Self-Help’s Dirty Secrets (Investigative Report)

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A friend of ours told us how when he was first coming out of the depths of  ‘self-help’ over-consumption, over 20 years ago, he came across a wise old man.

The man, who felt his plight — the almost uncontrollable desire to study and immerse himself in the secrets of the universe and metaphysical philosophy — picked him up, figuratively, by the back of his shirt and said:

“Unless you’re actually honest and open enough to accept what is happening… or more like  what isn’t happening for you in YOUR life… how can you possibly do anything about it?”

You see, our friend was so caught up in his own knowledge his own fascination of on-the-fringe science and guru psycho-babble — that somehow, some way, he got removed from himself. He withdrew from the ‘world’ for several years. And, as he told us, he just felt his inner-world WAS actually his REAL world.

But, as a balanced, conscious, grounded mind will readily recognize: nothing stalls self-awareness, proper action, and real-world results more than DENIAL.

We’ve talked about this, and other such head-shaking, come-on-get-real-man, misguided self-help practices before. Actually, many times on this blog over the past 2 years.

But, we decided it’s about time to ramp it up a tad.  Our friend, you see, was lucky enough to find somebody who brought him out of the clouds. As his mentor once told him:

“Many New Agers are not only stricken with poverty consciousness. They stay there because they spend more time working their own shit out than actually producing anything of substance. They are basically in a holding pattern above the airport, refusing to land.”

But, some, we know — just based off our own support tickets and blog comments over the years — may not be so fortunate.

This FREE 25-page report is our way of
helping you see the other side of the story

( Click the link above to access it )

AFTER you read it, be sure to come back here and leave your comments below.

Until we write again…

Your Partners In The Quest For
Living a Life Without Limits
,

sig_together_new

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Filed under: NEWS, Self Help Nonsense

20 Responses to “Self-Help’s Dirty Secrets (Investigative Report)”

  1. You didn’t mention the latest and greatest phenomenon – Chris Howard! Imagine being a hypnotist and Master NLP practitioner, getting 3,000 people in a room for a weekend with the promise of a free life-changing seminar that will do everything you ever wished and make all your dreams come true, then hypnotising and entrancing them deeper and deeper over the weekend, until finally you sell them on the benefits of fast tracking through $60,000 of HIS seminars that they “need to complete this process”…

    How much of a scam does it need to be before it becomes illegal? If we hypnotised our clients before asking them to buy our products, sure we’d sell more, but what would the fraud squad think?

    Ray Jamieson

    [Heather’s REPLY]:

    Thanks for the lead, Ray… after doing some initial research, though, I haven’t been able to find any proof of that; just a couple of people on a forum who think it MAY HAVE been what he did.

    I’ve confirmed that he DOES do the standard format perfected by people like T. Harv Eker and James Ray: give a free evening seminar that promotes a free weekend intensive, and use the free weekend intensive to sell (hard-sell, in those cases) the paid products.

    And I would guess that since Chris Howard is a master at NLP, he probably uses those techniques in his sales pitches, as many salespeople do. If he’s good at it, he’s all the more effective at that.

    But since people KNOW beforehand that he’s a hypnotist and NLP expert, and that’s what he’s teaching, it’s really hard to point the finger and say that using those techniques is wrong, without having some more evidence of how he’s misusing them.

    If you can pass along any links that tell the story more concretely, we’d certainly consider including him in the future.

    thanks!
    Heather

    P.S. Just to clarify, for those that are reading this and not the report, we are not against people promoting something for you to buy, especially when they’ve given you a valuable free experience first. We find that a lot of people in this industry tend to jump to the conclusion that “marketing is wrong,” “everything should be free,” yadda, yadda, yadda.

    But from our perspective, as people that have worked in sales and marketing for years, there are certain sales styles and manipulative techniques that we don’t like. For me that includes being told that I’ll “never be a success at ________” (fill in the blank) unless I buy such and such.

