Saturday, November 28, 2009

When God Talks...

That is the most ridiculous blog post ever. Hey, people, three book titles say that God wants you to be rich, so it must be true, so you really should be buying my book and also getting into my miracles coaching program. Why? Because God says so.

And "what if it works?" You really should be using the what if it works shtick here, Joe. I miss your trademark marketing concept. It's all over everything else, why not your new book?

Oh wait, I have one... "What if God wants you to get into my coaching program?" You know you're thinking it, why not just say it?

It's just not even fun to try to pick apart the hypnotic rhetoric in that post... because it's nonexistent. It's as transparent as a geometric proof and boring.

Boo. You're going to have to step up your game to keep us entertained.

They Keep Reminding Me Why
Obviously, following my inspiration to start this blog came from more than just a little scam-infused wish doll. Something larger is happening here, and something larger than me wants this information to become publicized. Maybe there is a new book coming out called "God Wants You to Call People on Their Bullshit."

So, Pat O'Bryan basically says that he can market whatever he wants whether he believes in it or not because someone might believe in it somewhere, and if they buy it, that's their deal and he's just going for TRAFFIC. He writes on his blog:
"The philosophy, as explained by Kevin, helps me to understand why people listen to Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Howard Stern, and other “shock-jocks.”  They may or may not be promoting positions in which they believe.  From a marketing point of view, it doesn’t matter.  What matters is that people listen.  Some listen and agree.  Others listen and disagree.  As long as they’re listening, and interacting, they’re traffic.  And, as Internet Marketers, we know how important traffic is."
I'm sorry, but if you do not believe in the product you are selling, if you say yourself that the product is going to do certain things or that people are going to have certain results with the product, but you have no data to prove it and you yourself think the thing is bunk wrapped in bullshit, then you are a fraud.

Does God want you to take a Russian businesswoman's idea and use it to defraud people? I didn't see that book mentioned.

Am I calling Pat O'Bryan a fraud? I have blatant data showing that Pat has said that he doesn't believe in anything woo-woo. Here, he's saying that it's okay if you do or do not promote things that you agree with or believe in.

I'm willing to bet he doesn't believe in the Hoshun doll he sells. And I'm willing to bet he doesn't believe in ho'oponopono, clearing, cleansing, or anything else, which makes me wonder how much he believes in his clearing audios.

That, to me, is suspicious and makes me really wonder. But I would love to post an apology with a link to Pat where he says unequivocally, "yes I believe in the magic of the Hoshun. I believe everything on my sales pages and I always have."

Then, instead of wondering how he could say such incongruent statements, I will wonder if he is a complete moron.


  1. Good post as usual, BBF.

    And don't forget that Buddha wants you to be rich too, which is a very important message to convey to the many weekend Buddhists who make up the New-Wage market.

    In his July 24, 2008 post ("Books I'm Reading") ...

    ...Mr. Fire plugs "The Buddha’s Teachings on Prosperity at Home, at Work, in the World" by Bhikku Basnagoda Rahula. He writes:

    "What a great book! I’m relieved to see someone show that Buddha was *not* against wealth or success. He instead wanted you to be wealthy so you could help yourself, your family, and your community. That’s exactly what I say is the best reason to get rich. I never knew Buddha agreed with me. Anyway, this is an insightful, practical book that I keep returning to. Get it. Make it your devotional reading for a while. Rich stuff."

    And then there's this, from his post of March 30, 2009 on "Buddha's Money-making Secret," in which he plugs Geshe Michael Roach's book The Diamond Cutter.

    Mr. Fire sez:
    "I’m not a Buddhist (I’m more a Transcendentalist), but I’ve gained insight and value from many of Buddha’s teachings. I enjoy practical metaphysics, which is the take-it-to-the-bank school of philosophy, which led me to picking up books such as The Buddha’s Teachings on Prosperity, and of course The Diamond Cutter."

    Yeah, there's that "practical metaphysics" stuff, which sells a Pat solution for virtually every problem.

    And speaking of Pat O, quite a while back he and I were having some friendly communications about various matters, and he gave me what I thought was some useful advice. At one point I wrote to him that despite my snarking about prosperity geeks and hustledorks, I have nothing against making money and in fact would welcome opportunities to make more. I just didn't want to sell out, I explained. Okay, so I was writing in a hurry and didn't feel the need to express my point in more eloquent and up-to-date terms, since I felt my meaning was clear. But in fact I wasn't being specific enough, which Pat pointed out, noting that he hadn't heard the term "sell out" since his early days as a musician.

    Acknowledging that the term did sound kind of outdated, I 'splained that I simply meant that I didn't want to compromise what principles I have and become just another obnoxious hustledork selling useless crap just because I could. Well aware of Pat's friendship with Joe, and having a longstanding policy of erring on the side of politeness when communicating with any of my snark targets' friends privately, I didn't come right out and say to Pat, "God help me, I just don't wanna be like your buddy and mentor."

    Pat replied that he understood what I was saying about not wanting to compromise my principles, and he said he agreed with me. He said you should only market what you truly believe in because in his experience, when you try to market stuff you don't believe in you fail miserably. I'm paraphrasing here, but that was the gist of it.

