How to Shill for a Mill

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Gus Sainz, Aug 12, 2003.

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  1. Gus Sainz

    Gus Sainz New Member

    How to Shill for a Mill
    (Trolling for Fun and Profit)

    The old tactics of belligerently touting a school (while obtusely ignoring any factual information or criticism) immediately exposes the shill’s true nature and mission, and has proven to be ineffective. Therefore, a few guidelines on a newer and subtler way to shill have been developed. These techniques work equally well whether you are a shill or just a troll.

    For starters, do not just jump into a forum where you know the members are knowledgeable about education and start touting your school. It is better to act surreptitiously and make your first posts slightly negative concerning the school. Needless to say, be sure that the criticism is about something other than the degree or the process to earn it (such as admissions, or advertising). It will also curry favor to cast yourself in the role of a victim and say you are now interested in a legitimate degree. Ask many questions concerning every program imaginable. That way you hide your true nature and can always point to those posts later as a defense (it also adds to the volume of posts, see below). When you receive information concerning a different program, thank the poster and then explain all the reasons why the program is unsuitable. To hide your true identity and motives even more, it is also helpful to appear ignorant of acronyms, jargon, and other sites. Little by little, offer tidbits of information about your school, such as how liberal admissions are, how well the degree is accepted in the real world, and how little effort is required to earn the degree, while at the same time bolstering the legitimacy of the credential by stating that you did allot of work for the degree. This brings up the next point.

    Make many spelling and grammatical mistakes. This will lead some posters to criticize your writing allowing you, in turn, to criticize their criticism. All of this will serve two purposes. First, it will deflect attention away from your unsubstantiated statements. Second, it will make it clear that any dummy (your primary target market) can get a degree from your school.

    Post a lot. This one of the old tactics that still works very well. Start slow, but by the fourth or fifth month, you should be making about 250 posts a month. Otherwise, you’re just not doing your job. The goal here is to drown out legitimate information. The truth is your sworn enemy; remember that.

    Express surprise, shock, and dismay at any disparaging information about your school. It helps if, at the same time, you admit to being aware of some small innocuous bit of negative information that is widely known. Make a note of who posted the negative information and find a way to later paint him or her in a negative light and otherwise harass him or her. A good way is to accuse them of lacking civility and manners and being guilty of personal attacks.

    Your primary tactic shuld be to be critical of any disagreement or argument. This will make you appear as if you place a high value on civility, while casting anyone who disagrees with you on any topic in a negative light. Moreover, it will gloss over the many time you have insulted others yourself. Make it seem that any disagreement is a personal attack. Rise to the defense of anyone who disagrees with whomever you disagree with, even if they are completely nuts (this is actually a good thing and can be used to your advantage). You need to bring to your side anyone who was embarrassed or insulted by having their ideas publicly disproved (there should be more than a few of them). Make liberal use of back channels and private messages. This point cannot be stressed enough. Make it seem that any disagreement is a personal attack even if you have to cast aspersions, make false accusations, and threaten physical violence to make your point.

    When caught in a lie, don’t argue or feign embarrassment. Just say something akin to, “OK, you got me there,” and move on. People have short memories, not everyone reads every post, and new members will never know.

    Lastly, make everything be about you. Do not allow any post in any thread make a comment that you do not interpret as being about you. Remember, you are trying to convince others that you are the people’s champion (in this regard it helps to cast yourself in the role of David against Goliath). The key to your success is strength in numbers (both in terms of posts and other posters whom you have convinced it is them you are trying to protect) while the other side stupidly and naively believes that the truth is sufficient to make their case.

    :D :D :D
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2003
  2. Dennis Ruhl

    Dennis Ruhl member


    You've summed yourself upnicely. I'm impressed at your brutal self-assessment.

    The only thing I missed was what school you are shilling for, perhaps your alma mater which is ......, what was that?
  3. plcscott

    plcscott New Member

    Re: Gus

    he he he :D
  4. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    How to Shill For a Mill:

    Offer someone a free scholarship, immediate doctoral candidacy, and the title "research assistant." He'll do the shilling for you.