    My response to that is, “Oh, yeah? Just watch me!” 😉

  2. Hey, Barry and Heather, AWESOME article!!! I wish you had mentioned some more names. I have the Debbie Ford product you mentioned(I think I might even have bought it from you). I have bought a LOT of self-help products over the years, and have belatedly come to realize that they’re all saying pretty much the same thing, variations on a very (for them) profitable theme. That’s probably one of the major reasons I don’t have any spare cash to invest in the Wealth Vault opportunities right now, but that will come in time.

    I am currently using Dov Baron’s materials and find him to be genuine in what he says. He’s the ONLY one that I am using, other than the Abraham Hicks materials. Chalk me up as one of those who has had his head in the clouds(and probably up my ass) for quite some time.

    I really like your style guys; keep up the good work. If your article had come along sooner, I might have saved some money to use in the terrific Wealth Vault program I purchased. Ah, well, it’s not too late…..at least NOW I know what to do when I have enough money to invest.

    Thanks again. I’m looking forward now much more to enjoying life on THIS plane, and not concentrating quite so fervently on the “next” level.

    Sincerely,
    John C Cole

  3. Heather,
    My hat goes off to you and Barry! That is one of the best and most honest reports I have read in along time.
    Have you ever considered applying for a job in Washington? 🙂
    Good job!

  4. Barry and Heather

    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” ~ a statement attributed to Burke

    It seems appropriate to quote a 240 year old reference that applies aptly to this report; In – Observations on a Late Publication on the Present State of the Nation (1769) Edmund Burke said; “There is, however, a limit at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue.”

    IMHO the two of you have scored many times in the Game of Life arena, all the way back to Heathers “Success Unwrapped e-course”

    However this report is the proverbial grand slam that wins the game in the bottom of the ninth with 2 out and 3 on.

    Two North Stars in a starry sky, thank you so much for your candor and passion.

    Hugh Ashlie

  5. It is refreshing to have someone hold a mirror up to the excesses and false profits (intended sp) I am always leery when anyone claims that I “need” this to succeed, progress, become enlightened etc etc…..

    I am far more likely to consider a point of view that invites me to look at their approach as ‘one of many’ and has been useful for the person sharing and therefor might be useful to me.

    To the best of my knowledge, we only get this one body, this one chance…. so we really should love and respect it and try to live the best possible life we can. (If we get another, well, so be it, do the best again!)

    Living requires living in this body and although I choose to develop my inner self along with the outer self, I also choose to try to balance those actions. Thank you for the report.

  6. I agree with your report. Once, I was a psychology major, and learned to avoid all the pop psychology out there. I write therapeutic science fiction. In other words, I write about characters who basically have good morals, or acquire them. I include a character to lead the main character to open and honest communication. I introduce healthy coping skills. So, without trying to use unproven techniques, I use what I learned in psychology class about assertiveness; honest but not insensitive communication; and, I write very delicately about violence, abuse, and disability issues. Every story I write, I think about, what if a child picked up my book? I believe a writer should read the research on children and violence, and write accordingly.

    To truly help people, you need to understand that you don’t know, and can’t know, how they feel. But, if you truly want to help, listen. Self-help should come from a modest desire to want to help people, not some ego trip that you have all the answers. You don’t. They do, if they can just learn to trust their own judgement 🙂 This is the basis of how a professional therapist operates, to help the person learn to solve his or her own problems. The therapist just tries to come up with helpful ideas and listens more than talking.

  7. I thought this article was quite eye opening. I purchased a James Ray book, but like a lot of things I get, if it doesn’t rub me right, I set it aside. I have done this with different things in my life, and sometimes it takes a while, but eventually, the right decision was had. Apparently, his book made that impression on me and that’s why it’s somewhere in a box.
    Thank you very much for the honesty.

  8. Hi Barry & Heather,

    I found your report lacking any compassion,warmth ,and any real depth.
    It comes across as an angry rant selectively picking quotes out of context to make your points.
    It sounds like a political party trying to defend its position.
    Lighten up ! Stop taking yourself too seriously. It’s not your job to save the world just your own .
    Kind Regards,
    Andy Hussey.
    Telephone No 353-61-330338

    [Heather’s REPLY]:

    Andy, how would you know what “our job” is?

