Tuesday, 30 August 2011

AP High Court dismisses writ petition of speakasiaonline

Justice Raja Elango of Andhra Pradesh High Court on Tuesday delivered the judgement which could herald a new path against the multilevel marketing, dismissing the writ petition filed by speakasiaonline appealing to stall investigation into its business model. Justice Raja Elango dismissed the writ petition and vacated the stay order issued by the High Court which restrained the arrest of the employees of speakasiaonline.
Now the CID police of Andhra Pradesh could go ahead with the arrest of the all the culprits responsible for the massive fraud involving about 20 billion rupees. So far, the police could freeze the assets worth about 5 billion rupees.
It appears the Andhra Pradesh High Court has taken into consideration the affidavit filed by Corporate Frauds Watch. However, the full judgement which would come out in a couple of days would reveal it all.
It could be safely said that it is a victory of Corporate Frauds Watch as its counsel Mr Mastan Vali was not even given an opportunity to present the argument. Whatever was presented in the affidavit submitted to the High Court as Respondent No.2, was more than sufficient for the High Court to arrive at the conclusion, it appears.
Ms Harender Kaur who went into hiding after the CID launched investigation may not appear in public in near future. And the gullible people who blindly believed their friends and relatives to the offer of 'good business opportunity', stand to lose their hard-earned money.
The case should become an eye-opener to the people all over world not to fall prey to the lure of easy and quick money.

12 comments:

Kasey Chang said...

Dear Shyam,

Can you PLEASE cite some confirmation of your news items, PLEASE? I found them already (Business Standard and India Times) online this time, but it would be better if you cite them from the very beginning.

And congratulations on your amicus brief. Must have been quite persuasive.

Another point of contention to note: the fervor of SpeakAsia followers. They have turned into a cult, with SpeakAsia as the religion. All believers will be "saved" and be on the path to prosperity. All non-believers will be doomed to abject failure and wage slaves. Some even called for "death to enemies of Speak Asia".

Is someone inciting the cult? Are there laws in India (or anywhere in the world) that address this sort of reprehensible behavior?

Noted Cult behavior expert Steven Hassan have called MLMs "commercial cults" on his HuffingtonPost entry. Thought it's quite appropriate to cite it in relations to SpeakAsia.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-hassan/main-street-bubble-of-mul_b_816996.html

Shyam Sundar said...

I do not understand what confirmation you need. Corporate Frauds Watch filed a criminal case against speakasiaonline and CID police launched investigation. Instead of giving necessary proofs to the police, speakasiaonline preferred to file a writ petition in the High Court appealing to declare its business model legal. The High Court was not convinced with the arguments of speakasiaonline's counsel and dismissed the writ enabling the police to go ahead with the investigation. That's all.

Kasey Chang said...

Dear Shyam,

I have no doubt you are speaking and writing the truth. However, are we not critics and skeptics that demand proof of all we read and see? (And thus, reveal that fraudsters' statements are false, unproven, or misleading?)

Should we not apply the same standards to our own writing?

Here's the two links confirming the court decision:

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-miscellaneous/article2413753.ece

http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/ap-high-court-dismisses-speak-asia-petition/447563/

So to understand the way the court system in India works:

CFW filed affidavit to support its lawsuit against SAOL (in criminal court or civil court?)

CID (of Andhra Pradesh?) filed FIR detailing its investigation in response to the lawsuit.

SAOL filed writ (I think in US we call that a "motion") to dismiss the lawsuit (and related FIR/investigation)

And high court of Andhra Pradesh dismissed the writ, allowing the CID investigation to go forward.

What did I miss? (Remember, we non-Indians have little comprehension of the complexities of Indian legal system, and Wikipedia is of little help in this regard. Is there like "Indian Law for Dummies" somewhere?)

Shyam Sundar said...

