            I’ll drop the defensive stance when you get off you high moral horse St Sam, fair enough?

            1. @Tim Brownson,

              Maybe you should write a book called “How to be NOT rich and scrappy,” asshole. That sounds more like your range.

              You can’t even turn off your raging ego for a brief moment on a public forum. Pathetic.

              Seeing your “public persona,” I’d hate to be exposed to your “private persona.”

              “How To Be Rich and Happy isn’t about rich in the financial self it’s about doing what you love and feeling rich in spirit.”

              You’re like turd punch. The punch sounds good, but there’s still that turd in it.

          2. @Sam the Shrubbist,

            Much the same can be said for any industry. There’s a lot of unethical lawyers, doctors, real estate agents, financial advisors, life coaches, marketers, psychologists, executives. I could be here all day rattling off professions in which someone got recently bitten.

            In the greater scheme of things I don’t think the IM industry has any real importance, or weight in terms of ‘sharks’. More people are affected by racking up university debts they can’t pay back. Law students are out there committing suicide over it. More people are affected by the lies told by politicians.

            At the end of the day it comes back to rules of business you can’t violate. Only 5% of people who ever do any one thing will succeed in terms of common measurements of success. This has been recognized since at least the early 20th century (Earl Nightingale mentioned it in Lead the Field), and probably before then, too. I never fell for IM instant success BS because I had some good mentors in my early 20s who told me all this. Success takes work, uncommon talent, and a sound appreciation of the high risks.

            But for the 95% who fail, or make a stupid decision somewhere along the lines, then all they can do is just dust themselves off and try again. Hopefully they’ll have the means to do so.

            1. @Patrick, Earl Nightingale was a broadcaster of dubious self-help pop, not an authority on much of anything, but he did build an early infomarketing empire based.

              For evidence, I offer some publications from Nightingale-Conant:

              (1)Lots of Napoleon Hill stuff, whose New Thought tome “Think and Grow Rich” is a scammer’s bible. Hill died poor.

              (2)”The Missing Secret” by Joe Vitale. Ahem.

              (3)“Wealth Without a Job,” by Andy Fuehl. The description: “The author of this system, Andy Fuehl, was downsized and unemployed after devoting over 15 years to corporate America. Yet, he became a Millionaire in Less than THREE years as a result of using the accelerated subconscious reprogramming technology and specific strategies, behaviors, and beliefs of the ultra-wealthy that you’ll be using in this system.” Bullet point: “Why a job is much riskier than being in your own business.”

              Not listing more; I feel sick just looking at that last one. Everything in your post’s first part is fairly common as a smokescreen to make IM seem like not the sharkpool it most certainly is, buffed up by a performed reasonable-seemingness. Comparing systemic corruptions in politics or business, or the solvable problem of student loan debt, to IM is a category error. But the “rules of business you can’t violate” rain magical fairy success dust on the chosen 5%, so you should be good.

    2. @Tim Brownson ::

      So you coach other people on how to live their lives :: and you take their money for that :: yet you yourself can’t recognize a raging psycho who’s standing right next to you? With all your “experience” you can’t recognize a whole den of thieves? It was all just a mistake I suppose … you don’t have time to do your due diligence because your so busy loving life coaching and being poor?

      “The reality is I have a load of experience, a load of training, a load of happy clients and a that’s all I need. I really don’t need your approval. Go and dig around mate, but you are wasting your time, because all my skeletons are out in the open.”

      Oh but I already dug around … mate. It’s best to do that up front. Been digging around for more than a year :: and now here I am.

      You’re lumping way too many people together here and you’re presuming everybody is guilty until they prove themselves innocent. Is that how US justice works?

      Is this the US justice system? Cause I was under the impression that it was a satire blog :: and that I could say and think whatever the fuck I want. Uncomfortable isn’t it?

      1. @SD, Who was this raging psycho stood next to me? I have NEVER met any of these people.

        I’m a Life Coach not a fucking mind reader, how do you expect I spot these ‘psychos’?

        Do you know the BEST body language/lie spotting ‘gurus’ in the world barely get to a 60% success rate? In fact 60% os considered brilliant – you must know this being an attorney.

        But you expect me to spot every bullshitter under the sun through occasional twitter interactions and a handful of phone calls?

        Tough crowd.

        And no, it’s not fucking uncomfortable at all, I’m having a nice glass of Sauvignon Blanc, watching some TV and chatting to some metal guy somewhere in cyber space.

        You fucking wish I was uncomfortable, but I’m totally confident that the work I do (including hundreds of hours of pro bono coaching) is to help people and improve the quality of their lives. Not humiliate them and fuck them over to get readers.

        Can you say the same?

        1. @Tim Brownson, Who pray tell would tolerate your magical pro bono “coaching” knowing it came with YOU attached? Perhaps they should demand a refund – for their time.

          1. @T.J., Genius! And not at all predictable. You should be script writing for Saturday Night Live!

            Just because you don’t know me, don’t know what I can do and haven’t worked with me, don’t let that stop you from offering a half-assed opinion based on nothing but a blog comment or two.

            Now that’s what I call open-minded!

            1. @Tim Brownson, My opinion is based on what comes out of your mouth. And assuming that your coaching also comes out of your mouth, and not say, your ass, who would want more of that shit?

        2. @Tim Brownson ::

          Do you :: or do you not :: have a lifetime of sales experience? If the answer is yes … then yes … I’d expect that you’d be especially adept at spotting just the sort of pathologies that Naomi has long been displaying … they’d be right in your wheelhouse.

          If I’m talking to a reporter about this stuff … I have to explain every single detail. If I talk to old salesman type … I have to explain no details.

          I’d also expect that if you’re holding yourself out as an example or leader :: that you’d take the time to scrutinize your possible associations closely … especially your public ones. So I’d say “I’m not a fucking mind reader” is a completely unsatisfactory answer.

          You know what you and I have going for us that expert lie detectors with 40% fail rates don’t? Months and months to think about it … the ability to talk to other people in the community {and listen!} … access to a long term record of someone’s actions and associations … shit like that.

          And did you seriously just make conspicuous mention of you charitableness … twice? So your not on the defensive then … your totally confident in your coaching and your Sauvignon Blanc … you just happen to love talking about how great and giving you are?

          It’s really nice of you to give your book to people in need. You’re like the Gideons. I know if I was in need :: like the family that Dave Navarro left behind :: I’d want someone to give me a book called How to be Rich and Happy: Whatever you want, Whenever you want. Either that or some “pro bono life coaching” which I think used to be called “friendship” back before unicorns existed.

          I’m totally confident that the work I do (including hundreds of hours of pro bono coaching) is to help people and improve the quality of their lives. Not humiliate them and fuck them over to get readers.

          Can you say the same?

          I can say it’s not about getting readers … it’s much more serious than that. Enjoy your fucking wine Tim.

          1. @SD, “pro bono life coaching” I thought was called a “loss leader?”

            Defending poor defenseless lady business bloggers is “white knighting,” that I know.

            And TB’s posts here are “self-destructive behavior,” especially when one’s business is online and linked to one’s name. Odd for a life coach.

            1. @Slowly Waking, Notice who I haven’t defended? The people that the whole thing is about? I think that has got lost in the piling on, people are now presuming I am supporting the main protagonists

              I have no issue with defending people if I think they are getting short shrift and Michael and Ali were imho. Jade did a good enough job on her own, and kudos to her.

            2. @Tim Brownson, no, I haven’t noticed. I’ve just seen a lot of you cheerfully rolling in the mud with trolls, with occasional podium-thumping.

            3. @Tim Brownson ::

              Who gives a fuck if you haven’t defended them? How could anyone possibly? That’s another not-notch on your ethics belt.

              None of these Naomi posts are about Naomi :: just like none of the Irwin posts are about Irwin :: and none of the Belcher posts are about Belcher.

              It’s ALL about the machine that allows all these sick fucks to feed on their fellow humans … and about the fucking delusions … and about the culture of lies and posturing that is far more destructive than the price tags.

              When is NOW the right time to get rich and happy? … whatever you want … whenever you want … dot dot dot … I’m fucking poor and living from shill to shill.

              You invited yourself to my game … you lied on my fucking page.

              Good luck.

      2. @Slowly Waking: I couldn’t reply directly to your September 9th, 2011 at 2:36 am comment due to too much nesting (sounds like a bird problem, doesn’t it?), but I’m hoping this appears near enough to it to make sense. There’s one other [former] Nightingale-Conant rockstar you didn’t mention: Kevin True-dough. Here’s a little anecdote on the Straight Dope forum, from someone who worked at N/C back when True-dough was a big part of their operation:

        http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showpost.php?p=12186050&postcount=2

        I realize, though, that you probably felt you had to cut the list short due to nausea. I quite understand.

    3. @Tim Brownson,

      Might I suggest you refine the copy on your website to clarify, as you have done so here, that your book is not about becoming financially rich, but merely feeling rich in spirit? Oddly enough, every mention of becoming “rich” on your site is unqualified. Perhaps you are unfamiliar with American English, but we Yanks would read “rich” in that context as having lots of cold hard cash (which you admit you do not … adding this detail would go a long way toward clearing up this confusion…my quick tip of the day! No charge!). I’m sure you had no intention of misleading potential customers, so I look forward to reviewing your revised site!

      1. @, It does say that on the HTBRAH site. It clearly says it’s not a get rick quick book, if you actually bother to look.

        And the title was the idea of my co-author and he’s American, so I guess he knew that. I came on as co-author after the book was already started and the title agreed upon.

        1. @Tim Brownson,

          I did bother to look at your site. According to standardized tests, my reading comprehension is extremely high/accurate (99th percentile woot!). Describing your book as “not a get rich quick book” does nothing to dispel the illusion that your book is a book about becoming financially rich. In fact it implies that your book IS about getting rich, just in a way that does not involve ethically questionable shortcuts.

          So how long will it take for you to fix this error which will most certainly mislead potential customers into thinking your book is something it is not? Should I not hold my breath?

          1. @Shorty (who accidentally posted as annonymous — stupid iPad),

            In 2 years we haven’t had a single complaint about the copy on the website being misleading. We have also had one return (and that was an ebook), so no I’m not going to change the copy.

            I actually don’t like the title and it’s on record that I tried to persuade John to change it, but it was his project and he didn’t want to. So I’m not passing any blame because now I’m behind it.

    4. @Tim Brownson,

      As I read through your post, I thought, gee, maybe this guy is actually genuine, and not trying to scam anyone in spite of his lack of humility (who the hell gives to charities from the goodness of their heart and then brags about it?)

      But when you wrote: “Full disclosure, ….. (yada, yada, yada)”, and you actually coached the woman who has been the topic of the last 2 blogs, and then you failed to mention this fact. At present, in my eyes, you have zero credibility.

      And if confidentiality was your excuse, (as in, it is not ethical for doctors or “life coaches” to divulge who their patient/clients are), then your credibility is even lower than zero because then you are a hypocrite. This site is about exposes, and surely you must have been smart enough to know that this information would come out.

      If you have nothing to hide, and you believe in full disclosure, did you in part, come here on this site to help drive traffic to your own site and increase your own business?

      (Like Yvette, I should be swimming in the shallow end, but I’m adventurous. I don’t care).

      1. @KG, Yeh right, there are people queuing up to hire me after coming over from here. That’s exactly why I did it.

        And I wasn’t bragging it about it, I was merely trying to point out that scamming people usually involves some financial gain so I’m a pretty fucking crap scammer to be giving stuff away.

        1. @Tim Brownson,

          so I’m a pretty fucking crap scammer to be giving stuff away.

          I don’t think you’re a bad person. But I do think you’re kidding or fooling yourself. And I think you’ve been doing it for a long time. Normally, I wouldn’t go out of my way to call someone to task on that. But you. came here.

          You say you give stuff away, but what do you actually give people? Advice and a free copy of your book?

          You pump up your level of authority on “life coaching” by claiming you have lots of experience at it. How can anybody independently verify this vague claim? I mean, I suppose we can check to see how long you’ve been calling yourself a “life coach” and go with that. Are there any accredited institutes of higher education that offer degrees in “life coaching”?

          It seems like basically anybody could put up a website and claim to be a “life coach”. Then, after they had the website up for a few years, they could say they had “years of experience” at life coaching.

          Check this out:

          Wyrd: the Breathing Expert

          I’ve got YEARS of experience at breathing air. My heartrate is a little higher than the average, so by extrapolating my breaths per minute over the years I’ve done a lot more breathing than the average person of comparable age. Needless to say, I’ve got way more breathing experience than all the people who are younger than me.

          Therefore, if you feel your breathing experience could stand to have some coaching tips, call me! For a reasonable fee (not anything outrageous like those IM scammers would charge you), I will coach you to better breathing!

          I mean it’s great that you’re not actively trying to scam people out of all their money. It’s great that you feel good about what you’re doing and that you help other people feel good too. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that what you’re doing is really all that great. You are only narrowly avoiding making false promises to people that you can’t really keep. Please keep that in mind.


          Furry cows moo and decompress.

            1. @,

              As you can see, @Blake is a big fan of my breath coaching–so much so that he happily provided a testimonial. Any resemblance between his testimonial and Naomi’s testimonial to @Tim Brownson is purely coincidental I’m sure.

              (disclosure because I wouldn’t want to mis-characterize @Tim Brownson–he has removed Naomi’s testimonial and has stated somewhere(s) here in the comments that the reason he removed it is because of all the poop @SD has dug up on Naomi.)

              Btw, did I mention I’ve also got an eBook on the joys of breathing?

              Also, once you’ve got the basics of Good Breathing down you can upsell into the expert level:
              BREATHARIANISM.


              Furry cows moo and decompress.

          1. @Wyrd (formerly Iam3r),

            My testimonial:

            “It is hard to talk about any breathing coach without using those words. You know the words. The breathy words. Inhale. Exhale. Focus. They’re boring words and they have been thrown around so much that they don’t mean anything anymore. So I’ll try to say what you need to hear without using the words that will make you retch.
            Wyrd knows what’s important to YOU. Not the Sunday Best version of what’s important. What’s actually important. He will kick your ass when you forget how to breathe and hold your hand when you’re hyperventilating. He will make you laugh and let you cry (while brething appropriately.) He will quote Breathless and Breath of Fire and Salty Droid and probably Slowly Waking. He is forceful and gentle and incredibly, incredibly kind. I would trust him with my breathing.”

          2. @Wyrd (formerly Iam3r), You’re absolutely right, anybody can call them a Life Coach and I have have posts going back 3 or 4 years saying I personally think that is wrong and it needs addressing by government.

            The whole industry is like the wild west and is fucked up with way too many untrained and bad coaches. I can offer testimonials going back almost 7 years, and I can show proof of training and I have a track record that is fairly easy to substantiate.

            BTW, I pretty much tell every client I cannot promise ANYTHING. I have blogged about that too. I have blogged about when I have made errors, because EVERY coach makes mistakes and I’m no exception, It’s not a cookie cutter approach.

            Anybody that checks my blog archive can se I have been pretty transparent about what I do and why I do it. My biggest pet peeves are Life Coaches that pretend their life is perfect and others that claim mindset is all that matters.

            In fact my last post (not the guest post on Thursday) was called Let’s Stop The Self Development Bullshit, Shall We? which is about happy smiley types that don’t recognize some people have a shit life and it’s not their fault.

            1. @Tim Brownson,

              What kind of licensing and training would you suggest?

              What kind of training have you had?

              What kind of and how much training do you think someone would have to have before they ought to be called a “life coach”?

              I confess I’m highly skeptical that there is any such thing as “good training to be a life coach”, but you’ve apparently spent many years “coaching” people officially as it were, so in your opinion: what would regulated “life coaching” look like?


              Furry cows moo and decompress.

        2. @Tim Brownson,

          The last time I looked, the post I’m replying to had a 3+ vote. Therefore, there are some people who read this site that think what you have to say is good. The traffic to Salty Droid is voluminous. I would think that you’d get some decent business as a result of this site.

          Both good and bad publicity, is still publicity. There are many people who read this site that continue to be supporters of those who have been exposed.

          It’s not a stretch to wonder if it is for financial gain that you write here. I just couldn’t figure out your motivation for writing, when you said you were into full disclosure, then I found out that this wasn’t true. Then you said that it was a matter of professional confidentiality, then I wondered why you would risk breaching that confidentiality (as far as who your client was since we all know now). You also said it was to support a friend who was ethical and to go to bat for him.

          It’s hard to go to bat for someone when you appear to have 2 strikes yourself.

          Maybe 3 strikes, because you can tell someone is bragging when they go into the details of their own “hero” story. You can make your point without telling us the lengths you’ve gone to, to help save the world.

      2. @KG,
        Since you placed my name in your post I am going to respond. To me, claiming confidentiality does not make Tim a hypocrite, it gives him integrity. That is something I admire. Actually I will go as far to say that all of us here in the shallow end admire.

        1. @Yvette from the shallow end,

          Hi Yvette. I guess it’s just you and me in the shallow end. I don’t see many others swimming in the baby pool.

          Tim is absolutely a hypocrite. He says that the reason he didn’t divulge the fact that he was ND’s “life coach” was due to confidentiality. He was outed by SD. Then he admitted to it. Then he did what is a no-no to all licensed practitioners that help people (as in doctors, nurses, psychologists, etc., etc.)

          He told us that he had 4 sessions with the woman 2 years ago, and that it was not business-related, but was personal-related coaching. This is on a site read by thousands of people.

          THAT was the second breach of confidentiality. (The first being, the admission of seeing a specific client). When you claim something do be true (as in professional confidentiality), then breach it, there is no integrity there.

          If TB had integrity, he would have left this site after his first post and not owned up to being outed, and he most certainly would not have given more information. But I see he is gone now, so maybe he regrets his behaviour since he dug his lack of integrity hole even bigger.

          If I believed in life coaches, he is someone I would not hire. And to use SD’s line, I have my own pro-bono life coach. He’s called “friend” and husband.

          1. @KG,
            You are wrong. There are way more people in the shallow end that have just observed and not commented. In fact I would say the majority of the traffic this site has seen has been observers here because it is billed as a site to find the truth. The evil doers, the ones that allegedly committed crimes against the little man may have visited but there would be no reason to hang out. A few of the people who believe in what they do and are doing it out of a desire of helping people, like Tim Brownson came, spoke out and no doubt have moved on. The most traffic came from those on the outskirts of this, people struggling to survive, to feed their kids, you know, the little people you are trying to help. A few of those little people may have found a home here with these people because misery breeds misery and its comfortable to some. The majority found as I did a site that is as fraudulent as the scammers it tries to expose filled with bitter, angry, hateful people all worshiping at the feet of a tin god, Jason Jones. For those of you respond to this or not or vote this down, don’t do it for my sake. I won’t be giving this site any more traffic so I won’t see it. For those who are observing and get what I’m saying I’m not leaving hurt or scarred or even angry. I’m just not staying in an environment that makes me feel as if I need a shower every time I happen into it. Peace out.

