Make Money & Lose Weight while you Sleep, Eliminate Acne, Grow Hair, Enlarge your Breasts & Get Laid

Alejandro Amenabar out, Jonal Chong in. Jonal who?

America has Greg Mortenson.

And Singapore – who do we have?

Snake-oil peddlers and near-naked docs, that’s who.

Isn’t ours such a great cuntry? (No, that’s not a misspelling.)

Get this: I am thinking of designing a seminar that will teach participants to lose weight, grow hair, eliminate their acne, enlarge their breasts (for the women), become wealthy beyond their wildest imagination and get laid, though not necessarily in that order.

After all, I believe these are the things Singaporeans want. Never mind the content of the seminars, just make sure the ads sell. Once suckers believe the ads, and bite, their asses are mine. I can then slowly rip them off, bit by bit.

Just look at the ads in the local newspapers. Apart from ads promising weight loss and hair re-growth there is an increasing over-proliferation of ads purportedly offering seminars teaching Singaporeans how to get filthy rich. Yup, so frigging rich you can even buy your own aircraft and have a picture taken standing next to it.

Ask yourself this: When flipping through the local papers aren’t you often blatantly assaulted by large or loud ads attracting readers to participate in seminars with the following screaming headlines?

(I quote verbatim, word-for-word, bad English and all):

  • “how to generate 1 million dollars in stocks and & retire within 2yrs or less!”
  • “BREAKTHROUGH stock trading system allows ANYONE to become successful in the stock market with just 30 minutes/day – Even if you have ZERO trading experience!”
  • “How You Can Start Your Business WITH LITTLE or NO MONEY!”
  • “From US$0 to US$5-Figure Automatic Income…”
  • “How To Own 3 Properties With Only 1 Property”
  • “How to Win In The Stock Market Using Warren Buffett Strategies”
  • Property Millionaire IN 3 YEARS OR LESS
  • Own Prime Properties Like Suntec City, Vivo City, Plaza Singapura, Funan Centre with LITTLE Money Down
  • Turn $10,000 to a $200 million portfolio
  • “Own Multiple Singapore Properties Starting With Only $10,000 Now!”
  • BEGINNER TURN $750 INTO $150,000 within 3 Months
  • “Learn How to Make S$50,000 in a Year”
  • “You Can Easily Start An Online Business And Bring It From Zero To $100,000/Year In Only Three Short Days! Even If You’ve Never Made A Single Dollar Online Before.”
  • “Multiply Your STOCK PROFITS In Just 15 Minutes A Day Virtually With No Effort!”
  • Own Multiple Singapore Properties Starting With Only $10,000 Now!
  • “Our Graduate made 7700% PROFIT turned $1000 into $78,000 from Forex Trading in 2 months”
  • How to Start an Online Business With $150 And Finally Retire From Money Worries

One ad I came across even boasted of how someone “turned $750 INTO $150,000 in three months” while another screamed “I Closed A Deal For $74,000 COMMISSION.” Others unashamedly claim that the seminar speaker owns over 50 or 100 (take your pick) properties worldwide, etc. (“From Broke To Owning 53 Properties!” or “I Locked In A Profit Of US$1,100.00 In 1 day At The Training…” or “Why I QUIT My $10,000 Job & Trade Forex?” or “I Made $3,313.62 In A Day Sending Out 1 EMAIL.”)) With nothing to verify such wild claims, who’s to know the truth? I can claim that I’m the private hairdresser of Nicole Kidman and who’s to dispute that? (Sorry, this has been done before by Jonal Chong, whose doctored photo is shown above.)

Indeed most of these outrageous ads – I will endeavor to add to the list above – contain nothing that can pass detailed, investigative scrutiny but pure braggadocio. I also notice that many of the advertisers re-invent themselves rather quickly and frequently, depends on what they perceive as market needs, I suppose. One used to claim that he could teach you how to make money using the Internet even if you don’t have a computer, now he’s an expert in stocks and shares; another one was a self-proclaimed “success coach” and expert in making students excel in school, now he too is an expert in stocks and shares and of course, he can teach you how to become one too.

Many of these seminars are supposedly “free” but they are simply marketing ploys to draw in the curious and the broke – participants will be arm- twisted to sign up and pay for expensive “courses” at the end of these “previews.” Oldest trick in the book!

Come on Singaporeans, use your brains. Remember Sai Baba couldn’t heal himself! Why are these self-proclaimed “gurus” conducting classes and charging for them if they really can make all that money using the techniques and “secrets” they allegedly possess? Put it this way, if I know a sure-fire way of making tons of money, why would I want to teach anyone else to do it? Why would I even want people to know about it?

Is it because – as Peter Drucker once said – “guru” is an easier word to spell than “charlatan” or is it because conducting seminars is really so much fun?

Just as doctors have a responsibility not to bring disrepute to their profession – like trying to gain publicity, mindshare and hence more business whenever possible or sashaying on catwalks or prancing around in transparent outfits (the Singapore Medical Council should take disciplinary action against such media whores for bringing disrepute to the profession, but of course these docs take care of themselves don’t they? Try submitting a complaint to the Singapore Medical Council and see what I mean) – newspapers have responsibilities too; they are morally obliged to ensure that ads do not mislead the gullible unless – and this is a big “unless” – they have no qualms in being part of some dodgy fraudulent misinterpretation just because of the attractive dollars these ads by degenerates and snake-oil peddlers can earn them?

You’ll never find such ads in some of the better newspapers in other parts of the world and the reason for that is that many of these papers unlike our shameless ones still have some moral fiber, a sense of right and wrong.

If you expect our local papers to live up to such exacting standards you can fuggedaboutit!

Of course our local papers claim that all ads are checked to ensure that they comply with the code of advertising practice by the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore, an advisory Council to the Consumers Association of Singapore which serves as the self-regulatory body of the advertising industry.

In the case of trading and investment-related advertisements, the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore has stipulated that advertisers must be able to provide substantiation to claims made in the advertisements, and to include a disclaimer in the copy stating “All forms of trading and investments carry risks. Such activities may not be suitable for everyone.”

But is this adequate?

How are ads “checked”?

How is “substantiation” done?

Do advertisers produce notarized bank statements or title deeds for independent regulatory bodies to audit?

I would love to see a notarized and audited document or any documentary evidence showing how a person made 7700% profit!

Indeed how is “substantiation” done?

And do disclaimers work?

Do they absolve advertisers and papers from all responsibilities?

Caveat emptor, I say!

Or you’ll end up losing more than your pants!

I was a plastic surgeon once, ribbit.

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