Archive for December, 2009

16
Dec

Oral Roberts dies at 91

   Posted by: Britt    in On Seekers

Oral Roberts died today of complications to pneumonia. He was 91. He’s the guy with the spiritual hands that could heal, and people would line up in droves to be touched by the man.

I don’t know that much about him (except for a vague memory of him in the 80’s where he said that he needs to fundraise several million dollars or else God would strike him dead). A blogger by the name of Karen Spears Zacharias has a very educational and entertaining article on Roberts. Following is the start of her article:

How Big is Your Mansion

I learned of the death of Oral Roberts through a Twitter post that said: “Celebrating with Oral Roberts as he came face to face with Jesus. Your mansion is sooooo big. I’m sure of it!”The news was jarring. Not that Oral Roberts was dead at age 91, though, I imagine for those who loved him his passing on to Glory was still very hard. What troubled me was the remark about the size of Roberts’s mansion.

Up until Roberts died and I read that stupid tweet, I never gave a second-thought to the real estate market in heaven. I just assumed we’d all get an equal share of prime property. Surely God knows me well enough by now to know that in order for me to be eternally happy I need a piece of beachfront property.

Read her blog for more information here.

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Here is an interview with Deepak Chopra by Anderson Cooper of CNN (December 15, 200), coming on the heels of the James Arthur Ray fallout.

Interesting, because Deepak is up there with the (f)Law of Attraction folks; what sets him apart is his education as he is a PhD holder (just goes to show that regulation is not the final screening mechanism).  I have this book of his at home, called The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, where right from the onset he sets out to define “laws.”

Which is fair enough, as I too do that in my upcoming book, Without a Doubt.

In my book, law is defined as one of two things: it is something that can be upheld by an authority (eg civil law), or it is an immutable truth (such as gravity). Now, the (f)Law of Attraction folks like to compare LOA with gravity. Which is about as dumb as it gets. My favourite is hearing some sub-guru say that if you wake up one morning and decide the defy the LOA, then you will live to regret that morning.

Which is borderline retarded, as you cannot DECIDE to defy an immutable law.

So anyway, Deepak sets out to define his concept of laws. Ready?

“[L]et us understand the concept of law. Law is the process by which the unmanifest becomes the manifest; it’s the process by which the observer becomes the observed; it’s the process by which the seer becomes the scenery; it’s the process through which the dreamer manifests the dream.” (Pages 3-4 in the 1993 New World Library hardcover version.)

Huh?

Then he loops into a deep (metaphysical-like) conversation about the self-curving back into itself, and the perpetuity of motion coming from the field of “potentiality which is purely unmanifest” (p 5), and then feels he has sufficiently defined the meaning of “law” and can now begin discussing the seven spiritual laws of success.

All that just to say it’s like asking one guru if the guru industry should be regulated.

Personally, I don’t think regulation is the answer. People need to know how to recognize spin, and how to separate “blind faith” from fact. Deepak is another spinner of the flawed Law of Attraction, and were the industry regulated, he would still be swimming in that muddy ocean. But amongst fewer fish, which would actually see him and his business in good stead.

Less regulation and more education is my opinion. Get out into the periphery. The real periphery. Not amidst the masses who are all being sold on the spin that they are the upper 5% of the echelon who will succeed (get out your wallets), but those who dare to defy the money makers of the world, those who dare to burn bridges, and risk telling you an unpopular, non-millionaire-manifesting truth.

Breathe, Britt, breathe.

10
Dec

Jill and Julia on the Law of Attraction

   Posted by: Britt    in On The Secret

Here’s a little video ditty from Jill Sobule, singer/artist extraordinaire, and Julia Sweeney, new on my list of people to follow, performing at TED in 1997. Oprah gets slagged. That takes guts for anyone in the public eye as Oprah is a millionaire maker.

Buh-bye (Oprah) money, hello (Oprah) funny! How cool are they?

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Here’s a video of a news snippet from CNN. In it, the commentator discusses the tragic death (suicide) of Colleen Conaway. The most striking part for me is that JRI (James Ray International) does not reimburse those injured or deceased. Ms. Conaway died at a JRI event and had paid for for future events. Okay, perhaps it’s a bit insane to have a written policy that states you’d give unequivocal refunds to anyone who dies at your events for current and future classes, but it does make compassionate sense to reimburse, don’t you think?

I understand the concern that a reimbursement might be seen as an admission of guilt, and perhaps that’s why none has been issued to date. But where the hell is the compassion from the man who is claiming to be changing lives of people world-wide?

A suicide, by definition, is a self inflicted event. I’m not looking to blame anyone. What I am looking for is a demonstration of compassion. That Colleen Conaway paid for courses after her death, which were not reimbursed, seems cold to me. That only one out of the three Sedona deaths received a partial reimbursement (Kirby Brown’s family received $5,000) seems callous, not to mention inadequate.

For someone who makes millions of dollars a year, you’d think that reimbursements to the tune of even $50,000 are but a drop in a bucket. Funny, because he teaches Cialdini’s marketing techniques, and there’s a proven technique of reciprocity where if you give something that’s been unsolicited there’s typically a larger return attached to it. He knows this inside and out. But what I’m seeing is a stingy man who is teaching abundance for all, to all who can afford it.

