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, September 08, 2008

Not wholly Moses, but enough to fill up another New-Wage moviemercial

Dear Ones, the REAL Secret to manifesting the life of your dreams, or at least to manufacturing the dreams of your life, has been right under our noses for several months. It has actually been on the Whirled Musings back burner for a while, but it took my alert pal in the UK, HHH, to nudge me, via a recent email, out of my stupor.

I give you, Dear Ones, The Moses Code, which, as HHH describes it, is...

...the ultimate, the Secret behind the Secret which is above the other Secret transcending all previous Secrets. Never will anyone be able to reveal any more Secrets after this one because this is it- the bedrock, foundation Secret. It's so secret it's even in code...*

The Moses Code is both a book and a New-Wage moviemercial based on that book. The perp is author and self-described "troubadour of peace" James F. Twyman. I mentioned Twyman here in passing a couple of years ago; among his other achievements, he was the discoverer of a marvelous talent, Grandma Chandra, a physically and mentally challenged young woman who happens to hail from the Twelfth Dimension. GranChan can't speak a word, but she communicates telepathically to certain people who are able to receive her messages. Twyman is a big believer in the existence of Truly Special Children, particularly Indigo brats, and he has been involved in awareness-raising (not to mention fund-raising) activities such as international psychic-kid conferences. So he's pretty seasoned at peddling crap finding great truths and sharing them with the world. An article written in September 2003 noted:

Twyman...readily capitalizes on his own and children's purported paranormal abilities.

Twyman sells books and Internet course(s) based on the Psychic Children. He holds pricey Psychic Children conferences, camps, and fairs, charging about $300 for adults for the main conference. He offers an Internet course on telekinetic spoon-bending. He purportedly conversed with Jesus ("Jeshua") who revealed to Twyman through a "Divine Partnership" the "secrets of Heaven and Earth," which Twyman turned into an Internet course for required donations -- with a suggested retail value of $150.

He purports to have frequently "conversed" telepathically from abroad with a Psychic Child he calls Thomas from Bulgaria, and other Psychic Children - providing more content for books and Internet courses. A "secret society" of spiritual masters called "emissaries of light" purportedly revealed themselves in the flesh to Twyman in Bosnia (before they disbanded) -- more content for courses and books...

Oh, well, that was then; this is now. And now we have Twyman's The Moses Code, and here it is in a nutshell: Moses, the guy in the Bible, was told the REAL Secret to manifestation by a voice in a burning bush way back in Bible Times. He used that Secret to do a lot of amazing things. But then the Secret was buried for centuries because the unwashed masses in olden days couldn't handle it. It took James Twyman to un-bury this great Secret and share it with the masses, who are now washed for the most part, and are finally ready to accept the Secret and use it. And you – yes, you! – can now learn Moses' Secret and use it to manifest anything you want in your life – cars, houses, soul mates, and so forth. Even better, you can manifest good stuff for the world: peace, an end to hunger, an end to ignorance, and whatnot. (Note to New-Wage manifesters: Better not work too hard on that "end to ignorance" stuff, lest your target market dry up and disappear.)

As anyone who's been following this blog has probably noticed, I've been writing about Drew Heriot, original director of The Secret, and the trouble he's had trying to collect the money that Secret producer Rhonda Byrne promised him. Well, Drew also happens to be the director of The Moses Code movie. Either he really and truly believes in this stuff, or he simply believes he can make money from it. On the one hand, I would like to see him succeed just on general principle, as I think he did get a rotten deal from Rhonda... but on the other hand, I gotta do what I gotta do, and if he keeps on creating snarkworthy product, I gotta snark. Sorry, Drew.

On first glance, it almost looks as if The Moses Code is going somewhat against the grain of today's most popular moviemercials and is hawking Conspicuous Altruism, a la The Shift, rather than the usual Inspired Greed & Narcissism, a la The Secret. The first talking head in the trailer is bestselling author, speaker, ordained minister and Yoruba priestess The Reverend Doctor Iyanla Van Zant. Now, in some respects, the RevDoc Iyanla is no different from your average New-Wage author; one of her most recent projects was an organized effort to pump up sales of a new edition of her book, Tapping The Power Within, on Amazon, Borders and "Barnes and Nobles" [sic] so she could boast that it was a bestseller:

We intend for Tapping the Power Within to hit the NY Times Bestseller's List through sales of reporting outlets Amazon, Barnes & Nobles and Borders, and you can help manifest this vision!

