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Thursday, 17 November 2011

This morning’s haul: an illiterate “holistic” miracle worker, another bloody legend and another sure-fire formula. Will it ever end? And does it work?

Someone clever once observed that if the tray tables on your aircraft aren’t clean you start to wonder how well they look after the engines.

In much the same way, I wonder about people promising miracles who can’t write decent English. This applies to a lot of the stuff I get which is written in what I call folksy-bollocks-language. But nothing beats the email I got this morning headed Women gives Money Luck....., You will Like This...!

I don’t actually want to get pregnant right now, but I am put off by an incoherent heading followed by PLEASE, NOT ANOTHER pregnancy GIMMICK!

This is especially true if it's immediately followed by, well, another pregnancy gimmick:

Now, I know many of you are saying, "Oh no, not another 'get pregnant in 7 days' program". To be totally honest, I thought the same thing. Rest assured, this is not the case. It is not a quick fix, or gimmick. Its 250+ pages of solid, clinically proven holistic information for getting pregnant. She starts from square one and teaches you everything you need to know. Doesn't matter what type of infertility you have and regardless of your age or lifestyle, you WILL learn something from this book.

The testimonial is priceless and reads: Dear Friends,

I found this information which of no use to me as a man, but I know by spreading this information
I can help other people's life. I believe in doing good deeds will bring back good karma to me,
abundance of wealth and happiness. We never knew with whose prayer we get success and abundance of wealth. Just keep doing good things in life, you will definately get abundance of wealth.
just Clik here, you will know what to do...,

Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? How did the word holistic, beloved of phoneys everywhere, creep into this salvo of ignorance? But this may work for two reasons. 1. For every illiterate, demented and crooked promoter there is a horde of illiterate and desperate prospects, growing fast because of our broken-down educational system. 2. The words “money” and “luck” always attract readers.

This may also be true of the word “legend”. When I was 12 I read a book called Myths and Legends of Ancient Babylon and Assyria, written by the archaeologist J. M Breasted. Bloody boring, actually, but I was (and am) a history nut. Today there are more myths and legends than ever were in ancient Mesopotamia, especially in sales and marketing – and I see another has emerged in the shape of “Sales Training Legend Stan Billue”.

I have to declare an interest here, mind. People regularly call me legendary, to the point that occasionally I wake up and breathe on a mirror to see if I really exist. One person who does exist and is as legendary as they come is Jeff Walker who is busy promoting a re-packaged version of his Product Launch formula, with added bells and whistles on social marketing (surprise!) and the help of his many “good friends”.

A good friend, if you don’t know, isn't really a good friend. Did you know that? It is someone who hopes to make money by flogging your latest money-making scheme as an affiliate. A formula, if you don’t know, is something vastly overpriced that you fondly hope will spare you the pain of hard work and hard thinking. It won’t.

I'm not saying all these formulae are complete moonshine. They do work, for a precious few and up to a point. This one is really an elaboration of the system used by Hollywood for the last 80 years. You will learn far more from the way it is promoted than anything else.

What none of these people – not even the most celebrated – has ever done is work on proper businesses - big brands in the big wide world. Some are just dishonest. The best-known in this country was caught lying by the Advertising Standards Authority.

I wonder why nobody notices this. There really are a lot of mugs out there. That doesn't mean you have to join them.

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