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.)

Friday, July 04, 2008

America's birthday (and another snarkday for me)

I hope everyone in the US is having a happy Fourth of July, and that my friends on The Other Side Of The World are gearing up for a fun-filled weekend. I'm just going to light a couple of snarklers here before I'm off to do Fourth of July things, which mainly involve puttering around on The Ranch with the love of my life.

Prescient perfect
I don't like saying, "I told you so." Well, yes, I do, and admit it: you probably do too. Anyway, if you'll forgive me for quoting myself, I can't help remembering this bit from a piece I wrote nearly a year ago (21 July 2007) about Joe "Mr. Fire" Vitale:
As for "stage three" in the three stages of awakening described in Zero Limits, you will forgive me, I hope, for wondering how long it will be before Joe reveals that there is, after all, a "stage four," newly discovered, and you can find out all about it on his exclusive new DVD series...
On his July 3, 2008 blog post, Joe writes about one of his new products, The Awakening Course, which, he says, will be the center of an infomercial. (At least he isn't trying to call it a "movie," a la The Secret, The Opus, etc.) Here's the scoop on The Awakening Course:
It’s a major, in-depth exploration of the four stages of awakening. This goes beyond all my previous work, beyond The Secret, The Attractor Factor and even Zero Limits. I’ve never talked about the fourth stage of awakening before...The Course will help you transcend all problems. How? You’ll have to wait to find out.
Well, OK, I wasn't 100 % spot-on about the fourth stage being "newly discovered." Joe didn't actually say he had recently discovered it, so it could be that it's something that he really knew about all along, but he just chose to wait until the world was ready for such a stupendous revelation. (And in all fairness, he did say in Zero Limits that he believed there were at least three stages of awakening, which certainly left things open for the "discovery" of subsequent stages.) Even so... is anyone taking any bets on how long it will be till he reveals that there is a fifth stage? Or will he just decide he's milked the Awakening cow dry after stage four, and moooove on to something else?

David Schirmer selling off his grubby bits
Now, that's a pleasant visual, isn't it? My apologies, Dear Ones. Actually, it's not as icky as it sounds. It seems that David Schirmer is having to move out of his office and warehouse, and he's having to sell a bunch of stuff cheap.
Did you get the email I sent the other day about our moving sale?

We are moving warehouse in one month and in the process of doing a stocktake we have discovered some stock that is not quite perfect.

This is stock of some of the worlds best in personal development - some of
the most respected and powerful material available...

It's just a bit grubby, that's all :-)

For the most part we have some damaged boxes some packages that are missing the shrinkwrap and other minor scratches, dents, and grubby bits.

And for this reason we can't sell any of this stuff as new and we don't want
to take it with us to the new warehouse...

So we're selling it off at amazing, crazy prices...


if you don't mind a dented or grubby box and you really want this amazing
information to change your life, now is the time to ACT...

When we sent out an email the other day the orders went crazy... we had people phoning up all day long to make sure that their internet orders went through so they didn't miss out!

Some stuff sold out in 20 mins of the email going out.

So Please make sure you go there now and ACT FAST if there is
something that you want there because it wont last long... Seriously!
According to the "moving sale" web site, included among the money-grubbing...er...grubby material being sold are "CD'S, DVD'S and workbooks from the Secret Teachers (Me) David Schirmer and Bob Proctor."

Now, just in case you are wondering, I am sure that this is all perfectly on the up-and-up and is not at all in violation of the terms of the divorce agreement between Schirmer and Scientist Bob. Anyhow, y'all had better hurry over and take advantage of the moving sale while you can!

I'll take the Jack sandwich instead, thank you
I tried, I really tried, to like the new CBS TV series Swingtown. I thought that at the very least it might be a moderately interesting study of what was in many ways a loathsome decade. Alas, it was not to be. The characters are all caricatures, the situations more predictable than those on a bad made-for-TV movie about a trendy disease, and the show appears to be written and directed by people who did not actually live through the 70s. Give me the Jack-in-the-Box hot tub commercial (which never fails to crack me up), or any episode of That 70s Show, instead. At least those were intentionally funny.

