Whirled Musings

Across the Universe with Cosmic Connie, aka Connie L. Schmidt...or maybe just through the dung-filled streets and murky swamps of pop culture -- more specifically, the New-Age/New-Wage crowd, pop spirituality & religion, pop psychology, self(ish)-help, business babble, media silliness, & related (or occasionally unrelated) matters of consequence. Hope you're wearing boots. (By the way, the "Cosmic" bit in my moniker is IRONIC.)

Monday, March 26, 2007

Secret hotties: Zormak v. the Ray Gun


In a post on his SHAMblog last November, Steve Salerno wrote about Larry King’s first infomercial on The Secret. One of the guests on that segment was, as Steve described him, "the surreally weird Dr. Michael Beckwith, who, in dress, speech, mannerisms and overall demeanor looked as if his birth-name might really be Zormak From The Planet Woosabi-6."

Steve, it pains me to tell you this, but Zormak is now one of the hottest hunks on Planet Earth. Or at least he’s hot on the planet where the participants in Marcy From Maui’s Powerful Intentions forum live.

My friend Tony Michalski alerted me to a recent thread on that forum titled, "Michael Beckwith is HOT!"

One woman started the ball rolling by asking, "Is it me or does anyone else think he is super sexy? (the week is over and I'm feeling silly!!!) I still do think he is hot, even when I'm not feeling silly!"

The first responder agreed: "Of all those teachers who appeared on Oprah, I found him to have the most charisma, make the most sense, and radiate the most peace."

And another: "Oh I agree, I agree. Michael Beckwith is hypnotically sexy."

One lady added, "I personally heard Oprah tell Michael he was her favorite! I think his pure spirit shines through and makes him VERY attractive. Maybe the closer to source the better looking we get! ONE can hope! LOL!"

Hey, I like a guy with dreads as much as the next gal. But Zormak? Sorry, not my style.

I have to keep in mind that perhaps some of these ladies were a bit disillusioned by the Three Amigos MLM scheme (which is now, of course, the Two Amigos scheme).* Maybe their opinion of Beckwith has been enhanced by the fact that he apparently had the integrity to back out of it. (If, indeed, that was what really happened. Remember, not everything you read on this blog is the – pardon the expression – gospel truth. Some of it is just speculation.)

In any case, it seems that Zormak has some competition in the hottie contest: James Earl Ray. No, wait, I mean, James Arthur Ray. Some of the ladies on the Beckwith forum chimed in with observations that Ray has that bad-boy-turned-good thing going: the roguish smile, the twinkle in his eye, all those things that can turn even the most conspicuously enlightened woman’s thoughts to her second chakra.

So what’s a gal to do if she wants to hook up with one of these guys? Well, first of all, ladies, keep in mind that they may already be attached. But if that’s not a concern for you, or if you just want to be in the presence of these mighty men to enhance your own spirito-sexual growth, there are several steps you can take.

You could just try manifesting the Secret Stud of your choice into your boudoir, but if that doesn’t work, no problem. If it’s Zormak who gets you going, simply move to L.A. and start attending his Agape International Spiritual Center. Piece o’cake.

If the Ray Gun is more your style, the good news is that you have tons of choices, and they really won’t cost you all that much, considering what you could possibly get in return. I went onto Ray’s Events Page and saw a list of some of his most important workshops. I’m pretty sure that he would suggest you take all of them. Here they are, along with their prices, where known:

  • Harmonic Wealth Weekend: There is no indication on the web site about the cost of this one, but it could be the famous $997.00 deal everyone’s talking about. Somebody correct me if I’m wrong.
  • Creating Absolute Wealth: The blurb says, "Don't you and your family deserve this? Sign up for Creating Absolute Wealth for only $3,495.00 per person."
  • Quantum Leap: "You owe it to the rest of your life to get to Quantum Leap as quickly as you can. The investment is ONLY $3,495.00 per person."
  • Modern Magick: "Now is the time! Increase your spiritual and practical power to create everything you desire... All for just $5695!" Matter of fact, Ray seems to have created an entirely new web site for Modern Magick; it’s that important. He says, "By the way, we only hold this unique event once per year, and attendance is strictly limited. As of now, there are only a handful of spots left. Please click here immediately so you can learn more and make your decision, before someone else makes it for you."
  • Practical Mysticism: "You owe it to the rest of your life to get to Practical Mysticism as quickly as you can. The investment is ONLY $5695 per person."
  • Spiritual Warrior: "You owe it to the rest of your life to get to Spiritual Warrior as quickly as you can. The investment is ONLY $7695 per person."

