Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Millions of Real Heroes!

My friend, Tom Weidig, of The Stuttering Brain Blog has launched his own campaign to honor the millions of stutterers/stammerers around the world who live successful lives each and every day while living with a stutter or stammer. He has done this in response to the American Institute of Stuttering having recently honored two well-known celebrities who overcame stuttering in their youth. Both of these celebrities (Emily Blunt and American Vice President Joe Biden) suffered from a stutter in their youth, but for some reason or other, their stutter disappeared.

Tom's idea is that, why should we honor two former stutterers when we should instead be honoring those of us who live each and every day with the struggles of dysfluency? Aren't the millions of stutterers who live and work and thrive each and every day *despite* having a debilitating speech impediment...better role models? I think so. Check out Tom's post at the link below. He also has started a Facebook Group that you will want to check out.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

**QUACKERY ALERT!!** - "KillYourStutter"

Well, folks, we have another QUACK online who created a website called claiming to have a "100% Guaranteed" cure that can be had in under 10 minutes, and guessed it...$37!

Doesn't this sound all too familiar? If not, scroll down to read about my experience with Steve Stanley's 9-Minute Guaranteed Stuttering Cure. To sum up Steve's "cure", you simply think of the words you normally stutter on...find a secluded place and scream them out loud over and over and sing them out loud at the top of your lungs (why not from the bottom of your lungs? The bottom of our lungs are usually so neglected, aren't they?) In case you were wondering...this method will do nothing for your stutter/stammer. Sorry, Steve.

"Kill Your Stutter" claims to have cured thousands of stutterers...though, I don't know how since the website has only been in existence for about three months. Of particular interest is that...his stated reason of why we stutter almost exactly mirrors the explanation given by Steve Stanley's site: 

From KillYourStutter: "The reason most people stutter is because they want to get into certain emotional states of mind that cause them to begin stuttering, these emotional states act almost like a trigger.   

From StopStuttering: Here is the single reason why you stutter Is because you want to you get in certain emotional states of mind that cause you to begin stuttering. 

The authors are allegedly different, however. This most recent "cure" is authored by Ari Kreitberg...though the domain is owned by registered by someone by the name of Lal Arjurn who lives in Canada. You can contact him through his personal information which is advertised publicly:

Lal, Arjun   31 Country Estates Drive, Unionville, Ontario L6C1A4, Canada (905) 927-1510 
The simple fact is, these people, these scam artists, these degenerate, money-grubbing dipshits...capitalize on the handicaps of innocent people who are desperate for help. Who wouldn't fork out $37...hell, even $137 for an instant cure for stuttering? I certainly would! But, there is no instant cure for stuttering. There is no guarantee for any cure for stuttering. If there was, we would have heard about it from the leading experts in the field who spend millions of dollars every year on research.

I say we take the advice of a recent commenter, Mark, who suggested that we take these links to these scam sites and post them all over messageboards to warn stutterers/stammerers about them...encourage people to write to these idiots and let them know that we are aware of what they are doing, how we feel about it and let them know that we will spread the word to expose them as the fraudsters they are.

I think there is a good possibility that these two websites are owned by the same guy. What do you think?

This Morning's Frustration....and New Friends!

Well, I've enrolled back in school to get my teaching certificate. Unless you've personally had to apply for Federal financial aid, you have no idea of how rigorous the application process is. I HATE HATE HATE applying for Federal financial aid, the process is an exercise in page after page of meticulous information that you have to obtain from financial records, tax return forms, mostly things you file away and have to dig up. And usually you can't remember where you buried it. Grrr! I'd almost prefer scooping out my eyes! Anyway, it's done and I'm on my way.

The annoying part was...this morning I had to do a phone interview with my enrollment counselor. I swear, she must have been asking herself, "Why is this guy earning a teaching degree? He can't even talk well!" And I didn't! The interview was a full half an hour of stammering, blocks, word swapping, uncomfortable pauses and awkwardness on my part. I thought her questions were insipid, as well.

"Why do you think our intermediary education program is right for you?"

Uh...because it's the only one you offer? what kind of question is that? My answer: Because it fits my career goals. She seemed pleased with it. I wonder what she would have said if I had answered: "I don't, but I couldn't find Bachelor of Arts in Underwater Basket Weaving on your roster. "?

