2009 has certainly
been a year of change for many of us on many levels.
Change can feel particularly jarring when it seems to
arrive not of our own conscious choices. Change can be
frightening when we have to change our beliefs as well
as our actual modes of operating. We need new
paradigms for meeting change--individually and
collectively--if we are to evolve. We may have to change
our ways of "doing business as usual"--in our actual
businesses as well as in our relationships, managing our
health, and in other dimensions of our
We have a tendency toward complacency
and settling back into old routines, whether this is the
case with addiction relapses or old ways of thinking. As
we approach the 8th anniversary of the September 11th
terrorist attacks, we might recall how--for a short
period of time--we felt that event "changed everything."
Yet, I suspect for most of us, life eventually went on
and we returned to the more trivial, mundane and
essential concerns of our own particular
As we approach September and fall--the
season of change--we may either be resisting change or
hoping and praying for change. Or maybe a little of
both. As summer fades and we naturally begin to turn
inward with the fading temperatures, we might as well
embrace or allow ourselves to "fall forward" into
transformation. After all, life is calling us forward
I just started reading parts
of Neale Donald Walsch's new book When Everything
Changes, Change Everything.
In his book,
Walsch talks about how change can feel threatening
to our very notions of safety and security. However,
change is also inevitable ("the only thing that is
certain is change"). Change is how we grow.
The only question is whether we evolve or regress.
Sometimes it seems we need to regress before we
Walsch defines change this way: "Change
is the shifting of any circumstance, situation, or
condition, physical or non-physical, in such a way that
the original is rendered not merely different from what
it was, but altered so radically as to make it utterly
unrecognizable and impossible to return to anything
resembling its former state."
Does this resonate
Real change, thus, can feel like death:
death of the former self.
Eckhart Tolle, in his
books The Power of Now and A New Earth,
uses the term "pain-body" to describe "a
negative energy field that occupies your body and
mind... and which has two modes: active and
dormant." The pain-body can be activated
through stressful times, "in intimate relationships, or
situations linked with past loss or abandonment,
physical or emotional hurt, and so on... The pain-body
wants to survive, just like every other entity in
existence, and it can only survive if it gets you to
unconsciously identify with it. It can then rise up,
take you over, 'become you,' and live through you...
Pain can only feed upon pain. Pain cannot feed on joy...
You are not conscious of this, of course, and will
vehemently deny that you want pain."
on to speak about how to approach dissolving or
transmuting the pain-body. He states we can only do so
by acknowledging its existence and by continuing to
observe it and have compassion for it. This is true when
we are dealing with addictions which are akin to
pain-bodies themselves as they wrap themselves around us
and trap us in fear and distorted thinking which leads
to the relative inability to step out of our dramas to
see the truth of who we really are and the options and
choices we have. Indeed, the word addiction comes from a
Latin word meaning "to imprison."
prison, one of the most dramatic ways in which we
imprison ourselves is through living secret lives.
Therefore, one of the most dramatic ways we can
find new freedom may be to take a risk by
sharing intimately with someone something we have
previously kept secret. Vulnerability is actually
strength--not usually how we think or operate. In my
counseling work with clients as well as in my own
participation in recovery self-help groups, I regularly
witness the struggle people have in "coming clean" about
their history of stealing and/or overspending. I have
been there myself. I just learned that a friend in
longtime recovery still hasn't told her spouse about her
addiction history. While it is certainly her choice, I
can only imagine the pain, fear, and shame she holds
closely inside of her.
Recently, I assisted
a couple of clients with coming "out of the shadows" by
revealing the extent of their secret lives with their
respective spouses. In each case, it was frightening and
liberating. The relief each client expressed at having
such a load off their shoulders is why I do the work I
do. In each case, real change and transformation now
becomes possible. One of my favorite sayings is "we're
only as sick as our secrets."
So, in what ways
do you feel change beckoning you? Health? Finances?
Employment? Relationships? Moving? New projects or
goals? Remember: we can resist or welcome change;
nothing stagnant grows.
