Archive for the ‘Bankruptcy’ Category

For those of you who have been following this blog, you may recall financial stress.

My best-kept secret was that on April 19, 2011 I declared bankruptcy.

The direct cause-and-effect event that led me there was an “intentional wealth” course that I took back in 2007.  When all investments purchased through this group started to fail in 2009, I was told by the CFO to “keep the faith” and “stay positive” — because your mindset effects all things universal. Read the rest of this entry »

Yep, I even had an executive summary. This was the front page of the document I pre-submitted to the courts. Names, and some other personal information of others, have been removed. Read the rest of this entry »

Here’s the beef, the full document with footnotes and cross references that I submitted to the BC Supreme Court before my appearance. Note that I’ve left the name of the Intention Wealth company out and the actual people involved. While I still curse them, I did learn a lot from them. And they have since changed the products they support. And if I want my past by-gones be by-gones, then doggone I’ve got to do the same thing. (If you want to know who they are, contact me. I’ll tell you in person. But I won’t randomly blow it out to the universe.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Below is the document that I read in court to present my side of the story. The lawyer I consulted before-hand told me that nine times out of ten, the courts accepted the trustee’s recommendations. My trustee was recommending an additional 12 months in bankruptcy. Based on those odds, the lawyer felt that taking money to represent me was an expensive exercise in futility. So I delved into the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and wrote my story. The document was submitted to the courts a few days prior to my court appearance; the conclusion, which is below, was read in person by myself in court.

Here it is. Read the rest of this entry »

So if it turns out and I’m horribly wrong, and the Law of Attraction can be used to magically manifest things, perhaps we should turn our attention to the human race at large instead of the personal acquisition of so-called wealth.

Here’s my personal list of “fascinating” things gone horribly awry:

  • That we can keep on borrowing money from banks knowing that they are the biggest laundering scheme of all
  • That the health of the overall world economy depends on a lottery system called The Stock Exchange
  • That very few people realize that it’s not “things” that are taxed but the movement of money. Which is why “spending” our way out of recession is encouraged … to the benefit of government coffers (who give most of it back to banks).
  • That we keep on buying stuff made with child/slave labour in developing countries
  • That no one seems to give a shit about about carbon, which will be the ultimate death of humankind (US and esp Canada are the worst offenders, Canada having even signed on to Kyoto)
  • That men who are born of women, married to them, and father them, don’t seem horribly interested in stopping the machismo that leads to (and endorses) rape
  • That male-violence is considered a feminist issue (shouldn’t men be looking after male-violence, and women looking after women-violence?)
  • That most of the foods sold in grocery stores are processed (meat aside, the non-meat products are horribly horribly bad for you)
  • That feminists are considered anti-men
  • That corporations are dedicated to an increasing food consumption that humans are incapable of, which is why packaging gets smaller and food gets more addictive every year
  • That we have to pay MORE for chemical-free food
  • That world hunger is even an issue given the incredible surplus we have in the western world
  • That water is not considered a fundamental basic human right, but a bank-able a commodity
  • That the uprising in Bahrain was not supported world-wide
  • That we continually kill in the name of some pie-in-the-sky gods
  • That children are sold as sex commodities for the Western (dick) hunger for sex tourism
  • That the (respected) physical representation of women in media is so goddamn restrictive whereas the (respected) physical representation of men includes the mean, the fat and the ugly
  • That some people still think what others do in their bedrooms with consenting adults is any of their freakin business
  • That vibrators are still illegal in some states and guns are promoted
  • That some people think that end-of-life issues (eg euthanasia) must be dictated by some religious right
  • That women in Arabia still don’t have the right to vote
  • That date-rape drugs exist
  • That pot is illegal whereas cigarettes are legal
  • That there’s too much money in disease management, which truly prevents (by de-incentive-fying) the pharmaceuticals from find the cure
and the list goes on and on. Really, as a species, the human race is incredibly stupid. It’s rather surprising that we’ve lasted this long. Anything to add? Knock your socks off. And then think and think and think and think really freakin hard about it.

