Yes, I know it's been a while since I've blogged. After a long and food-filled Thanksgiving weekend that culminated when Ron and I and a couple of dear friends partook of the King's Feast at the Texas Renaissance Festival on Sunday (thank you again, Michael), we spent Monday catching up on work. On Monday night just after sunset, Ron and I went outside to gaze at the southwestern sky. There we beheld a rare astronomical event: a triple conjunction in which the crescent moon, Venus and Jupiter cozied up to each other, looking for all the world like some whacked-out dyslexic emoticon (either a frowny or a smiley face depending upon your perspective, but cockeyed nonetheless). It was really pretty cool. Actually it was cold – too cold for us to stay out long enough to take good pictures. But we did have clear skies and a wonderful view of the event.
In truth, though, triple conjunctions aren't all that rare. Why, here comes another one right now: And/Or/But.
Sorry. I've been dying for days to foist that joke on someone. Lucky you! Anyway, Ron and I spent the next few days putting finishing touches on manuscript edits and getting into the design work for a project, and in between, of course, I've been Tweeting on Twitter. But I decided it's time to take another snark break. So here are a few snippets...
Ah, but I may as well try and catch the wind...
A few days ago I read an article about the fact that the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season, which ended November 30, produced a record number of consecutive storms that struck the US. Further, it ranks as one of the more active seasons in the nearly six and a half decades since comprehensive records began. Many of us are all too aware that Hurricane Ike – the storm that some of the wind whisperers were bragging they successfully "reduced" to a Cat 1 storm – was a Cat-2 when it made landfall in Texas but actually produced Cat-4 level surges, destroying much of Galveston and chunks of Houston and other surrounding areas. All in all, it was such a crazy season that forecasters are considering modifying the way they categorize hurricanes.
So let me just say, "Hey, great work, wind whisperers. You have truly made a difference."
Speaking of Hurricane Ike, the other day I came across a September blog entry by a person named Wendy Gail Young, who does something called Prosperity Posturing...er, I mean, Prosperity Postures. On September 12, the day before Ike hit Texas, she wrote:
I have been consistently saying that my power is staying on during and after the storm. What you focus on [you] create, right? Well so far so good...During this short blog post there have been 3 power surges. The last one turned all the lights off too and then they came back on. I have been holding a strong intention to have my power stay on.
I wrote a comment on her blog, asking her if her power did in fact stay on throughout and after Ike, but she has yet to answer.
A foolish [in]consistency?
Joe "Mr. Fire" Vitale has said that his latest book, Expect Miracles, will probably be his last book. He seems to be getting a lot of mileage out of this, having mentioned it several times on his blog and on Twitter. And on November 18, according to a correspondent who is on his email list, he sent this explanation out:
People are writing to me, asking what I meant when I said 'Expect Miracles' is my final book.
Well, I mean just that.
I have no more books in the works, no contracts for any, and no desire to write any more.
It's time to stop and let you catch up with all my titles. (I've written over thirty books.)
I'll still write my blog posts, and record new audio programs (my third comes out February, 2009), and do whatever else I get inspired to do, from speaking gigs to Rolls-Royce Master-Minds.
But for now, 'Expect Miracles' is it.
Yet here are two of his recent Tweets on Twitter, written a couple of days before that email blitz was sent out:
"Writing a book proposal - this one would save the world, heal all money problems, and cause lasting peace. But I might be dreaming big." 9:37 AM Nov 16th from web
"Going to work-out, finish up new book proposal, and run errands." 7:48 AM Nov 17th from web.
Either someone hacked his Twitter account and wrote those Tweets...or Joe is living in two parallel worlds in which he is both actively planning to write another book that will save the world, and not planning to ever write another book again...or he just really needs to learn how to keep his stories straight. Or maybe he simply has mood swings like I do.
Sometimes the inconsistencies are more subtle. F'rinstance, another correspondent told me that Joe recently sent an email out to his list, promoting his Awakening Course and his Miracles Coaching program. The hook in the email was something Joe calls "Transformational Vocabulary," which he says is one of many things he teaches in the Awakening Course. Transformational Vocabulary is basically New-Wage doublespeak to help you put a positive spin on negative situations. "These subtle changes can make all the difference in how you handle issues as they arise," Joe wrote. Here are just a few examples [with my comments in brackets]...
- Refer to problems as "opportunities." [Now, there's a new one. Or maybe it was new way back in the late 1970s when corporate America latched on to it and tattooed it on the forehead of every smirking young exec they could get their hands on.]
