Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Maybe the Rick Ross people take a Hypocritic Oath?

Last week, and unbeknown to me at first, I got dragged into the discussion on the Rick Ross Cult Education Forum. Apparently people on the board were uneasy about some of our regular contributors. It was implied that maybe I'd been duped somehow, put under the spell of the covert Byron Katie loyalists here on SHAMblog. Perhaps I'd even been conscripted into the service of cult interests by people who'd used their advanced neurolinguistic skills with surgical precision to bypass my usual defenses; presumably they'd reached deep into my subconscious and ingratiated themselves with me, thereby softening my skepticism about BK in particular and psycho-charlatanism in general. To some people on the Ross boardreading between the linesthis concern was further magnified by the fact that I'd never delivered on my long-ago vow to blog about Katie. (I mean, clearly, if I don't blog about someone, what other conclusion could there be except that I'm now a boot-licking sycophant, right?) If nothing else, the suggestion seemed to be that I wasn't doing a very good job of policing my blog or protecting my dumb, gullible readers from the evil intentions of the BK riff-raff.

In fairness, it was also theorized
in my defense, I guessthat I might be quietly preparing a book on Katie, or at least a major magazine piece.

Given all this armchair speculation (to which I was finally alerted by another of our regulars),
I thought it was time for me to appear in the flesh on the Ross board and set the record straight about (a) my blog and (b) my approach to blogging/intellectual discourse in the first place. And yes, I'll admit, I figured I was entitled to do so as well as to offer my 2 cents on some of the attendant issues. And in light of the nature of some of the remarks on the Ross board, I figured I'd be allowed some leeway in making my point.

I figured wrong.

You can read the evolution of the thread yourself by clicking here,* but the upshot is that I ended up recusing myself from the board
and then being bannedafter I committed the unforgivable sin of trying to (a) point out that I value fairness and the free exchange of ideas, and (b) bring in some contextual examples that I thought helped clarify the point. Evidently that kind of heretical thinking is unwelcome on the Ross board. I got the impression that if you're not there to witch-hunt, to participate in a gleeful savaging, well, don't bother.

But here's the best part. Not content to simply ban me privately or at worst to post some generic notification that I'd been banned, the moderator felt compelled to chastise me (on the board itself) for being too self-centered, implying that I'd come to the board for the purposes of "self-promotion." As exhibit A in this line of reasoning, he offered this gem:

"Count how many times he used the word 'I' in his last post.

Very telling."
Naturally I was not allowed a rebuttal, as that would've been the fair-minded thing to do.

I've said it before, but I'm always amazed that those who cry the loudest about "brainwashing!" are often the most philosophically tyrannous in their own activities, insisting on absolute and unwavering loyalty to their point of view. Free speech begins and ends with them.

Anyway, I thought my final comment to the moderator
which, of course, will never see light of daywas worth including here, unedited. Yeah, I was angry. But I basically stand by it nevertheless:
Hey...dickhead...first of all, I use "I" because, unlike some people, presumably including yourself, who have the apparent benefit of being omniscient, I like to introduce my opinions as my opinions, not universal truths. Secondly I do happen to have some bona fides in the field as a result of the years of research that went into SHAM, so I think I can say certain things on my own authority without having to footnote them. Thirdly I never viewed this board as "self-promotional." I got dragged into it by people who suspected that I (oh, damn, there's that offending word again!) was being "duped" by some of the folks who post on my (am I allowed to use my?) blog. (Wait, let me amend that: "...some of the people who post on Steve Salerno's blog." There; that better now?)

Bottom line, maybe you think you're very clever to allow yourself that coup de grace in explaining my banning from the blog [sic], but I've been dealing with pompous assholes like you my whole lifepeople who present themselves as "reformers" or "truth seekers" but in fact are every bit as didactic and closed-minded as their philosophical targets, the only difference being that they come at the subject from the other pole in the discussion. So go ahead, have some fun at my expense. Maybe it'll make you feel a little bit less inadequate (i.e. the equivalent of rhetorical Viagra)?
P.S. I think I'm going to take this up with Michael Shermer, too
"the tyranny of the reformers....", i.e., how skepticism sometimes gets perverted to an agenda all its own. I don't know how he'll feel about it as an overall topic, but maybe there's a good article in it, if I can frame it properly.