I challenge you to watch this award winning one-hour documentary, and then tell me that the Law of Attraction is not the absolute height of Western Arrogance.

Bahrain: Shouting in the dark – Programmes – Al Jazeera English.

Is your glass half full or half empty? If you have theprivilege of time and mental space to even contemplate this vacant question, you’re living in the lap of luxury.

How not to get lost in a sense of hopelessness here. A land is not its people but its owners, be it a king or a banker. The people may have moments, but as long as the money, power and mercenaries flock to the paying wealthy owners, those who are owned are doomed.

98% of us are sleeping. Not because we don’t want to wake up, but because it’s too incredibly painful to contemplate being awake. And that allows the powers-that-be to suck our souls from us.

Law of Attraction? A goddamn laughable bone. Kind of like a lottery ticket. “Give them hope and watch them flounder.” Surpise: You’re poor. Oops. Guess you really fucked that one up. Next time, think happier thoughts. Moron.

Dear protesters,

If you treat the world-unifying demonstrations that you achieved on October 15th 2011 as the pinnacle of your success, the movement will fail.

What you achieved on October 15th 2011 is incredible. You achieved world-wide recognition that people are catching on to the banking scam. You achieved world-wide ratification that there is a need for your movement.

But if you treat this as a victory, you will fail.

In Victoria BC (Canada), they (being the media) estimated 1,000 people showed up. Personally, I think the numbers were higher. I was there. I know what a group of 100 people looks like. And there were more than ten such groups. By my naked eye, I would easily say that it was three times that number. Maybe four.

But it really that doesn’t matter. That’s a useless little diversion.

The population of Greater Victoria, which includes all the municipalities from Sidney to Sooke, is about 330,000. I undertook the 50 minute car-trek from Sooke, which is on the outer-edge of the community.

If we accept the media’s numbers, that means about 0.03% of the population woke up. If we accept my naked-eye witness account, we were 1%.

What this means is that the other 98% (or 98.07%) of us (ie, not bankers), are still sleeping.

Sure, we can pit our 1% against the other 1% and claim that we are equal in number.

But you know that that is not the case. You are leading a revolutionary movement. You are smarter than that. Their 1% runs the economy and the governments. Their 1% has written the laws. Their 1% prints the money. Their 1% holds all the power.

Our 1% has an opinion. It’s honest and it’s true. But that’s what it can currently be written down as. An opinion.

When I went to the demonstrations, I was shocked to see other people carrying on with their normal day-to-day details of living. Tourists, shoppers, moms walking their kids, locals doing whatever it is that locals do on a sunny Saturday in mid-October. In my mind, there was nothing more important that those demonstrations.

I personally am in despair over the state of things. I have a daughter to whom I hope to leave a life, not a state of slavery. And you and I, and the 1% on our side of the argument, know that if status quo continues, there will be nothing left for our kids. We know this because we have woken up and we have become painfully aware that there is nothing left for us. And without intervention, it will not get better.

Yes, I was shocked that my sense of urgency was not shared by many.

Yet at the demonstrations, I was again uplifted. People were getting it. People did understand the validity behind Henry Ford’s quote,

It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.

On October 15th, 2011, the day of your big success, only 1% of the people showed up. The other 98% stayed at home.

It is not their fault. It is their nature. Our human nature. I think that what humans want most in the world is to be left alone in peace, with enough food, safety and love to sustain us through to the end. To our individual ends.

What you and I have found to be true, the facts that have woken us up, is incredibly disturbing. Banks invent money and governments world-wide tax it. Even though each of us in the free world have the work and blood and sweat of past generations propping us up, the banks still own most of the houses on our streets. Most people don’t ask to think why that is. Most people don’t want to ask why that is. Most people intuitively know that the answer will induce despair. The same despair that made me show up. The same despair that made you lead the charge.

