Whirled Musings

Across the Universe with Cosmic Connie, aka Connie L. Schmidt...or maybe just through the dung-filled streets and murky swamps of pop culture -- more specifically, the New-Age/New-Wage crowd, pop spirituality & religion, pop psychology, self(ish)-help, business babble, media silliness, & related (or occasionally unrelated) matters of consequence. Hope you're wearing boots. (By the way, the "Cosmic" bit in my moniker is IRONIC.)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

What's next? Access death panels?

I thought I was finished for the time being with my "celebration" of Access Consciousness, that wacko sex-and-money scam for the new "Me" generation, but then I came across another blog post from California Access fasillytator Dr. Kacie Crisp. I don't mean to be picking on Dr. Crisp, but she's on my radar as someone who is very close to Access founder Gary Douglas, the former b.f.f. of Grigori Rasputin. Dr. Crisp has frequently done radio interviews with Gary and seems to be one of his most faithful champions. And she just keeps on writing stuff that reflects Accessories' characteristic (though hardly unique) New-Wage selfishness and narcissism. In a recent blog post about grief and loss, Dr. Crisp wrote:


...A high school friend of mine told me she felt sorry for me because both of my parents passed away when I was a young adult–I was 26 when my mother passed away, and 32 when my father passed away. This pity was especially surprising to me since her own father died in the summer between our junior and senior years of high school, and her mother, though still alive, was one of the stingiest meanest most judgmental and negative people I ever met. Yes, she was still alive if you call that living!

My husband David and I are often grateful that our parents chose to leave when they did, because we see so many people our age whose lives are limited and burdened by caring for aging parents, often for years and years and years, and at the expense of creating their own lives.

Being “orphaned” at a relatively young age had the effect for me of adding to my life. There was no inheritence [sic] to wait for, no one’s approval to gain. It was viscerally clear to me from the time my parents died that what I have in life, I create. This created a tremendous sense of freedom in my life, and the motivation to go for whatever I desired. I have created a life that’s pretty amazing so far, and how much better can it get?

By the way, Kacie's hubby David is the son of Eileen and Peter Caddy, founders of the Findhorn Community in Scotland. Eileen died at Findhorn in 2006 at the age of 89, and Peter, who left Findhorn in 1979, died in a car crash in Germany in 1994 at the age of 77. It was right nice of both of them not to inconvenience their son.

Several things strike me about that segment of Kacie's blog post. The first one is that while Access is supposed to be all about removing all "judgment" from one's life, Dr. Crisp appears to be snorting a big line of the j-drug in that first quoted paragraph regarding her friend's stingy, mean, judgmental mom. The second thing that struck me is Dr. Crisp's casual acceptance of the Access credo, which actually seems to be quite common among New-Wage believers, that everything in one's life is a conscious choice, including one's time and mode of death. (The story goes that we choose our parents and our entire life situation too; we do all that between lives.) In other words, Dr. Crisp's parents as well as her husband David's folks chose to die when and how they did. Jeez, wouldn't James Ray's defense lawyers for his manslaughter trial love to have a jury composed of Accessories? If Kirby Brown, James Shore, and Liz Neuman chose to die when they did, that would totally let Death Ray off the hook.

As it happens, I'm an orphan too, but I don't feel nearly so free and giddy about it as Kacie and David apparently do. I feel more as if I'm adrift in the Universe, especially since I don't have kids of my own. Sometimes it's more a feeling of loneliness than freedom. I lost my dad when I was a teenager; I worked that story into this long blog post (if you don't want to read the whole thing, scroll down to "When the rich are (in)different"). I lost my mom much more recently; she died three days after Christmas 2007, and though it's been more than three years now I still haven't been able to write very much at all about her. I can post long eulogies for departed dogs and cats, but a mom...well, that's a bit more complicated. Suffice to say that my siblings and I did indeed suffer numerous emotional and financial crises in our mother's final years -- I suppose Kacie or other Accessories would say we were limited and burdened. But somehow we can't work up any resentment at our mother for not choosing to get out of the way earlier so we could get on with our own lives. And it's hard for us to believe that our dad deliberately chose to get plowed down by a drunk driver when he was walking down a street early one morning years ago, when all three of his children were still young and living at home. Was his life with us really so awful that he wanted to bug out?

