A Manifestation Machine Exclusive Interview with Controversial Children’s Book Author and ‘Professional Plaintiff’ Cory Groshek
Today at Manifestation Machine, we do an exclusive, very provocative, one-on-one interview with Cory Groshek, a man who is, undoubtedly, one of the most controversial children’s book authors of all-time. Be forewarned: What you are about to read in this interview may offend the weak-of-heart and/or the easily-triggered “snowflakes” among us who can’t handle the truth, so if you are someone who believes in participation awards, you may be at the wrong blog/website. To everyone else, please enjoy the wild ride we are about to take you on.
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Manifestation Machine: Thank you for sitting down with us to do this interview, Mr. Groshek. We understand that you are a very busy man these days and that you’re currently working on finishing up the Audible audio book version of your new book, which we’re sure is very time-consuming, and we appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with us.
Cory Groshek: Oh, no, the appreciation is all on my end. Thank you very much for having me.
MM: Alright, let’s get started. You’ve been many things in your life; a rapper as Cory Crush, a YouTube fitness personality as Low Carb Cory and, as of the summer of 2016, a man dubbed a “professional plaintiff” by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and USA Today. Now you’re a published author. What made you want to write a book?
CG: I wanted to help people—especially children—and, as cliché as it may sound, to make the world a better place. I believe that a book series is the best, most enduring way for me to do that.
MM: Speaking of helping children, your debut novel, ‘Breaking Away: Book One of the Rabylon Series’, is a children’s book aimed at children ages 9-12. Why did you choose to make your first book a children’s book rather than, say, a self-help book for adults?
CG: Because children aren’t as jaded as most adults and, as such, are more receptive to the things I’d like to teach them, such as the value of dreaming big, taking risks, trusting their gut, and choosing faith over fear in everything they do. Unfortunately—and as much as I hate to say it—most adults, including the majority of the parents of the children ‘Breaking Away’ is aimed at, are lost causes when it comes to “teaching an old dog new tricks”. For example, I’m going to have a much harder time teaching an adult who’s been working in a 9-to-5 job they hate for the last 25 years to start thinking in terms of what they want versus what they don’t want than I am a child. Simply put, children make better students than adults, and my hope is that by helping the children, I can help not only our current generations, but the ones that are yet to come as well.
MM: You mentioned teaching children to dream big, take risks, trust their gut, and choose faith over fear, and I understand that these teachings are really the backbone of the entire Rabylon series. Why do you think it’s so important to teach children these things?
CG: Because the public school systems and the automatons that we call public school teachers aren’t going to teach these things, and these things are the things that really matter. I’m not saying that math, history, and gym classes don’t serve a purpose, but when it comes to them setting children up for success later in life, they’re really worthless. When was the last time you did calculus, read about the Civil War without being essentially forced to, or tested yourself to see how fast you can run a mile or how many crunches you can do in a minute? The things I teach in my book are what the schools should be teaching, but never will.
MM: So what you’re getting at is that, in your opinion, dreaming big, taking risks, trusting your gut, and choosing faith over fear are what really makes people successful?
CG: Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. If you look at all of the most successful people in history—the Thomas Edisons, the Henry Fords, the Bill Gates and the Steve Jobs, the Oprah Winfreys, and most recently, men like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Tesla’s Elon Musk—they all dared to dream big…far bigger than most of us are ever taught to. They also took a lot of calculated risks, trusted their gut—or what I like to call “spiritual guidance”—when it was appropriate, and chose to act out of faith, that is, to run towards what they do want, rather than out of fear, that is, to run towards what they don’t want, and that is how they got to where they are now, in the annuls of history. My hope is that, through the Rabylon series, I will instill in today’s children the same values that made all of those people I just named successful, and hopefully we all benefit from a better world that will exist because of it.
MM: You just named a lot of very rich, very famous and, most would agree, very successful people. Do you consider yourself successful? And what is your definition of success?
CG: I do consider myself successful, yes—very much so. And the definition of success I like best is the one I’ve heard mentioned by the godfather of the self-help industry, Earl Nightingale, in his classic ‘The Strangest Secret’ audio program: He said that success is “the progressive realization of a worthy ideal”—so, in other words, it is a constant, never-ending journey, rather than a destination, and I absolutely love that definition.
