Sunday, December 13, 2009

Recap week of December 7

Where do I even start? It's like a freaking shitstorm of activity in Wimberley lately. I don't know what they're putting in the water down there, but it must be doing something. Or maybe Hoshun is doing it all. After all, he does do magic, according to Pat and Joe. Maybe Hoshun is so pissed at his likeness being sold for $40 that he's causing everyone to do some wild and crazy things.

First, our friend Pat O'Bryan completely lost his mind. He started a new twitter account and phony blog, apparently so as to not tarnish his respected name with his actions. Now, I'm all for anonymity if keeping your personality out of the argument will keep the discussion on facts (instead of personal attacks that have made the Wimberley Mafia infamous). But then Pat O'Breakdown actually puts his respected name on the account. According to this twit, his anger is at me, my writing, this very blog.

I don't know if I should be honored or sad. I mean, I've tried to be nice to the guy while still pointing out that his marketing of a stupid wish doll is, well, STUPID. This blog isn't titled "Pat O'Bryan's Pyre." But he keeps throwing himself under the bus in order to defend his buddy, Fireboy, aka, Mr. Fire, aka, Joe Vitale.

On his blog, he spent an entire day attacking Cosmic Connie and her exceptionally smart and funny dude, Ron. He blamed THEM for me.  His blog post comments are just a steaming cup of psychotic delusion.

Listen, Pat, and I know you're listening, the reason I started this blog is the obviousness of the ethical problems of products and services and their marketing coming out of Wimberley. It has nothing to do with Connie, it has nothing to do with my work, it has everything to do with the outrage I feel every time you sell someone a MAGIC picture for $40. You want to somehow have a penis-size competition match and look at my life as a distraction.

He called me a McDonald's fry cook, which doesn't really help his argument much... because if I am a McDonald's fry cook, then even the most rudimentary non-professional understands that a Secret Russian Wish Maker Scammy Dolly Picture is a scammy dolly picture.

After a while, an observation hit me that Pat O'Bryan may actually have some serious mental issues and that criticism might actually put him over the edge and cause him to implode. He was losing it right there in front of us, immolating himself, going after one of the sweetest ladies on twitter. I mean, on her sign-off, she wished everyone a happy Saturday, even to Pat O.

So. I direct-messaged (DM) Pat O'Breakdown at CriticWatch: "I don't think ur well. I'm going to leave u alone as long as you don't wish-doll again, STOP DEFENDING JV, be ethical & I'll leave u alone"

He answered "no deal" and continued on. I had Christmas stuff to do, so I had to leave him wallowing in his cesspool. He continued on his rampage attacking anyone he came across, until he met up with the Salty Droid. I almost jumped in on that conversation, but I thought better of it and just let Pat play with the loaded gun. I think he finally realized that it was loaded. And it was a really big gun that had lots of experience taking care of business.

But Pat losing his mind isn't the only activity down in Wimber-lie. Joe has been extremely quiet these days, though he did say that Pat's post was "wise" and "hard-hitting" in one of his twits. I'd agree with the hard hitting; perhaps something had fallen in Pat's office and hit him too hard on the head, thus starting the need for his reckless rampage.

In other news, a suicide squirrel tried to take out Joe's power, but it didn't work for very long. I would warn Joe to stay away from squirrels, though. Apparently Joe saw them taking notes while he was telling a friend his secrets of the universe. There might actually be a squirrel conspiracy going on to prevent such secrets such as "this is where they keep the nuts: inside Joe Vitale's head," and there could be more kamikaze squirrels headed to his "estate."

Which really isn't an estate, by the way, though he sure likes to tell people it is in his marketing. Gotta keep up appearances.

But apparently all that activity isn't enough.

It appears beyond any reasonable doubt that Mark Ryan has stopped drinking the Joe Vitale kool-aid. He's written SIX posts all of which point to some recent events he's attempting to make sense of. Here are the links to those posts:

If there was ever any doubt in anyone's mind that Mark Ryan was Joe Vitale's "self-sabotaging" friend, I think those doubts can be laid to rest.

The content in those posts is very eye opening. Just the discussion of the types of teachers makes me wonder if Joe Vitale is what Ryan calls teacher type #1. There's that fun little disclaimer on the bottom of that post saying that some people had thought it was all about them, so Mark is putting the whole series up instead of doing it day by day. That happened about the same time that Pat O'Bryan outed Mark Ryan on his twitter account as The Seduction King. Did those posts cause Pat O'Bryan to lose his mind?

