Saturday, November 28, 2009

When God Talks...

That is the most ridiculous blog post ever. Hey, people, three book titles say that God wants you to be rich, so it must be true, so you really should be buying my book and also getting into my miracles coaching program. Why? Because God says so.

And "what if it works?" You really should be using the what if it works shtick here, Joe. I miss your trademark marketing concept. It's all over everything else, why not your new book?

Oh wait, I have one... "What if God wants you to get into my coaching program?" You know you're thinking it, why not just say it?

It's just not even fun to try to pick apart the hypnotic rhetoric in that post... because it's nonexistent. It's as transparent as a geometric proof and boring.

Boo. You're going to have to step up your game to keep us entertained.

They Keep Reminding Me Why
Obviously, following my inspiration to start this blog came from more than just a little scam-infused wish doll. Something larger is happening here, and something larger than me wants this information to become publicized. Maybe there is a new book coming out called "God Wants You to Call People on Their Bullshit."

So, Pat O'Bryan basically says that he can market whatever he wants whether he believes in it or not because someone might believe in it somewhere, and if they buy it, that's their deal and he's just going for TRAFFIC. He writes on his blog:
"The philosophy, as explained by Kevin, helps me to understand why people listen to Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Howard Stern, and other “shock-jocks.”  They may or may not be promoting positions in which they believe.  From a marketing point of view, it doesn’t matter.  What matters is that people listen.  Some listen and agree.  Others listen and disagree.  As long as they’re listening, and interacting, they’re traffic.  And, as Internet Marketers, we know how important traffic is."
I'm sorry, but if you do not believe in the product you are selling, if you say yourself that the product is going to do certain things or that people are going to have certain results with the product, but you have no data to prove it and you yourself think the thing is bunk wrapped in bullshit, then you are a fraud.

Does God want you to take a Russian businesswoman's idea and use it to defraud people? I didn't see that book mentioned.

Am I calling Pat O'Bryan a fraud? I have blatant data showing that Pat has said that he doesn't believe in anything woo-woo. Here, he's saying that it's okay if you do or do not promote things that you agree with or believe in.

I'm willing to bet he doesn't believe in the Hoshun doll he sells. And I'm willing to bet he doesn't believe in ho'oponopono, clearing, cleansing, or anything else, which makes me wonder how much he believes in his clearing audios.

That, to me, is suspicious and makes me really wonder. But I would love to post an apology with a link to Pat where he says unequivocally, "yes I believe in the magic of the Hoshun. I believe everything on my sales pages and I always have."

Then, instead of wondering how he could say such incongruent statements, I will wonder if he is a complete moron.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Hiding from Sniper Fire, Mr Fire?

Mr Fire announced yesterday that he had found the secret to Poland's vast wealth and riches. Yes, were you not aware that Poland is one of the richest countries in the world? Just like Siberia's vast wealth can be attributed to a little doll named Hochun, resurrected as Vitale's own Hoshun paper doll printout (yes, a veritable lifetime supply!) sold for $40, Poland has vast riches attributed to...

wait for it...

a picture of an older Jew counting gold coins hung in homes across the country.

Oh, great, well then that explains a lot.

This is just another gimmick, another expensive and ineffective superstition marketed by Joe Vitale. I thought about this new product for at least a day. Friends and complete strangers emailed me asking me if I was going to say something about it.

But there was something larger that was bugging me. See, he SAYS he's not making any money off of this, that he is, out of the generosity of his "heart," helping a young artist get her start and make money for school.

This may be true. He may have traded his marketing acumen for free photos from "Poland's greatest photographer." Only they really know.

But see, a kid is involved. And I don't want to quash the kid's spirit. Her art is pretty nice considering, and I think wow, maybe I should just lay off of this one because of the kid.

Wait a minute!

Don't criminals take children hostage and hide behind them so snipers don't kill them? And when the snipers (me in this case) start taking aim for the common good, the criminal (him in this case) hold the child up as protection, so that the KID takes the bullet? (The common good being that of exposing the crazy superstitions Joe Vitale uses to extract money from his legion of followers.)

Oh, good lord, he's more insidious than I thought. Yes, that's entirely what he's doing, figuratively at least. He's recovering from the hochun/hoshun alleged thievery debacle by hiding his superstitious trinket peddling behind a child.

He's even using the same chintzy marketing gimmick. He can't TELL you it works, so he says, "What if it works?"

Could you imagine if someone sold you a car and said, "What if it works?" Or a house, "What if it is inhabitable?" It's just infuriating to see people fall for this scam. If there is no evidence for it working, then you can put that "investment" money on a bet that it doesn't.

Now here's where I am really angry. If he really believed in what he says, then he would be encouraging the child to paint original art from an inspired place that comes from within her. He would NOT encourage her to paint art that is a superstitious trinket.