    Did you even read the report… specifically where we talk about what LWL Worldwide is and does?

    Now, of course, you’re right that we can’t save the world, and we never claimed to want to do that. We simply want to make it better one person at a time.

    Part of that quest is helping people by revealing and taking a stand against destructive things that most people don’t want to look at, or don’t have the resources to investigate. We’ve been doing it for the past three years together, and longer than that individually.

    But just how do you figure we would accomplish our mission, or make a difference to anybody on the planet — in short, give value, which we ALL need to do while we’re here — simply by trying to save “our own worlds”?

    It sounds like you’re afraid to ruffle feathers, and want to keep us in the same little box you’re in. I take it you haven’t been around our community long, so you probably missed all the things we’ve written on the topic. You can read my take on that here:
    http://www.lwlworldwide.com/blog/ruffle-more-feathers-and-fly/

    By the way, we wrote something in that very report about people who play “Spiritual Knock-Down Ginger” like you just did (thanks for the real-time demonstration!) That means coming out of nowhere, giving non-constructive criticism like you’re throwing a pile of rocks at someone’s door, and then running away by signing it “Kind Regards”.

    What “Regards” are actually “Kind” about your response?

    If you truly want to give someone constructive criticism out of the kindness of your heart, the approach is completely different (I wrote about that in the above-referenced blog post too). We’re cool with that, as will be most people you give it to, but that’s not what you’ve done.

    By the way, there is nothing in the report written in “politico-speak,” there’s a lot of cross-referenced research involved, and it’s very balanced — we made sure to say what we liked and admired about all the people we mentioned, as well as how they got caught up in the rampant stupidity. Anything we couldn’t absolutely confirm (which was very little) was written as “reportedly,” “apparently,” or “allegedly.”

    If that comes across to you as an “angry rant” that’s “out of context,” then I would guess that there’s a mirror effect going on that’s causing you to emotionally over-react.

    In other words, it’s your comment here that comes across as the “angry rant” that’s “out of context.” 😉

    If you were to figure out what exactly the trigger was, you could probably get a lot out of the report by reading it again with a clear mind.

    As for compassion — you’re right, we DON’T have compassion for stupidity, for endangering people’s lives, and the other issues we spoke out against… nor do we want to have.

    What we do have compassion for is everybody’s right to the quest to live a life without limits. So good luck with yours…

    Heather

  9. You are right ! Thank you. I appreciate your courage to write all these.

    Those people have died because of a malefic energy hidden behind the …scene. You know what I mean …Many bad subliminal messges made by a hypnotist . A hypnotist can have access to subcounscious mind of a person , this is a special structure of the brain and also of the SOUL .

    Who knows what Entity is inside this person James R.!!

    There is also a special structure of the brain , that can be delete it with a special command or shift with a special word or words The power of the words are real .Not everyone can kill with a word or a special technique. I have read it about special Banks of energy that are quite real .

    Well , when you put your soul ,in the hand of somebody ,you put your life there . This is the secret . Those kind of leaders knows how to make people to put your soul in their hands .When you open the Gate ,there is the channel where he can enter .And your guard is down . In that moment , he can delete your original energy from your brain and replase it with another one , his one .Is like a computer . You change the program , the computer works in another way . But the original Matrix have been shifted.

    If we can control our mind on a counscious level , we can\t on subliminal level. To work with this , takes years , to recognise a strange ,signal ….to identify that something around you ,is not quite good, to be aware of your true identity and life .To know , this is real me !!!

    This is the modern war , not a material crise ,the war of a manipulated society by secrets clans , sects and so on .
    Your message is very important and very powerful, Barry and Heather. You are under a good guidance .

    Best regards

    Lydia
    Romania

  10. Thank You! You two are awesome! Your “real views” are greatly appreciated.

    I went to a seminar with James Ray after seeing him in “The Secret.” I liked him in that movie and was excited to see him in person. I was so disgusted though, after listening to him for two hours, when he scolded the entire group, basically communicating to us that if we didn’t sign-up for his expensive retreat, we were a bunch of losers. That really turned me off! I am so glad I followed my gut and RAN from his teachings.

