Sunday, November 24, 2013

This cat is a cash cow. (Or, puss-in-bucks? Litter-bucks?) Someone stop me...

Following is a guest post from a contributor who favors the pseudonym "QuibbleMoth of Fairfield, Iowa." The "of Fairfield, Iowa" part is an important qualifier, of course, due to the ubiquity of QuibbleMoths throughout this great land of ours. I have lightly edited QM's prose. When you come upon material in brackets [...], that signifies an editorial insertion of mine. And when you see ED.NOTE in brackets...well, just read the blessed thing and see what you think. You'll figure it out:

I saw an interview on batgap (buddha at the gas pump) with Laurie Moore,* who claims healing powers. She runs her healing business from two websites. She wants $150 for 30 minutes for a phone consultation and $65 per email question. She offers discounts if you commit to 8-12 sessions

[ED. NOTE: Here I quote the passage from Laurie's site that constitutes her "rate chart":
The depicted feline is not our Jessie.
"Sessions are 30 or 50 minutes by phone or in person. You may also email me 1 question which will be answered by email. I can speak to animals telepathically heart-to-heart anywhere in the world. One email question is $65. An in person, phone or Skype session is $150/30minutes or $250/50 minutes. Ongoing weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly sessions (minimum 8 weeks) are $200/50 minutes per week.

Intuitive readings for humans or those passed over (animals or humans) are also available at the same rates listed here.]"
And now we give the floor back to our guest columnist QM:
On her Ani-Miracles site she talks about herself and how her cat, Jessie [described in Laurie's literature as Jessie Justin Joy, the globally known feline guru], assists her in the sessions. What amazes me is that many people, especially in cult-crazy Fairfield, believe in her and remote healing in general. [As a key component of so-called energy medicine, remote healing is a modern-day staple of the alternative/integrative-medicine crowd.]

One prevailing scam that's catching on among spiritual healers is to have people send money to be part of a group prayer without any more contact. They are instructed to stop activity during a specified time and be open to receiving a blessing, to simply have their attention on the person interceding on their behalf.  In other words, "pay me and I'll think about you."

I'm further amazed that Rick Archer, host of batgap, has now interviewed Laurie Moore twice. The second time she talked him into it at a non-duality conference in California, saying she had "fine- tuned" her thinking... I thought he had some discernment but apparently he'll buy anything. Perhaps he thinks she's a modern day Cayce. Or is it the cat pulling the strings?

Here QuibbleMoth offers more quotes from Laurie's Ani-Miracles site:
"People from all over the world have come to Dr.** Laurie and her cat Jessie after years of therapy, coaching and other healings, still yearning for a shift. In 1-12*** sessions they have accomplished what they long for...
"Dr. Laurie Moore has spent years fine tuning a system by which she identifies the unseen issues impeding the change in patterns you have yearned to find. She identifies the patterns via spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, outside, and inside unseen obstacles simply and clearly. In this process you receive healing, answers, and a path for full change...

"Dr. Laurie has helped TV stars, spiritual teachers, movie stars, nurses, school teachers, world-famous authors and speakers, many healers and therapists, animal communicators, neighbors, people leading simple private lives, people on the street, people of great wealth, engineers, directors, government employees, musicians, artists, spiritual-monks, and many more! When she and Jessie work as a combo, transformation and miracles happen."
*  [ED. NOTE: And if this woman does not have the most grating, munchkin-like voice, you tell me who does. (She's not the guy in the beginning of the clip, but I think I'd like her voice better if she were.)
 ** As we already know from Dr. Laura, not all "Dr." honorifics are what they appear to be. See also relevant section in this book I know, called SHAM.] I'm not saying that Laurie's Dr. is unearned or illiget. I'm just sayin', caveat emptor in the self-help genre, where people tend to play fast and loose with credentials.
*** So if my math is correct, 12 sessions at the discounted rate of $200 would be a $2400 investment in long-distance healing.   

And now we return you to your regularly scheduled programming, already in progress. That means I wrote this next part in my customary narrator's voice:

Asked whether he personally knows people who have spent goodly sums on the services offered by Laurie, our guest columnist concedes that he does not, but quickly adds, "I know plenty of people in Fairfield who've spent over $1,000 per month on various forms of remote self-help and healing. I remember when the Egoscue Method was a fad, people sent in a photo of themselves to be analyzed by experts and then spent a fortune on individually tailored exercises which could all have been found in an earlier book."

"Must be nice," adds QuibbleMoth, "being able to live in a resort and travel in luxury, swimming with the dolphins and going on endless retreats." He concludes, "I did a little searching and couldn't find anyone unhappy with Laurie's services except a woman who wrote a review in which she used to word ripoff to characterize a book authored by Jessie-the-cat and translated by Laurie." The book must have lost something in translation, ya think? I also found this unhappy camper, who apparently invested 90 minutes in driving to Laurie for a very unsatisfying in-person session.

But if you think about it, people who are fully bought-in to this level of woo-hoo have already thrown logic and any semblance of rationality right out the window. They subscribe to the outlandish by definition. So how far beyond the pale would something have to be to get them thinking in ripoff terms!


Jenny said...

What can I say? You've already said it, Steve. I thought to offer a familiar quotation to illustrate the point further and found this on Wikipedia:

"There's a sucker born every minute" is a phrase often credited to P. T. Barnum (1810–1891), an American showman. Though this phrase is often credited to Barnum, it was more likely spoken by a man by the name of David Hannum, who was criticizing both Barnum and his customers.

roger o'keefe said...

This actually infuriates me. This is what we've come to as a culture? How stupid or gullible are people. PT Barnum was never more right.

Henriette said...

Actually it was David Hannum who said, "There's a sucker born every minute" not P.T. Barnum. Hannum was suing Barnum for copying his fake giant hoax. One huskster was suing another huskter.

Was this post in response to Sylvia Browne's death? Remember she said she would die at 88 and was only eleven years off.

Steve Salerno said...

Good points, Henriette. Long time no see!

I was not inspired by Browne in writing this, but I think I alluded to your observation in a tweet about her, "think" being the operative word.