December 2017 Update
Suze Orman: Thief, Liar, Rapist
During this time when so many are showing bravery in sharing their stories to shine more light on sexual abuse, I feel obliged to speak up about my experience of waking up in the middle of the night to a sexual assault under the covers by Suze Orman, who knew I was not gay and that I'd just left a decade of celibate monastic life.
As one friend suggested, my story helps to point out that these behaviors are not just a “men’s” problem, but a deviancy of power, control, disrespect, and sociopathy on the part of serial abusers like Harvey Weinstein and Suze Orman, regardless of gender. It is important that this dark underbelly of our society is finally being exposed and addressed, and I considered how my story might help keep the likes of SKDKnickerbocker's corrupt "mean girls" lobby from their common practice of weaponizing real or fictional sexual abuse as a political weapon to denigrate select politicians and media figures who perhaps are not playing along with the cabal's wishes, and to ultimately denigrate an entire gender of humanity, without balance or intelligent assessments and remedies.
As someone who wasn't much interested in politics and prefers to live a more peaceful artist's life writing spiritual books and producing mostly positive films, I unexpectedly happened upon a clear view into the frightening webs of lobbyist controls that have turned politicians into puppets and newscasts into infomercials, PR mirages, and fake news.
While watching Orman run endless streams of scams and shams on the public year after year, especially after Oprah took her under her wing (in spite of protests from the entire Oprah Show production staff about Orman's disgusting behaviors), I would become physically and spiritually nauseous thinking that I had spent two years helping to begin Orman's public career at a time when she was unpublished, unknown, and deeply in debt, but still a ruthless scammer.
Once the internet became available, I wrote a blog post about some of this information to warn the public and to send to government agencies and media outlets. I was severely warned by acquaintances over the years to never share the sexual assault part of the story, and also didn't want to make the political correctness faux pas of "outing" Orman, since she was still very much in the closet, at least publicly (until this very telling article in the New York Times) where the person who sexually assaulted this virgin who was fresh out of monastic life dared to call herself a "55 year-old virgin." Nevertheless, the crimes Orman had done to the world were quite enough, without needing to make a big deal about the violations I personally experienced.
That blog soon expanded into a full web page and then numerous article pages I'd kept a blog , as well as to warn the public. When I saw one of her scams in action, which was pretty much anytime I happened to see her in her ubiquitous media wide presence, I would save the article or video clip to the folder and incorporate it into the ever-growing blog pages. Eventually, I realized the only way to give a bigger picture view into what was going on in this part of the corrupt web would be to spend many months producing, scripting, and editing a documentary film, with zero budget and a crew of one person fueled by grace and dharma (the need to perform right actions).
This documentary film with over a million views has helped to open the public’s eyes, not only to Orman’s scams, shams, and shenanigans, but to a very troubling web of media and politicians who colluded, whether through bribery, blackmail, or ignorance, to help Orman and her lobbyists at SKDKnickerbocker blatantly defraud and steal money directly from the pockets of the poor and middle class with their prepaid card and other schemes.
In spite of my efforts, government agencies and officials, including the Justice Department, Treasury, SEC, and the CFPB and Senator Elizabeth Warren, ignored and even participated in enabling and protecting Orman's criminal activities. Now that some of our agencies are no longer populated with shills from Orman's lobbyist protectors at SKDKnickerbocker, a lobbyist and media strategy firm that was recently named the third most powerful player in politics by Politico, perhaps now the victims of Orman's "Approved" prepaid debit card and other scams will finally see some justice (click here to read some of their cries for help).
The corrupt political lobbyists who push and protect Suze Orman
The political strategist lobbyists who have used their massive web of complicit shills to push and protect Orman from prosecution for her financial crimes are the same cabal behind the massive corruption of the Obama White house, the DNC, and the 2016 elections, as shown in this film:
That powerful and corrupt lobbyist group includes Hilary Rosen, Anita Dunn, and SKDKnickerbocker, who have pushed Orman's scams throughout their webs of complicit "fake news" media and government agencies. In our film, you'll see Orman's scams being pushed by many so-called news anchors at CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, and by so-called poverty activists, including Michael Moore, Tavis Smiley, and Senator Elizabeth Warren.
While Orman was going on nearly every media outlet to pitch an obviously and blatantly fraudulent prepaid debit card that stole loads of money from the poor and middle class, I saw that she was scheduled to pitch the scam on Rosie O'Donnell's OWN show, and sent a direct message on Twitter to warn Rosie. The message linked to my current web page at the time, since the documentary film was still just a possibility that I was hoping not to have to take time to do. That page described Orman's previous shams and scams, including the prepaid card scheme that was currently in progress, and it also told the story I share in the interview clip above, about being orally assaulted in my sleep by Orman, who knew I was not gay or interested in having any sexual relations with her or anyone else. Rosie's responses were surprising, given her self-portrayal as someone who cares about human rights. Maybe Rosie was just afraid of what Chris Cuomo called, "The Orman Cabal."
