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, June 25, 2007

More on Squirmer...er...Schirmer

Things are not going well for David Schirmer, the lone Aussie star of the hit New-Wage infomercial The Secret.


Just a little over a month ago, he posted this gleeful message on The Secret discussion forum:
Re: What made you smile today? When a well meaning, high profile psychologist on a radio interview said today that the Secert [sic] is dangerous and doesn't work ... and what professional qualifactions [sic] do I have to back up my claims! I calmly replied that I have a degree in results ... and the "By your fruits you are known!" I had to smile as I looked out from my window of my office at home across the estate to the city, as he [the psychologist] was stuck in traffic driving his basic car home from the job he goes to every day!!!!
Posted by David Schirmer 05/24/07 07:18 AM
What a difference a month makes. Very shortly after that message was posted, the Australian tabloid news show A Current Affair (ACA) aired the first of several segments on Schirmer and the allegations that he bilked numerous investors. I've commented on this matter several times on this blog.

And now ACA has done it again. Here's a link to a follow-up on Schirmer that was aired Monday evening (Aussie time). As always, Firefox users and most Mac users may have trouble following this link. But if you're using Internet Explorer, go for it!

Here's the YouTube link.

In this segment we see Schirmer apparently breaking a promise he'd previously made to ACA reporter Ben Fordham. Schirmer had originally invited Fordham to be a VIP attendee at a get-rich-quick seminar in Melbourne that Schirmer was putting on with fellow Secret star Bob Proctor (who now looks as if he rues the day he ever teamed up with Schirmer). Schirmer promised Fordham, on-camera, that he could bring cameras and everything to the seminar. I guess he changed his mind. Not only was Fordham turned away from the seminar by security guards, but when he caught up with Schirmer in a restaurant and tried to get an interview, Schirmer apparently attempted to destroy the videotape.

The other side?
Recently I received an email from a person who, though not a close friend of Schirmer, says that Schirmer helped some of this person's family members. This is the same individual who previously had asked me to remove the PhotoShopped images of Schirmer from my blog (I blogged about that, of course). I did not remove the images but, in the interests of fairness – at least as "fair" as I get on this admittedly biased forum – I thought that it would be a good idea for me to print "another side" of the story. So I sought and was given permission to share this email.

Dear Ms Schmidt
I appreciate your acknowledgment on your website of my earlier correspondence with you regarding the images of David Schirmer on your above website. My email was not a "heartfelt plea" but a respectful request - it was worth a go, as any Aussie will tell you. I noted on your website that you chose to ask others for their views, obviously of more value to you than anything I could say to you, and that has to be ok, though I found some of their language objectionable, but that unfortunately is the way of the world these days, and they do not know me, and it is their democratic right, and I will defend that. You are right that young children should not be accessing blogs such as yours, and they probably haven't, truth be known. The concern for human damage is genuine but that is certainly hard to communicate in print and it is hard to change any views that are already ingrained.

I must say I was surprised with one of your friend's views "I am appalled at the tactic that this fellow took. His plea to remove the images "FOR THE CHILDREN" is ghastly, abhorrent". As I said, there was no "plea" just a request. I'm not sure what the "blame shifting" is all about and neither am I claiming that you caused the children's distress. If David Schirmer is a "liar and crook" - let it be proved by the correct channels, not by the remote public at large and manipulative media. I'm not sure what my "tactic" was supposed to be. I have nothing but sadness at how quickly someone can be demolished.

The one thing I appreciate about your comments is that, should the story not prove to be correct, then you will print retractions and apologies. Thank you.

I also hope the people who complained get their money back, if indeed they are owed money. I will keep an open mind on this one and not point fingers such as has been done until I know the truth. I am not a close friend, but the Schirmers have given close members of my family opportunities they otherwise would not have had and that in itself deserves my loyalty, and no money involved, just a new lease of life! I come at this from a different angle than you or your friends do.

