An exposé about much more than just Suze Orman
From Fraudulent FICO Fables to Corporate Cons, How Suze Orman and Her Crooked Cabal Manipulated the Media, Plundered the Poor, Stole from the Middle Class, Damaged the United States Economy, and Hijacked a Political Party
A Citizen Journalism Public Service Offering
This online multimedia book is based on the documentary film:
How Suze Orman SCAMMED the World (2016)
A comedy, tragedy, and IQ test all in one
Click here to download the free ebook
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Suze Orman SCAMvenger Hunt
1: From Waitress to “Financial Expert”: Orman’s History of Shams and Shenanigans
2: Seducing Corporations, Banks and Billionaires
3: Trumping Up Her Bank Account with a Gold “Pump and Dump” Scheme
4: Distortions of the “Queen Of Crisis”: Damaging the Economy for Personal Gain
5: The “Approved” Card Scam and Media Wide Fraud
6: Capitalizing On The Financial Illiteracy of The Poor, Minorities, and the “Occupy” Movement
7: The Scam-Ridden Card’s Demise and Cover-Up
8: Sociopathology and a Twitter Meltdown
9: And The Scams Go On…
This is an online multimedia book -- throughout the text, you’ll find underlined links to videos, articles, and other supportive documentation.
Sociopathology and a Twitter Meltdown
As a disclaimer for this chapter, I don’t have the credentials to make an official diagnosis of Suze Orman as a narcissistic sociopath, although I was brought up by two psychology teachers and started reading Freud and other psychology books at age seven, before studying neuroscience at the University of Michigan. Therefore, I have more higher education in the psychology field than Suze Orman has in finance since, unlike her ghostwriters and behind-the-scenes experts, Orman has never taken a single finance-related college course.
With that disclaimer in place, there are few if any other people I've met or known personally who I would describe as true sociopaths. That includes working with hundreds of directors, producers, studio executives, actors, crew and journalists during my years in Hollywood, and many idiosyncratic spiritual folks who I worked, worshipped, and roomed with while living and serving for many years in an international yoga and meditation ashram that attracted just about every kind of person you could imagine. Those guests included occasional predators like Suze Orman, who quickly realized the ashram devotees were innocent, trusting, and easy to con, use, and abuse to hone their scamming skills and pick up some spiritual-sounding phrases to project a wise image and twist to suit their snake oil scams.
Of course, we all have flaws, but Suze Orman is by far the most problematic person I've personally known, for many reasons. From what I’ve experienced, observed, and heard from others, Orman has always gone through life trying to charm, lie, and con people into doing what would take her to the next level, leaving significant damage in her wake.
Orman would find accomplished people who could either be fooled by her altruistic charades or bribed with frequent promises of lavish repayments—in my case, both. She would con good people into violating their integrity to support her schemes before leaving them compromised and damaged, usually giving a few more kicks after the con.
Hopefully this book and film will open a gate for others to contribute their knowledge and experiences, so we can all learn lessons for better discernment in life, and for the protection, education, and intelligence of our society. That’s one reason I say this book and film are about much more than just Suze Orman.
The entire list of “qualities of sociopath” on Wikihow could have a photo of Suze Orman as a prime example. Here are the more relevant descriptions: (Link 8-1):
Sociopaths are usually extremely charming and charismatic. Their personalities are described as magnetic, and as such, they generate a lot of attention and praise from others.
Sociopaths oftentimes feel overly entitled to certain positions, people, and things. They believe that their own beliefs and opinions are the absolute authority, and disregard the opinions of others.
Sociopaths are rarely shy, insecure, or at a loss for words. They have trouble suppressing emotional responses like anger, impatience, or annoyance, and constantly lash out at others and respond hastily to these emotions.
Sociopaths can be criminals. Because of their tendency to disregard the law and social norms, sociopaths may have a criminal record. They may be con artists, kleptomaniacs, or even murderers.
Sociopaths are professional liars. They fabricate stories and make outlandish, untruthful statements, but are able to make these lies sound convincing with their confidence and assertiveness.
Sociopaths have a low tolerance for boredom. They get bored easily and require constant stimulation.
Sociopaths are incapable of experiencing guilt or shame for their actions. It is common for sociopaths to lack remorse when they have done something that hurts others. They may appear indifferent or rationalize their actions.
Sociopaths are manipulative. They may try to influence and dominate the people around them and tend to seek positions of leadership.
Sociopaths lack empathy and may be incapable of love. While some sociopaths will have an individual or a small group of people that they seem to care about, they have a hard time feeling emotions and it is likely that they have not had healthy romantic relationships in the past.
Sociopaths have a hard time dealing with criticism. They often desire approval from others and may even feel like they are entitled to it.
Throughout this book, multimedia links, and our documentary film, you’ll find clear examples of Suze Orman behaving in ways that fit strongly into each of those descriptions. You will also find examples that illustrate the official DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) description of a narcissistic sociopath. (Link 8-2)
People suffering from Sociopathic disorders tend to be superficially charming. They also tend to display behavior which include manipulation of people around them, desire to be in control of everything and everyone around them that usually leads to grave consequences and shallow emotions…Displays heightened levels of deceitfulness in dealings with others, which involves lying, conning others without remorse, or even using aliases.
Research has revealed that since a sociopath never conforms to the rules of the society, he or she is not bothered about the consequences of his or her actions. Such people at times are also able to inspire like-minded people.
Some of the other traits that are common in antisocial people are that they are usually intelligent and have a superficial charm and they are able to attain success using unscrupulous methods. Thus they can also never learn from their own mistakes and they do not hesitate to indulge in certain activities that are considered immoral and taboo by the society.
It’s unfortunate that Orman’s sociopathic confidence and charm paved the way for her to assume an almost completely uncredentialed position as a financial, family, career, and lifestyle advisor to millions. A lack of credentials might be okay if someone was offering consistently good advice that did not come with the kinds of predatory schemes that saturated Orman's often ghostwritten works.
Some who might have otherwise spoken up to stop the damage after her prepaid card scam likely fell for Orman’s frequent suggestions that she was going to retire soon, which she repeated in several outlets while still pushing her debit card scam. I assumed she was planting this expectation in the press specifically to make critics think it would not be worth their trouble to expose her when her damaging shenanigans were supposedly coming to an end. I'm sure many were afraid of what they might lose if they were to speak up and draw the ire of Orman’s powerful supporters, so why make a big deal about some media wide blatant fraud if the perpetrator was no longer going to be causing harm?
However, those who may have expected the shams to end were wrong. The damaging and deceptive actions of Orman and her massively powerful political lobbyist and strategist publicists have continued on. As of the writing of this book, even though Orman and her partner in crime have moved to their private island after being cut by venues including CNBC, QVC, and O Magazine, they continue to cause damage to the world, including troubling scam-infested liaisons with the United States military, New Age publishers, presidential politics, and more.
In this next clip, you can watch Orman’s personality aberrations in action on the show Talk Stoop. Orman is explaining that she and her brand manager wife approached General Mills and asked them to put her face on their Total cereal box. She appears to be a little inebriated in the clip, so the video of that conversation is as good a clip as any to inaugurate this exploration into Orman’s behavioral problems.
Watch Orman parade her neuroses on Talk Stoop: Link 8-3
Here’s a documented example of Orman's dishonest nature that also illumines some of her troubling relationship with her father and traces some origins of her view that money is “the most important thing in life.”
Note Orman's unapologetic ease with dishonesty as she tosses off the fact that she had just been caught blatantly lying in a book about her father committing suicide on Fathers Day.
From the New York Times article, “Suze Orman is Having a Moment,” in May 2009: (Link 8-4)
Anyone looking for insight into the genesis of Orman’s obsession with money, her deeply personal, all-consuming preoccupation with it, need look no farther than the first chapter of “The Nine Steps to Financial Freedom.” Just a few pages in, she tells the story of a fire that destroyed her father’s chicken shack when she was about 13. Her father, who was there when the fire started, escaped without harm — only to rush back in, his daughter watching in disbelief, after he realized that every cent the family had was in the cash register. Unable to open the register, he “literally picked back up the scalding metal box and carried it outside,” Orman writes. “When he threw the register on the ground, the skin on his arms and chest came with it. He had escaped the fire safely once, untouched. Then he voluntarily risked his life and was severely injured. The money was that important. That was when I learned that money is obviously more important than life itself.”
Orman goes on to talk about her quest to gain some perspective on that life lesson, and toward the end of the book, in a chapter called “Understanding the Ebb and Flow of the Money Cycle,” she returns to her father’s story. Her father experienced a series of business reversals, she writes, but eventually he had two delis up and running successfully, and he stopped worrying: “For the first time ever, there was enough money — more than enough. My dad knew, too, that my mom would be taken care of after he was gone, and he was happy her brother would take over the family business.”
Not long after that, she wrote, “My father died — in his eyes a lucky man.” The point of the story: Sometimes the worst misfortune paves the way for a better opportunity.
Back in March, a few minutes before Orman was about to go live on “Morning Joe,” I mentioned to her that I had been struck by the story of her father’s perseverance. Did his entrepreneurialism, I asked, inspire her?
“My father killed himself,” she said by way of an answer. “On Father’s Day.”
I was startled by the apparent discrepancy with her more sanguine account of her father’s death in “The Nine Steps to Financial Freedom” but let her continue.
That day, she went on, when she was 30, her father insisted on getting out of his wheelchair and walking and walking even though he had a serious heart condition and the doctors had warned him against it. “He wouldn’t open the presents. He knew what he was doing,” she said. “He died a defeated man. He didn’t know who would take care of me and my mom.”
A few weeks later, I asked Orman about the seeming contradiction in facts, and she passed it off blithely, even likeably. “Oh, who knows what I said in the book,” she replied. She added that she probably gave the story a happier ending in print to please her mother.
On the morning she first told me that she believed her father killed himself, I thought I might somehow have been misremembering the story in the book — and wasn’t sure what to say. I remarked awkwardly that she had had an unusually intense life. Her response suggested that she managed to find an equally compelling, inspirational narrative from the sadder, presumably true, version of her father’s history: “Thank God,” she said. “It’s made me the person I am.”
Knowing about some personal issues regarding Orman and her father, including accusations she made toward him that she later recanted after a psychic told her they didn’t happen, I wondered if he chose Fathers Day to make a statement. If so, Mr. Orman was not the only person to be driven to despair by his daughter’s sociopathic shenanigans.
Since we’re in somewhat of a “dishy” chapter, next is an article comment written by someone who had once been hired as one of Orman’s behind-the-scenes experts. The article uses a fake headline to demonstrate the power of dramatic headlines, so I’m not claiming Suze Orman actually eats puppies, although pre-famous Orman did once confide in me about doing something nasty to her friend’s dog that was so gross, I still remember exactly where I was standing during that conversation.
Here’s the fake headline, used as an example for an article about headlines:
I had to include that fake headline to give a context for this very real comment by an insider who may have been anonymously violating her confidentiality agreement with Orman:
Even though Orman didn’t really eat a puppy on live TV, this anonymous insider comment (that probably violates the person’s confidentiality agreement with Orman) gives a glimpse of the real experts behind Suze Orman’s “financial expert” façade, and also highlights Orman’s behavioral problems and sexual predator nature.
A University psychology professor who also knows Orman described to me what he saw as Orman finding ways to dig her psychic hooks into people, such as she did with Oprah and many others. One of the stranger examples of this dynamic is comedian Kathy Griffin, who usually calls other shysters out on their B.S., but practically worships Suze Orman.