            1. @Yvette Scott,

              That’s definitely one perspective.

              I don’t see it that way. For me, (and perhaps others, I don’t know), I read this site because I wonder if fraud and scamming is a black and white thing. Like, can a person be a decent person, but a teensy bit fraudulent? Is it sort of like being half-pregnant? (Well in fact, a partial molar pregnancy from a hydatiform mole is like being half-pregnant). So I wonder if it can be so, with fraud.

              If I understand you correctly, you take issue with the delivery of information that exposes fraud on this site. I think it’s personal taste. Personally, I find it hilarious and quite eye opening. It never occurred to me, for example, that people actually make money by consciously pouring acid into the emotional life wounds of those who are down and out, instead of stitching the wounds up.

              The people who come on to comment on this site and claim to be do-gooders, and helpers, well – I read, observe, and question. And many things just don’t add up for me.

              Also, when you write: “allegedly committed crimes”, I’m assuming you haven’t read the James Ray blogs on this site. That’s not alleged. That was indeed deemed by a court of law to be a crime.

              How do you think one could effectively go about ensuring that down-and-out people who are emotionally vulnerable, can be protected from these business predators whose actions encourage the downward spiralling of these people?

            2. @Yvette Scott,

              Have you ever noticed how dumb people overestimate how much they know and do so with an abundance of certainty? Whereas intelligent people have a much better grasp of what they don’t know and an awareness of the extent of their own personal knowledge?

              In this context, I’m curious to know how you are privy to the financial situations of this website’s users. How is it that you know exactly what most lurkers…visitors who leave few clues as to their mindset…are thinking? It’s quite a feat!

  32. @Tim Brownson,

    I once contemplated hiring an “executive coach”. There’s value in what you do. And if there’s not, you give refunds I noticed. :)

    If I understand correctly, a good Life Coach is mix of an unlicensed psychologist, an objective friend and the 300 lb. woman on the other end of a 1-900 call. (Just kidding about the last one.)

    You’re not the type of person that I’d like to see skewered. I may be wrong, but I don’t believe the majority of folks here want to see that either.

    1. @You’re so silly ::

      If it was about what the “majority of folks” wanted to hear … then I guess I’d never say anything.

      1. @SD,

        I’ve always been on board with your witch hunts. Mostly because, besides enjoying your style, the witches you burn are real. (That said, witch hunts is the wrong term, but I’m too lazy to fix it now.)

        I only know Tim Brownson from a cursory review of his website. He doesn’t seem to fit the mold of the usual suspects.

        I didn’t like it when Mike Young, Internet Lawyer used the “I can’t be held responsible for the company I keep.” argument and I still don’t. However, it is a reasonable position and some people honestly and rightfully use it.

        Tim Brownson’s Life Coaching credentials are impressive. I’m not sure whether to put any stock into the credentialing institutions, but at least he seems to have studied something more than an e-book on selling e-books.

        The rules of damage control suggest he stay far away from a field of battle where he cannot win — especially if he’s got something to hide. Yet he’s confident enough to come and give as good as he’s getting. Ego?

        Maybe, although I suspect if you called him a liar or a “scammer” to his face, he’d vehemently protest, as any wrongly accused person would.

        If it turns out he’s not a good guy … I’ll kiss your shiny metal butt.

        1. @You’re so silly ::

          He’s not A-team material … that’s for sure.

          But it’s not a witch hunt :: if you use your real name here it forces me to make a decision. If I already know who you are and you use your real name here … like Tim just did … then there’s not even a choice to be had.

          What do the rules of damage control say about insane fake death threats that draw everyone’s attention to enemy number one??

          Fear and panic and unrest do strage things to a person.

    2. @You’re so silly, Appreciate it bud. My wife told me not to comment because as she said “What good can come from it?”

      She’s kinda right, but I hate people being abused as much as SD does, and I feel like some good people (mainly MM) got short shrift on this one.

      One I didn’t mention I know in my post was Ali Hale (now Luke) who is one of the nicest, kindest people I know. She doesn’t deserve some of the shit aimed at her, no way no how and she is not a scammer. I see people like her and Jade Craven as just being in the wrong place at the wrong time, not bad people. And there’s a huge difference imho.

      And yes, I do offer refunds in theory, but fortunately I’ve never had to give one through bad service. Customer service is paramount to me and one of the reasons I left sales so I really do bend over backwards to do whatever I can for my clients.

      1. @Tim Brownson, When your wife said, “What good can come from it?” maybe she was actually referring to your “coaching.” Because really, who could disagree with that.

          1. @Tim Brownson, If you keep drinking, will you become less of an asshole? If so, consider embracing alcoholism.

      2. @Tim Brownson,

        The more you talk, the more you make me think you’re a scammer. They’re always backtracking, or forgetting, or misspeaking.

        Yesterday you commented on the thread asking RC about his coaching. At 2:23 today you were talking about neuroscience.

        @SD dug up some stuff on you, and at 5:22 pm you tried to tell us you only knew those people from Twitter.

        And then around 4:39 pm you remembered that you came here because you know and love MM. At 7:08 pm you remember you also know and love AH-L and JC.

        Well, MM and JC seem to be holding their own just fine, and we’d all forgotten about AH-L.

        So why are you here?

          1. @Tim Brownson,

            Your dear friend MM, who “helped [you] tremendously with [your] business,” was sucked in when *your client* Naomi Dunford called him a “sleazy bastard.” I didn’t see you posting on September 1 to defend him. Oh, right you “offered to go into bat for him” right away, “but he didn’t want [you] to get dragged in.” That’s probably wise of him.

            JC wasn’t sucked in per se; she came here on her own. I don’t see any posts by you on September 1 or 2 defending her against vicious attacks like, “Focus on what good you can do in your own life. Take care of your physical and mental health.” Ah, you admit she “did a good enough job on her own.”

            AL actually was sucked in. Not by us assholes but by @NewHere, who touted her as “an example of person who is apparently benefitting from Naomi’s learnings.” I don’t see your posts defending her on September 4 or 5. In fact, oh look at that, JC posted to defend her. I think the ladies here don’t need you, Mr. White Knight.

            I find it curious that you’re not also here to defend *your client* Johnny Truant, who was also sucked in when *your client* Naomi Dunford brought him up. In light of your client testimonials, I’m reevaluating your assertion that MM “is one of the most ethical people [you] have worked with.” Initially that sounded like a vote of confidence, but now I think it’s just the sad, sad truth.

            It looks like you intentionally showed up late, so you could say you were here but not actually have to do any work. Is that it?

            You didn’t actually answer my question. It was simple and direct. You tried to sleaze your way around it, so I’ll ask again.

            So why are you here?

            1. @Lanna,

              You mean this Johnny Truant who wrote this brilliant guest blog on IttyBiz?

              “So I says to Naomi, I says, “Why don’t I use your stuff and your advice to make money online….And you can coach me through it. Turn me into a millionaire.”

              “And she says to me she says, “Shit cocksucker motherfucker doubleshit.”

              “And if you want, you can and should follow along. I think Naomi is going to leave comments on for at least selected posts, and I asked her if she’d leave comments on for my posts, and she said, “Fuckstick asswipe doucherocket!”

              How impressive! To turn plain old Johnny into a writer of that caliber must have been worth every penny. Do you think Johnny got the Platinum Package at $897 or the Gold at “only” $597?

            2. @Lanna,

              I was kinda sucked in via the comments when someone linked to a post I’d written in June, as well as a pic I’d taken. The other two times I was sticking up for someone.

              I appreciate Tim’s comment because I haven’t been brought into it on here that much, but offline I’m reeling. I feel… lets just say I nearly had another blackout just thinking about it earlier today.

              And in defense of Tim, I knew a lot of secret stuff. I knew that Naomi had offered Dave Ittybiz, but she backed out. I was blindsided by this whole mess.

              It’s far too easy to trust people online and a lot of the friendly support, like testimonials and stuff, can bite us in the arse later.

              I dislike Naomi and what she’s done but there is something to be said about the people who have inadvertently been brought into this. Off the site, I feel like shit.

              My mum has warned me twice not to work with certain people. Both times she was right. Anyway, it’s not about me. Just wanted to say that this has repercussions elsewhere.

            3. @Jade Craven,

              Oops, I didn’t realize you were sucked in that way. That makes sense, looking back at your post.

              I really appreciate how forthright you have been. MM has also been pretty forthright. I think Tim would do better with this approach.

              I also appreciate your stepping in to stick up for folks. You are right that we should focus on the A and B team.

              Please take care of yourself. Remember, your #1 project is Jade Craven. You have to keep Jade Craven happy, healthy and running smoothly.

    1. @tim Brownson, Apparently you are not sufficiently wiser to click directly on a “reply” link. Maybe you can study up on it for a few months and add “clicking on reply links” to your “coaching” curriculum.

      1. @Frank, Or maybe you’re too stupid to realize that nested responses only go on so far and the reply option wasn’t open to me.

        But let’s not reality get in the way my friend!

        1. @Tim Brownson, I’m not your friend, and I’m guessing neither is reality. You were also too stupid to type your own name in your reply above. Maybe some “coaching” could help you with that. Then again, you probably wouldn’t want to waste money on “coaching.”

            1. @Tim Brownson, Since we agree on that, I’ll leave you to your wine consumption. It seems to be helping your demeanor and I don’t want to interfere with your personal progress. I do not have any further coaching to offer.

  33. Dolly Parton sang:

    “You say you’re doin’ nothing wrong
    I don’t believe you are
    I’m only trying to help you sis
    Before you go too far
    Cause I think you’re an angel
    But folks think that you’re cheap
    Cause you’re known by the company you keep”

    Naomi’s blog post selling SEO School:

    “Even if this book was, say, $99, it would be worth it. I was completely delighted with SEO School. It was a hoot, and if you feel like SEO is out of your league, this book explains everything.”
    Michael Martine, Remarkablogger.com

    “As with anything we do here at IttyBiz, if you don’t like what you get, I’ll give you your money back and I won’t be a pain in the ass about it. You don’t risk a penny by doing this.
    To order, just click the button that says “Add to cart”. You are literally seconds away from having this amazing ebook in your hands. And you can see for yourself what all the fuss is about.”

    “Thank you,
    Naomi”

    1. @Barbara,

      I love Dolly! I remember reading her saying that her whole entire crew was family and she treated them as such. A great woman.

      All the stuff that’s happening now does not change that SEO School was awesome. It’s outdated now, so I wouldn’t recommend now it based on that. But when it first came out it was a great primer and I don’t feel the slightest bit of shame over my words about it.

      1. @Michael Martine, were you an affiliate for Naomi? Did you send her sales for SEO School and receive a fee for that?

  34. Regarding the @Tim Brownson / @Frank exchange:

    @SD, would this count as an example of baiting? If so, would you say it was successful?

    @Tim Brownson: You seem like a good guy. So don’t take this the wrong way, but with the twisted logic IM scammers force upon me–that fact i.e. that you seem likeable and that you’re a “coach” makes me not trust you.

    I believe you’re not a scammer, but I am not overly convinced that hiring a “coach” is going to improve my life. I am pretty sure it’ll put money in your wallet though.

    May you do well in your less-scammy-than-the-IM-scammers-but-not-a-whole-lot-better-than-a-fortune-teller business.


    Furry cows moo and decompress.

    1. @@Wyrd (formerly Iam3r), In cases like that, you have to use and trust your own judgment.

      I have written 100’s of blog posts many of which were telling people about my past and who I am.

      I’ve confessed to being broke, taking drugs, having my dogs bite my balls, being a liberal (heaven forbid), being stressed, being pissed off and being way less than perfect.

      If that was advertising copy then I wouldn’t be on here talking to you I’d be lying on a beach somewhere and laughing a lot, because I would be paid a fortune :-)

      1. @Tim Brownson, Wow, you know, until I saw Scamburger’s post I was inclined to think maybe Salty was being a bit harsh. I should have known better. So you were Naomi Dunford’s Life Coach… and you somehow didn’t think that was relevant to the conversation- on a post about her?? And just to make it absolutely, stunningly clear that this isn’t just, like, an oversight, you REMOVE her testimonial? Again, WOW. That level of disingenousness I wasn’t expecting. See, I’ve used a Life Coach- a neat woman whose illness confined her to her house. She helped me get focused enough to finally finish my BA- and pull my scattered self together and get a bit more organized. So I’m inclined to look benignly on Life Coaching. Or was. You’ve opened my eyes to how gullible- and vulnerable- I still am. I’m going to be looking very critically from now on at any ‘services’ or training that doesn’t have a crystal clear and concrete outcome.

        1. @Wanderlost, Your easily rocked.

          She hired me 2 and a half years ago, I haven’t worked with her in over 2 years and we had no business dealings, I’m not a business coach, we didn’t discuss her business.

          It’s nothing to do with relevance and everything to do with client confidentiality.

  35. Tim Brownson ::

    Oh and Tim :: maybe you could clear a couple of things up for me …

    1. Were you Naomi Dunford’s life coach?

    2. Was your e-book included as a bonus in Naomi Dunford’s Online Business School?

    1. @SD,

      Fine. This is pucker-worthy.

      If he turns out to be part of the incestuous ring of dill-holes, my faith in humanity will be rocked. However, my complete distaste for dill-holes (and holes of any flavor) will intensify.

      1. @You’re so silly, Fuck me, seriously? I worked about 4 sessions with the woman about 2 and a half years ago and not in any way shape or form about her business.

        Then this shit all blows up.

        So I remove the testimonial because I don’t want to be associated with some of the people involved.

        And you’re shocked, seriously?

        I know therapists that have worked for months with people that went on to commit murder. Perhaps they should be tried too. Seems fair as they were part of their ring.

        1. @Tim Brownson,

          I said “pucker-worthy”. I’m not ready to believe you’re one of the lame “scammers”.

          Tim, I hoped you would come back. You did.

          I don’t buy many of the analogies presented in this place, but your analogy about psychologists is apt because I believe, based on your pursuit of education, you take your work seriously and view it as a career and not a path to instant riches.

          The Droid has opened the door to the secret IM seminar and we’re all peeking in. We may not see your face in the sea of lazy jerks who are afraid of real work and intellectualism, but you were seen milling around in the lobby by the book and CD tables.

          You can see how this casts an air of suspicion around you, can’t you?

          Of course, there are plenty of testimonials on your site from which to choose. Unfortunately Naomi’s stands out. Sad. One bad apple and all that.

          For what it’s worth, you still have the benefit of (at least my) doubt. :)

        2. @Tim Brownson, I’m shocked that you used her testimonial without even looking her up at all. A teeny tiny bit of research would have revealed her shady business. And I think it is disingenuous for you to act as if it’s outrageous that people form opinions based on your use of her testimonial. You were the one who chose her for the testimonial (why did you choose her anyway). You were the one who decided not to get any background on her internet dealings (or to ignore them).

          And your “client confidentiality” statement would hold water if (1) you hadn’t already used her testimonial on your website which means you already breached confidentiality and therefore it is public record and not confidential and (2) you didn’t actively lie about it and claim you “only met her once” and only interacted with her on twitter. You didn’t have to come comment here. You didn’t have to actively mislead people on your relationship to Naomi. You made the poor choice to comment here on this post about a former client and risk having to expose your relationship or lie. You then made the poor choice to do both. So, yeah, I agree with @you’re so silly. This is pucker-worthy. (and that is not a swipe at you @you’re so silly).

          1. @whatthewhat,

            You just made a noteworthy observation.

            Testimonials can also DAMAGE your own reputation, so NOBODY with a grain of professionalism would simply throw one up without doing the slightest bit of research to check on the rep and character of the testimonial giver.

            There is just NO WAY spending a few minutes on the net (even just looking at Naomi’s blog and seeing the contradictions and outrageousness of it all) would not give someone pause about using her for any kind of testimonial.

            He also COACHED the woman, so he had contact and exposure to even MORE of her deficiencies than the mountain she dumped onto her own blog. You can’t HELP but notice things when you “coach” someone, and let’s face it, Naomi POURS IT ON.

            This suggests two possibilities about Tim, both NOT GOOD:

            1. Either he is sloppy, careless, and not focused on even the minimum of due dilligence, which would make me think more than twice about relying on him as coach or for ANY advice whatsoever, or…

            2. He knew and didn’t care that much about who he was associating with if it worked in his favor, and like the internet marketing circle jerkers, just wanted another testimonial to add to the old bullshit collection.

            Either way, Tim Brownson’s excuses and posturing here are grossly unimpressive.

    2. @SD,

      1,]. Yes, which is why I didn’t comment on her. And why I have said elsewhere I was so disappointed. It’s confidential.

      2. No, not to my knowledge. Which book are we talking about?

      1. @Tim Brownson, It’s ‘confidential’, but you posted- and then removed- a testimonial from her on your website? Word fail.

        1. @Wanderlost,

          I took it down because as I clearly said when I found out what she had been doing I didn’t want to be involved in it.

          It’s not rocket science and you can look for conspiracy’s all you like, but you aint gonna find one.

          It was obvious when I refused to comment on ND at the beginning of this entire exchange why. If that is anybody had been smart enough to ask themselves the question of “Why won’t he comment on her, but he will on all the others?”

    3. @SD, On question 2. Until about 6 months ago all of my ebooks were free and a couple even said in them to distribute freely. So it is possible that it was sent out without my knowledge, but there was no JV between me and ND then or at any other time.

  36. So as I was slowly waking up today, I rolled over IRL, smiled and got a smile back. NO I wouldn’t tastelessly share anything tawdry, it was just cuddling, but so much better than linkbuilding, bloggins, or anything else on-topic. A nice contrast to my long story above.

    About which, I meant to suggest a betting pool to see how long it would take that story to show up in some guru’s sales & marketing material.

    But go away for a day, and I’m too late. I think Mr. Martine wins? After a rash of comments varying from odd to whatevs, he has been thinking… and will reboot himself on the non-Dark Side of the Force.

    He wants no Slowly Waking story about him. But remember, I already have a Slowly Waking story about him. It’s… the Slowly Waking story! Martine was on the faculty the main scam I pointed out. I have said Clay Collins ran a scam based on fake claims and shit teaching; Martine defending his work in a comment on the post before this one. (He also said he left the faculty, but not because of moral outrage.) MM’s few days of thinking didn’t include remembering, it seems.

    So it’s hard to buy Mr. Martine’s philosophical turn. It’s like McDonalds announcing they’ve been thinking about stuff, so now they’re going vegan. Sorry, cows!

