Essay

WARNING: Motivational Speaker Tony Robbins is Launching New Get-Rich-Quick Internet Scam

By Duff McDuffee on August 28th, 2009 1

Personal Development guru Tony Robbins is known for his infomercials in the 80’s advertising his “Personal Power” motivational audiotapes, as a “life coach to the rich and famous,” and his appearances in movies like Shallow Hal.

Robbins, who has over 1.2 million followers on Twitter, has recently released a couple of videos on his “training blog” interviewing internet marketers Frank Kern and John Reese. What most people watching these videos don’t realize is that they are highly-manipulative advertisements, almost certainly for an upcoming get-rich-quick-on-the-internet product–the field of expertise of both Reese and Kern. (8/30/2009–Confirmed: this is for a $67/month CD, DVD, and manual course called “The New Money Masters.” Also confirmed is that Irwin F. Kern (aka “Frank Kern”) was successfully sued by the FTC in 2003 for $634,222.45 for running an illegal chain marketing scheme on the internet called ”Instant Internet Empires.”) (Update 9/10/2009: From 1:00-1:20 in the first video, a new segment has been spliced in where Robbins mentions the product. This was NOT in the original version for the initial product launch, and no note has been included as to the change, thus attempting to rewrite history. The original videos and comments are still on hidden blog pages not accessible from the main http://tonyrobbinstraining.com, but two new pages have been added with the new, spliced videos. The original comments included many people asking what these videos were about, for there was no mention of a product.)

Creating hype before the launch of an information product is a cutting-edge sales tactic that Frank Kern and John Reese both promote in their products. Here’s how they do it:

Release “free” videos of “authentic conversations” that aren’t apparently about any product, identifying a problem and creating buzz while distracting from any critical faculties a customer might have because you don’t realize you are being sold. This also creates a kind of guilt-tripping response in the customer if you give away a lot of free content, making the potential customer feel like they owe the seller for being so “generous.”

Then sell a very expensive product with a flurry of hype and a limited quantity available, increasing the sense of scarcity. This eliminates any possible conversation between customers as well as feedback to the company, as there isn’t enough time for anyone to discover if the product lives up to the hype before they are “sold out” (which is arbitrary for information products, as more 1’s and 0’s are of negligible cost).

Selling a very expensive product and creating the conditions for it to sell out quickly reduces the public conversation around it for customers will be less likely to share it with others, due to how much they paid for it. This creates cultish ingroups due to lack of feedback, further entrenching customers to purchase additional products, and reduces effective criticism for critics can’t know exactly what the products are. Often the marketers will take down their sales pages and videos afterwards, which further reduces potential criticism, and checking hyped-up promises against delivered products. This is bad for consumers and bad for business (unless you only care about your own bottom line).

Robbins’ “reality infomercial” videos celebrate the get-rich-quick gurus John Reese and Frank Kern as heroes. The videos reframe the fact that their products don’t work as the fault of customers not having enough “certainty” and “not taking action.” This is a tactic for distracting from the impossibilities of everyone “succeeding” in an extremely crowded make-money-online market, and distracting from the highly manipulative sales tactics Kern, Reese, Robbins, and others use to sell information products on the internet. Interestingly, nowhere in the videos is there any mention of what Kern and Reese actually sell! (Update 8/30/2009: Kern and Reese both sell internet marketing courses that claim to help you make lots of money, at least one of which has been determined to be a “chain marketing scheme” by the FTC.)

Let’s look at the specific tactics used so far in this campaign:

First off, Robbins sent an email with “IMPORTANT” in the title, with a link to his video. To whom, Mr. Robbins, is this video important? Why is your sales cycle important to me?

If you pay very close attention at the beginning in this first video, Robbins implies that the three men were spontaneously getting together to chat, and says “we might as well film it.” Then why is there “spontaneously” a shot of the car driving down the road (camera #1), and two more cameras “spontaneously” in the backseat of the car ready to film before Kern calls Robbins to meet?

This is the first of many bold-faced lies in the Robbins’ video. If he had not lied about the obviously planned nature of this advertisement, perhaps the rest of it would be more trustworthy. Ironically, the tactics employed attempt to convey trust by portraying this advertisement as a spontaneously recorded conversation, thus bypassing critical faculties that consumers have when in sales situations.

By not yet speaking about a product in this video, it further appears to not be an advertisement. A previous video on Robbins’ “ultimate relationship blog” (video has been removed) included a deep male voice saying “this is NOT an advertisement” even though it clearly was an advertisement. The video included a long sample from his Ultimate Relationship Program and then encouraged you to buy it! I replied to Robbins’ video producer on Twitter after he posted the video and told him such, and he disagreed vehemently with me, justifying his marketing doublespeak by saying even though it asked you to buy the product at the end, the video included so much content it couldn’t possibly be considered an advertisement. Perhaps they took in my feedback for this latest scam–but rather than being honest, they became even more deceptive.

In the first video, Reese and Kern apparently are seeking Robbins’ “help” with a problem they have in their business, i.e. that their customers are lazy and negative and don’t follow through after purchasing their online marketing products. The real problem is that they don’t have a legitimate business but a get-rich-quick scam. Reese and Kern sell people information on how to manipulate people to buy things, just like they do to their own customers. People buy their expensive products (Kern’s go from $2400-$3000) under high-pressure with implied promises of making $1 million in a day as Reese did. Only afterwards do customers realize they would have to become a narcissistic psychopath in order to pull off the marketing tactics Reese and Kern are encouraging.

The customers’ inner conflict–i.e. feeling ripped off and manipulated, being blamed for not following through, subconsciously feeling like the persuasion tactics they are learning in the overpriced course are unethical, etc.–is what prevents action (and thank God, or we’d have even more psychopathic marketers on our hands). Even when they do take action, their “success” at perpetuating the scam depends on an enormous amount of luck in the increasingly crowded get-rich-quick make-money-online marketplace. These guys are selling $3000 lottery tickets, and saying that everyone can win if they just believe and try hard enough. Like real lottery tickets, this kind of scam amounts to “a tax on the poor,” playing on the desperation of the oppressed, but at least lottery proceeds often go in part to public projects.

This “spontaneously recorded conversation” frames Reese and Kern as good guys who want to help their customers succeed so much that they’ve called on motivational master Robbins for help, thus turning all criticism of their products into a problem of motivation, which can be solved with their new product (which isn’t being sold yet but no doubt will be in just a few short weeks, both building anticipation–one of Kern’s and Reese’s tactics–and also perpetuating the idea that they are doing this for free just to help, i.e. that they aren’t selling you anything). UPDATE: the product launched on 9/1/09, and as of 9/2/09 seems to still be available for sale. I guess his tactics don’t work as well as he’d like them to either, as Robbins said “they’re probably going to be gone in a few hours.”

By launching a product with only a short window of time to buy, these “businessmen” create intense pressure and prevent all customer feedback. Nobody can buy the product and give feedback to other customers if there is only a short window before they are “sold out.” In the second video, Reese says he made $100,000 in 18 minutes and then shut it down–could a customer possibly have warned another potential customer that the product didn’t live up to it’s promises in that amount of time? This scarcity tactic both creates mania to buy the items, as well as prevent any customer dialogue, preventing any sort of customer protection against fraud. If Apple hypes it’s products and ends up selling something crappy there is proper recourse in the marketplace. Not so for internet marketers. Another part of the strategy is to have enormous numbers of affiliate partners. This floods Google searches for the product and it’s creators with praise, thus crowding out potential criticism & upset customers. The entire launch strategies of these kinds of overhyped “information products” are designed to maximize hype and minimize criticism and customer protection.

I scanned the comments of the first video when there were a mere 475. Nearly all were overwhelmingly positive, an indication of the sorry state of personal development dialogue. Here are some particularly interesting ones that were not totally positive:

Tony Robbins supporter claims he can control hurricanes:

…I can shatter world records in Martial Arts 4x the hand speed of Bruce Lee…

I can heal a person from anywhere in the planet. And I have.

I also preformed 23 Hurricane Dissipations in a Row. Including Category 4 Hurricane Bill…

4 Tornado Total Dissipations.

100++ Thunder Storm Dissipations.

– [NAME REMOVED]

“Discoverer and Master of the Grandest Divine Secret Since The Birth Of Mankind”

I met many at Robbins’ Unleash the Power Within seminar who thought differently than me in ways like this. One volunteer “crew member” told me and my friend with a straight face that a Big Mac took more calories to digest than were in one. I looked at him and said “that’s just not true.” He seemed confused by my response.

Man $10,000 in debt from online marketing courses asks to be further indoctrinated into online marketing cult and deny feedback from sane people:

I have ordered both personal power and the edge, and have made outstanding strides in all areas of personal development. That being said financial success has been the one area to elude me. I tried a few internet businesses all that left me was $10,000 in debt as the companies were dishonest. I have given in another try with a website called … selling self-improvement ebooks. My question was how do you keep the sense of belief when the outsie world just shows you dishonest people and faliure. So when you addressed that question directly I almost fell off my chair. I just finished reading ‘Creative Visualization’ and am comitted to double my efforts at keeping my goal in mind and emotionaly attact myself to it as much as possible

Man who “falls victim to unrealistic sales pitches” doesn’t see that he is falling victim to Tony Robbins unrealistic sales pitch:

You guys rock! Tony, I used to see your castle up on the hill in Del Mar when I lived in La Jolla, and think, “that’s my goal”. You’ve been an inspiration since your first book. Since getting into IM, Frank and John have been added to the top of my list – you guys are my trifecta of inspiration and motivation. Thanks for the great video!

It’s definitively difficult to sort through the crap of informational products out there, to discern the true gems, and I can see how (myself included) fall victim to unrealistic sales pitches and the blows to your psyche with each failure.

I agree you have to have “certainty” – if not in the product, than in yourself. I continue to make it a goal that anything I do or endorse is of high value and quality, to set high standards, have solid ethics, and not to be a peddler of junk. And I know that if I maintain my path, I WILL succeed.

