"When misguided public opinion honors what is despicable and despises what is honorable, punishes virtue and rewards vice, encourages what is harmful and discourages what is useful, applauds falsehood and smothers truth under indifference or insult, a nation turns its back on progress and can be restored only by the terrible lessons of catastrophe." … Frederic Bastiat

Evil talks about tolerance only when it’s weak. When it gains the upper hand, its vanity always requires the destruction of the good and the innocent, because the example of good and innocent lives is an ongoing witness against it. So it always has been. So it always will be. And America has no special immunity to becoming an enemy of its own founding beliefs about human freedom, human dignity, the limited power of the state, and the sovereignty of God. – Archbishop Chaput


Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Gold Cult

Cult  -

1.) a religious group which promotes worship of a human leader and devotion of one's life to a specific purpose.
2.)  A misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing

Cult of Personality -

1.) Intense devotion to a particular person.

Writing this short treatise brings me no particular pleasure but rather sadness. Sadness that some whom I count as friends have become trapped in this prison and cannot see it.

I have chosen in the past, and do so now again, to describe a certain portion ( I want to be clear that I am not lumping all under the same heading ) of the pro-gold or honest money camp as being cultish in nature. The similarities between their comments, writings and blind adherence to an inanimate object and those trapped in a religious cult are striking.

Having had some personal experience in dealing with people trapped in religious cults, it is not hard for me to see the same symptoms in those who have been swallowed up by the cult of gold. The most obvious of such symptoms is the inability to see reality as it is. Statements of fact, logic, sound reason, empirical evidence - all are easily dismissed by those snared in the cult if such things happen to contradict the centrally held tenets. Those who speak against the cult are viewed as unenlightened or uninformed at best, and inimical to truth and therefore enemies at worst.

Generally speaking, a cult also has either a charismatic leader/(s) whose authority is beyond questioning. Those who would challenge the statements of such leader are immediately ostracized if such a challenge arises from within the cult, or ridiculed and held in contempt, if the challenger is outside of the cult.

These leaders more often than not, claim to possess an esoteric knowledge, a sort of key to the mysteries of the universe, which lesser gifted humans are not capable of receiving. They tend to reinforce this as often as possible so as to lend further credibility to themselves among their followers. This special insight into things either divine, or in the case of gold, economic in nature, is claimed so as to strike a sort of awe bordering on the realm of reverence.

Free thinking is discouraged if not outright forbidden as the members are expected to fall into line behind the prescribed belief system.

As you note these characteristics, ask yourself if this is not what we are seeing in some segments of the hard asset community?

Let's be brutally honest here - both gold and silver have been in bear markets for some time now. Silver, three years ago this month, had an epic collapse in price from just below the $50 mark to near $33 in a single week. It never recovered that level, moving up to near $44 before imploding. Gold peaked at over $1900 in August 2011 and while it managed to recover to near $1800 three months later, it has not been able to clear that level again, even after making two tries at it, the first in February 2012, and the last in September 2012.

Both metals have been trending lower since that time having managed to bounce slightly but still remaining well off their peak levels set over two years ago.

An open-minded, serious and conscientious investor/trader looking to maximize his or her return on monies, would have taken notice of this some time ago and acted accordingly. Common sense/prudence dictates that investors put money to work in those areas where they can capture the maximum amount of returns, risk factors considered.

In spite of this, for more than two years, we have been regaled with one outlandish claim after another for both gold and silver. In gold, we have had theory after theory, breathlessly advanced as to why the price of the metal is going to soar "any day now". Among these were backwardation claims, negative GOFO, JP Morgan cornering gold on the long side, Comex defaults, China buying that raided the gold ETF, etc, etc.,etc. In EVERY SINGLE CASE, those who proposed these theories and those who subscribed to them, were left holding the bag looking like dupes at best and like charlatans/hucksters at worst.

Yet for some bizarre reason, many of those people who follow the "advice", prognostications and predictions of these "experts" continue to dote on their every word, every interview and every speech in spite of the fact that many are losing their life's savings by so doing. How else to understand this phenomenon except to deal with it as a cult.

One would think that the severity of the financial losses that they have endured would have awakened them to the reality of what is taking place. In some cases, fortunately, it has. But tragically, in far too many instances, those who are trapped in the gold cult just dig in further, awaiting the inevitable rocketshot to the moon during which they all hope to become rich.

It reminds me of many evangelical prophecy hucksters each claiming to have a special revelation that Jesus was coming any day now. Some, like the famous book " "88 Reasons that Jesus is coming in '88" ( that was 1988) could not have been more wrong. Yet that did nothing to dissuade them from coming out with the next prediction. All they had to do was admit that they have miscalculated somewhat but this next prediction would be spot on.

I personally know of two families, who sold their homes, cancelled their life insurance policies, etc,. while they waited for the heavenly rapture to take place. Needless to say, their lives were wrecked as a result. That however did nothing to impact those "prophets" who issued their predictions - life went on as usual for them, if not better as they reaped the profits from their books which they of course promoted to these poor, but sincere victims. Some of them are still out there plying their deception even now.

I find it remarkable that men, whom God has given a sound mind to and the ability to think, reflect, ponder, analyze, interpret, etc. can be so gullible and continue to allow themselves to be taken advantage of and serve as willing dupes to those who do not have their best interests at heart. The willingness of human beings to allow self-inflicted pain to continue coming their way is an astonishing thing to behold.

Let me just close this by saying, if you are an advocate of honest money, good for you. I like to think that I am. But do not allow your convictions on these matters to cloud your judgment as an investor/trader. Recognize that until the vast majority of investors see things in the same manner as you do, yours is going to be a lonely, lonely habitation. Cast aside subjectivity and let your own senses and sound judgment be a guide to you. Be objective, especially in regards to market action but even more specifically, in regards to a shiny yellow piece of metal.

Gold is an element. Yes, it is rare but it is an element. It is not a god, nor are those who preach it divine or privy to any sort of esoteric knowledge. Judge their predictions and if found to be false, reject them. Gold is an asset class; nothing more, nothing less. Remember that.

Here is hoping that some who read this come to their senses and escape the snares of so many charlatans and wrong-headed prophets. Think for yourself!


  1. Let me relate a sad story on this theme: I became interested in gold and silver in 2011, just after the highs. I read a lot of those people mentioned above and bought in at $44 in silver. Price then proceeded to crash to $35, and I bought the "discount". Now, I don't fault anyone but myself, I was new to the markets and didn't know a lot, but all that "Buy the dip, cause it will never be $29 again!" cost me more than I'd like to admit.

    Now, I'm not going to sell my silver and lock in that loss, but dang guys, a few words of caution now and then would have gone a long way toward me having some extra money to actually buy when it was $16.

    Dan, you're one of the last people I still read, because you're actually realistic. Where would you suggest a newbie start to learn technical analysis?


    1. Michael and Lauren;

      Thank you so much for that post. While I am truly saddened to learn what happened to you in this regard, at least you came to your senses and learned something about predators lurking out there prey on the unsuspecting and uninformed. It is an expensive lesson but then again, the best lessons I ever learned as a trader were the ones that cost me the most! You sure do not repeat it!

      Hopefully, you are learning to read the markets and analyze money flows to see what is in favor and what is not. Investing is always a challenge because the environment changes so rapidly and what was once in favor can fall out of favor and vice versa.

      As far as technical analysis goes, there is a very good primer on it by Edwards and Magee " Technical analysis of stock trends". It is a bit dated but the general principles are solid. I would start there and expand outward.

      Very best of success to you,

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. This post is simply priceless!

