Thanks for your reply (and uniquesoul's too). You make some interesting points, and as I like a good discussion, I'll take the opportunity to answer them. I hope they'll be taken in the spirit they are intended.
You wrote: Some "shallow" authors' books might be the perfect entry to a world of wonders. Why would you want to deprive them of that?
I wouldn't. And, in fact, that it has brought this New Thought to people who might not otherwise have looked into it is the only redeeming feature I see in 'The Secret', which, if you remember actually HIDES the real secret because 'the masses' aren't yet deemed ready to hear the word 'vibration' yet, any more than they were when it was edited completely (more than 30 times!) out of the original edition of Napoleon Hill's 'Think and Grow Rich'. Something about 'The Secret' stinks, and if you listen to the Hicks' views on this, you'll realise why. It's like buying a new edition of 'The Bible' with Jesus and the word 'love' edited out of it.
My beef here is with LSC following the crowd and taking up the war cry. I respect LSC, what it stands for and its teachers deeply, and to see them take up with the trashy Internet Marketing crowd, strikes a discord within me, maybe moreso because I've seen behind the scenes of IM myself.
You wrote: I think Vitale "gets it"--he's achieved wealth, probably a lot of wealth, and he's had a lot of fun in the process. Bonus--he probably does help some people.
Again, I would have to agree with that last sentence, BUT, remember he achieved that wealth by being in the right place at the right time when all this Internet Marketing stuff was in in its infancy. Maybe that is the LOA at work, I don't know. But a few other marketers made a lot of money at the same time, but I'd bet good money they wouldn't be crowing quite so loudly if they came into IM now, and had to struggle against the massive competition.
I have no beef with his marketing/copywriting books - I have his 'Hypnotic marketing' course myself, and it's very good. I learned a lot from it and improved my copywriting ability. But there it stops. His spiritual books are shallow and trashy, and merely vehicles for promotion of his other books. My heart sinks when I see that egg of a face advertising yet another 'Missing Secret' book. And you only need to look at Amazon, and the deleted negative comments in the forums, and complaints of deleted reviews in the comments sections to know that something underhand is going on here. I get a bad vibe from him, and I will go with what I feel. He does 'get it'. He knows just how to peddle his wares and make you buy.
Now I have bashed Joe Vitale here big time, I know that, so let me move on to another of these 'Secret' gurus, just for a bit of balance. I'd heard of Bob proctor before, but never any of his stuff. He is billed as a 'philospher' on 'The Secret' so I thought I'd check out his website, and I signed up for his newsletter. I received four hard-sell promotions for his products from him over 2 days (!) so I unsubscribed, from his opt-in spam, which is what email marketing is. Yet again, the money and the marketing is more important than the message. That IS the message behind 'The Secret'.
You wrote: But do YOU get it? You don't seem as though you're having a good time, and from your post, it almost seems as though you'd rather control what other people do than enjoy your own successes.
Oh, I get the marketing angle loud and clear. Would I rather control people? No, but if comment is interpreted as 'control' then I suppose you must be right. Using your point of reference, though, every review on Amazon is an attempt to control; every recommendtion, positive or negative an attempt to control; even your reply to my post is an attempt to control...
You wrote: The main message I get from your post is, don't practice or buy material from certain authors (or is it certain topics?)
Let's go with 'authors' here and, yes, absolutely! We're back to the control thing, but don't we exercise control in all sorts of ways for he good of other people? Do you have children? If so, would you be happy for them to have complete access to everything available on the Internet in this day and age: the wonderful knowledge and information, as well as all the adult sites and hate and violence-promoting sites? Or would you refuse access to the latter? I know what you would do, because it's what I would do - you'd block access! But then censure is control, however well-meant.
I am a teacher in the real world, and have an excellent knowledge of my subject, in fact I had two courses commissioned by a huge educational publisher, so I know what I'm talking about. With that in mind, should I guide those desiring to learn to what I consider to be the best courses, or should I just treat all courses as equal and let them find out for themselves? I would be doing people a great injustice, wouldn't I, if I didn't give my honest and informed opinion.
When I teach my classes, and one of my students makes a mistake, should I give feedback and 'control' that student so he or she has a chance to get it right, or should I just stand there and nothing?
If you were asked about tapes/CDs for hypnosis and personal development, would you recommend Paul's Paraliminals, or would you just say 'Oh, I don't want to control you so I'm not going to tell you?' Not all recordings are created equal, as we know. This is interesting (the bit where it says 'Hypnosis Is Dengerous): http://wendi.com/newsletter/063006/063006.html
From your standpoint, as I am interpreting it, dangerous hypnosis tapes should be allowed distribution without comment.
Unless we exercise 'control' and opinion, then all information by all authors on all subjects should be fit reading for all. So, if your significant other brought home a stack of National Front literature and a copy of 'Mein Kampf' and placed it on your bookshelf next to your spiritual books, you shouldn't mind at all. Would you? If you would, at any level, you'd be expressing the desire to control.
Yes, I know, I'm labouring this, but the fact is, we all control and we all give our opinions, and in my case, I am offering an opinion on the way LSC has changed its approach, and not for the better.
You wrote: and that LSC shouldn't market such material, and if they do, they shouldn't use good marketing techniques.
Firstly, there is no 'should' or 'shouldn't' here. They have and that's that. But does that mean I can't comment on it?
'Good marketing techniques' is a misnomer if ever I heard one. A 'good' marketing techique can be effective and still be very underhanded, if not immoral.
But that isn't the point. Pete's sales letters were always written with a simplicity and an integrity that seems to have been lost in the ES one. Yes, he used some techniques to help you along the way to the purchase, and there was no doubt that it was marketing material that you were reading, but there was always the feeling that the value in personal benefit to you was what came first and the business side of it second, as a kind of inevitable benefit from helping others. Kudos.
Now with this new product, and new letter, the vibe I'm getting is that Money Is God (I mean look at the greedy price of the Elite edition!) and, oh yes, we forgot to mention there are a few CDs and stuff you'll get in it too, and a book and whatever... but it takes second place to the hype and, of course, the cash. And then there's the squeeze at the end, when you are taken to the pay point, and have to take an extra step to get the lower levels. Oh, and of course, you are made to feel that the course isn't complete unless you spend the 1.5 grand and get the Elite version. I don't like it. It's a cheap trick and it isn't worthy of LSC. Remember, I am experienced in copywriting myself, and I can show you all the pressure points in that sales letter.
Now, what I say next may be harsh, and I may be wrong, so I give due warning. Who is this Jack Cranfield fellow anyway? The only thing I know about him is that he compiled (not wrote!) the 'Chicken Soup' books and slapped his name on the cover. Yes, I know, they have brought joy to millions (which I don't deny or resent) but they have also made million, which was the point of it all. Jack Cranfield strick out and got mega^rich, but it was a marketing exercise, and yes, it paid off. Now with that kind of money, you can have anything you want! You can have your choice of sports cars, chicks, ideal partners and you could but a 'little place in the country' the size of Buckingham Palace if you wanted it. You don't need to attract it, because money talks.
I see he has written a business book (and remember, business is what this guy does best - and hats off to that!) but his Law Of Attraction book comes under fire for being merely a regurgition of other people's work. So, I think I'll pass. I'll learn what I need to know from the source of the new interest in the LOA, Abraham/Hicks. At $1500, this new course is nothing more than 'Chicken Soup For The Bank Account'.
I reitterate: LSC you're bigger and better than this!