Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently put to another blog entry at this site:
If by “hiding under the bedcovers,” you mean that I no longer spin my wheels on the internet, you are correct. I’ve found other pursuits that I enjoy more.
I’ll explain what I meant, Wab.
Please understand that I do not mean to direct these comments particularly at you. You did what lots of people did. I am expressing something that I feel very deeply when I use those words. And it sounds like I am taking a dig at you. But that is not really my intent. My intent is to express amazement at a phenomenon that I have seen play out with many different people at many different times.
It is a horrible, horrible thing to get a number wrong in a retirement study or in a retirement calculator.
If I learned that I had done such a thing, I would be greatly embarrassed. I would IMMEDIATELY fix the error. I would apologize to the people whose lives I had destroyed. I would thank the person who brought the error to my attention for saving me further embarrassment.
That is obviously not the way in which either Greaney or Sholar reacted.
I was stunned and amazed at how they reacted.
I was also stunned and amazed at how YOU (and many others, to be sure) reacted.
I think of Greaney as a friend. I think of Sholar as a friend. I think of you as a friend. I think of those many others as friends.
I have learned things from you all. I have had laughs with you. I have had good times with you all. I have been through lots of experiences with you all. That to me equates to thinking of you as friends.
I do not like to see my friends go to prison. The thought is horrifying to me.
Greaney and Sholar (and those who have posted in “defense” of them) have been engaged in a massive act of financial fraud for many years now. They know that their study and calculator get the numbers wildly wrong. They know that people have used the study and calculator to plan retirements. And they have both engaged in a massive cover-up to keep people from finding out about the errors. That’s an act of financial fraud that makes anything that Bernie Madoff did look tiny and insignificant in comparison.
So I think it is fair to say that a good number of my friends from the old days will be going to prison following the next crash.
I HATE that. Hate it, hate it, hate it, hate it, hate it.
So I naturally spoke up against the cover up. And I naturally asked all my friends to ALSO speak up and to get John’s and Bill’s lives back on track.
I was scared too. I knew precisely how ruthlessly vicious the Greaney Goons were from my dealings with them at Motley Fool. I know that Bill was scared. And I presume that that’s your story too.
I do not understand how you could continue posting at a board that had become a corrupt enterprise.If you didn’t feel safe speaking out, I feel that you should have moved on then.
The phrase was intended to be a reference to your lack of courage. I think that’s a big part of this story. People are scared to death of Mel Linduaer and John Greaney and for perfectly good reasons. But I don’t get it why they don’t see that Lindauer and Greaney lose all their power to intimidate us once we agree to join together in protecting ourselves from them.
If I had agreed to post dishonestly, I could not have lived with myself. That’s me. There’s no requirement that you be me. But I cannot understand how you can do what you did instead. I am simply making that point, getting that out on the table, getting that out in the open.
Your comment that you moved on suggests that things got even worse after the ban. I cannot say that I am surprised. When the good guys reveal that they don’t care about a board, the bad guys take over and it dies. How could it go any other way?
It’s good talking to you again after being out of touch for a number of years. I do think of you as a friend, Wab. I naturally wish you all the best of luck with whatever investing strategies you elect to pursue.
Sometime in 2014 I plan to start a discussion board at this site. I am looking for 10 people who will commit to putting up one post every day during the launching stage of the board. If you are interested in being part of that, please let me know. I would love to have you with us.
Take care, man.