Friday, September 26, 2008

Been through another hurricane, of sorts

I'm thinking it's high time for me to blog about something besides Hurricane Ike, a topic that, as you may have noticed, has dominated my last three posts. I had a real wake-up call when I created a "word cloud" of my blog (see, and the most prominent words were "Hurricane" and "Ike." (The other prominent word, as you can see, was "Schirmer," a reference to another natural disaster I've written at length about, and will again soon... I promise.)

Giving credit where it is due, I got the tip about word clouds from none other than Mr. Fire's blog. As you'll notice if you follow the link, the predominant word on his word cloud is "car." Who woulda thunk?

But before I wander away from my recent topic of choice, there's some good news regarding the Ike relief effort: former President Bush the Elder and former President Clinton are teaming up as they did for the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Here's the link to a news story about the Bush-Clinton Coastal Fund, and here's the link to the site where you can make donations.

On a more personal front, our dear friend's beach house on Galveston's devastated west end is still standing. The first floor, which contained the garage, patio and shower area, is pretty much gone, and there's damage on the upper level as well. Repairs will be extensive, but at least they will be possible.

But it will be quite a while before Galveston and the rest of the Texas coast, as well as large parts of Houston, get back to normal. Residents returning to Galveston over the past few days have been met with distressing sights (and smells). Galveston is, as the headline to a Houston Chronicle article poignantly understated it, "not the island they remember." Maybe it will be so again, someday.

Speaking of hurricanes, over the last weekend and for a couple of days following, I felt almost as if I'd been through another one.

I just don't know how I live with myself...
To add to past charges from Secretrons that
I'm a Nazi-type hate-monger, and from some skeptics that I'm intellectually dishonest and not a critical thinker, comes the surprising news that I'm a NewAge cultist hypocrite, and apparently a racist too. (I am not providing relevant links for this latest round of accusations, for reasons that will become apparent.)

Occasionally, for no good reason, I jump into online frays that end up making me waste a couple of days I'll never get back, arguing with people about things that probably don't matter much in the big scheme of things. You may have done this too. Sometimes these arguments end up in friendship or at least a deeper understanding between/among participants. Sometimes they end up in a truce. Sometimes they just fade away and raise their ugly heads in another way later on.

Anyway, I made the mistake last weekend of jumping into a brouhaha that was heating up on one of my favorite blogs. The actual topic of the discussion was politics, but it ended up being a rancorous exchange that ultimately got so heated that the owner of the blog reluctantly (but wisely, in my opinion) closed the thread to any further comments. I joined the exchange for what I have since acknowledged is a petty reason, and one that had nothing to do with the actual topic of the discussion: one participant whose opinion was clearly outnumbered had mentioned, presumably as a means of bolstering his arguments and his credibility, that his blog has ten times the Technorati authority that mine does. He added that the donations he'd solicited and received for blogging would enable him to pay his rent that month.

In my response, alas, I came across as being self-righteous and moralistic regarding the prospect of blogging for money. To make it worse, I made a couple of gratuitous remarks about this person's motives and even about some possible reasons that people were giving him money – reasons that he subsequently said were way off-base. It was, I admit, not my finest hour. I've had time to think about it and I realize, thanks in part to this person's response to my comment, that what was really going on with me at that time was a case of money envy.

I didn't, and don't, agree with the political and social points this person was trying to make during that discussion, but that was not the immediate issue for me at the time. Very simply, I was thinking: Wow, why am I not making any effort to make money from Whirled Musings? If HE can do it with his blog...

Even so, his comparison of his blog to mine was pretty much an apples-to-oranges deal; although our common ground is a disdain for the culture of the conspicuously enlightened, mine is mainly a humor blog, and his, increasingly, is an angry political rant blog. In both tone and purpose, his blog is far more serious than mine. At any rate, I intended to use the original discussion forum to post a public apology not just for my moralistic tone but for any inaccurate statements I'd made about this person and his blog, but as I said, the blog owner closed that thread off to comments.

The next day the angry-political-rant blogger presented his version of the controversy on his own blog. He viewed the whole affair much differently than several of the other participants, including the other blog owner, and that's putting it mildly. Regarding my little part in the matter, I tried twice to send a comment (and an apology, though apparently not enough of one) to his blog, but he wouldn't publish my comments. Privately I asked him why, and he explained to me that it was because he didn't want to open the door to more grief from "vicious NewAge attack dogs." After I sent my second comment he asked me to "please stop." So I have not made any further attempt to write directly to him, publicly or privately. I am not providing a link to his blog because I do not want to open him up to further vicious attacks. (He apparently blames me because he's been getting nasty private emails dissing him for soliciting donations for his blog.)

As for my alleged hypocrisy, this person has on several occasions said I am hypocritical because even though I make fun of New-Wage/selfish-help ideas and people, I live with and am in love with a man who has studied Buddhism and considers himself to be a Buddhist. Ron is not a ritualistic, strictly observant Buddhist and has never claimed to be in the time I've known him, but he is a Buddhist nonetheless, and Buddhists, in my accuser's world, are evil. They are part of what's wrong with our world today, along with liberals, Democrats and NewAge folks.

It should be noted that the word "NewAge" is intended to rhyme with "sewage." Actually I first heard that clever little bit of wordplay seven or eight years ago from a good friend of mine who was a refugee from New Age culture, as I had been. I've used the term myself. In recent years numerous skeptics have taken to using it as well. But generally I prefer my own neologism, "New-Wage."

But I digress. To make matters worse, hypocrisy-wise, I am civil to people who believe in some of the New-Wagey things I snark about. I am even quite friendly with several of them. My accuser has also made reference to my agnosticism, which I assume is still further evidence to him of my hypocrisy, or at least of my weakness and refusal to take a firm stand on issues. After a lifetime of questioning, wondering and alternating between belief and non-belief, I remain agnostic instead of atheist. Namby-pamby, wishy-washy me: I just can't bring myself to take a stand one way or the other about the existence of G_d. Though I find Christopher Hitchens engaging and provocative, I refuse to fall in with the Hitchens camp and declare that "religion poisons everything."

Interestingly enough, the person who has pointed out these egregious flaws in me has thrown in his lot with the G.O.P., God's Only Party, though he himself is a staunch atheist. He fully acknowledges that inconsistency, but it apparently doesn't bother him. At least the G.O.P. is largely Christian, and in his view, Christians aren't trying to tear the USA apart like the Buddhists, lib'ruls and NewAgers are.

By the way, the Baby Boom generation is also evil, and our provocative blogger apparently can't wait till they all die out, although, having been born in the very early 1960s, this person is technically a member of that generation as well. By most authorities, the Baby Boom generation in the USA consists of all people born between 1946 and 1964. Granted, this guy was way too young to participate in the "Summer of Love" in 1967 or, two years later, to go to Woodstock, and he's never been one of those loathsome critters known as hippies, but he is, technically, a Boomer, whether he likes it or not. So is his hero, our current President, who, though probably never a hippie, reportedly did at one time indulge in some of the recreational substances enjoyed by many hippies (and later by yuppies, who were also Baby Boomers).**

As for my racism, all I can figure is that it is guilt by association. This person is black, I am white, and presumably most of the other folks who disagreed with him on that original blog discussion are white as well. In his view, we were all ganging up on him and using him as a punching bag.

I confess to having a strange attraction to the notion that individual people are much more than their beliefs or their political parties OR their race (as it happens, my comment on that other blog had absolutely nothing to do with race). Accordingly, I have numerous friends who don't fit into my little demographic niche. But obviously my thinking has been clouded by that evil Buddhist person I live with, and by other nefarious influences around me. I thought, however, that in the interests of full disclosure, you should know what a weak hypocrite I am. You should further be aware that I have no room to criticize New-Wage/selfish-help stuff, when I am clearly so enmeshed in liberal/NewAge culture myself.

