Free Newspapers: A Shameless Attack On The Elderly


I sometimes go to movies and eat at restaurants alone…

While some find this to be a horrific thought, I find it to be a great way to meditate and people watch at the same time. Conversations around me range from jovial but meaningless to silent but meaningful. Some loving couples who have been together for a long time don’t need to talk, but rather just enjoy being in each others presence. On the other hand, it’s easy to spot the ones that are unhappy… they usually act one of two ways: they either argue despite the unwitting audience of diners that surrounds them, or they don’t say anything at all. The difference in this silence and that of more happy couples manifests in their body language. Often, the two will not make eye contact for minutes at a time, as if two strangers who spoke different languages were placed at the same table by a rather insidious host. If one of them looks to the east, the other will most likely change their view westward. And I often wonder at how that must feel.

Today, however, I happened to pick up a free local newspaper from a little metal stand as I walked into the restaurant. After the host had seated me, I realized that I had accidentally picked up a newspaper for “the mature reader”.

Being of only 37 years, I am happy not to be in this particular category yet. But since I do not take anything for granted anymore, I decided to go ahead and take a look at what the Prime Times considered to be news for the mature reader.

Now for our purposes here and from what I could tell, mature in this magazines view meant anyone over the age of around 55 years or at the age where they are retired.

But as I was glancing at the types of articles that were written in the Prime Times, I came to the conclusion that this tiny local newspaper was actually targeting older people with a fixed income. This will become apparent as I give an overview of the main articles in the small 16 paged paper.

So what is the local seniors paper selling as news? Let’s take a look.

1) Front page headline – MyBux Provides Seniors With Earning Opportunities

This article was obviously a paid advertisement from the company MyBux. Though it was written in the same format as any newspaper article you might see in any other paper, this was strictly a sales pitch. Worse than that, it was a sales pitch for a multi level marketing company. How do I know this? Because the author had the nerve to actually write the following:

“Consider MyBux the newest player in Multi Level Marketing. And because it is debuting right here in Salt Lake City, you can get in on the ground floor.”

Basically, this was a MLM scheme for a “reward-based debit card” that gives cash back instead of points. But you must push this card on everyone you know or come across in life in order to truly reap its rewards. It compares itself to “Amway, Mary Kay, and other top MLM opportunities”. And obviously, this was a paid for advertisement that was being pushed by this grossly neglegent newspaper pandering to fixed-income seniors… as news.

2) Also on the front page – Identity Theft Growing: How To Prevent It

Now this one sparked even my interest, since I had been through a rather nasty case of identity theft several years ago, and so I almost fell for the clever ploy used in this article. Basically, it was a scarepiece, designed to make you feel helpless against the many listed ways that your identity can get stolen. And for a moment, that’s exactly how I felt. But then I remembered the beginning of the story, and was able to shake that feeling off and retain my logic. Of course once the clarity of thought returned, I immediately understood that this article was just a deceptive advertisement for identity theft protection services, though on a more subconscious level. Here’s who sponsored and wrote the article:

“No matter if you’re shopping, drawing money from a bank, or simply taking out your trash, it’s important to take precautionary actions,” says Dr. Nelson Ludlow, CEO of Intellicheck Mobilisa, a developer of wireless security and identity systems for the government, military and commercial markets.

Need I say more?

Just another paid for advertisement passing off as a news story.

And to be perfectly honest… after reading this story I actually was thinking about protecting my identity with Intellicheck Mobilisa. My heartstrings were played like a fiddle. Now imagine what a 70 year old woman must be feeling…

3) Page 2 (full page article) – “Reverse Mortgages… The Next Coming, But Of Whom?”

First of all, I just wanted to give a shout out to whomever came up with a fetching title like that. Well spoken. Articulate. Captivating in a sort of WTF? kind of way…

Now, I don’t have to tell you that this one was anything other than what the title suggests… complete unintelligible bullshit! This article, of course, was a glowing review of the devils own reverse mortgages and how they may benefit you (MEANING DESPERATE SENIORS!). That is, if you are in financial trouble and want a quick fix (like giving over the deed to your home that you have worked so hard to obtain for so many years to pay off the mortgage to the horrible bankers that charged you three times its worth in interest payments).