This free e-book and online multimedia book exposes Orman’s scams and schemes, and includes mention of some of my personal experiences with her, mostly in Chapter 8: “Sociopathy and a Twitter Meltdown.”
Click the image to download the e-book, or click here to read the book online with graphics and live video links.
Looking at all the webs of complicity, it appears that SKDKnickerbocker actually uses pushing Suze Orman as a loyalty test, almost like a sorority hazing challenge for journalists and politicians to prove their loyalty to what Chris Cuomo called "The Orman Cabal." (watch that clip)
You can see this frat hazing pledge of loyalty to the SKDK cabal in action throughout the book and documentary film above, and again at the very end of Donna Brazile’s new book, Hacks, where she appears to praise Orman to let the cabal know that she’s still on board and is just being used as one more deception and cover-up strategy, something that might not be noticeable until after seeing all the lauditory shilling by some of our country's most powerful media and political figures in the documentary film.
An audio description of what happened to me
Click here or on the arrow to play a six-minute audio interview excerpt
about how Suze and I met, and how I woke up in the middle of the night to her sexual assault.
This sexual assault as an expression of Orman's sociopathy, anger, and energy vampirism was just a speck of the much more devastating damage Orman caused in my life and, even worse, to our world.
Some acquaintances who know those events in my past have recently asked me to share more publicly about my experience of waking up to being sexually assaulted under the covers during my sleep by Suze Orman when she was visiting me for a weekend in the early 1990s. Over the years, most people have warned me not to speak up, either to protect Orman and her cohorts, or to protect myself from the inevitable backlash and distraction from more important and positive projects.
I included some of the story in various blog posts and in a book about Orman's scams, shams, and shenanigans, but I didn't want this one event from many years ago to detract from the much more serious and severe damage this sociopathic scammer has caused -- not only to my life, but to many individuals and families, to the U.S. economy, and to our fabric of society. I also didn't want these salacious details to distract from her crimes, or to cause people to assume my efforts were coming from any kind of revenge or retribution, rather than the truth that I've done this work of exposing Orman's evil actions from a sense of public service and personal responsibility.
As I said, I've been reluctant to speak out more publicly about Orman's sexual assault, because it was a small part of the considerable damage she ended up causing to my life, which is an even smaller part of the damage she's caused to our country and world. But then, I saw my rapist post this message on Facebook and Twitter:
This clip shows an example of Orman's verbal abuse toward the co-host this commenter is referring to, Jeff, who eventually had enough self-respect to quit, even though it was a lucrative, on-air job.
Around the same time Orman was having an online relationship with the woman from New York who she refers to as "dog meat" in this clip, was when Orman shocked my sensibilities by outright telling me that she had sexually molested her friend's dog (and that she'd had an argument with her friend about it, whether or not that friend would ever want to speak up publicly to confirm).
That admission took place before Orman sexually assaulted me as I slept during her weekend visit to my home.
Some whom I've shared this experience with have told me about other inappropriate behaviors by Orman, including from a time she was staying with an acquaintance and her partner in the early 1980s, when Orman was penniless and selling multi-level marketing water filters. “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." One of the top managers of our mutual spiritual community told me that he knew of others who had been sexually assaulted by Orman.
This photo is just a simple demonstration of how Orman approaches friends, associates, and especially those who help her. During this time, I was helping to build Suze Orman's career, and had just won an Los Angeles emmy for my news feature work at Disney's KCAL station. Orman and a couple other friends joined me at the ceremony and the after party hosted by Disney. At one point, Disney's photographer came around to take their official photos of the winners. Orman and another friend joined me for the photo, and as I held the Emmy award, Orman took the award from my hands, saying, "I want to win an Emmy!" in her usual baby talk voice that she speaks in pretty most of the time when she's not on camera or stage. And this is my Emmy award winning photo I ended up with. It's a visual example of how Orman aligns herself with accomplished people and steals what she can from them, leaving a string of damaged lives and careers in her wake.
Or you can read the online multimedia book.
Throughout the text, you’ll find underlined links to videos, articles, and other supportive documentation.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Suze Orman SCAMvenger Hunt
Best wishes and blessings to our country and world.
Author and Filmmaker at Night Lotus Productions
The powerful and corrupt lobbyists behind pushing Suze Orman's scams on our country and world are the same ones who corrupted the United States' 2016 elections and much more, as shown in our new film:
Save the United States Armed Forces from Being Scammed:
Every American should be concerned about this newest Suze Orman/SKDKnickerbocker scam on our armed forces.
Orman and her corrupt political lobbyists have just conned the Army, with at least one documented bribe of a top Army official who held a big announcement at the Pentagon with false information about the deal. Two weeks later, the bribed official left his post, ready for more money and career boost paybacks from political powerhouse, SKDKnickerbocker.