Some years ago, Kathy Griffin's assistant, Jessica, contacted me to say thanks after reading and enjoying one of my spiritual happiness books. In our subsequent communications, Jessica shared her concerns about how Orman's effect on Kathy was like a cult. In the clip below you’ll see Orman on Griffin’s “D-List” show, emasculating one of Griffin’s assistants and trying to humiliate Jessica on national television by calling her “stupid, just stupid” because she was leasing a reasonable car. (Link 8-5)
Note that even though Orman tells Jessica in this clip that leasing a car is the stupidest thing she'll ever do in her life, when I knew Orman in the early 1990s, she was leasing a top of the line BMW, along with loads of other extravagant indulgences, and that was at a time when Orman was, according to her own biography, two hundred and fifty thousand dollars in debt, not including all her promised repayments to me and others that she had apparently had always intended to blow off.
At the time of this episode, Jessica had a great job as a celebrity assistant on the cast of a reality show, so she—unlike Orman when she leased that BMW in the 1990s—could actually afford the price, and had reasons for preferring to go that route. Soon after the Orman episode aired, after many years working as Griffin’s assistant, Griffin fired Jessica, perhaps on Orman's advice, since heartless Suze Orman loves to tell people to fire their employees and managers, and not to help friends or family in need.
In an email conversation, Jessica expressed her concerns to me about Orman's condescending and brusque behavior and Kathy's cult like obsession with her. “Kathy even got a little ruffled with me when I said I probably would continue to lease cars. As if it offended her and Suze...such bizarre cultlike behavior.”
In the years since that episode aired in 2008, up to and including in 2016, Griffin has barely seemed able to get through a comedy set or interview appearance without referencing Orman in positive terms.
Kathy Griffin’s Orman accolades have included repeating an absurd number of times on many interview shows and comedy performances that Suze Orman should be the president of the United States, sometimes explaining that the White House “needs a dirty lesbian.” (Article and video of that at this link: Link 8-6)
Griffin even named a CD track after this oft-repeated pitch—play the CD track here: Link 8-8:
Griffin’s repetition of the same “joke” continued year after year, increasingly sounding more serious than joking, such as in this Huffington Post article that was published in both 2013 and 2016: “Kathy Griffin Wants a Lesbian President, Nominates Suze Orman.” (Link 8-7)
“You know I’ve been saying President Orman for quite awhile. I love my Barack Obama, but I’m saying President Suze Orman would be a very good move,” said Griffin, who added that a lesbian in the White House would “be a dream.”
Griffin’s enthusiastic and unending pitching of Suze Orman over the years has been so obviously deliberate and ongoing that I wondered if Kathy might have an arrangement where Orman pays for each mention, although that's just a guess. Maybe Griffin really does have a crush on this scammer.
Griffin has actually said she would like to be “Mrs. Orman,” and in this clip, explains how Suze Orman is like Jesus: Link 8-9
Orman has also insinuated that she would make a good president of the United States. Perhaps she figures that if she could con her way into her current unqualified position, why not play the same game to the top. After all, Orman’s main protector, Hilary Rosen, is considered a king maker for democratic politicians, often using seriously concerning tactics, such as those she seems to have used whole strategizing for Hillary Clinton’s primary campaign against Bernie Sanders.
As a note, I’m as democratic as they come, but have no interest in standing by silently while watching the democratic party be hijacked and corrupted by a “Koch sister” who wants to use those politicians to give Suze Orman immunity from her crimes.
Orman probably figures that if she could get behind the scenes experts to help her fake being a “financial wizard,” why not do the same for a presidency, like Kevin Kline’s fake president in the movie “Dave,” who reminded me of Orman’s façade as a “financial expert.” Both did pick up some information along the way, but were nevertheless living a lie.
Orman's 2012 Twitter Meltdown
The Suze Orman problem reached a new crescendo of public visibility in January 2012, when Orman’s “Approved” card scam went too far and finally caught the attention of financial journalists across the land. Any expert worth his or her salt could see that she was lying to the public and pushing a misinformation campaign to fool and rip off the poorest, most financially uneducated people in our country.
Smart Credit blog ran the article, “Reaction to Suze Orman’s Prepaid Debit Card Overwhelmingly Negative” (Link 8-10)
In what might win the award for most boneheaded public relations move of 2012, on Monday January 9th the world woke up to the announcement that Suze Orman, host of the popular Suze Orman Show on CNBC, had partnered with The Bancorp Bank to introduce and endorse The Approved Card, a pre-paid debit MasterCard. Pre-paid debit cards have very poor reputations and are generally believed to be among the worst financial services products.
Several other personal finance bloggers asked Orman a few relatively gentle questions about her card, barely even mentioning her widely repeated false insinuations that it would improve users’ FICO scores.
Their relatively gentle questions brought forth noticeably immature and deceptive responses from Orman, who proceeded to show just a tiny glimpse of her actual personality, at which point the handful of personal finance bloggers became more honest and blunt with their assessments.
Here’s a sampling from Orman’s Twitter meltdown:
This was one of the first times any journalists had questioned Suze Orman with anything less than deference. I was heartened to see that someone was finally paying proper attention to at least one of Orman’s scams. I shared with some of the bloggers the online article that was a precursor of this book and film, so they would understand that this “Approved” card scam was not just one speck in an otherwise pristine career, but that all the times they had recommended or quoted Suze Orman in their blogs, they were mistakenly recommending a fraud.
I thank and congratulate the personal finance bloggers who stepped in and did what was right, in spite of Orman’s protectors and revengeful nature. They protected many poor and middle class people who would otherwise have been fooled into pouring their hard-earned money into Suze Orman’s “Approved” card scheme.
These bloggers may have even helped save our economy from the scourge Orman and her cabal had planned with their “Approved” card scam.
Soon, Audrey stepped in—Audrey is a retired nurse in Canada who seems to be a nice lady. She became a Suze Orman super fan who, with Orman’s encouragement, posted over fourteen thousand tweets publicizing Orman’s various activities.
Orman’s Twitter responses became a news story in themselves, because they gave a glimpse into Orman behind the ghostwriters and behind-the-scenes experts. This was the Suze Orman that I and many others who helped her along the way came to know—a petty, disappointing, mean, heartless, greedy, lying con artist.
When Orman is called out for her shenanigans, as in the Twitter meltdown above, she often calls her critics “Suze haters” to fool the public into ignoring valid concerns brought forth by competent journalists.
Those bloggers made enough of a noise to finally get the attention of other financial journalists, who took a look at Orman’s card and snake oil pitches and saw something that could never qualify as good financial advice or behavior.
That’s when over one hundred articles were published across the media landscape from journalists top to bottom who had remained silent during so many previous Suze Orman shams. Now, finally, they published articles to warn the public about Orman’s card, which you can find in the “Approved card” chapter of this book.
Some of the blogger responses were especially clever, and true. Here, Drake is quoting Orman’s retort to another blogger:
Thanks again to these bloggers, who helped open the door for journalists up the ladder to notice that a supposedly trusted financial advisor was running an obviously dirty scam.
Some bloggers speculated that this “Approved” card scam and Twitter meltdown would likely be the end of Suze Orman’s career. Reporters at Reuters even held a vote on who could be Orman’s replacement as universally trusted financial expert. What they didn’t realize was the extreme power of Orman’s protectors and publicity strategists, who at the time were also helping BP Oil make the public forget that a gulf oil spill ever happened.
Here’s a description with commentary on Orman’s Twitter drama from the DollarVersity article:
The name calling
The first sign that things were going to get a little hairy was when she started referring to those who were questioning her new product as being idiots, ignorant, haters, saying they think they know everything yet know nothing, and telling a Twitter follower that they should be pitied.
Rather than stooping to such juvenile, name-calling tactics, Ms. Orman would have been better suited responding with facts and real-world data supporting her claims while disputing the claims of others.
It seemed like this wasn’t even happening, and some even questioned whether or not this was actually Ms. Orman doing the tweeting or someone else doing so on her behalf.
Ignoring the “little people”
At every turn, the bloggers were being shot down and belittled.
Ms. Orman at one point made a reference to “legit reporters” who are most likely her buddies writing glowing reviews as opposed to the bloggers who are the “haters.”
At one point they were even reporting that they were being blocked by her Twitter account operator.
It may seem like the easy way to handle the criticism, since many of the people doing the bashing weren’t nationally (and internationally) known personalities.
Unfortunately, when that happens, people tend to find other ways to get their thoughts out to the world, and when it comes to personal financial bloggers, they are able to reach a surprisingly large number of people.
That is when all of the blog posts repeating the Twitter comments, and really dissecting the Approved Card popped up.
Just because individually the bloggers didn’t measure up (statistically) to Ms. Orman as far as Twitter followers or Facebook fans go, they shouldn’t be dismissed, since when taken as a collective, their reach extends much farther.
Plus, all it takes is one person to catch wind of a small movement on the internet and it can blow up to a phenomenon.
At one point, famed New York Times author Ron Lieber confronted her on the issue of the insults, to both the bloggers and himself.
To that, Ms. Orman claimed to never insult him.
Of course, he called her bluff, and was able to provide a direct insult coming from her Twitter account. (Note: Orman’s insult toward Lieber was actually from an interview with Arianna Huffington)
Then came Phil Villarreal to challenge her apology to Mr. Lieber (twice in fact) while ignoring all the others she insulted.
From there it was a bunch of blanket apologies to “anyone I called an idiot” and so on until she was called out on not apologizing to Mr. Phil Taylor (to whom her “idiot” remark was directed) because he wasn’t a writer for the Times (like Mr. Lieber).
Finally, she made a directed apology to Mr. Taylor…
Qualifying every comment
Unfortunately the most important of the apologies, directed at Mr. Taylor, was a bit half-hearted and prefaced by her saying “Even you PT…”.
She also stated among her apologies that she has a hard time “defending my self against things that are not true”.
This is where so many apologies go wrong.
You cannot be taken as being genuine if you slip in snide remarks that detract from an otherwise stand-up gesture.
Telling someone that even they are deserving of an apology after kissing the ass of a big shot is not cool.
Taking shots at the people you are supposed to be apologizing to by continuing to inject your “but they are still wrong” defense isn’t cool either.
She did earn some credit by admitting to not taking the high-road, and taking responsibility for her comments, but it still didn’t make up for the slights she tried to inject into the apologies.
Along with Orman's tirade above, where she called respected financial bloggers “idiots” who know nothing, came her tangled web of praise and insults with New York Times Finance Journalist Ron Lieber.
Orman’s publicists had selected Lieber to write the first article about Orman’s card, apparently trusting that his portrayal would be favorable.
Lieber’s fairly gentle article about Orman’s prepaid card did nevertheless point out the card’s flawed logic, including calling her B.S. deal with TransUnion, “vaporware.” He also offered some knowledgeable guesses at what may have been taking place behind the scenes in Orman’s deal that had convinced TransUnion to compromise their integrity and partner on such a fraudulent scheme.
From Lieber’s New York Times article, “TV Advisor on Money Offers Card,” (Link 8-13)
The real question is whether any debit card can help a cardholder become more creditworthy. The three major credit bureaus — TransUnion, Equifax and Experian — generally do not use debit card spending data to determine whether someone is qualified for loans.
“There is something radically wrong here,” Ms. Orman said. “We are rewarding people for having credit and punishing people who pay in cash. I want to change that paradigm.”
So she has persuaded TransUnion to collect spending data from Approved card customers. Perhaps it will look at other companies’ data too. And in a few years, it will see whether there is any proof that prepaid debit users deserve recognition for good behavior.
Until then, this is mere vaporware. The data may prove meaningless, and even if there are patterns, TransUnion probably would not give people more than a handful of points’ worth of credit on their scores.
As for the free credit reports and such, TransUnion could raise the price Ms. Orman pays in 2013. TransUnion may simply be in this temporarily for the gold star it gets from siding with Ms. Orman and her people-first philosophy.