Leave it to your kids? Screw them.

A reverse mortgage is an ingenious scam that convinces the elderly and financially un-astute to trade their beloved home for a few measly cash payments up until they die (which for seniors, unfortunately, isn’t that far off!). When they do die, the house becomes the property of the bastard corporation that paid a few payments to get it. In other words, since the older folks are going to inevitably die sooner than later, the company gets the house for pennies on the dollar.

This article was written by none other than an attorney… that offers these particular services! Edward Stone of Stone Law Firm. While a few sentences in this full page advertisement/article are warnings to watch out for predators who feed on unsuspecting reverse mortgage seekers (no doubt a ploy to make them pay his legal fees to use his legal services) this type of “reporting” if you can call it that should be illegal. And attorney’s that fund, and newspapers that print this type of predatory false enlightenment should be hung by the nearest tree.

Interestingly, and with no apparent shame, this guy actually wrote this paragraph at the end of his article, and completely off from the rest of the sales pitch:

“Would it be presumptuous of me to hypothesize that reverse mortgages are the next subprime bomb with a detonator set for 10 years or so? With interest rates expected to rise, ever longer life expectancies (B.S.) and slow housing growth, I see a perfect storm coming.”

— And then, as if his delete key was broken —

“This has no impact on you; I just wanted to put that in print so I can tell my friends I told you so and show them this article in 2020.”

So, this creep just outed himself as a scam artist. Of course this type of bubble is going to burst. It’s criminal! And that’s what happens to crooks. They get caught with their pants down.

But then I suppose the taxpayers will be there to involuntarily bail these guys out.

4) On to page 4 – “H1N1 Vaccination Clinics Open To The Public”

Besides having several advertisements riddled throughout the “newspaper” for free vaccine clinics, this article was of course just another advertisement. Who wrote this one? Why Mr. Bob Ballew from the Davis County Health Department of course! This was not even a discussion on the pros and cons of vaccination. In fact, it didn’t even mention that there was a massive controversy going on with high risk (seniors are high risk) patients.

So, from what I can tell, the Davis County Health Department is using the Prime Times “newspaper” to advertise free dangerous vaccinations to its mature readers without revealing any of the side effects or warnings that a “community” or “local” unbiased newspaper should be providing.

Of course… nothing is free.

The Davis County Health Department is funded by taxpayer dollars, which means we just paid for this blatant misrepresentation of a sales pitch. Also, the word free in this ad is extremely misused, since again it is the taxpayers paying the pharmaceutical companies billions a year for the research and development of these vaccines, and then also buying these vaccines once they are haphazardly blended together and spread among the population without any scientific, double-blind, placebo, peer-reviewed testing ever being done on any vaccine in the history of the vaccine industry! In other words, we pay for drugs that have never been proven to work.

But I’ll tell you something… they have been proven time and time again to do a whole lot of harm.

Of course, when the pharmaceutical corporations own through investment the very journals that they print their results in, you shouldn’t expect to see any negative studies in those so-called “respected” journals.

5) After a few pages with actual stories about travel, wine, cooking, and volunteerism, we come to this on page 8 – “It’s All About Gold”

Perhaps just slightly more evil than the whole reverse mortgage scam, is the attempt by several dirty rotten scoundrel companies to virtually steal for pennies on the dollar the one thing in our mature readers possessions that actually has a real value… precious metals. Gold.

Written by Serena Swenson who either represents, works for, or owns the Gold Standard – a store located in the Valley Fair Mall – this article/advertisement takes the cake. Or the carrot. While credit must be given to this particular article for defining part of the gold market and the way it works, including the difference between the standard and the troy ounce, I cannot say that this was an altruistic attempt to help people in thier comprehension of what value their gold is actually worth. Instead, she represents a company that buys gold, gold jewelry, gold rings, and other precious metal based items from unsuspecting people who are ignorant of the fact that gold is extremely valuable, especially in this day and age.

In this article, she teaches that a 10 carrot ring is only 47% gold. Translation: your ring is worth less than you think it might be. But I’ll pay you some quick cash for it anyway.

