Thursday, February 15, 2007

Next time, just send me a card, fella.

Just in time for Valentine's Day, and in keeping with his grand tradition of celebrating all major occasions and cultural events, including 9-11, by spamming his email distribution list, Tony Robbins sent me, a registered member of Robbins World*, a promise to rejuvenate my love life.

"The Ultimate Relationship Program," Tony writes, in part, "is a multimedia program designed to help you close the gap from where you are to where you want to be in a relationship and discover what you really want at this stage in your life." Perhaps this is even the exact program TR himself used, a few years back, to discover that he was at a stage in his life where what he really wanted was to unburden himself of Wife No. 1, Becky, and replace her with Wife No. 2, Sage—or as some of us call her, in Prince-ian fashion, TWFKAB, for the "Trophy Wife Formerly Known As Bonnie." In her previous life, Sage/Bonnie too had a husband, whose name was, and still is, John. The precise circumstances that led to this mate-swap remain fuzzy. (I have not spoken to John Lynch, therefore I cannot tell you with certainty whether losing his wife was what Lynch "really wanted" at that stage of his life. Of course, in self-help programs, other people's interests, and the ways in which your newfound behavior might affect them, seldom come into play.)

Tony also says: "Valentine's Day is a great time to honor and show your commitment to the one you love, but if you're going to have a relationship of depth, where love and passion is sustained for a lifetime [all emphasis added], it requires skill." Since sustaining love and passion for a lifetime is a skill that Tony has not mastered, I suppose he's speaking as the quintessential romantic here, implying that his "life" didn't really begin until he met Sage.... You'll pardon me if I don't go all weak in the knees.

I know the rebuttals: that you don't necessarily have to be able to practice something in order to preach it. It's true that in some realms, people who don't have the skill to actually "do it" nonetheless make some of the finest teachers. Baseball is a perfect example. Arguably the most influential hitting guru of our time—Charlie Lau—was a mediocre player, at best, during his Major League career (.255 lifetime batting average).

However, love is not like hitting a baseball or other technically grounded skills. In hitting, there are numerous variables that may short-circuit someone's practical ability to apply what he knows in theory (like, say, the lack of hand-eye coordination). In contrast, in emotional/"spiritual" realms, the best intentions, and the proven ability to execute them, are the skill; the demonstrated ability to walk the walk is what imparts credibility to the talking of the talk. (God help me, I hate to invoke Dr. Laura here, but as she's fond of saying, "Love is a behavior, not just a feeling.") Are you going to worship at a church that preaches that abstinence is the path to salvation when you know that the pastor is having sex with all of the choirboys? Even beyond the hypocrisy factor, does that make any sense?

It is also clear in the tenor of Tony's appeals—beginning with the art, which shows the happy couple laughing and making nice over each other—that the message is, "By spending $254 on this program, you can have what we have!" It would therefore be nice to know that they really have it (whatever "it" is), and always did.**

* and I'm frankly astonished that they haven't purged me from the list yet, especially considering certain sensitive communications between Tony's legal counsel and my publisher, Random House.
** In the same way, most people familiar with Dr. Phil's general manner towards Robyn and his way of speaking about their marriage would never assume that there was a previous Mrs. Dr. Phil. But there was, and her name is Debbie, and you can learn more about her and her feelings on her former husband's antics in SHAM, chapter 3.

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Steve, the guy seems sleazy but how many times are you going to post the same comment about him?
-Carl

Steve Salerno said...

How many times is he going to spam me with the same message? Besides, Carl, we have many new visitors of late, and I see nothing wrong with catching them up on one of the themes we've been following. Lest we forget, a major complaint against self-help is the incessant repurposing of material, i.e., selling the same content over and over again, slightly repackaged each time. Therefore, I don't think I'm breaking any rules of the blogosphere or particularly wasting anyone's time by posting on this type of recurring activity.

Cosmic Connie said...