Well, Dear Ones, I hate to snark and run, but I have a national holiday to celebrate!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy holiday Connie, what point do these money hungry greedy excuse driven personally developing over ego'd people stop? Just in case we haven't been secreted out quite enough they think they will stretch the vision a little bit further to fund another car, another house another holiday, another whatever to satisfy their never ending greed. Weasels...

Sunday, July 06, 2008 2:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. The 4th stage of awakening sounds kinda intriguing, but... it makes me wonder how on earth I was asleep all this time. I guess it's something I'll never understand, and am thankful for people like Mr. Joe Vitale, that are here to make me realise I really was asleep all this time. This is a world I don't understand and I'm grateful Joe Vitale is here to tell me what I am doing wrong. So I'll just hand over my money to him in the knowledge that I'm spiritually taken care of; after all - he knows best. Right? And of course, sometime in the future he'll find a better thing for me to do and ask for more money so I can have that advance spiritual knowledge, and I'll feel like a much better person which is what he wants. See, everyone wins...
... until, I get depressed when these things "don't work" and I wonder what's wrong with me. So I'll look for something else that will make me feel better, and give them lots of money too - and so forth, and so forth, and so forth...

Honestly? Cut the crap, Vitale. Do humanity a favour and stop the "secret teacher" charade. The secret is no secret - being a fundamental part of judaism, hinduism, freemasonry for god knows how long. Get your own idea to flaunt! I mean seriously? The concept of "as above, so below" has been around since before the time of Christ himself and is indoctrinated in almost every single religion in the world. So take your crumby try-hard self-help techniques, hang your head in shame, and go and do something else that doesn't involve pretending you know what the heck you're talking about - because you don't. 4th awakening, yeah right!
The one thing I've noticed all this time is that all you "secret teachers" made your big money thru self-help books, dvd's and your stupid seminars. Sure, there was one guy on the secret dvd that made big moolah on buying and selling businesses; but for the most part, you all seem to have struck it rich by telling US how to strike it rich. Damn, man! Have you no shame!???

As for Schirmer, one really has to wonder if business is that bad, that he has to sell off defective merchandise at cost - merchandise that pretty much looks like it could be in breach of a federal court order. I could be wrong - but I suspect Mr. Schirmer could very well be on the way out of the self-help business. Maybe he's had enough. Who knows. I for one wouldn't like the constant pressure he seems to be under from journalists and courts and angry investors and former secret colleagues turning their backs on him - but what do I know. I'm just a respectable 9 - 5 worker making an honest living in this world.


Sunday, July 06, 2008 7:15:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thanks for the holiday wishes, Anon, and for your comments. My guess is that the huge ego brigade will continue to "stretch the vision" until they've worn it out, and then they'll just replace it with new visions. Their greed may be neverending, but so are the needs (and the gullibility) of their target market. So I guess we really can't place all the blame on the "weasels"...

Sunday, July 06, 2008 1:52:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Good points, abalance. But you overlooked one thing: "Mr." Joe Vitale actually calls himself "Dr." Joe Vitale these days. He has purchased not one but two "doctorates" -- one in marketing and one in metaphysics.

That said, I do actually think Joe Vitale has a lot of good advice to share in the fields of marketing and promotions, including and especially online marketing. I've always thought this. And I have no problem with his interest in spiritual matters or even, believe it or not, with some of his attempts to combine the two. However, when he holds forth as the "Buddha of the Internet" in ways that are obviously NOT self-parody, that's when the snark in me gets stirred up.

But you're right about most of the leaders in the selfish-help/New-Wage industry making most of their money from telling other people how to be rich and/or happy.

As for Schirmer's reasons for selling off merchandise -- if he's doing it in accordance with court orders and uses the proceeds to pay back the investors to whom he reportedly owes money, more power to him. (And if pigs ever grow wings, hopefully they won't collide with airplanes.)

