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24 September 2003

Playing with the mind

Dangerous persuader

My husband I went to a free seminar given by Roy McDonald in January 2003.

We listened to Roy McDonald describe a five-day program in which he promises to teach you all the skills you need to be wealthy. According to Roy, you can become a millionaire in 7 years – from just one dollar, if you follow his formula.

I signed up for the course called “Born Rich” for the sum of $6,000. During the five days, participants were sleep deprived and the meals were small and at very different times to regular meal times. As a result you find yourself quite stressed as you are hungry most of the time. And very tired.

Pressure is put on you to fill out forms to expose your assets to the organization. If you don’t fill out your ‘asset form’ you are penalized.

The course plays with your mind by taking you through an “integration process” to deep depression from which you are then brought out. The assistants he uses are volunteers and totally unskilled (as far as we could tell) in helping people who suffer psychological damage from the process. This was a frightening process for most people.

My husband has studied an aspect of psychology called Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). In his opinion, this course uses outdated and dangerous NLP techniques from which people can, and do suffer damage. He described the techniques used as “brainwashing”. This use of NLP is totally repugnant to him. This course should be closed down for this reason alone.

It is in this situation that Mr. McDonald pushes you to sign up for further courses. I feel that I would never have signed up for any courses under normal circumstances.

I signed up for the Billionaire’s Club. The Billionaire’s Club was supposedly a bonus for a limited number of people who paid in advance for all the three courses that he offered plus an added free course called Partnership Success Coaching. The courses that I paid for were ‘Independent Property Wealth, Live Trading for Success & Business Mastery’.

The Billionaires Club was supposed to be an intense learning group whom Roy McDonald specially tutored. None of this eventuated. Within a few weeks they changed the name to Success Club and people started to attend that had clearly not taken all three courses.

The courses that are run by Roy McDonald are lacking in content. The course notes are a joke especially for a $20,000 course.

He claims at the beginning of a session to have an agenda (the points to be covered he gives to you on a sheet at the beginning of the session). These topics mostly never get covered. He does this by asking if anyone has anything that they would like to share. This then sets the pace for the rest of the session. All of his sessions follow the same line. He even talks about subjects from non related courses. It is very confusing. I walked out of the sessions thinking I didn’t get any new teaching.

The courses do not have a logical progression. You do an introductory session for each of the courses and then you join the support sessions with everyone else. Some people could have been there for 12 sessions and this could be your first. That means a topic can be covered many times and some not at all.

In the Instant Property Wealth course you find out at the first session that you are required to pay Roy 20% of any profit you make on any property sale for the following three years.

If you do not do this (sign that is) you are not allowed to continue with the course. I then understood that because of his no refund policy that you would lose your money. This fact was only mentioned in passing at the 5 day course and it was stated as if it was a joke at which people laughed. It was never stated again and we received no written information about it.

I did not start the Business Mastery at the beginning, because I felt that I would be overloading myself with three subjects. After some months I found out that this course was exactly the same waffle as the others. I was disgusted and realised that I had been conned.

I have tried to get a refund on the Business Mastery course to no avail. My constant requests have been ignored. There is just silence.

It is possible that Mr. McDonald knows how to make money with real estate. It is clear that he is better at taking money from people who have a genuine interest in learning than he is at teaching these poor souls.

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