    I’ll probably be offline next week (new gig starts), so I wanted to sum up my future remark to any and all gurus who read this, especially those who might violate the moral right of the author by including it on their blogs, sales letters, or worse yet, their poorly-written email lists.

    Mr. Martine, you can instead distribute the following link amongst your guru crew, which included Collins, you, Roeder, Truant, and Navarro, but leave him out, he’s had enough trouble. I’ll phrase it in music, because we’ve had Marnie, and Arthur, and Lemmy shred in the thread.

    So here’s Wesley, Chicago’s finest, putting it better than I ever could, words of wisdom for every internet marketing guru wanting to get some ethics creds to go with their other fake creds. NSFMuch of anything, really.

    1. @Slowly Waking,

      If you are allowed to change your mind about internet marketing, then so am I. So is anyone. At the time, I thought that program was the shit. Now, not so much. You’re welcome to doubt me all you want. I haven’t given you any real reason not to.

      1. @Michael Martine, I changed my mind without the benefit of the inside view of internet marketing you had.

        McDonalds really could go vegan, but it will take some time before I hit the drive-through. I hope you understand.

        Rock on, Chicago.

    2. @Slowly Waking, Your link to Wesley Willis’s song made my day! Haven’t laughed this hard in a while.

    3. @Slowly Waking, Some of these conversations, particularly the threads you’ve started, have reminded me of an issue I’ve often thought about and have even written about: are the “hater” blogs and the critics just helping to create a more clever generation of scammers?

      The scammers read the conversations on the critical forums and then incorporate some of the material into their own sales copy. It makes it look as if they are sincerely trying to address legitimate concerns and real problems. Naturally, the whole idea is to position themselves as being above the perps.

      Are we just helping them fine-tune their marketing?

      Reminds me of something my guy Ron likes to quote: “Make it idiot-proof, and they’ll just go and build better idiots.” Or maybe it’s more like those antibacterial soaps that kill some but not all germs and just contribute to the evolution of more resistant bacteria.

      On the other hand, more clever scammers invariably give rise to more vigilant critics. So there’s that.

      Not trying to beat up on you, @Michael Martine, but I think you can understand why many people might be somewhat suspicious of your motives.

      1. @Cosmic Connie, this is a real problem. Scams only succeed if they update their packaging to stay ahead of past exposes. One of the Third Tribe’s innovations was remixing old-school sales letters for a digital generation. So the more hater data, the more specific they can get in answering objections in their sales materials.

        But, given enough exposure, we can tell the haterz from people whose protests are based on reason and experience. Some people are just haterz. I’ve read relatively few of them here, as commenters generally don’t lack success or fume with jealousy, but donate their time and knowledge. Sometimes for fun, with jokes.

        I hope that there’s always a degree to which the criticisms of scams trump them in their detail, their reasonability, and even the moral conviction pulsing behind the words (I think we can sense that, even though it’s a little woo-woo to say). Sales material can’t go on at the same length (which is why it’s important for victims to have a place to air their stories), and the weasel-words couching sales claims wilt in comparison to the often raw experiences of the victims. Gurus know they can brush aside one or two vocal failures by calling them outliers. But enough outliers, and they become the norm.

        But it’s a conundrum, one with no easy answer. Frauds like your favorite Joe Vitale only underscore how persistently slippery they can be. You’ve given me something to think about. Again!

  37. Regarding the question of whether Mr Brownson was/is Mrs Dunford’s life coach …

    Mr Brownson has just removed Mrs Dunford’s glowing testimonial from his testimonial page on his website: http://www.adaringadventure.com/life-coaching/

    However, the cached page on Google features these words from Mrs Dunford-

    “- Naomi Dunford – Itty Biz

    From the outside, people see me as a highly successful entrepreneur, but I am also someone who has more than his fair share of loose screws in the old brainbox. I realised that I would need some help. Public speaking fears would keep me awake at night, not knowing where to focus my strengths confused me, how to overcome my weaknesses tired me, which values to focus on in life rattled me.

    So just like the chief of police in Gotham City, I sent a bat signal into the night sky, Tim responded to my cry for help, and I can honestly say that it was a pivotal moment in my life.

    In just 60 minutes via phone, Tim had made me see public speaking in a whole new light… it was like he was in my head. Heck, I think he knew me better than I knew myself.

    Three weeks later, infront of over 200 people, in one of the biggest marketing events on the planet, infront of all my peers, and people who I have admired for years… I stepped onto the stage, microphone clipped to my shirt… I opened with a joke, and 60 minutes later I received a standing ovation.

    If Tim can turn me from nervous wreck, to public speaking “sensation” in one call, imagine what he could do for you?

    No matter how big or dark your problems may seem, Tim CAN help you.

    I cannot recommend Tim highly enough, as both a life coach, and all all round great guy.”

    ———————————

    Mr Brownson… Why have you recently removed Mrs Dunford’s testimonial from your website?

    1. @Scam-burger with fries,

      You cited the wrong testimonial for Dunford. Dunford’s testimonial was this:

      “It is hard to talk about any life coach without using those words. You know the words. The coachy words. Clarity. Focus. Priorities. Goals. They’re boring words and they have been thrown around so much that they don’t mean anything anymore. So I’ll try to say what you need to hear without using the words that will make you retch.
      Tim knows what’s important to YOU. Not the Sunday Best version of what’s important. What’s actually important. He will kick your ass when it needs kicking and hold your hand when it needs holding. He will make you laugh and let you cry. He will quote Monty Python and Prometheus Rising and Awaken The Giant Within and probably Duran Duran. He is forceful and gentle and incredibly, incredibly kind. I would trust him with my life.”

    2. @Scam-burger with fries,

      Well if Naomi recommends Tim Brownson then I guess he really must be one of the good guys.

      Or maybe she was lying again? Maybe she really meant that he was another member of the incestuous, fake frauduct bullshit merry-go-round who is relying on people like her to spread the fake guru gospel to ensnare more victims.

      Hmmmm…….what to believe?

    3. @Scam-burger with fries,

      What you’ve quoted seems to be attributed to Dean Hunt, not Naomi. And I believe Dean is referencing his talk at a marketing event in Dubai in 2009.

      I would be interested to know NAOMI’S original testimonial. And I think we all know why he removed it.

      1. @Jaime, anonone posted it above. If you look at the google cached page, Dean Hunt’s testimonial comes right after Naomi Dunford’s. The way the page is laid out, her name is equidistant from the two quotes, so Scamburger’s mistake was an honest one. But this one is it:

        “It is hard to talk about any life coach without using those words. You know the words. The coachy words. Clarity. Focus. Priorities. Goals. They’re boring words and they have been thrown around so much that they don’t mean anything anymore. So I’ll try to say what you need to hear without using the words that will make you retch.
        Tim knows what’s important to YOU. Not the Sunday Best version of what’s important. What’s actually important. He will kick your ass when it needs kicking and hold your hand when it needs holding. He will make you laugh and let you cry. He will quote Monty Python and Prometheus Rising and Awaken The Giant Within and probably Duran Duran. He is forceful and gentle and incredibly, incredibly kind. I would trust him with my life.”

      2. @Jaime,

        The testimonial that was Naomi’s is the one that begins with

        “It is hard to talk about any life coach without using those words. You know the words. . . . ”

        You can see her testimonial in the Internet Archive wayback machine archive for Tim’s site on Dec 27 2010:
        web.archive.org/web/20101227081737/http://www.adaringadventure.com/life-coaching/

        The confusion over attribution of testimonial was caused by the oddball formatting making it difficult to determine whether a given testimonial goes with the name above the testimonial or if it goes with the name below the testimonial. It goes with the name below the testimonial.

        A side note: I don’t think the formatting of the page was chosen to intentionally obfuscate attribution, but I do think that lack of attention to that detail indicates the designer was highly focused on emotional impact and didn’t care at all about accuracy or clarity. Par for the course.


        Furry cows moo and decompress.

        1. @Wyrd (formerly Iam3r), “A side note: I don’t think the formatting of the page was chosen to intentionally obfuscate attribution, but I do think that lack of attention to that detail indicates the designer was highly focused on emotional impact and didn’t care at all about accuracy or clarity. Par for the course.”

          My designer at the time didn’t even know what impact meant.

    4. @Scam-burger with fries, Isn’t it obvious?

      I worked with her over 2 years ago. We didn’t work on her business, it was personal stuff and nothing I am prepared to talk about here.

      I have since read what she was doing with her business and didn’t want to be connected with it.

      1. @Tim Brownson,

        Just to point out (perhaps unfairly since confidentiality won’t allow you to defend yourself) you are claiming that you are a wonderful life coach with no complaints or refunds, but also that you were ND’s coach. Now you say that it was nothing to do with her business- it was “personal stuff”.

        Would that be the personal stuff that had to do with her abandoning her three kids? Is that considered success?

          1. @orly?,

            Exactly my point.

            1 All success with clients.
            2 Not business, “personal” with ND.
            3 From outward appearances, “personal” didn’t go so great with her- not a success.
            4 If he’s not a priest or a shrink, what business does he have coaching her on “personal”?
            5 Or, maybe it WAS business and not personal.

            1. @Not an immer,

              No, it isn’t your point at all.

              If he was a priest, the acid test of his success would be whether or not he shepherded her to uphold the tenets of whichever imaginary-man-in-the-sky-club he represented.

              As a coach, the acid test of whether he was successful is whether or not he helped her get closer to whatever outcome she was hoping to achieve by hiring a coach in the first place.

              That could have been any of a number of things, for example overcoming lateness, dealing with fear of public speaking, or getting better organised.

              I don’t see on his site anywhere that says he helps people stay together with their families better. If he did, you might have a point.

              I know a number of people who have left their marriages (and children), and considered that to be an entirely satisfactory outcome. Whether or not some third party morally approves of their actions is by-the-by.

              If you take him at his word and believe he only had a few sessions with her (which seems plausible given that that’s how he pitches his services on the site), he’s only going to be able to focus on a narrow area of her life during that time. So yes, I do believe that he could be unaware of these other shenanigans.

  38. I love the edge in this forum. I think the voice of the Salty Droid and those who comment here needs to be heard. People need to be indicted from time to time or we get out of control.

    So thanks for that, Salty Droid.

    Yes, there’s a real sense out there that the Internet is all you need to make your dreams come true. Of course it’s not. But it is a HUGE help.

    So, I have a question prefaced by some background.

    I have always wanted to build my own prosperity on my creativity and I believe this is possible. That may strike some here as “chasing the unicorn.” Okay. I happen to believe in the unicorn.

    But for now, and for a long time, day job.

    I have a blog. And so far I’m not selling anything. When I do, it will have nothing to do with marketing or getting rich. I plan to build up a small digital publishing shop that puts out materials people will find useful or entertaining or both.

    Here’s my question(s): is there a version of Internet sales and marketing that ISN’T sleazy? What does that look like?

    I think SD should create a set of standards and offer them for use by people who sell online. I know I would find it useful. And I think it would be a great reality check for people entering the space, who immediately feel the pull of the get rich quick approach.

    1. @Peter Crowell,

      The version of IM that isn’t sleazy is where you satisfy a real need.

      IM needs to be qualified. Amazon is an IM outfit – they sell digital products online. But they satisfy a need.

      I make some pocket money online from freelance journalism. I tend to laugh when people say “you can’t make money online” because there are news outlets that’ll pay me to write something. I just invoiced one tonight.

      But I do marketing by sending submissions and emails to editors. It’s all based on the same sales principles as anyone else. You figure out a need and you act to fill it.

      Too much attention goes to blogs. The third tribe stuff is a little silly. Just start a legit business and use both online and offline marketing.

      1. @Patrick,

        Thanks for that response. In a sense I’ve already started the business, because I’ve written/published two novels for young readers and I’m working on selling them.

        That’s partly where the promotion comes in, and that’s why I’m curious about solid marketing online.

        But the costs of printing, shipping, storing, are so great I’m hoping to go strictly digital.

        Taking it all a bit slow.

        1. @Peter Crowell,

          Hi,

          If by “published” you mean you got a publishing company to publish your book, then that right there will go a long way towards the “pay your dues” thing that people talk about. That is to say: managing to get published the traditional way is a good sign that you’re legit.

          If they were self-published, then it’s a little bit harder to say what will have to happen before people start taking you seriously.

          Either way, I would suggest you check out what a bunch of other authors have started doing: podcasting their novels and blogging about them.

          Of course even as I say this, it occurs to me that since I have been merely a fan of those authors and I am not an author myself, I don’t know if that thing that they were doing a year ago is still considered to be important/vibrant/working now or if it is being viewed as just a passing fad. I dunno.

          (As a side note more to myself: the level of incestuous ickiness in the IM scammers has me doing a serious mental re-evaluation of the whole concept of “social media”. It’s probably going to be a while before I know how I really feel about it again. It seems like the basic nature of the beast is like to create feedback loops, overhype, tempest in a teapot, much ado about nothing, etc. Ah well, such is life.)

          Anyway, check out Scott Sigler, Mur Laferty and the various authors that they link to.

          1. @Wyrd (formerly Iam3r),

            That’s great info, thanks. Yeah, I do mean self published. And I know full well the push against the tide it requires to get traction. But I’m only recently beginning to harness the internet as a tool for promotion.

            So naturally I’ve noticed all the “celebrities” and their potions and elixirs. And I’ve been caught in the headlights of the social media promise. But I have a thing about spending money on anything I can do or learn myself. So I’ve been okay.

            I will certainly check out the authors you’ve mentioned.

            Thanks!

    2. @Peter Crowell, people have asked that question here many times; the typical answer from SD and others is that this isn’t really the proper place to ask.

      That said, the version of IM that’s non-sleazy is just M. Businesses have to market; IM has its roots in direct response advertising, always on the end of the pool with the broken sewer pipe. And the misapprehension of the “JV” has made IM even sleazier.

      Most IM gurus set up shop on the perception that marketing online is somehow new and arcane. Not really true: a techie can teach you the handful of useful technical tools, like analytics and Google’s free keyword tool. I can’t offhand recommend any classic marketing texts, but if I still had an interest in it I would download open coursewear from MIT or Berkeley on marketing and start paying attention to what my favorite companies do and how they do it. Good luck.

      1. @Slowly Waking,

        I get it. I figured by posting here I’d get a candid counterpoint to the kind of information I’m used to finding. I don’t know of any other forum that addresses this topic critically.

        And I wanted to see what details might turn up. Your mention of the open courseware from MIT and Berkeley for instance. I had no idea those things existed.

        I figured that was worth a slap on the wrist.

        So thanks for your response!

        1. @Peter Crowell, sometimes it’s a slap on the wrist, sometimes it’s a dumptruck full of fetid horsewaste backed up and poured on your head. Best of luck!

          PS
          Now that I think about it, I can’t recommend any techie types to learn the techie stuff from. But for that setting up a web site with WordPress, installing free stuff like Google analytics, and then testing and tracking what does what is a pretty good way to go. Google’s FAQs are fairly ridiculously detailed, too.

          1. @Peter Crowell, oops! That was me, not your replying to yourself. I finally got caught by the repopulating fields virus!

            Though it would be funny if someone started a thread and trolled themselves.

  39. @Slowly waking (nested comments ran out)

    You’re reading a bit much into my post. The Nightingale reference was just to show that the idea that only 5% are truly successful in any field has been around long before IM started.

    And it’s hardly magic fairy dust when I say that 5% are going to be successful in any field. Lots of stuff goes into this:

    – Talent
    – hard work
    – timing
    – family connections
    – socio-economic position
    – training

    And the list goes on.

    If you’re in the 5% or so that has at least a few of the necessary factors for true success then yes, you’re going to succeed. And it won’t be magic. In the case of IM, the big factor is timing. Many people can’t actually replicate the success of the big guys because the boat has sailed.

    As to your claim to that I’m defending IM…. I dunno. I’m more ambivalent about it all. Personally, I think it’s stupid. It doesn’t really add any value to the world as a whole. It’s mostly just a lot of people going around in circles and transferring wealth to the people up the top.

    But at the same time, it’s not a case of guilty till proven innocent. You have to actually do something bad for me to think ill of you. ‘Enabling by association’ is too broad.

    1. @Patrick, I definitely agree with this: “In the case of IM, the big factor is timing. Many people can’t actually replicate the success of the big guys because the boat has sailed.” Maybe AdSense arbitrage worked for 10 minutes in 2004, but people still sell how-to-ebooks about it.

      I also agree with this: “Personally, I think it’s stupid. It doesn’t really add any value to the world as a whole. It’s mostly just a lot of people going around in circles and transferring wealth to the people up the top.” No way I can track it down now, but I recall a feature article (in Fast Company? WSJ?) about a computer engineer pissed that the best minds of his generation are devoted to figuring out how to get people to click ads. I think it was on Longform.org.

      It’s just that your mentions of success are so vague… they sound like Nightingale-Conant ad copy. Perhaps because success is a mystery. There are to many variables, too much chance, too much rewriting of the story after the fact. I doubt I’ve seen a book on “success” that doesn’t rely entirely on anecdote, and dubious ones at best. Things like the Pareto Principle get dumbed down and stripped of meaning rather quickly.

      Besides, you would have to define “success.” If we leave money out of it, way more than an arbitrary 5% of the people I know are just killing it at life [sic?], all without a success mentor. The whole idea of picking winners and losers, sheep and goats, based on some notion of “success” is very common in our(?) American society, and it is very, very poisonous.

      1. @Slowly Waking, You’ve brought up an invaluable point here that people should really think about. It has everything to do with the “timing” issue you mentioned.

        When the internet was in its infancy, I started a small business selling rather dull, physical widgets online. Back then, ads were cheap, there wasn’t as much competition, and margins were decent. I ended up selling millions of dollars worth of widgets.

        Eventually, competition grew fierce, ad rates skyrocketed, and the willingness of big businesses to take extended losses in order to consume markets drove out vast numbers of early small entrants. I eventually opted for the exit.

        While I could certainly show someone how I built a sizeable business at one point in history, I couldn’t honestly show them how to replicate it today. Every success has a time and place factor, and sometimes, it’s the most important factor.

        When I see these so-called “internet marketers” selling a “business in a box” or a “blueprint” or some “plan,” it just makes me shake my head. That stuff is a lie from the moment of conception.

        Even if someone openly and completely shared every single detail of how they built a legitimate (say brick and mortar) business, that documentation would be immediately outdated. That’s because it all took place over some now-gone window of time, and also, it would have taken some additional amount of time to put together that “historic accounting,” which is all it could amount to.