    So either Pat has changed his policies since those 2007 discussions with me, or he never actually believed what he was writing to me, or he TRULY believes in stuff like the Russian Wish Dolly, the Psychic Demand Method, Pelmanism, and whatever crud he will be marketing as a result of the famous "private dinner" with Kevin True-dough. Or perhaps he thinks that believing in the money-making potential of something is the moral equivalent of believing in the thing itself. Or maybe he simply does not see the inconsistency between the advice to market only what you truly believe in and the fact that he is apparently yet another illustration of that Richard Brautigan quotation y'all were discussing on this very blog a while back.

    But then, what do I know? I'm just a snarky little blogger no one reads. :-)

  2. Apparently, it is becoming popular to talk about God again. No need to hide behind misunderstood eastern figures anymore. Mr Fire has discovered the secrets to the universe, secrets that make the squirrels and deer take notice. And it's that we're all supposed to collect as much crap as humanly possible while petting our wish dolls and rubbing pictures of old Jews counting money.

    Ah, I'm so glad he's figured that out.

    As for O'Bryan, despite his private protestations to you, he's a complete sell out. And he's sold what little soul he had to the law of attraction, the secret, and the woo-woo. He's no different than the preachers selling prayer hankies with their sweat on them. Or sham-wow prayer cloths, that absorb more preacher sweat.

  3. On one level it's been acceptable for a number of years in SNAGville to talk about God, at least since Neale Donald Walsch started publishing those best-selling conversations with the voices in his head. Of course, Walsch's "God" is not the stern fatherly chap with whom traditional Christians and other religious types seem most comfortable; in fact, he seems kinda SNAGgy, like Walsch himself. Not that there's anything wrong with that, and it's actually more in keeping with what my idea of a loving Creator would be, but the point is that Walsch freely and unashamedly employs "God" rather than some exotic Eastern construct.

    But I do see *your* point about the new wave of popularity of the basic Judaeo-Christian God brand. Scot Anderson's God, for example (in one of the "God Wants You Rich" books Mr. Fire cites) is unreservedly Christian. In other words, thar's gold in that thar Prosperity Christianity (or should we call it Prospianity?), and I am sure Mr. Fire knows he can only benefit from reaching out to Prospians -- at least those who aren't too strict about the requirement that you have to accept Jesus H. Christ as your personal savior, and get rid of all of the heathen detritus, or you'll burn in Hell. (Damn, there's a lot of cognitive dissonace in the world of Internet Marketing, isn't there?)

    I suppose that in an effort to expand his Prospian outreach efforts, if he's truly interested in doing so, Mr. Fire could try to partner with Joel Osteen or Rick Warren, who have truly hit the mainstream Prospian market. As a matter of fact, one of Joe's old colleagues in The Secret, Aussie David Schirmer, is into Prospianity in a big way, branding himself as the one Bible-believing Secret star. But Schirmer is sort of stuck in Oz for the time being, although word has it that he is coming back to the U.S. in 2010 (he currently has offices, or at least a P.O. box, in Austin). Even so, Schirmer is still pretty small potatoes and, from Mr. Fire's perspective, probably not worth the patina of scandal that still clings to him.

    Speaking of Christians, as well as cognitive dissonance (and scandal, for that matter), I noticed that Mr. Fire's buddy, former NFL star and current born-again Christian Bruce "Quiverfull" Collie was at the "private dinner" with Kevin True-dough on a recent Saturday night at Collie's and Mr. Fire's restaurant. I wonder what Bruce thought of the conversation in general and True-dough in particular. Did he feel a need to take a long shower afterward? Did he hold a Collie Family prayer session? Or has he just decided to focus on the great money op? For that matter, what does he think about the hodge-podge spiritual beliefs of his good buddy, Mr. Fire?

    I noticed that SNAGazine publisher Michael Abedin was also at the table. Michael, as you may recall, was the one who made the comment about Joe being a great warrior after the Russian trip. I can't help wondering if Michael's ethical sensibilities were at all ruffled by the guest of honor or any of the topics of conversation.

    I've not yet viewed Pat O'Bryan's vidiocy about the evening. I have squirrelly satellite Internet and can't wait an hour and a half to download the thing. (Why don't they just put it up on YouTube? Oh, yeah, they wouldn't be able to add to their List that way.) My point is that I might be able to discern more about Bruce Collie's or Michael Abedin's take on the matter by watching the video, if there was any significant footage of them, that is. As it is, I've only seen the still pics on Pat O's blog. And there's one pic of Joe and Kevin T that seems particularly revealing. While Joe is sporting a complacent smirk, the expression in Kevin's eyes seems to be communicating a desire to grab what he came for and get away from that company of sycophants as soon as he possibly can.

    But that's just me, speculating again, and of course I could be wrong.

  4. Truth be told, I could probably find three published authors who would agree that God is a 3,000 foot red jelly bean, but that wouldn't make it so. Not too many years ago, the better part of an entire country thought God wanted them to kill all the Jews, Gypsies, and swarthy people of the earth.

    If God "wants" anything (especially of someone like Joe, Trudeau,and others of their ilk), I'd imagine it would be closer to that verbalized by George Burns' God character in "Oh, God." Confronted with a particularly sleazy evangelist, "God" told him to quit claiming to speak for him, and to go sell shoes. Not that I'd buy shoes from any of them, mind you...