Archive for the ‘My Story’ Category

So there’s this company out there called Butterfly Global. The actual website has come and gone, and the only thing still in existence seems to be a Facebook fan page.

It’s somewhat obscured, but the main driver behind it is a fellow by the name of Bret Treadwell.

When I first started down this “rabbit hole” in 2007, I was introduced to LOA, financial wealth “education” and Bret Treadwell (at the time, known under the ABF–or autobiographical feedback– banner). It was all new to me. I hadn’t heard of Anthony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, James Arthur Ray, Jack Canfield or any other of their ilk. (In hindsight, I was better off NOT knowing about them. Oy, the tuition of life….)

Bret Treadwell was introduced to me by the people running the “Financial Wealth Seminars” I was attending.

In his intro (which as in all LOA Guru cases is free), Mr. Treadwell tells the story of being inspired by God. He was taken (up) by God who told him many a secrets, and told him the ultimate way that people can hypnotize themselves into a state of permanent happiness.

It was a secret method used by the monks, the mere human was told. And then God whispered in his ear and told him this:

The monks had a secret. The monks had a system of anchoring all positive messages into everything they saw. When I am done with you, you too will know this system. And it will become incumbent on you to pass this along to all other plebes who deign to give you thousands of dollars for the secret.

The secret, God went on to say, is to anchor you messages into numbers. For numbers are all around you. And whenever you see a number you will recall a particular message.

The number-system you need to know, God concluded, goes thus:

# Sound Example
1 S, Z, C, X city, xylophone
2 N, KN, GN know no gnome
3 SH, CH, J, G shame change john’s giant
4 B, P better pay
5 R run
6 T, D to do
7 M money
8 K, C, X, Q, G kissing cats exist quit God
9 F, V, Ph for various pharmaceuticals
0 L, Th love that
Vowels, YHW and ING are free

This system is then further anchored into body and into a total of seven different places. For each additional layer of depth, another tuition must be paid.

I admit it. I fell for it. Hook, line and sinker. I paid something like $10,000 to attend this fellow’s “university.” In hindsight, I now know he is essentially teaching a re-packaged version of Tony Robbin’s NLP (neurolinguistic programming) melded together with Deepak Chopra’s enlightenment spiel, using T. Harv Eker’s train the trainer style. This fellow has done the circuit as a student and now figures that he too can teach it. Any why not? Really, Jack Canfield, James Arthur Ray, Byron Katie, they’re all knock-offs from the same system, just each brings in her or his own twist.

Here’s the kicker though. Years after I paid this fellow (and he consequently fizzled and died and is nowhere to be found on the Internet), I find what’s called the Mnemonic Major System, which has been around for about 500 years now. I stumbled upon it quite by accident. You see, I had paid Treadwell Technologies several thousands of dollars for a wide range of courses. I had taken the free one, and a second was eventually offered a few years later. So I set out to find him on the Internet. And I did it by plugging in his trademarked system, using the numbers 0-9 to copy all the constant sounds in our alphabet.

You can image my shock (and yes, dismay that I’d been had) when I stumbled across this Mnemonic Major System (MMS).

It goes something like this:

Numeral Associated Consonants Mnemonic
0 s, z, soft c “z” is the first letter of zero. The other letters have a similar sound.
1 d, t d & t have one downstroke and sound similar (some variant systems include “th”)
2 n n has two downstrokes
3 m M has three downstrokes and looks like a “3” on its side
4 r last letter of four, also 4 and R are almost mirror images of each other
5 l L is the Roman Numeral for 50
6 j, sh, soft “ch”,
dg, zh, soft “g”
a script j has a lower loop / g is almost a 6 flipped over
7 k, hard c, hard g,
hard “ch”, q, qu
capital K “contains” two sevens
8 f, v script f resembles a figure-8. V sounds similar. (some variant systems include th)
9 b, p p is a mirror-image 9. b sounds similar and resembles a 9 rolled around
Unassigned Vowel sounds, w,h,y These can be used anywhere without changing a word’s number value

So really, this one fellow’s “divine intervention” and subsequent conversation with God turns out to be a re-organization of a 5 century old system that I can only assume he found and thought he’d tweak, and sell back to the hungry masses.