Please purchase your book from Amazon, Barnes & Nobles or Borders and please purchase your book on (or soon after) September 4th.

Note, the book may be available prior to September 4th, but we are asking that you please wait to purchase it when the impact of your purchase will be the greatest!

This is S.O.P. for authors who want to be able to truthfully say their tomes are bestsellers, in some cases "even outselling Harry Potter!" But I have to admit that RevDoc Ilyana almost won me over at the beginning of the Moses Code trailer with this pronouncement:

When we talk about manifestation or getting 'stuff'...we want two cars, three houses...You got one butt. Why do you need four cars?

[Note to self: Research the good Reverend Doctor and find out how many cars and houses she has.]

Also in The Moses Code is that bearded moviemercial standard, Neale Donald Walsch, who got super-rich by writing about the voices in his head. Neale Donald says, "Advanced students understand that it [manifestation] works exactly the opposite [as is normally understood]...not to try to magnetize something to us, but to try to bring something through us."

On closer examination, however, The Moses Code is just another moviemercial featuring a line-up of New-Wage infotainers, though notably absent from that line-up is Joe "I Just Got Me Another Fancy New Car & You Can Too If You Give Me Money!" Vitale (see RevDoc Iyanla's quotation, above).

Many of the usual suspects are there, however, including a few from The Secret, such as Reverend Michael Beckwith of the Agape Spiritual Center. The Reverend Beckwith, as you may also know if you've been following this blog, is also known for teaming up with Scientist Bob Proctor and Jack "Chicken Soup" Canfield in the Three Amigos/SGR scam, which gives you a change to buy a briefcase for a couple thousand dollars US, whereupon you have a chance to try to sucker other people into buying briefcases, and you get a commission for every dolt who falls for your pitch and forks over for a briefcase. I've blogged about that on more than one occasion, such as here.

Also appearing is former computer programmer turned mystic "scientist" Gregg Braden, who's making a lot of money by convincing people that he is shattering their paradigms. You've met him here too.

There's also a sprinkling of psychics, mystics, spiritual counselors and "intuitives" (including ghost whisperer James Van Pris...er...Praagh, just to give the film extra credibility) as well as assorted motivators and hustledorks. There's even one of Drew Heriot's pals from the Elevate Film Festival, Mikki Willis (billed as "filmmaker and visionary"). I have to say that Mikki looks and sounds more than a little bit like a stoner as he describes an apparent moment of revelation: "All of the material world was just garbage at that point. It didn't matter." Like wow, man. (Yeah, I'm humming, "Have you ever been high as f&$#?") Whenever I hear a statement like Mikki's from someone in Hollywood, I always have to wonder if the person saying it takes the "material-world-means-nothing" concept literally. Has Mikki, for example, indeed renounced materialism completely, and is he living a quiet and humble life as far away from the material mania of Hollywood as he possibly can? Someone do some research on that and get back to me, okay?

Overwhelmingly, the reviews of The Moses Code DVD and the original book are positive, at least on Amazon (as may be apparent, I'm too lazy to look anywhere else or do any real research). As is so often the case with these products, few of the gushing five- and four-star reviewers have actually admitted to using the advice or techniques successfully in their own lives, but at least they were impressed by the presentation.

Of course there are critics. Some are disappointed that the book and movie fall short of their promises of actually delivering a long-hidden secret to manifestation.

Here's something from a one-star review of the book:

1.0 out of 5 stars Obvious Marketing Ploy Written Like A Blog, March 4, 2008

By M. Sorenson

As I read Twyman's book I recognized the identical concepts that have been taught throughout the ages. Sweedenborg [sic], Emerson, Descartes, Thomas Troward, Abraham-Hicks, Ernest Homes [sic] and more notably the many works of Neville Goddard all show that this book is a regurgitation of one idea that is not secret at all. This book is a marketing ploy much like the Secret and in fact Twyman seems to continue to ride that gravy train by aligning himself with the law of attraction and implying: "But I have the secret to unlocking the Secret." Very enticing indeed but this book will probably leave many, just as empty...

