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, December 22, 2012

The world is still with us, and so are the hucksters

Well, here we are on the Day After the End of the World. No doubt many New-Wage ninnies are babbling about how we've survived The Shift and are entering a bold new era for humanity. And they have just the frauducts and flopportunities to help us adjust to the new era. Yawn. I've heard it all before.

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.

Joe continues:

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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5 Comments:

Anonymous Burned by Fire said...

It's too bad that Joe's group intention experiment hasn't proven to be successful - even for him. His Attract Miracles Community is seemingly defunct, as it is no longer promoted by Joe, and the last bit of activity on the membership site took place in February 2010. I'd call that defunct.

And you can tell when Joe is doing promotional activity: by adding "please share this with your friends and family." Which is just bullshit, you know. He knows group intentioning doesn't work... he can't get it to work for his own business model... but he plays on the wishful thinking of those who feel disempowered by tragedy and twists that into a meme. Sadly, it appears that worked for him on Facebook as he got quite a few shares from his post there.

There's one thing you can trust though... people, even the most gullible, always end up waking up to Joe and his upsell games. That's one of the reason he always needs to troll for fresh marks using any opportunity possible: even the death of small children.

Monday, December 24, 2012 2:25:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hi, BBF! Too bad about Joe's "Miracles" community...but why am I not surprised? (And if I recall, it was co-founded with Craig Perrine, one of the original Sigloids/Wimberley Mafiosi. Wonder whatever happened to that lot?) Sadly, you're right on all counts about Joe's continued desperate efforts to exploit every opportunity to sell and upsell.

Monday, December 24, 2012 7:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is what the actual, real life Mayans did on 21st:

http://upsidedownworld.org/main/mexico-archives-79/4041-zapatista-march-the-defeaning-silence-of-resurgence

although Subcommandante Marcos can be just as cryptic and baffling to the uninitiated as Vitale is boonswoggling to his marks:

http://roarmag.org/2012/12/subcomandante-marcos-declaration-ezln/

Tuesday, January 01, 2013 11:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Roger said...

It's his own fault for people wising up to his fishy antics though. The Russian wish dolly... that was just... just... really, really STUPID. Even for a huckster. I imagine other hucksters like James Ray or Bob Proctor reading about that and going "WTF!???" Even myself, who am not surprised by hwo low these schmucks can go in search of a buck found myself with a "WTF!??" frown on my face by Joe's description of the power of the wish dollies. Then the images of Joek dressed in a little girl's ballet costume, sitting down and playing with russian dolls got me a-gigglin' for a good few days. So yeah, I'm not surprised that people wise up to Mr. Doubtfire's head-scratching "wtf!??" antics and he has to search for more potential markets to exploit. I have no doubt some of his loyal followers think he's the bees knees; the rest of the civilised world think he's fruitcake. He could always get a job with Mattel to give Barbie and Ken the "new age" makeover, H'opopoponono style ....

Wednesday, January 02, 2013 8:50:00 AM  
Blogger Mariah said...

Hey, Connie! Just stopping by to say hi! Joe Vitale is a joke, and I think your snarking is 100% justified! Happy New Year!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 10:52:00 PM  

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