So if you still want to read this blog, read it at your own risk.

PS ~ In case you haven't read these older posts of mine, perhaps they will help explain why I remain "on the fence" regarding what I feel are life's larger questions:

Chopra, The Secret, and the unenchanted world

Yule blog

Not that any of that in any way excuses my weakness and hypocrisy. Oh, yeah, and my racism.

* Actually, Christopher Hitchens is a baby boomer too (b. 1949). And so, for that matter, is Sarah Palin (b. 1964), whom my accuser has spent time defending on his blog. Had she been a nominee of that party that is represented by an ass, I imagine he would have unleashed the full force of his borderline-misogynistic wrath on her. But since she's the member of the "right" party (in more ways than one), he lauds this "proudly American white woman." (My own opinion of Palin? She's one tough cookie and good for her for that, but she's in way over her head, and I find the prospect of a Palin vice-presidency ludicrous, and a Palin presidency (G_d forbid) scary to say the least. For the record, that opinion makes me a feminist harpy.)

Friday, September 19, 2008

After the storm: a wind whisperer & a Bible thumper weigh in

In the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, two of the hurricane hustlers to whom I most recently paid tribute (September 17 and September 11) have been strangely silent about the storm. Not a peep so far from Mr. Fire (at least not in any public forum that I could find), nor is there any word from Glen Stewart, the Father of Hurricane Reduction. But Phoenix/Spirit Diva has stepped up to humbly claim credit – which she magnanimously shares with other individuals and groups worldwide – for changing Ike's course to a path of lesser destruction. I received an email from her today:

Although there has been widespread loss to human life, animals, property and the land itself, I know that our prayers were heard and made a difference. I thank you for continuing to send prayers, your love to all affected by the Ike, Gustav and the rest, especially whenever you hear about or see photos of these areas and people...

...As American anthropologist Margaret Mead said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." I'm not saying that our prayers and meditations individually and collectively changed the world, anyways yet; however, we made a significant difference along with the many, many other individuals and groups worldwide, in shifting the impact of Hurricane Ike.

* You may recall that last Friday night prior to our holding the meditation the National Hurricane Center was projecting that Ike was expected to grow from a Cat 2 to a 3 or possibly even a Cat 4 just before his eye made landfall in Galveston. Thankfully that was not the case. Ike's top sustaining winds remained near 110 mph.
* Also, the NHC advisories warned that storm surge could reach up to 25 feet. Amazing, even though Ike's eye arrived at Galveston's coast at high tide the surge was about half the projection. According to tidal guages, the highest surge Saturday morning was about 13.5 feet at Sabine Pass in Texas. The surge at Galveston was 11 feet.
* Ike destroyed at least 10 petroleum production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, but the damage was to only a fraction of the 3,800 platforms in the Gulf.
* Oil prices closed below $100US a barrel for the first time in six months Monday following Ike, tumbling more than $5. If prices were up at gas stations it was only due to human greed and fear factor.


Tell that to the folks who lost their homes and everything they own. Tell that to the million-plus souls who still don't have lights or running water (some areas aren't expected to have power back on till October). Tell it to the people waiting in lines stretching out for four blocks or more to get basic necessities. Yeah, I know, it could have been much, much worse. But my intuition tells me that thousands of folks never got that memo.

So maybe some of those top-notch hurricane communicators need to go out to the streets to spread the good news and conduct post-hurricane group meditations for the folks most afflicted by Ike. Here's a great idea for any of you wind whisperers who really want to make a difference: visit one of those hundreds of loooooong gasoline lines! You'll have a captive audience. Be sure to tell the motorists that your meditation efforts persuaded Ike to go easier on Texas than he was originally planning. I'm certain they will all be very appreciative. (Hint: Make sure the people you talk to are not armed (many Texans are), and stay well out of the way of their front or rear bumpers.)

Not surprisingly, the New-Wage babblers aren't the only ones who have something to say about hurricanes. Although so far no sanctimonious evangelical has stepped forward to declare that Ike was God's way of punishing gays or abortionists, the Biblically inclined are certainly weighing in. Ike was, it seems, just another example of God thundering wondrously with His voice. I rather like the poetry of it – the Bible is full of that kind of stuff – but I'm afraid that even poetry doesn't do much for those long lines of people whose lives were torn asunder by God's thunderous wonder.

But a little bit of practical advice certainly never hurt anyone. If you are thinking of rebuilding your destroyed home, here is some helpful counsel from the same blogger who brought you those thoughts on God's thunder. (He's in Columbus, Ohio, by the way – not exactly Ground Zero hurricane country.)

On the local front, meanwhile, we are experiencing a surge, if you will, of post-Ike media coverage. I know, I know; that's their job, but sometimes it gets so wearisome that I would almost welcome one of those neener-neener-my-life-is-sooooo-wonderful Tweets from a hustledork. (Notice that I said almost. I'm not that desperate yet.) But sometimes the media types go to ludicrous lengths to fill up air time or column space.

Take, for example, the feature article on the front page of the Star (style) section in the Houston Chronicle on Thursday, September 18: "Style reprieve: Dealing with the storm's aftermath calls for functional office-casual clothing." There's a photo of a woman on the Chron staff wearing a smart white blouse and tight-ish jeans; the caption reads: "Still without power, Jacquee Pechtel, assistant managing editor for projects, has exemplified hurricane chic working long hours at the Chronicle."

Hurricane chic?!?

Well, enough of this. I'm off to work now in the main office of Schmidt Kaye & Company, where every day is Office Casual Day. My ensemble today is a red tank top embellished with cat hair of various shades, a pair of red-green-and-white striped PJ bottoms whose left pocket is bulging with dog biscuits, and my Office Casual flip-flops. Ron is sporting a smart plaid flannel shirt, faded jeans, and his Office Casual sandals.

No doubt about it – we exemplify home-office chic.

PS ~ Here's a link to some before-and-after photos of the Bolivar Peninsula in Texas.
PPS ~ And most importantly, here is a link, courtesy, to information on how you can help in the hurricane relief effort.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

After the storm

Well, I'm back.

Although I suspect that a few Secretrons, LOA-noids, assorted Joebots and a certain Blunder From Down Under welcomed the brief reprieve – and perhaps even hoped it would go on indefinitely – here I am nonetheless, only a little worse for the wear.

In case you were wondering, we got slammed by Hurricane Ike, though we were spared the very worst of it. But large parts of the Texas coast are devastated; some of the smaller coastal communities were all but wiped off the map, and Houston, the fourth largest city in the US, and my home for most of my life, is a wreck – particularly the downtown area.

The Ranch at the Edge of Nowhere, where we live now, is about fifty miles northwest of Houston, but we still got whacked – not just by the hurricane but by scattered tornadoes. (Maybe these were the "white tornadoes of love" that Joe Vitale wrote about in the follow-up to his "Help Me Stop Rita" email in 2005.) Fences were wrecked, tin roofs were blown off of horse barns...

...and huge trees were felled. One tree outside the gate on the north side of our house was split in two...

...and another tree on the west side fell over into the foxhound kennel next door (fortunately, no dogs were hurt that I know of). Yet another west-side tree that once lived happily in our next door neighbor's yard is now mostly in our yard, leaning somewhat precariously towards my side of the office. All that is keeping it from toppling is another tree in our yard – our guardian tree, as it were.

Cleanup crews are hard at work now all over the place, but the whole area still has a disheveled look.

