Beware of fake gurus, fake films and fraudulent donation scams

Monday, August 05, 2013
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of (See all articles...)
Tags: fake gurus, donation scams, fraud

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(NaturalNews) My spirit guides told me that if every one of you reading this would only donate to my PayPal account, we could instantly set things in motion that would save the world... or something like that.

Welcome to the world of bogus, fraudulent "fake gurus" who scam people out of their money. It's the new crime wave sweeping the internet: convincing-sounding people create "mission" projects by producing convincing videos then getting people to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars that get pocketed for personal gain.

The whole thing is an elaborate scam, of course, using fake names, fake company fronts and fake claims of support from famous people. This year, we've received so many tips and warnings from readers who got caught up in these scams that we just had to warn our readers so you don't get scammed.

It seems that most of these scams involve people who are using the "mask" of New Age "high vibration" language, garb and symbols in order to trick people and ultimately stab them in the back by stealing their money. You can screw a lot of people in the name of "universal love" if you perfect the vibe.

To demonstrate this in a funny way, I've filmed a "fake guru" parody video that you can check out at:

Or watch it here:

Here are some of the scams to watch out for right now:

The fake Vilcabamba rainforest scam

There's a guy running around collecting donations to "save Vilcabamba" which he claims is in the Ecuadorian rainforest.

He says that if you give him money, it will be collected by his "pending" non-profit (i.e. his private bank account) and will be used to buy hundreds of hectares of land in the Valley of Longevity in order to "save" that land. He's asking for $10 million.

I used to live in Vilcabamba, so I can assure you it isn't in a rainforest, and it doesn't need saving. It's actually located in a high-elevation arid region of Southern Ecuador, far from the low-elevation rainforest regions of East Ecuador. Although I lived in Vilcabamba for two years and knew practically everyone there, I never saw this guy who claims to be "saving" it.

The fake anti-Monsanto film?

I'm updating this section again because I have now interviewed the filmmaker of "Santo," and I also have quotes on the record in support of the film (and the filmmaker) by two other prominent leaders in the anti-GMO movement, and it seems quite clear to me that Santo has been victimized by a well-orchestrated smear campaign to try to destroy the film.

Watch for an update to be posted within 24 hours or less. This story is deep (and disturbing). I will be posting evidence to substantiate the legitimacy of the filmmaker and the film project (including an exclusive interview with the filmmaker).

The fake awards ceremony

Almost two years ago, myself and Anthony Gucciardi of exposed the fake ALIVE! New York awards ceremony scam.

That scam involved a couple of hustlers named Joshua Daniel Scurry and Anna Marie Scurry who were taking tens of thousands of dollars from "sponsors" (i.e. health product companies) while tricking everyone into believing they were going to put on an industry-wide awards ceremony to honor natural health leaders.

It was all fake, of course. I actually spoke to the hotel where the ceremony was supposed to take place, and I confirmed the fraudsters never even paid to reserve the ballroom. Part of the fraud involved falsely telling everyone that I had agreed to appear at the event in order to create the illusion that it had the support of Natural News. When we exposed it, companies across the industry were in a state of shock and over a hundred thousand dollars in sponsorship fees and product inventory had vanished.

The fake PhD raw food guru

Last year, I also exposed a fake raw food "guru" who ran around calling himself a "doctor" even though he acquired his totally faked diploma through a laughably bad diploma mill (which we exposed for the whole world to see).

This guy also taught people to eat their own s##t and other horrendous foods, including putrid meat left out to rot for a few days. This was called "pre-digested protein" and the guy claimed if you ate enough of this, it would cure you of cancer. (Or make you throw up your own intestines, I can't remember which...)

In recent court testimony, this guy was forced to admit he once again fabricated false accusations against Sharon Palmer and James Stewart, the raw milk farmers made famous in the Rawesome Foods raid.

The fake rescue donation scam

Immediately after a natural disaster hits any given city, residents start receiving calls from "fundraisers" who claim to be providing emergency supplies to the victims of the disaster. Most of these are completely fabricated and are nothing more than fraudulent moneymaking schemes.

Even the phone operators calling you usually have no clue it's a scam, so they sound convincing. Need I even say that you should never give out your credit card number over the phone to someone who originated the call?

The fake "run for the cure" scam

As long as we're talking about scams, don't fall for the 'ole "run for the cure" scam, either. It's nothing more than a way to get thousands of suckers to fund the high-dollar salaries of wealthy non-profits that thrive on sickness and disease.

I remember seeing a flyer for a "walk for diabetes" that was sponsored by Coca-Cola or Pepsi (I don't remember which). And of course all the cancer cure walks are sponsored by chemotherapy drug companies, mammogram manufacturers and junk food chains whose products actually cause cancer.

Solutions for donations

The bottom line is that you should be skeptical of all requests for donations and do your homework before parting with your money. If you're not careful, you may end up funding a con artist or fraudulent organization that has absolutely no real interest in helping anyone but themselves.

If you want to give people something, give them real goods such as storable foods. As an example of this, we recently donated $10,000 worth of storable organic foods to the Oklahoma tornado victims. This was shipped out on pallets as a physical item, not as cash, making sure that greedy non-profit executives couldn't dip their greasy little fingers into the till and steal the cash. (Which happens far more often than you might suspect...)

Stop writing checks to organizations unless you really know them and trust them. And make sure they have a long track record of spending donations on legitimate causes.

As an example of this, our own Consumer Wellness Center non-profit donates out 100% of all donations to actual causes, paying ZERO percent for salaries. In other words, we all volunteer our time to keep it running, and every dollar donated to the organization goes to help educate people about nutrition.

It appears, however, that I am in the minority for believing that a non-profit should actually be in the business of GIVING instead of TAKING.

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About the author: Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is the founding editor of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news website, now reaching 7 million unique readers a month.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power, a massive research resource now featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

In addition to being the co-star of the popular GAIAM TV series called Secrets to Health, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

In 2013, Adams created the Natural News Forensic Food Laboratory, a research lab that analyzes common foods and supplements, reporting the results to the public. He is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released ten popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at

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