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, December 22, 2012

The world is still with us, and so are the hucksters

Well, here we are on the Day After the End of the World. No doubt many New-Wage ninnies are babbling about how we've survived The Shift and are entering a bold new era for humanity. And they have just the frauducts and flopportunities to help us adjust to the new era. Yawn. I've heard it all before.

But today, on the Morning After, I was hit with the realization that I have been serving an unbalanced diet for the past few months. In focusing so heavily on Kevin True-dough and his ex-b.f.f. Lenny Coldwell, I've been neglecting some of the other hucksters who have colored my Whirled over the years. I'm not through with Kevin or Lenny (despite my claim yesterday of burnout), but I came across a recent blog post from Joe "Mr. Fire" Vitale, star of The Secret and legend in his own mind, that played on a theme I've often snarked about... so I just couldn't let it go by.

The Obama administration has been criticized, mostly by Obama haters of various stripes, for former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's remark,
"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste." The haters generally take that out of context, neglecting the rest of the quotation, which is, "And what I mean by that [is that] it's an opportunity to do things you [thought] you could not do before." Well, I'll gladly take the incomplete version of the quote about not letting a good crisis go to waste, and I'll apply it to New-Wage/selfish-help/McSpirituality gurus. Such as our Mr. Fire.

In a recent blog post Joe once again invokes the power of "group intention" -- this time, to help the people who were affected by the tragic Sandy Hook school shootings in Connecticut December 14.

Joe's request seems simple and heartfelt on the surface. He's simply asking you to send out good thoughts to the good folks of Newtown. But then the megalomaniac comes out, as Joe begins to list his previous "successes" with group intention.

Back in 2005 I asked you to help me slow down Hurricane Rita, which was aimed at Texas right after Katrina devastated New Orleans. As a result, Rita dropped from a Category 5 to a Category 3. It didn’t even rain in my area, which was under such threat that most of the area had evacuated.
Never mind that parts of Louisiana and East Texas were devastated by Hurricane Rita, and many people were left homeless. It was not a benign storm. And the Texas Hill Country, where Joe lives, was never in any real danger anyway. Joe sent a duplicate email to stop Hurricane Ike in 2008, and while those of us who were actually IN THE PATH OF IKE (unlike Joe) were dealing with power outages and worse, Joe was merrily tweeting about how the storm passed over his area once again. Here's my take on all of that.

Joe continues:

Later, I asked you to help clean up the oil disaster in the Gulf. Shortly after my email, things began to get better.
Uh-huh. It was Mr. Fire and friends' group intendin' that did it. Obvious cause and effect. One definite effect was that there was a snark chum spill in the oceans of my Whirled.

But Joe's powerful miracles don't end with wind-whisperin' and oil-spill tamin'.

A year ago from this past summer I asked you to help stop the Texas wildfires, which had destroyed over 1,000 homes. Within minutes of my email, it began to rain in some areas. It actually down poured over my house. The fires all went out.
Um. Yeah. I'm SURE Mr. Fire's group intention groupies were responsible for the rain and the immediate end (ha) to the wildfires. Actually they didn't end immediately in his area -- and never mind the OTHER MAJOR AREAS in Texas that were also suffering. Like my area.

And then there's this:

A year ago, I asked you to help my dying and bedridden other [sic; he meant his mother]. Within a week she was crawling out of her bed, unassisted, getting into her wheelchair, and asking to watch TV. I saw her last weekend. She wanted to sit and talk. It was miraculous to see.
'Kay. I'm glad Joe's momma is doing better. I've met her. She's a sweet lady. Although for a while Joe did seem to be getting more mileage than was decent from that "my mother is dying" theme, I cut him some slack because I have been through this experience myself (only my mother actually did die, five years ago, though I have yet to be able to really write about it). I can tell you firsthand that it is devastating to see a parent go downhill. But still. Talking about group intentions and cause and effect in this context just seems... well, exploitative. (And let's just not mention that miracle yagya that supposedly saved Joe's "best friend of 20 years" a few years back. That story is in his book, The Attractor Factor, along with another story in another part of the book that mentions that the person ended up dying, apparently not long after the yagya miracle.)

But never mind all that. In his recent blog post, Joe assures us:

Twenty-three scientific studies have shown that when groups of people meditate with the same positive intention, they were able to measure positive results in the world around them.
Yep. That's one of Joe's favorite claims, which he has used more than once to to market his own group-intention flopportunities. As it happens, those "scientific" studies were all sponsored by groups and institutions related to the late Maharishi's filthy-rich TM organization. I wrote at length about that (and Joe's "Miracles Community") nearly four years ago.

"Oh, but Cosmic Connie, this is all a bunch of gratuitous snarking!" a few of you may be saying. "Have you no sense of decency? Can't you give this good man the benefit of the doubt even for a moment? All Joe is asking in his recent blog post is for people to use the technique of their choosing to send love out to the people affected by the Sandy Hook school shooting! He says it won't cost anyone a cent! He's not selling anything!"