MMS

Numeral

Associated

Consonants

Treadwell’s # X-ref

with MMS

0 s, z, soft c l, th (#5)
1 d, t s, z, soft c (#0)
2 n n, kn, gn (#2)
3 m sh, ch, j, g (#6)
4 r b, p (#9)
5 l r (#4)
6 j, sh, soft “ch”,

dg, zh, soft “g”

t, d (#1)
7 k, hard c, hard g,

hard “ch”, q, qu

m (#3)
8 f, v x, c, x, q, g (#7)
9 b, p f, v, ph (#8)
Unassigned: Vowels, w,h,y Free: Vowels, w,h,y

In trying to find out why Butterfly Global had dropped out of the Internet Universe (okay, so I could find cached bits, but nothing current), I came across this posting (which is also copied here and here), which reads:

This is a response to this question: (1) Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer and Tony Robbins are all great. So is Michael Beckwith. However there is a “new guy” on the scene that I should warn anyone about…he name is Bret Treadwell and he is the founder of a website named Butterfly Global. This is a guy you should be aware of and be careful with, unless getting sucked into paying a ton of money to a guy with right wing political apsirations is your thing. See below:

As someone who knew Bret Treadwell (and this whole Butterfly Global project/website – AKA Treadwell Technologies) for many years I can honestly say that despite the outward appearance of th Butterfly Global website, there is another agenda. Bret Treadwell told me personally when he was working in landscaping and housesitting on Whidbey Island in 2001 that he seeks to “become a multi-millionaire within 5 years”. Well, that clearly didn’t happen. He told me then that his ultimate goal was to “never work again”. Back then he kep living in other people’s homes, suriving on his charisma and ability to charm others. He rarely “worked” and in fact bragged to me that it was amazing that he could get pretty much everything he needed without actually have a job.

Although I was his friend, it was clear to me then that his aim was to re-package Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins and others and “re-sell it”. What is more disturbing is that he also has a political agenda that is far right of the Tea Party activists, although he will rarely admit this publicly. I used to be his close friend. When I questioned his agenda and methods on Facebook, he quite aggressively attempted to silence me by sicking his “followers” on me, and when that didn’t work, he blocked me. Open debate was not invited, au contraire, it was discouraged, but in the must cunning of ways. “I invite debate” he would say – all the while enticing his loyal lemmings to verbally assault every quesiton I posed…and over time the effect of my questions was interferring with his attempt to bring in new followers, so I was blocked.

I never thought I would ever find myself warning anyone in the world about another person I know. However one of his ex-students wrote to me recently on Facebook and said, and I quote “I just spent a buttload of money on this guy, and discovered sadly that he simply reconditioned a bunch of other people’s work, sold it as “revolutionary” and when all was said and done, I was like “oh my god, what a con artists”. I wish I knew in advance, but self-help people are like boxed surprised, you never know if you are getting the real deal or a bunch of repeats at a premium cost. Only afterwards do you really see what just happened. I am sure some people like his “stuff” because Bret Treadwell is like any con artist, charismatic, talkative, controlling and he never lets you see it. He makes you think he is on your side, as his hand is in your pocket. Oh well, lesson learned!”

…So beware folks. As they say in the used car business, “buyer beware”. I used to be a close friend of this guy, and if he was simply reselling other people’s stuff and making money, I would probably not say a word. It is his life, his karma. But when he uses that money to then support right wing politicians, the outrageous tea party folks and crazy Ron Paul – all in the guise of being a self-help expert, then I think he is doing more harm than good.

Bret Treadwell and (his Butterfly Global project) is nowhere resembling “guru-status”, but is instead a salesman operation, a very charismatic, self-absorbed, very deceptive salesman operation. As I said above, “buyer beware”.

Noah Levine

I have a few concerns with the posting. First, I disagree that Chopra and Robbins are “good” gurus. It’s all snake oil as far as I’m concerned. Second, I’m not too sure that “Noah Levine” is the actual name associated with the writings.  But having said that, it echoes my own findings, that he is a copy-cat guru, selling a system loosely wrapped into a garb that’s over 500 years old.

Here’s the cached information from “Butterfly Global”

Hailed as the “Darwin of Personal Development” Bret Treadwell is best known for his contributions to the fields of human potential, peak performance and spiritual development with his proprietary integration processes of Autobiographical Feedback™ (ABF) and the Language of Enlightenment™ (LOE). Both of these integration systems are designed to create ‘instant’ as well as ‘sustainable’ change for individuals and the collective consciousness of people worldwide.

Bret’s work comes from a deep desire to significantly contribute to humanity through the fields of cellular biology, body-mind communication and conditioning, self healing, social engineering, psychoneuroimmunology, theoretical physics, the neural linguistic sciences and cell regeneration. In addition to his breakthrough ‘integration processes’ Bret also works diligently to create community support systems designed to assist his clients, himself and society as a whole through the emotional, physical and psychological challenges of personal growth.

At age 25 Bret was inspired to sell his first business and begin putting attention on his life purpose and hearts passion when he was told he had softball-sized tumor in his back. For the next 10 years Bret focused on the study of self-healing, peak performance and the creation of Autobiographical Feedback™ and the Language of Enlightenment™ in order to address what he saw as a ‘soft spot’ in the personal development industry and a way to contribute to humanity as a whole.

Bret recognized an undeniable abundance of great information that had the ‘potential’ to affect a more common experience of personal and global empowerment, yet he also witnessed that the ability to realistically and sustainably integrate that knowledge was leaving clients and instructors in the industry with results far beneath the potential of what was offered.