No, October 15th was not Victoria Day. October 15th was ratification day.

On October 15th you received world-unifying approval of your cause. Yours and mine. The opinionated cause of our 1%.

Now is not the time to pitch tents and demand that Wall Street changes its ways. If you choose to do that, you will become demonized. You will be turned into radical, paranoid conspiracy-theorists without a following. You will be turned into an image of free-loaders looking for hand-outs.

And you and I both know you are more than that.

You are leading the 1% who dared to wake up.

That’s huge. Without you, there will be no change. Without you, there will be no freedom.

Which is why what I have to say next is so incredibly important:

Your job now is to enlist the 1% to education, to wake up the sleeping masses. If we can wake up just a quarter of the population, we have enough to change the world. Maybe even 15%. Or 10%. But 1% will not be the force that brings about the change. Our 1% will be the force that educates the masses that will bring about the change.

To do this, you need to accept the fundamental concept behind successful marketing: It must not become a conversation about your product; instead, it must become a conversation, an education, about your listener’s core-life problem. About why children will never own their home even though the parents themselves are aspiring to own their own. About why the snake-oil salesmen sold them a fraudulent mortgage. About why they got laid off. About why secondary education is becoming increasing futile. About how the public education system is designed to churn out employees not entrepreneurs. About why they can only find part-time work. About why the economy of jobs was farmed out to third-world countries. About why the Jones can afford an SUV and they, while aspiring to live within their means, take the bus. About why bankruptcy is a viable option.

Explaining concepts like fractional-reserve, bailouts, housing bubble, sub-prime mortgages, collateralized debt obligations, Glass-Steagall Act, predatory lending, and shadow banking will not wake them up; it will deepen their sleep. And the mere kiss from a Prince Charming will no longer suffice, as Prince Charming belongs to the enemy camp, the other 1%. Prince Obama came close, but now he too is a puppet for the bankers.

No. It needs to be a direct infusion of personal meaning.

We are an attention-deficit people. We just want to be left alone to live our lives out comfortably. But you and I know that status quo is not an option. We both know there is no comfort in slavery. But 98% of us don’t get it. Don’t want to get it. It’s hard to get that you are a slave when you can’t even see your master. And we have to make them see.

Our work here is just beginning. On October 15th, we received world-wide ratification. Now is not the time to stamp our feet like angry little children and yell at our very VERY abusive parents that This Will Not Do.

No, now is the time to educate our siblings and the other kids on the block, to gently nudge them awake. And we can do this easily by talking about them and their problems.

We must become like the Conficker (aka Downadup) computer virus. A botnet. Invisible. Infective. Incurable. We need to work by educating each individual host, each and every person. Talking to and with them, not at them.

Remember, the offending 1% has all the money in the world, the governments, and the law on their side. This newly-awakened 1% has only knowledge and truth. Without the other 98%, knowledge and truth will become distorted into conspiracy-theorists.

We can’t afford to let this happen.

13
Oct

Can you help?

   Posted by: Britt

I’m calling on you to answer a very short six-question survey for me.

It’s a marketing research questionnaire that will help me set up an educational resource for people in financial distress. Many of whom, like myself, bilked by the self-help industry. Please take two minutes to answer the six short question in this survey.

Thanks folks!

Oh! if only it were true! If only we could think — or for that matter UNTHINK — things into existence. What a nicer place this world could be!

Here’s what is keeping me awake this tonight: banks and taxes.

Sigh. It’s a brain-full.

I’ll keep this simple, because it’s very complex-yet-simple stuff.

First, the banks. If you are like me, you have heard of the “fractional-reserve” banking system. The way I understood it was that banks could lend out the same amount of money ten (in a 1:10 system) or twenty (1:20) times. I understood it academically. Starting today, I actually began to grasp what it meant.

Let’s say I go into a bank and deposit $40,000.

