Has The ‘Surf’s Up’ Forum Run Out Of Steam? And What, Exactly, Is ‘A Ceded Liniments Nut?’

Back in the early days of the AdSurfDaily saga, the ASD Member Advocates Forum — also known as “Surf’s Up, Baby!” — emerged as the preeminent cheerleading site for AdSurfDaily Inc. President Andy Bowdoin.

Yes, the alleged operator of a $100 million Ponzi scheme that fleeced thousands of people, paid employees to surf for favored members (family/insiders) and has caused family to turn against family and church members to turn against church members, actually has a fan club.

But Surf’s Up always has been Grand Central for the absurd. Right now, for example, it is leading cheers for Curtis Richmond in his bid to slap around federal judges and federal prosecutors involved in the ASD litigation. A companion site, the AdViewGlobal Members Forum, is doing the same thing.

Richmond, a member of a sham Utah “Indian” tribe whose certified-mail and “arbitration” practices have led to prison sentences for at least two proponents, is being hailed a hero on both forums. Richmond’s own conviction in California for criminal contempt of court for threatening federal judges is merely an afterthought, if a thought at all.

Posting numbers at Surf’s Up, however, have been on the decline recently. Has its loud — and in-your-face advocacy for the bizarre — finally caught up with it?

Hollywood Here We Come!!!!!

If a movie based on the ASD case gets made, the Surf’s Up forum will be a prominent part of it. It’s where most of the color and flavor of this awkward mix of tragedy and black comedy has played out. Any media campaign surrounding the movie necessarily would include liberal use of exclamation points. The Surf’s Up leadership and some forum members never saw a slammer they didn’t like.

To the best of our knowledge, no grandiose prediction advanced on the forum ever has come true. Bowdoin, for instance, has not been cleared. God has not intervened on his side. The prosecutors are still gainfully employed and haven’t been relegated to fast-food work, and ASD Members International (ASDMI), which invited forum members to do the good work of suing the government back to the Stone Age, didn’t manage even to sue it back into last week.

In fact, ASDMI folded — but not until it had collected money from 167 members, only to discover Andy Bowdoin had folded. Bowdoin didn’t tell members that he’d thrown in the towel: They read about it in the newspaper or on Blogs and forums. His lips were sealed.

Indeed, the Surf’s Up forum is the place where old exclamation points go to die. There must be several thousand of them buried over there.

Among other things, Surf’s Up members have advocated for:

  • Complaint letters to be sent to the Office of Inspector General to stymie prosecutors before there had been a single finding of fact in the case.
  • A drive to have a Florida TV station charged with “deceptive trade practices” for carrying news unflattering to ASD and Bowdoin.
  • A “Kool-Aid” campaign to Bill O’Reilly of Fox News. (The advocates were being called “Kool-Aid” drinkers on other forums, and adopted this term of derision as a symbol of unity.)
  • A petition drive to politicians, advocating for Ponzi schemes in a down economy — and during an election year with bank failures constantly in the news. (Nine banks already have failed this year, including three on Friday alone. Twenty-five banks failed in 2008.  By comparison, three banks failed in 2007.)
  • A “prayer campaign” for a federal judge to do the “right thing” — followed by assertions she was “brainless” and “on the take” if she didn’t see the genius of the ASD business model.
  • A million-person-strong show of force in Washington — in the form of a protest march on Labor Day weekend, when politicians are all back home in their districts making speeches at holiday picnics. (As a technical matter, the call for a million-person march predated the Surf’s Up forum, but it was the same people. The idea collapsed when it became clear that no one had done any logistics homework at all. If the Pro-ASD forums were taverns, the advocacy would be called “beer talk.”)
  • A plan to get AARP, which advocates for senior citizens, to advocate for Ponzi schemes.

Accompanying the Surf’s Up forum have been virtually constant claims that special members with “inside information” had kernels of knowledge that would be fatal to the government’s case. None of it came true. A claim that Ponzi allegations against Bowdoin had been dropped in Florida wasn’t true, but Surf’s Up members repeated it as though it were fact. And claims that ASD soon would receive a cash infusion of tens of millions of dollars weren’t true, but were repeated as fact.

Memorably, the Surf’s Up forum held an online party after the Sept. 30-Oct. 1 evidentiary hearing, complete with fireworks and champagne — and claims that ASD’s “Perry Mason” lawyers had destroyed the incompetent “Gomer Pyle” who showed up to ask questions for the government. Several weeks later the judge issued her ruling, which can be summarized in two words:

Gomer won.