    Yeah, I know that one was below the belt, but who could resist such an opportunity? :D
  5. Gus Sainz

    Gus Sainz New Member

    Once again, the anonymous troll and the remora bring nothing to the table except personal attacks. :rolleyes:

    Sooner or later, I'm sure the moderators will put a stop to this.
  6. plcscott

    plcscott New Member

    OK, Gus you got me there again. :D I really thought that I had all of this planned out well. I would have never guessed that you would see right through my plan. :D :D

    Then, you will once again turn the ignition switch. :D :D
  7. Dennis Ruhl

    Dennis Ruhl member

    I believe this thread was started by someone as a personal attack. Just joined the program already in progress.
  8. fnhayes

    fnhayes New Member

    After carefully reading the latest piece from Gus I'm sure all will agree that he is by far the most prominent degree mill/diploma shill on DegreeInfo. His 'inside/indepth' knowledge would most surely confirm this?
    Dr Duck:D
  9. Gus Sainz

    Gus Sainz New Member

    How in the world could I have possibly overlooked the tactic of stating that you are not recommending your school, you are simply stating that some good can come out of schools like it? Could it be because the premise is so far fetched that no one in his or her right mind would buy it? :rolleyes:
  10. \Very nice, Gus
    And when is your book hitting the shelves?
  11. Gus Sainz

    Gus Sainz New Member

    "Lastly, make everything be about you. Do not allow any post in any thread make a comment that you do not interpret as being about you."
    From How to Shill for a Mill by Gus Sainz
  12. Gus Sainz

    Gus Sainz New Member

    "Make it seem that any disagreement is a personal attack. Rise to the defense of anyone who disagrees with whomever you disagree with, even if they are completely nuts (this is actually a good thing and can be used to your advantage)."
    From How to Shill for a Mill by Gus Sainz
  13. plcscott

    plcscott New Member

    Sorry you are feeling left out Gus. Tell me, how can we make this more about you? :D :D :D
  14. oxpecker

    oxpecker New Member

    I would like to be a shill too. How much does the job typically pay?
  15. Gus Sainz

    Gus Sainz New Member

    Re: Re: How to Shill for a Mill

    Nice to have you back, Earon.

    As the tactics employed by shills and trolls are constantly evolving, How to Shill for a Mill is definitely a work in progress, and contributions are welcomed. For example, although facetiously, Steve has made a valuable contribution. Another recent addition, culled simply from examining the posts on this thread is that a shill or a troll must be ever vigilant, and post immediate replies (under 60 seconds) to any messages that might be at cross-purposes to their goals. Such preemptive strikes are usually successful in drowning out any legitimate information and commentary that might have followed.
  16. Gus Sainz

    Gus Sainz New Member

    For all too many, it is simply a labor of love (there’s a fine line between being a shill and being a troll sometimes), but I’m pretty certain that somewhere along the line you get some kind of degree out of deal. :D
  17. fnhayes

    fnhayes New Member

    Gus, Numerous posts have asked you to 'tell it like it is' and reveal
    to everyone your vast personal experience with degree/diploma/unaccredited mills. Such inside information could keep this thread going for some time.
    You could become the 'Kenrik of the USA!
    Dr Duck:D :D :D :D
  18. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    Anyone who has known Gus for the long haul should know that not only is he quite funny, he does impeccable research.

    Nonetheless, I must cordially express an alternative view to the above comment. I have found that the truly great con artists of this world, whether with regard to degree mills or in any other field, never admit that they've been "gotten." They simply stick to the original story, repeat it as often as they can, and never waiver from the con. They know, regardless of how many become hip to their scams, that there will still always be other people who can be victimized.

    I have always felt that it was pretty ballsy on the part of the Herbalife folks to air some of their sales meetings several years ago on television. In one remarkable scene, Herbalife sales reps were instructed to answer every question from a potential consumer with, "Well, I don't know about that, but it works for me. I love it, and you'll love it, too." The details did not matter, nor did accurate answers; what mattered was simply, "It works for me. I love it, and you'll love it, too." (This, in part, is what led me to include "emphasis on testimonials" among the NIFI Criteria.)

    What made the late Ray Chasse a great con artist? He always stuck to his story that ACU and his other schools were legitimate, even in the face of all evidence against them. What made Enrique a great advocate for MIGS? Even in the face of all evidence against their illegality, he never responded to the issues at hand but merely made more allegations about the opposition. What continues to make the friendly folks at Trinity great at their game? In the face of every accreditation joke they have foisted upon the public, they stick to the notion that they are legit. What makes John Scheel of ACI one of the great cons in accreditation? He has never responded to any criticism or critique of ACI - he merely goes about his business and ignores all the critics, including both John and me.

    The true mark of a great con? Deny, deny, deny. (Or merely ignore, ignore, ignore.) And continue to hype your product (school, accrediting agency, etc.) as if there were never an allegation about its credibility in the first place.
  19. Re: Re: Re: How to Shill for a Mill

    Steve certainly is the valuable contributor extraordinaire when it comes to facetiousness. "More facetious than the sound of one hand driving"
  20. fnhayes

    fnhayes New Member

    It's good to have new member (?) Steve shedding new light on this subject.
    A phrase coined by Ducks Unlimited USA many years ago was
    "SINGLENESS OF PURPOSE". Whilst this obviously related to wetlands and waterfowl the phrase may well be applicable to the philosophy of degree mills.
    Dr Duck:)
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