I don't know about you, but it sounds to me as if we owe the rest of our lives a hell of a lot of money.

Ray is also hosting a special event called "The Quickening,:" to be held in Kona, Hawaii Apr 23-April 27, 2007. There’s no word yet on the cost of that one, or even what it is (the link lead me to the Creating Absolute Wealth page). But the web site does indicate that The Quickening is "By Invitation Only." So if you want to get called to Kona, I’d suggest you get yourself into Ray’s inner circle P.D.Q.

So who will win the Secret Hunk face-off? Will it be Zormak or the Ray Gun? Or will it be wild-card contender Bob Proctor? (Yes, one of the ladies on Marcy’s forum actually suggested good old Bob.) Or will it be someone else entirely? I can’t wait to find out.

* Note: The Two Amigos became Three Amigos again when Michael Beckwith apparently changed his mind and rejoined Bob Proctor and Jack Canfield in the briefcase scam.

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45 Comments:

Anonymous Lana said...

None of The Secret stars grab me. But I'll vote for Laws of Attraction star
Pierce Brosnan.

http://www.moviesunlimited.com/musite/product.asp?sku=D75581

Monday, March 26, 2007 1:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Lana said...

If I'm going to attract Pierce, I need to do a better job of visualizing!

http://www.lawsofattractionmovie.com/
http://www.piercebrosnan.com

Monday, March 26, 2007 2:07:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

I second that emotion, Lana! Pierce just pierces my...well, I just think he's hot. :-) ESPECIALLY in the remake of "The Thomas Crown Affair," which is one of my all-time favorite movies.

Monday, March 26, 2007 2:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Lana said...

Who knew we had so much in common? LOL! LIKE ATTRACTS LIKE!! Don't we get it?!

We owe it to the rest of our lives to create a program of our own... Perhaps Moi would like to join us too.

Monday, March 26, 2007 2:57:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Yeah, and as long as we're manifesting, let's see if we can manifest George Clooney too. :-)

Monday, March 26, 2007 3:29:00 PM  
Anonymous moi said...

"Perhaps Moi would like to join us too."

I'll go with the guy on the right, but I've had enough with slick conceited men who think they are really something because they've got a lot of money. And apparently, this guy is milking his schtick for all it's worth. And BTW, I've heard that line before, "you'd better register now cause the course is filling up quick/ going to be more expensive next year" etc...
There is this woman named Lola Jones in Austin who is offering a 5 day workshop for $5000. On the site she says that it only costs that much now cause she's just launching out, but next year it will be double the price. Wow, what a bargain! This theme is so common in sites for people marketing their spiritual wares. It seems really sleazy for people who consider themselves on a high spiritual plane to be using these kinds of over the top marketing ploys.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007 2:11:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Well, Moi, maybe if Lola gets expensive enough she'll be in "The Secret 3." Of course I'm sure she will use the same excuse they all use for being so expensive: "If people pay a lot for something they're more likely to value it more, and more likely to put it to use so they won't feel they wasted their money."

Tuesday, March 27, 2007 3:51:00 PM  
Anonymous moi said...

Correction, for the sake of accuracy: Lola Jones 5 day retreat is $1,750. , not $5000. She says she is trying to make it affordable this year to "get it out there". Next year it will be at least 2ce that price.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007 7:27:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Even so, $1,750 isn't "affordable" for a lot of people. And it still sounds like she's well on her way to being a true New-Wage hustledork. (Or would that be hustledorkess, since she's a woman?)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007 11:32:00 PM  
Anonymous moi said...

"and it still sounds like she's well on her way to being a true New-Wage hustledork."

I didn't mean to suggest that $1750. isn't expensive. I did hear that compared to other deeksha givers, she, for some reason, was charging more-- Her workshop is about 'divine openings', which is not deeksha but based on the 21 day retreat she did in India.
I'm sure she is a nice person when you know her on a personal level, but like so many others, feels that the price she charges is worth the experience. I can't speak for her. In any case, I noticed she took the pic of Joe Vitale on cover of All Natural magazine.