Later in the morning, I was forced into another uncomfortable phone conversation with one of my creditors. I was trying to make payment arrangements for a debt I incurred from a class I took a number of years ago and forgot to pay the balance. I received a bill in the mail and found, to my dismay, that there was no website on which to conduct business like making payments, etc. I conduct almost all of my finances online.

So, I was forced to call their number. I was asked to give my name, SSN, current address, phone number, hat size (just kidding) and answer a bunch of questions about why I was calling. I became annoyed at one point and said, "Look. I don't speak well. I have a stutter. The phone makes it worse. Isn't there a website on which I can do all of this? I hate talking on the phone." She was very sympathetic and proved it by asking me nearly 20 more questions about what exactly I wanted to do, what my email address was, what kind of internet connection did I have and why do fools fall in love (kidding again)...and at least 14 more useless questions.

In the end, I simply took a settlement and paid the entire balance over the phone, thanked her and hung up. *Sigh*

Anyway, good news: I am promoting two new blogs in my sidebar. The first is from a young lady named Jo who was kind enough to write to me. Her blog is cleverly titled, "StammerheadShark" and the link:

I enjoyed (and laughed at) her entry, "When politeness just makes life difficult", chronicling a recent attendance at a wedding:

"They were all such lovely people, eager to mingle and make light conversation, but throughout the day (and consequently more so in the evening as they all got that little/lot bit more drunk!) I found myself being given the wrong answers to enquiries I made.
Take the stammered question “Are you having a good day?”, to which the response was often a confused face and then a delayed, “No, we arrived last night…”.
Now, I’m pretty certain I wasn’t speaking another language but I think if people haven’t got the ear for understanding my stuttery speech they just try to pick up on any word they might recognise and take a wild stab in the dark. I suppose just as we do when conversing with foreigners whose language formation patterns we aren’t familiar with."
Stuttery speech. I love that. I'm pretty sure that's not a real word...but I'm gonna use it! :)

Another blog I am adding is called, "Manpreet Stammers":

Manpreet is a graduate student and offers many tips and helps for the stammerer or stutterer. His "Overcoming Fears" entry actually made me nervous as I imagined going through the experience he talks about.

"So today Dr. Sachin took us to a Hospital today and we were made to come out of our comfort zone and face our night mares. At first ,we were made to talk to some patients or their relatives who were sitting in the waiting room. I was really scared at that moment. we were suppose to talk to them and ask them about their purpose of coming here and to also tell them that we are working on our speech.we talked to 6 to 7 people out of them 4 were ladies. I always hesitated to talk to any lady, so I was very much nervous at that time too. But after talking to them I felt that there is nothing like a night mare or what ever you call it. They were really understanding our problem and were very cooperative also."
 Anyway, it's nice to find other fellow stutterers/bloggers out there who share in the experience. Please visit them if you get the chance and learn something new about somebody else in this great big world of ours.  Thanks for reading!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

9 Minute Stuttering Cure Update!!

Okay, so I put some extra money I use for "stupid" things or for things I really don't need. In this case, I put aside $37 so I could check out Steve Stanley's 9-minute stuttering cure.

They say a fool and his money are soon parted...and I would normally agree, but since I set this money aside for the express purpose of finding out what this cure was...let's just say I invested in some "research" for the benefit of the curious and inquisitive.

First, the video is not 9 minutes as the page might lead you to believe. The video is 11:23 minutes long and the "magic bullet" technique is not revealed until the very end. The first 9 minutes of the video consists of a slide show accompanied by an audio recording. Presumably, it is Steve himself talking.

Some of the slides have glaring grammatical errors, at least one of which is an incomplete sentence and another is a misuse of a contraction. The slides go through Steve's opinion on why people stutter, stating people stutter because of the state of mind they are in. Throughout the video (slide show) he continually refers to the "magic bullet" technique that he will reveal at the end and even encourages you to not dismiss it because of its simplicity. He also says it will work only if you apply it. Duh.