  4. VOW!
    thank you for your courage and integrity

  5. Thank you dan. Get out of the cult guys.

  6. Awesome post, Dan. A real tour de force.

    I can't even think of anything to add, which is rare for me. ;)

  7. i can relate greatly to what you wrote Dan....i was heavily in gold miners for 1.5 years and and suffered pretty bad as im sure everyone can understand....but it was ONLY by reading Dans page, that i got a realistic and neutral view of gold short/medium term TRADING (as opposed to longer term investing)...i exited at a pretty big loss but have since made most of it back in general stocks from SPY/NASDAQ as gold/silver/miners crashed more....so i sincerely thank you for that Dan, and i thank myself for doing what was extremely hard at the time and changing from blind investor to realistic trader....that said, i feel like market is way too high and im all cash for now and for once not even day trading, just purely sidelines, ...though gold and silver look weak, and with even Dan bearish , maybe it is soon time to enter haha... though i want to make sure we dont have a flush below $1180 with deflation, taper and technical chart making precious metals look weak.... i still dont know whether its better to short market or go long gold if market drops, and when i say short i mean by inverse ETF of SPY like SDS for example....cos if market drops, the anti-SPY ETFs will do well but gold may drop with it as deflation will not do gold any good, only when deflation risk is too much and they (Fed) announce more QE will gold really rally (with stocks, and probably especially gold stocks)....so still undecided there...

    i am now back to reading ur page daily cos i am eager to get back in for the long term as i used to be as gold looks really low as long as 1200 isnt lost....i like PVG, MUX, and GDX as holds but ill await greater confirmation and more of Dans great posts....the only thing id disagree with is that the laws of economics can be mathematically proven to be correct long term, unlike the relgious rapture stuff, but i know what you mean...

  8. Wow, with this post and the claim by Morgan Stanley: gold price won't see $1,300 again we must be only days before we bottom.

  9. I didn't even read Dan's post yet but I'm pretty sure the comment I just left in the last thread will fit here.

    Thanks again Dan.

  10. Zhang Lan;

    Thank you for the kind words. What is shown on the link you provided is perfect proof of the cult. Absolutely sickening. What kind of narcissistic individual has coins minted with his image or something akin to his image on them? I guess Silver Eagles are not good enough for the cult followers anymore. What's next - their own denomination? This is beyond scary at this point - it is downright creepy and weird.

  11. Lol...nothing like a monument to onesself.

  12. "The move reflects growing concern at the largest U.S. exchange of futures and options about big bouts of buying or selling that have caused huge fluctuations in prices without any apparent fundamental reason"

    ... clearly a "cult member" describing manipulation in the PM paper markets, but who pray tell... a rabid "gold bug," a paid shill at GATA, some Canadian Billionaire talking his book?

    No... a Reuters piece quoting Miguel Vias, CME Group's director of metal products at a PMs forum in reply to questions on protecting traders from PMs volatility (a polite word for manipulation)... he then explained they are reviewing recent activity and are considering daily price movement limits on gold and silver.

    Great way to limit UPWARD momentum, yes?

    1. SRV ES339;

      So what? I can provide evidence of the same thing in the soybean pit or in the hog pit or in the cattle pit from over the last month. What does that prove? Nothing - what it proves is what I wrote in yesterday's piece - that the advent and proliferation of modern computerized trading based on algorithms has wreaked havoc on the futures market and the price discovery mechanism and also made using them for legitimate hedging purposes much more problematic.

      that is a far, far cry from extrapolating a press release from the CME to prove government sanctioned manipulation of the gold/silver prices. Then again, maybe the feds are also active in the bean, cattle and hog pits. I bet they are even active in the coffee and wheat pit but especially in the crude oil pit.

      Give it up already - if you really believe that the feds are manipulating gold and silver all the time, then leave them be and stop fighting them and go and find another investment class that you can actually make a profit on as an investor. Why subject yourself to never ending punishment.

      Good grief.

    2. Brings back memories of 1978 and Jim Jones. Pass the Kool-Aid. sparks

    3. LOL....I Love Trader Dan's response....these gold cult people remind me a lot of the global warming cult people......temperatures are going down, yet "deniers" are evil, or stupid....etc...

  13. the kicker is that the Latin was botched on the first of those coins minted. no wait, the kicker is that the cult followers bought up all of those coins thinking that they would become a collectible minting error. actually, the kicker is that you cannot even make this stuff up.

  14. Reminds me of those "zombucks" coins, or the "silver bullets". Geez Louise, people. When you need some cash, good luck walking into your corner coin shop with any of that crap. He's going to laugh you right out of there.

    If you must stack, stick with stuff that people will buy from you sight unseen. 90%, Eagles, Engelhard, etc.

  15. I was heavily in the metals but left long time ago. I still check out what Dan has to say. I hope one day he ditches the metals and moves to the stock market.

  16. Reason so many hang onto the gold story is everyone looks back to 77-80 when it ran from $100 to $900 - and some miners where up 100's to 1000's %.

    Unfortunately everyone over looked how it went from $200 to $100 first, wonder if the devastation to miners was as severe during that period. I mean this time was different because of China buying, new reserve currency, QE to infinity, gold is "real" money etc.

    Morgan Stanley's comments are kinda interesting, perhaps with the Fed's "perpetual prosperity" machine will gold ever be a safe haven again? Perhaps if it "bottoms" around $1000ish and everyone thinks it's time to get in, we might find it at $600ish several months later scratching our heads wondering when the run to $5,000-$10,000 will start - just a thought, you never know in these unpredictable financial times.

    Perhaps something else will be the new safe haven, but by the time it's figured out it will again be too late.

  17. Hey, anyone up to going to a Q & A Session on May 13 at the Marriott Marquis and hearing some more "To 'Da Moon!" and "This Is It!" proclamations?

    I got a pair of old, smelly shoes I can throw at the headline speaker, LOL!!!!

    1. I remember when a Q & A was in Toronto when gold collapsed from the 1530 level same day. You can imagine the awkwardness listening and watching price of gold plummet on your iphone.

  18. Bah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah . . .

  19. Just a quick question being one who was taken in by a lot of the cultists because it was about that time that the economy crashed, I woke up and gold was soaring. Being only 35 I have time to recover but I want to ask this... as a novice my thinking for my self is that dollar cost averaging gold now still makes sense? This would be for the future not as a trader. Does the long term picture still seem promising for gold, silver other tangibles like it does to me? Or do I need to purge more Kool-aid out of my system? Thanks for any response.

    1. gadsen4ever;

      Given all the inherent problems facing the global financial system, it is prudent to own some gold. What percentage of your total wealth that might be, depends on your own time horizon and whether or not you can actively manage your other investments to maximize your profitability.

      There have been some unfortunate souls who have 100% of their wealth ( what is left of it ) invested in the precious metals. That is insanely stupid from an investment standpoint. The old saying about never putting all of your eggs in a single basket should be plastered on their refrigerator as reminder. Not only is it dangerous to do that, but it fails to diversify into other asset classes or sectors that might actually be performing quite well and thus provide some excellent capital gains.

      Get some physical metal if you don't have any but also try to keep objective and recognize gold for what it is, an asset class. Don't fall in love with it, nor any other investment or asset for that matter.

    2. Thank you for your time sir, and thank you so much for this site!

  20. fantastic post!! Well done Dan.

  21. Another great post Dan. Like some of the other commentators, I too was sucked into the whole Austrian economics view and hard money and gold being the only safe haven. I totally get that view but didn't have risk management to know when to exit when something isn't working.
    I still lean that way and think at some point debt will matter and gold will regain its lustre but until then its a trade.
    Really appreciate your balanced non judgemental posts. Keep up the good work.

    1. MHinKW;

      Thanks for the comments.

      I agree with you... I also think at some point this gargantuan indebtedness is going to matter. I am just not sure when it will.

      The problem with the bullish gold all the time guys is that they keep trying to impose their will or view on the market. right now the market does not care and it has not cared for two years now. An investor/trader who actually wants to make money or at least avoid losing most of it, has to recognize reality and money flows and sentiment. Far too many of the gold bulls cannot understand this simple but important principle

    2. Very true. Ben Hunt of Epsilon Theory has been a real breath of fresh air to me on this as well. His piece last June entitled "How gold lost its luster......" was a real eye opener for me. I highly recommend his work on game theory and understanding sentiment and what the crowd thinks.

  22. Gold is an asset shield. In this world of tracking and tracing every asset with a SS#, owning gold is great. Don't count on price appreciation, hedge your physical. If the govt took everything away from you, if you were sued and the judgment was to attach all your assets, keep your gold. No one will know you have it. Not the IRS, not the judge. Of course, govts' do not like gold - for you and me, so they don't promote it this way.

    Imagine if Walter White from Breaking Bad took all his cash and put it into gold. He could have fit it into one barrel, and he could have kept it in the middle of the street. Nobody would have even known what it was.