Thursday, March 29, 2007 8:33:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

And Joe has certainly exploited that cover shot, as well as the fawning article. (Eyes rolling.) Perhaps Lola is charging more because the openings she offers are a higher state of divinity than that offered by other deeksha givers. (Actually, if they're charging for it, shouldn't that be deeksha "sellers"? :-))

It sounds to me as if Lola has been influenced by the prosperity vibes that are so strong in the Austin-area New-Wage community.

Thursday, March 29, 2007 8:49:00 AM  
Anonymous moi said...

"It sounds to me as if Lola has been influenced by the prosperity vibes that are so strong in the Austin-area New-Wage community."

Yes, prosperity is the buzz word these days.

Friday, March 30, 2007 9:12:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

And the cross-promotion among the prosperity geeks and New-Wage hustledorks is just unbelievable.

Friday, March 30, 2007 12:35:00 PM  
Anonymous moi said...

"And the cross-promotion among the prosperity geeks and New-Wage hustledorks is just unbelievable."

This is a good theme for a new blog.

Sunday, April 01, 2007 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

You're right, Moi. The whole problem with the rampant cross-promotion is that you just can't take anything these jokers say at face value. If they recommend a book or other product or a service, you can never tell if they honestly liked it and found it useful, or if they're touting it because they get a piece of the pie and/or they're doing a favor for a friend. ("You hype my hokum, I'll hype yours.") It's hard to tell where the hype leaves off and the sincere emotion begins.

In fact, I think many of these guys (and gals) abandoned emotion a long time ago. Emotion is something to be exploited in other people, but it seems to have little place in the lives of the hustledorks and motidroids.

Sunday, April 01, 2007 10:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Connie,

Another perspective weighs in.

I am sorry you have suffered at the hands of the ... what did you call them Secretrons? They are pseudo-secretrons which are actually no better or knowledgeable than the pseudo-skeptics of the world. They are simply in different camps and equally dull.

I have practiced this stuff now for over 35 years. Funny I did not know it was "the secret" or a secret. I teach this for free. I do not go out of my way to recruit because I truly don't care if someone understands/accepts/lives it or not. Those who are interested I am more than happy to share. The basic knowledge has always been out there and was always FREE for anyone to pick up and use.

I have to agree with you it is a brilliant marketing tactic. Not to mention wildly successful.

I further agree that the skeptics in the world are making a horrid mistake by trying to pass off the followers of this practice as morons.

90% of those who denigrate it don't have a clue what it is about and a number of those on the DVD do not either. I do believe Oprah promotes it because she truly lives it as many do. Those of us who do are wildly successful at whatever we do no matter what the level in society.

Neither position is proved by science quantum or not (in my study of ... so far) so for either side to claim that there is proof ... is foolhardy at best.

What I do not understand is why skeptics are so ramped up over this.

I read your piece called "The Wrath of the Secretrons" and found it to be delightful, refreshing and level headed. That is the only reason I am here making comment.

After 4 days of mucking around with a group of skeptical children none of whom can grasp their argument against the secret is no better than the argument for.

I have determined the real bitch is someone has so far made $35M off a $500 thousand dollar investment.

Then about 1000 others (or more) have leaped on the money wagon to exploit it.

You on the other hand were articulate in your objection ... valid points well made.
Most skeptics that I have encountered are not. Which leads me to believe when they open their mouths they do so simply to hear their own voice bounce around in an empty skull.

Does any of this really matter to any of us?
Is any of it impacting on your life?
It does not on mine in any way shape or form.

It does however provide fodder for me to hear my own voice bouncing around in my own empty skull :)


Linda

Sunday, April 01, 2007 4:45:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Linda, thank you for your thoughtful comment. I am glad that you are putting the principles of LOA to work in your own life. What I find refreshing is that you seem to believe that that they *are* principles, rather than "scientific" laws.

I do not think that the main objection to "The Secret" is that someone is making tons of money off of it, and I don't think that is the main gripe others have either. (It looked to me as if you were saying this might be the case; if I misread your intent, I apologize.)

I have seen countless arguments against "The Secret," ranging from the purely scientific to the intensely spiritual, the bitter to the humorous, and everything in between. And, yes, in some of these arguments I detect a degree of resentment and envy of those who have profited so handomely from this marketing gimmick. It's human nature to be envious of others' success. But from what I've seen of the debate, envy does not seem to be the main driving force in the anti-Secret "movement."