Post away, Steve. As long as Tony continues to send you the same messages over and over and over (just with different holidays)**, you have a right to keep complaining.

** Yes, I was inspired by comedian Cathy Ladman's remark that "Religion is basically guilt, with different holidays."

Rodger Johnson said...

What are we going to do about TR?

Steve Salerno said...

Maybe he could use a copy of Dr. Phil's "Relationship Rescue"?

Rodger Johnson said...

Yeah, "Relationship Rescue" that's the answer.

Can we set them on fire and catapult them at TR's house?

Sorry I'm not being that insightful today.

a/good/lysstener said...

This isn't the most incisive comment but for what it's worth I think his first wife was prettier anyway. The new one looks like she has Pamela Anderson disease.

Rodger Johnson said...

Maybe that's what TR likes -- a tuperware party in bed...

Okay, I'll stop now! But Alyssa has a good point

Steve Salerno said...

Yanno, Rodg, it took me 10 minutes online before I figured out that the Tupperware reference has something to do with the role Pam Anderson played in Tori Spelling's baby shower...right? Wrong? Otherwise ya lost me there...

And if I'm right.... What made you so interested in keeping up with Tori Spelling's baby shower?

Rodger Johnson said...

Beside Tori being a cutie -- that point aside -- my Tupperware reference was referring to the plastic inside Anderson.

I wasn't digging deep for anything.

And, honestly, I didn't know Tori was a mother. I need to get out more.

Steve Salerno said...

Rodg, in answer to your question, What are we going to do about TR:

His special President's Day offer just arrived in my inbox. I kid you not.

This guy--you couldn't make this stuff up.

Cosmic Connie said...

Well, Steve, has Tony sent you a special Chinese New Year offer? This is the Year of the Bore, oops, I mean Boar, and you'd think that would be right down TR's alley.

Anonymous said...

Wow
he's so knowledgeable about life.
HOW CAN SOMEBODY SO INSECURE that he has to hide behind cosmetic surgery and "borrowed" ANECDOTES
be in any position to SELL useless info about fuzzy pseudo spiritual cobblers designed (ha ha) to lead us back to the garden of eden.
The only person this joker respects is his accountant

Anonymous said...

Sage Robbins may be considered ideal wife material by guys in the US, but British journalists seem to deliver the view that she is a rather crass little woman, who insists on hugging those who come to interview her husband.

How does her desire to be seen as a wise and spiritual 'sage' meet with the fake hair, fake breasts, fake lips and fake nails? Hmmm. What was that about authenticity again?

Anonymous said...

All of you are complete cynics and have nothing wonderful going on for yourselves. So, you choose to attack and ruin the credibility of a man who has done incredible things with his life....A man whose focus is to make all of us the BEST we can be. He dedicates his life to this. He is a fantastic coach and personality. The world needs more Tony Robbins. All you couch potatoes and cynics know how to do is bring down the stars in our world. If you want to live in darkness.... throw a blanket over your head!

Steve Salerno said...

See, Anon, this is the same kind of lame-brained argumentation that was so typical of our political process last year. You just throw accusations out there because they "sound good," to you. How do you know that we have "nothing going on for" ourselves? And does someone have to be a "complete cynic" in order to note TR's obvious hypocrisy? If you're going to attack us, at least do it in an intelligent, meaningful way. What you said here makes about as much sense, and is about as rooted in proven fact, as if you'd written, "You people are all short, so you hate Tony because he's tall!"

Steve Salerno said...

A note to the Anonymous who sent through a comment this morning about Tony's marital situation:

Much as I would love to publish your thoughts, I feel it would be irresponsible of me to publish defamatory material that is not in the public domain, especially given Robbins' well-known inclination to go to court over such matters. Now, if you'd like to send me further substantiation of your points, I'd be happy to review and try to verify them. Then I might reconsider.

