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Is this how self-help gurus scam people?

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Is this how self-help gurus scam people?

Postby Scepcop » February 26th, 2010, 9:56 pm

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http://edificial.blogspot.com/2006/08/c ... vlina.html

As for the rest of it, I have no idea whether people actually believe what he's selling. I think he's just tapping into the self-help business model - get rich by telling everyone how rich you already are. It's a self-reinforcing scheme where no one can prove you wrong unless they take the time to actually investigate your history. But most people don't and thus they fork over their money giving him the riches he claims to have made on his own.
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged






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Re: Is this how self-help gurus scam people?

Postby Craig Browning » February 27th, 2010, 5:17 am


Same story, new guru... I was there with Louise Hay and Marianne Williamson's rise as "cult leaders" (quite literally). Every generation has such characters, most of whom rely on the same general bag of linguistic tricks pulled from one or both key bags; the Intellectualism side of things in which psychology, human behavior, etc. are all part of "the gospel" or, the Mysticism side in which various "surface" concepts tied to the occult and/or Eastern Mysticism serve as the foundation.

What's very interesting about the Self-Help types is that a good 85% of what they pitch is nearly word for word what Dale Carnegie was preaching decades ago and his institute still makes available at a fraction of the cost all these charismatic egos demand. But the New Age type are plagiarists too, in that much of what they hype stems from a handful of key sources (outside possible scripture type material), the two primaries being the correspondence materials sold by the DeLawrence Publishing Co. in the 19th Century and for those pushing "Lost Knowledge from Ancient Times" you have the Atlantean & Lemurian connections brought out by James Churchwood (and actually seeing a quasi-revival in recently years via legit studies). I should point out that these two particular "discoveries" were made by my ex as she sought to validate the claims of certain Wiccan groups of being from a very "ancient" lineage, even having Books of Shadow composed in Egyptian and Phonecian texts that, upon deeper examination, lent upon the improper translations of Wallace Budge and some of his contemporaries... not exactly the kind of thing I'd call "convenient" when trying to prove you are part of a very, very ancient order that actually rules over much of the world ala Illuminati. :roll:

It never changes, no one wants it to :ugeek:

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Re: Is this how self-help gurus scam people?

Postby Scepcop » February 27th, 2010, 11:28 am


Yeah but the new self help guru combines New Age ideas and spirituality along with getting rich, a great package.

What do you think of Wayne Dyer? People like him are wonderful and charismatic. And they seem sincere. But they only speak to crowds of rich people, as though they only cater to rich New Agers. How can that be spiritual? Plus their solutions to things "such as thoughts/attitude creates reality" only work for simple problems, not complex ones. And they never define how powerful thoughts are, but preach it as though it were all limiting.

They never address why the Titanic sunk if thoughts are all powerful, then it wouldn't have sunk cause everyone thought it was "unsinkable".

Wayne Dyer never addresses or explains this. He only says that "some people think my lectures are stupid, but that's ok, cause I'm not attached to others' opinions of me, for you can't control your reputation, only your character". That may be true, but that doesn't address the flaws in what he teaches.

But Dyer has a wonderful inspiring personality and voice that is soothing to hear, as well as uplifting. That's why he sells. He borrows a lot of quotes from mystics and philosophers too.
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

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Re: Is this how self-help gurus scam people?

Postby Nostradamus » February 27th, 2010, 8:30 pm


An important part of the self help gurus has to be repeat customers. Instead of drumming up new customers all of the times you get people to toss more money in your direction. A lot of what they say has to be not memorable or not clear. It's a stage show where they want to leave with the felling of bot being satiated. You come back for more and more.

I listen to about 5 minutes of Robbins in a TV interview and I am reminded of the old Yankees in Vermont listening to a political speech. One says to the other with a puzzled look and asks, "What is he saying?" His friend replies, "He don't say."
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Re: Is this how self-help gurus scam people?

Postby Craig Browning » February 28th, 2010, 10:24 am


They never address why the Titanic sunk if thoughts are all powerful, then it wouldn't have sunk cause everyone thought it was "unsinkable".


Some claim that the reason the Titanic sank was man's arrogance in daring "god" to prove them wrong... it would seem that IT did. :lol:

Double-Speak is the secret behind every good sales man and that's exactly what these people are; very good sales people that know how to invoke the emotions, fears, doubt, etc. of their patrons. It's the exact same formula used by Preachers, Politicians and a Lawyer when giving their closing argument.