On Vitale's self-sabotaging friend post in which he tells his self-sabotaging friend that he's losing out on financial opportunity by cutting of ties with him, isn't that some kind of threat? Isn't that like dangling a carrot in front of the guy and telling him to come back into the fold and be a good little boy and master Joe will give you opportunities? Otherwise, go back to the land of poverty... well, it must be poverty if Joe isn't in it.

Sorry Joe, but money is energy and is going to go where DIVINE SPIRIT wants it to go, not because you're exploiting people with promises of "total life transformation" for thousands of dollars and bullying your former friends with threats. 

Apparently, whatever precipitated Ryan's decision to leave the fold had a greater weight than that little carrot. Judging on his blog posts, apparently he grew a conscience. Or balls. Or something. I, for one, hope that he goes forward and makes a name for himself post-Vitale brown-nosing as a lesson to the rest of the sycophants. As Cosmic Connie put most eloquently not too long ago, Joe can't have his empire of dirt without sycophants to support it.

Anyway, something has definitely changed. I guess it doesn't matter what. Ryan seems to be interested in telling his story, and I'm sure listening.

There's one thing for certain: Ryan's tone in these posts is of a man who has recently reclaimed his self worth. He's making some assertions that he came up with the idea for the Rolls Royce Mastermind, which is counter to the story Joe tells.

At this point, I believe Mark Ryan. What does he have to lose or gain by telling these stories? Nothing, really. Joe has everything to gain by you believing him. Maybe Ryan is so mad at Joe Vitale he's trying to discredit him with lies. But take a look at those videos of Joe and Mark in the car. He then talks about how he coached Vitale to become a better public speaker, and there is video evidence that's what he did. In a car, no less. On video. Evidence enough for me.

The information on the next post about ho'oponopono is even more eye opening. Maybe Ryan cut ties with Vitale because he didn't get paid for Zero Limits? And is it true that Pat O'Bryan said that Joe was going give Ryan a $90K car but then went back on it? Maybe that's why Ryan cut ties with Fireboy? And I'm also interested that there's versions of ho'oponopono... you mean it's not all Joe'oponopono?

Do tell more, Mark Ryan. We're all listening.

Through all of this, the other members of the "Wimberley mafia" have been incredibly quiet. Even Vitale isn't doing much more than moving into his new office.

I try to imagine what life is like for Joe Vitale right now. His former VP of Marketing is having conversations with Cosmic Connie, a known snarker of all things Fireboy, and she's got a blog post in the works about their conversations. His former friend Mark Ryan has cut ties with him and is now coming out and telling his side of the story. He has an active group of online critics who watch his every move. His friend and Operation YES supporter James Ray is possibly facing murder charges for a deathlodge. His current friend and pet sycophant is running around the internet playing threatening people and writing completely asinine blog posts taunting the critics and defending James Ray. I'm not sure what I would do if I was trying to sell people the image of the perfect life but I was standing in the middle of a shit storm.

Just a note: you know what just occurred to me ... all you people who write to me and tell your stories of how Joe Vitale did you wrong, or you're disappointed by someone or something down with that group. If ALL of you would just grow a pair and tell your story, there would be NO NEED for my to write a thing. I'm your conscience. But I can't tell your stories for you.

Edit 12/14/09: Pat took down his @criticwatch twitter account, sanitized the discussion on his blog, and locked his own @patobryan twitter account. I'm sure he'll be back, his business relies upon new customers and marketing online, but until then, I'm keeping my copies of the downloaded discussions, screenshots, and other material in the event this post is ever challenged for accuracy.


  1. I appreciate the coompliment, BBF, but have to admit that during the course of the "discussion" on O'Bryan's blog, all I had to do was play the straight man. Pat managed to pull off a great show, but it's doubtful he was showing what he (or Joe) would have preferred.

    Reading his responses, I couldn't help but recall my college days. I used to write lots of papers for fellow students (hey... it beat taking out student loans!), and coach students for debate classes. Had Pat attempted to debate in even a sophomore-level class as he did on his blog, any professor worth their tenure would have kicked him out of the class and told him to return when he got serious. I'm sure he didn't see it that way, but neither did the students who found themselves dismissed.