    After going through tons of self-help / LOA stuff, I find myself progressing extremely slowly… very frustrating. Every new eBook promises to give me the “missing secret” to all my problems and the ones I do finally decide to choose end up disappointing me. I appreciate your views on all this stuff! The info out there is so conflicting that my head is spinning! It helps me to see that I am not the only sane one out there at times. THANK YOU!

    [ Our Reply ] —

    Shery, we appreciate you too. The biggest peice of experience that we can pass on to you is this:

    Regardless of what marketing message an apparent guru, saint, sage, genie or master puts out there, nobody has the holy grail to ‘unlocking’ your inner self.

    Life, in our humble opinion, is less about FINDING something esoteric — a blissful consciousness or an enlightened state — and more about EXPLORING many things worldly.

    Sure, you can use spiritual practices to occasionally keep you on track (maybe you have a grand desire to create the world’s largest doggie day spa in Dubai), but don’t stay “up there” (in the clouds) for too long.

    Come back down, breathe, smile, then say: “Okay, got that cool insight from my short meditation. Uhmmm, let me make this phone to call now to Mr. Khalid Kalban, the investment guy I know of in Dubai, and make some things happen.”

    In regards to conflicting LOA/Manifestation/Conscious-Creation information out there, it’s like saying that some people speak out against progressive taxation (which sends the message that the more you produce and succeed, the more you’ll get pick-pocketed by the tax man), and some people adore the idea that the rich can afford more taxes, therefore should pay more.

    You see, of course there’s ALWAYS going to be differences of opinion, by us humans who try to make sense of the information and experiences we have.

    And, on the flip side, what ‘appears’ to be ‘different’ advice or information is often just the same thing, restated or repackaged by someone different, in a different way, with a different energy… and sometimes that one time allows you to finally “get it.”

    The key is to get involved in life enough (a variety of books, tele-conferences, and audios can be a small slice of it) that you have your own information, opinions to express, things to challenge, and experience to tell about.

    Nobody is more special than anyone else. While we do know of several incredible, core-level personal empowerment authors, manifesting mentors and teachers of higher-learning that walk their talk, they’ll still be the first to tell you that experiencing (trying things, failing, screwing up, connecting with people) is what got them there.

    By the way, the more you do see that there is no ONE way — no one label to fit into; no one science of mind to perfect; no one path to achievement — the more you can open yourself up to multiple viewpoints, without needing to find “the answer.”

    Because, “the answer” comes when you explore multiple viewpoints, different angles, and even opposing commentary. The more you do this, the more you’re forced to search, sort, sift, and select the wisdom that synchronizes with your own soul.

    On a related note, we think Alan Clements — see our post titled ‘Herd’ on The Secret… and The Disrobed Monk — says it nicely:

    “The tool to use to safeguard yourself from becoming a political puppet or a spiritual sheep are namely, sharpening self-inquiry, critical analysis, and independent thinking. The basics of a smart spiritual life.” — Alan Clements

  11. Barry & Heather,

    Kudos for your reporting on the state of the personal devleopment industry. I read it aloud to my partner, Layne, and we found it refreshing and very straight forward. And we could hardly agree more with all you wrote.

    Just so you know on what basis we are in agreement, Layne and I have been romantic and creative partners (much like the two of you, I imagine) since 1976. We have been teachers, trainers, coaches and authors in the personal development field since we met.

    We know some of the people you wrote about and have been involved in most all of the activities you mention at one time or another. For example, we have led Firewalks and I taught at the Firewalking Institute with Tolly Burkan (founder of the modern Firewalking movement) in the ’90’s. We have been trained in and facilitated all kinds of other experiential, breakthrough techniques.

    As has recently been demonstrated in the James Ray incident, they can be dangerous and life threatening if not undertaken with extreme care, humility and impeccable intentions and logistics.

    Over the 30+ years of our career in this field we’ve probably seen and done just about everything that’s come down the pike. And while some of it is really good and works, and some of those teaching and facilitating are sincere, competent (and occasionally brilliant) people, much of it, along with the purveyors, make us shake our heads in wonder.