Relationships are complicated and are often as frustrating as they are rewarding. But to Accessories, it seems that all relationships are burdens, whether they're with spouses or those bothersome creatures called parents, especially old parents. Anything that doesn't make one feel all "light" and giggly and giddy is something to be shed of. I wonder who is going to care for Dr. Crisp in her dotage, or if she'll "choose" an early departure so as not to be a burden. And I wonder, as I often do when New-Wagers brag about how amazing their lives are, just how amazing Kacie's really is. I imagine there's much more to her story that she's not telling. But in my view she has told enough, just in those few paragraphs on her blog, to make me think that there are times when Access and similar New-Wage scams are not merely silly, but profoundly disturbing.

PS ~ For those of you who have elderly loved ones in your life and are not enlightened enough to feel right about abandoning them, Dale Carter's TransitionAgingParents.com site might be a helpful resource.

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Monday, March 07, 2011

The movie ACCESS doesn't want you to see

click on pic for enlargement

It's a busy Monday for your hostess, Dear Ones, so I don't really have as much time as I would like to have to conclude my celebration of Access Consciousness' four-day adventure in the Bayou City of Houston, Texas, USA. Today is the last day of the cultish sex-and-money org's constellation of events at Houston's Hotel Indigo. I began my Whirled celebration on Friday, and continued it on Saturday (with a PS added on Sunday).

And though I really do have so much more to write, Real Work intrudes. Don't cry for me; it's an intrusion I always welcome. But I did want to share news of an upcoming movie with you. It's the true tail of the magick that ensues when a failed-real-estate-broker-and-antiques-dealer-turned-channeler-and-con-artist adopts a failed chiropractor who is on the verge of suicide. In the years that follow, the chiro helps drag the old con man's shtick to giddy new levels of
smarm and sleaze worldwide success, becoming a sex star in his own write. Yet Smarmaduke's story is not without its moments of poignancy, such as his failed effort to get a show on Oprah's network, or his total inability to maintain a MySpace page (he started one here and here but apparently got sidetracked. At least there's a profile pic in the second link; judging from the background, it looks as if was snapped at an Access workshop, but of course I could be wrong).

The movie is not rated.

The Access events wrap up today in my former fair city, but the old con artist will be back June 18-20, 2011 with an Advanced Body Class. Meanwhile, there's bound to be an Access workshop coming soon to a venue near you. Prices vary, but remember, kids under 16 always fly free. Whoopee!

More later, when I have more time.

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Saturday, March 05, 2011

ACCESS: Right bawdy for you

Today, Dear Ones, we continue what we began yesterday: the four-day-long celebration of Access and The City – The City being my former hometown of Houston, Texas USA. While the Accessories continue reaching new levels of Accessorydom (Accessorydumb?) in a little conference room at the Hotel Indigo in Houston's elegant but traffic-infested Uptown area, I'll share a few little snippets and tidbits that have come across my e-desk recently.


Ever since I began writing about Access in 2007, I have been hearing from people who have serious issues with this cult-like sex-and-money organization. Here's one early post in which I share some of these people's thoughts. I still hear regularly from folks who are grateful to see some information about Access that hasn't been generated by Access itself or an Access member. The truth is that even after more than 20 years, Access hasn't reached critical mass yet to even be a blip on the radar of most critics and watchers of cults and cult-like orgs; why, there's still no Access discussion on the Rick Ross Forum. And there's little objective information; Access was apparently not even deemed worthy of Wikipedia, though this old and now-outdated article remains in WikiP's rejected-articles archives. Now and again one runs across a critical discussion of Access, such as this one, initiated in 2009, but these discussions are still pretty rare.

