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, March 29, 2009

A few late Sunday snippets

The polls are now closed for the 2009 Scammy Awards, and within the next few days all will be revealed. I can tell you that several of the usual suspects (i.e., some of the most frequent snark targets on this blog) made the finals, as did a couple of surprises. Re the latter, I personally wouldn't have thought to vote for Eileen and Peter Caddy, two of three founders of the Findhorn Community in Scotland. Maybe that's because Findhorn, or at least the idea of Findhorn (I've never actually been there), holds a fond place in my heart...but that's probably a topic for another blog post. (I will confess that years ago, there was a time I was almost convinced that I could sometimes see nature spirits and devas and such, but then again, that was back in my heavy drinking days. I have found that some ideas and belief systems are easier to accept when one is pretty well sloshed. Come to think of it, I was also in Eckankar during that time...but that's a topic for yet another blog post, one that I've had half-finished for nearly two years, as a matter of fact. (Meanwhile, here's something related.))

Anyway, stay tuned for the announcement of the winners during Guru-Free Week, April 1-8, 2009. Meanwhile, here are a few light snippets:

Mystic B-Man gets Biblical on Internet hustledorks
Yesterday I listened to my pal Christopher Locke, of the fabulous
Mystic Bourgeoisie blog, in a conversation with Marcus Brown of Germany's Breitenbach und Brown. B& B have an elegant web site, and I would tell you what they do, but – my surname and heritage (on my dad's side) notwithstanding – my German pretty much sucks. Fortunately the interview was in English, and I have to say that for me, it was forty minutes well spent, and not just because Chris mentioned my name and my blog. (In fact, I was already well into listening to the interview, and thoroughly enjoying it, when Chris sent me an email telling me he'd mentioned me.)

Before he was Mr. Mystic B, Chris was one of those who had more than a clue, early on, of some of the profound ways in which the Internet would change our world, including and especially our way of doing business. Along with three other prognosticators, he wrote a well-received book called The Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of Business As Usual, which came out almost exactly ten years ago. Chris, whom Amazon Reviews described as "a smart, witty, broadly read cyberpundit," also penned Gonzo Marketing: Winning Through Worst Practices. Chris' work has once again come into vogue, and the impression I got from listening to the interview yesterday was that some of today's social media marketers are waving his books around and, as Marcus Brown expressed it when talking to Chris, taking them in vain.

Both Cluetrain and Gonzo Marketing, of course, were published years before Twitter and other time-wasters became so ragingly popular, and some of the stuff is a bit dated now. The good news, as Chris announced on the interview, is that a revised and updated tenth-anniversary edition of The Cluetrain Manifesto is coming out soon (June 29, to be exact). You can pre-order it now. (And no, I'm not getting any compensation for mentioning this.)

I found the conversation between Chris and Marcus very entertaining, particularly when Chris jokingly employed a few Biblical references while talking about those annoying Internet marketers who are constantly selling advice about how to sell advice about how to sell advice, but, of course, are really selling nothing. They're just taking your money and using it to buy expensive crap for themselves. Or, as Marcus put it, invoking the late Gertrude Stein, "There's no there there." Some of them, of course, are making boatloads of money selling nothing, and I think you know the type I'm talking about. When Chris, waxing Biblical, compared these folks to a plague of locusts that swarm in through doors and cracks and crevices, landing everywhere, I couldn't help but laugh out loud. I also couldn't help thinking of Aussie Secret star David Schirmer's ventures with his new b.f.f. Perry Belcher. Both were at the recent StomperNet Live gathering in Atlantis...oh, we can only wish. I mean Atlanta.

Anyoo, if you have forty minutes to spend, and don't mind the occasional use of the f-word (I don't mind it myself, though I am sort of prudish about using it on my blog), give this a listen. By the way, Chris and Marcus plan to make these conversations a regular event.

Software for suckers...er...seekers
Speaking of Chris, he sent me a link to an absolutely amazing piece of software, tailor-made for a new generation of seekers. I give you the
Dream Manifestation Kit, which allows you to "use the quantum method to unleash your full potential and live the life you always dreamed about." With this kit, you simply "write your own success formula in less than 5 minutes. Set it on autopilot and watch your goals, desires and dreams manifest in the next 90 days."

Well, I thought that one good inspiration deserves another, so I sent Chris a link to yet another piece of astonishing software, the Attractor Genie. Here's what it says on the site:

Never before has ANYONE been able to deliver the kind of results that are available via this radical technology. Here is a partial list of what you can expect when using Attractor Genie as directed:

  • ALL your limiting money beliefs will be erased - AUTOMATICALLY
  • Your ability to be broke will vanish - AUTOMATICALLY
  • Money will never again be a problem - AUTOMATICALLY
  • You will end procrastination forever - AUTOMATICALLY
  • You will live the life of your dreams - on your terms - starting today
  • And so much more...

