Posts Tagged ‘Law of Attraction’

December eighth. A perfect day. I launched my book online, secured “Amazon bestseller” status, and I watched my daughter’s school’s Christmas show.

Then came the phone call.

“Your mother’s in the hospital,” were the first words out of my step-father’s mouth. I just listened. Turns out she almost died, and we were lucky to still have her with us.

Here’s the short version. My mother is a very strong, fit and stoic woman. She doesn’t complain much. So when she does, you know it very deep and very real.

A few days before December 8th, she complained of cramps. She and her husband when to the clinic in their small town. They poked and prodded a wee bit, then sent her home with Tylenol 3s and a pat on the back. The T3s didn’t help. The cramps worsened. Back to the clinic. Back home with the instruction to wait it out. The the pain got so severe that they headed for the hospital, an hours drive away. At the hospital they did a CAT scan and they determined she had an bowel obstruction. Twelve hours later (yes, it actually took that long) she was under the knife and they removed three feet of dead bowel tissue.

They figure (meaning, they are guessing) that this dead bowel tissue was a slow cellular deterioration that might have began as early as when mom got her tubes tied about four decades ago. The surgeon remarked that had they not removed it when they did, my mom would have died.

Two days later, now out of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), mom’s biggest physical achievement is to walk past two doorways without dropping. And her highest item on her list of things to do is pass gas.

On any given day, some experts estimate that anywhere from 10-25% of a doctors diagnosis is accurate; the rest is guesswork. [1] I’ve heard it said that your family physician is guessing about 50% of the time when she or he has to diagnose a patient. I’m now starting to think that that is a very kind and generous estimate. Given the advancement of science and technology, these claims are astounding. And, sadly, they also appear to be true.

Anyway, this post is not meant to be a diatribe on the abysmal state of current medical practices. (That’s just a pleasant aside.)

Really, what I’d like to point out is how my mother’s breathtakingly close flirtation with death has caused me to notice something.

The observation, in a nutshell is this: If I were to freeze-frame this moment in time, upon examination I’d have to say that it’s pretty good all things considered. That’s an assessment based not in what this moment contains (objects, status, achievements, financial acquisitions, wealth and so on) but rather based on what has not yet been taken away from me. My mother is still alive. My daughter. My still-smoking-one-pack-a-day brother. My other brother who teaches overseas and has first hand accounts of tsunamis and floods that have killed thousands. I still have a roof over my head. I’m not hungry or thirsty. I have no chronic pain. My muscles all work. I can still breathe.

If I move beyond the moment, if I contemplate what tomorrow might bring, the pain of living returns. Imminently looming financial destruction. Marital disintegration. Neighborly discontentment (gossip, rumors, higher-order catty exclusions, trickling down to our daughters). Women not reading my book. Women reading my book and hating me for it. The fear of dying obsolete without impacting anyone else’s life, without making a significance difference when I know that I have it within me to do just that. Personal and professional rejection (inevitable when you’re marketing anything; and more hurtful when that something you are marketing is your own sweet self).

And beyond tomorrow’s truly insignificant and topical fears (those I just listed) lie the deeper ones that touch the very core of our being. For it is inevitable that my parents will die,  that some of my siblings will pass before I can make the grand exodus myself. And in the news are constant reminders that there are times that our children die before we do. A greater pain I cannot imagine. I don’t know how parents survive such a sadness.

Life is the great gift, and the knowledge that it will end in an unannounced death is the great tragedy.

My mother did not will death upon herself. Louise Hay would solomly state (without even cracking a smile) that mom has a fear of letting go. That’s what  Hay would quack. Her diagnosis would simply be a the affirmation, “I freely and easily release the old and joyously welcome the new.” Mmm. Let’s see. A fear of letting go. Of life. Yep, I think we all do. And, no, contrary to the stupidity of some LOA advocates, we are not eternal beings; neither she nor I will live forever[2]. Two conflicting truths exist simultaneously. This moment is all that we have; and this too shall pass.

When someone tries to sell you happiness-dressed-in-green (millionaire status), packages it in promised ease, sells it as your inherent universal birthright, and then ultimately charges you thousands upon thousands of dollars, give your head a shake. Jump aside. Fast. For the lights you see are not the divining graces awaiting your long overdue arrival at the end of some dark tunnel. It’s a freakin Mac truck baby, barreling towards you at full speed.

