J Mase III, “obsessed” with scam artists like Anna “Delvey” Sorokin and Elizabeth Holmes, shares how they use storytelling to get what they want. As an artist, educator, and filmmaker, he has gained extensive experience in fundraising and grant writing, which has helped raise significant amounts of money for Black trans communities. He argues that effective storytelling is crucial for attracting funds, and scam artists are particularly skilled at spinning narratives. In his TEDxSpokane talk, he breaks down three lessons on “how money functions for the wealthy, why it flows in the direction it does and how to start spotting scams in your own life.”
Scam artists actually know something that most of us in this room would deny or refuse to accept. And that is, money doesn’t typically come from hard work. Money comes to those who hoard it. Money comes to those who are willing to exploit. Money comes to those who work hard to bury the history of where money comes from. Billions of people live on this planet that work hard every single day that will live and die broke. Money comes to financial institutions like Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase, who literally got their start in the transatlantic slave trade and will find themselves in the news every few years for denying loans to the very descendants of the same people they once owned.