Colony of Losers- Fuck Stigma and Mental Illness, I'm like 25

Surviving your Quarter Life Crisis and becoming an adult

Letter to A Man Who Spams To Save My Sanity

Posted on | October 27, 2010 | 2 Comments

When I got fucked up I went looking for some sort of one step cure to end my anxiety.

Much of it is humiliating to recount.

I practiced mindfulness meditation on my floor while my roommates’ cat pawed at my face and wondered why this human was acting so strangely.  I watched YouTube videos that promised to hypnotize away my anxious thoughts. I ate almonds to raise my GABA. I exercised with Tony Robbins. I read hippy books about ways to utilize vitamins as a natural drug. I smiled to fake it until I could make it. I tried herbal cures. I sent out letters apologizing to everyone I had every lost touch with in the hopes of easing whatever guilt was driving me to hurt myself.

All in the hopes that I could do one thing which would change the direction of my life.   There are a lot of people out there searching for some sort of cure.  Who are being taken advantage of by advertisements, offering a simple and easy way to change their life immediately.  You’ve probably seen them whenever you went looking for help.

I believe these people should be held accountable for taking advantage of people looking for an answer.

My most pathetic lifeline was an 83-year-old American monk by the name of Burt Goldman.  It is my best friend Burt Goldman that I’m addressing today.

Here is an example of his work:

Watch this shit. The best part is when a cute dog is on screen as he recommends you buy his product. It is also mislabeled as at no point does he give you lessons on meditation. However we aren’t here to make fun of production values. This is an intervention for my best friend Burt.

From Michael Kimber aka Ernie.

Dear Burt Goldman,

Things started out so great with us.

I was desperately in need of help, seeking out aid from whatever source I could and like many people I found advertisements for your butterfly method. It promised that I would learn how to relax and live stress free.

I got on the floor, listened to your voice and told myself to relax.  The 83-year-old American monk was a master at age-old techniques and I only needed to open myself up to them.

Like you say countless times during our email correspondence you can change if you truly want to.

Somehow I managed to sign up for your mailing list.  I stopped paying attention to them a while ago after I got on medication, after I went to therapy and worked my shit out.

But you weren’t done with me and I guess that’s because we have something special.  Every Burt needs his Ernie.

Everyday I received emails trying to sell me this new innovative technique out of a genuine concern for my wellbeing.  Not trying to profit off me. Just trying to save me.  By offering me the chance to meditate, enter an alternate dimension where I met my twin who has accomplished all of my goals and tells me how to do the same.  Sort of a scientific and spiritual access to becoming Gwyneth Paltrow in Sliding Doors (seriously…look up Quantum Jumping….not is it plausible…it is perfect)

I didn’t even bother to quit your subscribers’ list. Recently I found an email you sent to me.  I feel that my neglecting you has lead to you lashing out. And I feel bad about that. I received this email on Thursday, June 24, 2010 at 1:29 PM. email:

First off, I wanted to give you one last chance to grab your copy of my 
Intuitive Healing Guide.

Get it here.

Listen, I’m not going to pressure you into buying this product. For
the price I am charing for it, it doesn’t matter much to me. 

But it matters A LOT to you. 

At this point, you should have already read a few of my emails, even 
went to the website, and already know whether this is for you or not.

That said, I do need to remind you that this investment is way cheaper 
than any hospital fees, not to mention prescription medication.

In fact, at $27 dollars, it breaks down to only 87 cents a day for one 
month. That’s a really small price to pay for all-natural, permanent 

I won’t go into the spelling mistakes because that’s nitpicky and irrelevant. It’s beneath us. I won’t even address that in your videos your background picture is as fake as what you are selling.  I want to address you and everyone else who makes money frightening scared people when they are backed into a corner.

Because I think you can do better. Let me point out your errors like a friend would.

You say “Listen, I’m not going to pressure you into buying this product” and then follow it up almost immediately by telling me that your rock bottom priced salvation is so cheap it doesn’t matter to you if I get.  “But it matters A LOT to you.”  Thanks Burt for knowing exactly what I need.  I appreciate it. As a fundamentally scared person in search of a cure for my mental illness you are the perfect person to turn to. Should I seek help from professionals?  Should I go on medication to stop my spiraling thoughts?

Fuck that. The American Monk has my back. I’ll quantum jump to inner peace.

“I do need to remind you that this investment is way cheaper 
than any hospital fees, not to mention prescription medication.

In fact, at $27 dollars, it breaks down to only 87 cents a day for one 
month. That’s a really small price to pay for all-natural, permanent 

My options are follow what you say or end up in the hospital. But you aren’t pressuring me into buying your product. Your constant emails are simply because you are concerned for me. I appreciate that, Burt.

What I am concerned about is whether you have become senile. I mean this honestly because I worry for your health. I’m doing this out of concern. I feel we are that close.  You sent me this and I began to wonder on September 28, 2010 9:18 AM about your sanity.

“Hi Michael,


Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for the incredibly kind

birthday wishes I got on my blog.”

I didn’t post anything on your blog for your birthday, Burt. I would have if I remembered. I’m sorry. Though I did receive close to 50 emails asking me to buy your program in anticipation of your birthday.

You followed this touching remark based on a comment I didn’t make on your blog with this statement.

