Bone to Pick

Last week I caught a segment on a news show about Joe Vitale.  I was extremely interested as I recently read his book and wrote about it on the blog on Monday.  Well after watching the segment I have a bone to pick with the reporter as well as with Joe himself.

I’ll start with the reporter.

The basis of what Joe teaches is that we are responsible for our life experience.  This also goes hand in hand with the Law of Attraction.  From my own experience, I believe in this law.  It is obvious to me that my life is a reflection of my beliefs about myself.  It’s also easy to say this because my life has been by far a positive experience.  So during Joe’s interview he was asked the common question that is always used to “take down” LOA teachers.  What about people who are suffering?  (He used Haiti as the example.)  The thing is there are people who are born into horrid conditions and spend a lifetime existing there and there are also those who escape and make new and better lives for themselves.  No one wills this suffering on themselves.  It is not their “fault,” most people are completely unaware that their thoughts or attitudes create their existence.  I’d say even that a lot of people unconsciously never expect more or different from what they already have.  So in cases people who are born into poverty stay poor, some people face crisis after crisis or one tragedy after the next, and some deal with lifetimes of health issues.  I do not think any teacher of the Law of Attraction is ever blaming people for their own suffering, they are simply bringing to light that each person is responsible for improving their own lives if what they truly desire is an improvement.  In today’s society we are inclined and encouraged to look to other sources to save us.  It really is politically incorrect to admit that life really is one big self-fulfilling prophesy.

Now for Joe…

The book I read that he wrote was based on something called “Self I-Dentity Ho’oponopono.”  The only thing he could really share about the technique is the mantra because the rest of it is confidential.  In order to get the full technique you must attend a training conference and sign a confidentiality agreement.  I didn’t look into it b/c those two ideas were enough to turn me off immediately, but I’m sure the training cost thousands of dollars.  Now I get that he has risen to a certain level of fame and that there are countless people trying to get access to his teachings, but I don’t think healing and spiritual growth of this kind should be limited to  wealthy people.  If something is legitimate and true it should be accessible to the masses.  Which brings me back to the news story.  A woman was interviewed and she had paid $5000 to spend an evening with Joe.  $5000 for a few hours of one on one time with him?!?!  In that moment I realized why the Law of Attraction and related movements get a bad rap.  With price tags like that placed on spirituality it hardly appears that the practitioner is in it for the joy of helping others.

Needless to say as I watched the news program in between my dad and my sister I didn’t dare mention that I had read and LOVED Joe’s book.  It quite saddened me that he had fallen from my pedestal almost as quickly as he arrived there….  Fortunately though I can keep the mantra and I believe there are some resources online from the original teachings on “Self I-Dentity Ho’oponopono.”

I should end this with “I’m sorry, I love you, Please forgive me, Thank you” as I acknowledge there is quite a bit of judgment here!  It definitely struck a nerve with me…


18 thoughts on “Bone to Pick

  1. Renee August 13, 2010 / 7:39 am

    So … I did a Google search on Self I-Dentity Ho’oponopa because I never heard of it. Other than your blog, there were maybe three other sites and every one of them was looking for money.

    Don’t be too upset with Joe. It seems he’s just jumped on the bandwagon. 🙂

    • lesleehorner August 13, 2010 / 8:00 am

      Did you come across the name Morrnah Simeona? She was the teacher of Joe’s teacher. It was her methods that birthed the techniques they teach. I did come across a website about her and the teachings and how she never worked this way and would be very displeased to see what has happened to her methods. (Of course the website was pretty tricky to navigate and I didn’t get much further than that.)

      But most of the self-help stuff is so expensive and it bugs me to no end. It does appear that based on the interview Joe has returned to his “get rich” roots which he had focused on before Zero Limits. Zero Limits was very much about spirituality though…

      • Renee August 13, 2010 / 8:04 am

        I really didn’t find much at all. There was some Hawaaian guy and I think his site mentioned that name, but that was about it. I thought there would be a lot more.

      • lesleehorner August 13, 2010 / 8:06 am

        I think there is more if you take off the “Self I-Dentity” part….

    • Renee August 13, 2010 / 8:12 am

      I’ll try that later.

  2. carolynwinter August 13, 2010 / 8:39 am

    Hi Leslie – I totally appreciate your disappointment in the product offered by Joe V. The product (though I have not heard of this one and havenot used it) may in fact be very sound like many of his books. At an earlier time in my career I also had been very inspired by one of Joe Vitale’s books. I later got turned off by his marketing style of scarcity/fear/ exclusivity etc.

    But to Joe’s defense they are from the OLD RULES and order of the marketing world – one that is rapidly dying off. In this model, making an old product new again, and dangling carrots with “you won’t see or get this anywhere else” is part of that old tiresome marketing strategy. Since Joe does do some very good work and has a great sense of humor, my hope is that one day he will get turned onto “THe New Rules of Marketing and PR” (a very popular book on the subject by David Meerman Scott) and align his spiritual teachings, with the new order for marketing them.

    We can hold the space for that. But in the meantime, I know I just try to read around the marketing trash and find the gems he provides. THey are there.

    Thanks for a great post.


    • lesleehorner August 13, 2010 / 8:50 am

      Thank you for the comment Carolyn! If you like Joe, I would definitely recommend reading “Zero Limits.” It was a really amazing book with lots of spiritual gems in it! It is mostly a memoir of his experience with learning about and meeting his teacher (the name is slipping my mind). Unfortunately the only nugget they give you in the book from the method is the mantra “I’m sorry, I love you, Please forgive me, Thank you,” which I guess to some degree may be enough.

      I haven’t read any of his other books, but he mentioned The Attractor Factor a lot in Zero Limits.