But it's nothing compared to what Galveston and surrounding areas look like, not to mention large chunks of Houston. As I said, we had far from the worst of it. (Ron's best friend still doesn't know the status of his beach house on Galveston's decimated west end. For decades that little house and its glorious deck have been the scene of countless gatherings large and small, all manner of revelry and interludes of wild abandon; Ron and I have many fond memories of it.) For all you negative Neds and Nellies who insist on focusing on unpleasant stuff rather than on the hustledork offering du jour, here's a link to news updates on Ike and the aftermath.

Houston was crippled and Galveston nearly destroyed, but recovery has already begun. And here on The Ranch, Ron and I are creeping back to normal after being without power or running water for three and a half days. It was an ordeal to be sure, but nothing compared to the ordeal that countless other folks experienced, and not even nearly as much of one as we would have experienced if Ron had not been so skilled in the art of roughing it. He did everything possible to prepare us, even cleaning up a rusting old Coleman camp stove he'd bought at a garage sale for ten bucks a few years ago. We also cleaned the big smoker in our back yard to prepare for a massive impromptu cookout.

And that's a good thing, because despite our best efforts, hundreds of dollars of meat, poultry, fish and prepared foods began thawing in our freezer. As a consequence, Ron and the camp stove and the smoker were very busy for a few days (well, okay, I did a little work too; I cleaned up). We ate quite well, and so did the ranch hands and even a few of the barn dogs that have always liked to hang around our place (and like it even more now that they've sampled country-style ribs a la Ron). We were glad to share our bounty with the hands. Since they didn't have any power either they couldn't cook for themselves, and even in the best of times they have a lot less, materially, than we do.

At the risk of sounding a little corny, I want to say that Ron is my own personal hero – all the time, actually, but especially in these past few days. He just shrugs and says that survival stuff is really nothing more than common sense. But since I have little or no common sense myself and possess few if any practical survival skills, these are not things that I will ever take for granted.

In light of the many gifts Ike left behind, I feel obligated to do a follow-up on those wind whisperers I snarked about the other day.

First up: the aforementioned Joe V, aka Mr. Fire. As large parts of Texas were being pummeled by the storm and its aftermath, Joe (who had recycled his "Stop Rita" email with a mass plea to "help me stop Ike") was Tweeting away on Twitter about how great his own life was going. Ike got but a passing mention:

9:03 AM September 13: Waiting for Ike to send wind and rain to us, but hopefully in a diluted, relaxed, safe way.

12:44 PM September 13: Ike skipped us. No winds or rain. Meanwhile, my infomercial is testing and rocking...

10:04 AM September 14: Too busy with books, infomercial, new audios, projects, etc to be looking at new homes, but here we are, looking at new homes.

2:55 PM September 14: Working on tan by pool on a clear sunny day reading Hicks' Money and the Law of Attraction...

8:36 PM September 14: Back from the hot tub. Ahhhhhh. See my youtube channel (and subscribe to it)...

He also Tweeted about the mansion in LA that once belonged to Mary Pickford and that he almost bought and still is considering buying. And so on.

Well, hey, the guy deserves a break after all that hard work on Hurricane Ike. He was, after all, completely successful in making Ike skip his area. The fact that his area never was under any threat to speak of was probably due to his ongoing efforts to send out white tornadoes of love, or perhaps to his status as the Buddha of the Internet and a Fourth-Stage Awakened person. (The Fourth Stage is something he recently invented found out about, and turned into a course that he is now selling.) As for those of us who got slammed by the 'cane, we obviously attracted it, or didn't work hard enough not to attract it, just like those folks in the San Diego area whose homes were destroyed by those wildfires last fall.

In the days before Ike landed in Texas, our favorite hurricane lady, Phoenix/Spirit Diva, was also very busy. She certainly exerted a lot of effort on ol' Ike, or vice-versa; she channeled not one but three messages from him. Interestingly enough, Ike (and one of his recent predecessors, Gustav) are much better spellers than previous hurricanes. (D'ya think maybe they read my snarky remarks and finally turned on their spell checkers?) Anyway, Ike went on and on about how appearances are deceiving. For example, here's what he told Spirit Diva on September 6:

Do not be deceived by one's size.
Often just like large people,
within each seeming large storm
is the heart of a teddy bear.
Do not be intimidated.
Choose to look within the largeness and
see the heart of the child inside...

The next day Ike told Spirit Diva this:

Things are rarely as they appear.
Things that seem to go wrong and
turn your life up-side down and
inside out serve a higher good.
On the surface view, one may see
destruction, pain, suffering and more.
From a higher perspective one's outer world or
community, politics, religion, business are
experiencing a mind-body-spirit cleansing, if you will...
...We hurricanes, like the various storms of life,
are means to expedite the transformational process of growth.
As you come together to transform me,
know and honor my higher purpose.
All these things are always done for self-realization.
We greatly appreciate your coming together
to commune with me, with all storms...

After that message, Ike was apparently silent until September 12, when he revealed this:

Peace. Peace. Peace.
All transformation begins with Peace.
It is not enough to talk about it or
even to go through the motions as if you were...
...Connect with this higher truth. Feel its love and light fill your whole being.
Be one with this love and light.
See and Feel and Think from this place.
Know Peace. Radiate Peace. Be Peace.
All is well.

And then very early the next morning, Ike proceeded to wipe away a great deal of the Texas coast.

I hate to tell you this, Hurricane Lady, but I think your big lovable teddy bear was just yanking your chain.

Last but not least, particularly if we're talking about ego size, we have the Father of Hurricane Reductions, Glen Stewart, who originally got his hurricane-reducing inspiration from none other than Joe Vitale. On September 12, the day before Ike hit Texas, Glen was very certain that Ike was NBD.

Hurricane Ike is it the deadly monster hurricane that we should fear?

In a word - NO…

Hurricane Ike will be our 17th successful hurricane Reduction in a row…

I proudly say this because myself and my global “Save a Dream-Team” have been dissipating it for over a week. And we are ramping up efforts to take it up a notch as I write this...

I've yet to see a post-Ike utterance from Glen. But he's probably just resting from all of his hard work. The good news is that you, too, have a chance to be part of his team, for as little as $27.00 for a Bronze Membership ("your introduction to saving lives by our world class Hurricane Reduction training...perfect for the tightest budgets"). But if you really want to get the full benefit of his wisdom, $10,000.00 will buy you the highest level of Corporate Sponsorship. ("As a Corporate Sponsor with 6 Execs and up to 50 Employees: World Class Production of "One With The Winds" on DVDs Monthly to 50 employees. In addition to our World Çlass Online Training Enviornment. We customize levels of Training Coverage as a Template for your Company".) Heck of a deal! Sign up here.

And don't think that Glen just tackles hurricanes. He's also helping prevent the Earth's destruction via deadly asteroids.

And on his September 9 blog entry he invited the whole world to beat a path to his door, coyly hinting at all of the riches he has to offer:

Go Ahead The servers can handle it - I now have multiple redundant servers to deliver every nuance of a world class hurricane reduction, golf, sports training, wellness, healing, couples and weight loss experience.

Quite the Renaissance megalomaniac, wouldn't you say?

But it's those mighty winds that seem to engage most of his attention. In a March 2008 piece on, he wrote about deadly tornadoes and what he is doing to stop them. He also gave us ordinary folk a hint of how he works his magic (and remember, you too can learn this magic if you know how to use Paypal).

How can a human being possibly lessen severe effects of a deadly hurricane? It is a question involving Ancient civilizations to fully understand. Many of you heard of Dr. Joe Vitale as well as the movie The Secret. The Law of Attraction was arguably the best insight to be gleaned from the entire movie. I've known Dr. Joe Vitale for about 5 1/2 years through e-mails and occasional phone conversation. Joe indirectly offered the idea of what can be done with some of my extensive mind over matter research.

