Re: A few thoughts about Jack - Posted by John Behle
Posted by John Behle on March 18, 2000 at 13:44:17:
I exchanged many emails with Mr. Reed when I appeared on his list. At first his rating was negative, then when the facts came out he changed it to neutral.
In somewhat of his defense, he came to a common conclusion about the ad that he mentions. Many people though myself, John Beck or anyone named “John B” had something to do with the ad. We all paid the price.
I had many of my clients and students join that company’s service thinking I personally had endorsed it to them in that ad they sent. It damaged me enough that it took an attorney to get them to stop.
Anyway, John Reed didn’t jump too far into a conclusion over that ad. No question, it WAS a deceptive ad and offensive to someone who likes their facts straight. It just wasn’t MY ad or anything I had anything to do with. After we communicated he corrected it and apologized.
I don’t think some of his reviews are very objective, but know many of the people on the list and would have to agree. I could probably double the size of his list with some of the inside information or “dirt” I know on some of the “so-called gurus”.
I know how “incensed” someone can feel about the scams and frauds that are out there. You can’t truly care about education or your students without having your stomach turned by some of what goes on.
I think John Reed means well actually. I believe he is trying to perform a valuable service. The problem is any one person trying to rate others will have their problems with objectivity. Just as any sport or competition usually requires a “panel” of judges and still even a whole panel can miss something, be swayed or be accused of a lack of objectivity.
I suggested to John that student comment and feedback would be important. A more statistical approach - like you would rate a diamond - color, cut, clarity, carets, etc. He pointed out his concern about “shills”, lack of objectivity of students or the “guru worship” that can go on. To me that is a very valid point. Much of the “Rah Rah” can be from students who have yet to apply the materials - or like in the case of a “McCorkle” - paid actors.
Sure, some of it is overly negative, but much is more accurate than most would know. A few instances like Kaiser or Britton seem totally out of place, but I haven’t seen their materials - only the knowledge and experience that manifests in their posts.
Some of it seems overly “fear based”. Fear for the students or “potential victims” of some of the “McCorkles” of the world. Just like an attorney will focus on the “downside” and negativity of a situation to protect their client.
I can’t fault that too much, except that it doesn’t go far enough. It can’t. This is one man with a life, business, family, hobbies, etc. - not the “Ralph Nader organization.” He can’t do indepth reporting of every person in the industry and check out every fact, testimonial, etc.
How long did McCorkle thrive before he was exposed? Many times it is something like unpaid refunds and action from a government agency that starts the ball rolling before any news agency or reporter picks it up.
So, how do we protect people from the next McCorkle? That may not be yours, mine or John Reed’s job - but I’m sure we would like to. I hate to see people burned by a scam artist.
Instead of fighting against Reed’s attempt maybe everyone can come up with a better way. I think there is value in critical analysis of materials, ideas, seminars, etc. Yet, there is value in student comments. Neither are totally objective, but maybe together they can serve a purpose.
My approach would be to have un-edited comments from students and others both before and after critical analysis. And then that analysis can be open to anyone qualified that wants to contribute.
I’m not sure if McCorkle would have gotten as far as he did if more people had been posting here. The negative experiences would have surfaced. Sometimes the critical analysis comes too late in the game or needs to come from someone more objective or qualified to review a particular course or area of study.
It is way too difficult for one person. I have a very hard time trying to seperate personal feelings and experience from the whole situation.
There are people I like personally that I would not recommend their materials. There are materials that are good where the person is a waste of air. I think of so-called “gurus” that have tried to hustle my wife at a convention. “Gurus” who may have some decent materials yet lacking in experience, bad personal problems, or use manipulative tactics like running down the isle with a $100 bill or standing on a table shouting about success stories.
Some gurus have literally stolen their material from someone else. Much of what is published or promoted out there on paper has been stolen from my materials. Some gurus have some good materials and others that are bad or programs to avoid.
It’s hard to be objective in this area. Difficult not to be negative and even incensed at what goes on. A real challenge not to be “quick to judge” in defense of those that could be hurt. Especially hard to get past the habits, problems or mistakes of a personality to review or recommend their materials. It’s tempting to refer them to someone you trust as opposed to taking their chances with someone you don’t know or like.
Oh well. Need to get some other things accomplished today besides this post.