Now most of these types of companies have their own smelt where they melt down these cast aside treasures and sell the gold that is produced at fair market value, making a huge profit in the process. And they knowingly set up these stores to rob people of their treasure by misrepresenting both the value and the very concept of gold ownership. I’ve even heard them call it scrap gold.

This article is a confusing explanation of the gold market that ends in a wonderful sounding solution to sell your scrap gold in a comfortable setting without dealing with those pesky market traders:

“We have a large, comfortable lobby with teller windows where the customer can discuss the proposed sale or purchase with one of our experts.”

I’m sure that all of the “experts” in the gold market just rushed right over to work in the damn mall at a gold swindling store, that’s no more full of experts than the local pawn shop. Almost sounds like a funeral home about to sell a grieving widow a ridiculously expensive coffin for a coming funeral. Sure, it’s just going to be buried in a few days, but wouldn’t your dead husband want to be in the most materialistic casket you can’t afford? Don’t you want your loved ones to know how much you cared about him?

Gold or coffins, it’s the same devious marketing strategies being used throughout these articles/advertisements on the downtrodden mature.

6) Page 9, another full page headline – “When Every Word Is Important: Free Hearing Assistive Phones For Utah’s Seniors A State Funded Program Providing No-Cost Phones To Help Utahns Connect”

Try saying that in one breath! So this one was naturally written by an employee of the store who is giving away these phones for free, Mrs. Mary Beth Green, who is in fact a Telecommunication Relay Specialist at none other than Relay Utah.

Sounds innocent enough, right. Wrong.

“These phones are available at no charge as they are purchased with funds that are attained through a $.10 telephone surcharge that all Utahns pay, through their phone bill, to support this program.”

Can you say socialism? I mean come on… we all have to pay a tax so that senior citizens can have free phones with big buttons and large print displays? I cannot say no to this tax if I don’t agree with it. Nope. I have to give up my phone service if I don’t agree with this tax. And that doesn’t seem right to me…

Now don’t get me wrong. If this was some necessary medical service or life-saving thing I’d have no problem paying this tax (along with all of the others). But this is to get old people big buttoned phones! I’m sorry, but who voted for this?

I am guessing here when I say that this is probably just another example of typical government kickbacks and wasteful spending; giving no-bid contracts and huge profits to this government run corporate telecommunications company. I’m sure it is a political favor more than an altruistic effort on governments part.

But maybe more important to point out here is this: Relay Utah is a phone company. It has a government website (relayutah.gov). This means that it is not a public company anymore, but instead a government owned and operated municipality. And through investment, the government is taking over everything in sight!

Since when are phone companies government enterprise projects?

The rest of the paper was ads and classified’s, mainly travel, drug and vaccine marketing.

The reason I thought this was important enough to write about, though I hope it is obvious, is that this “newspaper” is clearly taking advantage of the fears and anxieties of seniors in order to sell unneeded and dangerous products. It is a shameful display of journalism that has been morphed into profitable not-so-hidden advertising. And I’m sure there are these types of free “mature” papers scattered all across the country. I guess that I think it is about time to start returning the favor that our parents might have done for us while we were growing up. We should all be having a look at what our parents are reading, lest they become the victims of these MLM and sales schemes by shysters and snake oil salesmen.

The elderly become as they were at a younger age, innocent (or ignorant) of the ways of the ever-changing world around them. It is our duty as family to make sure the newest generation of methodical thievery doesn’t effect our own parents and respected elders.

Please be vigilant for these types of propaganda filled, misleading, and dangerous free newspapers for the mature reader.

Thank you.

.

Clint Richardson (realitybloger.wordpress.com)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

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6 Comments

  1. Our company, Intellicheck Mobilisa, doesn’t sell identity theft protection services! We sell ID card scanners to the military, and ID card reading software to retail companies.

    While, preventing Identity Theft is an important topic, several other companies do that.

    You wrongly accused my company of taking advantage of the elderly. Rather, I gave a reporter some tips on identity protection which has nothing to do with our company’s products and services. Even though our company does not sell these services, in my personal opinion, the elderly, as well as all of us, should be vigilant in preventing identity theft.

