From Dr. Malcolm Linsell To A Client – April 14, 2005

Here we have a very nice email from Dr. Malcolm Linsell to a client. You will note that his title was Managing Director of Australian Leadership Centre Pty. Ltd. (formerly known as Goldzone Australia Pty. Ltd. under license).

Dr. Linsell states that moving to Singapore for one year to accelerate his Australian business was his and his former wife Fiona Linsell’s idea.

Why did Dr. Linsell change the story later?

Read his email below and you decide:


The Commercial Cult

Since Australian Leadership Centre Pty. Ltd. was placed into Voluntary Administration by Dr. Malcolm Linsell, the Companies largest personal shareholder, Executive Chairman, and Managing Director, he has alleged publicly that he was involved in a Commercial Cult. This is an outright lie, promoted by Dr. Malcolm Linsell to place the blame for his misconduct, low ethical standards and two company failures onto someone else.

This is a classic case of deflection.

This website is dedicated to documenting an accurate and truthful account of why and how the company failed so that anyone interested in this saga may learn the facts and make up their own mind. Read our original post > here. About this website > here.

Don’t take out word for it, check the facts and decide for yourself.

If you find anything written here that you do not believe to be accurate, please let us know and we will happily review the evidence and make any corrections necessary.

When we first heard that Dr. Malcolm Linsell was involved in a Commercial Cult, we were immediately surprised. No, no, no, maybe, no way, what the heck is a Commercial Cult anyway? Is that like Apple, where fans of Apple products like iPhone queue up for hours and rave about them like they are obsessed or something?

Or is it like the Nike Sports Cult? Where they try to get you signed up to the cult of wearing their clothes and making money off you?

Perhaps it is the Network Marketing variety where they pressure you into joining then, manipulate you into buying stock and keeping it in your garage to sell later, only to find it never sells and you end up giving it away (sometimes can’t give it away as no one wants it).

Then there are the Get Rich Quick Seminars, offering fast riches if you follow the leader and do what they do. Typically these involve buying and selling real estate, stocks, options, or automated trading software. The leaders promise fast riches if you do exactly what they did, and if you fail, then you didn’t apply their formula the same way they did. You are made wrong and told you are a loser, as anyone can do it. The truth, is many of these schemes are a fraud. The leaders may be succeeded once or twice or not at all. Most of their money comes from selling the information, or from seminar fees.

There are thousands of Personal Development companies offering Get Spiritual Quick seminars. Or rah-rah success seminars. Using manipulative techniques such as suggestopedia, NLP, visualizations, meditations, chants, and on and on. Not all these techniques are bad, they are just misused in unethical hands. Hard sales techniques start early, promise the moon, and continue endlessly until you either tell them to stop, you leave or they succeed in selling you. Past seminar attendees are recruited to return to volunteer for free and to recruit other people into the programs. High-pressure sales and manipulation are relentless. They set you up to cry over your poor childhood experiences, make you wrong if you don’t cry, and then force you to hug everyone!

They even go so far as to get you into a weekend seminar, spend all weekend selling you on the next seminar or books, tapes, services, put you into a visualization to soften you up and then bam, right after you are feeling warm and fuzzy, hit you with a sale. We are talking about a complete lack of ethics.

Spiritual Cults are the worst. If you haven’t seen the CNN documentary Holy Hell. This is a real nasty cult. Check it our here > HOLY HELL.

Commercial Cults by definition are where the entire organization is set up to enrich only the people at the top and all money flows upwards to them. Volunteers work for free instead of getting paid, or they work for a fraction of their true market value. Seminar attendees pay for an endless series of products, books, tapes, seminars and never seem to get anywhere. People are manipulated to buy products they don’t want. Complaints are stifled, abuse is rampant. People cannot speak up for fear of punishment. Sexual misconduct is rampant. The leaders say one thing and do another. They can never be held to account for their broken promises because they dominate everyone. This does sound like Dr. Linsell’s management style.

Don’t take our word for it, read for yourself in Dr. Linsell’s own words > here.