Sunday, July 06, 2008 2:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Connie,

Please let me know if you stumble on any doctorates / degrees or associated diplomas in "anti-self-help-new-age-scamming" for purchase. I wanna be a professional too!!!! (If you can't find one, I'll just photoshop one, just as professional, right?).

On the topic of Schirmer, I would like to think he's making an attempt at repaying his creditors. Let's live in hope on this; but... in line with your line of thoughts, the only thing I have ever seen pigs grow is.. fatter and fatter. Oink Oink.

Sunday, July 06, 2008 2:51:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Abalance, I'm sure that virtually any type of degree is available somewhere for the right price, but why buy when you can create your own? As for Schirmer, I'm sure the story isn't over, and of course I will report developments as I learn them.

Sunday, July 06, 2008 3:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No surprises that a stage four has surfaced and no different to Schirmer having on his website that the secret didn't tell all but if you buy all of his products and go to all of his workshops and do all of his courses, he'll let you in on what was missing in the secret.

I thought Schirmers contribution in the secret was the most superficial of the lot so he hid the nail on the head there. I have tried and no matter how diligent or sincere I am about it I have NEVER been able to visualise the carpark that I want and make it appear i.e. the one closest to the door on a rainy day. Neither have I had any luck with whiting out my bills and putting paid on them or writing the amount I want on a check. So no matter how much was in or out of the secret I consider what the guy said complete and utter bullshit. I also consider it as a deliberate attempt to take my money and offer nothing in return. Others may see it differently but the expose on this guy only confirmed my personal thoughts and feelings about him and others in the secret.

If the guy is so wealthy why does he have to move office so often which is a huge expense to any business? Why not settle in one place and really establish your whereabouts? My opinion is because the guy is not who he says he says he is or who he wants others to think he is. I would not be surprised if he had many more lawyers lining up at his door that what has become public knowledge so far. I reckon thats one thing he'd really like to hide.

So vitales discovery of the fourth dimension was hidden for generations too huh, yeah right since when have pigs flown?

All of this regurgitated crap that has gotten ever so much more pathetic and deluded as their desperation to make the secret funds stretch a bit further is sickening.

How much crap do they continue to put out before they realise that its time to move on or suffer the consequences of serious embarassment of self delusion.

Those of us who follow these discussion in amusement will bear witness to their demise and laugh, belly laugh that in fact we really were the normal ones after all. Can't wait...

Monday, July 07, 2008 2:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Joe Kersey said...

Hi Cosmic,
I'm glad to have found your blog. I've known Vitale for a long time, and he's always been a used-car salesman / Amway kinda guy, who would claim to foam at the mouth and get a woodie over every new scheme he was hired to promote. On his blog, he has repeatedly shown what a coward he is, allowing only those comments that fawn over him, and allowing only those critical comments that he can sweep aside with his arrogant "you must not be pure enough to understand" attitude.

Here's my final comment to his blog post on the "4th stage," which he obviously didn't see fit to publish:


“(Where did THAT come from?)”
I’ve been on your mailing list for years, and you’ve always followed up your “latest, greatest” of anything with the “newest, latest, greatest.” If not Amway, then a long list of other products, programs, and people that follow the same marketing strategy. These last few years, you seem to focus on the enlightenment schtick, and I guess it’s working pretty well for you.
If it walks like a duck and goes “quack, quack,” calling it a duck isn’t “creating one’s own reality.” It’s making an observation based on the information provided. And you’ve provided lots of information over the years.


Keep up the good work, Cosmic. Sleazers like Vitale need to have some light shined on their scams.

Monday, July 07, 2008 8:27:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thanks, Anon 2:29 AM. Joe V isn't actually saying he "discovered" the 4th stage of awakening, merely that he hasn't talked about it previously. He seems to be pretending he knew about it all along. I guess he was just deliberately hiding it from us when he wrote about the *three* stages of awakening in Zero Limits. Maybe that was because he intuitively knew we weren't ready for it yet. ;-)

As for Schirmer, word has it that now he's selling his house too. Maybe he really will use the proceeds to start paying back the people to whom he reportedly owes so much money!