(…and I haven’t yet wrapped my brain around the notion that banks write money into existence the instant you put your signature on to the promissory note to repay the loan, making this original $40,000 and the resulting $1,000,000 in profits even more insidious…) 

The 10:1 fractional-reserve system requires the bank to hold on to 10% of it (1/10th) and it then allows the bank to lend out the other 90%, or $36,000.

So then the other borrow, the new owner of the $36,000 deposits that loan into their bank. Again, their bank is required to hold on to 10% or $3,600, and it loans out the remaining $32,400.

The next borrow takes their $32,400 loan, deposits it into their bank account, and that bank in turn holds onto $3,240 and lends out $29,160.

This is only the first three layers of transactions. Ultimately, this system of deposit-and-lend can happen about a hundred times. By the time the bank is done laundering my money, it has taken my $40K and churned out another $360,000 in loans.

And then, the magic happens. Yes, there’s more: it’s called Compound Interest. Get out your calculators or just go on basic trust here, but generally speaking, any 20 year loan on 5% interested compounded monthly produces an amount close to 2.5 the original amount. So $40K times 2.5 yields about $120K. And we know %5 is low-balling it.

So the bank, in lending out $360,000 instantaneously now receives a cool million in 20 years of repayments that include principal and interest. Yes, the magic of Compound Interest.

So where does this $960,000 of hard cold cash come from, especially since it doesn’t even exist in the first place? Why, we borrow it from the banks of course. Business loans. Mortgages. Lines of credit. Credit cards.

A self-perpetuating system destined to leave the individual poor and the banks rich.

And you might think it stops there. Well, no. Actually it doesn’t.

There’s the second layer of shit called “governments.” The biggest misconception out there is that governments tax “things” or stuff. In Canada, we have personal and corporate taxes, payroll taxes, excise taxes, liquor taxes, income taxes, gas taxes, sales taxes, estate taxes,  and on and on the list grows.

But what it really boils down to is that “things” are NOT taxed. What is really taxed is the movement of money. If you have a $20 bill in your pocket that is 20 years old, stop and imagine for a moment the number of transactions this piece of paper has seen in its two decades. Consider how long it stays in your wallet. A week? Maybe two? If a $20 bill sees even just 10 transactions in a year, assuming a taxation rate of 15% (which it’s not, it’s more like 50%), it will have generated $15 for the government in taxes in one year. And $300 in twenty years.

(Consider just one transaction. You buy a thing for one dollar. Immediately, there’s sales tax. Let’s say 7%. Then with this one sale, the owner has earned an income. So there’s income tax. Let’s say 25%. So without even considering import/export  and employee taxes, 33% of this dollar has immediately gone to the government.)

Again, it has generated more than it’s original value for the government.

It’s really quite depressing.

And how does this all lend (haha) itself to the law of attraction? Simple. One of the biggest mantras of the gurus is: It’s a sin to sit on money. As quick (!) as you earn it, so must you spend it. In fact, if you don’t have enough money it’s because you refuse to spend enough money. You are tight-fisted and obsessed with holding on. And as long as you hoard what you have you won’t be free to get more.

But really, this multi-billion dollar self-help industry keeps money in circulation; and this, my friends, means more loans,which in turn means more taxes.

Depositing the money in the bank means more loans, more debt. Which in turn puts more money into circulation which in turn means more taxes.

But here’s the real crime of hoarding: If you put $40,000 of bills under your mattress, you have “robbed” the banks of a million dollars AND “robbed” the governments of the taxes that they would have earned with this extra million in circulation. And yet, sadly, you yourself cannot transform this $40K into a million.

Do you get this? While each and every one of us (capable of reading this and comprehending it) will be dead in the next 100 years, the system will survive. Taxation is thousands of years old. Fractional-reserve banking is about 300 years old. And we, the individuals cranking out our debt-ridden lives to climb to the top of this mad pyramid scheme, are all enslaved to this.

So given even this scratch-the-surface level of economical understanding, do you really think we can think our way out of this?

