Bow Wow Reveals His Struggle With 'Lean' Addiction In A Powerful Message To His Young Fans
After rapper Mac Miller died on Friday, September 7, of an apparent drug overdose at the age of 26, many other rappers have been stepping forward to discourage children from doing drugs.
Many are even sharing personal anecdotes to try and convince their listeners that drugs have the ability to hurt you in potentially life-threatening ways.
On Monday, September 10, Bow Wow—stage name of Ohio native Shad Moss—took to Twitter to admit that, as a young star, he struggled with lean (cough syrup taken in excess of the recommended amounts, turning it into a recreational drug). He hoped to convince kids of the harmful effects by relaying how it led to some of the most unpleasant moments of his life.
The rap artist stated:
"To the youth- Stop with these dumb ass drugs. I'm going to let something out...."
Bow Wow then gave examples of different incidents where he was using lean.
To the youth- Stop with these dumb ass drugs. Im going to let something out. When me and omarion worked on FACE OFF… https://t.co/qTir0aZ9TA— Bow Wow (@Bow Wow) 1536604960.0
Bow Wow said his behavior changed and drove people away.
"My attitude everything changed. My fans started to Turn on me my family too."
Turn on me my family too. I never promoted lean in my songs. The whole time i was on the UCP tour with chris I WAS… https://t.co/cd73Hrb9VB— Bow Wow (@Bow Wow) 1536605049.0
What seemed harmless at first quickly became far worse.
"I was addicted until our show in Cincinnati. i came off stg and passed out woke up in the hospital i was having withdrawals. I never felt a pain like that ever. It was summer but i was walking round with 3 hoodies on because i was so cold. I missed the chicago show of that tour baltimore show BECAUSE I WAS FUCKING HIGH AND SICK!!!!"
I never felt a pain like that ever. It was summer but i was walking round with 3 hoodies on because i was so cold.… https://t.co/VmA31k3NvN— Bow Wow (@Bow Wow) 1536605126.0
Now, Bow Wow is trying to make sure no other kids have to go through what he went through and how the affects last forever.
"I almost died fucking with syrup. To this day im affected my stomach will Never be the same and it hasn't been."
Kick that shit! Be a good son or daughter. Be the best you. Ima start being more vocal. We gotta save the youth fro… https://t.co/X8taxTOqTv— Bow Wow (@Bow Wow) 1536605205.0
Never be the same and it hasnt been. DRUG FREE IS THE WAY TO BE! smarten up tighten up out here. We cant lose no mo… https://t.co/vkfMjkLcmn— Bow Wow (@Bow Wow) 1536605283.0
Go back and watch the face off show BET gave us! Look how dumb i looked. My ranting i was angry every day. They try… https://t.co/LQhzwHagvs— Bow Wow (@Bow Wow) 1536605539.0
On Twitter, Bow Wow's followers thanked him for speaking out.
@smoss I don't knw wats fashionable about drugs but its not fun anymore. People die for real. I support you.— I am Lorraine (@I am Lorraine) 1536605753.0
@smoss I'm glad u don't do lean anymore— Ms. Poohka (@Ms. Poohka) 1536619072.0
@smoss I'm Proud Of You !!,,Amen👏👏👏💯💯✅— Tonja Faulkner (@Tonja Faulkner) 1536630144.0
It's time our society makes some changes.
@smoss I work at a juvenile facility that is mostly drug and alcohol based.....its sad seeing what kids are getting… https://t.co/yjlE9BwaqS— Oj nelson (@Oj nelson) 1536804209.0
@smoss @vuyomse As long as our role models are still rapping about how great they feel when they are high and peopl… https://t.co/48BaneyH40— Black Dolly (@Black Dolly) 1536606261.0
Now, thankfully, Bow Wow is doing much better!
@enews I'm glad you are better now. addiction is rough to recover from but once your heads cleared you realize how good you feel.— Frances (@Frances) 1536774606.0
@PageSix @RealDLHughley Congratulations for getting clean!!— Donna Pyles (@Donna Pyles) 1536855926.0
@PageSix So glad that Shad Moss AKA Bow Wow has the courage & strength of character to address the epidemic of you… https://t.co/T8A78m2pz2— Big Joe Mack (@Big Joe Mack) 1536857705.0
@enews Life can be tough bow. God bless you. Proud of you.— Mr. Nightingale (@Mr. Nightingale) 1536868102.0
Bow Wow is hoping all his fans will take his advice and stay away from drugs—they have taken friends of his and he never wants to see that again.
