Tuesday, 5 December 2017

10 Big Truths about Multi-Level Marketing

Truth #1: Multi-level marketing has little or nothing to do with “direct selling.”

Virtually no MLM participants gain a net profit from personal, direct selling on a retail basis. There is no record of consumers gaining sustainable profit just from reselling MLM products in the open market. The FTC verified this reality in Herbalife when it conducted a two-year investigation of that MLM, one of the oldest and largest. It determined that Herbalife “distributors” did not and could not gain a “retail profit” income. The only possible income came from recruiting more investor-participants. Common sense alone reveals that no one, today, could earn a sustainable income selling MLM commodity products on their own, from their home. MLM-type products are already in stores or online at lower prices. No one needs a personal salesperson to buy such goods or has the time to listen to sales pitches. The costs of personal marketing and individual selling are too high to gain a profit or make it worth the time. The MLM model produces more and more competitive “retailers” in every location and every potential retail customer is offered the chance to buy at wholesale pricing, making profitable retail selling not feasible. MLM is disguised to look like direct selling, with the use of products and words and names taken from the real business of direct selling, such as “commissions, bonuses, retail, and distributor.” This is only disguise. The “direct sellers” in MLM have few or no customers. “Downlines”are just other “direct sellers.” MLM participants don’t “sell.” They buy and recruit others to the same.

Truth #2: Multi-level marketing’s structure is based on an audacious and obvious impossibility.

The main fraud of multi-level marketing is in plain sight. It is the model of the “endless chain” of recruits, misnamed “salespeople, associates, distributors, coaches,” etc. How could any sales organization have an “unlimited” number of sellers operating in the same areas? How could a sales chain extend to “infinity?” The MLM model actually is two-lies-in-one. First, obviously, as the number of participants increases, the chance to recruit a large downline diminishes for those at the end of the chain. The “opportunity” is not “unlimited.” It is finite and diminishing. The thousands at the bottom of the pyramid cannot possibly enroll as many recruits as those few at the top already have. Saturation prevents virtually all from finding enough new people. Second, saturation aside, the recruiting chain pay-plan requires each participant to enroll a number of recruits before profit is possible. Therefore, a ratio of “winners” to “losers” is baked in right from the start. If 25 are needed, then only one in 25 could ever be profitable. This would be true the day the scheme is launched and would never change. The “income opportunity” is therefore – by design – limited to one in 25, or 4%. Based on the proposition of gaining profit from recruiting, about 96% would always lose for as long as the scheme operated. In practice, the actual ratio is far worse.

Truth #3: Almost no one – far less than one in a hundred – has ever gained any net profit in multi-level marketing.

Of all the people who have ever paid an MLM sign-up fee, signed an MLM “sales” contract, and hoped to make some money – millions and millions of people – the percentage that ever succeeded is too small to graphically illustrate. This reality of the absence of “income opportunity” in a proposition sold as “the best income opportunity in the world” is perhaps the biggest deception that has been sown. Millions of people have been misled to believe that MLM is a viable “business opportunity,”, maybe their best hope to make money, better than their current job, superior to other businesses, more lucrative than the potential from higher education or the corporate ladder or even professions. The contrary and brutal reality – that it is a swindle – is verified in all MLM “income disclosures” when they are deciphered, and it is revealed every time an MLM is prosecuted. The most shocking figure is the percentage of people who made a profit, among the total that ever joined the MLM scheme since it began. Since MLMs churn 50-80% of recruits every year, new recruits should calculate their odds of success against all that ever joined. That calculation shows the percentage of “winners” to be a micro-percentage of one-percent, effectively, no chance at all.
All statements or claims about “average incomes” in multi-level marketing are, therefore, false on their face. There is no income “on average.” The median (half make more and half less) is Zero (it would be a negative figure if costs were factored.) MLM promoters spread contrived statistics about income averages – restricting data to a one-year or even one-month time frame, and limiting data only to a small minority of the total participants, sometimes called “actives” or “active with a downline” or those that “received a check.” They often combine the incomes of the few top recruiters with a selected, limited group, excluding the great majority, to produce a false “average.” They take manipulated data for a single month and then create a fictional “annualized” average, even though most quit in less than one year of participation. MLMs also misuse and manipulate “testimonials,” most of which are actually false or absurdly exaggerated, to create the misleading impression that making money in MLM is feasible for most recruits, and that that “anyone can do it.” The shocking truth, revealed in research of disclosures, filings with the government, in court cases, or from government prosecutions is near universal losses. The net losses of virtually all participants are not due to individual ambition, work habits or time commitments. They are caused by the model itself (see Truth #2).

