Kevin Trudeau is an author, a two-time convicted felon, and keeper of information that they don't want you to know. He is a shiny-chinned TV star who has appeared in numerous infomercials where he employs his talent as a silver-tongued operator of bullshit, teasing the viewer with bits and pieces of information that they don't want you to know; if you pay him money, he will reveal these "secrets", which usually amount to no more than common conspiracy theories and alternative medicine indoctrination, both of which help set a sucker up for further exploitation.
- 1 Promotions and publications
- 2 Apparent compulsions…
- 3 Examples of his "recommendations" and other nonsense
- 4 Creative sales techniques
- 5 Legal troubles
- 6 Pool stuff
- 7 Published works
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 Notes
- 11 References
Promotions and publications
He has written a book entitled Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About which provides information on how to go to his website to find out about non-drug/non-surgery cures for diseases and ailments such as cancer, herpes, arthritis, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, ADHD, muscular dystrophy and many more. Not one to pass up an opportunity for a quick buck, Trudeau has also written on weight loss and (in a stunning display of chutzpah) debt relief.
In the early 1990s, he was promoting a system called Mega Memory, and in the late 1990s, he promoted several products including Coral Calcium and something called Hair Farming, all of which got him in trouble with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). He pled guilty twice in the early 1990s, once for check fraud and once for credit card fraud. He has been at war with the FTC ever since; much of the content of his "Natural Cures" books is him ranting against the FTC, the FDA and other regulatory agencies.
Trudeau was heavily involved in Scientology, Amway, and more recently Neo-Tech, putting him within the long tradition of quacks who make the rounds among several other quack gurus before going into the business on their own. Considerable circumstantial evidence exists that he is still involved in all three, or at least promotes and swaps junk mail lists with them.
His other books include More Natural "Cures" Revealed, The Weight Loss Cure[note 1] "They" Don't Want You to Know About, Debt Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About, and Your Wish Is Your Command (which peddles the "Law of Attraction").
He compulsively uses the words "absolutely", "positively", "categorically", and "100%" a lot, absolutely positively 100% categorically fattening up his books with those words at the expense of actual content.
He also compulsively misuses quotation marks, in one of his books actually putting quotes around "Cures" in the title (which, when you think about it, actually makes for a rare bit of accuracy in his books).
Examples of his "recommendations" and other nonsense
- One of Trudeau's recommendations is to never take prescription or non-prescription drugs of any kind—which is ironic, considering the claims he makes you'd think he was on a few drugs himself.
- He claims that sunscreens and sunblocks cause skin cancer, not exposure to the sun, and consequently recommends sunbathing without any sunscreen.
- Acid reflux disease is a "myth" created by the medical establishment, but at the same time you can "cure" it (even though it is a myth) by drinking cider vinegar before each meal.
- He supports the alkaline diet fad.
- Many of his natural "cures" "they" don't want you to know about are in fact just old folk remedies he repeats, as if they are somehow now suppressed secrets. For example, drinking prune juice as a natural laxative.
- Taking coral calcium (but only Bob Barefoot's expensive, special brand) can help with everything.
Food woo and dieting
- If you must drink milk, he says it should only be raw, unpasteurized milk.
- His book The Weight Loss Cure "They" Don't Want You To Know About actually includes the recommendation, "use Dianetics for psychomatic [sic] and emotional ills". Both of his "Natural Cures" books also recommend Scientology and Dianetics.
- Never, ever, eat pork or shellfish (Jews and — about pork — Muslims agree. Over 1 billion people can't be wrong?). They are poison! If you do accidentally consume either of the above, do a colon cleanse immediately. Otherwise you will get very sick and may even get chronic fatigue syndrome (even though it is a myth invented by big pharma).
- Never ever eat anything that came out of a microwave oven.
- Food prepared at home has "love" in the ingredients and thus has positive energies improving one's health which are not found in store-bought food. He claims this actually affects the electron spin in the food somehow.
- He promoted his Weight Loss Cure "They" Don't Want You To Know About in an infomercial as "the easiest, simplest, most effective thing I've ever done". He also claimed it was "easy to do, you can do it at home", and that "I can eat whatever I want now, anything and as much as I want any time I want. No restrictions now. And the weight's not coming back. You don't gain the weight back." It actually involved a complex protocol in four phases. The first phase called for getting 15 "colonics" in 30 days, eating six times a day, and taking saunas; the second required daily intramuscular injections of HGC (human chorionic gonadotropin), a hormone not widely available in the United States, said to be ineffective and unsafe by the American Medical Association and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and not approved for weight-loss use by the Food and Drug Administration. This phase also calls for a 500-calorie-per-day diet — this would put the user right up there with the top runway models, being 1/5-1/4 of the recommended daily caloric intake for most adults — and prohibits all over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Phase 3 permits the user to eat as much as he or she wants, but only "organic" food, no artificial or natural sweeteners, and no starches at all. The fourth phase puts the lie to Trudeau's claim that "when you’re done with the protocol, eat whatever you want", because it never ends: for the rest of his or her life the participant is forbidden "brand name" food, artificial sweeteners, MSG, nitrites, farm-raised fish, meat that is not "100% organic", and anything cooked in a microwave oven.
- He thinks you should get 15 colonics in 30 days. Ewww! Sounds like somebody spent some time at the Battle Creek Sanitarium.