@TMZ @FoxNews Much support to @smoss for sharing his story. I was really concerned about his suicidal behavior and… https://t.co/SF6jqQfeFr— Ram-Z (@Ram-Z) 1537063555.0
@smoss Thank you for this BW— Mᴇsʜᴀ🎎 (@Mᴇsʜᴀ🎎) 1536605249.0
@smoss It takes a lot to admit your struggles in recovery and addiction— Patrick Tyler (@Patrick Tyler) 1536734456.0
"Reddit user sashayingthru asked: 'What small act of kindness were you once shown that you will never forget?'"
Small acts of kindness that only a few know about can change the world.
You never know.
One smile can change one person's day.
And that person could carry it on.
So doing it ourselves may be the only answer.Redditor sashayingthru wanted to discuss the ways we know the world is still good, so they asked:
"What small act of kindness were you once shown that you will never forget?"
As someone who has waited on many tables, just tip properly.
You'll go to Heaven.
StrangersRobin Williams Dancing GIF by 20th Century Fox Home EntertainmentGiphy
"I once walked to a store to buy bags for my vacuum cleaner and I forgot to take my wallet. The shop owner gave me the bags, shook my hand, and told me to bring him to money tomorrow. He put his trust in a total stranger to do the right thing and I did."
In the Rain
"A man in a full business suit with a briefcase handed me an umbrella in a torrential rain storm and wouldn't take no for an answer. I still had to walk through Times Square to get to the train and I'm sure he got soaked going wherever he was going. A couple of weeks later, I gave the umbrella to a lost girl in my neighborhood when it started to rain and she didn't have one. Felt like the universe wanted it to happen."
"I'll never forget that man though."
Leggo my Lego
"When I was maybe 4 or 5 years old, I made friends with another kid in an airport, and he was playing with a couple glued glued-together Lego cars. Me and that kid played for like an hour with those things and when it was time to go our separate ways and board the plane, the kid insisted I keep one of the cars, and while I insisted he should keep them, he said it was proof that we were friends, and to this day roughly 20 years later, I still have that car packed up with my childhood mementos box."
"That friend of mine was a good kid. Hope he’s doin' well."
Don't Cry Tammy
"My husband and I were sitting on our porch holding hands and crying, just feeling overwhelmed because we were waiting to find out whether or not my tumor was cancerous. Our neighbor saw it when he was coming home. About half an hour later he came over with some freshly baked cookies. He didn't even say anything, just smiled, handed them to us, and then went back home."
"Just thinking about that moment has me crying again. From his kindness, not the fear. Tammy the Ti**y Tumor turned out benign!"
Coasting...Fail Will Ferrell GIF by Paramount PicturesGiphy
"I literally coasted into a gas station out of gas on my motorcycle, then realized I didn't have my wallet. Some lady saw me patting all my pockets and I was upset and offered to fill up my tank. I only let her put $5 in, which on a bike is a lot. But it meant so much to me."
Give people gas as often as possible..
Pay it forward.
Generosityhappy silent film GIF by Charlie ChaplinGiphy
"My realtor took less commission so that I could get my dream home. It was a rare find in a great neighborhood."
"Years ago my car got egged real badly overnight while parked on the driveway of our duplex. We had to go somewhere the next morning so took the wife’s car. Came back hours later and my car was shining like new on the driveway. The neighbor whose name I didn’t even know at that point had washed it for me while we were away."
Are those still a thing?
"I was in maybe 4th grade and my parents just had my younger sister, so newborn focused. I went to my school lunch, opened my paper bag (are those still a thing?), and unwrapped the foil holding my sandwich. There was nothing inside. It was actually just 2 slices of dry white slice bread and I was sad."
"Literally, my table mates all chipped in various components and made me the most amazing ham and cheese sandwich I’ve ever had. I’ve been chasing that dragon of ham sandwich since but I’m sure it was the response and not the ingredients that I loved."
"19 years old, first apartment, first winter, first winter utility bill. I smiled and told my coworker I'd just pay it, skip lunch, and eat cheap Mac and cheese for dinner. It'll be ok. All that month co-workers accidentally got extra chips from the vending machine. A wife packed an extra sandwich. A box of my favorite crackers would be on my desk when I came in. It was still hard but I didn't starve. Thanks, you guys."