Well, my little naifs, first of all, Joe is always selling something, so I win that part of the argument by default. Secondly, if you read the post you will notice how he names several techniques for which he sells infoproducts. Just because he doesn't provide links in that particular blog post doesn't mean that he isn't trying to sell you something.

And in the following blog post --
his own "day after the End of the World" offering -- Mr. Fire is right back to pushing his pricey "Miracles Coaching" program, run by notorious Utah boiler room Prosper Learning. "Doesn't cost anything to learn about it," Joe writes. What he doesn't write is that it costs plenty if you get sucked into it.

And so it goes: the big sick machine hums on and on. And on. Our big old world is still spinning, and we won't be seeing the end to Scamworld any time soon -- even if (and it seems like kind of a big if at this point)
Mr. Fire's b.f.f. Kevin Trudeau ends up in the joint.

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Friday, December 21, 2012

2012: The Whirled goes on

Well, Dear Ones, once again I have been away from my Whirled for a few weeks, due to work and other distractions. Those "other distractions" include the adoption of still more four-legged babies. It's really kind of amazing. At this time last year, due to the deaths in recent years of some of our elderly animals, such as Noelle and Coca -- and the loss of one who died of cancer before his time, Rex -- we were down to two dogs and two cats. But 2012 has been a busy year, and we now have six dogs, four cats, and not-quite-a-donkey (regarding the latter, we still need to get some pasturing issues straightened out). We're also babysitting a friend's three dogs while he's up north for a couple of weeks, so it's very noisy around our house, as you can imagine. And the yard is a mess.

Despite the lack of new posts, there have been some behind-the-scenes goings-on related to my blog and other blogs and discussion forums on which I have participated. Some of you may know that for the past couple of months I've been getting some blowback (in the form of threats and actionable lies) from an angry little German man whom I first wrote about this past May. And I haven't even written about the worst that is known about him, but my pal Salty Droid has. (Here's a link to all of Salty's tagged posts about that subject.) Steam has been coming out of the little man's ears, and he has been threatening to sue all of his critics. He even recently told a little fib about his lawyer going after Salty, when it turns out that apparently Salty is the one who initiated the contact. Maybe I am reading too much into this, but it appears that the conversation went pretty well for Salty.

More recently,
Bernie O'Mahony of GINtruth.com wrote a piece about the little Teutonic twerp. Since the latter formerly considered Bernie a brother-in-arms in the fight against serial scammer Kevin Trudeau's Global Information Network (GIN), I can only imagine the sort of waves the GINtruth piece has been causing. Follow the link to Bernie's post -- you really should, if you've not done so already -- and you'll see a private message that the enraged not-doctor sent to Bernie: a message that reveals more about the little man's true nature than just about anything that anyone else could write about him.

Here's an excerpt from another private message from the not-doc to Bernie (unedited):

And by the way I have hundreds of thousands of testimonials and thank you letters emails and video testimonials and what do these losers have??? / I am rich like shit and everybody that gets in my way will be paying legally the price... believe me it will finish everybody involved financially I dont care about money -- just ask Peter how much cash I showed him in my house. I deal with numbers that you cannot even fathom...
Meanwhile, Kevin Trudeau himself is apparently lounging somewhere in Europe -- Switzerland, at last report -- while the FTC and other agencies continue to build their various cases against him, as they have been doing for years. It's like road work; it never really gets finished but it keeps a bunch of people employed. July through early December of this year was just one continuance after another in the FTC's civil case that has been going on since 2003. But so far, Trudeau is not in jail (despite the FTC's recommendation for incarceration), and he continues to run his GIN scam from somewhere in the Alps or wherever. Or maybe he's hiding out in a little hole of an apartment in Chicago. Who knows?

This is not to say he won't end up in jail eventually. But up till now it's been one big long game of Catch Me If You Can... and apparently they can't.

I hate to say this, but I am almost coming to the point where I don't really even care all that much. There have been so many various predictions about when and where True-dough's scamming days will end that I am suffering from a serious case of prediction fatigue. I am coming close to getting burned out on the whole topic of GIN and KT. For one thing, I'm not even receiving the court documents any more, which may be because I ticked off my source (who happens to be a pal and bidness partner of the little German not-doc). Oh, well. Easy come, easy go. Others are on the case now, including my pal Salty, so I don't feel such an obligation to report every little detail.

Anyway, I apologize, to any of you who might have been waiting for something, for not tending my Whirled very frequently during the month of December. But don't worry; I'm still here. And I'm not going anywhere. I still have tons of stuff to write about: half finished posts, back-burner items, and so forth. And I will get to them, sooner or later. It's just that I do have (paying) work to tend to, as well as all of those extra mouths to feed. And the holidays are here. It's all good, as the people who like to say "It's all good" are always saying.

So don't fret; it is not the end of the Whirled. I do want to take this opportunity to wish a Happy Solstice to my friends everywhere -- Winter to those of you in the North, and Summer to those of you in the South. And to all a good night... or day, depending upon where you are. Why, it's almost night here now, and in some parts of the world, it's already tomorrow.

And tomorrow, as they say, is another day.

PS ~ My one contribution on this Whirled to the 2012 madness was a post in November of 2009.
Here's the link, in case you haven't seen it already.


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