Don’t freeze in the headline. But do freeze just this moment. Look at what you have. Look at it in terms of the big sadnesses that have not yet struck you. This helps you see what you have. And in that, you might be able to say that in this moment, I am actually happy.

Most of the time, though, we miss it.

You don’t need a guru to wake you to it. Save your money. Put it back in your pockets. All you need to do is notice this very moment. And then stop. That’s all. That’s the real secret.

NOTES

[1] http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_22/b3986001.htm. Surgeon Dr. David Eddy  states that “The problem is that we don’t know what we are doing.” The article goes on to say that “[a] great many doctors and health-care quality experts have come to endorse Eddy’s critique. And while there has been progress in recent years, most of these physicians say the portion of medicine that has been proven effective is still outrageously low — in the range of 20% to 25%.” Dr. Eddy is calling for a new medical model, one  that is evidence based. Evidence-based “is a term he coined in the early 1980s, and it has since become a rallying cry among medical reformers. The goal of this movement is to pierce the fog that envelops the practice of medicine — a state of ignorance for which doctors cannot really be blamed. “The limitation is the human mind,” Eddy says. Without extensive information on the outcomes of treatments, it’s fiendishly difficult to know the best approach for care.”

[2] one friend of mine actually believes he can pre-determine the date of his own death. He’s picked a number, and he’s adamantly going with it. What the hell, I say. If you believe you can pick a date, then why not choose never?? Our blessing, our one true blessing is life itself; our curse, our one true curse, is knowing that it’s temporal. It’s this curse which continues to sow it’s misery and sorrow throughout mankind in the bitter-sweet disguise of faith aka religion. Don’t get me started.

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Violence against [name-your-cause, mine is women] happens because there is a cluster of so-called “thinkers” out there who believe that [women] are inferior, objects to be owned and controlled.

According to the extremist Law of Attraction advocate, a woman gets raped because there is something innately within her that desires to get raped.

Some might soften the blow a little, and say (as they do about violent acts against children) that the thoughts that the child/woman was emanating to the universe was of smaller significance than that of the perp. (Other’s might blame it on the mother’s inability to protect the child because her thoughts are all wrong.)

When the h#ll did we get so f*cked up with our thinking??

As a feminist years back, I jumped on the bandwagaon that made violence against [women] a woman’s issue. We’d build our little victim recovery centres and pat each other’s hands and say there there dear, it’s all over now but tell me again about your pain. You need to let it go, little sister.

As a feminist today, I am jumping on a different bandwagon that is making violence against women a man’s issue. No more hand-holding, just a straight-up acknowledgement that, yes, you’ve been physically assaulted, but honey, you will heal; the person who’s psychologically bent is the frigger who did this to you. Now there’s one soul who seriously and immediately needs a good therapist.

Interestingly, I’m not alone. There are other groups out there who advocate it. Other men’s groups. Watch Tony Porter, a speaker at a TED-Women event. Here what “vibes” this guy is putting out into the universe.

Now, here’s the interesting question (or more accurately series of questions) that I’ll put out there to the LOA extremists who dare to read this blog (and other’s like it): If we can agree that the bulk of all men are not rapists (even though the bulk of all women experience sexual interruption), why is it that rape still happens in epidemic proportions? Whose thoughts are manifesting it? Are the women manifesting it? Or are womanly vibes not “strong” enough for the universe to register, and it’s actually the men’s thinking that brings it about? Can we say that when rape is used as a very specific war tactic (as it was in Bosnia), that when rape is conceived by men as a strategy, that the women have caused it to happen specifically to them? to her? to that one?

If there are men out there like Tony Porter who advocate that men step up to the thinking part of their brain, and women like me out there who subscribe to the belief that violence is a man’s issue (not a woman’s), why in the hell aren’t our thoughts significant enough to change the way things are?

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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.

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The Law of Attraction is not a singular belief. Like religions and philosophies and musical tastes, we have a spectrum of flavors from which to choose. It ranges from the power of positive thinking to the belief that the universe is entirely of your own making.

Nor is it a singular course. Many (to most) of its teachers focus on wealth acquisition and accumulation, ranging from understanding your money blueprint (T. Harv Eker, Garrett Gunderson) to buying real estate (Robert Allen) to managing investment portfolios (Robert Kiyosaki). Others focus on personal growth (Byron Katie) and spiritual development (Deepak Chopra, Neale Donald Walsch).

The following table is an approximate overview of the personal responsibility assumption made to varying degrees in the Law of Attraction courses currently raging throughout North America and beyond.

