Whirled Musings

Across the Universe with Cosmic Connie, aka Connie L. Schmidt...or maybe just through the dung-filled streets and murky swamps of pop culture -- more specifically, the New-Age/New-Wage crowd, pop spirituality & religion, pop psychology, self(ish)-help, business babble, media silliness, & related (or occasionally unrelated) matters of consequence. Hope you're wearing boots. (By the way, the "Cosmic" bit in my moniker is IRONIC.)

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Harvey is bringing out the conspiranoids



Harvey, once a hurricane and then a tropical storm and currently a tropical depression, continues to dissipate, but Houston and numerous other smaller cities in southeast Texas are just now beginning to see their way past this hell. And other states are now being affected too. This horror story is far from over. Please, please help when and where you can.

But the blog beat must go on. And it is now clear that when I originally remarked -- on Facebook and
on this Whirled the other day -- about the dearth of crazy Harvey-related conspiracy theories, I was posting too soon. In the time since I published those posts, cancer quack, phony doctor, alt-right bigot, and inveterate conspiracy fan Leonard Coldwell has been released from Facebook jail, where he had been placed yet again for hate speech, though as usual he lied about the reasons, this time claiming that he got blocked for promoting his "new" cancer book on Facebook. And with LoonyC's release from the virtual hoosegow it became more apparent to me that, contrary to my previous perceptions, the conspiracy stream is now overflowing its banks and spreading throughout the nutosphere.

It seems, however, that the nuts are still not blaming Trump
the way they once blamed Obama, which is still no big surprise, since as I noted in my previous post about this matter, most of them are alt-right Herr Twitler fans. However, the perpetually rubescent right-wing conspiracy peddler Alex Jones suggested that Houston officials deliberately hosed Hurricane Harvey rescue efforts in order to make Mad King Donald look bad. Jones based his wacko premise on Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner's decision not to mass-evacuate Houston ahead of the storm, a decision for which Turner has been widely -- but wrongly, in my opinion -- criticized. (Here's a more detailed analysis, from Turner's opponent in the 2016 mayoral race.) Jones, you bloviating gasbag, you do not know what you're talking about, so please shut up.

And Alex Jones is far from the only big nut pandering to little nuts. Don't think for a moment that conspiracy promoter
Mike "The Health Ranger" Adams is staying out of the Harvey hoopla. An August 28 post on Natural News bears the headline:

“Weather wars” theorists claim Hurricane Harvey was engineered, “steered” toward Houston as a “weather terrorism” weapon

In this piece Adams pays lip service to "critical thinking." And on the surface he seems to be insinuating that some of the wilder theories that are circulating are bunk. But you don't have to read between the lines much to discern that he is clearly promoting his own agenda, which very much includes bolstering a general belief in conspiracies, as well as his ongoing theme that the "establishment" media are lying to you about nearly everything (whereas he, by contrast, is an unimpeachable source). It's understandable that he would take this tack. Not only does his sensationalism attract readers, but encouraging paranoia and fear helps advance his prepper/survivalist businesses.

And I can't help but notice how, in that August 28 article, Adams disingenuously conflates modern climate science -- which presents compelling evidence that destructive climate change is being fueled by human activity (but, contrary to Adams' insinuations, does not claim that extreme weather events are wholly human-created) -- with the wildest theories about
"geoengineering" and weaponized weather systems. He's throwing "climate alarmists" like Al Gore in with the nuttiest of the nutcakes. (This isn't to deny that geoengineering exists, but Adams' brand of conflation only muddies the issues.)

Speaking of little nuts, here are some more dispatches from the craziest sector of Crazy Town. (As usual, click on pics to enlarge 'em.)









It should come as no big surprise that these true believers are harping on HAARP again. Also, I would like to note that Hurricane Harvey first made landfall on 08/25/2017, not 08/29/2017. But... shhh! Don't tell the coincidence-I-think-not conspiranoids.

PS added on 8 September 2017:
Now we have Irma to worry about, but at least we know why Irma and Harvey were created! Herr Not-Doktor Stoopid strikes again.



Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday, August 28, 2017

The dirty side of the storm




Here at the Ranch at the Edge of Nowhere, located about 50 miles northwest of Houston, we continue to reap the blessings of Tropical Storm (formerly Hurricane) Harvey. We're not in the worst of it by far, but it's still pretty stressful, and it is far from over.

And in our front yard, it looks like
déjà blew all over again. My husband Ron Kaye took the above photo early this morning. That lovely old tree fell some time in the wee hours, due either to high winds, loose saturated earth, or a combination of the two. Currently it is seriously threatening a power line and has pretty much wrecked the fence. The damage is more extensive than is apparent in the photo.

You know, it seems like
we just went through this nine or so years ago.

But... good news!... all is not lost. New-Wage hustledork/selfish-help crapitalist/McSpirituality guru Joe "Mr. Fire" Vitale, whose email-orchestrated mass meditation saved Texas from Hurricane Rita in 2005 and Hurricane Ike in 2008 -- not to mention the wildfires in 2011 -- is on the job with Harvey, too. So we're in good hands.

In related news...
As some of you may know, one of my hobbies is tracking conspiracy nuts, something I originally became interested in because they have so often made good fodder for this Whirled. Accordingly, once Harvey became a thing in the news, I began Googling for any Harvey-related conspiracy theories. I expected to see all sorts of stuff about how Harvey isn't a genuine threat and is merely a product of the "fake news." Or, alternatively, I speculated there might be tales about #NotMyPresident Trump and his elitist buddies taking over the government's weather-control facilities in order to create Harvey, the way President Obama supposedly helped create Superstorm Sandy a few years ago.

I still recall how many conspiracy tales buzzed around natural disasters when Obama was in office. On more than one occasion the nut-cakes blamed him either for assisting the government/HAARP/the Illuminati in deliberately creating the storms, or for helping to perpetuate either hoaxes or "false flag" events to get us all into a panic. Some people managed to embrace both major theories at once. Of course the same loony theories were also put forth regarding mass shootings and some terror attacks.

According to the conspiranoids, the reason for false flag events or hoaxes or human-made storms was that the ensuing panic and chaos would make it easier for Obama and his henchmen to take our guns away and herd us into FEMA camps, where we'd either be killed or turned into slaves for the elite, and most certainly we would be forcibly vaccinated with microchips and whatnot. (The stupidest and most evil man in Scamworld, phony doctor and cancer quack
Leonard Coldwell, was and remains one of the most passionate embracers of these narratives.)

At any rate, I have eagerly searched for the conspiracy tales around Harvey. But so far... nothing -- at least, not anything directly blaming Mad King Donald. Apparently Trump is as blameless as Obama was blameworthy. But I guess that is not terribly surprising, seeing as how most of today's passionate conspiracy believers also happen to be alt-right types. Another factor may be that at least two of the top conspiracy peddlers --
Alex Jones and Mike "The Health Ranger" Adams -- are actually in Texas, and perhaps are seeing some of the ongoing, and very real, horrors first hand.

But when searching yesterday, I did come across
this August 25 piece from The Daily Beast, a reminder of the good old daze when we had a real president, and his haters were still for the most part on the fringe.

[Addendum, 29 August: There has also been a sprinkling of the usual geoengineering conspiracy speculation. I just now found this bit of nonsense, also dated August 25, on the Liberty Beacon site. And here is the MetaBunk site's take on that piece.]


I will be back with more soon. Meanwhile, my friends, if you're even marginally in the path of the storm, stay safe. And for those who want to do something to help the victims of the hurricane, millions of whom are floundering in my beloved former home town of Houston, and many of whom have lost everything but their lives, start here.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Thank you, Herr Drumpf

Watch this VICE News Episode from August 14, if you haven't already. Or watch it again.

Then tell me with a straight face that the counter-protesters (or "alt-left" or "anti-fa" or whatever you choose to call them) in Charlottesville, Virginia were morally equivalent to, and equally to blame as, those who were hosting this vile party.



And tell me again how your "president" is the president of all of the American people, and is blameless in this saga.


