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Freedom and Gullibility

Why are so many freedom loving individualists so often gullible when it comes to scams promising some kind of "magic" short-cut to "self-esteem," "personal success," or "wealth." I do not have a complete answer, but part of it is because most individualist are self-confident and know they have the ability to achieve their dreams and are drawn to anything presented as an opportunity to achieve success and happiness.

The attitude is an admirable one, but also seems to make those who have it susceptible to those kinds of scams that promise exactly what they rightfully desire, especially when those scams are couched in language that appeals to the individualist's own views of freedom and responsibility.

In an earlier Daily Freedom article addressing this issue I wrote, "All these schemes sound too good to be true, which ought to be the tip-off for the individualist. They are all scams. It is because so many of these schemes are being put over in the name of "individual freedom" or "individual sovereignty," they appeal to individualists.

I pointed out one such scam recently in my Regi Says "It's A Scam" which described the investment scam being promoted across the WEB by the less-than-scrupulous Stansberry & Associates Investment Research agency. One response to that article describes it all:

"Oh my gosh! I just discovered all this junk last night after researching him online. ... Somehow this guy knows how to hit the belly of trusting fellow Americans! My husband listened to the speel and wanted to spend the 49.50, he gave me his credit card, and as I went to subscribe, something inside of me said, Wait! We have been scammed too many times, should we spend one more cent following someone else's advice? Then I researched Stansberry and saved ourselves 49.50 and the agony of another smooth talking intellectual running his scam on us. ..." [Emphasis, mine.]

That "belly of trusting fellow Americans," is all those who desire freedom above all other things. Now there is an even more insidious Scam being put over in the name of individual freedom on a site called BuildFreedom.com, subtitled, "FREE WORLD ORDER."

This WEB page is run by Frederick Mann, and few know better how to "hit the belly of trusting fellow Americans." But before I tell you about this man's history of scamming Americans, particularly freedom loving Americans, let me tell you where the WEB page BuildFreedom.com came from.

A True Independent Individualist

My January 24, 2011 Daily Freedom, "Dead, or Alive and Free?" introduced a true independent individualist named Richard Rieben. His WEBsite has the intriguing name Take Liberty.com: Don't Ask Permission - Just Take It. In his own description of his site he wrote, "Each individual has the power to take liberty and make it a reality in his own life," to which of course I respond with a hardy "Amen!"

My article was about what was then a bit of a mystery. In one of the 'bios' related to his articles were these words, "He [Richard] passed away sometime after 2005," but at the time I could find nothing that indicated he had actually passed away. Subsequently I have found the following very interesting short obituary for Richard written by his brother William.

On the "About" page for Richard Rieben's "Take Liberty" WEB site are these words:

"We (I, Kelly Ross, and the "boss," Richard Rieben) address this website to individuals." Who the mysterious "Kelly Ross," is, is not revealed anywhere, but it is obvious she is Richard's, "gal Friday."

In another of Richard Rieben's articles on another site, he wrote, "Recently, a new web site, Practical Liberty, was launched by Kelly Ross." The domain name for that new site happened to be, "http://www.buildfreedom.com/."

That domain name no longer has the title, "Practical Liberty," and is no longer the property of Richard Rieben, but is the Scam site of Frederick Mann with the name, "FREE WORLD ORDER." The fact that no announcement has ever been made that a WEB site meant to promote the ideas of a true independent individualist was totally transformed into a site to promote a whole series of MLM scams is in itself evidence that the current manifestation of the site with the domain name "buildfreedom.com," is crooked. But there is much better evidence of that.

The International Ponzi Scheme

The article, Money for Nothing describes an international Ponzi Scheme called, "StockGeneration," (SG) which it says, "sucked millions of dollars out of thousands of people at the speed of the Internet economy. Now the market's promoters have vanished, the Feds are sniffing, and the investors - they just want to keep playing the game."

This excellent article provides details of how the scheme worked, and includes some of the names of individuals involved. One of those names is Frederick Mann, about whom the article says:

"... $1,000 [was] plunked down by Frederick Mann, who maintains a site that promoted SG and tracks more than 20 other high-yield income "opportunities." According to SG, Mann's payouts totaled $63,519.74. (He confirms he made a bundle, but claims it was $35,000 more than SG reports.)

Is it the same Frederick Mann who now runs the BuildFreedom.com site? You betcha!

Here is Frederick Mann's SG promotion page mentioned in the article: Frederick Mann's Stockgeneration FAQ. [There is no longer any link to this page, though it is still on the WEB.] If you scroll to the very bottom to the black-bordered gray box with the words, "Click here to access the StockGeneration website through our Business Opportunities page!" and click the words, "Click here," you'll be taken to BigBooster.com. If you scroll through this page promoting several MLM marketing schemes you will see Frederick Mann's name prominently featured throughout.

On Frederick Mann's BuildFreedom.com, "FREE WORLD ORDER," page, at the very top is this strange disclaimer:

"DISCLAIMER: BuildFreedom.com does not challenge or threaten the authority of any legitimate government. This information constitutes only the communication of information in accordance with the right to free speech. It does not constitute financial, accounting, tax, or legal advice. READERS ARE PARTICULARLY URGED TO OBEY ALL LAWS."

Have you ever seen such a disclaimer on any other freedom or libertarian oriented site?

As you scroll through the BuildFreedom.com site, it at first appears to be nothing more than a not-very-well-organized Libertarian/Freedom site but with much more hype than is common for such sites. Much of the material on the site is "borrowed" from other sources. Buried in the midst of this very busy site are links like: MonsterPreLaunch Moneymaking Breakthrough of the Decade!, a lead-in to an MLM promotion. On the right-hand side, about an eighth of the way down, under "Free World Order:" are several links, such as "Read Me First," which links to an old page of Mr. Mann's that used to be called the, "Freedom Path." The page is just a page of links, in boxes connected with lines, but is really not any kind of "path." If you click on the fifth box down in the right hand column, "THE WAY TO WEALTH," it brings you to another similar page of links. The fifth box down in the middle column on that page, "Business Opportunities Section," is a link to BigBooster.com, the one we've already seen that used to link to Mann's SG promotion page. In the original set of links on the main BuildFreedom.com page, "Business Opportunities," also links to the BigBooster.com page.

If you study this site (which I do not recommend) it becomes obvious that everything is designed to eventually steer the user to one of the MLM promotion pages and all the freedom and personal development and anti-government material is just a cover for the real purpose of the site.

The site itself is not important, and may very well be defunct. It hasn't been updated for over a year, and many of the links are broken. What is significant to me is how many libertarian and freedom oriented sites and organization have links to the BuildFreedom.com pages, apparently unaware of what it really is. At least you know what it is.

—(02/23/11)