Discussing what's right till there's nothing left.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Avoid Executive Search Scams Like McKensie Scott

I hate to admit it but I fell for the scam. I'm posting this here because I still don't want anyone to know who I am and it isn't important anyway.

I was contacted by this fine gentleman from Atlanta a few years ago promising to shorten my job search and get my resume in front of decision makers in the "unpublished job market." His company, McKensie-Scott was supposedly a leader in executive search and placement.

They would create "professional" job seeker tools, resumes and cover letters, and a super search engine, and send them to just the right people for me. The fee was steep, over $6,000 but they said it was "almost" guaranteed to get me a better job within 6 weeks. And they'd put an account executive on the job to help me every step of the way.

I was eager to find a great high paying executive job and most of what they said made sense. For a good reason. If you use your own common sense you'd know you were already doing all you could to find a job.

The first hint of a problem was that their super search engine was just consolidating the same jobs from the same sites I'd already seen. In fact the same jobs were often listed many times in the search result. No big deal i fiured.

When the written materials came, it was more disconcerting. The resumes and cover letters had clearly been written from a template for another profession. So badly edited, some sentences weren't sentences at all and were a hybrid of text from the resume I sent them and the previous placeholder text. It looked like something a high school student did on their spare time. I edited the documents and sent them back. They took that as an approval and billed my the second half of their fee.

Next, they faxed my resume to businesses they felt matched my interests. or so they said. What they did instead was blast fax my resume to every fax number they'd ever recorded. One guy threatened to sue me for sending my resume to his private fax at his home. Two others let me know via email that they were sole proprietorships that had never hired a second employee and never planned to.

So my next step was to try and get some attention from McKensie-Scott. So I called my account executive and left a voicemail. Not hearing back for two days i also emailed and left another message. This was a person who was supposed to be managing my account and being available for any questions. He sent one reply apologizing claiming he was at a corporate meeting. Then I never heard from him again.

Realizing I'd been taken, I called their HQ and demanded my money back. They offered me $1,000 and blew me off.

My advice is simple. There is no way a legitimate executive search firm needs to charge you, the desperate job seeker a fee to find you a job. The hiring companies have the money and will pay for most placements, especially at the executive level.

You are capable of finding companies to contact unsolicited. If you do, they typically won't respond. You are capable of finding jobs on job sites. Three or four will cover all the real jobs and countless not so real ones. A little digging on LinkedIn and the web will reveal who the hiring managers are as well.

There are many executive search firms following the same model I fell for. I hang up on them now. They're truly bottom feeders. Once found out, they shut down and reopen under a new name.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Angry gay activist behind WikiLeaks treachery

What the media leaves out: Army staffer who leaked thousands of documents to WikiLeaks website is homosexual activist - angry at ban on gays in military.

The US Army intelligence analyst who has been arrested for disclosing more than more than 90,000 intelligence reports and more than 150,000 diplomatic cables to the Wikileaks website is a homosexual activist enraged at the military's "anti-gay" policies.

The massive publication of top-secret documents has been called one of the greatest security breeches in US history and has reportedly endangered the lives of US personnel around the world.

US Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning at a "gay rights" event.

Bradley Manning, who is now awaiting court-marshal at a military stockade in Quantico, VA, was arrested last May for giving a classified video to the Wikileaks website, and later it became clear that he had given them thousands of other military documents. He is an open homosexual, and his anger at the military's rejection of homosexuality appears to be the major reason for his actions.

. . . And Manning in uniform

While in the Army, Manning has openly participated in gay rights marches, even publicly demonstrating against the military. In addition:

  • His Facebook page reportedly included a photo of him marching in a gay pride parade. His big interest was to "Repeal the Ban" on homosexuals serving openly in the military. He proclaimed his support for the National Center for Transgender Equality. He also talked about going to gay bars.
  • According to newspaper reports, he was prone to fits of rage. At one point Manning was demoted for assaulting an officer. He also wore custom dog tags labeling himself as "Humanist" (as his religious affiliation). And like many male homosexuals, Manning reportedly had a terrible relationship with his father, who had also been in the military and was divorced from his mother.
  • Manning was very upset over a breakup earlier this year with his homosexual lover, a student at Brandeis University who according to the New York Times described himself on his blog as a "drag queen."
  • The Montreal Gazette reported that "Manning could 'identify' with Iraqis and Afghans who he believed had suffered as a result of U.S. policies, especially because he himself was a "a member of a minority" treated unfairly by the military."

Manning said he spent 14-hour days copying the classified documents to send to the Wikileaks website.

As the Montreal Gazette reported,

Private Manning described how he downloaded the video and lip-synched to Lady Gaga as he copied hundreds of thousand of diplomatic cables.

"Hillary Clinton and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack," he boasted. But even as he professed a perhaps inflated sense of purpose, he called himself "emotionally fractured" and a "wreck" and said he was "self-medicating like crazy."

Not surprisingly, Manning has since been applauded on homosexual blogs and websites across the country.

General media blackout on Manning's "gay" issue

Except for a few newspaper accounts, the mainstream media in the US has completely ignored any "gay" aspect to this story, and especially his anti-military homosexual activism. To our knowledge, none of the major TV or cable network news programs have discussed it. (Though Glenn Beck did mention "he was jilted by a boyfriend or something." That's the same Glenn Beck that doesn't have a problem with homosexuality.)

For example, on Monday The Atlantic posted an article, "WikiLeaks: One Analyst, So Many Documents". It discusses Manning in some detail, but simply describes him as "a disaffected young man".

It's pretty strange, to say the least. One wonders what else the media refuse to report.

Army ignored its own policy

Ironically, a major issue with the Manning case is that the Army was ignoring its own policy on homosexuals serving openly.

Jonah Knox (a pseudonym used by a US Army analyst) points this out in a great article on the Accuracy in Media website this week:

Army regulation restricts leaders from determining (officially) if a soldier is a homosexual and therefore someone who should be discharged. For instance, AR 600-20, Paragraph 4-19, Subparagraph d(3) ("Noncredible information") details instances that are not considered grounds for Army leaders to open an inquiry to determine whether someone is a homosexual and therefore should be discharged. The Army regulation states that "noncredible information" includes, "The only information known is an associational activity, such as going to a gay bar, possessing or reading homosexual publications, associating with known homosexuals, or marching in a gay rights rally in civilian clothes."

In Manning's case, he had a Facebook page devoted to homosexual causes that included a photo of him marching in a gay pride parade. His associates said he went to gay bars and he talked openly about his homosexuality to others. Several have said that he was angry with the military because of the failure to repeal the homosexual exclusion policy. Incredibly, however, the Army may not have considered any of the credible evidence that he was a homosexual.

It is true that Army regulations on homosexuality create a lot of confusion. And that may be intentional based on current Department of Defense policy. The Center for Military Readiness (CMR) says this in its analysis of current Department of Defense policy.

In other words, had the Army been following the law (rather than the Clinton "Don't Ask" policy regulations), this would not have happened.

Incident reiterates reasons for excluding homosexuals from military

Most public health organizations (including the Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health) have observed that homosexuals are far more susceptible to mental illness, alcoholism, drug abuse, and violence than the general population.

The inherent emotional weakness and moral instability of people involved in homosexual behaviors and its resulting possible damage to the military have been documented going back over 100 years.

For further reading: This week Dr. Scott Lively published a fascinating article which discusses this, "The Wikileaks 'Gay' Connection." We recommend it.