* Scroll down to the first comment from "iwrotesham," which is me, then go forward from there. The whole thing unfolds over just two pages or so.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great post, I wish the link worked! Interesting, I've stumbled across this Ross forum a few times recently; I came across it reading the Guruphiliac blog as well. I like to educate myself from all angles of thought, not just those that 'fit' my mind-set.

(I'm someone with strong 'alternative' leanings -let's just say I have a background in shamanic healing and pagan ritual- but with an equally strong dose of inherent skepticism... this is a good thing, but highly unsettling to my compadres. I, however, do not think that healthy skepticism and mystic experiences are mutually exclusive. But I digress...)

In general, I find I am always wary of those who claim to be on the 'right' side -- no matter which side that may be. We always think our grass is best.

Love that term: the 'tyranny of reformers.' I would love to read your article when you write it!

Kimberely

Anonymous said...

Btw, I'm curious what you do think of BK.

I can't remember if I ever said this in comments here, but I found you because I was searching for support in regard to my strong distaste for E. Tolle. He's a poseur, and I can't stand how people mindlessly quote him.

Best,
Kimberely (who used 'I' 5 times in this post alone!)

Elizabeth said...

Wow, Steve. This is fascinating. Don't have time right away to go through the whole thread -- will try later, but, hey, congratulations are in order, no? Seems you've stepped into a full-blown conspiratorial soap opera (or something similar). And got yourself banned from a discussion forum! Awesome. *I* think. :)

Elizabeth said...

P.S. As a (somewhat) relevant aside, see this review of the book, "Voodoo Histories" by David Aaronovitch, on conspiratorial thinking:
http://tinyurl.com/n7j4cd

Stever Robbins said...

Thank you for trying to inject reason on the RickRoss board. Now I don't have to.

I've been biting my tongue reading that forum for a couple of years, ever since they decided that I was Byron Katie's hypnotic internet mastermind. Their research revealed that I'm trained in Ericksonian hypnosis. Despite my best attempts to hide it, they figured it out by reading my list of hobbies. If only my best attempts to hide it had included, say, not putting it on my site to begin with.

Despite their being able to deduce my Evil Hypnotic Mastermind Ways from a careful word-by-word analysis of a satirical/educational piece I wrote on Steven Sashen's site, their efforts don't extend to picking up the phone and calling to verify their suppositions.

For the record, if you would be so gracious as to allow me to say it publicly on your blog (and I understand if you decide not to), I have no connection with Byron Katie except having gotten personal value from her technique and having attended workshops with her in 2007 and 2008. I've interviewed her twice--both interviews are available in full from my web site--and had one 20-minute in-person conversation with her about a year and a half ago. She seems like a very nice lady, and if she reached out to be friends, I would be delighted to have dinner with her. That's it.

We have no other connection, and if she knows NLP or brainwashes her staff or targets emotionally vulnerable housewives for exploitation, I had nothing to do with it, I don't know about it, and frankly I don't care enough to research it. (I *do* care enough to read RR and your blog. Her story is rather incredible and if there's a hidden backstory, I'd like to know the details.)

Other than producing my podcast, my time is spent trying to help develop the next generation of college students into entrepreneurs who can save the world from the damage my generation has inflicted. If we don't solve some of the global problems coming down the pike, hypnotic cult leaders will be the least of our problems.

Stever Robbins said...

P.S. In an ironic twist, I'd never met Steven Sashen or Carol Skolnick or known about your blog until reading about my supposed conspiracy on the RR forum. Your blog is now my favorite blog, and Steven and Carol have become friends. So in some very strange way, I'm grateful to them.

Steve Salerno said...

Stever, look, as I wrote on the Rick Ross thing, my basic assumption on SHAMblog is that the ideas here will sink or swim on their own merits. I consider the speech as being divorced from the speaker unless there is a compelling case to be made for the relevance of the human element to the philosophical element.

