I know we have a few people here who don't find them credible, so this question goes both ways. We don't know who they were, so we can only judge them on their words which were sometimes cryptic to say the least. So I want to know why you find them credible (or not).
This is a follow-up question to one I asked the group that gathered in Las Vegas. I asked them if there was anything fundamentally different about A/FOA's story that seems to lead certain people to take personal action, people who would otherwise not take action, even given a similar, hypothetical pitch that advises buying something else that's about to explode in price, all else being equal. "All else being equal" includes both the credibility and style of the messenger, as well as the probability of success that you personally give the proposition.
That question obviously doesn't go both ways like this one does, so it was more suited to be asked of a group in which every member finds the story and its messengers credible. But now I want to know why you find them credible (or not), and it's not as simple of a question as it seems.
The following are excerpts from email exchanges I had with two different people. Both of these people were following ANOTHER/FOA in real time in the late 90s (true gold forum "old-timers"), and they each had a different take on A/FOA from the beginning. The first one is from someone who appears in the archives, talking about his initial impression of ANOTHER which he still holds today:
I think you're enamored with Another and see him as far larger than other do.
I never saw him as a big catch - just another guy with lots of opinions and in most all cases his rhetoric was up to the reader to discern. He talked in riddles and rhymes and led people up the garden path. His intent was marketing the USAGold forum when he was on Kitco. He was trolling Kitco [for readers] while MK was trolling for [other popular commenters like me and *****].
He sure attracted those who didn't know, yet wanted to know. But I don't think he was a teacher nor did he have a special message to tell.
If I went back to the LongWave forums I was on back in the 1990's there where dozens of brighter minds with good credentials talking about what was unfolding.
It was known back in 1996 that the end of the LongWave was due - well documented and the unfolding was very well discussed by intelligent cohesive minds who knew what they were talking about and could clearly discuss concepts.
I told my wife when I bought physical in 1999 that we couldn't be selling till 2012-2014 when the end of the LongWave arrived. So much of what has unfolded has been predicted by intelligent people that it just makes a mockery of Another and his ramblings.
Sorry if it sounds harsh but it's my perspective from being around and active on these forums from years ago.
You never met the guy - saw the daily surroundings and subterfuge. It was a game being played.
This second one is from "Solitary Monk", a name adopted from Woland's comment: "So a solitary monk preserved our "Library of Alexandria" from destruction! We owe him a great debt of thanks." SM was reading A/FOA at the same time as the writer above, only he saw something different:
I stumbled upon A/FOA in early 1998, quite by accident. At first, it was totally incomprehensible. I really don't know why, but I felt compelled to understand these writings and kept at it. I followed the postings at usagold in real time. I started acquiring physical with a disciplined approach. In the end, I was pretty much all in at an average cost under $300. With the help of cheap wine and day old bread, I still have every ounce.
In order to keep my emotions in check, I read and reread the archives. Over and over. Again and again. During one of those passes, worried that they might someday not be available, I copied every posting.
I think that there are "threshold levels of understanding" required to 1) buy, 2) hold until the transition begins, and 3) hold through the transition. Each requires a greater level of understanding. I can see from your writings that you know some people will make it through 1) and 2), but not 3). I've been working for a long time to prepare myself to get through 3). Your blogs are one way to help with that.
RJPadavona wrote, "I pride myself on having a good bullshit detector based on all the cons I've been around in my life." This is important. There is something about A/FOA that gives their entire story credibility. An interesting question to the forum might be why people judge it credible. I think it will be hard to answer because it's really a Gestalt effect.
I should note that both email writers went "all in at an average cost under $300," but only SM credits A/FOA with his decision. Another difference is that the first writer above is planning to "catch the top" by selling his gold at the top, which he expected at the writing of the email to be between 2012 and 2014. (That email was written in Sept. 2011, right after gold had just kissed $1,900 and fallen back to $1,800.)
Here's a link for Gestalt psychology which says that our brains may have the ability to perceive a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts, perhaps even before we identify and understand all of the visible parts. I think this may be similar to what I call "infinite resolution" when referring to what I see as the fractal nature of the Freegold story.
As I wrote in Four, something in ANOTHER's words immediately caught my eye and stood out for me against all of the other gold writers I had been reading:
"It was a strange quote, but something in it caught my attention like a beacon as bright as the sun, so I clicked on the link. And for the next two months I stopped reading everything else I'd been reading while I worked my way through maybe a thousand-pages-worth of USAGOLD archives."
Not only did it catch my eye, but I must have found something in his words to be immediately credible because I went "all in" within six months of stumbling upon his decade-old cryptic comments. And even after six months I was still relatively clueless about Freegold compared to today.
I know my answer to the question in the title of this post, and I think it explains why some people find A/FOA credible and some others don't. But I don't think it quite explains everybody on both sides. So I'm looking for something else, something that will complete my answer. And that's why I want to know why you find A/FOA credible or not.
Notice also that I'm not asking why you find me credible or not. I must remind everyone that my blog is merely a tribute to them. So if you haven't read ANOTHER (THOUGHTS!) and The Gold Trail, then please feel free to refrain from projecting your opinion of me onto them. And besides, if you don't find me credible, then what the heck are you doing wasting your time here? ;D