Thomas Wictor

Off to a rousing start

Off to a rousing start

I said that 2014 couldn’t possibly be worse than 2013. Well, maybe I spoke too soon. The year is off to a rousing start that doesn’t bode well for me personally, but it’s sure to provide loads of entertainment for you.

The full extent of the scam pulled on me has come to light. I’ve told the scammers that they need to refund my money. I’m betting they won’t, since they haven’t responded. From what I’ve learned, I’ve been involved with full-time, genuine, old-timey grifters, the really legendary types. Usually people like that won’t ever—under any circumstances—give back what they stole. For grifters, the thrill isn’t the taking of money; it’s the duping. They love making people feel foolish.

This time the grifters made several mistakes.

1. They picked the wrong target. Yes, it took me a long time to catch on, but last year Tim and I utterly demolished some grifters in my family. We’re used to being screwed. This isn’t embarrassing to me in the least. I understand the dynamics intimately. For me there can be no role except that of a target.

2. I’m going to tell the entire story, naming names, and I’m going to reveal the amounts, and I’m going to show how the scammers used the slow, agonizing, traumatic death of my mother to squeeze more and more money out of me.

3. Some very high-profile people are interested in my story. When it’s told, my bet is that the scammers will be run out of the industry forever.

See, I’m not ashamed of this. I’m certainly guilty of bad judgment, but that’s because I’m impaired, and the scammers glommed onto me at a time of maximum stress, grief, and despair. Previous victims of the scammers were embarrassed and have asked their names to be withheld. I’m going to be gloriously naked to the world for you to laugh at, sneer at, shake your head at, and point at.

The people trying to stop the scammers need someone willing to lay it all out, and that’s me. I’ll tell you everything. It’s an amazing story. The sheer efficiency of the way I was kept squirming on the hook will take your breath away. These people are like al Qaeda. They have no boundaries.

But they miscalculated. I have no boundaries when it comes to telling what they did. I’ll admit to the entire episode. Even better, I’ll reconstruct it for you. You will become me. Nobody’s ever really told a story like this. Unwittingly, the scammers have handed me the best possible publicity I could’ve wanted.

It’s not the Ghosts and Ballyhoo Curse that every single person and organization involved so far in the publishing and marketing of the book has been dishonest. What’s going on is that I’m oriented toward those who abuse me. My formative experiences make me turn my face like a flower toward the sun, but my sun doesn’t give life. It’s a Death Star of poison, venality, pettiness, lies, narcissism, and evil.

What an awful thing to say about oneself, you’re thinking.

Baloney. Admitting that to myself has freed me. I can’t change my orientation. The damage was mortal. But knowing that I’m oriented toward the negative because I was trained and molded to do so brings order to my world. I now know why I do the things I do. And believe it or not, I’m much better at not becoming a patsy.

Yes, in the case of Ghosts, I’ve been reamed by nine separate organizations or individuals. But when I wrote In Cold Sweat, the number of scammers was in the double digits. And back then, such assaults made me feel like this.

Fat little Tommy, he of the perpetual spare tire and flabby bottom, forever lost and staring out at the menacing expanses.

But that’s not how I feel now. We’re going to have fun with this story! I can no longer be humiliated or silenced. What in the world is there to be afraid of? Being exposed as a loser? I do that to myself every day. The subtitle of Ghosts and Ballyhoo is Memoirs of a FAILED L.A. Music Journalist.

Movies where somebody is being victimized by people with no conscience have always upset and attracted me. The Desperate Hours is the best one ever made. My fantasy has been to turn the tables on arrogant villains and take them completely by surprise.

And now it’s going to happen!

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t want you to laugh at how they monitored my posts about my mother’s death and used them as guides for the messages to send me. I kept all these phony condolences. You’ll be completely flummoxed at how people could take financial advantage of someone as he suffers the worst torture of his life.

But your flummoxing is the saving grace. When the full story is told, the scammers will be finally exposed as who they really are. Stomachs will turn from one end of the literary world to the other. Gorges will rise. Jaws will drop. Best of all, names will become mud. Also, my experience will serve an unforgettable cautionary tale to writers and non-writers alike.

Beware. There are beasts in human form out there, and they will stop at nothing. They live among us, calling us “my friend” and flattering us with, “I’d be honored to represent you. In my twenty-five years in the business, I’ve never read a book like yours.”

It was all lies. None of it was true. But I’m not crushed or saddened. It’s just a book. And now I’ve got an incredible story to tell that will save some of you from going through what I did. I don’t mind being the clown. It’s a role I’ve perfected.

I’ve even got a theme song.

Laugh with me or at me—doesn’t matter. My clowning will put some very, very bad people out of business, so it’s served a purpose. Stay tuned.

We’ll get ’em, Mom. I promise.

PS: It took me four attempts to get this posted. I’ve changed all the passwords to my Website, but who knows? Never had so many problems putting up a post.

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