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Dec 03 2011

Rudy Giulianni and Colin Powell don’t want you living in a van down by the river

For weeks I’ve been hearing annoying radio ads for some kind of business opportunity speaking deal with Rudy Giuliani and Colin Powell. There were some other big names too, one from sports, I think, and someone related to Warren Buffet. What surprised me was the advertised price, $1.95 per office. Not per person, per office of people, causing any skeptic’s spidey sense to tingle. The dog and pony show finally came through last month and a friend of mine went. Surprise surprise, it’s a combo proselytizing and self-help sales pitch rolled into one.

I’m told the celebrity speakers were there as advertised and they delivered, but the over all spiel was nothing new. Just the typical motivational flim-flam with a big heaping helping of Republican Jesus on the side. Republican Jesus was somehow important to this shin-dig, how exactly isn’t clear. But the crowd was worked into a sort of revivalist born-again lather over several hours with full-blown Praise Jesus moments mixed in with God Wants You To be Rich sermons, followed by the inevitable sting Please Follow Us To Get Rich! 

The now emotionally tweaked crowd was siphoned off into another section set up like a convention hall where displays and sign up desks were ready and waiting. One of the lesser celebrity speakers reportedly segued smoothly into the sting, explaining, ‘now folks there’s a lot of hucksters and conmen in the motivational get-rich-quick business, … but we’ve personally checked out these experts’. 

Presumably the venders pay for everything, that’s why it’s so cheap, they pay the speakers and rent, all for a shot at mesmerized attendees at the most vulnerable and lucrative time. They’re selling everything from self-help books and DVDs, to one-on-one spiritual-wealth counseling or week-long seminars on how to network under the guise of Bible study.

I know I should have gone, but it just sounds awful.

Anyway, sad … like little Newt Gingrich’s all working the grifter circuit, milking the faithful and greedy, hooking them with promises of dreams made real but if only you believe, truly believe. And if you don’t get rich quick, well you should have prayed harder or something, I’m sure. Giuliani I can sort of understand, his frantic desperation for money and power comes through even on a muted black and white TV. But Colin Powell sold out for this shiite?

4 comments

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  1. 1
    operkins

    I got a flyer in the mail advertising that and assumed it would be by video or something. My curiosity wasn’t enough to get me to drive back to Austin, but I did wonder about it. Thanks for the explanation!

  2. 2
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Rudy Giulianni and Colin Powell living in a van down by the river
    or
    Rudy Giulianni and Colin Powell don’t want you living in a van down by the river
    ?

    Or does it matter? I’m certainly more entertained by the former, providing someone stops by to make sure they don’t have too much duct tape and dangerous sharp objects.

    The scam sounds perfectly horrible, though.

  3. 3
    grumpyoldfart

    Newspaper ad here:
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/documents/2009/06/get-motivated-business-seminar.php?page=1

    I assume that Powell and Giulianni are merely shills and not actually selling anything – they’ve been hired just to set the mood before the vultures move in.

    The other speakers seem to be pushing the same old lines that door to door salesmen have been using for centuries: How to overcome objections and close the sale (Tamara Lowe)

    But my favourite is Dr Earl Mindell, who is described as the “Ultimate Authority on Vitamins Fitness and Nutrition” (I’ll bet all the other doctors are jealous). And he’s going to show you “How to Unlock the secrets of anti-aging” (whatever that means).

  4. 4
    Didaktylos

    Ah yes – another one of those “How [you ignorant yokels can help me] to get rich quick” seminars.

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