INCREDIBLE: Month After Will Smith Debacle, Club Asteria Turns To Mahatma Gandhi To Drive Traffic — And Misspells Name Of Assassinated Champion Of Freedom While Turning Him Into A Pitchman; House Organ Also Includes Photo Of Richard Branson

Last month, it was famed actor Will Smith. This month, it is Mahatma Gandhi, the civil-rights champion and beacon of freedom in India who was assassinated at a prayer meeting in 1948.

After placing a “JOIN NOW” button under an image of Smith in its September house organ and later removing both the  image and a purported “interview” with Smith, Club Asteria has turned to Gandhi in its October issue.

Although the promo features no image of Gandhi, it does include a quote attributed to him: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

The promo misspells the slain leader’s last name, and a “JOIN OUR MISSION” button appears directly below the quotation, which appears on Page 37 of the October house organ.

Club Asteria became a darling of the Ponzi boards earlier this year before slashing payouts and later eliminating them. Promos for the firm were banned in Italy, and Club Asteria acknowledged its PayPal account had been suspended.

The developments were blamed on members.

Club Asteria and thousands of its members have traded on the name of the World Bank. The firm announced a cash crisis in June, comparing the situation to a run on the bank.

A spread on Pages 26 and 27 of the October Club Asteria house organ features a photo of famed entrepreneur Richard Branson posing with a group of mostly younger people. An accompanying story asserts that a group of Club Asteria members conversed with Branson at an entrepreneurial event in Richmond, Va., “a few weeks ago.”

“Both Richard Branson and Club Asteria share a common link and that link is GRATITUDE,” the story claimed.

The story appears to have been written by a Club Asteria staffer. A “JOIN NOW” button appears on Page 27, though not directly below the image of Branson.

Ponzi forum boosters such as “Ken Russo” repeatedly sang the praises of Club Asteria.

The PP Blog reported yesterday that a separate program promoted on the Ponzi boards — Just Been Paid — was using images of Oprah Winfrey to drive traffic. JustBeenPaid also is using images of Warren Buffett.

In 2008, a “program” with the bizarre name of Cash Tanker used images of Jesus Christ in sales pitches. Cash Tanker ultimately tanked.

Many of the “programs” on the Ponzi boards — Club Asteria, Just Been Paid and AdSurfDaily, for instance — have or had promoters and members in common. Promo posts for Cash Tanker appeared on the now-defunct, pro-ASD “Surf’s Up” forum, and Club Asteria executive Hank Needham has been linked to promo for ASD.

The October 2011 Club Asteria house organ, which includes the Gandhi quote and attached  sign-up button and the image of Branson with a sign-up button on the same page, also features a photo of Needham. A button below the Needham photo reads, “ABOUT COURAGE.”

 

 

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