Down the Rabbit Hole with Mike Lindell

I did not know before today that the My Pillow Guy, Mike Lindell, used to be a crack addict. Maybe everybody else knew that; I’ve never paid much attention to him. But here’s a CNBC story from 2017 that explains his rise from crackhead screwup to self-made millionaire.

Fast forward to today. Lindell may not be on crack any more — I assume he isn’t — but that doesn’t mean he isn’t self-destructing and throwing his self-made business away. A lot of retailers have stopped carrying his product. He’s had to suspend television advertising. He wasted least a million dollars this year trying to launch a new social media platform for conservatives called “Frank,” which by all acccounts is too glitchy to use.  He’s been named in a $1.6 billion lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems.

Yet he pushes ahead to get the 2020 election overturned. Did I mention he also used to have a gambling addiction, according to Wikipedia? I wonder if he still does.

By all appearances, Lindell has given up reasonably honest business for running cons. Right now he is supposed to be hosting a “cyber symposium” for paying attendees in Minnesota. He promised to use this symposium to reveal proof that 2020 votes had been siphoned away from Donald Trump and given to Joe Biden. When the symposium was scheduled to start yesterday, Lindell instead threw a fit that Frank had been hacked (how can they tell?) and the symposium had to be postponed, but now it seems to be ongoing. This clip from yesterday provides a taste —

It was reported that Lindell walked off the stage a few minutes later. Maybe he got lunch.

And here’s the proof:

Really, that’s it. I’m serious. I got it from Philip Bump at WaPo, who explains,

Rob Graham, a technologist and author, went to the summit to evaluate what Lindell claims to have. During a “breakout session,” he and others were provided with access to what Lindell’s team claims to have obtained. Graham shared what they were given — a collection of files that consists of 1) a list of computer Internet protocol addresses and 2) gibberish like that above. Well, technically they were given rich-text format files, some of which were inexplicably converted to hexadecimal encoding. Graham, an expert on Internet data, described the provided material as “a bunch of confusing stuff they can’t explain,” and said that those running the symposium pledged to hand over the “real” information Tuesday night or Wednesday.

It’s now Wednesday afternoon; I’m not seeing any bombshell headlines about the “real” information.

Philp Bump:

But what if you’re not trying to prove it? What if you’re trying to make some cash and you stumbled onto a big, juicy mark? What if there were a millionaire desperate to prove something, a millionaire who’s not exactly an Internet savant but one willing to hand over loads of cash for data you made up — as some of the data previously released by Lindell pretty obviously was? For a while, you’re skating, cashing checks and sending along reports on occasion. Eventually, though, you get closer and closer to the point at which you need to actually turn over your work.

Maybe Lindell is not the grifter, but the mark. Maybe he’s got a bad case of addictive personality disorder, and his current addiction is Trump’s Big Lie. And he can’t stop throwing his money on the table and rolling the dice one more time.

Bump then mentions work by Julian Sanchez of the Cato Institute — yeah, I know, it’s the Cato Institute — showing the strong overlap between those who believe the Trump conspiracy theories and those refusing to get a vaccine. I know that doesn’t surprise you. And I can’t find Sanchez’s work online. But I like what Bump wrote here —

In both cases, Sanchez wrote, the conspiracy theories “have the superficial trappings of real science. Links to journal articles on the one hand, or on the other, impressively hackery looking hex dumps & spreadsheets full of IP addresses” — a reference to Lindell’s information.

“[I]n both cases, this evidence is absolutely useless to the target audience,” he continued. “They have neither the training nor the context to evaluate the quality or relevance of technical articles in medical journals — or even to understand what the article is claiming in many cases. … They are, however, being flattered by the INVITATION to assess the evidence for themselves — do your own research, make up your own mind!”

Instead of offering their trust on experts in their fields to explain complicated subjects, the audience is convinced that it needs only to trust itself — though, of course, they’re actually simply trusting the hustlers presenting incomplete or misleading information. What the hustlers offer the audience, Sanchez says, “is the illusion of not trusting an authority — unlike all those sheep who trust the mainstream authorities.”

Ain’t it the truth? I love the folks who offer some wackjob opinion about vaccines and claim they learned it from their own research. I sometimes respond, Oh? You’re a microbiologist and you have your own lab? To which they reply with a link to some inflammatory verbiage on clickbait dot com that “proves” Bill Gates is using the pandemic to get us all microchipped.

Anyway, Mike Lindell seems to be on the road to squandering everything he built, and someday we’ll be reading in some sad “where is he now?” story that after Lindell lost everything one of his sons got him a job selling shoes.


16 thoughts on “Down the Rabbit Hole with Mike Lindell

  1. This brings this verse to mind:

    2 Timothy 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

    I believe its both.  Lindell is being deceived by people who see him as the perfect mark, with tons of cash, and no way to evaluate what he's been given, and will pay out as long as he's told, here's your proof.

    Big Lie believing consumers of the "symposium" of course are being deceived, as they have no idea what they're looking at when they see the "evidence" but know it fits their narrative.

    And at the top of the heap there's Trump, who knows it all BS because he made it up in the first place, and he's being deceived himself by those who tell him the lies are working on more than just his crazed followers.

