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.)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Something to sip on while you're waiting for a real post from me

Just a couple of random thoughts for a hot afternoon...

Don't drink the Kool-Aid...or the lemonade
In another apparent case of the "monkey see, monkey do" syndrome, embattled Aussie
Secret star David Schirmer (who recently discovered FaceBook as a marketing tool), is now singing the praises of mastermind groups.

Thousands of folks are into mastermind groups – everyone from New-Wage hustledorks to garden-variety success geeks to people who just want to get together with like-minded folks in order to effect some improvement in their lives, or an illusion thereof. Supposedly the idea originally came from Napoleon Hill, author of the 1937 classic Think and Grow Rich. Hill, who apparently was inspired by the example of Andrew Carnegie, defined the mastermind as a “coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.”

Having never participated in a mastermind group myself, I have no opinion of them one way or the other. I have, however, served on committees, and even though it might be argued that they could qualify as mastermind groups under Hill's definition, I tend to agree more with my own dear Rev Ron's take on the true nature of your typical committee: "A bunch of monkeys trying to f--k a football."

And I have to admit that on occasion, the boasting of some folks regarding their own mastermind activities reminds me of that scene in the 1997 film Titanic where Kate Winslet's character Rose is talking to Leonardo DiCaprio's character Jack at the fancy dinner on the ship. As Rose's snooty rich fiancé Cal and his friends excuse themselves from dinner, Rose leans over and whispers to Jack, "Now they retreat into a cloud of smoke and congratulate each other on being masters of the universe." Indeed, t
here does seem to be a bit of self-congratulatory activity in certain hustledork circles.

This doesn't mean mastermind groups have no value, of course. I'm just saying...

According to an article on "The Feel-Good Girl" Stephanie Brail's blog:
There are two basic types of mastermind groups: One which is focused on the success and vision of one individual, and one that is focused on helping everyone in the group.
Somehow I have the feeling that the mastermind group that David Schirmer is trying to get together will be an example of the former. After going on for a while about what a mastermind group is and how inspiring such a group can be, Schirmer's email offers a few tips on how to form one of your own. Included is this bit of wisdom:

Note: The people in your mastermind group may or may not even know they are part of it. They may or may not stand to get something out of it. As long as they are being treated fairly and with repect [sic] and you are bringing something of value to the table then it should be a win win for all involved.


Soon we get to the meat of the matter (or should it be the meet of the matter): an invitation for recipients of the email to join the exclusive new mastermind group that David Schirmer is now forming. And here it seems that once again Schirmer, or the minion who wrote the email, has drawn inspiration from your own Cosmic Connie. When talking about "the three types of business owners," Schirmer or the minion writes of type 3, which he defines as:

Type 3: Those who have learned exactly what works and can make a profit in their business regardless of economic circumstances.

These people have spent many thousands*** on their education and that has paid off big-time with the skills of being able to turn a lemon of a business into lemonade.

David Schirmer is one such businessman. Over the years he has learned how to turn any lemon into a lemonade manufacturing multinational.
Hmmm...that seems to be a poor choice of metaphors, considering that David wasn't so successful when he was literally involved in manufacturing...oh, but I digress. Someone at the Schirmer offices must have been inspired by my "lemonade stand" post from last December. But I wonder if they'll use the graphic I created for that post, the way they used the one from my "Fantasyland" post. Currently that pic graces Schirmer's promo page for his "My Abundant Life" seminar. I have to tell you, Dear Ones, that it thrills me to be such a source of inspiration.

Schirmer's exclusive invite continues with this:
If your business could do with a shot in the arm, then you must investigate this once in a lifetime opportunity to sit in a highly exclusive inner circle "roundtable" with David Schirmer and 17 other participants.

Yes you heard right there are just 18 places for this closed circle mastermind where you and the other participants will be afforded the opportunity to create ideas for your own businesses and perhaps create other business ideas and opportunity (sic) that could make you millions.

If you are ready in yourself to enter into the exclusive world of this powerful Mastermind Partnership for the express purpose of making millions of dollars fast make contact with The David Schirmer Group of Companies A.S.A.P. to reserve your limited place...
I'm sure that folks from all over Australia and the U.S. will be lining up to join! Step right this way, folks, for some of that famous Schirmer Kool-Aid...er...lemonade.