Look, she's a kid. She doesn't know any better. Hell, here's this supposedly famous (infamous) author from an exotic foreign country (American!) coming and telling her how to start a business and make money. And maybe she will make money. Good for her. But he's exhibiting exactly what others have criticized him for doing. He's teaching someone who is very impressionable that she should paint for money instead of painting for inspiration.

I think there are elephants in Thailand who are painting more inspired pieces. With apologies to the girl. But seriously, you shouldn't have to put your own inspiration on hold because the ego of a not-very-famous author from my country thinks that because he believes in superstitions, everyone else does.

This is not a criticism of the girl or her work. Not at all. Her style looks marketable and a piece infused with her own passion and inspiration is much much more marketable than a reproduction of a piece of art infused with greed. And then she actually begins to build her following as an artist.

Why does Mr. Fire not tell her THAT? Oh, right. Because it has nothing to do with his overblown EGO.

But that, my friends, is the truth, and that is what will bring her REAL wealth, the wealth of feeling that spirit is moving in and through her in inspired ways. Right? I mean, that's what Vitale himself preaches, isn't it?

But he must not have much interest in this young artist beyond her selling something that he wants and wants to market. Because if he DID have any interest in her talent or marketability, he'd encourage that next big inspired piece of artwork that is lying dormant within her.

And this, my friends and not-so-friends, is the critical point of contention that I have with him. He is a hypocrite who spouts off spiritual platitudes with no depth whatsoever while he really preaches and believes in greed and nothing more. It is not about being inspired by "the divine." It's about being inspired to MAKE MONEY.

Which leads me to the point others have written to me about.

Okay, you know the old stereotype about Jews and greed right. Well, take a look at the message of this art. You'll have to set the whole Polish superstitious custom aside... I mean seriously, there are African countries that have superstitious customs of female genital mutilation, too, customs don't make it right, folks.

A Jew counting gold coins?

A few quotes from around the web about this from people who say it better than me.

"Poland has changed in other ways, too. The government has made real efforts to recognize the Holocaust and preserve what is left of Jewish life before World War II. There is clearly anti-Semitism, although no one will admit it publicly. I saw and photographed a painting for sale in a small market with a very ethnic looking Jew counting gold coins with a horrible smile on his face. Individuals with ethnic hatreds are hard to change." from here
And another:
"One vendor surprised me as I came upon him because he was selling his paintings done of Chasidic Jews. But why here of all places? I called Alex over to see if it was worth buying one or two, but Alex told me to look closer and, sure enough in each picture those religious Jews were all doing the same thing, counting money.

"I quickly suggested to Alex that I buy it, put my fist through it and then hand it back, but Alex responded, "Why give him a penny?" and he was right..." from here
And one more:
"In the town center (as everywhere in Poland), one can buy depictions of Jews, ranging from folksy wooden dolls of klezmorim (Jewish musicians) to stereotypical paintings and dolls of a Jewish man counting money or holding a coin, or with grossly exaggerated facial features." from here
I don't think Jews take too kindly to people selling this type of artwork. It continues a stereotype, a stereotype that isn't fair. Okay, well some people who bitch about Wall Street might think it's an accurate stereotype, but seriously... even if it is, aren't these the very things that a spiritually minded individual would work to move past?

I mean, no one, not even the most narrow minded bigot in the world can say all Jews are like the ones depicted in this artwork. Not possible. And THAT is the problem with stereotypes. And that's also the problem with buying this piece of art and supporting the stereotype.

The stereotype doesn't serve anyone. It holds an entire group of people in a place where they are persecuted for a non-truth.

And, if putting it up in your home or office affects your unconscious mind the way Mr. Fire says it does, won't that insidious belief of a stereotype affect YOUR beliefs and actions unconsciously?

Haven't the Jewish people suffered enough?

So, Mr. Fire finds an old superstition in Poland that is anti-semetic at best, recruits a young artists in his plan to sell and distribute the superstition and the anti-semetic artwork, and if I say anything about it, I need to feel guilty because he's doing it out of the goodness of his heart... right.

Keep going, Mr. Fire. I can't wait to see what complete idiocy you come up with next.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Medium is the Message: What "Free" Means to an Internet Marketer

Well, Mr. Fire took a solo trip up to New York City where he twitted away like he was in the lap of luxury that he's never experienced before. He even ate at the same restaurant movie stars do! Wow! The innocent, child-like schtick goes far, though, as at least one of his fellow twits wrote that he was so down to earth.

I guess she isn't aware of his extensive car collection or his lavish Rolls Royce, his first class flights, etc.

Don't know which planet earth she referred to, as it most certainly isn't the one I'm walking on.

Vitale was the last segment of the Fox and Friends morning show, encompassing all of 4 minutes. His primary focus was selling his latest book, Attract Money Now. The book is available as a free download or for $30 if you want a hardcover.

Across every single page of this book is a mention of his miracles coaching program. The back is chock full of mentions of his products. Well, no wonder he's giving it away. No wonder he's got infomercials airing across the country promoting the book.