I do agree with you that in many cases, ego plays a big part in the arguments both for and against "The Secret." I'm pretty ego-driven myself; if I weren't, I'd never have bothered with doing a blog, or, for that matter, that long-winded essay on the CSI web site. Also, I've been on the receiving end of some skeptical criticism myself (over a different issue than "The Secret," though). And in the process I've come face to face with agendas that seem to go beyond the noble cause of encouraging critical thinking.

I am not so sure that "The Secret" furor has no impact on your life or mine, however. I would like to think that is true, but I fear that in many ways "The Secret" encourages narcissim and greed (couched in a thin veil of altruism, which makes it all the more insidious). And that can't be good for a culture that is already more than narcissistic enough.

In any case, I really appreciate your comments, and thank you for the compliment about my piece on the CSI web site. I'm glad you stopped by for a visit.

Sunday, April 01, 2007 5:19:00 PM  
Anonymous moi said...

" have practiced this stuff now for over 35 years. Funny I did not know it was "the secret" or a secret. I teach this for free. I do not go out of my way to recruit because I truly don't care if someone understands/accepts/lives it or not."

Glad to hear there are still people like you out there, anon. I was just thinking about this issue as I woke up this morning. First of all, psychology already accounts for the destructive power of negative thinking. there are lots of books out there that teach how to redirct and stop thoughts that cause endless spirals of depression and shame (Bradshaw is one of them, but he has some good ideas in his 1st book). Recently, I have done my own investigation and found there are numerous other methods that have been well researched and are being used by therapists for anxiety. People use these methods cause they work, but don't promote it asa universal law , which is what LOA practitioners do. What has happened with the secret is that the idea of neg. thinking as being destructive, (therefore we should try to be more positive), has been turned into a dogma and eclipses the fact that people like you are out there who have been doing it for free, and therapists have been out there teaching it as well. Now a whole mystique surrounds it and everyone's going around thinking we can create our own realities at will. We can create our own reality to a certain extent, but we have to contend with environmental factors, genetics, politics, and the social reality. No one lives in a vacuum. we are all affected by these forces. All we can do is work with them to the best of our abilities, which at times, requires a huge dose of optimism and pos. thinking.

Monday, April 02, 2007 8:22:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Well said, Moi. The core problem with "The Secret" is the very thing that has made it so popular: its sweeping claims about creating your own reality. The moderate approach that you and Linda suggest, and that many therapists and counselors advocate, wouldn't have been nearly as marketable. Unlike most responsible therapists, counselors and teachers, "The Secret" seems to promise a shortcut to the life of your dreams.

And the addition of that "forbidden knowledge" mystique guaranteed that "The Secret" would find a large and willing audience.

Monday, April 02, 2007 9:31:00 AM  
Anonymous moi said...

"....its sweeping claims about creating your own reality"

There is a world of difference between changing destructive thought processes and promoting the idea that we can manifest things at will, such as cars and mansions. This is the absurd part, coming close to a surreal art form. Da da spirituality, IMO.

Monday, April 02, 2007 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

"Da da spirituality"...

I love it! :-)

Monday, April 02, 2007 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

Hello again,

I suppose we could lump narcissism, egocentricity, conceit into one negative connotation.
I would have to say that is not what "the secret" promotes.

It does however promote a strong concept of your own self worth.
Can that lead to the negative above? Sure.
Every coin has a flip side.
Do we live in fear of what may be?
I suppose we could, however personally I do not find it productive in my own life.

From the posts I have seen here I would be willing to bet both you women have a strong sense of self. I imagine you would fight tooth and nail to keep it. Probably neither of you view that strong self worth as a negative attribute.

Linda

Monday, April 02, 2007 5:51:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Interesting thoughts, Linda. I can't speak for "Moi," but I can speak for me...and I don't know about a strong sense of self-worth, but I do seem to have a pretty big ego at times. :-)

Monday, April 02, 2007 6:26:00 PM  
Anonymous moi said...

"I would have to say that is not what "the secret" promotes.

It does however promote a strong concept of your own self worth."