        Nobody can “emulate” some other person’s WINDOW in time and expect the same results or even ANY results. You aren’t that person, and you don’t have their perspective, exact same background, capabilities, or resources. That is HUGE. The best thing you can do is learn the basic skills of business, develop good decision making skills by rolling up your sleaves, and most people won’t want to hear this: go to work for someone else and learn by doing alongside real people. There are no shortcuts.

        One other observation, about this whole “internet marketing” alternate universe. A lot of people seem to gravitate to the selling of “information” because there is no perceived barrier to entry and it doesn’t take much money to “try” it (although I say time is precious and never recoverable).

        However, that flawed “reasoning” also results in a much greater barrier to success, because so many are trying to do the same thing, and who is anyone kidding: if YOU learned something, you learned it from someone else, so the information is already out there. Mostly for free.

        So then what happens to people when they find themselves thrashing around in this desperate wasteland? Many begin to lie, cheat, and deceive in order to stake out some crappy little unstable fifedom in a crappy little unstable fantasy land.

        This blog is like an oasis of truth in a desert of deception.

        1. @Oldtimer, @ Slowly Waking

          I definitely agree with everything you’ve both said here. Thanks for the intelligent discussion. It’s a fair point that my success factors were a bit lame.

          The time issue is indeed my biggest criticism of third tribe stuff.

          You can’t “build a blog for two years, build up some tribe and then sell products”. Doesn’t work that way in the real world, cause by the time the two years are up the market will have moved on.

          And that’s why all the third tribe stuff is dangerous. It totally ignores the timing issue.

          To actually make a profit you have to really consider timing carefully, and come up with a valuable product or service that’ll sell to people with already existing business right now.

          And the only way you can do this is build up a skillset in obscurity for 5… 10… 20 years. Then when it becomes valuable you can apply it to the market.

          1. @Patrick,

            “And the only way you can do this is build up a skillset in obscurity for 5… 10… 20 years. Then when it becomes valuable you can apply it to the market.”

            You don’t have to go out of your way to “be” obscure of course, but putting emphasis on “not being” obscure ahead of your own development and readiness is folly.

            That path can easily lead to “fake it until you make it” which is a misery-inducing lie and one of the factors that have contributed to the appearance of many people on this blog.

            It can take years to reach a point of genuine readiness or “mastery,” where opportunity, capability, and resources have the potential to intersect. Or not. Sometimes the “or not” turns out to be something unexpectedly better. Or not.

            Well developed patience, and the ability to live in, accept, and savor the present, are even more valuable than any compass or faux “shortcut” someone could ever “buy.” And there is nothing to download.

  40. Several blogs that rushed to Naomi’s defense were of the homeschool, natural childbirth, family bed school of feminism. They defended Naomi’s bogus claims of death threats based on her mommy credentials.

    On Naomi’s January 22 2009 blog post she posted a picture of her child. One commenter remarked “PS – that boy is just so happy – good job Mom.” To which Naomi replied:

    “Oh, and he’s happy because I get him high. It’s very simple, really. :)”

    Isn’t that hilarious and hip and modern? Joking about getting your toddler high! I know people who have been visited by Children’s Services for less but in Naomi’s world nothing is sacred.

    1. @Barbara,

      I agree completely. Getting toddlers high is a terrible idea. They just get the munchies and eat all of your crisps.

      I find a shot of rum in the milk to be far better for keeping mine in line.

      1. @Yep,
        In my grannie’s day they used to dangle them head first over the switched on but unlit gas stove as a pacifier.
        Happy days.

      2. @Yep, @Stoic,

        Those disciplinary strategies seem a bit mild.

        If you want to see an unruly toddler really snap into obedience, strap them to a chair in front of a youtube video of Harlan Kilstein demonstrating “finger healing.” Five minutes should be sufficient; longer exposure might cause irreversible damage.

        However, this should be used only as a last resort AFTER you’ve tried the far less risky methods you both described.

    2. @Barbara,

      I wonder how all those moms feel about the fact that Naomi has left all three of her kids now? I guess the first two were understandable, but preemie!Jack might pull their opinions in a different direction.

    3. @Barbara,

      I looked up that Naomi blog post you mention on the Internet Archive wayback machine.

      Then I wrote most of a long-and-winding rant about the ickiness of it. My post went off on various tangents.

      In the end, I closed the internet browser window without posting my comment. I was just too overwhelmed by the sheer vile awfulness of Naomi’s post.


      Furry cows moo and decompress.

    4. @Barbara,
      Can you list those “several” blogs? Or does that fall under the same journalistic integrity, can’t reveal my source, song and dance that is used on this site?

  41. For those bashing @Tim Brownson I suggest getting to know him a bit better before you judge him. To lump him together with the other trashy internet markets is, in my opinion, unfair.

    I’ve had several sessions with Tim several years ago and I can honestly say I’m forever changed for the better.

    First and foremost, Tim cares more about his clients then he does the money. Being a student, he was very generous with his coaching package. Something I’m really grateful for.

    As Tim mentioned, his sessions aren’t a bunch of rah rah motivational bullshit. He asks questions that really challenge you and your perceived perspectives.

    For example I used to say ” I have to do this…” but Tim pointed out I never “have” to do anything. To some, that realization may be nothing extraordinary, but to me it really changed how I viewed the things I did.

    The change in thinking has saved me countless hours of doing shit I didn’t need to be doing in the first place. So for that realization alone his coaching was worth the price I paid.

    I understand “life coaching” gets a bad rap, because quite frankly for every 100 “life coaches” only 1 or 2 have any business helping people for a living. Tim is 1 of those 2.

    I respect the view that most people don’t/ won’t need a life coach in their life time. That’s perfectly fine. If you’re getting the results you want in life there’s no need for one. But if you need a fresh perspective to help you overcome some personal blocks holding you back a life coach can be plenty valuable. Consciously, spending a few hundreds bucks for coaching can be a wise investment.

    No doubt there are a lot of people out their taking advantage of the vulnerable and selling false hope. But there are still a select few that are genuinely trying to do good in the world. And in my opinion, Tim Brownson falls in the latter group.

    1. @Bud Hennekes,

      Clearly Tim is an idiot.

      The discussion was never about life coaching or him for that matter … he showed up here and knew what he was going to get.

      Tim you deserve what you get by coming here and trying to make this discussion about you and your “life coaching.”

      Seriously it sounds harsh but Tim … don’t be such an idiot next time.

        1. @Bud Hennekes, a couple of questions: (1) do you earn or attempt to earn any portion of your income online? (2) How did you come to find this site and the discussion about @Tim Brownson?

          Also, I’d advise you to be careful here. RT did have a good point. If you really are here to defend someone you admire, I would suggest that, even if you don’t like RT saying he’s an idiot, you don’t turn around and do exactly what @Tim Brownson did. If you are here to defend someone then you need to realize that name calling or being snide isn’t going to serve YOUR purpose.

          Other people are here just to be entertained, or they’re pissed off, or they’re coming out of the foggy world of being duped by MMO scams (among other things). They don’t care if they convince anyone of anything. They can insult people and be snide and it doesn’t effect their purpose here.

          1. @whatthewhat, Bud appeared in a couple of posts during the buildup to the shitstorm. He disagreed with my criticisms of Gary Vaynerchuk and Darren Rowse, brief exchanges.

            I’m fairly certain he’s not selling anything, and is being genuine in fishing around here. & Your points all well taken.

            1. @Slowly Waking, thanks for letting me know. There’s been over a thousand comments between this and that last post. I guess I need to be more careful, things are starting to become a blur.

          2. @whatthewhat,

            First and foremost in my eyes I have yet to make any snide remarks.. In fact, I feel I’m going to great lengths to make sure I’m being respectful as possible… which can be difficult here.

            I said show your face because I feel it’s far too easy to criticize in the face of anonymity. Your point is well taken however, and I’ll do better at being respectful. I realize many people here are here just for fun etc.

            As far as your questions are concerned I’ll do my best to answer.

            1. I do not make money online. I fell into that pipe dream trap for a while, and in all honesty I owe a lot of my change of heart to this here blog. In my life I’ve made a few hundred dollars doing some freelance work. I currently have no long term projects.

            I do believe you can make money online in an ethical manner but I believe it’s much harder than people realize.

            As I have nothing to hide… My blog is http://www.aboundlessworld.com and I blog for fun and share my insights. I have no products to sell, just my honest opinions of various life issues. My current passions are travel. I’ve released a free e-book called the fear gym but that’s it. I was also the main writer at PluginID for a while before I realized it wasn’t congruent with the path I wanted to travel. So I left.

            2. I found Tim because as I’ve mentioned he’s coached me before. Like many of the other hundreds of bloggers I have been wrapped up in this whole ND drama. I personally view him in a high regard so I decided to say something.

            Whether or not he has been truthful here is irrelevant to me. If he has lied that’s his deal . I know for certain that the insights I gained from his coaching were valuable to me at the time. That’s all I will say on the matter.

            @slowlywalking
            Thanks for the kind words. In all honesty I don’t have anything at stake here. Just genuinely for people who are vulnerable.

            And I must say after your comment on Rowse I’ve slowly become less impressed by his antics. Still a fan of Garyvee however. :)

            1. @Bud Hennekes, on GaryVee, it’s hard not to be a fan of when watching his podcast. He’s fun and passionate. I just think his marketing books are weak sauce, but you can have one without the other.

        2. @Bud Hennekes,

          That is not me [[that’s “Not an immer”]], send the money to him…I post under only one handle here…

    2. @Bud Hennekes, I’m glad you had a good experience, and that we don’t need to run through the inchoate studies supporting life coaching, or the dubiousnes of NLP. I am also not accusing you of being disingenuous or having bad-faith motives in relating your positive experience with Brownson, who has clearly worked to build credentials. I believe he cares for his clients and follows the professional standards of his nascent field.

      But Brownson’s posturing and his cheeky tit-for-tat with trolls give me pause. The precipitating issue was SD’s mention of his close association with that circle of internet marketers who have less cred than poo. And with one or two exceptions, every testimonial on Brownson’s front page is an online marketer, someone in “personal development,” or a “fertility coach” (um). It’s a pretty tight orbit of people. You likely found him because you’re in that orbit, too.

      Now, I’m not prepping for blanket accusations against you. Guilt’s never a priori. The same goes for Brownson. He basically was hanging out here anonymously, someone took an off-topic swipe at life coaches, and he shed his anonymity in order to brawl. His association with Dunford, the testimonial, came up because it’s actually on-topic. He’s waffled on it, saying it was just a few sessions some years ago. Then why the testimonial? He seems more interesting in winning arguments than protecting his business with an explanation some passersby will want to hear. Michael Martine has comported himself brilliantly by comparison; I say that having instructed him to perform unspeakable acts on Canada’s wild creatures.

      Maybe the best thing to do when one’s name appears here is to stop drinking, read the prepared statement, and tip your hat at the exit. Pretty common sense, something a life coach might suggest.

      Also, anonymity. Think about it. We can still have the conversation, and you won’t be embarrassed when your name is still publicly linked to some pretty weird subcultures when you’re 30. I still regret that 15 of the top 20 SERPs for my real name are tied to my stint as a Longaberger Basket home consultant.

    3. @Bud Hennekes, I think we’ve gotten to know Tim a lot better by his own words here. He seems to be an average dancer if you dance the sidestep.

    1. @Bud Hennekes,

      Clearly your friend came here and stepped in shit … how could he not see what he was getting into.

      And for what?

      Then you sends you here to give him a “testimonial” and vouch for him …

      @TIM, @Bud

      Why are you here?

      I have asked Tim a couple times already … I would have a lot more respect if he just admitted it was a really stupid idea to show up and randomly start the life coaching debate. I don’t have anything against life coaching but it was highly probable that it wouldn’t be accepted in this environment.

      So maybe idiot was harsh but I couldn’t (still can’t:-) think of a better word to describe the actions of both of you.

      1. @RT,

        You are correct in this is a less than ideal environment when it comes to seeing the benefits of a life coach. Should Tim just sit by ideally while his profession gets a bad rap? I think not. By choosing to chat here he indeed opened pandora’s box but at least he had a chance to defend himself.

        Why does it matter if you think it’s stupid to show up here or not? How does that in any way correlate with your respect for him? While it’s likely a majority of commenters here have it out for the life coach profession I’m sure a few haven’t made up their minds on what they think.

        As Tim mentioned, he came here to defend a select few who he believed were unfairly lumped together with the serious offenders. And the comments developed to talk about life coaching, so his commenting isn’t “random”

        To be perfectly clear, Tim didn’t “send me” (I think that’s what you’re trying to say) to give him a testimonial. I stand by my comments fully.

        I’m here because I respect what Salty does though I do believe he overgeneralizes at times. I noticed Tim was being unfairly treated (in my eyes at least) and I made a stand. I can live with consequences.

        What so many people don’t realize is Salty is playing a bigger game. By pretending to be an asshole he accomplishes what he sets out to do: get his site seen.

        A quiet preacher who says Jesus loves you won’t convert anyone. Whereas an extremist saying “You’re going to hell” just might. You only change when your expectations are shattered.

        The programmer has a heart, even if he forgot to give the robot one.

        1. @Bud Hennekes,

          “You are correct in this is a less than ideal environment when it comes to seeing the benefits of a life coach. Should Tim just sit by ideally while his profession gets a bad rap? I think not. By choosing to chat here he indeed opened pandora’s box but at least he had a chance to defend himself”

          I don’t see where this was about life coaching until Tim showed up and decided to make it about life coaching.

          That’s my point.

          Why defend yourself before you even got brought up or attacked?

          Doesn’t make sense.

          That’s all I am saying.

        2. @Bud Hennekes, you wrote, “A quiet preacher who says Jesus loves you won’t convert anyone.”

          Actually, there’s a line of argument based on the works of theologians and patristics scholars, including Oxford’s Sebastian Brock (a Syriac scholar), Marion Glasscoe (a textual scholar of 14th century English writer Julian of Norwich), and Martin Laird (a writer on silent prayer and professor at Villanova), that the core essence of Christianity is, in fact, the work of silence. The argument goes that with the death of Nicolas de Cusa in the 14th century, the institutional church lost its way and increasingly moved towards an ethic of control and legalism, and in so doing initiated the long decline for the faith. If nothing else, it gives that preachers a chance not to be an unholy gasbag.

          But I’ll shut up now.

          1. @Slowly Waking,

            Point well taken. What I said was based on my own personal experience with campus preachers at my University. The one that is the most controversial creates the most change.

            The typical ” You’re going to hell” one has a steady crowd every day whereas the “Jesus loves you” folks barely get two looks. The extreme one has hundreds of letters from old students who say his speeches had an impact on them.

            Obviously, I don’t disagree with your research. Appreciate it.

            1. @Bud Hennekes,

              I love very much that you are so young and while claiming to be somewhat shy (I skimmed your site), you are not afraid to speak up and stand up for yourself and the truth as you see it and to say what’s on your mind. Good on you! I think you will go far in life, and from what I have seen, you will do it in an honest and honorable manner. All the very best to you, young man!

            2. @Bud Hennekes, yeah, that was a little trolling using “Gregory of Nyssa and the Grasp of Faith,” Oxford University Press. Someone else’s research, not mine, apologies for the trolling.

              Not trolling: why give yourself over to chuckleheads like Tim? Why waste some of your best years in their fog?

        3. @Bud Hennekes, while I’m here… you wrote, “As Tim mentioned, he came here to defend a select few who he believed were unfairly lumped together with the serious offenders.”

          But you can scroll through this page and see that he lied. All this is searchable, just cut-and-paste the comment timestamps:

          At September 7th, 2011 at 8:58 am, Anon swiped at Randy Cantrell, saying his blog posts “all sounded like Pep Talks…life coaching at best.”

          At September 7th, 2011 at 12:59 pm, “Life Coaching at Best?” replied at length to defend life coaches.

          Two comments later, Brownson responded again about life coaching, shedding his anonymity. From that point on, it’s silly fiddling with anons.

          At 8 September 2011 at 4:39 pm he justifies himself at length when grilled on his professional associations with Dunford and people in her circle. He admits his clients, but disavows knowing Dunford personally (which I guess means “in person,” because saying “I’ve never met her” usually precludes talking on the phone.) That this does’t jibe with having her testimonial up, more flames.

          September 8th, 2011 at 7:08 pm he mentions AL, who by this point probably wishes the people defending her would just shut the fuck up and let it fade already, like everyone who “viciously attacked” her was happy to do.

          He’s trying to flit back and forth and claim the high ground, but he’s here because an offhand slight to his profession got under his skin. He couldn’t let it go; flailing around for an excuse, he wound up “defending” the defenseless. Lanna has called him out on this– her September 9th, 2011 at 4:27 pm is the one to read– but he’s responded with dithering, a lot of words with precious little meaning. Given his profession he should know better.

          This is my first real exposure to him. He’s epically full of shit. And he just can’t stop.

          So why did you accept his explanation when it’s so glaringly untrue? No, why do you want to imitate and learn from these people? Why do you give them so much of your mind, let them infect your choices with their nonsense?

          You also said Salty paints with a broad brush, but see his reply to Cantrell above. He’s not just trying to get a broad audience. That’s small fry compared to the important stuff.

            1. @Tim Brownson, I wrote that for Bud, not you, because he’s here in good faith and has good intentions, based on his past record of comments. Yes, I think he’s a little far deep in the IM cloud, but I have hope he’ll come out OK. He’s also probably annoyed with me, but I trust he can look past the messenger at your record.

              Because I was not addressing you, and because of your epic back-and-forths on this page, know that I will respond and give you the last word. Healthy boundaries.

              Here’s the lie. Bud quoted you having said you came here to defend others. Did you?

              On September 8th, 2011 at 7:08 pm, in response to someone asking SD why he blasted you, you wrote:

              “My wife told me not to comment because as she said “What good can come from it?

              “She’s kinda right, but I hate people being abused as much as SD does, and I feel like some good people (mainly MM) got short shrift on this one.” This is what Bud seems to be referring to.

              Checking your posts before and after, earlier you were not interested in defending others, but defending your profession and then, after shedding your anonymity, yourself. Timestamps in my comment above.

              Your claimed defense of others came later. First your clients, then the good people you went on to mention, one of whom chose to stay away, the other of whom handled herself beautifully and was praised for it by various commenters. SD in particular was standoffish; most followed suit. In the previous comments where these people came under scrutiny, mainly on the “Spider Shit Storm” post, some other people (mainly @Prime) defended them at length. You did not.

