Sunday, 17 November 2013

Equal Life Foundation Trojan Horse: Living Income Guaranteed (LIG)

Ivan Rauscher

On October 17th 2013, the Basic Income News website posted an article, Cult-Debunker Accuses Equal Life Foundation of Deceptively Using the Term 'Basic Income Guaranteed' which is a report on the YouTube video by scam-buster and critic of cults, Robert W. Lester, Desteni Basic Income – Scam? and related matters.

A link to it was posted at the
Cult News Network, the Skeptic Wars blog, and at the Basic Income News Facebook page where one commentator remarked that 'some time ago I tried to draw attention to this fact on fb – they are in many big groups and sites and use basic income as a trojan horse'.

The Equal Life Foundation (ELF) company is indeed using the Basic Income as a Trojan horse
in the form of its so-called 'Living Income Guaranteed (LIG)'. The ELF is attempting to participate in the same arena of activism as the Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) by seeming to support a version of the Basic Income but with the intention of soliciting donations, selling merchandise and online courses and recruiting for Desteni, which as described by many people including another scam-buster, Ethan Vanderbuilt, is essentially a cult that deals in brainwashing.

US BIG Network Facebook post for the article, Cult-Debunker
Accuses Equal Life Foundation of Deceptively Using the Term
'Basic Income Guaranteed'

A commentator on the US Basic Income Guarantee Network Facebook page wrote about ELF: 'Currently I am doing a thesis on a basic income grant, but their proposal for a basic income grant is deceptive. Many of the staff who I work with have also heard of this group, and in turn, turning away from the idea of a basic income grant due to ELF proposal of a BIG'.

It could seem as if some individuals campaigning for the BIG are affiliated with Desteni/ELF. The LIG website features links to news items pertaining to the BIG campaign, as if this has something to do with their LIG. A third commentator at the US BIG Network FB page remarked, 'They have embedded video and used quotes that make it look like people are members of ELF who are not.' However, the same commentator also pointed out that 'This is a very small group that makes itself look bigger on the internet. I don't think they will have lasting harm'.

There are thousands of 'likes' on ELF or LIG Facebook pages but anyone who researches the ELF or LIG finds out that these projects are integral to the Desteni group as founded by recently deceased Bernard Poolman. It involves around 100 people called 'Destonians', and while they claim to stand for equality their basic position is sectarian and totalistic. The LIG is supposed to be towards a global state run according to a Desteni/ELF 'Equal Money System' that is seen by Destonians as the only true 'system' that can and will provide for and police every aspect of human beings' lives. 

All the ideas of Desteni/ELF -- which include imaginary communications with aliens and fictional dead people, public confessions of self-forgiveness, the eradication of consciousness and the mind, microchip tagging, no rights to privacy, a ban on porn and alcohol, Holocaust revisionism, quack cures for cancer, a Techno Tutor to 'accelerate vocabulary', made-up stories about human history, ingestion of hydrogen peroxide, Homeopathy as the primary form of medicine, the revival of eugenics, and 'psychological interventions' for dissenters -- are unmitigated rubbish.

The Destonians' LIG 'proposal' utilises information pertaining to, and could seem to be part of the real BIG campaign, which has, for instance, succeeded in ensuring a National Referendum on Basic Income in Switzerland and in the US the BIG is included in the Occupy Strategy Group's Top 10 recommended strategic objectives. It could look like the Destonians support the BIG, but they don't. The article by Basic Income Earth Network member, Robin Ketelaars, You can also abuse the term Basic Income for personal gain, describes how the LIG version of a Basic Income is not the same as the BIG.  

The Destonians simply copied the BIG proposal and manufactured their own modified imitation of it after their 'Equal Money System' was dismissed as a scam at At first they called it 'Basic Income Guaranteed (BIG)' but after the criticism levelled at their scheme at the Cult Education Forum, in Lester's video, Ketelaars' article and this blog, they changed the name to LIG.    

To lig means to gatecrash an event as a freeloader. The LIG exists to try to guarantee income for Desteni/ELF by being presented as if it is part of a bigger social movement for equality. It is not unlike a charity scam where for its own personal gain a group impersonates a charity or pretends to be part of a charity, except in this case the group is pretending to be part of a political campaign. It should be called the Desteni Income Guaranteed (DIG).

Again, anyone who investigates Desteni/ELF soon learns that its activities
are mostly limited to the internet and a ranch in South Africa, and that since 2007, Desteni/ELF has failed to formulate or carry out any reasonable initiatives or actions for equality, human rights, politics or anything else, but beginning with the Desteni Portal idiot test, has attempted one preposterous scam after another and already been thoroughly discredited.

The LIG 'proposal' is far less likely to cause harm to the BIG campaign than it is to Desteni/ELF, as it has been shown many times before that the more Desteni AKA the 'Equal Life Foundationdraws attention to itself the more there are consequences.  

Desteni/ELF is an intriguing example of the phenomenon of groupthink, and how an extremely silly cult can be formed through the delusions and blatant deception and exploitation of a few people who are fooled by certain aspects of spirituality, New Age self-help psychology, conspiracy theories and occultism and/or have social or mental health issues. Apart from that, however, Desteni/ELF and its LIG are irrelevant. 

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