The secret does nothing for me but tell me that I should try to be more positive about life cause I'll get better results. Its message about self love is ok, but it has no true and tested methodology about how to get there. It is based on belief, not anything concrete.
About strong sense of self, what you're probably seeing is the jaded result of someone who is tired of a culture whose aim is to market whatever product, regardless of its worth or ability to really help people.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007 8:40:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

And actually, Moi, as you've seen, part of my shtick on this blog is to describe myself as a narcissist. However, there is some truth in that shtick. The sad reality is that I am a pretty selfish person. I know this. I'm working on it.

And I think that there's entirely too much selfishness and narcissism today; these traits are ingrained in our culture. However noble Rhonda Byrne's original intentions may have been (and I'm giving her a HUGE benefit of the doubt here), "The Secret" panders to the worst of that selfishness and narcissism.

As you said, "The Secret's" message about self-love is okay. For that matter, the message about gratitude is wonderful too. But IMO, when it comes in such a hustledork-ridden, hypey package, those higher messages are lost.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007 10:09:00 AM  
Anonymous moi said...

"As you said, "The Secret's" message about self-love is okay. For that matter, the message about gratitude is wonderful too. But IMO, when it comes in such a hustledork-ridden, hypey package, those higher messages are lost."

Yes, i am completely with you on this. There are some really good messages in it, which is what attracts people , but the way it is packaged caters to the little narcissist in each of us. Or, in the seduction king's terminology, that little girl or boy in each of us who believes all of our fantasies can come true.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

"Or, in the seduction king's terminology, that little girl or boy in each of us who believes all of our fantasies can come true."

LOL, Moi.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

Hello again,

You are to kind Connie in your assessment of Byrnes motivation.

The whole film is intentionally fraught with promoters.
People promoting for their own agenda not "the secret" dynamics.

That being said there is no doubt many people being introduced to "the secret" will hang in there beyond the hype and find a better more fulfilling life for themselves.

Like anything in life worthwhile it is not an easy task.

IMO both of you ladies are correct ... this film caters to the hedonistic side of most of us.
That was the marketing strategy from the inception.

"As you said, "The Secret's" message about self-love is okay. For that matter, the message about gratitude is wonderful too. But IMO, when it comes in such a hustledork-ridden, hypey package, those higher messages are lost."

Indeed they are.
Maybe that is where my kind can fill in the gaps for those interested enough to ask. :)

Moi may I respectfully ask in regards to your comment?

"About strong sense of self, what you're probably seeing is the jaded result of someone who is tired of a culture whose aim is to market whatever product, regardless of its worth or ability to really help people."

How do you see that this impacts your life personally?

Linda

Tuesday, April 03, 2007 3:12:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

"Maybe that is where my kind can fill in the gaps for those interested enough to ask. :)"

And, Linda, I'm glad you're around to fill in the huge gaps left by "The Secret." Thank you for again for your thoughtful comments.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007 3:54:00 PM  
Anonymous moi said...

"How do you see that this impacts your life personally? "

What i mean to say is that I've observed and shopped in the new age marketplace. While i agree with some of the ideas in it, basically the ones about expanding consciousness, I've seen some stuff that really turns me off. Some people i know engage in hurtful behavior that stems from their beliefs in channelers, false gurus and the like. It seems to me that these beliefs can do harm in that people stop thinking for themselves and listen to whatever the hustledorks tell them. I think there is authentic spirituality out there, but it's harder to find and not as appealing because it generally doesn't involve quick fixes. What appears to be the norm these days is spiritual materialism, which i don't agree with.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007 4:56:00 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Hello again ladies,

Thank you Connie and I agree there are huge gaps in the material presented as "the secret".
However I have yet to bump into any philosophy that does not have huge gaps on some level.
Do we blame the gap on the philosophy or the people who offer it up? Would it be wise for us to consider that we could choose the mindset of any one of us here and no doubt come up with the exact same pros and cons.

I also agree with you Moi there are a lot of people out there who have leaped on the spiritual band wagon for the bucks. And believe me there are tremendous bucks in it. We see that in the success of "the secret" so far.

Have you stopped to think why this is such an earth shaking success (for the moment at least)?
Many critics quickly jump on the materialistic issue then there are those who argue the definition of "law". I consider both as valid criticism (if argued correctly) but if you look a little closer you will see the real hook is HOPE. Hope for a mass that is besieged with corruption, oppression, ethical bankruptcy and those who cite "well so and so does it" as an excuse for bad behavior. Hope that there is a workable way to change THEIR OWN life for the better.