    Hollywood and TV do not promote gold. They promote cash.

    Other than that there is not reason to own gold. You cannot take it to the bank and get a loan on it. You can't get a mortgage with gold to buy real estate. You can't do anything with it. Leveraging assets in a smart way is the best way to accumulate wealth.

    I look at gold as a totally dead asset. I cannot do anything with it. Right now investors are levering assets to accumulate wealth. They are making hay while the sun shines. They don't want to own gold NOW. Maybe in a couple years.

    Dan is discussing the psychological term "backfire."

    The "backfire effect" is a term to describe how some individuals when confronted with evidence that conflicts with their beliefs come to hold their original position even more strongly:

    Sound familiar when talking about gold promoters?

    Own gold, yes. The powers can take away everything from me, and I will still own my gold, and I can liquidate it within a couple hours. It is just about the most liquid asset I own, other than my checking account.

  23. Gold promoters, are the oracle of the gold community or KWN and who appears there? Or both. Why is it no one is ever mentioned by name?

    I apologize for the stupid question advance.

  24. Wow Dan, great post! You really nailed it. I bought into all the hype about gold and silver going higher by listening to these pundits you're referring to.

    After a while I was convinced my diversified portfolio was boring and gradually bought the metals before and during the decline. Talk about the worst dollar cost averaging strategy ever! In addition I borrowed some and bought even more. What was I thinking listing to those idiots when you've been right all along about this.

    This has been a really painful lesson but I'm now returning to a time-tested diversified portfolio with proper asset allocation. For investors saving for the future I believe it's the only way to go.

    Thanks for helping me see the light Dan!

  25. How is the current propped up stock market any different as far as being a "cult"? Buy and hold is the way to go. That is what stock gurus have been preaching for years. How much will someone pay for a tulip bulb before they realize they paid way too much? That megaphone topping pattern that is in play right now looks pretty darn scary to me.

  26. Shares of IDBI Bank jumped over 5 percent as it is reacting positively to its March quarter results. Its March quarter operating profit rose 16 percent to Rs 1850 crore while net interest income grew 9 percent to Rs 1574 crore.

  27. Excellent work Dan. You have hit the nail on the head with this post.

  28. Great post, Dan, and your honesty must be thanked twice, as you were in contact with a lot of these guys, and made no concession whatsoever to your beliefs to remain in good terms with this community.

    Better for you to warn and try to safeguard the wealth of perfect strangers reading this blog than to keep your good ole friends and relations who could keep bringing a lot more new viewed pages to your blog, and use superlative words naming you each week lol :)

    I was going to write about a point, but I saw Eph already nailed it. The "backfire" effect. I think this is 100% true.
    Better stay in denial and think there is a huge conspiration, every day, every second, at every occasion, to suppress gold prices down to zero than to admit that some people may have miscalculated a great many things about arguments and TIMING and that's it.
    It's been 5 years that we hear about an imminent Comex stocks collapse and Comex Bankruptcy for example.
    Come on guys, wake up.
    Yes, those who did not hedge but invested a huge percentage of their wealth into PM, yes, too huge to be used as a "safety net", not to talk about those who used leverage!, those people will prefer to think there was a nasty global manipulation and only that, than to admit they have behaved foolishly by being careless and losing a lot of money in the process until now.
    The problem with these doomsday newsletter is that they promised the end of the world "within months" since 2008 and before.
    Timing is a key issue here, and it is a big failure, period.
    There is no problem buying physical now, so everybody who bought in a frenzy silver at 45 $ two years ago might have bought nearly three times as much by now.

    Dan wrote : "There have been some unfortunate souls who have 100% of their wealth ( what is left of it ) invested in the precious metals. That is insanely stupid from an investment standpoint. "

    You are nice, Dan.
    You forget about those people, blog leaders of the cheerleaders who proudly shouted that they SOLD all their assets, including their HOUSE, their CAR, etc... to buy MORE SILVER!! and make the most of the dips at that time, writing every day that they didn't understand why so few people around them understood what was about to happen. That was 3 years ago when silver was worth between 35 and 44 $.
    And they keep writing every day that the get it all right!
    One of the most symbolic blog of this behavior is "Don't Tread on Me".
    Come on, wake up, gold lovers.
    Of course, some of the message is true.
    Eph is also pointing out good reasons to own gold.
    Yes it is wise to own some, because when the worst happens, there won't be none to buy in a second, I agree.
    Just don't jeopardize all your wealth with it.
    Even Sinclair was recommending a maximum of 35% of your whole wealth, unleveraged, into gold.
    How many people remember this detail?
    Anyway, good luck and more importantly, good trades, to all :)

  29. Dan, you have stretched this analogy far beyond what is appropriate. Typically, strong emotion is what will push a writer to do that, and what will prompt a reader to shout "Hear, hear!" Are metals manipulated? Or do they trade fairly? Isn't that the issue that has broken at least one friendship you mention. Nobody can prove either claim definitively.

    I sense some negative emotion underneath this article and many of the comments here. Let go of it. Make some money trading and buy metals if they help you sleep.

    Please don't use an underhanded argument tactic like this "cult theory." It does not accurately describe the situation. Rather, people are drawn to "imagined communities" of readers, like this one here, who debate ideas, commiserate, learn from mistakes, offer advice, and blow off steam. And if a few outliers are abusive, rude, and hard-headed, in the discussions, isn't that what you expect in any community.

    What's unwise about being 100% in metals unless you need a return now to live on? (disclaimer: I am about 35% in metal) Isn't every other asset class either dead or in a bubble at this point? Where else is your hard-earned wealth secure? paper? real estate? cattle? Personally, I don't see another asset class that has no risk due to market failure, seizure or a European style bail-in. I hold real estate and cannot find buyers to get out, or I would.

    1. Dr. Jerome;

      If it looks like a cult, quacks like a cult and walks like a cult, it is a cult. That is my opinion and I am not deviating from it. If you feel that is inappropriate, that is just too bad my friend but that is your opinion, not mine.

      My disgust is directed at those who regale us with "any day now's" to the point of absurdity. They have done irreparable harm to far too many people, some of whom I count as friends. This crap has been going on for over two years now. At some point, people need to wake up and smell the coffee and come back to reality.

      Being 100% in metals is not only unwise, it is idiotic. There are plenty of investment opportunities out there if one does his or her homework. As an example - have you not ever heard of shale oil? I could list more.

      It is dangerous to extrapolate from one's own experience and impose that upon the entire investment world. Just because you cannot find real estate that you can profit on, does not mean there are not good opportunities there. And just because you feel there is a risk of market failure, seizure, bail-in, does not mean that the majority of investors feel the same. Most feel otherwise.

      I would suggest you do some more due diligence and keep your options open. Also, open your mind. It is unfortunate you cannot see this thing for what it has become.

    2. Thanks for the reply Dan,
      The particular site we may be discussing doesn't have many people saying "to the moon" like they used to. They are mostly long-term investors & preppers, not traders. Any cult symptoms you see are fairly superficial and even satirized on that site. In fact, there has been a fairly reasonable discussion there this AM, prompted by your article, about trading vs investing.
      My family has owned mineral rights on oil shale land since the 1930s. The returns have become so crappy lately, they have to go up from here. I do profit on real estate, for now, but county governments, unemployment among renters, and starving maintenance contractors are eroding that profit. And with the Case-Schiller index down 6 months straight, I'd like out while I am ahead.
      I don't suppose we'll agree on a number of items here, but I would take notes on other reasonably safe investment opportunities you blog about. I am no investment expert, just an argumentation professor.

  30. Well, the jobs report says it all. The economy is slowly improving. Consumer stocks like WYNN and TSLA are now being bought again, and GDX is being sold with the utmost urgency.

    Investors are sick and tired of all the gloom and doom predictions from guys like Marc Faber and they are ready to enjoy life and ride the stock market boom.

  31. My good friend Trader Dan has again provided everyone with another outstanding piece together with supporting evidence that offers those with eyes to see and ears to hear a sound basis for trading any market.

    All the "cheerleaders" do is offer a "false flag of hope without foundation" as I indicated here for your educational and entertainment pleasure.(http://marketpendulumpro.blogspot.com/p/unique-unusual-insights.html)

    One would be wise to pay attention to Dan's advice on this and other matters as I can personally attest that he indeed "talks the talk as well as walks the walk". Credibility counts.