The magic bullet? Here goes: He tells you to pause the recording and then think of certain words you have trouble speaking without stuttering....and then shout and sing those words out loud at the top of your lungs (his words) for a period of time. At one point he says to do it 100 times. He says to get in your car if you need the privacy to perform this action.

That's it!

He then says that you will be surprised at the result and encourages you to write to him to report on your success. In his latest email (I signed up for email updates) he says that his technique currently enjoys at around an 83% success rate. Given the lack of objective research, I have no idea how he can come up with any sort of reliable or even reasonable statistic.

There you have it, folks. I haven't tried the technique yet for myself...but I intend to. I won't try it now because my housemates might think I'm insane if I start shouting words that begin with the letter L out loud, much less if I begin singing them. I will wait until I'm alone in my car.  I'll make an update when I have tried it.

One last word, he says that he learned the technique from Tony Robbins, the self help guru. If this is true, how does he have the legal right to charge people for it? It's not even his idea. Does Tony Robbins know that this man is peddling his idea for profit? Someone might want to tell him.


So, I did a search online to see if I could find anything about Tony Robbins and this "technique" that Steve Stanley is peddling. I couldn't find much, all I really found was this blog:

You'll notice that "Robert" (there is even a picture) bought a domain name that is strikingly similar to Steve Stanley's domain name...and he put it on his blog. Another thing you'll notice is that every one of his posts is about Steve Stanley's "stuttering cure" and that every post was made on April 7, 2009.

Hmmm...could this be Steve Stanley posing as an individual who has been cured?

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Steve Stanley's "Stuttering Cure" Update!

Apparently, Steve Stanley of "The 9 Minute Stuttering Cure" website is in some legal trouble. I signed up for email alerts from his site and this is the latest I got this morning:

"I don't know how much longer
This Website Is Going To Be Up"
Yes, get those spam emails out quick, Steve! Drain as many dollars as you can from we poor, gullible, desperate stutterers!
"I'm getting a lot of emails with lawyer threats, and other
bad stuff."
I have no idea why! I mean, your "cure" is a scientifically and medically-proven, peer-reviewed method that has a documented track record of success!

Oh, wait. No, it isn't. Not only is your "cure" not medically or scientifically proven....nobody even knows what it is! You keep that a "secret" until the buyer enters his credit card information. If it's such a great method, why keep it a secret? Would you buy some cure for an ailment without knowing what the cure is or how it works and without having any sort of documentation or statistics showing that it actually works so you can be confident spending your money on it?
"Most of the therapists and the people who own those
expensive stop stuttering hypnotherapy centers actually hate me.."

Really, Steve? They *hate* you? Or is it rather that they just "hate" that you are scamming money from desperate people who fall prey to your advertisement?

"I'm not doing anything wrong... it's just that when people
suddenly start losing their income when something better
comes a long... they look for a reason outside themselves." 

You don't honestly think that your little website is causing the entire medical/psychology community to lose money, do you?

"Instead of making a better product they try to bring me down."

How can they bring you down...when nobody even knows who you are?  There is no biographical information on your page. No medical/psychological/educational credentials at all. Exactly who are you and what makes you qualified to offer cures for anything?

"I'm going to fight this to the end because I believe in my
course 100%... and back it up 100% as well."

You believe in it? That's great! But, if you are expecting people who stutter to simply take your "word" for it and then pay you without any information at all about what it does or how effective it is...perhaps you aren't as smart as you think you are.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Rufus Wainwright Show

A few weeks ago, I was able to see Rufus Wainwright in concert. If you're not familiar with him, I suggest looking him up on Youtube. I didn't get a picture with him, but I did get one with Lucy Wainwright, his sister. She opened for Rufus and she was fantastic. I bought both of her cd's...which she was good enough to sign for me.

-- Posted from my iPhone

iPhone Test

This entry is just a test to see if I'm able to blog from my iPhone. I am using an application called BlogPress...if interested, you can find it in iTunes. It says that you can write entries using WYSIWYG, but I'm not seeing that. I guess I should play around with the settings before I render a verdict.

The best thing thus far is landscape typing. Even with just my thumbs, I'm able to type pretty fast with virtually no mistakes. So far, I give this app 5/5 stars. More soon! Happy Sunday!

-- Posted from my iPhone