...The Moses Code is much like the Secret. A book, a ruse to provide the reader with the "secret handshake" that will awaken the genie-god to deliver shiny toys to your doorstep. This premise will always sell books.

The book borrows the very same ideas from Rhonda Byrne (The Secret) by posing the preposterous notion that something powerful, a secret code, was hidden from the world that would solve all of our problems--until now. In this book Twyman describes how God gave Moses the secret code during the famous burning bush scene in the third chapter of Exodus. He goes on to say that Moses used the secret code to perform many miracles such as freeing his people from captivity, turning his walking stick into a serpent, turning the Nile into blood, killing the first born of every Egyptian, creating plagues, and parting the red sea to destroy the pursuing Egyptian army.

Mr. Twyman attempts to share with the reader the same secret code that Moses supposedly used. A secret code that propels the law of attraction to new heights. A secret code that somehow became lost by Moses and just discovered in 2008.

"What are some of the things you most want to receive? Abundance? Your Soul Mate? The Perfect House? Your Dream Car? Chapter 1.


"And now you will use the name of God just as Moses did to realize your greatest dream. The process you're about to learn will align your power with the power of God, giving you the authority to draw into your life anything you desire." Chapter 2.

The Moses Code presents two sides to the manifesting issue: Ego manifesting and "soul" manifesting which is a noble concept but the book fails to make a reasonable case for the latter. What is the secret code? Say "I AM (a specific desire or state of being). A method in the book is given as a meditative technique. Write down on a piece of paper your desire such as financial abundance or the perfect relationship. Once you are alone and in a relaxed state, take some deep breaths and look at what you have written. Now say "I am [that]" Exhale as you say these words, and then as you inhale continue by saying: "I am." Repeat this pattern as you stare at what you've written. It is important that you feel the emotion of "already having" the thing you are asking for.

...The book is a mish-mash of ideas written in the form of a long blog entry and unfortunately is packaged as a magnificent discovery for the seeker. While Twyman points to an important dichotomy between "us and God," he still exhibits a rather archaic view of scripture based on assumptions, possibly from his Franciscan roots. It actually appears that Twynam at some time read a little Neville Goddard, Murphy or Ernest Holmes and decided to put these ideas in his own words and package it as a newly discovered treasure--all the while surfing the wake left behind by The Secret.

And here we have a disappointed reviewer of the movie:

2.0 out of 5 stars I AM DISAPPOINTED, I AM!, April 21, 2008

By SS (Bangkok, Thailand) - See all my reviews

I gave this movie at least 2 stars for the effort, but it is filled with unfulfilled promises from beginning to end. The DVD cover says it's 90 minutes, the truth, is the movie is just under 60 minutes. The DVD says, it's filled with extra bonuses for 30 minutes. The truth, there's a 12-minute music video, and the other 18 minutes is a request for a donation.

On top of that, all the great parts in the movie are summed up in the 2-minute trailer. The rest of the movie is just stretching a principle out to crazy proportions. The movie is not systematic. Other speakers seem to be talking about their own things not related to the movie or the Moses code and that's fair because there's NOT MUCH THERE TO TALK ABOUT.

The idea may have been very powerful, but the execution makes it into a joke. It was a disappointment to watch and I'm slightly embarrassed that I bought it. I AM EMBARRASSED, I AM.

Others dispute The Moses Code on religious or scholarly grounds, or both:

PJ Wong says: This phrase "I am that I am", spoken by God, is totally taken out of context by this book. Did Moses reach some wonderful place of fulfillment by saying this phrase? Go back to what the Exodus account itself depicts. This phrase is not the revelation of a psychobabble mystery for Moses to "become', it is the revelation of the character of a Most Holy God, an eternal and timeless God, speaking through a bush that is burning but does not die. Moses had to go through terrible trials and doubts. He was supported by the strength of God, not the strength of his "manifesting" some state of perfection. And he never achieved some state of material happiness, indeed, he died in the desert without ever reaching the beautiful promised land.

Regarding any (traditional) religious objections, I know that religionistas easily take umbrage at these things; witness the furor over The DaVinci Code and some of Dan Brown's other works. But at least those works were marketed as fiction and entertainment, not as THE path to material, emotional and spiritual fulfillment. There's a huge difference.

