Saturday, February 14, 2015

Wake Up Now goes after its former head: Sues ex-CEO Kirby Cochran, et al for $70M

Only a few days ago did I report that Wake Up Now (WUN) may be heading for eternal slumber. Turns out, it's got some last gasp yet, but only to drag down somebody with it.

You heard it here, folks (thanks to BehindMLM for breaking the news)  Wake Up Now wanted to take down someone with them, and that would be their former CEO Kirby Cochran (resigned October 16, 2014), as well as Elaine Cochrane (wife of Kirby, ex-legal counsel), Nathan Cochrane (son of Kirby, also ex-WUN staff) and some guy called Juan Carlos Lozano (Mexico area WUN leader).

However, by the various titles / headings used in the complaint, this was clearly written as a PR piece, not a legal complaint, as it contains such gems as:

  • Kirby Cochran Gets His Nose into The WUN Tent
  • Kirby Cochran Infiltrates WUN 
  • Kirby Gets "Loving Brother" Gary C. In On The Action
  • and so on 
Still, looking past the titles, it's clear that WUN painted an interesting story... they claimed that Kirby Cochran basically allowed WUN to go public by merging with one of his existing companies, and in doing so, basically took it over from the inside, and proceed to give his wife and son cushy positions doing little to nothing, contracted his brother as a consultant to eat up all the profit, then spent more money scrapping the old system for a new one, which didn't work. Upon resignation, Kirby Cochran allegedly solicited many top people in and around the company to launch a new one, ignoring the non-compete agreement and went after all the foreign IBOs, mostly by allegedly spreading lies and defaming WUN. 

But how true is this? 

Friday, February 13, 2015

BREAKING NEWS: BLGM busted by HKPD, 5 arrested, office locked and dark

According to multiple media reports, Better Living Global Marketing, which operates "Bidder's Paradise" has been raided by Hong Kong Police Commercial Crime Bureau and 5 were taken into custody. Office is locked, and inspectors have confiscated cases of documents as well as computers into evidence.

BLGM basically operates as a Hong Kong clone of Zeek Rewardsd ponzi scheme, with various "winners" paraded as "proof" that the auction works, and then claimed the auction brought in so much profit that it needs investors to expand. However, according to BehindMLM, there were cash flow problems that was first discovered in 2014.

Apple News HK reports:  (translated, original linked below)
HKPD Commercial Crime Bureau has broken up an auction website alleged of using pyramid selling technique to defraud people. The affected company’s Tsim Sai Tsui office is dark and locked yesterday, with many victims knocking on the door looking for redress. Five arrested have made bail and will await trial. The founder of website, Luke Teng, 55, is son of HK’s most famous Christian Church leader Jing-Hui Teng.
The affected company “Bidder’s Paradise Ltd” office at XingWengHua center is locked. Only two people were observed enter. When confronted, one said “I’m a relative of Luke Teng, and the company’s active for two years, and said “We don’t cheat people”, and claimed there will be a press conference later to explain everything, and otherwise, no comment.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Why Law of Attraction / The Secret is bull****, according to Psychology Professor

What is "The Secret"? Some new-age mumbo-jumbo about just think positive and good things will happen to you because "Law of Attraction". What is law of attraction? It can summarized as "happy thoughts attract happy happenings (wealth, health, happiness)".  Why? Some bogus reference to ether, mind transfer, "positive electrons", and other pseudo-science.

Now you ask, why is this important? The short answer: it isn't, except it appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show. And anything touched by Oprah (or her spawn, "Dr. Oz") automatically becomes a popular phenomenon... and often, they are absolutely bogus.

The author of "The Secret", Rhonda Byrne, basically rewrote Wallace Wattle's 1910 book "The Science of Getting Rich", and melded other lessons from authors that echoed similar sentiment such as Napoleon Hill. But whereas Napoleon Hill and others advocate action, Byrne advocates laziness. According to the law of of attraction, just THINKING positively means good things will happen to you... no action needed.

The Secret is so lame, it got made fun of in The Simpsons ("Bart Gets a 'Z'") and Family Guy ("Brian Writes a Bestseller")

But do you know WHY is The Secret so lame? Let a psychology professor explain it to you...

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Is "Wake Up Now" heading for eternal slumber?

After that "This American Life" expose on Wake Up Now, it seems there's an internal revolt going on, and the company had ground to a halt, if you believe the postings from various WUN affiliates. Highlights include:

  • Eric "Seemore Green" Turner claimed WUN owe him $300K and he hadn't been paid since August 2014.  (You'll recall Eric was heavily mentioned in the TAL episode)
  • Another affiliate, Logan Shippy, uploaded an video claiming the company had "let you guys down", "burned so much trust with so many people", and he's not going down with the ship. 
Previous reports stated that WUN had lost 8 million in 2012 and 2013. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Any one can be conned: 5 rules of recognizing a con

One of the most frustrating aspects of being a skeptic is the utter... "faith" a victim has in his/her ability to recognize a con, i.e. "it can't be a con... I'd know if it is a con"  usually followed by "I met the owner / officer / vendors and they are sincere and smart people, and answered my questions." then even more social proof ("_____ vouched for him/her/it").

Social proof can be faked, folks. In fact, here are 5 rules of recognizing a con. I've seen the 5 rules before, but never in a single place. This may be as well a time to mention them.

Rule #1: EVERYBODY can be conned.

Sure, people who are naive are considered gullible, but the exceptionally bright are also gullible. The moment you consider yourself immune to cons, you are vulnerable. The EASIEST victims to con are the ones who considered themselves too smart and too knowledgeable to be conned. They are too proud to admit they can be conned.

"I'm sorry I said you were proud. Just stop!" / (c) 2012 Kevin Spear

Is that you, too proud to look down?

Rule #2: You will probably be conned in your area of expertise

Yes, you'll be conned in what you know. Why? Because con-men target those who "know". Your mind, being familiar with the area, automatically fill in the details, and that saved the conmen work. Furthermore, you also feel invincible in your area of knowledge, further increasing your vulnerability. The really smart people know a lot of different things and know enough to be skeptical and cautious as they can't be experts in everything. Remember, most of Bernie Madoff's victims are other money managers who thought they knew what Madoff's doing.

I am an NMR expert. To save time, let's just assume that I am never wrong. (source:

Will you have faith in your knowledge of the field, and thus, not ask the questions?