Speaking of The Syndicate

Blight Club

1. You don’t talk about fight club.

2. You don’t talk about fight club.

But some stupid mother fucker always does … and thus beginneth … omg wait for it … an actual conversation about what’s actually happening {glory hallelujah!}.

Michel Fortin :: A Disturbing Trend in Internet Marketing

“Whether the people in this group of marketers are acting independently is debatable. The question is, are they truly competing against one and other? In other words, are these guys truly competitors? This is something I think any court will need to define.

But here’s my take. They sell information, true. And it can be argued that information is not really competitive. For example, just because I bought a Stephen King novel doesn’t preclude me from buying an Anne Rice novel at the same time.

One can sell information on, say, affiliate marketing while the other on, say, traffic generation. So they are not quite “competitors.” But herein lies the problem…

Marketers are not authors selling their information. They are more like publishing houses selling information products. Yes, products. And as publishing houses — and again, I’m no lawyer — they seem to be colluding to some degree.”

Ray Edwards :: How Much Money The “Gurus” Make… And How They Do It

“There is a very real conspiracy to extract as much money from you as possible.

Right now, as I write this, there is a group of “gurus” sitting in a circle in some hotel suite.

Each one of them is talking about their own version of Method X, and how he plans to sell it to the masses.

And they are all agreeing to promote one another’s Method X….

…and that’s why you keep getting email after email from the same group of people promoting one another.

Now, am I saying it’s wrong to promote products for other people? No. I’m not. What I am saying is that when there is an organized “plan” to put you into a cycle of buying one $2,000 or $5,000 product after another, without regard for what’s best for you…

…when you have bought… and bought… and bought stuff, but still haven’t made any money….

…when you are being told 10-12 times per year that the latest, greatest, “Method X” is the “one true answer” to all your problems…

….and you keep racking up credit card debt to buy all this crap, with no results to show for it…


It’s time to stop buying crap, and start making some money. Agreed?”


Dan Thies :: Is Internet Marketing “Fixed?” (Part 1)

“Aside from what they call their little “mastermind group” – is this really a surprise to *anyone* out there? I mean, it’s sort of obvious that there are several “cliques” of friends who promote each others’ stuff – not just this one particular group. Isn’t it? Obvious? Has no one been paying attention at all?”

It’s obvious to me :: and to Dan Thies :: but it’s not all that obvious to people inside the meat grinder.  Especially people who are already overwhelmed by the complexity of the Interwebz.  Many of these people :: let’s call them “Baby Boomers”  because that’s totally who I’m talking about :: are still thousands and thousands of experience hours away from a reasonable baseline of Internet understanding. Complex patterns are invisible if you don’t understand the fundamentals.

Is “Internet Marketing” fixed? Dan is gonna tell ya in three parts {looking forward to the other two} … but I’m gonna tell ya in one word …


Allison Nazarian :: Enough Already (Or, My Constructive Rant On The World Of Internet Marketing)

“There are lots of desperate people out there. And lots of not-desperate-but-just-regular people out there, too. People who want a change. Who want out of their 9-to-5. Who want more time with their kids. Who want to find love. Who crave a real vacation. Or nice dinners out. Or the red car of their dreams. Heck, what about the people who want their freakin website or blog to make money already?!

They. Just. Want. To. Find. The. One.

You know…The One

The One who has all the answers.

The One with the System to lead you to the Promised Land….YOUR Promised Land.

The One who knows how to use that fancy talk stuff and will teach you, too!

The One who was once as down as you are but now knows the secret to the way up!

The One who “comes out” against all of the other Ones to tell you how not like them he/she is.

Yes, The One who will make all of your dreams come true.

OMG I want The One – don’t you?!

I’ve stopped searching for The Answer or The Person Who Has The Answer. I’ve started to trust myself. I hope the very same for you.”

This link to Allison’s lovely post is dedicated to a certain dumpy beast out there.  Tonight :: dumpy beast :: while you’re sleeping in your car :: I want you to keep something front and fucking center in your neurotic little mind … Allison likes me!

Ryan Healy :: List Management, Fake Endorsements, and The Syndicate

Remember: If you publish information or are responsible for providing guidance to a list of subscribers, then you need to always have their best interests in mind. You need to be thinking about how to best help them… and protect them.

But if you are part of an organized group of competitors who’ve pledged to promote each other, you simply can’t do what’s best for your readers.

What happens if I (as a member of the group) don’t feel like one of the products is worth promoting? Or what if one of the members of the group gets involved in some shady business dealings? What then?

The answer is… I can’t really do anything unless I want to risk losing my position in the group — and missing out on the windfall I’d receive from the promotion and endorsement of the group.

Exactly!  Although :: every member doesn’t need to promote every product every time.  It’s a group of chuckle headed d-bags so they aren’t running a very tight ship. Some products :: *cough* Arbitrage Conspiracy *cough* :: have even been known to cause big ol’ insider flame wars.  But the overall point remains true.

Paul Schlegel :: Syndicates are sexy – business opportunity violations are easy

“Again I’ll turn to observations made by attorney Michael Webster. He made these particular observations when the FTC Published their Final Guides Governing Endorsements and Testimonials when he published this post about Testimonials and Disclaimers explaining how while many bloggers and marketers were debating and worrying over the Endorsement sections, they were completely overlooking the more important introduction of the “No Safe Harbor” rule for testimonials such that “If the testimonial is an outlier, then the company has to report “the typical consumer experience“.

He then goes on to note in that same post about Testimonials and Disclaimers (which also has great information about FTC prosecution strategies):

This means that they cannot make any earnings claim because they don’t have any typical consumer experience data.  But they will continue to make these claims, making it an easy case for the FTC to prosecute.

Paul Schlegel again :: Social Network Analysis, “Trusted Hubs”, and Timelines

“What Might Social Network Analysis Say About The Value Of Product Recommendations And Value Of The Products (Price) Coming From The Internet Marketing Syndicate?

Again, remember the formula where “wi” is the “witness” providing information to “a” about “b”, then:

“IF coop(wi; b) is high
THEN socialTrust(a;wi; b) is very bad”

In other words if the assumptions in Jordi Sabater and Carles Sierra’s paper are correct, then it’s likely that any information ABOUT products from Syndicate members OR the value placed on products (i.e. price) could quite possibly be “very bad”.”

Definitely read that post if you’re a nerd.  It’s interesting.

Joseph Ratliff :: A Disturbing Evolution In Internet Marketing

“In reading some of the blog posts circulating about this subject, I’m finding that to join this Internet Marketing Syndicate, you must promote a schedule of products, no matter what.  Yours then gets promoted once as a result of being part of this group…no matter what.


So…products are being promoted randomly, without a second thought to the person forking over their hard-earned $1997 to buy them?”

Oh no they are thinking about you :: they’re thinking about how hilarious it is that you’re being sucked in :: and sucked dry :: by their bullshit.

Joe Mudd {best name ever!} :: Gurus — Bad For Your Wealth

“The gurus mentioned in these stories sell products with a price point of around $2000. That’s a lot of money. But they have secrets – right?

I’ve spent my cash on some of this stuff, just to see. Didn’t really see any secrets.

Nicely packaged, yes. Useful information, yes. Entertaining, yes. Super duper secret, cash comes pouring into your bank account life changing info? – no.”

Michelle Brouse :: Michelle Likes The Salty Droid! {best title ever!}

“I’m no longer interested in reading hyped up long page sales copy. Nor am I likely to watch videos that flaunt how much money can be made by generally fleecing the internet marketing wanna-bees. That video linked on the Salty Droid site showing Frank Kern with his “godfatherish syndicate” information just totally irked the crap out of me.

Here I am, the day after I watched that – totally stripping this blog of any recommendations, names, etc. Even though I have been “moving away” from this crap for over a year now, I surely didn’t have this blog updated.

Well I’m fixing that now, because no more will I recommend that type of behavior. Every link I can find that even remotely worries me is coming down. If you find an old link in my name that is associated with any “scammy types” – please let me know where you found it and it will promptly be deleted.

The bad thing about many of these “sellers” is that they KNOW – less than 5% of the “buyers” are actually going to do anything serious with what they just bought. They know it when they sell it to you. And they will flat out TELL you that they already know it. Wouldn’t that be fraud?”

Michael Arrington at TechCrunch :: So A Blogger Walks Into A Bar

“So what’s wrong with this?

Collusion and price fixing, that’s what. It is absolutely unlawful for competitors to act together to keep other competitors out of the market, or to discuss ways to keep prices under control. And that appears to be exactly what this group is doing.

This isn’t minor league stuff. We’re talking about federal crimes and civil prosecutions if in fact that’s what they’re doing. I had a quick call with an attorney this morning, and he confirmed that these types of meetings are exactly what these laws were designed to prevent.”

Okay so he’s talking about a different syndicate :: one made up of actual important people rather than sad little posers :: but the points are still germane.

The Great Wall of Silence has fallen :: make sure you say what you need to say while it still matters.

>> bleep bloop

177 thoughts on “Speaking of The Syndicate”

    1. @McGruff, Thanks Salty Droid and everyone who contributed to this post. The more we raise awareness of the tactics of the syndicate, the more we dispower them from exploiting the desperate and vulnerable.

      I want to point out that there is also the other kind of marketer who “grooms” the desperate by offering “free” training, which requires you to buy into third party tools (on which he makes affiliate commissions), then creating a massive continuity upsell that delivers less value than the original “free” training.

      If you manage to make a few dollars, this kind of marketer is likely to steal your ideas and methods, then resell them to his fans. Or better still, exploit you by getting you to work for him for free, while he makes $$$s from your labor.

      Although this marketer promotes every syndicate offer to his fans, he has escaped criticism by recently “distancing” himself from the syndicate. However without him, the syndicate will not sell so many products, as his nice guy image is so effective in fooling the masses.

      Ed Dale – I’m talking about you.

  1. Seems like the syndicate is about to fall. Sorry guys, you probably made 10 million a year during the past 3 years, but you’re about to give it all away, and then some.
    That’s called karma. Nobody escapes, even less the fraudsters like you.
    You’re about to pay a Salty note…

    1. Hey guys, Frank here, with Jeff sitting next to me:

      Just wanted to give you a sneak preview of some stuff coming down the pipe in this hot new niche.

      You guys are smart, and you know how we do it, so we’ll just be straight with ya.

      I’m launching Hole Control tonight, and then 6 weeks later, after I’ve shaken and sucked everything out of that launch, Jeff is launching Glory Hole Launch Formula.

      If you pre-order BOTH now, you can have them now (cuz their done, duh).

      Well, that’s it!

  2. haha so funny how all these internet marketers now want to pretend to be a good marketer by writing about the syndicate I am not buying it you are still dbags and very bad actors

    1. Dan Thies actively promotes Syndicate products like Andy Jenkins’ Video Boss. When Dan left Stompernet, he launched his new info product business by having Jenkins et al endorse him to their lists.


      Thies and Jenkins even tried (and failed) to partner up in their own IM business just a few months ago: http://www.andyjenkinsblog.com/2009/09/09/natural-leverage-downloads-and-guru-therapy/

      Ray Edwards’ answer, if you’re a newbie and you want to make a million dollars, is that you should hire Ray Edwards to help you launch your product.


      Fortin’s answer? Instead of buying the Syndicate line of products, you should pay him $1200/year for his “Success Chef”. It’s a “step by step” system for newbies on how to make money on the Internet. Sound familiar?


      That same Joe Mudd blog you quoted from also has his positive review of Kern’s Mass Control 2.0 course.


      Until these guys stop doing business with the Syndicate… and stop selling their own products that rip off newbies just as bad as the Syndicate does … their statements have zero credibility.

      1. @Anthony Mahavick,

        You’re giving Michel Fortin a bum rap. He and Sylvie deliver value. “Success” is not a dirty word, particularly when it is clearly tied to work.

        You’d have a point if Fortin was selling cr@p or piking for the Idaho Spudboy’s latest get-rich-quick hidden forced con-tinuity scam. And if Fortin does, I’ll call him on it.

        1. @Mike Young, Esq.,
          Fortin was caught ripping people off. It was exposed here already.

          He offered an $800.00 Adwords course sold at the back of the room Armand Morin conference that he never delivered upon.

          Sylvie came here and said it was just one big misunderstanding.

          1. @michelfortinscam ::

            It wasn’t “exposed” here you fucking halfwit :: you just came here and said it … without a shred of evidence … just like you say this is a cover-up site and I’m an agent of The Syndicate. Fortins denied your accusations {just like I do} … and I believe I told you to fuck off … which I repeat now … for no less than the TENTH time.

