Don't drink the Kool-Aid...or the lemonade
In another apparent case of the "monkey see, monkey do" syndrome, embattled Aussie Secret star David Schirmer (who recently discovered FaceBook as a marketing tool), is now singing the praises of mastermind groups.
Thousands of folks are into mastermind groups – everyone from New-Wage hustledorks to garden-variety success geeks to people who just want to get together with like-minded folks in order to effect some improvement in their lives, or an illusion thereof. Supposedly the idea originally came from Napoleon Hill, author of the 1937 classic Think and Grow Rich. Hill, who apparently was inspired by the example of Andrew Carnegie, defined the mastermind as a “coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.”
Having never participated in a mastermind group myself, I have no opinion of them one way or the other. I have, however, served on committees, and even though it might be argued that they could qualify as mastermind groups under Hill's definition, I tend to agree more with my own dear Rev Ron's take on the true nature of your typical committee: "A bunch of monkeys trying to f--k a football."
And I have to admit that on occasion, the boasting of some folks regarding their own mastermind activities reminds me of that scene in the 1997 film Titanic where Kate Winslet's character Rose is talking to Leonardo DiCaprio's character Jack at the fancy dinner on the ship. As Rose's snooty rich fiancé Cal and his friends excuse themselves from dinner, Rose leans over and whispers to Jack, "Now they retreat into a cloud of smoke and congratulate each other on being masters of the universe." Indeed, there does seem to be a bit of self-congratulatory activity in certain hustledork circles.
This doesn't mean mastermind groups have no value, of course. I'm just saying...
According to an article on "The Feel-Good Girl" Stephanie Brail's blog:
There are two basic types of mastermind groups: One which is focused on the success and vision of one individual, and one that is focused on helping everyone in the group.Somehow I have the feeling that the mastermind group that David Schirmer is trying to get together will be an example of the former. After going on for a while about what a mastermind group is and how inspiring such a group can be, Schirmer's email offers a few tips on how to form one of your own. Included is this bit of wisdom:
Note: The people in your mastermind group may or may not even know they are part of it. They may or may not stand to get something out of it. As long as they are being treated fairly and with repect [sic] and you are bringing something of value to the table then it should be a win win for all involved.Uh-huh.
Soon we get to the meat of the matter (or should it be the meet of the matter): an invitation for recipients of the email to join the exclusive new mastermind group that David Schirmer is now forming. And here it seems that once again Schirmer, or the minion who wrote the email, has drawn inspiration from your own Cosmic Connie. When talking about "the three types of business owners," Schirmer or the minion writes of type 3, which he defines as:
Type 3: Those who have learned exactly what works and can make a profit in their business regardless of economic circumstances.
These people have spent many thousands*** on their education and that has paid off big-time with the skills of being able to turn a lemon of a business into lemonade.
David Schirmer is one such businessman. Over the years he has learned how to turn any lemon into a lemonade manufacturing multinational.
Schirmer's exclusive invite continues with this:
If your business could do with a shot in the arm, then you must investigate this once in a lifetime opportunity to sit in a highly exclusive inner circle "roundtable" with David Schirmer and 17 other participants.
Yes you heard right there are just 18 places for this closed circle mastermind where you and the other participants will be afforded the opportunity to create ideas for your own businesses and perhaps create other business ideas and opportunity (sic) that could make you millions.
If you are ready in yourself to enter into the exclusive world of this powerful Mastermind Partnership for the express purpose of making millions of dollars fast make contact with The David Schirmer Group of Companies A.S.A.P. to reserve your limited place...
Shame on the Moon
I don't normally dabble in politics on this blog, but as the next US presidential election heats up, the blogosphere is inevitably heating up too (well, more than usual), and I'm kinda feeling the vibes here on my Whirled. On some blogs, political matters and New-Wage topics intersect, as is the case with a certain enraged blogger of my acquaintance who never misses a chance to tie Hillary or Obama or any other Democrat (or liberal, or feminist) to some nefarious New-Wage cult or conspiracy.
In all fairness, of course, there are other bloggers and pundits who don't hesitate to tie all Republicans and conservatives to some nefarious religious-right cult or conspiracy.
Well, along comes a former president to confuse the issue... sort of. This probably isn't news to some of y'all, but I thought it noteworthy anyway. Seems Dubya's daddy has a long-time association with everyone's favorite megalomaniacal theocrat from Korea, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon. While nominally "Christian," Moon's Unification Church is something that probably would have given Jesus H. Christ the willies. It's more New-Wagey than it is fundie religious right for sure.
Rick Casey, one of my favorite columnists at the Houston Chronicle, had a piece the other day about the Bush-Moon connection. Casey writes:
In recent years the fabulously wealthy Moon has not been playing up his Unification Church with its mass weddings as he did in earlier years, or his role as the Messiah.
Lately he's been presenting himself as a world peacemaker, staging conferences and "summits" around the globe under the auspices of a group called Universal Peace Federation.
The group held a "summit" in Washington April 28 to May 2, featuring a number of former high government officials from Latin America and Spain, as well as a representative from the U.S. State Department.
The event also included a "field trip" in which conference participants loaded onto a chartered jumbo jet for a session at the Bush Library featuring both Bush and Moon.
Although a few blogs picked up the story, no newspaper or television station this side of Paraguay did.
And fortunately, Rick Casey is on the story now too. He continues:
Why wait for another day? Here's a YouTube video to watch now.
This isn't the first time Bush has appeared with Moon. He gave a series of speeches in Japan in 1995 at Moon's behest and appeared with him in 1996 in Argentina and later in Paraguay. Last year he spoke at a Moon event in Washington.
And as reported here two years ago, the Washington Times Foundation (Moon is founder and owner of the Times) covertly donated at least $1 million to the Bush Library.
According to Bush spokesman James McGrath, "the draw" for Bush to join Moon was both the former Latin American leaders who would be in attendance and the support by the Washington Times Foundation of the library.
"The Times has been doing the Lord's work for the last 25 years offering a counterbalance to the liberal Washington Post," said McGrath.
But John Gorenfeld, author of the recent book about the reverend, Bad Moon Rising, sees an unsavory if unintended side to Bush's association with Moon.
"I think it's just the money," Gorenfeld said regarding Bush's motivation.
But he said Moon and his vast organization use Bush in Asia and Latin America to lend credibility to their activities.
That's not a happy thought, but at least it seems the ex-president hasn't drunk the Kool-Aid.
It appears, however, that he has drunk the Holy Wine. But that rather comical story must wait for another day.
Now go pour yourself a cold drink, and I'll see you next time.
*** In this case, many thousands of other people's dollars.