Friday, 2 February 2018

Money For Huffin'. Steve Huff's Patreon Exposes Just How Sleazy He Is.

It's late, you're preparing for bed when there's a familiar ping from your phone. A little red bubble appears over your messenger app. A friend who keeps tabs on the worst scumbags in the paranormal field has something to show you. You open the message getting the feeling you have when you pull open the door of the seediest bar of your town. That's what happened to me tonight when my friend directed me to Steve Huff's Patreon (0). Just when you think that a human being could not possibly sink any lower than selling broken radios to the gullible at massively inflated prices. When you believe that this same person couldn't do anything more tasteless than 'contacting the spirits' of recently deceased celebrities.

He suprises you on both counts.

Let's get something out of the way first. I have no objection to people opening a Patreon. Heck, when I mulled over the move from blogging to making Youtube videos and podcasts I considered doing the same. The time restrictions on making videos meant I may well have to cut down my working hours and I thought Patreon would help me do this without impacting my family. I never made that move, mainly because I enjoy writing and the time constraints of recording audio and editing videos were just too limiting. But opening a Patreon isn't something I rule out, nor is it something I frown upon others for doing.

So why do I have a problem with Huff doing this?

Essentially, it comes down to the fact that Huff uses the videos and content he creates in order to sell his ridiculous range of broken or at best, poorly functioning radios. He's already receiving a revenue stream from the videos he creates, which are essentially just advertisements. But he's not content with that. He wants his followers to pay him to create his advertising material. Obviously, Huff can't outright say this, so let's unpack his justification for soliciting money from his followers.

Huff tells his followers that by donating to him through Patreon they are helping him to conduct his 'research'.

His "drive is stronger than ever before"? I guess a lot can change in a few months because only last year Huff quit the paranormal 'field' after claiming he was under sustained attack from demons! (1), As for Huff's claim that he is conducting 'research'. Where is it? In his introduction video on his Patreon he claims that people have never even seen the majority of his research.

Two questions. Why is that? And given that is the case, why the fuck should anyone pay to support Huff conduct more research, just for him to lash the results in the fucking garbage?

Sitting in your bedroom playing with neon-lights and broken radios is not research. It's tinkering and he's got a damn nerve asking others to pay to allow him to continue to do it. Now he's receiving money just for the purposes of research doesn't Huff have a responsibility to his donors to properly and publically present that research?

I believe so, but he gives no indication that he is going to do this.

In the above video, Huff declares that he is broke, that he can only continue his 'research' without donations. But surely he's got a revenue stream from selling his junk? In fact, only on January 25th, he posted his latest products on his website, costing between $900 - $3995! (2)

And finally, the model that costs over $3000. It will set you back over $4200 if you want it shipped abroad!

Now, Huff can't have lots of his money tied up in stock of this rubbish for the simple reason that he requests you accept that he won't build your box until he's got your cash in his hand.

There's another interesting condition the Huff asks his customers to agree to. He asks his customers to accept that there is no guarantee that his boxes will actually work!

Can you imagine any other type of retailer selling a product that they don't guarantee will work! Huff may actually be falling afoul of a piece of US legislation, the Sales and Storage of goods framework (3), which states:

This requires that the seller knows that an item is fit for purpose at the time of sale, Huff is expressly telling his customers that he does not know that!

Back to Huff's Patreon, as well as crying poverty, you'll notice that Huff brings the issue of heaven and hell into the equation of whether you choose to support him. Huff tells us he has categorically discovered there is a heaven and a hell, and his research is helping discover who goes where when they die. In this respect, Huff has made himself indistinguishable from televangelists like Jim Bakker who threatened that viewers' grandchildren would go to hell unless they buy a $60 bucket of pancake mix. (4) Well, there is one difference. Give your money to Bakker and you get some pancake mix.

So what is Huff offering to his donors?

It's a lot sleazier than pancake mix.

Steve Huff. Ghoul for Gold.

So, for your monthly contribution, Huff is offering to attempt to contact your deceased loved one. Of course, with everything Huff offers, he's quick to point out there are no guarantees. And when it does work, it's very likely because the patron has provided Huff with the name or names of the person they want to be contacted. Something which makes audio pareidolia and suggestibility a much easier for Huff to exploit.

Clearly, in the pursuit of the almighty dollar, there is no level Huff will not stoop to now. He is quite happy to manipulate his patron's grief and pain. Something that shills in the paranormal circus have been doing for years.

Just like mediums or anyone else who proposes to contact the dead, Huff is a ghoul. Pure and simple. It angers me greatly to read the messages from patrons on Huff's page requesting him to contact their loved ones. 

No-one deserves to be exploited in this way.

No one.

So what can we do? The first step I'd suggest is going to Patreon directly. I have to say that they aren't particularly responsive, but if enough people register their disdain perhaps we can help shut down this thinly veiled exploitation. Next, raise awareness, whether by spreading this post around social media or by writing your own posts and articles.

One thing should be abundantly clear here, Huff is a fraud and a charlatan. He has shown himself to have absolutely no boundaries in what he will do for money. 

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