I wish I knew for sure. Nobody from TransUnion would talk about any of this, though Ms. Orman laid down the law, just in case. “If they set me up,” she asked, “do you think I wouldn’t do everything in my power to obliterate them? I absolutely would, and they know that. That’s not their intention here.”
That was as mild as an honest article about Orman’s predatory card could be, and it was the first article announcing the card, so I assumed SKDK had contacted the most sympathetic ear they could find in a respected outlet such as the New York Times.
With a quick search on any Orman supporter with Rosen and SKDK, I did notice some interesting connections between Lieber’s wife, Jodi Kantor, and SKDK, including a mention of Kantor’s new book on the SKDK website. So perhaps there are some friendships that Orman’s publicists assumed would lead Lieber to write something more lenient than what he wrote.
On Tuesday January 10th, SKDKnickerbocker Managing Director Anita Dunn appeared on MSNBC’s Jansing and Co. where she discussed t he state of the Obama Presidency, including: the stepping-down of White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley, Jodi Kantor’s new book, “The Obamas,” and the accomplishments of Obama’s presidency over the past three years.
Anita Dunn was a White House communications director and senior advisor to President Obama’s presidential campaigns. She is now the managing director of Hilary Rosen’s SKDK. Maybe this connection explains, in part, why even President Obama stood back silently while Suze Orman scammed our country and the world.
That was the stage for Orman’s subsequent “battle” with Lieber. She had expected him to write a friendlier first article about the card, and then was so angry that she forgot he was her publicist’s “friend.” Or, who knows who she was getting back at with what. Suze Orman runs a lot of concurrent strings of manipulations and “mean girls” games.
Ron Lieber’s integrity required that he give some honest criticisms of Orman’s crummy prepaid card in the article.
In the Twitter exchange between Lieber and Orman, you get to see one more example of Orman's ease with lying, as she says she would never insult Ron—even though she had publicly done so the previous day, which led to her turn-around lie.
The full interview with Ariana Huffington brought a textbook’s worth of troublesome behaviors by Orman. Her comment about Lieber got it’s own article, titled: “Suze Orman Hits Out At New York Times’ Ron Lieber For Debit Card Column” (Link 8-11)
Huffington Post eventually removed the video from that article, but you can watch it here:
Suze Orman offered a fiery response to New York Times columnist Ron Lieber for his piece on her new debit card on Tuesday.
The finance guru introduced a prepaid debit card on Monday. Lieber suggested that it could pose a conflict of interest for CNBC, where Orman is a host. He wrote, “It is worth noting that if I tried to introduce my own card, the ethics editor would laugh me out of the New York Times building.”
Orman smacked that suggestion down in an interview with Arianna Huffington at the Huffington Post Media Group offices on Tuesday. Orman reiterated her pledge not to discuss any cards on television, and also distinguished between her role and Lieber’s. “Ron can say what he wants. It would be ridiculous to go in and try to create a debit card on his own when that is his job, to evaluate other things,” she said.
She alleged that the real conflict of interest belonged to a website that ran a negative piece about the card, while featuring ads for other cards. She did not name the New York Times, though the page for Lieber’s column does carry ads for financial products.
After staunchly defending her card, she also dismissed the criticism of reporters who she said have been wrong over the years.
“You can’t see that in others which isn’t true for yourself. If you’re thinking that I’m profit-motivating and I’m this and I’m that, Ron Lieber, I would take a good look in the mirror because something isn’t quite right with you, sir,” she said.
Note Orman’s penchant for using ancient wisdom and new age mumbo jumbo to shame anyone who dares question her scams. As the author of Spirituality For Dummies (yes, really), I could write a lovely essay about the higher-level philosophical understanding of how the world is like a mirror, reflecting patterns of the soul in and as Supreme Consciousness manifesting the world. Orman and I both studied these ancient teachings in a spiritual community, where she learned much of the jargon she has distorted and misused to cover her scams and give a false impression of wisdom and integrity.
In her interview with Huffington, Orman used this quote about the world as a reflection of our soul to suggest that anyone who sees anyone commit any crime must be committing that crime themselves. Therefore, any journalist who criticized Orman’s prepaid card scam must be crooked, or, “You can’t see that in others which isn’t true for yourself. If you’re thinking that I’m profit-motivating and I’m this and I’m that, Ron Lieber, I would take a good look in the mirror because something isn’t quite right with you, sir.”
Such manipulations had kept other critics silent, but not Mr. Lieber, this time.
Less than one day after telling Ron Lieber to take a good look in the mirror because something wasn’t quite right with him, Orman denied ever insulting Ron Lieber when he called her out about it. And Lieber continued to prod.
In that Twitter conversation, you could see Orman using her usual tactic of sprinkling some Orman praise on top to cover her insult and make the Lieber problem go away. When that failed, Orman admitted that she was lying, because a news headline inescapably announced the truth.
At the end of the conversation, Orman used one of her catchphrases, “I admit that I was wrong.” That brought up the memory of pre-famous Orman in the early 1990s, telling me she had learned this phrase along with others as some kind of psychological occult technique to manipulate people and get yourself out of any predicament. I don’t remember all of he phrases because manipulation tactics were not of interest to me, but “I admit that I was wrong,” was one of them.
So it was no surprise to see Orman use her magical phrase of, “I admit that I was wrong” to deflect the truth coming at her from New York Times journalist Ron Lieber and others, some of whom also wanted apologies.
Here are a couple more “I admit that I was wrong's” to the bloggers:
In spite of her catch phrase apologies, Orman's insults kept coming to attack anyone who questioned her prepaid card scam, including Fox Business Network's Gerri Willis, who interviewed experts on her show and wrote articles to warn people about Orman’s obvious scam, including: “Beware of the Suze Orman Card!” Willis was one of the only journalists to really be honest about the problems with Orman’s card. Soon after, Willis’ show was canceled by FOX Business, and she underwent cancer treatments. I thank Gerri for speaking up and having the integrity to do what others should have done.
In the next link, you can watch a video clip from Willis’ show: “Growing Criticism of Suze Orman’s Prepaid Debit Card”: Link 8-14
This is how Orman responded to the criticism, insulting Willis’ looks in response to a Twitter fan’s compliment about Orman’s looks:
One thing “financial expert” Suze Orman teaches very well is that money doesn't buy class.
I've watched and personally experienced some of Orman's methods of using extreme flattery or conversely using insults to make her “marks” feel low self-esteem to be more vulnerable to her manipulations.
One of Orman’s tactics to ensure loyalty from those she wants to use is to get people to confide personal information that she will have available to use against them. Some speculate that is what may have happened to engender such fierce loyalty from Oprah, even in the face of opposition from her entire producer team.
I've seen Orman offering to be a financial advisor to various celebrities, and have wanted to warn them not to give her any potentially embarrassing information. Orman is the kind of person who will gather any dirt she can on you and then, after using you to benefit herself, use whatever real or fabricated ammunition she has to attack.
Using disasters for personal profit
I more or less stopped intentionally watching Orman on TV years ago, until needing to do so to research for this film and book presentation, but she would ubiquitously appear on many shows I’d record or watch, with barely a time that I haven't heard her say something problematic along with perhaps some useful information.
Every now and then, I would tune in with a thin strand of hope that the leopard might change her spots and behave in a positive way that would ease my burden of personal responsibility for having helped her into the public eye, but it never happened.
Orman does adjust her behavior based on the media outlet she’s on, so that many of the people who watched her yelling at people not to buy a bowl of soup on Oprah's show or acting like a politician while espousing advice from her behind-the-scenes experts or sponsored “price for advice” from corporations on CNN didn’t also get to see her pure salesman snake oil side on QVC, although her “Approved” card sales pitches pretty much got everyone paying attention caught up on the darker side of Suze Orman. (Link 8-15)
Several times over the years, I've happened upon Orman pitching her wares on QVC, where she liked to use hypothetical and actual disasters of the day to scare people into buying her products.
In the next clip from January 2011, Ms. Suze “don't spend money unless it goes to me” Orman uses her mother’s hypothetical death (her mother was still alive at the time), and the host and his wife’s hypothetical deaths to scare QVC viewers into buying her product.
That was creepy enough, but then around two-thirds of the way through the clip, you’ll hear Orman actually use the previous week’s real-life national tragedy in which Representative Giffords and others were shot, with six people killed, including a nine-year-old child, as a way to spook QVC viewers into buying her silver box, which is apparently better than the blue box or the green box. Watch the clip: Link 8-16
This viewer couldn’t believe Orman was using the recent shooting to sell her silver box kit:
Someone who doesn't have usual human feelings of compassion also doesn't know where to draw the line naturally, such as this example of capitalizing on imagined and actual disasters by using her mother's hypothetical death, her co-host and his wife's hypothetical deaths, and the actual shooting and deaths in Tucson just one week earlier to sell her silver box, all within about fifteen minutes of QVC selling time.
Remember that even though she berates people for spending a small amount of money on something they may really want, Orman considers any products that put money into her own pockets to be needs, not wants:
Watch another QVC clip worth seeing: “I'm from the hood and never got above a 'C' in any class, so you should buy my box”: Link 8-17
It would be one thing if Orman was just hawking her wares on QVC and an occasional other show. The problem is that, thanks to her 1% supporters like Jack and Suzy Welch, this huckster has been named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. (Link 8-18)
Victim Blaming from a Victimizer
In 2009, as the world was reeling with news of Orman’s fellow fraudster Bernie Madoff being caught and receiving justice for his financial crimes, Orman must have been seriously gloating at her destroyed competition for gangster of the century.
For Suze Orman, it’s all a game, and the complete lack of justice or scrutiny for her scams meant, in “Suze Orman land,” that she won the game. In fact, Orman’s ending quote in this 2009 article, “Suze Orman: The Money Lady,” from Women’s Wear Daily was: (Link 8-18a)
She pauses, takes a sip of water, and then delivers the parting shot at her critics: “Well, guess who won?” she says. “Guess. Who. Won.”
Most of Bernie Madoff's victims were charitable organizations, elderly people, and Jews, many of whom lost all their savings while Madoff lived it up on their billions of dollars. The most famous and tragic Madoff victim was Elie Wiesel, whom the Nobel committee had called a “Messenger to mankind,” with just one of his long list of humanitarian awards for his work helping to raise awareness of the horrors of the Holocaust that he had survived, that they would never happen again.
This is what Suze Orman said about Bernie Madoff’s victims in the same Women’s Wear Daily article, which gives a clue of what Orman might say to her victims if she were ever brought to justice for her crimes:
Even the victims of Bernie Madoff don’t get off scot-free when Orman gets going. “You walked right into that financial concentration camp, my loves,” she says later in a regrettable metaphor, given that the world’s most famous concentration camp survivor, Elie Wiesel, was among Madoff’s bilked investors. “I mean, you didn’t have to give 100 percent of everything to him.”
That’s Suze Orman’s response to scam victims, including many charitable organizations that lost their entire savings to a fellow scammer? “You walked right into that financial concentration camp, my loves?”
Unlike Orman, Wiesel himself responded to the news that they’d lost all their savings and the savings of his charitable foundation with class, dignity, and heart in Time magazine’s “How Elie Wiesel Responded to Losing His Life Savings to Bernie Madoff”: (Link 8-18b)
“We looked at each other, and our reaction was, ‘We have seen worse,'” said Wiesel, who survived Auschwitz concentration camp, where he was sent when he was 15. “Both she and I have seen worse.”
Word soon spread that the foundation had been hit by Madoff’s scheme, and Wiesel described what happened next as “something very beautiful.”