The definition of insanity is buying internet marketing courses again and again and expecting a different result (i.e. money):

Hi,

I spend over $1,000 per week on information on I.M. I probably use about 10% of it. John Reese is one of the very best I.M.

I like how you modul yuor-self on the very best and follow them. Maybe I should heed this?

Results minimal from courses from all three men:

“I have to admit I have a product from all three of you and guess what my results have been minimal. I always wanted the success to come to me and let me tell you, it hasn’t. Well my why in life has changed as well as my mindset. I am believing in myself, I am beginning to succeed more in my head first, beginning to see the success and now beginning to realize it.”

Many intelligent people are falling for these master manipulators. Please let other people know about this article before Robbins, Kern, and Reese launch their latest scam. And please download the first video here so that there will be a record after their launch: http://s3.amazonaws.com/trvideos/video1d_small.flv

A modest amount of money and success is an important thing. Personal motivation, a positive attitude, and taking action are important to reach any goal. But treating get-rich-quick scammers as if they are leaders and heroes instead of greed-purveyors and manipulators of the oppressed is upside-down and backwards.

This is not simply a problem with Robbins et al–these men are creating the paradigm for selling online that is being adopted by “conscious” people too, who cannot see that these techniques are manipulative to customers and bad for business. This kind of manipulative marketing unfortunately has a long, shady history of being developed by personal development gurus to sell people on the impossible dreams of riches, success, fame, and power.

There are indeed ways of marketing that are not so manipulative. Do not artificially “sell out” of your products. Tell people specifically what it is that you are selling and what it does. Charge a fair market rate based on other non-hyped products. Perhaps generate some buzz, but not so much that you induce mania and eliminate critical thinking in customers. Be authentic, but also honest that you are selling something right up front (not at the end of several long videos or a 30pg sales letter, which creates cognitive dissonance due the time already invested). Don’t promise quick money, quick success, quick happiness, nor ultimate satisfaction–be honest and modest about what your product or service provides. Don’t set your own financial goals too high either, or else this greed will motivate manipulation of others. And finally, sell something other than techniques that help people sell something (or be honest and don’t try to sell them “freedom,” independence, or anything else besides the actual product).

Good business is straightforward. Good personal development is humble and reasonable. Avoid the (inflated) gurus and do business with integrity.

UPDATE 8/29/2009:

MrTeaCup made a fabulous comment that changed my view somewhat of this marketing tactic that I wanted to quote in full here:

This reminds me of a discussion about dating in the age of Facebook. The question was raised: isn’t it unethical to go on someone’s Facebook page, discover they love a particular poet, and then on the date, stage a “spontaneous” recital of “your favorite” poem by that poet to create the appearance of kindred spirits, etc. The counterpoint is how is doing this any different from when your date comes over, they see that your living room is spotless because in anticipation of the date, you cleaned your house for the first time in months.

In both cases, you’re lying to manipulate the other person, but the crucial difference is revealed by noticing that if you failed to clean your house before the date came over, they would be justified in wondering what is wrong with you that you failed to lie to them. And, that if would be rude for your date to ask you to tell them the truth that both of you already know, “Is your house always this clean or did you clean it just for me?”

So the relevant question here is not “Is Tony Robbins lying?” but “Does the audience know he’s lying?” And I think the answer is — at least concerning the “reality show” component of it — the audience is fully aware that he is lying, and what’s more, he’s not even doing it very effectively.

It’s as if he cleaned his house for his date and left the mop and cleaning supplies out in plain view, obviously just used. The naivety here is almost charmingly honest: he knows he’s supposed to “stage” reality, to provide the audience a peek behind the scenes which is faked, but the implausibility of having a camera man in your backseat when you call Tony Robbins breaks the spell.

For me, the more serious delusion they are spreading is the one also spread by many environmental activists: be the change you want to see. Robbins has fully accepted the neo-liberal idea that inequality is an outcome of a lack of initiative on the part of the poor, and seeks to address it by working within and sustaining the status quo. In the introduction to the interview, it’s clear that he’s been approached by many people who’ve been adversely affected by the recession despite their positive, can-do attitude, and he feels at a loss for what to tell them, his solution is to double-down on those same ideas.

And here was one of my responses, in which I quote Chris Hedges’ new book Empire of Illusion on the persuasive power of pseudo-events, emphasis mine:

Ok, on further reflection, there is something more right about your critique than mine.

Here’s a quote from Chris Hedges’ new book Empire of Illusion that seemed relevant:

Pseudo-events…have the capacity to appear real, even though we know they are staged. They are capable because they can evoke a powerful emotional response of overwhelming reality and replacing it with a fictional narrative that often becomes accepted as truth.

The unmasking of a stereotype damages and often destroys its credibility, But pseudo-events are immune to this deflation. The exposure of the elaborate mechanisms behind the pseudo-event only adds to its fascination and its power.

The use of pseudo-events to persuade rather than overtly brainwash renders millions of us unable to see or question the structures and systems that are impoverishing us and in some cases destroying our lives.”

I see now that this isn’t necessarily brainwashing but a pseudo-event, which is perhaps far worse because it cannot be directly criticized yet it has powerful influence nonetheless, and perhaps harm (depending on whether one agrees Robbins’ new product will be harmful or not).

So the question is, what the hell do we do about this stuff? How can we prevent the problems associated with the persuasive power of pseudo-events? Perhaps Hedges will have some insight.

UPDATE #2 (8/29/2009):

Just got the latest email in Robbins’ marketing campaign for his new product.

The link goes to a long-form sales letter full of hype, with another “squeeze page” to put in your email address, adding confusion because you are already on his email list.

Many ironies abound.

The subject line of the email reads “Personal from Tony Robbins (please read).” Of course there is nothing personal about it, since it is simply a one-way sales email sent to his list.

In the headline on the page it says “Giving Customers The Unbreakable Power of Trust Marketing with Authentic Service.” I guess lying to customers that you haven’t already created a product, then staging a pseudo-event that pretends to be a real event is how to build “trust” by being “authentic.” I do think at least some people believe this to be real, and many who don’t are still persuaded by it.

Robbins gives away the pseudo-event in his sales letter that is linked to from his email, even as he lies in his email that he “may” be creating a product soon: “these videos have been a tiny preview of a brand new product that I’m releasing on this upcoming Tuesday, September 1st, at 11:00 AM Pacific time.”

As predicted, Robbins is releasing the product at a specific time with a limited quantity of 8,000 units to create hysteria amongst customers and prevent conversation amongst them.

Here’s the email:

SUBJECT: Personal from Tony Robbins (please read).
Hi ,

Earlier today, I found this rare recording I did back in 1989 and I’d like to give it to you.

You can download it here for free as my gift:

http://www.moneymastersseries.com/audiodownload.php

This has NEVER been released before …but I think it’s *critical* that you hear it because you’ll discover what I call the “5 Keys to Wealth & Happiness”.

Please download this now because I don’t think I’ll be leaving it on the Internet for long.

(I may even base a new product on the material in this recording. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it, actually.)

Anyway – it’s yours. No catch. My gift to you.

Get it here:

http://www.moneymastersseries.com/audiodownload.p…

Talk soon,
Tony Robbins

Again, more unremarkable lies: “earlier today I found this recording” (as if this wasn’t very much a planned part of the marketing launch), “no catch” (again as if nothing is for sale here, as if this isn’t all a buzz-building launch), “I may even base a new product on the material in this recording” (which has already been planned, this is part of the marketing of it), “Please download this now because I don’t think I’ll be leaving it on the Internet for long” starting to increase the scarcity levels before the massive hype to follow.

I saw this exact tactic used by Jamie Smart with the launch of his Slight-of-Mouth DVD set. He said similar things about how he “might” be creating a product soon, posted videos to a blog, etc. etc. in a pseudo-event such as this one. Then suddenly, the product was created and ready to sell only days later! I fell for it as real too.

Again, releasing the product with limited quantities maximizes hype and minimizes consumer protection.

Creating an “early bird list” when you are already on a list located at a different domain name adds confusion as well as effectively creating a “Yes set” (where salesman ask 2 lead-up questions where the answer is obviously “yes” and then ask a closing question like “so would you like to buy this product now?”), increasing compliance.

This is anything but honest, straightforward, trustworthy and authentic marketing.

Update #3 (8/30/2009):

Commenter Mal informed us that in 2003 Frank Kern was busted by the FTC for running an illegal get-rich-quick internet scheme that promised fast riches. Here’s a direct link to the FTC ruling (PDF).

Here are some particularly instructive quotes from the Georgia district court document:

In their advertising, Defendants represent, expressly or by implication, that purchasers of the “Instant Internet Empires” product are likely to earn substantial income using the product. …

In reality, the majority of purchasers of the “Instant Internet Empires” product cannot, and do not, earn a substantial income using the product; in fact, most purchasers will not make money. …

Defendants’ scheme is a chain marketing scheme that necessarily enriches only a few initial participants at the expense of the majority of other participants. The success of any participant in achieving earning claims in a chain marketing scheme is dependent upon the participant’s ability to convince a large number of new participants to buy into the scheme. …

The structure of a chain marketing scheme places severe limitations upon the success of its participants. Participants can only make money if they recruit new participants into the scheme, ensuring that at each step in the evolution of the scheme the majority of participants will not make money. …

The result of the structure and operation of Defendants’ program is that financial gains to participants are primarily dependent upon the successive recruitment of other participants. …

Defendants representations … are false and deceptive in violation of Section 5(a) of the FTC Act….

Hmmm…any of this sound familiar? Robbins’ has associated himself with known chain marketing scammers and called them “the new money masters.” What a joke.