Joe Vitale mentioned a forward thinking study in a now pivotal e-mail. There were 19 scientific studies* about a group of humans focusing on a positive intention. This group can actually manifest peaceful harmonics and positively influence a city. These landmark results were proven using transcendental meditation to create a more peaceful society. one case study was demonstrated in Washington, DC and as a result the crime rate was reduced remarkably

About three years ago the US was faced with a deadly category five hurricane named Hurricane Rita. A category five hurricane means that group be sustained winds were 165 miles an hour or over. Rita was every bit of it.

Help me stop Rita was Dr. Joe Vitale's emotional outcry in his e-mail with only a day before hurricane Rita was predicted to hit Houston, Texas. Joe's initial concern was to calm down everyone that was freaking out and trying to leave the city and his e-mail he basically asked myself and others to manifest peacefulness towards the area.

I however saw a far deeper need to reach out and help the people. I combined Law of Attraction principles with meditation, energy cultivation, and mind over matter techniques. Reiki, Ki. Chi , Crystals and other approaches. A direct reduction in deadly hurricane force winds was my focused intention as I directed myself into a higher harmonic state of mind.

Perhaps the most unseen beauty amongst this milestone in mankind is the fact that helping heal mother nature of turbulent energy also has a healing effect on yourself as well. This evolutionary Mind Body Spirit training is called the One With The Winds workshop.

Reducing Hurricane Rita was a tough one. The weather Channel in fact reported that Rita had more strength than the deadly Perfect Storm of 1991...

But our heroic Father of Hurricane Reduction was able to pull it off! With the help of Joe and the Joebots, and Spirit Diva and her gang of love-bombers, he turned Rita from a snarling bitch into a purring pussycat. And he's been going nonstop ever since, with his latest triumph being Ike.**

So here is what I want you to do, Dear Ones. As you survey the photos of the devastation created by Ike, send out a prayer of gratitude to our stalwart wind whisperers, for had it not been for their efforts, things could have been ever so much worse. In fact, according to a September 13 AP story, the economic damage from Ike may be less than originally feared, due to a small change in the storm's course just before it hit Texas. That had to have been due to the mighty minds of our hurricane tamers, don't you think?

And while you are at it, say a prayer of thanks to Ike and his fellow 'canes, too. After all, they always have nothing but our well-being in mind. These storms kill us by the thousands and attempt to destroy everything we have so carefully built, but really and truly, it is all for our own higher good.

* Those 19 "scientific" studies mentioned by "Dr." Joe Vitale (and Glen) were all related to Transcendental Meditation, and were conducted by the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's organization – certainly an unbiased source for scientifical research!
** I am still willing to entertain the possibility that Glen Stewart is just yanking our chains and his whole hurricane-reduction shtick is actually an elaborate hoax. But really, that possibility seems ever more remote as I discover more of his writings. I do wonder if anyone is actually idiotic enough to pay $10,000 for an "executive membership"...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Run from the water, hide from the wind(bags)

Hurricane Ike is whirling his way towards the Texas coast as I write this. Mandatory evacuation orders are now in effect on Galveston Island and in several Texas counties. Elsewhere, people who are planning to stay put are rushing like mad to stock up on last-minute hurricane readiness supplies. Some of the talking heads on TV are predicting that Ike could get up to a Category 4 before he's done.

But gosh, that's focusing on the negative, and what good is that going to do for any of us?

Ron and I are fairly far inland here at the Edge of Nowhere, and we're on relatively high ground, but we're still expecting 85~100 mph winds and maybe eight inches of rain within the next couple of days. We've stocked up on provisions and plan to ride it out at The Ranch, but we will still be prepared to evacuate if necessary.

Oh, there I go focusing on the negative again. And there's really no reason to do that.

After all, we have the top hurricane handlers in the world working on this situation even as I write this. For example, here's Joe "Mr. Fire" Vitale's recent Tweet on Twitter:

Maybe this stopped Rita; maybe it can stop Ike. Please forward this:
I have to say that when I saw that, I was thrilled. Wow, I thought, Mr. Fire is conducting a special hurricane taming just for Ike, even though the Hill Country where he lives isn't really in danger! Hmmm, maybe I misunderestimated him! Maybe he really is an altruist!

So I followed the link, and what do you think? Did he create a whole entire new special message for Ike? Alas, no – he is merely recycling his "Help Me Stop Rita" message from September 2005.

I was momentarily disappointed. But then I read that old article again, with its eloquent plea for everyone reading the words to send love and light to Texas. And I read the follow-up, written a few days later:

I sent out my plea the other day
(above) to help stop hurricane Rita
That letter got more positive replies than anything I've ever written. Hundreds wrote to me. Thousands forwarded it around the net. The positive energy it generated was like a white tornado of love.
The result was Rita dropped from a terrifying category 5 hurricane to a category 2 by the time it hit land. It changed direction, too. It never hit Houston, which had panicked and evacuated. It never hit here, either.
This morning -- the day Rita was to hit our area -- Nerissa and I sat on the porch and watched the cats play in the yard. It's sunny and clear out right now. There isn't even a drop of rain.
Did our combined positive efforts make the key difference?
What do you think?
I remembered Rita, and how scared we all were of her, and how Mr. Fire's meditation must have made a difference because, gosh, Rita scarcely did any damage at all.

So, recycled or not, if it worked once, it should probably work again!

Also helping in the hurricane-taming effort is Phoenix/Spirit Diva, the lady who talks to hurricanes and lets them talk to her. Neither she nor the storms are particularly good spellers, but their hearts (and presumably their eyes) are in the right place. Hurricanes, I've learned from her, just want to be loved like you and me.

And you can bet that Spirit Diva and her group of earnest meditators are on Ike like horny old church ladies on a new widower. SD is claiming credit, on behalf of herself and her group, for the fact that Ike has been relatively well behaved so far. But he's a stubborn fellow, this Ike, and the hurricane whisperers will be holding another Ike chat tomorrow night (Friday 12 September) at 8:00 PM Eastern Time. I just received another email from Spirit Diva last night:

Thanks to all who joined previous Hurricane Ike meditations as well the earlier ones. Thankfully he heard and honored our prayers and meditations. Ike took the path of least destruction for the highest and best good for all concerned as he passed over Cuba. Although, he created huge storm surges and destruction of many buildings already in poor condition, he shifted his direction to the south coast rather than middle of Cuba and there were only two deaths directly related to his presence.

WE'VE SUCCESSIVELY DONE IT BEFORE For those who haven't participated with us in the past, please know that our meditations, along with countless others, make a difference. In addition to Gustav, we've successfully participated in prayer and meditation events to transform the path and intensity of several hurricanes and typoons [sic] in the past five years, including Fay, Dolly, Hanna, Dean, Felix, Ivan, Jeanne, Frances, Rita, Wilma and Alberto. We've seen them shift direction and decrease enegy [sic] within minutes of competing our meditations. TOGETHER WE CAN DO IT AGAIN!
Notably absent from that list is Katrina; that's because Spirit Diva didn't find out about her until it was too late. Too bad.

As for Ike hearing and honoring the prayers and meditations of SD and gang, here's what the Scientific American blog reported on September 10:
Ike, which killed 80 people in Haiti and Cuba when it barreled through those islands over the weekend, is a Category 2 hurricane with winds near 100 miles per hour (155 kilometers per hour), according to the weather service. It will become a "major hurricane" in the next 24 hours, the agency said -- possibly strengthening to a Category 3 storm.
Oh, well. I suppose it could have been a lot worse! It could have been 100 people. Or 100,000. Good work, Spirit Diva and fellow meditators!

