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This and drat.

...The speaking gig, which was in Tulsa, went very, very well. Lots of enthusiastic feedback, both during my presentation and in informal meet-n-greets afterwards. Which meant more in this case than it might otherwise, since I was talking (for two hours, remember) to a room full of shrinks—folks, in other words, who know the terrain. I missed no opportunity to remind them that the self-appointed gods of SHAMdom are eating their lunch: i.e., practicing psychotherapy without a license. Heads nodded and murmuring erupted in various corners of the hotel ballroom every time I made a related comment.... Oh, and good steamship round, too.

feedback from one attendee arrived in a lengthy email yesterday. I made this same point in SHAM, but he anchors it in his own clinical experience, writing, in part, "It occurred to me that buying help is sometimes a way to delay change. I had that happen early in my career. People would sometimes come to me for help and say that they were depressed because they didn't have a job. But they wouldn't do the things they needed to do to get a job, even if I assigned them things to do as homework in the therapy. It seemed to me that they were justifying not doing the things they needed to do by saying, 'See, I am doing something, I'm in therapy.' So if I go buy a $10,000 course, I may be giving myself a reason for optimism and at the same time also delaying any real change.... So we hire magical people, shamans, who we can pay to swing the incense and do it for us, or teach us the secret mysteries that we need to know to be successful. When it is generally agreed that one shaman doesn't know what he is talking about, we go to another." He concludes, "There is an old saying about placebos: Use them quickly before they lose their effectiveness."

...My first night in Oklahoma I caught part of Larry King's long-awaited gab-fest with a half-dozen of the foremost champions of positive thinking, as featured in The Secret. (The geniuses behind this stunning viral marketing coup had related content ready to go as soon as the show's closing credits rolled.) Among the sources of the motivational glow surrounding Larry last Thursday were John Assaraf, Bob Proctor, and the surreally weird Dr. Michael Beckwith (shown), who, in dress, speech, mannerisms and overall demeanor looked as if his birth-name might really be Zormak From The Planet Woosabi-6. I was shocked at the extent of Larry's fawning. As tough as he was some weeks ago on Dr. Laura—who has her well-documented faults, but at least says something inherently worthwhile now and then—that's how obsequious Larry became in the presence of these platinum-plated jokers. And that's not the worst of it: There's actually a Part 2, skedded for November 16. The guest list this time will include our friend Joe "H'onoponowonogonomon'obona" Vitale. (But I can't get booked on these shows.... Hence the "drat," above.)

...Insightful and nicely descriptive article by a London Daily Mail writer who decided to dive headlong into the Tony Robbins mystique. Or maybe feet-first is the better phrase, inasmuch as she took one of Tony's famous firewalks. If you read the article, by all means continue on to the comments at the end, which bear all the earmarks of an organised* backlash on the part of the Robbins faithful. One of them shamelessly likens Tony to the "second coming." Check it out.

* Seeing as how we're talking about the U.K.

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