Update #4 (8/30/2009)

Here is a link to the FTC’s Final Judgment (PDF) that contains more information about Irwin F. Kern’s “business” (Irwin is his real first name according to the FTC documents). Irwin F. Kern was successfully sued for $634,222.45, his total sales revenue from “Instant Internet Empires.” Here are some relevant quotes:

Defendants are hereby restrained and enjoined from providing to others the means and instrumentalities with which to make, expressly or by implication, orally or in writing, any false or misleading statement or representation of material fact, including, but not limited to the following:

A. Any false or misleading representation that consumers who purchase certain products are likely to earn substantial income from those products; and

B. Any false or misleading representation that all consumers who purchase certain products can earn a substantial income from those products. …

Defendants are permanently enjoined and restrained from:

A. Failing to take reasonable steps … to comply with … this Order. Reasonable steps shall include, at a minimum, establishing and maintaining a compliance program which includes spot, blind testing of the oral represenations made by any representative or independent contractor; spot checking of consumers to ensure that no misrepresentations were made; and ascertaining the number and nature of any customer complaints concerning any marketing material used by Defendants or the failure of any product sold by Defendants to meet any representation made in any marketing material used by Defendants.

For 5 years afterwards, Irwin F. Kern was required to let the FTC know if he moved or changed his phone number, or if he started a business or got a job. No wonder he recently launched his “Mass Control” course and now this course with Robbins–the expiration date had gone off. Now Kern is free to manipulate the masses again without being watched over by the feds.

Update #5 (8/31/2009):

A reader of this blog forwarded us an email from Eben Pagan, our favorite misogynist marketer, who will be interviewing Robbins tonight on a call. No mention of any product in Pagan’s email (more deception), but obviously this is part of the launch strategy for the “New Money Masters” program which launches tomorrow. Pagan is in the same Axis of Marketing Evil with Kern and Reese. Here is the email:

> Date: Mon, 31 Aug 2009 08:56:53 -0700
> From: eben@getaltitude.rsys1.com
> Subject: Learn from Tony Robbins (and me) free tonight…
> To:
>
> In case you didn’t hear: I’m interviewing Tony Robbins
> LIVE tonight on a special invitation-only teleclass….
>
> This teleclass is ONLY for my group – it’s exclusive.
>
> And it’s free. Really.
>
> We’re going to be discussing how to overcome your
> inner blocks to success, as well as how to succeed
> BIG… and how to THRIVE in this new business
> environment.
>
> We’re only doing this once, so make sure you attend.
>
> By the way, I just noticed that Tony has 1.2 MILLION
> followers on Twitter already. Insane. He’s the BIG
> DOG of success – and you get to hear him live, in an
> interview with me, TONIGHT at 6 PM Pacific / 9 PM Eastern.
>
> Don’t miss it. You can register here:
>
> http://www.getaltitude.com/teleclass/090831_tony_signup.asp
>
> Talk to you then!
>
> Eben

UPDATE #6 (9/1/2009):

Well, The New Scammy Marketers program has launched. It doesn’t look like it sold out yet, which restores a bit of my faith in humanity.

According to the “terms of service” on the launch page, it is forbidden to link to the sales page! I’m pretty sure that’s illegal, but just to make sure they don’t track all the backlinks to the site, you’ll have to copy and paste my link from the email I received today from Robbins’ list if you want to watch his sales video. Whether or not it is illegal, this is certainly another tactic to scare critics and angry customers out of their freedom of speech, and further reduces critical discourse within personal development culture.

Dear Friend,

As promised, you can get your advanced copy of our New Money Masters Welcome Kit here.

http://www.moneymastersseries.com/earlybird.php

I’m sure you’ll love it. I’m also sure that that all these advanced copies are going to be given out early today so if you want one, get it soon so you won’t have to wait. You can do so here:

http://www.moneymastersseries.com/earlybird.php

Talk soon,

Tony

Well, you were wrong Tony–the sales page is still up, which means you didn’t sell out (or maybe that you had more than 8,000 and were lying about this too?). You probably didn’t think positively enough and take enough action. I have a DVD course coming soon that could address that problem for you….

In this sales video, Robbins mentions that he and Eben Pagan have become good friends, confirming my previous update above.

I assume the aggressive terms of service are in place to protect their intellectual property from being stolen and re-posted online. Ironically, when searching for “The New Money Masters” in Google yesterday (before it launched), I found a link in Google that had the program already available for download from a bit torrent service. I don’t recommend stealing things on torrent networks in general, by the way.

Also very ironically, they have an “earnings disclosure” that basically says that the program is not likely to work for you, that it is not a “get rich scheme” (ha!), and if it doesn’t make you rich it’s your fault for not thinking positively and trying hard enough! Oh the ironies. It also says that some of the testimonials may have been paid for.

EARNINGS DISCLAIMER

EVERY EFFORT HAS BEEN MADE TO ACCURATELY REPRESENT THE SKILLS, CONCEPTS, IDEAS, TECHNIQUES AND “KNOW HOW” OFFERED BY THIS SITE AND THEIR POTENTIAL. THERE IS NO GUARANTEE THAT YOU WILL EARN ANY MONEY USING THE TECHNIQUES AND IDEAS IN THESE MATERIALS. EXAMPLES IN THESE MATERIALS ARE NOT TO BE INTERPRETED AS A PROMISE OR GUARANTEE OF EARNINGS. EARNING POTENTIAL IS ENTIRELY DEPENDENT ON THE PERSON USING OUR PRODUCT, IDEAS AND TECHNIQUES. WE DO NOT PURPORT THIS AS A “GET RICH SCHEME.”

YOUR LEVEL OF SUCCESS IN ATTAINING THE RESULTS CLAIMED IN OUR MATERIALS DEPENDS ON THE TIME YOU DEVOTE TO THE PROGRAM, IDEAS AND TECHNIQUES MENTIONED, YOUR FINANCES, KNOWLEDGE AND VARIOUS SKILLS. SINCE THESE FACTORS DIFFER ACCORDING TO INDIVIDUALS, WE CANNOT GUARANTEE YOUR SUCCESS OR INCOME LEVEL. NOR ARE WE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY OF YOUR ACTIONS.

TESTIMONIAL DISCLAIMER:

THE PERFORMANCE EXPERIENCED BY USER COMMENTS AND TESTIMONIALS, ON THIS PAGE AND/OR OUR WEB SITE , IS NOT WHAT YOU SHOULD EXPECT TO EXPERIENCE. ALTHOUGH THIS SITE ACCEPTS THE TESTIMONIALS IN GOOD FAITH, WE HAVE NOT INDEPENDENTLY EXAMINED THE BUSINESS RECORDS OF ANY OF THE PROVIDERS AND THEREFORE HAS NOT VERIFIED ANY SPECIFIC FIGURES OR RESULTS QUOTED THEREIN. THESE RESULTS ARE NOT TYPICAL, AND YOUR INCOME OR RESULTS, IF ANY, WILL VARY AND THERE IS A RISK YOU WILL NOT MAKE ANY MONEY AT ALL. SOME OF THE USERS MAY, IN SOME CASES, BEEN INCENTIVIZED TO SUBMIT THEIR COMMENTS.

MATERIALS FROM OUR PROGRAM AND ON OUR WEBSITES MAY CONTAIN INFORMATION THAT INCLUDES OR IS BASED UPON FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995. FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS GIVE OUR EXPECTATIONS OR FORECASTS OF FUTURE EVENTS. YOU CAN IDENTIFY THESE STATEMENTS BY THE FACT THAT THEY DO NOT RELATE STRICTLY TO HISTORICAL OR CURRENT FACTS. THEY USE WORDS SUCH AS “ANTICIPATE,” “ESTIMATE,” “EXPECT,” “PROJECT,” “INTEND,” “PLAN,” “BELIEVE,” AND OTHER WORDS AND TERMS OF SIMILAR MEANING IN CONNECTION WITH A DESCRIPTION OF POTENTIAL EARNINGS OR FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE. ANY AND ALL FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS HERE OR ON ANY OF OUR SALES MATERIAL ARE INTENDED TO EXPRESS OUR OPINION OF EARNINGS POTENTIAL. MANY FACTORS WILL BE IMPORTANT IN DETERMINING YOUR ACTUAL RESULTS AND NO GUARANTEES ARE MADE THAT YOU WILL ACHIEVE RESULTS SIMILAR TO OURS OR ANYBODY ELSES, IN FACT NO GUARANTEES ARE MADE THAT YOU WILL ACHIEVE ANY RESULTS FROM OUR IDEAS AND TECHNIQUES IN OUR MATERIAL.

If you do not understand or agree with any of these conditions, DO NOT ORDER THIS MATERIAL. If you require further clarification, please contact customer support.

Well, that’s probably all for my investigative reporting on this one.

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

146 responses to “WARNING: Motivational Speaker Tony Robbins is Launching New Get-Rich-Quick Internet Scam”

  1. your comments about tony robbins is apauling! many people around the world look up to tony robbins and for you to say the very least is unbelievable! tony robbins, frank kern have donated a ton of resources to people such as myself to achieve greater things at times when we may have just given up! Is it wrong to purchase products that may help you to generate an income online? I think NOT! The statements that Tony Robbins makes are true, that nothing will happen unless you take action with the information that is given to you.

    • Did you read my post at all, Richard? Do you agree that Robbins is blatantly lying about the nature of the video being a spontaneous conversation, or were the cameras somehow "spontaneously" already there?

      Yes, taking action is important, so is positive thinking. But these same wonderful things can be used for self-serving ends by blaming others for not taking action, for not thinking positively enough, effectively cutting off rational thought. Your irrational response indicates to me that you have indeed been persuaded by such tactics.

      • "But these same wonderful things can be used for self-serving ends by blaming others for not taking action, for not thinking positively enough."

        There's a fine line between helping people see that they were never really all in and that may have hampered their success, and blaming them for not being positive enough.

        Guru: "If your faith was stronger, that mountain would have moved."
        Non-Guru: "I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have moved either way. It would have been nice for you to tell me that the mountain really didn't need to be moved."