“All of a sudden, we began receiving hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of letters and donations, small donations, from all over America, Jews and non-Jews,” Wiesel recalled to Oprah. “The American people are so generous…. We received hundreds of them, and that helped us.”
Teaching Hate with Oprah
The next video clip generated thousands of complaints to The Oprah Show. In it, Orman teaches people that they should treat vulnerable people by being a ruthless, mean, and hateful bully and, in this case, she got Oprah to join in the slaughter.
Orman and Oprah ganged up on an emotionally unstable woman who, due to emotionally unstable decisions she'd made, now had the unfathomable responsibility of trying to financially support and personally care for FOURTEEN young children, including one autistic boy, on her own.
Orman beat down Nadya's emotional state by shouting “Everyone hates you!” She made Nadya say louder and louder that she wouldn't have had her children if she had it to do over again, knowing that two of Nadya's children were in the audience. Orman gave Nadya the irresponsible and potentially disastrous command to get rid of any and all nannies and assistance, and to take care of all fourteen children by herself, while also trying to raise money for rent and other needs (soon after, Nadya appeared in pornographic videos to earn the level of money needed to care for so many). Neither Orman nor Oprah offered Nadya a drop of help after their sadistic exploitation for ratings that Oprah’s own producers decried as brutal and “bloody.” (Link below)
From watching this clip on Oprah Winfrey's show, Oprah viewers and their children around the world learned that people who have money problems and emotional and other troubles should be torn down until they say, as Nadya finally did, that she hates herself, after which Oprah, smitten by Orman's bad company, applauded Nadya’s expression of self hate. (Watch the cruelty of Oprah and Suze Orman: Link 8-19)
Orman shouted at Nadya that “Everyone hates you!!!” and demanded that Nadya again and again, louder and louder, declare that she would have chosen to have never had her children, which may be the case, but it’s not a nice thing to make a mother say, especially with two of Nadya’s children right there in the studio.
While slicing and dicing Nadya to shreds, Orman tossed in an almost direct quote from our mutual spiritual teacher about how we shouldn't judge others, which was quite a bizarre thing to say in the middle of Orman’s word slaughter.
It’s the kind of muddled mess of mismatched words and actions Orman has thrown at the American public for years. Imagine the chutzpah of telling people we shouldn’t judge each other while she is tearing this unstable woman to shreds!
Orman’s cruelty clearly didn't end up helping Nadya, based on her continued and increased struggles after the show.
Since Orman insisted that Nadya sell her children’s’ toys for pennies on the dollar to make a few bucks, the lives of her fourteen children went from bad to worse.
Oprah received thousands of complaints from viewers, but she ignored those complaints and replayed that nasty show many more times on her syndicated broadcast and then on her OWN network, where she continued to push Orman into the public consciousness and give her forums for pitching her products and running her scams.
Oprah also swept aside the concerns of her entire producer staff about Orman's troubling behavior being too “bloody” and “brutal” to broadcast. Watch this very telling “Behind the Scenes” clip, where Oprah's producers try to tell her that Orman's behavior was too unacceptable to even broadcast, with some seriously troubling responses from Oprah, including yelling at her dog while defending the indefensible. Watch this amazing clip: Link 8-20.
Along with this display of cruelty came a misleading cover-up article that was obviously submitted through Orman's usual publicity blast channels and distributed to tens of thousands of media outlets through the Associated Press and other avenues. This article gave a skewed impression that the show had been fairly tame and helpful to Nadya, without even mentioning the bloodbath that had brought thousands of complaints. A few examples from a Google search:
Here’s an excerpt from the article, “Octomom concedes she was baby addict on ‘Oprah,” at the Washington Times that explains how Orman’s only solution for Nadya was for her to do a reality show that exploited her children or pornography, which she did end up doing. (Link 8-22)
Orman urged Suleman to get an agent and look into doing more television and other media with her children as she did in the months after they were born, something Suleman said she would no longer do for fears that she would be perceived as crazy or was exploiting her children.
“They already think you’re crazy,” Orman said.
Steven Hirsch, co-founder of adult film company Vivid Entertainment, has offered to pay her February mortgage while he considers buying the La Habra home. Suleman has not commented on the offer.
The only part of the article that almost barely touched the real story, was a very tame sounding mention that Orman had, “heatedly urged Suleman to give up private school and excessive gifts for her children, and a personal trainer and manicures for herself.” If you watch the clip, you’ll see that things went way beyond, “heated.”
Oprah and others have given Suze Orman a platform through which her warped and deceptive ideas and behaviors mixed with useful and bad financial advice have become “Suze says we should…” memes that have impacted our society and economy negatively and removed individuality and heart from the world, even if some individuals have found her general financial advice and products helpful in their personal finances.
Obviously Orman is not responsible for all the ponzi schemes, mortgage misdeeds, mismanaged funds, and corrupt CEO bonuses that have practically destroyed the U.S. economy, but she certainly set the stage for what has taken place, touting the all-important “courage to be rich,” while teaching fear, shame, miserliness, and a focus on money as being the most important thing in life in America, and around the world.
It’s difficult for nonsociopathic people to understand how sociopaths think—we tend to give the benefit of the doubt when possible. It took me far too long to see the extent of Orman’s problem, considering all the signs of her seriously troubling behavior from the day we met.
I saw in the early 1990s that Orman looked at people in her social circles as little more than pawns in her games. Now, she plays the same games with the masses, looking at each downturn, disaster, and other social issue solely in terms of how she can milk it to benefit her bottom line and snare more people with scare tactics, shaming, and other unscrupulous methods.
Below is a clip from January 2014 on The View, where the hosts are discussing the greatness of having forgiven their exes. Orman jumps in to publicly spew her wrath and vindictiveness toward the very people who did huge favors for her and helped to begin her career and achieve her dreams. (Link 8-21)
I know some of the women Orman is referring to in her rage, all decent people who were conned by Orman into helping to further her career. Even though my relationship with Orman wasn’t romantic, I suspect she lumped me in with the rest, because she did con and steal from me in the guise of friendship.
Note that when Orman claims that these previous girlfriends who did nothing but help her did horrible and unforgivable things to her, it is one more example of sociopathic projection.
From “Beware the techniques of the Sociopath”:
“Projection and gaslighting are also on the list of common sociopathic techniques. Sociopaths refuse to be held accountable for their behavior and often assign their own behavior to their victims. For example, a sociopath could accuse a victim of stealing when it is the sociopath himself that steals.”
Orman showed another sociopathic trait of assuming jealousy and playing victim in the face of valid criticism in her 2005 response to criticism by the advertising critic for trade magazine Adweek, along with Orman’s usual sense of self-grandiosity: (Link 8-23)
Barbara Lippert, the advertising critic for Adweek, said Orman is a “hypocrite.”
“Suze Orman claims to give uncorrupted advice, yet she's being paid by one of America's largest corporations to flog its brands,” she said. “It's a complete conflict of interest.”
Orman dismisses such criticism as sour grapes.
“They hate Suze Orman and love to bash me because they're so jealous of my success,” she said. “They just cannot understand how it is that I've sold millions of copies of books, I won an Emmy Award this year, my show on CNBC is the highest-rated show on weekends. How is any of that possible? They hate me because I tell people the truth.”
Orman’s prepaid card fiasco and the rise of social media finally gave a better view into her strings of shams and scams, due to the extensive documentation, with journalists and bloggers finally catching on to at least one of her ploys.
I've not known anyone with such a deep hole of desires as Suze Orman—not only material desires with her yacht and five houses, but desires to boss people around and be the assumed authority of all things. Orman’s dream come true is to be able to yell at people, “You are approved!” “You are denied!” and expect them to follow her instructions in making some of the most important decisions of their lives.
Lies from a habitual liar
Orman’s lies are plenty and frequent, as you can see throughout this book and film. Here are a couple more examples:
Orman posted this example of deceit right in the middle of the huge wave of negative articles, with financial journalists warning people to stay away from her “Approved” prepaid debit card scam:
Aside from the fact that this was far from the last post Orman made about her card as she claimed it would be, the complimentary article Orman was linking to and asking people to read in this Facebook posting and others on Twitter was not a legitimate article at all.
It was nothing but a carefully crafted press release from Orman’s own publicist, disguised as “news” on the Sacramento Bee webpage.
The press release took short snippets from a few Orman shills and carefully edited pseudo-endorsements from a few generally critical articles about the card, including three pseudo-endorsement quotes from the article by New York Times journalist Ron Lieber. Orman’s fake article press release then presented those critical quotes out of context to make it sound like the same journalists who warned people about her card were touting it.
One of the complimentary snippets in support of Orman's card said:
“And when you compare its fees and terms to controversial cards like the Kardashian Kard… it does look pretty good.” [CNN Money, “Suze Orman launches new prepaid card,” January 9, 2012]
It sounds complimentary until you look up the quote in the actual article to find out what was removed from the quote during the “...” you find this:
It's a big difference when you remove, “which was taken off the market in late 2010 after allegations that its sky-high fees were illegal,” right?
This is the same Kardashian Kard that Orman blasted in 2010, less than fourteen months before Orman released her own fee-laden prepaid debit card, which she claimed to have been working on for years.
Less than fourteen months before Orman came out with her own fee-laden, mediocre prepaid debit card, she posted this about the Kardashians’ also predatory card:
(The poor grammar is how you know Orman wrote a message herself.)
Once again, we see Suze Orman warning the public as though she were protecting them from exactly what she was about to do—it’s part of her scamming tactic that paints Orman as altruistic and also gets rid of the competition. Note that according to Orman's own timeline claims, she was already working on her own prepaid card while blasting the Kardashians'.
In this audio interview with Tess Vigeland for NPR’s Marketplace Money in January 2012, Orman made the same dubious claims about her new “Approved” card and supposed “People First Movement,” that she was making on all the other shows. (Link 8-24)
In the same interview, Orman called the CardHub blogger who wrote an article that asked some mild questions about her card an “idiot,” called the interviewer “naive,” and told this blatant lie:
Vigeland: Are you concerned at all that your audience might question you having a card like this, perhaps making money off of them -- however little -- while at the same time counseling them on their money management?
Orman: I don't think so. Because the people who have been listening to me now for almost 30 years, they know that I have earned their trust. They know that I have never put my needs in front of theirs.
So I don't personally care what other people say, because I know what I'm doing and the people who follow me know what I'm doing as well. And we will just see who has the last laugh when it comes to the Approved card.
No matter how many times I've heard Orman lie over the years, she always finds ways to outdo herself. Thirty years previous to the date of this 2012 interview was 1982, around the time Orman was staying with a friend of mine, who told me that at the time, Orman was penniless and selling multi-level marketing water filters.
Orman was also behaving improperly toward one woman of the couple she was staying with, who told me, “Suze would hardly take no for an answer regardless of how many times I told her I was in relationship and not at all interested in one with her. There was also no way that her interest could be taken personally or as a compliment, since it was widely known even way back then that she was a serial flirt.”
Twenty years before the NPR interview was 1992, right after I had the misfortune of meeting Orman while working on a project for our mutual spiritual community. At the time, Orman was completely unknown to the public and $250,000 in debt to a number of people, including at least $50,000 in debt to one of her friends, with whom I would hear Orman arguing about not being able to repay her debt according to their agreed-upon schedule, while she was spending loads of money on a wide array of lavish luxuries.
In October 2013, the United States was going through serious economic challenges, some of which Orman had contributed to creating. But in Suze Land, more important than all that boring economic concern taking place as the economy took another hit was Orman's big new contest to dress up as her for Halloween.