    Good luck to all.

    1. Trader Garrett;

      Anyone wanting to learn how a professional approaches the markets, would be well served by heeding your wisdom. You are a breath of fresh air in an environment filled with way too much smog good buddy!

  32. Beautiful essay, Dan.

    This is priceless to that small percentage of individuals in the cult who just need that one voice, that one trigger, to ignite a series of critical thought patterns that lead to the epiphany that eventually gets them out of there. There's always that small fraction stuck in each cult that the voice of reason will resonate in once they come into contact with it, that make efforts like these worthwhile. The rest, the majority inside, will naturally see the message as trash or a threat.

    1. Alice;

      If we can wake up just a few, it will be worth the attacks and vitriol.

  33. Dan, Interesting post, and I miss hearing you on King World News.

    Does your analysis consider peak oil?


    1. Free Market;

      I do not adhere to the peak oil theory. I think the shale oil finds are pretty much disposing of that as having any value. Heck, California is sitting on a massive shale oil field. Sadly the political leaders there will never let them get it. Same goes for New York.

      Parting ways with KWN was not my decision but theirs. I suppose that I was too bearish at times to fit in with the general theme over there. One has to pretty much be wildly bullish to generate lots of site hits and no one wants to tune in to listen to or read someone who might happen to be bearish on gold for a time.

  34. It seems to me that the Kool-Aid drinkers have two basic messages:

    1) Metals pop up: See! We are right! Keep the faith!

    2) Metals drop down: See! The Evil Empire is desperate! They must be on the verge of failure to attempt such an obvious manipulative smackdown. This proves we are right! Keep the faith!

    Amazingly, they end up in the same place no matter what. Yup, some real sophisticated metals "analysis" going on there. ;)

    Faith-based investing. You might as well just take your wallet and light it on fire.

    Now, on to the new thread.

  35. Is there any purpose to this blog anymore other than to bash gold? Because it's turned into a broken record. We get it, you don't like gold. But gold post after gold post just to sound like a petulant huckster, just on the other side. Why?

    1. Stu;

      You are reading what you want to read and seeing what you want to see. Most of the people here hold physical gold - not all of them do but most do. There is no gold bashing going on. What is going on is calling out fraudulent prophets and diviners who have been sounding the same bullish note like a broken record for 2 1/2 - 3 years now without missing a beat.

      This is a blog dedicated to reading market price action and attempting to discern what sentiment is. It is that simple - when the sentiment is bearish, it is going to be reflected. When the sentiment is bullish, that will be reflected.

      Methinks that thou dost protest too much. After all, why read it at all if you disagree with what is posted here. I am not trying to put up sensational articles or have silver coins minted with my image on it here. I am trying to report accurately what is taking place so that those of us who make a living in the market, not from selling newsletters or clicks on our website, can hopefully profit.

      Have a nice day.

  36. I protest too much? I wrote four sentences, you wrote over 20. Is there any technical analysis here anymore? Because this post is an emotional rant, like many others. If there is any kind of reading of the market, I admit I missed it.

    1. Stu;

      Have a nice life but do me a favor and please stop coming here. Dealing with people like you wears me out. You are too close-minded to think clearly or be the least bit objective.

    2. I've posted four or five times in the past year. Perhaps you should stop being such a drama queen and toughen up to a little criticism. Or can you only give it?

    3. Stu;

      good bye Stu... have a pleasant life. I sincerely wish you good success in the future. Leave it at that on a nice note and just go away. I honestly have no time to reply to comments that are so childish. "Gold bashers" " We don't like gold here". " A petulant huckster".

      Nothing is sold here, no fees are charged, the technical analysis and market info is offered without any strings attached to it and yet you feel free to complain and slander me and many who post here. Why should I bother to respond to any such drivel.

      Good bye,. just go away.

    4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  37. Trader Dan just confirmed the bottom for me! How can somebody who looks at the charts daily not see the manipulation? Dan you use to give great analysis but now all you do is stay clear of making any predictions. Things could go up if this happens but if this happens things will go down. It's quit obvious you don't want to be held accountable for making a solid prediction. You use to have balls!

    1. mark hand;

      the hen waits until after she lays her egg to cackle.

      along the balls line - I prefer to keep mine rather than rolling the dice and waiting for events in a far away country to risk chopping them off. If you want to take the risk of singing soprano and speaking with a high-pitched squeaky voice, go all in my friend.

      Enjoy the ride - just hope that you learn to get off quick enough before you get singed.

    2. mark hand:

      Spoken like a cowboy who's idea of great analysis is expecting a mortal to know the future rather than exercising risk control. (lol)

  38. Trader Dan,

    Thanks for this great piece. I invested a large part of my portfolio, roughly 40% in hard metals in 2010 and have since lost a huge amount in purchasing power and don't expect to get it back and have thus been slowly liquidating the coins on rally's. I was a regular member and reader of many of those sites, predominately the one this article is directed to and was always shot down for trying to provide another rationale for why the metals were poor investment and hedge, especially if over allocated in them. I finally called it quits and rarely go back to visit. As Eric Original has said, it seems to be very faith based with conspiratorial notions of the world ending. It is sad to see so many loss so much hard earned income to this belief system that gold is god. You are so right, only an element created during a supernovae many billions of years ago. Also the almost daily notion that the economy will collapse any day now and we will be left with no government is beyond what I would call rational behavior. I have to say that the primary reason for leaving was the never ending rants of the Cadillac man, you know who you are. This guy sits at the top of hat tip ranks all the time. That to me say it all.
    Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to move on if one gets stuck with this warped mindset and it truly does destroy relationships down the road. There are many good investments out there.

  39. Just want to point out - several of the people commenting here (like DarkPurpleHaze and SRoche) are among the worst offenders of the type of adherence that is referred to in this article.

    I had an account at TFMR (under the name NonOverlappingMagicCereal) with the sole purpose of trying to persuade folks there that the certainty they felt that PM prices were going to the moon was misplaced and dangerous. Note, I wasn't trying to say they were wrong, just that their *certainty* was unwarranted. I never used words like 'cult' or even 'close-minded' because I knew it would be counter productive. I merely tried to point out gaps in the reasoning of the author (Turd Ferguson), reasons for doubt that might keep people from sinking their entire savings into Gold (or, even worse, silver).

    The response was uniformly hostile, DPH in particular made every effort to get me banned for daring to question his idol Turd Ferguson (and indeed, I would eventually get the axe when I announced that I was leaving, in TF's version of 'you can't quit, you're fired!', I suppose).

    I don't know what you do here, Dan, but frankly I would have been more impressed if you had written an article like this 3 years ago, before all those people had moved all their wealth into PMs and lost their shirts and possibly their marriages. Although the article is somewhat accurate, it reeks of opportunism.

    1. Unknown;

      Deep Purple has already admitted as much that he was caught up in the group think but fortunately came out after coming to his senses. There is an old saying that people lose their mind or go mad in a group but only recover their senses slowly, one by one.

      I am grateful for anyone who comes to their senses and is able to look objectively at an investment class, be that gold or anything else.

      On a different note, I am not interested in whether or not I have impressed you. quite frankly I do not care one way or the other as I am quite content in my own skin. I do not need anyone to feed my ego as I have been trading for myself for nearly a quarter of a century at this point. do you really think I have survived and prospered this long by needing someone else to rely on?

      Three years ago, silver broke down by the bull market in gold was not over. That did not happen from a technical analysis perspective until it lost support near $1530.

      I have suffered some of these non-stop self proclaimed prophets, oracles and diviners long enough at this point.

      as far as "opportunism" goes, I would dearly love to know how and what "opportunism" I have gained by making enemies of former friends. Maybe you can answer some of the emails I receive and tell me how "opportune" I am. what the hell is wrong with you anyway?

    2. And it's DARK purple haze...lol!

      PS. I'm still not sure why it's sooo important you're right or impressed etc.
      That part of it (kinda incessantly smug) was ineffective, you must agree and it became tiring.

      That's all in the past and irrelevant. Let it remain so.

