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.)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

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.

In my online conversations, I have also tried to participate on Joe "Mr. Fire" Vitale's blog again -- a thankless task for most who don't buy into his shtick. On a recent blog post Joe wrote about a newly published Napoleon Hill manuscript. I commented on the post, and though he published my comment, he edited out a part where I mentioned that the Foreword to the book was written by Mark Victor Hansen, who has been involved in outrageous infomercial/boiler-room schemes with young huckster Anthony Morrison. Morrison's boiler room has done some pretty scummy things to part people who could least afford it from their money, and shame on Hansen for being even marginally involved in that racket.

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.

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Anonymous HhH said...

I bet you could dowse for oil in your yard, Connie.

My dad had a guy dowse for water on his land with, get this, no shit, his false leg!

Saturday, October 29, 2011 6:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Martypants said...

$50 million a month? Can't these fairy tales have at least one foot on the ground, sometimes? Or are they all wrapped up in a magic carpet too? Even as a "what if" lead-in, that's just silly.

Maybe the ultra-rich and successful just have this aura that glows and is visible only to other super beings. Maybe it makes completely uber-successful strangers come up and start divulging the emotional and financial details of their personal lives. It could happen: just like Joe's recent fantasy island idea. Brilliant people could be littering awesomeness somewhere, and others should be willing to pay handsomely to simply be around to scrape it up.
I probably just can't see the aura like I couldn't see the point of his island getaway, because I am not properly seated on a unicorn facing East at sunset.

I would take the blocked status as a reminder that of course you do have much better things to do than talk to Joe Vitale, CC... everything else, immediately comes to mind. :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011 6:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Hhh said...

Connie, how can I attract really good spam?

Sunday, October 30, 2011 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger Kathryn Price said...

Goddess forbid that we should consider any ethical implications about money, such as where it comes from and what it supports. I have completely lost patience with the Joes and Rhondas of the world, not that I ever had any to begin with. That also goes for the prosperity preachers, the current crop of GOP candidates, the Goldman Sachs, etc. They have done their dirty work well, some of them in the guise of teachers of spiritual light (lite).

Maybe once there was a candy corn worth's kernel of good in the idea that people have more power in their lives than they think, in encouraging people not to think of themselves as victims of fate. But it has turned into a savage emotional beating of anyone who is down on their luck, many of them as a result of their denouncers frankly stealing from them.

"It's your fault" Herman Cain and the Steven J. Baum law firm, whose culture allowed employees to dress up like homeless people for their fun and entertainment are all part of this mindset where victimization of the victims these people love to hate is all in the name of God or country (Goldman Sachs' CEO at one time said they were doing God's work), or some supposedly divine "law" that itself is a pathetic excuse for imagining oneself as superior and ripping people off. Nice how they can all shape shift from the little con artists that they are into people of love and light and oh yes, success, that orgy of "success" that these people slavishly worship.

Nice how Joe, the guy who is just filled with love and light, ignored the woman's real concerns to make a point of her flawed thinking, or feeling. I don't have words for that. Actually I do have words, but I probably should refrain from using them.

Monday, October 31, 2011 6:56:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

I don't think there's any oil in the immediate area, HHH, but if the drought in Texas doesn't end soon there may be a bunch of folks dowsing for water. Did the guy's false leg find any H2O on your dad's land?

Monday, October 31, 2011 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hey, Marty: Thanks for the reminder that I have better things to do with my time than try to actually bring rational discussion to Joe's blocked party. Regarding the 50 mil monthly stipend, I have a feeling that either the woman was pulling Joe's leg, or someone at the oil company was being awfully optimistic in their estimates, or Joe is up to his usual exaggeration/fibs.

Or maybe it is that Spyker of his that, like a unicorn attracting a lovely virgin, pulls the rich and brilliant to him. Funny that in the stories he tells about attracting people to his car, no one ever comes up to him, shakes their head, and says, "Sorry about your... "

Oh, bad, bad Connie.

BTW, he hasn't said much about that Fantasy Island idea since his original blog post. Maybe he got so many offers that he sold out spaces the first day. But you'd think he would have been crowing about that from the rooftops of Wimberlie.

Nor have I heard much about the so-called Abundance Network idea of his that supposedly captured the fancy of the business-casual-clad God in the grocery store. I have a feeling that if that guy really did tell Joe he had access to limitless funds for a worthy project, THAT guy was also pulling a fast one on Joe.

Nor, for that matter, have I even seen that "huge book" about the homelessness-ending Operation Y.E.S, which Joe recently assured me is going to be published soon. This assurance was in response to my asking him on his blog what Operation Y.E.S. has actually DONE in the more than three years since he announced it. As some here may recall, he didn't answer me the first time I asked; he merely said I would have to ask the people that Op Y.E.S. has helped. Then he suggested that I should go out and do something to help others. Finally when I came back and asked again, he mentioned the big book, which he 'splained he was still trying to figure out how to publish so it would do the most good for the most people.

