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lengthy summary on the deceipt of Casey and Couchsurfing

(This was a follow-up comment, to the last comment posted by Martine, in “where’s the org chart, on CS?” – turned out to be much longer than I intended, so I broke it off as its own post.  Apologies to those who already “get” most of what I’m talking about, or have previously suffered through me saying the same things or similar.  Casey,Inc. are still playing the same games today, and so, I’m still personally p*ssed-off about it… )
Thanks for the chart link, Martine!

Notably, like so many other parts of the site, that list is a sprawling mess and it’s difficult if not impossible to determine who’s actually on the paid staff, versus who’s just in some kind of administrative group.

In my opinion, they’ve deliberately obscured this kind of detail. They don’t really want people to realize that the “inner clique” is actually getting paid, and in some/all cases, handsomely.  They want everyone to believe, that volunteering your valuable time and effort, will always be unpaid.

I mean, I clicked on one of the expand-o-icons, and got this:
Here’s the only real chart/graphic, that clicking on any expander produces:
So still, there are no names, and no indication of who’s actually being paid.

This is not an accidental oversight, this is exactly how Casey Fenton rolls – giving the “appearance” of honesty and transparency, but in reality, acting as secretively and selfishly as possible to benefit himself, while very carefully hiding his games.

carnival_barkerHe’s a master at it, really.  Some might even describe people like him as a “sociopath,” because his fundamental M.O. in life, seems to be “using” people. You can tell, he actually enjoys suckering people with warm and glowing lies.

Couchsurfing, as previously discussed, displays many characteristics of a corrupt cult, with the “leaders” obviously maintaining a careful eye toward “hiding” information that would hold them accountable.

I also think I noticed that the last published budget, if it’s even complete or accurate, is from 2008. Why?  Because something more current would reveal just how much money they’re raking in today, and who exactly is receiving it.

Since several years ago, when people began to catch on to these games, Casey,Inc. has done nothing to make things right, and done everything to keep digging their heels in, to keep hiding facts and information, and to keep exploiting their users.

Not surprising really; we’d be asking a dog to change his spots, and couchsurfing has pretty obviously always been, and was created for, expanding and then exploiting a user-base, for personal profit. The undeniable examples are practically limitless. Some of the “spreading love and friendship” propaganda was starting to smell canned and fishy to me, some time ago.  What do I mean “has always been” ?

For one example, as long as four years ago, maybe three, Casey added some site code that linked everyone’s listed favorite books, music, and movies, to an Amazon link to purchase each item.  Which, would then automatically generate a commission for Casey, for every purchase completed.  When Casey was “called” on this, he flat-out denied any knowledge of the Amazon links, and even tried to pretend he didn’t know how that “feature” was instituted on CS, as if it just happened by accident or by magic.  In short, the snake lied through his teeth!

A web-anchored hospex communication tool is still a noble project idea, and if Casey,Inc. hadn’t done it, someone else would’ve.  And actually, has. It’s simply history unfolding for us, with respect to how the interweb is impacting so many things in our lives. For better or worse and I believe, mostly for better and often massively.

The fundamental problem with CS is, and has always been, that for one thing, to this day the d*mned tool is unstable and unreliable for often critical communication needs, and for another thing, they’ve reached a point on a graph where the money coming in daily is an enormous sum (which was always the goal), and instead of using that money to improve the tool, it’s pretty clearly going toward making the CaseyFentonClique, rich.

Which is not a reason why I would want to, or do, support the org, though I do use the tool. Ain’t givin’ that con-man one thin dime, though!

So, I also use the alternatives, like BeWelcome, and also gladly give money to those guys, because their entire way of behaving is proper and honest, it would seem.

I would bet cash-money that at some point, CS will implode, either from the chronic infection that it harbors, or from some new scandal.  So, I suggest to anyone reading this, be sure to create a profile on the top alt’s, like BeWelcome, use those tools in addition to CS, and actually put your words of support, and money, toward any org but CS.

Yeah, I buy stuff on Amazon, but I also always use a shopping tool to check on alternatives.  And with CS there’s no “price comparison” to make – all the hospex tools are free.

The whole “verified” scheme, is a scam.  We all know this now.  But I will get out my wallet for a tool like BeWelcome because they (might) publicize their income and expenses, and just humbly ask for donations.  Without any kind of spin, like CS’s “getting verified will get you more couches” BS, just a simple request for help in keeping the computers running, and to hire some necessary, talented staff.

What most web-based tools with large user-bases do actually need to spend money on, is… keeping the tool itself in excellent working order, upgrading things in a careful, planned way only when it’s really a genuine improvement, and never allowing a repair to remain unresolved, or a for a break-down to occur in the first place.

What is not needed, is an inner-clique of ten people, sucking up 90% of $200K a month, to enrich themselves and to buy plane tickets, MDMA-tabs, and hotel stays (for themselves.) Or vacation houses or cars.  Or whatever else you buy with a constant, tall stream of cash coming in every single day.

CS is supposed to help couchsurfers, first, foremost, and primarily.  Not help/enrich the founders, primarily.  Casey,Inc. doesn’t present the business in a business way, he’s chosen to sell it as some kind of feel-good, purely volunteer way. Which again, is no accident – that kind of lure will catch more fish, because people (are led to believe) they’re supporting something other than Casey’s bank account, or his stockpile of Valtrex.

If you want to run a hospex tool as a for-profit business, then do so, and be completely honest in that intention.  However, hospex is by design not-for-profit, so this would seem to always present a fundamental conflict or mis-match.

Regardless, I’m still hosting and surfing (Casey be d*mned) and enjoying it!  See ya on the road…

2 Responses to “lengthy summary on the deceipt of Casey and Couchsurfing”

  • Even though it’s not very deep, I mostly agree with your analysis. I’ve been through a lot of anger as well, 3 years ago. Meanwhile I started thinking Casey is actually a friendly guy. I actually think he could have had mostly the same lifestyle if he had chosen for honesty and transparency. We’ll probably even hug (genuinely) if we see each other again some time.

    But at least I didn’t catch any STDs from the fellow…

    Meanwhile Margaret is trying to get hold of some financial details.

  • hi guys

    I haven’t checked here in a while and was happy to see some nice discussion…thanks:)

    Indeed, CS will be forced to provide me with the last 3 years of filed IRS Form 990′s or face substantial penalties. The IRS will go after individual people, not the organization, to pay these fees, so the responsible people will be Dan Hoffer and Casey Shultz….so they’ll have to pressure the finance guys to get going and send me the 2007, 2008 and 2009 Form 990′s by July 21, 2010. I’m guessing that the IRS does this so that earnestly donated money from the org cannot be used to bail out ineffective employees.

    In regards to the organizational chart that you link, Blusterbuster, CS is absolutely required to list on the website the five highest payed employees, if their salaries exceed $30,000. They are also required legally to list the Board of Directors and their bios on the website. CS is currently in violation of these legal requirements. (see page 9, #7).

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