In 2002 Bret set out to BETA test Autobiographical Feedback™ and the Language of Enlightenment™ in order to see if what he had created could be a contribution to what he saw as the ‘soft spot’ in the industry and a benefit to peoples lives. In 2007, after 5 years of BETA testing across the US and Canada Bret saw that what he had created had the potential to do everything he had hoped for and more. Bret took the next few years off in order to refine and improve the support systems within ABF™ and LOE™, launch his new business Butterfly Global and spend time with his young boys Percival and Cincinnatus Treadwell.

For over 2 decades Bret has had the honor and privilege of working with organizations and individuals from all walks of life, including investment banking, indigenous peoples, military and police leadership academies, “at risk” and youth leadership programs, Fortune 500 companies and rehabilitation facilities across the board.

Bret has shared the stage with many peak performance leaders including Dr. Deepak Chopra, Mark Victor Hansen and John Assaraf. In addition to working from the platform Bret has also co-stared in the educational movie “Pass It On!” with Dr. Denis Waitley, Les Brown, Mark Victor Hansen and is included in the best selling anthology “Seizing Your Success!” with Greg Reid, Wayne Dyer, and John Assaraf.

Certified in a wide variety of change technologies and recognized as an expert in how the human body-mind interacts with the biological and cosmological rhythms. Bret lives a lifestyle that is congruent with the message that he shares. His idealistic intentions, willingness to fail, steadfast commitment to excellence and consistent action both on and off the stage are what separate him from the pack, draw attention to his message and set a standard for humanities potential.

Bret has dedicated his life to the betterment of his fellow man.

Behind the Scenes at Butterfly Global

It takes a tribe and Butterfly Global is no exception. Along with Bret  the visionary and creator, Tanja Diamond and Max Bellasys are in the background of Butterfly Global.

The technology behind Butterfly Global is so immense and pioneering that it has taken many starts and stops and different people’s input to will it into existence.

After many years of attempting to get Butterfly Global to fly Bret met Tanja and Max.

Tanja Diamond is Bret Treadwells’ right hand woman at Butterfly Global. Tanja is the Project Manager, marketing director and confidant.  Tanja brings a very unique skill set to the project as a life strategist and business/marketing consultant. She is the creator of Tantra for Business ™ www.tantraforbusiness.com and Modern Tantra ™ and is a co-owner with Max of www.Diamota.com

Max Bellasys owner of StarLogic Systems www.starlogicsystems.com, and Head Above Code www.headabovecode.com is a  technology systems architect. Max is the  needed brilliance to bring Bret’s dreams of the Geronimo system into action.

You will be seeing more and more of the amazing technology ButterflyGlobal has to offer in the future. Stay tuned as we bring you one of the most amazing systems for human transformation there is on the planet.

The makings of a false god. Watch for the trappings. Fought immortality and won. Selfless, though charges copious amounts for redundant information. Stolen wares. Heightened claims (not too sure who calls him the Darwin of Self-Development!).

I guess my point here is really do your research before spending money stupidly in pursuit of wealth. Much of the crap out there is repackaged stuff, and if you look into what it is that the so-called originators are preaching, you can find a ton of cracks in their logic.

Or, you can do what I did. Spend like an idiot. Then look on stupidly afterwards and wonder how in the hell you’re going to explain it. And look to see if you can find a cheap saddle in a second hand store so that you can actually afford to get back on to your horse — your own goddamn horse — and move just one step forward today.

Addendum

Mr. Treadwell was also a small contributor to a virally-intentioned book called Seizing Your Success[1]. You can read his two page auto-biographical story here. Note the shared attributes of all the other gurus: childhood suffering, severe adolescent rebellion, extreme “street smart” (this becomes the official “degree” for many, see Bill Bartmann), despair, whispers of suicide (aka wandering on the cliffs, contemplating one’s future) and the intervention of God saying something divinely beautiful, finding the one true path to happiness, and teaching it to others.

Note that I do not think Mr. Treadwell is an evil monster. I don’t think that of any of the gurus. I honestly think that each believes they are doing good for others, and have no issue with reaping the financial rewards. And there’s nothing wrong with reaping financial rewards either. But I do think that each is susceptible to mis-interpreting their own existence with that of God, or at the very least, a divine messenger of God’s. A critical self-analysis might turn up a success rate of less than 5%.[2] These gurus typically blame it on the student.

The reason why I am posting this really is so that those contemplating this path of self-development, and those deigning to do an ounce of research before they spend wads of money, don’t get sucked in as I did. Bret Treadwell is one name among many. I can’t blame a person for pursuing wealth on easy street because if we were all honest with ourselves, we too would be beating down that door. What I can do, though, is to put out a warning flag for the consumer.