Just TearsBig Brother Omg GIF by Global TVGiphy
"I was on the subway, sitting there crying because I had just ended a relationship. I wasn't making any noise, just tears, but the guy sitting next to me gave me some tissues. I'll never forget that."
Some of the best people ride the subway.
Everyone has tissues.
Content Warning: Toxic Behavior
As much as we might like to hope otherwise, not all relationships are meant to work out.
Not only are some couples not meant to be, but sometimes there are super valid reasons for a relationship to end beyond simply not being compatible, like toxic behaviors.
But a significant other being toxic will not be obvious upon first meeting them or going on a first date with them. Otherwise, we never would have dated them in the first place.
Redditor BlackenSphinx asked:
"What did your partner say or do that made you realize that they were a toxic person?"
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
"When they kept apologizing for the same thing, then doing it anyway, never changing for the past 10 years."
"My wife got a quote from a teacher that we've tried to instill in our kids:"
"'Saying sorry means not doing it again.'"
"Obviously, accidents aren't included, but yeah when you hurt someone and apologize, don't do that thing again."
A New Kind of Arranged Marriage
"Lots of things, but I think probably the worst and most impactful was when she peed on a stick for her friend while she was pregnant."
"Her friend then convinced her boyfriend to marry her. They were divorced several years later, after what I can only assume was an absolutely awful marriage."
"'Nobody as good looking as me will ever love your personality.'"
"Ugh, that's the kind of s**t I'd think about and let eat me away for YEARS."
In Sickness and In Health
"I was at a party with my ex-wife and someone brought out a newspaper with headlines about a local official being in an accident and being paralyzed."
"My ex-wife, without hesitation, said, 'If that happened to my husband, I would be out of here.'"
"My biggest motivator of leaving an ex was that I couldn’t see him taking care of me if something were to happen to me."
Children Come First
"This one is minor, but I had an ex who wanted to buy her daughter some new shoes. We were at an outlet mall and they had a BOGO (Buy One, Get One Free) sale."
"She found a cute pair for herself but was having trouble finding a pair for her daughter."
"I love being helpful and found a pair that fit her daughter's personality to a T."
"But she wouldn't buy them because they were $5 more expensive than the pair she was getting for herself."
"Both were combined under $50, and she wasn't hurting for cash. She just refused to spend more on her daughter than on herself out of principle."
"This one reallyyyyy irritates me. She sounds like the kind of 'parent' who wouldn't give up a meal to make sure their baby ate if it came down to it."
"As someone who has to make that decision nearly every day... my baby eats, even if I don't. Always."
The Silent Treatment
"We weren't living together, but he randomly cut me off for like a full week. He wouldn't answer my texts or anything. We were long-distance (different colleges halfway across the country) so I couldn't, like, go check on him."
"Anyway, he finally comes back and tells me it was a punishment for not being interesting enough. He liked me because I was an intellectual who would have Deep Conversations (tm) with him and I'd been talking too much about things he didn't find interesting."
"I dumped him shortly after and he acted like it came out of nowhere."
"He criticized everybody. He was mean about his family, his friends, and his colleagues. It seemed very small at first, I knew he was depressed and so was naturally more cynical and had a low view of himself, but he'd laugh and joke with friends on the phone or in person for hours and then the minute they were gone... Awful."
"I rationalized it for too long and then realized it would be the same about me. Then convinced myself it wouldn't be because he always hyped me up... Until I heard it."
"He played the victim so, so well. Scary, really."
Ableism at Its Finest
"I had an ex say. 'What could you possibly be depressed about?'"
"I was an id**t and stayed with her for three more years after that."
Not Over Their Ex
"He slept with his ex frequently for six months... in the house that I bought us... in my childhood bed that I took with me from home... all whilst I was at work."
"He was changing over phones from an old school brick type to an iPhone. He went out to work and his old phone kept buzzing. I saw a very familiar name pop up…"
"He told me that she was crazy and they weren’t in contact as she was obsessed with him (Red flag, I know). There are some things I read that I wish I could erase from my memory."
"When everything was out in the open, she began bullying me online about it."
"We were engaged. as well. Lucky I found out before we got married!"
Different Definitions of "Cheating"
"She cheated on me with a Yankees player because I 'cheated on her first.'"