Who knew that being broke was an ability? Anyway, folks, this is gen-yoo-ine Law Of Attraction software, and I know it's got to be the real thing, because it is prominently advertised on this site, which features Joe Vitale's Law of Attraction videos. (Joe sells amazing software of his own, such as his Hypnotic Writing Wizard, which shows you how to write good without even thinking about it. Skeptico recently paid loving tribute to this masterful invention on his own blog.)

Isn't it gratifying to know that there are a few brilliant folks out there selling powerful tools for us to manifest the life of our dreams, with no more effort than a mouse click or two?

Say it ain't so, O(bama)
No, I'm not even remotely ready to give up on President Obama. But
this article on the site of the above-mentioned Dream Manifestation Kit gave me a moment's pause.

Obama Administration Seeks Advice From Evolutionary Leaders

By Thomas Herold in Evolution on March 28th, 2009 / No Comments

The Obama Administration has asked the “Evolutionary Leaders” to communicate about what is transpiring on the planet, and how we can change the course of the unprecedented events that are challenging this planet. This is a window of opportunity for this information to be conveyed to the Obama Administration.

The Evolutionary Leaders like Deepak Chopra, Gregg Braden, Michael Beckwith and many, many others, gathered together to write up the information to present to the Obama Administration. They are also asking us to sign a petition to show the Administration how many people are in favor for these changes to occur. They need 10,000 signatures. We need your help to reach that number and beyond! Below is the information presented to the New Administration.

The petition link can be found here.

But wait...there's more! Visitors to the site get a chance to make a pledge to be SNAGs (Sensitive New Age Guys (or Gals)) themselves:

I join with Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Jean Houston, and other evolutionary leaders to pledge to make my conscious evolution an important part of my life, and in so doing help make the world a better place.

Of course, Obama has said he wants to hear from everyone, and that, I suppose, includes New-Wage hustledorks and random SNAGs. Besides, "the Obama Administration" could just refer to some nameless SNAG-ish office assistant to an assistant to an assistant in the Obama Administration. But if this kind of stuff continues, I am going to have to seriously consider changing my party affiliation. The Silly Party is looking better all the time.

Well, that's it for now, Dear Ones. I'll be back soon with much more.

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Blogger Adelaide Dupont said...

I can see how the Findhorn Foundation can be tempting, particularly their lip service to environmental sustainability and kindred virtues/values.

My information about them comes from two principal sources:

The first is Canadian author and musician Geoffrey Falk. http://www.strippingthegurus.com/stgsamplechapters/findhorn.asp He talks about Findhorn as a relatively (to what? - I asked as I read Stripping the Gurus, about other, more Eastern faiths/gurus/cults) 'safe' place because everyone could 'do their own thing'.

The second, which I read at the start of this year, is Kevin R. D. Shepherd. http://citizeninitiative.com/the_findhorn-foundation.htm He and his mother were involved in the Findhorn Foundation during the late 1980s and there are 71 printed pages of information. (You can make this smaller if you wish). There is also much related information about going to the UNESCO.

And all the information is coming out because Eileen Caddy died in 2006, and there are successor problems. I think Falk tries to be fair-minded and humourous: some of the goings-on are (were) so funny, even if they do cause harm. Shepherd fills in the sociological details and connects them to the local context and the wider world, as well as to other campaigns/causes which might be 'trendy'.

Monday, March 30, 2009 3:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope that ozzie guy made it onto this list because I have just spotted a most ironic quote on his blog. He says "How Long Are The so called 'Experts' Going To Blame Everybody Else But Themselves For Losing Your Money" And what is so laughable is that he is the one who is accused of losing everyones money. I get how they operate now. Admit nothing, deny everything and throw counter accusations - its a great way to cover up. In this fickle world of mini madoffs it will be interesting to see who the winners are. Will they make the times?

Monday, March 30, 2009 7:57:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hi, Adelaide, and thank you for the information. It's my tendency nowadays to look askance at any eco-politically correct/painfully idealistic org, of which Findhorn assuredly is one. I'm certainly not surprised that there's negative information about Findhorn. It does seem that even the most idealistic and well-meaning communities inevitably morph into breeding grounds for the very things I love to snark about. I just never thought of Findhorn as one of the worst offenders, worthy of a Scammy. Live and learn!

When I say that Findhorn holds a fond place in my heart I'm referring to a certain nostalgia for my former belief that there actually was kind of a Garden of Eden on Earth today. Specifically, what fascinated me so much in those younger and more gullible days were the claims that the Findhorn founders were growing such splendid produce in sandy and virtually barren soil. Forty-pound cabbages seemed pretty amazing. Also appealing to me was the idea of nature spirits and such. That did take a willful suspension of disbelief on my part, but as I implied in my post, heavy use of alcohol seemed to make this sort of thing easier. :-)

Anyway, thank you again for the info and links.

Monday, March 30, 2009 1:10:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

I hear you, Anon 7:57 AM. And the Wanker of Oz is definitely one of the Scammy finalists!

Monday, March 30, 2009 1:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know how I have overlooked the Akankar org, as a new style religion it sounds right up my street. Thanks Connie, I'm signing up today.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 7:25:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Baraka bashad, Anon 7:25AM!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 9:57:00 AM  

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