Truth #4: Most, nearly all, product purchases by MLM participants are driven by MLM rules, purchase-requirements and reward-promises.

Without the connection of promises-of-rewards to purchasing-of-products and without purchasequotas and purchaserequirements few people would ever MLM products. The products, typically, are higher priced than similar products in stores. Without the pot-of-gold “incentives,” many people would simply never buy MLM products at all because they never heard of them or did not want or need them in the first place. Most MLM participants begin to purchase MLM products only after being solicited to the join the “business opportunity” and signing a lengthy and restrictive commercial contract that redefines them as “independent distributors.” In signing, they relinquish normal consumer rights such as easy return of products, freedom to criticize or do what they want with the product or resell it as they wish. After signing up, to become or to remain qualified for promised rewards tied to recruiting MLM participants must then meet volume quotasthat can be fulfilled, partly or fully, by making personal purchases every month. Many MLMs persuade participants when they sign up to commit to automatic monthly purchases charged to their credit cards to ensure continued “qualification.” Failure to meet the quotas results in loss of status or disqualification for promised rewards. Overall, most MLM participants stop buying MLM products within one year or less and never purchase them ever again.
In total dollars, all MLM products amount each year to less than 1% of all retail sales, however, even apart from the income scheme requirements that deceptively induce purchases, very little of these MLM transactions can be classified as “retail sales.” They are legally classified as wholesaletransactions. Most MLMs even charge the participants sales tax based on a mythical (and much higher) retail price, confirming the pretense that the goods are to be re-sold to end-users, though they almost never are.

Truth #5: MLMs are dependent on constantly recruiting new people to replace all those that quit.

Most MLM participants quit within one year.  Almost all gain no net profit, and lose significant time and money from the scheme. Annual quitting rates among MLM participants are between 50% and 90%. If the MLM does not replace the quitters, it will soon collapse. To continue, MLMs keep expanding to new areas; they concealing the quitting and loss rates and aggressively promote the false claim to new, uninformed people that the schemes offer a “unique” and “extraordinary” income opportunity for all. As MLMs expand to new areas, revenue “pops,” and as the inevitable losses among the new participants occur, revenue “drops,” triggering the need for more geographic expansion or the targeting of new groups. There is no stable or sustainable “sales force” and no stable or sustainable “customer base.” There is only constant recruiting based on a false income promise. MLMs are in a constant state of continual collapse, but the cost of the collapse is borne only by the newest recruits who join the scam, lose their money and then quit; meanwhile the scheme itself can continue operating if enough replacement-recruits are found.

Truth #6: “Multi-level marketing” is undefined; its identity is a fiction.

The U.S. government defines “legitimate multi-level marketing” as a type of enterprise in which participants can earn money from their own retail sales and from commission overrides based on the retail sales of other participants they recruit in a genealogical chain. Yet, the FTC has never identified a single MLM company that meets this definition! Since no one in MLM actually does gain or could gain sustainable profit from retailing, (see Truth #1), no one also gains income from retail sales of those recruited. The legitimate, retail-based MLM is as real as a Unicorn. Unicorns are depicted in art and literature and some people may even believe they exist. In reality, retail-based MLM enterprises, like Unicorns, do not exist. The very term, “multi-level marketing” means nothing. MLMs are not “multi-level.” They have “endless” levels. MLMs do not operate in the “market” but within a closed and controlled network with fixed prices and purchasing induced by promises of financial reward, unrelated to the products and consumer market factors.

 Truth #7: MLM is unregulated; according to the FTC, there is no way for a consumer to know if an MLM is a fraud.

