David Schirmer's lemonade stand
Rev Ron v Shameless Schirmer
It was not exactly the fight of the century, but it could have been kind of interesting.
It seems that Aussie Secret star David Schirmer is still trying to gloss over those little problems that have been plaguing him the past few months. He's just blogging away, for the most part as if nothing has happened, though he is still playing the martyr card as well.
My life partner/spousal equivalent/business partner Ron Kaye (his real name), who often uses the screen name "Rev Ron," wrote a comment to one of Schirmer's recent blog posts. Schirmer actually published it, and answered it, saying Ron was "a typical example of someone who posts on blogs and hide behind a false name, takes shots at people with no facts to back up his/her allegation."
Ron answered back. In his reply, he provided links to the Schirmer posts on my blog. But so far his reply hasn't been published on Schirmer’s blog. (He didn’t save it, alas, so it is probably lost in the ethers of Blogger.)
I sent a comment of my own to Schirmer's blog, though he hasn't published it yet and I’m thinking that he probably will not. After all, he's all about focusing on the positive, not the negative. But I did save my comment, and here's what I wrote:
[Quoting Schirmer:] Sadly, many who attempted to attack us (via blog and media) call themselves Christians."
I'm not so sure that playing the Jesus card is a good idea, Mr. Schirmer. In any case, Rev Ron is a Buddhist. I know, because I live with him. (I, by the way, am an agnostic who leans on the side of belief.)
My understanding is that at least some of your accusers *have* tried to confront you, as have those "gutter journalists" you decry, but you don't seem to be offering any honest answers to them. You do look uncomfortable enough by the questioning that it seems you are hiding something.
I have not been kind to you on my blog, though I have been kinder than many, and in fact I have refused to publish some comments about you that were particularly abusive. And I certainly do not wish you ill. I know you have a family to feed and you have to make a living. But don't you think you would benefit by coming clean with people?
Even if you can't give people their money back, maybe a heartfelt apology to those you have wronged would go a long way towards restoring your tarnished image.
I do find it amusing that on the one hand Schirmer moans about the "gutter journalists" who have allegedly spread lies about him. Yet he is clearly trying to exploit his tabloid exposure too. In fact it would seem he owes a debt of gratitude to those gutter-dwelling scribes – most notably, A Current Affair’s Ben Fordham – as evidenced by this, from Schirmer’s Nov. 20 post:
My wife and I had dinner at a beautiful restaurant tonight with my son Matthew and his friend Kristen (cause Kristen is heading back home to Canada tomorrow!) Matthew looks after our websites and he asked me if anything unusal happened last week (he didn't know about another attempt by ACA to discredit me). When I asked why he said that our websites experienced over 1,000% increase in traffic each day since Thursday! WOOHOO!
This flowed directly through to more online enquiries, more clients and more sales. A BIG thank you to ALL who have helped!!
I guess you can’t blame a guy for trying to squeeze some lemonade out of the lemons he’s been handed – even if it could be argued that he grew the lemon tree himself. (Remember that old song, David. It’s not all flowers.)
Schirmer’s responses to allegations
This morning I was Googling and found something I hadn’t come across before – a link to a written response (a PDF document) from Schirmer regarding some of the allegations against him. Here is the link.
Granted, this appears on a web site created by a Schirmer fan and apologist. And, just so you’ll be aware, here are some thoughts from the guy who runs the site. He is also apparently a big fan of noted get-rich-quick expert Bob Proctor.
In Schirmer’s document he levels some allegations of his own, most of which you’ve probably heard. One of his claims is that the ill will against him is in large part the doing of an ex-employee with whom he supposedly had an affair.
It seems that "Hell hath no fury like a scorned woman." Shame on ACA [the Aussie tabloid show A Current Affair] to get caught up in this vindictive deceitful smear campaign by obviously not doing thorough research. Shame on the reporter Ben Fordham for buying into the lies and only thinking about how he can win another award and get better ratings regardless of the cost. God will make it right.
Ah, yes, God: the One who always comes through. Schirmer's apologist on the web site linked to above says The Universe will make things right by getting back at Channel 9 and Ben Fordham.
Schirmer also manages to play the "family values" card by ’splaining that he did "make a mistake," like everyone does, but he "made it right" by choosing his wife and six boys over The Other Woman. "When was the last time family values were upheld by ACA?" he asks rhetorically.
And then he closes the document by quoting himself on how to make the world a better place:
"If you want to help change the world to be a better, more abundant, more loving and peaceful place to live – every time negative media comes into your home or your life turn it off and listen to, watch or read The Secret. The more you focus on the good you desire the more greatness you will attract into your life and those you love."