If you brought a book written in ink that only 5% of the population could see, you’d demand your money back. If you purchased a product that worked only for 5% of those who bought it, or went on a cruise that could only house 5% of those who paid … well, you get the picture. Yet, for some reason we think this is different.

It’s not.

There is a gem in what each of these gurus offer. And these gems are readily available everywhere. These fellows (and ladies) know how to hide it behind a veil of secrecy and then charge $2,000 to $10,000 to $sky’s-the-limit for the unveiling of these secrets.

And let them. That’s the nature of capitalism. They have that right.

But you don’t need to buy it. You can surf the Web, you can buy a $20 book, you can go to the free information seminars. Just leave your credit cards at home…

NOTES

1. Throughout the Web you’ll find notes claiming that he “co-authored” this book, but really, his is a two-page essay inclusion. Co-authoring, in my books, is about sharing the writing of an entire book, not contributing two pages.

2. Apparently, Tony Robbins still “winces” that only 5% of his students get it.

8
Nov

My sick fish

   Posted by: Britt

I had a fish. A pretty little Betta fish.  Reddish pink with beautiful frilly gills.

It got sick. I’ve know about the rabbit hole. I’ve watched What The Bleep Do We Know. I paid special attention with Dr. Emoto.

I knew what to do.

I wrote the word LOVE on the side of the tank in big bold letters.

I spoke LOVE to the water.

I touched LOVE onto the pretty little stones at the bottom of the tank.

The fish died anyway.

I must’ve doubted its resillience.

I must have killed it.

I just finished reading a fictional novel by Kathy Reichs, called Death du Jour. It’s a really well written mystery novel based on a character is a forensic Anthropologist Temperance Brennan, who divides her time between Montreal, Quebec, and Charlotte, North Carolina. (K. Reichs is also a forensic anthropologist, PhD, who divides her time between Montreal and Charlotte.)

As riveting as the novel was, what struck me the most were the definitions.

I’ll let the fictional Red Skyler explain:

Cults are not just a group of crazies who follow weird leaders.  … [T]hey are organized with a set of common features.

… A cult forms around a charismatic individual who promises something. This individual professes some special knowledge. Sometimes the claim is access to ancient secrets … sometimes it’s an entirely new discovery to which he or she alone is privy.

… In a cult, it’s this charismatic leader who eventually becomes the object of devotion.

… And often there is a double set of ethics. Members are urged to be honest and loving to each other but to deceive and shun outsiders

… Cult leaders use a variety of psychological processes to manipulate their members. Some leaders are fairly benign, but others are not and really exploit the idealism of their followers.

… The way I see it, there are two broad types of cults, both of which use though reform. The commercially packaged “awareness training programs … user very intense persuasion techniques. These groups keep members by getting them to buy more and more courses.

Then there are the cults that recruit follower for life. … They are manipulative, deceptive and highly exploitative”[1]

A little later on in the book, Tempe runs into Sam again, and they continue the conversation, focusing on the former.

“Unlike the cults we discussed [for-life recruiters], these programs don’t intent to keep people forever. They exploit participants as long as they are willing to buy more courses. And bring in others. … The coercive influence that these so-called self-improvement programs exert is amazing. It’s the same old thing, behavioural control through thought reform.

… It’s known as large group awareness training.

… They’re packaged to sound like seminars, or college courses, but the sessions are scripted to get participants emotionally and psychologically aroused.

… Most programs last four or five days. The first day is devoted to establishing the leader’s authority. Lots of humiliation and verbal abuse. The next day pounds in the new philosophy. The trainer convinces participants their lives are crap and that the only way out is to accept the new way of thinking.

… Day three is typically filled with exercises. Trance inducement. Memory regression. Guided imagery. The trainer gets everyone to dredge up disappointments, rejections, bad memories. … Then the following day there’s a lot of warm fuzzy group sharing…. The last day is fun and happy, with lots of hugs and dancing and music and games. And the hard sell.

… You take the course, then you’re told that you’ve performed so well you’ve been singled out to go to a higher level, or meet the guru, or whatever.[2]”

When asked who falls for these things, “Red” replies that it’s those dealing with depression and “broken affiliations,” those in transition who are lonely and confused.

Have you noticed that we are in the midst of an economic meltdown? That an incredibly massive number of people are in transition, broken, who are feeling they have lost everything? Is it any wonder that we are chomping at the bit to the incredible promises made by these slick snake-oil salesmen?

[Ironically, in my email today was a note from Robert G. Allen telling the tale of Matt Morris, who only 12 years ago (he must’ve been nine at the time) was broke and desperate and living out of the back of his “red beat-down honda civic” — it’s those personalized details that clinch it! Anyway, in the email, my “good friend” Robert was saying that he discovered 7 closely-guarded online money making secrets (yeah, right, sent by mass mail to thousands NAY tens-of-thousands of us) and he’ll give it to us free in return for a name and email address. I registered (with a junk email I use for these very fine special occasions) only to get the message that he’s already over capacity but will contact me for the next series of freebies. HEY, wait a minute here! My good friend Robert just sent me this email… What’s up dude?]