Consumers are on their own for evaluating MLM solicitations, and avoiding pyramid fraud by MLMs. There is no “consumer protection” from deception and harm at the hands of MLM recruiters. MLMs operate without regulation. There is no federal law that includes the terms, “multi-level marketing” or “pyramid scheme.” The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has become the primary law enforcement agency that prosecutes MLMs as “pyramid schemes” but the FTC has never conducted a survey of the “industry” to see whether fraud is predominant. In the past 35 years, FTC has prosecuted less than 30 MLMs for pyramid fraud; all have been small MLM companies. The FTC advises consumers that “MLM is legitimate” but also warns that “some” MLMs are pyramid frauds. Yet, the FTC also states that it is not possible for ordinary consumers to distinguish what it defines as “legitimate MLM” from a pyramid fraud, claiming it would require “complex economic analysis.” Meanwhile, there is not even a FTC requirement for MLMs to make financial disclosures in solicitations, as there is for franchising, which is a legitimate and sustainable business model. The FTC actually exempts MLMs from disclosing any financial information at all – e.g., loss rates, average incomes, saturation, operating costs, etc. – to consumers when they solicit money.
Even when MLMs are prosecuted as pyramid schemes, the offense is treated only as “unfair and deceptive business practice,” not criminal fraud, even though thousands of people are harmed and consumer losses may involve billions of dollars. By defining a “pyramid scheme” as only a civil offense or at most a misdemeanor, some “anti-pyramid scheme” state statutes and occasional FTC prosecutions effectively protect MLM leaders from doing jail time and allow the schemes to continue and multiply.

Truth #8: Multi-level marketing stresses, harms and sometimes destroys social and professional relationships, families and marriages.

By violating the common-sense, practical and proven custom to keep
personal and business relationships separate, MLMs cause disruption and harm. Since the MLM “business opportunity” inevitably results in financial losses for nearly all and requires deception, recruiting friends and family into MLMs obviously creates mistrust and resentment. When trust, affection, family ties and professional connections are misused for MLM recruiting, relationships are weakened or even ruined. The results are frequent disputes, divorces, alienation and blame.Those that become immersed in MLM deception will try to manipulate and deceive the people closest to them for recruiting purposes, often destroying those nurturing relationships. When the MLM recruiters later quit the schemes themselves, they often discover they have lost the support of their family, close friends and social network. Some people remain in MLM because they have harmed or neglected their life-long connections.

Truth #9: The characteristics of “multi-level marketing” are the defining characteristics of a pyramid scheme.

A pyramid scheme is a fraud in which a financial investment is solicited based on a promise of profit that will be derived 
primarily from the new participants who are solicited by earlier participants. Unless new participant-investors are successfully recruited, there is no feasible profit. A pyramid scheme is inherently deceptive and is illegal because the promised rewards cannot continue to be fulfilled. The continued expansion that the promise requires cannot occur. The majority of all who invest must lose. Solicitations are therefore inherently deceptive and pyramid schemes always cause financial harm.
The defining elements of MLM perfectly match this description. These include:
  • An impossible “endless chain” structure, with no limit based on geography or market size, creating the false promise of “unlimited” income opportunity for all participants based on the illusion of perpetual expansion capacity.
  • A requirement to make a payment (financial investment, also called “pay-to-play”) to join the recruiting chain, usually in the forms of entry fees, product purchases and related costs (start up “sales” kits, monthly purchase quotas, fees for websites, “back office”, leads, seminars, etc.)
  • The effective requirement to recruit other investor-participants in order to gain the promised rewards. The claim that income can be gained from retail sales is only a sham invented for disguising the recruiting scheme as “direct selling.” (see Truth #1). Net profit is available only to a tiny few and only from recruiting.
  • A closed, money transfer in which rewards come primarily from the investments of newly recruited participants, not from the external open market, based on retail sales. The “reward” payments are merely the chain of recruits’ own money moved from later recruits to earlier ones inside a closed network, unrelated to the true marketplace. Making the losses even greater and harming even more people, MLM pay-formulas (“compensation” plans) – as all pyramid schemes do – transfer most of all the money gained from later investor-participants directly to the earliest promoters situated at the very top of the pyramid. At least half of all “commissions” paid out to all levels of the entire chain are transferred directly to 1-4% of participants positioned at the top of the pyramid each year.

Truth #10: Multi-level marketing employs cult persuasion techniques to deceive and control.

