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I've been sharing conspiracies on reddit longer than this sub has been around. I have a story to tell.

This story is mostly crafted from my own experiences, my conversations with some of the people involved, and the rest is my own guesswork as I try to fill in the gaps...so bear with me!
That's why I wanted to share with this community, which I've watched grow over the years. I remember posting about the death of Barry Jennings (who witnessed explosions in the WTC on 9/11) the day after it happened. This was before /conspiracy (or right around when it was formed), and I remember thinking "we really need a sub for conspiracies on reddit!"
And here we are, 12 years later and over 1.3 million subscribers...incredible!
So...
My story starts with a young man. We'll call him Andrew.
Andrew grew up in the 90's in a coastal US town and quickly blossomed into a tech whiz at a young age.
He began building his own computers, and after a brief stint using Windows, he decided that Bill Gates was everything wrong with technology (and the world), and he made it his mission to make sure folks like Gates were NOT the future of computers.
He really believed that the use of technology was a fundamental human right, and that charging people for "proprietary" OS's that hid their source code was a violation of these rights.
He saw a possible Deus Ex-like future, with a technocracy literally around the corner if we didn't act now.
Andrew soon joined the Free Software Foundation and began rubbing elbows with the likes of Richard Stallman. He begun exclusively using GNU/Linux and was the type to correct you if you called it just "Linux". He also began visiting tech-savvy forums like slashdot and started networking in earnest.
By 2006 (his senior year of high school) Andrew was completely over his "education" and decided to just drop out completely.
Shockingly, a college accepted him anyway. A small East Coast school had been actively courting Andrew, and when they learned he had failed to get his HS diploma, they accepted him anyway!
Now sometime during this period Andrew went to Iceland and stayed in Reykjavik for several months.
This trip may have happened during the summer, fall, or early winter of 2006. The reason for his trip had something to do with his efforts in the FSF or similar group. The possible significance of this trip will become clear as we go on.
What is clear is that Andrew started college in the fall of 2006, and that the circumstances were unusual. Andrew soon met several like-minded individuals and began building a social and technological network at his school.
Two individuals in particular would become key players in his life (one more prominently in this story, but the other was significant as well), and eventually the 3 would live together in town for several years.
But for now let's stick with Andrew.
Andrew had an idea to build a social network for his college. Except, it wasn't just a network, it was a wiki for information about the school...and beyond. Soon, it began to morph into something much bigger in Andrew's mind.
He saw his project as being one of many data "hubs" for leaks of important documents and otherwise sensitive information.
So yeah, he saw the opportunity for a wiki for leaks (see where this is going yet...?).
As his ambitions grew, his behavior started to become increasingly erratic. He was caught with drugs and arrested. Strangely, the charges were pretty much dropped and he was given a slap on the wrist. Eventually he decided to leave the school, but still lived in town and had access to the servers on campus.
By 2010 Andrew was still living in the small town with his two "hacker" buddies, who were still enrolled at the school.
This house was in some ways legendary. It appears that many "interesting" people spent time at or visited the residence. Indeed, some of the early movers and shakers of /conspiracy itself passed through.
There was usually a full NO2 tank for anyone who was into that kinda thing, and they were stocked with every hallucinogen and research chemical known to man.
It was also likely under surveillance by multiple intelligence agencies (NSA/Mossad/etc).
Over time, the mental state of Andrew was slowly starting to deteriorate, which wasn't helped by his abuse of drugs.
Still, Andrew decided to move his base of operations to Europe, spending time in Belgium, the Czech Republic and elsewhere.
One of his housemates was soon to join him on his adventures in Europe and elsewhere abroad. We'll call him "Aaron."
Aaron had a very similar story and upbringing as Andrew. Aaron was also from a coastal US town and was born into privilege. He was also, supposedly, born into a family with some serious connections to intelligence agencies, including an uncle with ties to the NSA, and both parents connected to military brass.