The example I used in the Ross forum was that if Charlie Manson got bored one day at Corcoran State, dialed up SHAMblog and decided to suggest a novel way of composing a lineup in baseball, who gives a damn that he ordered the murder of all those people? Even if Charlie reeled off a rant against the justice system, or an argument in advocacy of murder itself, his personal background should have nothing to do with the assessment of his ideas.

So if there's room for Charles Manson, I guess we can allow you to comment, too, Stever.

Btw, your comment here was quite lyrically and impressively crafted. I say that as someone who admires good writing in all its forms, regardless of the use to which that writing is put.... Oh, DAMN! Now there's further proof that you've mind-cleansed me!

Noadi said...

There's some serious paranoia going on there. These people may have started out with skepticism as the goal but they've abandoned their critical thinking skills. Please bring your idea up to Shermer, it would be a fascinating topic for an article.

I'm trying to understand the problem they have. Is it that you aren't censoring people so that means you endorse what they say? Or that anyone who comments on the blog and disagrees with you must have an ulterior motive?

Since I disagree with you on a regular basis I wonder what my nefarious plot is? To get you to buy squid jewelry?

Anonymous said...

I think you are being a big fat baby. You really expect to flame the moderator of a board whom you openly deem a dickhead and expect to get your precious words through?!

The "d" word actually seems to apply quite nicely to YOU.

Anonymous said...

RickRoss.com is an exercise in hypocrisy, as you say. The people posting in the BK/Tolle section especially cry about how no one from the BK camp cares to make explanations in their forum, then if any of those people do try to do that, they get flamed, banned and dissected in nasty post-mortems. Woe to those who partake of that poisoned bait, as you discovered, Steve.

There seem to be a few people with legitimate beefs and concerns about being hurt by their involvement in cults. The others are largely windbags with way too much time on their hands. "The Anticult" is a particularly fascinating study in the language of hypnotic persuasion that he purports to disapprove of.

Rick Ross himself is a shady character who could never stand up to the scrutiny to which his site subjects "cult leaders." Google around and you'll see some very interesting stuff about him, including his larcenous past - which he tries to deflect by saying it happened when he was young. Perhaps Ross could be the subject of one of your SHAM investigations. After all, he's only here to help. (ROFL)

Steven Sashen said...

I've found the omniscience demonstrated on the RR forum quite helpful in identifying thoughts I never knew I had, intentions which hadn't entered my awareness, conversations that never transpired, and the transfers of large sums of money that, apparently, were lost in the mail.

I was also thrilled to discover that I've mastered techniques I've never even heard of, taught concepts that I don't know, and proven that accusations against me were true by not replying to blog posts that I never saw.

Why I've never taken them up on their invitations to participate in an "open and honest discussion" is a mystery to me... I'll have to log on and hear one of the pundits explain my confusion for me.

Anonymous said...

Hey Steve, this might call for a bit more nuanced response.

having just read most of the thread in question, by no means are you even being crticized by everyone on that message board.
it just seems there was some head-butting going on with the moderator for some reason, too much testosterone in one room?
;-)
but that doesn't really have much to do with the subject of that thread, which is Byron Katie.



as mentioned in the thread, it wasn't said that Stever Robbins, or whoever he is, was manipulating you using his NLP nonsense.

Most people know NLP is a SHAM in and of itself, as they make many false claims without proof, and charge a fortune for basically nothing. http://www.skepdic.com/neurolin.html

NLP could have its own chapter in SHAM, as that is how Tony Robbins started, and learned most of his stuff.
Like Stever Robbins, Tony Robbins also trained with Bandler and Grinder, right?

and to be honest, having known all the NLP guys since the 1980's what Stever Robbins is saying here is pretty funny actually.


From those who know Richard Bandler personally, and have seen the seminars that Richard Bandler conducts using all of those methods, of course Stever knows all about those methods of elegant persuasion.

he sells many products that actually contain many of those same methods, learned from Bandler and Grinder, Dilts, and everyone else going back 20+ years.