            FUCK OFF MARKUS!! Clear enough for you?

            I don’t care what you think … and I don’t care what you have to say. It would be one thing for me to say the Fortins are crap … they do sell IM products etc … and I’m a neutral critic. But you’re an insider … you sell shit too. You really think that Fortins are the black pox eating people alive? You think you could sub in Sylvie for Koenigs in last weeks tape and things would sound the same?

            I pick my battles carefully Markus :: that’s why I’m winning. Maybe you should try it. Or maybe you should … oh I don’t know … FUCK OFF!!!

        2. @Mike Young, Esq.

          “if Fortin was selling cr@p… I’ll call him on it.”

          I suppose Mike Filsaime pays a higher “no-questions-asked” retainer then? You clearly don’t trouble him with your ethical concerns. But that isn’t what leaves such a sour taste in the mouth.

          As his lawyer, you’re quite entitled to defend him against accusations, and to turn a blind eye to his screamingly poor business record. It’s your job. But to position yourself as some kind of impartial ‘ethical crusader’ – as you frequently do with nauseating, insincere statements (see above) – is laughable. Or would be laughable if it wasn’t so flagrantly deceptive.

          Take your ‘sensational scoop’ with Mike Filsaime. Not quite fraud, as other silly comments have accused you of. But definitely misleading. What do you think the following convey?

          (1) ‘just interviewed’
          (2) ‘for an hour and half’
          (3) ‘to get to the bottom of’
          (4) ‘eight things you should know’
          (5) ‘I’ll probably get flamed for doing the interview’ (you rebel you!!)
          (6) ‘I did it to clear the air in the blogosphere’
          (7) ‘always do your research’
          (8) ‘go direct to the source and ask questions’

          Sound much like a lawyer having a chat with a client? On paid time? Now to pre-empt your usual, tired, childish retorts:

          (1)”I’ve always disclosed the nature of my relationship with Filsaime” – shurely shome mishtake? That disclosure of curiously missing from your ‘interview’ with Filsaime himself.

          (2)”208’s posting anonymously, so he’s a coward” – to a man with such little shame, I’d honestly suggest anonymity as a good course forward for you Mike. While I use my anonymity to criticise without repercussion, you use your qualification and manufactured ‘standing’ in the community to misrepresent PR fluff as reported fact. Which is more reprehensible?

          (3)”I’ve declined to work with some other marketers for ethical reasons. I have ethics/am one of the good guys/can be trusted/etc” – If that really is your policy then it’s applied in a wildly inconsistent fashion. Where’s the line Mike? What did those marketers do that was worse than Filsaime? You shouldn’t have any difficulty spelling this out, seeing as you are President, owner, (and humble member) of the Internet Ethics Council. What’s the barrier to entry there by the way? Does it still start with $199?

          I accuse the Fortins of nothing at all – I don’t know anything about them. Michel may well be providing value. But only a fool would take your word for it.

          1. @208-577-6210,

            “Sound much like a lawyer having a chat with a client? On paid time?”


            The interview was done as a public service. There was no charge.

            I wanted the answers so scheduled the interview and asked the questions.

            One thing that you’re overlooking is that in addition to being an Internet lawyer, I’ve also been fortunate enough to build up sites with decent traffic and lists subscribed to by a Who’s Who in the IM world (some read because they like, others read because they dislike).

            This isn’t unique.

            There’s a 100 other non-Syndicate people I can think of off the top of my head who have the same reach. Any of them could have picked up the phone and easily arranged to have done the Filsaime interview.

            But who wants to put themselves through the flame fest by the disgruntled cloaked in anonymity?

            1. @Mike Young, Esq.

              You deliberately miss the point.

              (1) It doesn’t matter that you weren’t billing Filsaime for the particular hour you spent notating his views. Clearly I need to spell this out: I don’t believe for a second that the tone of your interview was not influenced by the fact that Filsaime has you on retainer. You chose to keep this petty detail from your readers. It’s very dishonest.

              (2)Have you ever seen an interview? They normally feature questions. If any were asked, you certainly didn’t choose to print them. Odd from a man ‘looking for answers’. Instead we had the ‘8 Things You Need to Know about Mike Filsaime’, a title which harks back to those of cheesy pre-sale emails. The whole piece was so ridiculously one-sided that it could make corporate press releases look balanced, and I imagine you’d have much more difficulty using the words ‘public service’ in person, while keeping a straight face.

              (3)As expected, there was some diverting snark about anonymity. Let me assure you: I am not in the IM world. I’m a 22-year-old student and I live in London, a long way away from Filsaime. My name would mean nothing to you even if I did publish it. But I would run the needless risk of some rabid pro-syndicate troll sending me hate mail and the like – the kind of thing I imagine Salty puts up with daily – but which is something I could do without. (My name is very unusual, so I don’t think they’d have trouble finding me.) I am not ‘disgruntled’ as I haven’t lost any money to Filsaime, nor any of your other clients. I just don’t like sleaze where I see it. My anonymity doesn’t invalidate anything I pointed out in my previous comment.

          2. @208-577-6210, Brilliant analysis. I think you summed up what a lot of people have been troubled by but haven’t commented on because of the shock of surprise. This really took me by surprise.

            I’ve always strongly supported Mike Young on this blog and on other blogs. This incident has really given me pause though, for all the reasons you very clearly stated.

            You listed many points, but the one that has been bothering me the most from the beginning was this:

            “eight things you should know”

            Mike Young did not say, “Eight things Mike Filsaime wants you to know.”

            By presenting it all like that, Mike Young chose to back up Filsaime by using his own credibility for collateral. You know what they say about co-signing a loan for someone else. The same for your reputation.

            This is a comment I never expected or wanted to make.

            1. @Phil,

              “using his own credibility for collateral”

              One evening, Filsaime promises to ‘expose’ the droid. Later that night, his lawyer wakes up in a cold sweat. “I need answers!” he cries. Seized by this newfound fervour for public service, he immediately rings Filsaime, who by curious but happy coincidence has already typed up all the answers, stuffed them into a dirty brown envelope, and posted them through the letterbox. As this constitutes ‘an interview’, it is only fair that Filsaime’s thoughtful and measured prose should be featured on the blog of ethical crusader Mike Young, but not his own.

              Your allegations that this was a shameful PR stunt will not be tolerated, and you’ll shortly be hearing from my interviewer. (Or is it ‘attorney’? This can get so confusing..)

      2. @Anthony Mahavick,

        I have nothing but good things to say about Fortin. I’ve purchased from him in the past and used his info specifically to increase the profits of my business (nothing in any way remotely related to IM).

        He’s a straight shooter and probably the biggest “name” thus far to expose the syndicate and link to the droid.

        Thies was involved with Stompernet and Jenkins was he not? I read the blog post linked above and it seemed more like a syndicate apologist than anything. He says, “So, assuming that “affiliate marketing” is not itself illegal, how is the Syndicate (possibly) different?”

        Seems hardly like he is looking to “expose” anything IMO.

      3. @Anthony Mahavick, I agree with you. Funny how people who usually have a monetary interest of some sort come and speak up for a “good” guy.

      4. @Anthony Mahavick ::

        You are a useful contributor :: and you make some valid points here too :: so I hope you don’t get voted down.

        But :: for now :: I’ll recuse myself from commenting on these specific points.

      5. @Anthony Mahavick, I have plenty of regrets about my involvement with Stompernet, but the value provided to our clients while I was there isn’t one of them.

        The “guru therapy” mastermind group Andy and I worked on last year “failed” because we decided that we only wanted people who were making at least six figures a year in an info product business.

        There are plenty of those people around, but it wasn’t so easy to find something that would work for enough of them. Lots of folks wanted to work one on one, those who were interested in the group program all had certain days they couldn’t meet.

        We could have easily filled up a group coaching program without the income requirement but I’m not trying to drive people into debt to fill my pockets. I want to work with business owners, not business opportunity seekers.

        @Luke, you might want to wait and see what I have to say before you decide what I’m going to say.

        I promote products that I believe are worthwhile (like Video Boss) – the Droid and I will forever disagree on whether certain products deliver real value, but I have actually seen them and used them in business applications.

        I don’t believe that “who is friends with who” is a good criteria for judging information products – not a good reason to like a product, not a good reason to dislike a product. Definitely not a good reason to buy a product.

        The Syndicate is one of *many* tightly knit groups in IM. I am going to talk about all of them, the market forces (including unambiguously anti-competitive acts) that cause them to form, and some things that I believe can be done in the near term to alleviate the worst effects.

        I don’t believe that the market will “heal itself” – the Syndicate is “famous” here because a few members decided to pick a fight with an anonymous snarking robot, but there any many other little cliques that have been around even longer, who are only laughing at this now because it isn’t their turn yet.

        I don’t think it will help anyone for me to point a finger at this person or that person, the whole market is messed up and it’s going to take a lot of help from the *buyers* to make a real dent in it… and I mean collectively as well as individually.

        1. @Dan Thies, the market is “messed up” because most of this is just a dream they make the money by selling make money crap to people kern made no money to he faked his income claims in pyrmaid empire. You couldn’t find enough people to fill up your “guru therapy” program because there aren’t enough successful people and those that are don’t have time for that. Bottom line is you promoted Jenkins who is a slime and still owes affiliates money. When is he going to pay him?

          Can you ask him that for us?

          Can you get us the money owed?

          You won’t because you don’t want to rock the boat and like all the rest stand for nothing.

        2. @Dan Thies,

          My experience with Stompernet was mixed.

          You gave me good advice during office hours, as did David Bullock. And as much as Andy Jenkins might have been involved with fraud, he also gave me some good tips during office hours.

          On the other hand:

          Mike Koenigs: tremendous damage to my business from the time, energy and effort wasted on Traffic Geyser, which is a fraud UNLESS you happen to be competing in a market where there is NO competition for short-tail keywords, Would have been nice if someone at Stomper had investigated and warned us members of the short-comings of the product.

          Some of the team members gave us a strategy for blog traffic that was utterly and totally wrong. Got us all hyped up, excited and wasted months on this turd idea.

          I personally never bought into Kern-he seemed to have nothing of any real value to say that I had not heard before a billion times.

          And a disappointment, to say the least, to find out the fraud behind the scenes with how Andy and Brad were running the show.


          P.S. I think one of the major problems with this “get rich on the Internet” stuff is that people come to it without any valuable product or service that the market wants, in the first place. If you don’t have genuine value to offer, no tricks or tactics will build a lasting business. And if you don’t know how to manage people and money, even offering value and marketing correctly(and ETHICALLY) won’t make you money in the long run-at least not in the way that can sustain a business.

          One thing I do like about Scheffren is that he does talk about the methodology of running a business, something that I was sorely lacking and still need to improve.

          And Salty, maybe you could even get Rich to talk. As I said, he first told me about the Syndicate on a coaching call over a year ago, which was recorded. It wasn’t done in secret or in private.

          1. @Ross Jeffries, Hi Ross. I heard on this blog there aren’t any syndicates. Just a bunch of friends hanging out or something like that…and then I guess sort of formally hanging out…and then maybe informally having a formal secret closed door meeting in a hotel room to collaborate and stop competing and then maybe pretending it’s “market forces” that are fixing prices, because it seems like a good one of those “reason why” things I read about on Mr. Fortin’s blog and just when you think you got everyone believing there’s no real Syndicate or syndicates some stupid robot has to come ruin it all, stupid robot!

            Although maybe Frank Kern was just making all that stuff up about syndicates and The Syndicate, because Mike Koenigs said that Frank likes to pretend he has power or something like that.

            1. @Jack, Maybe The Syndicate is just The Syndicate’s imagination, but they are so busy coordinating these product launches with each other it’s hard to tell.

              If I had to say, I’m pretty sure that those syndicate fellers are real and not imaginary, but I guess the only way to tell is to check your mastercard bill, which sounds scary, unless they gave you one of those big bonuses, like an audio file they say is worth $500 that you click on and download. I wish we could download cheeseburgers like that. Plus cheeseburgers are way cheaper.

          2. @Ross Jeffries,

            Schefren’s friends, client’s and associates looks like a “Who’s Who of The Salty Droid”:


            At least these folk have made appearances here:

            * Mike Filsaime
            * Brad Fallon
            * Jeff Walker
            * Frank Kern
            * John Carlton
            * Tellman Knudsen

            But I guess if you’re gonna extract lots of money from people you may as well be organized about it.

            I don’t know who any of the others are on that list since most my info about this guru crowd comes from Mr. SD himself (thank you Mr. Aaron Wall for telling me about this site!)

