But today, on the Morning After, I was hit with the realization that I have been serving an unbalanced diet for the past few months. In focusing so heavily on Kevin True-dough and his ex-b.f.f. Lenny Coldwell, I've been neglecting some of the other hucksters who have colored my Whirled over the years. I'm not through with Kevin or Lenny (despite my claim yesterday of burnout), but I came across a recent blog post from Joe "Mr. Fire" Vitale, star of The Secret and legend in his own mind, that played on a theme I've often snarked about... so I just couldn't let it go by.
The Obama administration has been criticized, mostly by Obama haters of various stripes, for former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's remark, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste." The haters generally take that out of context, neglecting the rest of the quotation, which is, "And what I mean by that [is that] it's an opportunity to do things you [thought] you could not do before." Well, I'll gladly take the incomplete version of the quote about not letting a good crisis go to waste, and I'll apply it to New-Wage/selfish-help/McSpirituality gurus. Such as our Mr. Fire.
In a recent blog post Joe once again invokes the power of "group intention" -- this time, to help the people who were affected by the tragic Sandy Hook school shootings in Connecticut December 14.
Joe's request seems simple and heartfelt on the surface. He's simply asking you to send out good thoughts to the good folks of Newtown. But then the megalomaniac comes out, as Joe begins to list his previous "successes" with group intention.
Back in 2005 I asked you to help me slow down Hurricane Rita, which was aimed at Texas right after Katrina devastated New Orleans. As a result, Rita dropped from a Category 5 to a Category 3. It didn’t even rain in my area, which was under such threat that most of the area had evacuated.Never mind that parts of Louisiana and East Texas were devastated by Hurricane Rita, and many people were left homeless. It was not a benign storm. And the Texas Hill Country, where Joe lives, was never in any real danger anyway. Joe sent a duplicate email to stop Hurricane Ike in 2008, and while those of us who were actually IN THE PATH OF IKE (unlike Joe) were dealing with power outages and worse, Joe was merrily tweeting about how the storm passed over his area once again. Here's my take on all of that.
Later, I asked you to help clean up the oil disaster in the Gulf. Shortly after my email, things began to get better.Uh-huh. It was Mr. Fire and friends' group intendin' that did it. Obvious cause and effect. One definite effect was that there was a snark chum spill in the oceans of my Whirled.
But Joe's powerful miracles don't end with wind-whisperin' and oil-spill tamin'.
A year ago from this past summer I asked you to help stop the Texas wildfires, which had destroyed over 1,000 homes. Within minutes of my email, it began to rain in some areas. It actually down poured over my house. The fires all went out.Um. Yeah. I'm SURE Mr. Fire's group intention groupies were responsible for the rain and the immediate end (ha) to the wildfires. Actually they didn't end immediately in his area -- and never mind the OTHER MAJOR AREAS in Texas that were also suffering. Like my area.
And then there's this:
A year ago, I asked you to help my dying and bedridden other [sic; he meant his mother]. Within a week she was crawling out of her bed, unassisted, getting into her wheelchair, and asking to watch TV. I saw her last weekend. She wanted to sit and talk. It was miraculous to see.'Kay. I'm glad Joe's momma is doing better. I've met her. She's a sweet lady. Although for a while Joe did seem to be getting more mileage than was decent from that "my mother is dying" theme, I cut him some slack because I have been through this experience myself (only my mother actually did die, five years ago, though I have yet to be able to really write about it). I can tell you firsthand that it is devastating to see a parent go downhill. But still. Talking about group intentions and cause and effect in this context just seems... well, exploitative. (And let's just not mention that miracle yagya that supposedly saved Joe's "best friend of 20 years" a few years back. That story is in his book, The Attractor Factor, along with another story in another part of the book that mentions that the person ended up dying, apparently not long after the yagya miracle.)
But never mind all that. In his recent blog post, Joe assures us:
Twenty-three scientific studies have shown that when groups of people meditate with the same positive intention, they were able to measure positive results in the world around them.Yep. That's one of Joe's favorite claims, which he has used more than once to to market his own group-intention flopportunities. As it happens, those "scientific" studies were all sponsored by groups and institutions related to the late Maharishi's filthy-rich TM organization. I wrote at length about that (and Joe's "Miracles Community") nearly four years ago.
"Oh, but Cosmic Connie, this is all a bunch of gratuitous snarking!" a few of you may be saying. "Have you no sense of decency? Can't you give this good man the benefit of the doubt even for a moment? All Joe is asking in his recent blog post is for people to use the technique of their choosing to send love out to the people affected by the Sandy Hook school shooting! He says it won't cost anyone a cent! He's not selling anything!"
Well, my little naifs, first of all, Joe is always selling something, so I win that part of the argument by default. Secondly, if you read the post you will notice how he names several techniques for which he sells infoproducts. Just because he doesn't provide links in that particular blog post doesn't mean that he isn't trying to sell you something.
And in the following blog post -- his own "day after the End of the World" offering -- Mr. Fire is right back to pushing his pricey "Miracles Coaching" program, run by notorious Utah boiler room Prosper Learning. "Doesn't cost anything to learn about it," Joe writes. What he doesn't write is that it costs plenty if you get sucked into it.
And so it goes: the big sick machine hums on and on. And on. Our big old world is still spinning, and we won't be seeing the end to Scamworld any time soon -- even if (and it seems like kind of a big if at this point) Mr. Fire's b.f.f. Kevin Trudeau ends up in the joint.
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