By Matthew A. McIntosh / 06.01.2016
David Halperin at Huffington Post wrote about the Trump “University” scam:
The playbook directed Trump University recruiters to push students into paying higher prices for escalating levels of involvement, with the most expensive “Gold Elite” package, priced at $34,995, the ultimate target: “If they can afford the gold elite don’t allow them to think about doing anything besides the gold elite.”
Where oh where have we heard this before? Sure, there’s Amway of old and other pyramid schemes, but I’m thinking of something else. Something that would require manipulation of people down to their core. Halperin gave me edification with:
Trump University told its recruiters to play on shame, exploit aspirations, and overcome customer objections…
Ah, there it is – push those hot buttons on an emotional level, get them nearly “spiritually” invested, and then rob them blind whether they can afford it or not.
Indeed, one of Trump’s former employees with the program (not a client) testified that, when he refused to talk a couple into using their disability benefits and apartment value to pay for the super-dooper portion, another salesperson stepped in and did the dirty deed.
The problem is that Trump is a private citizen who was operating a for-profit business, and that opened him up to such lawsuits.
What an amateur.
A long time ago, another man had the same general idea – play on people’s emotions and weaknesses, prey on their vulnerabilities, and bilk them. But he was smart enough to know that there had to be some protection in place.
His name was L. Ron Hubbard, and he called it Scientology.
Documents taken from the “church” reveal that after a prospective parishioner (a.k.a. client) “goes clear”, they are then pushed into the Hubbard Solo Auditor Course (Parts I & II) and the other courses to “OT III”.
The similarities don’t end with the goal and technique to push. Trump’s “Gold Elite” package was priced at $34,995. Scientology’s price to take that Solo Auditor course – $33,835.
Hubbard, protected by the religious shield, offered much, much more, and people could end up at over $300,000 in no time. If they couldn’t afford it, they could declare themselves basically slaves forever and work for things like SeaOrg, a particularly vicious outfit in Scientology.
Donny, Donny, Donny….all you had to do was get religious declaration for tax purposes, maybe call it Trumpology.
Someone much smarter, though equally as crooked, beat you to the punch.