Bonnie Kaye reports on her Jones Harvest Fraud Victims blog that Brien Jones' sleazy vanity press is finally dead and buried. She writes, in part:
Brien Jones is a predator. He had his staff calling people in nursing homes to solicit them for money. Some of his past employees have called me with the horror stories of how horrible they felt doing this. Children of three different elderly authors have contacted me after their parents died waiting for books that were never printed.
[…]Some of you are aware that Jones opened a bookstore in a strip mall in the middle of nowhere. Since he was unable to get author books into real bookstores, he rented his own with the money donated by two authors in order to have the store named after them, Bidwell Moore and Merlene Byars. […]I called several stores in the shopping strip where the store was located and they confirmed that Jones “snuck out” in the middle of the night due to non-payment of rent.
Brien Jones has given up snookering elderly people out of their savings to "publish" their books to reportedly concentrate on becoming an author himself. I only wish he was writing his books from a prison cell. The real tragedy here is that law enforcement officials in Indiana let Jones continue with his sham publishing company until it finally, and thankfully, crumbled under his staggering incompetence.
21 thoughts on “Jones Harvest is Dead”
I can see it now. Jones will write a memoir about his sordid past and how he “may have inadvertently” scammed authors for his own gain BUT IT WASN’T HIS FAULT and HE’S FOUND JESUS and HE GOT BETTER.
I hope the scenario you outline comes true. But if it does that would not be a colossal injustice, as you seem to think.
We aren’t born on this earth to fail. We are born to succeed. But not everybody grows up with advantages. Some are raised with very bad ideas put into their heads. And we have character flaws, each of us. But out past never defines us. Our inner spirit does. And so I hope that Brien Jones will find a way to go on and do much more good than he ever did bad.
Another thing to consider: nobody really gets away with anything. Our own conscience knows when we do bad stuff and it haunts us unmercifully. He will suffer much more than the suffering he has caused. But in the end, the goodness inside of him will win out. Our responsibility in it is to encourage him to turn the corner and find the right path unto life.
I might consider not staking his sorry ass out on a fire ant mound if he would pay back all the cash he stole over the years and personally apologized to each and every writer he lied to and cheated.
It’s clear that this whining, narcissist thief has no conscience to haunt him. He stole from people and continued to do harm to others for years on end. The society he offended against owes him no responsibility to help him at all. I’d love to see him jailed for life for the damage he’s done.
It’s up to him to grovel, make monetary restitution and hope he never gets locked in a room with any of his victims.
I see your point, and feel your anger, and resonate with your passion. You have put the case for the prosecution in very clear terms, and you are unquestionably in the right: Brien Jones has committed criminal offenses by preying on the unwary. I agree. But the issue now is, where does he go from here?
I do not agree that he has damned himself forever in the eyes of a Higher Power. If he now began reading the scriptures, and they began to sink in, and his inner spirit began to change, and he realized that it’s not what you can take that counts, it’s what you can give,and if he began to do acts of kindness, no matter how small or to who, then he could find a right and straight unto life.
But don’t get me wrong: he’s done wrong, and it might take a decade or more of doing good works for him to regain a positive opinion of himself. I’d just like to see the story-line play out for the good of all the players. Wouldn’t it be something if he did find Jesus and made a cautionary movie about not scamming the unwary and the movie saved a hundred thousand souls? I’m not saying it will happen, but I’m not ruling it out.
I don’t give a rat’s *** what that scumbag’s opinion of himself might be and doubt his victims do either. If he wants to do “good works,” he can start by handing back their money and apologizing. That’s where he can go from here. It’s not rocket science.
Your fairyland sounds lovely. Perhaps you should write that soul-saving script and sell it, then get back to us.
In the meantime, this is Mr. Goldberg’s blog, we’re his guests, and therefore it’s not the place to continue further, since it’s clear we’re poles apart in opinion and not likely to change.
Yeah, I was being sarcastic…
Sorry, Mr. Goldberg. Didn’t mean to start this.
P.N., I’m sure Lee doesn’t mind a debate between you and I, it’s only five or six interchanges or so.
But you are making a mistake if you allow what Brien Jones did to turn you into an unforgiving person, or a person who is demanding vengence. It is quite possible that Brien Jones WILL apologize to those he has hurt and, over time, repay the money. That’s not a fairyland script, that’s how ordinary but flawed persons work through their errors on a daily basis. As you and I are doing, too.
There is no person who is beyond redemption. I’m not going to let what Brien Jones did swerve me off my own straight, narrow path. Instead, I’ll respond with understanding and mercy, and trust that’s how I’ll be treated too. He did wrong, but he’s stopped, and now he’ll find it hard going, but he can make it back if he changes.