- Instead of saying, "I have to," say, "I get to." ["Next week I get to have a root canal, lay off five of my top employees, have my dog put to sleep, and hand over most of my life savings to my auto mechanic." Yeah, try saying that without sounding sarcastic.]
- A setback is really a "challenge." ["Challenge," as anyone who has hung around a Unity Church courtyard for any length of time knows, is the all-time favorite New-Wage euphemism for everything from a harrowing divorce to a near-fatal car accident to a terminal illness.]
- Tormentors are really "teachers." [See, Joebots, I do perform a worthy service on this blog. The teacher will appear whether the student is ready or not.]
- Instead of saying "I demand" - say, "I would appreciate."
"Hold on right there!" I said out loud, to no one in particular, when I read that one. "What about that Psychic Demand program that Joe and his buddy Pat are selling? You know, the one where you say to the Universe, 'I DEMAND [however much money you want to fall from the sky]'? Joe swears this works and says the program is one of his best-sellers. But isn't that 'I demand' stuff inconsistent with the Transformational Vocabulary strategy of replacing 'I demand' with 'I would appreciate?'"
But then I thought about it some more and realized that these are two completely different situations after all. The Transformational Vocabulary was created for dealing with people – and with people, let's face it, you often have to resort to subterfuge to get your way. You even have to b.s. yourself at times to convince yourself that you are deliriously happy, or at least not a hopeless loser. The more you muddy-up your language, the better chance you have of persuading reluctant people to do what you want them to do, even if it's not in their best interests, and the more successful you may be at convincing yourself that you're not a royal screw-up.
With the Universe, on the other hand, you have to get tough and real. There's no b.s.'ing with the Universe because it knows what you want. But it's kind of stubborn, or maybe it's just hopelessly distracted by hearing billions of people begging for stuff all the time, and it won't give you what you want unless you get in its face and demand it. (Yes, I know we've been over this before, but sometimes a refresher course is in order.) If you don't demand what you want, the Universe will more than likely continue to heap crap upon you. And the only way to stop this process is to buy products from New-Wage hustlers.
At the very least, all of this talk of Transformational Vocabulary can serve as a reminder of something some of us have known for many years: With New-Wagers, as with bureaucrats, you really do have to read (or listen) between the lines. You just can't expect clear and precise language from that lot.
Wanking...er...walking with the wise
A new book came to my attention a few days ago. I forget how. Anyway, it's called Walking With The Wise For Overcoming Obstacles, and it features inspiring stories from all sorts of New-Wage gurus who...well...overcame obstacles. The book features the expected line-up of luminaries, most of whom became famous and wealthy by putting in years and years and years of work and effort. But let's face it: work is such a drag. And who wants to wait years or decades to get rich and happy? Fortunately there's an alternative for those who want the world and want it now. Here's what it says on the new book's promo page:
Which Way Do You Want To Learn?
Experience or Education?
They say that there's 2 methods to learn from... Experience or education. The problem with experience is that it takes too long to get and the price is too high... That's not to mention that the obstacle might eat you up...Plus, without the insight of a capable teacher or mentor to assist you, you might miss the lesson altogether, and not be any better off for the wear.
No, you won't develop any supernatural powers that will allow you to "sidestep" Natural Law in this book - you will still experience storms in life. Sometimes devastating storms. But, led from the experience and insight of the 50 speakers, authors, experts, ordinary people, and millionaires who have contributed to Overcoming Obstacles you can discover how to harness Natural Law, assert your inner Eagle, that soul spirit within you, and overcome any obstacle on the road to glorious success as you define it.
Well, at least the publisher is somewhat honest about the fact that there are no magical panaceas in the book. But I'm concerned about this "Inner Eagle" thing. Does that mean that if you buy the book and take its lessons to heart you'll become like Don Henley or Glenn Frey? If so, is that necessarily a good thing? Or was the WWTW copywriter talking about that darned bird again? Sigh...haven't we been over this issue already? Why on Earth do so many people still want to emulate eagles, when eagles are fierce predators that put out large amounts of really gross poop and, despite their preference for fresh prey, have also been known to gobble carrion the way vultures do?
Iffy metaphors aside, you can't argue with the fantastic New-Wage celebrity lineup in WWTW for Overcoming Obstacles. The featured face is that elder statesman of the New Wage, noted quantum physics expert Bob Proctor. Not only did he graciously agree to pen something for the book, but he took the time from his busy schedule to write a stunningly brilliant testimonial as well:
When a person picks up something to read, generally the first thought that comes to their mind is; 'I hope this is a good book.' Linda Forsythe has made sure this is a good book.