The SAME HOOK offered by most religious organizations.

"I've seen some stuff that really turns me off. Some people i know engage in hurtful behavior that stems from their beliefs in channelers, false gurus and the like. It seems to me that these beliefs can do harm in that people stop thinking for themselves "

Might I offer that in all walks of life there are people who prey on the less fortunate and weaker among us.
I am familiar with 2 well known psychiatrist in my town. 3 of my clients have used them and all were smoothly guided into transference issues, then were sexually exploited.

Perhaps we might explore that people who appear to STOP THINKING for themselves probably never thought for themselves from the start and are simply on the search for someone to do it for them.

I guess before we could seriously discuss these beliefs we would have to define which ones first. ;)

Linda

Wednesday, April 04, 2007 4:36:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

All good points, Linda. Hope IS the hook, whether we're talking about The Secret, or religion, or even therapy. Matter of fact, I believe that hope is the most valuable commodity in the universe. Unfortunately, too many people -- and not just the producers and stars of "The Secret" -- are all too willing to market *false* hope.

I am certainly no fan of mainstream religion, and I have no firsthand experience with therapy, good or bad, but I do recognize the enormous potential for abuse by therapists. The stories you tell, and that Moi has told, of abusive therapists are all too common.

At any rate, I think you are right, Linda; the people who really buy into the stuff hook, line and sinker are those who are not inclined to think for themselves. They will always be a willing and wide-open market for the hucksters. Of course, this does not excuse the hucksters.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007 5:55:00 PM  
Anonymous moi said...

"Might I offer that in all walks of life there are people who prey on the less fortunate and weaker among us.
I am familiar with 2 well known psychiatrist in my town. 3 of my clients have used them and all were smoothly guided into transference issues, then were sexually exploited."

Linda, if you're still listening- I realize it's very hard to convey a very well rounded and thought out argument in the space of a blog post. i usually write when i am in a rush and don't want to spend the time perfecting what I say. So, I am sure everything i have said about this issue appears to be narrowly focused. Obviously there are people who prey on others in all walks of life and i don't exclude anyone. It's just that the focus of this blog has been on the secret and new age issues. if it were about psychaiatry, I would have another slew of arguments to present about that issue. So, sorry I come across as so reductionist. Too bad we couldn't all get to gether and have a forum or something.

Thursday, April 05, 2007 8:23:00 AM  
Anonymous moi said...

"I am familiar with 2 well known psychiatrist in my town."

Linda, I'd like to say one other thing--- psychaiatrists don't do therapy these days, they just dole out drugs. Did you mean to say psychologists? And as for sexual abuse, that is about the worst ethical crime a therapist can commit. There are venues for reporting that and I hope your clients have done so. Surely, those people who claim to be professionals and are sexually abusing people should have their licenses taken away asap.

Thursday, April 05, 2007 8:49:00 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

Hello ladies,

Yes Moi I am still with you both :)
You do not sound like a reductionist at all.
It is a pleasure to chat with both of you.

"The stories you tell, and that Moi has told, of abusive therapists are all too common."

Yes Connie an "abuse of power" all to common in society today do you have any ideas how each of us as individuals can curb that?

I am not aware of your experience with the therapist field Moi and further hope you are not personally a victim.
What I will write below is simply my thought on my own experience in the situations below.
If we are to far off topic I am sorry for that :)

I must approach some of the stuff I see in life with a humorous perspective or I would end up in a blinding rage no matter how much discipline I have learned to apply over that emotion.
Abuse of the weaker in our society ... be it to human or animal ... I am keenly aware is my tipping point. If someone wants to see "the empress of bitchdom in full body armor" emerge ... then drop me in a situation where I see abuse being applied.

Both are psychiatrists with proper medical degrees in tow ... apparently they slid silently under the ethics radar also attached.

To be honest I have not been to a psychiatrist so I am not sure what their practice entails. If these woman were not getting therapy for their $110 per 45 min session they were getting screwed in more ways than one. Would ya say?

Anyway what I know is hearsay only. It would not stand up in court. A friend who is a special investigator for the DA's office said "YOU can do nothing about this". He knew the track I was about to head down. I ignored him ... he was right. WHEN will I learn to not ask for advice knowing I will ignore it?