Gayle–you didn’t do anything wrong. I got the sarcastic humor of your remark and greatly appreciated it.
Others did not, took it seriously, and ran with the premise, but that’s not your fault. I’m not going to interact with someone I think is a sock puppet of Jones. This blog is Mr. Goldberg’s living room and guests are obligated to behave while there. You’re entertaining and that’s a good thing!
You and I have both seen lying narcissist types claiming religious conversion — but only after they’ve been caught. I go by what they do, not what they claim. If Jones isn’t paying back what he stole and apologizing, then he’s not changed a bit and remains a waste of skin.
A friend posted on my FB page, “Wonder if his victims were from out of state…if so, the FBI will have to get involved.”
One may live in hope. More power to Bonnie Kaye for pushing through and being vindicated! 🙂
I’m with P.N.on this one… Brien Jones has no remorse. Jones Harvest was the third iteration of his vanity press swindle and, if you read his blog, he seems to take great delight in trying to humiliate and berate any author who dared challenge him on his avarice and ineptitude. Kudos to Bonnie Kaye for being relentless in her efforts to bring down this sleazy conman.
He has no shot at all at making it as an author because he’s an awful writer with no vision beyond his own greed…and writing doesn’t offer him the chance to get-rich-quick-off-of-others path that he has pursued his entire “career.”
Whatever he does next will be entirely self-serving and will, undoubtedly, depend upon taking advantage of the naivete, vulnerability, ignorance, and desperation of others. That has been his M.O. for years now.
Then he better go into politics or religion.
I hear the money’s better.
Gayle, you didn’t set me off, I just liked your scenario and wanted to run with it. I see the humour!
Lee, I’m not condoning Brien Jones, as I’m sure you can see. You did a great service in exposing Jones and so did Bonnie Kaye. Jones needed to be exposed and stopped and you guys did it. But my experience has taught me to look for miracles, to expect them, and to keep an open mind about others. To write Jones off, I just can’t go that far.
P.N., it is perfectly okay for me to see Jones in a different way from the way you do. My different view should be respected and not treated abusively. Nor should you direct your negative feelings towards Jones at me. I’ve done nothing wrong, I don’t deserve negative treatment.
Finally, I would issue a challenge to Brien Jones. Show us that you care, that you are sorry, that you will try to make restitution, that you will take your talents and make people’s dreams come true in some way instead of swindling them. Feel the difference inside between doing right and doing wrong, and notice how good it feels to do right. All it takes to change is one person who thinks you can. I do. So show us.
Clearly Brien Jones is an emissary of Satan, the Great Deceiver and therefore beyond Jesus’ reach.
I respect your view, though I find it one that can be easily manipulated by guys like Jones. For instance, while running Jones Harvest, he preyed on people with beliefs like yours and saw it as a weakness he could profit from. Here’s an excerpt from Bonnie’s blog:
“Another sad part of this—besides scamming elderly people, disabled people, and new immigrants to our country with limited English skills—is the Christian population who believed in “Their Perfect Heart.” Under the guise of “Christian” books, in collaboration with Linda Ockels, who was reportedly infatuated with Jones, dozens of Christian authors were scammed into thinking that this was going to be “God’s Blessing.” Jones published stories from good religious people who were also victimized. This brings to mind a youth minister who contacted me two years ago because he had invested all of his savings of $2,700.00 into promotions and received a royalty check for ONE book. Jones responded, “I can’t make people buy your book.” No, I guess he couldn’t based on the fact that he never carried through with his promises.”
Tod, I’m not sure of all the theology details, but I’m pretty sure that Brien Jones and Satan wouldn’t be beyond the reach of Jesus.
Assuming God exists, and Christian theology is accurate–which many persons find hard to believe, but I’m not one of them–then praying to Jesus for an answer to one’s own personal suffering, for a way out of one’s own personal prison, is the best move anybody can make. Jesus, the theology says, defeats Satan.
I’m not trying to preach theology. But my views on life and people are skewed to the spiritual side of things, and especially to matters of personal redemption. Anybody who has suffered, who has lost, who has gotten lost, who can’t find anything that works, who is being passed by by life brings out the sympathy in me. Jesus said he came to save sinners. So I look to this rather large group, of which I am a member, for the work I’m supposed to do here on earth. And it’s fun. I enjoy it.
Yes, Lee, absolutely, you’re right. Very easily, I could have been manipulated and become a victim of Jones Harvest.
As it happens, I was a victim of a different publishing scam and paid over $300 to a group that said they could show my manuscript to editors in big publishing houses. Hook, line and sinker, I swallowed. When I realized it was a scam, it was really depressing. It took me months to regain my trust in ‘the publishing world.’ But if I allowed these persons to get me down, then it would be my fault and not theirs. So I chauked it up to the price we have to pay to get an education. Then Amazon self-publishing came along! Wow, what a blessing! Okay, I suffered through a scam but look what the universe is giving us now (and I did nothing to deserve the blessing or to create it, but I sure feel blessed).