As snarkworthy as I find all of this, HHH swears there's something to The Moses Code, but you have to use the proper invocation. Here's the Moses Code invocation he uses:

Hocus pocus stuff your ass with a crocus
I invoke Moses and his holy little toeses.

Although I am not sure how the imagery of inserting a flower into a donkey can bring you in touch with the divine, HHH swears by it, explaining, "This invocation can cancel all credit card debt, remove verrucas, heal snakebites and guarantee success at any job interview." He's never lied to me yet, so I can only assume that it's true.

However, I must say that HHH has already been proven wrong about one thing. There will always be another Ultimate Secret to be discovered, revealed, and turned into a New Wage moviemercial and affiliate program.

And you can take that to the bank.

* If you're interested, Skeptico did a drive-by snark on The Moses Code about six months ago.

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21 Comments:

Blogger JS said...

Yes indeed, I have seen The Moses Code. It was probably one of the last things I saw and thought "Oh wow!" about when I was myself, a new-ager (I even belonged to e Meetup group called Adult Indigos of Portland).

I have been doing a lot of research into the new agers over the past few months. It all seems to be about the money. I have especially been looking into JZ Knight, since I had actually met her one time (I left a snarky comment of my own on one of her Youtube vids, stating that if I were going to follow the ways of a fictional character, I would choose Atticus Finch).

The thing that stuck with me from the Moses Code was the part with the male model looking guy talking about his 9/11 experience. I do think that things like that actually happen (I have had some very unexplainable experiences myself, but none like that).

Bottom line for me I guess, is that the world is full of very cool things that we don't understand, but the ones making millions off these concepts don't understand it either.

I will probably start putting my own thoughts into blog form and posting them on my own, as soon as I get them fully sorted out.

Connie, you are the Jon Stewart of the new age world!
(huge compliment, btw)

Keep on doin' whatcha doin'.

:-)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008 12:51:00 AM  
Anonymous HHh said...

You're right, I've already been proven wrong by 'The Ancient Code'.

JS, if you want to be really disturbed about the new age, go and look at the wikipedia entry for 'a course in miracles' and pay close attention to the fact that one of it's writers was working in MKultra.

Yes, that's what I thought, too.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008 9:06:00 AM  
Blogger hristina said...

I am Bulgarian and Thomas does not sound like a Bulgarian name. There is a local variation (Toma) but it's not very common either, especially for younger people. An old person may be called Toma- for kids, spunky moms seems to think the name is not cool. He should have checked the statistics and come up with Michail or Kaloyan, some very common boy names in recent years.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008 9:40:00 AM  
Anonymous hHh said...

Some spirited words on religion and new age therapy.

http://tiny.cc/nmUgx
and
http://tiny.cc/85PCE

Tuesday, September 09, 2008 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hi, JS, it's great to see you back here. I look forward to seeing your blog. And thanks for the compliment; I'm a huge fan of Jon Stewart.

With the New Wage it does seem to be all about the money. On the one hand, as I've noted before, it's good to live in a business climate where people can make money in creative ways, particularly in light of the fact that in this global economy, traditional job security just doesn't exist for many people any more. And I have nothing against people charging for their services or products. But there is truly so much crap out there; even if it isn't demonstrably fraudulent it's still b.s. JZ Knight is a classic case in point.

I think you summed it up quite nicely when you wrote:
"Bottom line for me I guess, is that the world is full of very cool things that we don't understand, but the ones making millions off these concepts don't understand it either."

Yeah, but all they have to do is toss a little quantum physics or pseudoscientific b.s. out into the crowds, and thousands of eager followers gobble it all down like seals gulping raw fish.

If the male model looking guy you describe is Mikki Willis, head of the Elevate Film Festival, the 9/11 connection might explain why he looks kind of dazed and confused. I just saw a snippet in the trailer and Mikki looked and sounded like a stoner describing some epiphany. If he was indeed talking about a 9/11 experience that he personally went through (and by that, I mean if he was there at Ground Zero or lost someone to the terrorists -- just watching it on TV does NOT count), I may owe him and my readers an apology for being unnecessarily snide. But the people making the trailer should have taken a few seconds to add an explanation.

