The core of this site has changed dramatically since I wrote the first pages in 2006. It definitely wasn't something I planned and the transition itself was very difficult. However, I am very pleased to be where I am today.
I have spent all my working life helping others and this has been a strong theme for me throughout. Nowadays I get many emails from people saying how useful the information on the site is and has been for them, and some who simply say thank you.
To all those who have written and who will write in the future, I say 'thank you' to you, too. It is a pleasure for me to know that what I do is of actual value to those who need it.
Some people go further than that and write to me looking for help with their specific situation and we end up working together. These are people who, against all sorts of odds, decide to take matters into their own hands in order not only to remove themselves from abusive situations, but also to undo the effects of the negative influences they have been subjected to at the hands of manipulators. They choose to delve deeply into the world of mind control, cults, psychopaths and narcissists in order to understand what was done to them, because they want to take control of their own lives again.
These people have my utmost respect because I know that journey is very hard, having been through it myself. To these people I say thank you, too. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to help you.
And all these people find me because I built this web site in a very particular way. The Solo Build It! way.
In 2006, I had already left medicine. I was involved in the world of personal development, giving courses, mentoring those who wanted to use the ideas of the group I was part of, and so on. I had a web site I had built myself and I was proud of it. But it had zero traffic. The number of visitors per week was in single figures and it was costing me 540 euros ( back then about 625 US dollars) per year for hosting and 30 euros (38 dollars) for an email address. (There were not so many free hosting companies back then.)
I can't specifically remember how I came across Solo Build It! (SBI! or Site Build It! as it was known then). I read a few pages of their site and I do remember thinking at the time that I really had no idea how the internet thing worked.
I remember being fascinated by the explanation of how Google sorts web pages to deliver them in the search results, how they track what the readers do and why it was necessary to write not only for the readers but also so that Google could categorize the pages, too.
There was a huge amount of information available on the site (I like reading and researching if something catches my attention!) and what I was reading changed how I thought about web sites completely. There was a page of web sites built that were in the top percent of sites in the world traffic-wise. I didn't bother to read the testimonials because the description of how people search for information and how it is served up to them fit so well with my experience that I knew I wanted to try this out.
I wasn't spending a penny more on the site I had because I realized it was worse than useless. I had spent a huge amount of time on something that was earning me nothing and, in fact, it was draining money from my account.
Solo Build It cost only 299 US dollars. I thought that even if I learn how to build a site, then the investment is worth it. I can take the knowledge and do my own thing later if I want to.
The process is built around the Action Guide, a 10 step plan to building a useful, working site. It says 10 'day' plan but it's really a 10 step plan. The first 5 days are about planning, deciding on a theme, checking that it is a viable theme and only then do you pick a domain name. I did what I believe most people do and I hurried through some aspects, thinking that I would come back and sort them out properly later. I realize now that it was a mistake. People keep saying to follow the action guide, and, of course, now I know why. It takes more time to go back and revise things than it does to do it right the first time. (So what's new?!)
Anyway, I chose decision making because I realized that this idea was fundamental to how people live their lives and I thought that I could bring in all sorts of ideas to write about. At the centre of the site was the decision making process that I had learnt in the personal development group.
I started writing pages, each page with it's own theme, and I wrote plenty, giving people content-rich pages as suggested by Solo Build It!. I liked the idea of writing a page once and not having to be constantly changing things. This meant I wrote stuff that was neither time sensitive nor was it trying to fool the search engines. This meant I could do it once and not worry about it again.
Then I started noticing some traffic. 3 people a day, then 5, then 11, then 16. Hey, something was working!!
In 4 months I wrote about 160 pages. It was intense. I was up to about 300 people a day at this stage. I had started to monetize the site with ads and advertising my services.
As it happened, I didn't do much with the site for various reasons for about 3 years. I did receive the monthly cheques for the ads on the site and I liked that. When I had a look at the site again, in 2010, there were 1,900 people a day visiting. Now I got it, that's what they meant when they spoke about the snowball effect!
The reason I came to revise the site was that I had left the personal development group and I had realized it was a destructive cult. I took down the pages that had to do with the decision making process of the group because I understood that it was not actually a useful way to make decisions because all it did was to keep people locked into the doctrine of the cult. So it had to go. I quickly replaced all those pages with something more scientific and research based.
But what was I to do now? I didn't want to go back to medicine and anything I learnt in the cult was useless so I couldn't use that.
At the time I was going through a formal recovery process with a psychologist who was an expert in mind control and cults. Once again, I threw myself into reading and research to get all that cult sh*t out of my head.