The common pain is an economic one. Which is why it’s so goddamn easy for the likes of Jack Canfield, T. Harv Eker, James Arthur Ray, Robert Allan, Anthony Robbins, Bob Proctor, and Robert Kiyosaki (to name just a few) flourish in these times[3]. Have you ever noticed that their messages are exactly the same? Have you noticed that no-one references the others, and seem to imply that they have by whatever god-given decree stumbled upon this notion? That when one (James Arthur Ray) gets cooked up for a legal dinner the others don’t rally around their fallen star to help him back on his feet? That their berth is extremely wide from each other, even though they sing each others songs … ALL THE TIME[4]?

It’s getting really bad. At least in my world. Many of the people I know have dabbled in these courses. One I know has done exceedingly well. The others have all dribbled, then dropped.

Even worse, copy-cat courses are springing up all over. It’s what I fell victim to. It’s how come I, at 45 years of age, have to start all over again.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I don’t know what the answer is. I’ve never believed that the government is there to protect us. It’s there to collect taxes and run the world’s biggest corporations (aka countries). I don’t think that regulation is the answer. Education is where I’m putting my efforts.

Listen up folks, and do the math. The guru-led self-help industry is generating billions (yes, that’s BILLIONS) of dollars of revenues every year. Since they offer up the path to wealth, the stats say that in turn there should be at least millions (yes, I mean MILLIONS) of new millionaires created each and every month. Instead, we hear of the smattering of success stories. An oasis the size of a child’s bucket in a desert as big as North America.

Whether it’s a famous charismatic guru listed earlier in this blog or some copy-cat or some poor old schmuck who is genuinely trying to impart is misguided knowledge, know the signs.

And hold on tight to your wallet.

Oh, and thanks for asking … Kathy Reichs’ book was incredible! A writer who is both knowledgeable and articulate. She knows how to write a great mystery novel. Highly recommended. Nothing was given away in this little rant, don’t worry!


[1] Kathleen J. Reichs. Death du Jour. New York:  Scribner, 1999. p. 253-254.

[2] ibid, p. 310-312.

[3] Anthony Robbins released his first book, Unlimited Power in 1987;  On Black Monday of October 1987 a stock collapse of unprecedented size lopped 22.6 percent off the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The world mourned, and a guru kindly stepped up to the plate.

[4] Just a brief disclaimer here. I think that there is valuable information offered by each of the gurus mentioned here. Robbins has is “four classes of experience” (a handy word doc download available here) which I find extremely useful to personal growth; Ray has an excellent handle on marketing techniques (which all belong to Robert Cialdini by the way). But I don’t think that any guru has a singular claim on the whole truth (as throughout the times, it is up to the reader to sift through the claims to get at their individual truth), and I don’t think that it’s worth two to twenty (to infinity and beyond) thousand dollars to access the information. Nor should you need to walk on fire or walk into an arrow tip or suffer in a desert or a sweat lodge to get there.

1
Jun

Fear of Flying

   Posted by: Britt Tags: , , ,

Here is an excerpt from the chapter, “The (f)Law of Attraction” in my soon-to-be-released book, The Three Strategies of the Unstoppable Woman. Let me know what you think!

When I watched the movie, The Secret, my fear of flying was renewed. Because, after all, as the Law of Attraction clearly states, what you think about is what you attract into your life.

Shortly after seeing this movie, and having been deeply impacted by it, I started becoming more and more aware of my thoughts. Awareness that you are even having thoughts is a good thing! The average person thinks at the “astonishing rate of up to 400 words per minute.”[1] The more you are aware of the inane chatter in your head, the more you can distance yourself from it and realize that you are not your thoughts.

But the Law of Attraction has you thinking that you are your thoughts. So there I was, with a heightened awareness that I was my thoughts. My thoughts did not like it when my body flew in a plane. I had just come back from a personal vacation on a cruise ship, and the only way to return home as quickly as I wanted or needed was to fly.

On this particular day, I was flying home from San Diego to Victoria. The last section of the flight from Seattle to Victoria was particularly rough. The turbulence literally bounced us into the air a few times. “Empowered” with this new knowledge that I am my thoughts, and that all I have to do is to control my thoughts a little better, I found myself entering a panicked frenzy with the following train of thought:

    If I think it, it will come to pass.
    Crap. Was that turbulence? Uh oh. It’s not stopping. I think this plane will crash.
    Damn! I can’t think that, cause then the plane will crash.
    Stop thinking the plane will crash. Stop thinking the plane will crash. Stop thinking the plane will crash.
    I can’t stop thinking that the plane will crash.
    What if others are thinking that this plane will crash?
    Oh my GOD, how many such thoughts are there on the flight today?
    Surely this plane will crash. Why is that man praying? What does he know that I don’t? Does he have an inside scoop?
    Damn! I can’t think that because then the plane will crash.
    Stop thinking the plane will crash….

and on and on the insanity went.