Orman’s Halloween contest pitches took up a whole lot more space on her social media space than anything that may have been potentially useful to those living in a country on the brink. Here are just a few from a very long string of posts:
Go to this link to read many more similar pleas that Orman posted asking people to dress up like her in the midst of a major financial crisis, with the grand prize of winning one of Orman’s old jackets: Link 8-25
Soon, on her CNBC “financial advice” show, Orman's narcissistic Halloween dream come true.
One might think, yes, it does seem narcissistic and out of touch in a time of financial crisis to ask people to dress like you, bribing them with a piece of used clothing as a grand prize, but how can it be a Suze scam?
I'll tell you how. Once you understand that everything Orman does is geared to increase her public influence and “price for advice” cost, you can see how Orman is using people as pawns in her shenanigans, getting them to manufacture a public image that might look as though all these people were dressing up like Suze Orman because she is so famous and influential that they thought of dressing up like her from their own inspiration and admiration.
Orman and her PR team were probably hoping to create a trend that others would copy, to feed Orman’s narcissistic ego and boost the public impression of her popularity, especially since during the previous year, Suze Orman Inc. had lost considerable credibility, due to her prepaid card and other schemes. Orman would lose nothing but an old jacket.
Without knowing there was a request and a contest involved, people who saw these costumes in the media, social media, or in person might think they were an indication of Orman’s extreme high public esteem, including potential Orman scam victims in other countries to whom she pitched herself as being the financial advice darling of the United States.
With Suze Orman and her crooked cabal, everything is about getting money and pumping up the façade.
This reminds me of what I saw happen soon after Orman joined Twitter. Orman's wife-brand-manager-partner-in-crime Kathy Travis went on Twitter for weeks, literally begging people to get more followers for Orman as a “birthday present,” and to cheer her up.
Offers were even made that those who got more people to sign up to Orman’s Twitter feed would receive special gifts, although I'm not sure if those gifts were ever given to the small but enthusiastic group who took this project on as a personal mandate, and sent messages begging hundreds of celebrities and others to re-tweet and ask their followers to also follow Suze Orman on Twitter as a gift for her upcoming birthday.
This ploy allowed Orman to brag about her large numbers of Twitter followers, which then generated more followers and gave Orman more clout. That clout allowed Suze Orman, Inc. to portray herself as being more influential and popular than she actually was, thereby raising her price for spouting whatever pitches her sponsoring banks and corporations wanted her to promote in the guise of trustworthy advice.
Orman's Occult nature
Back in the early 1990s, Orman was much more into using occultism and manipulative techniques than other people I've known. She was always hopping from one astrologer and psychic to another, and her approach to spirituality seemed to be almost exclusively focused on using spiritual and occult methods to get what she wanted on material levels.
I used to claim, maybe a bit smugly, that I didn't believe in “evil,” with some philosophical explanations to back that decision up. However, knowing Suze Orman up close made me sober up and also caused me to lose a certain faith in humanity, to some degree.
Obviously, I knew there were problematic people in the world, but I'd never personally met, and have not since met, anyone else who has as devious and unethical a personal nature as Suze Orman.
All that's missing are the horns.
Even a psychic could see Orman’s evil nature, long before her first book was published. In 1993, Orman’s dark occult nature alarmed a well-known Los Angeles psychic.
Orman was always going to many psychics and astrologers; in fact, she had enthusiastically pushed me to go to this Los Angeles psychic she’d heard about, who was known for working with the Los Angeles Police Department. It was my first experience of going to a psychic.
Orman was hoping for a reading by proxy on my dime, since everything always tended to be about her. She had asked me to show the psychic her photo during my reading, and that photo elicited the psychic's alarmingly accurate warning about pre-famous Suze Orman.
For those who are interested in such things, here is a link where you can listen to the psychic's prescient warning about Suze Orman: Link 8-26 (If it’s not your cup of tea, you can just turn to the next page for plenty more non-psychic related problematic behaviors from Orman.)
Here are a few excerpts from the psychic’s impression just from seeing one photo of pre-famous Suze Orman, whom Cheri had never heard of previously:
“The first thing that I saw with Suze is I saw three women walking behind each other, and everything was black. I saw Suze leading the way. She’s a leader; she likes people to follow her. I saw her with a shawl over her head and coming down on the shoulders. And each of the women had one as well.”
“Everything was black if you can picture a black and white negative of a photograph. And what it told me right away was the way she was walking it was like she was trying to cover up something. She was trying to hide from what she was doing and what she was trying to be.”
“I felt some darkness around her. I didn’t necessarily feel a lot of white light. What it was telling me is that sometimes she has a tendency to delve into thoughts or things that she might not know how to deal with. It’s like she might have a tendency to go back and forth — she wants to deal with the dark and deal with the light, and deal with the dark and deal with the light. It intrigues her. I don’t know if you’re aware of this, or have been aware, or have suspected it, but she kind of floats back and forth. In other words, I don’t feel she’s as dedicated to the white as you are, do you know what I’m saying? I feel that Suze is into the occult or mystical more than she is on achieving perfection. There’s a difference there.”
“When a person goes back and forth and they’re not sure, and they’re delving, their interests are more into the occult — and I’m using the word occult — then they flip, they go from the one side to the other.”
“Her karma is on the darker side; she’s got a lot of learning left to do. And she’s got a lot to do and learn with people and relationships. So I feel that there’s a very strong self-centered part of her, still. She hasn’t released that; she puts herself first. Suze’s number one. And you don’t need that in your life.”
This psychic was more right-on than I understood. Maybe if I had heeded her warning, I would have stopped helping Orman onto the public stage before the deed was done.
Orman thought she was like a witch who had magical powers, and often touts herself as being “perfect.” You can see that attitude in her quote to the Daily Beast in November 2013: “I don’t question myself anymore. If I think it, I know it is true, and I don’t care what you say to me. I know my thoughts are true.”
I remember pre-famous Orman often bragging that she could talk anyone into anything, which apparently was also truer than I imagined, based on all the trusted media and political figures she has conned since.
How Orman corrupts good people into going along with her schemes
I first realized Suze Orman was a scammer long before anyone in the wider public knew her name. She conned me into spending two years helping to get her first book published with lavish promises of extravagant repayment that were nothing but the same kind of completely empty mirages that Orman would soon use to scam the world.
Pre-famous Suze Orman had some good qualities, including an eagerness to learn, along with an ability to charm and entice others.
Orman used to often brag that she could talk anyone into anything, and she demonstrated that on many occasions, including getting a helicopter and yacht at extreme discounts for the video we co-produced for our mutual spiritual community.
I was working for Disney at the time, and was also able to work a bit of magic to get us a front row press pass to film the Disneyland parade and have a private meeting with Mickey and Minnie.
During that meeting, we came up with the idea of having Mickey and Minnie bow to the camera with palms together in a prayer or namaste pose, which back in pre-yoga-boom 1992 was not nearly as common as it is today.
In the ashram, it was a common way we would greet our teachers and each other. Namaste is often translated as, “The God in me salutes and honors the God in you,” and folded palms are a spiritual gesture on many devotional paths.
Seeing Mickey and Minnie do namaste bows brought forth the idea of having characters in Disney’s parade also give a namaste pose so we could edit a whole montage of these fun, happy, colorful characters bowing to our worldwide community through this video that was going to be played at the international New Years satellite retreat.
With signs around Disneyland announcing the upcoming opening of Euro Disney, the idea came up to connect the folded hand bow into Japan’s bowing pose.
Orman said, “We should have had a sign saying, “Bow for Japan,” however, the parade had already begun by then, and we were standing in the special press area Disney had kindly given to me after the newsroom called them on my behalf to request the dispensation.
Orman then proceeded to shout “Bow for Japan!” to the entire line of parade characters as they walked, danced, and rode by. At first, I thought it was a funny and audacious thing to do. I even participated here and there by telling the characters to bow toward the camera, but as it went on, I felt uncomfortable being part of such a charade, especially while working for Disney, who had been kind enough to give us a special place to film the parade.
At this link, you can see a video clip from that parade and hear a very enthusiastic pre-famous Suze Orman convincing the Disney parade characters to, “Bow for Japan!”: Link 8-27
Although the scheme was humorous, and even though we were indeed getting great visuals for our “Blessings to the world from California” video, I look back at this moment as one where I compromised my integrity and commitment to honesty. Lying just wasn’t the kind of thing I would usually do, even to get good video footage. Nevertheless, I became complicit in Orman’s ease with dishonesty.
I came to understand this as a tactic Orman would use with otherwise decent people—getting them to compromise their integrity in a small “fun” way before moving up into convincing them to make more and bigger compromises to support her shams.
This minor ruse of pretending we were filming video for the new Euro Disney in Japan wasn’t too big of a deal. It wouldn’t have any major negative impact on the world, though Orman’s shouting was probably disturbing for fellow parade goers in our vicinity who were trying to enjoy the music and parade, as well as tourists who were filming those beloved characters to remember their precious trip.
If you’re one of those tourists whose video memory of your trip to Disneyland is filled with some kooky lady shouting, “Bow for Japan,” now you know.
The song lyrics in our video were based on good advice for the world from First Corinthians:
“Love is patient, love is kind, slow to anger, knows not mine. Love defends all, love believes all, love hopes all, for all time. Delights in justice, soothes all pain, knows no mischief, loves all the same. Love defends all, love believes all, love hopes all, for all time. Now there’s just one thing to do, always be about the truth. We love you.”
This was also good wisdom for me to keep in mind as the “Suze Orman hurricane” hit the coast of my peaceful life, followed by many years of deep regret while watching this scammer con some of my favorite celebrities and cause damage to many lives.
For a long time, my spiritual mindset held me back from blasting out a huge, public warning once Orman started seriously scamming the world After all, one quality spiritual people generally aspire to is to not judge others. Obviously I’ve had to grow into understanding that protecting people from harm justifies and sometimes requires pointing out someone’s bad actions. Life tends to give whatever lessons we need to learn on our journeys, and this one was a doozy for me.
Orman specifically selects people to scam who wouldn’t want to tell on her, either because they’re too “spiritual” to be publicly critical, or too fearful of repercussions from revengeful Suze Orman and her powerful protectors.
Here’s one article that mentioned Orman’s revengeful nature:
As a side note, this article is an example of many negative articles about Orman that have either disappeared or been re-edited, even years later. For example, Scurlock's "Big Money" article referenced in this Portfolio article can not be found anywhere on the web, except in mentions and discussions about it.
In 2013, Portfolio was rebranded as Upstart Business Journal, which went on to frequently shill for Orman and her scams. Here is how they re-edited the above 2009 Portfilio article. They left the threatening headline as a notice to anyone intending to criticize Orman, but chopped the words up so much to remove Bercovici's criticisms that you can't even tell who is being quoted.
After years of inner consideration and debate about whether and how to warn the public that they were being scammed, and after waiting for journalists and government agencies entrusted with protecting the public to clean this pretty obvious problem up, I felt obliged to do what I could, beginning with a public blog that turned into a webpage, and sharing relevant information with people like Oprah Winfrey and government agencies like the CFPB.
While usually striving to remain free from criticizing others, I also remembered that the greater good “delights in justice,” that the way to overcome falsehood is with truth, and that stopping someone from scamming and stealing is not only kind to the person’s potential victims, but ultimately beneficial to the person themselves. Even if a criminal has to pay a price for their crimes, stopping them from causing more damage to others would perhaps help save the person from creating more “bad karmas” bringing more pain in return, whether in this world or the next.
I am sharing this relatively minor event about our little “Bow for Japan” deception at Disney, because it helps to give a glimpse of one element of Suze Orman’s con artist technique.