By 2015, Andrew and Aaron were living together in the Czech Republic. During this time they were working directly and/or indirectly for the NSA (via Cisco and other companies).
You see, the "college" they met at was actually a front for the recruitment of kids into the IC. Apparently, many "schools" in the US function that way. Go figure.
Their intelligence and valuable skill set (hacking etc) made them valuable assets. They were also possibly involved with the distribution of certain "research chemicals" (of the 2C* variety) to dignitaries and their entourages (in one example, they provided 2CB to a group with David Cameron).
In addition, Andrew was allegedly involved with, or stumbled upon, an NSA-linked surveillance project directed at the entire country of Malaysia, while Aaron was involved with Cisco.
Aaron himself had gotten into hot water for releasing damaging information about the NSA, and even claimed to be an NSA whistleblower, and was also possibly the individual who leaked the 2014 (or 2015) Bilderberg meeting list.
And then things went bad. Andrew quit the Malaysia project and Aaron left Cisco. It seems Andrew and Aaron were "set up" during a fiery false flag event in the Czech Republic in 2015. It may have happened at an embassy, but it's unclear which. There is no information on the web about anything like this (afaik).
Aaron was immediately targeted and spent several years on the run. Allegedly, he was added to the list of victims in the so-called "Great Game".
The Great Game is the term used for an international assassination program where intelligence agencies share a list of targets to be neutralized. The German BND and Mossad are heavily involved, as other networks. Individuals targeted by the Great Game may be offed by actual assassins, or by NPC-like humans whose minds will be influenced by mind control tech (a la Matrix...say influencing someone to ram your car unwittingly ie).
As Aaron went on the lam, Andrew soon returned to the US, shell-shocked by his experience.
Both Andrew and Aaron continue to suffer from some sort of PTSD from these series of events, rendering Andrew largely incapacitated and Aaron scattered and discombobulated.
The Meat of the Matter
OK...where does that leave us? Why am I sharing all of this? I think there's much more to this story.
So let's start speculating! Everything I'm about to say is stuff that was told to me personally. I can't vouch for any of this information, though obviously I thought it was compelling enough to share.
Here's the gist: The so-called whistleblowers you see in the media are almost all fake.
This includes: Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, Thomas Drake and William Binney (hey look, his AMA is pinned on this sub right now...no comment!). These individuals, and others, are controlled opposition. The real whistleblowers are severely punished.
For example, Bradley Manning was punished with chemical castration in jail. His "transformation" was chemically induced torture.
Andrew was not alone in his passion. There were lots of other young visionaries like him who dreamed of a freer and more transparent world.
In this story, Julian Assange was an intelligence asset...a psyop meant to steal the thunder from real activists like Andrew.
In this story, a small college-based "wiki" for government leaks was used as the model for an intelligence operation known as "wikileaks".
In this story, Andrew traveled to Iceland at some point in 2006.
When was Wikileaks founded? Wikileaks was founded by Julian Assange in December 2006, in Iceland.
Aaron discovered (legally, like Manning who had clearance to access all the data he leaked) damning information about surveillance happening by the NSA, specifically against recruits entering the US army and elsewhere.
In this story, the "Andrew" identity was co-opted and turned into "Julian Assange", and "Aaron" became "Edward Snowden".
Granted, there were probably other people that these whistleblower imposters were modeled after, but Andrew and Aaron seem like very strong contenders for some of this inspiration.
Now, much of the following may be gobbledygook (lol I spelled that right first try!) for all I know, but since I'm having a really hard time making sense of it all, I'll just include everything I can and let you guys run with it.
Here are some phrases, ideas, terms and people of note that may be involved with this story...MODS: None of this is doxing! All of the links of people are wikipedia pages or published interviews/articles. So yeah. Not dox!
IN CONCLUSION
I don't know how these terms, theories and individuals fit into this story, but that they may be somehow related.
Hopefully there are enough bread crumbs in here to keep some of you busy!
Any help/insight would be appreciated. I confess I'm not so tech-minded so I can't offer any more explanation about some of the more techy terms.
