Sunday, April 29, 2018

On Death Ray, Salty Droid, and manly men

I'm not yet up to writing anything long and thoughtful, but in the continuing interests of revitalizing this Whirled, here are a few little snippets to close out the cruel month of April.

Death Ray is still at it
If you can access Facebook and can stomach it, here is a beyond-disgusting bit from
convicted killer James Arthur "Death" Ray's presentation at last week's "Wealth Summit" held in Clearwater Beach FL (which also happens to be Scientology country). Here's the link, and don't say I didn't warn you:  

The good news is that Death Ray is still playing to much smaller audiences than he did in his glory days, and he had to share billing with several other hucksters, including fellow star of
The Secret and third- or fourth-tier Scamworlder, Lisa Nichols.

The bad news is that he is still playing to audiences, and getting them to chant stupid things like, "The naysayers don't know how to count!" He is still framing his imprisonment for negligent homicide, and
his lame attempts at a scumback, as a heroic journey. And even if only a very few folks are buying that shtick, that's still far too many.

Salty Droid on QTR podcast
My friend and favorite scambusting blogger/lawyer,
Jason Jones, aka Salty Droid, did a podcast for Quoth The Raven earlier this month. While it could probably benefit from a bit of editing, it's still well worth a listen, being a powerful reminder that in Scamworld, there are no neat and tidy endings, and that the more things change with MLMs like Herbalife, the more they stay the same.

One aspect that really struck out for me is that Jason remains consistent in his refusal to condescend to victims of scams, even people who are serially victimized. As frustrating as it may sometimes be to someone observing a friend or loved one under the spell of an obvious scam, any one of us could be vulnerable to even the most blatantly scammy scams given the right (or grievously wrong) circumstances. And it can happen more than once; being screwed by one scam or scammer is almost never a guarantee that you won't be screwed again, in much the same way, by yet another scam or scammer somewhere down the road. In fact that probably happens more often than not. As Jason has pointed out to me (and I quoted him in
this October 2016 post), "Manipulation causes susceptibility to manipulation as a side effect."

Here's the link to the podcast.

Manly men, redux
This little blog may not have many readers, and the conversations may not be as active as they were in years past, but it does still get comments, which I greatly appreciate. It shows me that someone is still paying attention. Just yesterday I got a comment to
a post I published in January 2011. Framed around criticism of the men's LGAT (Large Group Awareness Training) organization The ManKind Project, the post also covered the mythopoetic "men's movement" in general, a phenomenon that took hold in the culture back in the 1980s.

A woman named Aimee
sent in a comment thanking me for my post and providing a link to a 2015 guest post her husband had written on the EcoFeminist blog. Her husband had been "groomed" by his therapist to attend a ManKind "Warrior Training" event that, she says, left him traumatized for years. And apparently there were repercussions from the therapist in question following her husband's abandonment of the "training."

Here is a link to the blog post by Aimee's husband. I think he did a wonderful job of pointing out what is wrong about ManKind Project and as an extension, about the whole mythopoetic-men's-group phenomenon. Some of my favorite bits:
Its apolitical and anti-rationalist thinking narrows down the concept of manhood to fairy tales and atavistic concepts that reinforce separation from women rather than look at rational and practical ways to heal disparities, discuss inequalities and examine existing power structures. Kind of like a ‘they have their side of the bus, we want ours’.

I don’t want to be part of a bastardised Grimm fairy tale.

I don’t want to be part of an epic.

If I’m wounded, I don’t want to exclude a great portion of the world in seeking solutions, let alone run around in the bush banging drums and howling like a fucking wolf and pretending I am carrying the strength of male lineage in my family.

I don’t want to make up stories about childhood abuse or repressed memories (a highly dubious technique with very little empirical support).

I don’t want to shed my identity and name myself after an animal.

I’m not interested in
LGAT and the rabbit holes it can lead you down and I don’t want to place my emotional/ psychological wellbeing in the hands of someone who has no background in professional mental health services or who subscribes to outmoded and pseudo-scientific ‘therapies’.

I want to be the author of my own story.I want to walk through the bush quietly comfortable in my own skin (and maybe see a real live wolf). I want to be proud of all of my traits no matter how they are labeled.
Good for him. As for me, I need to be the author of my own story too, but for now I'll settle for being the author of this blog, and I'll be back with more in (what I hope will be) the merry month of May. Thanks for reading.

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Patty K. said...

Please keep posting Connie. Keep beating the scambusting drum. We, and those being preyed on need to hear what you’re saying. Thanks for all you do.

Cosmic Connie said...

Thank you, Patty!