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, July 20, 2013

Stoopidity cubed

I have to admit that I got really annoyed with Facebook the other day. Lately they have been cluttering my precious page space with inane sponsored posts and not-helpful "suggested pages," such as a repeated post from Audible.com advertising The Secret audiobook. Like I want to listen to that junk. Doesn't Facebook read my blog? Apparently not. And there are numerous other ads and posts of that nature. One that really stuck out for me -- so much so that I even wrote a gripe-y Facebook post about it -- was an ad for a Manifestation Cube. Well, actually, the ad was for a free Manifestation Training video (worth $149!) teaching you about the cube and "how it will improve your 'luck' and allow your unconscious mind to manifest with minimal effort." A promo vid was uploaded to YouTube this past October.

The more I researched the Manifestation Cube and its notorious creator, however, the more I realized that Facebook was actually doing me a favor by putting such easy blog fodder right in my lap. I came to see that perhaps Facebook is my latter-day StarDoves.

Let me 'splain (some of you may already know the story, so feel free to skip the next couple of paragraphs). Back in the days when this Whirled was very young -- and years before I got on Facebook -- I used to regularly receive juicy snark chum from
a New-Wage spam email service, owned and operated by the "StarDoves," whom I liked to describe as a New-Wage MystiCouple. (I believe that the female half of the MystiCouple has since "transcended the physical," as the conspicuously enlightened set likes to put it, but the Myster is still going strong and is even on Facebook himself now.) I never signed up to be on the StarDoves' mailing list -- I figured they somehow thought I might be interested in getting their stuff because of that whole "Cosmic" Connie thing -- and at first the emails annoyed me. I would delete them without reading them.

But then I began reading them and saw what a gold mine they were. Just about every major and minor New-Wage guru and wannabe was using that service, and there were tons of snarkworthy content in those emails. I was then and still am kind of a lazy blogger, the lizard on the rock, lying in the sun waiting for the big juicy bug to fly within tongue's reach. StarDoves made it so easy.

Eventually, though, StarDoves must have figured out that I was not the audience they were trying to reach -- perhaps they got a few complaints from some of their clients whom I'd snarked about. (One that I know of, a
Chellie Campbell, even complained about me on a radio show, intimating that I engaged in gratuitous sniping. Can you imagine? My friend Steve Salerno of SHAMblog, who was on the radio show with this person, mentioned this to me. (Here's his blog post about that show.))

Anyway, the upshot was that the Doves dropped me. I was a little sad. I felt a little empty.

But now there's Facebook to fill that emptiness with wackadoodle New-Wage dilettantes who are out to empty my wallet. Such as the guy who wants to sell me some magickal Manifestation Cubes.

Doing a little more Googling, I found a site that sort of pretends to be a third-party site, in that it refers to the Cubes' creator in the third person.
And it explains in scientifical terms just how the things work.

Utilizing the Cube as a Potent Tool to Manipulate Reality
In one of the Advanced Training videos, Eric taught us precisely how to use our Cubes to change reality.
As effective as Direct Manifestation is, the results that I’m achieving with my Cube are absolutely mind-blowing!
The Cube amplifies all manifestations because the frequency of your manifestation intent combines with Eric’s frequency contained within the Cube.

When you consider all of this, you
realize that Eric is actually manifesting your intent.

In the video, he teaches us exactly how to project our manifestations into the outer layers of the cube. The orb that’s housed inside the Cube is the part that has been imbued.
When Eric’s frequency radiates outwards from the orb in the center, it combines with the intent projected into the outer layers.
Your manifestation is “supercharged” when it combines with his frequency because his unique vibration is easily recognized as a “programmer of the matrix.”
It’s like the Universe programming Gaia with your intent!

And, because the Cube is, well, a cube, it is
completely undetected by Gaia. At Kairos, Eric taught that cubes and squares do not register on the Gaia grid, which means the Cube re-programs the matrix without ever being detected.

The Cube is like a stealth bomber; the radar is the Gaia mind, and the bombs are your intents/manifestations.

First of all, notice how the writer brings Gaia into the picture instead of sticking with The Universe as the magickal wish granter (as most of your garden-variety manifestation/Law of Attraction junkies do), or referring to God and prayer (as most traditional religionists do). And notice how the Cube works by getting the Universe to manipulate and program Gaia totally without Gaia's knowledge. That is one sneaky little Cube. Frankly, I think Gaia would be a little pissed off if She knew how She was being used. But let's not tell Her.

How much will this sneaky manifestating and programming set you back? You'll be glad to know that the Cube -- the "1st Cube," that is, the top-of-the-line Gaia manipulator -- is a bargain at only $20,000! If you think that price is a little on the high side, it is obvious that you just don't know squat. It shows you're a small and limited thinker who can't even think outside the box, say nothing of think inside the Cube.

The truth, Dear Ones, is that this is a Very Special Cube. It is special because Eric -- yes, Eric! -- will imbue it with his special gay sex predator cooties energies. Look, it says so right on the site:

1st Cube
  • This is the original Siddhis Cube design that Eric settled on over 20 years ago. He will spend an extensive amount of time working with the Cube, Imbuing the Cube, and personalizing it with your individual frequency using a photo.
  • Only 20 of these particular Cubes will be made before the cast is destroyed.

If a 1st Cube is beyond your reach, never fear. You can also choose from a $7,500, $2,500, and $1,500 model. All are imbued with Eric's special unique Eric-ness, but the cheaper ones have less Eric in them. The cheapest one has only a little bit of Eric in it and isn't even personalized. But it's better than no Eric at all.

