Friday, November 21, 2008

Portrait of a Con Artist as a Self-Defense Instructor

A recent article reported that a purported self-defense instructor is being investigated for fraud. See the two articles here:

http://www.theaggie.org/article/1986

http://cbs13.com/local/sorority.self.defense.2.868170.html

Apparently David Portnoy, the "instructor" in question, has gotten around. Here's an article from Depauw University several years ago:

http://media.www.thedepauw.com/media/storage/paper912/news/2006/11/07/News/Sorority.Hosts.Possible.Hoax-2444725.shtml

And David Portnoy made it into Snopes.com, the hoax-busting site. They say that if statements attributed to him are so, then he "should be characterized as a fear merchant vending false information to those anxious to feel safe." See http://www.snopes.com/crime/prevent/rape.asp for their whole article, which is very worth reading.

Apparently his approach is to offer a free self-defense seminar, then use scare tactics and manufactured assault and rape statistics to sell over-priced pepper spray.

And the moral of this story is to yes look a gift horse in the mouth. Or at least through the internet. If those who booked Mr. Portnoy had done their due dilligence, he would not have gotten in.

3 comments:

  1. Beware of free martial arts instruction from an overweight "black belt" with overpriced pepper spray for sale!!

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  2. The saddest part is that several credible, wonderful professionals do a great job presenting this material around the country. Fakes like this individual remind everyone to do their research (regardless of fee or no fee involved) and talk with other campuses to see their results of bringing the same person to their campus.

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  3. He has been caught and apprehended. Saw it with my own eyes.

    ReplyDelete