It was Hunter presenting herself as an oddball burn-out that led some of us to assume that she invented or imagined the whole affair, and to thus downplay the story as bullshit from an acid casualty, and now there's egg on our faces as well. But at least we weren't the only ones to sleep on it.
-- Pareene, with a bullshit story of his/her own, that does at least nail down one way NewAgers work their particular magic: by not being thought of, either, as part of a movement or as potentially dangerous, for Gawker
[Slapping hands together] So where are we? Now that the MSM has jumped into the John Edwards/Lisa Druck AKA Rielle Hunter AKA The Enlightened One Scandal, do you think they've got the whole story? Sure, they've got the whole story.
No, my friends, they have nothing. As you can see, the beauty of NewAge is how like smoke it is, seeping into almost every crevice of society - it's a spiritual cult - so, as the newspapers attempt to give the impression they're opening a window and airing out the place, the stench is still clinging. What's been going on here, John?
"I would soon learn that there was no such thing as small talk with Rielle Hunter. She told me that she'd felt a connection to me when we'd first met, that she could tell I was a very old soul. This meant a lot to Rielle. Her speech was peppered with New Age jargon—human beings were dragged down by "blockages" to their actual potential; history was the story of souls entering and escaping our field of consciousness. A seminal book for her had been Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now." Her purpose on this Earth, she said, was to help raise awareness about all this, to help the unenlightened become better reflections of their true, repressed selves.
Her latest project was John Edwards. Edwards, she said, was an old soul who had barely tapped into any of his potential. The real John Edwards, she believed, was a brilliant, generous, giving man who was driven by competing impulses—to feed his ego and serve the world. If he could only tap into his heart more, and use his head less, he had the power to be a 'transformational leader' on par with Gandhi and Martin Luther King. 'He has the power to change the world,' she said."
-- Jonathan Darman, telling a credible tale, in Newsweek
The John was discussing Eckhart Tolle's The Power Of Now with Smiley Rielle "all the time." Nice. So let's dive into the ugly little man's ugly little "philosophy" and see what we find, shall we?
"Tolle’s non-fiction bestseller The Power of Now emphasizes the importance of being aware of the present moment as a way of not being caught up in thoughts of the past and future. His later book A New Earth further explores the structure of the human ego and how this acts to distract people from their present experience of the world. It is the feeding of the human ego that is thought to be the source of inner and outer conflict. Only in examining one’s ego may people begin to see beyond it and obtain a sense of spiritual enlightening or a new outlook on reality."
Well alright. Very solipsistically sound. Very french.
And let's not forget Nutjob Bob McGovern, above, the man who probably set John Edwards up. (Or was it Margaret Sweet?)
In an interview Friday night on ABC's "Nightline," during which Edwards acknowledged that he once had a relationship with Hunter, he said McGovern was the one who reached out to him to arrange the July 21 meeting with her."
Nutjob Bob called The John. And The John trusted Nutjob Bob. What was Nutjob Bob's BS again?
Hunter herself has been deeply devoted to New Age spirituality and had run a website on the subject, an endeavor in which McGovern was believed to be involved.
During Friday's ABC interview, Edwards explained that he had been in Los Angeles on the day of the meeting with Hunter to participate in an event with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa when he received an afternoon call in his hotel room from McGovern.
"I knew he was a friend of Ms. Hunter. And he asked me to come and meet with them. And I said, 'No,'" Edwards recalled. "I said, what's the purpose of the meeting? And the bottom line was that he said the purpose of the meeting was she was having some trouble, she just wanted to talk, wanted me to talk to him and to her about what their circumstances were."
Edwards said that he decided to visit with Hunter because he did not want her to go public about their affair, but that he told McGovern during their afternoon phone call that he would only show up if he was present at the meeting."
So The John trusts Nutjob Bob. Why does The John trust Nutjob Bob so much? If you're not a believer, would you even be seen with him? When you're the potential Vice President of the United States?
"Little is known about McGovern, 64, who lives with his wife in a modest home a few miles from downtown Santa Barbara, Calif. The website Margaretsweet.com, which promotes spirituality and New Age practices, recently carried a brief biography of McGovern, describing him as "a healer since 1988" who has worked "with energy in the area of the emotional fields."
"He uses philosophy, psychology and the intuitive to find resolutions that move people back into alignment with the universe and into a place of peace, harmony and joy," the site said. "Bob uses the intuitive to help people with a variety of life issues, including relationships, career and health."
The description, posted in a section of the website called "Helpful Dudes," stated that McGovern tries to empower individuals so that they can deal with the challenges of everyday life with greater understanding.
"His knowledge of the past and the future helps people find balance in the present," it said. "He is able to separate out surrounding negative energy, which allows people to have a clearer perception of their own options and choices."
-- Serge F. Kovaleski, who couldn't just say "cultist" or "quack," while writing for the New York Times
The John believes in NewAge (I didn't used to think that was true) but once he mentioned his ego as being part of the problem, rather than lust, I think he's bought into the whole thing. He definitely can't say he was thinking of the future. And we know Rielle Hunter got to him.
"Obviously, the effect of cancer extends beyond the patient to family members. Their lives become centered on the disease. I'm sure, even during periods of remission, it can cause people to act and think in ways that are not "in character."
Maybe that's what happened to John Edwards. Maybe he lost his way and was searching for something new and different, something affirming that would give him a greater awareness of himself and his connection to the universe. But did he have to run for President while seeking his new enlightenment?
