Internet Merchants Association – Mystery, Intrigue and All The Presidents Men

To tell the truth, writing about the IMA has not been on the top of my “to do” list of late…  What with personal directives (back to school for the kids, family birthday(s) and a little Hurricane/Tropical Storm preparation) the Internet Merchants Association just has not been on the top of my mind.

Fortunately, or unfortunately as the case may be, people who become interested in the articles we write as blogger journalists do not always keep within our personal schedules when it comes to “adding to the conversation”.

Over the course of the IMA story I have received many notes, comments, phone calls and letters from members and non-members alike.  No other issue has sparked as much long term attention here at the TA Journal. Personally I think the story has run its course, yet since no one else seems to be covering the IMA, I have continued to do so.

The story has been told, as much as an outside entity can tell anyway…  Any further information must come from the actual financial records and from deep inside the organization.  I have offered to publish the views from inside the IMA but as yet have received no response from anyone in authority.

The members of IMA who were uncomfortable with how the organization has been run, have left or were shown the door.  The members who remain, apparently are fine with the state of affairs and are happy with whatever benefits they perceive are forthcoming from being a member of the IMA.

Why Write another article about the Internet Merchants Association now?

To be honest… I was going to leave this story alone, until I got the call…

Mystery, Intrigue, and All The Presidents Men

The contact came from nowhere, the code name was cryptic and the urgency seemed palpable… Someone wanted to speak directly with me about the IMA and it was late on a weekend night. I did not know who I was calling or why and once I was speaking directly with this person I was admonished to keep everything “off the record”.

My name is not Carl Bernstein or Bob Woodward but it seems I have my very own “Deep Throat”.

Deep Throat – a moniker bestowed upon a source who refused to be identified in the investigation of the Watergate cover-up scandal by Bob Woodward of the Washington Post.  30 years later the source was revealed as FBI Associate Director W. Mark Felt.  Much of the movie “All The Presidents Men” Staring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman, was based upon the secretive and cryptic meetings with the high level Watergate source – “Deep Throat”.

My mysterious source may not be an FBI director and I did not meet with the source in a dark parking garage, but this source claims to be well placed to give inside information about the IMA.  Unfortunately since our conversation was “off the record” from the beginning, I can not share what this source, this mysterious figure, shared with me…

I can tell you that my very own Deep Throat revealed the same hints as the one in the famous movie…

“Follow the money”, “you are on the right track”, “look at the books” was a mantra repeated throughout the conversation late into the night.  Many other topics were covered and bonafides were revealed but details could not be.  The IMA source sounded like “Deep Throat”.  Of course this only frustrates a reporter but one must respect the source.

Where there is smoke…

In related news…

The IMA Poll we offered membership seems to have run its course.

[polldaddy poll=”817416″]

Well over three weeks have elapsed since initiating this Trading Assistant Journal/ Poll with hundreds of hits coming directly from the Internet Merchants Association discussion boards and in all that time only 28 members have selected the positive statement that they will remain a member of the IMA.  This number has increased a great deal (26 more members) since our last follow up article on the poll.

With in excess of 400 hits directly coming from the IMA to the previous articles linking to the Trading Assistant Journal/ Poll , it seems quite odd that only 28 members chose to leave a positive reply.

I am aware of the comments left here by several members of the Internet Merchants Association remarking that the poll is not representative of the membership but the fact remains than many more people have viewed this very simple poll than have actually responded.

It can not be said that IMA members are not aware of its existence.  The membership may not care to enter their opinion, but IMA members do certainly seem to be very aware of the issue as it has been presented within the Trading Assistant Journal/ Poll.

The overall response is now about 50 – 50 stay or go…  I wont delve into statistics or poll data here except to say I had expected a more vociferous response.

The poll will end one month after it began on August 27, 2008.

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0 Responses to Internet Merchants Association – Mystery, Intrigue and All The Presidents Men

  1. Connie August 19, 2008 at 10:13 am #

    I’m still waiting for my refund after being kicked out for no cause….are they out of money or have they forgotten how to write checks. Not sure which, but the organization is a joke.

    Too bad Deep Throat isn’t more forthcoming and I’m hopeful that the reports made to the Florida States Attorneys Offices bear fruit and soon.

  2. Henrietta August 19, 2008 at 11:49 am #

    Shining a light into dark corners will often expose all kinds of dirt. Keep shining that light Scott!

  3. Scott @ August 19, 2008 at 1:50 pm #


    I think you should have had your refund. Of course I have nothing to do with same. Maybe you should check with the Florida State Attorney yourself.


    Thanks so much for all of the encouragement and great comments!

  4. Dustin August 27, 2008 at 9:18 am #

    So I am confused. I have never read so much about so little. Where is the substance I was looking for…….there is none. The entire article says “someone called me and said I cant use them as a source and they ranted………oh and we ran a poll that had 400 hits directly from IMA (too bad there is only about half of that number of total members).

    So you got a call from someone who was ranting and you ran a poll………….very interesting article.

  5. Scott Pooler August 27, 2008 at 11:08 am #

    Sorry you are confused Dustin, but thanks for reading and commenting on the Trading Assistant Journal!

  6. Observer September 5, 2008 at 9:02 am #

    The Q1 Financials were published on an open PhotoBucket page:

    I wonder what they look like now.

  7. Kirk Holbert February 2, 2009 at 5:31 pm #

    So if you have something against the IMA what is holding you back ? Tell us the big spooky secret or I believe you have none.


  8. David Cofone February 6, 2009 at 11:46 am #

    Well I am doing something about it. I too have not received my refund even though I phoned and emailed the IMA President on the day I was renewed. It seems that even though it states in the IMA bylaws that the Vice President shall have full power in the absense of the President (in this case he has been on vacation since forever) I am being told I cannot receive my refund until the President returns from vacation. So your telling me an entire organization stops in it’s tracks when the President goes on vacation?

    So long story short I emailed every Board of Director and only heard back from two. I stated my intention to file a claim with the approprieate agencies if I did not receive a concrete date on when my refund would be sent. Needless to say I did not hear back from anyone.

    It is inconceivable to me how this organization continues to get members. The arrogance of it’s leader to basically hold you ransom until he feels ready to refund or maybe even not refund amazes me. Illegal, yes you bet it is. Read the bylaws for yourself and then tell me why I haven’t received my refund in full? Anybody? Hello, can I get an answer IMA?

    David Cofone
    recent IMA victim

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