The Shulman Center

Terrence Shulman
Founder/Director of
The Shulman Center

Terry Shulman

April 2010 Monthly e-Newsletter
" From Slavery to Freedom, From Death to Rebirth "
Terrence Daryl Shulman

ANNOUNCEMENTS! Spring has Sprung! Happy Passover and Easter!

Check out our newly updated blog at

and our five new short uploaded webvideos on shoplifting addiction, employee theft, and compulsive
shopping and spending at: ../video-archive.html

"We in recovery are like (Olympic) athletes. We train numerous hours, years, even decades, to find a path toward victory—to stretch ourselves beyond our own blocks and limits—to fulfill our greatest potential. However, whereas (Olympic) athletes typically strive to increase their speed and for perfection, we in recovery typically strive for the exact opposite—though with no less dedication: to decrease our speed and stop chasing perfection. In sports, the difference between victory or a medal may come down to a fraction of a second; so, too, in recovery: a relapse usually occurs when we go into automatic reaction or behavior while choosing a better way often follows the tiniest pause or gap in thinking." -- Terrence Shulman

From Slavery to Freedom, From Death to Rebirth

As most of us slough off the winter snow and delight in the new buds of spring, Passover and Easter remind us of the triumphs of breaking free and being reborn. You don't have to be religious to embrace these vital themes and journeys.

This is a great time to ask ourselves the following questions:
What did I learn during my winter slumber?
What have I been enslaved to and how am I finding new freedom from this?
How have I recently died (symbolically) and who has this process given rebirth to?

During my winter slumber--in the wake of the end of a year-long lawsuit I defended--I began the process of reclaiming my truest sources of strength and abundance. I found this does not lie within certain people but, rather, more deeply within myself and the universe-at-large. And while the lawsuit
cost much in terms of time, money and energy, I found myself unexpectedly busy and fruitful these last three months of 2010. So much so that I hardly got to enjoy much winter's slumber!

I got the opportunity to see more clearly--painfully so--how I still have patterns of deep fear around failure and around not having enough money to survive. I also saw more clearly--painfully so--how I continued to live out my early family role of the strong one, the self-sufficient one, the one who never gets angry. Is it any wonder I shoplifted on and off for ten years from age 15-25? Though I'd celebrated 20 years of recovery last month, I had still been enslaved in a role I'd outgrown: I have begun to see that all my struggles to be so strong were missing the mark: something dramatic had to happen to drop me to my knees (just as my addiction had done 20 years previously) because I was losing my soul and my authenticity. I was, again, falling back into the role of the hero. This is a prison in disguise.

And what has died in me to be reborn? Well, that is still emerging. But, I hope, I can learn to speak my truth more, take myself and life more lightly, trust I will be provided for, and balance work and play.
In other words, I hope the Terry I am continues to become more himself.

When to take a stand and when to let go and surrender is not always an easy call. When is it time to uproot and make an exodus and when is it time to allow ourselves to be nailed to the cross in the name of something bigger than ourselves? Standing up to a lawsuit, for a cause, or to others in our lives can be hard. And we may suffer for it and die in some sense to be reborn. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

And so, when a loved one recently called me in distress and I found myself feeling helpless and afraid and confused about how to help, I began to get impatient and frustrated and slipped back into my old pattern of talking to him as I have tend to talk to myself: "It's not that bad. Just move on. Your anxiety is all in your head!" I even found myself spitting out the words: "It's not like you're a total wreck." But then he set me straight: he told me "No, you don't seem to understand. I feel like a total wreck. I think I'm a total wreck." And then a pause... for I realized in that moment, just as I had been a total wreck less than a year ago, that I needed to reach out in deep love and tenderness. And that made all the difference to him... and to me.

For those who've wandered "40 years" between enslavement and freedom (how many have been in their addictions that long!) and those who have felt crucified and resurrected and those budding flowers of spring both delicate and strong beyond measure, we face the cycle of the seasons within and without. We must grow, we must move toward freedom and toward rebirth. It is our calling and destiny.

Hard Times Make Thefts By Workers A Bigger Problem

By Joe Lambe
Sunday,February 28, 2010
Edition: Kansas City Star, METROPOLITAN, Section: NATIONAL/WORLD, Page A1

Retailers spend a lot of time and money to prevent shoplifting, but a bigger threat to the bottom line is the person behind the counter.