Plus try to point a woman who thinks she is in love and loved in return ... into logical behavior for her condition. :)

Yes they should have their licenses removed asap.
In reality "should" does not happen. And I am in CA where some of the most stringent laws apply.

Let me provide my own emotional thought on this particular scenario. I do not know who I would like to SLAP first/hardest. The guy who is further victimizing someone vulnerable or the woman who is allowing it to happen and does nothing about it when it crashes around her feet.

On second thought I would LIKE to grab the guy by his "member" drag him into the public square and hang him by it.

If the matters were not so serious it would be hysterically funny if you knew all of the details.

So what do I do when life tosses one of these mind numbing experiences my way?
Sit down with a box of See's Chocolates and eat the whole thing!
I now believe Chocolate is the best tranquillizer on earth ;)

Thursday, April 05, 2007 1:23:00 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Opps ... no Connie it certainly does not excuse the huxter.

Thursday, April 05, 2007 1:34:00 PM  
Anonymous moi said...

Linda, it is also hard for me to keep quiet when I see these things happen. Yes, I've had 2 somewhat abusive expoeriences with therapists. Both were into the new age scene and applied some of the wisdom they had gleaned from those sources into their therapy. This is one of the reasons I am lately negative about new age ideas. In the case of both these therapists, it seems that new age ideas led both of them into disregarding rules and ethics, because in some spiritual circles, mind is considered to be evil. One of the therapists actually told me that outright. However, I do think both of these men were predisposed to this sort of behavior. If they were not into new age, no doubt their abuse would have come out in some other form. As for the 2nd one, he publicizes his LPC criteria on his web site for the spiritual group he conducts, which makes it more likely that people will think he adheres to a very ethical standard in his conduct. In any case, I am often appalled at the lack of insight of many therapists into their own behavior. It's very easy for them to shift blame since they have devoted many years to studying the intricacies of the psyche. My opinion is that any one seeking therapy should be very careful in whom they choose and should research the person's credentials and get outside references. And btw, if you are aware of sexual abuse, aren't you obligated to report it? I would submit an anonymous report if I were you.

Thursday, April 05, 2007 3:28:00 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Hi Moi,

Let me say upfront I am sorry you were exposed to the seedy side of spirituality. What a shame!

Before I forget ... I did report these incidents (I am not anonymous) and was told exactly what my friend told me I would be told and that was to have the woman who were abused come forward and make reports. My knowledge apparently was worthless. They ALL chose not.

I could list at least 10 reasons each why not ... IMO none of them were valid.

"In the case of both these therapists, it seems that new age ideas led both of them into disregarding rules and ethics, because in some spiritual circles, mind is considered to be evil. One of the therapists actually told me that outright."

Moi I have been deep in what is called "new age" for a long time anyone ... out there teaching that kind of crap are neither "new age" or "spiritual anything" ... warped cracked pots fits the definition better.

I will agree there are all kinds of unethical jerks out there preying on the unsuspecting and it is a crying shame. It is a shame you had to run into 2 of them "spouting what THEY called new age" and you are right without a predisposition for that behavior they would not have taken that mindset up for themselves while trying to foist it on others.

I am getting a little frayed of late with all of the bogus credentials people say they have in this field. The simple truth is ... there is no NAU "new age university" from which a degree can be issued. Taking a trip to India or a chance meeting with a Shaolin priest does not make one an enlightened teacher. A PhD in widgets does not make anyone a "new age master". Are there really any "new age masters"? In 35 years I know NONE.

Linda

Thursday, April 05, 2007 7:04:00 PM  
Anonymous moi said...

Moi I have been deep in what is called "new age" for a long time anyone ... out there teaching that kind of crap are neither "new age" or "spiritual anything" ... warped cracked pots fits the definition better."

Linda, just to clarify, some of the neg. stuff about mind is pretty common in new age circles. Eckart Tolle preaches something of the sort, and a lot of Indian masters. This one therapist just happened to say it in a group he was conducting one day and it stuck with me. He's a guy who came from a really fucked up family and decided to become a therapist himself, and studied with Fritz perls in the 60's. he is actually an engaging and loving person, but if you piss him off, it's another story. I think the issue here may be that many therapists are too unconscious to be able to heal the unconscious of others, and desperate people seeking help are not able to differentiate between the good and bad ones..
In any case, I wonder if those women didn't want to report the abuse because they felt they were somehow at fault. That's how i felt when the therapist yelled at me and called me a shit.