I’ve tried not to pass judgment, as I am convinced that you can learn from just about anyone. While I would not personally take courses from some of the educational forums listed below, I would never go so far as to say they have nothing to offer. Each “teacher” in your life presents you with tools. What you do with them, how you apply them (if you choose to), and what you derive from them, is entirely up to you.

It is included here so that you can see the range. However, it is not definitive. What will make it definitive is your experience (direct or in-direct) with it.

Educational forum promoting…
partial personal responsibility substantial personal responsibility total personal responsibility
Philosophy You have some control over the outcomes of your life. You can shape the outcome of events that impact your life. You have created every aspect of your life.
Degree of action required Significant. Significant. Your thoughts are key, but only if you have the emotional desire to persist through and survive your trials and your failures. Insignificant. Your thoughts shape everything. That which follows is all a result of your ability to think the right thoughts.
Forums Books, counselling and therapy sessions, community workshops, one-on-one. Seminars, classes, leading to larger group. Large Group Awareness Training (LGATs).
Examples Positive-thought proponents, authors, counselors, Alcoholics Anonymous.

Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People

Events happen to you; how you respond to those events will have a significant ability to shape your future.

Jack Canfield’s formula E+R = O encapsulates it (Events + Response = Outcome).

Napoleon Hill advocated that you can receive what you conceive if you have an intense burning desire driving your action.

Landmark Education. Their philosophy is that personal responsibility begins and ends with one’s willingness to be central cause of all results in one’s life. Being both the cause and the effect is the ideal way to to live.

T. Harv Eker’s T > F >A > R formula encapsulates it (Thoughts lead to Feelings lead to Action lead to Results). It’s all you.

Extreme examples Your negative thoughts contributed toward your current situation. If you are down, it’s because you don’t believe you are worth better. Pat Robertson, an evangelical Christian suggests that the recent Haiti earthquake was brought about by the Haitians themselves in a deal they made with the devil to free them from the French.
Further research Irrelevant to the success of the relationship. Encouraged. The greater your exposure, the greater your chances at success. Not encouraged. The knowledge you will receive here is definitive. Stay away from the negative influence of fear-mongering newspapers and magazines.
Costs might fall into this range $20/book

Free consultation then typically $30-$50-$100/session depending on the type

Free intro nights

$100-1000/classes

$50-$500+/session

Free intro nights

$500-$30,000+/seminars

Seminars are frequently hosted by a high-profile success story, and run behind the scenes by volunteers.

Types Positive thinking

Therapy

Counseling

Community classes

Community classes

Seminars

Seminars

Several of the Large Group Awareness Training (LGAT) programs

Techniques Comfort zone is challenged

Guided learning

Journaling

Peer-led group study

Comfort zone is challenged

Mental breakdowns lead to breakthroughs

Call-and-response technique

Comfort zone is challenged

Mental breakdowns lead to breakthroughs

Deprivation (contact, food/beverage, bathrooms, etc.)

Group chants or call-and-response technique

Deviation from the group can lead to personal humiliation

Independent thinking is discouraged (you are here, after all, because you are a failure and you want to learn from the successful expert so shut up and learn)

Spirituality Not typically present unless specifically seeking religious or spiritual guidance Implicit or explicit religious overtones Implicit or explicit religious overtones
Qualifications/ Status Academic achievement Track record success Cult-like status of the guru

Group conversations discouraged

Challenging the teachings discouraged (you can be physically removed from the session)

The Interpretation of Failure Failure means you haven’t yet been able to turn it around and look at it from a different perspective. Failure means you are one step closer to success. Success is built on a succession of failures. Failure means you are personally being punished. You haven’t “played” at 120%. You are personally weak. Typically, more classes will help you achieve a better rate of success.
The Interpretation of Success You can live in your current circumstances and be a happier human being. You can persist through the rough times knowing that the plan and the journey will get you there. You will be rich.

The Law of Attraction, wrapped in its mantra of self-improvement in the names of God and Wealth, makes for a lucrative industry. In 2006, the research firm Marketdata estimated the “self-improvement” business in the U.S. generated more than $9 billion in sales—including infomercials, mail-order catalogs, holistic institutes, books, audio cassettes, motivation-speaker seminars, the personal coaching market, weight-loss and stress-management programs.[1] It’s also an unregulated field, which means it’s buyer beware.