But I can't help wondering if SD knows she has to share credit with Mr. Fire for taming Rita three years ago...

"Tsk, tsk, Cosmic Connie," some of you are saying. "She has acknowledged the efforts of 'countless others.' Besides, it's not about 'taking credit' for anything. This is all for the greater good of humanity. These good people that you keep making fun of are always focused on that greater good, not on their own little egos like you are."

Yeah, I keep forgetting.
I guess my problem is that, to quote an expression my late mom used to use, I've heard the wind blowing from the same direction too many times before.

In any case, I just tuned into the weather report again, and n
ow the talking heads are saying that the chance Ike will become a Cat 4 storm is dwindling. They say his core is weakening, though we're still not out of the woods. The truth is, it's hard to predict what a hurricane will do.

As usual, however, some things are predictable. I predict that if Ike fizzles out, the wind whisperers will imply they had something to do with it. Even if he does a lot of damage, they'll take credit for the fact that he didn't do more damage. Either that, or they'll blame the naysayers and negative thinkers. Or maybe they'll take a cue from David Schirmer and blame Satan.

For now, I'm off to help batten down the hatches, just as soon as I can figure out where the hatches are, and exactly what "battening" means.

PS ~ Just in case you want to join Spirit Diva and her gang Friday night, here are the meditation details:

When: Friday, September 12, 8:00 PM EST (see Time for yours)
How: Telephone
Call: 218-339-4600
Access Code: 112398#

And if you want to try talking to Ike yourself, here are tips from Spirit Diva on how to do it.

PPS ~ The picture above is from the Scientific American blog.


Update (12 September):
The storm is getting closer. The skies are growing darker, the wind is picking up, the horses are acting a little crazier, and the hummingbirds on our front porch are frantically buzzing around the feeders. Well, the hummingbirds are always frantic, so I guess that doesn't prove anything. Still, the signs are everywhere that Ike is approaching.

One major sign is that every ten minutes or so, one of the news stations has another story about one or another group of Darwin Awards contenders who deliberately chose to ignore evacuation orders and are now out there frolicking in the weather, grinning and waving into the cameras, and having a good old time watching the approaching storm. Some have kids with them and are letting the little tykes run around and throw rocks and sticks into the rapidly rising waters. Stupid, stupid, stupid. But don't get me started...

Oh, but there's good news, Dear Ones. I just learned of yet another hurricane tackler. He's Glen B. Stewart, "The Father of Hurricane Reduction," and what do you know, he was initially inspired to get into hurricane dissipation by Mr. Fire's "Help Me Stop Rita" campaign in 2005.
(And by the way, Mr. Fire apparently did send out a special "Help Me Stop Ike" message to those on his list (for some reason, I'm not on it any more. Go figure.). The subject line was: "Help Me Stop Ike: An Urgent Message From Dr. Joe Vitale of The Secret." )

Anyway, back to the newest star in the hurricane reduction industry, Glen Stewart. In a recent comment on Mr. Fire's blog, Glen wrote:

Hi joe -
Glen here.

In regards to your email “Help Me Stop Ike” ~
I realize that I haven’t stayed in touch lately.
I’ve been SO buzy this year with Hurricane Reductions
and Tropical Storm Dissipations.

I have done 16 successful hurricane reductions in a row
since you gave me the idea 3 short years ago…

Send your readers to this website for Specific Dissipation
details on Hurricane Ike.

Humbly speaking - My global team is the Future of Hurricane Relief ~
Live Vibrantly - Stay Dry
- Glen
On his own site, Glen writes:
Global Team - Let’s show Joe the Future of Hurricane Relief by dissipating this one down to a watering service…
And take a look at this, from another page on his site:
As most of you already know, my background as a tireless alternative health researcher and world record shattering athlete has been indeed - very rewarding....
About 3 years ago - My life was blessed with something that still brings a tear to my eye.
I was gifted with the profound ability to unleash my extensive “Mind Over Matter” training to save possibly over 100,000 lives every year. I discovered that I could apply this training to dissipate a deadly hurricane.
Hurricane Rita was my 1st passionate attempt. The results changed my entire life. I had successfully reduced Hurricane Rita from a deadly category 5 Hurricane - To a survivable category 1 hurricane.
15 hurricane reductions later, I still am as passionate in my quest to grow a global team. This has been proven via the Stewart Principle to be far more powerful than the sum of it’s members.
Can you say, "hubris," boys and girls? Or is it "megalomania?"

Unless...wait...maybe Glen is being ironic, and if so, then once again the joke's on me.

But I suspect he's serious, judging from the other posts on his site, such as this one on September 9:
Due to the hurricane reduction style meditations of myself and my global team, Ike is now dissipated down to a category one hurricane. Currently it’s wind speeds are at 80 miles an hour.
Although the Florida Keys are experiencing some of Ike’s rain bands, this one could have been a lot worse for the state of Florida indeed.
Remember that this one has been reduced considerably already - “Ike has been successfully reduced down over 60mph so far…”
I recommend our previous hurricane reduction strategy that worked considerably well with hurricane Gustav...
For some reason, the title of this blog post seems more apt than ever.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Saint David: the martyrdom continues

Well, now disgraced Aussie Secret star David Schirmer has yet another name to add to the growing list of folks to blame for his troubles. So far he's blamed:

  1. a jilted ex-lover/employee
  2. depraved Aussie journalists
  3. Satan
To that list he can now add his former right-hand man, Warren Henningsen. Warren, who last year faced one of those marauding journos when Schirmer hid from her in a public restroom after she asked him some uncomfortable questions, apparently had high hopes when he went to work for David Schirmer. Warren says that when he first saw The Secret, he knew he'd found his calling: he felt he was meant to spread the joyful message about the Law Of Attraction. So he joined Schirmer's team and thought he was on his way to a career doing just that.

Foolish? Idealistic? Maybe. But that's not the point here. Warren, who is now trying to make a living as a life coach, says that David Schirmer was the closest connection to The Secret that there was in Warren's native Australia. He became Schirmer's spin doctor, a job that grew ever more difficult as rumors about his employer took on a life of their own. As time went by Warren kept seeing more red flags, but tried to ignore them.

Finally he couldn't ignore them anymore, and he eventually got so fed up he quit Schirmer's employ. Schirmer, however, is apparently spinning their separation in a different way, claiming to have fired Warren for various misdeeds. But who ya gonna believe? I'm more inclined to believe Warren.

Recently Warren spoke to A Current Affair reporter Ben Fordham. Here's the YouTube link to Part 6 of ACA's David Schirmer exposé. For the record, ACA tried to talk to Schirmer to get his side of the story, but Schirmer refused to talk to them.

Meanwhile, Schirmer is still thumping that Bible of his. Someone intercepted this recent communication on a chat forum:
David Schirmer said...
I have been on the receiving end of...bullying tactics of gutter journalists and self-promotion egomainiacs [sic]. People like [he named two Aussie journos] are the scum of the earth and have no moral values beyond their own egos. They never do real research, they find a person that they think they can destory [sic] then create lie after lie to build their case, hidding [sic] behind the walls of solicitors [lawyers] and TV cameras. For all those people who have been attacked by these scum, stand tall in the truth, they will be brought to judgement eventually. "Greater is He who is in me (God) than he who is in the world (satan)."
Amen, Brother David...oops, I mean, Saint David. Sorry. (And no, I have no concrete proof that David Schirmer wrote that comment, but it is his style of writing, not to mention his creative spelling.)

