Gag orders distort & defeat rational investment decision making

September 30, 2010

Franchising is as healthy as its secrets.

mike right-web

Confidentiality agreements are used promiscuously:

  1. pre-sale (when looking),
  2. at any cash payment for “wrongs” during the relationship,
  3. at renewal,
  4. at listing of business for sale,
  5. when you exit, and
  6. at any lawsuit end.

In my 15 minutes of fame, I was asked a question:

[John O’Toole] Can you suggest one thing within the framework we’ve defined that would improve – not totally correct; we’ve passed that, we’re not astronauts – but one thing we could do that would make a real impact on these 40,000 victims, self-imposed victims in some cases? What could we do?

Mr Stewart: Outlaw gag orders. Outlaw gag orders.

Confidentiality agreements encourage opportunistic franchisor behavior because they conceal bad behavior to unsuspecting current and future financial market investors. They are a very large source of imperfect investment information.

Silence puts gold in only the pockets of those proposing these “agreements” that are tethered to the franchisee’s life savings.

More corrosively, they operate internally the same way a false prisoner confession works.

Psychologically they create an internal silencing mechanism, part of which is explained by the concepts of cognitive dissonance, learned helplessness, and obedience (Milgram, Stanford prison, Abu Ghraib). The experience of franchising can be engineered to provide a subtle and not so subtle method of mind control as was seen in the ’70s case of est.

The victim becomes convinced that they were the cause of their own suffering.

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The True Evil of Gag Orders

November 25, 2008

Hitler’s words on his mouth is Redeverbot or Ban on Speaking

hitlergag

The caption reads:

  • “He alone of two billion people on earth may not speak in Germany.”

This poster reflects the fact that for a period in the 1920’s, Hitler was forbidden to address public meetings in much of Germany.

The artist is Philipp Rupprecht who is best known for his cartoons Julius Streicher and Der Stürmer (“The Attacker”).

Tricking franchisees into signing gag orders when they evaluate a franchise, when they renew, when they re-finance and then when they sell is next to useless.

Gag orders are powerful but not for the way most people think.

1. The conventional wisdom is that confidentiality agreements act to stop the flow of information (negative stories) coming back to the market. Usually, information flows reward good operators or franchisors and punish opportunistic franchisors (people are unwilling to invest in their systems.

This is part of their function but they are much more useful than just that.

2. Gag orders are a sophisticated form of mind control that taps into exiting franchisees’ guilt and internal conflicts. The gag order is only the symbol of a franchisee’s betray of another person, another family.

Franchising sets up a Bargain with the Devil that is disguised within an economic model.

  1. The deal seems to say: ” You get 15% of the value of your investment you must sign a gag order”.
  2. But what it comes to mean [in the franchisee’s mind] is: “I will betray someone else in order to get my 30 pieces of silver.”

As an exiting franchisee from a deadbeat investment, you know anyone that buys the store from you will lose their life savings. You also know (at least on some level) that by agreeing to the “deal” you are becoming complicit with the franchisor: the very party who has basically ruined your family and future.

You are maneuvered into believing that the “best of the worst” alternatives is to screw another unknown future franchisee to the wall.

  • I believe franchises get really sick because of this internal conflict, of knowingly betraying a stranger in order to survive.
  • Franchisees that I have known that died, often attribute their cancer, heart attack, etc. to franchising (via stress).

Allegorically throwing anyone in front of an approaching train in order to save yourself, has some deep psychological and spiritual consequences. When you conspire into luring someone else into slavery and a life of pain, you not only join in the franchisor’s culpability…but

  • in a very real sense, you become more of a slave than the new guy because you were aware of what would happen.

This internal guilt or cognitive dissonance (two contradictory ideas at once: “I hate my franchisor for lying to me” but “I lied to escape”) is what keeps former franchisees sick, inactive and silent. You have created an internal conflict that is next-to-impossible to reconcile. It’s called being eaten alive and creating yourself as your own worst enemy. I know this very well as someone who has never signed a gag order.

Scribbling your name on a document means next to nothing.

  • Intentionally conspiring with and becoming buddies with evil, means the world.

lebensunwertes Leben: A Life Unworthy of Life

August 21, 2008

Medical doctors understand the way a human body functions. The Hippocratic Oath compels them to “do no harm” to their patient.

A white lab coat is worn by someone who would help you: Would heal you.

It was always a doctor who did the selection once the train arrived [“left” or “right”, lab coat over their black uniform].

Kanada 1 and 2 were where the valuables were taken more easily and warehoused. The Poles considered Canada the the land of great freedom and promise.