No one knows exactly how much employees steal each year, but one national survey late last year showed that companies lost $18.7 billion in the 12 months ending in June because of worker theft -- the largest single cause of retail "shrinkage."

Another survey for 2008 found that employees stole far more than shoplifters and that among 22 large retailers, one in 30 employees was caught stealing.

"It happens from the top down to the bottom up," said Terrence Shulman, an author and a counselor on the subject who is a lawyer with a master's degree in social work.

Two recent local cases illustrate how large the problem can be. A former employee is suspected of stealing more than $300,000 in goods from a Target store in Kansas City. In Johnson County, a salesman and shipping clerk together stole an estimated $30,000 worth of suits from an Overland Park men's store.

Experts say that with hard times, more employees are stealing, but many have always done it anyway. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has long said that 75 percent of employees steal from their employers at least once.

They start small, get bolder and often get caught, said Casey Chroust, a vice president with the Retail Industry Leaders Association.

Said Shulman: "More are getting caught because security is getting more sophisticated, but there are fewer loss-prevention officers, so it's kind of a wash."

Allan Bachman, the education manager for the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, last week called the situation "almost a perfect storm" as companies that are trying to weather the recession eliminate protective measures.

Two years ago, the association estimated that American businesses lost 7 percent of annual revenue to fraud, but the group now suspects that figure has grown. A short random survey last spring found fraud increasing as those who monitor it get layoff notices.

If a company is floundering, some managers may try to loot the ship before it sinks, experts say. The same goes for employees facing layoffs and demands for harder work.

At the boss levels, big money vanishes with fraud such as embezzlement and kickback deals with suppliers.

"There is a possibility that schemes are being created right now that won't be discovered for years," Bachman said.

Bachman said thieves who steal by fraud are often people in positions of absolute trust.

Said Shulman: "It is often the star employee who is led out in handcuffs."

The Target employee suspected in the massive thefts from the discount chain's Ward Parkway store had worked there since the store opened and was considered its best employee, police said.

Target security officers in January realized items were missing from a loading dock and started an investigation.

Police were called in to investigate and officers conducting surveillance watched as the female employee helped to put merchandise from the loading dock in two movers' trucks. Officers followed one truck to a Henry County farmhouse, and they found about $100,000 worth of Target goods there.

Officers said the house was set up like a store, with mini-refrigerators and freezers on a back porch, household items in one room, and toys and clothes in another. It was one of four such farmhouses they raided.

The investigation continues, and the woman has not been charged.

Not even Jackson County Circuit Court is safe from a trusted worker turned thief.

Three years ago, authorities accused a longtime purchasing clerk at the courthouse of stealing or trying to steal more than $230,000 worth of computers and electronics over a two-year period.

The clerk, Laura L. Soemer, ordered boxes of goods delivered to her attention and then loaded them in her car as sheriff's deputies and other courthouse workers watched or even helped.

Soemer was known as a go-getter who projected authority, her boss said. Two years ago, she pleaded guilty to two counts of theft and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. She is eligible for parole in April.

Last year, a Johnson County jury convicted salesman Clifton Williams of stealing goods from a Jos. A. Bank Clothiers store in Overland Park in a scheme that lasted six months or longer.

Overland Park Detective Byron Pierce said Williams, 34, worked with shipping clerk Joshua Poland, 24, to steal about $30,000 worth of suits and other goods.

Pierce said someone who worked for the men's store chain noticed the shipping clerk selling suits cheap on the Internet and traced where the clerk worked. An audit led to an interrogation of Poland, who admitted conspiring with Williams.

Poland sent suits to some off-the-books buyers, and he and Williams smuggled some suits out the store's back door in garbage bags and later sold the suits on the Internet, Pierce said.

Poland said people who bought the suits said they paid 50 cents on the dollar, and the salesman told the buyers he was simply passing on his employer discount. No buyers were charged with crimes.

Williams was sentenced to probation, and Poland testified against him and was placed in a prison-diversion program.

Often, employee thieves are not even prosecuted, said Shulman and other experts.

Retailers want to keep the matter quiet, get their money back and just fire offenders, Shulman said.

"Then they (the thieves) go on to the next employer and do it again."

Shulman said people steal out of greed, grievances or psychological problems.

"People have a lot of authority issues," Shulman said. "You'd be surprised at how many think they're entitled."