So what's next for David Schirmer? Well, he still has quite a few significant legal issues and court cases in Australia that have yet to be resolved. But he has recently sold his home for $1.8 million (Australian dollars, which amount to a little over $1.4 million US), and there's a lot of speculation that he is making plans to move to the US in an effort to start over. He seems to have an ally Stateside – and no, I'm not talking about Joe Vitale, who was recently featured in Schirmer's Succeed Magazine. (Word has it that numerous other Secret stars no longer have anything to do with Schirmer and have been warning others to stay away from him too. Apparently Joe didn't get the memo in time to back out of the Succeed deal, but he should be fully aware by now.)

No, Schirmer's apparent ally is a minor asteroid in the Hustledork Solar System, Keith Leon, whom I've mentioned here a few times before. Keith claims to be a Relationship Master, and he recently published a book about finding your life purpose, Who Do You Think You Are? The book featured Schirmer, among many other New-Wage hustledorks (the Foreword was written by Jack "Chicken Soup" Canfield). If you look on the Events list on Keith's web site, you'll see that he's holding no less than eight events in November, three in December and even one in January 2009, starring himself and David Schirmer. Though no specific date is given for the January event, here's the blurb:


"UNLOCKING The Secret to Success: Prosperity, Connection & Relationships"

David Schirmer, Keith Leon, Joe Vitale and another Secret Teacher TBA will speak at this powerful three day event. You do not want to miss it.

Los Angeles, CA

Pssst, Joe... You did say on your blog that you didn't know about the Schirmer connection with Succeed Magazine before it was too late. Well, it's not too late to back out of this one. If you've already done so, you'd better tell Keith to remove your name from his site.

You're welcome.

Judging by remarks on some other blogs I've seen, I know that some people are pretty bored with this whole Schirmer saga. But I also know that quite a few people claim to have been wronged by Schirmer and are waiting for justice through the courts.

Some of you may think I'm belaboring a point or beating a dead horse. Maybe so, but here's my thinking (and I know I've said this before, but it needs to be said again): If Schirmer has done even half of the things he's accused of, do we really want him here in the US?

And there's an even larger point, which I've also made here, but feel obligated to make yet again: Schirmer may be the one who got caught, but he's far from the only smarmy player on the New-Wage stage. He's merely an extreme symptom of what is wrong with the entire selfish-help industry.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Not wholly Moses, but enough to fill up another New-Wage moviemercial

Dear Ones, the REAL Secret to manifesting the life of your dreams, or at least to manufacturing the dreams of your life, has been right under our noses for several months. It has actually been on the Whirled Musings back burner for a while, but it took my alert pal in the UK, HHH, to nudge me, via a recent email, out of my stupor.

I give you, Dear Ones, The Moses Code, which, as HHH describes it, is...

...the ultimate, the Secret behind the Secret which is above the other Secret transcending all previous Secrets. Never will anyone be able to reveal any more Secrets after this one because this is it- the bedrock, foundation Secret. It's so secret it's even in code...*

The Moses Code is both a book and a New-Wage moviemercial based on that book. The perp is author and self-described "troubadour of peace" James F. Twyman. I mentioned Twyman here in passing a couple of years ago; among his other achievements, he was the discoverer of a marvelous talent, Grandma Chandra, a physically and mentally challenged young woman who happens to hail from the Twelfth Dimension. GranChan can't speak a word, but she communicates telepathically to certain people who are able to receive her messages. Twyman is a big believer in the existence of Truly Special Children, particularly Indigo brats, and he has been involved in awareness-raising (not to mention fund-raising) activities such as international psychic-kid conferences. So he's pretty seasoned at peddling crap finding great truths and sharing them with the world. An article written in September 2003 noted:

Twyman...readily capitalizes on his own and children's purported paranormal abilities.

Twyman sells books and Internet course(s) based on the Psychic Children. He holds pricey Psychic Children conferences, camps, and fairs, charging about $300 for adults for the main conference. He offers an Internet course on telekinetic spoon-bending. He purportedly conversed with Jesus ("Jeshua") who revealed to Twyman through a "Divine Partnership" the "secrets of Heaven and Earth," which Twyman turned into an Internet course for required donations -- with a suggested retail value of $150.

He purports to have frequently "conversed" telepathically from abroad with a Psychic Child he calls Thomas from Bulgaria, and other Psychic Children - providing more content for books and Internet courses. A "secret society" of spiritual masters called "emissaries of light" purportedly revealed themselves in the flesh to Twyman in Bosnia (before they disbanded) -- more content for courses and books...

Oh, well, that was then; this is now. And now we have Twyman's The Moses Code, and here it is in a nutshell: Moses, the guy in the Bible, was told the REAL Secret to manifestation by a voice in a burning bush way back in Bible Times. He used that Secret to do a lot of amazing things. But then the Secret was buried for centuries because the unwashed masses in olden days couldn't handle it. It took James Twyman to un-bury this great Secret and share it with the masses, who are now washed for the most part, and are finally ready to accept the Secret and use it. And you – yes, you! – can now learn Moses' Secret and use it to manifest anything you want in your life – cars, houses, soul mates, and so forth. Even better, you can manifest good stuff for the world: peace, an end to hunger, an end to ignorance, and whatnot. (Note to New-Wage manifesters: Better not work too hard on that "end to ignorance" stuff, lest your target market dry up and disappear.)

As anyone who's been following this blog has probably noticed, I've been writing about Drew Heriot, original director of The Secret, and the trouble he's had trying to collect the money that Secret producer Rhonda Byrne promised him. Well, Drew also happens to be the director of The Moses Code movie. Either he really and truly believes in this stuff, or he simply believes he can make money from it. On the one hand, I would like to see him succeed just on general principle, as I think he did get a rotten deal from Rhonda... but on the other hand, I gotta do what I gotta do, and if he keeps on creating snarkworthy product, I gotta snark. Sorry, Drew.

On first glance, it almost looks as if The Moses Code is going somewhat against the grain of today's most popular moviemercials and is hawking Conspicuous Altruism, a la The Shift, rather than the usual Inspired Greed & Narcissism, a la The Secret. The first talking head in the trailer is bestselling author, speaker, ordained minister and Yoruba priestess The Reverend Doctor Iyanla Van Zant. Now, in some respects, the RevDoc Iyanla is no different from your average New-Wage author; one of her most recent projects was an organized effort to pump up sales of a new edition of her book, Tapping The Power Within, on Amazon, Borders and "Barnes and Nobles" [sic] so she could boast that it was a bestseller:

We intend for Tapping the Power Within to hit the NY Times Bestseller's List through sales of reporting outlets Amazon, Barnes & Nobles and Borders, and you can help manifest this vision!

Please purchase your book from Amazon, Barnes & Nobles or Borders and please purchase your book on (or soon after) September 4th.

Note, the book may be available prior to September 4th, but we are asking that you please wait to purchase it when the impact of your purchase will be the greatest!

This is S.O.P. for authors who want to be able to truthfully say their tomes are bestsellers, in some cases "even outselling Harry Potter!" But I have to admit that RevDoc Ilyana almost won me over at the beginning of the Moses Code trailer with this pronouncement:

When we talk about manifestation or getting 'stuff'...we want two cars, three houses...You got one butt. Why do you need four cars?

[Note to self: Research the good Reverend Doctor and find out how many cars and houses she has.]

Also in The Moses Code is that bearded moviemercial standard, Neale Donald Walsch, who got super-rich by writing about the voices in his head. Neale Donald says, "Advanced students understand that it [manifestation] works exactly the opposite [as is normally understood]...not to try to magnetize something to us, but to try to bring something through us."

