Beware the GN surcharge! : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I have great respect for the work Gary North has done to make others aware of Y2K, and a few months ago I subscribed to his newsletter. I have no quarrel with him or anyone else making money from warning and advising us, but the ads for very expensive collections of information that accompany his newsletter irritate me. Dr. North attempts to keep his hands clean by having a salesman, Bruce Tippery, offer a Y2K survival kit of books and pamphlets (a $599 value, steeply discounted to only $199); a Y2K medical survival kit that you absolutely MUST get (designed to sell for $199, but you can have it for $97 if you agree to keep this information private and out of the hands of troublemakers); the only food storage manual that has the information you need (discounted to $79 from its regular $149 price); etc. How many of his readers are wasting preparation money on his vastly overpriced books? I figured I could just ignore the ridiculous sales pitches, but this month he went too far. Thanks to the online Y2K newsletter, Dear Karen, I had just learned about a good, inexpensive storage food (see subsequent post for details) consisting of rice/soy meals in chicken and beef flavors, and then I got Dr. Norths newsletter. In it Bruce Tippery touts the same food, but claims HE has arranged for it to be sold to private individuals. He neglects to mention that it can be bought in the beef flavor, mentions only the two huge quantities of the four in which it can be ordered, and worst of all, tacks a $71 surcharge onto the smaller of the two quantities. When I called the company to place my (much more modest) order, I asked why the $1728 quantity cost $1799 if Dr. Norths salesman is mentioned. The woman didnt know what I was talking about, but thanked me for telling her. I smell a kickback.

-- Pearlie Sweetcake (, December 28, 1998


I just recently noticed that GN is handing out cookies at his site. It doesn't happen all the time, but has gotten more frequent lately. Have they always been there or am I just now waking up?

MoVe Immediate

-- MVI (, December 28, 1998.

Pearlie, you do raise a good point and newbies to this issue should take notice. Dr. North has put together one heck of a good set of links and makes them freely available. His commentary is sometimes right on and at other times, completely off.

I do not subscribe to Dr. North's vision of 'the way things ought to be'. In Oklahoma, one must learn how to eat a persimmon fruit. For those unfamiliar with the persimmon, it has a wonderful outside layer and an extremely bitter inetible center. The persimmon must be eaten when it is fully ripe and even then the trick is to eat the good part and leave the bad part. Many of us here have learned to approach Dr. North as we would any good, ripe persimmon.

My advice to anyone going to North's site for the first time is to use the library, acknowledge its usefulness, and take the librarian's commentary with a grain of salt. Use the "North library" as it were does require that you are able to think for yourself.

I do not wish to attack Gary's particular slant on Christianity -- indeed he has done us all a service by collecting these links -- but I will say that his ideology, when taken as a whole, is certainly appropriate for me. Still, I respect the free work that he has done, even if is was done solely for his 'own agenda'. I don't fault him for selling his 'special reports' and such - no more than I would fault Ed Yourdon for his commercial Y2K ventures (

First time visitors to his site should be advised that yes, Gary definitely has his own agenda here and that yes, Gary's been hoping for the downfall of Western civilization for a long time (well documented in some previous threads here). And yes, if we don't get our collective butts in gear and prepare to endure a bit of hardship without running off in a blind panic, Gary just might get his wish. Frankly, Gary's vision of the future makes me want to work very hard to prevent it from happening.

"You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of fright and frown but of mind and agenda; a journey into an apocolyptic land whose boundaries are that of Gary's imagination. Next stop, the North Zone!"

But put another way, would you ignore a tornado if it were pointed out to you by Eeyore (the rainy day character from Pooh)?

-- Arnie Rimmer (, December 29, 1998.

Suprise, suprise! So the good Dr. is making buck! Hey I would too if I could figure out a way too do it. Funny how selling fear works. North has been predicting the EOW for years now. Wonder how he pays his bills, anybody ever asked? Big deal on his forum, looks like another way to advance another viewpoint and make money. Kinda looks like another Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Swaggert, Jim and Tammy Faye Baker sort of scheme. Oh well we will all find out in about 368 days won't we. It should be interesting to see what the Dr. starts to espouse in 2000 when this latest "prediction" doesn't pan out.

-- freelancer (, December 29, 1998.

Pearlie, MVI, Arnie,

Nice job of ringing the troll dinner bell!!!!

-- (c@c.c), December 29, 1998.

Oh, for pete's sake, you people:

Pearlie (great name!), do you expect your doctor to treat your illnesses for free? Do you really think your grocer should give you food because you are hungry? Do you actually expect someone to pass out free information perpetually because somebody out there doesn't know something? Gary North, like ALL of us, has to make money -- it's how we ALL afford to live. He makes it by selling information. So do book publishers, newspaper writers, and those guys who write computer programs. It's not illegal, immoral, or in any way wrong. Nobody HAS to buy his stuff -- hey, anybody who could find their way to North's site, can find their way to the supermarket or to Walton or to any other y2k spot.