At any price, I'd say those Cubes are one hell of a bargain, even though in itty-bitty teeny-weeny letters at the very bottom of the page, it says this: "The item may not be exactly like it is described. Each cube is unique in design and no two cubes are alike. Higher Balance Cannot guarentee [sic] any spiritual, metaphysical or any other result from this item. For all intents and purposes, this item is considered an art piece."

But don't you worry your little head about that. It's totally unimportant. If it were important it would be at the top of the page in big letters.

By now you may be ready to whip out your credit card. But hold on, Mister or Missy. First you need to call a toll-free number to see if you even qualify to buy the $20,000 cube. After all, this advanced level of magickal manifestation isn't just for anyone. The good news is that you don't have to call a toll-free number to qualify for the cheaper Cubes. You just have to be in possession of a sufficient number of energetic units known as "dollars."

Some of you may still be asking, "Okay, but just who the heck is this Eric person?" You really need to stop asking so many questions. If you'd watched the video I linked to above, you would already know that Eric is
Eric Pepin, head honcho at the Higher Balance Institute (HBI). But maybe that doesn't really answer the question of who Eric really is to your satisfaction. And some of you tightwads may still be asking, "Whoever he is, why is he charging so much for his Cubes?"

Well, first of all, if you watched the aforementioned video you would have seen that Eric apparently did a lot of soul-searching about even creating the Cubes. Apparently he was faced with a real moral dilemma -- a conflict between the spiritual and the material. He knows that money can corrupt. He gets that, he really does. But in the end he decided that he really owed it to his followers to give them the best tools possible to help them succeed. And the best tools cost real money -- no getting around that. Hence the Manifestation Cubes.
Or Siddhis Cubes, as Eric likes to call them.

I'm sure that the high price of the Cubes is commensurate with their true value, and has nothing to do with the fact that Eric may possibly have a few legal bills to pay.

A few years ago,
Eric was charged with having sexual relations with a male follower who was under-aged (17) at the time of the relationship. Eric said the follower was 18 when they had sex. In May of 2007, after a five-day bench trial, an Oregon judge found Eric not guilty of two counts of second-degree sexual abuse, four counts of third-degree sexual abuse, and one count of using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct. The judge, Steven L. Price, said it was "probable that the conduct alleged in all counts occurred," but since he wasn't convinced beyond a reasonable doubt, he had no choice but to acquit.

Here is one link to a post telling Eric's side of the story (more links can be found on that post). Among other things, Eric and his lawyer say that the accuser was a liar and that he later admitted he lied.

What doesn't seem at issue is that Eric habitually exploits some of his male followers/employees. In this regard he is no different from other New-Wage/McSpirituality gurus of all stripes and sexual orientations. Whether it's
a former chiropractor and now second-in-command of a cultish group originally inspired by the late Russian "holy" man Rasputin (and other disembodied entities)... or a lunatic alt-health not-doctor who makes outrageous cancer cure claims and allegedly takes advantage of vulnerable female "patients" and employees... or a Maui poser who calls himself a poet and prophet, and makes the ladies swoon... or a creepy Sri Lankan "holy" man who skips around from coast to coast spreading his own icky form of enlightenment (these days that creepy Sri Lankan, Tilak, apparently goes by the name Tilak Fernando. He's on Facebook too)... or an old-school motivator whose alleged misdeeds with underaged vics has yet to be publicly discussed (hence the lack of links here)... or any number of other gurus who fall into the Guruphiliac blog's category of "Hands Where They Don't Belong"... sexual exploitation of followers and employees by industry "leaders" is one of the worst-kept secrets of New-Wage culture (though of course this dynamic is not restricted to the conspicuously enlightened crowd). Whether it's consensual or not, whether the alleged vics are under-aged or not, it is still, almost always, a matter of one person taking the worst sort of advantage of being in a position of power over others.

But don't worry your pretty little head over that either. Enlightened people are non-judgmental. (Fortunately I am not enlightened.)

Anyway. There was a lot of buzz about Eric Pepin and those awful allegations for a while, including a discussion on a New-Age site called Signs of the Times (SOTT).
Eric sued SOTT for more than $4 million over some remarks that some of the commenters had made. Here's the scoop from the site's owner.

Eric lost that lawsuit. Ouch. I bet that hurt.

You can read more about Eric Pepin and his troubles in this 2009 piece from a Portland, Oregon alt-weekly newspaper, which concluded:

...Pepin is forging ahead, gearing up for a weeklong Higher Balance retreat in Hawaii starting May 31. His website claims he’ll take students there on a journey into the distant past and far future, and help them “experience inner hyperdimensional space consciousness.”

Despite such bold claims, Pepin insists in interviews he remains humble—even after a student in L.A. last month asked to touch Pepin’s feet. Pepin refused. “I don’t want someone to think I’m God, because I certainly don’t believe I’m God,” Pepin says.

“I tell people, ‘Don’t call me an enlightened master,’” he says. “I can’t live up to your expectations. I’m going to make mistakes, I’m going to make errors, and you’re going to put me in a stature that I can’t uphold. That’s my worst fear.”

Fears or not, Eric is still plying his wares today, and he will gladly sell you those $20,000 magickal cubes. After all, legal troubles don't come cheap. But you have to wonder if anyone will really be stoopid enough to buy those Manifestation Cubes, at any price.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Connie - From a long time reader - 1st time commenter
Man they are giving cubes a bad name :-)
I couldn't help but think about this reading your post. Check out Larry Carlson - way out there video artist and his Cube video
'in your cube'
Lots more fun and way cheaper than these guys

Saturday, July 20, 2013 8:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just checked out the link that Anonymous posted by Larry Carlson! I could not stop laughing.

Sunday, July 21, 2013 9:08:00 PM  

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