During many years of deep regret for having used my skills and resources to help bring forth a juggernaut of deception and greed that has caused significant damage to individuals and the economy, I’ve had to look back and contemplate how I allowed myself to be coerced into violating my commitment to honesty enough to produce a video that fooled a publisher into having an incorrect view of a potential author. What weaknesses in my integrity allowed Orman to get her claws in to use my good intentions and honed skills for a dishonest scheme?
Orman often uses the same techniques on different people—she has honed the skill of manipulating people, something pre-fame Suze often bragged about when she’d frequently claim to be able to talk anyone into anything. What a thing to say. But Orman was filled with bizarre things to say, and once she got her claws in, even Oprah Winfrey wouldn’t, couldn’t, and hasn’t yet been able to escape Orman’s clutches.
Oprah did finally remove Orman from O Magazine in 2016, after hosting far too many Orman scams that even brought forth critiques in the New York Times, like this one:
I have seen a pattern where Orman initiates small compromises of integrity for people who usually wouldn’t do such things, just some little mischief under the guise of having fun or achieving some benefit. Those initial small compromises of integrity end up being an opening for her to sink her claws in and con good people into violating their integrity again to suit her whims. How else to explain the long list of mostly intelligent and trustworthy people Orman has been able to corrupt?
Not only was Orman a thief and liar in my personal experience, she was also a rapist who assaulted me sexually under the covers and under my nightgown while I was sleeping. She did it as an act of aggression after we'd had an argument while she was visiting me for the weekend.
Some might ask how a woman can rape another woman—in fact, Rosie O’Donnell asked just that after I tried to warn her about Orman running her “Approved” card on Rosie’s show. I had sent Rosie a link to my longer webpage that focused on Orman’s debit card scam, which also included a short mention of this personal violation that apparently piqued Rosie’s curiosity.
I think Rosie probably didn’t think it through when she quickly asked this question, because having someone go under the covers when you are asleep, and go under your nightgown to do unwanted oral sex is rape in my book.
It was an especially awful thing to do because I had recently moved to Hollywood after spending my twenties living a completely celibate monastic life in an ashram community, where my focus was on prayer, meditation, and devotional singing and chanting, along with scriptural study and long hours of offering service while editing, scripting, and producing hundreds of videos for the spiritual community that were sent to meditation ashrams and centers around the world.
I was a celibate virgin, and hadn’t even thought of having any kind of romantic or sexual relationship while building my new life and an award-winning career in Hollywood.
Unfortunately, I was too late to stop Orman from scamming Rosie’s viewers, although I did save Rosie from making the mistake of giving Orman the personal information ammunition Orman was seeking in order to get her claws into Rosie.
Watch how the sociopathic manipulator uses Rosie’s deep trauma over her mother’s death to put one of her Orman hooks in with a meaningless correlation that her partner in crime’s mother died on the same date as Rosie’s mother.
With that assumed hook into Rosie’s emotions in place, Orman followed up by requesting something that would do nothing good for Rosie, that’s for sure.
Having been in contact with Rosie previously about more pleasant matters, I sent her this warning:
Hello Dear Rosie,
I really recommend that you don’t put your personal information into the hands of Suze—I say this as a friend to you more than a detractor of Suze. I’m sure it is difficult for someone like you who can recognize your own flaws and is not a narcissistic sociopath to understand how someone can be 100% self motivated and ready to throw anyone under the bus and use their private information to threaten and embarrass them publicly.”
Fortunately, Rosie got the message:
Even though Orman’s sexual violation was not the worst of what she did to me or has done to others and the world, it is something I feel obliged to share, both in terms of revealing Orman’s depravity, and to explain some of my feeling of personal responsibility for stopping such a damaging person from continuing to harm individuals and the public. This effort has not been with malice or revenge, but with service and love for the good of humanity. If anyone else had taken care of this matter, I would have been exceedingly happy to have forgotten this awful person even existed.
Orman is not ony a rapist herself, but she apparently gets off on using the term for others, often talking about “financial rape,” which she is also guilty of doing.
When we met, I was nearly a decade younger than Orman, and as naive as a nun who had just left the convent. Orman knew that her sexual violation under the covers would be a nasty first sexual experience for me, which must have made her drool with sociopathic delight. As I've seen in other situations, Orman loves to leave her victims and those whom she’s conned into helping her with maximum psychological, lifestyle, and career damage. The ability to con and seriously harm others makes Suze Orman feel especially smart and powerful.
In Orman’s autobiographical narrative, we see some of the people Orman feels a need to prove herself to from her Southside Chicago hometown. The hole in Orman’s soul from being considered the dumb kid in class motivates her to get back at those teachers and fellow students by conning and outsmarting some of the most intelligent people in today’s media and political landscapes, and using them to steal from the world, including the same people who thought little Susie Orman was dumb:
When I was a little girl, I had a speech impediment. I couldn’t pronounce my R’s, S’s, or T’s properly, so words such as “beautiful,” for example, came out as “boobital.”
To this day, if you listen closely when I speak, you can still hear it. Words like “fear” and “fair” and “bear” and “beer” sound the same, and a word like “shouldn’t” comes out sounding like “shunt.” Back then, because I couldn’t speak well, I also couldn’t read very well.
In grammar school on the South Side of Chicago, I had to take reading exams, and would always score among the lowest in the class. One year a teacher decided that he would seat us according to our reading scores.
There were my three best friends in the first three seats of the first row, while I was banished to the last seat in the sixth row. If I always secretly felt dumb, it was now officially confirmed for everyone to see.
Talk about feeling ashamed. This feeling that I couldn’t make it scholastically continued to haunt me throughout high school and on into college. I knew I would never amount to anything, so why even bother to try?
Nevertheless, in my family and in the families of my friends, it was a given that we’d all go to college. In my case, I knew that I would have to pay for college myself, because my parents were having a hard time with money.
The only options for me were community college or a state school. I applied to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and to my amazement, even though I did not score well on my SATs, I was accepted. When I arrived, I met with a guidance counselor who asked me what I wanted to study.
I told him that I wanted to become a brain surgeon. He looked at my grades and said, “I don’t think so. You don’t have what it takes. Why not try something easier?”
I did a little investigation and found out that the easiest major was social work, so I signed up for that. Why not take the easy way out? Why try harder?
Look what a lot of scamming and a team of ghostwriters, behind-the-scenes experts, and publicity strategists can do!
Years after Orman’s violation, it was another slap to read in a 2007 New York Times article that Orman was claiming to be a fifty-five year old virgin, since she had never “been” with a man. It was especially bizarre to read such a claim from a predator who had sexually violated me when I actually was a virgin. (Link 8-27a)
Orman caused serious damage to the lives of many others in those early years, including at least three of the relatively few people mentioned on the acknowledgments page of Orman's first book, and many more whose names were not included, but probably should have been. (Link 8-28)
Even with all these violations, I would long ago have all but forgotten that Suze Orman existed or that these events even happened, if not for having to watch my rapist be practically worshipped by Oprah Winfrey and others who usually speak out against such violations—and yes, I did write to let Winfrey and others know. I also had to watch as Suze Orman and her corrupt enablers have raped the pockets of the poor and middle class and the fabric of society, year after year, to this day.
I don’t always share this more personal part of my story, because some people like to attack the victims of sexual assault crimes, while others might assume that this film and book are some kind of personal vendetta, which is not the case beyond feeling a personal responsibility to do something to stop the damage.
Orman not only stiffed me on every penny of the promised pay for my two years of assistance in helping to start her writing and public speaking career, but as she tends to do to those whom she’s conned, used, and abused, she took terrible steps to ruin my well being and harm my life much further.
Orman used her “best friend” bully lawyer, who had a position of trust as a legal representative for our mutual spiritual community, to spread false rumors about me throughout the community. Orman also used her lawyer friend’s position in the spiritual organization to instruct my friends on the path not to speak to me or have anything to do with me. This is the same lawyer Orman touts while pitching her will and trust kits as being the best trust lawyer in the country.
Orman claims this lawyer, who continues to bully people on her behalf to this day, will also be the trust lawyer for anyone who buys her kit, saying with her usual third person self-praise, “Don’t you think Suze Orman would have the best trust lawyer in the country? Now MY trust lawyer can be YOUR trust lawyer!”
The false rumors went on for years and eventually led to my ceasing to participate outwardly in the spiritual community I had served and loved for two decades. It was sobering, to say the least.
I assume some of her motivation for pushing me out of our spiritual community had to do with Orman not wanting me to be in a position to tell fellow friends and community members about how she had ripped me off and sexually assaulted me while I was asleep.
Along with wanting to be honest, I include these personal experiences as one more piece of the puzzle about a horrible person many have trusted to guide their most personal family and financial life decisions.
Credit Unions, Personal Attacks and Quid Pro Quo's
In February 2012, The National Association of Federal Credit Unions asked the government-based National Credit Union Administration to stop using publicity materials featuring Suze Orman, because of her fee-infested prepaid card that represented the opposite of what high integrity credit unions wanted to project and implement, along with Orman’s recent advice that people should walk away from their underwater mortgages, even if they could afford to pay for their agreed obligations.
The association’s request explained: (Link 8-29)
Ms. Orman recently launched a prepaid debit card product. Orman has also encouraged consumers who are underwater in their homes to walk-away from their mortgage commitments. Given the foregoing, NAFCU believes it is necessary for the agency to carefully re-examine its use of promotional material featuring Ms. Orman.
The letter is only the most visible indication of the stress some credit unions have felt with Orman in the last few months, despite the personal finance celebrity's public stance in favor of credit unions.
The agency has said that it paid Orman $1.4 million for her part in a campaign designed to help remind uncertain consumers that federally insured credit unions have deposits as safe as deposits in banks…
The campaign has always been controversial with credit unions as some executives questioned whether it represented a good use of agency funds, but Orman's stock with some credit unions took a hit after she announced the launch of her Approved decoupled debit card…
The card costs cardholders $3 per month and will charge cardholders $2 per ATM transaction if they use an ATM not affiliated with the AllPoint network or if they do not load at least $20 on the card each month. Additionally, if a cardholder gets cash back when making a purchase at a retail store, it will cost $2 and while the first call each month to a customer service representative will be free, any subsequent call that month will cost $2.
In addition, Orman has charged these fees even though the cards will generate interchange income every time a consumer uses them at a point of sale.
The NCUA, via chairman Debbie Matz, had paid, based on various reports, $1.4 or $1.75 million dollars to use Suze Orman’s face and false trustworthiness to promote their trustworthiness, and in turn, give their implicit endorsement to her.
After the Credit Unions’ outcry, Matz wrote a letter defending keeping Orman on the campaign that was published in the Credit Union Times, which prompted Orman to repay her:
Orman loves Credit Unions when they are paying her over a million dollars to say so, or when the NCUA head is insisting that credit unions continue giving Orman credibility, even while she was pushing a fraudulently pitched prepaid card that was linked to notorious non-Credit Union Bancorp, and which went against the Credit Union mission. From one of the Credit Union presidents pointed out the money credit unions were going to lose with Orman’s advice to walk away from mortgages:
If Orman recommends someone or something to her trusting viewers or readers, it is highly likely that she is getting something in return. Orman's advice is primarily geared to enrich herself, and don't say she hasn't told you:
“I'm not in this for charity. This is a business, and anybody who thinks that it’s not a business is an idiot... I'll tell you the sources of my income—everything I do is a source of income to me.”
—Suze Orman, from the Chicago Tribune
(From 2004, when Orman was still a baby scammer)
This next comment from a Credit Union vice president also brought up the fact that The NCUA had overstepped its authority by using Credit Union members’ money on this advertising campaign in the first place. It is one more example of Suze Orman somehow convincing people to go against their own rules and integrity to put more money in her pockets. (Link 8-30)
One of the comments below Chairman Matz's letter in the Credit Union Times reveals some of the usual Suze shenanigans of “you scratch my back and I'll recommend yours.” This president of the InvesTex Credit Union in Texas wrote the only comment in support of keeping Orman's NCUA campaign:
It is extremely important to build awareness in the eyes of the “consumer” on a regional, state, and national level, and not just with our legislators regarding the value of credit unions.