It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.
– Henry Ford

Problem is, who’s getting it? And of those who get it, what in hell can be done about it? Our national wealth — and indeed our entire economy — depends on this house of cards being upheld.

Is a storm is blowing our way?

Like many others, I’m avidly following the case of James Arthur Ray. Whatever the courts find will have an impact on the billions of dollars currently being “earned” by the Law of Attraction gurus. Okay, so it might just make a tiny dent in the big picture. While I think the likes of Canfield, Robbins and Katie are avidly glued to their sets, I don’t think the typical student is even aware.

When I “fell” down my rabbit hole and landed in state of bankruptcy, my “teacher” (earlier referred to as Missus) made it clear that I was fully accountable for my own outcome. On the surface, I agreed with her as no one held a gun to my head and forced me to make the bad investments that I did. But something underneath bothered me. And slowly it boiled up and now it’s spilling over.

I’m now of the mind that education is a two-way street: The student agrees to be open (hence vulnerable) and the teacher agrees to contribute genuine knowledge delivered in the best interest of the student. The very nature of learning, after all, is suspending your disbelief and trusting your teacher.

Back in the day, I was a motorcycle instructor, and those two aspects (genuine knowledge and student safety) were embedded in our teaching philosophy. For example, some students were terrified of revving their engines. As teachers, we had genuine knowledge to the contrary, and consequently required the student to suspend her disbelief. Trusting us was imperative to her learning.  And we had to respect that trust and ensure safety, so we taught in in a safe environment — the parking lot — at relatively slow speeds. We had to minimize the potential for harm. (And should harm befall them, we were all trained in first aid.)

When a student could not perform effectively as a student (ie he couldn’t suspend his disbelief and rev his engines), we as teachers were then required to act in that student’s best interest and discontinued him from the course. It was our job as good teachers to monitor their safety. It was not their job as a student to choose their own situation. If we let them do that, we’d loose our job. They did not yet know what they didn’t know (to state the obvious) so they couldn’t make a sound decision in their best interest.

When CBC’s Marketplace found the Robert Kiyosak course practicing questionable teachings, it was because the contracted instructors were claiming false experiential expertise (claimed a tract of land was earning them passive income when in fact it was a dead investment) and consequently were not acting in the best interest of the student. Following their teachings could land them in the same dire straights as their teachers (who were, it seemed, using teaching as the tool to dig themselves out of financial despair).

I do agree that it was a tragic accident. It was never a planned event. However, categorizing it as an accident does not eradicate accountability (and landing it in the laps of the dead students is a travesty — and a slippery escape from accountability). I hope true accountability lands in the lap of James Arthur Ray (JAR). The students job is to be open; the teacher’s job was to protect their safety (this usually goes without saying) while imparting genuine knowledge.

Becoming a teacher is serious business. It can’t just be a money-making factory. It can’t just be loaded with “good intentions” (which, BTW I think JAR had). It also requires a tremendous amount of expertise that goes beyond the experiential background of just the teacher her/himself. And it comes with a very high degree of responsibility.

So while my “financial” teacher, Missus and her snake-oiled partner were teaching with good intentions, they lacked the expertise in BOTH their own experiential background and in light of the entire financial industry. I am responsible for signing the document, and they are responsible for putting the option in front of me in the first place, and for guiding me to the “learned” belief that these were good investments (they all failed, one by one by one).

The awful reality comes down to this. When it comes to dealing with the results, that lands squarely on the shoulders of the student. It is only me who can step forward with my current financial reality. The teacher remains untouched. Untouchable. I think the James Arthur Ray case is an attempt to make an ethically bad teacher (ie he failed to keep his students safe, and he failed in being genuinely knowledgable) be responsible for the outcome.

I wonder how many people, like me, sit in financial despair because of the teachings of the gurus. I don’t think that litigation is the answer. And I also don’t think regulation is either (since when is the government truly representative of the people?). I think  the real answer lies in awareness and education.

And this blog is my small kick at that big can.