When you see our film and online presentation, you will understand that Orman will do pretty much anything for a buck, or in this case, possibly a hundred million, directly from the pockets of our troops. SKDKnickerbocker has apparently been all too happy to bribe, blackmail, or fool top journalists and politicians into supporting Orman's dirty fraud schemes that have stolen tons of money from poor and middle class citizens, and damaged the United States economy with well-documented webs of deception, many of which you can see in living color in our documentary film: "SCAMMED! An Exposé about Much More than Just Suze Orman."
Now Orman and SKDK are scamming our entire armed forces to plunder more money from our troops, each of whom will have to come to terms with the demoralizing fact that their commander pushed them into a scam. This armed forces scheme took place long after many of Orman's financial fraud crimes were already exposed; after she was already dropped from CNBC, QVC, O Magazine, and other media outlets, so an expecially complicit and well-compensated official was needed to push the scam.
The Suze Orman SCAMvenger Hunt
How many con artists are allowed to blast through the media landscape, telling blatantly false lies and getting some of the top journalists, politicians and media figures in the United States to knowingly or unknowingly lie to the public on their behalf?
Harry Markopolos, the whistle-blower who uncovered Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme ten years before the rest of the world learned of the biggest financial crime in history, published his account in the 2010 book, No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller. As you will see from the evidence in this book and the companion documentary film, con artist Suze Orman’s schemes rival Madoff’s in breadth, if not depth.
Markopolos explained that he had to step forward about what he could clearly see was an illegal scheme, because no one else, including the Securities Exchange Commission, had shown any interest, even after he alerted them with evidence of what was going on.
I know the feeling. One cannot just stand by silently when a shyster is stealing, lying, scamming the public, and causing damage to the United States’ economy. That’s why a nice spiritual author like me has had to take time and energy from more positive projects to alert and educate the world about the “Suze Orman problem.”
While Madoff’s scheme stole mostly from the wealthy, Orman’s victims have been poor and middle class citizens who were simply trying to be responsible and learn from a widely proclaimed financial “guru,” “expert,” and “wizard,” who is actually a con artist and actress supported by ghostwriters, behind-the-scenes experts, and some of the most powerful publicists, political lobbyists, damage control specialists, banks, corporations, and media figures of our time, including Oprah Winfrey, who has pushed Suze Orman on the world for nearly twenty years.
Talk about stacking the decks against people who either couldn’t afford a real financial advisor, or who were convinced by Orman to avoid those “crooked advisors” altogether and “look in the mirror” to find their best financial advisor—using her books, kits, and corporate-sponsored deceptive headlines as guides, of course.
This book and film offer a stunning study of the kind of dishonest media and political webs that have corrupted our society, fooled the public, rigged the system, and damaged our world. It is truly a lesson for humanity. College courses are welcome to use this material for class studies, including topics involving psychology, media manipulation, and criminal justice.
Anyone who wants to read positive takes on Suze Orman can turn to the many articles and press releases crafted by her publicists, echoed by their shills, and repeated by journalists who didn’t undertake enough due diligence to see the obvious and well-documented damage Orman was causing to individuals, our economy, and the fabric of society.
Thankfully, much of what bears Suze Orman’s name is produced by behind-the-scenes experts and ghostwriters, so her books and kits do at least offer some useful information and services along with whatever paid endorsements and tainted advice Orman adds into each book and product, depending on who has “paid the piper” that year.
I’m sure many would say that watching Suze Orman’s shows and reading her books has helped them to organize their finances. Some may have enjoyed getting their financial advice mixed with a touch of sociopathy, and the entertainment of Orman’s over-the-top shaming, emoting, fear mongering, and overly confident commands.
Can you imagine the state of mind of someone who makes a face like this while advising a fan about whether to buy a laptop computer?
Although “financial expert Suze Orman” never took a single finance-related college course and has no current credentials, she’s been in the game long enough have learned about topics such as Roth IRAs and long-term care insurance, mixed with some common sense advice about spending less than you earn, topped off with a few meaningless platitudes she herself doesn’t follow, and a whole lot of scamming.
In our book and film, you will see Suze Orman pushing corporate-sponsored infomercials disguised as trustworthy advice, pitching mediocre and downright predatory products with evangelical fervor, selling FICO kit customers’ private information to creditors (based on a successful lawsuit), and running a gold “pump and dump” that decimated the savings of anyone who listened to her passionate advice, while Orman had bought a ton of gold stock before her mediawide “pump,” that she sold on the very day it hit the top.
In our book and film, you will see “financial guru” Suze Orman drumming up scary headlines to create fear and increase her public influence rating, and blasting her snake oil throughout today’s media landscape, with blatantly fraudulent misinformation campaigns, including her “Approved” prepaid debit card scam that that fooled poor and middle class citizens into believing that moving their hard-earned money from banks and credit unions onto Orman’s fee-laden, shoddily run prepaid debit card was going to improve their FICO scores.
A financial fraud like Orman’s “Approved” card would have certainly landed any other scammer in prison. Many have been convicted for far less. Therefore, I’ve included abundant examples from that especially ubiquitous, elaborate, and fraudulent campaign in this book and film.