            1. @Jack, The biggest BSer on that page is the only one who hasn’t made much money and he’s right in the middle

  3. I am finally making some steady money online.

    I can report that I did this using my own brain and didn’t follow any guru courses to get to this result.

    No-one has been taken for a ride to make this money – it is purely made via advertising.

    Here is the steps:

    1. Set up a website (learn some SEO free from the net)
    2. Add content (or generate it somehow using plugins)
    3. Put advertising on the site (tweak the positioning until it works)

    There, you don’t need a guru after all.

    Fill in the blanks by using Google.

    1. @Man Of Integrity,

      As long as the advertising is ethical that is…

      Even the likes of Forbes.com and other huge advertising sites have some measure of blood on their hands because they are hosting ads for pure crap… eg acai forced continuity scams, chinese slimming tea etc.

      There aren’t many ethical cpa offers out there…

      1. @Mark,

        I don’t deal with dodgy advertising services I just use Google Adsense.

        Google had the right idea of giving a lifetime ban to dodgy marketers cleaning out all the acai berry scams etc. as far as i can tell!

  4. I made money via the internet starting in the early 1990s but it was called “business”. I didn’t have a guru to teach me how. There were no gurus back then. The technology was awful and unreliable. But I just used good old business sense and the traditional marketing concepts that can be bought in a few good books. I didn’t need a guru to teach me anything. I tried, tried, tried, tried, and then eventually figured it out. True business success isn’t found in an guru cult or MLM scheme. It’s pioneering leadership that involves risk and actually creating things on the fly. If someone is going to spend $2000 on a course, at least get some freaking CEUs or college credit out of it.

  5. I adore you Salty.

    I truly believe that the syndicate walls are coming down, but that’s only half the battle. I’m using a small “s” because there’s more than one syndicate. I know of one marketer that belongs to at least 3.

    The other half of the battle is getting their sheeple to see them as the scammer assholes that they really are. Most don’t want to believe they’ve been scammed, they feel they’re too smart to be taken advantage of and so they will deny, deny, deny. It’s not an easy thing to hear or read. I think that’s where a lot of anger comes from. The fear that they’ve been taken. All that money and time that they’ve wasted. And it was all one big lie.

    To those people who have been following gurus religiously:

    It’s ok. You were trying to make a better life for you or for your family, and these people sold you a pipe dream. This is what they do. It’s what they’re good at. I will be very honest with you. These internet marketers do not give one shit about you. They’re trying to pay their mortgage on a house they can’t afford and for a car they can’t afford. They live product launch to product launch and think of ways to have more upsells, so they can get more money out of you in order to support them.
    They’re scared like you are, but they hide it. They know they have a shelf life and this fast paced lifestyle they have will soon catch up to them. They do not save up for retirement. They do not have a large savings account. Most are broke just like you are.
    Stop using their products now. They won’t work for you. These marketers have set you up for failure on purpose so you will buy more. If you stop now you are not admitting defeat, you are waking up from a very bad dream. And now it’s your turn to tell others about this nightmare they’re living in. They won’t listen to you, they’ll fight you for the same reasons why you fought in the beginning. It’s hard to admit when you’ve been taken, but the first step to healing is acceptance and understanding. You’ll get through this and you’ll come out stronger on the other end.

  6. I think the syndicate is actually in danger now as word gets out. Its now all over the blogs and the internet it would be easy to see it hitting a newspaper one day, maybe a San Diego reporter will look for a juicy story if it gets a lot of attention and press then the FTC will have to look at it danger with testimonials and affiliate game not revealed in emails akin to pyramid scheme where you have the tiers.

  7. I’m starting to get sick of the whole marketing community.

    If you question people making millions by selling shit, you “envy” their success.
    If you question the quality of their products they present you their low refund rates and happy customers…c’mon, scientology could do the same.

    It’s not an industry, it’s a bunch of guys who have fun coming up with manipulative tactics to sell shit to the people who actually want to be just like them, but never will be – with a few exceptions from the rule.
    They’re the cool guys who let the nerd in highschool do their homework, in the hope that he’ll someday be as cool as they are.

    At some point I begin to understand why Kern felt like a douche with his cars and shit, and I wonder if the fact that he stopped is more caused by blinding himself with his jokes, Pen Island movies and a bottle of Booker’s, than by anything he did with his business – just like some junkie numbing the pain of feeling like a total loser by getting another shot.

    Maybe that’s why he’s “leaving” the community, but always comes back if somebody can get another quick million out of his customers by providing “value”.

    I’m not sure if wannabe-entrepreneurs like Pagan actually think whether providing 20 courses on how to be not a total idiot with women has anything to do with value, and if they do, why their customers aren’t successful after the first course and have to buy 19 more.

    At the start of my “career”, I was like “Yay, you can do something that makes money and is fun”. At this point, money has pretty much replaced the fun part. Maybe it’s time for something new.

    Sorry for my whining – actually, I’m happy that blogs like this one exist.

    I’ve come to a point where I’m considering to change a major part of how I make my income – and how who I’d like to be conflict with who I am – and that probably wouldn’t have happened w/o this blog.

    So, Thanks Droid.

    1. @Clark, Remember that it is much more successful in the long run to do something YOU ARE GOOD AT, then something you love. Because once the grind sets in you will not love it so much any more, but the thing you are naturally good at you will ALWAYS be good at and make good money with it – There aren’t many people that are very good at something (meaning way above average talent) that don’t have a great chance at making a living at it.

      1. @,

        Fortunately, I’m one of the lucky bastards who define “outlier” on aptitude tests. Once drove the advisor crazy by getting 95% of all possible points, normal was between 40-60% – with everything higher than 60 being your ideal job.

        I realized pretty early that I don’t care about expensive stuff and that I can find some fun in marketing and entrepreneurship, so I thought I’d just make as much money as possible as long as I can and then put it all in a charity or think tank to make this crazy place a bit less crazy, kinda like living your life like a big challenge.

        But now…the more I look into the lives and habits of rich people (esp. billion+), the less I’m convinced that you can make lots of money without screwing people over or preying on the powerless, and I’m not really sure if I wanna have that whole crap around me for decades, even if ultimately for a “good” cause.

        I haven’t really decided on anything yet, but reading Salty made me at least question my goals, and I guess now is better than later.

        1. @Clark, I am not so sure that most billionaires are corrupt or bad people. Can you expand a bit more, how you learned this – it would make for an interesting insight!

    2. @Clark,

      You’re nuts. David DeAngelo solved my virginity problem with his grand formula for talking directly to the female mammalian brain under lighting at is exactly 532nm on the EM spectrum while performing the verbal yes ladder.

      David DeAngelo is God’s gift to men.

  8. Hi Mr. Droid – I’m glad you like my name.

    And just for the record…

    @Anthony Mahavick – In the post you mention above I did NOT give a positive review. Or ANY review. I simply stated that I had ordered Kern’s product. I even mentioned:

    “There is a group of “guru” internet marketers that are at the top of the money pile. If you’ve ever gotten on any email lists in this market, you’ve heard of them. They all promote each others stuff.”

    I didn’t know they were called the Syndicate but I was very aware of how they worked.

    I gave a link to the bonus offer that I was buying from, just for informational purposes. It wasn’t an affiliate link. I said that for $2K it better be good stuff. I intended to give an honest report after I went through the material.

    But life happened to our family in a very monumental way; and Frank Kern, his Syndicate and anything about Internet Marketing became trivial. They really still are.

    But the fog now clears away some days, and Internet Marketing seems interesting again from time to time. So I read the Droid and join the discussion.


    1. @Joe Mudd, hi Mr. Mudd, I also think the name is groovy.

      I shall now answer the all important questions. The answers are simple.

      Want to be able to have more free time with your family? Want to get out of debt and live a better quality of life?

      Then START spending the money you have more wisely. That means stop trying to get the latest and greatest gadgets, cars, houses… there’s only so much you can do in 24 hours. Instead of getting the most expensive, go for the most EFFICIENT and use the rest of that money to pay off your bills and pay up on what’s important. Throw your credit cards away and pay off the rest of what you owe on them as best as possible.

      Stop slaving away for things and start making more time with your family and friends. Turn off the damn TV and get off the Internet and start having CONVERSATIONS with people. Actually LISTEN to what your child has to say. LISTEN to your wife or your husband for a change.

      STOP spending so much money on junk. After you take care of the bare necessities, you don’t need to buy more things for your happiness, you need to get back to what’s really important. Our society pumps it into our brain that we gotta get the latest and greatest, so we go out and charge it on our credit cards, and end up debt slaves. Plus, we’re STILL not satisfied, because next year, there’s gonna be something else we want that’s even flashier than what we maxed out the card for this year.

      Tired of working a job you hate, and don’t like your boss? Ok, fine, then either get another one, go to school to enhance your education and skills, or start a business with the skills you already have WITHOUT paying for some guru to tell you. They won’t tell you, ever. They’ll dangle that carrot in front of you till you’re used up.

      In order to make money you have to MAKE money. Plain and simple. Anyone that expects you to PAY TO MAKE MONEY is a crook and although he or she may be working above the law, they are still UNETHICAL and do not have your best interest.

      It doesn’t take any money to make memories that last a lifetime with those you love and care about. Make some sandwiches and take the kids to the park for an afternoon. That big screen TV won’t do you a bit of good when you’re old and sick sitting in a convalescent home with NOBODY to talk to.

      What good is that big fancy house, car and those vacations you took to Timbuktu, when at the end of your life you have NOBODY and you’re waiting to die.

      The most effective thing to giving you more free time with your family and improving the quality of life is not more money, it’s making strong and GENUINE bonds with PEOPLE. It’s always been the key to happiness.

      1. @NaCl+mc^2*(droid)=AU,2,

        Good post- once a person already has a business it’s very easy to see what’s real and what’s crap.

        As a business owner I can see that so much of the crap sold follows the formula below:

        1% common knowledge
        1% “secrets” that work but probably violate various TOS or even the law
        20% unproven theory
        78% feces

        I feel confident that most of the 2k you’ll spend goes towards that last 78%

      2. @NaCl+mc^2*(droid)=AU,2 :

        Best name, ever, man. Clever!

        [for the less chemically inclined: Salty+e x Droid = Gold.]

  9. Good job again, Salty, and thank you to all of the great commenters here, for not only defining the problems but also suggesting the only real solutions (for those who have eyes to see, etc. etc.).

    Disclosure: Of course I have to say this because I have been suckered into your “unspoken agenda” along with all of the other sheeple. ;-) But it’s kind of interesting that more and more folks who (unlike me) really know something about Internet marketing are also coming out as fans of the little robot.

    1. @Cosmic Connie ::

      Funny how much my “sheeple” feel more like feral cats on a catnip bender … I must be doing something wrong in the shepherding process.

  10. I don’t know much about Michel Fortin or any of his businesses, so I can’t say anything positive or negative about him. I do know that whenever I see someone charge more than $80 for a course, book or business advice online, I quickly x out their site and move on. As was stated so many times before:

    THE BEST BUSINESS ADVICE can be either gotten free at the library or under $100 at Barnes & Noble. Aside from that, the most effective way to learn how to run a business is to just get in the water and swim. Some things you can’t put into a book or DVD, you just gotta get in there and do it, be ready and willing to make mistakes, lots of them, learn and turn them around for the good. Anything else is just a gimmick to pay someone else’s lifestyle. Yes, they may be working within the parameters of the law, but that doesn’t mean they won’t look out for themselves first. There are still lots of parasites crawling on the Internet, and they are not syndicate material.

        1. @Freedom, yea for all that value he should charge $100000000000000000000000000 I mean the sky’s the limit on the earning one could make through his one on one coaching.

          1. @Tommy Tom,

            I don’t understand why you guys are getting thumbed down to loser status for what I would think are very agreeable opinions about Fortin charging a lot of money for the same old biz-op info product stuff.

            I’ve looked over that site, the successchef site, it’s same old hat.

            Fortin has some supporters here, quite obviously.


    1. @Tommy Tom,

      So a business degree from a 4-year college=worthless?

      It does cost more than $80 so by your logic it’s crap…

      (despite my aversion to much business training, qualifying it solely on price is short-sighted)

        1. who needs a university degree when you’ve got world-class business coaching for $10,000 a month By Luke’s logic, the “good” Internet marketers’ coaching programs are the equivalent of a university degree. If I were to take Fortin’s coaching for a year that would come out to $120,000 in cost. Fuckin’ A! That’s Harvard tuition.

          Who needs Harvard when you’ve got ..online coaches. Makes total sense.

        2. @Tommy Tom,

          Congratulations on trying to reframe the debate.