All cults promise some kind of utopia or unique status to followers, and they also create fear among the followers that failure to follow the cult’s program and to remain in the cult will result in terrible consequences. Cults use well-known methods to shut down critical judgment and induce 
self-destructive and irrational actions from large numbers of people. MLMs qualify as cultic due to their claim, unique in the business world, to be able to expand to “infinity” and to have the power to provide “unlimited” income to all that follow the program. MLMs promote “financial success” and “wealth beyond imagination” as a form of heaven-on-earth, the ultimate goal of living. MLM leaders claim to have esoteric knowledge of the “secrets” of success. The cultic tools of mind control used by MLMs and the hallmark characteristics of cults exhibited by MLMs include:
  • Deception – The greatest of the deceptions is the MLM claim of a “direct selling” identity, when the reality is endless-chain-recruiting. Hence, all recruits enter MLM schemes without full consent of participating in its actual operation, which is based on deceptive recruiting. All cults maintain a false identity disguising their true operations and motives from those they recruit.
  • Self-anointed god-like leadership – Unlike traditional business with accountable boards or professional management standards, MLM leaders are self-portrayed as enlightened masters, god-like figures. To question them is considered self-defeating and a road to failure and shame.
  • Manipulation – Recruits are required to make purchases, led to believe they will gain “unlimited income” and cunningly sent on a fool’s mission to extend the “endless chain.” They are denied information on massive attrition rates, the limits of saturation or the built-in ratio of losers to “winners.” Family and friendship are manipulated for commercial ends. Participants are told to keep buying and recruiting, to “never quit.” The inevitable failure is then callously blamed on the recruit.
  • Sudden and significant changes in personality and behavior among followers – MLM recruits are constantly subjected to what cult-expert, Robert Lifton termed thought-terminating clichés. Recruits are taught to assume a superficial and constant upbeat attitude making them unable to look at their own circumstances factually. Constant exposure to specialized, manipulative language and visions of future wealth leads to recruits mimicking the terms and phrases and becoming disinterested in their existing jobs, or family relationships. Family and friends ask, “What happened to our son/friend/spouse?”
  • Pseudo-science or pseudo-economics  – MLM schemes claim to have the “secret to wealth and happiness” which MLM leaders often claim to have learned from “masters” or due to a spontaneous inspiration. Many MLMs claim to sell products that provide “perfect health,” alter genes, boost immunity, or even cure terrible diseases. The MLM “system” is said to be the “greatest opportunity in the world” and to be last bastion of the American Dream. The secrets to success and happiness, the miracle products, and pathway to wealth are promised – for a price – and offered only to those who unquestionably believe and follow the direction of the leaders perfectly.
  • Control of information – Recruits are told to shun anyone who questions the MLM “plan,” to associate only with “positive” people (other MLMers), to constantly study the words and thoughts only of the “leaders” in their writings and speeches, even to avoid using a calculator or researching on the web for independent analysis purposes.
  • False or fearsome  justification – Attend any MLM and you will hear the oddly similar message of looming economic disaster facing recruits, unless they join the MLM. Career opportunities in corporations are dismissed as worthless and foolish pursuits; professions such as teaching and nursing are defiled as work for “losers;” jobs are demeaned as “wage slavery.” Only MLM can provide wealth, security and happiness, recruits are told.
  • Extreme structural complexity – MLMs are corporate and organizational labyrinths, with subsidiaries in numerous countries. The MLM pay-plans include so many qualifiers, ranks and requirements, they are beyond understanding. Whistle-blowers and analysts that critique the MLM “model” and investigative journalists are routinely dismissed by MLM promoters as “not understanding” how MLM operates.
  • Repression of all dissent – MLMs, like destructive cults, are rigidly authoritarian, stifle critical thinking and suppress individual freedom. Inside the MLM, leaders are above criticism. Dissent and questions are viewed only as negative and signs of lack of faith, loss of confidence or ignorance. Some MLM “sales” contracts legally forbid disparagement of the product, the company or the leaders under pain of dismissal. Downlines lists developed by the participants become the property of the MLM company, not the participants who recruited them. Joining or associating with other MLMs, even those with different products, is not allowed, and the “non-compete” restrictions continue sometimes for months or a year after quitting. MLM critics are regularly depicted as deranged, misguided, or mal-intentioned. Quitters are vilified as lacking character or ambition.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Donald Trump and his core-followers fail the Turing Test

Donald Trump at a press conference

Image result for donald trump tweets

Image result for donald trump tweets

With an irony close to exquisite, the invention of Donald Trump's preferred method of communicating with his unquestioning core-followers, can be traced back to an Englishman whom he has probably never heard of, and who also devised a test which Donald Trump and his core-followers fail. 

Dr. Alan Turing (1912-1954)

Dr. Alan Mathison Turing is universally recognised as a giant figure in history - a brilliant mathematician, logician, codebreaker, computer scientist and major contributor to the Allies' victory during WWII. 


Following on from work he began in 1941, in 1950, Dr. Turing published a paper, 'Computing Machinery and Intelligence,' in which he discussed the existing philosophical question of whether machines can think. He then proposed a test, in the form of a blind question and answer game, where computers would be used to try to convince humans that they were not engaging with machines, but with other humans. Thus, despite its appearance, the 'Turing Test' is not a high-brow parlour-game or even a scientific experiment to determine whether machines can think, but a rudimentary, logical test of whether an artificial mind can be made to appear to have the same cognitive capacity as the human mind. 