    3. DPH, if nothing else I will admit it's nice for you to acknowledge that I might have been right. After thousands of replies from that community telling me that I was a shill and wishing for my painful death, to get the slightest hint from you that I may have had a point is refreshing. I'm only human :)


  40. I've always thought you gave an honest assessment of what was going on based on your own expertise and experience. Like a lot of others, I, too, got sucked into the always bullish belief system. Do I think PMs are good to own? You bet. Do I think rough times are ahead? Yes. But sometimes you need to step back and look at things from a different perspective.

    So I appreciate the work that you do.

    1. Free Market;

      Thanks for that - that is all that I am trying to do. Give an honest and objective view of what is happening in the markets. You would think that people would appreciate that - then again, they have not some of the gold bugs.

      I agree with you - I also own precious metals and would not think of being without them in this financial environment. But one needs to be objective about them. I have found when it comes to gold and silver, many are practically married to them and will never sell them no matter what. That might be okay for some folks but for investors looking to maximize return on investment, it is a lousy "strategy" if you can call it that at all.

  41. Cereal Man...I'm entitled to change my mind gradually over time and just because it appeared I was "all in" (from your perspective) doesn't mean I was.

    The approach one takes when changing directions varies among each individual. I'm not one to take sharp 180 degree turns or relentlessly ram my vehicle head-on repeatedly into the brick wall you encountered.

    And yes...I was part of that brick wall. It wasn't fun, was it?
    What you didn't realize until now is that I saw your attempts at crashing the gate as obvious and ineffective...and it was.

    I've stated this before but I'll do so again.
    I'll listen intently to "almost" anyone if they have some interestig or compelling viewpoint even OR ESPECIALLY if it challenges my thinking.
    Simply put...it's never really about the messenger, but the message itself and how it's being delivered.

    Have a nice day.

  42. So, Trader Dan, do you think that the best way to reach people is by telling them they are in cult, and compare them to apocalyptic religious nutcases?

    DPH, you've been there, would you have found this argument compelling, or would it only push you further?

    If you want to change minds, I think it requires at least a shred of empathy and humility. DPH says that my strategy was 'obvious and ineffective' and that I was 'incessantly smug'. If so, then I was bad at it, my mistake, but this sort of rhetoric is even worse.

    Almost everyone is willing to admit they have the capacity to be mistaken almost no one is willing to admit they are part of a cult.

    1. Unknown;

      Yes, I do believe the best way to reach people is to show them that they are part of a cult and then explain why.

      Empathy is feeling for their losses which continue because they continue listening to those who steer them wrong and speaking what one feels is the truth ( that they are caught in a cult ) is being honest.

      Again, if you disapprove of my methods, so be it. That is your opinion and your right but I too have my opinion, one that has been formed by actually dealing with people trapped in religious cults.

    2. I suppose you can also persuade conservatives not to be conservative by explaining why they are Nazis? And you can persuade liberals not to be liberal by explaining why they are Communists?

      I also have experience dealing with folks in religious cults, including a guy that committed suicide after the Harold Camping prediction in 2011. Sure, there are elements of similarity to the gold community at places like TFMR, but they are not remotely the same thing. By saying they are, they know that you are wrong to a certain extent, and will reject everything else that you say on that basis.

    3. nonoverlappingcereal;

      you follow your methods and I will follow mine. I have a forum that I can use and am attempting to do just that. Some are waking up and that is personally satisfying that I have been of some help in that regard.

      I can only go off of my own experience. You can follow whatever lights your own fire. I honestly don't care.

    4. It sounds like we want the same thing. If you can break the spell in whatever way, more power to you. I just hope you aren't squandering an opportunity.

    5. Nonoverlapping;

      I agree with you that this method will not work on those who are die-hard devotees. I am not trying to reach them as it will take far more than some treatise to do that. The ones I am interested in reaching are the ones that are confused, dejected and beaten-down but who do not realize that they have become trapped in something that has nothing to do with actual investing or trading.

      In the past, in dealing with cult victims, I found that the ones who displayed this sort of despair, pain and sense of loss, were the ones who were open to arguments and such.

      Based on what I have seen over the past couple of years here at my site, some are slowly coming around and waking up and are taking a much more balanced, objective and realistic view on gold as an asset. Hopefully more will come around.

      One can be an advocate of gold without being snared into all the rest of the mess that accompanies that.

  43. Superb post Dan, the way you utterly destroy these doomers' worthless manipulation arguments and make their heads explode is a lot of fun.

    The members of the doom and gloom industrial complex are an interesting bunch. I'm finding that the cult leaders and their sheep followers are an increasingly hostile, frustrated, and angry bunch. It should come as no surprise when they have been wrong for so long. The paranoid leaders will keep looking for nefarious schemes at every turn and keep moving the goal posts every year, but as you know, collapse is imminent and $50k gold just around the corner.

    The kool-aid must be awfully strong because the followers will defend their leader despite all evidence to the contrary. They will all "keep stacking" and "back up the truck", and thank the "big boyz" for this "incredible gift" to pick metals on the cheap. And they will all strike it rich once the "rocketship to da moon" is launched. They will also keep buying miners because "the boyz" will take them "to da moon" also.

    It's truly a comedy reading KWN, ZH, and other doomer blogs, just so you can get your daily dose of laughs. I believe some of these folks need mental help.

    Keep up the good work Dan, your blog is truly a gem and a great source of fact-based, sensible information.

    1. budfox:

      Blue Horseshoe loves Anacott Steel. I never get tired of that line!

      Thanks for the post....

      The whole idea in successful investing/trading is to try to remain objective and to keep your emotions out of things. It sounds easy on the surface but is one of the hardest things to do and is the reason why so many people who try this end up losing money and failing at it.

      When you see these kinds of comments directed at you whenever you try to take an objective view of a market, you realize that you are dealing with folks who have surrendered their objectivity and become far too subjective to trade successfully invest. Their heart has taken over from their head.

      I am trying to help some of them understand this and to therefore take a much more balanced and realistic view of the precious metals as an asset class. It would save them a lot of grief.

      Most are not going to listen. Some will however and those are worth putting up with the crap that comes from the rest of them.

  44. wow...if this is a glimpse of the mails one receive from "the other side:, whatever the size, gold is really bringing passion to many people out there.

    Just my personal opinion here : cheer up, Dan! There will always be people to criticize or not understand what you do. I'm sure that on the other hand, this blog helped open a few people's minds. Which, quantitatively speaking, means a lot.
    Everybody is free to compare and judge for himself.
    Noone should belong to a specific community, read a specific blog, and bash all others.
    I've been reading many PM related websites and blogs, from Martin Armstrong's to Jim Sinclair's, from Eric de Groot's to The Turd, from Craig Roberts to Jim Rogers and so on.
    What I like in Dan's blog most of all :
    - everyone is free to speak in this forum
    - Dan answers you
    - Dan's comments are honest and unbiased. Trading is not about making impressive calls for fame and glory, as some seem to think here. As Dan said, sometimes the best trade about a market is to be out of the market. How strange that all the successful traders I've known and tried to learn a little from all share the same philosophy.

    Do you know many blogs like that?
    Martin Armstrong's blog is commenting about everything, the guy knows everyone and has friends all over the globe, yet one can't even post a comment on his blog and your emails will remain unanswered. How easier is that?
    This blog is one of the only blog I know which is trying to tell gold bugs to be careful, and not to endlessly listen to some golden mermaids.
    I support Dan in his anger when you see that some of those perma bull people are in fact newsletter writters, bloggers and so called super analyst who drink the blood of their victims in the process.
    This is unacceptable, and it is worth being angry if you have some sense of justice.

    I read about the production costs as an argument.
    Which production costs?
    They are not the same for everyone.
    And they vary also based on time.
    High prices led to mismanagement and reopening some mines with high production costs.
    How do you know that in two years, the average production cost of gold won't be 20% lower than today?
    It's better to repeat the sensational headlines without really thinking about who this whole industry is working.
    Please spare us with the critics all the time, I think the owner of this blog deserves a bit better for his commitment and openness.

    1. Hubert;

      Thanks for taking time to write this. You are really a top notch guy.

    2. Hubert, production costs are not going down, not for the foreseeable future, energy costs are pretty fixed at 'high' and will probably not get cheaper. Government budgets are constrained so levies and taxes on mining companies are only going up. Production costs are very important to consider, even The 'Squid' analyst admitted that the sector has tightened itself considerably.