I'm convinced there's still more here. And it's all going to come out, slowly, drip by agonizing drip."
-- Jeralyn, who doesn't know the half, at TalkLeft.com
John Edwards was Smiley Rielle's NewAge project:
"I'll lecture him on it when he's getting too much up in here," she said, gesturing toward her head. "He'll see a look on my face and say, 'Yes, I know, Rielle, "Power of Now" says …' " Rielle wanted me to know all these things because she wanted me to write about them. For the past five months, she said, she'd been traveling with Edwards with a video crew, capturing him in a variety of settings, public and private. She had cut her footage together into a series of short films, "Webisodes" that would run on the Internet. She hoped that with her unique eye for Edwards's true potential, she could show the world the real John Edwards and, in the process, help him to become the better version of himself. She wondered if I might be interested in writing a story. "Sure," I said, "if you let me see the films, we can talk about that."
-- Jonathan Darman, missing a great opportunity, in Newsweek
"It is interesting that Edwards trusted McGovern so much. Perhaps the media will continue to do a horrible job with this story. But as the money trail gets scrutinized and the ties to Santa Barbara and Hunter’s trusted network undergo more examination, will it treat the New Age aspects as something loopy and marginal or will they soberly examine whether or how New Age beliefs played a part in this story?"
-- Mollie, wondering the same thing I have, on GetReligion.org
Oh goodie. Story lines? Where to begin?
The Power Of Now and A New Earth - that's the schtick Oprah Winfrey started pushing after The Secret. (I wonder if some version of the line "You are the one that you've been waiting for" is mentioned in either one of those titles? I think the Dems might want to know,...."Cult of Obama" and all that.) Anyway, since Smiley Rielle has said she's really into The Power Of Now, her behavior could be seen, at least partially, as a result of Tolle's "powerful" message. And this wouldn't be a first of it's kind for Oprah. She keeps saying to "make your own truth," but that results in her fans lying to themselves and everybody else. And there's a lot of them.
"I had a story filled with an intense amount of emotional and mental suffering. Major dysfunction junction. And, for as long as I can remember I had a relentless desire for truth. This turned out to be a helpful combo. I was never comfortable, never felt enough love, never satisfied, never fulfilled and I would not stop until that ended. Point being: If I can wake up anyone can, what it takes is the desire and the commitment to do so."
-- Smiley Rielle, who could never "wake up," in a portion from her website that was posted on the appropriately named Deciever.com
"I had a relentless desire for truth,...what it takes is the desire and the commitment to do so."? So why won't she take a paternity test? She wants "privacy" after sleeping with a married U.S. Senator? Didn't Oprah say "truth matters" during the James Frey controversy? Shouldn't Rielle's baby have a right to the truth? Don't we all? Shouldn't John Edwards be demanding it? Shouldn't Elizabeth Edwards?
"The affair began long, long, long before she was hired to work for the campaign almost half a year before she was hired to work on those videos."
-- Pidgeon O'Brien, a one time close friend of Smiley Rielle's, to ABC News
It all leads me to some very troubling storylines.
Oprah is supposed to be some "moral arbiter" for the country. Is she really, if these repeated NewAge messes are the result her philosophy playing out? How does Barack Obama feel about Oprah's many philosophies? Does he endorse The Secret? If not, has he told Oprah? What was her response? Why does he think lines from his stump speech were also part of Rielle's NewAge jargon? Why are Edwards's untrustworthy people working for you? Does he read Self-Help books? In light of the fact Obama's been often charged with not saying anything of substance, what are the rest of us to make of his cult-like adoration? Does it bother him?
What should the average American think when the front-runner has a "cult"?And John Edwards falls for his subordinate's "ambitious new-age floozy,..."
Bill Clinton spouts off about turning Americans on to Ken Wilber's "higher state of consciousness," Hillary's "secret emotional life raft" was the psychic Jean Houston,...
Dennis Kucinich is prattling on about U.F.O.s, Nancy Pelosi's googly "trying to save the planet," with Tom Harken getting away with blowing billions of dollars touting bee pollen as a wonder cure and other quackery? Please? Anybody.
What's to be gathered from Andrew Sullivan's adding astrology to his journalistic mix? Or how the media has actively indulged such ideas with hardly any serious investigation into what's occurring? Come on, guys. All you've been doing is adding sugar to the Kool-Aid.
And it's got to be asked: what's going on with the men of the Democratic Party? Former President Bill Clinton, San Francisco's Mayor Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles's Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, Elliott Spitzer, etc. Don't point at anybody else - what's going on with the men of the Democratic Party?
And even the women?!? No Democrat will ever tell another to "shape up!" (Something no one gives the Republicans credit for) Democrats just point their fingers at each other and say "He did it too!" or defiantly declare "I'm not going anywhere!" It's sad, stupid, and corrosive.
Why are all these NewAgers ripping down their websites? Because they know they're nuts. Why did Wikipedia start wiping pages over this? Because they're NewAgers and have got something to hide.
The media has been acting weird, regarding what they'll cover and how, for a long, long, time. They found something to sell. But we're not buying.
Oh - and by the way:
Elizabeth Edwards knew John was having an affair - and she let him run anyway. So it was all a lie. And they almost destroyed the party for it, just like Bill & Hill. The Dems just dodged another potentially fatal bullet there.
But it's still ricocheting - and it's already hit a kid. (Who's next?)