Please understand that during the nearly four-year life of this blog, I have had many people attempt to lure me into publishing dubious allegations, sometimes--I have theorized--in the hope of inducing me to open myself up to potential lawsuits. Even though the Supreme Court has provided substantial protections for those of us in the blogosphere, I tend to take the safe course, especially when dealing with litigious types like TR.

Wingpin said...

You guys forgot to mention her fake teeth....hahaha

Anonymous said...

HI I just saw Anthony Robbin's new wife, and couldn't believe how FAKE she looks! fake blonde hair and what's with the LIPS? All my impressions of Tony have fallen by the wayside a little as I thought he'd been living his teachings about great relationships, only to find out he's sold his soul to a BLONDE.. and did the typical 'replace the old with the shiny new' thing.. I've lost a little of my respect for him.. reading up about him I noticed he does come from a broken home and his parents divorced, so I'll give him that.. but he seems a bit SHALLOW now :)

Anonymous said...

Further to my above post.. let me further clarify.. sold his soul to a BARBIE :)

Steve Salerno said...

I know I said this in the post itself, but to me, it's not so much that he got himself a (supposed) trophy wife; lots of rich guys do that. It's that he goes out afterwards and makes videos like this. Where does he get the balls?

Anonymous said...

especially rich grandpas about 30 years older than him tho!... i suppose there's not much point getting a trophy unless you show it off :) oh well she might divorce him and take all his money and then he'll be back where he started.. like i said, selling his soul to a barbie :)

Anonymous said...

I believe that all of our relationships are there to teach us and help us to grow as individuals. Sometimes we learn the lessons and apply them to the relationship we are in at the time and at other times it is necessary to let go of the relationship as part of the growth. Someone who has been married once prior to his current marriage cannot be considered a hypocrite when all he is doing is passing on the lessons he learnt from both relationships. Learning what doesn't work is as important as learning what does. I'd be interested to know why he's got you so worked up. What is your personal experience with TR? Surely you can share about yourself as much as you share your opinion on him.

Richard McCollim said...

The only scam, sham, and shame I see is a bunch of negative comments degrading other people prejudicially and with no substantiation.

"Seems sleazy." ? What does 'seems' mean - or 'sleazy'? That comment is sleazy.

"Spam" you? You can remove yourself from his mailing list if you like. You personally chose to receive communications. If there was some error, you can be a big man and remove yourself during one of the upcoming holidays.

What gives you the right to judge that anyone is "hiding behind cosmetic surgery" or even the truth? You do not know his or her needs or circumstances or the facts. It need not matter to you. Possibly or certainly Tony and Sage Robbins have done more in the last year of their lives to help people in their lives, relationships, and businesses than you have in all your life, so who are you to judge?

What is this with all the prejudicial vomit you are spewing about pretty blondes, like Sage, as if blonde means someone who is fake? She is doing something more important in this world than almost anything, which is to boost relationships. Interpersonal and family relationships that are dysfunctional are crippling us as a society.

What substantiation do you have on all the fake body parts, and even if it were true, if you have done anything even close to as important as Sage in your life for others and have never had braces, used hair extensions, wore contact lenses, wore makeup, etc, cast the first stone.

"Sold his soul to a blonde".. a "trophy wife" ? Do you not have someone in your life, maybe your mother, who is blonde? Did that mean you sold your soul or you are the child of the devil? These types of comments are quasi-racist and certainly evil and demeaning to another soul, both Sage and her husband who are evidently in love with one another, and to other people who happen to be pretty and have blonde hair.

In any case, it has not gone over my head that some commentators are apparently just being silly, but make your lives a little more productive. Maybe you need to do some reflections on your priorities and your contributions to the world, and I think that you should start with a few positive role models, such as Tony and Sage.

Anonymous said...

Though I'm sure Sage has done wonders in a humanitarian sense, my goodness, she sets a bad example for the way women should treat their bodies; Fake Hair; Fake Lips; Fake Chest; Fake Nails; Fake Name? et al. Clearly she has some image 'issues'.