While I may not be the richest or the most famous person in the world yet, I still consider myself to be highly successful, because ever since I saw the movie ‘The Secret’ in February of 2014 and heard Mike Dooley utter the three words that changed my life—“thoughts become things”—I’ve been getting everything I’ve wanted, or “asked the Universe for”, if you will—not all at once, mind you, because I wouldn’t want to do that, as it would take all of the enjoyment out of life, but progressively, over time. And that, to me, is what makes me successful; not the “money, the cars, and the clothes”, as rapper Drake might say, or even the release of ‘Breaking Away’, but rather the fact that I have, over the course of the last two and a half years, taken my dreams and turned them into reality, which is an accomplishment that not too many men can lay claim to.
MM: Now, you had to know this next question was coming, especially after you just brought up the topic of money. A simple Google search of your name, “Cory Groshek”, reveals a number of articles written about you by the aforementioned Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and USA Today, as well as a multitude of other online publications, pertaining to your status as a so-called “professional plaintiff” who, some would say, “won” hundreds of thousands of dollars from 20-some companies over violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. What would you say to those out there who might say that a “professional plaintiff” has no business writing children’s books?
CG: I’m glad you asked me that, because until now I’ve never had a fair chance to tell my side of the one-sided and biased story that Gannett reporter Jacob Carpenter (@MJS_JCarpenter) told about me several months ago in those so-called “newspapers”, which actually make better toilet paper than reading material.
First of all, I would say that I am hardly a “professional plaintiff”, as I’ve only filed three lawsuits in my entire life, all of which were class action lawsuits on behalf of others—over 40,000 others, to be exact; a number that the corrupt media will never tell you. Also, the word “professional” makes it sound as though I’ve somehow made a living from the filing of lawsuits, when the notion of such a thing is patently ridiculous. Anyone who hasn’t been subject to a lobotomy should know that the only people who get rich from lawsuits are the winning attorneys, and I haven’t won any of my three lawsuits, at least not yet, and so my attorneys haven’t made any money from them, either. Additionally, I’ve personally lost well over $5,000 through them—and that’s not including the value of all the time and resources I’ve dedicated over the last two years to fighting on behalf of others.
If I am anything, it’s a professional deal-maker who has, to date, negotiated private settlements in over 20 cases of Fair Credit Reporting Act violations by employers, without having had to “fire a single shot” in court. And I take great pride in that, by the way, because unlike attorneys who routinely bog down the legal system and waste taxpayer money on pointless lawsuits that usually end up in out-of-court settlements anyway, I handled 95% of my cases privately, which means I saved the courts time and the taxpayers money while still compelling these companies to follow the law.
With regards to me having “no business writing children’s books”, I would argue that people like me are exactly the types of people who should be writing children’s books—and books for adults, too. Why? Because people like me—people who are willing to put their own reputation on the line, risk being defamed by the corrupt media, which I have been, on multiple occasions now, and stand up and fight for “the little guy” against mega-corporations like Time Warner Cable, one of the three companies I’ve actually filed suit against—are the best role models a child could have.
Now, people can disagree with that statement all they want, and they’re certainly entitled to their opinions, but it is a fact that for every person out there who thinks I’m a “scumbag” for having worked privately, basically doing the Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s jobs for them, there are probably ten people who think I’m a hero for it—although they’ll probably never admit that in public, for fear of being labeled a “scumbag” themselves. And isn’t that who parents should want their children to look up to? A hero? Or, in my case, an anti-hero?
MM: Regarding you being an “anti-hero”, in the book description for ‘Breaking Away’, you refer to yourself as just that—an anti-hero, or someone who has heroic qualities, as well as perhaps some villainous ones. Is being a so-called anti-hero something you pride yourself on?