        • "There's a fine line between helping people see that they were never really all in and that may have hampered their success, and blaming them for not being positive enough."

          Sure. Wisdom is the ability to tell the difference.

          In this case–as in MLM schemes and the lottery–I believe it is obvious that increased focus on positive thinking and personal effort is a distraction from the unfair rules of the game.

    • Here is a link to the FTC’s Final Judgment (PDF) that contains more information about Irwin F. Kern’s “business” (Irwin is his real first name according to the FTC documents):

      http://www.ftc.gov/os/caselist/dojsweep/031014k4g

      Irwin F. Kern was successfully sued for $634,222.45, his total sales revenue from “Instant Internet Empires,” for running an illegal chain marketing scheme.

  2. How dare you for critcizing Robbins! Don't you know he's beyond reproach?

    Er…wait a second. That's not what I meant to say. I took my anti-brainwash pills too early today.

    What I like most about this post, as opposed to some of the others, is how you end it. Of course, that probably doesn't surprise you. Honestly, without the conclusion, it would have been much weaker – not because you didn't make valid points, but because your conclusion tempered those points away from hyperbole and simplistic examples.

    So, thank you for that.

  3. Yes, thanks to clear-thinking level-headed people like you, I've begun adding back some rational and balanced views into my guru criticism. 🙂 Thanks for coming by.

  4. Great post. One note: "avoid the gurus" seems to imply that the very notion or acct of being a teacher or example to others is, in this day and age, hypocritical. Many gurus are boring, wonderful, know a ton and help a great deal.

    That said, if you're saying "avoid gurus who encourage theism" I'm with you.

  5. egilman says:

    Found you thanks to the RT from elephant journal. Wonderful post! I really like the ethical bent of your blog. I look forward to reading your other posts.

  6. the Nihilist says:

    good job!!! I found you from that nice person, egilman^^^ and I agree. Thanks for being ethical and for explaining the psychology of the con. Its nice to not be the only one capable and willing to explain the behavioral science behind how "they" do what they do. I'm linking to and reporting about your effort on my blog too!
    xoxoxo,
    the Nihilist

    • Thanks for your comment. I wondered what the response would be to this post in particular. I hope it can prevent at least one person from buying something from these guys. Thanks for the posting on your blog too.

  7. Tim says:

    A friend sent me a link to the Tony Robbins video. I declined to watch it, sensing a "no-no". Now I know why 🙂 Thanks for the clarity Duff.

  8. Flemming says:

    I think your post it mis-targeted. These are exactly some of the folks who tell it like it is and don't promise you get-quick-rich schmes, and their honesty is the basis for their success. It is like Penn and Teller giving you their magic secrets. Yes, of course it was a manufactured setup that they just happened to drop by while the cameras were running. Do you really think anybody's missing that part of the joke? There are plenty of get-rich-quick phonies out there, and it would have made sense if you had picked on some of those, rather than on people who teach you marketing and give a masterful demonstrate how it works at the same time. You might as well say that all NLP practitioners are scam artists who manipulate people. Or I could say that you're a scam artist, manipulating us into your view, despite all evidence against it.

    • So you interpret Robbins' blatant lie as joking? And the lack of a product in this advertisement as honesty? I'm having a hard time understanding what reality you live in.

      One could say that all communication is "manipulation," but then we must admit that some manipulation is better than others. Asking your child nicely to use their manners at the dinner table is certainly better than screaming at them to get the same result. Similarly, being honest, allowing for adequate customer feedback, underpromising, saying what it is that you are selling, etc. are VERY different forms of "manipulation" or "persuasion" (if you can even call it that) than using confusion techniques, misrepresenting your advertisement as not an advertisement, blaming customers for being lazy rather than changing your product, etc.

    • I'm also what part of "I made $1 million in 18 hours" isn't about getting rich quick?

      • Flemming says:

        Heheh, that little trick might work on more gullible people, but I'm not buying it. Are you saying that Reese is lying about making $1 million in a day? I haven't heard any of them promise that I'll do the same if I buy some course. I hear them saying that it is up to me. So, it is your "scam" or "scheme" or "lying" claim that's a little thin. Your suggestion that it is suspicious if some rich people make a video without obviously selling anything. What's your real intention with this attempt of deception? Certainly doesn't make you look any better.

    • I'm also curious what part of "I made $1 million in 18 hours" isn't about getting rich quick?

    • Mal says:

      "Their honesty is the basis for their success" huh? Go read what the FTC busted Kern for 6 years ago – http://www.welcometowallyworld.com/frank-kern-mas

    • Here is a link to the FTC’s Final Judgment (PDF) that contains more information about Irwin F. Kern’s “business” (Irwin is his real first name according to the FTC documents):

      http://bit.ly/h2gEc

      Irwin F. Kern was successfully sued for $634,222.45, his total sales revenue from “Instant Internet Empires,” for running an illegal chain marketing scheme.

  9. I watched the video and thought it was really good content. I know that the purpose of this video is to prepare the way for an upcoming product. All the so-called gurus do this in order to generate trust and reciprocity from subscribers when their products launch.

    • Lying about the premise of a video creates the opposite of trust. If they were to say instead "we have an upcoming launch of a product we are excited about, here are some sample clips" that would be an entirely different scenario.

    • Here is a link to the FTC’s Final Judgment (PDF) that contains more information about Irwin F. Kern’s “business” (Irwin is his real first name according to the FTC documents):

      http://bit.ly/h2gEc

      Irwin F. Kern was successfully sued for $634,222.45, his total sales revenue from “Instant Internet Empires,” for running an illegal chain marketing scheme.

    • Here is a link to the FTC’s Final Judgment (PDF) that contains more information about Irwin F. Kern’s “business” (Irwin is his real first name according to the FTC documents):

      http://bit.ly/h2gEc

      Irwin F. Kern was successfully sued for $634,222.45, his total sales revenue from “Instant Internet Empires,” for running an illegal chain marketing scheme.

  10. SaltyDroid says:

    Great Post! I received an email promoting this video from virtually every scammer I track. It's pathetic. I guess fantastical riches aren't enough Robbins … he can't rest until all the sheep in his flock are destitute and feeling like failures.

    I agree with you that the "spontaneity" was badly staged and gave the video a scam feel right from the start. I wanted to believe that Tony Robbins was slightly better than the idiot criminals I'm writing about … but I guess not. That video made me sick to my stomach. The more popular you are … the higher you moral obligation to not due harm.

    Let me add two points ::

    1. I've done some geek snooping :: I don't think the "training blog" belongs to Robbins. It's on a sever owned by another scammer … which contains no other Robbins sites. I think the other content on the "training blog" is just filler with the video you describe being the sole purpose for the site's {likely temporary} existence.

    2. Hunch :: Money changed hands to make this video happen. If that is the case, but disclosures have not been made … then HELL awaits all participants.

  11. Funny Freudian slip from a Robbins commenter:

    "Dude, I dont know where you guys are going with this buy I’ll take it.

    Rick G"

    http://tonyrobbinstraining.com/328/john-tony/#com

  12. @mrteacup says:

    This reminds me of a discussion about dating in the age of Facebook. The question was raised: isn't it unethical to go on someone's Facebook page, discover they love a particular poet, and then on the date, stage a "spontaneous" recital of "your favorite" poem by that poet to create the appearance of kindred spirits, etc. The counterpoint is how is doing this any different from when your date comes over, they see that your living room is spotless because in anticipation of the date, you cleaned your house for the first time in months.

    In both cases, you're lying to manipulate the other person, but the crucial difference is revealed by noticing that if you failed to clean your house before the date came over, they would be justified in wondering what is wrong with you that you failed to lie to them. And, that if would be rude for your date to ask you to tell them the truth that both of you already know, "Is your house always this clean or did you clean it just for me?"

    So the relevant question here is not "Is Tony Robbins lying?" but "Does the audience know he's lying?" And I think the answer is — at least concerning the "reality show" component of it — the audience is fully aware that he is lying, and what's more, he's not even doing it very effectively.

    It's as if he cleaned his house for his date and left the mop and cleaning supplies out in plain view, obviously just used. The naivety here is almost charmingly honest: he knows he's supposed to "stage" reality, to provide the audience a peek behind the scenes which is faked, but the implausibility of having a camera man in your backseat when you call Tony Robbins breaks the spell.

    For me, the more serious delusion they are spreading is the one also spread by many environmental activists: be the change you want to see. Robbins has fully accepted the neo-liberal idea that inequality is an outcome of a lack of initiative on the part of the poor, and seeks to address it by working within and sustaining the status quo. In the introduction to the interview, it's clear that he's been approached by many people who've been adversely affected by the recession despite their positive, can-do attitude, and he feels at a loss for what to tell them, his solution is to double-down on those same ideas.

    • EricSchiller says:

      Great comment, reflects some of my thoughts. I'll comment later when
      I am not on my phone.

    • Some interesting thoughts re: the reality infomercial. I'm not sure that I agree however, but it does make me think. I suspect the audience does not in fact know that he is lying due to the hundreds of positive comments.

      I have never heard the idea "inequality is an outcome of a lack of initiative on the part of the poor" said to be a neo-liberal idea. Can you give some more context for why you think this is the case?

    • Also, you should do some writing for BG. You have a perspective I can't integrate and which always makes me think, which means I'm interested to learn more! 🙂

    • Ok, on further reflection, there is something more right about your critique than mine.

      Here's a quote from Chris Hedges' new book Empire of Illusion that seemed relevant:

      Pseudo-events…have the capacity to appear real, even though we know they are staged. They are capable because they can evoke a powerful emotional response of overwhelming reality and replacing it with a fictional narrative that often becomes accepted as truth.

      The unmasking of a stereotype damages and often destroys its credibility, But pseudo-events are immune to this deflation. The exposure of the elaborate mechanisms behind the pseudo-event only adds to its fascination and its power.

      The use of pseudo-events to persuade rather than overtly brainwash renders millions of us unable to see or question the structures and systems that are impoverishing us and in some cases destroying our lives."

