On December 10, Tim Ellis performed another another Hoax Speaker/Magic Show. This one was for the Fundraising Institute of Australia’s annual awards luncheon. Tim was introduced as the special guest speaker, Dennis Kale from ‘Food For Thought’.
“FOOD FOR THOUGHT is an initiative founded in 2007 by Rhonda Byrne, author of the international hit book ‘The Secret’.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT has currently raised the awareness of the need for food in third world countries over 3000% and is about to be launched nationally in the UK through a series of philosophical gourmet recipe books.
Unlike other similar charities, FOOD FOR THOUGHT doesn’t focus on money as the solution to all problems, but rather the awareness of the problem being a solution in itself. As such, through the sales of merchandise, books and an upcoming television series, FOOD FOR THOUGHT aims to have 95% of the Western World thinking about solutions to the current food crisis by the year 2011.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT offers many different revenue streams for fund-raising partners including branded merchandise, seminars and celebrity cooking demonstrations.”
After a warm round of applause, Tim moved up to the lectern and began by giving the history of ‘Food For Thought’. He spoke about how people have been throwing money at world hunger for years, and nothing has changed. Raising money was not the solution, we need to raise awareness. Here’s an excerpt from the speech.
“We are developing a TV series in the UK with Jamie Oliver called FOOD FOR THOUGHT, and at the end of each episode he’ll teach viewers how to make a gourmet dish using ingredients found in third world countries.Telemarketing. In the UK we ran a series of tests for four weeks where Telemarketers called people at home, during dinner time, and simply talked to them about world hunger. They didn’t try to solicit any donations or sell them anything, they simply made them aware that, while they were sitting down to eat, almost two thirds of the world’s population hadn’t eaten for days. The best thing is, because we’re not selling anything, we can call people on the DO NOT CALL register so we get a complete blanket coverage.In order to increase awareness of world hunger we have a range of Food For Thought branded merchandise already in production. Everything from T-Towels and Fridge Magnets to a limited edition set of Jamie Oliver cookware. We are intially concentrating on the area of food and food preparation products, and we are courting other celebrity chefs including Gabriel Gate and Peter Russell Clarke to bring out a series of Food For Thought cookbooks. We’ve had a great deal of interest from Nestle as well and they are developing a Food For Thought protein bar which tastes absolutely delicious. But eventually we want to expand our merchandise to other goods as many, many companies have expressed interest in licensing the Food For Thought brand.We’re also very eager to partner with other organisations, especially charities, so that we can all benefit for the Income Tax Exemption laws.Our goal is to have Food For Thought products in every home in the Western World by 2011. And we believe that if we can achieve that, a solution to World Hunger will arise before the year 2015.”
As he discovered afterwards, some people were sitting quietly thinking to themselves “This HAS to be a joke…”, while others were eagerly taking notes… one man came up to him afterwards and said that he provided fundraising software for a company just like that in the 1990s, the World Hunger Project. They operated out of Sydney and aimed to eliminate world poverty through Transcendental Meditation by the year 2000. When they paid him, their cheque bounced.
Perhaps Tim’s absurd creation ‘Food For Thought’ wasn’t as far-fetched as he thought!
By the time Tim began toasting ‘Food For Thought’ up on stage, and produced a can of Pepsi from his shoe, an 8ft straw and vanished a Coke bottle, most of the audience realised it was a hoax.
Tim announced “Everything you’ve seen and heard for the last 15 minutes, including Dennis Kale and Food For Thought, has been an illusion,” then introduced himself and went into the remainder of the show, which thematically linked up with things he said and did at the very beginning.
The show went over very well and followed hot on the heels of Tim’s ‘Steve Taylor, Senior HR Executive for Accenture’ that he performed in Canberra the day before.
Beware… more hoax characters are on the way!