Anyway, thanks for reading, and thanks for continuing to stimulate after all these years! It's really nice to see this place continuing to thrive after all of this time!
submitted by oomiak to conspiracy [link] [comments]

I am a comedian who does a MLM scam thing as part of his act. I have been to a lot of seminars as part of research for my act. Here are some of the things I have witnessed.

Hello there. I am a comedian. My act entails me to pretend to be a self-proclaimed financial expert who can lead you to riches via by paying for his seminajoining my nutritional supplement sales force/learning my bitcoin investing techniques. I won't say my name or link to my act out of respect for the rules. I just discovered this forum. I have no idea how I haven't visited yet.
I've been a hobbyist in comedy for over a decade. I also professionally used to write about finance and econ and etc. I've long been interested in con men and scams and the like. About four years ago, I conceived of this new act and decided to run with it. This was largely done after rereading "Rich Dad Poor Dad" for the first time in a few years and really being grossed out by what I read. And, wouldn't you know it, a little bit after that a Rich Dad Seminar was coming to a crappy chain hotel ballroom the next week just a few minutes from my house. This as the first of many of these types of seminars that I went to as sort of a weird method acting thing to study how the seminars operated and the types of people who lead them.
The most MLM one I went to was this really weird bitcoin thing. It was held at a Bonefish Grille near where I live. There was the promise of a free appetizer (Bang Bang Shrimp, specifically). I went and sat down with this middle aged white guy. We started talking. He asked me if I was interested in investing in bitcoin. I told him "no." I didn't tell him why I was there, but said I was curious about learning about any investment opportunity. This guy was an insurance broker with a college degree. He said he was always looking for some more opportunities and had done some "direct sales" things like some sort of vacation club on the side. He was really afraid missing out on bitcoin. I asked him why he hadn't just bought bitcoin and instead was at this event. He did not really have an answer. He then told me after to give him my thoughts whether or not I thought the thing was a scam.
The two people leading the event were a husband and wife. The husband claimed his face was used when he was a baby on a can of Gerber's baby food. He also said he worked for the local radio news station doing traffic updates for years. However, he got really sick after he contracted lyme disease after walking his dog in the woods. This drained the savings of he and his wife (who said she was a teacher at a local school). All of this was just sort of dubious to start with. There's no way to prove you were a baby model. I have no recollection of this man doing traffic updates on this station (which I listen to frequently). Why didn't he have health insurance through his job? Or what about through his wife since public school teachers have pretty good insurance a lot of times?
But that was their whole "rags-to-riches" angle. EVERY single one of these seminars is led by a spokesperson overcoming some type of odds. They then said they knew they needed to take the bull by the horns to get a hold of their financial independence and wanted their friends ("both old and new!") to learn those techniques, too. And this came via a unique bitcoin investment scheme.
It worked like this. For 50 euros (yes, euros, not US$) you would buy into a "virtual box." This virtual box would accrue interest somehow. And after a certain amount of time (I can't remember what, something like 90 days) then this "virtual box" would then allow you to buy bitcoin. OR it could roll over and your box could expand and allow you to get even more bitcoin down the line. The company was also registered in Dubai. There could not possibly be more red flags.
And then came the best part. The couple said your box would "automatically grow" if you could recruit your friends and families to also invest, and you could get your box to grow further if they could get others to join. I am not even kidding when I state that as part of the power point presentation they essentially drew a pyramid to show how it worked.
The guy I was with asked me what I think. I pointed out that they literally drew a pyramid as part of the business plan. And that you had to for some reason use euros to hand over to a company registered in Dubai. And, also, why not just buy bitcoin? He said he thought of all of that too but thought it sounded like a good opportunity. He gave me his card and I e-mailed him a week later. He ended up actually buying into this thing.
