In real life, Shaini Goodwin hates attention.
As the worldwide spokeswoman for a conspiracy theory that includes the promise of vast wealth, she can't be too careful. That's why she writes her Internet reports under a pseudonym: Dove of Oneness. It's a matter of privacy and security. She doesn't want strangers walking up to her at the store in downtown Shelton and asking for money.
"We don't have bodyguards," she said. "Who knows what kind of screwballs are out here?"
The News Tribune interviewed Goodwin on Thursday at her ailing mother's mobile home in Shelton, where she's been living for the last two years. It's a quiet, shady lot, surrounded by pleasantly scruffy shrubs and pillars of Douglas fir.
Never miss a local story.
Goodwin greeted a reporter and a photographer with a smile, offered chairs on her deck and served glasses of water with lemon wedges. She showed off her gleaming laptop computer - the virtual microphone for her worldwide reports - and pointed to her overstuffed e-mail inbox, packed with thousands of messages from supporters.
She sat down and began to frown as she read a draft of the series published Sunday and today. It called her "queen of a cybercult," described her elaborate tale of a supposed secret law passed by Congress and unraveled her ties to a proven financial scam.
Goodwin didn't like the draft. She said she doesn't lie, but everybody else does: Congress, government officials and those who deny the existence of NESARA, the National Economic Security and Reformation Act.
"A cult?" she said. "All we do is ask people if they want to give some time to go and pass out fliers. It's totally voluntary. I took on NESARA out of my heart."
It's about world peace, she said. She admitted asking for donations from readers. She said she didn't want to, but she had to - NESARA was too important.
She cried over the death of her beloved dog, and how she couldn't afford medicine to keep it alive.
She scoffed at statements in the series linking NESARA to scams, including an investment fraud called Omega that robbed people of $20 million in the mid-1990s. Goodwin's reports say NESARA will unlock the wealth promised by such "prosperity programs." During the interview, she downplayed those claims.
"I rarely write about the prosperity programs," she said. "Maybe three or four times a year."
It's closer to once a week. Her 2004 reports shows she mentioned the prosperity programs 23 times between Jan. 19 and June 24, including a specific reference to the long-lost Omega millions on May 20.
As she pored over the draft, bursts of derision popped like firecrackers.
"You just think the world is so free and easy," she said.
Reading denials of NESARA by government officials, she shook her head knowingly.
"That is what they have to say," she said.
With growing irritation, she started talking about "confirmations" from her readers - people who have heard mysterious mentions of NESARA. She would prove it, she said, even if it meant revealing a few secret sources.
"You haven't done your due diligence," she said. She picked up her telephone and punched a number in the Netherlands. NESARA supporters in that country, spurred by Dove's reports, hold weekly demonstrations at the International Court of Justice, believing the judges are holding secret hearings on the secret law.
Holding the phone like a walkie-talkie, Goodwin spoke. The earpiece volume was high enough to hear.
"Hello, Nel?" Goodwin said.
"This is Dove."
Goodwin explained the situation. A reporter was asking questions, and needed to hear Nel's story of a NESARA confirmation.
"Yes, Dove, I will," Nel said.
Nel told her story. An ambassador and a judge driving past the demonstrators had given them the thumbs-up sign.
Dove took back the phone, and continued reading the draft.
"You are so off," she said, looking up. "It's about world peace. That's what we care about. It's not about money."
After a few more paragraphs, she raised her head again.
"You're just sick," she said. "This world's gonna blow up if we don't get peace."
She read a reference to Harvey Barnard, the retired engineer from Louisiana who wrote a proposed bill called NESARA 14 years ago as an academic experiment, only to watch Dove co-opt it.
"That is a scam," she said, pointing to Barnard's name. "This idiot works for George W. Bush Sr."
She punched in another telephone number.
"You need a lesson about what's real in this world," she said.
She said she was calling Rama, a friend who would explain a supposed NESARA confirmation from Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif).
"Hello?" a slow voice said.
"This is Dove."
"I want you to talk to this reporter," she said, explaining that a Tacoma newspaper was interviewing her. He needed to tell his Boxer story - the NESARA confirmation.
Rama wasn't getting it.
"A newspaper in Tacoma, Washington!" Goodwin barked at the phone. "They're writing a horrible story in the Tacoma Tribune, and it's full of crap."
She handed over the receiver.
Rama wouldn't give his real name. Slowly, he said he couldn't reveal his sources. He wanted to explain what he knew about NESARA, but the information went very high.
"Thirty-eight levels above the president," he said. He wouldn't say any more.
Goodwin took the phone receiver back and said goodbye.
"Rama's a scaredy cat," she said.
Almost immediately the phone rang. It was Rama, calling back to apologize. Slowly, he said he was sorry he couldn't cooperate with that reporter, but he'd gotten a bad vibration, kind of an Illuminati vibration, and -
"He's just a little boy in Tacoma," Goodwin said, cutting in. "He doesn't know anything."
Her eyes lifted from the phone, and her gaze narrowed.
"I don't think you're Illuminati," she said, staring hard. "I think you're really dumb. And you better get smart."
- - -
Sean Robinson: 253-597-8486