Friday, October 30, 2009

It's The Season Of The Witch

"He hasn't been sick. Homeopathy has no side effects. . . .We don't hear about dying from homeopathy."

-- Grainne Ostrowski, living in a NewAge world of black darkness and confusion - and making sure, with the help of sloppy journalists, to envelope her child in it - as she stupidly and arrogantly pretends she's a doctor, for The Washington Post.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Welcome To My World, Lady

Think you feel bad now? Wait until everyone starts attacking you for "picking on that nice man" and, then, telling you to "move on":

They'll really give you something to cry about.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Every Good Witch Hunt Includes A Trial By Fire

So why are newspapers failing? And why have Republicans been losing? To me they're connected - and the problem's simple to remedy:

Take this James Arthur Ray thing - it's got something for everybody: A NewAge huckster and "guru", three deaths - with the added attraction of some poor NewAge believer crawling over hot steaming rocks - plus, at least, another 16 sick or injured; scams, scammers, and the scammed - with their kooky beliefs, sad and pissed-off indians, NewAge "power spots" like Sedona, Arizona (claimed to be filled with mysterious energy "vortexes") medical professionals doing strange things, The Secret, Oprah Winfrey's constant endorsement of dangerous NewAge nonsense, etc.

It's the whole friggin' Take My Life, Please circus.

But is the (old or new) media running with it? As expected, not really.

And also - pay close attention now - all this truly bizarre behavior, just as we saw with ACORN, is occurring on the left side of the political spectrum.

And just as the Left is more than willing to expose (and voice it's opposition to) any manifestation of religion on the right, conservatives could, and should, have nothing less than a field day with what occurs on the Left's "spiritual" side.

I mean, these are Obama's hardcore supporters: the truest of true believers.

Surely there's something that can, and should, be done to shine a light on them.

The Democratic candidate for president was introduced to America by a NewAger, Oprah Winfrey. Obama's got a Secretary of State who (we know) dabbles in NewAge psychics when it's convenient. was started by a psychic. There are NewAge provisions built into ObamaCare, and the biggest booster of NewAge quack remedies - always at taxpayer expense - is a Democrat, Tom Harkin (above). Democrats also hide NewAge provisions in bills for other things.

Considering the passion we've seen NewAgers exhibit for their beliefs, up to and even including their own financial self-sabotage and death, isn't it time to start seriously investigating why they're doing all this?

Steve Salerno says the one aspect of NewAge he covered - "self-help" - is an $11 billion industry. If you started to add up the figures for all the different aspects of NewAge (starting with some of the most obvious like, say, anti-vaccine people, cancer vultures, and yoga practitioners, then move to more obscure stuff like Reiki seminars, NewAge retreats, and psychics, finally working your way around to even large homeopathy and cult marketing purveyors like Whole Foods) how much money do you think Democrats are giving to charlatans altogether? How big of a segment of the Democratic party are they or do they control?

How helpful would it be to the conservative movement if a significant portion were politically neutralized - through the simple act of exposing their beliefs - Van Jones style? Come on, it's already happening to Bill Maher. Who's going to take him that seriously, politically, when we can now prove he understands how the world works about as much as Suzanne Sommers?

Both newspapers and conservatives have a good reason to focus and stay with NewAge topics - they're important - because, whether discussing "irrational exuberance" on Wall Street, global warming hysteria, or a bunch of fruitcakes who think they can receive messages from aliens through their teeth, NewAge cuts to the core of what's always been wrong with our country - delusional thinking - and it points the way, at least, to what we need to stop doing in order to turn our nation's fortunes around.

NewAgers Take Note (And Follow By Example)

It occurs to me that James Arthur Ray's three sweatlodge victims are the only "spiritual seekers", I've ever heard of, who were actually successful at finding what they were looking for.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Essence of The Macho Response

"I really think that people have to get smart and get tough. This is - there is a tendency that we have to believe in people who promise us everything, and we as a nation have to wise up. I mean, we really have to say: If somebody is promising us everything, watch out for your pocket and watch out for your soul. They're trying to - you know, they're trying to make you theirs, and if they claim any level of infallibility, watch out for - I mean, nobody's infallible.