"How did I cheat? By going to her favorite burger spot without her while she was having sushi with her girlfriends."
"I found out she cheated with three other guys too."
"Somehow the most venom in this story came from 'a Yankee player,' lol (laughing out loud)."
"I'm guessing he's either a Mets or Red Sox fan."
Gone with the Rose-Colored Glasses
"It wasn't so much what he was saying but the action he did about it."
"He used to tell me all the time that I should get contact lenses because he wanted to see what I looked like without glasses."
"I need glasses full time to see because I have an extremely bad prescription and astigmatism. They're both very high and it's impossible to see without glasses. If I take my glasses off, I can't even find them so I have to make sure I know exactly where I set them."
"One day out of town for a large event we had been planning to attend for over a year, he hid my glasses and acted like he couldn't find them."
"I had NEVER had glasses just disappear. It might take me a while to find them, but if I have someone else around me, it's usually somewhere obvious."
"I figured, 'Oh, that's okay, I have prescription sunglasses on me, as well; I'll just wear sunglasses for the event.' I asked him to pull them out of my bag as they were in a zip glass case, I know for a fact they are in there because I switched them out after arriving at the hotel."
"He pulled out the case and tried to tell me they weren't in there and that I must have dropped them somewhere."
"I begged him to help me search the hotel, I called downstairs, I had staff members helping me search, and I was in the lobby on my hands and knees feeling around trying to find them."
"He was busy getting ready upstairs and told me to just go to the event without them; I'll be fine."
"I absolutely refuse to leave without my glasses. I told him to go have a good time but I'm not leaving the hotel room and going into a crowded strange place in a strange city being unable to see."
"Well suddenly, right before we're about to leave, he pretended he found my glasses and they were just sitting on the bathroom counter the whole time. As if I didn't search every single inch and feel around every inch of that vanity."
"After some crying, he admitted that he hid both of my glasses because he just wanted me to see that it's not so bad and that if I just go without them for a little while my eyes will adjust and I'll be able to see fine."
Silence to the Extreme
"I had a girlfriend who got mad at me, and I had no idea why. For three days, she would call, say nothing, and if I hung up, she would call back."
"I turned off my phone, and she'd call my parents or show up at my house (in high school still living with my parents). This went on for three days. I basically didn't sleep."
"I was a senior and still in school, and she had graduated the year before. On the third night, she yelled at me for keeping her up, and it was the end of the fight."
"The next day, I asked what I did. She said nothing she was just angry and wanted to fight."
"It took me going to college and her finding some other poor sap to torture to finally get away from her. I was young and naive, and now know I should have involved a court order and police."
"It was h**l. But from it, I ended up with my now wife, and without that h**l, I would not be where I am today, which is something I would never change."
The Most Controlling of the Controlling
"She yelled at me for wanting to talk to my family after she and my dad had a minor argument. She also blocked my old friends, family, and coworkers in my phone while I slept."
"Throw the whole girl away."
"I did that a month ago, and this has been the best month I've had in three years."
These accounts were terribly eye-opening, and they're a great reminder that a toxic relationship may not be identifiable until it's made glaringly obvious to us.
Fortunately, all of these Redditors were talking about exes, which means that they were able to move beyond these tough situations.
People love horror films because they know the terror depicted on the big screen is pure Hollywood magic and completely fake.
But when it comes to true-life terrors, even the most dedicated horror film aficionados can be left trembling in their boots.
Curious to hear some of the most absolutely hair-raising events from strangers online, Redditor Ok-Bid-1179 asked:
"What’s the scariest 100% true story you’ve heard of?"
These real-life stories may keep you up at night.
Befriending A Murderer
"My uncle was in a bar one night and started talking to this random guy. He described him as 'a really nice guy.'"
"He met him a few other times in the same bar. They drank and talked about random stuff. Soon after, my uncle stopped seeing the guy at the bar."
"Idk how long after, but my uncle got notified that he had jury duty. He showed up and found out what it was for. A serial killer and the killer was his friend from the bar. Derrick Todd Lee."
"My uncle was promptly dismissed from jury duty for obvious reasons."
People had sinister stories related to jobs.
Late Night Shift Employee
"I work midnight shift at a gas station and I have for quite awhile at various stations in different areas with varying levels of criminal activity."
"I have regulars, of course. I’m a small-statured woman (as is my partner the other half of the week, and we’ve always been partners) so these regulars often worry about us and keep watch on creepy occurrences when they can."