CG: Definitely. And perhaps it isn’t apparent yet, but I’m not trying to be the “good guy” here. Honestly, “good guys” are boring to me, and I’d never want to be one of them. I’d much rather occupy the gray space between the “good guys” and the “bad guys”—the land of the anti-heroes, if you will—because, for one, anti-heroes, or “charming assholes” as I sometimes like to call them, are infinitely more interesting than one-dimensional, goody-two-shoes “good guys”—think the WWE’s John Cena, as portrayed on television—or their equally one-dimensional “bad guy” counterparts who have absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever, such as the Negan character from AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’.
Anti-heroes are a representation of how people really are, behind closed doors, when they think nobody is watching, and I’d prefer to be a real person, rather than the cartoonish caricature of a children’s book author that most publishers would probably want me to be. I once read somewhere that what women really want is a “bad boy with a heart of gold”—in other words, an anti-hero—rather than a Mr. Nice Guy, who may treat them well, but who they are not sexually attracted to, or it’s extreme polar opposite, the incorrigible, self-centered asshole we’ve come to know and hate in popular television shows and movies. Since reading that, I’ve realized that it’s not just women who want an anti-hero, it’s everyone. So I guess you could say that by me being myself—the same “charming asshole” I’ve always been—I’m just giving the people what they want.
MM: Speaking of being yourself, it’s clear that who you are has changed quite a bit over the course of the last couple years. In many of your blog posts on ManifestationMachine.com, you emphasize the contrast between where you were, lifestyle-wise, just two and a half years ago, and where you are now. Would you care to tell our readers a little about how your life now is different than it was in early 2014, and how that’s relevant to your decision to write children’s books?
CG: Certainly. Two and a half years ago, I was 31 years old, living at home with my then-68-year old father, suffering in a part-time, dead-end job at a customer service call center, living paycheck-to-paycheck, and drowning in over $10,000 of credit card debt. Fast forward to today and I am 33 years old, living in my own, fully paid-off house, self-employed and doing what I love for a living, and enjoying a personal net worth of over $300,000. In other words, I have gone from a stereotypical loser “living in his parents’ basement” to the American Dream, and I did it in less than three years. So when it comes to teaching others—including children—how to turn their own dreams into reality, I have a lot to offer, and that’s why I was compelled to write ‘Breaking Away’. If not me, then who?
MM: But what about those parents who might argue that the only thing you have to offer is lessons on how to, as Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Jacob Carpenter might put it, “extort” money from companies? Or that you’re a “bad role model”, based on what they’ve read about you in newspapers or on the Internet, or from what they’ve seen from Low Carb Cory or heard from Cory Crush?
CG: Allow me to blunt with you: Those parents, or those types of people—the kind that believe everything they read, can’t think for themselves, and are easily “triggered” by outward circumstances are not the target audience for either my Rabylon series or my Manifestation Machine brand. As such, I really don’t care what they think, and that is keeping in line with my personal policy of only caring about what people who can actually think for themselves think of me.
If someone doesn’t like me or doesn’t want to buy my books solely because of something some joke-of-a-journalist, who has made a career out of stalking and defaming so-called “professional plaintiffs” like me and Eddie Santana of Florida, says about me, then so be it. You can’t please everyone and, knowing that, the last thing I would ever lose sleep over is the thought that out there somewhere is some brainwashed zombie-mom who reads tabloid trash like USA Today and draws their conclusions about me based on that.
I don’t write books or blogs for people like that—the same types of people who blame anything and everything besides themselves for their problem and pass the nasty habit onto their unfortunate children—I write them for people who are actually capable of appreciating my contributions to society: Open-minded, intelligent, free-thinking people who are not easily offended and who, I believe, will naturally gravitate towards me and my work. As has been said, “the lips of wisdom are closed, but to the ears of understanding”, so let those with eyes see and those with ears hear. To all others, I wish you the best of “luck” in this game we call life, because you and your offspring will surely need it.
MM: Speaking of luck, while authors like J.K. Rowling may be considered to have “all the luck” when it comes to selling books, most self-published authors, such as yourself, sell next to none. Why do you think that is?
CG: I believe it’s for a few reasons, with the first, and biggest, being that they’re boring, and with the second being that they don’t know how to sell. I don’t care how great your book is—if you’re a charisma vacuum or clueless when it comes to marketing and promotions, you could put out a thousand books and never sell a single copy. Self-published authors especially need to be “jacks of all trades”, and at least half as good at understanding the psychology of readers and why they buy or don’t buy books as they are at writing, otherwise their writing career is doomed to fail.