Orman’s endless obfuscations are also a well-documented study of con artistry by a master of the arts. It is my hope that readers and viewers of this book and film will learn to be more savvy in the face of con artists like Suze Orman and other past, current, and future scammers and schemers who cause tremendous damage to many lives and to our world.
I invite readers to have your own “Suze Orman SCAMvenger hunt” as you read through her latticeworks of predatory pitches and publicity cover-ups. Once you understand how she works, Suze Orman’s scams, shams, and shenanigans are easy to find in nearly every appearance and headline she generates.
In 2014, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo bravely called out Orman and the predatory political lobbyist, media broker, damage control expert, publicity strategist gang that supports her, when Cuomo challenged his colleague John King to stop shilling for the “Orman Cabal.”
View a video clip of Cuomo’s “Orman Cabal” comment in a bizarre and interesting context that will be explored further in upcoming chapters in this embedded video, or you can click on: Link Intro-1.
As much as this book is about problems with Suze Orman herself, it is equally about the problems with a media and political landscape that can turn a narcissistic sociopath’s overconfidence and penchant for lying into extreme public influence and an expert status for which she has neither the personal nor professional credentials, and certainly not the integrity.
It would be one thing if Orman was just selling kits on QVC and telling people how to get a Roth IRA, but this financial advisor—who claims to not be a financial advisor when it is convenient—has the ear of top journalists, politicians, and government agencies, including the same Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that should be protecting the public from her scams.
Orman has received massive image support from former FDIC chair Sheila Bair and former General Electric CEO Jack Welch and his wife Suzy, who nominated Orman to be named to Time magazine’s list of the one hundred most influential people in the world. Orman has recently been playing kitchee koo with Secretary of Labor Perez, who specifically added a disclaimer into his 2016 financial ruling, stating that Suze Orman is—by name—exempt from his new regulations requiring financial advisors to give advice that is in the best interest of their clients. Orman’s scams have been eagerly hosted by top-notch journalists on nearly every television station, and as you’ll see in our film, she and Senator Elizabeth Warren “like each other, giggle, giggle.” Watching Orman’s shenanigans with Warren was especially disappointing for me and many who have viewed our film.
Most of the information I present comes from research on media and social media. I have done my best to only present as fact what is supported with documentation, and welcome notification of any inaccurate information that may have slipped through, so we can make corrections as needed.
Who this book and film are for
This book and film are for all the people who have been defrauded into thinking that Suze Orman was a trustworthy financial expert, including those who were convinced by Oprah and far too many journalists to give Orman their trust, and often their money.
This book and film are also intended for the many who could easily see that Suze Orman was a scammer and had enough sense to turn the channel whenever she came on. When these perceptive folks turned away from Orman’s bad energy and dishonest demeanor, they didn’t see how much public influence this obvious scammer had amassed, and how much damage her schemes were causing to others who were not savvy enough to avoid getting caught in her widely endorsed net of scams.
I would also like to ask for some explanation from those entrusted journalists and politicians who have enthusiastically hosted and pushed Orman’s con games for all these years. We may not be able to unravel and stop all the corruption in today’s world, but this logjam could be stopped as easily as not giving Orman and her cabal any more exposure or power.
I’m speaking to you, dear Senator, Secretary, and perhaps President Clinton: Should the same “mean girls” lobbyist strategists who helped Suze Orman steal from the poor and middle class of this country be guiding your campaign? Making your main platform that a President Donald Trump would be far worse isn’t good enough, and could lead to that very outcome. You’re better than that. Our country deserves better. As a citizen of this country, I ask you to get rid of the “mean girls” cabal, including Hilary Rosen and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. Go for integrity.
After the DNC covered up for Orman's financial scams, she then scammed them on the expected payback.
For those who have followed and believed in Suze Orman over the years, I encourage you to read this book and watch the film with an open mind. It’s difficult to find out terrible information about someone you feel has been a friend and guide, and no fun to discover you’ve been conned. I too was charmed and conned by Orman’s well-rehearsed manipulation techniques and false promises into spending two years helping her onto the public stage at a time when she was unpublished, unknown, and deeply in debt.
The Suze Orman I knew in the early 1990s was every bit as devious, deceptive, and damaging as she is today, though with a smaller circle of victims on whom to prey. Though I felt foolish for being duped by a con artist, Orman went on to con many other assumedly intelligent and savvy people, including Oprah Winfrey, Arianna Huffington, Tavis Smiley, Michael Moore, Juju Chang, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and far too many others who you will see in our film and this book, knowing or unknowing co-conspirators in Suze Orman’s scams.
It has been laziness and forgetfulness of Orman’s previous shams and false headlines that have allowed her to jump from scam to scam with sociopathic glee and almost no scrutiny from journalists or government agencies. Fortunately, today’s media landscape allows a simple author and filmmaker to gather and present this evidence to inform the public and hopefully finally stop these damaging scams.