    I also want to applaud your comments about anger in particular and emotions in general. As relationship experts with a deep background in emotional healing, it is refreshing to read a common sense, level headed commentary such as yours.

    Thank you for opening an important public conversation. We will be passing your report along.

    Blessings — Paul

    [Heather’s REPLY]:

    Thank you, Paul, it’s always encouraging to get supportive feedback from others in the industry, especially when what we’ve written goes against what some of their peers may be teaching.

    Your work in the relationship arena comes highly recommended, and we’ve enjoyed reading your work and watching your videos, too.

    As I’m sure you may have felt before, working with your life partner can sometimes feel like you’re operating in a black hole, removed from outside “big picture” perspective because you know each other so well. That can make it seem like throwing spaghetti against the wall when taking a step outside of what “the norm” is. Will it stick? Will people like it? Love it? Hate it?

    More importantly, will it make a difference?

    For all of us who do want to truly make a difference to others — like you and Layne, me and Barry — we can’t be afraid to take that step, or we’ve accomplished nothing.

    As you pointed out, however, if not done with “extreme care, humility and impeccable intentions and logistics,” it can backfire.

    Here’s to being brave enough to take a stand, and to do it for all the right reasons.

    cheers
    Heather

  12. Thank you for this.

    I went to a free James Ray seminar. I thoroughly enjoyed it and went up to meet him. As we were engaged in a conversation, in the middle of one of my sentences he turned away, briefly yes, but quickly ended the conversation before I finished my thought, kind of leaving me to stand there with my bare face hanging out…oh well, I guess that happens.

    Needless to say, luckily as time has proven, I wasn’t at all attracted to him as someone I would be giving my hard-earned money too. I’m glad he did what he did in those few moments with me…I was kind of enthralled before then. The bubble was burst and my money, and I, were safe.

    Thank you, Universe for that experience even if I felt a little foolish standing there, it was for the best. Again you two have hit the jackpot with a great report to wake people up.

    I’m also sick and tired of ‘gurus’ proposing to the masses that the so called ego is “bad” and the body is not “you”…well then who’s body is it anyway? It’s part and parcel of the the whole package as you state in this article…Mind, Body, Spirit. You can’t have them separately because as they say, the Whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts. You can have all the parts of a Rolls Royce laying on your garage floor, but it’s certainly not “A Rolls Royce”…n’est-ce pas?

    And, INMVHO, our ego is the componant of our being that helps us survive in this very real physical plane of existence. Yes perhaps ego run rampant and uncontrolled is probably the source of all human ills, but while it is a really lousy master it makes a great servant whilst we live.

    [ Barry’s Reply ] –

    Very well said, Dana. Very nice to see another LWL reader able to sift-out the steak from the sizzle. You’re able to see “personal growth” in BALANCE. And, for that, we give you a BIG high-five you. Stay the critical-thinking course. It’s the kind of thinking that always – yes always – spurs you on to operate in the unseen ‘grey areas’ of life.

  13. There are a lot of wolves in sheep’s clothing. Nothing beats experience in recognizing them. That is one reason to be thankful for small failures along the way. That is, if you learn the lessons and apply those to larger decisions.

    I have a mild to moderate brain injury (from a medical procedure) and at first it was very frustrating. Therapy helped me to cope and I became interested in the brain and human decision processes. Today I look at these “quirks” like a beloved pet.

    Interesting that you bring up cults I did a college research paper on cults and the perfect example of one is schools. Cults in themselves are not necessarily bad but the elements are in place.

    Also, interesting you name Debbie Ford as I unsubscribed to her list a year ago because she had no response mechanism in place. I wanted to point out an flaw in an political rant written from spititual high ground that she sent out to me. I was interested to see how she responded to logic. Apparently she felt she had the right to write me but wasn’t willing to grant me that right in return and, which was ironically the flaw in her rant.

