I am currently working on a post about how I was scammed by Kevin Trudeau. He is in the news again since he spent a night in jail last week. One of the things I wanted to point out is that he is involved in fakery far beyond what you may have seen on his infomercials. Some believe that Kevin’s victims are people who are “dumb enough” to fall for his lies and are just getting what they deserve. But you could simply buy just one of his books, realize it was filled with false information and throw it away, and you’d still be dealing with him years later due to that one purchase.
I was once a believer in him from reading Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You to Know About and More Natural “Cures” Revealed but I eventually realized both were filled with quackery. I then began getting credit card charges for items I never bought. It was a losing battle trying to fight those charges, so I ended up having to get a new card to stop more charges from coming.
I put it all behind me, but then a couple years later I received this strange letter in the mail. The only things I have edited in this are my legal name, address, and account number. Other than that, this is verbatim:
“Cherry, please forgive us, but we have just taken a closer look at your profile. It turns out you’re more special than any of us imagined! Did you know that you possess some very rare, hidden traits? In fact, there is a famous person (someone you would instantly recognize, he’s on TV every night) who possesses these same special, incredibly rare traits. It turns out that people who possess these same rare and often hidden traits that you do are some of the most famous and successful people on this planet!
Cherry, you are indeed blessed! I know those around you don’t know
this yet, but they will! Down deep, you sense it, too. Right? I’m so excited for you!”
February 16, 2008
This is a personal letter just to you. Notice: this is not a mass mailing; this letter came to you by first-class mail, not by third-class bulk mail. This is not a solicitation for money. In fact, you will get something of immense value from us absolutely free with no strings attached. So, read every word very carefully because you will never get another letter from us again.
Cherry, please keep what I tell you secret, because this information is confidential. These words are meant for you only.
There has existed for many years an exclusive association, a secret society, of some of the world’s most famous and powerful people. These include renowned actors and musicians, leading scientists and intellectuals, self-made entrepreneurs and artists, even some of the rare genuine astrologers and psychics. Many of these people you would instantly recognize.
This association has uncovered some shockingly powerful secrets.
And they share these secrets only amongst themselves. In fact, these secrets are the reason these well-known individuals have achieved great prosperity and success.
Cherry, I have some incredibly exciting news to share with you. The association has analyzed your profile (you’d be unbelievably flattered if you knew who these individuals were). Please forgive us, but we’ve discovered something special about you.
It seems you, Cherry, possess several rare traits we are searching for. Because of these traits, which we’ll talk about later, you are eligible to become part of our exclusive club and to share our Greatest Kept Secrets, too, absolutely free! By the way, as you read this, you may be saying to yourself that this is all a bunch of hooey. But I swear on the Bible we will send you our Greatest Kept Secrets free of charge. You see, every year the association hand-picks individuals from around the world possessing your unique traits to share in their secrets — secrets that lead to enormous prosperity,
love, happiness, total peace of mind. In your case, your hidden talents must be phenomenal for the members to select you!
Who are these gifted people and how did these gifted people find you? If we told you who we are, the association would be exposed and, believe me, our secrets are simply not for everyone but only a select few.
But I can shed light on how we found you by first telling you my own story: Seven years ago I was like you. Out of the blue, I received an invitation from the association. Just like you, they said I possessed special traits. I was flattered, excited, yet skeptical. But, when I accepted their invitation, they sent their Greatest Kept Secrets to me personally a few days later for free, just as they said they would. Cherry, my luck changed so completely I thought God must be guiding me, giving me special powers!
I even got a little greedy. For example, after I received my package of inside secrets, I won a lot when I gambled! It was unbelievable! My friends asked me if I had some kind of guardian angel looking after me, But it wasn’t luck; the society’s secrets armed me with the power to win.
Something else remarkable happened. With these secrets I actually knew what other people were thinking, as if I was reading their minds. And I knew how they were going to react to everything I said and did. What came over me seemed almost magical, supernatural.
Because of these amazing abilities, i was able to quit my job and start an incredibly successful business that I absolutely love, right out of my home. I then turned this business over to my husband, and he grew it to a multi-million-dollar international company. (I was allowed to give him the secrets because the association said he was accepted as part of “the package”.) You can imagine how grateful he was!
The association’s secrets unlocked other incredible talents within me as well, talents I never knew I had. For example, my memory immediately improved, dramatically. I suddenly possessed a photographic memory. This enabled me to go back to college, earn straight A’s, and get the art degree I had always dreamed of.