This book explores many facets of the Orman problem, including her lack of education and credentials, and her significant personality aberrations that have resulted in greed-based and often heartless social memes.
You will see examples of Orman’s corrupt use of harrowing headlines, deceptive declarations, sales pitches disguised as trustworthy financial advice, and her intentionally and unintentionally bad advice that ruined people’s financial lives and contributed to damaging the economy, while bringing an endless stream of corporate sponsored offers to Orman’s door.
That bad advice has included Orman doing big media blasts to confidently and passionately tell people to buy homes just before the bubble burst, to buy stocks just before the stock market crashed, and to buy gold just before gold crashed.
Orman’s bad advice came entangled with her “pump and dumps,” corporate kickbacks, FICO fables, and a whole lot of deceptive schemes that have filled Orman’s pockets and the coffers of her wealthy corporate and bank sponsors with millions from the pockets of the poor and middle class for over fifteen years.
Orman has made tens, more likely hundreds of millions of dollars from putting her face and corporate-sponsored pitches on a wide assortment of products and books, most of which were primarily created by others.
One example is the Money Navigator Newsletter that Orman claimed to be personally writing, before admitting to only putting her face and name on the product after critical press from the Wall Street Journal and an investigation and fine by the SEC brought misfortune to her partner, while teflon Suze Orman once again got of scot free.
Orman then lied and said she had nothing to do with the newsletter, even though she had pitched “her” newsletter throughout the media landscape, was still giving it away for free in the new edition of her book, and continued to directly receive all the money that came in from subscribers. More on that Suze saga in Chapter Three.
For years, Orman has propagated the incorrectly low official estimate that she is worth thirty-five million dollars. However, you’ll hear Orman in our film boasting about how she paid cash for her five homes, showing off her yacht and luxurious life, and bragging to a classroom of unimpressed low-income, at-risk teenagers that, “Everybody thinks I’m worth fifty million dollars, and they’re way short. I am a seriously, seriously, wealthy woman.” (Link Intro-1a)
Suze Orman’s intentionally and unintentionally bad financial advice has sopped up untold millions from:
Those who followed Orman’s strongly delivered advice to buy stocks just before the stock market crashed. Orman later bragged that she had not made the mistake of following her own advice to buy stocks, and instead had kept her mega-millions in safe municipal bonds.
Homeowners who followed Orman’s emphatic advice to quickly buy a house and lock in a 7% rate, just before the bubble burst and rates fell below 4%. After that, Orman’s advice changed to dictating that people walk away from underwater mortgages and be renters for the rest of their lives (you will hear her say these things in the documentary film). This is one of many ways Orman’s bad advice played a significant role in the severe economic downturn and the devastation of the middle class.
(Watch the documentary section about Orman’s role in the housing crisis: Link Intro-1b.)
Families who moved their retirement savings into gold during Orman’s media-fueled “pump and dump” scheme that she bragged about making a mint on when she withdrew her fortune exactly at the top of the roller coaster she contributed to creating, before the artificially pumped price of gold plummeted, taking with it the retirement accounts of many victims, who were intelligent enough to have earned and saved the money, but not financially savvy enough to know that pseudo-expert Suze Orman’s overly enthusiastic promises that gold was going to soar by November 2012 were not to be trusted.
Watch the documentary film section about Orman’s Gold Rush “Pump and Dump” here: Link Intro-2
Obviously, there are bound to be some issues with following any “one size fits all” financial advice. That is especially true when the information is often corporate sponsored advertisements, espoused and disguised as a financial expert’s trustworthy proclamations and commands. Orman also delivered her corrupted advice as though it could be expected to suit everyone’s circumstances, whether a callers’ wishes, hopes, or dreams got “Approved,” or whether almighty Suze decided to shout, “Denied!”
(For those who haven’t heard Orman shouting “Denied,” here you go: Link Intro-3.)
More trustworthy financial advice would likely come from the personal financial advisors Orman has regularly decimated as “crooks” and “sheep”—advisors who unlike Orman are credentialed and have taken at least one finance-related college course, who can look at someone’s unique personal circumstances and individual goals, and suggest specialized and specifically geared steps to achieve them.
Orman and her handlers have given her various glorified titles, including “personal finance expert of the world” and “financial guru,” which I’m sure Orman herself coined, since she and I have studied with the same spiritual guru. I would like to suggest that a “guru” is intended to designate someone who gathers and presents the most important and essential information about what a student wants to learn, whether spiritual, musical, artistic, scientific, or financial. A corrupt guru is one whose motives are to use their position of trust as a façade to control and plunder rather than to empower and uplift.
Orman and her publicists pitched her as a “finance guru” in so many press releases that journalists started to use the term in their headlines.
Although most of Orman’s schemes are obvious with the slightest research and effort of observation, only a few in the media have been willing or able to speak up about this Empress's lack of knowledge or integrity. Instead, we’ve seen major journalists knowingly or unknowingly hosting and espousing completely false information on Orman’s behalf, supporting the “Orman cabal” scams like ignorant puppets.