    Up and down the chain, they're waxing worse and worse.

    That said, Lindell is a pathetic figure that I imagine history will see as tragic.  And looking at his performance on the opening day, where he's stalking wobbly back and forth across the stage, red faced, sweaty, and hyped up, I don't know if he's relapsed or not, but something is clearly not right.

  2. “By all appearances, Lindell has given up reasonably honest business for running cons.”

    I don’t think so.

    Lindell had to pay a sizable fine for making false claims about the medical benefits of his pillow.

    Maybe he did go straight after that but My Pillow was founded on a scam.

  3. Lindell won't even be remembered enough to be mentioned in the chronicles of history.  History will also show what a big joke trump is/was.

  4. So the not my pillow guy (did not get conned) (aka the 'my pillow' guy was a crack addict.  Not too much a surprise.  Well he still is, just possibly in remission.  A lot of the Trump cadre were at one time speed spectrum addicts.  He got Larry Kudlow from CNBC, who was formerly (and still is theoretically) addicted to cocaine and alcohol.  Hell if you do too much coffee you will probably learn to really like alcohol.  This data is from the WIKI and has their level of

    Could Nancy Regan been right (like in correct).  Are we dealing with a batch of fry brains?  It seems they have one thing in common, they have a hard time grabbing hold of reality.  Of course Nancy had to deal with Ronnie gone dementia.  He is assumed to have gone fry-brain without chemical help.  

    Needless to say the pillow guy need the same list of gullible that is the prime Trump fund raising list.  I think entry criterion for truly gullible is that, at one point in your life you paid for a "Billy Bass" or some product endorsed by swamp people.  What is that old adage they exploit?  Could it be a fool and their money are soon parted?

  5. Was it P.T. Barnum who said there's a sucker born every minute?

    With  today's population it may be more appropriate to say there's a sucker born every second. Grifters like Lindell will always have marks to make enough money for nose candy and more before he slips into the void of being "Mike Who?"


  6. Mike Lindell gave up his crack cocaine habit for a much stronger 'Jesus habit'.  Everything he does is intertwined with his 'Christianity'.

    His 'My Pillow' business is a scam.  He has an 'F' rating from the Better Business Bureau.  He paid a $1M fine for falsely advertising medical benefits to his pillows.

    Mike Lindell is not a 'mark'.  He is just another batshit crazy tRumpTard 'Christian' with lots of money.  Any sympathy for him is misplaced.

    Sidenote:  Today is the 4th anniversary of the Charlottesville alt-right rally with tRump's "good people on both sides".

    • According to the WIKI he converted to Catholic which by some views is not somehow Christian.  IMO Catholic goes from Voodoo to Tung Talking and from Cult like to Ideal Christianity.  It is a big tent organization.  More restrictive religions always have something to flaunt to make them superior.  

      But being big tent they always have the few members that they can flaunt as 'saints'.  All in all, as part of irresponsible Christianity, they are a member.  Neither they nor the Mormons are on the U.S. side of the pissing contest who get to be on the no pissing on me tent.  Some like to think they are.  It is just not quite reality. 

    • OOPS that was Kudlow who broke Catholic,  I seemed to over pigeonholed the 'recovering'  speed freaks

  7. He looks to me like a paradigmatic example of the difference between getting clean/sober and just drying out. 

    • That's it exactly. You can stop using but without serious, hard work, an addict is still an addict. And addicts are not big on serious, hard work.


      Cf. George W. Bush and Donald Trump.

  8. It looks like this ancient adage still holds: "A fool and his/her money is soon parted."

    And there's no doubt Lindell is clearly a fool.

  9. The title is appropriate. These folks don't recognize objective reality. ALL my life in every election, the loser says something nice and goes home. Not Trump. And Michael Cohen called it exactly. Trump's old fixer knew that Trump would try to reverse reality, what some have likened to an attempted Jedi mind trick.

    "These aren't the druids you're looking for." became "The popular vote isn't the count you think it is – the electoral college vote isn't how the president is elected." Lindell and about a hundred million other folks are all in. 

    The depth of their faith (for lack of a better word) is something the Pope could only wish Catholics had. Pandemic – is a hoax. Vaccine is bad. Statistics about fatalities – fake news. Nothing makes a dent until those unlucky few get hooked to a ventilator. And from what I read, the patient and their family is often in denial despite the symptoms, test result and diagnosis. 

    How long can people survive in a parallel universe? IMO, the metric to watch is independent voters. Some of them are all in with Trump but that may be where the fracture happens. If a significant number break away from the cult – I mean a hard break against anyone in the cult in office or running for office, the GOP is toast. 

    Florida and Texas are burning up with Covid, on the verge of medical collapse. Could this be the event that sidelines the GOP as a cult unworthy of consideration? BOTH of those states could break blue with the shift of a few percentage points.

    • "These aren't the druids you're looking for." became "The popular vote isn't the count you think it is – the electoral college vote isn't how the president is elected." 

      And when that didn't work, they switched to "Congress counting the votes Jan. 6 is the real election." And then they tried to literally kill that.

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