Mr Chang,
Corporate Frauds Watch lodged a complaint with the CID Police against the speakasiaonline and CID registered an FIR and launched investigation. Only to avoid arrests, the speakasiaonline filed a writ petition in the High Court holding Corporate Frauds Watch, as the second respondent, the first respondent being the State Government. Now the Corporate Frauds Watch filed its affidavit detailing the business model of the company and how it is a criminal activity.
Now the High Court dismissed the writ petition enabling the police to continue with investigation. The police would arrest the accused and present in the court. The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate court would try the case after the CID police filed the charge sheet.

Shyam Sundar said...

Mr. Chang
For your information: The American author on cultism, and former core-adherent of the cultic group most-commonly referred to as the 'Moonies', Steve Hassan,lately arrived at his conclusion that 'MLM' groups, like 'Amway,' use cult-style brainwashing tactics, after he encountered distressed former 'Amway' adherents, including Eric Scheibeler. However, the term, 'Commercial Cult,' was already being used in the 1980s by the late Prof. Margaret Singer, the noted American psychologist and author of 'Cults in our Midst.'

Eric Scheibeler who spent 10 years in 'Amway' (rising to a level in the group's paramilitary hierarchy known as 'Emerald Distributor') retained a mountain of evidence proving that 'Amway' has always been the corporate/commercial front for a 'Prosperity Gospel' cult - a perversion of the traditional Christian faith and fraternal secret societies , in which victims have been peddled the addictive closed-logic lie (contained in endless publications, recordings, meetings, etc.) that they can achieve redemption in a future, secure Utopian existence where the American Dream of prosperity, freedom and happiness will come to pass only for those who believe totally in 'MLM', and who exclude all non-believers from their lives.

'MLM/ Prosperity Gospel' cults are, therefore, all copy-cats of the 'Amway' original, but 'Amway' itself, is by no means original. According to these perverted belief systems, Blogs like Corporate Frauds Watch are sytematically branded as 'negative and evil'.

The following is a transcript of a ‘training tape’ entitled: ‘How to Handle Negative Websites;' The speaker was Pastor Mark Gorman. The tape was produced in 2001 and distributed by the ‘InterNet Services Corporation’, an organization registered in the USA as a ‘privately-controlled limited-liability commercial company’ (apparently independent of ‘Amway’), but owned by ‘Amway' under-boss, the self-styled ‘Pastor’ Dexter Yager:

Shyam Sundar said...

‘I'm convinced more and more each day that this (‘Amway’) business was God's idea. What I'm saying is God created this (‘Amway’) business so that we could pull families together and help people — and the Devil does not like that ! If you don't believe there's a Devil, go on the Internet ! Man I'm telling you, there's a Devil ! The Devil does not like this (‘Amway’) business ! - He does not like the unity in this (Amway’) business ! All I want to say to you is: guys, if I were the Devil and I saw a business that was keeping marriages together, where that men learned how to love their wife … they're taught from stage in Leadership sessions how to love their wife … where women are taught how to really integrate the marriage … the husband and wife relationship … where parents are taught how to bring up their children and encourage them to speak life and positive things into them so that those children have good healthy self-images and believe that they can really do anything that they put their minds to do . If I saw a business that was responsible for holding those marriages and families together, and getting people out of debt, and learning how to treat people with dignity, respect and kindness … a business that gave people hope for freedom, hope for their financial future … that a person could not even succeed in this (‘Amway’) business without helping somebody else, and that the more people you help the more money you make… a business that teaches the principles of morals and ethics and integrity, that gives dignity to human life, that validates marriages an institution that should be reverenced that should not be put down or criticised or belittled .… If I saw a business that did all those things and so much more for humanity .… If I were the Devil, I'd hate it with a passion ! And I am convinced that not only does Satan hate the Church, I'm convinced with all my heart that Satan has good reason for hating this (‘Amway’) business. He has good reason for hating Dexter and Birdie and every Leader in their organisation. Satan hates this (‘Amway’) business with a passion, because this (‘Amway’) business stands for everything he hates ! And if you want to know whose behind those Websites, all I ask you is, who could it be… huh ? … Could it be Satan ?’
Currently, no common-sense law exists anywhere in the world which clearly identifies the age-old crime of instigating, or perverting, a dualistic (good versus evil) belief system for the purpose of human exploitation.