          Your assertion was that anything above $80 wasn’t worth it because everything good is either FREE or at Barnes and Noble…amazing!

          I never asserted that Fortin or anyone else was comparable to college.

          Defend your assertion, don’t try and reframe the debate around a statement I never made.

          1. @Luke, ihere’s what I said and I’ll copy and paste it
            “I do know that whenever I see someone charge more than $80 for a course, book or business advice online, I quickly x out their site and move on.”

            Now any conclusions you draw from that is your own mind adding filler.

            Ya know, you don’t have to have a problem with what other people think or don’t buy. If you believe so much in Fortin’s coaching or whomever, then go ahead, spend your money, you have my blessings and best wishes. Good luck.

  11. Wow:: you think Fortin is one of the good guys::

    Yet you think Bacak is one of the bad guys:

    And here’s a RipOffReport showing Fortin promoting Bacak:

    Several months ago I was sent an e-mail from a website that I subscribed to for their e-newsletter. In it they told me about this Matt Bacak retiring and how he was offering some marketing information for one dollar ($1.00) with no additional hidden agenda.

    Trusting the website Michael Fortin’s newsletter (a well-respected copywriter); I went to the Bacak site and gave my debit card information for the $1.00 information.

    What I found on the website was Bacak offering other additional items for sale. I did not order any additional information. The following day, I received an e-mail from Michael Fortin, apologizing for the treatment his customers received from the Bacak website. He said that Bacak, in good faith would send more free information (to those who gave the dollar) to make up for the pressure for more money.

    On June 16th, Frontier Marketing, LLC (Matt Bacak’s company) took it upon themselves to remove $29.97 from my checking account. I immediately e-mailed both Bacak and Fortin to express my displeasure and request my money be returned. (FYI: I never heard back from these two and have not received any more e-mails from either of them). At this time I also contacted my credit union to freeze any more funds being removed by Frontier Marketing.

    Then on July 14th and August 13th $29.97 was removed from my account by Matt Bacak. No longer using the Frontier Marketing name, he was able to back-door my ban.

    I am quite angry. I have been down this road before and have no problem contacting the Federal Government for restitution. In fact in 2002 I was the primary federal witness against a company (that I had never heard of) that had removed a couple of hundred dollars from my account. They were prosecuted and are now serving jail time. Oh, and I did get my money back.

    I love this site, as I use it before I spend a penny. Unfortunately, I didn’t find anything about this Matt Bacak several months ago. I hope this saves someone else from going through this fraud.

    Riverview, Florida

    Source:: http://www.ripoffreport.com/Internet-Fraud/Frontier-Marketing-M/investigation-matt-bacak-clie-83Z6E.htm

    Sheep in wolves clothing you are, Jason?

    1. @anonymous coward ::

      I don’t name good guys.

      But RipOffReport is garbage … and so is BallSack.

      Fortins have done business with all kinds of people I think are crap. I’ll bet they are regretting it more and more with each passing day. Personal branding :: in combination with affilate marketing :: is a recipe for disaster and implosion. Right now :: everyone in “the industry” is only one or two degrees separated from the devils core. That’s a big part of the problem … and it’s a built in silencing mechanism.

      Everyone’s guilty :: so everyone’s silent.

    2. @anonymous coward,

      “In fact in 2002 I was the primary federal witness against a company (that I had never heard of)”

      Must have made it pretty damn hard to testify without any knowledge of them.

      Last I checked any attorney with half a brain is going to get hearsay kicked right out the front door of any courtroom as inadmissible.

      Or did you perjure yourself? Or are you just making shit up?

      1. @Luke,

        I was the primary federal witness against a company (that I had never heard of) that had removed a couple of hundred dollars from my account. </blockquote

        Must have made it pretty damn hard to testify without any knowledge of them.

        It sounds as if she testified that the charges were not authorized. If that is the case, it makes sense that she would not have any knowledge of the company who posted those charges.

        1. @Dr. _cartman_,

          I will concede she could have testified that there was a charge from them she didn’t authorize…I’m lost at how that would make her the “primary federal witness” without any further intimate knowledge of the company.

          I myself have reported a couple of companies to the FTC for much worse things and their attitude was basically complete indifference sadly.

          To the OP (Yvonne), did you do a chargeback for Bacak’s bad charges to you?

          1. @Luke,

            Well, it may be that on the internet people’s “stories” (and maybe even Doctorates), are “slightly” embellished. I cut a little slack when such embellishments provide no personal gain. It may be that “primary” witness for such a charge, may have included some posturing.

            PS – I just donated my Doctorate to Goodwill…so I get my dots back…but that’s what makes me spatial (ohh and sea bitch…seriously…stop using my fucking dots)

            1. @_cartman_, hell Fortin’s cheap compared to Maria Andros Off-site: $19,997.00 per day plus first class airfare, transportation, accommodations and expenses.

              Btw Maria is hiring. http://mariaandros.com/employment/# but don’t send her resumes, she wants a short paragraph stating why you’d be best for the “job”.

            2. @_cartman_,

              first class airfare, transportation, accommodations and expenses.

              Well…at least she dropped them from

              Investment: On-site in L.A. $25,000
              Off-site: $30,000 per day plus first class airfare, transporation, accomodations and expenses.

              So we are experiencing Andros bargain basement pricing…I guess the recession hurts even imaginary people…on imaginary waiting lists…if she will wear a clowns nose and big shoes, maybe I’ll hire her for Arthur Andersons (our cat), birthday party (ohhh gawd…I kill me)…

              Btw Maria is hiring. http://mariaandros.com/employment/# but don’t send her resumes, she wants a short paragraph stating why you’d be best for the “job”.

              unless she has changed, she most likely isn’t hiring anyone…her whole “past” she mentioned one team member (who did some work for her..like on a really really part time basis)….and….at the same time…She used to run off-site ads (multiple locations at once)…

              I don’t think they were for real positions (maybe she was building a list), they were always the same two positions…month, after month, after month…different online free “job” publication sites…it’s how I located her “virtual office” (aka fancy business center…no Phone #) on North Canon Dr. in “the B.H.” (I made that shit up just now…like the O.C. only the B.H. …gawd I sleigh me…pat self on back….rockstar…just a rockstar)

              A residue of one of her many copies of one of the two jobs she kept posting (you guys will just have to take my word there were more)


              Since I had to file three counter-claims she already knows me by real name, checking the veracity is out for me.

              My guess is these jobs are to show how “big” she is, and her off-site jobs of days past, were to build a list of desperate jobless people.

            3. @_cartman_, she’s talking in the first and third person again…

              “We are looking for talented people to work with me and my team, who all work from home.”

              We and me…er, what?

              And then we have:

              “Please include examples, linking to websites or attach files to show me your previous best work.”

              Even when I’m talking to myself, I still know that I am just the one person *sob* I don’t have the celery to talk to as I’m just not special enough!

            4. @_cartman_, @Nikki

              Well, now I’m going to talk to myself. So there.

              I went a bit further down on her page, another shining example of the use of the first & third person in the same sentence is here:

              “Video Script Copywriter

              Using videos write a script that will be used for a slide presentation. You will take my videos or recorded random thoughts and write content and articles. Writing in Maria’s style and voice is key.”

              Can anyone here do a brain extraction? I might be able to talk like her then…plus, is it just me (entirely feasible) or are they rather strange criteria for a job?

            5. @Nikki,

              Even when I’m talking to myself, I still know that I am just the one person *sob* I don’t have the celery to talk to as I’m just not special enough!

              A celery like following isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be…it only ends up stocking you in the end…

              You have to make imaginary waiting lists, create new fake lists (ignoring your first set of imaginariates (I made that word up), place “good” fake people in your phone..and the list goes on, and on, and on….fake trips, fake functions, fakecess…it’s the whole fakin 9 yards…

              If you can’t afford first class…just pretend like your in the “second” first class (the one without the big seats or special cabin access), “the second first class” which has only ancillary benefits that can’t be shown to be a lie (ie: rockstar check-in, and free pack of peanuts…did anyone notice maria’s nuts?)

              You have to take random pictures (but few and far between)…like if you are claiming to go to a celebrity party….take a picture of your restaurant food afterward…to prove you were in the city, and at a celebrities parties just hours before (it works..really it does)…..

              you have to say meaningless shit like

              “you can’t take the shine out of a *STAR*.”
              “Ask yourself today what is your USP”
              “where are you playing small in your life?”

              but remember…convince people they are only stars if they believe in themselves…and they only can honestly believe in themselves (by believing and following you), by giving you $2.4K (for a course which is worth 49.95 and should include a free set of ginsu knives and a gratey)

              If you think you are up to it…you will be promoted to Video Marketing Princess (the queen title is for people in their 50’s (and those with strange “father” stories..leave it for Andros).

              Remember, if you can conceive it…others will believe it, and then you can achieve it (kind of)!

  12. Listen fucklickers :: I can’t believe y’all are going to make me telegraph my move like this … but … talking about the people in this post … on this post … is soooo not helpful to me. Fuck sake! Use your real name if you want to do it.

    There are hundreds of thousands of people sucked up in this. All in varying stages of denial about what’s going on. Before I got here … this was NEVER spoken of … NEVER. Now people {a VERY TINY amount of people} are speaking on it … that is 100% for sure the most important thing.

    As far as The Salty Droid is concerned the message of this post is “it’s okay to talk about it” … not … “if you talk about it you’ll be called a hypocrite because your own past actions have not been blemish free”. No. What are you going to do right now … and tomorrow? That’s my question.

    There is a giant elephant in the room. It needs to be removed before assessments can be made about things that are not the elephant.

    My resources are finite … so to me … speaking out / not speaking out … is an important dividing line. Don’t care about motivations … speaking out is better … braver … and less likely to end with dead people. Which is not to say that I endorse the products of any of the people linked to … because I most definitely do not. “Go it alone” … that’s what I’ve been saying since I got here. Go it alone. For sure. If you can’t do it yourself … you can’t do it. But that’s just my personal opinion … I don’t know what it feels like to not be me.

    There is no law against having a bad business idea … or against selling disappointing products that aren’t very valuable. Most things are crap. The economic machine is supposed to protect us from that by crushing those companies and people like so many bugs. Robot super heroes are only required for “eyes wide open” predators whose cheating prevents the normal mechanisms from functioning.

    If you are an “Outsider” :: or a “B-teamer” :: or a “C-teamer” :: and you were thinking that talking about The Syndicate :: and the troubles :: might get you on my good side … then you were right.

    1. @SD, Well said.

      Seriously, what are you (few) guys thinking? Do you want to return to the (b)old days? If so, then you are just another part of the problem.

      To those mentioned in this post, rest assured the majority of the visitors to this blog appreciate your taking a stand and welcome your thoughts.

    2. @Le Droid du Sel, put a blinking neon box around this comment so everybody sees it.

      Or put it in a hovering popover!

      There is a Scotsman on PBS and he agrees

  13. You sure are getting unwound here.

    Why don’t you readjust your fez hat and repent and tell us the REAL reason you’re protecting the syndicate you claim to hate so much.

    Do it before I beat you to it, you fraud.

    1. @AnthonyBlakeClone, Is that you Irwin Kern? Geez, what a transparent bait that only halfwits would fall for… Oh wait that’s who you are targeting. Sorry to disappoint, this is not your “list” you are talking to, if you forgot…

    2. @AnthonyBlakeClone,

      LOL!… You only wish you were me… (and yes, I occasionally wear a Fez, I collect Fez’s)…

      Anyone that knows me knows that I don’t promote the “Syndicate’s” stuff… won’t touch it with a ten foot pole… and as a long time marketer in the IM space I’ve been offered the opportunity many times… but these guys know that I have no taste for them, have been directly & highly critical of them and know a lot of “poop” about them…

      Heck, I rarely promote good stuff… even my own! :-)

      I make my money in other areas, in other niches that are much more benign & fun and don’t abuse customers… yes, I do market in the marketing arena too, but I make sure that there is value & quality behind what I create or promote… If I personally haven’t reviewed it, played with it and found that it can deliver what it promises and is worth the money being asked for it to those that are on my list or read my opinions then I won’t promote it… I don’t need the money that bad, I have other ways to get what I need without “whoring” myself for 13 pieces of silver…

      In honesty, I did promote Traffic Secrets I, The Underachiever System & Product Launch Formula… but that was years ago, before the whole syndicate thing and before any of “dark side” stuff started to appear (and I received copies of the complete products that I reviewed carefully before even deciding to promote – back then what was being offered was good)… haven’t touched any of that since… I follow the campaigns & may acquire the stuff they’re hawking, but that’s more about seeing what’s being offered and delivery methods than anything else… I’m no ones “crack ho”…

      Recently I was invited to be a speaker at a marketing seminar… I turned the opportunity down because I saw who the other speakers were, and saw that one of them is one particular person I don’t want to even be remotely thought to be associated with… just the inference that I would be anything like them because we happened to be in the same speaker line-up is bothersome to me and not acceptable…

      I’m highly critical about a lot of the bullshit that is going on, I don’t like it, don’t condone it and warn others about the asshats in this biz… It drives me nuts to see people ripped off & lied to over & over again, dashing their hopes & dreams (whether they actually do something or not) and draining their bank accounts (which in these tough economic times is a travesty)…

      You can make a living in marketing by being honest, forthright, upstanding… by caring about your buyers and what they will get… by making sure that what you create or what you promote adds more to what your buyers need rather than padding your pocket, by making sure that true quality & value is delivered and not relying on huge payouts for hawking the latest big launch… it’s better to have customers who truly like you, who have benefited from you, whom you have earned their trust because of what you stand for (ethics & principles) than to have massive droves that are cajoled into forking over their hard earned cash… doing it this way is not easy, in fact it’s very tough… but in the long run the rewards are way better… rewards that may not necessarily be monetary…

      Now if you don’t mind I think I’ll light up a tasty cigar, pour myself a cold drink and sit back and watch the show… I hear the 2nd act is a doozy!