    I’ve had many “run-ins” with “spiritual” leaders over the years. A lot were tests that I file away and apply them as needed.
    Trusting blindly in dogma is bad whether its “new age” thought or religion if it requires you leave your brain at the door.
    A big time IM sent me a recommedation that I checked out through the BBB which was a scam. Assuming he was honest and hadn’t looked at it close enough I opened a support ticket to which I never recieved a reply. You reckon I’ll buy anything from him. Not likely.

    While we may not always agree at least you do recieve feedback and allow me the venue to express concerns or agreements as I did with the “Shadow Effect.”. And a person needs to do “due diligence” in all areas which of course includes our own actions and beliefs.

    Thank You
    -Lyn

  14. Well, I could write maybe 5 pages about matters where people get sucked into areas by applied psychology where this psychology is often not even known to the one administering it. I was astonished to read about JR. I thought he was ok having seen him in the Secret.

    I am in Australia so I have never met him as maybe many of you have. He has let himself been caught up in his own misconceptions of what he thinks he can do.

    Gosh, B & H Goss, great that you query matters.

    I know the danger of kind of “mass-hysteria” or psychological pressure used by certain people to control the crowd. I’ve seen it in Amsterdam 1940/45 when I was between 11 & 16 yrs. The crowd screamed H..H… after being doped into the bloke’s psycho approach on the crowd.

    Too many are not like you B & H, they are too easy taken by flowery speeches and more. As you stated, also E.T. does the same but with his “soft” tone! Watch it !!

    Just a few days ago I saw (on a YouTube) a “preacher”. Oh yes, what he said on the stage was ok to me. But his presentation was like the old Billy Graham, the crowd yelled “Yeah”, and “Yeah”, and “Yes I am”, it seemed to me, by his movements, he psyched the crowd into God!!

    WRONG WAY !!!!

    People in a crowd can become stupid because of the many. They want/wish to model themselves on the others and not be different. Here in Aussie, a woman, advocating breatherianism, shocking how the crowd reacted. No food/water for 7 days. Also here people died. In New Z. a handsome half India “guru” comes up with hands folded, ha, you know “om shanti” with 3 beautiful girls attending to him. The audience was taken in by his psycho methods.

    (I am “Learned” ( hmm!) in Personnel, psychology etc. in Nat.Hygiene/diet/nutrition/spirituality (?),family life, ah well, know a bit of life at 80 now).

    Be on your guard for “religious” control also!!

    And Andy with “anger”. Golly, let it out, it’s the worst to keep the lid on. I am angry with the “Financial” liars in the “self help” industry. Yes. it cost $197, but, I give it for $97, just now, and if you subscribe now, within 10 days it is ONLY $79, + a $500 worth of “free” bonuses. Ahaaa, in a next month, again the same, also the 10 days trap.

    This is financial lying.

    Oh, I can go on, but I like your, B & H, approach. Thank you for being open and questioning matters. I am open for any assistance which may be usefull. Rene (a Mr.!!)

  15. Hi Heather and Barry, must applaud you on this wonderful site. I have no idea how I stumbled upon it, but must be from one of my innumerable self help subscriptions!!!!!!

    I am writing about my experiences in this huge ocean of promised utopia. Fortunately I have not spent 1000’s of dollars, but have done enough research on the subject. Hope to share it in a book soon.

    I just read a few articles on your site and have become a huge fan. I hope you continue on your quest and keep sharing your insights.

    Cheers/shveitta

    [ Barry’s Reply ] –

    Welcome aboard our fun, entertaining, educational, sometimes just pure uplifing, but always thought-provoking train, Shveitta.

  16. Basically, well done.

    For me the self-help guru ‘gold rush’ looks very similar to the ‘weight loss’ or ‘health’ gold rush. Oh there are other ‘guru’ gold rushes, too. Internet marketing and internet business ‘snake oils’ and the biggest of all the ‘government’ and other all pervasive “We know what you have to do to please us” trends.

    Isn’t the current ‘pandemic’ built on as shifty sand as the ‘economy’?

    Though, when I find myself in the midst of such upheaval, as your report brought to my awareness once more, I take it as a personal sign to ‘right my personal universe’ again by whatever means I have at my own disposal.