In recent years, various people have suggested ways in which the 'Turing Test' can be reversed, but, as far as I am aware, no one has yet suggested that Dr. Turing's celebrated thoughts on artificial intelligence, can also be applied to the study of the cult/totalitarian phenomenon; for, due to their incapacity to engage with external reality, the inflexible core-adherents of totalistic* cults have often been compared to robots. However, the way that exploitative, self-perpetuating ritual belief systems bait, trap and enslave their prey, by reflecting common human instinctual desires (prosperity, health, happiness, freedom, security, etc.) as being obtainable in exchange for absolute subservience, can also be compared to a phenomenon which Dr. Turing did not live to witness - computer viruses. Had Dr. Turing been able to continue his work, he might have eventually felt the need to propose a rudimentary, logical test of whether an artificial mind can be made to appear to have the same ego-related capacity to become delusional as the human mind; for although cult adherents insist that no one is controlling them and that they are exercising free-will, nonetheless, illogically, and without exception, they all see the world in mechanical two-dimensional terms ('negative vs positive', 'lies vs truth', 'fake vs real', 'us vs them' , 'good vs evil' , 'winners vs losers' , etc. ), communicate in code-like thought-stopping language and obey their de facto programmers without question (no matter what suffering this entails).



In 1961 (after years of field-research, interviewing US servicemen and civilians held prisoner during the Korean War), Robert Jay Lifton (b. 1926) published, ‘Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism.’ In this standard, medical text-book, Lifton identified 8 ‘themes’ which, if present in any group, indicate that its members are being subjected to a mixture of social, psychological and physical pressures, designed to produce radical changes in their individual beliefs, attitudes and behaviour.

1). ‘Milieu control’ — the attempted control of everything an individual experiences (i.e. sees, hears, reads, writes and expresses). This includes discouraging subjects from contacting friends and relatives outside the group and undermining trust in exterior sources of information; particularly, the independent media.

2). ‘Personal or mystical manipulation’ — charismatic (psychologically dominant) leaders create a separate environment where specific behaviour is required; leading to group members believing that they have been chosen and that they have a special purpose. Normally group members will insist that they have not been coerced into group membership, and that their new way of life and beliefs are the result of a completely free-choice.

3). ‘Demand for purity’ — everything in life becomes either pure or impure, negative or positive, etc. This builds up a sense of shame and guilt. The idea is promoted that there is no alternative method of thinking or middle way, to that promoted by the group or by those outside it. Everything in life is either good or bad and anything is justified provided the group sanctions it as good.

4). ‘Confession’ — personal weaknesses are admitted to, to demonstrate how group membership can transform an individual. Group members often have to rewrite their personal histories and those of their friends and relatives, denigrating their previous lives and relationships. Other techniques include group members writing personal reports on themselves and others. Outsiders are presented as a threat who will only try to return group members to their former incorrect thinking.

5). ‘Sacred science’ — the belief in an inexplicable power system or secret knowledge, derived from a hierarchy who must be copied and who cannot be challenged. Often the group’s leaders claim to be followers of traditional historical figures (particularly, established political, scientific and religious thinkers). Leaders promote the idea that their own teaching will also benefit the entire world, and it should be spread.

6). ‘Loading the language’ — a separate vocabulary used to bond the group together and short-circuit critical thought processes. This can become second nature within the group, and talking to outsiders can become difficult and embarrassing. Derogatory names, or directly racist terms, are often given to outsiders.

7). ‘Doctrine over persons’ — individual members are taught to alter their own view of themselves before they entered the group. Former attitudes and behaviour must then be re-interpreted as worthless, and/or dangerous, using the new values of the group.

8). ‘Dispensing of existence’ — promotion of the belief that outsiders — particularly, those who disagree with the teaching of the group — are inferior and are doomed. Therefore, they can be manipulated, and/or cheated, and/or dispossessed, and/or destroyed. This is justifiable, because outsiders only represent a danger to salvation.

Erich Hermann Wilhelm Voegelin (1901-1985), was a gifted German academic, who, in the decade preceding WW II (working largely-alone), produced an insightful explanation of ‘Nazism’ as a form of perverted religion or cult. Sadly, during the 1930s, few people took much notice of Eric Voegelin. 