– David Schirmer, Secret Teacher
If focusing on the good and watching The Secret doesn’t work, you can always take refuge in the men’s loo, the way Schirmer did when Robyn Janes, a New Zealand reporter, was trying to interview him a few weeks ago.
By the way, I found the link to the Schirmer defense document on a discussion that appeared on Steve Pavlina’s "Personal Development For Smart People" forum. Steve Pavlina is pretty much a Law Of Attraction fan, but he does host some interesting discussions on his forum, and not everyone who participates is a die-hard Secretron.
One member had this to say:
I'm not defending the guy. If he stole from people, he's an idiot. But if people gave him $92k and he stole it, why haven't they called the Police? Why not sue the guy?
I don't know. Personally, I always take anything I see from the media with a grain of salt. They are masters at spinning a story any way they want. They are really good at magnifying the hurt of the public. Constantly showing this guy driving his BMW and once again presenting that "Rich guy must be EVIL" archetype.
Another member weighed in with this:
I read both his video response and his written response and I found them to very lacking. He seems to think that just because he has happy customers (through motivational speaking) he is immune from being held accountable. I'm so glad he's taught so many people. Now they can go on to do what he did:
[Quoting from Schirmer’s written statement]:
My wife and I put over $250,000 of our own money into LifeSuccess Pacific Rim plus contributed hundreds of unpaid hours of time and effort over three years. Despite our best intention, dedication and hard work the trust never made a profit. And therefore there was no profit to share.
Whether or not he is legally responsible for paying back the money, I still consider him a scam artist if he tells people how to be successful and he obviously doesn't know how (other than by telling other people how to be successful). His attitude in all the videos and his own responses seems pretty dishonest. His sole purpose is shown in both his responses: to make more money by lying to people.
And speaking of lemons, if you read the PDF document you will notice that Schirmer mentions another company that was also given "the treatment" by A Current Affair: an "interest-free car loan" company called Motor Finance Wizard. Hmmm…used cars, auto financing… now those are normally squeaky-clean businesses. Surprisingly, however, ACA – those scandal mongers – reported that Motor Finance Wizard was also allegedly engaged in deceptive business practices. Here’s a link to a 7 News Yahoo forum discussion about the company.
My point for providing the link to Schirmer’s written statement, despite the snarkish context, should be obvious: I wanted to remind y’all, and myself, that like most stories, this one does have more than one side. On the one hand, as I’ve noted here previously, tabloid journalists do often go too far, engaging in what most folks consider to be unfair and sleazy tactics. That's their job. On the other hand, celebrities of all sorts – whether of the Hollywoodish or the New-Wagey variety – give the tabs plenty to work with.
As usual, y’all will have to make up your own minds. The story is still unfolding. My personal opinion, just from seeing Schirmer on the tube, is that he emits some pretty sleazy vibes of his own – the "hide your pocketbook and lock up your daughters" type of vibe.* But that’s just my opinion. I don’t know the guy personally, and have never spoken with him, and I did want to give you some other sides to consider in this matter.
Maybe Schirmer’s written response to the allegations is complete malarkey, and perhaps I’m a sucker for even considering it, but at least it addresses some of the allegations, unlike Schirmer’s clumsy evasions on the tabloid shows. (There is much more on the document than I have hinted at here, so I do urge you to read it. Here is the link again.) The point is that I am always open to hearing from the other side. I’ve printed posts from Schirmer defenders here before and I felt it only fair to provide the link to this document. Bottom line: I may be a hopeless snark – and you know I’m no fan of The Secret – but I do want to be reasonably fair about it.
And just in case you haven’t read it yet, scroll down or click on this link to a post I wrote about more Secret-related scuttlebutt. It's probably one of those pieces where I am really sticking my nose in where it doesn't belong... but that wasn't the first time and I have a feeling it won't be the last. Maybe there is a little bit of Rita Skeeter in me after all.
PS added Thursday, December 6 ~ In the comments section to this post, WisdomWench mentioned an episode of The Chaser's War On Everything, a show that represents serious investigative journalism at its finest. Okay, maybe not so serious and not so journalistic, but investigative nevertheless. Anyway, the guys did a "Nut Job of the Week" segment on The Secret that is easily one of the funniest bits about The Secret I've seen in some time. (It's been up for a few months but I just got around to watching it today.) And, as WisdomWench noted, David Schirmer gets plenty of "face time" in this one. Here's a link.
* For what it's worth, the vibe I get from Schirmer is pretty much the same kind of vibe I got from a single phone conversation with "Jonathan Jacobs" (Joe Vitale’s former "Miracles Coach") many years ago. Turned out my instincts about "Jonathan" were right on. (If you follow the link, scroll down to the 13th comment, from the first "anonymous" commenter on the list. That’s where the relevant discussion begins.)