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March 18, 2014 posted by

Lies “They” Don’t Want You To Know About

Lies “They” Don’t Want You To Know About

Liars have always fascinated me. Not fibbers, so much, because almost everyone with social skills lies a little, which is something we’re all probably thankful for. After all, do you really want to know how everyone you say hi to is doing? But big liars: the type of people who make up resumes, families, and shuck stuff to millions that they know, full well, is totally made up are captivating. Clicking on the story of Kevin Trudeau–who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for lying on TV–interrupted me from analyzing our next workout program. Like many Americans, I got hooked on schlock, which got me thinking about why.

While I didn’t know him by name, I’ve been forced to answer questions about the nonsense he’s been making up for  years. His fans are passionate, often vitriolic, and offer arguments that generally make very little sense. An author and TV pitchman, I guess he’s been very famous in the infomercial world for a couple of decades. Looking at his Wiki page, he’s been to jail on and off, and been in trouble more or less non-stop throughout his career. Yet he’s also a prolific author who’s been on the NY Times best seller list, mainly for health and nutrition books. I’d like to say you can’t make this stuff up but, apparently, you can.

Anyone can write a book. Anyone can make an infomercial. Anyone with a good publicist can get on TV. And, I guess, if you lie big, and it reaches enough people, some of them will believe you. They’ll even become fans who’ll go to court and fight for you.

The courtroom was packed with Trudeau supporters. One, Ed Foreman, 80, a motivational speaker from Dallas who had been a congressman for Texas and New Mexico, tried twice to make a statement in Trudeau’s support during the hearing.

When Foreman failed to respond to the judge’s order to be quiet, he was lifted up by his arms and legs and carried out of the courtroom by federal marshals.

Part of my job is to chronicle scientific substantiation for products we sell on TV. It actually takes a fair amount of work. While the US is far easier than any other country (we sell in many countries), they still require a modicum of proof that your products work. In fact, we are regulated to the point where we sometimes cannot use actual test group success stories because they’ve exceeded maximum claims for body composition change allowed by the FTC. So seemingly there are guidelines. And yet,

Two years later, Trudeau published a second medical book titled More Natural Cures Revealed: Previously Censored Brand Name Products That Cure Disease (ISBN 0-9755995-4-2). According to Trudeau, the book identifies brand name products that will cure myriad illnesses. Trudeau’s books claim that animals in the wild rarely develop degenerative conditions likecancer or Alzheimer’s disease, and that many diseases are caused not by viruses or bacteria, but rather by an imbalance in vital energy. Science writer Christopher Wanjek critiqued and rejected many of these claims in his July 25, 2006 LiveScience.com health column.[19] While some experts criticized the book, it received average reviews on a number of online book stores and review sites.

Trudeau went on to publish The Weight-Loss Cure “They” Don’t Want You to Know About and Debt Cures “They” Don’t Want You to Know About. His writing has been commercially successful. In September 2005, Natural Cures was listed in the New York Times as the number-one-selling nonfiction book in the United States for 25 weeks. It has sold more than five million copies.[20]

People are swayed by simple solutions; by “secrets” and “little known facts.” We love government conspiracies, where “they” are involved in to keep “us” in the dark. I get a lot of market research. I see  stats showing how easy it is to push people buttons to cause a reaction. But why, I’m always asking myself, is it easier to sway people that they should drink urine or eat less than a quarter of the calories recommended by the USDA (some of Trudeau’s solutions) than to do something rationale, like exercise or eat a few vegetables? As a society have we really become this desperate? Or are we so tied up in shock value that we’re looking to believe whatever seems the least believable?

I guess the simple facts of life aren’t very sexy. For the most part, you get out of it what you put into it.  Yes, it’s not always linear, or fair. But if you have reasonable moral compass, and aren’t afraid to roll up your sleeves and get to work, things have a tendency to work out okay. Which, when I think about it, is probably why our products get reviews like, “Of course it works. You’re eating healthy and working out an hour a day(sic)!”

But, like most of us, I enjoy some sensationalism. Not only did I dig into a few articles on this guy, I’m now writing about it. Liars are interesting people. I wonder how they live with themselves or, as the saying goes, sleep at night. But even more fascinating is how the public buys into them, over and over again. It’s like Bizarro world. When it comes right down to it, don’t we have enough sense to say, “c’mon, this can’t be true”? Or do we just not want to?

12 Comments

  • Aw, Steve, you talking about the person who got me on to a healthy road… wish him well and if government wants to put a person to jail who is saying that there are natural ways to cure cancer – I think you should think twice about blaming this person (I think he is a hero), after all pharmaceutical business kills thousands of people per year (very low estimate) – you don’t see them go to jail for that….something is not adding up here.. you should look into it more, maybe study alternative medicine and people who actually do cure so call “incurable” diseases on a regular bases with clean food and alternative medicine. Like Garson Therapy and Hippocrates Institute as well as good information from David Wolfe and Longevity Now Conference. Lying on TV? – LOL this is funny… Do you see cosmetic industry going to jail for selling us products on TV that contains carcinogenic ingredients – on average each perfume not only made of synthetic chemicals but also contains 50 carcinogenic chemicals https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9nOjCP0ukQ or GMO companies that advertise their so call food on TV to children? This just a couple of examples, and they send this person to jail for 10 years! This is wrong… completely disagree with this article and this extremely disturbing news. I was pleasantly surprised to see superfood selection in Shakeology mix – well he is the guy who turned me onto superfoods in the first place! Tony Horton went to lecture on Longevity Now Conference so did Kevin Trudeau couple years back! Boo

  • Haha, well, it looks like you’re getting to the root of my question. So you’re okay with lying, just so long as someone is lying for something you agree with? I think that’s his MO, or business model, if you will.