On closer examination, however, The Moses Code is just another moviemercial featuring a line-up of New-Wage infotainers, though notably absent from that line-up is Joe "I Just Got Me Another Fancy New Car & You Can Too If You Give Me Money!" Vitale (see RevDoc Iyanla's quotation, above).

Many of the usual suspects are there, however, including a few from The Secret, such as Reverend Michael Beckwith of the Agape Spiritual Center. The Reverend Beckwith, as you may also know if you've been following this blog, is also known for teaming up with Scientist Bob Proctor and Jack "Chicken Soup" Canfield in the Three Amigos/SGR scam, which gives you a change to buy a briefcase for a couple thousand dollars US, whereupon you have a chance to try to sucker other people into buying briefcases, and you get a commission for every dolt who falls for your pitch and forks over for a briefcase. I've blogged about that on more than one occasion, such as here.

Also appearing is former computer programmer turned mystic "scientist" Gregg Braden, who's making a lot of money by convincing people that he is shattering their paradigms. You've met him here too.

There's also a sprinkling of psychics, mystics, spiritual counselors and "intuitives" (including ghost whisperer James Van, just to give the film extra credibility) as well as assorted motivators and hustledorks. There's even one of Drew Heriot's pals from the Elevate Film Festival, Mikki Willis (billed as "filmmaker and visionary"). I have to say that Mikki looks and sounds more than a little bit like a stoner as he describes an apparent moment of revelation: "All of the material world was just garbage at that point. It didn't matter." Like wow, man. (Yeah, I'm humming, "Have you ever been high as f&$#?") Whenever I hear a statement like Mikki's from someone in Hollywood, I always have to wonder if the person saying it takes the "material-world-means-nothing" concept literally. Has Mikki, for example, indeed renounced materialism completely, and is he living a quiet and humble life as far away from the material mania of Hollywood as he possibly can? Someone do some research on that and get back to me, okay?

Overwhelmingly, the reviews of The Moses Code DVD and the original book are positive, at least on Amazon (as may be apparent, I'm too lazy to look anywhere else or do any real research). As is so often the case with these products, few of the gushing five- and four-star reviewers have actually admitted to using the advice or techniques successfully in their own lives, but at least they were impressed by the presentation.

Of course there are critics. Some are disappointed that the book and movie fall short of their promises of actually delivering a long-hidden secret to manifestation.

Here's something from a one-star review of the book:

1.0 out of 5 stars Obvious Marketing Ploy Written Like A Blog, March 4, 2008

By M. Sorenson

As I read Twyman's book I recognized the identical concepts that have been taught throughout the ages. Sweedenborg [sic], Emerson, Descartes, Thomas Troward, Abraham-Hicks, Ernest Homes [sic] and more notably the many works of Neville Goddard all show that this book is a regurgitation of one idea that is not secret at all. This book is a marketing ploy much like the Secret and in fact Twyman seems to continue to ride that gravy train by aligning himself with the law of attraction and implying: "But I have the secret to unlocking the Secret." Very enticing indeed but this book will probably leave many, just as empty...

...The Moses Code is much like the Secret. A book, a ruse to provide the reader with the "secret handshake" that will awaken the genie-god to deliver shiny toys to your doorstep. This premise will always sell books.

The book borrows the very same ideas from Rhonda Byrne (The Secret) by posing the preposterous notion that something powerful, a secret code, was hidden from the world that would solve all of our problems--until now. In this book Twyman describes how God gave Moses the secret code during the famous burning bush scene in the third chapter of Exodus. He goes on to say that Moses used the secret code to perform many miracles such as freeing his people from captivity, turning his walking stick into a serpent, turning the Nile into blood, killing the first born of every Egyptian, creating plagues, and parting the red sea to destroy the pursuing Egyptian army.

Mr. Twyman attempts to share with the reader the same secret code that Moses supposedly used. A secret code that propels the law of attraction to new heights. A secret code that somehow became lost by Moses and just discovered in 2008.

"What are some of the things you most want to receive? Abundance? Your Soul Mate? The Perfect House? Your Dream Car? Chapter 1.

"And now you will use the name of God just as Moses did to realize your greatest dream. The process you're about to learn will align your power with the power of God, giving you the authority to draw into your life anything you desire." Chapter 2.

The Moses Code presents two sides to the manifesting issue: Ego manifesting and "soul" manifesting which is a noble concept but the book fails to make a reasonable case for the latter. What is the secret code? Say "I AM (a specific desire or state of being). A method in the book is given as a meditative technique. Write down on a piece of paper your desire such as financial abundance or the perfect relationship. Once you are alone and in a relaxed state, take some deep breaths and look at what you have written. Now say "I am [that]" Exhale as you say these words, and then as you inhale continue by saying: "I am." Repeat this pattern as you stare at what you've written. It is important that you feel the emotion of "already having" the thing you are asking for.

...The book is a mish-mash of ideas written in the form of a long blog entry and unfortunately is packaged as a magnificent discovery for the seeker. While Twyman points to an important dichotomy between "us and God," he still exhibits a rather archaic view of scripture based on assumptions, possibly from his Franciscan roots. It actually appears that Twynam at some time read a little Neville Goddard, Murphy or Ernest Holmes and decided to put these ideas in his own words and package it as a newly discovered treasure--all the while surfing the wake left behind by The Secret.

And here we have a disappointed reviewer of the movie:

2.0 out of 5 stars I AM DISAPPOINTED, I AM!, April 21, 2008

By SS (Bangkok, Thailand) - See all my reviews

I gave this movie at least 2 stars for the effort, but it is filled with unfulfilled promises from beginning to end. The DVD cover says it's 90 minutes, the truth, is the movie is just under 60 minutes. The DVD says, it's filled with extra bonuses for 30 minutes. The truth, there's a 12-minute music video, and the other 18 minutes is a request for a donation.

On top of that, all the great parts in the movie are summed up in the 2-minute trailer. The rest of the movie is just stretching a principle out to crazy proportions. The movie is not systematic. Other speakers seem to be talking about their own things not related to the movie or the Moses code and that's fair because there's NOT MUCH THERE TO TALK ABOUT.

The idea may have been very powerful, but the execution makes it into a joke. It was a disappointment to watch and I'm slightly embarrassed that I bought it. I AM EMBARRASSED, I AM.

Others dispute The Moses Code on religious or scholarly grounds, or both:

PJ Wong says: This phrase "I am that I am", spoken by God, is totally taken out of context by this book. Did Moses reach some wonderful place of fulfillment by saying this phrase? Go back to what the Exodus account itself depicts. This phrase is not the revelation of a psychobabble mystery for Moses to "become', it is the revelation of the character of a Most Holy God, an eternal and timeless God, speaking through a bush that is burning but does not die. Moses had to go through terrible trials and doubts. He was supported by the strength of God, not the strength of his "manifesting" some state of perfection. And he never achieved some state of material happiness, indeed, he died in the desert without ever reaching the beautiful promised land.

Regarding any (traditional) religious objections, I know that religionistas easily take umbrage at these things; witness the furor over The DaVinci Code and some of Dan Brown's other works. But at least those works were marketed as fiction and entertainment, not as THE path to material, emotional and spiritual fulfillment. There's a huge difference.

As snarkworthy as I find all of this, HHH swears there's something to The Moses Code, but you have to use the proper invocation. Here's the Moses Code invocation he uses:

Hocus pocus stuff your ass with a crocus
I invoke Moses and his holy little toeses.

Although I am not sure how the imagery of inserting a flower into a donkey can bring you in touch with the divine, HHH swears by it, explaining, "This invocation can cancel all credit card debt, remove verrucas, heal snakebites and guarantee success at any job interview." He's never lied to me yet, so I can only assume that it's true.