Steve Salerno said...

OK, let's take these in order:

Noadi: The Ross board may be one of those enterprises where dissent is personalized and interpreted as disloyalty. Or, if you don't make negative comments about someone, you're presumed to have positive feelings about the person. I.e. guilt by omission (as well as, clearly, association).

Anon 3:11: The give-and-take of the discussion on the board (which you can access through the link I provided) takes you right up to the moment I was banned, which happened before I unleashed any "dickheads." And in point of fact, as I say in my post itself (here), I "resigned" from the forum before I was banned. (You can see exactly where this took place, though you won't see the comment that accompanies my formal departure because it was censored.) So really, in a way, they're the ones who are being peevish/childish--as if to say, "Oh yeah? You're not going to post anymore? Well then, you're BANNED! So there!"

Anon 3:13 and Steven: I don't know enough about the broader situation to weigh in; I have no idea how far back this mutual enmity goes, and I don't have the time to get involved in researching that now. I'm allowing you to have your say because lord knows they say enough about many of you on the board itself.

Again, what disturbs me first and foremost isn't any of the personality issues, but the apparent intolerance for dissent. Has Byron herself ever attempted to post there? Would they allow her to explain what she's trying to accomplish? I would allow her to present her thoughts on SHAMblog...and I might very well rip those thoughts apart later (and yes, I might look into her background and criticize her as a person if it became clear that she's being disingenuous or dishonest; that's permissible, to my mind, because she's MAKING MONEY off it, so we want to determine if she's doing so fraudulently). But the important point is, I would not, as a matter of policy, censor her thoughts.

Anonymous said...

its also strange that Stever Robbins says he really doesn't know Byron Katie, and that she just some "nice lady"!

well, he does seem to know her family personally.
"Much love to you, Stephen, Roxanne, and the rest, Stever"
"http://www.byronkatie.com/2008/03/a_phone_call.htm

and he does promote the massive Byron Katie self-help business.
come on dudes, Byron Katie is just not some "nice lady". as if.

She is a multimillionaire self-help huckster of the highest order.

As mentioned in SHAM, these self-help preachers, are just lining their own pockets and that of their family, and associates.

Steve Salerno said...

Sigh. I really didn't want to get into this he-said/she-said, especially if the focus is turning to individual people, but I guess the door has been opened, so we have to let it play out a while. But let me be clear--if this is going to degenerate into total name-calling, with no back-up or objectively verifiable evidence whatsoever, I'll call a halt to it in a heartbeat.

Also, it's clear that the folks on the Ross board were happy to have me...at first. I assume they felt they had a companion spirit, and I'm sure they wanted some of their questions answered. And yes, some have asked that I be un-banned. Still, I stand by what I said in this post, based on my personal experience of the board and its moderator. Maybe my remarks are worth nothing beyond a certain "slice of life," and have no larger validity. So be it.

Stever Robbins said...

Anon 3:13, 3:37 I agree with Steve, here. I'm not getting into an online he-said/she-said. If anyone would like to ask me anything about my experience with NLP or Byron Katie, feel free to give me a call. As you can find on my web site, my direct line is 617-354-1446. I'm working on a book and rarely answer immediately, but I'll call you back when I'm at a pause in my writing.

Steve: I totally agree with separating the message from the messenger. For some reason, people seem especially prone to confusing the two. I've met some very disturbed people who have had unbelievably brilliant ideas. I've met some very smart, "together" people who couldn't hold to a chain of logic if their life depended on it. Judging Hitler as a person and evaluating the merits of his ideas are simply two unrelated activities.

Also, I'd be happy to debate and/or share my thoughts on NLP, The Work and my (limited) experience with BKI sometime. Believe me, I've thought a lot about all of the above, prompted not least by the RR forum.

Steve Salerno said...

On second thought...

The past hour, during which time I went for a workout, saw no less than half-a-dozen comments arrive that attack a certain individual by name. Very little of this material has anything to do with ideas; it's all about an individual, on a personal basis. Most of it plops us into the middle of an argument, making in-passing references to situations of which I have no knowledge, and therefore can make no judgments about its veracity.