              Therefore, you lied. You do not hate people being abused; you hate life coaching in general and yourself in particular being abused, or better put, being criticized. You did not come here to defend others, but yourself. In fact, you hijacked the discussion to make it about life coaching. Questions about your assocations, like MM, Dunford’s associates, your clients, came in because they are in fact germane. Perhaps in your cheerful flamewar as you flailed around looking for justifications for yourself and others for why you were in so deep, you latched onto “defending others” as a plausible reason for your behavior. Then you recalled older posts with people fitting your idea of who needs defense and offered them out as examples, though you were nowhere to be found. And they were most certainly not receiving the drubbing you currently, correctly, are.

              Maybe you thought no one would notice the shift, or maybe you have no idea what you’re saying. Lots of defending goes on here, after all. But it is a matter of record that you came here to defend life coaching first; on revealing yourself, yourself; and only later, after much back-and-forth, did you claim to defend others. Bud came in because he was a happy customer of yours, saw the smokecloud, and offered a defense. I have no reason to suspect you dragged him in or that he was not well-served by your consultations. But he accepted a statement of yours that is a lie, based on the easily searchable public record on this very page, and I pointed it out to him.

              Your record throughout this page, and your comment above, are why I say you are epically full of shit. This is my first Tim Brownson moment. It is most impressive. Maybe you’re a great life coach. I have no idea. If you are, then great life coaches can be epically full of shit.

              Your next step, I guess, may be to contest whether your claim “”My wife told me not to comment … but I hate people being abused as much as SD does, and I feel like some good people (mainly MM) got short shrift on this one” actually counts as a lie.

              Maybe in NLP you think of this statement as a “reframe,” so it really doesn’t count as a lie in your mind. Maybe playing the white knight was in the back of your mind all along, but you didn’t get around to defending anyone but yourself for a few comments. Maybe you’re like a raccoon caught in a trap, and you just snap at anything that comes close to you without thinking. I don’t know. I do know that Bud quoted you; that when I looked for where you said that, I found it was untrue; and that, generally speaking, most people can agree that it was a lie.

              Sad that our public discourse is at a point where we have to vote on what a lie is.

              Maybe reframing it as a “falsehood” or an “untruth” makes it more palatable to you? Maybe a “misstatement.” Whatever. You’re here for you, you’re full of shit.

            1. @Tim Brownson, That unrestrained, poor judgment is exactly why you have no business being a “coach” to others in the first place.

            2. @TJ

              Damn nested comments!!

              Dude get over yourself, this has nothing to do with coaching. I had 2 glasses of wine last night but I don’t drink with clients. I had a nap last Saturday afternoon, but I don’t nap in front of clients. And I like to play loud music when I’m writing, but I don’t do it with clients.

              My judgment may have been poor or it may not, but how I react when it’s me has nothing to do with how I coach clients.

              Go and find one unhappy client of mine and I’ll unreservedly apologize and shut the fuck up.

            3. @Tim Brownson,

              So it’s a case of “do as I say and not as I do.”

              What a joke!

              T.J. is spot on – “you have no business being a “coach” to others in the first place.”

        4. @Bud Hennekes, you asked “Should Tim just sit by ideally while his profession gets a bad rap?”

          Answer: yes. Ideally, he should just sit by while his profession gets a bad rap. Preferably on the knuckles so maybe his profession will shape up a little.

        5. @Bud Hennekes, oh, and this?

          A quiet preacher who says Jesus loves you won’t convert anyone. Whereas an extremist saying “You’re going to hell” just might. You only change when your expectations are shattered.

          Absolute fucking bullshit. Every word of it. Then again, you were the fellow who had his mind blown by the concept that he didn’t ‘have to’ do anything, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

          1. @Sheila,

            Can I ask how that is bullshit? Do you have any proof to go against what I’m saying?

            Perhaps I didn’t do a good job explaining myself. The reason I said what I said is this:

            At my university campus there is an extreme christian who preaches the whole “you’re doomed and going to hell” spiel. While he isn’t as extreme as the Phelps.. he does get in your face with his beliefs.

            Regardless of what you think of his methods he gets people to think. And he has hundreds of letters of former students who use to hate him saying how much they thank him later on in life.

            Yes.. preachers preaching love can convert Christians.. I was trying to make a point.

            It’s similar to what Salty does here. He puts on the asshole persona to create anger within his readers. And anger is often a strong catalyst for change.

            “That fucker! I’m totally ethical… “… “Wait am I’m I really ethical?” … “Hmm maybe I should rethink this whole making line on the internet thing.” That’s the game Salty plays.

            If Salty was all nice here no one would listen to him and people would continue on their scamming ways. I’ve talked to several bloggers who are already rethinking their career because of Salty’s in your faceness.

            I openly admit I did myself in with the example of ” you don’t have to do anything.” I realize how silly it may sound. But it was something I struggled with growing up. I always felt like I needed to do things to please people. While working with Tim, I finally realized that in feeling that way I did a lot of things I didn’t like or need to do.

            Say what you want… Again, to you it may not be earth shattering but for me it made me realize how the language we use impacts in our every day lives.

            One things for sure, I’m glad I can count on you Sheila to have a mature conversation.

            1. @Bud Hennekes, It seems OK to want to come support a friend and maybe even a brave risk if you know the site here already.

              One thing it made me want to choose to mention one thing about the example from you though, which is something that I choose to have say is about that…

              I think that it’s maybe you’re confused because you’re on a marketing-scam blog and not the Christianity blog…

              because when I thought about your Q.E.D.-Proof about the preacher it made me have to realize that in marketing I-you can measure some conversions, but in Christianity what I wager is it can’t be possible for us even if using the SpiderMetrix approach for it, too.

              But at least he can measure the thank you letters he gets for scaring the people.

            2. @Bud Hennekes,

              The Droid doesn’t create anger in his regular readers, he created a space where the existing anger can be expressed.
              There is a great sea of seething anger out there, amongst the scammed and hoodwinked. Some gobshite marketer said it: “find the wound.”

              Its marketing at its most effective.

            3. @Bud Hennekes, I know you’ve already read the post above this one, written by Stoic. But you should read it a few more times. It’s spot on.

      2. @RT, I didn’t send Bud over here, he’s an ex-client and saw what was happening and stepped in. Whereas I am immensely grateful for his support, it probably would have been wiser for him to keep quiet.

        1. @Tim Brownson, One thing I did figure out if you are not-lying about the lying is maybe don’t get life-coaching from you when you’re drunk.

          1. @Jack, Actually, I think if you are going to get life coaching from Tim, you SHOULD get it when he’s drunk. It won’t affect the quality of the coaching, but it WILL help reduce his abrasiveness. (I’m basing this on the scientific research study I conducted in this thread.)

  42. Naomi on September 25 2008 0n why she closed comments to her blog:

    “There are three reasons why I blog:

    1. I want to help nice but confused and poor people who can’t afford to pay for it.

    2. I want people who CAN afford it to buy my shit.

    3. I want to feel famous.

    “You’ll notice that “starting a meaningless conversation with total fucking strangers” is not on that list.”

    “This is the first week we haven’t allowed comments on new posts at IttyBiz.”

    “What DOES impact my life, however, is people who come into my comments section to argue with me about stupid shit that has nothing to do with anything, just in case someone might see their link and click on it.”

    Oh no! You mean other scammers were trying to elbow in on your scamming?!

    “LAME COMMENT WERE IMPACTING MY WRITING.”

    Is Naomi implying her writing was worsening because of comments on her blog? That’s rather difficult to believe.

    Naomi:
    “Most important, lame comments were giving BAD ADVICE.”

    Well, we can’t have that, can we?

    Cue Bowie:
    “Fame, it’s not your brain, it’s just the flame
    That burns your change to keep you insane (sane)
    Fame (fame)

    Fame, (fame) what you like is in the limo
    Fame, (fame) what you get is no tomorrow
    Fame, (fame) what you need you have to borrow”

    1. @Barbara

      Thank you for bringing this up. I had a nasty run in with James Chartrand in 2007 which went over to Naomi’s blog where I was lambasted for closing comments as James was trying to prove I was wrong and was being a dick about it (in hindsight – I was on that particular issue). Anyhoo, I find it ironic that she just a year later did the same fucking thing. But for “different reasons””

  43. Someone named Skellie at Problogger gave Naomi and IttyBiz this shout out:

    “By making the choice to say the eBook would only be available for a limited time, readers who would have post-poned the decision of whether to buy the product until later (and then probably forgot about it) were forced to act quickly.”

    “Though there are many blogs funneling into an eBook, I chose IttyBiz as an example because of the clever use of artificial scarcity as a marketing tool. (Though if you emailed Naomi, I bet she’d still sell you a copy!)”

    Artificial scarcity sounds all business school like. Lying is such a cold word.

    Anybody remember the Castaways hit song?

      1. @Slowly Waking,

        Thanks for the link. Wonderful falsetto in that song and I loved the original Fender jaguar being played there. Was that #12 with a bullet?

    1. @Barbara,

      Every time a store has a sale for a period of time, you’re dealing with artificial scarcity.

      Having said that, there’s still a better way to do it and it’s very easy and ethical to do with digital products because you can edit them easily. Release the first version at a fair price, then improve it and raise the price accordingly in line with the improvements and reissue it–but the people who bought it under the old price get the update for free because they already paid. New customers buy at the new price. Your customers learn that value increases over time and they should buy early while the gettin’s good, and there’s nothing artificially scarce about anything. I did this with my last book and it worked out very well: original customers were very pleased with the free upgrade and new customers got value for their money instead of a scarcity play.

      No publisher will give you a free copy of the new edition of a printed book. This is where digital stuff rules.

      1. @Michael Martine,

        Every time a store has a sale for a period of time, you’re dealing with artificial scarcity.

        Please be more precise.

        A “sale” means that things will cost less for a little while.

        “Artificial scarcity” means pretending you don’t have very much of something when, in fact, you have quite a lot of it. For example, if you’re a store and you have three truckloads of loaves of bread, but you only stock the shelves with ten total loaves of bread and act as though you don’t have any more in the store–artificial scarcity.

        there’s still a better way to do it and it’s very easy and ethical to do with digital products because you can edit them easily. Release the first version at a fair price, then improve it and raise the price accordingly in line with the improvements and reissue it–but the people who bought it under the old price get the update for free because they already paid. New customers buy at the new price. Your customers learn that value increases over time and they should buy early while the gettin’s good, and there’s nothing artificially scarce about anything. I did this with my last book and it worked out very well: original customers were very pleased with the free upgrade and new customers got value for their money instead of a scarcity play.

        I think that I agree that, that’s probably ethical provided you make it clear to the customer how all that’s gonna work before they click buy.

        You can make it even more ethical if you don’t raise the price between iterations or if the amounts of increase in price are truly linked to the amount of increase in the quality/value of the thing being sold.

        I don’t know why they modded you down so much on that one.


        Furry cows moo and decompress.

        1. @Wyrd (formerly Iam3r) ::

          I’m voting down all of his comments because he’s a poser. A poser sounding reasonable is the most dangerous thing of all.

          Michael Martine is not a commenter on this blog … he’s a category.

        2. @Wyrd (formerly Iam3r), Besides being an out and out lie, I consider the whole “digital false scarcity” tactic to be a HOSTILE assault on people’s intelligence. It reeks of disrespect and manipulation. It’s like taking someone’s money and spitting on them at the same time.

          @Michael Martine, A store sale isn’t artificial scarcity, it’s a fixed time offer.

          Michael, let me ask you something.

          When was the last time you saw K-Mart advertise a sale on sweaters, and five days after the sale is over, run another ad saying they found some more of those SAME exact sweaters that they “forgot about” and are “opening their sale again for 24 more hours?”

          Most of the well known douchebags actually build that deception into their sales planning process before they even start selling! They email their affiliates in ADVANCE that they are going to announce a deadline, then “open it back up again” five days later. Funny how they don’t tell the buyers they are going to do that.

          1. @Joe,

            Yeah, artificial scarcity is bad. And digital scarcity is not just bad it’s also stupid .. (“oh noes! Weez runin outta bitz!”)

            But I agree that artificial scarcity is bad and, at least for the moment, @Michael Martine wasn’t really denying that it was bad.

            But @SD’s probably right–for the purposes of this blog, @Michael Martine is not so much a commenter as he is a single element of a larger category.


            Furry cows moo and decompress.

        3. @Wyrd (formerly Iam3r),

          The artificial scarcity for sales is time. You have a deadline and then poof! Magically back to regular price. We all know that in most cases the store isn’t really taking a loss, or if they are, they’re hoping you’ll buy enough other shit that’s not on sale or sign up for their atrocious credit card to make up for the difference. If a manufacturer gets a price break on materials and passes that on to the customer, then you have scarcity of quantity, which is legit. Anyways, to me, fixed time is still scarcity.

          And you’re right, it’s an insult to intelligence.

          When I see an info product or program go back on the sale block or reopen its doors soon after launch, what that tells me is that sales weren’t so hot in the first place and they’re trying to spur more sales. The big reason why I think that’s the case is because nearly every big IM product launch since the economy went into the shitter has done this as far as I recall. Maybe I’m wrong, but every time I see that now, all I can think is: “Somebody’s not sellin’ too good.” To me, that’s pretty fucking scammy.

          When you sell something for a certain price, hopefully it’s a fair price and people feel that what you’re selling is worth more than money to them. That’s all fine and good. If you then say “the price is going up” and you don’t give a good reason for it (like added matching value) then it’s an obvious ploy, and it’s insulting. Why should the price go up for no damn good reason? That pisses people off, and rightly so.

          And SD can vote down my comments all he wants. It’s his blog.

          1. @Michael Martine, What you’ve described is not ‘artificial scarcity’ and I suspect you know it. If the price goes down for a limited time and then goes back to normal it’s a ‘sale’. That some dishonest internet marketers claim that the item will be gone forever after the sale makes no difference. It’s like the carpet stores who are forever ‘going out of business’. That’s one kind of scam, but it’s not artificial scarcity. Artificial scarcity – as taught by Jeff Walker – is severely – and artificially- limiting the quantity of a product so as to make it seem far more valuable than it is. Add to that a very limited time slot for the sale- typically 1 or 2 days- for a product that has been hyped for months in advance- and you’ve got a very potent psychological mix.

            I came very close to buying Jeff Walker’s product launch a few years ago. I was hesitating between the ‘bonuses’ offered by two of the dozens of affiliates who’d been bombarding my mailbox for months. When I finally decided on one and went to buy it the server crashed. And then I had one of those very unpleasant experiences- like coming out of a trance on a hypnotist’s stage to discover the audience laughing at you. That was the beginning of the end of my buying of MMO products. Other people haven’t been so lucky. I know of 5 or 6 people who have had a moderate success at legitimate businesses- often decades of it- and then taken the product launch course. Most of them have remained pretty decent people- usually because they took only a few of the ‘lessons’ to heart. The rest I’ve had to drop as their sites became product launch clones. Here’s the thing tho’ – the ones who remained decent business people offering real products for more or less reasonable prices STILL attribute their success to Walker. That’s what dropping 5 figures for something will do to you. That and making friends with a bunch of other people in the same boat. But you know that. You’ve read Slowly Waking’s story.

            So please- drop the ‘this is just normal business practice’ BS.

            1. @Wanderlost,

              Those are some really good points. You can spot a product launch a mile away now.

              And as far as I can tell, it’s the normal business practice that I’m critical of, not endorsing.

            2. @Wanderlost,

              ‘who remained decent business people……. STILL attribute their success to Walker. That’s what dropping 5 figures for something will do to you.’

              That one is a stubborn pig of a cognitive fallacy to see for yourself, something to do with rationalising effort (or cash) already expended, along with confirmation bias, selective recall and attitude polarisation:

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias

              ‘Thucydides, in the History of the Peloponnesian War wrote, ‘it is a habit of mankind … to use sovereign reason to thrust aside what they do not fancy.”…..’

              However, that’s just my opinion and I will fight to the death to defend it.

            3. @Wanderlost,

              I believe that’s called the sunk cost fallacy.

              It’s one of the main things that leads to people being ripped off for tens of thousands, instead of just hundreds. A major cognitive glitch, you might say.

          2. @Michael Martine, @Wanderlost has dealt with your confused definition of “artificial scarcity”. And yep, Salty can vote down all your comments if he wants. Hell, he could ban you from commenting if he wanted to. I rather think he’s giving you enough rope to hang yourself.

  44. To suggest that Tim is culpable in anything Naomi does is fantastic. If anyone had that much influence over someone after only a few phone calls… and over two years later to boot… why you’d be dealing with a master cult leader. I seriously doubt that Naomi just didn’t listen to him or had the best of intentions which then dissolved over time. Nah… that would be too far-fetched and unrealistic.

    I’m so glad I know Tim, because I would hate to have such an incredible power used against me. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a sudden unexplainable urge to PayPal Tim a bunch of money…

    1. @Michael Martine ::

      Why don’t you just PayPal the money back to the places it came from :: since you can’t help people make money online.

      1. @SD,

        It would be more correct to say I don’t help people make money online. Or don’t want to. I help businesses market their products and services through blogging. We already covered this, but with all the comments flying around I’m sure it’s easy to forget.

    2. @Michael Martine, There are some 400 comments here, so I can’t be sure, but I haven’t seen anyone suggest that Tim Brownson is responsible for ANYTHING anyone else has done. What I and others have said is to come here on a post about her and pretend not to be acquainted with Naomi Dundford was highly disingenuous. (Other people have put it a bit more rudely.) Then, when the information was discovered (as he might have supposed it would be) to pretend that he couldn’t disclose it because of ‘client confidentiality’ is to insult our intelligence. On a business site when someone offers an endorsement or testimonial they are assumed to have been a client of that person. If they have never used the services they are endorsing, that’s a problem of another kind. So clearly it was no secret that Tim had coached Naomi. If he had come clean about it up front I think from all but a few he would have gotten a very different response to his posts. People here tend to respect both using your own name and being honest about what you’ve done.

  45. So I’m a real-honest-to-god-internet-marketer. I sell my services online 100%. Some web design, some development, some affiliate stuff, some lead gen. I have read Copyblogger on and off for the past year or so – I didn’t get to apply anything I read because it just didn’t apply to my work. But I liked it. It seemed (seems?) well thought out and up my alley. Then one day I got an email for Marketing for Smart People – Sonia Simone. It was free, so I signed up. Some of the 20 or so points were very interesting, others not so much. When Third Tribe had its product launch – I was in. No question about it. Here were a group of people that were NOT Ryan Deiss-esque; definitely seemed like the kind of group and forum I needed. A group of people that I could actually talk about what I do – how I do it – get advice, etc. 99% of people that I talk to that want to know what I do for a living don’t understand. I have to dumb it down to – hey, when you see that little box with the pretty lady with super white teeth next to the article you’re reading? Click on it – that’s me. I mean, not really – but pretty close. I contract my services to Fortune 500 companies – but I do not work for a corporation exclusively. So when I got the 3rd T email – I thought “Finally! I can talk to people that know what’s going on here!” I was a member for 5 months. Nothing applied to me or what I do. But I didn’t mind reading it – because I thought, well, at some point, I’d like to have a blog, email marketing list, etc. Until yesterday. I saw a post in 3rd talking about all this stuff with this Naomi person, then I followed the links, then I followed more links…and ended up here. I’ve been reading this site (SD) for almost 2 days straight now. I’ve read about the Death Ray guy, Jeff Johnson, Naomi, this Navarro character (who seems totally fucked up right now – shame), Deiss – basically everyone.

