Mr. Fire meets an oil baroness (maybe)
Oh, my Goddess, October is almost over and I've only posted once in the entire month. As usual, I've been distracted with work again (which is a good thing), while most of my online fun has been on Facebook and on my pal Salty Droid's blog. Salty's out there doing the real muckraking; I've just been coasting along. But don't worry, I haven't given up on this Whirled, not by a long shot.
It's understandable why Joe wouldn't want to publish that little bit, since it casts aspersion on the great new-wage circle jerk of which he is a part. But since Hill's newly published book is about the Devil and how the Devil shows up even in places we don't expect, I thought it appropriate.
Joe did, however, respond to my remark, though he did it in a way that made it clear that he had misconstrued my main point (perhaps deliberately?), and he ended with a snide remark about critics who spend their time hurting others. Then he refused to publish a subsequent comment from me, a comment in which I attempted to clarify my points. Still I didn't give up, but when I tried to submit yet another comment, it simply disappeared, rather than showing on the screen as "awaiting moderation." So it appears I have been banned from his blog, either by him or perhaps by his trusty assistant Suzanne. I may have more to say about this particular matter after I read the Napoleon Hill book he wrote about, which I am actually planning to do. But I have shared the tale in bits and pieces on Facebook and on Salty's blog.
Meanwhile, Joe has gone on to publish a couple more blog posts, and even though I'd given up on participating in the Napoleon Hill conversation I decided to test whether or not I really am blocked from the party. I attempted to join in the conversation on a more recent post in which Joe tells about an encounter at a gas station where he was re-fueling one of his expensive brag wagons. As usual, he wrote, people gathered around him, wanting to take pics of the exotic car. One woman shyly approached him and asked if the car was a dream purchase or just something he bought because he had money to burn.
The woman went on to tell Joe that oil had just been discovered on her property, and soon she and her hubby would be receiving 50 million dollars a month. She said the money felt like a curse, though. She was uncomfortable about receiving that much money. She told Joe she already had a good life that included several properties, several cars, and five kids. (Joe noticed she was driving a new car.) He tried to explain to her that the money she'll be getting is a gift, not a curse, and she can use it for good.
But you know how stubborn and resistant some unenlightened types can be, even when they're in the presence of greatness. "I’m not sure she heard me," Joe continued. "She went on and told me her name (no, I’m not going to tell you it), shook my hand, and then drove off after saying, 'Have a nice life.'"
Then he went on to impart the obligatory Life Lesson.
I’ve often challenged people to lift their issues around money by pretending they won the lottery. What would you do if you won three million dollars? Your answer helps reveal what you really want to do in your life.
But this woman admiring my Spyker lifted my limits.
What would I do if I suddenly had fifty million dollars coming in every month?
Joe seemed genuinely flabbergasted that anyone could have mixed feelings about getting a lot of money. Obviously having negative emotions around money is a problem that needs to be fixed, and naturally he has the cure.
He ended his post with a challenge to his readers, asking them what they'd do if they suddenly had boatloads of cash. A few people piped in immediately, talking about the wonderful things they'd do for the world, after lavishly appointing their own lives, of course.
Wanting to deepen or at least broaden the conversation, I tried to submit this comment:
I think most people who don’t have a lot of money daydream about what they would do if they suddenly did, and of course most of them cast themselves in some noble philanthropic, world-changing role. But I’ve noticed that even when people are merely daydreaming, the philanthropy and world changing are often afterthoughts, taking second place to the castles and grand estates and fancy cars. Money can be used for good or bad, of course, but it does seem to change people. Maybe the woman you met worries about how this windfall will change her family dynamics.
More importantly, I wonder if it is possible that she was having ambivalent feelings about that supposed $50 mil a month not because of the eye-opening amount, but because of the source of the money: Big Oil. You indicated that the woman was already affluent. You didn’t say how she got that money, and it probably doesn’t matter for the purpose of this discussion. But even if she and/or her family had achieved their current level of affluence through the oil business, she still might be uncomfortable about what the industry has done and continues to do to the natural landscape and the ecosystem -- fracking being just one of the controversial issues of late.
That said, I have to admit that I would have an awfully hard time turning away $50 million a month. I suspect the same could be said of many people who have issues with the oil industry. And I also have to say that I can't look upon Big Oil as completely evil; it provides jobs, and my own father worked for a big oil company. It was his job that allowed us to have a comfortable middle-class life when I was growing up.
My point, however, is that not everyone who has ambivalence about money is suffering from some emotional or spiritual hang-up that can or should be fixed with a miracles coach or some such thing. Sometimes there are genuine quality-of-life and moral issues at stake too. Perhaps the woman could consider pouring that windfall into projects that will help fix the environment and mend some of the damage done by our society’s hunger for fuel. Maybe she can find ways to help people whose quality of life has been compromised by the activities of the oil and gas companies. When oil companies move in, for example, people are often displaced from moderately-priced housing as real estate skyrockets. It’s happening now in south Texas because of the Eagle Ford boom.
By the way, in the comment I attempted to send, I didn't embed the link to the article about fracking or the one about the Eagle Ford boom. I'm doing it for your benefit, so you can see what's going on in Texas and elsewhere as the new oil boom continues.
But once again, my comment did not show up as "awaiting moderation" -- it just disappeared. So I guess I really am banned.
Now, I think the comment above was respectful and raises legitimate issues about money and ambivalence and so forth. And I didn't even question Joe's basic account about the woman's claim of a $50-million-a-month income. (Unless she actually owns the oil company, that seems like an awfully lot for royalties, doesn't it? Just sayin'...)
I didn't point out Joe's penchant for exaggeration or the fact that he's kind of lousy with details, particularly those that involve numbers. I didn't suggest that perhaps the woman was pulling his leg and had an agenda of her own. [Woman encounters a middle-aged attention hound who has an exotic and obviously expensive sports car: what are the money-extraction possibilities? Oh, maybe I've been watching too many old episodes of Two and a Half Men. I'm sure the woman was legit, even as I'm sure that the God in business casual in that upscale H.E.B. grocery store was legit.]
In my comment, I didn't even point out that this blog post of Joe's appeared to be yet another transparent opportunity to boast -- once again -- about how he attracts attention every time he takes his Spyker out for a spin.
But let's assume that Joe's account of his meeting with the woman is really true, and let's further assume that she was telling the truth about her projected income. What was so wrong with the comment I tried to post? Not a thing, except for the fact that it came from me, and apparently I pose some sort of threat to the cash cow.
Meanwhile, Joe keeps pushing his Miracles Coaching boiler-room scheme, for which, as you may know, he partners with notorious Utah boiler room Prosper Inc. He repeats this promotion in virtually every one of his blog posts and emails. There's a banner on his blog for his "free" book, Attract Money Now, which exists mainly to promote Miracles Coaching. And on his post about the woman's alleged oil windfall, he embedded a link to the coaching site in a sentence where he asked, "What would you do if you had fifty million dollars coming in every month?" It is all, needless to say, a hypnotic way of trying to get you daydreaming and inspired to contact the Miracles Coaching boiler room, so they can frack your bank account for all it's worth. It's all for your own good, of course.
And indeed the Joebots do continue daydreaming aloud about their mansions and Ferraris and life-changing Reiki healing centers in the middle of a forest. But it seems clear to me that some of them can't see the forest for the trees.