Purported Andy Bowdoin Christmas Email With Prayerful Message Causes A Stir Among Members; ASD President Has Not Refuted Authenticity Of Greeting
Several PP readers reported Thursday and Friday that they’d received a prayerful email purportedly sent as a Christmas greeting by AdSurfDaily President Andy Bowdoin.
We did not receive a single correspondence from a reader who was happy about receiving the email. In one way or another, the readers questioned the prudence of sending such an email.
“Does this meanÂ he is fighting the govt. and there will be more court dates over the next year?” one reader inquired.
“I just received an email Christmas Card from Andy,” another reader wrote. “He wishes me a year of prosperity and believes that this year he will prove that ASD is NOT a ponzi and that they will be back in business during 2010. If you did not receive it, I will be happy to forward it to you.”
We are skeptical that the email came from Bowdoin, despite the fact ASD’s address in Quincy, Fla., appears at the bottom. Regardless, Bowdoin, so far, has not publicly refuted the authenticity of the email. The more time that passes, the more it will look like Bowdoin sent the email, authorized it to be sent or could not prevent it from being sent.
It’s bad news for him whether or not he is the author.
If Bowdoin waits too long to issue a statement, then people will question why he did not refute the authenticity of the email earlier and why someone other than Bowdoin seems to have control over the ASD database. If he acknowledges the email came from him, then he’ll appear to be every bit as delusional as federal prosecutors said he was in a September court filing.
Some ASD members say they are viewing the email as a sick joke by an unknown person. Others say they believe that Bowdoin actually sent it, speculating that he is so out of touch that he actually believes that ASD will return to business next year, as the email suggests. The email also implores members to rely on their religious faith.
A few lines in the email don’t strike as Bowdoin-like, perhaps particularly an exultation that ASD will rise again and “will blow your socks off.”
That sounds more like a prankster or amateur than it does Bowdoin. Even so, it would have to be a prankster or amateur who had access to names and email addresses in an ASD database.
Or it might not be a prankster at all. ASD was fundamentally corrupt from top to bottom. The email could be from someone who has the database in whole or in part and is testing it to achieve an end that is unclear.
There are lots of interesting possibilities — something always in play with ASD because of its history of sending impossibly mixed messages. Although it purports to be a professional communications firm, the company has displayed remarkable tone-deafness and a tin ear for anything even remotely resembling an understanding of real-world PR.
If there is a lightning rod, ASD will touch it. If there is a speeding train bearing down on ASD,Â the company will not step out of harm’s way. In September, for instance, Bowdoin informed members in a conference call that the money the government has seized in the Ponzi scheme forfeiture case was seized from participants, a story completely at odds with a story he told a federal judge in court filings.
Indeed, Bowdoin had insisted in sworn court documents that the money belonged to him, not the members. The U.S. Secret Service transcribed the conference call and presented it to the judge in a filing.
Bowdoin’s erratic behavior and history as a con man leads to all sorts of questions about the purported Christmas greeting. Could Bowdoin or someone else be using the ASD database to test support or weed out perceived spies and critics to eliminate them from the database?
Could people who respond to the email with anything other than “You rock, Andy!” be deleted for posing a continuing danger to the next enterprise?
Paranoia runs high in the ASD enterprise and among its promoters. The only truly safe members under this scenario are those who can be relied on not to rat. Some of ASD’s more ardent supporters have used thuggish language, calling critics and doubters “rats” and “maggots” and “cockroaches,” for instance.
Such words generally are not used by legitimate enterprises or enterprises that have a core understanding of public relations. They are more consistent with enterprises that are trying to enforce cohesiveness through fear of reprisal.
Could another form of deception be in play? Could it somehow serve a useful purpose for Bowdoin to have sent the email or silently approved its sending, only to refute it later and suggest others within the enterprise have hijacked the business?
Bowdoin and a progeny autosurf known as AdViewGlobal (AVG) have a history of blaming members for unsettling developments in the companies. Prosecutors said Bowdoin had at least one “silent” partner in ASD, which leads to the possibility there was more than one. Meanwhile, ASD members now say Bowdoin was the silent head of AVG.
In March 2009,Â AVG blamed the reported suspension of its bank account on members. It later blamed members for its inability to pay members. At one point, AVG appeared to be using some of the same arguments ASD had used to explain troubling events, suggesting that members who questioned the company and insisted AVG operate in transparent fashion by identifying its owners and managers and providing proof of its geographic location were responsible for the company’s troubles.
Is someone using the ASD database to try to build an All-Criminal Team or to determine the identities of members who’d be most inclined to do business with criminals?
Could Andy Bowdoin be the victim of a practical joke or an effort to make him look as bad as possible in the eyes of the membership at large?
We don’t know.
What we do know is that the very nature of ASD has led to scores of questions, a laundry list of possibilities and one unqualified PR and legal disaster after another.
For now, we’re going with the theory that a person or entity unknown to the email recipients is trying to determine the identities of ASD members most inclined to do future business with criminals.
That would be very useful information — so useful, in fact, that it could aid an unknown person or entity to create a list consisting of the names of people who don’t mind doing business with criminals. That would not be a bad thing if prosecutors could obtain such a list and use it as a filter to segment the names of criminal perpetrators from the names of actual victims of ASD’s corruption.