I also sneaked into an Herbalife event. I was actually at a different seminar at the same hotel and heard all of this crazy noise in a nearby room. I went to go see what it was and it was some sort of celebration for top selling Herbalife people in my state. I walked in casually as a wedding band was playing a Killers song and just tried to blend in. But some goony security type guard blocked my path and asked me who I was. (Everyone else was wearing nametags.) I said I was at a different event at the hotel but saw this and it looked like fun and wanted to know what it was about. Someone else then explained it was for Herbalife and I pretended I didn't know what that was. (I watched the documentary on it the week before and had known about it before that already.) The person speaking to me gave me the basics and his card and wanted me to join his "exercise squad" the next weekend.
I have been to two Rich Dad seminars and two Than Merril "Flip This House" seminars. They're all the same thing. The hosts wear a wireless headset microphone. They have some sob story. They were all before the election claiming they were close friends with Donald Trump. (That got toned down after his candidacy heated up and he became controversial. My area also is heavily Democrat, so not a good bragging point.) The audience members were filled with a lot of recent immigrants (Eastern Europeans) or people who, after speaking with them for a few, were struggling to make ends meet and wanted to do better financially and probably read Rich Dad but didn't know the basics of how to save.
The first Rich Dad seminar was hosted by this guy from Oklahoma who was about 60. He claimed to have been some hotshot real estate investor. And he namedropped some celebrities he claimed to have mentored over the years. One was former NBA player Antoine Walker, who literally was the person the 30 for 30 "Broke" was inspired by due to his financial mismanagement. This guy claimed he was able to write off taxes for a recent trip he took to Spain (since he was looking at investment properties) and etc. He also pointed to a woman in the crowd at one point and asked what her credit score was. Before she could answer, he responded by saying "I know your credit score is bad just by looking at you. It's so bad, in fact, that I bet it's coming alive and it's waiting next to that guy's piece of shit car and it's going to kill you."
Also at this event was a second speaker who was hawking some sort of stock picking software. He was Canadian. In his sob story, he mentioned how he had lost his job and "at one point, I literally looked my son in the eye and told him I could no longer provide for him and I was a failure of a father." He said this with tears in his eyes and I am almost completely certain that this was, in fact, an honest statement. He also ranted about mutual funds and their "hidden fees" and said this software would help you pick what stocks to buy by giving you information about different categories (I'm guessing stuff like P/E ratio) and if enough were "green lights" then it was a good buy. Just a truly gross thing to hawk to people new to investing.
I was also kicked out of one event. This was for some sort of direct marketing e-mail thing that made zero sense whatsoever. I went with a friend of mine. About 30 minutes or so into the speech, the host said "if you're interested, just head to the back of the room to my colleague and sign up and we'll get you started." After a few seconds, this woman sitting in the front row meekly got up, looked around, and headed back. This opened up the floodgates. Almost everyone in the room followed her soon after. It was pretty clear to me that she was a plant -- sitting in the front row let everyone see her move forward and put on the pressure. My friend and I eventually went back. The "contract" to sign was some mimeographed piece of paper that would charge you $400 to go to the next level of seminars. The company was based in Malaysia. I had a notepad with me to take notes and I tried to keep the mimeograph hidden as you weren't allowed to take it out of the room. (They claim at all of these that any information is protected under copyright law so you can't record it or bring anything home, which is not how copyright law works.) The guy leading the seminar saw that I had the mimeograph and demanded that I return it to the dude in the back. I said I would but instead turned to the door. A different guy blocked the door and ordered me to hand over the mimeograph. I for some reason did and then the host said "I hate it when people try to act slick" before he told me to leave.
These events are a really insane subculture. I love going to them in terms of the bizarre world of the seminar professional. I feel really bad for the people who actually do go and end up handing over money. I sometimes afterwards will hang out and see people in the parking lot and tell them it's a scam and explain why. I hope they believe me. I wish I could tell everyone. But just doing a parody act of all of these things I hope can help put a light on the horrors of the MLM world to some degree.
submitted by FinancialGuru_Geth to antiMLM [link] [comments]

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