I don't think anyone is denying what she may have accomplished in helping others, but you can't deny she looks like a bit of a flake.

If you can't see that, you're a bit delusional and more interested in proving points than making common sense.

Steve Salerno said...

Since this post seems to have come back to life, let me clarify: We could go off on all these tangents about fake blondes and trophy wives and such, but what inspired me to write the post was the hypocrisy factor. I suppose it's no great sin anymore to trade in one wife for another; certainly among celebs, it almost seems par for the course. But don't do that and then put out a DVD about "how to keep the magic in your relationship"! It's a little bit like John Edwards writing a book about why honesty is essential in a marriage, or Tiger doing seminars on why variety doesn't matter once you've got your special lady at home...

Anonymous said...

"Since this post seems to have come back to life, let me clarify: We could go off on all these tangents about fake blondes and trophy wives and such, but what inspired me to write the post was the hypocrisy factor. I suppose it's no great sin anymore to trade in one wife for another; certainly among celebs, it almost seems par for the course. But don't do that and then put out a DVD about "how to keep the magic in your relationship"! It's a little bit like John Edwards writing a book about why honesty is essential in a marriage, or Tiger doing seminars on why variety doesn't matter once you've got your special lady at home..."

I can agree with that. That's more productive than what I was saying.

I just felt like venting a little bit and calling her out.

[you don't have to post this]

Take it easy

Steve Salerno said...

Anon et al: I'm posting your comment b/c you're anonymous anyway, so really what's the diff?

Anonymous said...

Okay, so I'm late on this blog, but I feel the need to comment anyway.

I have not been able to stomach Anthony Robbins since I saw an early interview with him and his first wife who were complaining that they had no idea how they were going to pay the mortgage on the castle they bought early in his career. Here's an idea; buy a house you can afford, not one that feeds your ego. This guy has always been about making money, deliberately calling out people by name and humiliating them, and stealing money by trying to make the rest of us feel inferior. His divorce and immediate remarriage are no surprise. I put my faith in real spiritual leaders, not this fake guy.

Steve Salerno said...

Anon: Better late than never. Thanks for weighing in.

Dave Spaulding said...

Tony is at it again; I just got an invite to a webinar to discover relationship secrets. I responded that given that he's divorced, why would I want to listen to what he had to offer. And since my wife and I have been married 38 years, perhaps we were better equipped for such advice. I was promised a response, but it's doubtful one will come.

Steve Salerno said...

Dave, thanks for mentioning this. That's pretty damn funny--and very much on-point!

Anonymous said...

Steve - just un subscribe you FOOL, or to you enjoy geeting the emails so you can post.

Steve Salerno said...

Anon, don't you think it's "my job" to stay subscribed, so I can keep current on what Tony's up to? I did, after all, write a book on these folks. And I'm still asked to do TV shows that deal with self-help.

Anonymous said...

i am friends with both tony and sage, they are both sweethearts, you are just a hater.

Steve Salerno said...

Anon 2:52, I would expect someone like Tony (and also, I suppose, Sage) to have lots of friends. Even lots of friends who really like him/them. That's not my point. My point is the hypocrisy of some of the message that's going out. The Madoffs supposedly had a large circle of friends, too. And NO, I'm NOT saying that Tony is "like Bernie Madoff." I'm simply saying that you can't use the existence of friends as a true barometer of whether or not someone is a good person doing good works.

Anonymous said...

Well I'm totally apalled at some of the negative comments posted here.

Yes to be both frank & honest to you all I have brought a few of TOn'y booksfor mu business contacts to motivate and inspire them to greater levels.

And I myself have only brought his book for my own use "Awaken the Giant Within" which was spellbinding for one of a better word.

Why is it mostly in life that someone has to experience or endure the "tall poppy syndrome" like Tony does by some negetive people such as you guys, please answer me this basic question then ok.

