As I described in a previous post, I gave one workshop in 2008 for â€śNew Age Self-Help Guruâ€ť James Arthur Ray. Ray recently led a sweatlodge for what seems to have been an abnormally large number of people, at the end of which, it has been reported, almost 20 people were hospitalized and 3 people died. This is a terrible tragedy and I have been following the reporting about this event that has been taking place.
At first, the reporting was, in my opinion, pretty good. Unfortunately, this has changed.
In journalism, you are supposed to be objective and report the facts. To do this you are supposed to answer six questions, known as the “six w’s” of the journalist:
Who; What; When; Where; Why; hoW.
In relation to this tragedy, those of these questions that can be answered have been answered. As of this writing, for example, we have been informed of who was involved, as well as when and where it took place. We do not have full information on what happened (we have some of it), nor do we know why it happened or the full reports on how it happened. This may need one or more trial for full information to be disclosed.
But “journalists” assigned to this case are desperately looking for more to say about it. Unfortunately, you can only interview so many of the participants. Many are not saying anything at this time. So the reporters look for something they think makes perfect sense: they ask question of people with no personal knowledge of what happened, but who have opinions about one side or another of the basic concept. By presenting these so-called “experts” on both sides, the reporters think they are presenting news that “fair and balanced.”
This post is not meant to support or attack the organization that uses that phrase as their motto. The fact is, many reporters from all political spectra and in all media are trying to be “fair and balanced.” The problem is, real news is composed of facts, and facts are rarely fair or balanced. I don’t know about you, but I want news that is factual and accurate, not “fair and balanced.”
What happens when reportersâ€”including many not associated with that famous organizationâ€”try to be “fair and balanced” is that they will look for anyone who claims to represent one side or another, especially if they claim to be representatives of some organization (note that the reporters rarely ask for the number of members of the organization, and fewer ask for proof of those numbers).
This brings me back to the Ray case. As a supposed â€śNew Age Self-Help Guru,â€ť some reporters have been trying to find anyone who will represent an “organization” that it against â€śNew Age Self-Help Gurus.â€ť They appear to have found one. I have found reporter after reporter using comments from a gentleman named John Curtis who, according to the Chicago Tribune, is the “founder of the website Americans Against Self-Help Fraud.” The article quotes Mr. Curtis as saying, “I’m hoping and praying that this will put a chilling effect on the self-help industry.”
I looked at Mr. Curtis’ website. It’s very basic, asks for money (donations for which you get nothing, of course), has very little actual information (including factual errors), etc.
Frankly, I’m disappointed that there are people who are against others trying to improve themselves, but that’s their issue and not why I’m writing this post. What I want to look at is how a person nobody knows can suddenly be interviewed in dozens of papers. I think I have the idea and I want to present it to you so you can become world famous, too! Here we go:
1) Identify an issue that you can be passionate about. For example, how about “the truth about occultism?”
2) Take a name that implies you are a huge organization that represents the common people and copyright that name. Copyrights are very inexpensive. If possible, make the acronym of your name a word or easy to pronounce. In this case, how about “Americans Against Occult Lies,” the AAOL. This is great because it sounds like AOL (America On LIne) and AA (Alcoholics Anonymous). Although not related to either organization, the initials give familiarity. Note that the name implies that there are lies from the occult, which would attract anti-occult people, but also implies that it concerns lies about the occult, which would attract pro-occult people.
3) Take out a website with this name. You only need to have a few pages with articles about misrepresentations of the occult. Always speak of yourself in the plural: “The members of the AAOL belief” or “We know,” etc. Even if you can’t find something anti-occult that has been written, you could make up a lie about the occult and show it is untrue. In this case you’re telling an untruth, you’re acting “pro-actively” to prevent such lies from being spread.
4) Put a blog on this website and make regular posts to it.
5) Do frequent searches for “occult lies” and click on your web site without clicking on others. Get your friends to do this, too. The combination of fresh posts and repeated searches will move you up, hopefully to the top, of returned web search pages. If you can think of other web search terms that might lead to your website, repeat this for them, too. If you know how, there are other techniques you can use to move your site up in the listings (such as metatags).
6) Continue and wait. When there is some issue having to do with occultism (or around Halloween) you will be contacted for your opinion. In no time, you, too, can become world famous.
If you really have as a passion to become world famous in some area (one wonders what pushed Mr. Curtis’ buttons so that he has such a passion), or if you can fake such passion, and if follow this method, let us know. I’m sure there will be many people willing to do a search and click on your website to help you move to the top of the list.
[Note: www.aaol.com is currently taken. www.americansagainstoccultlies.com is available.]