So I think that this is the kind of thing that we have to really look at and teach to ourselves and to our children, how to discriminate."

-- Dr. James Gordon, founder and director for the Center for Mind-Body Medicine - another NewAge quack - spilling the beans about everything, from the average NewAge believer to Obama, on National Public Radio.

Friday, October 23, 2009

It Never Ends

Guilty As Sin

Man, this James Arthur Ray story can just get to be too much. ABC News has an interview with an orthodontist, Beverly Bunn, whose roommate died in that Sedona, Arizona sweat lodge.

Bunn is a total NewAger - the very definition of the Mystic Bourgeoisie - even wearing the uniform: short boyish haircut, dangly earrings, several pendents of some sort, a light scarf hung just-so, over something purple from India or someplace "spiritual" and/or ethnic like that. Beverly goes on to describe the other sweatlodge attendees as really driven "rich people". Stupid, gullible, and easily-led rich people, if you ask me.

And let's not forget to close the 7th circle of Hell that is NewAge's presence in the medical field. From Wired Magazine:

"Consider: In certain parts of the US, vaccination rates have dropped so low that occurrences of some children’s diseases are approaching pre-vaccine levels for the first time ever. And the number of people who choose not to vaccinate their children (so-called philosophical exemptions are available in about 20 states, including Pennsylvania, Texas, and much of the West) continues to rise. In states where such opting out is allowed, 2.6 percent of parents did so last year, up from 1 percent in 1991, according to the CDC. In some communities, like California’s affluent Marin County, just north of San Francisco, non-vaccination rates are approaching 6 percent (counterintuitively, higher rates of non-vaccination often correspond with higher levels of education and wealth)."

And "California’s affluent Marin County, just north of San Francisco," is what? Another NewAge "power spot", filled with "rich people", just like Sedona, Arizona. Stupid, gullible, and easily-led rich people - if you ask me - and they're all hurting other people by acting on their NewAge beliefs. (Wired says "almost 10 percent" of the children in California elementary schools "may already be at risk" because of these loons,...)

And how about the NewAge image of NewAge parents in NewAge power spots refusing medical care to their NewAge kids - which threatens other kids - while their NewAge physicians are leading others to their deaths in NewAge sweatlodges? True story.

That's NewAge.

Speaking of NewAge physicians hanging out in NewAge sweatlodges, let's get back to good ol' Beverly Bunn:

"Bunn, trained in CPR as part of her medical credentials, said she repeatedly tried to perform the life-saving measures on her friend, but was continuously rebuffed by Ray's employees known as the 'Dream Team.'"

So, is anybody going to ask Beverly why her training for those "medical credentials" - which had to include at least a bit of science - didn't prevent her from attending a NewAge retreat in the first place?

Didn't her training to get her "medical credentials" already teach her all this talk of "toxins" and "cleansing" is snake oil - supported by nothing in medicine - or does she go on babbling this incredible nonsense when she's at work?

Has it dawned on her yet that if she had used knowledge, easily-gleaned from her training to earn her "medical credentials", her roommate would be alive today?

Does she get that with the training she received to get her "medical credentials" she had everything necessary to prevent the tragic death of her roommate but, instead, Beverly and her NewAge "beliefs" egged it all on? At $9,000 a pop?

I mean, really, who is Beverly Bunn to be railing against James Arthur Ray when she's as guilty as he is?

A Nation Awash In Empty-Headed Foolishness

"Self-help is not benign. The $11 billion industry can hurt you psychologically, it can hurt you financially and, as we see, it can hurt you physically. It can hurt your family and friends too.