Cherry, your profile, like mine, will enable you to do these same things and much more: (Remember, these are the very same secrets that the world’s most successful celebrities, entrepreneurs, scientists, sports stars, professional gamblers and romantic lovers possess!)
For example, soon after I received these secrets I eliminated all my addictions and bad habits — food, alcohol, cigarettes and sweets within a matter of days. Virtually overnight I lost 30 lbs. And I effortlessly maintained my ideal weight. I felt younger, healthier, and more beautiful than I ever had! It was as if I had shed 10 years off my age! Even my skin seemed to rejuvenate into the glow of a teenager. Now, heads turn wherever I walk! … My husband is the rich man-on-the-hill, and I am his beautiful wife. I’m a trophy (he! he! he!) and I love it!
Cherry, are you skeptical like I was? Well, just as this elite group did for me, we’re going to send our Greatest Kept Secrets
to you, personally, for free! But you must return the enclosed free membership invitation form by Friday, February 22, 2008.
Let me now tell you something else — maybe not as dramatic as winning lots of money or starting a multimillion-dollar business, but just as important. Today, everyone I meet wants to be my friend.
People respect me, admire me, love me. I have become the center of their attention. And all my relationships — romantic, family, friends, co-workers — have become incredible. Many men want a romantic relationship with me, but I want only my husband.
In fact, I must tell you that the best thing of all was that these remarkable secrets allowed me to eternally capture the heart of my husband, the only man I had ever wanted! … Right after I absorbed the association’s secrets, he confessed, Your love just blows me away! Then, he quickly looked away before I could see the tears welling up in his eyes.
I say these things not to gloat, but to let you know that you can have these same things, too! For, with these secrets, with your unique soul, you can actually do the seemingly impossible. Personal talents will blossom within you that you never imagined you had. For example, I can now sit at a piano and play virtually any song, note for note, from memory. In addition, I can gaze at a landscape and turn it into a beautiful painting on the spot. It’s as though every single ability within me has become supercharged, with no effort on my part!
Other people have noticed this in me, too. My husband said that at the clubhouse, he overheard his golfing buddies talking about me, and they concurred on one point: SHE’S GOT IT!
Cherry, you’d be amazed to know just who these particular world-renown members were who chose you! But, alas, it’s a secret association and their identities must remain anonymous. Those who chose you, though, do realize your special qualities. YOU’VE GOT IT!
You just have not fully realized your special qualities yet.
We know people around you may not see it, but we know that you, Cherry, have experienced moments in which you feel spiritually gifted. In those euphoric moments, you know you are special, you absolutely know it, and you feel you are here to do great things with your life. Right? Well, we know it, too, Cherry. And yes, you are meant to do great things, exactly as we are going to show you.
How do we know? Be honest: have you ever felt like God or some higher power may be communicating with you, giving you a sign? If you answered yes, and we know you did, then you are indeed that special person we are looking for. And this is your calling. It’s as simple as that.
Now, let’s get into it: Did you know that some individuals can recall every detail of their entire lives from childhood onward when hypnotized? A few astonish their hypnotist by accurately telling what their hypnotist is thinking. That seems baffling, until you understand that when you’re hypnotized, your conscious left brain shuts down and you become totally immersed in your subconscious right brain. …One of the techniques the association has uncovered is a simple, 10-second technique that works like reverse hypnosis, allowing you to effortlessly tap this ability while remaining fully conscious.
This is a boon for actors memorizing lines and calling up strong emotions, students studying for exams, and career persons needing to memorize important facts, procedures and names.
Here’s something else that’s phenomenal. With the association’s secrets (their Greatest Kept Secrets will soon come to you free of charge), you can read the future. To scientists, who are very leftbrain, logic oriented, this seems incredulous. But you have the special qualities that can unlock these future-telling abilities. Some gifted people like you get drawn into mysticism because of such startling abilities. They think it must be supernatural. But these are very real human talents of the gifted few — rare talents waiting to be unleashed in a few special people like you. …Not everyone has the potential to do these kinds of things, but you do!
Consider another astonishing ability — the power to cure.
Sigmund Freud was astounded when he documented cases whereby a deaf woman regained her hearing, a crippled man regained his ability to walk, a cancer patient’s tumors went into permanent remission, a man with progressive heart disease made a complete recovery, and a blind child regained her sight — all instantaneously! Some call these Faith Healings, others call these cases Miracles of God. But Freud discovered these are powers buried within a handful of people with unique talents — the talents this association has detected in you, Cherry!