However, I must say that HHH has already been proven wrong about one thing. There will always be another Ultimate Secret to be discovered, revealed, and turned into a New Wage moviemercial and affiliate program.

And you can take that to the bank.

* If you're interested, Skeptico did a drive-by snark on The Moses Code about six months ago.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

On hurricanes, the Universe, fan mail, and a song

Wow, it's September already. It's been a busy few days and now I'm getting ready to retire to the living room and watch the Republican debacle, but I thought I'd share a few snippets first.

Farces of nature
Gustav has come and mostly gone, and fortunately didn't decimate New Orleans, although he was responsible for nearly a hundred deaths in the Caribbean. I am sure that the Hurricane Whisperer herself, Phoenix/Spirit Diva, aka Lynn Marks, who has claimed to be successful in calming numerous 'canes, will soon be taking credit for helping to talk Gustav out of being more awful than he was. Phoenix/SD led a telephone meditation for this very purpose a few nights ago; I was invited to join but had other plans. Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading the message Phoenix channeled from Gustav. As of now, her most recent channeling is from Hurricane Dolly, whom I mentioned here a couple of weeks ago. Here's part of what Dolly had to tell us:
Peace is your birthright.
Peace is the fertile soil for love to spring forth.
Everything has its natural life cycle.
Me, you and even those levies [sic] in Texas
As they were in New Orleans.
I can't wait to hear the words of love and wisdom from Gustav.

All this talk of hurricane taming puts me in mind of an excellent suggestion that my new pal
Mojo shared in her comment to one of my recent posts. In response to my breaking the news that the sun is going to explode next July unless a large enough group of like-minded folks get together and stop it, Mojo suggested this:
Start a movement to get everyone together to think Good Thoughts and "attract" the sun into NOT blowing up next July. Sort of like that hurricane lady, only instead of calming tropical storms you can calm stellar explosions.

You can also take a page from Blair Warren [his classic "Mr. Amazing's Magic Rocks"] and sell magic sun-explosion-preventing rocks... Thus keeping with the fine self-help tradition of just ripping your schtick off from other people. Or as I prefer to call it, "standing on the shoulders of giants", or however that one goes. (It all just kind of mushes into one big vat o' poo after a while, don't it?)

I KNOW this will work, because I myself am the proud possessor of the world's first "make the sun rise every morning" rock. Every evening I meditate and praise my rock for doing such a good job, and sure enough the next morning it works again! And I'm open to joint ventures and affiliates, so long as I don't have to do any work...

The great thing about selling "keep the sun from exploding" rocks is, unlike those other SCAM rocks YOU can offer a money-back guarantee. "If the sun explodes at ANY TIME during your ownership of this rock, merely ship it back to us postage due (That's RIGHT! We are so confident of our rocks WE PAY THE SHIPPING!) and your money will be cheerfully refunded. No questions asked!"
Thanks to helpful readers such as Mojo, I am getting closer and closer to actually finding a good scam. Which seamlessly leads us into our next snippet...

Mr. Fire 'splains the workings of the Universe
If you've ever wondered how the Universe really works, you're in luck. I found this scientifical illustration on the site advertising Joe Vitale's new Romance Attractor "subliminal" CD set:
How the Universe Works

So y'all can forget all those stuffy astrophysicists and other "experts" with their real Ph.D.'s, and you can forget all of those episodes of Nova, and those books by the late Dr. Carl Sagan. All you really need to know about the Universe is that it is in direct communication with your unconscious mind, and vice-versa. The deal is, no matter what you consciously think, say or believe, the Universe bypasses all of that and goes straight for the part of you that is totally inaccessible – inaccessible, that is, unless you buy certain books/DVDs/subliminal products/coaching services, etc., which Mr. Fire just happens to sell.

If you don't shell out your money for these products and/or services, then your unconscious and the Universe will continue to be in cahoots against you. Your unconscious will talk about you behind your back, sending secret messages up to the Universe about you, giggling at your failures, telling jokes at your expense, and so on. And the Universe will say, "Wow, what an unworthy dweeb!" and it will keep on sending you things and people and events that you don't like, and/or failing to send you things and people and events that you do like. And you will have only yourself, or, rather, your unconscious, to blame.

If you do buy the helpful products and/or services, you have a chance of beating your unconscious into submission (otherwise known as "clearing") so that it only says nice things about you to the Universe, and the Universe is obliged to finally start rewarding you with things and people and events that make you happy.

The drawback is that since it's your unconscious, you'll never be completely aware of what's really going on there, so bad things might continue to happen to you, because your unconscious exists to sabotage you and will keep on doing so, unless you keep it thoroughly "cleared."

Fortunately there are always more products and/or services to buy, and you can just keep on buying and buying and buying until good things start happening in your life. Even then you will probably still need to keep on buying for the rest of your life in order to ensure that the good things keep happening. It's kind of like being an insulin-dependent diabetic, except you probably won't actually die if you don't continue to buy those scientistical selfish-help products; you'll just be unhappy for the rest of your life and wish you were dead. Or maybe a better analogy would be the one that Mark Victor Hansen so smugly used when putting Steve Salerno down on Anderson Cooper's show a few years back (and I'm paraphrasing here): you need to take a shower every day in order to stay clean and non-smelly, and you need to keep buying selfish-help crap frequently in order to stay selfishly helped.

And that's the way the Universe works.

PS added Saturday 6 September:
I got this in from Whirled Musings' resident poet, HHH, who is also an artist and, obviously, a man who understands how the Universe really works. Or at least the New-Wage/selfish-help Universe:
Another couple of fan letters
I received these kind words the other day, in response to a post I wrote in May of 2007 regarding up-and-coming hustledork Chris Howard (and some of his more clueless affiliates):
Anonymous said...

I agree with you…
You should never attend one of Chris Howard’s seminars.

You are far too negative and closed minded, plus very egotistical to attend anything that just may show you up as being self-centered and opinionated.

Carry on with your one eyed comments in your own little world in blogger land. Where you reign supreme and get your jollys off with pathetic comments from like minded closed minded people like you.

5:36 AM

Anonymous said...

oh how pathetic, you're the only one to gets to say what you want to say... any blog moderated is a waste of time reading or commenting on

5:37 AM

To which I replied:
Anon, you obviously feel very strongly about Mr. Howard, as evidenced by the fact that you felt compelled to write not once, but twice.

FYI, I will publish any comment that is not overtly profane or in some way actionable (i.e., libelous).

And no, moderating blogs is not a waste of time. If this blog weren't moderated, then the aforementioned profane or actionable comments would be automatically published, along with spam messages about online gambling and penis enlargers. We do try to stay on topic here. :-)

Anyway, it's obvious that my post strongly affected you. Believe me, I do understand that disillusionment is never easy, and I only hope you didn't shell out too much money on your hero.
I thought I'd do Anon a favor and bring this up to the front page.

Why do the chickens have human arms?
And finally, here is a plaintive little song to carry you into the weekend. I know, I know, it's not the weekend yet, but it will be before you know it. (Warning: if you are at all offended by use of the "f" word or by references to recreational drug use, do NOT follow this link.)

* * * * *

And that's it for now. I hope to soon have an update on the ongoing saga of the Blunder From Down Under, David Schirmer... plus a thoughtful and well-researched post about a serious social problem... and oh, so much more. So much to blog about, so little time to blog.

For now, I'm off to the living room to watch that big spectacle in Minnesota, and get in some quality yelling-at-the-TV time. Apparently Mitt Romney just finished telling everyone that liberals/Democrats are to blame for our government getting too big for its britches. I suggest you hop on over to Steve Salerno's blog for some engaging discussions about that carnival/soap opera we call an American presidential election.