Consider that today's increasingly popular 'large group awareness training' (LGAT) incorporates tactics more commonly identified with psychological warfare. Facilitators bully attendees verbally and sometimes physically, call upon them to relive their worst experiences in humiliating detail in front of strangers, deprive them of sleep and even bathroom privileges—all in the name of self-actualization. In expert testimony in a 1992 lawsuit against the best-known of these LGATs, Landmark Forum (long a favored choice for corporate retreats), the clinical psychologist Margaret Singer observed that Forum 'applies a number of powerful and psychologically disturbing, emotionally arousing and defense destabilizing techniques to large groups of people, in an intense, marathon-like period.' How can this not have a catastrophic effect on people in a fragile emotional state—which is surely the case with a sizable contingent of those who seek out these 'transformational' courses to begin with?

Other offerings, bracketed as 'relationships therapy' or 'assertiveness training,' can wreak havoc on existing interpersonal bonds. Stories abound of couples whose marriages fell victim to gurus who celebrated promiscuity and 'personal morality,' or who chastised participants for their codependent (that is, caring and empathetic) ways.

Apologists argue that there are bad outcomes in any endeavor, that it's unfair to single out self-help when, say, conventional medicine kills thousands each year. The difference is that in medicine, practitioners share demonstrated expertise in methods that evolved over time and have been tested and retested for efficacy. A bad outcome in a field with proven benefits is unfortunate. A bad outcome in a field with little basis for existing in the first place is unforgivable. As noted psychologist Michael Hurd told me, 'Gurus encourage these poor, already troubled souls to literally take leave of their senses, as if departing reason will somehow liberate you.'"

-- Steve Salerno, apparently unaware insanity on a mass scale is now accepted as normal - as long as enough people share in some aspect of it - and enough people share in some aspect of it, not to read The Wall Street Journal.

Try It: NewAge Madness Will Make Sense Now

"The administration is digging in and doubling down even though its conduct has invited scorn from pundits of every political persuasion and become the object of ridicule. The belligerence is remarkable and suggests that the White House behaves in illogical and self-destructive ways. (Attention pundits: stop looking for rational explanations for the Obamis’ irrational behavior.)"

-- Jennifer Rubin, who might as well openly call this NewAge presidency,...well, a NewAge presidency - it's conforming to the template pretty-fucking-well - as she provides those of us with our faculties still intact to some pretty good Commentary.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Bad Case Of The Crazies

This is a brilliant video on cultism - especially the ending:

If NewAge's job has been done well, no matter what the outcome for any individual, there will always be applause at the end.

As you watch this video - and I really want you to - consider ACORN, or the Democratic Party's many other popular counter-cultural (as well as counterintuitive) Leftist obsessions currently passing as some of the most important issues of the day. Saving the planet. The drive to control our diets, that kind of thing. Think about how they're trying to sell us on them. Then consider the obsessions and tactics of the NewAge, the Left's slippery "spiritual" movement, international in scope, with totalitarian ambitions:

They're the same.

The other day I used Barbara Ehrenreich's book, Bright-sided:
How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America
, to make the observation that (like most commentators today) she was mistaken about her central topic:

Ehrenreich isn't actually discussing "positive thinking" but referencing the NewAge movement.

Today, I want to continue my they're-dancing-around-the-edges theme, but this time I'm using an article I found in Wired Magazine. This one, being about the anti-vaccination movement, is entitled "An Epidemic of Fear: How Panicked Parents Skipping Shots Endangers Us All". Let's start with the first paragraph:

"To hear his enemies talk, you might think Paul Offit is the most hated man in America. A pediatrician in Philadelphia, he is the coinventor of a rotavirus vaccine that could save tens of thousands of lives every year. Yet environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. slams Offit as a 'biostitute' who whores for the pharmaceutical industry. Actor Jim Carrey calls him a profiteer and distills the doctor’s attitude toward childhood vaccination down to this chilling mantra: 'Grab ‘em and stab ‘em.' Recently, Carrey and his girlfriend, Jenny McCarthy, went on CNN’s Larry King Live and singled out Offit’s vaccine, RotaTeq, as one of many unnecessary vaccines, all administered, they said, for just one reason: 'Greed.'"