Many years ago when I had just gotten out of the Navy and trying to decide what direction to go in life, I took a job selling funeral plots. One of the first requirements to the job is to turn of your conscience and be willing to solicit an emotional connection between you, the client and THEIR fears/memories/ doubts, etc. Let's face it, my job was to get them to cough up a couple grand for roughly 30 cubic feet of dirt, two boxes (coffin + vault for each grave) and a name plaque. The primary angle used is to tend to things so your loved one's don't need to be burdened during their time of grief...
... it was a very cruel and typically easy sale.

It is also demonstration as to how these gurus operate; not just the buttons they'll push, but how they push each button, when and why. It's an art to which many are born, hosting the right "nature" and intellect for pulling it off, while others develop a penchant for it along side awareness; the ability to see and mimic what they notice other personalities do. Interestingly, mirroring those you admire is one of the more common techniques they teach :lol:

The HOPE Industry is eons old and will never go away. Regardless the theme, if you are charismatic and just slightly educated and perhaps a bit quick of wit, you won't only find yourself a "guide" for others, you will be given credit -- testimony & validation -- by those that patronize you.

I've done Readings for well over 30 years and early on I broke one of the cardinal rules of being a successful Reader; I wouldn't sew in situations on a Reading the would result in the client becoming dependent on me. In stead I would help them discover ways of being independent and reclaim their personal "power" in life... as Louise used to say, "There are no victims, just volunteers". Some people volunteer to stand up to be counted while many volunteer to be a sheep that merely follows what they are lead to be believe to be "right" or wherever all the other sheep seem to be flocking toward... even the more rebellious sheep, out of habit (programming) will migrate to that Shepard offering the most hope and comfort :roll:

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Re: Is this how self-help gurus scam people?

Postby Scepcop » March 3rd, 2010, 6:51 pm


What you guys are describing are con artists. Not all self help gurus are cons.

Have you listened to Wayne Dyer? He is definitely sincere and his colleagues say that he is rare in that he actually lives and practices what he preaches. He does not live a double life. There is genuine passion and love within him. That much is obvious.

The best actor in the world can only fake things to a certain extent. No one can get away with lying forever.

Some are genuinely trying to help people out there. It's just that they are catering to only the middle to upper class usually, so they can make more money.

Not all preachers are bad too. Some really believe what they preach and want to help others or serve God. Not all are using deliberate brainwashing tactics.
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Re: Is this how self-help gurus scam people?

Postby Nostradamus » March 3rd, 2010, 8:21 pm


Some of people out there doing self-help are social workers that believe in making a difference in their lives. Most get lousy pay, bad working conditions, and situations where they often watch helplessly. But they do make a difference.
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Re: Is this how self-help gurus scam people?

Postby Craig Browning » March 4th, 2010, 11:14 am


Nostradamus wrote:Some of people out there doing self-help are social workers that believe in making a difference in their lives. Most get lousy pay, bad working conditions, and situations where they often watch helplessly. But they do make a difference.


Agreed! If it weren't for such folks I'd not be here right now. But that's one reason why I've always been there with a shoulder when people (including total strangers) are in need.

Yes Wayne Dryer and several of his ilk project sincerity but you better believe that when the bottom falls out and the company's bottom line isn't meeting projections, the gears with shift as will the message.

In 1983 I came to one of the Wednesday Night "Hay Rides" that Louise Hay hosted, along with one of my teachers... a Hopi Shaman, who spoke to the group about how he believed sweat lodges and other ceremonies might be able to help people infected with HIV. This was before the big Castaneda trend kicked in and everyone wanted to become a shaman. Louise responding in a very chiding manner because I'd brought in something so "Pagan" to her white washed Science of Mind environment. Yet, a year later she's giving huge kudos to Shamanism because it was the commercial flavor of the month along side Lazarus, Bernie Segal, and walking on hot coals (with a very young Anthony Robbins).

Before I left the L.A. area I'd watched the Hay groups transmute from the Science of Mind/Course in Miracles path of focus to Shamanism, Reiki, and of course Angels then Mediumship... each transition tied to what was popular on the shelves, the tube and of course the trade papers. And I can assure you the Evangelist community is the same way, just look at their patterns over a single decade and you will see it.

Whether you want to accept it or not Scepcop, most all of them are "hustlers" -- business people out there to make a buck and that's all they actually care about outside photo ops and their own niche group/family. Then again, the whole "need" by people and buying into "hope" such as these messengers bring, is the very same reason Lotteries and Gambling are at such a high right now... when times are hard and chaotic Gambling and Religious quests raise in social popularity.