"I had one man who worked in the metro an hour away who would stop in every morning for his cigarettes. He never smiled or seemed friendly, and as I often do, I tried to think of what I could do that might make him smile one day."
"It took many months but I finally pulled it off by having his cigarettes ready on the counter and already scanned for him to pay for as he walked in. He smiled, and then asked me"
“Do you ever get scared on the night shift? You small girl, is not safe.”
"I said I sometimes did but we could lock the doors and hide if we had to, and that the provincial police (think state troopers, if you’re American) had a station close by and came in often to get their highway vehicles washed. I had a good rapport with those police. He nodded and then told me a story about when he first moved to our country from Eastern Europe with his wife and child back in the late 80’s, early 90’s."
"He fell asleep at work one night at the gas station he worked midnights at. When he woke up, the phone had been ringing for hours and his manager was shaking him violently asking if he was alright. He was fine, he said, what was the problem? He was sorry he fell asleep."
"His manager screamed that it was fine he fell asleep, to look outside. All of their motor oil was missing and the outside of the place was a mess."
"The thieves had come and swiped all the oil and left him be because he slept through the entire thing, and then moved down the road to the next station for an encore. At that station, the clerk was awake and fought back, so the thieves stabbed him to death and left him to bleed out."
"When he finished telling me this, he concluded with."
“If you ever feel sleepy just lock the door and do it, it might save your life”
"I don’t work at that station anymore but I think about that guy all the time and wonder how his grandkids are."
"Here is a link to an article talking about how that poor other clerk’s killers were finally found 25 years later:"
"There was an incident in Trinidad where some maintenance divers were removing a plug from an oil pipeline and were instantly sucked into it. One was able to escape but the other 4 were trapped for days in a small, oil coated pipe for days with only a small air pocket to breathe in before they died. Thinking about it in detail and imagining what it must have been like for them makes me extremely uncomfortable."
There's no creepier place than being in the woods. Especially when these sorts of encounters happen.
The Wrong Friends
"When I was 17 I was hanging out with 2 friends and they wanted to go smoke in the woods. I didn't feel like it so I drove them and waited in the car."
"After a while I was getting bored and decided to go meet them but there were 4 paths going off in different directions so I just took the biggest one. After walking for a few minutes in the pitch black forest (before flashlights on phones), I come across this dip in the trail and on the other side is a bench lightly visible due to the moonlight."
"On the the bench is sitting a man and another one in standing in front of him but I can only make out silhouettes. Being sure these are my friends I yell out to them before walking over. If you ever walked the woods at night it's just an uneasy feeling all around so I was cautious to begin with."
"Well it turns out, juste after yelling out to my 'friends,' both silouhettes turn around towards me. Not a word, not a sound, the guy sitting down starts sprinting FULL F'KING SPEED towards me in complete silence. I got the absolute f'k out of there sprinting also the other way and tripping over sh*t because I couldn't see anything."
"I finally get out and lock myself in my car, but I was really worried for my friends. Maybe a minute later I see them both coming out of a completely different path, they also confirmed they never saw me or anyone else. My heart still sinks just thinking about that dude sprinting in silence wtf was that sh*t."
The Homeless Camp
"Weird....I have a similar story!"
"Years ago I remember sneaking out of my friends house at night to really do nothing but walk around the neighborhood and hide from car headlights. We were young and bored. There was a 'homeless' camp that was down in some woods off the railroad tracks not too far from his house. We had seen the trail and knew what was back there."
"One of the homeless guys that lived there was actually an old friend of my buddies Dad, and he had stopped over a few times and my friends Dad let him shower there and everything. He could have worked if he wanted, but legit told us he just liked living 'off the grid'. Just wanted to give you some backstory on the reason why we thought it would be cool and 'safe' to go check it out at night."
"We were a bit nervous at first thinking what if we get there and his Dads friend isn't there...so we were sneaking up on it. It was a longer walk than we thought. We got kind of close and saw there was a fire going lighting up the woods a bit."
"We start sneaking closer but the trail seemed to continue straight, while the camp set off the trail to the left. We got idk maybe 100 feet from the camp (about 30 meters) and we looked down the trail and saw a faint silhouette of what we thought was a person. The silhouette looked like it was coming from deeper in the woods towards the camp. We froze and ducked slightly to the side of the trail."