Whilst teaching political theory and sociology at the University of Vienna, he published two books, ‘The Race Idea in Intellectual History’ and ‘Race and the State’. In these, he pointed out the elementary, mistakes which invalidated various, popular ‘racial theories’. In 1938, Voegelin (aged 37) tried to publish 'The Political Religions'. In this, he focused on contemporary totalitarian ideologies derived from the ‘racial theories’ which he’d previously criticised as absurd pseudo-science. He now pointed out the glaring structural similarities of these ideologies to religions. Courageously, Voegelin was comparing medieval pseudo-sciences and 'Gnostic' cults to the 'Völkish or ‘Pan-German’ movement and its terrifying post-WW I incarnation, the 'Nazi party'.

In 1938, the ‘Nazi’ leader, Adolf Hitler, had held absolute power in Germany for almost 5 years. He had just taken control of Austria. The self-gratifying ‘Aryan Master Race’ delusion was spreading like a virus. In essence, Hitler controlled his fanatical core-adherents by peddling as fact an emotionally, and intellectually, overwhelming comic-book fiction in which he was a morally and intellectually perfect Aryan super hero, the 'führer,' on a mission to save his 'pure and noble race' from the slavery of the world financial/political system which had fallen under the control of an 'evil secret society of degenerate sub-humans - Jews, Freemasons, Communists,' etc.

The dozens of books, essays and reviews which Eric Voegelin published during his lifetime, are almost impossible for the average person to take in.

Eric Voegelin

To give readers some idea of the scale of his thinking, Voegelin’s Major work, ‘Order and History’, began to be published in the USA in 1956 when he was aged 54, but it remained unfinished when he died 31 years later. In simple terms, Voegelin was as a philosopher-historian who took an elevated, and broad, view. He observed that, throughout human history, there have been periods of mass-alienation... following wars, revolutions, plagues, natural disasters, economic depressions, etc. ... during these periods, dangerous manipulators (acting like ancient, Gnostic Prophets by pretending moral and intellectual authority and offering some form of Utopian existence in the here and now) who at other times might be dismissed as absurd crackpots and charlatans, have found it much easier to become accepted as authentic Messiahs and to acquire a mass-following.

Given a detailed knowledge of any Utopian totally positive fiction modifying the personalities and behaviour of the core-adherents of a particular cultic group, it would, therefore, be a relatively simple matter to program a machine to duplicate the adherents' systematic responses (or indignant refusal to respond), to a series of blind questions concerning the contents of the group's controlling narrativeIn other words, the predictable answers given by deluded core-cult adherents, and those given by machines programmed to duplicate human minds dissociated from external reality, would be indistinguishable.

e.g. You could ask a gung-ho supporter of Donald Trump, or a computer programmed to repeat Donald Trump's fictitious controlling-scenario as fact) to set out a brief resumé of Donald Trump's many qualifications and achievements


Donald Trump is, in many respects, the perfect antithesis of Alan Turing; for in the adult world of quantifiable reality, without any thought for his own reward, Alan Turing actually achieved what Donald Trump merely pretends he is trying to achieve. i.e. Alan Turing altered the course of history and played a vital role in defending civilisation against the forces of evil. 

1931-1934, Alan Turing studied mathematics a Kings College Cambridge, graduating with a first class honours degree.

1935 Alan Turing (aged just 22) was elected as a fellow of Kings College. 

Alan Turing is the individual who, in 1936 (aged 24), set out and formalised the concepts which produced the Universal Turing machine - the first theoretical model for a general purpose computer. As a result, Dr.Turing is considered to be the father of computer science and artificial intelligence. The central principle of today's computers (i.e. controlling the machine's operations by a program of coded instructions stored in a memory) was Alan Turing's idea.

(1936-1938) Dr. Turing studied mathematics and cryptology at Princeton University, obtaining a PhD in 1938.

During WWII, Dr. Turing (who had been talent-spotted and recruited by British Military Intelligence on his return to Cambridge in 1938) worked at the Government Code and Cypher School, Bletchley Park, where (by applying the principle that what can be constructed by a human mind: can also be taken to pieces another human mind) he developed various techniques for deciphering messages sent via the most-advanced version of the German 'Enigma' enciphering/deciphering machine. This electromechanical device (which had been in existence since the end of WWI), had previously been considered as completely secure. 

It is now a matter of historical record that, but for Dr.Turing, WWII would almost-certainly have dragged on at least until 1947, destroying the lives, liberty and happiness of many more men, women and children. 