  14. Let’s not forget that many of us were introduced to syndicate members through the B list. You know, the people who had reviewed these products and felt they were of benefit to their subscribers…or so they said. Instead, the only thing they review is the affiliate commission and the prewritten promotion they cut and paste to their lists.

    Case in point. A marketer, who has been heavily promoted by a number of list owners, was called out for producing a crap product and refusing to refund as promised in her own recorded words on a webinar. (The site – linked above – did a great job of calling her out by using her own voice and powerpoints to prove her inconsistencies). The blogger had apparently purchased because of an implied endorsement by a respected list owner.

    Tim Castleman, one of the affiliates, initially made this comment to the blog owner about the decision to make the public aware of the deception:

    “The choice to do that is yours but I warn you from personal experience the fallout may be more than you expect.”

    Someone responded with: “So, your warning is to keep your mouth shut, let other people get cheated out of their money, and avoid any “fallout”? Sorry…I just added another marketer to my list from whom I will never take recommendations.”

    Tim: “I know from personal experience when you speak out you risk alienation from others (the IM world is pretty small), even lawsuits for what you say about others (again speaking from personal experience).
    Now you guys can stay here and talk about this for sure. You can continue to chase the tail and spend as much as you want on this.
    But for every moment you spend doing that there is a moment you never get back to grow your business and live your dreams.”

    Interestingly enough, Chris Baker (the marketer in question) refunded the blog owner the day after the site went up, with this note: “I went ahead and refunded you – please do the right thing and remove your blog post.”

    The answer was NO. Not until EVERYONE who had been ripped off was refunded.

    As for Tim Castleman? Apparently his “dream” is that people keep their mouths shut while he “grows his business” by promoting substandard, non-refundable garbage. My guess is he’s not the only one who feels this way.

    People need to not only get rid of the Syndicate, but the complicit affiliates who have built trust with their lists for the sole purpose of grabbing as much money from their wallets as possible. Is that everyone? No. But an affiliate that warns you to keep your mouth shut probably doesn’t have his lists’ best interests in mind.

    1. @Roberto, if it’s the same Tim Castleman he got his huckster start in internet marketing peddling an ebook PDF on the warrior forum about how to get rich with a postcard marketing system. If you want to get to mother hive for a lot of this crap then target the warrior forum. The FTC would have a field day with all of the garbage that gets sold in their special offer forum. Salty needs to do an entire series on these scammers.

      1. @Getout Scammers,

        I love this website. It gives me a good laugh and the writing is awesome.

        Thanks to a subscriber who sent me to this link. Thanks for thinking enough of me to post about me here.

        As far as the postcard comment – I have proof of income and checks that it works great and has made me 5 figures every year since using it.

        As far as Holly’s post I stand by my comments. Holly got her money back but I think she closed more doors than she opened with it.

        People could be scared of promoting her for fear if things don’t go well she’ll start a website about it.

        I blasted a guru in one of my emails and affiliates pull out of a promotion because they were afraid of the backlash because of it.

        So it was a warning to her based on PERSONAL experience.

        It also didn’t stop her from buying two products of mine AFTER that post.

        Look I understand that my no refund policy isn’t for everyone. That’s ok – it’s my business and I get to run it however I want.

        If you don’t like it – don’t buy my stuff and don’t be a customer. It’s that simple.

        Best of luck to everyone and thanks for the website Droid.

        1. @Tim Castleman, you said:

          “People could be scared of promoting her for fear if things don’t go well she’ll start a website about it.”

          Go well?? How about “If you don’t deliver what you promise, someone will actually SAY something about it?”

          What a crock, Tim. I’d never heard of you before now, and I hope I never hear anything about you again, unless it’s on this blog.

          It’s all about the money, isn’t it, Tim?

          I read Holly Cotter’s detailed documentation. Yeah, all of it. She had every right to talk about her experience. As far as someone not wanting to do business with her because she spoke out, that’s great…it should weed out scammers.

          She deserves applause.

          But as for YOU…

          Syndicate-style pandering trumps sharing truth and experiences, huh?

          You did give some great advice though, Tim. You said:

          “If you don’t like it – don’t buy my stuff and don’t be a customer. It’s that simple.”

          Yes, it is that simple. People should follow that exact advice when it comes to dealing with you. Especially the part about DON’T BE A CUSTOMER.

          1. @What a crock,

            It sounds to me like you and Tim are in agreement. In fact, I’d venture a guess that he doesn’t want you as a customer MUCH more than you don’t want to buy his stuff.

            I’ve bought quite a few products from Tim, and none of them have been scams. Not to say that the one that Holly is complaining about is or isn’t a scam – I have no personal experience with it – but Tim’s stuff is good quality, from what I’ve seen at least.

            Yes, tell all websites like Holly created may help weed out the scammers. I actually think Holly’s site is pretty balanced too, so I’m not taking issue with it. But if you think that it’s only scammers that will avoid her because of it, you’re incredibly naive.

            Things go wrong in business all the time. Partnerships go sour. That doesn’t mean that one or the other of the people is a scammer. People could potentially avoid partnering with Holly because they don’t want to take a chance that a bad experience could escalate into something like this one did.

            But that’s Holly’s choice. She’s a grown-up and I’m sure she understands the potential repercussions for her.

            1. @Nat, what a load of pure b.s. SPIN you are attempting!

              You said:

              “Things go wrong in business all the time. Partnerships go sour. That doesn’t mean that one or the other of the people is a scammer.”

              This isn’t about something going “sour.” This was a SHAM. This is about:

              1. Failure to deliver
              2. Failure to honor refunds

              In effect, you and Tim are saying exactly this:

              “If you buy an expensive TV from a store and it doesn’t work, and they don’t make good or give you a refund, don’t complain, or other stores might not want to do business with you.”

              Do you see how utterly INSANE that is? If the world worked that way, we’d all be getting the shaft on a daily basis with no recourse!

              You and Tim are absolutely pathetic.

        2. @Tim Castleman ::

          “As far as the postcard comment – I have proof of income and checks that it works great and has made me 5 figures every year since using it.”

          Great. Because if you’re going to talk about it here … then I’ll need to see it. You’ll find my email below … I’ll be expecting that by the end of the week or else “people could be scared of promoting {you} for fear if things don’t go well” they’ll end up on a little website I’ve already put up. And screen caps of lame checks won’t do … please send me the full documentation that’s required by Texas biz op law. Okay thanks.

          Here’s Tim taking his own brave public stand against the evils of … wait for it … wait for it … Goodwill. http://timothycastleman.com/why-i-threw-away-500-today.html

          “They also won’t benefit from the stuff I had – instead it’s going to the dump – because I don’t have time in the day to put it all in my truck, drive it to them, unload it all, wait for them to log it all in, and more.

          Screw that.

          Look learn from the Goodwill store in Lubbock’s stupidity.”

          Nice. I’m glad you like my site Tim … go fuck yourself.

          1. @SD, Wow, so Tim Castleman brags about screwing over Goodwill (a well-respected charity!) because they aren’t equipped to pick up his old junk.

            So instead of dropping it off to them, he intentionally takes it all the way to the garbage dump just to screw them over. Again, to screw over a CHARITY!

            That says exactly what kind of a “person” Tim Castleman really is.

            1. People should be thankful that the individuals who volunteer to work the Goodwills are already doing. The employees that do get paid are almost always individuals with disabilities or economic disadvantages. Neither society nor government is contributing enough to charities like Goodwill.

              I might add that I don’t believe for one minute that what Tim had to through away was so valuable and expensive. Think about it: These Internet Marketing freaks hype up their products to make you think the stars from heaven are about to fall down and transform into gold and then land in your lap, all just for money. They are so money greedy that they won’t hesitate to squeeze every last cent out of you, knowing that it may push some poor smuck may go overboard and committ suicide. So do you think this Tiny Tim guy would throw away $500 worth of stuff?? That’s an info product for Christ’s sake!!

              My guess is he had a trash bag full of his mother’s moth eaten clothes that he was cross dressing in and afraid his wife would find out, and Goodwill rejected his “donation”. But ya know… anything’s possible. lol

            2. @Gerald, Does that mean Tim would be screwing over the people on this “success stories” page, too?


              Here’s some of the type of people I guess Goodwill helps:

              Charles W. – joined the Navy in August of 1971. I did a tour in Vietnam

              Nicole H. – diagnosed with ocular histoplasmosis and lost the vision in one eye.

              Charles M. – At 18, because of the unrest in Zaire, had to leave for my safety.

              Edmond C. – “Before I came to the program, I was hospitalized for a few months due to a brain injury that I was born with.”

              What I was thinking that maybe these success story people might have experienced more disabilities than Tim Castlemen, maybe, so I don’t understand why he is so mad at the Goodwill place.

              1. @Jack ::

                Unless :: maybe :: Castlemen has suffered some brain injury of his own. After all :: he did say he could offer proof of his success on my fake robot blog … and then failed to produce it. Doesn’t seem like something that someone with a fully functioning brain would do.

                You know what they say … you can’t fix stupid.

            3. @Gerald, I messed up a bit, what I meant to say was,

              “What I was thinking that maybe these success story people might have experienced more inconveniences than Tim Castlemen, maybe, so I don’t understand why he is so mad at the Goodwill place.”

              I meant to say “inconveniences” and not “disabilities”, but if SD is right about Tim having a brain injury, I guess that would be a decent sized inconvenience, I guess.

          2. @SD, Jesus Christ! Even his minions are praising him. Goodwill isn’t a fucking fortune 500 company it is a medium to help the less fortunate. These types of organizations can’t always accomodate us, but if we TRULY care about the less fortunate then we can sure as hell accomodate them.

            He’s mad because they didn’t have an answering machine so he could let them know to pickup his stuff the next morning. So…try them next morning?

            He’s mad because they didn’t have a pickup service? God forbid you have to get off your ass and spend 30 minutes to an hour GIVING BACK to the community.

            He’s probably more interested in bragging to his minions that he gave to a charity rather than the charitable act itself.

            Rant over. Jesus Fucking Christ.

        3. @Tim Castleman,

          “It also didn’t stop her from buying two products of mine AFTER that post…If you don’t like it – don’t buy my stuff and don’t be a customer. It’s that simple.”

          It appears that she did like your product(s) and that proves my point.

          From her blog:

          “I first heard about Chris from James Jones, a well-respected internet marketer. I’ve used and promoted several of James’ products over the past several years (he has GREAT products!)…So, it was with the belief that James had already tested Chris’ product and found it to be exactly what she presented in the webinar, that I paid Chris $250.”

          Tim, it is MORE likely that you’ll have a list that follows your recommendations when you provide good products. You provide something they feel is of value and then take that goodwill and cash it in for some quick affiliate cash.

          Your PRODUCTS and your AFFIIATE DEALS are not one in the same. What a lame excuse.

  15. @SD, We all need to be more Warrior and less Armchair (or Online) Warrior…the problem is, in the online world, the rubber never has to meet the road…making it a mecca for pussies…

    @SD, BTW, why the fuck aren’t we Class Actioning these Circle Jerks on fraud? I don’t see any of the elements of deception missing. That’d be a way to leverage YOUR finances and time, too…and to have an aggregate punch…be a fuck of a case, and very messy…so they don’t want to go through discovery, who says they have to “agree” to be sued? Why can’t you represent a Class Action here? Not your niche? How about Robbins, too. That’d put a Major Fuck of a knot in the tail of anyone thinking of doing what these shitbags are doing…no more gurus!