    I am shocked.

    I did not know – because apparently I’m an idiot – that Internet Marketing does not actually mean Internet Marketing all the time. I mean, I know there’s scammers everywhere; I worked with people that have sites that require your cell phone so they can ‘contact’ you – only you get a nice $9.95 charge every month that you don’t realize until a year goes by. (x 200,000 people a month = serious money).

    I got to the end of this post – and I realized – I’m nothing, NOTHING like these people. This is darker than regular scam-stuff I hear about/see sometimes. This is preying on people at a serious psychological level. This is not just some idiot clicking on a link here; this is…evil almost? I mean, people are fucking dying??? Are you kidding me? I mean, dying for scam-money is like mob / third column of Drudge Report links. I could have never imagined that 3rd Tribe would even be ASSOCIATED with these people – let alone BE THESE PEOPLE.

    So anyhoo, 3rd is done for me. I’ll be checking my email more carefully and unsubscribing to basically everything remotely like this ‘Internet Marketing’ bs…This is NOT how it’s done – nor what it’s done for – AT ALL. There are actually really normal people out there that work 9-5 (or more like 7-10) at a job that is frustrating and rewarding and ethical and all that. I mean, I think so? Because now I’m back to my party of One here…

    1. @well then…, You’re not an idiot. You’re the reason why SD and the honest commenters here battle it out every day with the shills who come here in an effort to maintain their deceptions. Thanks for your comment.

    2. @well then…,

      when you see that little box with the pretty lady with super white teeth next to the article you’re reading? Click on it – that’s me.

      Teeth whitening ads have forced hidden *convoluted* continuity [[that make Jeremy Johnson look like a saint]]….what am I missing…

      here’s what they say….

      *Terms: Get Unlimited Refills, No Monthly Charges & No Auto Shipping. For coupon eligibility, simply get four refills & complete coupon form. You will be able to request your refill every thirty days and pay only $14.97. If you are not completely satisfied for any reason when you receive your product, you can return it for a refund. You’re that much closer to health & beauty.

      Here’s what you agree to when you enter your CC number [[note the little sneaky asterisk]]….

      11. 14 Day Trial Terms (Billed by CCBill.com):
      30 day supply of for $5.95(USD). If you feel is not for you, cancel within 14 days from today to avoid the purchase fee of $79.00(USD) and enrollment in the auto-shipment program which sends you a month supply every 30 days at the low price of $29.97(USD). To cancel anytime simply call 1-877-374-0182 (U.S.). Any charges will appear as CCBill.com *Buy Health on your credit card statement.

      https://www.securebiller.com/idolwhite.com/tos.php

      This is not the exception, but the norm….Maybe I need to see your teeth whitening ads….

      1. @_cartman_, I’m pretty sure she meant that the model in the advertisement has perfect teeth—like all models in all advertisements—not that she was selling teeth whitener scams.

      2. @_cartman_,

        Sorry, I was just trying to use an example of the difference between these lunatics with their get-rich or die schemes and plain ol affiliate product links. I don’t actually sell teeth whitening products. I actually don’t sell any kind of product with TOS like those…

    3. @ALL

      Why is @well then’s post at -3 points? It seems like a good post to me.


      Furry cows moo and decompress.

        1. @Thom, Most seemed OK, but maybe I misinterpreted first part of it then about him not believing “Internet Marketing” meaning “Internet Marketing” all the time which I said about in my comment right here downt he page.

          1. @Jack, I guess I was fuzzy about that. At first glance the comment looked like someone’s chronicle of getting sucked into this garbage, and then realizing what a racket it all is.

            I just re-read it and noticed this part about Copyflogger:

            “It seemed (seems?) well thought out and up my alley…”

            “Seems” is present sense.

            Noticing that gave me a business idea for Salty. I wish I could use paypal to buy a thumbs down for the thumbs up I wasted.

            1. @Thom,

              Meant to say seems (seemed?)…I think the rest of my post clearly states how much my views have changed due to the information on this site and elsewhere.

            2. @well then.. I originally thought that’s what you meant. I think people have just become a little more skeptical because of the influx of deceptive commenters with twisted agendas trying to cover up for scammers. Thanks for clarifying.

    4. @well then…,

      Like you, I know how frustrating it is to try explaining SEO and affiliate marketing to family and friends, and I market some companies that use auto-shipment programs @_cartman_ would consider scams.

      I used to read Copyblogger and followed Brian Clark on Twitter. Then I started seeing links and hearing stories about Internet Marketing the way the Syndicate does it. Where copywriting didn’t mean writing copy for clients – it meant inventing useless info-products and selling them using sales-letter-style webpages. Where affiliate marketing didn’t mean an advertorial blog with links to Fortune 500 companies’ products – it meant pitching other people’s useless info-products.

      Somehow my B.S. detector went off, and I started unfollowing a lot of folks. It’s hard to tell what people are up to when they say they do copywriting, SEO, online marketing, blogging, etc. now. It’s definitely like looking at what I do in a dark, evil funhouse mirror. (Did you listen to the audio over in “Scamming Two Debbies”? The part where he uses some typical budget-discovering techniques to find out her credit card limits is like listening to the Devil contort the Bible for his own devious purposes.)

      So, yeah, there are normal folks out here selling our services online, and selling services that help other people sell stuff online. My schedule’s often 9 am to 3 am, but whatevs. And it is frustrating sometimes, but it’s rewarding to help client and products I believe in – even if they use auto-shipment programs and I think that’s in the ethics grey zone.

      1. @Lanna,

        and I market some companies that use auto-shipment programs @_cartman_ would consider scams.

        Well, I don’t know what to think, considering the ONLY “auto-ship” type programs I consider fraudulent are the ones which are hidden in TOS as the one I pointed out. How you extrapolated that to mean I placed all auto-ship under one umbrella is beyond me.

        http://www.bbb.org/edmonton/business-reviews/health-and-medical-products-scientifically-unproven/1021018-alberta-ltd-in-sherwood-park-ab-153474

        http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2011/05/jessewillms.shtm

        1. @_cartman_,

          The overall purpose of my post (like @Carol’s post) was to show support for @well then… when s/he was getting thumbs downs (as @Wyrd (formerly Iam3r) points out).

          I didn’t put a great deal of thought into my word choice for that intro. I should’ve used “might” instead of “would.”

          I also should’ve read the text you posted more carefully. I expected it to be like the ones I’ve seen that say “Free Trial – Just Pay Shipping*” in big type and then “When you request a free trial you’ll be enrolled in our monthly auto-shipment program” in fine print lower on the same page. Personally, I find it a little disingenuous to bury that in the fine print, but it’s not nearly like your example of saying “No Monthly Charges & No Auto Shipping” while enrolling them in monthly charges and auto-shipping. For the record, my client who has an auto-shipment program has no BBB complaints.

          Sorry about the word choice and skim-reading. I still stand by @well then…, and I see others do, too, now.

    5. @well then…,

      “I did not know – because apparently I’m an idiot – that Internet Marketing does not actually mean Internet Marketing all the time”

      If it’s how you interpret the statement, then it’s true about you being an idiot.

  46. Okay..so she drove a bunch of traffic here and of course, cuz it’s 1am on Friday night and I’m home bored I had to go look at hers. Uh yeah…

    she’s giving her latest crap away..Dave Navarro is giving EVERYTHING away (although she’s asking for donations for him to “put his life back together”. ALTHOUGH, if he gets enough donations it could be a “legal defense fund” to sue you.

    No more mention of death threats, so I guess that’s something.

    Seriously..people are going to believe this crap?

    And I LOVE that she says YOU put HER in a bad position. Seriously spinmaster at her ahem..finest.

    I’m really just blown away by this whole fricken drama llama.

    1. @Really?, Like you said, they are giving their crap away. They must have come to terms with what their crap was worth. Now other people will need to come to terms with what their own time is worth. Let’s hope they decide their time is worth more than crap.

  47. I guess the nested comments ran out.

    This is a response to @stoic who wrote:

    “There is a great sea of seething anger out there, amongst the scammed and hoodwinked. Some gobshite marketer said it: “find the wound.””

    It’s painful to read things like that. The deliberation. And it’s everywhere at every level.

    I’ve been saying for years, if you do not transcend your own psychology you can be controlled.

    If people would do the work of loving themselves and taking better care of themselves, things would changed radically. Scamming and manipulation would be a lot harder to do.

    1. @Peter Crowell,
      When there is financial gain to be had, there is an awful lot of time, thought and deliberation put into constructing these scams. And you can’t transcend your own psychology, you can just get a bit smarter about who you allow to exploit your own particular wounds.

      1. @stoic,

        Yes, the motivation and creative energy that goes into a scam is truly creepy. I think people have a hard time believing it actually takes place, because it’s so, well, unbelievable. That’s why we continue to be shocked by criminal behavior.

        But transcending your own psychology is the work that goes on in the background, all the time, that allows you to see what’s really going on in the world and NOT be shocked by it. Instead you become vigilant, responsive and sensitive to its subtleties.

        You develop the reflexes for dealing with it.

        A lot of people talk about the manipulation perpetrated by the scammers. But the scammers are on to something. Something you summed up as “the wound.”

        If I have no wound, I can’t be scammed. So, transcending your own psychology is the work of identifying and healing the wounds upon which the scammers prey.

        In the presence of a particular scam, I could ask myself, why am I so eager to buy into this? I might lie to myself and jump, or I might notice the spell that’s being cast.

        Or better yet, I might have a moment of clarity and honesty in which I say, “because I hate myself and I’m easily pushed around because I secretly think I deserve it.”

        If that happens, I can start to do something about it.

        It’s a slow process. But it can be undertaken deliberately.

        1. @Peter Crowell,

          “But transcending your own psychology is the work that goes on in the background, all the time, that allows you to see what’s really going on in the world and NOT be shocked by it. Instead you become vigilant, responsive and sensitive to its subtleties.”

          There is no absolute generic innoculation, and humans being imperfect, will never be completely unsusceptible to being taken advantage of or caught up in their own inherent weaknesses. Many factors can influence clarity, including hunger, dehydration, illness, stress, traumatic experiences, mental illness, etc.

          Vigilance is a nice ideal, and you can certainly learn and have some degree of “awareness.” But unless you can step outside of yourself and function as yourself at the same time, you aren’t always going to best serve as your own security guard and deal with the complexities of life optimally.

          Your measured mental flowchart demands a certain calm, rational, focused state that can get muddled or obscured by circumstance or emotion even with the best of intentions. Not everyone is up for or capable of such constant vigilance.

          I’m not saying it isn’t a good idea to work on having awareness, but I am saying that it is not a foolproof protection mechanism.

          This blog also isn’t simply an awareness mechanism. A substantial part of its purpose is deterrence through shame and public ridicule. I think it is having an effect there.

          For those who haven’t achieved consistent vigilance, are incapable, or don’t know how (it’s a big world) then rare blogs like this serve a useful purpose.

          1. @Jim,

            “There is no absolute generic innoculation,”

            Agreed. It’s a process with renewed challenges at every turn.

            “unless you can step outside of yourself and function as yourself at the same time,”

            Exactly. This is possible.

            “Your measured mental flowchart demands a certain calm, rational, focused state that can get muddled or obscured by circumstance or emotion…”

            No doubt. That’s why it takes consistent effort over the course of a lifetime.

            ” rare blogs like this serve a useful purpose.”

            I totally agree. Especially about the “rare” part.

            But it’s a war with many fronts.

            1. @Peter Crowell,

              “unless you can step outside of yourself and function as yourself at the same time,

              Exactly. This is possible.”

              I would disagree.

              You can’t truly “see yourself” (have a full, external level of awareness of what really “is” relative to you and your environment) and simultaneously “be yourself” (maintain 100% perfect awareness of every aspect of your internal physiology and perceptions) at the same time.

              That’s a supposition that, if completely indulged, can leave people without external safeguards to make up for human frailties.

              You are foregoing one thing when you do (or focus) on another. Humans don’t even really “multi-task.” That’s a misnomer. People only temporarily stop doing one thing and then move to another. That’s switching, not multi-tasking. That “switching” makes people susceptible to disconnects and diversions.

              Even the most fleeting, unexpected, circumstance-driven thoughts can significantly interrupt or derail your awareness, and they often fly under even the most “conscientious” radar.

              That’s when the unicorns come out to play.

        2. @Peter Crowell, Stoic is right. You can’t transcend your own psychology. It’s human psychology and as long as you’re human you’re stuck with it. I wasn’t wounded. I have a good marriage- going on for 20 years. I’m close to my family and I have a lot of wonderful friends. I don’t have any great financial needs. I’m comfortably off. I still bit- and I”m just beginning to realize how hard. Not having the wounds made it easier for me to get out- and probably prevented me from actually putting into practice any of these smarmy tactics- but it didn’t prevent me from getting in. Have ideas knocking around in your head? Like to travel? Want to change things for the better yourself, or be able to give more support to the charities and organizations that you think are doing the most good? Then you’re a target. And thinking that you aren’t vulnerable makes you an EASY target.

          1. @Wanderlost,

            “You can’t transcend your own psychology”

            False.

            “as long as you’re human you’re stuck with it.”

            True, but it can be strengthened and clarified.

            “Not having the wounds made it easier for me to get out…”

            I’m glad you got out. And this statement touches on my point.

            “thinking that you aren’t vulnerable…”

            Not sure how that’s relevant. I never said anything like it.

            1. @Peter Crowell, It makes me think about that of the time my favorite English teacher told right to me personally that one day it could be possible to go onto transcend my own potential and that one eventually never made enough sense to me as well, except about that maybe it’s today I’m finally the writer I before previously had already always wanted to someday become.

        3. @Peter Crowell, nnnnnnnnng.

          Scammers promise me they’ll heal my wounds. But you say I can never have them in the first place? Uh.

          Here’s a quote, and I’m no Christian, but it fits: “the wounds of Christ do not disappear; they are glorified. Only the devil appearing as Christ has no wounds, being too vain to bear them.”

          1. @Slowly Waking,

            “…you say I can never have them in the first place…”

            No. Never said that. And I don’t believe it, either.

            “…the wounds of Christ do not disappear; they are glorified. ”

            And so can ours be. Ever stop to consider what that might look like? The ability to feel a scam, or know when you’re being lied to, could well be part of it.

            1. @[Peter Crowell], transcendence is not transfiguration. Going through life, we leave nothing behind. Your language sets off my New Age b.s. alarm, sounding much like the scammers who promise we can beat aging, we can beat sadness, we can beat being poor, we can be reborn mid-life as perfect versions of ourselves, usually through horseshit like hypnosis, NLP, New Thought, Personal Mastery. We can leave our old selves behind, just like Jeff Walker encourages leaving your family behind…

              …so I just glanced at your page to see what you’re selling. Surprised to see mainly kids books. I expected metaphysical seminars & audios. You were a monk– with the Trappists in Snowmass? A little hermitage, sounds like.

              I’ll stop to consider what my transfigured wounds can look like never, because it smacks of pride. Not my call. In this context I’ll demur from the interesting conversation we’d have IRL. Serves me right for trolling Bud with Gregory of Nyssa! Just watch out for those big promises, and know that I’m one of the most sympathetic-to-religion folks here. If you’ve got a spiritual pitch on tap, which you seem to, good luck.

            2. Apologies for introducing a tangent.

              @Peter Crowell,

              “And thinking that you aren’t vulnerable makes you an EASY target.”

              I learned to recognise a scam and being lied to by being repeatedly scammed and lied to–and eventually getting fed up with being on the receiving end.

              Learning how these things work,(always targeting the volatile emotions and not the rational process) gave me a new understanding of my awesome ignorance of the world.

              Since I have no faith in an improbably ‘perfect’ world somewhere in the distant future where I am immune to wounds and scams, I haven’t bothered with bull-shit healings and glorifyings etc and will just cheerfully drag this scammed and wounded carcass to the grave.

              I’m OK with being led a bit astray, just a bit, especially if there is a laugh in it too–since it is inevitable anyway. I finally learned, after a lot of confusion over maps and territories, how to read a map and find my way home.

              SD is providing a great educational service here–with none of the usual drawbacks of pompous pedagogy.

              Oh, and thinking that you aren’t vulnerable or can magic up some invulnerability from somewhere– makes you the easiest target of all.

              A Trappist, eh? I read Thomas Merton when I was very young and desperate. He made me think and I am grateful to him for that.

  48. Violins and vomit buckets at the ready, Naomi on why she does what she does:

    Naomi:
    “Dearest baby Jack,”

    “On Labour Day, 2000, I was going to school for something I hated and gearing up to divorce your brother’s Daddy.”

    “On Labour Day, 2001, I was living in a homeless shelter and pregnant with a baby boy you’ll never get to meet, although you can trust me that he was pretty awesome while he was here.”

    yadda yadda then comes Jack:

    “Your Daddy took six months off work…but things were not looking good in the Dunford family bank book.”

    “After we hung out with you for half a year, though, we didn’t really want to stop, (i.e. actually work*), so we created IttyBiz.”
    *Barbara

    “I got an email from a man the other day, and he said that he’d made enough money with his new little side business to take his kids to Disney World for the first time.”

    “A whole bunch of kids like you are able to see a lot more of their own Mummies and Daddies because you showed up and made it happen, and I think, if they ever knew, they’d say thank you and share their fruit cups with you.”

    This is accompanied by a photo of her child, because a true marketer uses everything at hand to SELL SELL SELL including pictures of their kids, stories of Cambodian sex slaves, fake letters to those children, touching stories of trips to Disney World by “a man”…yeah, we can really verify that story, the unnamed abused wife made an appearance in this post as well.

    Oddly enough, the only woman Naomi ever identified was the one who asked for a refund after Naomi stood her up and that was to shame and berate the woman and make an example of her. So…I wonder, was this before or after all of that invaluable “life coaching”?

    1. @Barbara,

      Why do you keep reading her blog in such detail if you find it so repulsive.

      Do you get a secret thrill from being offended or something?

      1. @Tell me,

        Why, does reading even bits and pieces of Naomi’s trash here repulse you? Then you should be REALLY grateful that Barbara is willing to wade in and help reveal that foul reality, without your having to be exposed to it in its nauseating entirety. (Thanks, Barbara!)