I have seen a recurring pattern with the 100s of franchisees I have met.

  • In a clever “judo throw” of reality, franchisees’ past strengths are used to create their future disaster.

Here is how it works:
1. Most people believe if they work hard, are careful and defer gratification for the future, their family is going to prosper or at least be okay.

2. People believe that life is generally fair (ie. people get what they deserve: both good or ill). They trust. (Which just happens to be the foundation of all of western society progress, btw).

3. A cleverly created but misplaced patina of success (ie. successful for everyone but the investor) that surrounds all franchises is used to numb the potential investor’s critical thinking abilities long enough to get a signature.

4. Franchising is a sophisticated machine which has some unusual design features. Its function is to vacuum life savings for its owners and supporters (sucks but does not blow $, as it were). The individual brands may be owned by franchisors but the modern engineers are the franchise bar.

5. Once the cash is gone, what pretense can be used to explain the ash that falls like snow?

6. Via the skillful use of propaganda (words in the service of self-interest not truth) you are managed (ie. numbed, isolated, shamed, silenced).

That is where The Gospel according to Killer Due Diligence comes in: It not only “blames the victim” but it goes farther: It extend the SS’s (Schutzstaffel) Cult of Hardness.

The Jews were considered lebensunwertes Leben. Physicians became the Volk’s biological soldiers, readily agreeing to remove the dead weight these genetic deficients; this non-people who had a life unworthy of life“.
The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide, Robert Jay Lifton

In a similar way, franchisees are sometimes considered ballastexistenzen [human ballast]

  • cheap labour and a source of wealth,
  • mentally and/or intellectually defective, subhuman, pathetic,
  • a gangrenous appendix to be cut out, and finally,
  • excrement to be disposed of as cheaply and quickly as possible.

Direct medical killing and the jealously guarded administration of Zyklon-B gas was only developed because of the psychological damage done to the Einsatzgruppen assigned to kill prisoners by firing squad.

Rudolf Höss:

I had heard of Eichmann‘s description of Jews being mown down by the Einsatkommandos armed with machine guns and machine pistols. Many gruesome scenes are said to have taken place, people running away after being shot, the finishing off of the wounded and particularly of the women and children.

Many members of the Einsatzkommandos, unable to endure wading through blood any longer, had committed suicide. Some had even gone mad. Most of the members of these Kommandos had to rely on alcohol when carrying out their horrible work. p. 159

The peak killing rate at Auschwitz-Birkenau was 20,000 within a 24 hour period.

Economic Application: I have heard this same form of argument used in franchising. You say and actually believe that taking someone life savings is a noble act.

REASONING: In this world, some people have life savings that they don’t really don’t deserve. They have inherited it or it’s simply fallen into their lap. The test is if you can take it from them, they are not using it properly. They are inefficient stewards of wealth in a national, cut-throat economic war against [fill in the blank false enemy du jour: huns, commies, Japan, terror, etc.]

  • The liberator/thief sees himself as: a teacher [hard lessons to be learned, yes, but being fraud-proofed is a valuable set of skills]; a public benefactor [economic soldiers, in an inverted Robin Hood scenario] a visionary stormtrooper in an extreme ideology where even the word “liberal” is ridiculed as being the same as being soft, stupid: a loser.
  • Ayn Rand, libertarianism and militant individualism can be interpreted to help asway the professionals’ cognitive dissonance [wading through blood] as did the medicalizing of mass killings relieve the Einsatzgruppen of their psychological trauma of the biologically inferior human ballast in WWII.
  • The modern franchise elite do this by re-allocating wealth form small to large investors. The franchisors take the public vilification while the franchise bar tries not so successfully to wash their hands.
  • They are improving our economy by doing the what the doctors did in Nazi Germany: instead of being biological soldiers in the service of the Third Reich [accelerating the inevitable genetic purification of a bastardization of Darwin’s natural selection theories via eugenics], the liberators/thieves, crusaders in a holy war to liberate capitalism.
  • “Don’t you know that we are in a war and the normal rules do not apply? If we are to grow, we cannot afford the inefficient investment decisions that the losers make,” the disciples of unfettered capitalism shout.
  • “Yes, some people will be harmed in creating the thousand year market empire but it will be worth it. The individual must become hardened and accept their role. Everyone has their role to play their place to bask in the glory of the radiant new empire.”
  • “Trust us…We will take care of you.” See Justified Theft: A Life unworthy of Dignity.

BTW: Dr. Unbloody, “Beppo”, Josef Mengele, 2 PhDs, 1935


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