So I suppose that for the time being, my little Whirled in this dark little corner of the blogosphere will have to suffice to provide aid and comfort to (1) people who are worried about their loved ones being swallowed up in Access' increasingly greedy/horny maw; (2) ex-Accessories who wonder WTF they were THINKING; and (3) long-time observers of Access who wonder why so many supposedly intelligent adults are still getting sucked up in this pale imitation of Scientology. Apropos of the latter, it has been reported in various places, including here on this very blog, that Gary Douglas is a former Scientologist. Although Gary did not mention Scientology in the now-suppressed "official" story of how he and the late "Mad Monk" of Russia, Rasputin, got to be good buds, it does seem that Access, like so many other New-Wage scams, was inspired at least in part by Scientology. There's no denying that Access continues to promote beliefs and practices that rival Scientology in their wackiness.

One person recently wrote to me about hanging around Access founder Gary Douglas back in the day when Gary was channeling Rasputin, or Raz, as Gary used to fondly call the deceased Russian charlatan. Even though a mere high school student at the time, my correspondent detected that the channeling act was utter crap. One of the things that gave it away was Gary's bad Russian accent, which sounded to my correspondent like that of a Bond villain in the movies. (The fact that Raz didn't speak English when he was alive was suspicious to him too; then again, maybe they have ESL classes in the Afterlife.)

If only Gary's adult followers then and now had been as astute as that teenager, we probably wouldn't be having this conversation today. My correspondent, who was around as Gary made the career transition from real estate and antiques to channeling and con artistry, also knows someone close to Gary who has become quite the Access ripoff artist herself. As seems to be the case with many Accessories, this woman was particularly attracted to the free-love aspect of Access, and insisted that the power of Access would prevent sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies. My correspondent said the woman told him that there is a purpose for having multiple sexual partners; it has to do with gathering sexual energy in order to reach a point where one has a "tree of energy" growing out of one's head. But this tree is only visible to higher level humanoids, who are, of course, far more advanced than mere humans.

I recently heard from another person who strongly believes his marriage is breaking up because of the influence of Access. Of course there is more than one side to this story, and I've only heard his side. But his tale is so similar to so many others I've heard, such as this one. All I can say is that if you're in an intimate relationship and your spouse, spousal equivalent, significant other -- or whatever you want to call him/her -- gets involved in Access, be prepared for your relationship to change in unexpected ways. You may not like it.

Someone else sent me a link to a radio show, one of many recorded exchanges between Gary Douglas and California Access facilitator Dr. Kacie Crisp. This show, recorded on January 19, 2011, mostly centered around Access' Right Body For You course. Among the highlights, Gary talked about a lady in Utah who shrunk from size 18 to size 6 after taking his body class, and another who went from 400 pounds to 220. Gary claimed that by listening to his body and playing Frisbee for one hour he went from a size 38 to size 36 waist, which he said isn't supposed to be possible. Humm....Frisbee... I wonder if that's a code. Gary also said that his body told him to drink (and eat, apparently) nothing but lemon juice and sugar, and after eight weeks, amazingly, the fat had melted off. "Seriously," wrote the friend who sent me the link, "that's like saying I entered Buchenwald and by some miracle...."

The show goes on for about an hour, ending with the real come-on in which Gary says that "amazingly beautiful" women are flocking to Access. But, he notes, there haven't been that many guys, so Access is an opportunity for a few lucky guys to be the magnet they've always wanted to be [see PS below]. My friend had listened to the original and said it ended with some brief chatter about Gary sending sexually inappropriate content to Dr. Kacie, but that doesn't seem to be in the recording I heard, which is just as well because frankly, I don't want to think about it. (Besides, the whole concept of "inappropriate" seems inconsistent with Access' freewheeling anything-goes philosophy. "Inappropriate" is so judgmental, after all.) Anyhow, here's the link.