In any case I stand by my general opinion of New-Wage moviemercials and the talking heads who "star" in them. (Particularly moviemercials that devote 18 minutes to begging for money, as one reviewer noted is the case with The Moses Code.)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

HHH, A Course In Miracles is a classic example of a delusion that became a cottage industry that became a rather larger industry. Not sure about the MKUltra connection but I'll look into it. I do know some very nice folks who are into ACIM, but I also think ACIM is a rich source of New-Wage/selfish-help doublespeak and muddled thinking.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

hristina (Christina?), I don't think authenticity is a big concern with the likes of Twyman. So many people are willing to believe just about anything, and are equally unwilling to question the information they receive from these New-Wage jokers.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008 1:22:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

HHH, those 'tiny' links didn't work when I tried them out. I do want to see those articles, though...maybe you could create new tiny links? Thanks!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008 1:22:00 PM  
Anonymous hhH said...

Articles? Not quite.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opiwtOrsBxc&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8njwud5kLY&feature=related

Tuesday, September 09, 2008 1:51:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Gotcha, HHH. These are even better than articles, given my brief attention span these days. I must be an Indigo... :-)

Anyway, thanks for the links. Everyone else: these are not for those who are easily offended by irreverent references (and that's putting it mildly) to the Catholic Church, etc.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008 2:50:00 PM  
Anonymous hHh said...

;-)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008 3:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can verify the MKultra link, the woman who dreamed up or 'channeled' the ACIM was the lover of a psychiatrist charged with coming up with some kind of mass control of the electorate for the CIA. He didn't get too far with that but leapt on the ACIM despite the dreamer-woman not wanting it publicised. He obviously saw the potential for mass bogglement of the populace. Chris Locke has dug up some very choice connections between New Age, cult persuasion tactics and fascist movements--scary stuff.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008 6:29:00 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Connie,

Great snarking, as usual. I never have time to keep up with this "stuff" so I occasionally check in on your blog to see what's up. The "hustledorks" you document never cease to amaze me.

Maybe with Ike on the way, you can channel some of what you have learned to help him stay calm and not wreak havoc on Texas...

I'm currently supporting relief efforts in Louisiana and watching Ike closely. Hope he doesn't hit you.

Dave

Wednesday, September 10, 2008 12:57:00 AM  
Anonymous hhh said...

If you follow the wikipedia links you eventually get to a big long list of MKultra projects.
The ACIM co-writer had subproject 130- personality theory!
I'm sure it's all perfectly harmless.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008 2:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Episode 6 on Australian TV - A Current Affair - of Schirmer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CdQI5lR2Ko

Wednesday, September 10, 2008 6:17:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Anon 6:29 PM: Thanks for the clarification. I am familiar with Chris Locke's Mystic B blog. He apparently has done a lot of research about the connection between new-age stuff and fascism, and best of all, he does not come across as a wild-eyed conspiracy theorist.

Of course, this is not to imply that people who embrace A Course In Miracles or other new-age spiritual paths today are all fascists. That's simply not the case. Many of them are, however, sanctimonious narcissists, as Chris Locke might put it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008 10:55:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Dave, thank you for the good wishes re the hurricane. I think we're pretty well prepared here on The Ranch; now we can only hope for the best.

Good for you for helping with *real* relief efforts, rather than just meditating about it. :-)

Thursday, September 11, 2008 10:57:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Anon 6:17 PM: Thanks for the link to the latest ACA/Schirmer episode. As you've probably seen, I've since blogged about it and I provided the link.

Thursday, September 11, 2008 11:00:00 PM  
Anonymous xox - anonymous said...

Ok...here is another infomercial you would be interested: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnFeacJIKDM

and here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEfU-2yhdXk

Wednesday, September 17, 2008 6:03:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

xox, those are excellent links, and surely worthy of at least a snippet when I get around to it! (Everyone else: xox has provided links to "ACCESS Energy Transformation" trailers, which are definitely eye-rollers.)

Thursday, September 18, 2008 3:13:00 PM  
Anonymous xox said...

Thanks Connie... be mindful that those appeared in the video are very close to Gary and Dain. So the "positive" comments said about Access are just one sided. Well, that's okay - coz who would want to produce an infomercial with "Mavericks" commenting against their group. Ha!

Thursday, September 18, 2008 9:47:00 PM  

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