The same phenomenon was previously identified prior to WWII by the controversial German academic, Prof. Eric Voegelin, who coined the term, 'politcal religions' in 1938. Voegelin (who was a devout Catholic) was forced to run away from 'Nazism' by whose leaders he was systematically branded as 'evil.' Voegelin finally arrived in the USA, where, over a period of decades, he set out a grandiose, but ultimately short-sighted, theory (in an unfinished-work comprising 13 volumes) that traditional religions (offering a heavenly after-life) brought order, whilst perverted religions (offering heaven on Earth) brought chaos.

Corporate Frauds Watch (copyright 2011)

Kasey Chang said...

Dear Shyam,

Thank you for the clarification on the Indian court system.

Do you have any information on how RBI, EOW, and other branches of government in various states and such are proceeding with their cases on SAOL? I assume Manoj Kumar's family, detained by EOW upon arrival in India, is probably released by now?

Speaking of SAOL as a commercial cult... AISPA is using a common India proverb about Lanka and traitor (I wouldn't dare to recite it as I will get it wrong) to "suggest" that its members stay silent and unite to get their money back. That is a cult characteristic as well, stopping dissent of members.

I agree with you about how these commercial cults teaches its members to avoid "negativity". They call critics "dream stealers". I wrote an article on "Why Avoiding Negativity is a very bad idea" which address this very topic.

Perversion of religion for commercial gain is nothing new though. It is just an updated version of "affinity scam" by claiming common religion.

What I do find interesting is the convergence of the two. Religious people seem to be somewhat more gullible than normal people. US population seem to be mostly religious ("Bible Belt" and all that). Are Indians usually quite religious?

Usually it is scammers who assume a religion in order to score victims. Sometimes a religious organization will exploit its connections to members to defraud them.

However, what we have here with SAOL (and as you say, Amway) is something different (and I don't mean the pastors you mentioned), but rather, what you referred to as "money cult" or "commercial cult". They don't worship God, but they worship money / prosperity. Instead of

religion -> scam

what you said was MLM is basically

scam -> religion

I believe Christians would call that "false idolatry", violation of one of the Ten Commandments. No wonder they have to make the two the same by claiming "God is on our side".

lovingheart said...

sir good evening ,
can u tell about admatrix.com and nmart bussiness.whether its genuine .if its genuine in wat way they got registered in india?

Shyam Sundar said...

Mr. Chang

Again, for your information:

Professor Robert Jay Lifton is one of America’s foremost psychiatric authors. In 1961 (after 10 years of detailed research, interviewing US servicemen held prisoner during the Korean War), he published, ‘Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism.’ In this standard, medical text-book, Prof. Lifton identified 8 ‘themes’ which, if present in any group, indicate that its members are being subjected to a mixture of social, psychological and physical pressures, designed to produce radical changes in their individual beliefs, attitudes and behaviour:

1). ‘Milieu control’ — the attempted control of everything an individual experiences (i.e. sees, hears, reads, writes and expresses). This includes discouraging subjects from contacting friends and relatives outside the group and undermining trust in exterior sources of information; particularly, the independent media.

2). ‘Personal or mystical manipulation’ — charismatic (psychologically dominant) leaders create a separate environment where specific behaviour is required; leading to group members believing that they have been chosen and that they have a special purpose. Normally group members will insist that they have not been coerced into group membership, and that their new way of life and beliefs are the result of a completely free-choice.