You know, I started this because I'd been dragged into the discussion over there, and I thought I would add my ideas, for whatever they're worth, to the Rick Ross board. Instead it appears that the Rick Ross board has decided to bring its ad hominem style of argumentation to me.

I've said repeatedly that SHAMblog is a forum of ideas. I am not going to allow it to be turned into one huge flame-site by sharpshooters from another board who feel that they have an ax to grind. That's just dirty pool, and I'm not having any of it.

If you can write a comment that presents an argument--not a personal attack--I'll run it. Other than that, save your keystrokes.

Anonymous said...

Steve, I think you are a hypocrite to demand no name-calling after you've dubbed someone a dickhead in your post.

I thought you were a professional. You now seem quite the contrary to me.

Maybe all your blogging has gone to your head.

From a former fan

Anonymous said...

Steve:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrzMhU_4m-g

The logic employed by the Rick Ross mob can best be illustrated in this Monty Python scene.

Obviously, you are a witch!

Steve Salerno said...

OK, I allowed that last one in (Anon 5:33) because it's directed at me, and maybe it helps people get things out of their system. These things--questions about whether comments are an ad hominem attack--are always judgment calls. I will sometimes let a semi-nasty comment stand if it's embedded in an otherwise elegant argument or analysis that holds up to logical/empirical scrutiny. Such was not the case with the comments to which I referred at 5:21.

This isn't the first time people have complained about where I draw the line, and it won't be the last. I always give people more leash when they're talking directly about me--or, for that matter, when I'm talking directly about someone else and a situation of which I have personal knowledge; it's my blog, after all, and if it doesn't contain my own take on this or that, what would it possibly be? (My "dickhead" vignette was a first-person description of a situation that developed between me and a specific other person, and I think the rest of the vignette makes clear why I said that.) But I won't allow third-party sniping, where people are dragging in all sorts of off-stage targets, or even where individual contributors are name-calling back and forth across cyberspace on my blog. I have made that very clear in the past, in the course of moderating at least a half-dozen separate threads that became heated.

I do the best I can at making the distinctions that form the heart of such judgment calls.

Anonymous said...

If the goal is to find the truth or at least weed out the crooks and cons, we shouldn't be arguing so much amongst ourselves. This reminds me a little bit of what happened in the early days of AIDS research when the CDC and the NIH and the various other agencies were arguing between themselves for who was going to lead the charge, with different people trying to take all the credit, lots of professional jealousies and such. This is very demoralizing to see for those of us out here looking for leadership in this area.

MT said...

Really now, Steve. I think you've totally lost your cool with this situation.

Someone at the Rick Ross Forum just pointed out, "Steve Salerno said he would even allow posts from 'Hitler' on his blog, and allows anything to be posted.
But then a few minutes later, he mentions that he's blocked a bunch of posts from his blog? It's hard to imagine that those posts were worse than 'Hitler'!"

I so agree with that.

As far as this topic goes, I think you're currently in possession of a blind spot the size of Texas. Bring back your rationality, dude!

Note: the above info has been transcribed from a conversation I just had with Chuck Manson.

Steve Salerno said...

MT: You are taking my remarks way out of context, and substantially misinterpreting my policy. I would not allow Hitler or Manson or anyone else to soil the blog with a personal diatribe directed against another blogger. Look at the examples I gave: I said I'd welcome a comment from Manson about a new way of putting together a baseball lineup, the condition of the justice system, etc. Those are IDEAS (so in other words, I am not rejecting his IDEAS simply because he's a murderer; that's irrelevant). If the hit squad from the Ross board had come here with IDEAS, we'd have no problem. In fact, two people on the Ross board (one of them being "Anticult") posted the kinds of well-reasoned responses, there, that I certainly would've posted, here, had they been submitted. Unfortunately, that's not the nature of the comments to which I referred late yesterday.

So yes, they were "worse than Manson," at least to use the example and context I used in making the point.

Steve Salerno said...