PS ~ On his blog, Rev Ron's Rants, my husband Ron Kaye offers a voice of peace and reason and sanity regarding the events of the day.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Only Answer To ® Recycled Cancer Misinformation & Relentless Self-Promotion


In 2008, Leonard Coldwell -- fake doctor, cancer quack and at that time an enthusiastic cohort of currently imprisoned serial scammer Kevin Trudeau -- vanity-published a book called Instinct Based Medicine, a rambling, redundant collection of medical misinformation and long rants against the medical profession (some of which were justified but most of which were self-serving distortions). The whole thing was framed around Coldwell's dramatic narrative of his life as a Brave Maverick Doctor, and the text was peppered with relentless promotions for his and some of his buddies' frauducts and flopportunities.

A year or so later, as Trudeau's big scam the
Global Information Network, or GIN, was taking off and Coldwell was reaping the benefits as a featured speaker and owner of an unearned* downline in GIN's multi-level marketing scheme, he repackaged Instinct Based Medicine as The Only Answer to Cancer. This newer book used much of the same material that was in the previous work but substituted endorsements and testimonials from folks with whom he'd had a falling-out with praise from some current-at-the-time buddies, and there were new and more dramatic details in his Brave Maverick Doctor and miracle-healer narrative. (For instance, in the newer book he added that he had cured his mommy of Hepatitis C when he was a mere youth, in addition to curing her of cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. There was no mention of Hep C in the older book. In any case, Hep C hadn't even been identified by medical science yet at the time he supposedly "cured" her.)

Coldwell and Trudeau divorced in 2012 when Trudeau kicked Coldwell out of GIN, and since then Coldwell has spent a great deal of time bad-mouthing Trudeau (justifiably) while conveniently failing to acknowledge his own complicity in Trudeau's scams. But most of his time and energy over the past five years have been occupied trying to regain some traction in Scamworld after no longer having the much more popular Kevin Trudeau's teat to suck on.

I bought both Instinct Based Medicine and The Only Answer to Cancer on the used-book marketplace for cheap. But now it looks like I'm going to have to make yet a third investment, eventually, because Lenny is currently poised to release his newest English-language work, the long-awaited
The ONLY Cancer Patient Cure, which you can now pre-order for $19.99 USD plus shipping and handling, and you can only hope that the book eventually shows up at your door some time in September.

The arrangement of text on the front cover makes it appear that the title of the book is The Only Answer To® The ONLY Cancer Patient Cure, a title as mangled and nonsensical as much of Lenny's prose. In fact, Lenny himself -- and/or the admin responsible for handling many of his "blog posts" -- apparently believe that this is the real title. Or maybe it's just ham-handed SEO.


 




But as you can see by what I assume is the picture of the book's cover, the spine (that bit on the left-hand side of the graphic) makes it pretty clear that the title is simply, The ONLY Cancer Patient Cure, which indicates to me that The Only Answer To® bit on the front cover is merely for branding purposes. However, since the phrase The Only Answer To® isn't part of the new book's actual title, it seems to be kind of a stretch, but then, I'm no branding expert and Lenny and his publisher clearly are.

According to a blurb on the front cover of the new magnum dopus, "100% of Profits Go To Non-Profit." In other words, it appears that Lenny plans as usual to funnel money into one of his numerous "non-profits" -- such as his much-boasted about
Foundation for Crime and Drug Free Schools and Health for Children -- in order to avoid paying taxes on sales of the book, while granting himself bragging rights as a high-minded humanitarian who has no desire to make money from other people's desperation. There's no telling how many "non-profits" he has in the US and in Germany, but I strongly suspect that few if any dollars or Euros go to any legitimate charities.

Judging by the logo on the spine, Lenny's stellar new work is being published by his favorite pay-to-play book producer, which he has used for most of his previous English-language works,
21st Century Press ("At 21st Century Press, creating a culture for author-centricity is the core mindset behind how we approach publishing books to an ever changing world.").