    I am just not willing to spend emotional energy on something out in the world that I can’t control or change. I ask myself, “What does this say/mean about me?” and go to work on my own attitude, beliefs, fears and other hang-ups or trances that I may not have been aware before that kept me from functioning more fully as an aware and alive being where I am here and now.

    Blissings
    Ulrike
    from Namibia – somewhere in Africa

    [ Barry’s Reply ] —

    Ulrike,

    Thank you for saying so (i.e., about our report). However, I gotta mention a few things here: your comments come across as a “pessimistic victim” — someone who, because there’s so-called ‘injustice, incompetency, or over-consumption’ in one aspect of life, SEES it in ALL aspects of life.

    There is no “gold rush” (no herding desire for the MASSES to stake their claim on the ares of life you talk about above). Simply there are only select groups of people out there (usually ambitious, change-making types who adore “engaging life”) who TRY and get ‘results’ in what they do. Some do get them, and serve (Make a Difference) along the way. Others… well, not so much.

    And, the message we’ve been stating for years is this: Saying you’re going to JUST ‘work on yourself,’ without confronting the world OUTSIDE you like, is simply a very easy, almost narcissistic, way to go through life. It’s, in itself, using spiritual poppy-cock precepts (that “if you work on yourself, your world will change”) as a scapegoat.

    You don’t operate in a void. You, nor anybody, else, can creates or produce anything of VALUE in a vacuum.

    There’s tons of folks out there who act like wall flowers for the simple reason of NOT upsetting somebody else. And, the counter-thought is simply: “Why?” or “How does acting like a goodie-two-shoes mamby-pamby make a true difference?”

    Hint: it doesn’t make any difference at all.

    If we’re truly here to open up the world to new ideas, see different perspectives, challenge beliefs, and consider unlimited possibilities (we’re here for that, and much more… you ?) then we, collectively, sometimes just have to highlight the absurd so we have a foundation from which to grow — a barometer of inner-world growth, if you will.

    I will cajole you to completely reassess your belief that “it’s all about you” (my interpretation). Cause, it’s not. It is about you, however, when you take a stand on something or some things ‘outside of you.’

    If you feel that you can ONLY inspire, enliven, awaken, or make a difference in the world if you don’t pay attention to “depressing”, “negative”, or “insidious” things. Or don’t give these things “emotional energy,” as you say, read this:
    http://www.lwlworldwide.com/blog/how-to-fight-the-good-fight/

  17. Barry & Heather,

    This article was well written. When I bought the Renegade Growth Pak and listened to Mr. Ray, I just did not feel right. He seemed somehow above the fray.

    I did not feel that way listening to Paul Chek or Dov Baron.

    I believe there are others who are doing excellent work and I would be happy to exchange emails rather than use the blog.
    The level of authenticity and honesty with which you approach this subject matter is essential because so much of this stuff is predicated on the free seminar, tele conference and then the feeding frenzy to sign up for the next course that promises to provide the answers that have not been provided in the current or free event.

    I believe the measure of the value of any of these programs are the results that people achieve following/implementing the ideas which have been shared.

    I love questions because they allow me to find my answers and it seems that too few of the self help folks are asking these kinds of questions.

    Thanks for what you do, thanks for sharing it with the world and thanks for allowing me the opportunity to express my thoughts.
    May your day be filled with A-HA miracles.

  18. I ended up flying across the world to see James Ray as a result of the Renegade Pack I purchased from you. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it immensely but it was first and foremost an ego show with spiritual leanings and mucho marketing, but it was worth the trip if for no other reason than to indicate clearly to me that almost all of these things are indeed identical and merely repackaged. He told me nothing I did not already know, he just did it with high fives and razzamatazz.

    I wrote an admittedly petty and angry comment to Debbie Ford’s The Shadow Effect film some three months ago as it appeared to me to be merely an extended advert; rather than containing any practical information to ‘help.’ It was simply a teaser to spend more money on her other products.

    I had also written something slightly more real to Tolle questioning the source and validity of his intellectual and spiritual arrogance that New Earth deigns to share with the reader and then just to finish the deal. I bought The Breakthrough Experience by Demartini three days before I received notice of your blog post…..I just love the way the universe works sometimes!