Thank you for your time. Even "alleged scammers" do good things.
In my reply to this person I remarked that good deeds do not necessarily cancel out bad deeds – but I noted that the reverse is true as well. And I acknowledged that there are sometimes shades of gray.

In no way is this intended to dismiss the complaints of the people who claim to have been victims of Schirmer's broken promises. I have heard from some of them privately, and it seems to me that for them, there are no "shades of gray." But I did want to let y'all know that I have been hearing from a Schirmer defender who, even though I've been pretty mean and catty on this blog, has remained civil. If only everyone on the Internet could maintain this level of civility...

In any case, I sincerely hope that this all works out well for everyone. Right now, however, it's not looking too good for David Schirmer.

Labels: , , ,

14 Comments:

Anonymous Walter said...

> If David Schirmer is a "liar and crook" - let it be proved by the correct channels, not by the remote public at large and manipulative media.

What? So this guy wants the public (that would be us'ns) to not police ourselves? To not raise public alarm? To not act in our own intelligent best interests especially when the courts can take forever to take action while more fall prey to him?

Should no one say anything (remember "silence gives consent") then Schirmer and ilk continue unabated for years while the system slowly grinds forward until he's brought to justice, or IF he's brought to justice.

Ofttimes the legal system quickens its pace when public outcry demands it to do so.

I say gong the handwringing apologist and dispense with his mealy-mouth platitudes.

Monday, June 25, 2007 8:36:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thank you, Walter. I think everyone deserves a chance to say their piece in this matter, which of course is why I published the defender's email.

I have to say, however, that by far the majority of the opinions I've received have been anti-Schirmer. In any case, I really do hope that justice prevails.

Monday, June 25, 2007 9:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Blair Warren said...

I think Walter makes a great point. Not only are the "correct channels" likely to be slow in acting, how are they even supposed to become aware that some people have been screwed if people aren't allowed to stand up and say they've been screwed?

Yes, the final say should be through the "correct channels." But until then, blogs like this one and shows like ACA may be the only option some people have.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

I agree, Blair (and Walter). I am happy to let Schirmer apologists have their say, but, with all due respect to my pro-Schirmer correspondent, I'm definitely leaning towards the "he's guilty" side of the argument. It seems pretty clear to me that the Schirmer affair goes beyond a couple of disgruntled ex-employees or ex-partners of Schirmer's (which is something he'd implied on his "I'm not guilty" video).

And, lest anyone forget, Schirmer approached "A Current Affair" first; they didn't seek him out. He apparently thought ACA would be a great forum on which to defend "The Secret" and LOA, and promote himself. As my pro-Schirmer correspondent wrote in another email to me, "he tried something and it backfired on him."

I do, however, feel for all of Schirmer's friends and allies and family members who weren't in on his schemes -- because they're being dragged through the mud too. And I will say that my pro-Schirmer correspondent did make me think about this.

In one of those "meaningful coincidences" the New-Wagers are always going on about, it so happens that at the same time I was receiving these emails, I was also editing a chapter in a manuscript by an Emmy Award-winning TV journalist. This is a person of strong faith who tries to adhere to the tenets of that faith while ensconsed in the secular -- and often sleazy -- world of journalism.

The bit that "spoke" to me was his remark that in many ways, journalists have become sadists who delight in exposing people's wrongdoing. He said that he hoped he would not become so desensitized as to take joy in watching the suffering of someone who had been "caught" by the media, even if that person deserved to be punished. Was it really necessary, he asked, for journalists to gloat over the person's situation, or to parade themselves as heroes because they "got" that person?

I started to think that maybe I was getting entirely too much pleasure out of Schirmer's predicament. That's another reason I felt moved to publish another viewpoint.

Even so, I have to say that it looks to me as if ACA is doing a good deed here. And the lion's share of my compassion is reserved not for Schirmer but for those who have been screwed by his schemes.