To reach Joe Lambe, call 816-234-7714 or send e-mail to

Free Intimacy with Money Telephone Seminars

It is with great excitement and confidence that I wish to share about the Free "Intimacy with Money"
telephone seminars conducted by my long-time friend Tom Lietaert and my more recent friend Andrew
Hogan who currently work out of Boulder/Denver, Colorado. Their next free teleconference is on

To learn more and to register, please go to:

Magazine of the month: The Sun

If you're not familiar with The Sun magazine which was founded some thirty years ago and is published
out of North Carolina, please go to

The Sun is a rich mix of short stories, interviews, essays, and poetry contributed by readers from across the land. It is provocative and covers politics, psychology, relationships, and spirituality--among other important topics. The Sun goes deep and wide and shocks and evokes.

Compulsive Theft & Spending in The News! March/April 2010:

February 28--Mr. Shulman was featured in an article in The Kansas City Star on employee theft.

March 26--Mr. Shulman was featured on a re-airing on WeTV's "Secret Lives of Women" on compulsive shopping and spending.

March--Mr. Shulman was featured in an article in Seventeen magazine about shoplifting and teens.

March--Mr. Shulman was featured in an article in Carroll magazine about shoplifting addiction. 

March--Mr. Shulman was featured in an article in Alternet magazine about compulsive shopping.

March--Mr. Shulman was featured in articles in The Toronto Star newspaper and in Canada's
Chatelaine magazine on shoplifting addiction.

March 16--Mr. Shulman's articles on compulsive theft and spending were accepted by e-Zine and are listed at

March 18--Mr. Shulman was interviewed live by phone on a Colombian/South American radio program to discuss compulsive theft and spending.

Mr. Shulman is assisting the Baton Rouge, Louisiana court system a court-ordered three hour 
facilitated educational program for retail fraud offenders. The program is based on material from
his book "Something for Nothing: Shoplifting Addiction and Recovery" (2003).

April 8--Mr. Shulman will be a featured presenter on men's issues in therapy and recovery at The
National Association of Social Workers--Michigan Chapter Annual Conference in Dearborn, Michigan.

Beyond April...

September 8-11--Mr. Shulman will be a guest presenter on compulsive shopping and spending at
The National Conference on Addiction Disorders near Washington, D.C.

Mr. Shulman submitted a chapter on employee theft for a U.K. book entitled "Risky Business" to
be released in September 2010.

December 1-4--Mr. Shulman will be presenting on employee theft detection and prevention at The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

Mr. Shulman created an online continuing education course on compulsive shopping and spending  called "Bought Out and $pent!" based on his book and Power Point presentation. The course is 
offered through The American Psychotherapy Association and is available for purchase by APA
members and non-members and CEs are available. See

Mr. Shulman created an online education course called "Creating an Honest and Theft-Free 
Workplace" based on his book and Power Point presentation through 360 Training Services.
CEs are available. See

Mr. Shulman is assisting with a CNN TV news story about compulsive shopping/spending in
today's economy.

Mr. Shulman will be featured in a segment on shoplifting addiction in the MSNBC series "Theft in 
America" to air in late 2009/early 2010.

Mr. Shulman is consulting on a major motion picture tentatively called "The Rush" in which the lead character is addicted to shoplifting and stealing.

Mr. Shulman continues to assist the Kingman, Arizona court system with his court-ordered home-
study program for retail fraud offenders. The program is based on material from his book "Something
for Nothing: Shoplifting Addiction and Recovery" (2003).

Mr. Shulman is consulting with an author who is writing a novel about two kleptomaniacs who fall in
love with each other.

Contact The Shulman Center

Terrence Shulman
P.O. Box 250008
Franklin, Michigan 48025


Call (248) 358-8508 for free consulation!

Related sites by Terrence Shulman:


Something For Nothing
Biting The Hand That Feeds
Bought Out and $pent

Products for Purchase--ON SALE through 2009!

Mr. Shulman's three books "Something for Nothing: Shoplifting Addiction & Recovery" and "Biting
The Hand That Feeds: The Employee Theft Epidemic... New Perspectives, New Solutions," and
"Bought Out and $pent! Recovery from Compulsive $hopping and $pending" are availabe for $25.00
each (includes shipping/handling).

Second International Conference on Compulsive Theft & Spending 2 DVD set (6 Hours). Recorded 9/08. $100.00.

Click here to purchase

E-mail Mr. Shulman:


Call (248) 358-8508