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Re: Is this how self-help gurus scam people?

Postby ProfWag » March 4th, 2010, 12:16 pm


Craig Browning wrote:Double-Speak is the secret behind every good sales man and that's exactly what these people are; very good sales people that know how to invoke the emotions, fears, doubt, etc. of their patrons. It's the exact same formula used by Preachers, Politicians and a Lawyer when giving their closing argument.

And Mediums.

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Re: Is this how self-help gurus scam people?

Postby NinjaPuppy » March 4th, 2010, 1:51 pm


I keep trying to tell you ProfWag, it's all schtick. Some are better than others and some do have some 'insight' that can't really be explained by scientific means. Finding the ones with insight is the hard part.

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Re: Is this how self-help gurus scam people?

Postby Craig Browning » March 5th, 2010, 10:46 am


NinjaPuppy wrote:I keep trying to tell you ProfWag, it's all schtick. Some are better than others and some do have some 'insight' that can't really be explained by scientific means. Finding the ones with insight is the hard part.


I'll assume you're referring to the real mystics of the world...

Buddhism has a very interesting teaching that I read about some years ago (wish I could find those notes!) that basically points out that those that are miracle workers aren't necessarily "enlightened" or righteous. It asks the question, "What do such demonstrations serve other than the guru's own ego?"

In my experiences of studying and working with "shut-eye" Psychics and various "teachers" I've found that its the one's that hide in the shadows, who do not seek any form of acclaim and for that matter, excess of both, income and how they live... most are very simple, quite and practical folk the majority of us would walk right past and not pay any notice of other than, if drawn into a conversation, realizing that we are comfortable around them and on some levels admire their calm demeanor.

I think I've shared before how, when I was working in Vegas I tested over 100 licensed Psychics only to find fewer than six that even remotely suggested a legitimate sense of Intuitive prowess. The rest were the typical delusional "I'm Special" egos so common to the starry eyed world of the New Age mind set.

The "real deal" isn't out to prove anything; they (to coin a phrase) work a program of attraction rather than promotion... They aren't out walking on water or raising the dead or bending keys for the cameras, etc. even though they can and do create the "miraculous" when and as it's required in subtle, quiet ways, seeking NOTHING in return.

This is why the JREF and other such groups will never find that "proof" around psychic legitimacy... the real ones wont play their game, they have no reason to. On some level I can't help but believe that such cynical groups know this, which is why they exploit circumstance as they do. But then, not everyone they've "tested" has been a "fraud", just gifted soul's that lost their way by getting caught up in trends, the idea of fame, fortune, etc.

We must always keep in mind when looking at this circumstance, that the "Believers" view those that chase after the fame, money, etc. as being frauds & charlatans as well. Not because of trickery or fast talking but because they have stepped outside the ways of tradition and elected to use their "gifts" as a means to further themselves economically and egotistically -- serving carnality vs. spirit as they would say. ;)

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Re: Is this how self-help gurus scam people?

Postby NinjaPuppy » March 5th, 2010, 11:34 am


Craig - Once again... EXCELLENT post!

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Re: Is this how self-help gurus scam people?

Postby Nostradamus » March 5th, 2010, 9:21 pm


Succinct and well written Craig.
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Re: Is this how self-help gurus scam people?

Postby ProfWag » March 6th, 2010, 5:55 am


NinjaPuppy wrote:I keep trying to tell you ProfWag, it's all schtick. Some are better than others and some do have some 'insight' that can't really be explained by scientific means. Finding the ones with insight is the hard part.

Some are better than others at what, specifically?

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Re: Is this how self-help gurus scam people?

Postby NinjaPuppy » March 6th, 2010, 6:12 am


ProfWag wrote:
NinjaPuppy wrote:I keep trying to tell you ProfWag, it's all schtick. Some are better than others and some do have some 'insight' that can't really be explained by scientific means. Finding the ones with insight is the hard part.

Some are better than others at what, specifically?

Some are better than others at what they do. Don't ask me to find the right words because that ain't gonna happen. If I choose to use a word that indicates anything beyond the realm of something skeptically acceptable, then it turns into 5 pages of symantics.

As Craig indicated somewhere, very few people who do this sort of thing seem to stand out with anything other than the usual talents to memorize, cold read, etc. I'm sure I am murdering Craig's statement but it would take me half a day to find what I am looking for to quote him properly. From memory, I believe he said something like with 100 people, six of them may have exhibited something other than the norm.

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