Curiously enough, though, I have little sympathy for Bob Proctor. I think that in this case, the old "birds of a feather" saying is pretty appropriate.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007 10:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I calmly replied that I have a degree in results ... and the "By your fruits you are known!" I had to smile as I looked out from my window of my office at home across the estate to the city, as he [the psychologist] was stuck in traffic driving his basic car home from the job he goes to every day!!!!
Posted by David Schirmer 05/24/07 07:18 AM

What a complete ass. He ASKED to go on ACA, he went in a cheap Womens Magazine in OZ and he says things like this. What does he expect? Nobody gets away with that in Australia. It is the land of the tall poppy syndrome and there is no way that Schirmer will last if he continues down that path. I say that because he has chosen to be such a pompous ass then he will go down all the harder crying poor little me all the way and I doubt very much that many will feel bad about it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007 11:38:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thank you, Anon. For the benefit of those of us Stateside who aren't familiar with the term "tall poppy syndrome," here's what Wikipedia has to say:

"Tall poppy syndrome (TPS) is a pejorative term used in Australia and New Zealand to describe what is seen as a levelling social attitude. Someone is said to be suffering from tall poppy syndrome when his or her assumption of a higher economic, social or political position attracts criticism, being perceived as presumptuous, attention seeking or without merit..."

TPS can be a form of anti-intellectualism or reverse snobbery, but I think more often than not it's just a natural reaction others have to someone who's "grown too big for their britches," as we sometimes say in the American South.

Most of us who are not rich have some degree of envy of the rich. I know I do. But that is far from the main force that drives me to satirize and criticize those who got rich by stepping on others (or merely by deceiving them) -- and who then have the gall to endlessly brag to the world about their success.

There's nothing wrong with material success. There's nothing wrong with being proud of one's success and trying to help others achieve success too. And I don't believe in forced equality -- in symbolically cutting off the heads of the tallest poppies, or chopping off the tops of the tallest ears of corn (a reference to the term's origins in works by Livy and Aristotle respectively -- again, as cited in Wikipedia).

But as David Schirmer seems to be demonstrating -- not only to Australia but to the world at large -- there's a LOT wrong with success that comes as a result of hurting others. And the kind of pride sometimes known as "hubris" -- which seems to be endemic in today's New-Wage superstars -- just makes it worse.

As I've noted here before, the one thing that sets Schirmer apart from the other "stars" of "The Secret," besides the fact that he is the lone Aussie, is that he was hyping results that can actually be measured in the real world, and that are regulated by government agencies. In other words, if people don't get the promised results they have legal recourse. The wheels of justice may turn slowly, but at least there are wheels in place.

Unlike most of The Secret's "metaphysicians" and "philosophers" and Feng Shui experts and the like -- who are merely selling pie-in-the-sky and happy feelings -- Schirmer was making solid, real-world promises (granted, with a dose of LOA mumbo-jumbo of late, but nevertheless he was making concrete promises of financial gain). He should have been a metaphysician in the US. There's a lot more money in that.

And again, with all due respect to my pro-Schirmer correspondent, it looks as if Schirmer is still playing the martyr. I'm sure that if the PR companies he hired (according to ACA) address the scandal at all, they will attempt to exploit the "tall-poppy" idea in Schirmer's favor. They'll say his critics are motivated by envy. No doubt they'll also mine that bit about how "the world is afraid of new ideas," a defense that apologists for "The Secret" love so much. The world-is-afraid angle is very much in sync with the "martyr" theme too.

But most people aren't buying it.