    /* oh, I’m sorry…did we stop all swearing on this blog? Too fucking bad…I, for one, would much rather fight than quit */

    Here is the U.S. of A., we used to know what it meant to live in a Democracy and how to “work” that system…we congregated and made our thoughts known. We exercised our GREAT POWER TO BOYCOTT BULLSHIT. Relive history, folks. STOP buying IM crap and STOP following its promoters. Help others “kick the habit,” too…that’s what the SD site is about: Waking Up. Getting Sober. Staying Sober. If you keep going back in for “the juice,” you’re going to keep getting scammed. Exercise your rights, BOYCOTT what you don’t endorse.

    (For those of you dimwits out there, NO, I’m not talking about AA and this is not AA and it never will be. THIS drug is much worse – this is IM recovery. I was speaking metaphorically…look it up if you’re lost.)

    Integrity means Actually doing something, not just blowing hard about doing something.

    As Michelle Brouse (SD’s Secret Someone) mentions: Damn it, people may not USE what they bought. Hmmmmm, there’s the rub…of the crev-ass…


    Okay, for you “Stubborn” types…go right now and walk all around your house, into the garage and to your closets. Take a visual inventory of ALL the mountainous shit /* Carlin: “stuff” */ you have in your possession that you gave money to SOMEONE for but haven’t used, worn, utilized, etc. Ever come home with something and the next day go, “Now why in the fuck did I buy that?” Yep, Buyer’s Remorse…there’s even a name for that altered state of “Duh! How much did you say it was? Surely you’d like more than that!”


    Here’s the big problem and what makes sales so easy for so many unscrupulous shitbags:

    –Humans want MORE

    –They want MORE of everything, even when they don”t need MORE [Insert picture
    of morbidly obese person here, claiming they only eat dressing-less salads]

    –They want more even when they can’t afford MORE

    –They want more no matter what that means; they, to quote the Supreme Scumbag
    Corporation on the Planet, McDonald’s: They “GOTTA HAVE IT.” Seen those huge
    billboard-sized versions of french fries on passing busses sporting the GOTTA
    HAVE IT phrase? If a cheetah misses a rabbit, the look on her face is, “Darn it!”
    and she’s over it. Not humans; we GOTTA HAVE IT. No Matter What.

    –They want MORE and Promise they will use it, then don’t! Damn them! [waves fist]
    Evidence; The Nordic Track (hand wash drying rack)

    Here is the ever-loving Bitch of the human psyche…and in this ass-crack breeds the unscrupulous salesman. Nobody can tell whether a human will or will not use something, wear something or utilize something. They have Free Will. They may have the same Good Intentions that the same Road to Hell is paved by, as we all know.
    A salesman can go to a very extensive length of comforting himself with the Good Intentions of his clients at the time of purchase, since he has whipped them into an altered state that will soon leave the same devastating crash as that poison-resembling McDonald’s food (don’t do it, people…just don’t do it).

    You see, a salesman will never be able to prove whether someone will use his “stuff” (a.k.a. garbage) or not, so he’s off the hook for a conscience. All he has to do is Sell-Sell-Sell. If they’re lazy, he can’t be blamed for that. If they “feel better” momentarily about his product.

    People want to spend money. They love to spend money. They enjoy the feeling it gives them…until the bills come due…then comes the crash of the high…but they want to spend, spend, spend…so someone needs to sell-sell-sell, or the guy on the corner with the footlongs is gonna get all the green…gotta get you some of that green…compete-compete-compete…

    The ISSUE arises when someone actually wants to buy something that promises to deliver a RESULT and gives someone money for it, based on what they were told (which is why we have a law called Fraud in the Inception, to keep people from lying their asses off – “Sure, it’ll wash your car and give you a blow job”…oh, wait, I got that mixed up with Frank Kern’s summer job…

    If I tell you that if you mix together beaker A and beaker B and you’ll get blue pudding, and you WANT blue pudding, and you don’t GET blue pudding, there’s a problem or a lawsuit based on your fraudulent speakin’s. When you go around telling people to give you $2,000 for beakers A and B and that bags of money will appear if they mix them together the right way…and they DO….and there are no bags of money, you go to Court, not back to give the LIAR more money!!

    Successful products produce something very cool and mandatory: RESULTS.
    No results when used as described, Refund or Lawsuit!

    If the road to hell is paved with good intentions (and in the IM world, it most certainly is), then the road to success is blazed with individuality and action.

    If you really want to become successful businessperson, get a great book and teach yourself to write code (if you don’t have that down already), start something up and feel your way thru it. (I have read the feedback of someone who says that was how he made it big on the Internet. “I sort of just got it started and felt my way through it. I just didn’t allow myself to stay stuck and inactive.”)

    If you can handle the truth, read on…

    You now know everything you need to know to get something going.

    Write code, so you can create websites.
    Get a domain name and a website. Get it up.
    Feel your way thru it day by day, and make good notes of what works…and be ready to face that in the age of technology, what works one day, may not even be valid the next. [ Insert picture of Irwin Kern here ]

    The gurus sell their Secrets. Everyone sells their Secrets. What they will NEVER sell you is the METHODS of that secret. ‘Cuz, think about it, if they did, they wouldn’t have a Secret to keep selling, now would they? If it were so secret, the secrets that DO get leaked all look the same.


    Get a good book. Learn HTML and CSS. (That gives you control over what you can create) bring YOUR ideas to life and forget the fucking rest of the shit. YOU do what works for you. The ONLY WAY you’ll EVER KNOW WHAT THAT IS, is to TRY THINGS OUT AND LEARN AND DOCUMENT AND REPEAT IT.

    Congrads!! You now know the whole truth.

    Now, as SD said, what will you do with it today? Tomorrow? Every day like clockwork, come hell or high water, no matter what?

    THAT is what will define and shape your life and your character – or fail to, by your own apathy.

    The Free Will is yours. NOBODY can do it for you. That is what you have wanted the gurus to do….and that is what they have been telling you they will do, but ultimately, there is the Truth: “f it’s going to be, it’s up to me.”

    Until you can face that football every day and run down the fucking field with it like your very balls were on fire, you simply won’t “get it” or anything else that comes with “it,” like success.

    Sprout a pair. Take a stand. Conquer your obstacles; never let them get the best of you (for more than a few minutes, anyway!). Keep getting MORE profitable and successful things done in a day than anything else. These are the secrets to real success. If you don’t fucking believe me, go take a dozen millionaires to lunch and ask them. [If you are too lame to do this, you won’t make it in IM or much else. learn only from those who have PROVEN track records in reputable results!]

    Stop following around every shepherd with a big staff!! That will NEVER be the way to your salvation in anything. You have a brain for a reason.

    Decide to STOP buying things on any kind of emotion. No matter what it is – just walk (or click) away. The second you get that rosy glow of endorphin-soaked hype rushing thru your emotions and your system, you’re lost.

    THERE IS NO IM HOLY GRAIL. GIVE IT UP. THE LIFE YOU HAVE LEFT IS YOURS TO DO WITH WHAT YOU WILL. DO YOU WANT TO WASTE ANY MORE OF IT IN IM? The answer will never be there waiting for you. The sooner you can face that and take the road of integrity to a solid success, the better.

    Don’t be afraid to do yer’ own thinkin’ and choosin’…it’ll get you a LOT farther than the Bernie Madoff’s and Butt-Lickin’ Circle Jerks.

    The buck don’t stop here for yo. It never will. So, you smarten up and STOP standin’ here and go do somethin’ ya’ enjoy!

    Immigrants of this country came here with $100 in their pockets and built empires, so don’t whine to me or anyone else that “You can’t do it.”

    The bottom line is that none of the names on SD’s blog here mean anything. If you forgot them all tomorrow, your life wouldn’t change (er, you’d have more money from not wasting it on IM crap!). Do what’s right. Keep doing it. Take control of your own circumstances and shape them to whatever form suits you best. Yes, you CAN do it. No, you DON’T need IM douchebags holding your hand with their sticky tentacles.

    Get the word out with good evidence (like the IM expose video from last post) and help others “stay off the juice,” too!

    Go cold turkey into the good life…like, Now…what are you still dawdling around here for…seriously, Now…..Go! I’m sure you have a life to improve somewhere over there! Do the big, bold, brave things first…and stop settling for less…just make sure YOU are in the drivers seat…not some douchey “guru” (If you are still impressed with them or their power, try changing the word “guru” in your mind to “Boo Boo,” then try to have the same mental conversations with yourself! Betcha ain’t hooking your life onto a truck full of Boo Boo’s (…that’s about to go over a cliff soon….so get off the Lemming X-Press)

    Start taking yourself seriously. Follow through. Do what WORKS. Do only that. Keep ratcheting it up. Chill and enjoy when you hit your desired stratospheric level.

    Liar Crusher

    1. @Liar Crusher,

      Some great points…

      Just remember that these Syndicate guys strive to take our free will, pervert it, and turn it into a compulsive disorder. That’s what Salty does a great job of exposing.

      By deliberately making the path complicated and impossible to follow, the Syndicate can make sure that their “marks” never find their way out of the maze. It’s called “extracting lifetime customer value.”

      I like to call it what is really is. FRAUD.

      1. @Irwin,

        Yes, it is fraud.

        I know all too well EXACTLY what they are doing. I also know by what mechanisms and the pervasive, insidious, persistent extent.

        THEY HAVE NO POWER. Nobody has the power to take your free will. We hand it over.

        Becoming *conscious* of that process is how we make sure it stays where it belongs: with us.

        This way, we STOP on the maze and rise up out of it. The maze has no power over us anymore. We see it for what it is. We make better choices and walk trodden paths of legitimacy, or forge our own new roads based upon integrity and community.

        What do you do when you suspect yourself of driving down a road that is in the wrong direction? You just STOP, right? You check your co-ordinates (in this case, that should be your bank account or, worse, credit limits!) and correct course, doing a 180 if need be.

        Escaping the IM-Haze is no different. The drug is coming from within OUR system. We are allowing OUR system to be manipulated. We have the ability to become conscious of how that is happening and to STOP it from happening. WE are our job. Always. Every time.

        I gave people enough truth to take them thru to a successful life.

        People want to believe it is somehow an external circumstance phenomenon and it simply isn’t. We can just stop and turn around and start heading in sound directions. That is a choice we make, or fail to make, every minute of every day.

        The guys I will only refer to as the Circle Jerks have NO POWER to take our free will or pervert it or turn us OCD. STOP attributing powers to these ballbags they DON’T have. STOP letting them get into your brain and lay eggs that hatch into thoughts that they have some power over you. STOP giving away your power. Just STOP. For the love of Mike, Just STOP. Be decisive. Make choices based on real integrity. Follow through.


        YOU DO.

        USE IT WELL.

        Call if whatever you want, Bro….just avoid it like the plague it is.

        Liar Crusher

        1. @Liar Crusher,

          I agree that they have no real power…

          I just said that they “strive” to pervert our free will with their deceptive practices. I never said that they succeeded in my case.

          Exposing their true intentions the way SD does is simply a way of dealing with this deception. And it appears to be working quite well.

          While you may be safely across the way, sadly, there are still many others being duped by these guys every day.

      1. @Duff ::

        Wow that was a really interesting article.

        “These are strong, and puzzling, claims. Why does it matter who is eating whose lunch on the Internet? Are people who log on to their Facebook page really the best hope for us all?”


      2. @Duff, great article – thanks Duff.
        “In other words, Facebook activism succeeds not by motivating people to make a real sacrifice but by motivating them to do the things that people do when they are not motivated enough to make a real sacrifice.”

        1. @Martypants, And I meant to add, for more great thinking on the same lines, look into Jaron Lanier’s latest: You are Not a Gadget….really good brain food.

    1. @SyndicateExposed, I just found out from some guy named Michael Hiles that the Gurus are only doing their job or something like that. He just said in the Warrior Forum:

      “If someone really has a problem with a guru, then they should really be blaming the market. Because if it weren’t for the idiots who buy into the schlep, there wouldn’t be “gurus” selling it. People can get up at arms over “gurus” all they want, but in the end, if they weren’t selling the stuff, someone else would be BECAUSE THERE’S A MARKET FOR IT.”