So many flopportunities, so little time...

Monday, October 31, 2011 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

HHH, Anyone active on the Interwebz can attract spam. Whether it is "really good" or not is a matter of taste, I suppose. :-)

Monday, October 31, 2011 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thank you for your comment, Kathryn, and for bringing Occupy Wall Street into it as well. These things are all related, though I've noticed that so far Joe hasn't blogged about OWS. But these issues certainly remind me of the discussion in which Ron and I participated recently on the blog of Erica Douglass, who has been a frequent speaker at Joe's buddy Pat O's "UnSeminars." I think she kind of bowed out of the discussion.

I wouldn't be surprised if Joe and Pat were cooking up some frauduct to tie in with the protests... some "clearing" audio or program to help you Occupy Your Limitations and change them into a limitless life, which of course would be much more productive than sitting out on the sidewalks with a bunch of whiny losers. Hey.. Occupy Your Limitations: OYL. Hmmm...

(You're welcome, JoePat. I expect royalties.)

Assuming that the woman at the gas station really was telling Joe the truth (and that Joe was relating it truthfully -- which is a HUGE stretch), I still find it noteworthy that he refuses to acknowledge that it might actually be healthy to feel uncomfortable about accepting 50 mil a month from an industry that has been raping the environment for many decades.

Monday, October 31, 2011 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

As you've known for some time, Connie, I agree wholeheartedly with Marty that you're wasting your time trying to communicate with Joe. Were he simply a marketing huckster, his decision not to allow your comments (and to redact any comments that actually challenge his statements or behaviors) would be justifiable, at least from an effective marketing standpoint. But inasmuch as he blatantly holds himself forth as a spiritual teacher (which he, of course, denies), the act of blocking your comments is an act of intellectual cowardice, pure and simple. A true teacher doesn't hide from criticism, but learns and benefits from it. A true teacher is committed to truth, rather than self-aggrandizement. A true teacher hungers for knowledge, not wealth and tokens of esteem. And that wealth beyond actual need that a true teacher does accumulate is spent furthering the cause of truth. By any measure, Joe Vitale is NOT a true teacher of anything beyond effective scamming. And as such, he will not participate in any activity that actually questions his behavior or the viability of his teachings. And your attempts to engage him on anything but a fawning level will ultimately prove fruitless. Spend your time - and your considerable talents - where they will do some good - like exposing the truth from which Joe Vitale so earnestly hides.

Monday, October 31, 2011 12:05:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thank you, Ron, well said. Joe may not be a true teacher, but as you noted, he *is* a true marketer.

Monday, October 31, 2011 12:10:00 PM  
Anonymous hHh said...

"Did the guy's false leg find any H2O on your dad's land?"

got a nice bore hole, yeah.

Monday, October 31, 2011 12:30:00 PM  
Anonymous hhH said...

I didn't get spam when I had a blog, and I very rarely get spam through email.

I was just wondering how much fun you can have with spam 'cos of this


Monday, October 31, 2011 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger mirele said...

There's no way the woman was making $50 million a month in oil royalties--if in fact it was oil royalties. The standard oil royalty is 1/8, so, to make $50 million a month, you'd need to pump $400 million. At ~$100/barrel, that would be 4,000,000 barrels a month. Now some countries push that out in a day, but it's unlikely that any one individual is going to have oil leases producing in the neighborhood of 134,000 barrels of oil a day.

I could believe $50 million a year, *maybe*, but I'd got to wonder where it's coming from (Alberta tar sands, for example, which are environmentally questionable).

Friday, November 25, 2011 4:00:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

What can I say, Mirele... Joe has always been lousy with numbers, so I can believe that he wouldn't even question that "50 mil a month" claim. OTOH, he has also been known to exaggerate. Either way, it's pretty obvious that his post is b.s.

Monday, November 28, 2011 1:05:00 PM  
Blogger theoreticalgrrrl said...

Doesn't this story completely disprove the "law of attraction"? She had a negative attitude about money, and yet she is wealthy and coming into even tons of more wealth. She doesn't sound like she's in "vibrational alignment" with being a mulit-millionaire.

It's painful to watch old Abraham videos and see Esther, sorry Abe, tell ever other audience member who is wondering where their promised millions are being told it's in their vibrational "escrow" just waiting for them to let go and receive it.

Just keep dangling that carrot, Esther.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011 10:34:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Excellent points, theoreticalgrrrl. Maybe people such as Mr. Fire's oil-rich friend are unwittingly accessing all of the Abers' vibrational "escrow" accounts, and withdrawing the funds and keeping the loot for themselves, LOL.

Like Esther, Joe is full of contradictions. It still amazes me that more folks don't call them on it.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011 1:48:00 PM  

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