Hippie bug! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
What would you do if someone blatantly lied and proclaimed online that you wanted to become an acolyte to a New Age crook? That you were going to be “a presenter” at the crook’s convention, which is no better than a current-day Nuremberg rally? And this extravaganza is to venerate not just any New Age crook, but the most dangerous mindf*cker of them all – one you’ve known about, spoken out against and reviled for years?
This is what kind of a lie I’ve been contending with for the past two days. Ha, thank God it’s Friday!
Awhile back a friend asked me to become a contributor on an online magazine. It actually seemed a little too airy-fairy to me, but so long as I wasn’t going to have to contribute articles about stuff like meditating on the metaphysical meaning of my navel, okay. I was writing historical pieces about famous people over there. I thought it might be fun. Everybody there was welcoming. So I gave it a shot and became a volunteer, repeat, a volunteer, one more time, that word was volunteer, contributor.
Funny thing about a lot of these enterprises that use volunteers: some of ‘em seldom get it that those who don’t get paid are there doing them a favor. Volunteers aren’t bad people. We’re usually pretty nice. We give of own free time (which is often our first mistake). We should never be taken for granted, but it happens. If I’m working for you free, if you’re not paying me to assist you, if my enjoyment is supposed to be my compensation, then the very least I should be able to expect out of such a deal is to 1) truly enjoy myself and 2) be treated with some professional respect. Not lies.
Hence my shock when I found out that my name was on a list, on a public forum, of “future presenters” at the worst of the New Age Flake forums – run by the very crook of a “guru” I’ve been speaking out against for years! That guru is one sick old criminal broad. There are a lot of people who died because she convinced them not to get medical help for critical illnesses. Oh no – in her exalted opinion, if they think happy thoughts, it can cure cancer and HIV! Those who believed this money-grubbing bitch died. They bought her unscientific, destructive books – and died. Obviously, she’s not a doctor – not even close. She’s not much of a human being, either, if she’s taking advantage of people who need medical attention and are instead buying into her creepy philosophy out of hope born of desperation. This guru-flake has books, videos, speaking engagements, and her own publishing house so she can crank out disreputable claptrap and drivel without having to answer to a scholarly editor, but no matter what she owns, and no matter how she may think it “legitimizes” her, she’s dangerous and belongs in a jail cell. My co-workers from China tell me that if such a character were actively conning the gullible over there, they’d lock her up for preying upon the sick, the stupid and the weak; here, though, the guru-flake is allowed to set up herself up with her own business, and it’s complete with conferences, yet!
So when I received an email notification yesterday from Facebook about being tagged in a post, apprising me that the individual who runs the online magazine I was volunteering for had put a sign up on Facebook saying that next year “all the magazine contributors” were going to be “presenters” at that very same guru’s Conference/Acolyte Festival, I was livid. I wasn’t asked if I wanted to be a presenter, wasn’t really invited to be a presenter, since the one who made the sign made that up like some kind of wild wishful thinking, and I never would have set foot anywhere near that ridiculous guru or whatever passes for her conference. I had planned to contend with that defamatory sign a little later, but then the one who wrote it wanted all of the magazine volunteers to attend the guru’s conference online this year. As if I’d ever lower myself that far…
I have never been so mad in my life – so guess what? I threatened legal action! I said the sign falsely proclaiming that I would be a “presenter” at that maniac’s conference was defamatory and libelous. I contacted my attorney and I demanded – and finally got – a retraction of the stupid, untrue, false, misleading, ridiculous, insulting-as-Hell sign. Now here comes the best part. The retraction included the admission that the woman who runs the magazine doesn’t even know if there will be a conference next year, let alone who any of the presenters will be! Well, Sweet Cheeks, if you don’t know if there’s going to be a conference, and you don’t know who’s going to be a presenter, and you don’t know me well enough to realize I’d never want to participate in the rally of a New Age Nazi, then why in the name of all that is good would you put my name on such a list? Ever heard of having some integrity as a writer? Ever heard of good, old fashioned, basic common sense? No? You haven’t? Surprise, surprise!
Let it be known: I am not interested in attending any love-fests for any member of the criminal element, and that includes the fouled up, frou-frou New Age criminal element. A meditating crook in a crystal is still a crook! I wish everything I wrote for that online magazine had not happened; I wish it could be taken down, undone, removed; had I known my efforts over there were for a magazine owner who would DARE to publicly associate me with, or expect me to revere, that criminal guru, I would never have participated in the first place. My bad – it didn’t feel right from the start. It didn’t feel right from the magazine conference call where so many white people were using a term in, I think, Lakota, as if they wanted to appear to be Native Americans. Uh-oh! While the sentiment behind the appropriation of another culture’s terms and ideas is usually appreciative and benign, “usually” is the operative word, so it made me wonder. Had I just entered someone else’s dream world? I’m friends with quite a few actual Native Americans, including an elder, and I know what they’d say if they had heard this was going on. From that moment forward, I wondered if I should stay. I’m very relieved not to be contributing to that magazine further. Yet I am also beyond furious about what happened. I gave of my free time, and although I didn’t expect a medal for it, I didn’t think I’d have my character publicly defamed by association, either.
The strangest part of all this is that the contributors claim, on that magazine, to want to empower people. So one of my parting shots to the one who put my name up on that sign was this:
If all of you REALLY want to empower people, I would suggest you start by realizing that you don’t empower them by telling them lies or by asking them to lie to themselves – both of which are things [that guru] does. She lies, then sets herself up as the solution – for money. That’s an old con artist’s game. It’s called “set them up – save them – win them.” It’s found in books on criminology, not empowerment.