- He claims wearing white clothing is a cure for depression, especially if you bounce on a trampoline for ten minutes a day while wearing it. Neither of those cures sound like they should overlap with your colonic phase.
- He recommends a practice called sungazing which is, literally, staring directly at the sun around sunrise or sunset, and claims many diseases have been "cured" this way (it also cures away your eyesight, pesky thing that it is).
- If you do everything on a long, complex to-do list he claims you will never get sick again. This way he is covered — if somebody does get sick he can just say you didn't do everything on the list, which would be true because nobody would have the time nor means to do all those things.
- He claims that there is some sort of "vital force" that accounts for the weight of a plant minus the soil, water and fertilizer used to grow it. Sounds like somebody never heard of carbon dioxide…
The insanity goes too far
Trudeau also preaches the Illuminati conspiracy theory and claims to be a former member of the organisation. He also runs a website, MeetIlluminatiMembers.com, where he sells 'memberships' to the Illuminati with an initiation fee of only $1000. Seriously. He then requires monthly payments of $150 once the individual has become an Illuminati member. Trudeau claims that individuals who join his secret society will have access to powerful people who all escaped the Illuminati (hence the title of his website), and thus will be able to learn all the secrets of gaining wealth and power themselves. How wonderful! Conspiracy theorist Mark Dice (whose work we usually don't endorse) did a reasonably good job in exposing Trudeau on his website and in his book, The Illuminati Facts and Fiction.
The good (read: blatantly obvious) stuff
- As with any stopped clock, he does have a lot of good recommendations mixed in with the bad ones. He suggests you quit smoking, cut out trans-fats, salt, and high fructose corn syrup, walk an hour a day, etc. But you can get this good advice from most trusted physicians or good books on health, and don't need to consult a woo merchant to learn it. He also includes references for his information.
Creative sales techniques
Kevin Trudeau pioneered a fascinating multimedia technique. He used an infomercial to sell a glossy book which, in an interesting twist, turns out to be mainly a teaser/advertisement for his pay website. Thus he transcends the need for any actual product — everything is marketing. You pay to receive more advertising. Wanna bet that the main content of his pay website is advertisements for his next book?
Those who have signed up for his pay website report that they charge your credit card monthly while making it deliberately difficult to contact them requesting to unsubscribe, with such requests often ignored or taking several months to process. Thus the poor unfortunates who made the misstep of giving their credit card number to a convicted felon who pled guilty to credit card fraud are left with the choice of either going through the long process of contesting several months' charges on their credit card, or just sucking up the loss.
The FTC and the court system finally got sick of Trudeau's tactics in 2007, fining him $37.6 million for continuing his false claims. In July 2013, because Trudeau still had not paid a single cent of the verdict, while spending lavishly, and was ordered to transfer ownership of his companies and accounts so that people could be compensated. Trudeau was also found in contempt of court. In 2013, he was jailed after claiming he was broke, but evidence from his finances showed he spent almost $2,000 on cigars/liqueur and nearly $400 on 2 hair cuts. Then later that same year he was found in contempt of court again and ordered detained--by a different judge--until he discloses where he is hiding his ill-gotten gains.
On March 17, 2014, he was finally sentenced by US Federal Judge Ronald Guzman to 10 years for not paying the $37.6 million in fines. Kevin, aka Register Number 18046-036, is serving time at the Montgomery FPC (Minimum security) at Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, Alabama. Release date is August 18, 2022.
He was also a pool enthusiast, and founded the International Pool Tour in 2005, which he planned to turn into a major professional pool competition. The first event went just fine, but the money just didn't come after the second. By the fourth, it was all dried up, so much so that the winners never got the prizes they won. (This is what you get when the event's organizer, already a noted con man, refuses to do stuff other pool competitions do, like putting money on escrow.)
You're bound to find these in used book stores, thrift stores, or garage sales.
- Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You to Know About (2004)
- More Natural Cures Revealed (2006)
- The Weight Loss Cure “They” Don't Want You to Know About (2007)
- Debt Cures “They” Don't Want You to Know About (2007)
- Your Wish Is Your Command (2009)
- A Critical Look at Robert Barefoot and Coral Calcium on Quackwatch.
- A MADTV parody of Trudeau's informercials
- The way this is phrased is like he is promoting a "cure" for weight loss (as if weight loss is a bad thing), just like "Debt cures" in his other book refers to cure for debts.
- A copy of the indictment
- "In 1990, Trudeau posed as a doctor in order to deposit $80,000 in false checks, and in 1991 he pleaded guilty to larceny. ... He spent two years in federal prison because of this conviction" (Choi, 2005).
- Television Pitchman is Headed to Prison, CNN
- See photographic memory for more on that.
- FTC: Marketer Kevin Trudeau Violated Prior Court Order
- Diceman showing symptoms of a stopped clock here. http://markdice.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=109
- Pitchman in contempt for not paying $37M fine
- 'Infomercial King' Kevin Trudeau ordered to jail. ABC News. September 19, 2013
- TV pitchman Kevin Trudeau jailed after jurors find him guilty of contempt regarding diet book, 12-Nov-2013
- Kevin Trudeau already in jail, but 2nd judge slams cell door. Chicago Sun-Times. November 21, 2013
- ABCNews (WLS Chicago): Kevin Trudeau sentenced to 10 years in criminal contempt case
- Federal Bureau of Prisons: Inmate Locator: Search for "Kevin Trudeau" or Register number "18046-036"