      The argument to lower energy costs is based largely on the shale boom, but for those who have actually analysed it the shale boom is medium to short term, those wells degrade at a rate of 50 - 70% per year when in decline, and the ROI is meagre, many companies are losing money. I myself would not look to shale as the answer.

      The big game changer is batteries, large high capacity batteries with long life cycles that can actually make renewables effective, anything short of that and we're in a long term energy price increase environment. The next HUGE boom will be next gen batteries, that's why I invested in Tesla, and it's their technology more than even their actual sales that will insure the company remains relevant.

    3. Angelo, on the very long term, I agree with you that production costs are on an uptrend.
      But "short-term", i.e a few years, I believe that the current "average" costs for gold and silver (which is a byproduct of copper, with all it implies) can be reduced because of many factors...not the least being that for ten years, noone cared about containing them, given the fact that the price of gold was gaining around 20% every single year.
      Besides, short term as well, prices can go under the production costs for a few weeks, even months, depending on the need for cash, strength of deflationary forces, number of entities forced to sell in the market, etc...
      When there is heat in the kitchen, many people don't remain calm and the are part of the load who sells at the lows.
      Therefore, the lows may well be found under production costs, i.e I do not exclude the possibility of seeing 900 $ on gold or 14 $ on silver.

  45. back to T.A, nothing new about my last long trade in gold.
    Log 1269,5, out 1/3 of the position at 1291, stop loss raised to my entry level ar 1270, next target around 1330...doesn't seem we'll get there anytime soon, but who knows?
    Have a nice evening,

  46. btw Dan, about the gold to silver ratio, I'm watching it sometimes just as Eric mentioned in his blog. Not about the level itself, but the direction. A falling ratio would be rather an indication of strength in the metals and positive capital folows. He's using it I think just as other indicators such as junior to major miners ratio.
    Dunno if it's a very effective indicator, but I keep having a look at it since then.

    1. Hubert;

      Eric is a sharp guy and anything he puts out is always worth looking at.

      As a trading tool, it is not of much use but Eric does not claim it to be such. It is a tool to gauge money flows, sentiment etc... and that is a good thing.

      Have a great weekend Hubert.

  47. Dan,
    Thanks for shedding some light on this issue. I was sold hook line and sinker over 10 years ago yet I'm happy I own physical. Where I got burned was in the shares. Wow.. and they continue to take a beating. Patiently waiting to exit and lick wounds... It sucks that losses are so limited on our taxes... Thanks for your honest integrity in the midst of so many who hype with their obvious agenda. Time has a way of bearing these things out and I've followed some a long time. Needless to say it has become obvious as it has to you. I always sort of wandered where you went for a while until I found your blog. Thanks for your continued posts Dan and God bless you always!

  48. Thanks for this post Dan, it had to be said and you said it well.

    Hopefully, after the dust settles, a few more people will reflect on what you have said, and why, then quietly move on to improve their lives.

  49. Excerpt from Trader Dan: "Common sense/prudence dictates that investors put money to work in those areas where they can capture the maximum amount of returns, risk factors considered."

    Ordinarily, sound council, however ...

    “Paper is poverty,… it is only the ghost of money, and not money itself.” --Thomas Jefferson

    “A banknote is not money; and no power on earth can make it money.” --James Garfield

    "Of all the contrivances for cheating the laboring classes of mankind, none has been more effective than that which deludes them with paper money." --Daniel Webster

    "Paper money has had the effect in your state that it will ever have, to ruin commerce, oppress the honest, and open the door to every species of fraud and injustice." --George Washington

    "In all calmness and deliberation, I consider that the action of the international bankers, in demonetizing silver and virtually destroying the purchasing power of over 800,000,000 people, was one of the most brutal acts ever committed in history." --Sen. William Borah (1932)

    Thus, for all of Mr. Norcini's incantations of Biblical Verse and denigration of 'The Golden Calf', it's rather the Humanist cult of paper he proves to worship at the altar of.

    There is a subtle distinction to be understood, between aspiring toward 'precious metals' in and of themselves, or the greater goal of the Honest Money scheme. The latter is ... indispensable ... from fully objective attainment of Optimal Price Discovery throughout the entire matrix of goods-at-market.

    Following Mr. Norcini's bit of good advise, I have vested very considerable time toward 'thinking for myself' ... about the banknote scheme he genuflects before.

    All banknotes are loaned credit principal, leaving interest service funding no other source for raising but infinitely further borrowing of banknote ... principal ... into existence. This co-generation of currency and debt, each by the other, is an exponential process at which certain point, the cumulative degree of debt, surpasses the capacity of excess productivity to meet.

    This is a financial and economic doom Mr. Norcini entices us toward. For all the trial, sacrifice and illusions of futility we may have to endure, when the Terminal Debt Saturation point erupts on the surface of this delusional 'monetary' scheme of paper credit, those who held fast to ... reality ... will prevail.

    Pat Fields

    1. Pat Fields;

      Wow! How difficult is it for you when you buy groceries and have to bring in your pouch of gold dust and a scale to weigh it on for the cashier?
      That has to be a real challenge but I am sure you are up to it. You could always quote Jefferson or Garfield to the cashier to amuse her while you are adding or subtracting the dust from the pan of the scale and the rest of the poor folks who got stuck behind you in the checkout line are cursing.

      Thanks for taking so much time for all this "wisdom".

      It is great start for my weekend. Seriously, you have just provided a wondrous example of the investor who puts all of his eggs in a single basket. It must be all in physical metals because to own a share of a gold mining company would have you prostrating yourself along with the rest of that cult of paper.

      You had better hope the entire system implodes because that is what it is going to take for you to achieve any return on invested capital. Sadly, the country will not be a fit place to live in or raise a family in if you get your wish.

      My oh my how utterly tragic.

    2. Pat...That's twisted logic you've tightly wrapped yourself in.

      I get the "paper" argument on some level but what you're stating is all or nothing thinking on the matter.

      Do you deny the fact that if someone was in certain equities or index funds that they wouldn't have made some real spendable paper money if they smartly bought and sold paper shares instead of holding them for a long time?

      In my world, and probably many others as well, I get paid in and I spend paper money or electronic digits that represent paper more or less.
      This whole "paper sucks" meme is unbalanced in it's absolutism. I own enough phyz gold and silver so don't think I'm an anti-metals person.
      Paper isn't going away anytime soon unless it's replaced by electronic debit cards at some point in the future. I see little to no possibility that any of us will ever be able to spend phyz gold/silver on a consistent retail level to the degree some people fantasize about it happening.

      I get the the entire paper meme. I do....but only to a point.
      Is there anyone here who would decline a paper or electronic profit from any investment holdings they benefitted from?
      On some level the anti-paper crowd is selectively hypocritical.

      Everyone out there....challenge your thinking and get to the root of why you fervently and almost obsessively cling to certain beliefs.

      I'm not implying they're wrong or misguided but when an absolute all or nothing approach impairs a persons viewpoint then that outlook might need to be reconsidered.

      Being honest with onesself and considering some things that you previously refused to consider can be an eye-opening experience and liberating on some level within yourself.

      All or nothing approaches lead to a dead end at some point.

    3. The issue of one of perception and utility. When you step back, if you have any sense, you must admit that the whole system is a Ponzi scheme designed to funnel wealth to a select few (yes a conspiracy!). Money created by private banks at no cost and issued with interest is a scam of monumental proportions, so the argument for Honest money is sound and makes sense overall in a longer purview. However for those making a living or seeking returns in the market (working within the beast) than the overarching structure of the Ponzi is of little concern as long as they are able to extricate a portion of the wealth being funnelled to themselves. If the creation of money was outside the control of a private monopoly the whole argument of the revolutionary Honest money crowd would be moot, but it's not. The antagonism is at this crucial juncture, those who rail against the system for the simple reason of it's unjust nature and those who work within the Ponzi in an intimate way (traders, money managers, etc). I understand both sides of the argument, and recognize the validity of both. If I own a business and do not invest in the markets because my business provides for me, and I recognize the Ponzi for what it is and my window of return is much longer than gold and silver is a no brainer, if I rely on my investments as a supplement to my income, or a short term opportunity, than the larger context will prove of little help.

