Exposing Strategic Management Works

Strategic Management Works
and why I did more than just ask for a refund

‘Strategic Management Works’ (now also operating as ‘One Life‘) is an Australian company that purports to be in the business of financial consultancy. From my perspective, they are more of a sinister new-age cult, preying on the unwary. The head guru is Mr Roy McDonald – a man with a big mouth, a polished appearance, and a heart for the dollar.

How did I ever get involved with these people? Well, I had been struggling for some months since my dear father’s death with the question of ‘what do I do with my inheritance?’ ‘Give it away’ was my initial impulse, though most of my friends told me that this was a stupid thing to do (even though they were mainly church people, who admitted freely that this was what Jesus would have done). ‘Put a deposit on a house’ was what most people suggested, even though the church currently provides us with somewhere to live, so I couldn’t really see the point.

Then a friend told me about ‘Strategic Management Works’, and told me that these guys really knew about how money worked, and suggested that they might help me to make an informed decision on the matter. So I signed up for a residential study camp that went for five days – determined to reach a decision within those five days so that I could get on with my life and ministry when I got back. Looking back, I really had no idea what I was signing myself up for!

When I shared about the experience in church, people said to me ‘how could you, of all people, fall for something like that?’ It’s a good question, and a good reminder to me that I’m no more wise or invulnerable than anybody else in this world.

Since sharing my story on this web site, I’ve had numerous people call me and email me, sharing their own stories of woe. I’ve published some of these other stories here too. The most forthright and disturbing of these stories comes from a lady by the name of Dr Lyn Adams-Gow – now a committed crusader determined to bring this group to justice.

Rev. David B. Smith

Parish priest, community worker,
martial arts master, pro boxer,
author, father of four.


About Father Dave

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four
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1 Response to Exposing Strategic Management Works

  1. Angry Bird (Don) says:

    Hi There

    Well this takes me back….to 2003. It was a chilly night in Winter of 2003 in Crows Nest, Sydney. I was there because I’d seen a news paper advert for the ‘Born Rich’ program. Turning $1 to $1M in 7 years, with a lovely mug shot of Roy with the headline “Why I hate this man”. And all the talk about financial freedom etc… So I turned up, nice little setup, welcoming ‘staff’ greeting you at the door etc. etc. Welcome to Strategic Management Works (SMW)

    And then he entered. A man in an imaculate suit and glowing red tie. Polished shoes. Boy was he slick, sharp and smooth. We went through everything, from being able to clam your mobile phone twice and that accountants don’t even know how to do that, generating income from options/shares. Unlearning what you have been conditioned into believing etc. While his disciples looked on from the sidelines. He even asked people questions, seemingly plucked people out of the audience (they might have been his insiders) and got the right answers from everyone. We all are fearful of failure etc. By the way Roy says he owns 24 companies that turn over $30 million a year and “Tax is optional”. Yes, we began chanting, chanting, chanting, like the beginnings of a cult.

    Coming to the end of this session, we’re all feeling pretty rosy about life – Roy clearly had the answers to all of our problems – and all we had to do was signup and do his intense Born Rich program. Then came the incredible sales pitches… if we signup right now, instead of $8000 it drops to $6000 or thereabouts. Make a comittement and follow through with it. Fearful? That’s normal. Being successful is all about break through all the fears that hold you back. Cue the soft music, and the drones on the sidelines desecend on you and challenge you to signup. Clearly, they all have done the program and are successful. Well thats what Richard ‘Rich’ Harold told me (A kiwi fellow who used to sell Boat Insurance for a living in a 9-5 dead-end job). Turns out he is a volunteer now and isnt being paid at all! more on that later. By the way, Roy says the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.

    So after putting down $20 as a deposit (yes, $20 is all I had. someone else used their shoes as a deposit. You could use anything as long as you made the comittment to change your life), I secured the program for the bargain price of $6000. Now I just had to pay $5980. What was I getting myself into? a 5 Day intense program at some retreat somewhere… clearly they need to pluck you out of your 9-5 daily environment (95%’er) lifestyle in order to reset your thinking and put you onto the path to riches. They were a bit vague about the first part of the course, but clearly it was crucial in clearing out the cobwebs.

    Of course, one you have paid, you have to find your own way to this ‘retreat’. sort of looked a bit like a concentration camp. Accomodation was basic and the heating was pathetic. It was freezing. We are all hearded into groups – named after an animal of sie kind. There was 100 of us. All paying somewhere between $5000-8000 each. Wow – thats at least $500k every month. No wonder Roy is rich and successful and spends all his time in this business!