Such miraculous abilities are what make a person believe, “There must exist another realm, a higher mystical realm, or how else can one explain these phenomena.” Well, there does exist a realm that no one (outside of the association) can explain, a realm in a few unique people that’s so powerful and beyond our everyday experience it does seem like they’re blessed with miracles. The association knows you have that other realm, Cherry, and our members are willing to show you exactly how to unleash those miracles. We will charge you nothing to send you our Greatest Kept Secrets because you are a rare find. We want you to join us.
Remember, these are the very same secrets that the most successful, exclusive people in the world have anonymously used to obtain great wealth, success, love, fame. And you belong in that exclusive group, Cherry! That is why you are receiving this personal letter. The association is now personally inviting you, Cherry Teresa, into our exclusive club. When you accept our invitation, we will send you and only you (as they did to me seven years ago) our very confidential, Greatest Kept Secrets, completely free! As I said at the beginning of this letter, it is free to you, but you must keep the secrets only to yourself.
Cherry, all I can tell you is that within hours after receiving our Greatest Kept Secrets (I am now one of the anonymous members), you’ll be benefiting in every area of your life.
Now, this brings us to another important point. When we analyzed your profile (the people who do this analyzing are brilliant, I just wish I could name a few names for you) we discovered something else about you, Cherry. It seems you’re about to enter cycle two.
What’s cycle two? There are seven fundamental cycles in life that every person passes through, regardless of where or when they
live. Cycle two is the most important cycle because it’s the cycle of breaking bondage, of discovering and being discovered. That is why this exclusive association is contacting you at this time.
Everyone who has ever really prospered in life, from celebrities to entrepreneurs, from gamblers to lovers, from captains of industry to heads of state did properly implement this second stage cycle -though most didn’t consciously know that was what they were doing.
And that’s what makes the really successful people so indestructible — no matter what happens to them, or around them, they always end up on top. Even if they get fired, cheated, dumped, estranged from their lovers, or somehow made flat broke, within a few months they’ll be back on top, prospering beyond most peoples’ dreams. Those who previously shunned them came running back, pleading for their love and affection. You’ve probably seen famous people like that on TV. Maybe you know someone like this. The point is, Cycle Two is your time to act — it’s your calling!
Cherry, I warn you, fair and square, don’t let the self-discovery that cycle two offers you slip by. You’re going to pass through this second cycle over the next few weeks, starting right about now. It’s so important that you privately see the association’s Greatest Kept Secrets to launch all of cycle two’s opportunities. That’s why we’re going to subsidize the expense to get our Greatest Kept Secrets to you, now, completely free of charge! You must accept our invitation to this exclusive group to get our Greatest Kept Secrets now!
Two-time Binion’s World Champion of Poker winner offered $50,000 and a Fortune 500 company offered $70,000 for the association’s secrets. But we are offering our Greatest Kept Secrets to you for free! Cherry, you must send in your free-membership invitation form before Friday, February 22, 2008 or the opportunity is gone with the wind, forever. (One of the traits we know about you is your ability to act.)
To be perfectly honest, when I look back and think of my life before the association, I shudder at the thought of what I could have missed out on. Even now, in an unguarded moment, this thought anguishes me. But then I think of my future with the association’s secrets and I relax. Now, I awake each morning full of excitement and satisfaction.
Cherry, if you’re like I was before, you’re probably experiencing some uneasiness, restlessness, a dissatisfaction with the world. Is major success, an exciting and satisfying relationship, and real wealth truly unattainable? You long for it, I know. I always did. But if you cannot seem to achieve it, I am telling you, Cherry, instead of letting go of that desire, take a new direction.
Answer this calling today. (Many of us in the association have risen from living in dumps and projects to penthouses and multi-milliondollar custom homes because of these very same secrets!)
Right now, you have a moment unlike any before. Don’t let this moment pass. Go with your true instincts and act! Those of us here in the association are so looking forward to your presence, to your presence now, that we’re subsidizing the cost of getting you our package of Greatest Kept Secrets. It’s yours free, even before you
officially know us, but you must act now or you miss your opportunity. That’s why I cut off this free offer by Friday, February 22, 2008. (I’m not trying to be mean, it’s just that I know that if you wait till next week, this opportunity will have gone too far into cycle two.)
So mail or fax back your free-membership invitation form below by this Friday, February 22, 2008 and we will share with you our Greatest Kept Secrets, totally free! And before long, you’ll be ready to meet us. But I mean it when I say you must do this now, however, or you’ll never hear from us again. That’s a given, for these secrets are too exclusive. I’ll check my mail for your invitation in three days.