        1. @Jeffrey,

          I think that since Naomi has removed everything from her site except the fake death threats and the we’re-giving-it-all-away fire sale posts it’s interesting to see what used to be there.

          If people come here knowing nothing about Naomi except that she’s pretending to be today’s version of Nell Fenwick waiting for some Dudley Do-Right to untie her they should get to know the real Naomi Dunford. The Naomi Dunford who verbally abuses customers who dare to ask for refunds. The Naomi Dunford who proudly boasts of having lied on every single job application she’s ever filled out. The Naomi Dunford who pisses in juice pitchers and then writes about it publicly.

          The Naomi Dunford who said:
          “The real Dave Navarro, not the lame-ass fakers who play guitar or football, (there’s fame in the name, dudes. Fame. In. The Name.) interviewed me!”

          Not Dave Navarro of Jane’s Addiction who recorded Idiots Rule:
          “Idiots obey
          They made it easy
          Now cheaters have their way
          You hi-di-ho’s
          You’re living on your knees

          Forget the rule!
          Oh – idiots rule!”

          1. @Barbara, Totally agree. Footprints can say more than the shoes themselves. Please continue. People need to see what’s really behind that curtain.

        2. @Jeffrey,

          I don’t really find it offensive. Some of it’s pretty funny. In the same way some of the Droid’s stuff is pretty funny.

          As for pissing in juice pitchers, urine is sterile,unless you have an infection or disease. Some people even drink it for medicinal purposes.

          So there’s nothing wrong with pissing in a juice pitcher if that’s all you have handy, as long as you give it a good wash afterwards to get the smell of urea out.

          1. @Tell me ::

            Naomi’s “jokes” are about as funny as a tire fire at a nursing home. She wraps tiny bits of depressing truth from her own pathetically parasitic life into faux-hipster condescension aimed at the very people who she’s supposed to helping and serving.

            Disgusting is the only good way to describe it.

            1. @SD, What Naomi is missing is that “little man” or I guess that “little woman” that is supposed to sit perched on your shoulder and whisper in your ear to “be quiet” before you get too close to the deep end.

              I’m guessing Naomi’s “little woman” was so overworked and exhausted she just flat out quit, probably years ago.

          2. @Tell me,

            Urinating in your KITCHEN is repulsive! I don’t care what the receptacle is or what the chemical properties of urine are. Social mores and standards exist so that others do not necessarily have to be subjected to the whims of the repugnant. Are we supposed to assume that being pregnant excuses you from having to travel…what? …10 feet to a bathroom like civilized people do, when they feel the urge inside their own home? Nice example for her children, what other things can she teach them? Banjo playn’, tooth decay, sister humpin’, fart ignition?

            And having that she-male version of the PC Guy casually write about it, makes me shudder at the thought of what she does that she feels is too crude to write about.

  49. @slowly waking

    (nested comments ran out…)

    That’s a great point about transcendence vs. transformation. But I wasn’t referring to transcendence the condition. I was using it as a verb, as in: to rise above or go beyond the limits of.

    But you’re right, transformation is my real point.

    At the moment kids’ books are all I sell. I do plan to put out some nonfiction, along the lines of what we’re talking about here, but no schemes for happiness. I only know who jeff walker is from this run of ND posts. And it’s funny that Jesus prescribed leaving your family behind also. Though I doubt he meant the same thing.

    Positive thinking helps, but it’s not the answer. Check out my cartoon on this subject here: http://www.lifeismaking.com/on-positive-thinking

    No, I’m not making any promises. I’m talking about possibility, and what I believe is our true nature and calling. But I’ll never promise anything except that such things take work. I guess you could say I’ve got a spiritual pitch on tap, but what that looks like remains to be seen. That format is a big part of why I’m hanging around here.

    I was a carmelite, in a hermitage in Crestone. I never did make it to Snowmass, but some of those guys came our way when they needed retreat time. The cenobitical life never held any attraction for me. In Crestone we were heremitical. Much more my style. Although I couldn’t quote Gregory of Nyssa to save my life. If I was a trappist, I wouldn’t have been a choir monk.

    1. @Peter Crowell, ” only know who jeff walker is from this run of ND posts. And it’s funny that Jesus prescribed leaving your family behind also. Though I doubt he meant the same thing.”

      Very funny! One can go through many of the gurus on this site and find repackaged spiritual wisdom, with wisdom sliced out and replaced with megalomania. Vigilance & all that.

      I’m not too familiar with the Carmelites, which makes sense since they’re hermits. I just order cheese & fudge from the Trappists over where Merton used to be. And I will say this: their marketing is superb.

      1. @Slowly Waking,

        Chocolate and cheese? They never brought us any!

        I may have to check out some of these gurus more closely, to find out exactly what they preach.

        Thanks for the exchange. But I’ve got to return to my real life now. I have a ton going on.

        And thanks to SD for hosting all these comments.

        I’ve learned a lot.

      2. @Slowly Waking,

        Have you ever read Merton’s poem Chee$e? It’s a parody of Joyce Kilmer’s Trees.

        “I think that we should never freeze
        Such lively assets as our cheese:

        The sucker’s hungry mouth is pressed
        Against the cheese’s caraway breast

        A cheese, whose scent like sweet perfume
        Pervades the house through every room.

        A cheese that may at Christmas wear
        A suit of cellophane underwear,

        Upon whose bosom is a label,
        Whose habitat: – The Tower of Babel.

        Poems are nought but warmed-up breeze,
        Dollars are made by Trappist Cheese.”

        The poem was written privately for the cellarer but it has turned up in the collected edition of his poems.
        The entire fruitcake/cheese enterprise drove Merton crazy. I agree their marketing is nicely done, I order from them every year. (sorry for the off topic post)

  50. @jim

    I think I get what you’re saying and I agree with parts of it. But I’ll just say this: it’s possible to build awareness of my thoughts, feelings and hidden motivations in a way that frees me from auto pilot response.

    It takes work. But my own experience bears this out. We become able to feel what is best for us, and gravitate to it. And at the same time capable of knowing what will hurt us, and shunning it.

    I’m glad for these exchanges. They help me refine my thinking.

    But I have to go now. I’ve spent several days here and my real life needs me.

    So thanks for your time.

  51. Is it me or does Chris Brogan seem headed for a meltdown? He used to be like the “Tao of Steve” guy to me, but now he seems to be getting increasingly defensive, cranky, and hyper-sensitive (the clearest way to identify this is when someone continually says they are not sensitive or can care less) with every other post.

    1. @Albert, The $47 teleseminar for the GooglePlus webinar (after the platform was only up for one month) was the killer for me. Really? You have all these inside tips for a platform after one f-ing month of it being in existence?

      1. @Blue, Isn’t that the truth! That’s how so many of these douchebags operate. They are always right behind all the free information that’s coming out, paraphrasing it and charging money for it. People are finally starting to wake up to these pretend “instant experts.”

      2. @Blue,

        If you try reading any of his recent posts, they are all either hapless attempts to seem profound or bipolar rants. The dude is losing it and the shameless self-promotion thing with the Google+ book is just another indication. I am afraid we might soon read about a suicide by doughnut attempt if he doesn’t get some Tony Robbins on the ipod in time.

      3. @Blue,

        I’m thinking about releasing a $97 course on the next big service that FB, Amazon or Google releases. Be sure to buy now to reserve your incredible $97 rate before it actually comes out and I charge 2k. I have bundles of testimonials for the product already and Clickbank has already approved it… just waiting for them to approve Upsell #5 and then I blast my affiliates who will promote the crap out of it.

        I’ll probably pull the offer down after a week or so, depending on what Sandy Jenkins tells me.

      4. @Blue,

        Here is the latest post Brogan managed to drivel onto the internet for the bemusement of all:

        site;http://www.chrisbrogan.com/thumbtacks/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+chrisbrogandotcom+%28%5Bchrisbrogan.com%5D%29

        Before I could determine whether someone accidentally hit the publish button mid-thought or if it was a diary entry of a self-marveling cult leader descending into madness, I realized that his mindless drones were already lining up in single file to laud his wisdom and profound insight. They took turns saying how though-provoking and paradigm changing his inanely retarded post was. The only thoughts it provoked from me was how the crap does this guy make a living, and what I wouldn’t do for a chance to kick him in the bean bag.

        At this point I can’t tell if he is mid guru-crash or just doing a very bad job of trying to be Seth Gollum.

  52. I’ve been at a dirt race track for the last four days helping a crew work on a stock car. The track and facilities were a shit hole sitting smack dab in the center of a dirt miasma.

    Dirt track, dirt access roads, slept in a tent on the dirt, crawled under the car on the dirt. Changed a ton of things on the car including a transmission…. All in the dirt.  Didn’t shower for almost three days, I was covered in dirt. 

    And I felt cleaner than I do after really reviewing all the manipulation this “woman” has done.  

  53. From an interview with Naomi Dunford November 9 2009:

    JetSetCitizen: If you could go back to the beginning of IttyBiz, what would you do different? (Barbara’s note: Of course this should read “differently” not “different” as yet another brilliant online marketing teacher/ writer does not even know what an adverb is, but I digress.)

    Naomi: When I started, I was so desperate to just make some goddamn money already, I didn’t care what I did to get it. As a result, some of my efforts were pretty scattershot.

    JSC: Tell us how you got started.

    Naomi: I started IttyBiz in late 2007 after realizing I was completely unemployable. My son had just turned one and I didn’t want to send him to daycare. Plus, my earnings capacity at that time was basically zilcho… Nobody in the online sphere was really helping the little guy.
    ********************************************************************

    Let’s make this perfectly understandable: she admits to being unemployable, without any marketable skills, but yet she claims her goal was to “help”. How can someone with no knowledge or skill set help another clueless person? Perhaps Naomi actually meant “help myself to what’s in their wallets”.

    And take note of Naomi’s rare moment of honesty, she says she was so desperate for money she didn’t care what she did to get it.

    And that is how a scammer is born.

  54. Does someone with more experience critiquing this stuff than I have want to check out escapefromcubiclenation.com and tell me if that falls into the same type of thing we’re discussing? It sounds to me like maybe it does, but I’m not entirely sure, and I’d value an opinion if anyone’s bored and wants to check it out.

    I never bought her stuff, but remember hearing her referenced on some of the blogs mentioned here.

    I guess she…teaches people to teach? So they can quit their day jobs?

    E.g. this post: http://www.escapefromcubiclenation.com/2011/09/08/announcing-fantastic-fall-line-up-of-classes-from-power-teaching-students/

    She lists what her students ended up launching at the end of taking her training – some of the stuff is about cooking, organizing, parenting, wellness, etc., but a good deal of it is also about business, careers, or marketing.

    Pam herself apparently has a background as Manager of Training & Development at some big company, and then as an entrepreneur. Does that make her qualified? Why or why not?

    Perhaps this is a really stupid question, but I’m interested in the case study if you’d indulge me.

    1. @hrmmm,

      Pam states clearly on her page her associates:

      “In my case, my business ecosystem partners include:

      Jonathan Fields
      Danielle LaPorte
      Charlie Gilkey
      Naomi Dunford
      Dave Navarro
      Chris Guillebeau
      Seth Godin
      Martha Beck
      Michele Woodward
      John Jantsch
      Rich Sloan”

      So what do you think?

    2. @hrmmm, I clicked through to her sales letter for her “30 Day Challenge.” I like how she uses John Legend’s picture there to “borrow” his fame and cred while violating his Right of Publicity. Which is to say I don’t like it.

      After a glance, she’s making clones. And you can’t teach teaching in 30 days. Her qualification is having written the book. That it’s out with Penguin is good; that Guy Kawasaki wrote the intro is very, very bad. The book is written as an ad for her consulting & speaking gigs. That’s the model.

      More interesting, it led me to this, a post on her blog about someone who’s landed a Dummies book deal. I remember him from a video in Round Two of the Project Mojave launch scam I mentioned in my story– he was in one of the videos, I think giving a testimonial. I remember his face. I don’t recall the details. It’s revealing to compare his story here. Mojave/Clay’s not mentioned, instead the Pam Slim seminar he attended (before or after Mojave?). And while he was struggling to make a living teaching people to find jobs with social media, he got a book deal– because of a personal introduction made on behalf of his father. He concludes say online marketing is the most important thing. My takeaway is that Project Mojave, Pam Slim, and online marketing are weak sauce because the guy talks about doing free seminars (pitches?) to hundreds of people in order just to get by, and the old-fashioned personal connection won in the end. If you stick around in IM long enough you see the same faces turn up over and over again. They give Slim cred: she starts with 140, only 60 are (barely) ready for prime time, then of them, how many scrape and claw long enough to get to Slim’s level? For her all it takes is one book deal to serve as proof of her methods, though you can’t escape a cubicle with a one-book deal.

      Nepalese gurus who teach The Secret are also weak sauce, but that’s another story.

      1. @Slowly Waking, You know, what you said here describes most of the hustlers in the swamp:

        “the guy talks about doing free seminars (pitches?) to hundreds of people in order just to get by, and the old-fashioned personal connection won in the end.”

        That reminds me of people like Ryan Deiss, who shortly after saying he knew nothing about search engine optimization, and essentially trashing the concept, came out with yet another one of his so-called “courses” on, you guessed it: search engine optimization.

        The biggest hypocrisy was that HE himself was not using SEO to make most of his own income. It was coming from JV partnerships and huge mailing lists, which his customers did not have. He was building their hopes up and selling them on something that made no significant contribution to his own “business.”

        Most of these characters are charging money for what should be called “anti-training,” because it just elevates peoples’ fantasies and makes them worse off.

    3. @hrmmm,

      In the context of the conversations we have on this site, even just the URL is a red flag. I mean the “ecosystem partners” as listed by @Barbara is the nail in the coffin of course, but even just the name of the site–EscapeFromCubicleNation — that tells you what it’s going to be about. And that means it’s promising to help you “escape the 9 to 5 job”. So this goes into that whole “take massive action!” line. In Dave’s chat log with Naomi he was talking about quitting his job in a way that made it clear that, that had been on his agenda for some time. Well, where did he get that idea? Easy. The meme/idea of quitting your day job to devote more time to IM is just one of the more self-damaging/self-destructive meme/ideas in the festering pile of ickiness that is IM.

      (Minor note: I’m not actually saying that it’s always a bad idea to quit your day job. I am saying that it’s almost always a bad idea to quit your day job though–especially and particularly if you’ve been convinced to do so by a d-bag 100,000,000 miles away who just wants you to put yourself in a situation where you will be more and more forced into making larger and larger cash sacrifices at the alter of the Unicorn dream.)

      The cube is not your enemy. Love the cube. If the cube seems bland some days, just do what everybody else does–hang weird little decorations in it. Mine’s got lots of cows.


      Furry cows moo and decompress.

      1. @Wyrd (formerly Iam3r), When they use an emotionally-charged presentation, and/or think and elaborate FOR you as to what something could mean to you on a personal level (“imagine your weekends free to spend time in the garden…”), as opposed to stating a functional payoff and letting you take it from there (“reduces processing time by 1/2 hour daily”), that’s an immediate indicator to walk.

        And if the whole front-end packaging and name itself are steeped in emotion-based gimmickry, you don’t need to even open the wrapper to know to stay away.

        “Escape from cubicle nation” – totally pushing emotional buttons. Focusing on people’s pain and desire to escape.

        1. @Jim,

          I think that’s an unfair indictment of pain points, benefits and picture-painting in marketing materials. Just because the scammers use these techniques doesn’t mean the techniques are indicative of a scam. There’s plenty of hypocrisy to call out on Pamela’s site without taking broad swipes at effective marketing.

            1. @SD, Brilliantly put in six words. I tip my hat.

              @Lanna, I’m not aiming for an indictment of pain points, I’d prefer they just tow the line like every good citizen.

          1. @Lanna, Just because of that you bought into the idea, doesn’t mean it should be that way…although once I remember going to a $70 Anthony Robbins workshop before I knew too much better where the coach-guy said the stupid stuff like “people avoid page or move towards pleasure”, which probably I tihnk was true sometimes, because the stupidity of everything he said made me so mad that I punched him and he ran away.

            OK. I didn’t really punch him, but I wanted to. Too bad no SD blog back then to warn-inform me.

            1. @Jack, I needed to say “avoid pain” not “avoid page” so I think maybe it’s I had a temporary onset of bibliophobia when typing it.

          2. Ahem, let me try this again with a little more vitriol.

            Use of everyday, run-of-the-mill marketing techniques is a shitty fucking litmus test for Internet Marketing scams, and to pretend otherwise is un-fucking-helpful for folks like hrmmm who are trying to sort this shit out.

            Are Hamburger Helper and Pizza Hut Internet Marketing scams because their ads show families eating together – “what something could mean to you on a personal level”?

            Are Hallmark Cards and Precious Moments figurines Internet Marketing scams because their “whole front-end packaging and name itself are steeped in emotion-based gimmickry”?

            Is Southwest Airlines pushing an Internet Marketing scam with their “Wanna get away?” TV spots “[f]ocusing on people’s pain and desire to escape”?

            I don’t fucking think so.

            @Jim, I’m confused by the combination of unclear pronoun-antecedant agreement and eggcorn use in your reply. You want the pain points to do as they’re told?

            @Jack, This isn’t about me buying into any idea of how it should be. It is. Turn on your TV or flip through a magazine. The majority of ads are using one or more of these techniques.

            Sure, sure, you’re probably the kind of guys who ignore everything the Madison Avenue weasels tell you. You’re impervious to TV ads, radio ads, print ads, Web ads, news pieces based on press releases, product placement, package design and end-cap displays. You don’t buy anything until Consumer Reports tells you what’s good.

            Well, that’s not how most consumers operate. Most consumers will admit we make illogical, emotion-based purchases and want more from a product than “functional payoff.” We want to feel better about ourselves for buying it.

            When you pretend otherwise, you’re playing into the hands of critics who claim this site is against commerce, marketing and/or success. Let’s be very specific: we’re against Internet Marketing scams.

            @SD, yeah, effective marketing and John Legend are both pretty flattered to be included in IM scam marketing, but they’re still asking their managers to issue cease-and-desist letters.

            1. @Lanna, Maybe you’re right.

              When peoples’ needs have yet to catch up with their desires, sometimes it takes someone with greater wisdom and a merchant account to give them that gentle push, or even, a forceful shove. And failing that, a good old fashioned bitch slap.

              They’ll thank their lucky stars that someone cared enough to help them match up their pain points with their credit card points.

              Like the great Tom Vu once said: “There are two kinds of people in life. The small thinker, and the big thinker. Which one are you?!!”