And here's something entertainingly creepy: an invitation from Steve "Magic Eyelids" Comer to participate in an Access Body Class. As with most Access classes, kids 16 and under can get in for free; ages 16-18 get in for half price. The rest of you will have to cough up $950, unless you want to take an Advanced Body Class facilitated by Gary Douglas, which will teach you "a unique set of new body processes that have been created in order to give your body a chance to go beyond the limitations of this reality," and will set you back $1350. Gary is going to be coming back to Houston to do that one on June 18, 2011, at a location to be announced.

Finally, here's an interesting comment that appears on the discussion forum I linked to above. The comment seems to be identical to one I recently declined to publish on my blog because I could not substantiate some of the more eye-raising points. But you're certainly welcome to read it and do further research yourself, if you wish. If nothing else, it adds a new level of meaning to Gary's teasing little invite to guys to join Access and become a "magnet."

How does it get any sillier or creepier than this? I'm sure the Accessories will let us know.

PS added Sunday, March 6: For the benefit of those who haven't viewed this gem of a video yet, here are a couple of lovely examples of Accessory women, Rikka and Summer, who ganged up on a hapless young male and uploaded the results in October of 2008: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dwbbf5mmUoY
(Those weird hand gestures of Rikka's must be some of that top-seekrit hypnotic stuffs they teach you in Access.) And gals, don't feel left out. If you don't want some of that older man-love -- if Gary D leaves you cold -- Access has some younger bait for you too. Not only is there Steve "Hypnotic Eyelids" Comer (linked to above, but here's another one), but there's Gary's main sidekick, Dr. Dain Heer, aka The Bawdy Whisperer. And as I write this, it's not too late to make plans to attend Dr. Dain Heer's Energetic Synthesis of Being Taster Open Evening and Energetic Synthesis of Being Taster, both of which will also be at the Hotel Indigo. Your guess is as good as mine about what ESSB actually is; the description isn't very specific. But hey, it's only $275 for both events, and you'll get to be in the presence of that Dain Heer sexual magnetism.
And remember, kids 16 and under fly free!

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Friday, March 04, 2011

Warning: Accessories on the loose in Houston!

Dear Ones, it is an exciting time for my former home town, the Bayou City of Houston, Texas, USA. Sex-and-money cult Access Consciousness is holding a Levels 2&3 class March 4-7 (it started this morning) at the Hotel Indigo* in Houston's posh Galleria/Uptown area. The class is being facilitated by Access founder Gary Douglas, who first got the scoop on Access via the late Russian madman Rasputin (here are the details), and who is, among many other things, a sex expert who shares seekrit wisdom about things such as "the seven fountains of orgasm." (Well, what would you expect from the founder of a sex cult?)

Here are the details about the Houston class: http://www.accessconsciousness.com/class_details.asp?cid=10212

When watching a video preview of the venue on YouTube, however, I noticed that the space in which the class is to be held is just a conference room rather than a large ballroom/meeting room. Perhaps they aren't expecting a very large attendance. Or maybe they just want to keep the atmosphere intimate. (A friend suggested that they probably couldn't hold the event anywhere near the kitchen because of the potential damage to the spoons; Accessories are notorious spoon and fork benders.)

In any case, here is that video preview of the venue, complete with gushing narration that sounds very close to baby talk. Golly, gee, look at the sunshine! Look at the light coming through the window! Look at the little private alcove! Goodness gracious, how does it get any better than this?

I'm sorry to tell you, though, that you won't be able to attend the Levels 2&3 class unless you have already attended some lower-level Access classes. The prerequisites are listed in the link in the second paragraph.