MM: Can you please expound on what you mean when you say that other writers are “boring”?
CG: I mean they don’t matter to anyone outside of their family or circle of friends…they don’t have a compelling back story…they live—and they’ve lived—bland, run-of-the-million, dime-a-dozen, cookie-cutter lives with no substance, and so their existence is essentially meaningless, yet for some strange reason they think we want to read about it, or their stories that have sprung out from it. Picture the typical person people envision when you say “children’s book author”—you’re probably picturing some 30-something stay-at-home mom writing her book in the hour or two between naptime and dinnertime. If that’s not boring, then I don’t know what is. I certainly wouldn’t want to watch a movie about that author’s life.
As for me, I am a retired rapper and hip-hop producer, despite having growing up a white, lower-middle-class kid from the middle of Wisconsin, who became an alcoholic “rockstar” and got busted for two DUI’s within a three month period in 2007, a YouTube fitness “guru” who lost nearly 40 pounds and kept it off by using a controversial weight loss tool called intermittent fasting and who has almost 17,000 subscribers on his Respect the Vessel YouTube channel, a so-called “professional plaintiff” who has earned more money through private legal settlements in the last two years than most Americans will earn in their entire lives, despite having no legal background or training as an attorney, and now a children’s book author, as unlikely as that would seem after everything else I just said. What I’m getting at is, I may be a lot of things, but I am not boring.
It’s because I’m not boring that my Rabylon series will no doubt be a huge success. Even if ‘Breaking Away’ wasn’t as well-written as it is, I could probably still get it to bestseller status just by virtue of how interesting my life story is. I mean, who wouldn’t want to read a children’s book written by a “professional plaintiff” who, in many ways, “gamed” the legal system and reached more settlements in one year’s time than most attorneys will probably reach in their entire lives? That, in and of itself, is an interesting story, and one which I wouldn’t personally mind shelling out $10 myself at the movie theatre to see.
So if you’ve released a book, or multiple books, and they aren’t selling as well as you’d like, you may want to consider the possibility that it’s not your books that are the problem, but you. Perhaps if you were to put the writing of new stories on hold for a few years and to focus instead on “editing” your own, personal life story into something that someone would actually want to read about or, better yet, something Hollywood would want to make a movie about, then people would want to read your books. I’m not saying “lie about your past”, I’m saying “starting right now, you need to stop worrying about developing the characters in your books and work on developing a personality for yourself.” Because people don’t buy your books; they buy you.
MM: Wow…don’t you think that’s a little…harsh?
CG: Oh, definitely. But I’m not here to tell people what they want to hear; I’m here to tell them what they need to hear, and what most people who want to make it in the entertainment industry need to hear is that, at the rate they’re going, they’re never going to make it. Why? Because, again, they’re boring and, as such, so no one cares about whether they succeed or not. The solution? They need to make people care about them. And how do they do that? you might ask. Well, a good place to start is by not living their lives like a bunch of gutless cowards: Too scared to dream big, too spineless to take risks, too “logical” and “analytical” to trust their guts, and too paralyzed by fear to even consider taking a leap of faith.
All the people who’ve “made it big” in the entertainment industry, or in general, have “larger than life” personas that attract other people to do them. Take Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, for example, who got his start in the WWE as a professional wrestler, but then quickly outgrew the “sports entertainment” industry and moved on to Hollywood. He isn’t the highest-paid man in town because he’s the greatest actor since De Niro…he’s it because he oozes personality—personality that has been developed over a long, rollercoaster-like life, full of up’s and down’s, twists and turns, and failures and successes. It’s a life that, on its own, would make an amazing movie, and I’m sure Dwayne would play himself in it, except for the fact that he’s too busy still writing his extremely interesting life story to do that.
MM: So are you trying to say that if someone is simply “interesting” enough that that, in and of itself, can propel them to, say, bestseller book or blockbuster film status?