      I see now that this isn't necessarily brainwashing but a pseudo-event, which is perhaps far worse because it cannot be directly criticized yet it has powerful influence nonetheless, and perhaps harm (whether one agrees Robbins' new product will be harmful or not).

      So the question is, what the hell do we do about this stuff? How can we prevent the problems associated with the persuasive power of pseudo-events? Perhaps Hedges will have some insight.

    • Ok, on further reflection, there is something more right about your critique than mine.

      Here's a quote from Chris Hedges' new book Empire of Illusion that seemed relevant:

      Pseudo-events…have the capacity to appear real, even though we know they are staged. They are capable because they can evoke a powerful emotional response of overwhelming reality and replacing it with a fictional narrative that often becomes accepted as truth.

      The unmasking of a stereotype damages and often destroys its credibility, But pseudo-events are immune to this deflation. The exposure of the elaborate mechanisms behind the pseudo-event only adds to its fascination and its power.

      The use of pseudo-events to persuade rather than overtly brainwash renders millions of us unable to see or question the structures and systems that are impoverishing us and in some cases destroying our lives."

      I see now that this isn't necessarily brainwashing but a pseudo-event, which is perhaps far worse because it cannot be directly criticized yet it has powerful influence nonetheless, and perhaps harm (depending on whether one agrees Robbins' new product will be harmful or not).

      So the question is, what the hell do we do about this stuff? How can we prevent the problems associated with the persuasive power of pseudo-events? Perhaps Hedges will have some insight.

  13. A little more from Hedges:

    The flight into illusion sweeps away the core values of the open society. It corrodes the ability to think for oneself, to draw independent conclusions, to express dissent when judgment and common sense tell you something is wrong, to be self-critical, to challenge authority, to grasp historical facts, to advocate for change, and to acknowledge that there are other views, different ways, and structures of being that are morally and socially acceptable. A populace deprived of the ability to separate lies from truth, that has become hostage to the fictional semblance of reality put forth by pseudo-events, is no longer capable of sustaining a free society.

    These are my concerns. I'm guessing you also share these. Thoughts?

  14. A little more from Hedges:

    The flight into illusion sweeps away the core values of the open society. It corrodes the ability to think for oneself, to draw independent conclusions, to express dissent when judgment and common sense tell you something is wrong, to be self-critical, to challenge authority, to grasp historical facts, to advocate for change, and to acknowledge that there are other views, different ways, and structures of being that are morally and socially acceptable. A populace deprived of the ability to separate lies from truth, that has become hostage to the fictional semblance of reality put forth by pseudo-events, is no longer capable of sustaining a free society.

    These are my concerns. I'm guessing you also share these. Thoughts?

    • @mrteacup says:

      Here, Hedges uses the standard Marxist notion of ideology as false consciousness, positing a true reality that is obscured by illusion. Althusser and Zizek, under the influence of Lacan, reject this idea. For them, ideology is consciousness, there is nothing beyond it. Zizek says: "If you take away from our reality the symbolic fictions that regulate it, you lose reality itself."

      The essay "Dark City & the Politics of Psychoanalysis" goes into this in more depth: http://bit.ly/1V2IRe

      • You may be right, and I'm interested in this little debate about the real.

        But here's a more pressing question: can you, from your Zizekian/Lacanian framework say anything about why what Tony Robbins is doing is wrong in any way whatsoever? Or is this perspective morally inept?

        • @mrteacup says:

          You don't need philosophy or psychoanalysis to criticize tricking people out of their money.

          Arguably, it could be compared to false consciousness: despite being exploited, you still support the system. But personally, I think false consciousness is an outdated concept, its usage by the Left is counterproductive and there are more interesting and useful approaches to ideology.

        • @mrteacup says:

          You don't need philosophy or psychoanalysis to criticize tricking people out of their money.

          Arguably, it could be compared to false consciousness: despite being exploited, you still support the system. But personally, I think false consciousness is an outdated concept, its usage by the Left is counterproductive and there are more interesting and useful approaches to ideology.

          • "You don't need philosophy or psychoanalysis to criticize tricking people out of their money."

            Well that's good to hear! 🙂 I was beginning to think that there was no way to speak of ethics in this view.

            I'm looking forward to reading/learning more about the more useful approaches to ideology.

  15. Gina says:

    Great Post Duff!
    Working with people with disordered eating causing them imense mental and physical harm from trying to have the same body as the picture in the diet ad and the marketing continues.
    I see a lot of similarities in internet marketing and the diet industry marketing.
    The main difference i see is the disclaimer the diet industry is required to have disclaimer (*Results not typical) on picture ads.

    Unfortunately we do need to let people know this is not really how it works and the results are not typical. Not everyone is as aware as the next and as a society it is the responsibility of those who understand to caution those who may not see the potential harm.

    Thanks, Duff, for being a caution sign in a very dangerous arena.

  16. Here's another observation on the video. This one is about the technique he uses at 24 mins. to shows Kern and Reese how to extend their range of movement using visualisation.

    Robbins says that they were able to extend their comfortable range of motion by changing their belief. This is BS. Robbins even goes as far as saying *he* changed their belief. More BS (grandiose BS, at that).

    A Feldenkrais practitioner or someone with an understanding in neuro-muscular repatterning, or neuro-plasticity could explain this better than me, but as I understand it, our bodyminds get into habitual limiting patterns over a period of time due to our upbringing, our lifestyles, our daily routines, repressed emotions etc. Visualising a greater range of movement reminds the brain of the body's natural full range of motion and allows the full functionality of the bodymind to be restored.

    Kern and Reese didn't hold any unconscious belief about how far they could move, as Robbins claims. And he certainly didn't "change their belief". This sort of thing happens all the time in Feldenkrais exercises and Awareness Through Movement classes, and the practitioner/trainer never claims to have "changed their beliefs".

    The implication here is if visualisation can help you extend your range of movement, then it can also help you manifest a million dollars. But this is false as we are talking about two completely different domains. One is to do with a well-documented, scientifically-validated process by which the mind interacts with the body. The other implies that if you visualise something external to yourself, such as a million dollars or a Porsche it will manifest just as easily. It sets up anyone who has succeeded in the simple range of motion technique to feel like they are a failure if they can't achieve equally easy results in the external world.

    I don't doubt that we are limited by our limited beliefs, or that we can expand our potential by using visualisation, but for Robbins to claim that he is changing people's beliefs in this way, and that the same principle applies for any goal in life is disingenuous (to say the least).

    If he was using it as an analogy, I wouldn't have a problem, but he didn't use it that way.

    I have no doubt that Robbins has helped a lot of people – after all, much of what he does is based on good techniques from NLP and other personal change systems – but this video has shown me he is as manipulative and disingenuous as I've always suspected. Quite frankly, this video gives me the creeps.

    BTW – did you notice that in the middle of the technique when asked "What's the theory?" he quips something like (hard to hear exactly): "I'm playing God"? Hmm.

    • Great analysis. I've often been skeptical of Robbins use of the finger-pointing-twisting-visualization-metaphor as an overgeneralization of what you can change simply with your mind.

      And now, I didn't catch that. He's great at distraction, eh?

      • Like any good stage magician. 🙂

        What worries me is that people who don't know what he is doing will get sucked into seeing this performance as evidence of his mastery and awesomeness. Oh, the power of the half-truth! This is why a detailed analysis of his process is necessary.

        • Yes, I also think an analysis of his process is helpful and necessary. I do worry though if an analysis of his tricks reinforces the sense of his awesomeness for those who similarly want to manipulate and trick people into doing what they want.

          • I have no doubt that having the truth out there is the way to go. Sure, more people might use the knowledge to manipulate, but it gives many, many more people the knowledge necessary to see through such tricks. The truth will set us free.

  17. Some people aren't drinking the Tony Robbins Kool-aid:

    Hi Tony, this describes his mindset and that’s great. And, I know people who have lost everything and built it right back. But they have a skill or a product or a service or something attractive to market and do this. There is something they have of value that works for them. Not just a mindset. There are many people who want something so bad they can taste it and it doesn’t happen. What is this man’s product? And, if he lost this business and product what would he sell next and why? How does he know what he has to offer will make him money? I feel like something is missing here. There is a why, a strong desire, a belief in himself and his abilities and the universe. But there is no how? I keep hearing how just happens if you believe strong enough but there are many that just does not happen for……there are people who believe in what they are doing so strongly and yet nothing….
    Ginger Wills on August 28th, 2009

    <a href="http://tonyrobbinstraining.com/328/john-tony/#com…” target=”_blank”>http://tonyrobbinstraining.com/328/john-tony/#com

    Of course, the "how" will appear magically in a few days to solve the problem they have been laying down…just enter your credit card here! And if it doesn't work for you, well that's because you aren't positive enough and haven't taken enough action.

  18. Just got the latest email in Robbins' marketing campaign for his new product.

    The link goes to a long-form sales letter full of hype, with another "squeeze page" to put in your email address, adding confusion because you are already on his email list.

    Many ironies abound.

    The subject line of the email reads "Personal from Tony Robbins (please read)." Of course there is nothing personal about it, since it is simply a one-way sales email sent to his list.

    In the headline on the page it says "Giving Customers The Unbreakable Power of Trust Marketing with Authentic Service." I guess lying to customers that you haven't already created a product, then staging a pseudo-event that pretends to be a real event is how to build "trust" by being "authentic." I do think at least some people believe this to be real, and many who don't are still persuaded by it.

    Robbins gives away the pseudo-event in his sales letter that is linked to from his email, even as he lies in his email that he "may" be creating a product soon:
    "these videos have been a tiny preview of a brand new product that I'm releasing on this upcoming Tuesday, September 1st, at 11:00 AM Pacific time."

    As predicted, Robbins is releasing the product at a specific time with a limited quantity of 8,000 units.