“You know, as I sit in front of my computer recording videos,

writing emails or composing songs, I sometimes find myself

caught up in my own thoughts…Until I see gestures like this.

That’s when I remember just how big a responsibility I have

to you and every other person who looks to me for advice

and guidance.I just wanted you to know that it’s been an honor to be here

for you, Michael and I mean that from the bottom of my


Once more I’m touched by our relationship. This is why I tell people the American Monk is my best friend. I was a little disappointed when you immediately followed our Hallmark moment with a sales pitch. But isn’t that just the Burt I know and love?

I wonder if you have an idea of your responsibility to the people who follow you. As you offer them a perfect cure and manipulate them with the possibility of going off the deep end. But then I have faith in Burt. He just wants to help people.

But there are more emails responding to things I haven’t done and I worry that this isn’t a sales pitch. I worry that you have become very attached to me and are now hallucinating aspects of our relationship. What really has me frightened for your mental health was this email sent on Saturday, July 10, 2010 1:27 PM called The Indiana Jones Secret to Happiness and Victory.


Harrison Ford was born in Chicago in July 1942.

He grew up a shy kid, continually bullied at school for not ‘fitting 
in’. Everyday, bullies would tease the future Indiana Jones, beat 
him, and roll him down a hill. 

Though furious inside (an anger he would keep for years), he 
kept up a ‘Gandhi-like’ policy of non-violence — not fighting back 
and enraging his tormentors even more……….

He studied English in college, and hated it, and it was soon after 
he started showing symptoms of depression. He’d sleep for days 
on end, finding it more and more difficult to raise himself. 

Once, he remembers, he awoke after a 3-day nap and decided to 
attend a class. He got to the class and, when he was unable to 
turn the classroom door handle, he turned around and went back 
to bed.

A few days before graduation, the college decided to withhold his 

Despite the odds, young Ford rose above to become the famous 
Hollywood actor we all admire as Indy.

He proved that your past doesn’t determine your future, but what 
is his secret? 

”You have to have darkness before the dawn can come. It’s about 
positivity despite everything crashing down on you” says Ford.

It’s about VICTORY despite any life stress, illness, relationships, 
or problems at work. 

Is there a secret to happiness, a process people use to be happy? 
YES, there is and now you too can use my new Victory Program.”

You use the example of Harrison Ford but I don’t think he is one of your followers. As a devoted fan of Star Wars I feel I’m fairly up to date on Harrison Ford and his affiliations. Don’t you think you might be using your powers for the Dark Side?

I also wonder on a more practical note whether advertising with a copyrighted brand name might be something you could be sued for.  What would my other best friend George Lucas have to say about it?

I’ve accessed an alternative world where we get to hang out in person. In it I’m giving you the finger as your business collapses due to the suckers waking up and realizing that while you are charming and look like senior citizen Elvis, you aren’t that well in the head. Oh and we both have salt water taffy.  Which you struggle to chew with your dentures and find incredibly frustrating and delicious.

Now I have one last question to ask you.

After reading this letter, have you been able to maintain your ability to not feel any stress?


Your Best Friend Michael

PS stop giving out my email to your friends Vishen Lakhiani and Kate Roberts. I don’t feel that I have the same connection with them as I do with you.



2 Responses to “Letter to A Man Who Spams To Save My Sanity”

  1. Jack Vaulhartz
    October 27th, 2010 @ 8:51 pm

    i always enjoy reading your work and this is no exception, swedish. many peacecakes.

  2. chelle
    October 30th, 2010 @ 11:38 pm

    Ahh Burt…

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  • About

    Michael Kimber is a 26-year-old journalist who suffered a nervous breakdown on November 3rd, 2009. On March 28th, 2010 when he recovered from mental illness, he began writing a blog called Colony-of-losers. About falling on your face to figure out who you are and the hilarious antics of a blond jew. What began with a few friends and his mother reading has become a cult phenomenon, averaging 10,000 views a week, receiving praise from Commonwealth Award Winner Shandi Mitchell and many others. On, November 3rd, 2010, the one year anniversary of his mental breakdown he signed with Anne McDermid and Associates, the largest literary agency in Canada. In a year he went from wearing pajamas, making his couch depression HQ to leaving his hometown for the Toronto, where he exclusively wears business suits and the armor of ancient Greeks. Don't worry, he's still choking on the feet he contently sticks in his mouth and making moments awkward just by being part of them. During these struggles he met other talented bastards and drew them into his circle. Peter Diamond became his illustrator. Patrick Campbell his video editor and part time photographer. He recently added the incredibly talented John Packman as Colony of Losers Toronto photographer. Without the support of the Colony of Losers, Michael Kimber would be nothing. Welcome to the losers and the success that comes from utter and complete failure. You aren’t alone. Follow him on If you’d like to hire him for a public speaking engagement for mental health events in Toronto, like to arrange an interview, offer millions to publish his book or for another reason contact Michael please email him. And join his facebook Colony of Losers.

    Really obvious disclaimer:
    I’m not a trained psychologist. Just a fellow traveler. If you need help seek it from the professionals. The Canadian Mental Health Association provides a help locator. You can find crisis resources provided by the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention. If you are in the states check here. It will give you services by zip code. I’d also recommend checking out I think they do great work and have been a help to me personally.

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