CG: Yes—but only if people know they exist. And that’s where the need to be able to sell comes into play. I don’t care how interesting you are—if no one knows you exist, because you don’t know how to promote yourself and/or your products or services, you will never sell anything. For that reason, a large part of my energy over the last couple years has gone into, and continues to go into, making people aware of my existence and attracting attention to me, by any means necessary.
MM: That sounds very ‘48 Laws of Power’-ish…very ”me, me, me”…very “selfish”. Are you actually encouraging people to be, for lack of a better term, “attention whores”, like a Kim Kardashian, a Kanye West, or a Donald Trump, just for the sake of making sales or getting what they want?
CG: Of course I am, because if people aren’t looking at you—or at what you’re trying to sell—then what are they looking at? Someone, or something, else, that’s what. And that, my friend, is a death sentence for the career of any wannabe author, actor, or musician. As soon as people stop seeing you and stop hearing about you, it’s game over for you, and it won’t be long before you’re flipping burgers, bussing tables, or working in a customer service call center somewhere, wondering “what if”…what if you would’ve been more outgoing, more heroic, more bold, more daring? What if, what if, what if.
Look, I get it: People have told you your whole life that it’s “bad” to be selfish, but if you don’t look out for you, then who’s going to? I’d say I hate to break it to you, but I don’t: Nobody cares about you anywhere near as much as you do and they never will…and that goes not only for your friends, but your closest, most beloved family members as well. If you want to succeed, you need people to care about you. You need them to know you exist. And it’s your job to make that happen, again, by any means necessary. As long as what you’re doing is not illegal, then it’s fair game as far as I’m concerned, as long as you are willing to live with the consequences of your actions, whatever they may be.
MM: One last question. If you could only give just one, all-encompassing piece of advice to someone who wants to be successful, but doesn’t know where to start, what would it be?
CG: It would be to take full and complete responsibility for everything you think, feel, believe, say, and do, and to take none for what others think, feel, believe, say, and do. In other words, control what you can control and stop trying to control the things you can’t. The minute you blame someone or something else for your problems is the moment you give away all of your power to fix them. But the minute you take ownership of your life—of your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, words, and actions that have shaped your circumstances to this point—is the moment you tap into the same godlike ability we all have, to take the unseen stuff of our dreams and make it into our reality.
MM: Alright, that wraps up an interview that has certainly been anything but boring. Again, we appreciate your time, Mr. Groshek, and we hope to speak with you again very soon.
CG: The pleasure’s been all mine. Happy New Year!
Breaking Away: Book One of the Rabylon Series (2016), for ages 9-12, by Cory Groshek: Life is hard in the poverty-stricken village of Rabylon, where rabbits work every day from sun up to sun down, earning just enough carrots to survive—except for Mayor Monty Cottonsworth III, who lives in the lap of luxury as his villagers starve. Twin bunnies Remy and Rhea, fed up with working so long and so hard with nothing to show for it, desperately desire a better life, but don’t know how to achieve it. Just when they are about to give up hope, they are inspired by the story of a mythical carrot paradise that may exist on the other side of a big, green hill outside of their village. Now they face the most difficult decision they’ve ever had to make: Do they “play it safe” by staying in Rabylon and settle for a life of lack, loss, and limitation? Or do they risk it all—up to and including their lives—on the chance that out there somewhere is a life worth dying for?
‘Breaking Away: Book One of the Rabylon Series’ is the first book by ManifestationMachine.com founder and acclaimed anti-hero Cory Groshek. Following in the footsteps of classics like “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” and drawing comparisons to acclaimed novels ‘Animal Farm’ and ‘Watership Down’, this timeless children’s tale is not only highly entertaining, but highly educational as well, with the stated aim of teaching children and parents alike the value of dreaming big, taking risks, trusting their gut, and choosing faith over fear in everything they do.
If you or your child is a fan of action-adventure fantasy series like The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter, then you and they will absolutely love the Rabylon series. And it is Cory Groshek’s sincerest hope that, by the time you are finished reading it, you will come to know what he learned through the writing of this enchanting little book, which is that “if you truly believe in something—that is, if you care enough about it to not just dream about it, but to do something about it—your belief will bring it to you”.
Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to be here today! We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this interview as much as we enjoyed doing it!
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