Friday, April 06, 2007 8:17:00 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

Hi Moi,

I could not agree with you more on the therapist angle.

Socially I know several. They have to be the most screwed up lot I have ever run into. I have a running joke with my girlfriends ... unless you are in deep crap yourself you would never stick to that particular learning process. A true case of the blind leading the blind.

I have coined the phrase "go to a therapist to fix one problem and come away with a dozen" ... do you suppose it is cheaper that way? ... lol

Yes guilt was probably part of the reason but shame of being foolish was probably the most prevalent that I saw.

We also have to consider their position. These ladies were being asked to go up against prominent physicians in their field. The ladies admittedly had problems. When a psychiatrist says you are nuts ... guess what the world tends to believe them.

Bottom line is we all do foolish things in our lives. Heaven forbid I have done more than my share along the way ... but you know what? ... in the end I am a more sound person because of that foolishness.

Interesting that you mention Tolle a friend of mine dropped by her audio copy of his latest. I declined because I see no reason to rehash information I already know. Maybe I should have listened just to be aware of what is now being called "new age".

I guess there will always be someone out there to twist the basic philosophies from the past to suit their own agenda today.

"It's a jungle out there" takes on new meaning doesn't it?

Thank you ladies it has been a pleasure to chat with you both :)
Linda

Friday, April 06, 2007 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

A pleasure indeed! I didn't mean to bow out of the dialogue; just had a big workload yesterday. But I think this has been a very enlightening discussion, full of wisdom that you can't find on "The Secret." :-)

Friday, April 06, 2007 11:38:00 AM  
Anonymous moi said...

"I guess there will always be someone out there to twist the basic philosophies from the past to suit their own agenda today."

One other thing I want to mention regarding this comment- I think the idea that we create our own realities is at the core of the way current new age practitioners are twisting philosophies from the past. I've had a discussion about this in several blogs and someone told me he thinks this idea is a perversion of vedanta teachings, or something like that. I definitely think we create our own realities to a large extent, but it is foolish ignorance to deny the external forces that people have to contend with on a daily basis, like those asinine therapists we have both had experience with.
It was nice chatting with you too, Linda

Friday, April 06, 2007 4:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

disillusioned with agape...
ricky was a super bitch to me on several occations... i know it was because michael flirted with me... god told me thru that situation and others in my past.... i'm not to hero worship or guru-ize anyone here on planet earth... there is the public presentation and then there are real imperfect humans... and that's not to say that both of them don't carry a great and beautiful message/music. but god isn't contained in one or two humans... god is everywhere and you gotta use your own intution to sniff out the truth. even the most impressive, admired and talented people... people who deliver big truths are real! not gods... it took me awhile, but i forgave them... when i'm at agape I separate the message from the messenger focus on what's good... i use my own inner guildance... apape is still the best "church".... diverse, artistic, progressive and healthy.... but you know who i follow the most? me. and you should too! you are a prophet even if the world doesn't recognize it. Sometimes people put down anything at their level because they want to someday be a shot caller... they believe in hierarchies.... i don't know why humans play these games. sometimes i think agape and the secret and the gospel of Abraham (as it's interpreted) help the rich rationalize inequality.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

As for me, Anon, I'm not disillusioned with Agape and Michael (aka "Zormak") because I was never "illusioned" with them. I'm just here to snark. But thank you for your insights. I agree that it's foolish to try to turn ordinary humans into gods. Often, though, those humans encourage that very thing. And sometimes they don't even have to encourage it; people are so hungry for something or someone to look up to that they'll see gods where none exist.

Thursday, January 24, 2008 2:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dear cosmic connie, maybe someday i will completely release my illusions like u have. I'm glad there are wise women out there who rely more on themselves. I think we have a conditioned helplessness to contend with, but obviously many women in this discussion have contended with it! amen! now i'm 41, when i was younger i was more naive. are we to blame? blame is a harsh word... but i hold people more responsible than in the past... we are the ones with the responsibility to chose our leaders (this goes for politics too).

Wednesday, February 06, 2008 7:42:00 PM  

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