Thursday, June 28, 2007 10:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there's an interesting comment thread on a secretron blog over here:

http://thesecretjournal.wordpress.com/2007/06/25/2-pr-companies-and-the-best-they-can-come-up-with-is-the-same-old-no-comment-stance-come-on/#comments

she's not a schirmer fan from the getgo despite being a fan of the secret and early on in another entry (before things got real hot) david himself yelled at her in an apparent attempt to shut her up. she didn't though to her credit.

the comment thread above is interesting because a schirmer "defender" came on and accused her of being the woman who--and i quote--"who had an affair with Schirmer; and the biggest instigator of this whole thing."

others have since piled on, claiming the affairs have been multiple occurrences. you can just see schirmer telling his so-called defender, "gee.....thanks."

so what started out as just a business fiasco now has blossomed with all the soap opera elements of a real personal scandal as well. wonder what "the children" david didn't think of back then are thinking now...

Saturday, June 30, 2007 1:31:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thanks, Anon! You're right; it's just becoming more and more of a soap opera as time goes by...

Saturday, June 30, 2007 7:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Dennis said...

David Schirmer maybe a conman but let’s not overlook Bob Proctor’s involvement. Life Success is run by the two of them. I’m not for Schirmer and I think what he did was extremely awful however Bob Proctor is no different. This is not the first time Bob has had involvement with someone/something that is unethical and immoral not to mention illegal. Bob was involved in the SGR Program which was also illegal in it’s first run and like schirmer tried to cover that fact up. Honestly, I’d like to see ACA or some american channel do an expose of Bob Proctor. He’s been screwing people out of their money for a long time with his self help mumbo jumbo and has no evidence to back up his claim’s. When I last met him he bragged about his Jaguar (Which I’ve never seen in person) and told me he was a multimillionaire (again no proof)…could it be that he’s exactly like schirmer taking money of unsuspecting people to fund his own lavish lifesytle???

Incase you’ve not got the chance to read up on Bob’s Illegal involvement of the SGR Program check out the following post and read the comment’s:

http://thesecretnotes.com/plea-to-michael-beckwith-please-dont-go-michael/

The comment’s were written by an Investigative reporter by the name of Andrew Geller who like Ben wanted to expose Bob for all the lies and get rich quick schemes he has been fooling people with.

This blog is run by a company (Mindvalley) that developed the SGR Program along with Bob and together they even tried to cover up the truth by deleting the reporters comments and threating him.

I’ve personally emailed the reporter for more info on the sgr program and he’s provided me with a great load of info..including how they faked testimonials, broke the law and comment spammed etc

I use to be a strong believer in the Secret and the Law of attraction but now I can see that it’s all just one big marketing scam aiming at reeling in suckers like you and me…to make the so called “guru’s” millionaires.

Friday, August 31, 2007 7:05:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thanks, Dennis. At the very least, whether he's breaking any laws or not, Bob Proctor is intensely annoying. He still seems to be pushing his SGR scheme, but he has other schemes in the works too, some of which he'll apparently be introducing on his "Mexican Riviera" cruise in October (see my Sept. 2, 2007 post).

I'm confused about the involvement, or lack thereof, of Michael Beckwith. He seemed to have pulled out of the SGR scheme early on, but now seems to be back in... or maybe not. It all depends upon which SGR-related site you land on. In any case he has apparently not separated himself completely from Scientist Bob, since he's going to be one of the featured "stars" on the above-mentioned cruise.

I'm sorry for you that you were disillusioned by The Secret stuff... but better now than later. And good for you and everyone else who's done a little digging into SGR. Again, whether it's illegal or not, it's probably not making anyone rich except the hustlers who conceived it in the first place.

It seems, though, that Bob is still promoting the program, and supposedly it's even going to be offered on the cruise.

Sunday, September 02, 2007 7:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Dennis said...

I can't believe Bob. He just Doesn't know when to quit. The way I see it at this pace he's bound to stumble.

While ASIC is investigating David Schirmer it's important to note that the investigation may also include Bob Proctor. Eventhough he's not from Australia he does have some amount of influence in Schirmer's dealings. Afterall Life Success Pacific Rim is a company run by both of them.

I hope ASIC will put an end to Bob's dealings once and for all. They've already suspended some of David's companies and have shown that they will not tolerate such fraudulent activities.