And there it was... In cults, the leader makes the decisions for the members. In abusive relationships, the manipulator heavily influences the decision making of the victims. After a year of intensive study, I had all this information about how cults work, how psychopaths and narcissists treat others, details about the intricacies of mind control techniques and how and why they work. This was going to be the next section I added to my site because it fitted perfectly with decision making (although many members of cults can't initially make the connection).
I wrote over a hundred more pages fairly quickly. Then I left the site alone again for a while. This has turned out to be a pattern for me, intense work on the site with longish periods of doing nothing. And it works well for me. The nature of the information I share is such that it does not change much over time (apart from the obvious cult information needing to be removed) so I can write pages and not worry about having to update them all the time. This means I can leave the site and it continues to do it's thing.
I left the site alone on this occasion in order to write some ebooks. And, of course, the web site is the ideal place to advertise and sell them.
So now we are up to 2014, I receive income from the ads, from the ebooks and from clients calling for help. That started very soon after I started writing about the mind control aspects on the site. Many of them tell me that when they read what I wrote it feels to them that I am writing directly to them and they realize that they can't do it alone. Or in some cases, they have been trying for years to sort things out alone and realize that they do actually need expert help. And the fact that I was in a cult, as well as caught in a marriage earlier with a psychopath, gives me an advantage in that I have been through what they have been through so I know what it's like to be on the receiving end of things.
I have clients on 5 continents and I work with them by video conference calls. And we are up to over 5,000 visitors a day. Time for another break...
(I should add at this stage that during these breaks I did not ever receive emails or phone calls from anyone urging, pushing or even encouraging me to get back to SBI or to get new people involved with SBI!)
There is a saying that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But in our world where there are psychopaths in many positions of power, it would seem that society is becoming very narcissistic. Good manners and respect are sorely lacking nowadays. No longer is it enough to compete for business but somehow it's become acceptable to destroy others.
I notice that Solo Build It! has come under attack in recent months from different parties.
I received an email from a reader saying that I had a great site with needed information but the fact that I was promoting Solo Build It! made him question my credibility. He quoted a woman who had an interior decorating site who claimed that SBI! operates more like a cult than a business and that the members have a cult mentality and vehemently defend a product that doesn't work.
I looked into it!
First of all, she is not an expert on cults or mind control. She has, however, written extensively on this idea and has typed a lot of words. But repeating the same thing over and over does not necessarily make something true.
It seems to me that many of her arguments are straw men that she has set up just to knock them down.
And she seems to take pride in pointing out that she didn't actually use the tools that SBI! provide, and yet claims that it doesn't work. That doesn't sound like a very logical argument to me. And it's one of the many contradictions in what she writes.
Her writing is also very emotional, full of anger with lots of name calling and personal attacks on individuals.
Anyway, in case I was missing something, (I had been caught out before!) this is what I wrote back to my reader:
Thanks for writing.
When I got out of the cult I asked myself the question about SBI being a destructive cult too.
A destructive cult by definition has an authoritarian leader who answers to no one, deception and a system of thought reform in play.
Ken Evoy, the founder, is frequently asking members what it is that they want, what tools would they like and how can he improve things for them. Then he provides many of these things. In other words, the clients do have a say in what way the business goes. It's not a case of 'Ken says, so that's the way it is'.
Deception comes in the form of offering one thing and giving another. For example, in personal development cults, people are offered better relationships, improved wealth and so on but what they end up with is working for almost free, losing their ability to make their own decisions and a loss of their independence. For me, SBI is offering a way to build a web business and that's what people get.
I haven't been able to see the tactics of mind control in action within SBI!.
I have read the site you referenced and she does not offer any examples of mind control tactics as far as I am aware.
She is very clear about not actually using the system of SBI but then claims that wordpress gets her better results. That's fair enough.
Am I missing something? If you have any particular examples of how the program of thought reform is used in SBI! I would be very keen to know about it.
I did not hear anything back. I have to assume the reader could not provide any such details.
The second group is a group claiming that their service is better than Solo Build It!. However, their way of doing this is quite underhand. Their members write reviews of SBI! or Solo Build It! but the reviews end up being sales pitches for their product. So basically they are writing fake reviews of Solo Build It! to lead people into a sales funnel for another product.
The second thing that I noticed is that if you search for this group's name and scam, or cult, there are lots of web pages written specifically about this. Many are actually written by members and although they ask the question, the answer is repeatedly and emphatically no; they do not however explain why it is not a scam. They simply regurgitate the marketing materials and then they go on to try and sell you the product!
The third thing I have noticed is that there are several web sites where almost every page is a recommendation of this group, thinly disguised as information to protect yourself from being caught by untrustworthy companies.
I found this quote on a forum where somebody was asking for genuine information about this group:
"By the way "their techniques" is (sic) nothing revolutionary or top secret. They just teach you over a (sic) 8 week period how to make successful campaigns of different kinds."