    Would you be willing you tell your readers that after further review, Intellicheck Mobilisa does not sell personal identity theft protection services and it appears their CEO was just giving a reporter some tips on the important topic of avoiding identity theft rather than trying to take advantage of the elderly?

    Thank you,

    Nelson Ludlow
    CEO, Intellicheck Mobilisa

    Reply
  2. Enrique Briz

     /  February 4, 2010

    Hello Clint,

    My name is Enrique Briz and I am a publicist representing Intellicheck Mobilisa.

    In regards to your post on ID theft (Identity Theft Growing: How To Prevent It), I want to point out that Intellicheck Mobilisa provides ID verification products. We were never in the ID protection services.

    I believe Dr. Nelson Ludlow already responded to your post. However to reiterate: Dr Ludlow simply gave a reporter tips on identity protection which has nothing to do with Intellicheck Mobilisa’s products and services. Even though the company does not sell these services, it is Dr Ludlow’s opinion that all of us, paricularly the elderly, should be vigilant in preventing identity theft.

    Kindly set the record straight and tell your readers that after further review, Intellicheck Mobilisa does not sell personal identity theft protection services and that it appears Dr Ludlow was just giving a reporter some tips on the important topic of avoiding identity theft rather than trying to take advantage of the elderly…

    I’ll be more than happy to provide you fact sheets and other company product information if requested.

    Thank you for your time and I look forward to your response.

    Best regards,

    Enrique Briz

    Thank you,

    Reply
    • So what you are telling me is that you, a corporation with military contracts to provide ID scanning technology, has the best interests of all of us lowly citizens and our elders out here, eh?

      From a press release:

      “Products include the Defense ID system, an advanced ID card access control product currently protecting over 70 military and federal locations, and ID-Check, patented technology that instantly reads, analyzes, and verifies encoded data in magnetic stripes and barcodes on government-issue IDs from U.S. and Canadian jurisdictions for the financial, hospitality and retail markets.”

      From the Puget Sound Business Journal:

      “a solution for anti-terrorism, force protection and access control.” The system “runs a ‘bad guy’ check against most-wanted lists” of individuals seeking access to bases, the company said.

      You work for the terrorists my friend.

      You are in bed with the government.

      You sell the technology for ID scanners that make it possible to scan unsuspecting peoples ID information?

      I suppose next you’ll try and convince me that the Real ID act is just super and that we should all get RFID chips in our arms?

      Propaganda or sponsored sales articles, either way you are guilty of being on my personal bad-guy list. I’ll let your responses stand as your rebuttal to my article, but perhaps you should learn a little bit about your main customer. Or perhaps you already know.

      Perhaps I should look into your Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports and find out if you aren’t actually already owned through collective government investment by the people you purport to be your customers – government and military? Perhaps you are getting no-bid contracts for your “services”?

      I find it hilarious that my little blog garnered your attention. Even more so that you both wrote the same rehearsed media damage-control responses.

      Thanks, and if you’d like to refute the above comments, I’d be glad to post them here.

      Reply
  3. Hattie

     /  December 6, 2010

    To Anyone who Loves and cares a senior
    Please let me tell a quick story we don’t have much time. My 92 years old friend, neighbor and your biggest fan, Geo. Has been visited by his 65 year old son who asks over and over again for money from his father. He didn’t set up a retirement plan for himself because he knows when his father dies he will set up for life. BUT, his father is still with us. So greed has taken him over. The last time he was here (Melbourne, Fl.) He begged and begged his father but Geo (not being stupid man) refused and told him leave, but not before telling his son if he didn’t stop begging for money he would get married thus leaving him out in the cold.

    Three weeks later Geo gets a letter to appear before a judge. His son used their joint account to hire an atty before he left. This out of fear of getting nothing. He claimed his father is now incompetent.

