Set forth below is the text of a comment that I recently posted to another blog entry at this site:
“When people work up the courage to call someone out on a discussion board, they will also work up the courage to file lawsuits and to demand criminal prosecutions. Why wouldn’t they?”
A snarky note on a message board requires no effort, no intelligence, no validity, and virtually no time. There are many orders of magnitude between that and a successful lawsuit or criminal prosecution. If you cannot understand that, then there really is no common point of reference to discuss anything with you.
There was nothing even a tiny bit snarky about the comments in which people called Taylor Larimore out on his dishonesty, Seriously. Most of the people who made those comments liked the guy and admired the guy. They had kept quiet about their doubts about lots of things he said for years. They were worried about what their fellow community members would think of them after they spoke their minds. It took a lot for them to work up the courage to do what they did. Their comments were rooted in love, not snarkiness.
I know how those people feel. It took me a lot of time to work up the courage and love to call John Greaney out on his b.s. And it took me a lot of time to work up the courage and love to call Mel Linduaer out on his b.s. And it took me a lot of time to work up the courage and love to call Jack Bogle out on his b.s.
If people can work up the courage and love need to take on Larimore and Lindauer and Greaney and Bogle on discussion boards, they can work up the courage and love needed to file lawsuits and to demand criminal proceedings. It certainly takes more work to bring a lawsuit. Obviously. But there are huge benefits to be had by bringing these lawsuits. We are talking about people who will have lost most of their life savings. Are you saying that no one will be able to work up the energy to file a lawsuit to obtain recovery of most of his life savings? Huh? That does’t make even a tiny bit of sense.
Bernie Madoff is in prison today. Someone must have worked up the energy to make that happen. The 13-year cover-up has destroyed the lives not of thousands but of MILLIONS. I have a funny feeling that there will be no shortage of people working up the energy to take action.
The hard thing is working up the courage to violate the Social Taboo. That’s been the story re these matters going back to the morning of May 13, 2002. Get Rich Quick investing strategies are cons. We LOVE them. Love them, love them, love them. It’s in our human nature to fall in love with Buy-and-Hold/Get Rich Quick investing strategies. But it is also in our human nature to feel great shame when we fall for such garbage. So we HATE coming clean. We hate it, hate it, hate it.
The story of the past 13 years is that it is very, very, very hard for us to work up the courage to act. We don’t want to admit to ourselves that we have fallen for a Get Rich Quick scheme. And we don’t want to call out our friends and neighbors and co-workers for doing so. We don’t want people getting mad at us for calling them “fools,” which is what we are doing when we point out that someone has followed a Buy-and-Hold/Get Rich Quick investing strategy. So there is a big wall to climb in getting these lawsuits filed.
But the hard part is not the filing of the papers. The hard part is working up the courage to say out loud the words “that is a big pile of smelly garbage.” Take a look at my work. I say those words freely and plainly and frequently today. But it wasn’t like that back in May 2002. I was tentative then. I was cautious. I felt uneasy going to the places to which I was going. That’s how the people who called out Taylor on his trickery felt. And they were the ones who had worked up the courage to go that far. That was a minority of the board population even in the days when the P/E10 level was 13. Most have never gone that far or anything close to it.
But the feeling spreads.
When one person works up the courage to violate the Social Taboo, it helps others form the courage needed.
The feeling of tentative courage spreads and spreads and spreads. Then it becomes less and less and less tentative. Then people actually become PROUD to be telling the truth and to be helping people rather than destroying their lives.
Filing a lawsuit is nothing to someone who has lost most of his life savings and who now sees that it is because he was tricked and who has thousands of friends encouraging him to do the right thing. It is hard to get from Point A to Point B. But the hard part is not the filing of the papers. The hard part is the part where the person comes clean WITH HIMSELF. Once we can be honest with ourselves about how we are not nearly as smart as we once pretended we were, all sorts of good things become possible.
Or so Rob Bennett believes, you know?
I believe all these things will happen. But I am not God. I can never be 100 percent sure. We are all just going to have to wait and see how things play out.
I know that I am happy to be on the side that I am on. That’s the one thing that I can say with 100 percent certainty. I love my country. I feel good in a very deep place to know that I am fighting to PROTECT her, not to destroy her.
I hope that all that makes at least a measure of sense to your Goon ears.
My best and warmest wishes to you and yours, my old friend.