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Thursday, 13 September 2012

Dr John Demartini and the Law of Attraction Money Scam


The Con Man’s Secret


A few years ago I was hooked on self-help gurus. My favourite three were Wayne Dyer, John Demartini and Bob Proctor. It was 2006 my business had folded, I had just been declared bankrupt, I was living with parents, my girlfriend had left me and my health was deteriorating due to poor life style choices. I bought a book with my British government funded job seekers allowance; it was called ‘the breakthrough experience’, and was written by Dr John Demartini. I read the book cover to cover and was inspired by it; it became my personal bible for the next three years. Over the next three years, as soon as I received my jobseekers allowance, I would buy every book from every known self-help guru you can imagine. I would spend hours doing the exercises in these books, making and saying affirmations, practicing visualization, writing goals and lots of other stuff. And did any of it help?... None of it, and three years later I was still in the same situation.

In 2009 I realized that these American self-help gurus are con men taking good money from poor people and selling them hype and lies. I was just so enamored of what they were selling: change your mind and watch your life become filled with every kind of abundance. Visualize what you want and then sit back and relax. It took me three years of ‘visualizing’ before I realized I was being tricked. I sold all of the books and since then I have managed to get my life back together. But I lost three years to these snake oil men and urge you, if you are at a low ebb, do not do the same.

The self-help business really started to hit big back in 2006 with the release of the book ‘the secret’. The secret was written by Rhonda Byrne and was based on the earlier film of the same name. The book has sold more than 19 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 44 languages. The book has generated sales of over 300 million dollars and there are over 21 million copies in print. It came at a time when many, like me, were suffering financially and a lot of people, especially small business owners, had to declare themselves bankrupt. It’s message was very appealing for such people.

The secret is based on the idea that the universe is governed by a law of attraction. The law of attraction states that everything in the universe is vibrating and therefore when two things vibrate at the same frequency they attract each other. So if you think and feel that you are rich you will attract these things into your life. All of the experiences, situations, events, and people in our lives we have attracted because of the ‘frequency’ of our thoughts and feelings.

It is an amazing prospect: you don’t have to do anything difficult. It is easy to see why people are sucked into and swindled by this old school money scam. It sells them the idea that all they have to do is lay back and dream and all they ever wanted will come to them as easily and quickly as the milkman delivering the milk. However, when you take away the glossy sales pitch and the fast talking sales man, even a child can see how stupid this idea is. It’s basically saying that what you wish for you will receive. Most people have learnt this not to be the case by about the age of 12. It just goes to show that with the right sales technique you really can sell anything to anybody.

The law of attraction has been around for years and was probably most successfully packaged by Napolean Hill back in 1937; his book: ‘Think and Grow Rich’ is one of the bestselling books of all time. Rhonda Byrne herself was heavily influenced by the writings of Wallace Wittles and his 1910 book ‘The Science of getting rich’. Byrne took this book along with many other ‘law of attraction’ books and synthesized them into the Secret. She used a whole host of modern day self-help Gurus and their quotes in the book. One of these self-help Gurus was Dr Demartini.



Dr Demartini An Example of A Quack


Dr Demartini isn’t really a doctor. The Dr bit he justifies because he was once a chiropractor. Apparently this guy is a multi-millionaire and lives his life on a boat that sails around the globe. I became very interested in his teachings and actually used his book ‘The Breakthrough experience’, reading it daily and marking out passages with a marker pen, like a good student. But apart from the obvious stuff that I already knew, i.e. basically be a good person and you will be alright, everything else was all nonsense and I received no benefit from his books. Despite the fact that the books didn’t help me I was so blinded by the appealing idea that I could manifest what I wanted just by visualizing it, and the way in which Demartini presented this idea, that it took me three years to see through the con.

His whole product is a sales technique, a lot like a used car or a door to door salesman, he repeats things over and over again and has a set story that he turns to again and again. The story is his life story; an unquantifiable hero story of a sick Texan kid who becomes a genius and makes a million dollars. He sets himself up as a genius savior and then uses speed talking, hand gestures, subliminal messaging and continuous repetition to suck people into his products.