    Here's the email:

    SUBJECT: Personal from Tony Robbins (please read).
    Hi ,

    Earlier today, I found this rare recording I did back in 1989 and I'd like to give it to you.

    You can download it here for free as my gift:

    <a href="http://www.moneymastersseries.com/audiodownload.p…” target=”_blank”>http://www.moneymastersseries.com/audiodownload.p

    This has NEVER been released before …but I think it's *critical* that you hear it because you'll discover what I call the "5 Keys to Wealth & Happiness".

    Please download this now because I don't think I'll be leaving it on the Internet for long.

    (I may even base a new product on the material in this recording. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it, actually.)

    Anyway – it's yours. No catch. My gift to you.

    Get it here:

    <a href="http://www.moneymastersseries.com/audiodownload.p…” target=”_blank”>http://www.moneymastersseries.com/audiodownload.p

    Talk soon,
    Tony Robbins

    Again, more unremarkable lies: "earlier today I found this recording" (as if this wasn't very much a planned part of the marketing launch), "no catch" (again as if nothing is for sale here, as if this isn't all a buzz-building launch), "I may even base a new product on the material in this recording" (which has already been planned, this is part of the marketing of it), "Please download this now because I don't think I'll be leaving it on the Internet for long" starting to increase the scarcity levels before the massive hype to follow.

    I saw this exact tactic used by Jamie Smart with the launch of his Slight-of-Mouth DVD set. He said similar things about how he "might" be creating a product soon, posted videos to a blog, etc. etc. in a pseudo-event such as this one. Then suddenly, the product was created and ready to sell only days later! I fell for it as real too.

    Again, releasing the product with limited quantities maximizes hype and minimizes consumer protection.

    Creating an "early bird list" when you are already on a list adds confusion as well as effectively creating a "Yes set" (where salesman ask 2 lead-up questions where the answer is obviously "yes" and then ask a closing question like "so would you like to buy this product now?")

  19. Mal says:

    Great story! I just watched that smoke & mirrors clip from these three villains. And I've linked to you as I'm #1 on Google for "Frank Kern Asshole". 😉

  20. […] WARNING: Motivational Speaker Tony Robbins Is Launching New Get-Rich-Quick Internet Scam by Duff McDuffee • Sri Aurobindo Studies • Vast Sky Conference: Genpo Roshi (11 am to 1 pm MT) […]

  21. Gina says:

    Mahalo for the updates Duff!
    Good to know those of us who felt the "somethings fishy" feeling can see once again it is right on to*trust your nervous system*!
    People …trust your self!

  22. Ian says:

    Made me think of this article:

    "This study indicates that the brain relinquishes responsibility when a trusted authority provides expertise, says Berns. "The problem with this tendency is that it can work to a person's detriment if the trusted source turns out to be incompetent or corrupt."

    avoid the gurus indeed…

    These "pseudo events" are just ritualistic ways of creating that sense of being a "trusted" authority". I guess whether the "gurus" actually know this is what they're doing is open to debate, but that still seems to be the underlying pattern at work.

    • I think Robbins in particular knows exactly what he is doing, and in fact he is teaching it to others in this very product. I think he also probably believes that he is not doing anything wrong. Robbins' techniques for personal change involve blasting through inner resistance, and his sales tactics similarly involve overpowering others to get what he wants. He is consistent.

      Thanks for the link! Interesting implications from that study.

      • Ian says:

        So do you mean that Robbins does not understand that there is something wrong with overpowering others to get what you want? Or do you mean that he doesn't see how his own claims of "guaranteed success" could cause people to do things that they probably shouldn't, and probably wouldn't, if it weren't for his "advice"? That is, that his upaya isn't exactly as skillful as he thinks it is?

        I'm having a hard time reconciling "knows exactly what he's doing" with "doesn't think he's doing anything wrong", but also I don't really disagree with either point. I guess it all comes down to how much of his own kool-aid he's drinking…

        • Well, we're entering the territory of mind-reading, and I'm no psychic.

          But his methods of personal change do seem consistent with overpowering others. Both involve treating all objections as resistance to break through using "whatever it takes" (Robbins' terminology).

          • Ian says:

            Cool, I like that, kind of a live by the sword, die by the sword kind of thing. And yeah, no mind reading necessary, was just curious about your take on this.

  23. Shawn says:

    Duff,

    Wow, well done expose. Yes, that all sounds about right.

    And I agree it’s not of an ethical standard, and… and it’s one of “them things” that people find it easy to justify.

    “Well, at least we’re giving people hope…,” they may say. or what have you.

    I know all the characters… except Reese… and like so many people, they’re neither / both bad and/nor good. They are people making choices for motivations that fit thier values. And the damn shame is that they’re also serving the need that so many want. They are giving a fantasy to people, it’s like financial pornography… the delusion of freedom.

    It’s not far from how so much of the fitness and nutrition/supplement world operates. Well, not far at all. Hence the reason I both love the impact of changing lives and despise being associated or worse yet competing with people who have no moral compass/standard.

    It sucks… it’s hard to win or even compete with a great product and real content in a world of fantasy and make believe.

    My greatest struggle in selling one of the best fitness/transformational books ever written and the worlds best, most scientifically proven nutrition is that I stick to reality, tell the truth and that handicaps me. I admit it’s up to you, I am open about the work involved… I am willing to tell grown adults there is no tooth fairy and boy can they get pissy about that.

    The thing you risk with this is that the same distribution of people who want this, the majority, are likely to attack you for taking away thier porn. They don’t want to be without the fantasy of “6 pack abs in 7 seconds or less…” That’s how they avoid the work of life.

    I think your efforts are noble if somewhat futile, like so many noble deeds. But then again, we do what we do not for the win but for the greater good and because we are compelled to make a dent in it.

    As you well know there are REAL ways to create demand, to add value and one need look no further than @GaryVee to feel it…

    Thus, I leave you with a quote from GaryVee yesterday… “The TRUTH will always, always, always, always prevail.”

    Here’s to the truth and the Karma of all this crap!

    In Strength,
    Shawn

    • Thanks for the comments, Shawn. Indeed, my efforts are futile, but I prefer futile honesty than powerful deception.

      Indeed, the health arena is full of get-thin-quick schemes that exactly parallel the get-rich-quick schemes of personal development and "success."

      When all is said and done, I'd rather be successfully doing and saying what I think is right than to be successful in the public's superficial eye.

    • I should add that yes, I agree that the marketer gurus are not necessarily all bad as people (I don't know them personally), and that yes, the people who buy are following their own greed to the gurus who sell them their fantasies.

      Financial pornography is an apt metaphor. Pornography is a simulation of sex by women who are mostly victims of childhood sexual abuse. Pornography is sex devoid of pleasure, love, and intimacy. Those who sell financial porn were once victims of socioeconomic oppression who have now have become the oppressors.

      I too struggle with marketing what I believe to be among the best psychospiritual techniques available in a way that is truthful. I wish you the best in ethically spreading the word about what it is that you do (which coincidentally, my girlfriend and I were just talking about today).

  24. Mal says:

    The earnings disclaimer is there as a direct result of Kern's hammering by the FTC. He's still on "probation" for another year – 7 years after the event and one of the requirements is that "IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, for a period of seven (7) years from the date of entry of this Order, in connecton with any business that any Defendant directly or indirectly manages controls or has a majority ownership interest in…maintain Copies of complaint and refund requests (whether received directly, indirectly through any third party) and any responses to those complaints or requests; and Copies of all sales scripts, training materials, advertisements, or other marketing materials.

    In other words the Federal Trade Commission are still keeping a close eye on our Frank until October 1, 2010."

    BTW I think you'll find that his legal advice is coming from his Attorney Bob Silber – one-time attorney to Frank Sinatra and Meyer Lansky.

    More here if you're interested – The Three Stooges – Robbins, Reese & Kern. Also info on another "player" – Gary Belcher. The FTC slammed him last year for his dodgey marketing of health products and took $1 Million in assets off him. But he's b-a-c-k …manipulating Twitter and other Social Networking programs.

  25. Mal says:

    Just watching the torrent of "The New Money Masters" right now. Took about ten minutes to download the 1:38 video. I'll report back.

    • Yea, I'd like to watch it to give a critique, but I have an ethical commitment to not pirating things from Torrent networks. I know that's pretty old fashioned of me, and I do occasionally "borrow" music and files from friends, but it's what I've decided fits for my values.

  26. Mal says:

    I've now watched 40 mins of the Tony Robbins video where he interviews Jeff Walker and guess what? It's fascinating. Robbins is a natural interviewer and very charismatic. Walker's story is very interesting. Are they selling this vid as part of the course or is this part of their pre-launch I wonder? I wouldn't pay for this but so far it's very entertaining – if you're into Internet marketing that is (I'm an online copywriter – an ethical one). Can't wait to see what the rest's like. More later.

  27. Mal says:

    Sorry to take up so much of your blog comments. But this vid is right up your alley. In the second half Jeff Walker talks about the psychology behind his product launch strategy – specifically "stacking" – where he just keeps adding more content and/or bonuses to the upcoming product launch to entice sales. He talks about "scarcity" – how the punters have to buy the product within a couple of days to qualify for certain bonuses. He goes into "social proof" where they bullshit potential buyers (fence sitters) that "things are going crazy"…"the servers have melted" …"we're gonna have to close sooner" etc etc – pretty evil stuff. And then he justifies it by saying it's "spiritual" and that he's doing a public service to get this stuff out to as many people as possible. He's convinced that his product is so good he's doing the world a huge favor flogging it to them. He's in cahoots with Kern and Reese in these tactics. Also says that 25% of sales happen in the first hour and 50% within 24 hours. When sales drop off in the 3rd or 4th day they rev. it up again by throwing in more content or bonuses.

    • There's plenty of room in these comments–don't worry about taking them up! 🙂

      I appreciate your notes from the videos. It's not surprising to me what's going on here, but it's nice to hear specifically what is being taught–lies and deception for building hype.