And Shoplifters Anonymous to Celebrate 17-year
Anniversary on September 9,
It is with pride that I
announce the upcoming 17-year anniversary of the
C.A.S.A. (Cleptomaniacs And Shoplifters Anonymous)
self-help group and the 9-year anniversary of the
CASA-online self-help group (reformatted in 2003 but
started in late 2000). Our metro-Detroit area group,
founded in 1992, appears to be the oldest ongoing
self-help group of its kind. C.A.S.A. has four
metro-Detroit chapters. Self-help groups are typically
defined as groups run by members rather than outside
facilitators. Currently, C.A.S.A. (and similarly named
groups) have 4 additional chapters which meet weekly by
phone as well as 12 live groups throughout the U.S.
There is an online group sponsored by a member in Mexico
and there are groups offered in Canada through the
Elizabeth Fry Society. Several groups have folded
over the years as well.
See www.kleptomaniacsanonymous.com/support.htm for information about self-help group
We have a way to go before we have
self-help groups in every state, let alone every major
city, but we continue to hold the vision for
this. If you are interested in either starting a
local meeting chapter or contributing in some way to
assisting this process, we invite you to read the books
"Something for Nothing" or "Biting The Hand That Feeds"
or to contact us by e-mail or phone.
Second Chance for
Gives Them Opportunity to Clear Their
August 8, 2009
A single mother,
troubled after having lost her job in the down economy,
signs up for a class that meets at a local community
college. A common sight these days. A single
mother, troubled after having lost her job in the down
economy, signs up for a class that meets at a local
community college. A common sight these days.
But, this time, the point was not to
sharpen her job skills. It was to sweep away her one
criminal act — walking out of a Buffalo-area supermarket
with a cart full of unpaid groceries — the memory of
which still pains her.
"When they put the handcuffs on me, it hurt,"
Kate said. "And they didn't care. I'm used to being the
good citizen that the cop is taking care of. But this
time, I guess, I was the criminal."
Facing the fact that shoplifting is a crime —
and not a victimless crime — is the point of the class
that Kate (not her real name) graduated from
The Stop Shoplifting Education Program is
operated by the Better Business Bureau of Upstate New
York and Child and Family Services. Successfully
completing the three-hour class, doing 25 hours of
community service and staying out of legal trouble for
six months will give her back her clean criminal
See rest of article at:
Collectors Accused of Scamming and
Release) -- Aug 05,
2009 -- Better Business Bureau is warning consumers
about would-be debt collectors who call "payday" loan
holders, threatening arrest if they don't pay
A payday loan, also known as a
paycheck advance, is a short-term cash advance intended
to cover expenses until the holder's next payday.
The callers claim they are lawyers with the
"Financial Accountability Association" or the
"Federal Legislation of Unsecured Loans," and they are
armed with stolen personal information from their
victims, indicating a major security breach of unknown
origin. The names used by the scammers may change with
According to Connecticut Better Business
Bureau President, Paulette Scarpetti, payday loan
holders appear to be particularly at risk.
"Because the scammers have so much information
about potential victims, BBB is concerned that this may
be the result of a data breach. Thousands of
people may have had their personal information
Reports received by Better
Business Bureau and posted online explain the con
artists threaten the loan holders of defaulting and
claim they are being sued. The imposters threaten
the loan holders with imminent arrest and extradition to
California to stand trial, unless they immediately wire
$1000 or provide bank account or credit card
Connecticut Better Business Bureau
has advice for consumers who receive suspicious
telephone calls about an outstanding debt:
-Don't be bullied into immediate action.
Ask the debt collector to provide official
documentation that substantiates the debt.
not provide or confirm any bank account, credit card or
other personal information over the telephone until you
confirm the legitimacy of the call.
believe a debt collector is trying to scam you, file an
abuse complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
online at www. ftc.gov, or by telephone at (202)
Also file a complaint with your Better
Business Bureau at www.bbb.org or by telephone at
203-269-2700, extension 2.
NOTE: The New York
Attorney General--as well as several other State's
Attorneys General--are also suing certain debt
collectors who are calling up people and harrassing and
threatening them which is against the
deposed for nearly 7 hours on August 25th. It was pretty
grueling and exhausting but I feel I held up pretty
well. We didn't get to fully complete the deposition due
to time limits but we got through most of it. Some
further questions may need to be asked under oath by
telephone in the near future and then my attorney has
the right to ask some questions of me on re-direct for
clarification; we still have to complete one earlier
deposition we took in New York this way. In both cases,
some further documents need to be furnished by both
sides. Also, there is one other deposition scheduled for
September 11th by phone—the Plaintiff is
deposing an ancillary witness—a loss prevention person
in California—and my attorney and I will be attending at
my attorney's office by teleconference.