[1] PRWeb (September 21, 2006). “Self-Improvement Market in U.S. Worth $9.6 Billion.” Press release. http://www.prwebdirect. com/releases/2006/9/prweb440011.php. Retrieved 2008-12-18. “Marketdata Enterprises, Inc., a leading independent market research publisher, has released a new 321-page market study entitled: The U.S. Market For Self-Improvement Products & Services.”

The is an excerpt from my book, The Three Strategies of the Unstoppable Woman (Chapter 8).

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A lot of comments on my blog have been in reference to Byron Katie.

On the flip side, there’s been a resounding silence on the others, including Jack Canfield, James Arthur Ray, T. Harv Eker, and the “abundance” of Law of Attraction gurus out there. What’s up with that? Any ideas?

I followed Jack Canfield for awhile on Facebook, but dropped him after he commented that at a recent seminar he had one fellow come up to him and say that he had applied Canfield’s teachings for several years now and had exponentially increased his earnings.

Canfield actually had the audacity to brag about that.

Think about it. If their teachings were accurate and all you really had to do was change your thinking from negative to positive, then wouldn’t this comment be considered mundane? After all, pretty well everyone who attends these seminars (after dishing out thousands and thousands of dollars) has this level of success, don’t they?

Really?

Don’t they?

I suspect not. Else world hunger, poverty and war would be a thing of the past.

I’ve attended a four-day workshop given by T. Harv Eker. Well, not actually Eker himself but certainly a well qualified underling. I think he was well qualified. If magnetic means well-qualified.

Which is to say I endured the 30 minutes extreme hard sell infomercials scattered throughout the seminar. I, like many others, felt like an abject failure for not signing up, for not thinking with enough guts, for not really being committed to my financial success.

And if you study (ie read on wikipedia) the sales tactics taught by Robert Cialdini, you’ll recognize them at full strength at these events.

  • Reciprocity: Give your potential customer something for free (ie a four day seminar) and they will feel indebted to buy from you
  • Commitment: Get your potential customers to commit to participating at 110% (a mathematical impossibility by the way), then, well into the series, tell them that if they are really committed to playing “full-on” then they will continue to grow on this journey (ie sign up for a 8 thousand dollar course). An interesting application of this tactic.
  • Social Proof: Plant a few seeds in the crowd. Social proof would exist when you say that there are only 29 spots available for this particular deal, and only the first 15 who sign up will get the bonus gifts (whatever they are). How hard would it be to have a few volunteers in the crowd ready to make a rush for the back, inspiring those who are “thinking about it” to stop thinking and start rushing to the back with credit card in hand.
  • Authority: We’re all suckers for it. One of the worst offenders for this that I know of was an instructor for one of Robert Kiyosaki’s course (Rich Dad Poor Dad dude). CBC’s marketplace did an investigation on him, and all of the “investments” that he bragged about were actually abysmal flops or they didn’t really exist. If there’s someone on-stage telling us “this is so,” then we tend to believe them. By virtue of their job and their script, they have god-like authority. And they know it.
  • Liking: This is a measure of popularity. One of the first things that these seminar leaders are trained to do is to get you to vehemently agree with them two to five times in the first ten minutes of their presentations. One way they do it is to say that thousands had the opportunity to come here, and you were one of the few hundred who actually showed up. They make you feel special, so you like them. They’ll incorporate call-and-repeat chant’s (“I’m a money magnet”) to heighten your sense of success so you like them even more. And goddamnit of course you’re special. You special to their success, that’s why.
  • Scarcity: As mentioned in social proof above, you’ll often hear the “seminar special” being touted. But did you know that the seminar special typically happens at every seminar, not just the one in your town cause gosh-darn they love you? Or that you can phone their headquarters and “negotiate” (ie ask for) that same price.

Cialdini’s methods are all good. These gurus take them to extreme proportions to an exalted and exhausted audience. Indeed, you can blow the equivalent of a PhD’s tuition on these gurus, and not be further ahead than you are now.

I think it speaks volumes that Byron Katie inspires conversation while the other gurus inspire silence, both on the for and the against side. I’m not exactly too sure what it says, but it’s saying something important. Question is, are we listening.

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The law of attraction “gurus” like to purport that all you have to do is look around you and you will see how abundant nature really is.

That’s a load!