    In short, thank you for quantifying and qualifying things that have been banging around my head for a while, concisely and eruditely coalescing many of my own thoughts that I had been trying to get straight.

    I am clearly number 51 of those types you talk about, but I’m managing to slowly pull my head out of my ass and look around and get some fresh air and new perspectives.

    Thanks, keep at it…like you need my encouragement…

  19. A great piece. I will pass it on to many. I have added your site to my favorites. I am introspective naturally and I think most people are not. I grew up with 5 siblings and if any of us waltzed into a room together and something was bumped crashing to the floor, all of them had nothing to do with it. I always wondered if there was a way it could have been different while seeing it like a rain storm. Sometimes you have an umbrella and sometimes you get wet. The ‘meaning’ is supplied by the participants.

    I saw early in life that life happens and then there is my expectations AND my story about it. In the beginning I had little say of what happened. I could change both my expectations [write a new rule to live by] and alter the story without changing the facts. Every upset and ‘problem’ is a function of the expectations you have. Many expectations are imprinted upon us without our permission. Some are. Many are ridiculous once you begin to look at the rule that triggered the upset OR you sometimes discover a commitment worth standing for. It is amazing the difference, like your ‘report’, that speaking from a commitment to make a difference about something IS compared to being a whining, sniveling upset about it.

    There is a ‘distinction’ worth noting. The Secret has created many ‘magical thinkers’ while being a kindergarten intro into what is possible with a life here on planet earth 21st century. You touched on this briefly in your report too. All of the material presented by, pick your guru of choice, can be worthwhile TOOLS to use and view the world with and even a life but NOT ONE should become some new belief system. In fact the “truth” believed is always a lie. The truth can only be experienced and just like attempting to explain how to ride a bicycle to someone who has never been on one, the explanation, no matter how heartfelt, is worthless in getting them on the bike or providing them with the skill to ride it. THAT too must be their experience. James Arthur Ray is like all of us who succumb to our ‘good intentions’ that then allow and enable the ends justify the means.

    This self-help ‘drug’ many succumb to is as difficult an addiction to break as any other. And just like those who have no trouble with alcohol who want to make someone else’s experience of it a function of good or bad based on their abilities, those who have not had this addiction have little standing with me. One of my mentors wrote: “[I am of] the conviction that there are no “good” or “bad” people, no matter how offensive or eccentric to society they may seem. I am confident that if I were born and reared under the same circumstances as any other known humans, I would have behaved much as they have.” -R. Buckminster Fuller

    I think you are too hard on Henry Ford. Sometimes we miss the message because of who the messenger is. Richard Bach pointed to the same thing when he wrote. “Argue for your limitations and sure enough. They are yours!”

  20. Hi Barry & Heather

    Thanks for the report.I read it thoroughly.I’ve been reading extensively about James Arthur Ray ( now in jail ).The red flags on this guy are mind boggling. ( Not just what happened at Sedona ).Amazingly there are still plenty of followers who love him.

    Concerning James Ray,there has been dead silence from all these participants from movie “The Secret”.I could only find a few “Tell It Like It Is” blogs from you & Michael Port ( He’s disgusted with Ray ).

    I’m kind of stunned by all this.I’ve seen “The Secret” a few times.James Ray was definitely front & center in this movie.This led to Larry King interviews & endorsement from Oprah.If you read all the news reports about what happened @ Sedona,it’s obvious this guy is a disturbed human being.But I’m sure there are plenty of people out there saying I am “judging” him.

    I personally want to improve myself in life.I have read a fair amount of self improvement books.There are literally hundreds of so called gurus,thousands of books,seminars,retreats,etc. out there.I mean what’s the real deal and what isn’t! I like common sense material but am not close minded to mainstream ideas ( i.e. Law of Attraction ).Now I’m possibly thinking LOA and all their teachers are absolute frauds.

    Based on James Ray incident I’m wondering if this will regulate the self help industry.I don’t know how it can be done.Maybe the Ray event will expose some of these so – called gurus as flat out frauds.

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