What a SHAM

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What a SHAM

Postby rapturos » Sat Oct 22, 2005 1:36 am

"SHAM: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless"
by Steve Salerno

My latest read is an admittedly scathing account of the goings on in the self-help industry (did you know that Tony Robbins makes $80 million a year?) and also the problems inherent in the underlying beliefs of the recovery movement. Very in depth with loads of specific accounts of excess and skullduggery with an examination of what the broader affects in society could really be. Pretty amazing account of how the countervailing self-help themes of Empowerment and Victimization somehow play off of each other and keep the money (and influence) rolling in. Sobering to say the least.
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Postby scrivener » Sat Oct 22, 2005 9:19 am

rapturos wrote:Pretty amazing account of how the countervailing self-help themes of Empowerment and Victimization somehow play off of each other and keep the money (and influence) rolling in. Sobering to say the least.

I think either FoxTrot or Get Fuzzy ran a pretty interesting sequence about this, pointing out many of the same ideas. I mean, a lot of these "gurus" seem to be setting themselves up as part of some people's codependent relationships. Just like TV evangelists.

On the other hand, I browse the self-help section of the bookstore frequently, not because I want something, but because I find it encouraging that people are still trying to make themselves and their lives better, and that they're still turning to books. This is a good sign; as people continue to seek answers in wrong places, they'll be able to rule out certain avenues and if they keep looking, they'll eventually find the right one, don't you think?
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.
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I'ts a dangerous world out there (but you knew that already)

Postby rapturos » Mon Oct 24, 2005 12:39 pm

Well, I tend to be pretty conservative. The Bible talks about "be wise about good and innocent of evil" and it seems that once an image or idea gets lodged in the brain's eye, sometimes it is harder to get it out of there than to not have been exposed to it at all. But then again, some folks are admittedly not affected by things that would impact me deeply and vice versa. For instance (and It seems funny now, but at the time it was pretty serious) a friend and I went to a multiple-level marketing event that happened right around when the Internet was getting big and the prospects for commercialization were getting the big airplay. We went in there expecting to be like agents for the spiritual FBI or something and spy out all the devious and scammy techniques we expected to see trotted out but, lo and behold, about half way through, after all the testimonies of outrageous fortunes made and the screaming opportunities we were missing, I just about jumped up on the stage myself. We barely got out of there with our checkbooks unscathed. So I can attest first hand to the power of some of these self-help mind manipulations to turn a blithering idiot into a poor blithering idiot (I don't apologize; after all, we are supposed to be 'fools for Christ'). Can you say amen, hallelujah.
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