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Joseph Goebbels

And the products? A range of dozens of DVD’s, books and seminars all with no real content, they are like a maze or a labyrinth, and if you seriously approach them with a studious mind you will find yourself at the other end wondering what the hell just happened to you. If you can wake up from the salesman induced hypnosis you will probably hear yourself say something like: ‘it sounded like I was learning something, but in actual fact I have just been fed nonsense that sounded clever, it was all smoke and mirrors.

This hypnotizing sales technique, along with a top dollar marketing campaign spanning websites, TV appearances and a level of social media mastery that puts Justin Bieber to shame, all paint Demartini as a genuine modern day, genius and saint.

If you remain clear headed and analyze his story it is all very far fetched. The story involves claims as wild as Demartini having a chance encounter with a tramp who turned out to be a billionaire, to being rescued by Paul Bragg after strychnine poisoning. Furthermore if you try to research Dr Demartini you cannot find anything about his early life anywhere prior to 2002. I managed to discover however that he was married to a rich Australian celebrity called Athena Starwoman who helped fund his work. Also I believe it is far more likely that this Texan comes from a wealthy family who had enough money to keep backing his latest business ideas; the best idea being that of the soothsayer con artist.


Waking Up From The Con


After I had broken free from the brain washing techniques employed in the seminars of Demartini and others like him, (most notably Bob Proctor), I started to look at his books rationally. I soon noticed that not only were they badly written but they repeated themselves again and again. It became very clear to me that Demartini is quite simply a very, very special sales man. He is selling nothing to people at a very high price. Not only that but he has an exceptional talent for repacking the same pile of nothing over and over again.

As I began to wake up to the con I tried to get in touch with some of these Gurus. I reasoned in my mind that they must be caring individuals who would at least respond to a phone call, letter or email. Boy was I wrong! I desperately wanted to make contact with one of them so that they could reassure me that it all wasn't about money. I focused on Wayne Dyer, Bob Proctor and Demartini. No matter how hard I tried I could not get a response from any of these people about my problems.

I then tried a new method, I would call and say that I wanted a one on one and was willing to pay any amount of money. As you can imagine I was quickly put through to the top sales manager. However as soon as they realized I was bluffing they hung up on me or fobbed me of with an email.

I became really disillusioned; it seemed that these gurus, who I thought had been very compassionate miracle workers, couldn't really care less. I wondered about other people who might have been in a similar situation to me. I wondered if anyone had committed suicide after failing to get in touch with their Guru. I could well imagine someone going bankrupt, losing their family and then getting sucked into the con and investing all of their money into a Demartini; then after disappointment after disappointment until they were absolutely broke and alone they might turn to the option of suicide. So I wrote a series of letters and emails to these Gurus telling them that I was going to commit suicide and I desperately needed their help. Not very ethical I know but I was sure they would respond in some way. I didn't get one phone call, letter or even an email, not one offer of help.

The best response I got was from Demartini’s secretary who tried to sell me on more packages. I took up a correspondence with her that lasted two years. I say correspondence but what I mean is me asking for help and her trying to sell me on one or more of Demartinis products. At one point she actually tried to get me to stump up 100,000 dollars to arrange a seminar for Demartini in Thailand! That package came with lots of paper work and made me sound like a potential events coordinator for the company. Of course she didn’t ask for the money outright but if I had gotten involved that is the amount I would have needed, a more credulous person might have been sucked into it.

I then wrote to Demartini with a proposition. I figured that if his teachings really worked he could take anybody off the street and turn them into a millionaire. So I offered to be his guinea pig, I asked him to take me under his wing for one year and then at the end of the year I would start to pay him 10% of my yearly income for the rest of my life; if his teachings really worked what would he have to lose? Surely if the teachings did really work this is what he would do. Take homeless people, turn them into millionaires with the stipulation that they must pay him back when they are rich. But this isn't the case, Demartini’s customers are mainly upper middle class housewives and failing business owners, all with enough money to play around with.