In Walking With the Wise for Overcoming Obstacles, Linda has brought together a number of wise mentors with heartwarming stores [sic] you will want to refer back to a number of times. It's stories likes [sic] these that provide the motivation and inspiration required for us to meet and overcome every challenge.
You will especially appreciate the inspiriation [sic] from a number of mentors that you personally recognize and the true stories from people you may never have heard of.
All achieved the impossible. All share how they have overcome enormous challenges and show you how to do the same!
Best Selling Author, You Were Born Rich
and philospher [sic] in the movie The Secret.
And there's plenty more where that came from. Walking With The Wise seems to be just one huge heaping eagle-created pile of "inspiriation!"
Walking With The Wise For Overcoming Obstacles is actually part of a series of books compiled by Linda Forsythe (the publisher of Mentors Magazine) and published under her imprint, Mentors Publications. Everything about the books, from the elegant and understated cover designs to the stellar lineup of the planet's brightest minds, screams "quality." Or screams something, anyway.
The first book in the series, simply titled, Walking With The Wise, has earned an impressive five-star average from reviewers on Amazon. So far three people have weighed in: two are coincidentally named "A Customer" and one is named "linda17365." If you follow the link to the page where all of "Linda17365's" reviews appear – all two of them – you'll see another review in which she reveals that she is none other than Linda Forsythe, the publisher of the Walking With The Wise series. She doesn't admit this in the review of the Walking With The Wise book, but it's right there in black and white in her comment on another book by one of her authors, Susan Gilbert (more on her in a moment). But at least she comes out and reveals her identity instead of pretending to be someone else. I'll give her points for that.
Linda reveals even more about herself on her Amazon profile:
I am a 32 year old divorsed [sic] white single mom trying to find information on how to make my life better. I'm also trying to start my own business.
All righty, then! I guess she succeeded with that business thing if she got all those hustledorks on board. I sincerely hope she was able to hire some good editors too.
I did see something that concerned me. Apparently Linda aged quite a bit between the time she wrote her Amazon profile, where she is 32 years old, and the time she created her MySpace page. On her MySpace page she reveals that she is 101 years old. Publishing can do that to you. It's a tough biz.
With age has come wisdom, however. In a recent blog post entry Linda revealed the truth about why things are so bad now for Light Workers. Apparently that post hit a nerve with several people, including a 97-year-old born-again Christian entrepreneur who lives in the Kingdom of God, California, and a hot 97-year-old tranny (or drag queen, or desperate woman). In truth it's difficult to tell just who or what "Divaz Hot Chocolate Blonde" is; the one thing that's clear is that s/he is the "Diva Wit A Million Dolla Swagga". Still swagga-ing at 97...now, that's pretty incredible. It appears that there's lots of senior action on MySpace. Who knew?
But I digress. It looks as if Linda has a pretty good scheme going with her Walking With The Wise series. The books seem to be "Who's Who"-type anthologies that you have to pay to get into, at least if you're not a big "name." That was my impression, anyway, when reading this one-star review on Amazon, which was written in July of 2006 about Walking With The Wise For Health & Vitality:
As Seen on Judge Judy, July 25, 2006
Turns out many no-names paid $5k apiece to have their articles appear alongside Deepak Chopra's, Wayne Dyer's, etc. "Mentor" Susan Gilbert was ordered to repay Dr. Howard Richmond $2500 for the many telephone coaching sessions she conducted in which she facilitated his participation. He also got a $5k judgment against the publishing company, Mentors Publishing House and Linda Forsythe (Her name was bleeped out - I read his lips.) Writers & readers beware!
There's more about that Judge Judy episode on this discussion on a writers' forum. And you might be interested to know that Susan Gilbert, a self-described "serial entrepreneur" who also happens to be the Mentors author for whom Linda wrote a five-star review on Amazon, turned lemons into lemonade and wrote her Judge Judy story in the Overcoming Obstacles volume. Truly inspiring.
Let's get motivated!
And speaking of inspiration, my friend Tony, who actually publishes quality books, recently sent me this very inspiring link. Trust me, it's well worth following. Unless you are easily offended.
So...do you feel motivated, Dear Ones? Good! Now go out and Dare Something Blogworthy. Or at least Tweet-worthy. See you again soon!
Labels: Forces of Nature, Hustledorks and New-Wage masters, Space stuff