    I’m not on that train. If that rationale is okay, where does that leave things like facts, and science? Under the bus because it’s not “strong” or conclusive or, as I said in the piece, simple enough for the public to understand? I certainly have no sympathy for corporations lying, which you’ve probably seen in my articles and on this blog. But just because they’re slimy as Gollum doesn’t mean using the same policy for your own agenda is okay in my book. I personally know some authors to misrepresent science in order to serve their purpose, which I’m not on board with either. Writers can hyperbolize. They can use words to strengthen their arguments and embellish stories to support their point of view. But making up facts is simply not on.

    I think baseball was more fun when everyone was on the juice and playing home run derby. Cycling was far more exciting when everyone’s blood was doped. Does that mean we should go back to it? Lance Armstrong did a lot of good for people with cancer. He also tried to ruin a lot of lives. All by lying. Is that a wash?

    I don’t know Trudeau, but he’s been in trouble before, and it sounds like a lot. He stated in court that he is going to come clean and change his ways so, apparently, even he can’t buy into a notion that he was trying to do this for the good of others. He knows he was duping people. And just because he might stand for something good (although I would bet the ranch he was using that as a schtick), doesn’t make that okay, at all, in my book.

    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YFS5qlAzgc
      Who is lying Steve? This person simply pointed people to this fact…. and of cause has to pay for that now… it will take serious intelligence to change this business… and I don’t think it will happen soon with playgrounds in McDonalds on every corner…

  • Galina, I watched your video. And while I’m a big supported of the cause and the topic, bad research and hyperbole are still just that. I’ve attended a holistic grad school, and work with some “famous” holistic folks, so I’m both well-versed and passionate on that position, but I also work with a lot of hard core western scientists who are more pragmatic. A balanced view is important. For example, the ties to cancer are over-the-top. Conjecture, and almost made up. Almost anything can be linked to cancer under certain circumstances. Note this:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23193004

    I’m happy that those people are out there, spreading the passion (because big businesses are business first, healthy second, and they need scrutiny) but, still, you’ve got to do your homework. If you don’t, you actually weaken the holistic stance by allowing the big companies to use you as an example, which they’ll spin “as proof” that the entire industry is nothing but a sham.

    • I reviewed the article Steve, you don’t need to go to Harvard to come to this conclusion. Bcs as you subject anything that used to be life and full of beaming live energy to high temperatures (cooking food for example) it changes energetic structure as well as enzymatic structure of the food making it hard, in most cases unrecognizable by our immune system. Therefore when we eat cook food our immune system has to fight it and as a result weakening our overall protective response to other irritants. Kevin Trudeau talk about it in his lectures and books. He is the one who educated me & my family to start eating good clean plant based diet with local farmed eggs and meats – it wasn’t our family doctor (unfortunately). This is not the reason to send person to jail, what happened to the freedom of speech and opinion? Why doctors who only know pharmaceutical drugs and how to use them have the voice? Food Matters is a good film too https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwZY1jaw2EM I can assure you – based on everything I know (with highest degree) this is not a sensationalism…

  • amending “heath second”. That’s too nice. For many (most?) companies healthy doesn’t come into play whatsoever until people start dying. Money first. There is no second.

  • Steve I’m with you! It hoaxes like his that group us in with smoke and mirrors. I promote a healthy lifestyle and making good choices to get on the right track and sometimes people look at me like I’m crazy or tell me that our informercials can’t be real. But then propositions like starvation seem like a great idea and the mass public “eats” it up!?

    Thanks for covering this Steve!! Our society has a need for sensationalism and this guy just banked on it. He probably won’t have to serve the full 10 and then he’ll be out again to sell a book on how to get out of prison on fast forward.

    Have a great day!!! See you on the cruise?

    Smiles, T

    • Hey, Tawnya, that’s a great book idea! Prison break secrets “They” don’t want you to know. Guessing he’s out in 6 months. Probably building a 100 million dollar house to move into upon release, like Michael Milken did when he was in jail after stealing a bunch of people’s money.

      No cruise for me. Went on one, once, and swore I’d never do it again. I suppose Carl could make me but he didn’t try. I’m more of an empty space outdoor kind of guy.

  • This discussion leads into this post:

    http://steveedwardsfitness.com/high-protein-cause-cancer/

  • Oh no! This is my very first cruise. Is there something I should know?? Is it awful? Will I be chumming? I was already morbidly afraid of a mass flu epidemic but talked myself out of it. Now I’m going to start worrying again. haha

  • No, no, I’m sure you won’t be chumming. In fact, you could probably stay inside and not know you’re on a boat. It’s just that I like open space, the path less traveled, and don’t like crowds. I found myself roaming the boat in the middle of the night because it was the only time I could be alone and have any sort of adventure.

  • Galina, I’ve very happy he helped you and your family. I’m quite certain he’ll get more chances to do the same as I doubt he’ll do much time. But he did admit to both lying and misleading people, even promised to change his ways, so he was obviously doing more than just exaggerating and taking liberties. Hopefully the experience will, as he’s already stated he planned to do, inspire him to clean up his game and not give up on it.

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