Image result for Marian Rejewski                        Jerzy Rozycki                         Henryk Zygalski

When the wider picture is examined, Dr. Turing and his Bletchley Park colleagues could not have succeeded, but for the groundwork of Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Rozycki and Henryk Zygalski of the Polish Cypher Bureau. With the help of German documentation recovered by French military intelligence, in 1932, these three brilliant, young mathematician/cryptologists, first reverse-engineered the original Enigma machine using theoretical mathematics. Mechanical devices were then developed for deciphering intercepted-Enigma-encrypted radio messages, but after 1938, German cryptologists took the precaution of vastly-increasing the complexity of Enigma machines by adding extra rotors, and the Poles did not have the necessary resources to counter this sudden advance. Consequently, fearing an imminent German attack on their country, in July 1939, Polish leaders and intelligence chiefs handed over to British and French Military intelligence agents (stationed in Warsaw), everything that Polish cryptologists had managed to achieve. Subsequently, all tangible traces of this initial breach in the security of Enigma, were destroyed. 

The timely, secret transfer of Polish expertise saved neither Poland nor France from invasion, but it did enable Dr. Turing and his colleagues to develop a much more powerful, and rapid, electromechanical calculating machine capable of decrypting almost all intercepted, heavily-encrypted Enigma-messages. The resulting massive-flow of important up-to-date strategic intelligence that the British government and military, air and naval, commanders obtained via Bletchley Park, was itself given the code-name, 'Ultra' a.k.a. the 'Ultra Secret.' At various times during WWII, Winston Churchill felt obliged not to act on 'Ultra' intelligence for fear that, by doing so, German intelligence would realise what was occurring. However, even though the evidence of a near-total communications security breach often stared them in the face, the narcissistic leaders of the 'Aryan Master Race,' and their partners in crime, were evidently incapable of accepting that almost every move they ordered to be made, was known by their inferior opponents, before it was made.  

Winston Churchill reportedly told King George VI, that 'it was thanks to Ultra, that we won the War.' However, the 'Ultra Secret' remained closely-guarded until the 1970s, when the techniques involved, finally became out-dated. 

After the war, Dr. Turing (who had acquired a reputation as a charming, but eccentric, loner, prone to dramatic swings of mood) appeared to return to his previous academic career, but he continued to work in secret for GCHQ (the successor to Bletchley Park and equivalent of America's National Security Agency). 

Officially, in 1954, Dr. Turing (aged 41) committed suicide by eating part of an apple which he had injected, and/or coated, with cyanide poison. However, although cyanide was found in Dr. Turing's body and at his home, the remains of the apple (recovered from a bedside table next to his body), were never tested, and there are now a number of commentators calling for a full inquiry into Dr. Turing's enigmatic 'Snow White/ Wicked Queen'-style death; and particularly, to uncover what hidden role UK security services might have played.

In truth, Dr. Turing was effectively-executed in 1952 (aged 39), when he was arrested for, and convicted of, the (then) common criminal offence of 'gross indecency' (i.e. homosexual activity between consenting adults) and sentenced to chemical castration (i.e. as an alternative to a humiliating prison sentence, he was released on the condition that he accept female hormone injections for a period of 12 months). Given the fact that, in 1950s Britain, male homosexuals and  bisexuals, were often physically attacked as dangerous paedophiles, perverts and pariahs, and could, if convicted of 'gross indecency,' be imprisoned for life, the events surrounding Dr. Turing's arrest, have never been fully-explained; for he went to his local police station in Manchester to report that he'd been the victim of a crime, and gave an apparently reckless statement in which he openly-admitted that he'd been involved in a passionate relationship with a much younger man who turned out to be a thief.

Although, in 1952, very few people knew the extraordinary truth about Dr. Turing's central role in the defeat of tyranny, evidently, the British government (again led by Sir Winston Churchill) made no attempt to protect him and, instead, abandoned him to a fate which clearly he did not deserve. The fact that Winston Churchill partly built his own reputation in history by standing on the shoulders of intellectual giants (knowing that, for decades, they could not be given any credit), reveals his personal failure to intervene on behalf of Dr. Turing in 1952, to have been both morally-reprehensible and (surprisingly, for a Nobel Prize-winning historian) short-sighted. 