 I tried everything to try to get just an email from Demartini but to no avail. My conclusion was this: Dr Demartini wouldn't urinate on me if I was on fire, unless I had some serious money to offer him.

The real secret is this: If you can afford to go to a law of attraction seminar or even go to see these Gurus in person you have already made it, therefore you do not need these Gurus. If you are seriously in need of help stay away from these expert sales agents, they will take you for a ride and will take every penny you have if they can, and if it doesn't work out for you they won’t bat an eyelid.

The prices are exponential as well; it’s not like you buy the book and that is it. The book is advertising a seminar and that seminar advertises a set of DVD’s, the DVD’s tell you where to buy other books, and so on and so on, and it never seems like you reach a point where you say: ok I get it, I have enough to get on with it now.

When I wrote to Demartini’s manager asking her if Dr Demartini would take me under his wing for 1 year, and then after that time I would give him 10% of my salary for the rest of my life, she told me, and I quote:

“Why should anyone have the right to demand a service without an accountability? What sort of world would that be if society operated like that?”

Now if you are a greengrocer that makes sense but when you are selling people things like: 

“You evolve by finding the balance in all things and acknowledging the intelligence greater than yourself that governs it.” (From the breakthrough experience DrJD)

That’s a bit more serious than buying a pack of carrots. Please understand me if I want to talk to the boss before I hand over $1500 for the rest of the seminar. And what if I do what he says: find the balance and acknowledge the divine power, what if I do that every day with tears in my eyes, with absolute sincerity, with effort and gratitude and after years and years I haven’t evolved in anyway whatsoever, how can I get my money back, who will help me, who can I turn to? 

With a moldy carrot you can take it back to the store. With magical universal truths dished out by an aloof guru, you’re playing with your sanity and your time. In response to her I would say:

“Why should anyone have the right to sell a service for an extortionate price to vulnerable people without any accountability whatsoever?”

If someone paid 1500 dollars to go to a basic Demartini seminar (the current price, or 2000 dollars for 1 hour one on one) then they are already financially successful, anything he tells them is going to work for them really. They are paying to learn what they already know, but once he has them in his grasp, this tricky snake oil sales man can employ all of the well-known and time proven brain washing techniques to keep them hooked and get as much money as possible out of them.

There are life coaches out there who do give you exactly what you need at a fair price and what they teach is no less magical or inspiring, it’s just more reasonable. 


Cults and Brain Washing


Demartini has got a lot of quaky ideas in his books that can really tie your brain in a twist. Things like: if you get rejected you will automatically get accepted somewhere else, you never lose anybody they just change form, you can talk to dead relatives if you get focused (using his quantum collapse process), if you tell yourself continuously 24 hours a day that you are a genius you will become a genius eventually, That we bring all hardship onto ourselves to teach us how to ‘love’- even rape victims and children who have been abused, that when you have an inspired vision the whole universe moves to help you, and if you save money more money and opportunities automatically are drawn to you like a magic magnet.

The other thing, and this is a dodgy ground, the people who defend these gurus are usually brain washed. The cult leader of any sect brain washers the group by repeating things over and over again, so that the members of the group have instant answers to questions that oppose the leader’s teachings. Demartini is really hot on these key phrases, you always hear his devotees saying the same things, the same memes: “oh your just having a pity party”, “get over your ‘poor me’ story and start doing the work”, “what you think about and talk about you bring about”. When you meet someone infected with memes in can be quite unnerving. 

I once spent a weekend at a Buddhist retreat with the NKO;  which I now know to be a Buddhist cult. Everyone kept saying, in the same tone, with the same weird smile: “the main problem is that you need to overcome the self-cherishing mind.”  They had sat for hours and hours, sometimes 8 hours at a time, for years, listening to the same guy say the same things over and over again, his favorite topic was ‘overcoming the self-cherishing mind’. If you ever said anything that contradicted the teacher this is what you would hear in response. Any attempts at open logical debate were met with condescension and that same quote about the self cherishing mind. I think Demartini and Bob proctor are definitely in the same league as these religious cults.