Shame on the Moon
I don't normally dabble in politics on this blog, but as the next US presidential election heats up, the blogosphere is inevitably heating up too (well, more than usual), and I'm kinda feeling the vibes here on my Whirled. On some blogs, political matters and New-Wage topics intersect, as is the case with a certain enraged blogger of my acquaintance who never misses a chance to tie Hillary or Obama or any other Democrat (or liberal, or feminist) to some nefarious New-Wage cult or conspiracy.

In all fairness, of course, there are other bloggers and pundits who don't hesitate to tie all Republicans and conservatives to some nefarious religious-right cult or conspiracy.

Well, along comes a former president to confuse the issue... sort of. This probably isn't news to some of y'all, but I thought it noteworthy anyway. Seems Dubya's daddy has a long-time association with everyone's favorite megalomaniacal theocrat from Korea, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon. While nominally "Christian," Moon's Unification Church is something that probably would have given Jesus H. Christ the willies. It's more New-Wagey than it is fundie religious right for sure.

Rick Casey, one of my favorite columnists at the Houston Chronicle, had a piece the other day about the Bush-Moon connection. Casey writes:

In recent years the fabulously wealthy Moon has not been playing up his Unification Church with its mass weddings as he did in earlier years, or his role as the Messiah.

Lately he's been presenting himself as a world peacemaker, staging conferences and "summits" around the globe under the auspices of a group called Universal Peace Federation.

The group held a "summit" in Washington April 28 to May 2, featuring a number of former high government officials from Latin America and Spain, as well as a representative from the U.S. State Department.

The event also included a "field trip" in which conference participants loaded onto a chartered jumbo jet for a session at the Bush Library featuring both Bush and Moon.

Although a few blogs picked up the story, no newspaper or television station this side of Paraguay did.

And fortunately, Rick Casey is on the story now too. He continues:

This isn't the first time Bush has appeared with Moon. He gave a series of speeches in Japan in 1995 at Moon's behest and appeared with him in 1996 in Argentina and later in Paraguay. Last year he spoke at a Moon event in Washington.

And as reported here two years ago, the Washington Times Foundation (Moon is founder and owner of the Times) covertly donated at least $1 million to the Bush Library.

According to Bush spokesman James McGrath, "the draw" for Bush to join Moon was both the former Latin American leaders who would be in attendance and the support by the Washington Times Foundation of the library.

"The Times has been doing the Lord's work for the last 25 years offering a counterbalance to the liberal Washington Post," said McGrath.

But John Gorenfeld, author of the recent book about the reverend, Bad Moon Rising, sees an unsavory if unintended side to Bush's association with Moon.

"I think it's just the money," Gorenfeld said regarding Bush's motivation.

But he said Moon and his vast organization use Bush in Asia and Latin America to lend credibility to their activities.

That's not a happy thought, but at least it seems the ex-president hasn't drunk the Kool-Aid.

It appears, however, that he has drunk the Holy Wine. But that rather comical story must wait for another day.

Why wait for another day? Here's a YouTube video to watch now.

Now go pour yourself a cold drink, and I'll see you next time.

*** In this case, many thousands of other people's dollars.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like Schirmer can't play God any other way now other than by locking his loyal subjects into a room with him - it's called control. God only knows what might go on in there but one thing is pretty certain I doubt it will solve any of his current problems with the media.

"There are two basic types of mastermind groups: One which is focused on the success and vision of one individual, and one that is focused on helping everyone in the group."

I think it is pretty obvious which one this guy is all about and anyone crazy enough to suck up and be suckered in when hes got so many people already after him deserve everything that will come their way. Has he really ever done anything that benefits anyone else apart from blubbering about how hes the worlds expert on all this superficial crap?

I'd sure like to see it and I'm sure the people he owes all that moeny too would also. Who in their right mind would go into any sort of mastermind group to hand over all their ideas to a guy who has been exposed on national TV as a fraud and a conman, has been charged in the federal court of Australia with misleading and deceptive conduct and who is currently before the courts for trademark violations to name the very obvious.

His pathetically smarmy response to say he'll pay his victims back which incidentally made him look a complete dick and no doubt he dicked up his business doing it too which tells the world exactly what he does these things for .....urrrr ummmm HIMSELF!

And putting bush and schirmer in the same post has a sort of symbolism, neither have any great respect, plenty of dumb crap to spread around. Why would you want to mastermind that?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 1:25:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thanks, Anon. One point, though: any symbolism of putting Daddy Bush and Schirmer in the same post was unintentional on my part. (I'm not saying you don't have a point, though. :-)) I put the Bush bit in because I had just come across the Rick Casey column a couple of days previously, and I thought it interesting and a bit unsettling that the Korean whack job, Rev. Moon, has so much apparent influence with current and former world leaders. Moon's obsessive hunger for power and influence is still there, right under that benign mask of world peacemaker he's wearing these days.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 10:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Curley said...