It’s not so much that Bowdoin’s lawyers lost; it’s that they had nothing to work with. Their client took the 5th, handed the prosecution ammunition during so-called “conference calls” and basically was just a con man who got caught in lie after lie after lie. The forfeiture element of the case always was virtually unwinnable. Possession is nine-tenths of the law, and the government already was holding the money, along with Bowdoin’s rap sheet for conning investors in a scheme a decade ago. Clarence Busby, a Bowdoin colleague, also was implicated in an investment scheme a decade ago.

The “conference calls” were myths, too. Bowdoin arranged them so members couldn’t ask questions, and he held forth unchallenged on a number of critical issues, including the key need for members to purchase VOIP services from him. Members were out tens of millions of dollars, the Holidays were fast approaching, and Andy Bowdoin responded by trying to sell them telephone service.

Not all of the Surf’s Up members are crackpots. But the leadership is. One couldn’t possibly advocate for these things as loudly and persistently as the leadership and not be a crackpot.

Kudos

Shifting gears briefly, we’d like to address a short note to “Seminole Girl,” with whom we’ve never corresponded: When the dust settles, find a way to go to law school or journalism school. You have impressed us with your reasoning skills, your writing skills and your lucidity. People always are getting ripped off in Florida. You might not make a lot of money as a consumer advocate or a prosecutor, but you could help protect people from the marsh sharks and land wolves at the door.

Bravo, Seminole Girl. Bravo.

A Cryptic Closing

Now, back to the topic at hand: The Surf’s Up site also is known for paranoia.

Based on an analysis of public records and other information, we have concluded that it is more likely than not that the ASD case will take a dramatic turn — and it will give the advocates the shock of their lives.

Here is a clue about a possible — tilting toward probable — ASD development:

“A Ceded Liniments Nut.”

Now, don’t you just hate it when somebody does that!!!!!!!!!!

About the Author

20 Responses to “Has The ‘Surf’s Up’ Forum Run Out Of Steam? And What, Exactly, Is ‘A Ceded Liniments Nut?’”

  1. At the risk of making myself look a complete plonker:
    Liniments are used on horses
    Ceded means stopped or “dead”
    And “persuading” a difficult Nut to come off a bolt is sometimes called ” flogging.
    So is it “flogging a dead horse”? Like supporting Uncle Andy and ASD.

    Going off topic, I received this today:

    Anti-Terrorist And Monetory Crimes Division
    FBI Headquarters In Washington, D.C.
    Federal Bureau Of Investigation
    J. Edgar Hoover Building
    935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20535-0001
    Website: http://www.fbi.gov
    Telephone Number : (206) 973-2572

    Attn: Beneficiary,

    This is to Officially inform you that it has come to our notice and we have thoroughly completed an Investigation with the help of our Intelligence Monitoring Network System that you legally won the sum of $800,000.00 USD from a Lottery Company outside the United States of America. During our investigation we discovered that your e-mail won the money from an Online Balloting System and we have authorized this winning to be paid to you via a Certified Cashier’s Check.

    Who would have guessed the FBI are running a lottery? I wonder what the conspiracy nuts would make of this?

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  2. Hi Tony,

    Tony H: At the risk of making myself look a complete plonker:
    Liniments are used on horses
    Ceded means stopped or “dead”
    And “persuading” a difficult Nut to come off a bolt is sometimes called ” flogging.
    So is it “flogging a dead horse”? Like supporting Uncle Andy and ASD.

    Your manner in which you attempted to unravel the clue is completely logical and arrived at a completely rational conclusion.

    But it is not the most direct route to the possible answer to this mystery.

    One way to approach the “clue phrase” is to parse it. Another way is to assume something is hidden in the phrase — and then try to cipher the hidden message.

    Patrick

    P.S. The FBI has reported similar email hoaxes involving the use of its name.

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  3. One thing that is very comforting to know about Andy Bowdoin is this: If no earthly Judge convicts him and sends him up the river for good for his ASD spiel, he will face the Judge of Judges (considering his age, probably sooner then later) where taking the “5th” will not fly or be an option. I am astounded again and again how Andy Bowdoin used the name of God and the the holy scriptures to give himself credibility before his “Membership”. That is called “blasphemy” and in accordance to the christian bible, is a sin God will not and never forgive. Andy Bowdoin is done for, no sooner after he closes his eyes for good will he find himself in a place where there is no air-conditioning. “””hint”””

    Articles on this forum are well written and informative, apparently monitored by someone with integrity.