We're led to believe he's giving you a gift, a gift of precious information he's learned over 30 years of building the Vitale Marketing Empire, a gift he's giving away out of the goodness of his heart. But any rational person would have to be suspicious of someone who would spend so much time and energy to give away a book, especially someone who performs as much conspicuous consumption as Joe Vitale.

I don't discount that there may be valuable information in the book. I don't discount that there may be some value in some of his products.

The problem happens when we begin to associate the value of the information with the values of the individual. These things are mutually exclusive. Just because he's giving away information, information that is pretty much available many other places, this does not mean he's a good person doing this out of the goodness of his heart.

The INTENT is what is important here.

Vitale is a businessman, a businessman whose present and past behavior points towards one thing and one thing only: making a profit at all costs. The profit comes first and foremost in his intent.

You only have to look towards some of his products and services to understand this.

So, say you read the book and decide to purchase products or spend thousands on his miracle coaching program.

Does Joe Vitale himself become your "miracle" coach? Far from it. He's got a staff of many individuals who will provide this service, and upsell you on other services. Their job is also primarily to turn a profit, a profit for the miracle program. Vitale himself does not oversee this individuals. In fact, you're not even working with a company he owns. He's outsourced it. These miracles coaches are going to do their best to turn a profit for THEIR company and employer, too.

Look, Vitale started out as an internet marketer. Do people forget this? He likes to call himself the buddha of the internet, whatever the hell that means. His fortunes started because he was good at writing copy, writing copy that encouraged people to buy. He sold this skill to corporations for a large sum, and then he began to turn that skill towards making his own corporation financially successful.

The message may be altruistic, but the medium is the message in this case, too. The medium of a "free" book, conspicuously given away, should be your foundational message about what the book means. Take whatever information from it that helps you, but make sure you realize that the information that helps you is cloaked in a sales letter intent upon upselling you much more expensive products and services.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Why Mr. Fire's Pyre

In the past, I was a Joe Vitale supporter. He seemed harmless enough, and I honestly believed he was doing what he could to make the world a better place.

Yes, I knew he lied in his marketing. Yes, I knew that many of his products were recycled crap that he pulled out of his ass. But I did at one point believe that those annoyances were minor and could be overlooked.

I guess I wanted to believe.

But then I started seeing the pattern of deceit and how deep it went... the breadth of the deceit throughout his loose organization of siglo marketing partners.

I probably thought that the ho'oponopono rebranded as Zero Limits was some kind of saving grace, because that really did make sense to me and I felt that it made a difference in how I viewed my reality.

But the crap Joe Vitale products still kept coming out, especially the Clearing Audio crap.

Clearing for Luck? Are we trying to clear up our past psychological trauma, or are we trying to clear the way to the roulette table?

How do I take someone seriously who does this crap?

It was about that time I started investigating further. I began a conversation with a friend I met at one of Joe Vitale's events, a friend who was fairly close to the core of the organization. This friend let me know some very troubling information, troubling enough that I began to see that Joe Vitale and his band of merry marketers were not the innocuous peddlers I thought they were.

I have to protect my source, of course. And I can't go directly after this information in the public eye unless I see evidence of it publicized.

But until then, I'm going to be one of the voices in the wildnerness calling spades as I see them.

It was the doll, really, that got me completely burned up and made me commit wholesale to the exposure of every one of Joe Vitale's moves for what it was.

Then his partner in fraud Pat O'Bryan started giving me some shit about making fun of their little Russian doll JPG scam. And then there was some evidence out there about how perhaps Maria, the creator of the "secret Siberian wish maker doll" had approached Joe Vitale to enter into a joint venture in bringing Hochun, the original Siberian wish maker doll, to the American market.

It's just not right. It's probably illegal, but I'll leave that to the lawyers. From my vantage point, it's definitely unethical and enough of a reason for me to take aim and fire some shots.

A note about the name of my blog and email address: I wish Joe Vitale the man no harm whatsoever. You might even say that I am doing him a favor by acting as his conscience against some rather unconscionable acts. The "pyre" is for the public persona, the perfect life where nothing goes wrong and his experience is a result of his purity, the larger-than-life ego...

He'd do better off without those. We all would.

This is not a hate blog, though I'm going to throw my punches. Yes, I have better things to do, yes, I am pathetic for even focusing on his because people in their right mind should know better.

But I know a lot of people, myself included, who knew better and still got suckered in each for our individual reasons. If anything I write helps one person, then it's worth it.

And I know he's reading. He can't help but read what I write. And some day if I ever see him again, he'll thank me. We all need a stiff cup of wake up and smell the coffee sometimes. Now, it's his turn.

He's been given a gift of a very high profile, and he continues to botch that opportunity to make a real difference in making this world a better place.

As for that Pat O'Bryan character, though, I have a little less patience or desire to make much of a difference. He's just a complete buffoon, and his motives resemble that of a serpent I once met.

Tips? Ideas? Comments? mrfirespyre at gmail dot com