Apart from their garbled mission statement, or whatever that blurb was supposed to be, and their highly questionable taste in clients (at least in this particular case), 21st Century Press maintains a professional facade and it's pretty clear that someone there has a general love for books and publishing. Their web site is clearly designed by professionals, and the copy is written by people who, notwithstanding that train wreck of a mission statement, are obviously much more eloquent than at least one of the company's star authors. Just take a gander at the lovely prose squandered on one of LoonyC's older works,
The Only Answer To Stress.
Dr. Leonard Coldwell has written this remarkable handbook for health with two voices.  Like a singer producing not one beautiful tone but two at the same time, these two voices blend into a harmonious song of health and potential.  And the remarkable thing is that every single person who reads—and follows—this beautiful book will be able to sing that way, too.  And their words, and the glorious melody of health and empowerment will be theirs, and theirs alone!

The two voices are the voice of the deeply informed, knowledgeable expert in physiology, medicine, neurology, biochemistry, pathology, research and clinical care—of which Dr. Coldwell is—and the homey, chatty, straight-from-the-shoulder Dutch uncle who tells you what is really going on, with compassion, but with no patience for self-pity or sloppy excuses.

So, in your hands, on the pages of this book, you have a tell-it-like-it-is friend and a scientific integrator who can make the complicated business of the life sciences simple, clear and, most important, comprehensible.

Dr. Coldwell ties all of the relevant sciences into one neat package with your life and shows you how, in simple, concise and well-laid-out steps, how it works and what to do about it.
You have to wonder if the person who wrote that was giggling or gagging while doing so. One thing is certain: Lenny paid to get those words written.

There are of course numerous inaccuracies in the poetic tribute quoted above. First off, if you've ever read any of his hateful, misspelled, grammar-challenged Facebook rants you'll probably be able to figure out that "Dr." Coldwell doesn't write any of his English-language books himself. Instead he uses ghostwriters -- most notably, a woman named
Kelly Wallace. There's no shame in that, of course, as many folks who either can't write (like Lenny), or are too busy to do so, use ghostwriters. However, even with the help of ghostwriters fluent in English, the books of Coldwell's that I've seen are, as indicated above, rambling and redundant and could use some serious editing.

But describing him as a writer is the least of the sins in the blurb quoted above. To compare any of his work to a singer "producing not one beautiful tone but two at the same time" is just plain silly. Even more ludicrous is the claim that he is a "deeply informed, knowledgeable expert" in anything.
He's not. And he's far less like a "homey, chatty... Dutch uncle" than like the volatile, raving, bigoted drunk uncle who used to be an embarrassment at your holiday gatherings until finally the adults just learned to ignore him and the children were taught to do the same. Except he's far less likeable than that druncle, and for that matter probably quite a bit drunker much of the time.

21st Century Press describes itself as
a "partnership/royalty press" offering two options for the aspiring author. If you want the royalty deal you'll pay nothing upfront, but will apparently be required to purchase at least 500 copies of your own book, though they'll give you a 50% discount off the retail price. So that means Lenny would have to spend about $5,000 for a minimum run of his newest book, which has a retail price of $19.99, according to the current order form. The other option is for you to pay $3,000 upfront for 21st Century to put a book together for you (editing, book design, pre-press, printing, and whatever marketing and promotional services come with the deal), and you get 50 copies of the finished work. No doubt you have the option of buying as many additional copies as you want, for additional costs, of course.

Call it a vanity press if you wish, but this is actually a perfectly legitimate business model for authors who either can't land a traditional publishing deal (which is most likely the case with Lenny) or just don't want to, though other self-publishing options may be much better for authors who believe they can sell a lot of books and/or who want more control over every aspect of the publishing process, including ownership of their ISBNs, which is more important than you might think. But the point to remember is that with this business model the author pays to get published, and the merits of the work in question matter far less than the author's credit card number. That's something Lenny never mentions regarding any of his many "mega-bestselling" titles, whether they're in German (for which he uses
Jim Humble Verlag) or English.

Lenny's English-language publisher apparently also offers a range of a la carte services for the self-published author, including
manuscript review, the fee for which they promise to fully credit to the author if she or he chooses to publish with them. This bit is a little puzzling, though:
Some publishers charge upwards of $10,000 for a professional manuscript review. We charge nothing. And if you choose to publish with us, we will fully refund this amount back to you or place it as a credit toward your contract.
Wow. A refund on $0.00. What have ya got to lose?

