I’m in a bit of a snarky mood today, so someone’s going to get it – and that someone is a guy named Greg Schmidt who lives in a small town not far from Nashville, TN.
So who is this guy and what has he done to piss me off?
Well, nothing much – directly.
Greg is nothing more than the registered owner of a one-page website who, to be honest, whose existence I was entirely unaware of until a couple of days ago when Greg, or perhaps someone else – it doesn’t really matter who – made the mistake of posting a linkspam message here.
Linkspam, of course, goes into the spam bin, this being pretty much the only comments policy I operate, but from time to time some of this crap will catch my eye sufficiently to prompt me to take a look at where the spam leads out of nothing more than simple curiousity, and Greg’s message – unfortunately (for him) was one that just happened to pique my curiosity.
So I followed the link and found my way to Greg’s webpage – www.curingcolic.com – to find that what Greg is peddling is a book which purports to explain exactly how to cure colic in only two days – and here’s the blurb that appears on the site:
“Now You Can Permanently Eliminate Your Baby’s Colic in as Little as 2 Days and Say Goodbye To Sleepless Nights Forever!”
Now that, as should be obvious, is complete bullshit.
There’s actually a pretty good overview of the current state of play regarding infant colic at Wikipedia from which, if you read it, you’ll find out that no ones particularly sure what actually causes it and there’s no generally accepted treatment for it either. It’s long been thought that ‘trapped wind’, particularly after bottle feeding, may be at least partially responsible and there are a number of over the counter treatments you can get from your local chemist that sometime prove helpful, but other times don’t. By and large, as any parent whose ever had a ‘colicky’ baby will tell you, you just have to tough it out and improvise as best you can until your screaming little bundle of joy grows out it and settles down.
Having a colicky baby is, however, a pretty fucking miserable experience to go through both physically and emotionally. You don’t get much sleep because the nipper’s constantly crying. You worry constantly that it could be something more serious and your left with a feeling of utter frustration because, for long periods of time, nothing you try to settle the baby down will actually work and it is long before you run completely out of ideas as to what to do…
…and that makes it ideal territory in which just about every kind of snake oil salesman, scam artist and purveyor of woo you can possibly imagine can make a play to peddle their wares. It’s a con artist’s paradise, a ready market full of tired, overstressed, desperate and frustrated parents and one that hasn’t already been cornered by the big pharmaceutical companies.
So getting back to Greg… or should I say ‘Mary’ because there’s absolutely no mention of Greg on the webpage at all but we are invited to meet ‘Mary Evans’, a mother of three, ‘founder’ of curingcolic.com and an ‘independent clincal sleep researcher’, who we are expected to believe is the brains behind this whole operation – and is what ‘Mary’ looks like:
Awww, look at the pretty mommy with the cute smiley baby… and get out your credit card, sucker!
Is that really ‘Mary Evans’, or could it be Greg’s wife or could it just be a generic photo that Greg’s lifted from somewhere on teh Internet – we don’t know, although the last option is a fairly safe bet and all that ‘independent clinical sleep researcher’ means is ‘I want to think I’m some sort of professional even though I’ve absolutely no qualifications, experience or association with any recognised academic institution’.
But never mind that, just look at the cute smiley baby…
The next stage in the scam is, as ever, the ‘I know exactly how you feel’ sob story…
Hi, my name is Mary and just like you I have fought through the difficulties of having a colicky baby.
It happened with my third baby Zach. My first two kids never showed any signs of colic. I wasn’t even sure what was going on when it started.
You can trust me, of course, because I’m a mom just like you… blah, blah, blah.
You get the rest. ‘Mary’ had a hard time with her colicky offspring and the stuff she got from the doctor didn’t work and life was hell and she was a bit of a bitch to her husband and then…
What Happened Next Was A Miracle
It’s a miracle anyone every falls for this crap, but some people do and that’s all the scam artist needs to rely on, so now we get to find out what Greg/Mary’s little miracle actually is and how he/she came to find it:
Before having children, I had worked as a research assistant in a law firm. I decided to put those skills to use. I spent the next 2 weeks researching everything I could find about colic.
I called and interviewed experts, parents and anyone else I could get to talk to me. At the end of the 2 weeks I had a mountain of information.
I began to apply the techniques that I had discovered and to my amazement started to see signs of relief. I continued to work through the information I had acquired and finally it stopped.
No more crying. No more sleepless nights. No more fussy days. No more frustration and no more feelings of resentment.
I had found a cure.
Let’s translate that into reality…
I went on teh interwebs, Googled the word ‘colic’ and ripped off as much information as I could find from Wikipedia and any popular health, women’s and parenting magazine websites I could find and after a couple of hours I had a mountain of information I could cut and paste in a word processor and sell to you suckers.
I had found a way of screwing money out of people for stuff they could easily Google themselves and get for free.
And ‘Mary’ doesn’t stop there…
I continued to work on the information I had gathered and put it together in an easy to follow, step by step guide to help other parents with colicky babies.
In other words…
I looked on a techie website and finally managed to work out how the bulleting and numbering function works…
This guide has been used by thousands of parents world wide and has had amazing results. Most parents report seeing results in as little as 2 days.
It’s been ‘used by thousands of parents world wide’- fuck me, it must be flying of the shelves then, if thousands of parents have used it already…
…after all Greg only registered the domain name for curingcolic.com on the 13th September 2008.
You can guess the rest… there’s the obligatory fake testimonials
“No More Crying!”
I really didn’t expect your book to work. When I came across your website, I was tired, frustrated and beaten down. I decided to try one more cure.
I am so thankful that I came across your website. Your book has changed my life. I can’t believe it….It’s finally gone! No More Crying!!!
If that’s Cleveland OH then I’ve checked and cannot find any trace of a ‘Jane Marin’ anywhere in the city (bit of a hint for future reference, Greg, don’t use unusual or uncommon names in your fake testimonials… they’re too easy to check.)
And then we’re into the full sales pitch with the usual…
100% Guarantee: My guarantee is easy. If you are not satisfied, you get your money back.
If you can actually find Greg once you realise that this all a crock of shit, and naturally the ‘guide’ is…
On Sale For A Limited Time
So don’t hang around too long before handing over the money and certainly don’t take the time and trouble to check whether any of this is genuine. Oh, and don;t forget that Greg’s such a nice guy he’s even going to give you a discount…
The Curing Colic guide is currently on sale for $47 $29.
I am not sure how long I will leave the price at $29 but it will return to $47 at some point.
This guide is an instant download so you can start curing your baby’s colic as soon as possible.
Yep, for only $29, you too can instantly download a pdf of whatever Greg’s managed to scrap off the internet on the subject of colic and, if you’re really, really lucky, he might just have gone to the trouble of knocking up this crap in Publisher and whacking in a bit of clip art.
If you want to know what this is really all about then you just have to look up the affiliate page for www.curingcolic.com where you find not only the Greg hasn’t managed to register an entry on Google as yet but you’ll also see the real motive…
Description: Top Quality Colic Guide. Huge Market. 75% Payout.
Not anymore, Greg – because take a guess at what’s going to be the number one Google listing for www.curingcolic.com in just a couple of day’s time.
And the moral of this story is…?
DON’T SPAM MY FUCKING BLOG!