Monday, March 03, 2008

Fundie Fumes At Oprah

File under: The Siddhi of PR

On the eve of the premiere of the free online self-help seminar she's giving with nondual nerd Eckhart Tolle, fundamentalist Christian TV-evangelist Bill Keller has begun marshaling his Christian solders against the "spiritual crack"-selling, "most dangerous woman in the world," Oprah Winfrey:
Oprah is now trying to be the spiritual guru to this nation. Sadly, she is being used as a tool of satan to lead millions of souls to hell with her false teachings.
While we are surely not on the same page as old Bill here, O has already proven herself dangerous to the inner clarity of her audience by promoting New Agey™ scams as the highest spiritual truths. While she seems to have stepped up some since those days not too long ago when she was shilling The Secret, we can't say Eckhart Tolle's attempts to sell us a war against the ego is really that much of an improvement.

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27 Comments:

At 3/03/2008 10:54 PM, Blogger gregory said...

oh, man, now you got me hooked, i LOVE to whack christians, we could have a whole week dedicated to that

 
At 3/04/2008 10:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

-Oh, so I get it, you don't like guru-bashing, but you like to bash Christians?

Heck, I'm not a big fan of fundies either, but I've never even heard of this guy Keller, meanwhile Oprah is turning the brains of America's women into total mushpots. Larry King, too.

I like some of the things Oprah has done over the years, but she really needs to be called to task for her support for every guru and Hay House slimeball that comes along.

-Shakti

 
At 3/04/2008 5:18 PM, Blogger yomamma said...

Hey ,how bout shit spewing tool of Satan , that has a nice ring to it.

 
At 3/04/2008 5:23 PM, Blogger jody said...

how bout shit spewing tool of Satan

Heh. I actually regret making that headline. He's an asshole for playing the presence game, but statements like that probably immunize the reader against what I'm saying more than enjoin them.

 
At 3/04/2008 5:24 PM, Blogger jody said...

Now, "Hay House slimeball" has a great ring to it!

 
At 3/04/2008 7:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jody, there are so many charlatans, you'll never run out of material.

To increase your hits why don't you investigate Bill Wilson the founder of AA. He was a religious nutter, drug addict, womaniser, stock market salesman who founded and spread the recovery movement throughout the world. His "12 step program" is a slightly altered variation of the cult like practises of "The Oxford Group" that was around in the 1930's.

The 12 step recovery groups are an institution in many countries with many fanatical members who would be ruffled by some bad press.

The 12 steps are so religious that it has been deemed as a religious organinsation by the US courts. Yet it is still the dominant treatment model in the western world for drug and alcohol, co-dependency (whatever that is) and other compulsive disorders.

I don't expect that you will post this comment since I probably sound like a nutter. But this is another area where people are being deceived and abused in droves.

 
At 3/04/2008 7:55 PM, Blogger jody said...

why don't you investigate Bill Wilson the founder of AA.

Because he didn't promote himself as God or anyone especially divine. He may have been a creep or whatever, but he wasn't a divine guru in the style upon which this blog is concerned with.

 
At 3/04/2008 8:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

why don't you investigate Bill Wilson the founder of AA.

Because he didn't promote himself as God or anyone especially divine. He may have been a creep or whatever, but he wasn't a divine guru in the style upon which this blog is concerned with.

thanks Jody, for your attention to this.

Bill Wilson, said he had a spiritual experience while detoxing from alcohol. Because of this he represented himself as an authority on spiritual matters, he wrote the 12 steps which contain 7 direct references to God.

He flogged and promoted his program throughout the US through the book he wrote. In this book there are innumerable refences to divine healing from the "disease" of alcoholism. The book claims that it is the only treatment for the disease, refered to as a progressive fatal malady where recovery is contingent upon daily maintenence of a spiritual program.

AA meetings and the 12 steps follow the format and philosophy of "The Oxford Group." This was a sect where members would sit with pen and paper and ask for guidance from God.

There is so much more I could write but I won't since I understand it is of probably no interest to this forum. But my personal interest stems from the fact that it is the same stuff that is here only with a different cover.

 
At 3/04/2008 8:21 PM, Blogger jody said...

he wrote the 12 steps which contain 7 direct references to God

So what? As a device to help foster inner peace, a concept of God can be immensely helpful.

Regardless of its originator's failings, AA saves lives. It may ruin a few too, but certainly not as many as it helps.