If you study their body language, hand gestures and speech patterns you can definitely see them employing subliminal control and subliminal messaging techniques as well as outright hypnosis. Any four hour lecture is a form of hypnosis really. (Bob proctor uses outright subliminal messages in his advertisements)

So how do I feel after my three year journey into the world of the secret and self-help guru’s? I feel embarrassed that I was sucked into one of the oldest scams in the book. It is amazing how susceptible you can become when you are at a really low ebb in life. I also learnt that I have all of the wisdom and compassion in my own mind already and I don’t need anyone to help me to succeed in my life, especially some slippery American quack like Demartini.


2012 Spiritual Nonsense


Another big thing these self-help gurus are latching on to is the 2012 enigma. The story is that we are in the middle of some kind of spiritual renaissance that is being led by Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer  and a whole host of other American guru sales men that will come to a head in December of 2012. I find this particularly distasteful because at this time people really are struggling with money and are reaching out for any answer to their problems. They are being broken by a faulty economy and then when they look up with hope for one last attempt at life they are met by a cheesy grinning con man Guru, a Dyer or a Demartini or a Rhonda Byrne. Come with me they say, I have a secret that will solve all your problems, just buy this book to take the first step. And then it is a slippery slope into quackery, pseudo-science and new age nonsense.

Do I believe there is a spiritual renaissance? Yes I do, I think more and more people are becoming more individualized and old problems like racism, sexism and general chauvinism are on the decline and because of the internet people are becoming more global. I think that it will be the children of our children who will be the true Guru’s for they will be born into a multi-cultural global society, borders between race and country will hopefully be more blurred and there will be even more tolerance and less fundamentalism. But does Demartini or Deepak have a part to play? Not a single saintly role and they will be looked back on as the true conmen and impostors that they are. They are hindering instead of helping. I think there probably is something waiting for a new kind of spiritual being, the next leap in human evolution, but it has nothing to do with these low life conmen; conmen who are feeding off gullible rich people and desperately poor people.

My advice to you is this: Do not get sucked in, do not spend one penny on any of these self-help books, if you see an advert for Demartini or someone like him, look the other way, for in that direction madness and a financial fleecing waits. Instead rely on yourself, do your own research into philosophy, spirituality and world history for free on the internet or at your local library. Ultimately follow your heart and don’t let any slick sales man scam you.

The only thing these gurus have ever succeeded at is selling the idea that if you listen to their words you will also succeed. But then you in turn will only ever succeed at selling their message or maybe becoming your own self-help guru!

I do believe in spirituality and I do believe there are some amazing things you can learn and develop as you evolve as an individual. Check out the rest of my blog for some clues on your own personal evolution.






6 comments:

  1. Last year I was introduced to two people. One was Eckhart Tolle and I followed him on Oprah's programme and bought his two main books - The Power of Now and A New Earth - both of which I found uplifting. ET gave some simple but sound interpretations of the bible. I am not religious but I thought he was a 'good' man and he had some pretty basic truths which I found made a difference to my life and good to follow. The other man was Dr J Demartini. It took two minutes to decide that Dr J D was not for me so your blog reinforced my instinctive reaction. Thank you.

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  2. I just had a talk with an acquaintance who is personally blinded by demartini and he refered me to martinis site and my first inclination what he is a liar and fraud bilking people including my old friend from another org fraudsters. Im sorry to say that people who are searching unfortuately think and believe by free choice that it take money to learn the truths of life. My friend mentioned he had already blown 50k and like so much what you have said he is working close with the heads of demartini and sometime soon will be on the same level as they are enjoying the riches of life. Oh boy I feel sad for my friend. He almost demanded or strongly suggested that I go to a seminar and cost of 1200 and then I got tied into him because my choices in finding my own way of truth free of charge through self analysis and hard truths. Our society western is bottom line profit motive and it is not the only way of living a life on this planet. Anyhow thankyou for your write up and I hope many other find the truth that the world is full of fraudsters like any shelf in walmart with tons of merchandise and of little use for almost 99.9% of there patrons. Self truth doesnt cost a dime...just process of hard reflection and unwinding the of false beliefs for the individual. Free Choice is all of ours especially here in the western world of planet earth.

