A few days ago, I posted about the Danger of Following Gurus. Today, I need to expand on that a little.

A firestorm has been brewing around a group of the Old Gurus who call themselves “The Syndicate”. Jason Jones, a.k.a. The Salty Droid got his hands on a recording of two of them discussing business, and has been releasing parts of it on his blog.

Some of what’s on the recording is, at best, not good for the image of the Syndicate members, suggesting, for example, that they’re less concerned about the value they deliver than making as much money as humanly possible.

While I support alerting consumers about shady business practices, the problem is that Jason tends to misrepresent, sensationalize, and blow things out of proportion.

For example, at one point, the Syndicate members talk about how John Reese is such a smart guy, but hasn’t been doing any huge, high-priced launches lately. Jason says they’re stabbing him in the back. But to me, it sounded like they were complimenting him, and wanting to see him live up to his potential.

Jason calls innocuous things unethical or illegal. For example, in one part of the recording, the Syndicate members discuss pricing of a product. Jason calls it “price fixing”. What I heard was someone giving someone else pricing advice.

One other problem I have with Jason is the way he expresses himself — with foul language and hostility. I don’t know whether he’s really like that, or if that’s just the persona he’s chosen for this particular blog. If such things bother you, don’t visit his site, because you won’t be able to avoid them.

Which brings me to my main point: you won’t be able to avoid vulgarity and hostility on his blog, not only in Jason’s posts, but also in the comments, which often have the same tone and echo the same misrepresentations.

I’d imagine this is, in part, because a blog like The Salty Droid attracts vulgar and hostile readers. But that’s not the whole story.

Mike Filsaime, a target of some of Jason’s attacks, responded today with an interview and an extended note. I’ll leave it to you to decide who’s telling how much truth — I’m in no position to say. But I’d like to point out one of the comments that appeared under the interview and note:

Well that puts a completely different light on matters and I for one must apologize for getting caught up in the negative stuff that was posted on that blog.

… I feel ashamed at some of the stuff I said under an assumed name on the droid blog.

Hate is like poison and I can see the poison starting to spread … and I no longer want a part of it.

This is a perfect example of what I was talking about the other day — when you step into someone’s world, you risk falling under their influence.

Be careful who you listen to (whether guru, customer, or anti-guru), and how readily you accept what they say. Be careful how you respond. Keep your ears open for voices you can trust. And even be careful with them, because even honest people make mistakes.