MVI: I haven't seen any cookies, thank goodness. The only ones I've bumped into are on Netscape Home....I guess that makes them untrustworthy, too.

Hey, freelancer: what a shocker -- Dr. North makes money!!!! Whooee, that's a surprize! I thought the guy was a monk who had taken a vow of poverty, so he could give away free info to ingrates!

Apparently, we have all forgotten that people need to earn an income to live in our society -- and that, typically, people make money at things that they actually do. Dr. North is a writer; writers make money selling writing (information). ALL writers make money this way -- including the ones who work for TV, papers, magazines, and technical writers. ALL writers have personal lives, personal opinions, and personal viewpoints -- and ALL writers have biases that show through in their writing. This doesn't make them dishonest, money grubbers, or only makes them human, just like you and me.

This is why we ALL have our own brains, reasoning, and thinking capacity....even newbies, even people scared out of their wits by y2k.

You don't want to buy North's stuff, then don't.

It's not dishonest or immoral for him to offer to sell it -- his family's got to eat, too.


Anita Evangelista

-- Anita Evangelista (, December 29, 1998.

P.S. for Arnie: Here in the Ozarks, we take them nasty ol' persimmons and mash 'em up, and turn 'em into a tasty, spicy sweet bread -- by the addition of a little flour, sugar, and leavening. Keeps the tang, but eliminates the bitterness.....

Anita E.

-- Anita Evangelista (, December 29, 1998.

Did you even read the first message I posted? I said I had no quarrel with him or anyone else making money from warning and advising us. Perhaps I was unclear as to what my objections are. I would like to think that North's recommendations and advice are trustworthy, since that is essentially what I am paying him for. The last newsletter's ad caused me to think I may be cheated if I buy from vendors he recommends, or if I buy through him. He is selling advice, and now I can't trust it.

-- Pearlie Sweetcake (, December 29, 1998.


Your post was nothing more than a backhand to Gary North. If ads in the last newsletter "caused" you to "think" you may be cheated, by all means, contact Mr. North and express your concerns, but don't come sniveling to the forum!

-- (c@c.c), December 29, 1998.

Anita, I was just reporting my observations about the cookies. It was a surprise to me because there are no advertisement listed on his site. I frequent his site regularly for his links and forums. I was not trying to be judgemental.

MoVe Immediate

-- MVI (, December 29, 1998.

Pearlie and all:

It's impossible for you to be "cheated" if you don't buy the product.

It is honest, legal, and moral for a seller to charge "what the traffic will bear" for any product.....that's why "gourmet Kona coffee" sells for $21.50 per pound (or more) at specialty shops, and only $9.45 per pound at "outlet" stores. Same product, different clientel.

Does this mean you can't "trust" a specialty shop?

Some people are very concerned with price differences -- some don't care one whit...some people only want convenience, one-stop-shopping, and don't care if they're paying an extra $100 for the privilege.

That doesn't make the seller untrustworthy.

In fact, in economic circles, that makes the seller a darn good businessman.

Folks, we really have to get past casting doubt on anyone who "makes a buck". We ALL make bucks, just at different fields. We don't think our doctor is only trying to "make a buck" if he wants to call in a specialist to analyze your x-ray, even if costs more.... and you can always find another doctor. When you pay your doc, if he costs a little more than somebody else's doc, does this cause you to lose faith in your physician's skills?

Or, perhaps, you might be getting a "higher level of service?" Or better skills, more personal interest in your case, or a nicer office setting with better staff? Every added service "costs". North offers "better information", and he's perfectly entitled to charge whatever the traffic will bear.

Nobody HAS to buy.

Pearlie, you made your decision on what to buy based on a cost difference -- you're still getting the product you want. For someone else, who might not have the time, inclination, or desire to hunt for a price break, the higher price isn't a problem.

This is more a matter of "thrift" than "trust"....we have to be careful that we don't confuse the two.

Anita E.

-- Anita Evangelista (, December 29, 1998.

Well, I kinda thought the same thing after seeing his New Years Resolutions. How many of us can afford a damn propane refridgerator?

I think he caters to a well heeled crowd. Who else whould pay for a pricey subscription to Remnant Review?

But then again, I never sent in that buck he wanted...he may need it.

-- a (a@a.a), December 31, 1998.

Sheesh. How's come when we proof read, we see what we thought we wrote rather than what we actually did write. I had typo in my post above that totally reversed my intended meaning.

While I think my meaning was perfectly clear from the overall context of the post, for the record, my sentence in error SHOULD HAVE READ:

... but I will say that his ideology, when taken as a whole, is certainly NOT appropriate for me...

Sorry folks.

-- Arnie Rimmer (, January 01, 1999.

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