Jim Carrey? The same Jim Carrey that TIME Magazine claimed had "flipped out" because they couldn't get him to shut up about his becoming a NewAger back in 2007? I don't want to knock the investigative powers of Wired Magazine, but shouldn't Carrey's NewAge obsession be part of any article featuring his beliefs about vaccinations? If only to establish the credibility of Carrey's attacks on Paul Offit?

Here's Virginia Madsen, one of Jim Carrey's co-stars, on his belief in numerology:

"Sometimes when people spill about their spirituality, it's because it's a new discovery: 'Oh, my God, I'm born again,' but this is something he really lives."

"Born again" into numerology. And yet, somehow, this goofy-headed NewAger, Jim Carrey, can almost effortlessly hold Paul Offit - and science itself - up against the wall. Incredible.

Even more incredible is jounalism's not calling Carrey on his beliefs - it's just me, babe - when further exposure is all it would take to cause the undoing of Carrey's unvaccinated arm of the NewAge movement.

Somebody call Glenn Beck.

Or let's think like Glenn Beck and ponder this for a moment:

Surely, some of those thousands of people following Carrey's lead also read TIME as I do. And, if they're as interested in the subject of vaccinations as they appear, surely they know the beliefs of their spokespeople as well as I do, right? So are they all just keeping quiet about Carrey's beliefs? Or are they part of the NewAge movement themselves? How big is it? And considering their possible cultism - something no one else is considering - could that, somehow, play into the cause of their child's autism? Fair questions, no?

But the top one to me right now is, is this an article about an honest-to-goodness anti-vaccination movement or another piece ignorantly dancing around the networks of the lying NewAge?

Let's say, for the moment, that I'm correct - that this is the NewAge movement. Check out the cheery messages the notorious peace-and-love crowd have been sending to Dr.Offit:

'There are the threats. Offit once got an email from a Seattle man that read, 'I will hang you by your neck until you are dead!' Other bracing messages include 'You have blood on your hands' and 'Your day of reckoning will come.' A few years ago, a man on the phone ominously told Offit he knew where the doctor’s two children went to school."

And each message ending with "Namaste" of course. Now which image is closer to the truth - the one they sell of themselves as flakey-but-peace-loving spiritualists - or the one I paint of evil nazi-like creatures who will kill - even their own kids - for their beliefs? Here's Paul Offit again:

“'I used to say that the tide would turn when children started to die. Well, children have started to die,' Offit says, frowning as he ticks off recent fatal cases of meningitis in unvaccinated children in Pennsylvania and Minnesota. 'So now I’ve changed it to "when enough children start to die." Because obviously, we’re not there yet.'”

We certainly aren't, Paul. Not even close.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sharp Ass Attack

People around the world are supposedly outraged by a really short video of a mob in India attacking five women the crowd labeled witches. I gather it must be the invention of video that's upsetting everybody in the West because, at this point, I'm convinced it can't be the mass insanity that arises from superstition.

People must also be upset because it's women being harmed on camera. Being upset about what happens to women, specifically, is mandatory. Especially if they're witches, or otherwise messed up in the head.

I'm upset Indian women have to be labeled witches when America's blessed with more than enough self-declared witches - Wiccans - to keep India entertained for centuries.

I think we ought to encourage a cultural exchange:

Send India our Wiccans.

The Indians wouldn't have to worry about killing, torturing, or maiming anyone who isn't a witch - and America would have fewer and fewer effeminate pricks getting pissy over howling at the moon.

It's win-win.

I mean, let's face it, witches are a pain in the ass (always declaring to overthrow the order, or whatever) so giving them a little (or possibly a lot of) "thinking time" in the "spiritual paradise" that is modern day India (heh: where they all, as NewAge westerners, probably hoped to visit anyway) strikes me as the best possible - and from the looks of things, in some cases, final - solution.