It's a shame that regulators in the US do not take action against scammers like proctor. "Theres just too much paper work, loopholes and legal issues" as one article was quoted as saying.

I guess the only reason Bob hasn't been caught is becuase here in the US there are plenty of fish in the sea just like him (Joe Vitale, John Asaraf, Vishen at Mindvalley etc).

Furthermore, no one has put the spotlight on him specifically exposing his scams like what was done to schirmer.

Perhaps, if what ACA did to Schirmer was also done to proctor his legacy of deceit would finally come to an end.

I don't have a personal grudge against bob but I just don't like people like him - Those who take advantage of other people's vulnerability.

It should be noted that I've filed numerous reports against Proctor and even contacted a couple of Journalists with reagrds to his dealings including Ben Fordham the man behind the Schrimer expose (still awaiting a response from him).

As for Michael Beckwith - he wreak's with the stench of proctor. Many may claim the Beckwith is a great spiritual leader but honestly he's no different from the rest.

I'm still confused as to how he gained the title "Dr." as I can find no information anywhere with regards to him earning a doctorate. I hope he's not another Joe Vitale.

From what I understand Beckwith is still part of the SGR Program. However he's not in it for the monetary gain.

As much as he would love the money he came under heavy criticism from his church and piers for getting involved in a get rich quick scheme. However since he could not completely pull out for legal reasons he still remains with the program as part of it's material (his voice is featured in the Mp3 etc).

I expected him to be alittle more cautios with dealing with Bob but it seems like he's not learned from his previous mistakes.

Getting involved in that cruise with Proctor will ultimately affect his image when proctor goes down.

From the way it look's Proctor and Beckwith are the new dynamic duo of the self help industry.

Why you may ask? After a series of mishaps Bob seriously needed an image boost and what better than the "holy man" Michael Beckwith who appeared on the Oprah show to give him back his credibility by endorsing his products.

The Sgr program may have just slipped through the loopholes in the US by altering the nature of the course but in some countries the premise of this course is still illegal.

This course has already proven to be a failure among affiliates and has got the secret community stirred. Which is why I'm utterly surprised he's promoting it again.

I would imagine that the Cruise is Bob's fancy way of promoting the SGR Program inorder to make one final load of money before retiring it and moving on to another project quite possibly the SGR Program 2. Which like the SGR Program will probably be just another Repackaged Bob Proctor Course.

Connie, I'm not sure if you knew this but the orginal SGR Program was basically one of Bob's old courses repackaged. There was fairly limited "new" material and one of the main aspects of the course which set most people back US$2000 - the book " The Science of Getting Rich" by Wallace Wattles which is also available freely online.

I bet many people who bought the course and who are reading this blog are feeling abit foolish now.

Sad to say, but my Brother was one of those foolish people who invested his vacation money into the course in the hope of taking his family to Bali on a surfing trip.

After countless hours,days and MONEY spent on the course and promoting his affilate page he was only able to make US$500 which is barely enough to cover the cost of the course itself. 3mths and he only made 1 sale. They said the affiliate program was as easy as pie and could be run by the average joe to make thousands.What a load of bull!

My brother works in the Marketing Department of Subway. One would assume that since he worked as a marketer and was familiar with the workings of the web he would have the upper hand.

But how can one guy compete with a over a 1000000 other people selling the same exact thing. Especially when there's foul play involved.

I've interviewed and met with some people who worked on this course and discovered that Professional Internet Marketers such as Stephen Pierce and Mindvalley were able to promote the course in advance.

What's interesting is that these people helped create the course itself.

They created the course and then had members of staff and fellow internet marketers become affiliates of the course - like some sort of secret society (no pun intended) inorder to make millions for themselves.

This way the common man or secret fan didn't stand a chance at all unless he had access to insider secrets which is highly unlikely.