      The spiritualizing of ego/evil has a long history. Whenever you think you are doing good to others by manipulating them, it's a good sign you are wrong.

  28. Very good takedown, Duff. I agree completely.

    I wonder if the irrational effectiveness of these scams is similar to the irrational effectiveness of politics and television and talk radio news and punditry, much of which is transparently dishonest and biased, but so many voters and listeners don't seem to care. Some combination of personal psychology and neurology apparently predisposes many people to being deceived and manipulated even when they are vaguely aware, perhaps intuitively or in rare moments of reflection, that they are being duped.

    Just like the bullshit artists who double down on their bad advice to those who have failed to get rich quick by following the original advice, many people feel more comfortable doubling down on their irrational behavior than they do admitting their mistakes and cutting their losses.

    Keep up the good work.

  29. Thanks, Daniel. And yes, I think the effectiveness of this sort of scam parallels mainstream media's deception and lies. In fact, it's probably where Robbins and Kern learned how to do this stuff. Robbins has many ties with Hollywood and is even coming out with his own "reality" TV show, which will no doubt be quite unreal, edited to make Robbins look like a genius.

    I think you described it well. Cognitive dissonance leads consumers to double-down on their irrational behavior, falling for yet another scam. This is how we continue to be fooled–it is painful to admit that someone is lying to you repeatedly, and that you have been repeatedly fooled, so we instead believe the more palatable lie that we haven't tried hard enough.

  30. […] What does it mean to say “he’s the real deal,” a phrase often used to describe known scammers like Frank Kern, who sell their scams with their casual and “authentic” style. Which persona is my […]

  31. Glen B. Stewart says:

    Dear Defamation of Character and Slander novice –

    I am Glen B. Stewart.

    And I am very for real.

    You Have Precisely 24 Hours to PULL any references to MY Integrity.

    Unless you wish dates with a team of federal agents.

    And very good lawyers…

    I can Prove everything I state.

    Any given day.

    And you come along?

    Get a life son –

    You have 24 hours.

    After that – You have 3 rights.

    Are we clear?

    – Glen

  32. Mal says:

    So this is the moron who wrote on Robbins' blog " …I can shatter world records in Martial Arts 4x the hand speed of Bruce Lee…

    I can heal a person from anywhere in the planet. And I have.

    I also preformed 23 Hurricane Dissipations in a Row. Including Category 4 Hurricane Bill…

    4 Tornado Total Dissipations.

    100++ Thunder Storm Dissipations.

    – Glen

    Glen B. Stewart

    “Discoverer and Master of the Grandest Divine Secret Since The Birth Of Mankind”

    Wonder if he's also into kidnapping and raping young girls like that Philip Barrido nut-job?

  33. Mal says:

    And Glen baby wants to sue you for your saying "I met many people like this at Robbins’ Unleash the Power Within seminar who were manic and delusional. "

    Good luck with that one.

  34. […] Pagan and Tony Robbins are in the same Axis of Marketing Evil, hence their “friendship” (Robbins, like many charismatic famous people, uses the word […]

  35. Hey Duff. Lookee lookee. Here's a thread on the Internet Marketing forum "Warrior Forum" talking about how hard it is to opt out of the $67 a month recurring payment on Robbins program. http://www.warriorforum.com/internet-marketing-pr

  36. BTW Duff, the Earnings Disclaimer above quite possibly was drafted by Bob Silber – Kern's Attorney and a specialist in Internet Marketing laws. Interestingly he was once Attorney to Frank Sinatra and Meyer Lansky a.k.a. "The Mob's Accountant" – not that there's anything wrong with that (some of my best friends are mobsters) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meyer_Lansky

  37. Robert Dyson says:

    Disturbing: Robbins has really sunk lower than I ever thought he would – I just watched a tv commercial he put together, alluding that he "coached" the dalai lama – this is a blatant and outright lie, and we should all be really concerned that this is allowed to go on the air.

    When Tony Robbins commercializes the Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa for his own personal ego boost and financial gain, alluding that he "coached" them, it reduces their effectiveness in International relations and in their being a real inspiration and real source of strength for millions across the planet. For Tony to do this is nauseating. It's an outrage – people need to speak up. This is a sad state of affairs for our planet. If we allow people like this to corrupt the integrity of the Dalai Lama's relationship with the world, we are truly doomed!

    These are the times when the masks are coming off, and people are starting to see these inauthentic hucksters for the manipulative and disingenuous sheisters that they really are. Tony Robbins is nothing more than a used car salesman. I heard recently he was totally broke, his company in shambles, and he is counting on his new NBC tv show to save his sorry ass.

    TWO THINGS EVERY ONE OF US CAN DO…

    1. Tell NBC we don't want his show, and let them know you will boycott any advertisers that opt in.

    2. Write to the Office of Tibet and encourage them to issue a public statement condemming Tony Robbins use of The Dalai Lama as some sort of endorsement for his audio cassettes. This is total crap!

    3. BONUS ITEM – search tony robbins and stockwatch from his inane trial in canada to see just what kind of person tony robbins really is…

  38. Amongst a lot of other interesting stuff on Robbins Modus Operandi, Wikipedia has this to say – "Robbins also recycles an oft-cited but unsubstantiated reference to the "Yale Study of Goals" in Unlimited Power as scientific evidence of the power of positive thought. The anecdote claims that a survey was taken of the 1953 graduating class at Yale, and only 3% of the class had written goals regarding their financial situations. Twenty years later the class was interviewed again, and the 3% of the class who had written goals were worth more than the other 97% of the students combined. This was considered strong evidence of the power of written goal setting at the time Robbins wrote Unlimited Power, in 1986. Ten years after publication, however, in 1996, the alleged Yale study was shown to be an urban legend."

  39. Darwin says:

    I conduct motivational sessions for salespeople who sell legitimate products and services. The success stories I relate are about people who "worked very hard" to accumulate their wealth. That's something I don't hear from most motivators. I guess most people are looking for something with substantial rewards that takes minimal effort. and so they turn to those who sell dreams. It's unfortunate that there is not legislation allowing people to return these dream products if they are not satisfied.

    • Thanks for your comment, Darwin. I think hard work is important to success in any endeavor.

      My experience of motivators is that they all emphasize hard work. My concern is that sometimes we work hard at the wrong things. I think Robbins, Kern, and Reese are selling a game that few can win at, where hard work unfortunately goes unrewarded.

  40. Robbins is in good company with Kern. Wikipedia also has this – "In May 1995, Robbins and his company, RRI (Robbins Research International), agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they misrepresented the potential earnings of franchises for his motivational seminars, agreeing to refund $221,260 (USD) in redress.

    Financial seminar guru Wade Cook also sued Robbins for copyright infringement, claiming that Robbins lifted concepts and terms from his seminars and his book, Wall Street Money Machine, during the creation of a competing financial course. In 1998, a Tacoma, Washington jury ordered Robbins to pay Cook over $650,000 in damages."

    • Yea, I knew about those lawsuits too.

      While getting sued doesn't necessarily make you a bad businessperson for life, these folks are in a position where they need to justify their future business to customers in light of such events.

  41. Tom Holowka says:

    Very interesting read. Thank you. I've avoided spammy online prodcuts on my own so far but this is a good reminder to be extremely critical.

  42. Duff the dufus.. Please dont write on shit that you don't quite understand. Internet Marketing is not a get rich quick scheme.. Fuck, there is tons of scam out there online. But IM just not one of em. Do more research on IM before you talk shit about it.

  43. Alexander says:

    Hi Duff,

    Your main complaints seem to be that the approach taken with this video is a) manipulative and b) dishonest.

    Regarding manipulation, well, that's kind of an easy one for me. We manipulate people much of the time we are alive. You, for instance, are attempting to present a case in the (probably very loving) hope that your readers are manipulated into being careful, or opposing evils, or some other outcome. You are not posting this in complete ignorance of the fact that there will be social consequences. You are basing your choices on what to post and how to post it on how best you will achieve your desired outcomes and avoid undesired ones. This is the heart of manipulation, and it's how we each survive, socially and otherwise.
    What makes manipulation good or bad is the spirit in which it is undertaken – if it is performed with a view to causing suffering for others it's bad manipulation, if it is performed with a view to causing happiness for others, it's good manipulation. (An overly simplistic definition, but it would otherwise be a whole essay itself…)

    As for dishonesty, that's also not an inherently bad thing either. We all know of situations in which the most graceful thing to do is lie through our teeth. What makes it graceful to lie at these times is, again, that we are doing it to prevent another's suffering or to make them happier.

    Now, with this I am not explicitly defending Tony Robbins or any of the others involved in this video. The reason for that is that I don't know (and can't know) if what they are doing is being done with a loving intention or a selfish everyone-else-can-go-to-hell one, and also because I don't know whether what they are doing will result in an increase in happiness or suffering in the world. What I am doing instead is offering up a concept that I feel I know to be true: the value of an action is not in the name given to that action (manipulating, lying), but in the intention and the outcome of the action.

    • Hi Alexander, I appreciate your comment.

      It sounds like you are saying "all communication is manipulation." If we take this frame, we must somehow be able to distinguish between ethical "manipulation" and unethical manipulation, or else we throw out all notions of morality and ethics altogether.

      I am instead saying "manipulation" is unethical communication (often an implication of the term "manipulation) and that ethical communication is non-manipulative, even if persuasive or changes someone's opinion or behavior. It seems arbitrary to me whether we say "manipulation is unethical communication" or "manipulation is communication and can be good or bad." The important element is that communication–including sales and marketing–can be unethical, dangerous, misleading, dishonest, or coercive.

      Yes, I have written a persuasive piece arguing that Robbins' is engaged in unethical manipulation, due to the fact that he has clearly and obviously lied about his product, in addition to his product being a "solution" that the previous products have caused. I believe this to be unethical, and if my arguments hold, then perhaps others will agree with me. Some have, some have not.