      It was in this post here:


      So I think maybe what he’s saying is maybe a couple things:

      1) If you bought guru stuff then you’re maybe an idiot.
      2) If you complain about gurus, then you are definitely an idiot.

      I looked at his site here http://michaelhiles.com/ and i was wondering why a marketing expert has an Alexa ranking way lower than my blog and I don’t know what I’m doing at all about 99% of the time.

  16. Hey there Salty Droid,

    Thanks for the mention on your blog. Imagine my surprise when a pal says “Well, you got famous while taking your 3 hour nap” and I’m like “huh?”


    I don’t visit often, but think you’re doing a great thing exposing “fraudulent activities” and I do love reading the comments on this blog, interesting stuff. Figured I’d leave another blog post on my site too – seeing how it’s been about a month already. Where does the time go.

    Keep at it Droid – it’ll pay off. ;-)


  17. “Or what if one of the members of the group gets involved in some shady business dealings? What then?

    “The answer is… I can’t really do anything unless I want to risk losing my position in the group — and missing out on the windfall I’d receive from the promotion and endorsement of the group.”

    Sounds a lot like Congress, doesn’t it?

  18. Just a thought as I read through the comments. People ranting that everything in IM world is a scam are not helping Droid’s case because that is demonstrably false. They’re also showing their ignorance of the actual problem.

    Yes, it is possible to build a real online business using ethical marketing practices but so many people treat it like the lottery and think they can make tons of money with no work or pushing a button. It just doesn’t work that way.

    Any business (online or offline) takes time and a lot of work. Many people in the know don’t even waste their time on the “make money online” niche but instead concentrate on promoting tangible goods and services.

    Everything is compounded by hucksters exploiting the lottery mindset with brazen deception and lies but never being held to account.

    Not buying stuff from the people who would gladly take your rent money for a pipe dream is a great first step but it’s only part of the problem.

    1. @Hal,

      “Just a thought as I read through the comments. People ranting that everything in IM world is a scam are not helping Droid’s case because that is demonstrably false. They’re also showing their ignorance of the actual problem.”

      Pretty much spot-on.

    2. @Hal,

      The phrase “Internet Marketing” when used by the parties criticized on this site is a codeword for “Online Get Rich Quick Scams”—just like “Syndicate” really means “cartel” in this case.

      As far as legit internet marketing, advertising, and making money online, Good is doing pretty good. Last I checked, Google was the undisputed #1 internet marketing company online, having purchased Doubleclick and making 97% of it’s revenue from advertising (or $28 billion annually). I’d say that internet marketing (with lowercase I and M), internet advertising, and online business is alive and well.

  19. Salty,

    I’m willing to bet that there are lots of sub-niches where smaller versions of the info-marketing Syndicate are going on.

    I know in my industry that 4 of the top players definitely promote and co-ordinate each others’ frauduct launches without disclosing the affiliate relationships. They also engage in hidden continuity, unlawful refusal to give refunds, etc. etc.

    They’ve ALL approached me over the years and asked me to co-promote and I have always told them to fuck off and die, and then come back to life and die again.

    When I talk about this, people accuse me of being “negative” and “envious”.

    Funny thing is this: these guys are all clearly Pagan proteges. You can see it in everything they do: from the style of their emails, squeeze pages, offers, videos, etc.


    1. @Ross Jeffries,

      The seduction niche must have worse customer longevity than biz-op after these guys go to a boot camp or buy a product, get slapped in the face or blown-out and laughed at during the “in-field part”, and then sit through the last day of the seminar with their head down.

      Ross, you evil bastard. Just fess up, you’re running a comedy gig.

      I suppose I’ll go easy on Ross. There are people who are completely batshit insane in that niche. Like that Brent Smith Absolute Power Dating freak with his “Be the mayor and just walk around not saying anything thinking these bitches want your cock and they’ll want your cock! You can learn more if you have a net worth of 70 mil or some really expensive boats, cars, toys, etc!”

      I am pro book-burning. One of the first books that need be burned, is Think & Grow Rich. All it does is make tasteless unicorn chasing aholes. Nobody wants to see another person who is running around thinking they deserve to have money (power) for no good reason.

    2. @Ross Jeffries,

      Alright, first of all, dude… you are on Pagan’s interview with dating guru’s series. Okay? So explain that.

      Second of all, @What?


      “I am pro book-burning. One of the first books that need be burned, is Think & Grow Rich. All it does is make tasteless unicorn chasing aholes. Nobody wants to see another person who is running around thinking they deserve to have money (power) for no good reason.”

      Dude, you need to check yourself. There’s no reason to burn that book? Secondly, yes, we all deserve to have anything we want, and that we are willing to work hard enough for.

      That’s the dumbest shit (the line you wrote, not YOU). Like, are you saying some of us are born “unworthy?” Are you serious?

      Personally, I think we are SO LUCKY to be alive, we just don’t realize what we are capable of.

      1. @Marcus Aurelius,

        This is news to me. Eben, in fact, NEVER interviewed me for any of his products and the opposite is true: he forbid anyone to ever mention me in any interview. I know because he interviewed a mutual friend, and that person made the mistake of mentioning he was a fan of mine. Eben stopped tape, warned him not to mention me, and edited the mention out.

        Back when Eben was a student of mine he interviewed me for one of MY CD’s about MY work for MY students. But this was at least a year before he went into his own business.

        I’m very, very curious to find out what you mean because my very best knowledge is he strictly forbids any mention of my name or my work.

        And that quote about TAGR, while it represents how much I hate that book, doesn’t read like one of mine. When and where did I say that?


      2. @Marcus Aurelius,

        You’re only worthy when you make an effort.

        What does that book mainly produce in modern terms?

        A bunch of people that put up dime-a-dozen blogs who say “Just believe in making millions!”.

        The Joe Vitales. The Frank Kerns. The Eben Pagans.

        There is a reason these people are despised, and people that make real efforts in life, that struggle and toil to achieve, are RESPECTED. People with exceptional displays of effort, like doctorates, or law degrees, or even people that have no tertiary education, but used their ingenuity to build up a business that provides something worthwhile to society, and they busted their ass to grow it.

        I strongly adhere to the old saying “the only way to get rich with a get rich book, is to write a get rich book”.

        And the people who adhere to such “books”, are those very same types. The ones who want a lot with little effort. You can’t THINK and become rich. This shit encourages procrastination and laziness and usury in today’s society, instead of productivity and advancement.

        No point arguing this. So many people want to believe the “New American Dream”, and I say new, because in this version, you’re fucking everyone over with your king on the hill of your town house, looking down at them all saying “I own you”, while doing nothing but sipping drinks in a hammock all day.

      3. @Marcus Aurelius,

        And I never said anyone is born unworthy.

        I’m simply saying, nobody is automatically worth any valuable achievement, until they’ve earned it.

        You cannot simply say everyone is worth everything automatically.

        If that were the case, I would stop going to the gym, start eating donuts and pizza all day, and expect a woman who does make an effort to be desirable, to desire me.

        The world doesn’t work that way. Sex and relationships are the perfect example of this, and also the main key to understanding why the seduction industry is also bullshit.

        As Schopenhauer said, the dialectician, will never be capable of using words to fully compensate for his obvious shortcomings.

        1. @What?,

          If you keep thinking about something, than eventually you will start taking action to achieve it.

          When you take action, you will think about it more, and then you will take more action, which will have you think about it more and then have you take more action.

          That’s how things work.

          And by the way I once seduced a girl with telepathy. Yep… Just by thinking about it.

          Law of Attraction works however there are laws in place of it. And effort + hard work is one of the laws governing it.

          I don’t want to get into a long debate…

          But I will say that I actually do not completely disagree with you. The law of attraction is inhibited by any lazy mentality.

          I believe their is a greater power which actually regulates the use of the law of attraction. Easy and lazy attraction is not always accepted by this greater power – we might call God.

          I actually did a experiment. I took images of really expensive cars such as Rolls Royce, Bentleys, Ferraris and Lamborghinis and looked at them DAILY with focus and belief that I already possess it.

          And I saw ALL and EVERY single one of these cars many many times in my daily routine.

          Now I do not possess any of these cars but I believe what the law of attraction was doing was opening me up to see that others too have this car and if I put some genuine effort and work in my life – I will too have these cars.

          I know this sounds corny but I believe the law of attraction also does NOT work for extremely selfish and self-centered goals. Such as wanting something for nothing without giving anything else in return.

          And by the way, Napoleon Hill taught that you most put in your effort to receive your rewards. He never taught anything about getting something for nothing. NEVER…

          1. @SyndicateExposed, You said if you keep thinking about something, then you will eventually start taking action to achieve it. I was wondering if that applies to thinking about stealing lawn mowers. And also, if you keep thinking about not getting caught, does it work that way. I’m not asking for me, I am asking for my neighbor Carl. I think he should just get a job, but he has other ideas.

            1. @Luther,

              Acts of with bad intents usually are harder to commit. And if committed, end with bad karma.

              I’m simply stating my experiences with the LOA…

              I never said anything about thinking of being a king and within a second you will be a king.

              I simply stated my experience with it and my theory. That’s it. Take it for what it is… Do what works for you…

              Online scammers and cartels are carrying bad karma. And yes, I do believe in karma.

            2. @SyndicateExposed, Like you said, I guess some acts with bad intents are usually harder to commit. My neighbor Carl says stealing lawn mowers is easy, so maybe that means it is not so bad after all.

              The blog cut off the other part of that word “LOA” you were about to start talking about, so I am not sure what you were going to say. (There is just the part of a word starting with “LOA” and some dots up there.) If you can finish that part I would appreciate it.

              Also, I wasn’t sure what you meant about being a king. I think at least one of my neighbors (Carl) would laugh at me if I tried to pull that off, excepting if he’s been drinking. But I will try it if you think it will work.

          2. @SyndicateExposed, First of all – you are an idiot. The “Law of Attraction” is the biggest joke going…

            If you can’t get off of this stupid little meme then there is absolutely no hope for you.

            Seducing a girl through telepathy? Not only are you stupid, but you are also sick.

            There is no law of attraction, no karma, and for sure nothing “quantum” that you would have any idea as to what this may mean. Not even real physicists pretend to understand this stuff – yet your simple minded easily fooled brain seduces you into believing you do.

            You are in the seduction market – but it is you who is being seduced. By DUMB ASSES…

            Wake up and smell the sodium pentothal!

            1. @Deiss Affiliate, I’m just as skeptical as you are, and I don’t believe in any of that far-fetched stuff. I’m going to burn some incense in the hope that it will help him channel some clarity.

            2. @Deiss Affiliate,

              I’m sure I would like to listen to someone who can’t even argue or defend his stance in a civil manner for such a small little belief system of how to be successful.

              I simply stated my take and left it at that. I’m not enforcing anyone to believe in it. I simply give my personal experience on what I’ve seen it do for me. (Attracting expensive cars in my sight and attracting women).

              You on the other hand, force someone else to believe in something and all you do is personally attack someone else if they simply even POLITELY disagree.

              And by the way, the law of attraction is a very old concept that people believed in back for thousands of years.

              And YES… A lot of people have been scamming others with the law of attraction concept by selling over-priced frauducts.

              The same has been done with religion. I don’t see how this is any different. There are sharks in every market.

              Please do more research on the LOA subject. I’m not telling you to believe in anything. And believe me, I have no agenda with defending it nor am I a tofu eating and vegan new-ager who blindly believes in anything spiritual.

              Fact is I didn’t even defend it. I just stated what minimal results I got from it and how you most likely need to take action, put in hard work and effort in order to be successful with it. I clearly stated this..

              Research Brainwave Entrainment, Jose Silva, Hemi-Sync, Napoleon Hill, Sexual Transmutation, Meditation, Yoga, Sex Magick, Astral Projection, Near-Death Experiences, Out-of-Body Experiences, Remote Viewing, Robert Monroe…

              Debating things in a rational manner rather than all of sudden jumping into a rage and start to personal attack someone never accomplishes anything. Neither for you, me or anyone else. I guess it’s easy to do when your safe behind a keyboard.

              The same as scamming someone is easy to do and even tempting for these gurus when their behind a keyboard just as the amount of hostility people have for others online.

            3. @SyndicateExposed,sorry for the tone. I do apologize for that.

              I have done tons of research on LOA and because I have a science background it is hard to be polite about it.

              The way the folks who prophet from it bastardize science is insulting to say the least. And (in my opinion) bad for humanity.

              People like @cosmicconnie do a great job debunking. As do Michael Shermer, the Amazing Randi, and the like.

              What happens when people take this seriously is that they lose their ability to think rationally. And then they follow some guy like James Ray.