            2. @Lanna, It’s OK for me if they want to sell me licorice I think, but when I remembered about real businesses that buy real helpful more expensive things-stuff mostly there’s a bottom-line cost-benefit analysis that gets done.

              I understand about your idea though, because I remember from when Grandpa was effectively controlled by Grandma and he couldn’t know what to do that he would think about and then say so furiously at her: “I wish I were dead!” And my grandma would always tell him the same thing every time he said it and what she would tell him about is that “wishing doesn’t make it so” which I saw in some famous books many years later than that. But when I was a child it was a thing that really stuck in my head because I didn’t understand why grandma wanted to make the death wish at grandpa unless maybe I guess it could have been her way of helping him out there for him.

              So I think maybe you just want to help the people it seems now.

            3. @Lanna, I think when I read more and think more about it that we’re all saying mostly the same thing and also what the FTC would say, too whenever I go onto read their Policy Statement On Decpetion, is what you say here now more-or-less.

              I think it’s true if I understand you right.

            4. @Lanna, I think if you make a benchmark of SD’s “Effective marketing won’t get hurt feelings.” vs FTC Policy Statement On Decpetion it works out perfectly and still leaves room for your vitriolic explanation.

            5. @Jack,

              Yes, Jack, precisely. I have benchmarked it and it seems OK to put the name “Happy Time Licorice” on the whole front-end packaging and portray actors eating licorice in the garden. Additionally, preliminary findings suggest focusing on the pain of not having licorice and the desire to temporarily escape a licorice-free existence is well within the FTC guidelines.

              However, contrary to Jim’s suggestion, the benchmark revealed that consumers were not thankful for being bitch-slapped by Tom Vu until they purchased licorice.

            6. @Lanna,

              There’s a good consumer lesson from Tom Vu: stay away from anyone who claims there’s only two kinds of anything in the world.

              I used to believe such simplistic stuff that ‘authorities’ repeatedly told me– it was the subsequent repeated bitch-slapping of multi-faceted reality that gave the lie to the either/or of ‘two kinds of people’, ‘two kinds of thought’, ‘two kinds of belief’ certainties.
              Maybe throughout the millennia of inevitable bitch-slapping, the ingenious human imagination has come up with a few more than two definitive answers to any question.

        2. @Jim,

          The problem is that many people do make decisions based on emotion.

          Want a raise? You’re acting on hope. You’re not acting on “If I do what’s best for the company I will get recognized in logical due course”.

          Want to avoid being fired? You’re acting on fear or anxiety.

          The way our brains are wired to respond heavily to emotion means it’s impossible to ignore. The only way to avoid emotional decision making in your life is to have a lobotomy.

          That said, emotional marketing should always be backed up by supporting facts. You should always be able to prove your claims with verifiable data or research.

          1. @Patrick, That being said…and this I think hits the point pretty well — the marketing itself still has to be truthful *and* the product being sold of real value…neither of which the IM scammers are doing.

            As I see it, if you have a real product of genuine value that really can help people — the emotional appeals are actually doing the potential client a favor.

            Example: cancer treatment centers. They use testimonials of people who were healed and given a new lease on life (complete with the FTC required statements that these are atypical and might not be your experience at all). If they really CAN help people and really do cure them or extend their lives significantly…no bad. But if all they’re doing is selling you a juice purported to “cure cancer” and it’s really water and baby oil…nope nope nope.

            The lie cannot be in the marketing or in the product delivered. It doesn’t have to be in both.

        3. Regardless of who or how many people use what some here prefer to describe as a sales “method,” it still falls under the umbrella of manipulation. Manipulation intentionally disadvantages the person being manipulated.

          The smattering of defense of it here is entirely contingent on how it is used. If it is used for “good” and the product delivers “what is promised” by your own standards, then you see this as acceptable. That is akin to saying that under your defined conditions, it is acceptable to disadvantage people.

          However, leaping over a product’s functions and targeting seller-projected emotional payoffs immediately enters deceptive territory. You can never assure anything other than what you know the product can do without fail for everyone, without regard to their differing circumstances.

          This entire dialog is about nothing more than justification. It’s your justification for using a form of manipulation, and describing it for what it is simply makes you uncomfortable. You want to think you always take the high road, and because you do, then it becomes not manipulation, but a “tool” for you to meet your own objectives while also “helping” people.

          It makes no difference even if it is used in seemingly harmless ways, like showing someone holding a candy bar, then being visually transported to a poppy field in a tv commercial. Although few people would be overly concerned by that example, it still emphasizes manipulation over the product itself.

          By commandeering external (and intentionally mild) examples of others being manipulative in seemingly trivial ways, or in your subjective view, “ultimately beneficial” ways, you are attempting to force the world to serve up your absolution instead of dealing with it for what it is: your own internal moral dilemma.

          There is no standard of acceptability for manipulation. It is what it is.

          Professing acceptability for what you perceive to be “good” or “harmless” manipulation also enables people on the far extreme of the manipulation spectrum to hide under that same rationalization and use you for cover.

          1. @Sam the Shrubbist, You’re post it too thoughtful so it means I have to think some more about it, and then it also makes me think again as before how much money comes from things sold which can be inherently harmful – like the products made mostly from refined sugar and stuff like that…the features of those? Tooth decay and early death I suppose.

            Sometimes you get the brave people like from the McLibel trial, but as I read your post more I wonder about if more of that really needs to be getting the hard-hitting.

            1. @Jack, Speaking about which, does this remind anybody of anybody:

              “The legal controversy continued. The McLibel 2 took the British Government to the European Court of Human Rights to defend the public’s right to criticise multinationals, claiming UK libel laws are oppressive and unfair that they were denied a fair trial. The court ruled in favour of Helen and Dave: the case had breached their their rights to freedom of expression and a fair trial.

              Who said ordinary people can’t change the world?”

              From: http://www.mcspotlight.org/case/

            2. @Jack, Manipulation isn’t limited to the sellers of goods. It can certainly be used within the legal system, and it can be carried to extremes.

              I’m not suggesting implementing “white lie police.” In a limited resource society you have to balance the harm with freedom and the potential for judicial abuse.

              I’m simply noting that free-wheeling liberal use of manipulative tactics is not defensible even on the mild end of the spectrum, and the “small stuff” supports and gives gradual rise to the extreme end of that spectrum.

              As I’ve mentioned, this is a personal moral dilemma. That’s what it needs to be. Giving this any declared legitimacy by suggesting nuances and circumstantial exemptions provides the shade under which the darkest elements toil.

          2. @Sam the Shrubbist,

            I agree with everything you have said, yet I still agree with everything I have said. Calling it manipulation doesn’t alter my original point:

            Just because the scammers use manipulation doesn’t mean manipulation is indicative of a scam.

            “It is what it is.” And it’s far too widespread to use as a litmus test for scam/not-a-scam.

            1. @Lanna,

              We have cooling off periods and money back guarantees in place for this very purpose.

              Practical people know that consumers buy based on emotion, but days later the emotion can subside. Buyers remorse.

      2. @Wyrd (formerly Iam3r), i don’t think there is anything wrong with not being part of corporate culture. People are working as freelancers on the web for quite some time. But they’re freelancers with their skills, not some get rich quick method with psychological stuff. They’re working online with their skills like web design, photography, graphics, music etc etc. So one should not restrict their vision with cubicle. They just need to get rid of corporate crap only to work on their own terms and time. Corporate cubicle does suck. I got out of it only to work for startup of my friend. Being a small startup, it’s not cubicle that i hated all these years. Nothing wrong in hating cubicle if anyone suffered in it.

        1. @Spiderman, I agree that there’s nothing wrong with hating corporate culture and cubicle life. I strongly dislike that environment and never really fit into it. What I do object to are the IM hustledorks who imply or say that everyone who opts to stick with a hated day job is a loser. Generally the implication — or out-and-out declaration — is this: “If you’re happy with your life, fine. If you’re unhappy, and you DON’T buy into [whatever scam they’re selling], you’re a loser!” This seems to be the basic line of marketing b.s. of everyone from Kevin True-dough to members of the Syndicate.

          Reality is this: Although many if not most corporate jobs are far from stable, there’s a LOT to be said for a steady paycheck and even a benefit or two. Particularly if you have a family to support.

          1. @Cosmic Connie,

            The problem is that what IM often sells won’t actually make happyness. Running any business means doing a whole lot of mundane work.

            And if your business is marketing, and not actually based on a true passion, then it’s 100% mundane without the security of a job.

            Pretty poor tradeoff.

            1. @Patrick, Agreed. My business involves writing, editing, graphic design, and book design. Those are all truly passions for me. But it has been feast or famine over the years, not to mention a LOT of work, much of it mundane detail work. I have yet to find a way to make millions while I sleep.

    4. @hrmmm,

      The bar is set pretty low, case in point:

      http://www.inappropriatemarketing.com/?page_id=227 (note the nearly empty jar of pennies in the background…thought that was kinda funny. The rest of the video is funny too, except in more of a “Its rush hour, I’m on a crowded subway train, and the guy next to me just crapped his pants…seriously…down his pant leg…I’m looking at him now, and he’s crapping…not quietly either…dude, I’m serious…I can’t make this up…somebody please….anyone…shoot me now!…in the name of all that is holy, please stop crapping, you freak!…my shoes! my shoes! watch out for my shoes!…” uncomfortably kind of humorous way)

      I wouldn’t necessarily begin to put Escape from Cubicle Nation in the same category as Ittybiz, et al. Escaping from life as a corporate drone is a legitimate aspiration of many people, and having websites that address that goal is to be expected, if not encouraged. It is a legitimate aspiration with legitimate means to actualize.

      What is not acceptable is the shameless marketing of methods that are wholly unproven by the marketer, and are sold for exploitative purposes. Now if this website demonstrates that type of activity, then by all means, have at it. But I don’t think she is trying to sell overnight wealth and rockstar success, she is selling a more tangible idea in a more professional manner. Also, I don’t think attacking just the nature of the site is valid, as the internet is made for people with like interests to find one another, share, and learn from each other—regardless of how insipid or inane the interest is. I feel what should be attacked are the marketing practices, and inherently deceptive or fraudulent claims like those made by The Secret and anything ever uttered by The Syndicate and their minions.

      1. @Albert, I’ve known Pam (online only) for more than four years, and she’s definitely *not* selling overnight success and wealth, and she’ll be the first person to tell you that hating your job isn’t a business plan.

        Pam is all about identifying a reasonable business model, testing the waters, adjusting… you know, all the things that one *should* do when building a business.

        To the extent that she’s aligned herself with some folks who are scammy, it’s unfortunate. But I’d guess that most of us have, at one time or another, built friendships with people who turned out to be jerks. Unless I see Pam herself engaging in scammy behavior, I’m not going to paint her with the ‘SCAMMER!’ brush.

        1. @Kathleen.

          Even a brief look at Pam’s site shows this:

          “Naomi Dunford is a Salesman. She has the ability to craft an email or blog post about a product that is so funny and compelling that you cannot help but reach for your wallet. Even if you are not sure you need it.” (with direct link to Dunford’s page)

          “Mark covers a very interesting exercise which he terms “resonant pricing.” My good buddy Havi Brooks wrote a wonderful post about this exercise where she gives a specific example of how she applied it to a program she was launching with Naomi Dunford from Ittybiz.”

          “Recommrnded Joint Projects:
          “What would be really fun to do together that our people would love?”
          •Sonia Simone and Naomi Dunford’s Marketing for Nice People.”

          In other words, her site is a round robin of Pam sells Naomi, Naomi sells Sonia, Sonia sells Seth, Naomi sells Dave, Dave sells Seth, Naomi and Pam, Sonia sells ….well, you get the picture. The round robin is making me dizzy.

          It’s the same dozen people pimping each other so shamelessly and so continuously, they give each other meaningless awards, interview each other, link to each other’s hardsell crap, etc.

          If Pam is not a scammer why is she associating with scammers?

          1. @Barbara,

            “If Pam is not a scammer why is she associating with scammers?”

            Well, her non-excuse is certainly a non-excuse now, isn’t it?

  55. Chapter IX
    In Which Our Heroine Lies Again:

    Naomi has informed us that she worked at home so Preemie Jack could avoid the degradations of daycare. (see above comment) Yet on September 2 2009 Naomi had this to say:

    “We are having a hell of a time finding child care. (The first daycare fired us because the other parents thought Jack’s allergies would be a pain in the ass. The second advertised wanting children between one and three, but figured Jack would be too old. It should be noted that he turns three on Friday.)”

    “Yesterday, I tweet about my tribulations. I say, “can somebody please come to my house and be my nanny? or intern?”

    “(name redacted) comes on and says, “I applied for that job 2 weeks ago!” I think he’s being funny. Sure enough, no. He really did. Several months ago, Jess stopped working for me. It never occured to me to change the information on my contact page, which still directs people to her. This dude emails her, pitching, basically, child care and an internship. I never got the email. I send him an @ back, he DMs, we talk on the phone.”

    ***************************************************************************

    So this paragon of motherhood will say anything on any given day about her kid. And this business wizard who people pay for coaching and ebooks and webseminars neglects to change her own contact information. Brilliant!

    And thus concludes another chapter of the Lies of Naomi.
    “I dropped out of college.”
    “I dropped out of high school.”
    “I’m a stay at home mom.”
    “I need daycare because it fell through again.”
    “I made $200,000 last year!”
    “I’m broke and don’t have a month’s worth of expenses saved.”
    “My husband’s birthday is next week.”
    “Ha Ha! Fooled you, the husband thing’s a joke!”

    1. @Barbara, This is quite illuminating. You’d be a terrific detective. Your finding and pointing out her discrepancies has really helped show things for what they are. Thank you for these eye openers.

      1. @Martin,

        Thanks for the kind words but I can’t take any credit. Naomi’s discrepancies are so obvious to anyone reading her blog that it’s incredible anyone believes anything she says.

        She doesn’t seem to have even a passing acquaintance with truth. No wonder she lied so easily about getting death threats. She subscribes to the Lionel Hutz school of honesty:

        “Lionel Hutz: Marge, there’s “the truth” (frowns) and there’s “the truth!” (smiles wide).”

    2. @Barbara, wonder if our heroine has ever heard the saying “a good liar needs a perfect memory”.

    3. @Barbara, It made me think of something real and serious about if Canada has laws about parental fitness, because it sounds like the child may not be in a great and conducive environment?

      1. @Jack,

        People who know her say that her youngest child was left behind with her husband, or maybe he’s an ex or soon to be ex-husband by now. Her oldest child, a teenager, is being raised by another ex-husband and his parents…according to Naomi’s own website. So take that with a grain of salt, like everything else she says. Who knows where the third child is currently residing, I have no idea.

        But I think the children are in good hands, I hope they are. None of this ever involved them except when Naomi used them as marketing props.

      2. @Jack,

        I’m Canadian and yes there are parental fitness laws however they are heavily weighted towards mothers. Custody issues usually begin with the assumption “woman good, man bad”.

        It’s not as bad as it used to be because the courts now recognize “parental alienation” as a real problem (because so many women were doing it to the children).

        Fortunately for these kids (if they even exist) don’t appear to be a meal ticket via subsidized alimony for Naomi and instead ended up with the fathers who actually wanted them.

  56. Did anyone else notice in Naomi’s latest blog post, “Sometimes The Bad Guys Win”, she had this to say?

    “I thank Lyndsy in rural Arkansas who offered his spare room and the use of his many rifles.”

    WTF?! Did she just say she and some heavily armed fanboy are gunning for people? Why, I’d almost think it was a death threat…if it wasn’t so amusing.

    Naomi:
    “Yes, I know death threats don’t qualify under the First Amendment. (The death threats did not come from the owners of the websites, but from their fans.)”

    Who exactly are you accusing Naomi? I’m a fan of this website. Name the names or shut up.

    Naomi:
    “Yes, I have heard that if I don’t name names, nobody will believe me.”

    For once, Naomi gets it right. Nobody DOES believe you.

    1. @Barbara,

      I couldn’t suppress the joy his scammer to go down. it’s beyond time. thanks for doing the due diligence so many people failed to do.

    2. @Barbara,

      People with a victim mentality to the extent of Naomi believe that the world owes them something and whatever they do to get it, is justified. Unfortunately, there are always people out there who will respond to manipulative marketing tactics to gain sympathy, so she will always have a sucker in waiting. We just can only hope that people will find the Droid first, and also, that she may encounter a persistent and raging rash all in and about her undercarriage.

  57. It’s still a source of amazement to me that so-called “feminists” boarded Naomi’s rapidly sinking ship. Naomi’s attitude towards women (unless they’re named Sonia, Havi, Pam, etc.) is as antiquated as Archie Bunker’s.

    From Naomi’s latest blog post:
    “Carol’s finances are wildly out of control. She pays her bills late but isn’t stressed about it. She’ll pay her cell phone bill precisely when she gets around to it – often because of a bill in a yellow envelope – and is blithely unconcerned with late fees. She has probably never paid a bill on time in her life, whether she has money or not.”

    “She will procrastinate on ANYTHING, even things that she wants. She knows she’s flighty and distractable, and she doesn’t care.”

    “Also? Carol loves, loves, loves to shop.”

    “One Carol we spoke with was buying a piece of jewelry for $300. The salesperson suggested she come back the next day, when it would be on sale for half price. Carol was happy to pay full price and didn’t understand why the salesperson was confused. “But I want it today!”

    ***************************************************************************

    Did Naomi miss any sterotypes of women in that post? Let’s see, women are flighty and love to shop, women are so unable to postpone gratification that they will pay full price for an item rather than wait one day. Because woman are like children basically.

    Who listens to this fuckwit?! If Naomi had anything to say about it we wouldn’t have the vote. So, Naomi with her little breast-bulging midriff-baring cartoon avatar, Naomi with all the gravitas of Betty Boop, Naomi who giggles about saying cocks and balls and oh-so-naughty references to “B.J.’s”, Naomi who will use any buzzword to be accepted by the guys, this is the toady who asked feminists to defend her??!!

    I’m beyond disgusted with this idiot. Has everyone contacted the Canadian tax department? Let’s sink the ship now.

    1. @Barbara,

      It is funny thinking of the word feminine and Naomi in the same sentence, not that feminists are necessarily feminine, but still funny. She has the femininity of a Soprano’s character, and I’m sure the same table and bathroom manners.

      She reminds me of Perez Hilton when he had that blow up with the Black Eyed Peas, only that Perez makes for the more attractive shemale of the two: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcJ9jUjGdF4&ob=av3e

    1. @for suck’s fake,

      I find that little freak so funny. Gosh darn it if he isn’t totally convinced that everything he says is so pithy and wise.

      I thought he did his best work in The Lord of the Rings.

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