There - another day: another difficult problem solved - by TMR.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I Believe I Can Fly (You Are Sleeping)

You tell me:

Below are the last few closing paragraphs from an except of Barbara Ehrenreich's Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America, and I want you, whenever you encounter it, to replace the phrase "positive thinking" with TMR's more-culturally-enveloping "NewAge", and then tell me if the passage doesn't make more sense:

"By the late first decade of the twenty-first century,...positive thinking had become ubiquitous and virtually unchallenged in American culture. It was promoted on some of the most widely watched talk shows, like Larry King Live and the Oprah Winfrey Show; it was the stuff of runaway best sellers like the 2006 book The Secret; it had been adopted as the theology of America’s most successful evangelical preachers; it found a place in medicine as a potential adjuvant to the treatment of almost any disease. It had even penetrated the academy in the form of the new discipline of 'positive psychology,' offering courses teaching students to pump up their optimism and nurture their positive feelings. And its reach was growing global, first in the Anglophone countries and soon in the rising economies of China, South Korea, and India.

But nowhere did it find a warmer welcome than in American business, which is, of course, also global business. To the extent that positive thinking had become a business itself, business was its principal client, eagerly consuming the good news that all things are possible through an effort of mind. This was a useful message for employees, who by the turn of the twenty-first century were being required to work longer hours for fewer benefits and diminishing job security. But it was also a liberating ideology for top-level executives. What was the point in agonizing over balance sheets and tedious analyses of risks—and why bother worrying about dizzying levels of debt and exposure to potential defaults—when all good things come to those who are optimistic enough to expect them?

I do not write this in a spirit of sourness or personal disappointment of any kind, nor do I have any romantic attachment to suffering as a source of insight or virtue. On the contrary, I would like to see more smiles, more laughter, more hugs, more happiness and, better yet, joy. In my own vision of utopia, there is not only more comfort, and security for everyone— better jobs, health care, and so forth—there are also more parties, festivities, and opportunities for dancing in the streets. Once our basic material needs are met—in my utopia, anyway—life becomes a perpetual celebration in which everyone has a talent to contribute. But we cannot levitate ourselves into that blessed condition by wishing it. We need to brace ourselves for a struggle against terrifying obstacles, both of our own making and imposed by the natural world. And the first step is to recover from the mass delusion that is positive thinking."

Did you catch that she closes with the warning "We cannot levitate ourselves"? That language doesn't make any sense, if the discussion is merely about "positive thinking" in America, does it? Come on, folks, you can't see/hear what I'm getting at there? I'd take a bet that Barbara Ehrenreich, and those who are currently interviewing her or even reading her book, don't comprehend that it's not merely addressing her ugly cancer-related encounter with "positive thinking" but - as indicated by that "levitate" line - Ehrenreich's ugly encounter becoming a book actually represents a larger (and infinitely more important) cultural event:

This maturing United States citizenry finally, slowly, waking up to the idea that we've been surviving, Matrix-like, under the direct effects of at least four decades of the cultish and narcissistic Baby Boomer's full-blown love affair with NewAge delusion.

Ehrenreich got a nice taste of it while she had cancer. That NewAgers would add to the discomfort of cancer should give anyone an idea of what's allowed to happen to outsiders with hardly notice or mention. As I continually point out, they also kill their kids, kill themselves, kill family members, gurus kill their followers, all the while insisting that everyone believe *something* so as to be happy, or blissed out, about the outcome. Ehrenreich likes to mention that anyone who could see through positive delusions, say about the economy, got fired. (Can't you hear the late-Maharishi giggling at that one?) That's a perfect illustration of the type of logic used - and, especially, how it's been applied - as NewAgers have been conducting themselves and the nation's business. Yet, somehow, they still wonder how they've gotten us in this mess? As The Beatles wrote to Mia Farrow's over-meditating sister, at the Maharishi's Indian retreat, in the song Dear Prudence:

"Look around."