"I told my friend that I didn't like it, and we should just sneak the hell out. He said he had the same feeling. As I said, the fire at the camp was just enough to light the area well enough to see. We end up slowly creeping slightly off the trail back to the railroad tracks. We get probably 30-40 or so feet (9-12 meters) and I told him I would rather just hit the trail and just slowly walk back because the bushes and trees and everything were hard to navigate and I would rather be able to see something coming so we could book it out. We played football and were both pretty fast."
"We slide out of the brush and see the silhouette has gotten closer, however moving further from the fire, the light was dimmer, but we could still make out someone or something was standing there moving closer. My first thought was that maybe they saw us duck into the bushes and were coming to check, but it just felt off. My friend and I looked at each other and both mutually and silently decided to pick up the pace. Almost on que, we both looked back and the silhouette was now BOOKING IT TOWARDS US ABSOULTELY SILENT. No noise, just fast movement. We high tail it as fast as we can."
Thankfully, the trail was wide so we weren't bumping into each other or anything. Neither of us looked back until we hit the railroad tracks, then hit the railroad track bridge and were on the other side. I looked back as I was slowing down, past the bridge and didn't see anyone. We got back to his house pretty fast and luckily that was the end of it."
Life is full of many creepy mysteries.
It's no wonder many films are based on actual events.
The ones that terrify me the most are the home invasion movies like The Strangers.
It may have been Hollywood that dramatized events depicted in the film, but there's no doubt such horrific events that have happened in real life are enough to keep us up at night and on high alert.
Cognitive dissonance is when one learns new information that challenges a deeply held belief that seems to undercut a favorable self-image, that person may feel motivated to somehow resolve the negative feeling that results—to restore cognitive consonance—by ignoring the challenging source.
This isn't the only response to cognitive dissonance, but it's the one most people are familiar with.
This behavior explains people believing something—or following a leader—despite all the contradictory facts. Outsiders look at the situation and are amazed that their adherents can't see the absurdity of the fraud.
But it's a common occurrence.
Just spend some time watching documentaries about cults and you'll see all the proof you need.
Reddit user Ninac4116 asked:
"Who are some exposed frauds that still have a following despite being debunked?"
Playing With Fyre
"That dude that went to prison for fraud for Fyre Festival, Billy McFarland. He is out now and wants to try again."
"Grifters gonna grift. His sleaziness was already well documented with that credit card/access card BS before the Fyre."
"The justice system certainly failed on this one. A long running pattern of documented fraud even before he committed the massive Fyre Festival wire fraud in the amount of millions of dollars and guy is out within a few years."
"What a f*cking joke. There are thousands of people serving more time for drug offenses and stealing 1/100th as much."
* Billy McFarland is an American con artist and convicted felon who co-founded the ill-fated Fyre Festival as well as several other fraudulent businesses.
The New MLM
"All of those YouTube 'financial freedom' classes/courses/programs."
"I consider those to be Gen-Z pyramid schemes."
"'Learn how to get passive income by teaching people how to get passive income by teaching people how to get passive income!'."
"'Something, something grind mindset...'."
Totally Not A Cult
"Keith Raniere who started NXIVM too."
"There's still a bunch of women that hang out outside of the prison he's in singing his praises every day."
"It's weird man."
* Keith Raniere is an American cult leader who was convicted of a pattern of racketeering activity, including human trafficking, sex offenses and fraud."
Also Totally Not A Cult
"Warren Jeffs and Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS)."
"Dude is literally in prison and still has a significant amount of devout followers."
"To be fair, the FLDS is very isolated from the outside world (think no internet). It's possible that they genuinely don't understand the severity and overwhelming evidence of his crimes."
"Though you'd still think that watching your prophet marry children as his brides would set off some red flags."
* Warren Jeffs is an American polygamous cult religious leader who was convicted of several sex crimes and two assisted sex crimes involving children.
"I’m a long time postal worker and I once did an intake at the plant of a pallet of letters from Warren Jeffs. They have to provide us a sample for this kind of mass mailing for billing purposes so I read the letter."
"He was sending it to every church of every denomination within our province (Canada). I imagine other plants got similar pallets."
"The letter was a demand that they give all properties and tithing money over to Warren Jeffs and the board of the FLDS. He wanted every priest/pastor to tell their congregation that they were wrong and would now be following Heavenly Father’s wishes to completely turn over everything to the FLDS and every member was to write letters and make calls demanding Warren’s immediate release."