    Dave

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  3. Another con artist to look out for is Abraham Hicks, check out this webpage: http://www.squidoo.com/ten-reasons-i-no-longer-trust-esther-hicks-and-abraham

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  4. Great article, I don't get spirituality so much though, Eckhart Tolle, Osho and so on. I am very skeptic of spirituality too.

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    1. Through meditation practice it is possible to have some interesting experiences. I am not 100% sure about 'spirituality' But I know that inner peace, inner joy, inner happiness, compassion and wisdom are real and can be generated by practicing meditation and changing our emotional responses to people. Maybe we can even achieve a level of fearlessness and dignity in the face of death.

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  5. A chapter ‘The Heart of Things’ - taken from A C Grayling’s ‘The good book ‘ - a secular bible.
    The uses of Philosophy.
    Most people in Western countries are richer and healthier than they have ever been. Yet they are less happy and fulfilled than their forebears. They feel discontented. A persistent frustration nags them and they cannot identify its source. They need something to supply their lives with meaning.
    Some turn to drugs, alcohol or religion. All of which erect a safety barrier against discontent. Others hope to find the solution in love and family life, but find matters made worse by the failure of their expectations. Some turn to Psychotherapy or they seek relief in astrology, feng shui, crystals, aromatherapy and tarot readings.
    These are all based on the belief that the meaning of life can be found in a new-age shop, or a Doctor’s surgery, a pub, a church or through counselling. By handing over their money, or their credulity, they hope to be relieved of the emptiness within. But they often fail and the original problem is harder to bear after an intermission of hope.
    Modern Westerners are like thirsty people drinking from a muddy puddle on the banks of a great river of clear water, as if they simply had not noticed the river’s existence, or did not know that they could drink from it. The river in question is philosophy.
    For two and a half thousand years Western civilisation has produced a succession of great thinkers who dedicated themselves to enquiring into what matters most in human existence.
    For example: -
    • What is truly valuable?
    • How should one live?
    • What is the nature of good?
    • How should we understand love, death, grief, hope, freedom, truth, justice and beauty?
    • What must we do to live courageously and successfully?
    • How should we treat others?
    • What are our duties as an individual, a citizen, and a member of the human community?
    • What are the rights we humans have?
    • How might we best respect the world we live in?
    The answers to these questions define the life truly worth living.
    Astonishingly, although most people at one time or another ask themselves some of these questions, they almost never turn to the immensely rich tradition of philosophical debate to see what our culture’s greatest minds have said about them. To do so seems alarming because either it would be “too difficult” or will involve too much hard work, especially when enquirers learn that central to the philosophical enterprise is the responsibility to think for oneself.
    All the great philosophers have insisted on the fundamental importance of independent thought. There is a world of difference between reaching a conclusion on your own and simply accepting the say-so of someone else. Unless we do the work needed for arriving at our choices, conclusions and aims making them fully our own, using the best available materials, we will never truly attain any solutions worth having.
    From its earliest flowering in Greek classical antiquity, philosophy has operated on the principle that the pursuit of truth and understanding must be free, open- minded and autonomous. Usually people submit their intellect to the authority of pre-packaged, conventionally accepted beliefs. Philosophy examines the validity of every belief to see which is good and which is spurious.
    Only this way can we hope to attain enlightenment, which, as Kant wrote, - “is man’s emergence from his self imposed immaturity”, which is the inability to use one’s understanding without guidance from another. “Have courage to use your own understanding”- that is the motto of enlightenment.

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