My Statement Regarding @DrWayneWDyer on 6/29/12
This is statement originated with activity that inspired this post. I have a zero-tolerance level for bullshit, but an even lower one (is that possible?) for New Age, “open mind”, all-ideas-are-equally-valid bullshit. Especially that of charlatans like Dr. Wayne Dyer who claim that if you imagine a job, you’ll get it. My text is in italics. The believer’s is in bold. Comments are [in brackets].
Dr. Dyer’s received the comments you wrote on his interview.
Can we assume, then, that the comments we already left on that page he’s either read or will read?
He even read yours too, Anton.
I figure he’s ignored it. Taking responsibility for fraud tends to lower one’s book sales, but I thought I’d check. 🙂
He read and respects your opinion. He’s been in the business longer than I’ve been born so he’s used to opinions for and against his work. He let’s criticisms roll off his back. I doubt his intention is defrauding people. He’s a genuine man and believes in what he teaches as much as you believe in yours. He raised $150 million dollars for PBS, didn’t make a penny off of it so I doubt he does it for the money. He’s a good person, you’d like him even if you disagree with his belief system.
I take issue with your calling what I’ve said my “opinion.” The facts are these:
- Dr. Dyer makes absolute claims about reality for which
- he not only provides zero evidence, but
- he denies responsibility for the need to do so despite the fact that he’s the one who’s made the positive claim, and
- he charges money for 1. in spite of 2. and 3., which
- is specifically regarding a very serious issue, unemployment.
None of these is my opinion. None of these is in dispute. He makes money off of telling people something that he has admitted has not been proven. If he were a simple tarot card reader claiming that what he says “may” happen, but tempered it with “for entertainment purposes only”, that’d be one thing, but he makes absolute claims about reality and provides no disclaimers.
Please keep in mind that I’m speaking from a place of experience. I was raised in the Association of Unity Churches, which made identical claims. I’m not using “identical” in some odd, figurative way. I mean he uses the exact same terms I heard for years. “Manifesting” and “aligning with energy” and “visualizing” and all that jazz. Know what happened when I asked questions about how anyone in Unity knew their claims to be true? I was answered with “keep an open mind”, “no one’s disproved this”, or “you’re just being cynical.” None of these responses provides evidence for claims made and all shirk responsibility for the same.
It may not be his stated purpose to defraud people, but frauds very rarely admit that that’s what they’re doing and what he does is no more responsible (nor respectable) than snake oil selling or faith-healing. The claims he makes are identical to those made of snake oil and faith-healing. He gets away with it most likely because what he hawks is more socially acceptable. But social acceptability doesn’t equal validity.
The amount of money he’s raised for PBS is irrelevant to the claims he makes. Oral Roberts raised millions of dollars ultimately used for good, but also defrauded his flock. The two things can happen at the same time.
I don’t doubt that he’s a nice individual. That’s irrelevant to my skepticism of his claims.
Here’s a thought. Suggest to Dr. Dyer that he subject his teachings to the Randi Foundation test. Have a group of, say, 50 individuals who try his techniques for six months and 50 who don’t. See how many of each group find jobs of whatever quality for whatever pay. If it can be proven that his techniques work any better than plain old ordinary reality, then he can donate the prize money to PBS or whatever other cause he chooses. He has absolutely nothing to lose (expect for his reputation) and a ton to gain.
The believer never responded to my last comments. I was annoyed by this specifically in regards to my points on my statements not being opinions and in regards to my mention of the James Randi Foundation Million Dollar Challenge. Oh, well. On to Dr. Dyer. My irritation with him is two-fold. One, he makes bullshit claims with zero evidence to back them up. Two, though, he admits this, seemingly proudly. He’s said he doesn’t care. The brazen attitude I almost kind of admire, but I wonder how he could NOT be considered a charlatan with such arrogance regarding his bullshit claims. That’s why I suggested the Challenge. If Dr. Dyer’s “teachings” (I hate it when people call bullshit “teachings”) have any validity at all, why not test them? He has nothing to lose and a million bucks to gain. I mean, shit, he could totally blow his own horn by donating that money and thus creating a wave of good-will publicity. He could totally shove it in skeptical faces. “Look at me! I’m Dr. Wayne Dyer and not only did my teachings withstand the Million Dollar Challenge, but now I’m donating every cent of my winnings to the Blah Blah Charity!” I guess he could make the argument that his claims aren’t testable, but then I’d ask him what the fuck’s the point of his bullshit as opposed to any other? I stupidly expect people to take responsibility for their beliefs, especially those who claim to be open-minded, and yet I’m perpetually disappointed. Woe is me.