Also, I wouldn't be surprised to see future "new improved" releases of "The Secret" that had Schirmer's bits "whited out." And if there's an actual sequel to "The Secret," as has previously been threatened...er...promised, I bet Schirmer won't be in that one.

Monday, July 07, 2008 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thanks for your input, Joe Kersey. For the benefit of those who haven’t seen the previous exchange between the two Joes on Joe V’s blog, here ’tis:

Joe Kersey says:
I was wondering how long it would be before a “new and improved” 4th step would be “discovered,” rendering all previous offerings obsolete. What really amazes me is that the personal growth seekers actually go for this multi-level-marketing approach. Amway taught you well, Joe. And by the way… feel free to not publish this, like you do with other critical comments. Wouldn’t want to let your fans in on the REAL “secret,” would we?

Joe Vitale says:
Hi Joe. Interesting comment. You took no information and found a way to critizize [sic] it. First, the fourth step is not new and improved. It’s the next stage. It’s like college after you’ve been in high school. Second, I’ve never been in Amway. The Awakening Course has nothing to do with it or MLM. (Where did THAT come from?) Anyway, it’s always eye-opening to see how people interpret and read-into posts. I think the real secret is that people create their own reality, as you just proved. Blessings, Joe.

What I do find interesting (and found blogworthy last year as well as now) was that in “Zero Limits,” Joe seemed to be presenting the “third stage of awakening” as the ultimate state one could achieve in this lifetime or dimension or whatever. And he added that he believed he had achieved that third stage; the implication seemed to be that this was due in large part to Dr. Len and Ho'oponopono, the subjects of "Zero Limits." No doubt this is what got your attention as well, Joe K. I’m surprised none of the Joebots said anything…but then again, they wouldn’t, would they?

Admittedly, in other parts of “Zero Limits,” Joe either said or implied that his personal spiritual saga was a journey of discovery – so one could, I suppose, rationalize that it’s somewhat like the experience of looking at the starry sky at night: the longer you look, the more stars you can see. However, as a friend of mine pointed out, and as I’ve noted myself on numerous occasions, we have a bit of a credibility problem here, because Joe presents virtually every “stage” or “discovery” as the be-all and end-all – the ultimate. And if he's been personally growing and spiritually developing for decades, as he claims, he should surely know by now that "ultimate" anything is an illusion. Or a delusion.

Why isn't he honest about this? I think the answer is more than obvious: there isn't as much money to be made by being honest about these matters as there is in hype.

When called on his seeming inconsistencies, he generally rationalizes – exactly the way he did in his exchange with you on his blog. He didn’t even bother to acknowledge that he had previously presented the third stage as the ultimate. Perhaps he just forgot what he'd written in “Zero Limits,” or was banking on the possibility that no one else would remember, or if they remembered, they wouldn't care.

He *could* have written something such as, “I *thought* Stage 3 was the ultimate, and even implied as much in ‘Zero Limits’ – but things that have happened over the past year [or whatever amount of time] have led me to the discovery that there is more, even beyond that third stage.”

Instead he is dismissive and condescending, and acts as if he really did know about Stage 4 all along. But then, I guess he was just reacting to the confrontational tone in your comment, Joe K. I suppose you could have been a little less confrontational, but then again, I happen to think this type of confrontation is healthy as long as it doesn't become abusive. Alas, healthy dissent doesn’t seem to survive long on Joe V’s blog (as we all saw last fall during the “California wildfires” discussions).

I think Blair Warren hit it on the head on a July 5 "Tweet" on Twitter: "A cool thing about teaching people that they create their own reality is that if they accuse you of fraud, you can just say they created it."

Monday, July 07, 2008 1:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Shane said...

The Schirmers house is up for sale so I wonder if hes punching himself instead of pinching himself yet? That place was never theirs anyway, they just squatted in it and will probably look back and think that was bloody expensive rent. Good to see the wheels of justice slowly turning so that all these people get put back in their place. Wonder if the cars will go next. The whole thing was just an elaborate show that has finally ended.

Monday, July 07, 2008 6:01:00 PM  

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