Incidentally, there are many people besides Manson who've made a total mess of their lives--Mike Tyson comes to mind--who nonetheless are capable of producing thoughts and opinions that are insightful, compelling and surely worth considering in any forum of ideas. I think it's a mistake to dismiss people based simply on the personal circumstances in which we find them.

MT said...

Steve, you said, "I would not allow Hitler or Manson or anyone else to soil the blog with a personal diatribe directed against another blogger."

Sir, can you not see that you've "soiled" your own blog with a personal diatribe against another person?

All this is imo rather damaging to your reputation. I can no longer recommend your blog to others, sorry to say.

Btw, your logic that you've had blog comments "worse than Manson" seems off-the-charts ludiculous. To come to such a conclusion would mean that you know of every single thing that Manson has ever expressed. I highly doubt you possess such knowledge.

Steve Salerno said...

MT: OK, you win. If you can't (or don't want to) see the distinctions I'm trying to make, or recognize the overall context in which my "dickhead" comment was made, then by all means, feel free to un-recommend my blog. Deal?

MT said...

Deal.

I do think that you can't (yet) see that comparing reader comments on this post to that of a Hitler or a Manson is, as I said before, ludiculous. (Forgot to say that "ludiculous" is a self-created word combining "ridiculous" and "ludicrous".)

It seems to me that your writerly vanity has been deeply offended and you're pissed as hell and in retaliation taking a bit of a piss on the perceived offender(s).

I mean, a witch-burning pic? Puhlease, you're coming across as a Drama Queen!

Lest you forget, some people at the Rick Ross side came to your defense. This post of yours, along with the censoring of comments you supposedly would have let through if they came from a Chuck Manson, pretty much takes a dump on that. In my opinion.

Okay, I DID ask you to be rational about this situation. Perhaps I can try and do the same. I'll see if I can view this from your perspective.

Perhaps I'll get back to you on that.

P.S. I just read what I thought was a rather astute comment about this blog at the Rick Ross (*gasp!*) site:

http://forum.rickross.com/read.php?12,12906,73647#msg-73647

Anonymous said...

I've read through some of the Byron Katie thread on the rick ross forum.

It is populated by a small group of people who have apparently been damaged by cults in the past and who have taken on many of the aspects of cult-think which they claim to oppose.

They tolerate not the slightest molecule of dissent from their position on BK, and anyone who disagrees with them in any way is attacked and banned from the forum.

What usually happens is that the moderator shows up, labels the person a "troll", and threatens to kick them from the forum if they don't shape up.

Usually the newcomer leaves on their own at this point, but if they persist in staying and in having any sort of disagreement with the party line, they are banned.

I've considered posting there in the past, as I have some interest in Byron Katie, but since my position does not exactly match theirs I would be declared to be a troll, I'm sure.

Steve Salerno said...

Well, after the holiday, once I get a few lingering loose ends tied up, I'm going to see if I can get some magazine to underwrite a full-out investigation of Katie and her minions. If nothing else, this mini-firestorm has convinced me that it's time to stop procrastinating and get it done.

Now, the climate is not especially good for this kind of piece, and the magazines I've worked for who are the obvious choices for such an assignment--and who could afford to pay what an ambitious project like this would call for--are financially embattled. But we'll see. I'll do my best, and I'll report back.

Anonymous said...

for Anon 5:12AM at the bottom.

are you aware that the Byron Katie web-forums forbid any criticism of Byron Katie?

recently they deleted all threads, which even had the tiniest hint of anything other than praise for Byron Katie.
and there are countless blogs who promote the BK products.
so if people want to promote the byron katie company BKI which makes millions of dollars, they have many places to do it.


how many places are any tough questions about byron katie allowed to be asked?

the Rich Ross forum is moderated, as it takes on groups like cults, and many of these cults have literally tried to remove that website from the internet.
its not all about Byron Katie.
its a moderated forum, just like this blog is moderated.


and there are many posts that have differing views on byron katie in the Rich Ross threads on Byron Katie.
its funny how some people want to make these gross overgeneralizations about gigantic threads they have not completely read. it takes a long time to read up on it.

so the correct response is for people to go and read all of that information very carefully, and then make up their own minds after doing their research.

why jump to conclusions based on emotion, after reading a couple pages of a forum, with hundreds of pages???

the problem is not the Rich Ross forum, the problem are these ridiculous seminars being done by byron katie, and what goes on in them, and after.
who is making the millions?

this thread is a good place to start reading, it has many reports from people who attended her seminars.