For a man banking on the Law of Attraction, you’d think paying out would be the fastest way to solicit a return. A reimbursement is a small price to pay, especially if you’re banking on the Law of Attraction to see your way out of this mess.

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There’s an article on today’s CNN website called “Good, bad and ugly self-help: How can you tell?” by By Jason Hanna, (CNN Living, December 7, 2009 1:18 p.m. EST). It talks about the unregulated multi-billion dollar self-help industry and suggests that there are a few tell-tale signs of things to look for in identifying the bad and the ugly. “Self-help is a multibillion-dollar-a-year unregulated industry in the United States, according to John C. Norcross, professor of psychology at the University of Scranton.” Norcross goes on to say that

… a lack of scientific evidence isn’t the only thing to look out for. Other characteristics that should make consumers wary, he says:

  • Authors or speakers who don’t have formal training in the featured topic. “They should look for someone with rigorous training at an accredited university and who has spent years investigating and conducting these treatments,” Norcross said.
  • Programs that don’t screen consumers for problems. For example, Norcross says, certain programs might be harmful for a person with bipolar disorder.
  • People who reject conventional knowledge and instead imply a revolutionary secret. “It’s marketing, essentially,” Norcross said.
  • People who propose solutions for all problems instead of particular problems.

While I don’t necessarily agree with the list in its entirety (I strongly disagree that spending years at an accredited university automatically assumes proper authority), I do think he makes some valid points. When considering a program, yes, talk to someone who has taken the course at least six months ago. But do more than ask for a reference. Ask them how that course has impacted their lives.

And, yes, anyone touting “a revolutionary secret” that will resolve all your problems and make you rich and let you “find your bliss” is bullshitting you.

You should really familiarize yourself with Robert Cialdini’s persuasion principles. Once you become aware of that sales formula, you’ll start seeing the pitches for what they are: marketing.

(Oh, and by the way, “marketing” is not a bad word. It is what it is, a tool. Being aware of this tool’s use is what will help guide you to making decisions in your best interest.)

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6
Dec

An Astrologists Astrologer’s Viewpoint

   Posted by: Britt    in On James Arthur Ray

Here’s a different take on the whole James Arthur Ray fiasco. Buckle up, and prepare for the roller coaster ride contained within these three consecutive YouTube videos.

First Video

Second Video

Third Video

At one point, Sheila, the “Astrologists Astrologer” says that the cheaters were the winners (they were, apparently, sneaking fluids). When here, it sounds like she’s sympathetic to the victims. In the second video she says that all the people were spiritually connected and they were destined to be there (and apparently to die).

Is she suggesting that perhaps James Arthur Ray should have first consulted his oracle, and then changed where the door was on the sweat lodge that all would have been well???? And at another point in the second clip, she uses J.A.R.’s comment that what you focus on expands, and because he focused on being Christ-like, he too will be prosecuted and fall. So what? The same applies to all priests, ministers, etc???

On the third clip she refers to those who died as those who “transcended.” That’s just woo-woo spin as far as I’m concerned. They died. End of sentence. End of person. End of Life. Period.

While I’m sure that this astrologist is in her full integrity, the message lacks clarity. I’m never quite sure what she’s advocating. Go see your astrologist? Don’t have a God complex? It’s not his fault as the universe was all in alignment for this to happen? It’s okay to cheat? That the Law of Attraction is all good and well, and that J.A.R. just got too carried away?

If anyone can shed light on the matter, I’d sure appreciate it.

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It strikes me as somewhat unethical that some multi-million intake “teachers” bus their students out to the ghetto-parts of town to intermingle with the homeless. Of course, I don’t know if they give back. I know that Anthony Robbins was partially motivated to provide Thanksgiving Dinners.

From Wikipedia (Tony Robbins. (2009, November 26). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 17:53, December 5, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Tony_Robbins&oldid=328059224):

Robbins is the founder of the Anthony Robbins Foundation, which proclaims its mission is to empower students, help prisoners to improve their lives, organize food drives, and fund Robbins’ “Discovery Camp”. According to the website, it has “products and programs in more than 2,000 schools, 700 prisons, and 100,000 health and human service organizations. The Foundation is committed to make a difference in the quality of life for children, the homeless, the prison population, and the elderly through its various programs”. Charity Navigator gives the foundation an overall rating of three out of four stars. The foundation has subsequently led to the forming of “Basket Brigades” across the world that occur each Thanksgiving. Individuals and groups have joined together to assemble and deliver dinner baskets to more than two million needy people.

Two million people. That’s a significant number.

The teachers who I have in mind who I know incorporate the Homeless Experience into their teachings are Byron Katie and James Arthur Ray. (If there are others, let us know.)  I don’t find similar entries under their Wiki pages. Not that that is the definitive authority. That would be you, the reader. So if you know otherwise, again, let the rest of us know.

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3
Dec

When Positive Thinking Goes Awry

   Posted by: Britt    in On Positive Thinking

I think Positive Thinking goes awry when it causes you to see exclusively through tunnel vision. The periphery includes listening to your body, your gut, and the bad news along with the good. A lot of LOA (Law of Attraction) types encourage you to STOP reading all critical publications, and that to me is like moving forward in the hopes that the quicksand that you see there but are “not thinking of” will disappear of it’s own accord. It won’t, and you will sink.

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