But whatever you believe about it, it's on another corner than this one.

 
At 3/04/2008 9:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok Jody I get where your coming from, but just a couple of things here.

AA saves lives.

This is a popular myth so will forgive you for it. Proper scientifically proven treatment would save even more lives!


Regardless of its originator's failings...

I'm sorry but you devote an enter site to "originators failings."

So what? As a device to help foster inner peace, a concept of God can be immensely helpful.

Perhaps you should use this line at the beginning of all of your posts on people like Deepak, Tolle, Gurumayi etc etc because essentially no matter how flawed they are or how nonsensical their teachings are they are all espousing the same thing.

You've just shown yourself to be staggeringly prone to hypocrisy.

But whatever you believe about it, it's on another corner than this one.

No problem got the message.

 
At 3/04/2008 9:25 PM, Blogger jody said...

You've just shown yourself to be staggeringly prone to hypocrisy.

Either that, or you're staggeringly ignorant as to what I'm actually saying.

 
At 3/04/2008 9:36 PM, Blogger jody said...

Hey jody,

Last word.

 
At 3/05/2008 10:33 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Jody, I'm with u in regard to the 12 steppers. I went to a meetin once because of an addiction to juicy fruit chewin gum, which I had gotten deep into tryin to stop dippin and chaw chewin. There I met a man name of Brick Stratton and he was damn near a saint! He was the oldest livin memeber of AA in the state and used to sit in his yard under a chinese tallow tree wearin what some folks call a Ginny Tee shirt, and helpin out the stream of young and old drunks and drug addicts that would drag up every day to see him. A finer man I never met until I encountered Jody! This here AA has come a long way since its founder was such a nutcase and womaizer. It has gone to the grass roots which is where all forms of spirituality must go to be of any use! Good hearted folks must come to this knowledge by their own crooked paths, draggin their gamey legs and sad asses behind them for it to be more than just a $200 seat in front of Echard Tolle! At least this is what my mule has told me...

 
At 3/05/2008 3:54 PM, Blogger yomamma said...

how bout shit spewing tool of Satan?
Heh. I actually regret making that headline

I laughed about that all week-end. I'd like to see you submit that as an Article for What is Enlightenment Magazine.

 
At 3/06/2008 9:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chuck, your mule speaks truth with a forked tongue.

 
At 3/07/2008 11:02 AM, Blogger Stuart said...

Jody said...
AA saves lives.

anony said...
This is a popular myth so will forgive you for it. Proper scientifically proven treatment would save even more lives!

The claim that AA saves lives, is equivalent to a claim that Christianity, or Sai Baba, or Ammachi saves lives. 12-step is simply another religion, one that's been cultishly embraced by the mainstream. It's praised based on anecdotal evidence, which is notoriously unreliable.

Does AA saves lives any better, than say, deciding to moderate your drinking, and calling on a couple of friends to support your efforts? Does the "higher power" theology add anything to the success rate?

And it's not that AA doesn't cause harm, it's just that the harm isn't apparent in superficial observation. Example:

Someone is causing suffering with his excessive drinking. He'd never give up alcohol completely, but he is capable of moderating his habit. AA teaches him that moderation is impossible, that the one and only cure requires 100% sobriety. So he does nothing. There's no group to offer him help and encouragement in practicing moderation, since the addiction sub-culture is monopolized by the 12-step model.

(AA seems quite similar to "abstinence only" education in our schools. Sure, there are cases where it prevents pregnancy or disease. But is the overall effect beneficial? True Believers won't question the underlying dogma.)

There are people who don't try to stop drinking... because AA tells them it'd require a belief in God. Or because AA has convinced them that they're "powerless."

Masses of people who could be moderating their drinking aren't doing so, due to the influence of AA. This harm is invisible to superficial appearance. When we consider AA or any other cult, we need the tools of critical thinking, scientific method, and discarding popular assumptions.

12-step programs, along with other psychological therapeutic systems, are major religions in the USA today. That doesn't make them good or bad... but it does mean that they ought to be examined in the same way we'd examine any other religion.

AA is set apart from other religious/spiritual sects because of its wide acceptence by the mainstream. It has the approval of the masses. Following the masses is often a poor strategy for uncovering truth.

Stuart
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

 
At 3/07/2008 11:08 AM, Blogger jody said...

The claim that AA saves lives, is equivalent to a claim that Christianity, or Sai Baba, or Ammachi saves lives.

