Posts Tagged ‘fads’

Self-help guru in court on manslaughter charges(AP News)

It is a curious phenomenon of our times that self-help gurus have entered in every aspect of our lives. These gurus motivate us to run our lives in ways they think are right . For instance Dr. Lean Meat MD  will tell the right diet for us. He has his mantra, a best seller and no one dare prove it wrong: he is a self help guru and if he advocates that  red meat is good for us   yes, we had better include red meat in our diet. Or if he says avoid bread  in any form we are ready to throw overboard our lifelong habit. Bread,  the staff of life  that was with us from time memorial has become out of fashion.

Is it because we want to be like sheep and follow a herd mentality the last refuge of the insignificant? Or does it tell our lack of intelligence to choose the best course for ourselves? Or is it shrewdness to latch on to the best in a flash?  Be that as it may, self help gurus have become the arbiter of our good living. If it is money we have self help gurus in that portfolio also. As Bernard Madoff did with our personal finances we overnight found ways to make million.

Alas we only see how solid these gurus are late when nothing much can be done to save the situation.. We have been so sensitized by hucksters in pinstripes that we are willing to hand over wallets and health to them. They take jets to meet their heavy schedules and lead sweet lives while we sweat, literally. ‘Sweat Ray’ by all accounts knew what was best for us. Till his bluff was called. The self-guru it turns out is as clueless as we. Wonder of wonders!


For now, Ray remains in an Arizona jail on a $5 million bond and faces three to 12 1/2 years in prison on each of the three manslaughter charges if he’s convicted, with probation being an option.

Regardless of the outcome of the criminal case, Ray could face deep financial troubles brought on by the episode as his self-help empire crumbles. He made millions with a motivational mantra that preaches spiritual and financial wealth, and the lucrative speaking gigs and books have dried up.

He also faces the likelihood of several costly civil lawsuits filed by the victims that could further erode his wealth.


I am a self help  guru. This means I must help myself to make each day count. I must seek unexpected pleasures of Nature at my own terms. I must sweeten my passage among the uncouth, illiterate, genteel folks  as best as I can. I need not throw my degrees or learning at those who takes pleasure in the helplessness and confusion of others. Thus when some cretin step on my corns or elbow me and say it was unintentional I have to accept it even though I know it was not. I have been sent on wrong directions in a new and strange village by yokels who have never thought of new ways to amuse themselves.  There are such who delight in others discomfort in villages and cities alike. Some find pleasure in oneupmanship or in playing on one’s creduiity. I am a self help guru so I content myself that they have risen to the level of their intelligence or breeding.

If the crowd is too much to my liking I must find some spot where I could nurse my bruised ego or nerves. In short no one can help you get the most out life than yourself. Self help guru is one who can swat the hand that reaches for your wallet while talking about where you want to spend hereafter. Remember Jim Jones and his followers? or David Querishi of Wacco?

Self reliance might make your span of life much longer.


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“Organic food has no nutritional or health benefits over ordinary food, according to a major study published Wednesday.

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said consumers were paying higher prices for organic food because of its perceived health benefits, creating a global organic market worth an estimated $48 billion in 2007.

A systematic review of 162 scientific papers published in the scientific literature over the last 50 years, however, found there was no significant difference.

“A small number of differences in nutrient content were found to exist between organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs, but these are unlikely to be of any public health relevance,” said Alan Dangour, one of the report’s authors.” (Reuters-London)

I am quoting the latest news from Yahoo.News. Organic food is the latest mantra and there are so many takers for a healthier style of living. Naturally so. When big money dictate the kind of food we should eat and start strong arm tactics to make us fall in there ought to be some protest. It must also succeed. Afterall big Czars of Belly like Monsantos would want to see more greenbacks for every cent they invest we only want to see some green like peas or spinach. Between this unequal struggle which has been fought so many times through ages a third front shall always close ranks. This group has not money power but knowledge. It also acquires  voice echoing from many thinkers who have  ever been dissidents. The school of thought who rephrase such savants have in the past showed skepticism. Take the split between the Church and Paganism. The third front is rational belief. Science naturally takes to it.  When one group was for blindly believing in spirits of the woods,rivers, air and so on the Church was for transubstantiation and similar concepts.  Whereas the Church having grown in power (of unshakable supremacy) could burn the other as witches  we have to see the age of Enlightment as historical necessity.

It is in these fight between two ideas Science has come to play a role.

Science of alchemy over ages has given to a more sober approach to inquire into nature of things. These were quite men some living in their ivory towers never wanting to draw attention to themselves. But now even scientists are ever in a hurry to shock the world with some dramatic news. So many dodgy scientific papers where data are lifted from the inquiry into anthrax to fit on papers dealing with anthracite, have become the norm. I am sure benefits of organic food as touted by such charlatans take a life of its own.  One lie told in innocence and believed unchecked shall snowball into a avalanche. The public fads are myths and often have looks of intelligence. A scientific temper cannot be acquired unless one is prepared to pay in patience and make sacrifices.  Modern education, alas, produces clever men but not wise ones. (note: Recently we read about Science debunking the myths surrounding full moon. There was also another interesting news. Some witch doctors in an African country were found guilty of killing albinos for their supposedly curative powers. b.revised: Sept.2009)

Our societies often work on premises untested. What is the happiness factor? Material riches? In a consumer society what constitutes happiness? There are those who think a family that has money to burn is a happy family. My friend who is in the USA is affluent and yet he told me a couple of years ago with a touch of envy about his neighbor. He said his wife also shared his envy. My friend cited her words and sighed, ‘Why Ben, she can have beauty treatment every month and stop from ageing. Before her breasts could sag she had a breast implant for instance. It must be wonderful in these cash strapped times.”  When I sounded skeptical he said, “She can have her own oil reserves right at home.” Yes oil per barrel was near $100. I could see his line of thinking. Of course he had got facts mixed up.


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