"The Work" Participant Reports
http://forum.rickross.com/read.php?12,67778

Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote:

"are you aware that the Byron Katie web-forums forbid any criticism of Byron Katie?

recently they deleted all threads, which even had the tiniest hint of anything other than praise for Byron Katie."

Of course they did. It's a business. How many businesses do you know of that allow criticism on their own website?

"and there are countless blogs who promote the BK products.
so if people want to promote the byron katie company BKI which makes millions of dollars, they have many places to do it."

There are many places to promote whatever you want to on the web. This doesn't make BKI evil (or even prove that they're making so much money by doing so).

"how many places are any tough questions about byron katie allowed to be asked?"

Wherever you want to ask them, off of BKI-owned websites. You're doing it here. No one is victimizing or silencing you.

"the Rich Ross forum is moderated, as it takes on groups like cults, and many of these cults have literally tried to remove that website from the internet.
its not all about Byron Katie.
its a moderated forum, just like this blog is moderated."

Anyone who runs a website can do whatever they want with it. So it's okay for Rick Ross to remove posts, but not BKI?

Yes, cults don't want any criticism and will try to take down their critics, just like Ross & Co. try to take down anything they call a cult.

"and there are many posts that have differing views on byron katie in the Rich Ross threads on Byron Katie."

Not so many, and those who post their differing viewpoints get flamed to death, asked why they are there, banned, etc. Even AFTER the regulars ask questions like, "How come no one from Katie's camp comes here to address our questions?" They probably try, then they're removed.

"its funny how some people want to make these gross overgeneralizations about gigantic threads they have not completely read. it takes a long time to read up on it."

It's funny how some people want to make gross generalizations about Katie and the people who are interested in and practicing Katie's work when they have no direct knowledge of it.

"so the correct response is for people to go and read all of that information very carefully, and then make up their own minds after doing their research."

Information? Very little of it is information. Most of what's there is Anticult making mountains out of molehills, ascribing motives that aren't there, pretending he/she knows what is going on. That's information? No, that's opinion colored by personal prejudices, assumptions and rumors.

"why jump to conclusions based on emotion, after reading a couple pages of a forum, with hundreds of pages???"

Exactly, why do that?

"the problem is not the Rich Ross forum, the problem are these ridiculous seminars being done by byron katie, and what goes on in them, and after.
who is making the millions?"

Why is it a problem to make money? This seems to be the main criticism of anyone who dislikes BK, Tolle, etc. They charge MONEY! They're successful! How DARE they?!?!! (BTW who asked anyone to spend that money?)

"this thread is a good place to start reading, it has many reports from people who attended her seminars.

"The Work" Participant Reports
http://forum.rickross.com/read.php?12,67778"

You mean, as opposed to many other reports all over the web that are favorable? And notice how the critics are always anonymous? Why do you think that is?

Some fair and balanced reporting would be good here instead of all this bs and finger pointing. Perhaps Salerno is up to the task.

MT said...

Anonymous of 3:18pm said, "You mean, as opposed to many other reports all over the web that are favorable? And notice how the critics are always anonymous? Why do you think that is?"

This coming from someone with the handle... "Anonymous"!

Oh, so maybe their name literally IS "Anonymous".

So is it Mr. Anonymous? Ms. Anonymous? Baron von Anonymous?

Heh.