I guess I should have said: "those folks I know who are members of and support AA claim that it saves lives, based on their own personal experience and that of other members whose stories they know about."

 
At 3/07/2008 1:23 PM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Stuart, I'm not a drinkin man but put a coconut maraigne pie or a vat of fried okra in my part of the county and it's gonna get et! My only recourse is to stay clear of such items, which I am not willin to do! Hence my 285 pounds of sky blue denim... Nobody told me I could not eat in moderation, they told me I could and ought to but so far I have not been able to. AA likely has all the abuses of any other religion but it's helped a sight of people too! Some folks need the encouragement of other broke down critters to get up on their hind hooves!

 
At 3/07/2008 1:38 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

CHUCK said...
AA likely has all the abuses of any other religion but it's helped a sight of people too! Some folks need the encouragement of other broke down critters to get up on their hind hooves!

Right... my point isn't that AA is good or bad, but that it's in the same class as other religions. In any religion you can find plenty of anecdotal evidence of benefits. For any religion, people will claim that it saves lives, based on their own personal experience and that of other members whose stories they know about.

Part of the dynamic is that the people who like the religion stick around and reinforce each others' beliefs, while the others (50%? 90%?) wander off and aren't heard from. Any religion may be lifesaving for particular people at particular times. From this, we can't conclude that it'd be useful to many or most people, or that the benefits outweight the downside, on either an individual or group level.

Stuart
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

 
At 3/07/2008 5:06 PM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Stuart said...Masses of people who could be moderating their drinking aren't doing so, due to the influence of AA.

As a life long Baptist, I know better than many that generally speakin, religion is worse than a pile of horse shit! But there are times when a fellow needs it or somethin like it. You talk about bein kind to all people. Sometimes that can take the form of tellin them that they don't need to moderate their drinkin, they need to get the hell away from all of it!

 
At 3/08/2008 5:26 PM, Blogger yomamma said...

For one thing AA is cheap, like free and available (kind of like me in my younger days) and it gets you together with people.
Believe you me , I am part of the masses that moderates their drinking, AA be damned! The rest of em just don't want to do that just yet.
Do they say god in AA? , I thought they said higher power. I don't think they come after you with torches if you don't call you HP God.

 
At 3/08/2008 10:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think they come after you with torches if you don't call you HP God.

Well hey do the mormons, the scientologists or the the krishna's etc. Do any of them come after you with torches these days....NO...but the subtle psychological persuasion and abuse is rampant and potentially very damaging. They say god my friend often...it is in the steps, in the big book, prayers are said at meetings. People are told they will drink or die or go insane if they don't get God. This is common.

Sounds like you've only seen hollowwood (deliberate typo) AA.

 
At 3/09/2008 1:00 PM, Blogger yomamma said...

I've been to meetings,have friends Of very high intelligence who go . I 've been to hare krishna events, Hindu and Buddhist, churches of all stripe, even nicheran sho-shu temples and nothing happened to me . One could fear indoctrination anywhere, in fact the whole media culture. i think the people who eat up the trends and programs are people who really are seeking to change or alter themselves instantly, and there will always be someone to try to fill that space. Plus I'm not really looking for a totally atheistic world, I don't want to do away with God, but i think it's fine if people define themselves as atheists. and i don't believe in shoving god down peoples throats. We have a culture where getting rehab or seeing a shrink costs a lot of money, yet addiction and mental problems are rampant. So most people put up with some god pushers to get some affordable day to day help.

 
At 3/09/2008 3:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read two of Tolle's books. The content is quite good.

Most spiritual paths nowadays require money to attend their talks. I don't complain that my car dealer charges $112 an hour to service my car.

 
At 3/11/2008 8:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon said...I don't complain that my car dealer charges $112 an hour to service my car.


How about a quarter of a million dollars for 3 hours work, much of which is spent just sitting there looking wise...

 
At 4/25/2008 3:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

jody said...
You've just shown yourself to be staggeringly prone to hypocrisy.

Either that, or you're staggeringly ignorant as to what I'm actually saying.

3/04/2008

Jody, why is it that someone challenges your opinions and beliefs, they are either ignorant or have drunk too much Kool-aid. Isn't it as likely to be the other way around? You dont lack in intelligence or critical thinking or is it so important to have the last word in a ego game?

 
At 4/25/2008 4:03 PM, Blogger jody said...

is it so important to have the last word in a ego game?

As important as it is for you to comment on it.

 

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