Sure, you can look around and see the tallest trees in the forest, and you can see the dandelion pushing through the minuscule cracks in the sidewalk. But think about it. In order for that one tree to get as tall as it did, hundreds of saplings didn’t make it. Nor with others grow in the shadow of the great oak tree. And that incipid dandelion? How many dandelions got dozed over and cemented under before this one eeked through? Have you ever watched Planet Earth and seen the vicious struggle in the animal kingdom for the quest for basic survival? It ain’t pretty, my friends, and it certainly isn’t abundant.

The gurus view on Law of Attraction is from the top down. Napolean Hill writes of Andrew Carnegie’s success using thoughts-create-the-universe principles. Hell, Carnegie could have told him he ate nothing but mouldy watermelons and lo! that would have become the secret success formula.

It is our hunger for these secret formula’s that causes us to push the gurus high upon their pinnacles. And the irony is, for all their teachings, they are absolutely and utterly dependent on their followers’ lack of success, else who would be pushing them up skyward?

Consider Oprah, dear dear Oprah sitting from up high gazing down on her admiring masses. With a single show she can lift a motivational speaker from the grind of the circuit into the light of fame and fortune, as she did with James Arther Ray. But does she do that for all her followers? No, that would be ridiculous. Can she do that for all her followers? Of course not. Would she if she could? No, because then who would be left to feed (aka fund) her empire? Right. No one.

Yes, I know that Oprah started from the bottom. As did Carnegie. As did James Arthur Ray. As did Bill Bartmann. As did T. Harv Eker. As did ___________ (insert your favourite guru here). Yawn. The story is getting rather tired.

But what about the likes of the Trailer Park Boys? Or Earl and friends (from the wonderful show, “My Name is Earl”)? These are the dustbins of poverty, and these people portray the unfortunate saplings and rolled over dandelions you never ever see when gazing from the sun in godike wonder of the world you created.

The top needs the bottom to survive. The top needs the bottom as the platform to stand upon. And the top can spin it’s lovely sounding message that rings so sweet in my ear, but it makes it no truer than say the dramatics of the cast on a soap opera.

After all, have you ever noticed that the characters never even once watch TV never mind a soap? It’s because their adoring audience is doing it for them, they are creating the space for their existence. So they don’t need to perpetrate that truth (of watching the soaps) because their adoring audience is doing it for them. Likewise, we are creating the forum for the gurus to spin their golden threads because they do not want for money. That’s our job.

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I just read an interesting blog calling on Oprah to step up to her plate so-to-speak and explain her 2007 endorsement of James Arthur Ray. I’ll bet my socks (not that anyone would want them) that that ain’t gonna happen.

I’m personally very surprised at the entire industry’s silence on the issue, not just Oprah’s. Jack Canfield teaches what T. Harv Eker teaches, who teaches what James Arthur Ray teaches, who teaches what Bill Bartmann teaches, who teaches what … well, you get the picture here.

As an industry-in-cahoots, it appears that each is stepping away from the chastised and diseased child, and are quietly continuing plying open the wallets of those looking for a better way. Sure, they’re probably continuing with their firewalks, sword-to-the-throat, here’s-the-the-homeless and board breaking exercises, but you can bet your sweet bottom that they have the proper disclaimers and medical staff on hand these days. One man pays the price and the others now better know how to cover their own butts.

While Oprah isn’t in bed with industry, I do think she’s the one who gave them the gilded bed to begin with. (Yes, I realize I’m loosing my own chance of appearing on Oprah but I’m okay with that. Oddly enough.)

I think looking to Oprah is like looking to the Pope to explain the sex scandals rocking the pulpit: it ain’t gonna happen my friends. It’s over to bloggers like us!

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13
Jun

A One-Hour Exclusive on Dateline

   Posted by: Britt    in On James Arthur Ray

On Saturday, June 12 2010, Dateline broadcast a one-hour special on the “Deadly Retreat” hosted by James Arther Ray at Sedona in 2009. It’s worth watching.

Deadly Retreat – Dateline

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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.

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Here’s a link to an excellent blog that captures the essence of what I think is wrong with many of these “woo woo” get-rich gurus who like to bring in metaphysics and spirituality to argue their case. In it, LaVaughn makes the case that the universe does not exist to serve your ego. That thought, in and of itself, should be enough to stir some into a type of awakening.

I know just a little about Buddha. And I know enough to make the claim that enlightenment comes from ego-less-NESS. It’s about letting go of possessions, of ownership, of power. Of letting go of the concept of self.

Anyway, read thisblog. It’s a mental gem.

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