      I will be the first to admit that I lost some money in the mining sector, but I still like the sector because of its volatility, and despite the sentiment being poor in the west as far as gold goes, I do think that given the right conditions the miners are a solid buy. So I will continue to watch the market and work within the beast to supplement my income, while also knowing that currency collapse is baked into the cake - of this I have no doubts. The tricky part may be when the reality of the Ponzi crosses over into the unreality of the markets (sentiment/perception/confidence), the massacre may be a sight to behold, and as such I think it's also prudent that those who derive their income, or a portion thereof, from the markets remain open to the reality of a systemic malfunction. 'Malfunctions' have happened before and will happen again, that you can bank on.

    4. Each respondent in turn has either completely sidestepped the fundamental issue of the banknote scheme's self-destructive design flaw (Mr. Norcini), or chose to downplay it as of no current practical concern.

      Predictable, as ... "The few who understand the system, will either be so interested from it's profits or so dependant on it's favors, that there will be no opposition from that class." — Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild

      Thus ... "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." –Frederic Bastiat

  50. Does anyone you know or any place you visit (which almost seems irresistable) fit 25%-50% of some of these traits? Be honest with yourself.

    Just because you voluntarily visit a place doesn't mean the siren song of that location can't affect your outlook in a gradual and obvious way. While some of these examples are extreme that doesn't mean the other 50% that might fit the profile are nonsense or inapplicable.

    "They all have or had an over-abundant belief that they were special, that they and they alone had the answers to problems, and that they had to be revered. They demanded perfect loyalty from followers, they overvalued themselves and devalued those around them, they were intolerant of criticism, and above all they did not like being questioned or challenged. And yet, in spite of these less than charming traits, they had no trouble attracting those who were willing to overlook these warning signals.

    These personality traits stand out as the first warning to those who would associate with them, but there are many others. Here is a collection of traits that I have collected over the years about cult leaders that give us hints as to their psychopathology. This list is not all-inclusive nor is it the final word on the subject; it is merely my personal collection based on my studies and interviews that I conducted in my previous career.

    If you know of a cult leader who has many of these traits there is a high probability that they are hurting those around them emotionally, psychologically, physically, spiritually, or financially. And of course this does not take into account the hurt that their loved ones will also experience.

    Here are the typical traits of the pathological cult leader (from Narcissists Among Us) you should watch for and which shout caution, get away, run, or avoid if possible:

    He has a grandiose idea of who he is and what he can achieve.
    Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, or brilliance.
    Demands blind unquestioned obedience.
    Requires excessive admiration from followers and outsiders.
    Has a sense of entitlement - expecting to be treated special at all times.
    Is exploitative of others by asking for their money or that of relatives putting others at financial risk.
    Is arrogant and haughty in his behavior or attitude.
    Has an exaggerated sense of power (entitlement) that allows him to bend rules and break laws.
    Takes sexual advantage of members of his sect or cult.
    Sex is a requirement with adults and sub adults as part of a ritual or rite.
    Is hypersensitive to how he is seen or perceived by others.
    Publicly devalues others as being inferior, incapable, or not worthy.
    Makes members confess their sins or faults publicly subjecting them to ridicule or humiliation while revealing exploitable weaknesses of the penitent.
    Has ignored the needs of others, including: biological, physical, emotional, and financial needs.
    Is frequently boastful of accomplishments.
    Needs to be the center of attention and does things to distract others to insure that he or she is being noticed by arriving late, using exotic clothing, overdramatic speech, or by making theatrical entrances.
    Has insisted in always having the best of anything (house, car, jewelry, clothes) even when others are relegated to lesser facilities, amenities, or clothing.
    Doesn’t seem to listen well to needs of others, communication is usually one-way in the form of dictates.
    Haughtiness, grandiosity, and the need to be controlling is part of his personality.
    Behaves as though people are objects to be used, manipulated or exploited for personal gain.
    When criticized he tends to lash out not just with anger but with rage.
    Anyone who criticizes or questions him is called an “enemy.”
    Refers to non-members or non-believers in him as “the enemy.”
    Acts imperious at times, not wishing to know what others think or desire.
    Believes himself to be omnipotent.
    Has “magical” answers or solutions to problems.
    Is superficially charming.
    Habitually puts down others as inferior and only he is superior.

  51. (cont.)
    Has a certain coldness or aloofness about him that makes others worry about who this person really is and or whether they really know him.
    Is deeply offended when there are perceived signs of boredom, being ignored or of being slighted.
    Treats others with contempt and arrogance.
    Is constantly assessing for those who are a threat or those who revere him.
    The word “I” dominates his conversations. He is oblivious to how often he references himself.
    Hates to be embarrassed or fail publicly - when he does he acts out with rage.
    Doesn’t seem to feel guilty for anything he has done wrong nor does he apologize for his actions.
    Believes he possesses the answers and solutions to world problems.
    Believes himself to be a deity or a chosen representative of a deity.
    Rigid, unbending, or insensitive describes how this person thinks.
    Tries to control others in what they do, read, view, or think.
    Has isolated members of his sect from contact with family or outside world.
    Monitors and or restricts contact with family or outsiders.
    Works the least but demands the most.
    Has stated that he is “destined for greatness” or that he will be “martyred.”
    Seems to be highly dependent of tribute and adoration and will often fish for compliments.
    Uses enforcers or sycophants to insure compliance from members or believers.
    Sees self as “unstoppable” perhaps has even said so.
    Conceals background or family which would disclose how plain or ordinary he is.
    Doesn’t think there is anything wrong with himself – in fact sees himself as perfection or “blessed.”
    Has taken away the freedom to leave, to travel, to pursue life, and liberty of followers.
    Has isolated the group physically (moved to a remote area) so as to not be observed.
    When the question is asked, “When do we know when a cult leader is bad, or evil, or toxic?” this is the list that I use to survey the cult leader for dangerous traits. Of course the only way to know anything for sure is to observe and validate, but these characteristics can go a long way to help with that. And as I have said, there are other things to look for and there may be other lists, but this is the one that I found most useful from studying these groups and talking to former members of cults.

    When a cult or organizational leader has a preponderance of these traits then we can anticipate that at some point those who associate with him will likely suffer physically, emotionally, psychologically, or financially. If these traits sound familiar to leaders, groups, sects, or organizations known to you then expect those who associate with them to live in despair and to suffer even if they don’t know it, yet.

    Does any of the above ring a bell or are you willing to overlook it despite recognizing it? And at what cost?

    A classic sign is if the individual (or yourself) feels a strong need or obligation to educate or indoctrinate your children (at a young age) to be aware of certain elements of life (all negative stuff!) that their parent feels the need to instill in them early on.

    For Christ's sake.....leave your childrens young innocence alone and stop robbing them of the only period in their life that they have nothing to worry about.
    Unless your goal is to affect your childs entire life outlook by rubbing your adult anxieties onto them irreversibly at a young age all you're accomplishing is unnecessarily stressing your kids out because your outlook is grim.

    Is that what you want your kids remembering about you....that you're getting ready (and so should they) for a dire "end of the (fill in blank" scenario???

    If you're already prepping your younger kids then you fit the profile of someone who is unknowingly or willfully engaging in extreme thought if not cultish behavior whether it's in real life or somewhere online that you find irresistible.

    Denial is your decision. Your children have no choice if you're slowly force feeding them that crap.

    1. DPH,

      You've touched on the issue that is the most tragic of all, and that is the effect on the spouses and children.

      It's one thing to ruin your own finances, your own health, and live out your days in a fearful and angry bunker mentality. But it's quite another when you drag your family down the drain with you. They deserved better.

    2. DPH,

      Well said. I remember you form the tfmetals site. What is the most tragic of all is the effects on the children of these bunker mentalities. I can't imagine the detrimental outcomes, affectively warping their malleable minds into believing the world as we know is soon to be replaced with encampments with a total economic collapse. It always reminds me of mr fix and his family. I really feel sorry for his daughter and the many others who have to be subjected on a daily basis to this warped and debilitating mindset. It literally destroys relationships over time.