3). ‘Demand for purity’ — everything in life becomes either pure or impure, negative or positive, etc. This builds up a sense of shame and guilt. The idea is promoted that there is no alternative method of thinking or middle way, to that promoted by the group or by those outside it. Everything in life is either good or bad and anything is justified provided the group sanctions it as good.

4). ‘Confession’ — personal weaknesses are admitted to, to demonstrate how group membership can transform an individual. Group members often have to rewrite their personal histories and those of their friends and relatives, denigrating their previous lives and relationships. Other techniques include group members writing personal reports on themselves and others. Outsiders are presented as a threat who will only try to return group members to their former incorrect thinking.

5). ‘Sacred science’ — the belief in an inexplicable power system or secret knowledge, derived from a hierarchy who must be copied and who cannot be challenged. Often the group’s leaders claim to be followers of traditional historical figures (particularly, established political, scientific and religious thinkers). Leaders promote the idea that their own teaching will also benefit the entire world, and it should be spread.

6). ‘Loading the language’ — a separate vocabulary used to bond the group together and short-circuit critical thought processes. This can become second nature within the group, and talking to outsiders can become difficult and embarrassing. Derogatory names, or directly racist terms, are often given to outsiders.

7). ‘Doctrine over persons’ — individual members are taught to alter their own view of themselves before they entered the group. Former attitudes and behaviour must then be re-interpreted as worthless, and/or dangerous, using the new values of the group.

8). ‘Dispensing of existence’ — promotion of the belief that outsiders — particularly, those who disagree with the teaching of the group — are inferior and are doomed. Therefore, they can be manipulated, and/or cheated, and/or dispossessed, and/or destroyed. This is justifiable, because outsiders only represent a danger to salvation.

You will observe that all Lifton's 'themes' are present in 'Prosperity Gospel' cults, and that they all peddle essentially the same 'sacred science' known as 'MLM.'

Corporate Frauds Watch

Kasey Chang said...

@Shyam,

I am quite aware of Professor Lifton's work. I've cited him a few times before, but thank you for the reminder. We already agree on the characteristics of cult and why SAOL is one, and other MLMs are not far behind (and indeed, may be there long before).

@Lovingheart,

AdMatrix seems to be the same exact model as SpeakAsia: they supposedly pay you to watch ads and give opinions. In fact, I believe they were found in the SAME BUILDING according to news reports, and there are hints that they may be linked in other ways as well. One report says that some of the money SAOL transferred to Singapore ended up in an account of "Holland-based advertisement ponzi scheme operator".

Guess where AdMatrix is headquartered in?

CID also reported that they are investigating Ad Matrix (see link below)

( http://behindmlm.com/companies/speak-asia-online/is-admatrix-part-of-the-speak-asia-scam/ )

I wouldn't bother joining until those suspicions are cleared up.

Shyam Sundar said...

Lovingheart,
Registrar of Companies would not ask the details of the business model when they apply for registering a company. These companies also disclose their business model. Later, nobody bothers what business you have actually undertaken. Unless there are complaints, nobody interferes in the business. By the time, complaints surface, the damage would be done. That is the saddest part of the story.

Kasey Chang said...

@Shyam & LovingHeart -- indeed, government and police do not get involved until the amount of fraud increase to over a certain threshold, and even then it often takes a media push to force them to investigate.

Was there not a mention in MoneyLife that EOW only investigate fraud that is 50000R or larger? They often tell victims of lesser amounts to go report to police, and police often tell the victims to file civil complaints instead?

To cite a similar case in Canada, "Business in Motion" (not related to Research in Motion) was investigated by CBC TV to be a pyramid scheme in a TV investigative special in 2009. However, RCMP (police) did not charge BIM principals with fraud until 2011.

Having registration of business in India only proves that they have done proper paperwork. It does NOT certify that their business model is legitimate or you will earn any money.

Whether the company is registered with the government or not is merely ONE of MANY MANY factors on whether it has legitimacy.

If you do NOT do your own "due diligence", do NOT expect the government to save you.