"Yes He is a business man out to make a living to eat etc ok, but he is also way many other things as well !!. but all of you are forgetting one main thing and that is if he was soo $$$ driven at all cost(s0 then why did he set up the global charity called the "The Basket Brigade" which assists some 3 MILLION people within the community hey"..ok so he makes $$$$$ but like alot of successul people in the world he always gives back free without ever seeking anything in return or doing it for self promotion does he.

You guys negative towards Tony should really look a little deeper into stuff b4 you merely go onto blogs and do your spiels.

Besides it's extrremly damaging to those stupid enough to read the stuff you post.

In closing NO !! I am NOT on Tony Robbin's payroll and nor do I get poay any referral commissions by his many companies for promoting him in any way.

Have a nice life guys.

Maybe some of you could spend say $30 on one of his books to see what all the hype is about..hey pray tell some of you may find it the best ever book you have ever brought.

Bye and have nices lives.

Anonymous said...

Have you actually ever been to Tony's Date with Destiny and heard the real story of Sage and him? Unless you did, I suggest you keep quiet trashing them. If you do not like receiving messages from him, UNSUBSCRIBE. Simple. Good luck in life!

Anonymous said...

I was around working with them when he met her....and if you weren't don't profess to think what you hear at DWD is the real story. He was still married to Becky....

Anonymous said...

I just saw Tony and Sage Robbins on Oprah's Master Class, and they are a sight to see. The overly dramatic speech. The weird story about how they were drawn to each other when met, but that they were not really attracted to each other "in that way". However, after 6 months, they felt like they were meant to love one another. Puhleeze! I would respect him more if he said "this chick was hot and my wife was a pain in my a$$ so I went for it". At least then, he would seem more human. Instead I felt like he lied to me.

Anonymous said...

I came across this 'blog" and thought to send you a message of hope , Ihope you "hear'it. All the negative comments, and cynicism ONLY reflect your own negativity. You are living in a section of human life that doesnot know what love is.If you did, you would be so busy in your own life that there would be no time for low frequency energy such as criticism or judgment. I have had the absolute wonderful time at Tonys events,am a graduate of his mastery school, and allowed the true essence of what he teaches to come into my life. Im from New York and we dont take any BS so I can tell you this man is genuine. BUt all you will hear is your own negativity. The kind of energy that he gives off and that surrounds his life is mastery. He didnot gain what he has by hanging around low energy thoughts or deed.He is a million, or a billion miles away from negative comments.Did you know that the amount of finances that you have and the quality of the life you lead is based on your good energy and your intent to serve others?There are many who feed off of negative blogs and books and magazines, and there they will remain.His spirit is so giving and so big that he deserves every success and financial reward he receives. Many people out there think he is of service , and that he is God blessed. I know that my words here willbe met with sarcasm, and more negativity, but I also know that at least one person will benefit from my insight.and truth. And as far as Sage ,his wife, is concerned, she is also a human being that lives in positive light and love, just being around her energy , I feel as if itmatches my own inner love and conection to God and his love. We are all one , the lesson is to learn to love yourself and to be of service to your fellow man. Positive service is the call. anger, criticism, name calling,cynicism, and hate are the lowest form of energy that you can live in, that is why I opened this message by saying that I wish you hope, and love and joy, and happiness. Wake up to what was promised to you, and that you have rejected. I know you cannot understand this now,but someday you will awaken to the truth. I wish you much love and peace in your heart. I willnot read or answer any responses, or ever return to this page,it was divine opportunity, because I already know what they will be, spiritual intuition is natural when you walk in his WORD. "many are called, but few will answer." My advice although unsolicitated would be to find something positive to write about, because all the negativity you write is only sticking to you. it is law. Tony, you are a magnificnet leader,and I am drawn to your intention, as it is also mine.Namaste.

Anonymous said...

http://www.roadandtravel.com/celebrities/beckyrobbins.htm

Even though she and Tony divorced in 2000, she is still working at Robbins Research, and remains good friends with the giant motivational speaker. And she is destined to delve into the world of adventure for many years to come. "I now take educated, calculated risks. They add to my confidence and who I am. I love adventure. I love it!"