      Having seen Robbins' sales tactics live in his Unleash the Power Within seminar, I would say that if one believes that there is any kind of unethical manipulation possible, that he uses *every known tactic* of unethical manipulation to sell his advanced workshops all at once, including eliciting mania in a large group for 3 days straight prior to his 4-hour long sales pitch, firing off "yes set" anchors reinforced again and again for the previous 3 days, encouraging participants to write postdated checks if they don't have the money yet and "find a way," separating the group into two halves and having those who plan on going mock (out loud, screaming) the people who aren't going to reinforce ingroup-outgroup dynamics, framing his expensive courses as equivalent to or better than a college education calling it "Mastery University," using guided hypnosis and visualization to bypass critical faculties when giving his sales pitch, encouraging people to run to the tables while loud music is playing so nobody can speak to anyone else, etc. etc. etc. He uses *hundreds* of such tactics stacked together for hours and hours with no breaks until participants can no longer think rationally. I saw what he was doing and *still* wanted to go, for many years afterwards, to his $18,000 advanced courses. This psychological techniques work, and they work powerfully (although not on everyone of course).

      Unless one believes there are no unethical sales tactics at all, one has to admit that this kind of selling is squarely in the unethical category. His tactics for online selling fit perfectly within this model.

      I do *not* agree that intention determines ethical value, but impact, and impact in context. In this regard, I am a consequentialist. In this view, good intent gone horribly wrong does not exempt someone from responsibility. Since we can never know intent anyway unless we can mind read, and even within ourselves intentions are often in conflict or buried in the unconscious, what matters most to making an ethical evaluation is not intent but impact. Especially in communication, context is critical to making ethical valuations.

      In the intent model of ethics, you are right that you cannot make any ethical judgments–neither of Tony Robbins, nor your best friend, nor even yourself–unless you can somehow evaluate intent. But what about when you are dealing with a sociopathic, charismatic, pathological liar? How do you determine intent then?

      I think the evidence is abundantly clear (which I have tried to argue here) that the impact of these coercive marketing tactics are very negative. Whether my argument holds or not depends on the evidence and arguments of course.

    • Also, do you see the fact that Frank Kern has been busted by the FTC for an illegal chain marketing scheme as maybe/possibly/almost certainly evidence that the impact of the techniques being modeled are unethical?

  44. Alexander says:

    Hi Duff,

    I want to thank you for a very clear and concise response that is in general very sensible.

    Your reply has given me more information, significant information, on your understanding of what's happening in the marketing scheme being talked about. I think you are more qualified than I am to comment on it, having a far more involved history with Tony Robbins than I do. You seem to be more intimately informed on the previous and potential impacts.

    If you recognise patterns in what's happening and have confidence that it has a high likelihood of hurting people more than it helps people, by all means I think you are right to do what you can to change the direction of events by writing such a piece as you have. Your motivation, being based on protecting people from pain, is a good one.

    Something that I do object to in (almost?) any context, however, is if we talk as though someone is evil, bad. You say in your reply to my post, "But what about when you are dealing with a sociopathic, charismatic, pathological liar? How do you determine intent then?"

    I would like to point out that in this sentence you already HAVE determined intent. Do you see how Robbins has been characterised as lacking social conscience, that he doesn't care about other people's wellbeing?
    While this doesn't make him intrinsically evil (nobody IS evil, they just DO evil out of poor understanding), I think the majority of people – though probably a smaller proportion of your readers – equate "they don't care about how their actions hurt others" with "they are an evil person". Although we may not believe this ourselves, we need to be careful about how our words can be taken by others.

    If we talk in ways that are likely to be understood to mean that someone is bad, we support one of the major evils of the world, and that is dehumanisation. When we see someone as evil, we see them as less worthy of happiness, and more deserving of suffering. We cease to harbour compassion toward them. This is a really bad event for the person being labelled and the person doing the labelling alike.

    One way around this is that you could talk about Tony Robbins being "misguided" or "unenlightened", or something else that suggests that he is not acting from the best place, but is still deserving of compassion.

    Thanks again 🙂

  45. Patrick says:

    Interesting article. I agree with you about ethical marketing and umm…NOT SCAMMING PEOPLE. However, you seem to be against all marketing that uses any kind of persuasion. You seem to be encouraging people to sell products the way stocks are sold – just tell the name of the product and the price. You said not to sell "freedom" or "independence." You would have a hard time selling water in a desert with that approach. Well, maybe that's a bit extreme. I admit, you could sell water in a desert that way, but you get my point 😉 "Here's my product – want to buy it?" That's what you seem to be advocating with this article.

    I have no problem with even high pressure marketing – as long as the product delivers on the sales promise. Look, nobody buys products. They buy emotions and dreams. If your product actually can fulfill one of those desires, then I say go for it and advertise it that way.

    I'm not defending Robbins or Kern but I'm speaking about the general ideas you present here. I get just as mad as you when marketers use bait and switch tactics or flat out lie. I agree that a video like you described is somewhat manipulative though.

    I love the free content giveaways that IMs do because some do actually have great content, but not if it's just a hype video leading to a sales pitch. There's nothing wrong with giving away some of your material for free and plugging your main product a couple times. If the info they give away is useful, what's the harm? Of course, they are doing it hoping you will make a purchase. I don' t see what is so evil about that though. Again, I'm speaking about generalities not this specific case.

    I'm shocked that you lump Eben Pagan in with "evil marketers." I've never bought any of Eben's programs because I can't afford them but I would in a heartbeat if I could. He is the king of free content. What he gives away is meaty and useful. His free material is not a disguised pitch. I once received a 4 hour audio program as a bonus from Eben with someone else's product and it was 4 jammed packed hours of real content and tools. I can't stand shady marketers but I've always considered Eben to be one of the best and most ethical in the business. You're entitled to your opinion but I don't think you could actually know anything about him, but you are calling him guilty by association with Frank Kern.

    Lastly, as someone else already alluded to, everyone puts their best foot forward when trying to impress anyone – a potential employer, a date, a judge…or a potential customer. You accent your strengths and downplay your weaknesses. You even clean yourself up a bit and put on a bit of a show. No one is completely objective and modest when trying to make a good first impression. I don't care whether you are trying to get a job, a date or sell a product. Use any trick in the book because you are competing for the prospects time and attention with thousands of others – but fulfill the promise you make to your customer. If you can do that I don't care what you do to actually make the sale.

    Many marketers actually do deliver the goods but you seem to be very bitter towards the whole concept of marketing in the first place. Lighten up on marketers will ya?

  46. Peter says:

    Just because a person failed to be successful using someone else's instructions, they call it a SCAM.
    If your relationship fails, or your life is a failure, is it a SCAM?
    Many people may think this Blog is a SCAM too because the writer have other motives in mind.

    • The difference is in the promises. Robbins et. al. promise wealth and can't deliver, so they sell you another product.

      This blog promises blog articles, and delivers! 🙂

      • Peter says:

        LOL, so you are saying that if you failed to be successful with another person's receipe, it is a SCAM?

        Can anyone promise you wealth or success? People like you expect to buy a product and you will be wealthy just owning it withount doing too much. That's really ignorant.

        People provide you with information that you need to use and put into action for it to work. Failure to achieve the results that others are able to achieve is NOT a scam but your own fault for getting it worng.

        If you can not follow a successful person's instructions for success, blame yourself and not the product or service.

        Are you not responsible for your own actions?

        Too many people thinks there's a money back guarantee then, it's ok to try and fail. LOL.

        This blog should be sued for defamation as there's no intent to defraud anyone.

        Duff McDuffee is a SCAM himself.

  47. After reading this whole thing, I have come to this conclusion: YOU HAVE NO CLUE or ANY IDEA ABOUT WHAT A REAL SCAM IS. NONE Whatsoever. Cheating or lies and misrepresentation of the facts causing intentional harm to everyone who buys the product is the definition of a REAL SCAM. Sales strategies and tactics practiced from Religion to Politics and taught in Universities across all World does not a scam make.

    The real scammers are at work now cheating affiliates out of commission with faulty tracking records every day. The worst of the bunch who manipulate the programming code in their programs are not even mentioned anywhere in this column.

    Those well-known marketing success "guru" pillars of the IM Community quietly lurk behind the scenes and keep company with known hackers that get the job done. Darkness is where you find the criminals not out in the open on Video. They tell stories people want to hear.

    Scam artists duck and hide and stay where nobody wants to know about them. Proof is right in front of anyone who knows what to look for. The last time I exposed one of them, the buyers being scammed refused to believe what they saw with their own eyes. People believe what the want to and that's what the truth is – whatever you believe. Personally, if I have proof, I believe the proof, no matter how charismatic the guy or gal is.

    You cannot see what your mind cannot comprehend. There are 2 more Marketers that need an ass-whooping for what they're doing but who am I ? I know. I think I'll do some community service this month and put some felons with melons to work writing blogs dedicated to the real grifters sitting among you. Pimps, hoes and an escort service can register the domains and really freak out the diddly do-rights who don't know what crime even looks like so how can they recognize it….LOL now that's funny. Smart, Connected. Competitive. Who me? How about you?

    P.S. That stupid "TALK SOON" is the dumbest of all — that has used car salesman written all over it for an automatic and immediate UNSUBSCRIBE.

  48. This review is absolutely crazy! You are the exact type of person that they talk about. NEGATIVITY surrounds your whole mindset!

    ITS NOT A GET RICH QUICK PRODUCT!!!

    He sits down with the best people in the industry and ASKS them what they do differently then everyone else! Tony saw that there was so much hurt and pain in people and he wanted to give to us the strategies that they were using!

    THIS IS NOT A SCAM AND ITS NOT A GET RICH QUICK PRODUCT. Dont listen to this guy

  49. Empower People says:

    in the early days… I believe Tony Robbins helped many people succeed by taking action and believing in themselves. It appears he has certainly 'lost his way' and lowered his integrity and operation to get rich quick and internet pyramids that simply destroy real people's lives.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.