Ms. Orman is the ONLY national level sustained marketing message the industry has and it must be continued and preferably expanded! Credit Unions do reasonably well with their own local marketing, but we have NO coordinated effort to market to consumers at a sustained and larger level... just Ms. Orman.
We do not need to fear the few comments that might not run parallel to our message or be insecure about the additional product in the market that Ms. Orman supports as we can and will compete and continue to benefit from the overriding message that Ms. Orman supports on our behalf. I find it interesting that it was the NCUA who put that in place and not our trade organizations (where so much of our resources are donated). Thank you NCUA for this strong level of foresight and I hope Ms. Orman's contract is renewed in August 2012!!
Keith L. Kearney
President / CEO
InvesTex Credit Union
Oh, and look at the fake sounding endorsement Orman posted about Mr. Kearney's InvestTex Credit Union just two weeks earlier—an example of Orman's “advice” being bought by support for her scams:
Soon after the release of her prepaid debit card, I watched Orman launch an attack via Twitter and Facebook, trying to ruin the livelihood of the woman who helped get Orman her million dollar endorsement deal with the National Credit Union Administration, and who also worked as one of Orman’s behind-the-scenes experts.
But when Ondine refused to go along with the fraud and endorse Orman's new prepaid debit card with its irresponsible misrepresentation campaign that made some of the poorest people in this country think that using Orman's card would help them to gain a better FICO credit score, Orman went on the attack. Even though Orman had previously recommended Irving’s website, she was now threatening to get her in trouble for using a dot-org ending on her web page, because her Credit Union information page is not officially a not-for-profit organization.
Orman’s claim about Irving’s website was ridiculous. First, Orman had been recommending Irving’s website since the started working together—in books, and on her website. In fact, at the same time Orman was blasting Irving for using a .org domain, Irving’s website was still listed on Orman’s page. It must be a full-time job to keep up with erasing and creating all the Suze Orman scam materials. While putting together the web pages that preceded this book and film, I found that many articles were pointedly deleted from history. Some were edited to remove anything negative, years after they were published. It’s called, “creating a false legacy.”
Although the .org suffix is often used for philanthropic organizations, there are no legal rules about using .org. Even if there were, Irving’s website was service oriented and free for visitors to use.
But Orman had to come up with some weapon to attack with, so she went for this empty threat to call the CFPB as a way to cast aspersions on Irving’s integrity, which was especially bizarre since it took place right at the height of Orman’s prepaid card fraud that really should have landed her in prison.
Orman then called Irving “crazy,” something she likes to call people who criticize her scams, and tossed in a personal hygiene secret Irving had made the mistake of sharing with Orman in a candid moment, not realizing that Orman saves up anything she can on people to use in her arsenal when she attacks or needs to bribe or threaten them.
“When I fight there is no doubt about it.” With this threatening statement, Orman once again showed what a mafiaesque gangster she is.
Orman also sent her lawyer to harass Ondine. This was the same lawyer who, fifteen years earlier, had orchestrated Orman's false rumor campaign against me in our mutual spiritual community.
Irving’s message, “Suze knows I know too much,” seemed to work fairly well in stemming Orman’s attack. How great it would be if a government agency might find a way to do research behind the veil of Orman’s confidentiality agreements.
Considering how many people in the financial services industry still thought Orman was a legitimate financial advisor, it was brave of Irving to share some personal experiences outside what would be covered in the confidentiality agreement, also alerting credit unions to what was going on with Orman's Prepaid Debit Card Scam.
Of course, Irving also had a right to defend herself after Orman’s slanderous aspersions about her website. Here is Irving’s article about the matter : “A Note to the Credit Union Industry: Re Credit Card Connection.ORG”: Link 8-30a
Irving’s article has some interesting tidbits, including many examples of Orman kissing up to Irving by pitching the same .org website she was now threatening to report to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau!
Plagiarizing and distorting spiritual teachings:
Using other people's words as her own is nothing new to Suze Orman, whose agent was thrilled to find an “author” who knew she couldn’t write and was willing to play along with a big sham that, as Binky Urban predicted, made them millions, with many behind-the-scenes experts and ghostwriters supporting the sham, and a lot of confidentiality agreements.
Suze Orman has been perfectly happy to pretend that she wrote all those books and somehow magically gained this high level knowledge and understanding of the intricacies of financial markets and all other finance-related issues, even though she never took a single finance-related college course, and barely passed the courses she took for a bachelor’s degree in social work.
One of Orman's recent experts told me how Orman would call him to ask what she should say in response to current financial market developments in her social media and television interviews, after which he would watch somewhat shocked as “financial expert Suze Orman” would present his words as though they were coming from her own knowledge.
In the same way, many of the spiritual flavored quotes attributed to Suze Orman are in fact unattributed quotes that Orman has shared as though they were her own original thoughts and wisdom as a means to support her façade.
Over the years, Orman has often tossed out quotes from our mutual guru and spiritual community as if they were her own. One of our teacher’s secretaries told me years ago that Orman had been asked to stop quoting our teacher’s quotes in that way, yet she continued and continues to repeat the wisdom of our teacher, ancient sages and great thinkers, as if their wisdom were her own, to give herself a false sheen of spirituality and wisdom.
On one hand, it is good that Orman learned some bona fide spiritual teachings from the path; on the other hand, the spiritual teachings she quotes are usually the opposite of what she is doing, and are often distorted to appear to support Orman's problematic actions, rude behaviors, and personally motivated advice.
Years ago, our mutual spiritual teacher's secretary told me that Orman had been asked to stop quoting our teacher’s quotes as if they were her own, but she continued to do so, nonetheless.
Since Orman doesn't have enough of her own wisdom, she likes to take credit for quotes composed by others and pretend they are hers, as a cover for her scams.
Here’s an example of Orman plagiarizing a direct quote from our mutual spiritual teacher on a Facebook post in March 2016, pretending the words were her own:
The guru-sourced original quote Orman plagiarized was almost the same, word for word:
“The sunrise of supreme bliss shimmers in every particle of the universe...Remember, love and respect must be renewed with each dawn.”
It’s great to share the wisdom we've learned—I do it in my books and other works, and try to give a proper attribution when quoting someone else directly. However, Orman is specifically using these teachings without attribution to give a false sheen of wisdom and altruism that will enable more of her scams, with wisdom she has contradicted and distorted to the extreme.
For an example of Orman’s real philosophy, this clip from The View shows the co-hosts talking about the greatness of forgiveness, while Orman continues to spew her usual vindictiveness and hate, in this case declaring she will forever hate the very people who helped her to achieve her greatest dreams, before she gleefully caused serious damage to their lives. (Link 8-31)
Again, it is wonderful to share positive teachings that we've learned for the benefit of others. It is also common for devotees and disciples of gurus to incorporate their teachings in our own offerings.
However, Orman has plagiarized and appropriated spiritual wisdom as her own direct quotes to give a false impression of her wisdom and trustworthiness, and she has distorted them in ways that ruin or even turn the meaning of those wisdom quotes upside-down.
Elephants and barking dogs
One of Orman’s favorite quotes that she has used frequently when faced with proper criticism for her scams is a line we heard when we were both studying Indian philosophy in the 1990s: “The elephant keeps walking, while the dogs are barking.”
This quote about the elephant walking while dogs are barking is a common idiom from India that was originally composed by the highly revered 15th century poet sage Kabir. The quote refers to someone who takes refuge in God above worldly matters, without being distracted by the noise of the marketplace, which includes exactly the kind of greedy scams Orman has run for the past fifteen years.
Note the resemblance of Orman’s speaking style to a barking dog.
Here, she uses Kabir’s quote to deflect criticism during her “Approved” card scam:
Ooooh, now Orman knows who not to trust to lie to the public to perpetrate and support her fraudulent schemes.
Know that being blocked by Suze Orman is a sign of integrity!
Here was Orman’s telling the same barking dog elephant story in 2015 that she’s told over and over as her number one response to well-deserved criticism.
In May, 2012, Orman went beyond just repeating Kabir’s quote out of context. Jon Friedman interviewed Orman for a Wall Street Journal MarketWatch article he titled, “Suze Orman doesn’t care if you hate her.” As one commenter on the article said, “Maybe more than a touch of sociopathy there.”
This time, in response to criticisms about her prepaid debit card scam, Orman actually took credit for composing the elephant quote herself, as a result of an epiphany she “had” in India, while watching an elephant walk by a group of barking dogs.
Yes, really. (Link 8-32)
In the same article, Orman shared her oft-repeated suggestion that anyone who criticizes anything about her is looking for “their 15 minutes of fame.” As one of those critics, I can assure you that this topic is the last one I would want to become known for out of my many positive works, and I'm sure most others who have spoken up feel the same way.
As has been the case in many other articles about Orman, the critical comments by readers of the MarketWatch article were all deleted. Here’s a saved web image of the article, with at least page one of the now-deleted comments: Link 8-33. Here is one of those quickly deleted comments:
Back to Orman’s plagiarizing. Here’s another spiritual sounding message Orman has posted and included in her books:
Orman and I both heard the quote during one of the spiritual courses we attended. “The gatekeepers of speech” has been attributed to Socrates, who probably never guessed it was going to be used for holiday spending. Again, it is wonderful to share and apply the wisdom we’ve learned, but in this next Twitter posting, right in the midst of the big outcry of critical media reports about her prepaid debit card scam, Orman used this ancient wisdom as an attempt to shame and silence her critics:
Being kind is certainly not a teaching Orman has practiced herself, while insulting and blasting critics of her card and people in general.
The next video clip was recorded two weeks before Orman posted that wise-sounding quote about being kind in February 2012. Orman was speaking with the staff and some television journalists at Oprah's still-new OWN channel. Tony Robbins was scheduled to be Oprah's guest on her “Life Class” show in two weeks, and one of the participants in Orman’s event asked about some of Robbins’ financial advice.
Orman got riled up and called motivational speaker Tony Robbins a “stupid asshole,” because his financial advice differed from hers. As one more proof of the power of Orman’s bad company, the OWN staff all laughed at her slur against their upcoming guest. Was it kind? Was it true? Was it necessary? Link 8-34
Years ago, I attended a New Years retreat where our spiritual teacher offered her annual message of guidance for the year. “A Golden Mind, A Golden Life,” was given with an extensive exploration of the Bhagavad Gita verse on which the message was based.
“A Golden Mind, a Golden Life,” referred to the noble traits of mind that create a positive life. From Bhagavad Gita verse 17:16: “Peace of mind, gentleness, silence, self-restraint, purity of being; these are called austerity of the mind.” That is what our guru was teaching with her message, “A Golden Mind, A Golden Life.”
Although Orman is not known for qualities such as gentleness, silence, self-restraint, peacefulness, or purity of being, she apparently thought it would be a good marketing slogan for selling her wares on QVC.
Several hours after hearing this message, I was flipping through television stations to check on some breaking news. As I flipped by QVC, there was Orman selling her products.
I watched for a few minutes, and was shocked to hear Orman pitching her product by saying, mere hours after our guru had unveiled her precious spiritual teaching for the year: “As I always like to say, 'A Golden Mind, A Golden Life!'“
Orman spoke as though the quote were her own, and suggested that it was specifically referring to money and her QVC products. This is just one more example of how Orman will bastardize anything to give a false façade and put a few more dollars into her pocket.