PS, Below is your Free-Membership Invitation form. Simply check the box below and then mail or fax this entire page back to me today.
(Simply mail or fax this entire page to us)
Account #: (removed)
Manuscript #: (removed)
Free-Membership Invitation Form
[ ] I, Cherry Teresa, feel that something astounding is about to happen
in my life! The association has discovered me. I possess very special and rare traits. Because of these traits, the association is willing to accept my membership and send me their Greatest Kept Secrets that lead to enormous wealth, love and the most phenomenal personal abilities, absolutely free, as long as this Free-Membership Invitation Form is postmarked on or before Friday, February 22, 2008. After this Friday, I understand that this opportunity closes, and I won’t be given this membership invitation again. Without hesitation, please send me my personally reserved, 56-page package containing their Greatest Kept Secrets, completely free of charge, today!
Make address correction if necessary:
– (account number removed)
Mail or fax this entire page back to us
Invitation Processing, P.o. Box 6504, Dover, DE 19905-6304
Fax: (716) 447-7488
@ Copyright 2008
This seemed like the work of Kevin Trudeau. I read his books inside and out and listened to his podcasts. This was his style. He claimed in More Natural “Cures” Revealed that the reason he went to prison for credit card fraud was because he was part of a secret group and he took the fall for them. He said that when you possess certain qualities, these types of groups will be watching you carefully and if they like what they see, they’ll approach you and ask you to join. I was skeptical of this story, especially because in his preceding book, Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You to Know About, he admits his guilt and says he is a changed man who wanted to help others rather than just himself. Reading this letter and wondering if it was from him made me think that he changed his story in the following book because he was planning to set up this new group. He made the reader believe the group that led to his conviction were bad guys, so if Kevin Trudeau was behind this, he would be painting his group to be the good-guy version of what he wrote about.
I wanted to see if it really was Mr. Trudeau who was behind this, so I did internet searches, but came up with nothing. I believed I was put on a marketing list for buying his More Natural “Cures” Revealed book directly from the number on his informercial (probably a “hahaha suckers” list). I had a strong feeling that this was either one of his companies contacting me or that he had sold my information to another company. I couldn’t prove this, it was just a feeling. Since feelings don’t always lead to what is true, I didn’t really know.
But I decided to try again last week after hearing the news of his arrest. I did a search for “Invitation Processing”. Based on several different results I got from consumer advocacy sites, it appears that this operates under different addresses and names and a livejournal blogger uncovered that it’s from Global Information Network, which is Kevin Trudeau’s company that launched in 2009. Okay, it’s actually under his wife’s name, Nataliya Babenko, and he’s technically just a member, but he basically admits on Nightline (starting at the 9:30 mark) that it was put in her name for legal reasons to avoid it counting as his money. And a federal judge ruled last month that he controlled all of the companies under his wife’s name, including GIN.
I realize that consumer forums and blogs that don’t have proof or citations (which can be hard to provide) should be taken with a grain of salt, but all the links I clicked that had answers pointed to Kevin Trudeau with similar information. And the GIN website has information that is homologous to what I received. It also doesn’t seem so far fetched when you consider that the company putting invalid charges on my credit card was, in fact, one of Trudeau’s companies. I found this file by doing a search from some of the text of the above letter and it’s the Secret Society Orientation Booklet I would’ve received if I’d replied to the letter. (I’ve uploaded a copy of it here just in case.) The username of the file is the same as the livejournal post. A search for “The Secret Society Orientation Booklet” led me to this complaint, which the author says included a letter endorsed by Kevin Trudeau.
Imagine how I felt when I first read this surprise letter and saw this hogwash. What makes it particularly irritating is that I could see how someone in a hard period in life would reply to it just to see what the booklet was all about and then could potentially be convinced into paying for further information. The way this letter was written reminds me of astrology since it uses the Forer effect, but it has the added benefit of being more likely to hit on other beliefs the reader may have and seeming more personal, since it’s based on a list of those who bought certain products.
Kevin Trudeau is morally bankrupt, in my opinion. While I did not fall for this, I could see how many people would if they were going through certain things or in certain emotional or mental states. I believe he knows this and exploits that for his own personal gain. I’ll explain more about that in my next post.
Update, Oct 11, 2013: My post “How I Was Scammed By Kevin Trudeau” is on the James Randi Educational Foundation – JREF Swift Blog.