    Thanks for reading.
    Real Christian

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  4. Hi Real Christian,

    RealChristian: I am astounded again and again how Andy Bowdoin used the name of God and the the holy scriptures to give himself credibility before his “Membership”.

    We have received some notes from people of faith and family members who have been torn apart by these events. We viewed a tape of Andy Bowdoin delivering remarks in Las Vegas. Again and again he invoked God.

    And then he told folks that it would be the last chance for them to buy “ad packs” in excess of $50,000. At two for one, he was selling a promise to deliver a $365,000-a-year-job to people willing to give him $50,000.

    It would be disgraceful even if affinity fraud were not an element in this case.

    Thanks for your note.

    Patrick

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  5. Love the article Patrick! (I guess one exclamation mark is allowed) After several months of trying to explain on the so called ASD MEMBERS Advocates forum that maybe, just maybe, in spite of how evil the evil gum’mint had been, a couple of real convictions for real securities frauds with real victims out of pocket for real money plus a series of statements that had been proved to be false, their idol and our erstwhile President and Founder of ASD, Inc might not be the paragon of virtue he professed to be (albeit a very human one).

    Having studied the Black Box Test and finally understood it and added that knowledge the existing information and FACTS revealed about ASD, it seemed only fair and responsible to try to warn the many ASD members who stumbled or were directed to the Advocates site, of what now appeared to be the truth behind their situation with ASD. (By the way the graphic version is FAR simpler to understand than our dear friend Entertained’s 27 pages with the circles and arrows and the paragraph on the back of each one of them explained exactly what they were all about is)

    In spite of the fact that I was, in my ignorance, a small time but long term member of ASD, who prefered “biting the bullet”and reality to narcisistic denial it has all been to no avail. Any serious questions are now deleted as are serious opinions based on fact.

    The insults were no problem – but the deletions of threads and post are now creating such an area of disinformation that the moderators are going to have difficulty in escaping liability for the forum contents. Their “editorial prerogative” has made sure of that.

    But the most serious damage that the Advocates has done and is doing is misrepresenting the situation OFFICIALLY on behalf of AdSurfDaily to those that arrive there from their Breaking News page, looking for hard information about their own situations. And that is not as funny as your article.

    I would add my congratulations to yours to Seminole Girl who has persisted where fools fear to tread with her well researched and excellent explanations. She would make a great citizens rights attorney.

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  6. That’s the thing with cryptic clues, sometimes there are more than one right answer. After some more thought, I have a few more answers.

    “A” == Andy, a CON-man
    “Ceded” == stopped or the end, or with the above we get “conceded” – to give up
    “Liniments” == sometimes an oil, money is the “oil” of business
    “Nut” == another word for “kernel” – the truth or the central part.

    So, we could say – to get to the truth, follow the money back to Andy. He profited the most, that was the central reason for the scam.

    Or, Andy will concede the money and tell the truth to plea barging out of a big jail term.

    Andy could live another 20 or 25 years, maybe more. That’s just the sort of jail term he maybe looking at for wire fraud etc. It’s unlikely he would want all of that time spent behind bars.

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  7. Tony,

    I was shooting for an anagram, and came up with Unlimited ascendent, which doesn’t make any sense either…….

    Tony H: At the risk of making myself look a complete plonker:Liniments are used on horsesCeded means stopped or “dead”And “persuading” a difficult Nut to come off a bolt is sometimes called ” flogging.So is it “flogging a dead horse”? Like supporting Uncle Andy and ASD.</P

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  8. Hi alasycia,

    alasycia: But the most serious damage that the Advocates has done and is doing is misrepresenting the situation OFFICIALLY on behalf of AdSurfDaily to those that arrive there from their Breaking News page, looking for hard information about their own situations. And that is not as funny as your article.

    Thanks for your note. I’ve watched as your thinking has evolved on these issues, and it has been a joy.

    Entertained is educating people by the thousands. We were thankful to have him as a guest columnist.

    With respect to the point you made (highlighted above), I do think that Surf’s Up has evolved into an entity that is barely distinguishable from ASD.

    ASD gave the site its official endorsement. Most groups would want to heave if given such an endorsement. Not only did Surf’s Up not reject and repudiate the endorsement, some of its Mods/members started a site for AVG, which has ASD’s fingerprints all over it.

    It looks like quid pro quo.

    Patrick

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  9. Hi Entertained,

    Entertained: I was shooting for an anagram

    Ah, an anagram . . . The anagram angle definitely is worth exploring, and don’t assume the answer resolves to four words.