Some fan's of the secret even claim that they didn't buy the course to make money.

Yeah, I'm sure you didn't. *rolling eyes*

I suppose they spent US$2000 on a bunch of book's and Mp3 and not to forget "a high quality GENUINE leather Briefcase".

If there are any fans who feel that way, don't bother reading what I have to say below or you may get a panic attack - Just enjoy what u have and move on.

I had a the materials in the course valued and even had an estimate done with reagrds to the cost of producing all the materials. The Results were shocking.

To replicate all of the materials in the course in China would have only cost me US$140+ US$35 for shipping and to have it done here in the states US$220. Shocked! I bet you are.

If the materials at most are worth US$220, Why was the course worth US$1995?? Was it because of the affiliate program?? The answer folks is NO. At most the cost to Proctor per course with the affiliate program, wages and shipping is US$600 which means that he is making a clean US$1395 in profit per person who buys the course.Incredible!! Which would explain why he drives a Jaguar.

Proctor suckered all of us into this course to make himself rich and ladies and gentleman - I regret saying this but we foolishly took the bait.

To all those that are wondering who I'am and why I'm writing about the SGR Program and The Secret. Allow me to introduce my self. My name is Dennis and I work in the Restaurant Business.

I did enjoy the Secret at one point in my life (I have my wife to thank for that) and hoped to implement the teachings of the secret in my life.

However, when I learnt of some of the negative aspects of the secret I decided to take a closer look. What I discovered was a web of lies, a big marketing scam and multiple get get rich quick schemes.

The secret's popularity cost many unsuspecting believers their savings and so I've dedicated my free time to exposing some of the scammers behind the secret in the hope that they will stop what they are doing and work towards some greater good.

Call me crazy, but these guys are smart and you may never know when you will fall victim to one of their scam's which is why some of us have to make sure the information is out there.

All my information has come from reliable sources and some journalists, professionals also working towards the cause.

Sunday, September 09, 2007 3:52:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thank you for your detailed and thoughtful comment, Dennis. When you said, "But how can one guy compete with [over 1,000,000] other people selling the same exact thing," you neatly summed up precisely what is most wrong with virtually all of the get-me-rich-quick Internet schemes.

Once again, the only people who are REALLY getting rich are those who are at the top of the heap, selling, for a premium price, their "original" ideas about getting rich. Just about everyone else has to scramble for crumbs.

Even many of the glowing testimonials you see on the hustledorks' sites are from people who simply enjoyed the book, course, or whatever... or who say that the guru's advice makes sense... or who speak glowingly of the guru's expertise, personality, style, etc. Many don't actually say they became rich or successful or that their lives improved in any way as a direct result of the product being advertised. Some will say that they became rich because they used *similar* principles, and that the guru's version makes it even simple. But not all that many say that they got rich as a direct result of that particular product or workshop. So most, if not all, of the testimonials are highly suspect (duh).

Anyway, as you may have seen, I wrote a separate post on Sept. 9, 2007, linking to *this* post so that more people could see your comment. I also opened the forum up to comments from "the other side," particularly testimonials from people who actually became wealthy as a result of investing in the SGR program. I'm waiting... :-)

Thanks again for writing at length about your (and your brother's) experiences.

Monday, September 10, 2007 9:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank heavens for the Dennis's of this world. I'd like to think I'm one of them, clearly pissed off at these people siphoning off good peoples hard earned cash to line their pockets. I hope a higher power deals with them in shocking ways to make them pay. I too know far more than I should about some of these people and its on the record that Bob Proctor is no saint in fact neither is the Aussie self titled guru. The facts will come out some day soon and when it does I'll say I told you so!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008 4:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Robert J said...

Dennis,

I wish you all the best - how I hate these gurus...they are all so fake it makes my stomach turn and heart despair...

I do not rule this planet, but I reckon they have to pay the price for promoting lies.

Sunday, December 28, 2008 4:25:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home