So, the bulk
of the depositions are done but not
If you are interested in supporting
our cause and in defending against this current lawsuit,
please contact us with any words of support or financial
contributions @ e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Compulsive Theft & Spending in the
Mr. Shulman created an online continuing
education course on compulsive shopping and spending
based on his book and Power Point presentation through
the American Psychotherapy Association. This course is
available for purchase by APA members and non-members
Mr. Shulman will be featured
in a segment on shoplifting addiction in the MSNBC
series "Theft in America" to air in
September 12--Mr. Shulman will be
speaking at The Men of Today monthly meeting at
Renaissance Unity Church on the topic "Reclaiming Our
Soul and Authentic Power in Tough Times."
Shulman was interviewed by NOW Cable TV Network in Hong
Kong (China) on compulsive shopping and spending in
Mr. Shulman has created an online course
on employee theft and ethics in the workplace for 360
Training to be online soon. See http://www.360training.com/company-overview.cfm
August - September--Mr. Shulman's
articles featured on Corporate Combat's monthly
loss prevention e-Newsletters. See http://www.corporatecombat.com
Mr. Shulman continues to work as a
consultant on a new TV program about compulsive shopping
and spending, currently in development.
2009: Mr. Shulman will have published an article on
compulsive shopping and spending in Paradigm Magazine
which is affiliated with Proctor Hospital and The
Illinois Institute for Addiction and
October 6--Mr. Shulman will
be giving a free talk at The Costick Center in
Farmington Hills, MI about compulsive shopping and
October 14-16--Mr. Shulman will be
presenting on compulisve theft and spending at The
American Psychotherapy Associations Annual Conference in
Las Vegas, NV.
October 23 and 25--Mr.
Shulman will be presenting on compulsive theft and
spending at 2 day-long seminars presented by The Jewish
Family Services in the metro-Detroit
November 5-8--Mr. Shulman
will be presenting a 3 hour workshop on compulsive theft
and spending at the Annual Association of Intervention
Specialists (AIS) in Palm Desert, CA.
is consulting on the development of a major motion
picture tentatively called "The Rush" in which the lead
character is addicted to shoplifting and
Mr. Shulman submitted a
chapter on employee theft for a U.K. book entitled
"Risky Business" to be released in late
November--Mr. Shulman will be featured in a
Toronto-based magazine article on compulsive shopping
December 1--WETV (Women's
Entertainment TV) will be airing a segment on women who
compulsively shop and spend in which Mr. Shulman was
interviewed working with a woman in Bosie,
December--CBC Television in Canada will be
airing a segment on shoplifting addiction in which Mr.
Shulman appears along with the Detroit area C.A.S.A.
Mr. Shulman continues to assist
the Kingman, Arizona court system with his court-ordered
homestudy program for retail fraud offenders. The
program is based on material from his book "Something
for Nothing: Shoplifting Addiction and Recovery"
Contact The Shulman
Franklin, Michigan 48025
Call (248) 358-8508 for free
Related sites by Terrence
Cleptomaniacs and Shoplifters
Biting The Hand That
Bought Out and $pent
Mr. Shulman's 75 Minute DVD
Power Point Presentation on Employee Theft at Livonia,
Michigan Financial Manager's Conference 10/19/06.
Mr. Shulman's 75 Minute DVD
Power Point Presentation on Employee Theft at
Louisville, Kentucky Business in Industry Conference
Mr. Shulman's two books
"Something for Nothing: Shoplifting Addiction &
Recovery" and "Biting The Hand That Feeds: The Employee
Theft Epidemic... New Perspectives, New Solutions" are
availabe for $25.00 each (includes shipping/handling) or
both for $45.00 (includes shipping/handling).
Mr. Shulman's 90 minute DVD
Power Point presentation for young people: "Theft and
Dishonesty Awareness Program." $75.00
Mr. Shulman's 33 minute
psycho-educational DVD: "The Disease of Something for
Nothing: Shoplifting and Employee Theft."
Conference on Theft Addictions & Disorders 4 DVD set
(13 Hours). Recorded 10/05. $125.00.
Conference on Compulsive Theft & Spending 2 DVD set
(6 Hours). Recorded 9/08. $100.00.
Click here to
E-mail Mr. Shulman:
Call (248) 358-8508