    Patrick

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  10. Tony,

    Don’t you just love cryptic bloggers? Anagramatically, I can get “Dad unlimit sentence.” It’s a stretch, but perhaps it’s Andy as the father figure to all of the faithful, and especially the folks strongly promoting ASD from the inside and also the Advocates’ Forum. Perhaps Andy is plea-bargaining to be a government witness to take down all of the promoters. I think that they are more dangerous that the head of ASD. Andy doesn’t strike me as smart enough to really develop the ASD “business model.” I have always thought that he was just the kindly old figurehead, in whom others could trust. It would make sense that he is at least smart enough to know the case against him is airtight, so perhaps he’s selling the promoters up the river. He doesn’t want to spend his remaining years behind bars, and selling out his supporters could give him his (limited) freedom, take down a lot of promoters who are the real danger, and fulfill Patrick’s prediction of the shock of their lives……

    Tony H: Andy could live another 20 or 25 years, maybe more. That’s just the sort of jail term he maybe looking at for wire fraud etc. It’s unlikely he would want all of that time spent behind bars.

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  11. “Liniments” == sometimes an oil, money is the “oil” of business

    Was it Snake Oil? lol

    It would make sense that he is at least smart enough to know the case against him is airtight, so perhaps he’s selling the promoters up the river.

    Well he has certainly sold the members down the river, and whatever other money he has wont be coming their way. Now that is an interesting thought that hemight sell his “buddies” down the river too. wonder if they are prepared for that. From all that we have seen from him since the AG raid, it is not beyond the possible.

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  12. Entertained,

    The interesting thing about this discussion is that Tony and you have reached perfectly rational “answers” — and have explained in compelling ways — how you’ve arrived at the “answers.”

    The “answer” sought, though, is two words. Based on things I’ve read, I believe these two words will appear one day in a news story about ASD.

    Patrick

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  13. AH!
    Unsealed Indictment.

    (I cheated)

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  14. Bingo!!!!

    Tony H: AH!Unsealed Indictment.(I cheated)

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  15. Tony,

    What Entertained said: Bingo!!!!

    Since Jan. 13, “unsealed indictment” has appeared
    in at least four stories about federal investigations
    into Ponzi schemes.

    One of these was “smaller” than ASD, with respect to
    the dollar volume of the Ponzi: The Robert Miracle case
    in Washington state ($65 million). Co-conspirators were involved,
    and the Feds didn’t indict immediately.

    Patrick

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  16. Hopefully someone can get to Andy and give him what he deserves!!! He is pure evil- the devil himself!!!

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  17. adam: Hopefully someone can get to Andy and give him what he deserves!!! He is pure evil- the devil himself!!!

    I think that’s a bit strong. What Andy did was wrong, illegal, and caused damage to many people. Mostly it was financial so yes, there will be some pain, but most people will survive. Evil is a nutty Austrian who orders the death of millions. Evil is a leader causing national starvation by going to “year zero”.

    I don’t wish Andy physical harm but he should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

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  18. Tony,

    I agree. 50 years in prison seems about right. While I have some sympathy for Adam’s position (see some of the tragically sad postings in the Tampa/St. Pete Times following the last ASD expose’), Andy isn’t smart enough to be pure evil……

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  19. I don’t believe he is pure evil, either; I believe he is a garden-variety huckster who suddenly found himself in the Majors, was manipulated by Major League professionals who knew how to stroke him in precise ways, and bit off more than his limited criminal skills permitted him to chew.

    But he still is the party of maximum responsibility, no matter who helped him get there.

    It is understandable that people — and perhaps particularly people of faith — feel particularly dispossessed right now as they contemplate events. But no one should root for harm to come to Andy Bowdoin — only justice.

    Patrick

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  20. I have to go away for 3 days, and I miss out on all the fun. Well, Act II is about to draw to a close, then we will have a slight intermission, and then it is time for the real part of the play to unfold, Act III. This is when it is really going to get good, entertaining, revelations revealed, back biting, back stabbing, scratching, clawing and that is just about the minor players in this play; which will lead up to the grand finale of the major players where it will really get exciting.

    Kind of makes you wonder what the State is going to have to do to top what will happen on the Federal level doesn’t it. While all the focus has been on the Federal level, there is still the state charges that will have to be dealt with, and the other set of boots to drop. This is where the Florida Promoter’s will be on center stage with Andy and crew. Stay tuned as the state issue may begin to heat up in the next few weeks. Who’s bringing the popcorn?

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