Anonymous said...

what about the non-disclosure contracts?

and its wrong, to try and pin everything on a few critics of byron. there are many critics of what she does.

there is that lady named Janaki, who worked for bk for many years
http://janakisstory.wordpress.com/
she even tries to be nice about it, but its obvious what a sham byron katie is even from what she says.

what is sad, funny, and ironic about this, is that byron katie is running one of the most ridiculous sham self-help rip-offs going today.

who is making the millions of dollars? as written up by others, if people pay 5-grand per seminar, for every 200 people attending, that is one million dollars from ticket sale. they make millions a week.

never mind all the other products sold, coaching, gifts, and endless profiteering.

her company BKI tries to market byron katie as some type of a new age saint, when in fact she is the epitome of the sham self-help profiteer.

as far as those who do question byron katie, its the oldest tactic in the book to try distort what is being said.

what the profiteers fear, is that people might start to realize they are being scammed, and stop handing over all that cash.

where there is millions to be made by exploiting human suffering with false promises of paradise, the new age hucksters are like seagulls fighting for their share of the booty.

Anonymous said...

"where there is millions to be made by exploiting human suffering with false promises of paradise, the new age hucksters are like seagulls fighting for their share of the booty."

Millions to be made! Are you sure? Do you think there are $5000 per head seminars held every week? What about hotel rentals, salaries, taxes? Obviously you are completely ignorant about the cost of doing business.

And business it is, and we live in a free-market society so what is the problem? Spend your dollars where you want to. Don't spend them where you don't.

I guess Steve Salerno is a huckster too - I mean, he advertises!!! Advertising makes - promises!!! Oh no!!! And worse yet, the man sells his books for - gasp - money!!! He might be making millions - heaven forfend!!!

I bet you wouldn't be barking so loud if some big money were coming YOUR way, now would you?

Some of the opinionated, uninformed, envy-tinged junk that passes on these message boards as "information" is just incredible.

But then again, most of the western world and beyond believes in Jesus, speaking of billions of dollars made off of false promises of paradise.

Steve Salerno said...

Heaven has forfended. Trust me on that one.

Elizabeth said...

"Heaven has forfended. Trust me on that one."

LMAO!

Dimension Skipper said...

I've been following all this Rick Ross / Byron Katie stuff, but not having much knowledge of either I really have nothing to add.

However, I HAD to post this Bizarro cartoon (By Dan Piraro) on the subject of considering ideas coming from Manson or Hitler. I just thought it was extremely coincidental and made me chuckle.

Anonymous said...

the cost of business? that is what its all about, lowering that cost, to maximize the profits.

salaries?

haven't you heard, the new method is to to con your followers to work for you for free.

even better, you give them a fancy title to mess with their heads, and they don't get paid, and even pay their own way to work at your seminar.
its the new way of getting free workers.
:-)
there is one born every minute, so might as well put them to work, right?


salaries, only idiots pay salaries these days in the seminar game. that cuts into the profits.

hotel rentals? haven't you heard of how to get the meeting rooms for cost, by filling up the hotel rooms?
you also download that cost into a local promoter, in exchange for renting them a table at the back of the room to sell their stuff.

man, get with the program here!
any costs are paid through on-site sales, and generous donations from customers in a state of hysteria from meeting their leader in the flesh.

its a feeding frenzy. there are even books written about how this sham works.

taxes? don't be a chump, they have these fancy accountants these days, and with a few foundations and companies offshore...taxes shmaxes.

of course, America is the land of the self-help huckster.
that is true.
there are billions being made.


and this is bigger that Jesus.
haven't you heard the new salespitch? the new salespitch is that they can sell you life coaching, to make your life better than heaven.

that means better then even Jesus.
all it takes is spending all the money you don't have on self-help telephone coaching.

Steve Salerno said...

DS: Wait a minute...you're declining to weigh in b/c you don't have firsthand knowledge? Why, that doesn't stop anyone else in this grand land of ours!

As to the cartoon, the irony is that it's pretty much the scenario that Barack Obama faced, as I (and many others, of course) noted. Would you ever have imagined that the first black president would be named Barack Obama? And his middle name is Hussein? And his surname rhymes with Osama? Talk about a stacked deck! If his name were Barry Larkin, he probably would've carried all 50 states. (But then we'd be stuck with an ex-shortstop as president.)

Hell, I think "Manson Hitler" might have outpolled "Barack Obama" in the early Q-ratings.