I was going to keep quiet. That would have been much easier. That is what these types of people expect. But I couldn’t just keep quiet and let other people get hurt as well.
Here’s the story…
But, real quick before it, if you have ever been scammed out of money, let me know. I know it’s painful and embarrassing, but it’s time to move beyond embarrassment and shame and speak out!
You are not a victim. When something like this happens, it’s an opportunity for you to learn and grow, but only if you do not hide.
With that awareness, here’s what happened in my life recently:
Several months ago I was contacted on Twitter by a man named Steve Pohlit. He reached out to me through a private direct message to let me know that he had perfected a lead generation process that he had been working on utilizing social media and thought would be ideal for a project I was working on.
I am a big believer in synchronicity and that there are no coincidences and I had just the day before been thinking about how I had perfected a process of converting leads and now just needed a great process for generating leads, so I was quite interested in what he had to say.
Then, when I found out he was the creator of Manifest Mastermind (a spiritually-based membership site that is supported by people I trust like Kendra Thornbury and Randy Gage), I thought for sure THIS WAS MEANT TO BE. I was pretty excited.
Plus, Steve repeatedly used spiritually-infused language of love, trust, & faith when speaking to me and he seemed totally genuine. PLUS, he directed me to Facebook groups of thousands of people that he had created for Manifest Mastermind and to his business partner Brian Campbell who appeared to have a solid following on Facebook. They seemed so legit.
Despite the skepticism of my team members, I engaged Steve and Brian to implement their lead generation strategy for me.
And because I wanted to believe, I dismissed major red flags that came up right away. After all, Steve signed his emails with platitudes like “Love, Steve” and “Sending energy of peace, happiness, unconditional love, Steve” (Oh God, I feel stupid writing this). Besides that, Steve assured me that this was a new strategy, but that he would work with me to work through any of the kinks. I trusted him and felt confident we’d make it work together. Boy, do I feel stupid now.
Very quickly it became clear that Steve and Brian were not only not doing what they promised, but they had no intention of working through any kinks with me. They were going to do the bare minimum that was necessary so they could say they fulfilled their end of the bargain under the terms of our agreement and that was it. Unfortunately, the bare minimum just meant they had to do SOMETHING.
As soon as I tried to let them know that what they were doing wasn’t working and work out the kinks with them to create a strategy that would work, they began to use what I’ll call spiritual manipulation.
Here’s a sample of what that looked like in an email from Steve to me after I emailed him to let him know what wasn’t working and what I thought needed to happen to make our campaign work:
The Law of Attraction states that what you focus on expands. What has been happening is you are focusing on imagined results that have not yet manifest according to your definition. Your reaction is one of attack and you are creating situations in support of your belief that we are part of a group of less than honorable marketers.
While I will not go “toe to toe” with you on each of your points in your email, I do agree the communication was more positive and energetic at the start. Since then what we have felt is that the energy has turned to one of a weekly “bitching and moaning” session. Or, “it is Friday so it is time to tell Brian and Steve they suck”.
With that downstream energy flowing two things happen: 1. we respond factually with what we are doing and 2.) we feel the disconnect with you and the synergy that is possible is dormant.
So, basically, if I express that things are not working, I am energetically damaging the campaign. (For the record, there was no bitching or moaning and I never said they suck – although their campaign was a big loser; I was extremely kind with my requests for improvement- I’m quite sure, in fact, that I was too kind.)
This is the exact sort of manipulation that I’ve seen from other what I’ll call “spiritual scammers.” Let me know if you’ve experienced this sort of turn-around manipulation yourself.
As you can likely imagine, things proceeded downhill from there.
Steve and Brian were never willing to work with me to improve anything. Anytime I expressed displeasure, Steve turned it around on me in an attempt to show me how I was creating negativity and therefore was responsible for the poor results … forget the fact that my team was running a simultaneous campaign having fantastic results with a different strategy!
I knew nothing would ever come of it and chalked the whole experience up to a big, expensive lesson learned. Rather than investing the energy in pursuing a refund (which I have no doubt would never have come) or a lawsuit (which I have no doubt would have cost me far more than the $10,000 I lost), I let it go. And, I let it be.
But now it appears Brian (Steve’s “partner” in this whole debacle) has been taken by Steve too. A case of karma, if you ask me. It’s not possible that Brian didn’t see how Steve had manipulated me into spending $10,000 on a campaign that had no chance of success. Brian’s a smart guy and he was the one carrying out the bogus strategy. So, what did Brian expect? Did he not realize that Steve was ripping me off? I’d love to hear Brian’s thoughts on this.
For the rest of ya, it’s time to speak out!
I told myself I was letting this go because I didn’t want to give it anymore energy and that’s true, but I also realize that I was embarrassed and full of shame. And because I kept quiet, it’s quite possible that more people were taken.
Well, it’s not going to happen anymore. I will not stand by and watch good-hearted people be taken by mean-spirited, spiritual-talkers who don’t walk their talk with integrity.
I’ve discovered an important paradox. What has had me keep this quiet up until now is the victim part of me that feels shame and embarrassment. When I speak about what happened with an open heart (not from a place of revenge) I feel empowered and all remnants of the victim energy are gone.
I don’t get riled up about much, but I do get riled up about this. If you have a story about being taken … share it. Don’t hide it. It’s time to speak out! You are not a victim. With an open heart allow your experience to help others. You are empowered.