    The biggest laugh (for me, at least) was when he opened not one, but two Twitter accounts for the sole purpose of stalking and intimidating his critics (Including yourself... do you feel intimidated yet? Yeah, me, too. :-) ). When folks blocked the first account rather than read his toxic swill, he probably thought himself a veritable double-naught spy (Cousin Jethro lives!), slyly opening yet another... which could also be easily identified and summarily blocked. Poor guy. Two clue buses make their appointed stops, and he misses both of them! Uncle Jed must be proud as ever. :-)

    As to Mark Ryan, I'm glad to see that there seems to be a great deal more to the guy than what I perceived during a run-in with him some time back. I think he'll see a much more attractive world than he would have, peering through Vitale's plexiglas belly button. I hope I'm right, and have publicly wished him well. At the very least, he'll probably feel somehow cleaner now.

  2. I appreciate the support, BBF. With my second-rate mind and chronic incoherence, plus the fact that I don't read books and am woefully uneducated, I needs alls the help I can get.

    But forget all of the big issues for a moment. I'm still LMAO over the suicide squirrel. As Dave Barry might say, Suicide Squirrels of Wimberley would make a great name for a rock band, don't you think?

  3. LOL, Ron. Nope, never felt intimidated. Bored, though, and annoyed that he doesn't just deal with the issues at hand and attempts to smear his opponents with completely irrelevant personal attacks. For someone who posted such a helpful link about libel, he should have the good sense to realize that it is PERSONAL ATTACKS that cause defamation cases to matter... not calling people out on their deceptive marketing.

    I've never felt intimidated by him, but it is rather amusing to pretend that I am, watch him get really cocky and then start shooting his mouth off at everyone who comes by. The Salty Droid seemed to wake him up a bit. But apparently not enough.

    I'm going to laugh to myself for a while thinking of the whole Wimberley gang in the Beverly Hillbillies theme. Maybe they can start having barbecued squirrels for dinner.

    Ryan - He's an interesting character. I have to say that at first glance, I didn't see much interest there. But I hope he keeps writing more. There seems to be a deep, thoughtful guy under "the seduction king."

  4. LOL, Connie. At least you have a sense of humor about the critical attacks on your character. But then again, the comedy fodder from the twits of Wimberley is just GOLD. ("It's GOLD, Jerry, PURE GOLD!")

    If the Suicide Squirrels of Wimberley want to put those lyrical notes they've taken to music, I'll be buying CDs.

  5. Well, the massah must've yanked Patty's leash, because he deleted about 40 comments from his blog... not surprisingly, the ones where he really showed his true nature. Taken right from the Vitale playbook of hiding anything that he might not be able to rationalize away. Go get 'em, Captain Braveheart!

  6. No worries, Ron. I have the post downloaded as of this morning after I realized that Patty was deleting critical comments. He deleted one from "Angry NDN" critical about his statements that he participated in a sweat lodge. I'm going to find a place to post the original post in all it's glory. We wouldn't want history to be revised again like Mr. Fire did back with the San Diego fires.

    These guys aren't the sharpest crayons in the box, are they.

  7. I noticed that Pat also deleted my comment in which I respectfully stated my case. However, he left in his sneering response to my message, which of course makes no sense now that the message itself is gone. Then again, his response didn't really make sense while my comment was still there. So, no harm done.

    And I too was reminded of "Firegate" in October of 2007. But hey, NBD. It is a blog owner's right to publish, refuse to publish, and unpublish whatever the hell he wishes.

    Perhaps Pat finally came to his senses and realized that what he has been doing for the past several days makes Joe Vitale look far worse than even the snarkiest criticism by Ron or me or even you.

  8. I have mixed emotions about this situation, so forgive me if I sound conflicted - it's only because I truly am.

    First, thank you for the kind reference to my Twitter-self. Didn't see that coming, and it felt good when I found it, so thanks.

    Second, there is no shame in honest labor. McDonald's has an excellent program for advancement so to make fun of anyone for working at a McDonald's is a bit short-sighted. There are many competent and intelligent people working their way up that particular ladder of success, and demeaning their service speaks volumes, but not about those preparing the food.

    Now comes the conflicted part.

    I don't hate Pat OR Joe, although I have reached that point of disillusionment which will prevent my ever buying another product they create or endorse.

    I maintain that the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference - and to continually turn my attention to either of them by reading their tweets, blogs, or even rampages against them suggests that I am in fact not as indifferent as I would like to be.

    Additionally, it bothers me that in the very process of exposing the things we don't like about them, we are in fact helping them with back-links and with gathering a larger audience for them as new people read our words and then go see what we are talking about.

    I wondered (after being in the cross-hairs yesterday) if that entire set up was done deliberately to stimulate "publicity" - because there's no such thing as bad publicity in marketing.