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What  Dr. Turing was forced to endure in silence, is almost unimaginable. Apart from the fact that (like thousands of other gay British men) he was punished for something over which he had no control, he must also of been fully-aware that, in 1945, a significant number of 'Nazi' scientists  - like ballistic missile inventor, Werhner von Braun (a member of the SS who designed Hitler's so-called 'revenge weapons' which caused death and misery to thousands of slave labourers, not to mention death and mutilation to thousands of British men, women and children) - had been allowed to escape all prosecution as war criminals, because the US government offered them amnesty in return for their expertise. 

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Ironically, von Braun (who was born in the same year as Alan Turing), was already, in 1954, an important and wealthy man in the USA. Von Braun was even awarded the US National Medal of Science two years before his death in 1977 (but he was too ill to attend the presentation ceremony at the White House). Yet , even today, Dr.Turing's personal role in saving countless American lives and billions of dollars, has never been officially recognised in the USA.

Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein

In view of his own previous achievements (and his youth), Dr.Turing's unjust categorisation as a degenerate, could easily have been recognised by the British government as being contrary to national interests, for the 'Nazis' had caused many of Europe's most-brilliant thinkers (like Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr) to flee to the USA, because, as Jews, they were also unjustly categorised as degenerate. These same European scientists, first took a leading role in persuading the US Government to commit funds to develop the Atomic bomb - knowing that the 'Nazis' were already on the same path. They then took a leading role in developing the Atomic bomb.

Unfortunately, in 1952, British Intelligence agencies, under pressure from their American counterparts, were operating a rule preventing known-homosexuals being given security clearance. Indeed, many gay men were being unjustly removed from key-positions in Britain (particularly, in the armed forces and civil service), because, mainly due to the illegality of homosexual activity, they were rightly considered to be easy blackmail targets. The previous year, British intelligence had been heavily-embarrassed when two of its agents, Guy Burgess and Kim Philby (both of whom were homosexuals who had been secretly groomed and recruited by KGB agents, when they were university students), had disappeared to the Soviet Union after passing secret intelligence to the Soviets for 20 years.Thus, after his arrest, Dr. Turing had his security clearance immediately revoked and he was excluded from GCHQ. Self-evidently, he must have been placed under M15 surveillance as major security threat  - another possible defector and KGB blackmail target, but with access to the greater part of the Ultra Secret, and to Cold War, code-breaking techniques. 

In 1953, Dr. Turing is known to have been interviewed by British police officers, this time regarding a young Norwegian man who had been visiting with him. He is also known to have taken a holiday in Greece which, due to its proximity to the Soviet Empire, must have really got his MI5 case officers in a flap. However, the extent and nature of the British security services' contact with Dr. Turing in the two years prior to his death, has never been made public.

Although Dr. Turing's friends and family (who initially knew nothing of his historically-important work as a codebreaker) continued to believe that he died accidentally after handling cyanide during a chemistry experiment, other informed-observers have lately-concluded that there is a very strong likelihood he was silenced by MI5, who deliberately applied pressure on him knowing that he would crack and kill himself; for, after WWII, a number of captured Enigma machines were sold by the victorious Allies to developing countries whose leaders and intelligence chiefs had been led to believe that, in its most-advanced form, Enigma was still completely secure. In reality, and unbeknown to the coroner who pronounced a verdict of suicide, at the time of Dr. Turing's death, British, French and American intelligence agencies were all regularly intercepting Enigma-encrypted messages. These top secret communications (some of which must have contained commercially-valuable inside-information) might as well have all been written in plain language due to the computing techniques which Dr. Turing had developed for, and given to, his country.

Edward Snowden

Had Dr. Turing made a run for it and blown the whistle on the vast intelligence- gathering Enigma fraud (a la Edward Snowden), then all Hell might have broken loose.

On September 10th 2009, following an Internet-based campaign, British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, made an official apology for 'the appalling and inhumane way Dr. Turing was treated.' However, Mr. Brown conveniently failed to point out that this 'appalling inhumane treatment,' had been at the hands of a overtly-homophobic, but (in many cases) covertly-homosexual, British establishment, the hypocritical members of which had mostly-failed to recognise, let alone challenge, the rise of the pernicious 'Nazi' belief system, and whom Dr. Turing had secretly played a leading role in saving from destruction.

In May 2012, a private member's Bill was put before the UK House of Lords to grant Dr. Turing a statutory pardon for his criminal conviction of 1952. However, on December 23rd, 2013, it was announced that Dr. Turing had been granted a pardon under the (rarely-used) Royal Prerogative of Mercy.

David Brear (copyright 2017)