Goldzone couldn’t be more different. With the exception of services, everything is given away to the public for free. No books for sale. No audios and no videos. Everything is available for free at Renaissance for Leaders. All employees are paid at above market rates, and all partners and licensees are encouraged to do the same. Unfortunately, Dr. Linsell ran his business differently. Employees were paid late, if at all, Superannuation and Taxes were not paid. On the other hand, shareholder funds were used to fly himself to Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Hawaii.

How does that sound to you?

Check out the Better Business Bureau description > here

It is worth noting that if you are interested in improving your business, professional or personal results or effectiveness and you attend a seminar that is motivational, success oriented and includes lots of leadership content, perhaps there are emotional highs involved – does not necessarily make it a cult.

Cult Watch is also a very good resource, you can review their site > here

You may notice that the average startup company has many attributes of a cult! A passionate team, working long hours, endless meetings, work for free or little pay!

I don’t think Australian Leadership Centre Pty. Ltd. was a Commercial Cult. I may be wrong because many of the above characteristics fit the well-documented conduct of Dr. Malcolm Linsell. For example, a couple did complain that Dr. Linsell enrolled them in a seminar and threatened to “break their arms if they didn’t do it.” He did borrow money from his friends and never pay most of them back. He also borrowed money personally from Company Clients and never paid them back either.

Read for yourself about Dr. Linsell’s business misconduct in his own words > here. We will refrain from commenting on his personal views, what he has said about his female patients and stick to facts strictly relating to his business management practices.

Australian Leadership Centre Pty. Ltd. licensed intellectual property from Goldzone Corporation, a US based corporation. Perhaps Goldzone Corporation is a Commercial Cult?

If it is, it’s a pretty darn quiet one.

According to the Australian Leadership Centre Pty. Ltd. Project Synopsys, the Company planned to develop 5 Full-Service Leadership Centres based on the Goldzone Corporation’s model. This means that the local Australian Centers where to duplicate the Goldzone systems, policies, and standard operating procedures.

Goldzone Corporation canceled Australian Leadership Centre Pty. Ltd.’s license after extensive and vigorous effort was expended to remedy numerous and ongoing breaches of the license agreement. A detailed history of the Company from Incorporation to Voluntary Liquidation can be reviewed > here.

Let’s check out how Goldzone Corporation compares with a Commercial Cult. You decide:

1 Volunteers work for FREE in the office or staffing at events. The organization and its management make money off free labor. > All Positions in the office and at seminars and events are provided by full-time employees, contractors or professional service providers. Employees are paid above market rates.
2 Unrealistic promises are made that anyone can do it, Get Rich or Get Spiritual Quick. > Conservative expectations are set, the potential and possibilities are discussed, however, it is clear this is not a shortcut, but rather for people who want to work for their results.
3 Traditional jobs and careers are made wrong and are chastised as for losers. > People are encouraged to pursue jobs, careers, and roles that are suitable for them, where they can succeed and be happy.
4 High-Pressure Sales Tactics are used to manipulate people to buy products they don’t want, using money or credit they may not have. Events are full of manipulation and love bombing before sales pitches are delivered. > Professional Consultative Selling Process is employed. People are offered choices, educated and informed. People are advised to seek counsel, agreement of partners etc.
5 The Company is run on personality. Policy changes on a whim. Abuse is rampant with complaints and feedback suppressed. Issues are hidden. > The Company uses well-known and published systems, policies, and procedures. A Grievance Procedure is in place and implemented. Any issues are discussed openly.
6 Double standard exists with one policy for management and another for the employees or volunteers. > Policy is applied to all levels with the same standards, codes of conduct and expectations applied across the board to everyone equally.
7 Ethical Standards are talked about but not applied. Lying, cheating and manipulating to get what you want is encouraged. The ends justify the means is common. > The highest levels of personal and professional conduct, ethics, honesty and sincerity are encouraged, with lying, cheating, and manipulation not tolerated. How you get there is as important as getting there, in other words, the ends do not justify the means.
8 Taking money from people who can’t afford it, the vulnerable, little old ladies etc is normal. > Money is given back if people buy the wrong thing, or are not happy. If people can’t afford it, help is often offered for free.
9 Customers always have to pay for the next level. Information is withheld and only dished out to those who pay more. > All information is available for free on publicly accessible websites. At paid events, people are given as much as they can receive. No limits. Advanced programs are available if people want them, and always offered openly and upfront.
10 Decisions are made by one person with ultimate authority. > Decisions are made by the people who are impacted by the decision. Open discussing and agreement on solutions is encouraged.
11 Bait and Switch techniques are used to get people interested in one thing and then sold something very different, often at a higher price. Prices are not disclosed and you have to be with a live person to get the information. > What you see is what you get. Prices are disclosed up front. If clients call for a price over the phone, we give it to them. Price lists are available on the internet. Honesty, openness, and sincerity is the policy.
12 Strange practices are done behind locked doors. People often are not allowed to take notes, nor disclose or talk about it. > An open door policy is practiced where notes are encouraged, photos are taken openly, all meetings and events are recorded and anyone is free to come and go as they please.
13 The rich, powerful or influential are courted and sucked up to. > All people are valued and treated equally.
14 Information, content, and know-how are all stolen or duplicated from someone else like a copy and paste with no acknowledgment of the source. > Original content and intellectual property are offered for free and for sale. For any third-party content, an agreement is sought upfront, licenses paid for and the source of material acknowledged wherever possible.
15 Abuse of Power is rampant. Secrets are carefully guarded. > Abuse of Power is not tolerated. Everything is exposed and discussed in the open.
16 Sophisticated Mind-Contol techniques are used to manipulate people into taking actions they would not ordinarily take and buying products or services they do not need. > Clients are fully informed upfront on their options, the benefits, the pros, and cons, then make their own decision in their own time based on their own agenda.
17 Communication is vague, highly emotive and not backed up by facts. > Communication is factual, backed by evidence and rational explanation.
18 Secretive and controlled, everything happens behind closed doors, open debates are discouraged. > Open and transparent, everything happens out in the open with open discourse, debate, and stakeholder input.
19 Partial truths and outright lies are the modus operandi. Personal responsibility is avoided, weaknesses, faults, and failings are covered up and not admitted. Ethical lapses are covered up and swept under the carpet. > Honesty and sincerity are encouraged. Personal responsibility and ownership of both strengths and weaknesses, failings and turnarounds is modus operandi.
20 Mistakes are denied and never admitted. No sincere apology is ever offered, or it is insincere and design to deflect and avoid. > Mistakes are admitted, responsibility is owned, amends if necessary are given and sincere apologies are immediate.
21 Often a single person dominates policy, agenda, and decision-making. No balance or check of power is in place. Disloyalty is severely punished. > High standards of corporate governance ensure a counterbalance to power and charismatic personality is always in place. No one person sets policy, agenda or decision-making. The people impacted by decisions are always involved in the decision-making process.
22 One person has ultimate power, largest single shareholder, Executive Chairman and CEO roles. Abuse of power is rampant. Minority stakeholders are marginalized. > Power is shared with no one person having the Executive Chairman and CEO roles. Abuse of power is never tolerated. Minority stakeholders are listened to and valued.
 23 Interfere with a person’s relationships, telling them who to be friends, splitting up couples and getting in between family members.  > Stay out of people’s relationships. Offer independent education, advice, and support for clients who ask for it in order to improve or mediate problems. For company employees who work with their spouse or partner, hold them to the same standards of conduct as everyone else.
 24 Collect personal information on people in order to manipulate and control them. If they don’t comply, use their secrets against them.  > Respect individuals right to privacy. Client information shared is private and never shared.
 25 Grievences are suppressed and no complaint procedure exists or it is not used. Disagreement is covered up and squashed.  > A documented, clear and easy to use and independent Grievance Procedure is available to everyone. Disagreement and open debate are encouraged. Mistakes are admitted and made right.
 * Please let us know if you have additional Commercial Cult characteristics to add to this list, so we can do as comprehensive a comparison as possible. Please comment at the bottom of this page. Thank you!