According to my understanding of the Christian teaching, if the other person takes your jacket, give him your cloak also. Why? Because more blessings than can be imagined will rain down on us. Yes, I’m out $300 and the hurt still smarts at times, but Life opened up a precious self-publishing door with Amazon. So, on balance, I figure I’m way ahead, and you are, and all the persons who have ever been betrayed through publishing scams. In the end, it was the good that won out, not the bad. In the end, the good will win out with Brien Jones, and I’ll do what I can to promote that outcome.
If I’m ever on trial, I hope Dan is on my jury. Likewise, I hope I’m on Jones’s jury someday. I’d love to nail that bastard to the cross.
Cap’n Bob, I love you.
We will bear your cyber-babies. ;0)
I am kmyoung of Visions of Eternity Quest for Immortality at Kindle now. After being bilked by Airleaf/Bookmans out of five hundred bucks plus and two grueling years of formatting with their inept, I befriended Mr. Jones so that I could get the scoop on Mr Lau who owned Airleaf which I called AirHeads. heh… Well, Mr. Jones was glad to have me as a friend, and said he still had my manuscript. He also pretended to faith in God, ho ho, and generosity. He is so inept nevertheless, failure is inevitable for the fellow, but unfortunately it is true, he and another naughty man called Jeffrey actually went to alot of trouble to grift me out of a mere hundred bucks for a phoney Kindle formatting job, I walked right into THAT one, sigh! But I learned in the process, I could do that myself, and did, but Kindle is inept too, so bear with them, at least they are not Grifters like Mr. Jones and his crew. I contracted with him for this last job, actually to see if he was capable of doing it, thinking I’d give him the paperback job too later, happily he grifted me BEFORE I trusted him too much. It’s so sad, I hate to lose a friend, but I was HIS friend, he was not mine. He said to me lately, when I wished him a happy Turkey Day, “all my days are Turkey Days!” Unfortunately, I he is coming down, because he did not just grift me, he had the audacity to grift the Almighty Yahweh. Mark my words, he will go down. I hope he reads this, because I would love it if he REPENTED and read my book and got himself SAVED, at least! Well, I guess we shall see what Yah will do with the poor stupid, he has “nailed himself”. amen to that! kmyoung
Greetings! I am kmyoung of Visions of Eternity Quest for Immortality at Kindle now. After being bilked by Airleaf/Bookmans out of five hundred bucks plus and two grueling years of formatting with their inept, I befriended Mr. Jones so that I could get the scoop on Mr Lau who owned Airleaf which I called AirHeads. heh… Well, Mr. Jones was glad to have me as a friend, and said he still had my manuscript. He also pretended to faith in God, ho ho, and generosity. He is so inept nevertheless, failure is inevitable for the fellow, but unfortunately it is true, he and another naughty man called Jeffrey actually went to alot of trouble to grift me out of a mere hundred bucks for a phoney Kindle formatting job, I walked right into THAT one, sigh! But I learned in the process, I could do that myself, and did, but Kindle is inept too, so bear with them, at least they are not Grifters like Mr. Jones and his crew. I contracted with him for this last job, actually to see if he was capable of doing it, thinking I’d give him the paperback job too later, happily he grifted me BEFORE I trusted him too much. It’s so sad, I hate to lose a friend, but I was HIS friend, he was not mine. He said to me lately, when I wished him a happy Turkey Day, “all my days are Turkey Days!” Unfortunately, I he is coming down, because he did not just grift me, he had the audacity to grift the Almighty Yahweh. Mark my words, he will go down. I hope he reads this, because I would love it if he REPENTED and read my book and got himself SAVED, at least! Well, I guess we shall see what Yah will do with the poor stupid, he has “nailed himself”. amen to that! kmyoung
PS after Lau grifted me his companys entire inventory was under water in the Indiana Flood. It will be interesting to see what shall happen to Mr. Jones, OOPS!
The word is GRIFTER one of the oldest ‘professions’ in the world. They just don’t get it, prosperity and stability cannot be born of mischchief and dishonesty. This is just the microcosm, with Jones & Lau, the macrocosm, the experts call our nation, a KLEPTOCRACY, hehehe! very fitting! It’s so apt! The Big Time Grifters are bringing down America, while she sleeps… sigh! I am glad to have lived in her best of times! Lucky me! YahwehShua bless you all, that you get back all you lost to the Grifters, both small and big time! Their inheritance is, ultimately, only Desperation, Failure & Exposure. sigh…!