    Buzz is Buzz, and negativity certainly drives most markets, as does controversy. I've seen online marketers set up multiple accounts/blogs and argue with themselves in order to create the illusion of "Buzz" in the marketplace. In fact, it is entirely within the realm of possibility that even you, dear BBF, are playing more than one part in this particularly tempestuous yet tiny teapot.

    Since you are using a pen name and your writing voice sounds terribly familiar to me, I find myself wondering if you are someone I know. I hope at some point in time it serves your purpose to reveal your identity - and I hope I'm around to satisfy my curiosity.

    If I leave my Squidoo lensmaster link here, do you think Pat or Joe will visit and comment on my lenses? LOL Every visit helps my ranking, whether they like me or hate me.

    A marketer of persuasion techniques who became angry with me for telling the truth about my experience, and left a horrible threatening message on my husband's lens earlier this year, which of course we saved before removing. What is it, I wonder, about the internet marketing community that begets bullies by the bushel?

  9. I hope you don't think that I am shaming honest labor. I'm sorry about that. One of my favorite people in my town works at McDonald's and is the kindest person I've ever met. Pat used it to try to insult my intelligence. So my comment about it being rudimentary meant going to his level for the sake of argument.

    I don't hate them either. I feel very sorry for Pat, and I think Joe has done some really mean things to people I know, and I don't like his marketing at all. I don't know either of them well enough to hate them.

    I do think it is important to point out the deceptive, impossible promises that are made in their marketing. So many people want to have the easy out, the quick fix, the magic bullet, the "easy" button. And certain marketers take advantage of that wish. Sometimes it is corporations and advertising, sometimes it is an internet marketer. But when I see Joe Vitale and Craig Perrine promising total life transformation on their Awakened Millionaire program, I know that it is impossible. I see holes in what they're saying. And my goal is to provide another angle.

    The democrats balance out the republicans. The critics balance out the creators. You can't have one side win any more than the other. There is a symbiotic relationship between the two. In essence, yes, I AM helping Joe and Pat and the rest of them by criticizing them. But no, the "buzz" I create is not glowing. IT is a challenge to them to do the right thing. And hopefully a prospective customer, and maybe helping someone else decide to save their money instead.

    Believe me, they are getting off easy compared to what has happened to other internet marketers like Perry Belcher and Harlan Kilstein.

    Janelle, you are so very nice, and I've enjoyed getting to know you on Twitter. I saw Pat go after you a couple of years ago and remembered you from then. I thought he was being ridiculously mean then, and he was that to you yesterday, too.

    We've never met in person or elsewhere online. I would have remembered.

    I have no idea why internet marketing makes bullies. But it does. This is my first encounter with one personally, but I have seen it happen, I've read stories. And it's why I reached out to others, including lawyers, for advice to ensure that I wasn't going to be a target of their bullying.

    I'm not trying to ruin them as people. I am trying to point out the things that are really wrong. They would be very well served to listen and heed. The path they're on is dangerous one.

  10. BBF - Internet marketing doesn't make bullies. Fear makes bullies. The Internet just provides them with the means to exercise their toxicity without exposing it. If Pat's shrill defensiveness and threats in response to even reasoned and civil challenges were not proof enough of the fear that drives him, the fact that he spewed his venom on lots of folks, then deleted any posts that challenged him or made him look bad (mostly his own, I might add) should be enough to convince any objective observer.

    We've all seen Joe do the same thing, as evidenced by his wholesale deletion of all the responses to his callous post about the San Diego fires. These people aren't stupid, though it's often easy to think so, based upon some of their actions. They know that if they appear less noble than the personas they try to project, their income stream will be adversely affected. And again, based upon their actions, it becomes pretty apparent that the maintenance of those income streams is their highest priority.

    Perhaps one day, people will see through the facade of spirituality to the greed and insecurity below, and people who prey on the highest hopes of others will have to find another way to make their living. George Burns' character in "Oh, God" had a great suggestion: selling shoes.

  11. Glad to hear this is your first rodeo with an internet marketing bully, BBF. I've had the misfortune of having encountered three of them this year. I have a theory, though I have nothing aside from my personal experience to back it up.

    Many, perhaps most, "get rich quick" products are aimed at a particularly vulnerable segment of our population. Nothing has changed in my lifetime except the technology which subsequently reduced cost and increased reach of the perps who target the disenfranchised, the disabled, and the demented. In other words, people who are not, for whatever reason, able to go out into the world and achieve huge success as measured by dollars, yet are continually taunted by the conspicuous consumption observed on TV, in the movies, and by iconic individuals in pop culture.