              As far as religion, not a big fan either. Same problems.

              Of the things you listed, meditation and yoga have some nice tangible benefits. The rest have been debunked pretty convincingly – but it is amazing how people still hold on…

              Oh yea, Sex Magick is kind of cool in the New Falcon, Christopher Hyatt, Robert Anton Wilson context. Not that I am good in bed or anything like that.

              You might want to google, “The Amazing Randi” and spend a couple of weeks in the world of the skeptics. If this feels challenging, “Just Love and Let Go”

            4. LOA, like so many other things has been twisted and used for marketing profits. There are realms beyond philosophy and science that we cannot begin to explain, much less wrap our heads around. All we can rely on is our own subjective experience and always keep in mind that what we perceive and conclude may not be 100% accurate. There can always be more to it.

              You should ALWAYS take what a bunch of marketers are trying to make you believe on a DVD like The Secret with a grain of salt. Yes, they will present you with enough truisms to get your brain to say “yes” to, and then they’ll slip in the crap, hoping you’ll go along with it.

              The roots of LOA are all about work, working phyiscally and taking action. It is definitely NOT about vision boards and trying to win the lottery. It requires extensive inner self examination of what you really want, and most people can’t stay away from the TV long enough to even get to that point.

              The occult teachings behind LOA require hard work, something that good old Bob Proctor and Rhonda Byrne won’t ever tell you.

    3. @Ross Jeffries,

      I wonder where the term “squeeze page” came from, anyway. Is it because they squeeze the cash (and life) out of you? Hmmm…

      1. @Random Reader,

        Eben Pagan created the concept of “squeeze pages”…

        By the way, He’s currently trying to make his website and company appear legit now. He also has created a blog-like-sales website in order to prevent google from banning him from adwords or reducing SE rankings by giving the illusion of making it appear legitimate and a solid business.

  20. To anyone supporting the syndicate, here’s what I have to tell you


  21. Yawn, The Syndicate will just relocate to some other place. The US isn’t the only country in the world. Bring it on Salty Droid, the Feds, FTC, or whoever wants to f**k with us, ’cause good luck shutting our Syndicate down in a foreign country with lax or non-existent regulatory agencies.

      1. @Yeah Sure,

        I think the OP made an honest C-list copy mistake. He meant to write “The Dumbass Troll”, not “The Syndicate”.

    1. @The Syndicate, what he says is correct actually
      Different place, different name, same cash generating process

  22. ray edwards & dan thies are both pure scumbags. both of them have attempted to latch on to members of the “syndicate” and have been successful temporarily at times. however, they were not able to slime their way into the syndicate as full members and gain any form of promotion power. now they are both trying to play the advocate when they have both profited to some extent of the sale of garbage/scam products. these two need to be painted clearly as what they are, bottom of the barrel scum.

    same could be said for fortin who is still closely associated with many of the scumbags mentioned on this site including armand morin. shit, fortin helped start the whole overpriced course scam when he wrote the 50 page sales letter for john reeses traffic secrets course and many other garbage courses.

    these guys are trying to play the advocate and get themselves out of the sights of not only salty but the clear smack down that is about to happen in the near future by regulating agencies.

    don’t be fooled guys these assholes have pocketed a lot of dirty money.


    1. @brad, do you know anything about a guy named Jerry West, because I saw something he wrote here:


      where he said he quit Stompernet because of “the amount of time, effort and distraction StomperNet was causing”

      but i have been reading more of the SD blog now and saw right after mr. West’s statement that SD posted about Stompernet not having any money or something like that:

      so I was thinking that maybe the Jerry west guy left because he wouldn’t get any more money from Stompernet and not because it was too distracting, maybe?

      I guess Dan Theis sais something like that, too, here on september the 1st, 2009:

      “Mostly, it took too much time away from what I am actually good at and enjoy doing – like research and teaching.”

      1. @Jack,

        “Mostly, it took too much time away from what I am actually good at and enjoy doing – like research and teaching.”

        that quote is hilarity at its finest.


        1. @brad, I just also found this, too:


          “It was revealed in a recent SEO Research Labs newsletter that Dan Thies would be closing up shop on his search engine optimization and search engine marketing training services citing that client demands got too diverse. Instead Dan is joining forces with other industry powerhouses to form a new organization tentatively being referred to (as far as I can tell) as the “Fellowship of the Faculty” How very LOTR of them.”

          I am going to admit now that I am not always good at making sense of alot of this stuff, so I guess I don’t know what too make of that, but it seems sort of weird for me when I read it. Can you tell me what you think about that?

          Also, i wanted to understand about closing the research labs thing that mr. Clay talked about and found this:

          where i saw some stuff he said that made me wonder about your comments you just made here:

          “Mr. Paisley” is Frank Kern, a controversial figure to be sure*, but truly one of the smartest people involved with online marketing today. In spite of what you may have heard, Frank is one of the good guys, and I know a lot of people who don’t make a move without getting Frank’s feedback first.

          Maybe SD is wrong and Frank Kern is just “controversial” or something like that? Because mr. Theis seems like maybe he knows how to run big important businesses so he would have looked into about Frank Kern and his background like the SD did (unless SD faked all of those Frank Kern videos he shows us?)

          “Stompernet was founded in October by my good friends Brad Fallon (“Mr. Pink,” who has built an online retail business from scratch to a $10 million+ business) and Andy Jenkins (“Mr. White,” who has done the same, and is our “go to guy” for analytics, conversion, multivariate testing, and a lot more).”

          But I think Aaron Wall likes Dan Theis so maybe he’s OK, maybe? I guess maybe I’m getting confused what to think about him, maybe.

          1. @Jack,

            something seems extremely off about you and I know I’m not the only one thinking that. something smells. all of your research is nill. read this blog for the overwhelming evidence you need to form a decent opinion, better yet, watch one of these guys launches. if you think any of these guys are smart, then you are dumber than dirt. it doesn’t take smarts to scam a bunch of people, just a lack of empathy or care about who you hurt or what damage you cause.


            1. @brad, Don’t go picking on people who might have taken the short bus. We need to encourage Jack to spread his wings and fly like an eagle, not hop around on the ground like a one-legged finch that got its leg shot off by some kid’s slingshot.

            2. @brad, Hi, thanks. I think my friend Bohica said something like that, too or something.

              I am thinking now that you might be stupider than me, though, because I was wondering if Dan Thies was really as straight up as he seems because he said Frank Kern is a “good guy” even though there’s overwhelming evidence here he doesn’t seem to be any kind of good guy.

              But maybe it’s treu that you are so stupid that you have to have most of everything listed out for by the A, B, Cs.



              So maybe I rode a short bus, but it seems like you maybe were sent to school in clown car or something like that.

              Also, where was this your so-called “evidence” when you posted what you posted.

              If you weren’t such a dimmy-dumbwit you would have figured out i was putting in your no-good evidence you didn’t have.

              Wow, you make most of my short-bus friends from school seem like GENIUSES!

          2. @Jack,

            the formatting for your post is so bad that it’s hard to make out what was your writing and what wasn’t.

            >>@brad, I just also found this, too:


            >>“It was revealed in a recent SEO Research Labs newsletter that Dan Thies would be closing up shop on his search engine optimization and search engine marketing training services citing that client demands got too diverse. Instead Dan is joining forces with other industry powerhouses to form a new organization tentatively being referred to (as far as I can tell) as the “Fellowship of the Faculty” How very LOTR of them.”

            you “just found” that link. sure, you put the other part in quotes but didn’t state that you were quoting from that source and I certainly don’t have time to go reading all the blog posts you post up.

            stupid me? nah, don’t think so.


          3. @Jack,


            “But I think Aaron Wall likes Dan Theis so maybe he’s OK, maybe? I guess maybe I’m getting confused what to think about him, maybe.”

            my original opinion still applies.


            1. @brad, that’s what i was wanting to know from you, because I found the SD blog from Aaron Wall so I thought Aaron maybe was good at judging people, maybe, or maybe had more evidence than I could.

          4. @Jack,

            i have this little suspicion that “jack” is actually a frank kern implant sent here following advice from dildo kilstein about what he thinks nlp is to plant ideas in the crowd that -maybe- frank kern is a good guy and -maybe- dan theis is a good guy. the way you’re fishing and posting numb nut posts is weird and unnatural.

            and as for your apology, lol.


            1. @brad, the first time I went to “Jack’s” blog, I had a weird gut reaction to it, after seeing pictures of some doll and pictures of knives in a post that rambled about his sister’s doll. The overall impression was unsettling and almost as if the person tried to collect as many IP addresses as possible from visiting his blog.

              “Jack’s” posts are quite unnatural and contrived. There’s obviously a hidden motive behind coming here and posting, other than just posting and participating in a discussion. What that motive is , well that may be as strange as dildo Kilstein himself.

              Obviously, whatever it is “Jack” is trying to do – it is not working. May be time to go back to “christian blowjobs”.

            2. @brad, I am not frank kern. He stole $400,000 from people and I don’t have $400,000 although there are also some other ways I know I’m not frank kern such as I’m not frank kern, I guess.

            3. @brad, what i mean to say is it looked like from the SD post that frank got to keep the $400,000 or something like that so i guess i don’t know if stole is the right word but it seemed like that when i read what SD said.

            4. @brad, I read this SD blog all the time for like many hours sometimes I think because yes I have some social anxiety or something like that and SD and Aaron Wall saved me $2,000 or maybe more because I didn’t buy the Ryan Deiss traffic product because of them. So i read a lot of things all the time on here, so what are you going to stop doing donating to Goodwill because of people like me like Tim Castleman did? Are you really Tim Caslteman??

              I want to stop people from being confused, because here’s what I posted before on here earlier before:


              “The stipulated final judgment and order with Instant Internet Empires and Irwin F. Kern, IV, also known as Frank Kern, bars them from making false or misleading income claims, from participating in chain marketing schemes, and from providing others with the means and instrumentalities to violate federal laws. Based on financial statements provided by the defendants, $247,000 will be provided for consumer redress. Should the financial representations be found to be inaccurate, the total of their ill-gotten gains, $634,222, will become due.”

              So that’s why i thought frank kern still got to keep around $400,000 and why I don’t understand why the people would like him or something like that.

          1. @brad, i am going to work on reading the other posts to see how to do the formatting better so I don’t make people confused again I think.

            I see now you are right about that problem.

            1. Betty,

              I think people here are not able to read a lot of the posts all together, maybe?

              I said in that other SD syndicate post that I saw frank kern keeping the $400,000 dollars from that FTC case where he got in trouble.

              I don’t understand why the people are thinking he can be a good guy from doing that?

              I try to read a lot of the SD blog so I can understand what people have already said and had thought also because I see people who are not reading the whole blog which seems like maybe it’s important for understanding what a person really thinks or something like that, maybe.

              Also why do you have to say bad things about my sister and what does that have to do with what I am saying here?

            2. @Jack, something is off about you, or something like that, because I guess you make no sense or something like that.

              Why are you saying betty talked bad about your sister, or something like that when I don’t know I guess you found her doll in someone’s dirty laundry basket, ,or something like that.

              I guess you did save $2000 for not buying Ryan Deiss’ fraudcut so that you could help save your sister’s dog from fibromyalgia surgery, or something like that.

              So like yea…or something like that.

          2. Guys/gals, lighten up. Loooongtime SD supporter here, and I like Jack. Jack makes points in “interesting” ways. He’s like a doe alongside this blog’s tigers (which may shake up some readers). Both have their purpose and convey the message, albeit in different, uh, “ways.”

      2. @Jack

        [so I was thinking that maybe the Jerry west guy left because he wouldn’t get any more money from Stompernet and not because it was too distracting, maybe?]

        Hey Jack … I can see how you could come up with that conclusion, but it wasn’t like that. If it was about the money I would have left a year earlier when they stopped paying affiliate commissions. It was due to the distraction, and it was huge. Also, the closed door meeting with Gary and Brad at Live8 didn’t help either. Although seeing Leslie Rohde go Jeff Spicoli on Gary (Mr. Hand) was just pure awesomeness.

          1. @SD, The video that was posted basically summarizes the meeting quite well. Leslie is still my hero for that one. I would highly recommend a complete viewing of “Fast Times”. Cult classic.

  23. @The REAL Anthony Blake,

    “Wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole”?!

    How sad.

    The Syndic*nt l-o-v-e-s (to fantasize about) ten foot poles (because they can’t amount to a footlong with all of them together – and you know how much they like to be “together” – just ask On Your Knees Jenkins bemoaning Kim’s “pulling out.”)

    Dumb Syndic*nt!

    Liar Crusher

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