"This mailing cost was in the thousands of dollars and I suspect every church in Canada received one, potentially tens of thousands in cost. That’s all money from his followers, terrible waste."
"For months afterwards we saw so many of these letters come back through the plant labeled return to sender. I would be completely shocked if they got even one positive reply. Massive waste."
Absolutely, Totally Not A Cult
"L Ron Hubbard. My uncle is Scientology level OT8."
"I'll never understand why he buys into it (literally and figuratively)."
"L. Ron pulled a ‘hold my beer’ before it was even a thing with saying the Ringling brothers (circus guys) were about to be upstaged by the biggest scam in history, then proceeded to write the Scientology books."
"Even knowing Hubbard was a failed sci-fi author, and that he had a history of failed scam attempts, people still believed the Scientology books were educational/historic documents and a guide to a wonderful life/afterlife. Mind blowing."
"Equally if not more of a scam than Joseph Smith reading the gold tablets from a hat, that only he could see and decipher because that is what God wanted. The level of gullibility of mankind throughout history is impressive in all the worst ways."
* Lafayette Ronald Hubbard was an American pulp science fiction author and the founder of Scientology.Giphy
Sleight Of Hand
"He still to this day claims he has mystical powers and won't admit he's just doing magic tricks, despite being exposed by James Randi."
"The crazy part to me is that he is actually quite talented as a magician."
"He could make a good living just doing magic tricks and billing himself as such."
"He didn't even have to lie to be successful."
"His exposure on The Tonight Show with Carson is so fun to watch."
"You almost feel bad for him. Almost."
* Uri Geller is an Israeli-British television personality and self-proclaimed psychic known for his trademark television performances of spoon bending and other illusions to simulate the effects of psychokinesis and telepathy.
Oh, Oprah... 😞
"Dr Phil and Dr Oz."
"Oprah has pushed so many terrible people and I feel like it really should be discussed more.
"My mom's been in a cult for years because of her pushing Gwen Shamblin and the Weigh Down diet on her show."
"She propelled so many charlatans and their mumbo jumbo into the mainstream."
* Phillip "Dr. Phil" McGraw is an unlicensed clinical psychologist and TV personality who appeared as a relationship and life strategy expert on The Oprah Winfrey Show whose methods have been called "exploitative" and "appallingly cruel."
* Dr. Mehmet Oz is a television presenter and physician who appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and his own program which drew criticism from the medical community for false medical claims and pseudoscience including faith healing and various paranormal beliefs.Giphy
"The Liver King guy, Brian Johnson, not sure if he still claims to be natural though."
"Dudes got a physique that is pretty much impossible to achieve natural."
"Like it's still hard work even if you're not natty. But don't give other kids the idea it's achievable."
"It's not just him giving kids the idea, he's quite literally RIPPING THEM OFF, selling all these products, selling his lifestyle, taking their money pretending that he's helping them."
"He admitted he was using steroids, went clean for a bit, and unless there's been developments in the last few months he's back on steroids and claiming he's not."
* Brian "Liver King" Johnson is an American fitness social media influencer.
Who Profits From The "Prosperity Gospel"?
"The guy just sells toxic positivity, begs for more money, and claims it under the Christian God. I'm a Christian and I can say with full confidence that what he teaches is NOT what Jesus is about."
"Pretty much all of the mega church leaders are frauds."
"I'd say 100% of them. It is anti-Christian. Any excess should be given back to the communities they are in."
"That's why they don't get taxed. But now it's just a grift."
"They don't give a f*ck about anything other than the size of their bank accounts."
"Absolutely 100% they are frauds and lying weasels."
"Osteen or Copeland or any of the others who unabashedly pound the pulpit, so to speak, on the 'prosperity gospel'—they have incorporated their sin as their strength in the eyes of their followers and those imbeciles eat it up."
* Joel Osteen is an American televangelist, businessman based in Houston, Texas and one of the more prominent figures associated with "prosperity theology" and a focus of its critics.Giphy
"Bongbong Marcos and his family."
"Their family literally stole billions from the Filipino people yet they are still out of prison. Their family matriarch, Imelda, was even sentenced to prison for graft, but no one dared to arrest her."
"Bongbong is now even president of the Philippines and has a huge cult following because of how they tried to distort history."
* Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. is the second child and only son of former president, kleptocrat and dictator Ferdinand Marcos and former First Lady Imelda Marcos.
The Power Of Motorola Compels You!
"Faith healer and psychic Peter Popoff. The divine voices he heard were actually his wife using a radio."
"He’s still selling his 'Miracle Water'."
"Popoff was exposed in an investigation on a news show.
"He 'retired to a quiet life of contemplation' when it aired which everyone knew was horsesh*t."
"A couple years later he’s back grifting."
* Peter George Popoff is a German-born American televangelist, charlatan, debunked clairvoyant and faith healer.Giphy
No, Vaccines Don't Cause Autism
"Andrew Wakefield, who was trying to get his own vaccine approved, so he tried to make it look like another vaccine was a problem."
"He did research without getting proper consent, falsified results, and so on."
"He's become the darling of the vaccines-cause-autism crowd, even though his behavior was so egregious that he lost his medical license."
"Oh it's so much worse. Wakefield's alternative vaccine (cofounded by a quack who didn't have a medical license, believed he could cure autism with his bone marrow, and had his name spelled wrong on the patent) was a cash-grab, to capitalise further on the greater scheme."
"He was paid to discredit the MMR vaccine by a lawyer who recognised the amount of money there was in suing the manufacturer on behalf of concerned parents, in collaboration with a then-small group of parents who believed it made their children autistic (called "JABS") who have since rocketed in popularity as a direct result of the whole debacle."
"Wakefield lost his license primarily because he did not receive informed consent for procedures. Not only did the handouts he gave to the parents not even mention all the procedures performed, but they did not mention risks. The handouts literally do not contain the word 'risk'."
"He also lied. A lot. Like, the results of his study were shaky at best, and half of them were just completely made up."
"Oh, and giving colonoscopies to children ended up being a horrible idea, because one of them got a perforated bowel. He f*cked up that kid's life forever. It's... disgusting."
"Autism isn't actually that bad. And it's kinda disgusting that it was being treated as something worth risking actual death to avoid.
"Also, the head of Andrew Wakefield's hospital at the time of his departure (when he got fired because his colleagues got sick of his sh*t) went on to describe him as, quote, 'a Wanker and a Fraud'."
How Is He—either one—Still A Thing?
"Logan Paul. This really annoys me. The dude has been called out for multiple crypto scams and yet I still see his sh*tty energy drink all over grocery stores and gas stations.
"I really hope he goes down for real."
"It's crazy that he even still has a following after everything he's said and done."
"People were actually cheering and rooting for him in his recent scammer vs scammer joke of a boxing match."
"The world isn't running out of unattended 5-10 year olds with iPads anytime soon. That's why he still has a following."
"Or am I thinking of Jake Paul? Eh, two sh*ts, same a**hole."
"When I taught middle school several of my students were huge fans of Logan or Jake Paul. They’d come to school in their merch and listen to their sh*tty music while they did class work."
* Logan Paul—once called "the face of douchebag entitlement" and Jake Paul—known for prank videos—are brothers and American YouTubers who started out posting sketches on Vine.Giphy
"Multi-Level Marketing (MLMs). The vast majority of people who sign up for them make very little and a significant number lose money."
"And yet, they're everywhere."
"99% of MLM sellers lose money. It’s only those at the very top that actually make anything at all."
"It’s such a scam and a fraud!"
"That's why they used to be called pyramid schemes. They came up with the term MLM to make it sound better."
"Donald Trump/MAGA… the guy has over 50 felony charges and civil cases for fraud and rape and still has followers?"
"It’s cuckoo bananas."
"He is a con artist… and it’s so glaringly obvious!"
"I try not to be Trump this Trump that, but this is what immediately came to mind."
"He’s not good at business. He’s not good at being president. He’s oblivious to rules he doesn’t want to observe. They think he’s Christian and like, when have you seen him going to church even to fake it?
Everything he does is as obvious as his fake tan that makes him look like Magda (MAGAda? 😃) from Something About Mary.
"His MAGA minions claim they’re these shrewd people that show up on the car lot and get exactly what they want for less than it’s worth when really they’re the type to show up on the lot and leave with a Hummer they don’t need and can’t afford."
In the words of Carl Sagan:
"One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle."
"We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth."
"The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken."
"Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”
~ Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
What proven frauds, scammers and grifters would you add to the list?