If you qualify, however, it's probably not too late to sign up for the Levels 2&3 class. It's only $1,800, unless you have taken the course within the past 12 months, in which case it is only $900. But you should know that, as is the case with most LGAT and selfish-help/New-Wage/McSpirituality events these days, if you attend you totally give up your right to privacy, and numerous other rights as well. Among other things, you have to sign an Audio/Video Release:

I acknowledge that Access Consciousness LLC may make video and/or audio recordings of the class, in which I will be a participant.

I hereby grant Access Consciousness LLC the right to use such video and/or audio recordings of my name, likeness and voice in any and all forms of media, now or hereinafter created, and in perpetuity, including, but not limited to, composite or edited forms, for Access Consciousness LLC, to distribute, sell and use in any manner, as Access Consciousness LLC may determine in its sole and absolute discretion. I hereby waive the right to inspect or approve any version(s), including the finished version(s), of such recordings, including written copy that may be created in connection therewith.

I have read this Release, fully understand its terms and understand that I may be giving up substantial rights, including my right to sue, and any and all rights to fees or compensation from the distribution, sale or use by Access Consciousness LLC or by its affiliates, subsidiaries, successors and assigns for any and all purposes.

I acknowledge that I am agreeing this Release freely and voluntarily and intend by my on-line registration at www.accessconsciousness.com for the Release to be a complete and unconditional release from and against all liability of Access Consciousness LLC to the greatest extent allowed by law.

Kind of like a James Arthur Ray event, except you probably won't die.

Now, if you can't make it to Houston, the class is being streamed live at numerous venues throughout the world. You still have to pay either $1,800 or $900 to watch it, but at least you won't have to fight Houston Galleria traffic, which is a nightmare.

By the way, because Access wants to start 'em young, kids 15 and under can get in for free, and ages 16-18 can get in for half price. But it might not be a very good idea to get your teens involved, especially if they're boys. Accessories are very randy people and...well, never mind. Just keep your kids away, okay?

I'll have more about Access over the weekend, all in the service of celebrating the presence of Accessories gone wild in the city I know and love. Meanwhile, if you're going to be in the Galleria area, why not pop into the Hotel Indigo and see if you can catch up to some Accessories? I might even be there myself. If you see a blue humanoid gal, come on up and say hello. I promise I won't try to lay any Bars on you or anything like that.

Related posts:

PS ~ If you want to see all of the other posts I've written about Access -- and there have been quite a few since I first wrote about it in 2007 (back when it was called Access Energy Transformation) -- you'll get more results by Googling "Access Whirled Musings" than by following one of the tags on this blog.
PPS ~ Since Access is now delivered in more than 25 countries, it may be coming soon to a city near you. Here's the 2011 schedule: http://www.accessconsciousness.com/schedule.asp

* I wonder if the Accessories chose the Hotel Indigo for the spiritual connotations of the name.

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Tuesday, March 01, 2011

James Ray: what a difference four years make

On my previous post, I quoted briefly from a February 2007 post that Joe "Mr. Fire" Vitale wrote on his old blog, Beyond Marketing. He was defending the runaway bestselling New-Wage moviemercial The Secret against what he apparently saw as the first real wave of criticism of its teachings. At the end of his post he wrote:

TIP: Most people who criticize The Secret are doing so because they want it to work but can't seem to make it work. One of the biggest reasons The Secret doesn't instantly work for someone is due to lack of forgiveness. An entire culture can experience this. But it can be changed with one person forgiving. Namely you....And dare something worthy, that will inspire yourself and others, rather than raining on a parade that could heal millions. Don't be seduced by the dark side. Go toward the light.
And toward the [fake] light the millions streamed, and many were blinded. Some are still blind.

What struck me more than Joe's blog post itself was the fact that several of the commenters, also Secret apologists, used the performance of one James Arthur Ray on various talk shows as an admirable example of how to deal with critics of The Secret and the Law of Attraction. Oh, those were the days, my friend, when James Ray and all of the Secret "teachers" were riding high on accolades and attention and their own seriously bloated egos. Most of them were already pretty successful at parting marks from their money, which was why Rhonda Byrne chose them to be part of her project in the first place. But The Secret propelled them to new levels of fame, and they raised their prices accordingly. James Ray, of course, was one of those who profited handsomely from that ol' Secret black magic.

