Posts Tagged ‘T. Harv Eker’

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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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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2
Jun

The Two Types of Cults

   Posted by: Britt    in My Story, On Wealth Seminars

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.

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24
Nov

Welcome

   Posted by: Britt    in General, My Story

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

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