My friend is a fake internet Guru

September 25, 2017

My friend is a fake internet Guru

Email Received 9/20/2017 – 12:35pm


Hi Markus!

            My name is Bethany Simpson, I am the president of the Brighter Rays Wealth Organization. Or, you may know me from my book, Brighter Rays for Better Days. If not, all you really need to know is that I am a wealth coach and published self-help author.

I’ve seen a few of your videos and I have to say, you truly are an inspiration. You have amazing, captivating energy, and of course, an engaged audience young wealth-seekers and entrepreneurs.

            Anyway, I was wondering if you would have any interest in being a speaker at the wealth master-class convention we are having in Seattle next month? We could promise you a 45-minute, prime time spot, and the subject matter can be completely up to you. There would also be monetary compensation, obviously. We can negotiate the details of payment later. Your energy is exactly what we need to bring a little more excitement to the event.

Let me know as soon as you can, we are starting to make the official schedule.




            I was walking into work when Markus called me.

“Hey Markus, what’s up man?” I answered while struggling to talk, carry coffee, and open the door all at once.

“Jordan. I have news.” He said matter-of-factly.

“Good news or bad news?”

“I don’t know. Neither? It’s just news.”

“Alright, well, lay it on me.” I got into the elevator and tried to sound interested in whatever nonsense I was sure Markus was about to spout.

“I just got an email from some lady who runs a wealth organization –“

“A what?”

“A wealth organization? I’m not totally sure what that means. She also wrote a book. Something about brighter days or rays or-“

Brighter Rays for Better Days?”

“You know it?” He asked with genuine surprise.

“Yeah I know it. I read.” I retorted defensively.

“Alright well, that woman wants me to speak at a convention next month.”

“Speak on what?”

“On my motivational millionaire tactics, obviously.”

“Oh, are you still doing those video things?

“Yes, I’m still doing those video things!” He spat back irritated.

“Okay, sorry! I just assumed since, you know, you don’t have any credentials and since you only started doing the damn thing to get back at your ex-girlfriend... I don’t know... I thought it would have fizzled out by now.”

“I have some credentials! I took a finance class in college! And my videos have millions of views! I’ve helped people.”

“Alright, that’s fine! You don’t have to justify your Internet presence to me. And, in that case, I’m happy for you man! This will be a great opportunity for you.”

“Yeah. It will be.” He said overconfidently. “I have over 30,000 subscribers. One of my motivational quotes was retweetd by Mark Cuban. I wouldn’t have gotten this far if what I had to say was completely pointless or without merit, right?”

I thought about correcting him, or at least, managing his expectations, but I decided it wasn’t really my place to tell him what to do. Lord knows he probably makes more money off his videos than I do at my practical 9-5 gig – he must be doing something right.

“Sure.” I offered without much enthusiasm.

“I’m going to email her back right now and tell her I’ll do it.”


            The cold December air bit at me as I ran from my car to the building. I slipped inside the lobby and darted for the elevator who’s doors were slowly closing.

            “Hold it?” I called out, picking up speed.

            At the last second, I saw a hand reach out to stop the doors, and I made my way in.

            “Thanks.” I said, but the girl wasn’t listening. She was watching a video on her phone and laughing to herself.

            I tried to ignore her, but her continuous giggling caught my curiosity and I attempted to hear some indicator of what she could be watching.

            “Oh my god,” She said softly. “What an idiot.”

            I looked over at her phone and she noticed.

            “Have you seen this video? Of the online Guru totally bombing at some convention? It went viral yesterday.”

            She held her phone out so I could see it.

            Markus was on stage, in front of thousands of people. He had a whiteboard behind him and the title “3 Steps to a Millionaire Lifestyle” written in green marker. The bullet points on the board were as follows:

  • Read two books a day
  • Take a millionaire to dinner
  • Follow me on YouTube

There were people lined up at the microphones, berating Markus with questions. One

woman asked, “How am I supposed to read two books a day? That’s completely impractical. You do know that most books are much longer that the 5-page piece of shit .pdf you’ve been selling as an educational eBook?”

A man yelled from the back, “Yeah, and how do you expect us to take a millionaire to dinner when we no idea where to find a millionaire in the first place, moron?”

            Markus tried to answer, but every time he opened his mouth, someone in the audience was quicker.

            “Why are you always standing in front of them and never driving any of the cars from your YouTube posts – can you at least show us the keys to that Lamborghini we see in all of your videos?”

            “Not all of us want to scam our way to the top! I’m not going to rent a mansion and a Bentley just to look important!”

            “That Bentley wasn’t rented, its belongs to a very good friend of mine!” Markus retorted. And that was the beginning of the end. The video went on for another 15 minutes, but I couldn’t bear to watch.


-Written by Sawyer Smith

Sawyer is a creative writer, bookworm, and movie-nerd. Sawyer attended the University of California, Santa Cruz and has years of experience writing creative, academic, and marketing pieces. Sawyer recently wrote a play that was picked up by several Fringe Festivals across the country.