Sun Moon makes no difference they are all pretty whacky and WHY oh WHY are these men so power and control hungry? What was missing from their diet or childhoods that makes them into such strange egotistical monsters?

There are many men who I admire and they sure as hell don't make these categories, they sure as hell are more sophisticated and they sure as hell don't get up to the antics that these guys do. And no Schirmer doesnt come remotely close to anything that Dubya or his latives could pretend to be. Schirmer seems like some little weasel from down under whose ego is running him into plenty of brick walls which hopefully will convert to four brick walls. Its fun to watch such an egotistical maniac see justice by whatever means and you've got to give it to those aussies, they sure don't take any crap do they. I admire their tenacity and determination to stand up for what is right and not let these guys live life to their own set of rules. The lawyers must love these guys. They would be making a killing out of it and I doubt it would register with these guys because their need to be right for face value is drowning them.

Bring it on, watching these guys squirm is very entertaining.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 9:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Curley said...

"Weasels" eat other animals, they perform mesmerising war dances over their victims, a group of them is called a confusion, they are generally portrayed as very devious characters, they act in their own self interests, in asian mythology the weasel means badluck and death.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 9:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Quote out of a book I read once which some of these people should also have read.

Interesting how the reporter who interviewed Schirmer picked up instantly that Schirmer was besotted with MONEY, it is eating him up inside and destroying him because he is focussing on MONEY and gain for himself NOT the service he gives for that. He's too stupid to learn that lesson and it seems that greed has taken over every square inch of his body. It will destroy him.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 7:16:00 PM  
Anonymous James said...

If these people know their bibles like they say they do then they will also know the quote


I have to agree that that reporter can see straight through Schirmer. The guy lives a deluded life believing that you must pretend that you are the person you want to be. Right so that makes me George Clunie. And that crap he says about car parking spaces, really how deluded can the guy be. I'd love to test him on that one and for sure he would have some pathetic excuse as to why it didn't work.

Anyone who follows a person who whites out and writes his own checks, calls vacant car spaces his visualisation and pretends his bills are paid needs locking up, he is a danger to society.

Thursday, May 29, 2008 5:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Peter said...

What have God and politics got in common?

Saturday, May 31, 2008 10:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like schirmer is trying to distance himself from his own magazine to try to actually sell some. The point is that if he can't do what is right towards other people why the hell would anyone do anything for him?

It amazes me that these conmen think that the public owe them something. Maybe that is the root to their problem.

Sunday, June 01, 2008 6:56:00 PM  
Anonymous hhh said...


Sunday, June 01, 2008 9:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Political leaders aligning themselves with religious zealots is pretty common after all they have the following just need to tap in. Isn't that what that Aussie guy is doing also? He's been tapping into a church too and I doubt its solely for his own spiritual wellbeing. He commented on a blog somewhere that he was preaching at a church so he is definitely using his association or access for more than just his learning.

Monday, June 02, 2008 6:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Kratos said...

Hi Connie,

I am new to your blog, but it one of the last bastions of sanity after Steve Salerno had decided to shut down his blog. First off, thank you for being a voice of reason in logic in these strange times. As for your comments on mastermind groups, most times, they just end up being nothing more than "gripe and comfort" sessions where like-minded folks just go to find a reprieve from reality. These groups are nothing more than a complete joke. I am not surprised that venemous sleazbags like Schrimer are finding new ways to get rich in facebook. I look forward to more of your articles and entries. Keep up the good fight!

Monday, June 02, 2008 10:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Toby Smith said...

Interesting. How about some articles about the NEW-RAGE movement of people who have reached the boiling point over the nonsense of the scam marketing hucksters and are taking an active (or semi-active) stance against them?

Tuesday, June 03, 2008 12:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Mr Schirmer is POWERFULLY INTENDING again. It seems if it didn't work the first time try and try again might work.

This time he's all over the jesus thing which I find very offensive when he has just been charged in the Federal Court in Australia for Misleading and Deceptive Conduct and is now facing another court case for Trademark Violations AND it looks like he has not paid any of those people he was supposed to also. So quoting the verses of the bible and forcing his own interpretation of the verses onto other people is a real sin in my view. The guy is totally deluded.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008 6:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The guy is a creap!

Sunday, June 08, 2008 1:10:00 AM  

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