By this time, I had broken into a damp cold sweat. My heart was pounding, and I felt like it would burst out of my mouth any minute now. And if I kept my mouth shut, it would pop out through my eyes. I had almost stopped breathing. I really felt like I was going to die. It was by far the worst panic attack I have ever experienced. And I don’t normally experience panic attacks.

Then, I had an epiphany.

“Wait a doggone minute here,” I scolded myself, “it matters not what I think, but what the G—D pilot thinks! I’m not in a position to bring this plane down. He is.”

And almost instantaneously, I calmed down. (And, no, the turbulence didn’t stop.)

I had this realization, then and there, that you needed to be in a position where you could actively impact the event in order for the event to be realized.

As The Serenity Prayer[2] says:

    God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change
    courage to change the things I can
    and wisdom to know the difference.

The first fatal flaw of the Law of Attraction (LOA) is that it is not a law.


[1] Robert Gerzon. Finding Serenity in the Age of Anxiety. New York:  Bantam Books, 1998. p. 108.

[2] Most commonly attributed to the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr.

I’m thinking of documenting my experience with the (f)Law of Attraction in the form of a book.

If you would like to add your story, I would love to hear from you. Your anonymity is guaranteed, as is anyone mentioned in your story. No real names will be mentioned in the book. The point is not to “get back” or “get even” with another person or organization; rather, it is to inform the millions out there to whom this has happened (or is happening) that there is life beyond this particular chapter in the story.

Our stories are familiar to many, but we tend to hide behind the mantle of shame (I can’t believe this happened to me….). It’s time to step out and step up. Let’s help others learn from our experiences!

Click here to contact me and to get your story out there.

Thanks to those who visit, read, and register at this site!

21
Feb

My Law of Attraction Story

   Posted by: Britt

I do have some heavy and intense emotional connections to LOA.

The short version of my story goes like this: My husband and I took a financial “education” course taught by an old friend and her business partner. Both at the time claimed that they were “financially free” meaning that their investment income surpassed their expenses (which, btw turns out to have been true at the time of the course but their claim had no longevity; one of them for sure is no longer “financially free’; the other, I don’t know). I had known this woman for about a decade and trusted her. We took this course and followed their recommendations (buying their investment products). For about a year, we were considered their star pupils: we were held up as a glowing example of students putting our education into action.  I was even asked to speak to another graduating class about our strategies. These days, they barely talk to us, let alone glance in our general direction.

Now, prior to this course, I had never heard of LOA. It trickled into the education (they included the viewing of “The Secret” as a side component of their course). And the duration of the course was salted with magical thinking. (These are people who learned from the likes of Robert Kiyosaki, Jack Canfield and T. Harv Eker.) Your thoughts create your reality. End of sentence.

By the end of it all, we had our vision boards, our strong emotional beliefs etc all in place. And in good faith and with a tonne of positive thinking, my husband and proceeded to leverage what we had. We “diversified” our investments from what this same company offered, ten thousand here; forty thousand there. Our biggest investment was one hundred thousand, and our smallest was two thousand. This diversity, we believed, coupled with the expertise and guidance of people who were living the life, would secure our fortunes as investors.

And one by one, over a two-and-a-half year period, almost each and every investment failed. One investment that we secured outside of this company is thriving; another secured from this company might be salvageable. The others are lost.

It was not just our investments that failed. These educators were offering ongoing courses, and many of their students had invested in their products. They are taking a beating, but thanks the the Law of Attraction tenements, they are keeping a happy face and thinking positive thoughts. They persist in selling investment strategies (somewhat diversified, but still incredibly risky and still the same sketchy track record). Their philosophy and game plan? To continue believing. Stay the course. Keep positive. Stick with the vision. Eventually,  if you just keep the right mindset and the right thoughts, it will all pan out.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, my husband and I had leveraged everything (past, present and future) and assumed a significant debt . Out of money, “maintaining steady” and persisting with our thoughts was no longer an option. We are now in the process of finding a way to crawl out. And that is really the least of our challenges, for my husband had to move to a different province to find work that pays enough. He’s seen our daughter twice this past year. And our relationship is in shambles.