    So were were woken up early, and had to rush into the main auditorium where there was loud music pumping, flashing lights and this whole shocking thing. Born rich staff everywhere. What the hell is this? So we all had to do like 10 minutes of dancing excercise before we began… mind you, we are all starving, tired and cold. Then theres the hug three strangers thing as well…. as time went on, this crazy environment became normal. The next 3 days was dancing, playing games, listening to stories, hugging and doing all sorts of weird NON-FINANCIAL stuff. Hang on, didnt I pay $6000 to do an intense course with Roy about how to turn $1 into $1M in 7 years? What is going on here??? As usual, Roy walked out on stage – everyone in Awe. He was like a god and treated like once by his diciples. I say disciples because there must have been 30+ of them. All volunteering. Why would they quit their jobs and join Roy? Simple. Having a job (J.O.B – just over broke) keeps you a 95%’er. Keeps you trapped in that employee mindset. So here was Roy, making half a million dollars a month and having no staff wages to pay. Gosh – he is brilliant. Roy was to be known as the ‘government’ and we all chanted his name, just like a cult. We were edifying our god.

    Every hour we had to dance for 10 minutes. Always had to take shoes off at the door. Anyone who was late, got the ‘Jaws’ music playing and was sprayed with a watergun. Yeah, you heard that right. Hit with a water pistol. I think it was day 3, we did ‘Integration’ which is this crazy mental thing where you go deep into your emotional issues, and bring them up to the surface. Can’t recall why though, but a lot of people were crying. Boxes of tissues everywhere. Had I known this that night at crows nest, I would not had signed up for this. so what is this? All personal development? He has borried techniques from many masters out there – Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Tony Robbins – all the high powered motivators etc. And thats all great and well, but I can buy a book and read it. I dont need to be boucing around in the dark with a blindfold on.

    Day 4/5 – onto some financial stuff at last. Dr Klaus – options trading! Wow. What a load of generic non-substantice information. Would have gotten more off the internet. Who’s going to go out there and start trading options? Even taking an option out on property seems like a weird/risky thing to do. SO i end up with a whole pile of general information, have watched several movies (Titanic & a Kevin Costner one). I feel like I’ve been at an Amway conference, but I’m feeling pretty excited about the future!! Pumped up! Ready to go out there a and hit it all very hard.

    In the weeks that followed:
    It has become aparent that I’m a A-grade douche bag. I’ve been conned. I have nothing of substance / or value. I almost quit my job the first week back from the course. Glad I didnt. I didnt attend a few of the follow up weekly get togethers at Crows Nest where it became extremely obvious I was cannon fodder and so was everyone else – moving along the assembly line….. next thing you need to do is see our financial planners, sign up for more courses…Property, the Billionaires club etc. Selling, selling. You even could signup for the kickback program where you get a cut for getting new people into the door to do Born Rich. Wow. This whole things is a like some sort of pyramid scheme, except those who invested to begin with, never see a cent again and are constantly pressured to part with even more money. They were pushing spiritual courses onto you, which cost of course, Roy had this whole system of more courses to do. That’s when it really hit me. I’d been conned. The excitement wore off fast. I was seeing others still keen and buying into $20,000 courses…crikey. What the hell are they doing.

    In the months that followed:
    I got now here and settled back into my 8-5 Job. I started seeing negative publicity about Roy. My fears were being realised. He is a well known con artist. Wow. How could I have been so stupid. It took me months to pay off the money I borrowed to do the course. Depression set in…. I swung by Crows Nest one night and saw people picketing out the front with signs/banners saying Roy was a crook and a theif. Wow. I was still getting daily emails from SMW and I ended up on all these other mailing lists other people had put me onto… all this motivating stuff, selling etc… what the hell was going on here. I’m sure some of the staff paid money to get an email list of all the people who did born rich. A lot of us were susceptible to the selling and the pressure.

    Maybe it takes all kinds to make the world, but i can tell you, Roy preyed on the weak like a predator. You hear about them – conmen all the time. The world would be a better place without these crooks feathering their own nests. The number of articles about Roy that are negative is amazing, but not surprising.

    Later years:
    One Life (One Life Magic) / Ignite your success / Quantum etc etc… same BS different shell – same as above, just a new name. Same con, same material just different pricing models. Anyone reading this: BEWARE Of ROY MACDONALD the master conman. Someone already mentioned Jamie Mcintyre and the Obeids. Throw in Belle Gibson as well. Master crooks. Roy must be getting into his 70’s now… he can’t have many years left – which can only be a good thing. Although, I’m sure his ‘Katrina’ and his son (who he referenced many times as being a financial genius at age 7 because he has been mentored) will keep the scams going.

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