Then we have, “Suze Orman’s Five Laws of Life.” Orman presents these poetic words as “her” five laws of life in the book Courage to Be Rich, and many other places.
I was actually in association with Orman when we took a meditation course that included this quote, which in the course was given word for word as Orman has published it in her book and in articles, pretending it is a quote by herself.
Here’s the quote directly from Orman’s book:
Because Orman has given the impression that it is her own personal wisdom that she herself wrote, these words of wisdom have been re-quoted as “Suze Orman's Five Laws of Life” in various blogs and other writings over the years, and may go down in history as coming from the wisdom of Suze Orman.
“Orman's Five Laws” were actually composed by Lebanese author and poet Mikha'il Na'ima's, who wrote in his “Book of Mirdad”:
This is the way to freedom from care and pain:
So think as if your every thought were to be etched in fire upon the sky for all and everything to see. For so, in truth, it is. So speak as if the world entire were but a single ear intent on hearing what you say. And so, in truth, it is.
So do as if your every deed were to recoil upon your heads. And so, in truth, it is.
So wish as if you were the wish. And so, in truth, you are.
So live as if your God Himself had need of you His life to live. And so, in truth, He does.”
I'd imagine that with her entire financial career being built on one sham after another, Orman figured nobody would notice if she plagiarized a few wise beings she heard about while causing trouble to quite a few people at the ashram.
At the time, Orman and I discussed the meaning of this quote during some of our hundreds of hours of conversation. Who would have guessed that one day Suze Orman would take credit for this bit of wisdom as if it were her own, and use it to fool people into thinking she is wise, or that she has followed the teaching herself. Because if Orman's deeds were to recoil upon her head as the quote states, I would feel very sorry for her indeed.
Next is an example of what Orman's actual wisdom sounds like. Orman quoteth herself:
“The only action you will regret is the one you did not take,” a gangster's ode. I have to say that the one action I most regret in life was using my skills, resources and contacts in the early 1990s to help Suze Orman onto the public stage when she was unpublished, unknown, and deeply in debt. That is an action I regret having taken.
Of course, narcissistic sociopaths don’t have the burden of feeling regret over all the harmful actions they take, such as the damage Orman has caused to many lives for her own enrichment and glorification. I'd expect that most people do have at least some regrets in life for something they said or did, which is the basis for decent human discourse.
In this article in the Daily Beast (Link 8-35), Orman gives another “gem,” explaining, “I don’t question myself anymore. If I think it, I know it is true, and I don’t care what you say to me. I know my thoughts are true.”
Here’s one more example of Orman's spiritual potions in action
(faces blurred to protect the innocent).
During May of 2013, I watched some of the “Jodi Arias Trial” being covered by my old Disney co-worker, Jane Velez Mitchell on CNN's HLN.
Quickly, I saw how Arias and Orman shared quite a few traits, such as being able to lie with absolute ease and creating webs of fabrication, as Orman did with her prepaid debit card and other scams and shenanigans. Both also used spiritual teachings to cover up their misdeeds and paint a picture of being more altruistic than they are.
It is difficult for people who are not sociopaths to understand their mentality, which is why so many of us get fooled and harmed by unfortunate associations with narcissistic sociopaths.
Hay House takes on Suze Orman’s scams as their own
This brings us to Orman’s disappointing association with spiritual publisher Hay House. At some point around 2015, “new age” publisher Hay House assumed bigger responsibility for “Suze Orman Media.” The address and phone number to “contact Suze” was now Hay House’s main mailing address and phone number. Louise Hay and other Hay House authors started posting endorsements for Orman, including Louise promising, “You will never find a person who cares more about you and your success around money than Suze Orman.”
Hay House became the new official publisher for many of Orman’s previously released products.
I don’t know what the specifics of their deal is, but Hay House must be making a lot of money to justify the terrible disservice this corrupt liaison has done to their wide roster of authors, many of whom are spiritual and self-help teachers who have integrity, practice dharma (righteous living), and were honored to publish their books with a publisher that previously had a clean reputation.
In my view, Hay House sold all those authors out by turning Hay House into Suze Orman Scams central. As a spiritual author, I am relieved that I never published any of my books with them.
Around the same time that Hay House shifted leadership, other complaints started coming forth claiming unscrupulous “Ormanesque” practices in Hay House’s self-publishing wing, so it looks like an example of a company with new leadership who is taking the ship down, at least in terms of integrity, if not dollars in their bank accounts.
The first thing Hay House did was to raise the price on Orman’s main product, which literally went from $69.75 to $144.00, overnight. One day, this was the price for Orman’s kit, around the same price it had been for years—$69.75—with further discounts when she pitched it on QVC :
While doing research for this presentation, I happened to see that literally from one day to the next, Hay House’s price for the exact same kit had more than doubled to $144, with an added template for giving percentage savings. That would allow Hay House to offer fake discounts that would still be double the price for the same product that had been sold for years on QVC and the Hay House website. It is one more example of “bad company” Suze Orman corrupting even spiritual publishers:
Orman often pitches this kit as being usable on all computers, being a complete replacement for lawyers, and coming with access to be able to personally contact Orman or her trust lawyer or one of their assistants with any questions.
With delightful con artistry, Orman would punctuate the idea that for $69, you just might be able to have a personal conversation about your finances with none other than Suze Orman herself.
Below are some costly complaints about those issues from people who purchased the kit. The QVC website received many one-star reviews, including that Orman’s kit didn’t work on all computer systems as she’d claimed, requiring MAC and other customers to pay more money for a “Protection Port,” with no help or response from Orman or her assistants as she had vehemently promised.
This woman claims to have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars due to using Orman’s kit:
That’s what happens when someone is allowed to basically practice law without a license or any ethical rules or responsibilities that would be incumbent on any other financial advisors.
That’s also what happens when government agencies such as the Department of Labor specifically exclude Suze Orman, by name, from their 2016 ruling that financial advisors must act in the best interest of their clients.
The DOL ruling claimed that Suze Orman was not a financial advisor at all, but an entertainer. I’m sure Marilynn and others who lost a little or a lot of money would’ve liked to have known that before trusting Orman’s Will and Trust Kit for her family’s inheritance.
Even though Orman frequently demonstrated how waterproof her kit was on QVC with a video clip of her throwing the case into the ocean in front of her Pompano Beach condo, thousands received boxes with broken latches, with no interest or care from Orman about their defective products.
Here are several more complaints about Orman’s kit that also give insight into the kind of shenanigans that were going on after Hay House Media became the main representative for Suze Orman and her products, more than doubling the price of her kit overnight.
Two years earlier, Hay House had also sold Orman’s Money Navigator Newsletter, whose disastrous saga that generated terrible press and ended with a Securities Exchange Commission fine is documented in Chapter Three.
Hay House sold a one-year subscription to the newsletter—something Orman had been giving away for free all year—for $63.
Way to not take care of your customers, Hay House!
Surely many Hay House customers who hadn’t been keeping track of Orman’s latest shenanigans assumed a publisher like Hay House with so many integrity-based authors wouldn’t be selling them a worthless scam.
In 2015, Hay House started creating and posting hundreds of spiritual-sounding “Ormanisms” on Orman's Twitter account and Facebook page, using Hay House style graphics and phrases that were apparently extracted from Orman's mostly ghostwritten books.
Overnight, Orman’s Facebook page became a graveyard for rehashed (sometimes outdated) advice from her old books, and often ghostwritten quotes, some with dubious meaning or value in the face of her greedy, predatory actions and miserly advice, such as: “When you are able to give purely and from the heart, then you are free.”
More Hay House “Ormanisms”:
Orman has shown no qualms about claiming false credentials or attributions from the beginning of her deception-ridden career, so why not let Hay House pretend-post rehashes from ghostwritten books on her behalf while Orman is galavanting around the world on her boat? It’s like a “Weekend at Bernie’s” story, or perhaps in this case, more of a “Weekend at Bernie Madoff’s.”
Some of the quotes Hay House posted might have value if they had been created and delivered by someone who has shown even a modicum of integrity, or who was posting the messages with consideration of current trends or circumstances, but as pseudo posts out of context from representatives of a con artist, they are potentially harmful.
People who followed Orman on Twitter and Facebook were suddenly flooded several times a day with these rehashed, fluffy posts, along with ads for Orman’s next appearances to sell her wares, and occasional posts between Orman and her famous enablers.
Followers assumed Suze Orman was writing all these posts, and would comment on them, thinking she was paying attention to all or any of their questions and comments.
Now, those who have already been fooled by Suze Orman time and time again, plus new Hay House customers, are being fooled into thinking that it is Orman who wrote and is posting these financial edicts, as they post their responses and questions on the Facebook page of what is now a facade of a facade.
Hay House also started posting links to just about every video and article and quote they could find, without even paying attention to whether it was actual advice or a useless promo for Orman's old defunct CNBC show.
That started to make her Facebook con victims suspicious, although many others reposted the nothing link for their friends as if it had actual content.
Hay House also posted this quote from one of Orman’s books without even bothering to remove the phrase, “one of the goals of this book.”
How did Suze Orman con or bribe spiritual New Age publisher Hay House into continuing her shams, even after Orman's well-documented record of committing fraudulent scams throughout the media landscape? I am confident Hay House saw my film and other documentation, based on conversations with one of Louise Hay’s friends. That means they just didn’t care. Along with Senator Warren’s complicity in Orman’s deceptions, Louise Hay’s was especially disappointing.
How much money did it take to convince Hay House to jeopardize the integrity of their brand and possibly smear the books by hundreds of spiritual and personal growth authors who expect their publisher, Hay House, to act with intelligence and integrity?
One might say that Orman's main message is very altruistic sounding: “People first, then money, then things.” It certainly isn't how Orman's lived her life based on my experience and observation, but it does sound good. Yes, put the needs of people first; it almost sounds like a Christian-based teaching.
However, several times, Orman has clarified that when she says, “people first,” what she means is to put yourself first, which does sound much more in line with how Orman lives her own life.
Here we have an altruistic sounding disguised slogan for those who don't research further, and who assume Orman's message is humanitarian in nature, reminding us to take care of loved ones and others in this world, first. Most people have assumed that Orman’s message, “people first,” is kindhearted at the core, when the real core of Suze Orman's messages and examples is actually selfish, disrespectful, shaming, fear-based, and a greedy intention to put yourself first, without regard for the well being of others.
Even beyond guiding her followers to put themselves first, for Suze Orman, “people first, then money, then things,” means to put herself first, and to use people to get their money to buy more things for her luxurious lifestyle.
It’s like the man in a famous 1962 Twilight Zone episode, who was happily boarding an alien vessel after learning that the title of the book the aliens carried was the altruistic sounding, To Serve Man. As he stepped up to the spaceship, his staffer ran up, shouting, “IT’S A COOKBOOK!”
In the same way as To Serve Man, one might ask upon seeing Orman’s book titles, such as, The Courage to be Rich, who is it who has the courage to be rich, and at whose expense?
Also, when Orman says put yourself first, she clearly means to put your money first, based on her frequent practice of denying people their life dreams and insisting that her followers let go of personal preferences, even telling people to get rid of a beloved pet that would possibly end up euthanized, perhaps killing their "best friend," unless they have enough financial savings to get Orman's approval. Suze Orman is not only a scammer, but a heartless one.
At this link (Link 8-36), you can read some heartfelt feedback from one person whose book launch plans got “Denied!” by the same shyster who has always spared no expense for her every whim and desire, even when she was poor and borrowing large sums of money from friends, before upping the luxury big-time when she became wealthy, with yachts, planes, and luxury homes.
It’s a "cookbook" for Orman to make herself rich from your money!
Go to Chapter Nine:
"And The Scams Go On…"
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