  3. Rob August 13, 2010 / 1:48 pm

    Hi Leslee! As I know you know, there are PLENTY of free, or virtually free, sources of spiritual enrichment out there. But in our materialistic culture many people have a deep-seated belief that ‘you get what you pay for,’ and that high-priced ‘spiritual’ techniques MUST be better than free or low-priced info.

    And since many of these same people are searching desperately for meaning in their lives, it is easy to see how they can be hooked into paying these high prices. While it’s not for me, if paying a lot of money is what it takes to get these people to actually PRACTICE and USE these techniques (assuming they have some validity), I can see how they could be of value. When they then (hopefully) achieve some measure of self-realization, the need to correlate price with value will have disappeared and they then will be able to find the truth within their own nature.

    Regarding Joe V., he is undoubtedly doing the best he can, just like the rest of us, and if at some point he perceives that what he is doing money-wise is not life-supporting, I trust he will make amends. But I’m pretty sure that not qualified to say one way or the other, or that it’s even useful to do that as you yourself noted in your post (“Judge not.”- J.C.)

    • lesleehorner August 13, 2010 / 2:17 pm

      I don’t know that I’d ever really thought of the “you get what you pay for” in terms of spirituality. I can see where people would apply it though. I tend to have bells and whistles go off in my head if something like that is too expensive. I am pleased when I see people with “sliding scales” or bartering systems (like the selfless service people do in exchange for workshops at Amrit). Stuff is expensive at Amrit but they also give you room and board, delicious meals, and pleasant surroundings….with the option of paying through work.

      Really what it comes down to as far as Joe is concerned is the interview pressed my pet peeve button. It’s never about the person we are judging…

      • Rob August 13, 2010 / 4:16 pm

        Well, I’m the same way in that ‘high’ prices are an automatic warning to me that there may be some lack of integrity in either the message or the messenger, and I personally avoid such things like the plague. And, I’m glad to say I have enough free/low-cost sources of inspiration that I’m not even tempted to go there.

        But, as you say, it’s never about the person we are judging. It’s the universe reflecting back to us our own state of consciousness as a way of giving us clues as to what we need to work on if we wish to make spiritual ‘progress.’ Judgment’ is one of the most difficult things for people to drop, if not THE most difficult thing, IMO. I know it is for me, but being aware of it is the key, only then can we apply an ‘antidote’ to the judging, such as the ‘mantra’ you mentioned at the end of the blog post. And it’s helpful to remember that ‘judging’ includes judging things as GOOD just as much as judging things as BAD.

  4. meeshelleneal August 13, 2010 / 5:55 pm

    Good call on why LOA people get a bad rep.

    And I agree, it shouldn’t just be for the rich – let’s all live in peace and harmony where information gets shared to enrich the masses.

  5. Alison August 14, 2010 / 11:51 am

    Anyone who charges $5,000 for a ride in a rented Rolls Royce is someone I would be VERY CAREFUL trusting with my spirituality. He is also known as the “father of hypnotic copywriting” which means something like he knows how to manipulate your unconscious mind through his writing. He’s got these products that do things to your mind, and I think that most of the people who buy those high priced products from him are hypnotized to do it.

    I would stay far away from him. Even Dr. Hew Len, the man who taught Joe ho’oponopono, doesn’t work with him anymore.

    • lesleehorner August 14, 2010 / 8:46 pm

      Thanks for the comment Alison and that is very interesting about Dr. Hew Len.

  6. Joe Kersey August 14, 2010 / 6:49 pm

    I’ll second what Alison has to say. If you want a real picture of him, from the people who really know him, check out some of the comments on Salty Droid’s or Cosmic Connie’s or the mrfirespyre blogs. Some of the comments on Salty’s blog are juvenile & hateful, but look past those, and at what people have to say on the other blogs, and you’ll get a pretty food idea what he’s really like.

    If he was a real “teacher,” he would address criticism. He doesn’t. He refuses to publish pretty much everything but the fawning posts.

    • lesleehorner August 14, 2010 / 8:47 pm

      Thanks for the comment. I checked out Salty Droid’s site…now I’ll have to head over to Connie’s.

  7. Cosmic Connie August 14, 2010 / 7:32 pm

    Google “Ho’oponopono” (which is the correct spelling) and you’ll find a lot.

    The Rolls Royce rides are supposed to be more about brainstorming for business ideas than they are about spirituality. Joe’s big shtick is that he has “a foot in both worlds”: marketing and spirituality. Still, $5k seems ludicrously overpriced. (Actually Jennifer Nicole Lee, the ‘fitness model’ who was filmed with Joe for ABC, claims that she paid $10k for the golden opportunity.) So far, none of the folks who have gone on those rides have done anything astounding with their business ideas, at least not as far as I can see. (Google “Salty Droid The Phantom Menace” and you’ll see what I mean. But be prepared for colorful language. :-))

    Disillusionment is always uncomfortable but it’s also often the first step in real awakening — as opposed to the phony ‘awakening’ that certain self-help gurus claim to be selling.

    PS ~ Yes, I *know* I’m judgmental. But I try not to judge myself too severely for that. 🙂

    • lesleehorner August 14, 2010 / 8:45 pm

      Thanks Connie for your comment and the spellcheck…I got it right in my first post but left out an ono or opo in this one. Need to go fix that. 🙂

      I haven’t read “The 5th Agreement” yet but heard a few talks on it and I love the idea of being skeptical but open. (I think that’s it.) I’m pretty sure that whatever spiritual teachings come to me will have to fit into my frugal lifestyle. Unfortunately I’m often “let down” by finding things I’m interested in and then learning their price tags.

  8. Renee August 23, 2010 / 6:44 pm

    There’s an article in this month’s issue of Self that you should read. It reminded me of this post because it talks a lot about The Secret.

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