In my own blog post yesterday, I linked to one comment to Joe's piece that particularly stuck out for me, though I didn't quote it on my post. But I'll do so now to save you from having to go back searching through links. A woman named Vicki Kunkel, a self-described "nationally-recognized expert in mass appeal," wrote, in part:

...I witnessed a rather hilarious segment on The Today Show where James Ray was defending The Secret, and two nay-sayers were vehemently spouting their disapproval. James was smiling, calm, composed, relaxed. In a word, peaceful. The one opponent -- although slim and good looking -- appeared tense, uncomfortable and ill-at-ease. The other was sweating profusely and seemed on the verge of a heart attack because he was so out of shape. (If ever anyone could benefit from some self-help, this guy was a good case.)

Hmmm...quite a disparity there. I couldn't help chuckling at how well the nay-sayers unwittingly advocated the validity of "The Secret" through their tense body language and demeanor.
Well, four years have passed since those heady days of Secret mania, and between then and now some pretty bad things happened with various Secret stars, one of the worst of which was James Ray's Death Lodge in October 2009. You know what they say about hindsight, although my personal opinion is that some of the people who spent so much time and energy defending The Secret and hailing James Ray were always practicing a type of hindsight, in that they had their heads up their a$$es. How many of the folks who vehemently defended Ray back then feel the same way, now that he is finally on trial for three counts of reckless manslaughter?

In any case, we shall see in the weeks and months to come how James Ray's demeanor holds up.
Will he be "smiling, calm, composed, relaxed...peaceful?"

I'm not going to be attending the trial at Camp Verde, Arizona, which is expected to last four months. I won't be able to watch the whole thing on TV either (it will be televised live on In Session), but I will be checking back frequently on various spots, including Salty Droid's James Ray Trial Update page, for blow-by-blow accounts. Here's the link:
http://saltydroid.info/james-arthur-ray-trial-updates/

There's also a link in the left-hand sidebar, right under my Twitter link, so it will be continually visible on the opening page of this blog for as long as the trial lasts.


I'm hoping the mainstream media will give this story the attention it deserves. Dan Harris at ABC is off to a good start, as Salty Droid noted, in his own eloquent way, on a related post about the beginning of the trial: http://saltydroid.info/get-set-go/

On that post, Salty embedded the video of Dan's Good Morning America segment from this morning. Here's another link to that video, which Dan shared on his Twitter page: http://t.co/zBiJYqO. The page to which Dan linked also contains the code for embedding the video on your own site, but I suck at embedding so I think I'll leave it alone, and you can watch it on Salty's site or the one Dan shared. But do watch it, if you haven't already, because it shows photos from the 2008 sweat lodge that the jurors are not going to be allowed to see.

So ABC is off to a good start, and judging from some correspondence I've been having with a producer at another major broadcast network, that network may also be pulling its weight for this story. I hope so. And good for In Session for their decision to televise the trial. As Salty Droid wrote on his James Ray Trial Updates page:
In the final week before the trial :: Judge Darrow agreed to a request for live television coverage. Ray shouldn’t be too nervous :: he’s been on television before …
Perhaps some of the chat shows will even pick up on this story...hey, maybe the ladies on ABC's The View will give it a whirl. I'm guessing Oprah won't be saying much about it, though.

As I remarked on Twitter earlier, March is blowing in like a lyin'...sociopath. I hope that some justice for the victims and their families and other loved ones blows in with it. I guess we'll know for sure by July, if not sooner.

PS ~ I apologize for using a graphic I'd already used on a previous post, but I figured, what the heck. In searching Google images for "James Ray trial," my little composite was the first result. Go figure. So I decided to borrow from myself.

Related posts on this Whirled:

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