First bit of advice: Take more than 4 seconds to think about your "opinion" before spouting it to the world as though it were Gospel. I realize that's too much work for some people, but it will save you a lot of trouble down the road.
Fact: There are crooks in this business, just like any other business. Probably more than usual, because of the easy anonymity and low cost of entry.
Fact: The majority of people in this business who've been in the game for more than a few months are as honest as you'd like people to be.
Fact: People are far more likely to rant about bad experiences than good ones.
Fact: There is a disturbingly large chunk of the population who are angry, bitter, and generally unhappy people, whose main source of stimulation comes from adrenaline-driven rants about the evils of World+Dog.
Then there are the trolls, whose participation in the tirades is fueled by the desire to stir ____ and watch people fall for the games.
So, here's what happens: A few people rant about problems, real or imagined, and others pick up on the rants and generalize them to an entire industry. When those folks aren't immediately and effectively corrected, some portion of the group reading the rants assumes they're right, and carries that silliness along as part of their belief system.
These human echo chambers then jump in and propagate the nonsense every time someone starts talking about how "Bad" people in the business are. For the most part, they have no idea just how pointlessly destructive they are. But that doesn't change the effect of their venom.
For those of you who jump into the generic IM-bashing, consider: Very few people make a big deal out of getting what they paid for. It's expected. But let there be the slightest failure to meet expectations, no matter how ridiculous and unrealistic those might be, and some folks will go off on genuinely insane tirades.
You know what causes echoes, folks? Too much empty space between the source of a sound and the next thing of substance it meets.
Don't use your head as an echo chamber.
And don't assume that you're not one of the culprits just because you're smart. One of the smartest people I know sent me a note recently accusing a pretty well-known person in this business of being a criminal. His grounds for the accusation? "Everyone knows it."
When pressed on the issue, he had to admit that all he was doing was repeating what he'd heard other people say. He had no actual basis for the claim at all. And I happen to know that what he said was 100% wrong.
If you don't use your brains, folks, they might as well not be there. Or, as someone once wisely said, "If you keep your mind too open, people will fill it with garbage."
There are thousands of people who use this site to learn how to make more money, save time, and improve life for themselves and their families. And there are tens of thousands who've succeeded at it over the years, due in part to what they've learned here. You little poison pen posters are no longer going to be allowed to sabotage those efforts with your persistent and groundless negativity.
Got a question about the ethics of a specific technique? Ask. That's a legitimate topic for discussion.
Got a complaint about a deal you made off the forum? Take it up with someone else. There's nothing we can do about it here, and we have no way of knowing if you're giving the whole story anyway. Or even a little truth about it, for that matter.
Got a problem with a deal you made here? Try to sort it out with the relevant parties. Don't start posting how you got ripped off just because someone didn't reply to your trouble ticket on Easter Sunday. (That moron almost got perma-banned.)
Actually got ripped off by someone selling here? Present your facts to the mods using the Report Post icon. And remember that, even if you're 100% right, we can't do anything more than ban the seller if they don't fix it. We haven't the power to give you a refund, and we don't have access to their sites to deliver their products.
Post this generic, "All [marketers|IMers|other] are crooks" or "All [ebooks|coaching programs|SEO systems|whatever] are BS" garbage here in the future and let me see it, and it will get nuked. Post too much of it and you'll go out along with the posts.
Same for the rest of the generic pointless negativity.
And, for the benefit of the folks who will scream that I'm violating your right to free speech... Get a clue. Go back and re-take your 6th grade civics class. You clearly weren't paying attention.
You have no more right to come in here and talk that nonsense than you would to go into a restaurant and start spouting racist comments in a loud voice.
Go away, and take your poisonous twaddle with you. The rest of us have productive work to do.