  52. Actually Eric, Joe Navarro touched on it for DPH on AUGUST 25, 20212 at this site.


  53. Interesting thread. Not sure I agree with Dan on this issue, but he does raise some valid points. One thing is certain, making price predictions in these fraud ridden markets is a Fools Game, and has tarnished some pretty good reputations the last three years. I still read lots of those guys because I think their fundamental analysis is still correct on owning some physical gold and silver. Both are probably the cheapest assets on the planet now (compared to other asset classes like stocks, bonds and RE). Especially silver, which is below production costs for many miners right now.

    Good luck and best wishes.

    Bay of Pigs

  54. FWIW, Mr Doug Kass also called gold a "cult" and "like a religion" more than two years ago, when he forecast (correctly) a steep collapse in the gold price.

  55. Gold is a cult.
    When I saw the title I expected a firestorm of hate. I am sure Dan has spared us some of the vituperation but on the whole this has been a good discussion.

    Thank you Dan.

  56. Quotes from hundreds of years ago have no bearing on the present or future.

    While I AGREE with many or most of the principles of our wise and practical elders I don't see any or most of those philosophies resurrecting themselves or coming into play as some type of modern solution.

    The "Way Back" machine of smart and practical idea's within those quotes will have no bearing on the future. None.
    That's NOT a rejection of those principles by myself.

    We're on a trajectory (in many area's) to a place in history where the quotes that will frame what might come to pass haven't even been spoken or considered yet.

    The absolute loathing of paper by some seems like more selective hypocrisy on some level. I can only assume that most of the paper haters out there don't hold a mortgage, never apply for or use credit, don't play the markets and buy/sell shares of companies or funds that use fractionalized shares or that they don't spend or accept paper money or a paper (or electronic) check from their employer etc.

    If the U.S. or any other country didn't use fiat paper money as a basis for transactions what form of medium would or should they have used instead all of these decades or centuries?

    Asking that DOES NOT make me some cheerleader of the FRN (or derivatives market) system although I suspect that might be the takeaway by some.
    If we're going to totally demonize paper then what is the alternative?

    We're not going to be lugging around bags of silver or gold as a medium of exchange no matter how fervently some might want to return to a simpler way of life that has been romanticixed as being an ideal time period to live in whether it's the 1900's or 1800's etc.

    We're stuck for now with the current system. Even our US forefathers issued paper script as a means of payment and credit/debt was in use back then to some degree.

    Were they misguided back then also in the land of quotes?

  57. Zhang Lan,

    LOL. don't forget "flying monkey" and "Evil Empire".

    I read the Zerohedge piece from Goldbroker down to where the author stated "the collapse of the London gold pool in the '70s". . . off the mark by only a decade!

  58. Zhang Lan;

    Thank you for the time you spent in writing this most informative post.

    As someone who has been making a living IN these markets for going on 25 years now, and has watched all manner of bull and bear markets occur, I have feelings of both sadness and disgust at what I see taking place regularly in certain circles of the pro-gold community.

    Sadness that so many, many sincere people who were trying to understand what was happening in the financial realm were sucked into a world of constant wild theories, reckless claims and sensationalism. Disgust that all of this was designed to enrich the owners of certain of these various pro-gold web sites through advertising revenue or through per-click generated revenue,

    While nearly all of those poor victims have watched their life savings evaporate into thin air, the proprietors of some of those sites have managed to make large sums of money in spite of the fact that they very things that they were advocating and regaling us with have been utterly and completely meaningless in a bear market in the precious metals.
    In other words, while these poor souls were following their constant wild claims associated with the latest fad, ( backwardation, negative GOFO rates, JPM concerns on gold, Comex defaults, bail ins, etc. ) and losing their shirts, those using their sites to tell them to "stay the course" were making money off of them. Now we see some of these people minting coins with images of themselves! I cannot tell you how utterly nauseating this is. It has absolutely nothing to do with investing or trading which requires one to be an objective, hard-nosed realist when it comes to evaluating portfolio allocation. What is next, a place on Mt. Rushmore for some of these people?

    How repulsive to any serious minded individual trying to understand our modern markets and be successful in this most difficult of professions/undertakings!

    It is a cult, pure and simple and needs to be distinguished from the rest of those who truly do value gold for its historic role but who also get lumped into the same category with the rest of these opportunists.

    Here is a real test for those pro-gold websites and a challenge to them ( Don't hold your breath waiting for it to happen however). Let them take down all of the on-site ads, let them cease charging any subscription fees to either their own sites or their own newsletters, let them forego any sort of revenue stream from per-click revenue, etc. In other words, let them either make it IN THE MARKET or fail.

    I guarantee you that they would have been ruined many years ago and no longer around to pollute the web if they had to live by their own worthless advice that has ruined so many.

  59. It seems a bit ironic that some inhabitants of some blog(s?) aren't aware of, or possibly care, that their "private" messaging system has been monitored for YEARS for suspicious activity ( aka negative comments) that someone behind the curtain felt necessary (paranoid) enough to initially spy on some folks who were deemed a threat.

    A threat to what, and more importantly...whom exactly?
    The hypocrisy and blind eye aspect of that should set off alarm bells unless someone's supposed privacy doesn't matter to them.

    To be clear...I DON'T think that EVERYONE who visists or hangs at these places is a cult member. Far, far from it.

    And while I'm at it I see from some comments by the more paranoid posters that they believe a group of former members (or moderators) has coordinated within the last several days to launch an attack against said enclave

    In fact, I posted what I had to say BEFORE I even saw Dan's post. The coincidence was a telling thing.
    The fact people started coming out of the shadows to express similar sentiments is no coincidence or some huge agenda by some group or whatever some are fantasizing and constructing.

    Circling the wagons a bit is understandable but turning a blind eye and accepting an invasion of your privacy (acknowledged publicly) says what about that situation?

    Anyone trying to explain away their initial and continued monitoring (or that they've stopped) isn't credible or believable and in fact they'll reveal themselves to be the architect or genesis of that sad practice.

    Think about it. If surveillance of your private messages doesn't resonate with you, what would?

  60. 100% behind you Dan, you are an honest man, rare to see in this industry. I am constantly dumfounded by the apparent stupidity of the "hard asset" community and that was one of the reasons i became a through and through bear on hard assets. I do not wish to be in bad comapny in my thinking or investing and i can not fathom that these people are right about anything.. I previously posted on the XXXX website/Forum but left (was banned) for pointing out everything you said above and more. I made some mistakes early on when moving my money around but when i realised i hit the nail on the head and moved on, so many fail to do this to this very day.

    Just want to thank you for continuing to put out excellent trading information and analysis for free for people that are interested in learning about the reality of the market rather than crystal ball myth and witch hunts that are predatory and manipulative in nature and put out by those who fail to make any money in the markets they claim to understand so well.

    Humans enjoy drama and fiction and so some of these blogs will always generate interest even if the posters and analysts are batting at 0.0011 success rate. this is a sad fact and something that frustrates me greatly, but we must accept it.

    Anyway, Best wishes to you.


    1. IR ( DS);

      Thanks for the post and the kind words.

      yes, some bad apples tend to ruin the whole barrel. I have tried to learn to eat the hay and spit out the sticks if you know what I mean.

      I understand the arguments for a weaker Dollar and by consequence a higher gold price - huge indebtedness; etc but the Euro Zone and Japan both have their own shares of trouble as well. Canada is heavily dependent on commodity prices so if those weaken, its currency tends to weaken alongside of them. I could go on but I think you get the point. Many of the competing currencies of the US Dollar all have their issues as well and thus the idea that the Dollar is going to collapse needs to be examined with that in mind. Right now we have no viable alternative. That is probably going to come at some point but who the heck knows when that might be or even what form it might take?

      In the meantime, I try to just read the charts and see what the market's current sentiment is and hopefully react accordingly.

      Best to you as well,

  61. Because the cult mantra is "keep stacking". Not learn a skill and become more self reliant, or seek balance in life, or everything in moderation. . . . . just "keep stacking".

    It's like other aspects of American culture(?) everybody is looking for the magic - EZ, fix . . .gimme a pill to fix what ails me so I can spend more time watching American Idol.

    Gimme a monster box of them silver bullets, I'm gonna be rich when society collapses!

    (I'm embarrassed to say that I used to read the Golden Jackass every week.)


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