Of course, the snake-oil salesman would tell us that we are just not thinking the right thoughts. The folks over at landmark would have us believing it is entirely our fault too, whether it’s our thoughts or our actions. Byron Katie would say we need to “turn it around” and own it all. Yes, we are accountable. We learned, we leveraged, we invested, we plunged in. No one did that for us. But we need to only be accountable for our actions. As with abuse, the “subject” needs to own her part, and then distinctly draw a line where the actions of others end and hers begin. We’ve called upon this so-called education centre to take a second look at what it is that they are teaching. I personally think it is unethical to promote what it is that they are doing. (I also think that the source of education should never be the source of action. Learn here, graduate, and apply it there.) They provided us with the teaching, the understanding and the tools; we took those tools and turned them upon ourselves. We are responsible for our stuff, and they for theirs. They have yet to own their part. But then, they’re too busy thinking positive thoughts to get their heads out of their buns and look around at the havoc they have and continue to reap.

I’ve paid a very expensive tuition to learn this. Closing my eyes and putting my hands over my ears while chanting positive incantations over and over again will not make everything all right again. Anthony Robbins talks about flexibility as one of the four critical components in his Ultimate Success Formula. The blind chanting and assuming things will all work out because my thoughts are entirely positive is the exact opposite of flexibility. ***If you have a rigid grip on a false reality, no matter what you believe, you’re not going to succeed***.

I do believe in the power of thought, and it is in its ability to provide a mental context wherein the power lies. If you can’t conceive it, you definitely won’t achieve it. But there is no easy street. It’s like the Buddhist story about the tigers and the strawberry that I have included in my book.

You are walking through a forest when all of a sudden a tiger jumps out at you. You run as fast as you can, but the tiger gains ground quickly. You find yourself cornered at the edge of a cliff. The tiger has slowed to a menacing prowl, sensing that you are now an easy prey. You look over the edge. It’s a drop of 50 feet. Your demise is inevitable. The tiger nears. Then you notice that halfway down the cliff there is a small outgrowth from a young tree, providing you with something to grab. A possible escape. The tiger is almost upon you now. You jump down and lunge for the young tree trunk. You grab it. Hanging there you contemplate the possibility of escape, it being now only half the remaining distance. You glance down. And to your incredible dismay, you see three other tigers down below, awaiting your inevitable descent.

And then you notice it. There, just past where the tree has taken root in this small patch of earth is a strawberry. If you let go with one hand and reach as far as you possibly can, you might be able to get this one strawberry.

(Excerpt from The Three Strategies of the Unstoppable Woman.)

Anyone who tells you that their teachings will let you taste that sweet once-in-a-lifetime succulence of that last strawberry you’ll ever taste all the time and without risk is taking your wallet for a (possibly very expensive) ride. It is the very context of the tiger above and the tiger below that gives the strawberry its divinity. Without the context, that strawberry is a strawberry just like any other.

The self-help industry is a multi-billion dollar business, and it’s the likes of James Arthur Ray that teach false messages (though, I believe with the genuine best of intentions) for the cost of $10,000 to $30,000 (T. Harv Eker’s tuition for the full meal deal) and beyond (Rich Dad seminars can take as much as you can leverage on credit) that keep the tap of debt streaming into their pockets by activating the basic human qualities of greed and fear to motivate their students into “action” (that’s a sentence that’s worthy of Nathanial Hawthorne!).

I think it’s a trap. Yes, people do need to find out how money works. The banks invent an amount which is signed off by government, and it’s is then loaned out to the people. 100 dollars is invented, 900 is loaned out and 27,000 is owed back. But the 26,000 of that money doesn’t exist (and the first 100 is invented as there are some suspicions that the Federal Reserve has no gold left on which to secure its monetary system), so the system perpetually places its citizens into servitude (or, as some would call it, slavery).  And yes, I do think that people need to actively pursue their dreams. You have one life (my belief), so live it as though it were the most precious commodity that you have. Because it is.

I’ve paid a tremendous tuition for a tremendous education, and it would be a shame to keep the learning to myself. That’s leveraging other people’s experience at its finest.  The readership may learn their own lessons and experience their own pitfalls, but they needn’t tread where I have gone.

Some claim that the universe exists for each of us. It is here to serve.

When contemplating this, I use the metaphor of the human body. In one way, my entire body exists for each and every cell. My body exist for that one brain cell, for that one white blood cell, for that neuron, for that gene. And at the same time, when I clip my fingernails or when I get a hair cut or should I get a limb or internal organ removed, that/those cell(s) for which my body once exists are gone. Yet, my body continues to exist. It is without feeling, without animosity, and without remorse that the various cells and entities that comprise my body come and go.

Likewise with the universe. Stars come and go. We see a shooting star (actually a meteor burning out) and we count ourselves lucky to have witnessed an entity transform from being into non-being. This time, we are but a witness. But I can only imagine that the universe too lets go of this entity without feeling, without animosity and without remorse.

Same here on earth, with our incredibly sacred yet transient human lives. When I die, the bulk of the remaining people/plants/animals in the world will be without feeling, without animosity and without remorse upon my death.

So, yes, on one hand I do think that the earth/universe exists entirely for us. And when we die, our particular view of the world dies with us. It, too, ends. And on the other hand, it couldn’t care in the least. Stars burn out, cells drip off our body every day, portions of us are surgically or cosmetically removed, and so too shall we die.