So that explains the 3 patterns above. They teach campaigns... that's why there is so much written recommending the company but nothing about the internal workings of the company. In fact, there is plenty of catchy phrases used but frighteningly little written about what specifically the company offers and what actually makes it unique.
And this showed up in my google search for the group:
The first thing is the misspelling in the title of the ad. This is just careless. The second thing is the claim in the third entry that they are "the only community in the world where you can achieve an education in online business, build a reputation, interact with like minded people and have access to all tools required to achieve lasting success..." The only one? Really?!? That's some claim.
Another quote from their site: "Within minutes, you are going to have your very own niche website online and visible to the world. A website that once took weeks, if not months to build, can now be built in the blink of the eye." Just... Wow!
And then there is the claim that the members have easy and frequent access to the groups leaders although there are supposed to be over 800,000 members. Again, I don't believe that this is possible; 2 people cannot manage emails from 800,000 people who are trying to learn how to build businesses.
Even the name tells you about the priorities of the group.
(And yes, SBI! re-branded recently to Solo Build It! to reflect the idea that it is not just a site building company but rather the intention is to help the solopreneur to build a business, a profitable one, taking you from the planning stage through building a brand to monetizing the site.)
Anyway, the founder of Solo Build It! was sufficiently concerned about this group that a study was organized to compare the 2 groups.
If you want to just scroll to the end and know what the results are, here you go:
Sitesell has 10,000 active sites, WA has 17,000. (Remember that 800,000 members number from above? Something is not right)
If you want to read the full study, you can do so here.
There was no evidence offered by WA that they offer success, while Solo Build It! has a page of web sites that are currently in the top 0.5% in the world in terms of traffic. (I am pleased to say that this site is one of those!)
These kind of claims that WA make are common in the type of work that I do. Every destructive group says it it is the only group that has 'The Way', 'The Truth' or 'The Method' that will solve everything. I am not saying this group is a cult, because I don't have enough information about it. But there are lots of red flags here. I suggest that you do your due diligence before you make a decision.
Right now, I am my own boss. I get to chose how I spend my time. I have time off when I want it and to do the things that I want to. After having spent years running around hospitals as a doctor, I appreciate being in control of things and not having strict timetables and being at the beck and call of others.
I like being able to do things myself. I like learning how things work and then getting them to work for me. I find pride and satisfaction in completing projects myself.
When I was recovering after leaving the cult, I realized that much of the information I had was not readily available for people who were trying to leave abusive relationships and cults. Even worse, much of the information available was distorted and unhelpful. I wanted to make helpful information available for those who were looking for it.
Solo Build It gave me the opportunity to build all these things into my life. People around me make comments about how lucky I am to have my own business, time off etc. and I smile politely and what goes through my head is, 'Yeah, I've worked hard and made certain decisions along the way to have this much luck in my life.'
And I am very grateful to Ken Evoy and the team he has working with him. As far as I am concerned, my life would not be the same if not for them and the time and effort they have all put in to make Solo Build It! what it is.
I would also like to say thanks to all those people who own Solo Build It! sites and who contribute in the forums (even though I am not a major contributor myself). Thanks for sharing!
Apart from all the things I have pointed out, there are a few more things that are worth considering.
There is no such thing as a free lunch. Things have a price and you pay one way or the other. 299 US dollars for a year for all that you get is amazing value. My passive income in one month pays for the site for a year. In that sense you could say that it is free for me to have the site. It costs me nothing, unlike my first site, and indeed it is putting money in my pocket.
The steps that have worked time and time again are laid out in the Solo Build It! Action Guide. It's not always easy and sometimes it can seem that you are going nowhere. But they have been honing the process and making it more and more explicit over the years. If you are motivated to keep going, you can get there, too.
You can use their block builder to build pages or you can use html to write your own pages. I started using the block builder to get a feel for it but then later decided I wanted more control and learnt some code. Despite the step by step process, you do get to make a lot of choices as you go through the process and it gives you opportunities that you never considered before. (Up until 5 years ago I never considered that I would write books, that I would be able to call myself an author!)
The forums are a fantastic source of information and the better ideas are even stored in a tips and tricks section for easy access, so it speeds up your ability to get to the useful and important stuff.
Solo Build It is not for everyone. It takes time and effort to build a decent site and many won't have the inclination or the staying power to do it. (Otherwise everyone would have a fantastic money generating site!) But for those who get involved and commit to something long term, you
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The video tour grab a coffee first!
What you get - the tools that come with the package
Case studies and proof
There is a 90 day money-back guarantee. Yep, 90 days. Solo Build It! is sure of their product so it's all upside and no downside for you.
"Don't wait for opportunity to come knocking on your door... go out and give it directions."
At least go and have a look! And good luck...