One clear example of this troubling alliance that you will see in our documentary film took place on ABC News in 2012.
Journalist Juju Chang, while giggling at Orman’s audacious lies about how using her prepaid card might be expected to give users a good FICO score, acted as a veritable snake oil host for Orman’s predatory, deceptively pitched “Approved” prepaid debit card that had 20 fees from $1 to $30, and a whole lot of undisclosed shenanigans that stole money from card users left and right, including lost accounts, improper fee charges, and a $2 fee for every customer service call to Orman’s intentionally incompetent call center in the Philippines by frantic card users trying to access their lost accounts.
Nevertheless, Juju Chang falsely pitched Orman’s card to ABC News viewers as a product that would only cost users $3 per month, “with no hidden fees.”
Did Chang not do an ounce of research for her story? Did she not read nearly one hundred articles that had already sprouted to warn readers about Orman’s “Approved” card, with titles such as, “Stay Away from Suze Orman's Approved Prepaid Debit Card,” “Beware of Suze Orman Card!” “Suze Orman’s Prepaid Cards are Part of Immoral Money Scam,” and, “Pre-paid Debit Card: Is Orman's Evil?” Did Chang know she was helping to perpetrate a scam that was going to defraud the poor and middle class?
Orman claims to be neither a financial advisor nor journalist
Orman has primarily used her undeserved position of extreme public influence—not to improve people's lives or have a positive effect on the economy or the world—but to fill her coffers with tens of millions of dollars in well paid pseudo advice, covered up by some generally useful, basic financial information. Orman has intentionally generated fear, shame, and anxiety with her angry demeanor and dire predictions, to convince people to give their hard-earned money to her and her corporate sponsors.
One might wonder how someone who plays the role of a financial advisor or journalist could get away with violating the rules of ethics of both those professions as Suze Orman has done time and time again. In a 2004 Chicago Tribune article, “Ad puts adviser's advice in question,” Orman answered that question by claiming to be neither a financial advisor nor a journalist, with therefore no requirement to follow any of the ethics rules of either vocation.
What is she then, you might ask? (Link Intro-3a):
“I have now become a celebrity,” she said. “Whether the reporters who have bashed me for years want to believe it, Suze Orman has become... somebody that America has embraced.” And, as such, she says she should be held to the same standard as other celebrities who endorse products.
Eric Tyson, author of many finance-related “For Dummies” books, is one of the few who spoke up early and often to warn his readers not to fall for this charlatan. In Personal Finance For Dummies, Tyson wrote about Orman under the heading, “Recognizing Fake Financial Gurus.”
On his blog article, “Suze Orman’s Financial Advice and Career,” Tyson offered some helpful insights into her past (Link Intro-3b):
I have had a bird's eye view of Suze Orman's “career” as a supposed personal finance “guru” because I was based where she was in the San Francisco Bay Area during most of the 1990s. At that time, I worked as a financial advisor who strictly provided advice on an hourly basis.
Orman doesn't make claims to being a rocket scientist and her own website biography states that she was “surprised” to be admitted to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign “...even though I didn't score well on my SATs,” she says. She actually says in her biography that it took her seven years to complete her degree because she dropped out of school unable to successfully complete the school's language requirement. According to the University of Illinois, she graduated in August of 1977 (at the age of 26) with a bachelor's degree in social welfare…
As far back as 1998, Forbes' columnist William Barrett did a review of Orman's background compared with her claims. Barrett found and documented major misrepresentations and falsehoods about her background. At the time of his column, he exposed the fact that while Orman claimed 18 years of work in the financial services industry, she had in fact only 7 years of experience.
Orman claims to have been operating a small financial planning practice in the San Francisco Bay Area. Actually, she was selling commission-based products and Barrett actually exposed the fact that her own license to sell such products was expired so she wasn't even doing that legally! Barrett told me in an interview she was selling single premium deferred annuities to laid off workers. So in addition to grossly misrepresenting her credentials and a thin educational and work background in the financial field, she sold inappropriate products (retirement account money is already tax sheltered) to laid off workers so that she could earn hefty commissions.
The fear mongering and economic damage done by Orman’s corporate-sponsored histrionics (along with other factors) fed the beast, contributed to crashing the economy, and filled Orman’s voracious pockets and those of her sponsors, as every economic downturn increased her public influence and corporate shilling price.
The worse our economy got, the higher price Orman could get for her corporate and bank sponsored “price for advice” shenanigans, with some mostly ghostwritten financial books and products sprinkled on top to bolster the façade and distract from the scams she was running.
As Orman herself often likes to say about how she got the idea to go into the financial business, “I thought, ‘I know, I can be a broker, because they just make you broker.’”
What do you think that means, all you journalists and media outlets that have hosted this statement, and the millions who have heard Orman say it once, twenty, or a hundred times? She decided to become a broker to make people broker, and that’s what she did, first selling inappropriate products to a few clients, and eventually to millions; making a whole lot of people broker with her intentionally and unintentionally bad advice.