There is a story of one monk who was asked how he can retain such calm. He said that in one pocket he keeps the thought that he is everything, that his is the definitive purpose of the universe; in the other, he keeps the thought that he is nothing, that he will ultimately be returned to dust, that his existence with ultimately cease. And it is through the embracing these impossibly-co-existing opposites that calm/serenity can be entered into.

The problem with many LOA “teachers/gurus” is that they are teaching the one pocket thought without the other. This is dangerous, misleading, and incredibly inconsiderate of the student. It leads to a sense of Entitlement, the belief that the universe actually OWES you success/wealth/the perfect lover/skinniness — whatever it is to which you are applying LOA principles. It doesn’t owe you/me/us/we anything. It’s up to each of us to pursue our passions. And if we encounter the tigers, look for the strawberry. If we sit in a corner all day and vehemently believe the universe owes us this sweet strawberry, and we persist in sitting there and believing with all emotional intensity you can screw up, all odds are in favour of your end result being you in a room sans strawberry.

On my other blog, I have a YouTube video of Gabrielle Bouliane, the woman I hope to dedicate my book to. In four minutes, she demonstrates this perfectly. Diagnosed in September with a rare form of cancer, this vibrant young woman (43, one year younger than me) died four short months later. She knew. Life doesn’t owe you. It’s up to you to take life by the horns. You can shape your life, to some degree. I don’t have the answer to what degree. And without being the active agent in your own life, no amount of thinking will get you there.

The universe doesn’t owe you. You owe the universe. And even more importantly, you owe it to yourself.

Don’t let any LOA guru teach you only from one pocket. Don’t let anyone tell you the universe owes you something. Yes, it is abundant; yes you can try to tap into that abundance. Who knows, you might even succeed. There are no guarantees, and if they argue there indeed are, take your wallet and walk away. Or run.

24
Nov

Welcome

   Posted by: Britt Tags: , , ,

In 2006, I took a financial education course that impacted my outlook in life.The course was offered by a woman whose husband I had known for about 8 years at the time (a man who I admired and learned from), and I was very familiar with their financial situation. They had left the country, in a few short years came with enough assets to call themselves millionaires. This woman, the wife of my good friend, was committed to sharing her knowledge. A noble cause indeed. This woman met and partnered with a fellow who was equally committed to teaching alternative financial techniques.

I had not heard the phrase “Law of Attraction” at the time. What I learned on the course made sense to me, and so I applied what I had learned. The people who gave the course were genuinely well intentioned, had insider information on certain techniques, and had a business that provided the means to apply the learning. And they were both living examples of what can be achieved.

I quickly became on of the success stories of the course, having not just received the information but full-on acted upon it as well. Things were going well.

Eventually, through this same group of people, I was exposed to the movie The Secret and the concept of The Law of Attraction.

Slowly, one investment after another failed, until I reached the point of realization that almost everything I had applied through this company was not going to pan out. About half a year ago, I was at the brink of bankruptcy. They had acted as advisor up until this point, and so, naturally, I consulted with them. Their response? Envy, that I had the privilege, the opportunity of facing this prospect! That’s when my head spun around.

Three years since the course, I have come to the realization that I was taught (and led) by people who strongly subscribed to the Law of Attraction. They hold the philosophy that if you can just persist long enough, and if you can just “keep the faith” it will all work out in the long run. Sure, perhaps if I had access to an infinite flow of money! Meanwhile, in following the advice of those I believed were solidly in-the-know, my financial affairs are in ruin.

I’m a fairly smart woman, and that I have been “had” like this causes me tremendous embarrassment, it’s a shame that runs deep. Further, I’ve recommended this course to others. None with results as disastrous as mine, though, I’m oddly pleased to report.

The point of this blog is to provide information. Those who are obvious teachers of the Law of Attraction are easy enough to spot, because of the spotlight around the phrase. What’s less obvious are those who have learned from the gurus who then become the sub-teachers. They teach their particular area of specialization, and thread in the Law of Attraction stuff, without telling you. Probably without awareness of it themselves.

I don’t think I was maliciously had. Yes, I was taken to the cleaners. And yes, the intentions of my “teachers” were all well and good. But now that I have become somewhat more fully versed in the Law of Attraction (and almost succumbed to becoming a sub-teacher myself), I know what to look for, and what to avoid.

Knowledge truly is the only route to awareness. And the more teachers you have, the more you know.

This site will discuss some some of the gurus. It will discuss cults in general. It will discuss faith, beliefs, and religions. I do not hold the definitive view on anything. That’s why I present this information in the format of an interactive blog, with access not restricted by membership. That’s why I invite all conversation, wherever you stand.

Welcome to my rants, and perhaps it will add to your journey as well.

Britt