    There is nothing wrong with Geo. He has some of his money invested for all of the family to have when he dies. He has a couple of inventions under his belt. I believe he is the last of the a night fighters, he goes dancing and does it well. (I can’t keep up with him and I’m only 62) He stays very busy with the V.F.W, American Legion (veteran of two world wars.), and his week is full of other senior groups he goes to. I think a Historian would love to listen to Geo. The following is a letter that Geo wrote after the court found him competent, but,,, ordered a private agency to be his guardian. She sees Geo once to twice a week. She keeps in touch with his son on a weekly basis. Geo is not allowed to do anything without first going through this woman. He can’t even CHANGE HIS WILL. His son has charmed the agent who won’t let him do anything. This means if he dies before he can appeal the court order his son will still end up with everything. He would now rather give it to Humine Sociacty than to leave it to his son. He actually got the idea from listening to you. Please let people about this LEGAL CONSPIRACY.

    ATTENTION ALL SENIORS

    If you are elderly and have money or property, A TIME BOMB IS AWAITING YOU.
    It is not a burglar or a con man, it is your local county court.

    Anyone can accuse you of being incompetent and the court will immediately put you on probation for 90 days without question. This includes putting a freeze all your assets, such as investments, bank accounts, pensions, ssi, etc. They will close your saving and checking accounts and the bank will not allow any withdraws and will not accept any checks like your ssi and retirement checks. They will be returned to the sender. You are now without any funds to pay bills or do anything. They will also give you a restrictions list of things you are not allowed to do such as driving yourself anywhere. They will assign a person to drive your car to take where you NEED to go (doctors office, grocery shop, etc.) for the whole 90 days.

    The court will then order you to be evaluated, not by one person, but several people including, but not limited to the Florida Department of Children and Families Adult Protective Investigations.
    You will have to go through many tests such as ones to test your mental state of mind. Test your math skills to see if you know how to balance your checking account and keep a budget just to start, but it won’t end there. They will question your friends and neighbors about you. They will find one so called good neighbor willing to report your comings and goings and any visitors you entertain to the court appointed representative.

    Even if you are found competent The court will order a representative, (a total stranger) from a private company, The Adult Advocacy & Representation, Inc. to become your Professional Guardian (whatever that is) and will now take over your life and home till the end of your twilight years. (job security for them)

    To top it off, some of the court ordered agencies will send you a bill.

    THE ELDERLY IS BIG BUSINESS !

    Here is an update. He is about to not only lose his drivers license, but they will also take his 2009 Mercedes and give it to his son. His driving is fine. He takes all the other seniors to their doctor appointment, pick up their meds etc. soon he wouldn’t be able to help even himself. ALL OF THIS IS CAUSING TO BECOME DEPRESSED. When this happens everything else goes downhill. This is Just what would make his son happy and the guardian he is close to. Please, Please, Please pass this information on so other competent seniors will not be bullied by the courts or others who have much to gain from such actions.
    Thank You for your Time,
    Geo’s friend, Hattie Knuff

    Reply
    • Robert Hauser

       /  March 8, 2011

      Hang in there, Hattie….court orders can be challenged and broken: your friend was a victim of one of the most execrable swindles from here to the far side of Hell—-it is known as the ex parte court proceeding wherein an “administrative judge” hears an appeal and then rules on it without the intended victim being notified and given the chance to appear and defend himself…probably happens a thousand times a day in the so-called “freedom loving” U.S. George should immediately petition a LAWFUL court of COMPETENT COMMONLAW JURISDICTION to review the decision against him and fight it…demanding what is known as an “informed” or “CommonLaw jury” to hear the case should it go that far. This human junkyard (so called “rest home”) where he is now imprisoned must have some kind of OMBUDSMAN and that ombudsman is there to see to it that ALL of the rights of the incarcerated seniors are observed by the prison (a prison for those guilty of the felony of growing old) mgmnt & staff. He is a victim of elder abuse pure and simple and it should result in federal prosecution of his son and all those in cahoots. Get in touch with the FREE ENTERPRISE SOCIETY in Fresno Ca and see what they can do.

      Reply
      • Robert Hauser

         /  March 8, 2011

        erratum: what I meant to say above was that an “ex parte” administrative proceeding is one wgherein a so called “administrative judge” hears a petition (not an “appeal” as stated above)….”administrative law judges” wipe their derrieres with the pages of the Constitution and have been doing so throughout this country since the “Administrative Procedures Act” of 1946 was shoved down our throats right after the war….just another Roosevelt and post Roosevelt rip off against the American people.

        Reply

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