I've previously written about the brains behind 21st Century,
Lee Fredrickson. See, for instance, this Whirled post from August 2014, in a December 2014 update inserted into the main text. (Some links in that section are no longer valid but were at the time the post was published.)

Since 2014, when Lenny began claiming that
he had written and was poised to publish a whole book "exposing" yours truly and a few other critical bloggers** (the linked screen grab was from October 2014), I've sent several polite emails to Mr. Fredrickson at the email address posted on his site (lee@21stcenturypress.com), simply inquiring about the titles and release dates of any upcoming books by his client and buddy "Dr." Coldwell. But I never received any reply whatsoever, not even an acknowledgment that my emails had been received.

At any rate, when I finally buy The ONLY Cancer Patient Cure I'll let you know my opinion. I may be totally wrong and it might really be all new material, but... oh, who am I kidding? But I'll let you know either way. Or you can buy the book now and let me know.

For the time being, I'm still waiting for the release of Horny Connie & Friends, or whatever that book that was set to be published on February 4, 2015, according to Lenny, was supposed to be titled. Lacking that, I'll be on the lookout in The ONLY Cancer Patient Cure for new additions to the Brave Maverick Doc narrative, and if there's anything in there about an AIDS-infected, sexually predatory, mentally ill, drug-addicted, dog-killing former prostitute who is on Big Pharma's payroll (all of which are lies that Coldwell has publicly and repeatedly written about me), the publisher may be hearing from my attorney. But I have a feeling he's too smart to publish all of Coldwell's unadulterated crap, and it's possible that even little Lenny himself has learned his lesson about targeting those who are trying to get to the truth about him. We'll see.


PS added on 20 August ~ Hatemonger and conspiracy peddler Jeff Rense, a long-time buddy of Coldwell's, interviewed Lenny on Friday, August 11. That was the same night that Neo-Nazis, white nationalists, and a variety of other bigots marched in Charlottesville, Virginia with guns, swords, and tiki torches. Although the Friday night march, and the tragedy that followed the next day, were of course not mentioned in the Rense-Coldwell conversation, the vile hatred spewed in that exchange is symptomatic of the same deep malaise that drove the bigots who convened in Charlottesville. It is staggeringly stupid, this conversation, and if you don't feel like listening to it in its entirety you can get the gist of it pretty well from the transcript, which is more accurate than most of the YouTube automatic transcripts I've read. Just be aware that due to Lenny's accent and his problems with the letter "r," the words "rape" or "raping" (and he does talk about rape a LOT in this conversation; it remains one of his favorite subjects) come out in the transcript as "wave" or "waving." Enjoy!






PPS added on 2 September ~ The Brave Maverick Doctor rides again! If you listened to the above-linked conversation between those two raging bigots Rense and Coldwell, you already know that Lenny is now claiming that "they" tried to kill him over his "new" book. He's using that phony story as a promotional hook. If you believe it, you have either not done much research on him, or there is something wrong with your critical-thinking faculties.




* Regarding Coldwell's unearned GIN downline: By this I mean that, according to Coldwell's account on an October 14, 2012 teleconference between him and his buddy Peter Wink (the link to that conference has long since disappeared, but I did listen to the whole thing), Kevin Trudeau gave Coldwell "a free downline to make it look like I was a member of GIN." Despite his claim in that teleconference that he never worked the downline, Coldwell did apparently work it quite aggressively, if the accounts of various ex-GIN members, and some of Coldwell's own online promos, are any indication. I wrote about that October 2012 teleconference in this January 2013 blog post (under the sub-head, "Axes of evil"). 

** In addition to me, the other bloggers whom Coldwell was supposedly going to "expose" in his new "book" were Salty Droid, Bernie O'Mahony at GINtruth, and Omri Shabat of the now-defunct Glancingweb blog. In 2015 Coldwell ended up suing Salty and me and a few other parties for defamation, but the suit was unsuccessful.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,