Orman and her political lobbyist PR team frequently blasted out fear-mongering headlines and memes that kept her in the news, such as her widely proclaimed mantra, “The American Dream is Dead!”
For years, Suze Orman was unavoidable in television and print media, to the point where many complained about her extreme overexposure. Articles called her “the ubiquitous Suze Orman,” and journalists marveled at all the schemes she was able to run at the same time.
Yet, no matter how questionable the shams Orman and her partners were pushing, the public heard barely a peep of warning from journalists who were apparently too afraid of stepping on the toes of Oprah Winfrey and Orman’s other powerful protectors to speak up about troubling issues that must have been obvious to many journalists.
One disappointing example of journalistic complicity came when Tavis Smiley pushed Orman’s predatory prepaid debit card right in the middle of a poverty conference and at the prestigious National Press Club, where Smiley declared his undying support for Orman’s shenanigans, saying, “I am here now, as I have always been and always will be, by Suze’s side and behind Suze to support her in all of her endeavors.” Really, Tavis? How many of Orman’s other “endeavors” have you supported, because most of Orman’s endeavors are predatory scams and shams.
Watch a shocking clip from Tavis Smiley’s “Approved” prepaid debit card infomercial at the National Press Club here: Link Intro-4
Such unabashed loyalty toward Orman has been especially intriguing to see when nearly all of the people I've spoken with about this matter over the years could see that something was seriously wrong with Suze Orman. Most have used the exact same words, saying they “change the channel whenever she comes on.”
These responses showed me that many others could see the problem, but because they were turning channels to avoid her deceptive mannerisms, abrasive voice, and bad energy, these people missed the scams she was running that they could have warned others to avoid. Most had no idea that Suze Orman had any significant influence in the world—they certainly didn’t know that Time magazine had named Orman as one of the 100 most influential people in the world (Link Intro-5), or that Forbes had declared Suze Orman as the ninth most influential celebrity in the world. (Link Intro-6)
Most of the people I’ve discussed Orman with had no idea that millions of fellow Americans not only watch this shyster to learn some basic financial information while being entertained by Orman’s emotive expressions, but that millions of poor and middle class citizens were making some of their most important family and life decisions, and investing their hard-earned money, based on Orman’s profit-motivated infomercials that she disguised as insightful financial expert wisdom.
You can see another interesting example in this next clip, where George Stephanopoulos doesn't seem too thrilled to be playing host to Orman spreading her prepaid debit card scam on Good Morning America. Stephanopoulos seems almost fearful about asking proper questions, letting Orman’s histrionics and obvious deceptions go on without properly calling her out. (Link Intro-6a)
Beyond wanting this book to be interesting and educational, I hope it will inspire second thoughts for the many news and other media figures who have knowingly or unknowingly given Orman pass after pass for her shenanigans while pushing her onto the public stage as a bonafide financial “expert,” “wizard,” and “guru,” in spite of the fact that her only college education was a B.A. in Social work that she took many extra years to get.
In fact, Orman loves to brag that she never got even one grade above a “C” in any of her classes while pursuing that bachelor’s degree in social work. She wears her lack of credentials as a badge of honor to show what an amazing con artist she must be to scam her way into a completely undeserved position of respect, power, and public trust.
Watch a clip of Orman bragging about her lack of credentials: Link Intro-7
Obviously, Orman has enough intelligence to have learned basic financial information over the years, and much more “scamtelligence” to arrange all the webs of deception she has run on the American public for the past fifteen-plus years.
As for the question of who has been writing Orman's books, you can find one clue in this article from Woman’s Wear Daily about how thrilled Orman’s agent was, in the mid 1990s, to find an easily manipulated “author” figurehead with hypnotic eyes who knew she couldn’t write: (Link Intro-8)
One day, at a friend’s suggestion, Orman went to see Binky Urban, ICM’s legendary book agent. “I didn’t want to see her and she didn’t want to see me,” says Orman. “She didn’t need a financial author and I didn’t see why I needed a [new] book agent. Especially with a name like Binky. So I go into Binky’s office in jeans because I didn’t care about it. She had her back turned and was talking to somebody on the phone and she said, ‘Well, you can just go tell that person to go f–k themselves.’ And I thought, ‘That is a great woman.’
Then she turned around, looked at me, and said, ‘Kid, those eyes of yours will make us millions of dollars but you’ve gotta lose 30 pounds.’ And I said, ‘OK. Done.’”
“She looks fantastic now,” says Urban, who had no trouble auctioning Orman’s second book.
“The bidding was going up and up and up,” says Orman, “I said, ‘Stop the bidding, Binky. I can’t take it anymore. Somebody’s going to pay me $800,000 to write a book. I can’t write. I’m a finance person.’” She continues: “I told Chip Gibson [then the head of Crown Publishing], ‘Sir, before I sign this contract I have two things to tell you. Number one: I don’t know how to write. So I don’t want you giving me $800,000 to write. And number two: Are you aware that I’m a lesbian?”