Anonymous said...

Tony was 24yrs old when he married first wife Becky 34yrs old which he was 10 years younger! Becky had 3 children from 2 marriages already!!! The eldest child at that time was 17yrs old, very close to Tony's age to be their stepfather! Becky was very fortunate to have a young, successful Tony in her life to be her 3rd husband that helped her be more confident in her life & changed her negative thought patterns to positive changes! They met when she was attending his seminar sitting in the front row. Tony Robbins has a big heart for accepting Becky with children from her 2 marriages that's not his children which he accepted as his own! So Becky NEEDED to be SECURE to be in a relationship which uplifted her & she got the younger guy & better bargain! Both of them had to be together at that time to work things together & they moved on! Nothing in life is guaranteed with any relationship! I've seen some people stay in marriages that was damaging themselves & portraying a fake image about how long they've been married for such a long time. They never consider a divorce because they don't believe in it or it will ruin their reputation! Tony was true to himself with the divorce & it worked out fine for them! Tony Robbins does have the experience of these 2 marriages & can really help people on the insight of being more positive with their relationships!  

Steve Salerno said...

I'm posting the aforementioned comment (Feb. 21 @ 2:19 a.m.) with reservations. I am unhappy with its characterization of former wife Becky and have been unable to quickly confirm her "two prior marriages." (I can't spend the entire morning researching a comment.) Also I think it's more than a little bit cynical and--sexist? ageist?--to talk about how "lucky" Becky was to land "a younger man" despite being the decrepit age of 34, and so "down on her luck," as it were, when they met.

The point of my posts on Tony's marital situation it this. He was already engaged to Sage (the former Bonnie Lynch) in 2001 just a few months after his marriage to Becky ended and before Sage/Bonnie's own divorce was final. Material from his lawsuit against the Sun strongly suggests that Tony and Sage/Bonnie were spending an awful lot of time together as a couple at least a year before either Tony or Sage/Bonnie ended their own respective marriages. All of which seems to run counter to Tony's public positions on loyalty, family, etc.

Anonymous said...

I'm in general a TR fan, and loved one of the TR marriage videos. Looking further I also found the one advertising the Ultimate Relationship program for valentine's day 2012. In this I noticed TR hugging -himself- (his knees, never touching Sage) which cracked me up a little, while Sage watches him. I noticed this AS I watched it, being married to an unhealthy but very accomplished ego, and thought of it again as a friend told me her friend had attended a live event where if you were one of the few NOT giving standing ovations constantly, dancing in the aisles, and crying, well, this woman felt awkward. I thought of cult leaders. Though I will give the guy this, I'm sure his "stuff" does help tons of folks find motivation etc. Someone mentioned hypocrisy here, and hearing of his emphasis on extrovertism at events and touching only himself in a Valentine's Day marriage/relationship video, strikes me as at least a smidge hypocritical. I wonder if he showed himself on video being a little more humble, a little -more- giving than he espouses everyone should be?

I also find it odd and potentially cultish to find this on his web site on the Volunteer page, seemingly looking for silent worshipers as volunteers, I'm not sure? "Volunteers will not partake in gossiping. Gossip Definition: casual or idle talk of any sort, sometimes (but not always) slanderous and/or devoted to discussing others." So, no talk of weather, what's for dinner, or the local sports scores, I guess?

Steve Salerno said...

Anon 11/24/13, I actually had never seen the Volunteers page, and I must say I am intrigued. I will explore and may post further once I take a closer look at the Foundation (and as soon as I stop hugging myself). Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I suggest you stop going to the doctors. Believe it or not but they smoke!
Give it a rest people, like any person with a skills he's dropping knowledge. You take it or leave it. Yes he makes money but through helping people so maybe haters could concentrate on helping others instead of looking to find flaws in people
:-)