    Having been in the proverbial trenches for years as an advocate of this segment of our population, I've seen first hand the damage done by the selling of "get rich quick" products. (No, I don't have a solution to this problem, but I certainly know that it IS a problem, and that the best defense these people have is a trusted friend who can talk them out of this kind of purchase.)

    The entire purpose of most of the "hypnotic writing" I've seen is to move money from the pockets of those least able to afford losing it to the pockets of those who care not about whom they manipulate in order to get it.

    The most damaging part of the combination of self-help and "get rich quick" products is the assertion that anyone who does not achieve the advertised results is a failure, a lunkhead, an idiot, a putz, or some other equally humiliating label.

    A person who has the mindset that misleading others for personal gain without regard to the damage they are causing doesn't have the capacity to empathize with his or her "mark" and will often be charming, charismatic, and seductive. They exhibit sociopathic tendencies in various degrees, for lack of a better description.

    Internet marketing is an excellent field for anyone in possession of a mind with these tendencies, particularly if they create and distribute products that appeal to a vulnerable target market. This is why I suspect there's a larger proportion of sociopaths represented in the IM community than in the general public. Ergo, more bullies.

    I know. Convoluted reasoning without citation. In my defense, I did say it's my theory backed up only by my own personal experience, so all appropriate disclaimers should apply. Oh, heck, inappropriate disclaimers, too. ;-)

  12. Very wise observations, Ron. As usual.

    Honestly? I am beginning to feel really sorry for them. Doesn't mean their activities shouldn't be exposed. But I can't help but feel some sorrow that all of this has to happen in order to do so.

    I wonder why Pat hasn't used his "Clearing Audio" to erase the blocks that keep him from happiness? If it does all that it says on his sales page, it could have prevented everything that has happened in the last few days because he would have manifested all that he desires,including me (and you guys) going away.

  13. What happened to Pat? After his diatribe he has disappeared completely off of Twitter. I can't find ANY links to him and all of the saved stuff re him I had has disappeared. Anybody got a clue? Did his "master" reign him in? It just keeps getting weirder and weirder...

  14. Well, BBF, Pat must have used his Clearing Audio or Ho'oponopono or something to completely clear his Rant section about me (and other critics), as well as *all* of Ron's and my comments and his responses to us, and of course all of the other dissenting comments and his responses to those. That way he can make it look as if the entire discussions here and on Twitter and other blogs are completely irrelevant, and that we all really are "snarking in a vacuum." It's as if the whole convoluted controversy never happened.

    Perhaps Pat really did have an epiphany that he was doing Joe and himself more harm than good, as I suggested above. Perhaps he realized that publicity works both ways and he really was driving traffic to my site and gaining me a few Twitter followers. Goodness gracious sakes alive, I must have gained nearly 30 more followers in the past few days. Most unfollow me when I don't follow 'em back, though. So all is right with the world.

    As for the deleted blog snippets and comments, again, that is his right. I would say it's best to let sleeping dogs lie for now – the operative word being "lie."

  15. OMT: CCGal (Janelle's) 10:36 PM comment is one of the most incisive and yet compassionate criticisms of the industry that I've seen recently. I'm going to share it on Twitter, as you have, BBF. Maybe all three or four of our readers will like it. :-)

  16. BBF - Well, Joe has entered the fray, though as you would expect, in his typically dismissive manner. His latest blog post asserts that criticism is a negative waste of time that could have been expended on more productive uses. I submitted the following response, but given his history, I figured it unlikely to be posted, since it challenges his assertion. Who knows, though, he might actually allow it... followed, of course, with his typical dismissiveness. Anyway, here's the comment I submitted:

    On the contrary, Joe, the failure to criticize things perceived as being fallacies, misconceptions, misinterpretations, and even deceptions can result in false or otherwise useless information finding widespread acceptance. Criticism isn't always a sign of some personal flaw on the part of the critic, but is frequently a manifestation of intelligence, good common sense, and a commitment to truth and integrity. Human growth and evolution is, after all, a synthesis, and cannot take place unless both the thesis and the antithesis are present, observed, and objectively considered.

    Furthermore, the way in which one responds to criticism is usually a better gage of their character than the public persona they choose to project. One whose efforts are devoted to truth will generally accept criticism and look inward to see if there is justification for the critique. On the other hand, one who attempts to deflect criticism with arrogant condescension, personal attacks, or deflection from the topic at hand is obviously acting out of fear, rather than a hunger for knowledge and growth.

    I'll grant you that some people derive pleasure from taking pot-shots at others, but a true seeker will listen to even their attacks, knowing that if a criticism hurts, it is usually because it has the seed of truth within.