As it happens, neither turned out to be roadblocks. For one, Orman was a personal finance expert, not a movie star. And for another, Gibson says, “We weren’t hiring Suze to win the Nobel Prize in literature.”
Urban seconds that. “I just thought, ‘Great. Finally an author who knows she can’t write.’”
“Finally an author who knows she can’t write” is quite a clue into how the wider Orman façade of ghostwriters and behind-the-scenes experts began. The same article also describes Orman’s fear and shame-based platform:
Suze Orman is in a television studio chewing out America. In three hours of satellite appearances, she has scolded the residents of nearly every major city in the United States about what they’re doing wrong — in her estimation, more or less everything. She has castigated the people of Hartford for eating out too much: “You have got to cut back like you have never cut back before.”
She has told folks in San Antonio that unemployment is going up, up, up, and that credit card debt is going to bring them down, down, down: “You can’t say the word hope and 2009 in the same sentence.” And as for the population of Phoenix, they might as well start stockpiling the food, because, “The economy is beyond help.”
Each time she does an interview, her sentences become increasingly staccato, her warnings more ominous. “If. You. Don’t. Face. Your. Debt. In. The. Mirror. You. Are. Going. To. Be. In. So. Much. Trouble.”
Mommy still loves us, but we have been bad little kiddies and She. Has. Got. To. Tell. Us.
You’d think all this doom and gloom might not go down so well at a time when there is more than enough doom and gloom to go around. But make no mistake about it — the global economic meltdown has been fantastic for television’s ubiquitous money lady and her brand of perpetual disapproval.
One of Orman’s business partners told me she would call him to ask what she should say the next day on an interview or in social media. This actual expert described how incredulous he would be to hear Orman confidently espousing his advice as though it were her own.
Eric Tyson, author of books including, Personal Finance For Dummies, Investing For Dummies, Mutual Funds For Dummies, and Real Estate Investing For Dummies, pointed out another correlation between Orman and Madoff:
As with Bernie Madoff, for many years, there have been major concerns raised about Suze Orman's representations and stated background which have largely been ignored and kept underground.”
The information presented in this book and film should at minimum give pause to the millions who have simply trusted that today's popular media figures who have pitched Orman as a trustworthy advisor have done so after undertaking proper background and other checks regarding the supposed expert they have presented as being credentialed and trustworthy.
It is time for victims of Orman's “Approved” card scam, gold rush “pump and dump,” and other schemes to receive restitution, and for government agencies entrusted with protecting the public good to bring justice, stop the damage, and properly investigate the mechanisms that allowed Orman and her cabal to use our media landscape to distort the economy and funnel money to corporations, banks, and the one percent, from the pockets of poor and middle class citizens.
Not only should the victims of Orman's “Approved” card, “gold rush,” and other scams be reimbursed for their losses, but every United States citizen deserves to be part of a class action against Suze Orman and those who have pumped up her undeserved extreme influence such that Time and Forbes magazines have honored Orman as one of the top one hundred most influential people, and the ninth most influential celebrity in the world, respectively.
Some who have enjoyed my more positive works might wonder how a nice spiritual author and filmmaker like me became obliged to produce a book and film like this. The answer is that I couldn’t sit back without at least trying to stop the serious damage I saw Orman perpetrating upon the public, year after year. The price we have all paid for allowing a con artist to be elevated into a position of extreme public influence should become clear as you read through the webs of deceptive shenanigans I’ve gathered in this book and the adjacent film. If one Suze scam doesn’t convince you, just turn the page to find plenty more.
One of Orman’s recent business partners told me that all the information I’ve gathered is still the tip of the iceberg of her troubling nature and actions, and I’m sure that is the case. This partner said he was planning to write his own Suze Orman book that would include some emails from her that would shock the public and prove her fraud. He told me Orman’s lawyer had been calling him practically every day at one point, trying to pay him off to sign one of Orman’s ironclad confidentiality agreements that have kept many others from telling what they know.
I'm aware that this film and presentation are just pieces of a bigger puzzle. Hopefully they will help open the door for more information to come forth, for justice and restitution to take place, for the media and government agencies entrusted with protecting the public good to be more honest, fair and vigilant, and for the public to become educated so they won’t be as easily swept away by the emotings and pretenses of every predatory con artist who comes down the pike.
I look forward to a day when Suze Orman and the cabal that supports her are gone from the public consciousness, so our country and world can move forward with a more conscious, more honest, and less abrasive approach to finances, politics, and life choices—one that includes intelligence, kindness, and respect for each other and for ourselves.
Go to Chapter One:
"From Waitress to 'Financial Expert,'
Orman’s History of Shams and Shenanigans"
View other more positive videos on the Night Lotus YouTube channel
Night Lotus Productions:
Bringing Light to the World Through Creative Works
with A Website of Free Multimedia Spiritual Resources