Thursday, May 31, 2007

THE SECRET - Part Two - Wherein THE AUTHOR reveals that one of THE SECRET'S "gurus" is, in fact, a greedy, lying SLIMEBALL

(Image courtesy of Connie Schmidt's Whirled Musings blog)

It seems the house of cards that is The Secret is beginning to tumble down. One of the slimiest scheisters on the DVD (see Part One) was Aussie "Investment Advisor" David Schirmer. He made a number of remarkable claims about how he simply "visualised" cheques and money arriving in the mail and - lo and behold - they did. Amazing. Strangely, the DVD kinda skipped over why people were sending this guy money. Apparently "the Universe" just decided to reward him for his visualisation and positive vibrations.

Well, Australian TV show A Current Affair has shed some light on this mystery and, in the process, sent the cockroach Schirmer scuttling for the shadows. In a story this week (
May 28, 2007 - video here) ACA interviewed Schirmer, showing him proudly displaying his multi-million dollar mansion, his BMW and boasting about his $1 million dining table. Seemingly, all this was the result of his application of "the Secret".

Except the show then presented six people who had been fleeced by Schirmer's dodgy investment seminars and a former employee who is owed over $50,000 in pay by Schirmer. This guy took $5,000 from each of his seminar participants' fees and promised to invest it and then give them 50% of the profits after a year; profits which he predicted would be "900-1000%". Over a year later, none of these people had seen a cent.

Nicely ambushed by ACA, a squirming and stammering Schirmer did a spectacularly unsuccessful job of deflecting questions about where the money had gone or how much money his investments had made. Finally pinned down, he gave a highly insincere-sounding assurance that he'd find out how much these investments had made and give the 50% share he'd promised to his former seminar attendees. I suspect ACA will be holding him to that promise.

Interestingly, Schirmer was very enthusiastic about his upcoming appearance on ACA beforehand and posted on
an online forum devoted to The Secret encouraging his acolytes to watch it. When it became clear that ACA was not giving him "a great plug", these posts suddenly disappeared. How strange ...

Still, thanks to the magic of internet caching, we can read what Schirmer said before and after the interview, despite the attempted censorship. Before it, he was pretty gleeful about the prospect:

I am doing a shot with Channel 9 "A Current Affair" today (and yesterday). It will be a great plug for The Secret. I'm sure they are going to try lots of hard and crazy questions ... the great thing is that the truth is always the truth and it is hard for people to deny that when presented with the correct facts.
(05/24/07 08:02 PM)

Well, they certainly had some questions, but they weren't exactly "hard". How "hard" can a question as simple as "David, where is the money" be? After the interview, Schirmer rapidly changed his tune:

I have just got back from my interview and I have been setup. I was invited into the studio under the pretense that it was to answer questions from people who wanted to know how to apply the Secret in their life. When I got in there I found out it was a huge anti-secret, anti-david, The Secret is a con, I am a con ...
(05/25/07 02:37 AM)

Well, yes David - that's because the segment made it pretty clear that you are a greedy, grasping, lying weasel. And, in your words, "it is hard for people to deny that when presented with the correct facts". The weasel went on:

(T)he interviewer talked over me the whole time with information he had twisted to make out that I (and The Secret) am one big fraud. Every time I attempted to share the truth behind accusations he cut me off or talked over the top.

Actually, anyone who watches the segment (here's that video link again) can see that it was punctuated with some very long, nervous pauses and awkward silences, with Schirmer sweating, swallowing and squirming while the interviewer waited for a straight answer about where the invested money had gone and when Schirmer's customers were going to get what they had been so grandly promised. Even given ACA's undeniable talent for selective editing, it's pretty clear that Schirmer spent much of his time in the interview staring like a doomed rabbit caught in car headlights and struggling to find anything credible to say.

Luckily the faithful of "The Secret" were there to rally around their persecuted guru. "Can't remember the quote now but there is one about any 'new' idea some thing like "first it is ridiculed then hailed as a truth" - thats the one you need :-)" purred "kittybaroque" soothingly, ignoring the fact that lying to people and running away with their money isn't exactly a "new idea". Others adopted the remarkable policy of blocking their ears to this "negative talk" and thinking postively. Ignoring what the segment was actually about, a poster called "Aylyese Ragen" dismissed it as "attacks on (the) Law of Attraction", which ACA never mentioned.

Schirmer was considerably comforted by these muddle-headed posts:

Thanks so much everyone for your great comments. This is what I do know: "no positive action can ever come from negative thought." Someone said to me today that as you try to change the world for better some will try to destroy you rather than change their beliefs.
(05/25/07 06:07 AM)

Er, actually Schirmer, they weren't objecting to you trying to change their beliefs. It was your attempt at changing their bank balances so you can buy $1 million dining tables that they didn't like.

Anyway, after a few more soothing, rambling and totally irrelevant posts, the administrators of the Forum promptly yanked the whole thread. It seems they weren't too pleased about one of their gurus being exposed as a slimeball.

But even the woolly-brained lemmings who subscribe to "the Secret" could detect out-and-out censorship when they see it. Not long after the thread suddenly vanished, a few of them were asking why. "Angelo Garozzo" asked, quite reasonably:

Why did this site remove the comments made by Mr. Schirmer about his discussion on A Current Affair, when he said he was set up?(the law of attraction at work?) I saw the program and he did not come out of that unscathed,he appeard to be a true conman! Any one care to set me straight? Please?
Others also smelt a rat. "Mandy & Paul Robertson" said:

I agree!! I saw the interview and posted 2 comments in the post started by David himself, but came back and the whole post is gone!!Whatever happened to free speech??Is it because he is a "Teacher" and therefore beyond reproach??
The True Believers were quick to circle the wagons. "Cornelius Vanderbilt" explained that it was all perfectly reasonable to remove the nasty thread:

There should be no need for an explanation. This is not a place for such negative debates, remarks or comments; whether it be regarding The Secret or its Teachers. .... Remember..Positive engergy flows within this forum, and obviously, any negativity does not contribute to that.
Then one of the Forum's founders and administrators chimed in:

(I)n the end I made the unilateral decision to remove the lot and free everyone to get back to focussing (sic) on their own happiness rather than someone else's complaint and misery.
How very convenient. With that, the True Believers were quick to find a silver lining in this dark cloud of ... ummm ... persecution (or something):

Based on (the Law of Attraction) David attracted this situation into his life, for some reason based on what David is wanting, the universe decided that this was to be part of the journey to get it - this may appear to be a 'bad' situation from the outside but obiviously (sic) it is all part of a grander scheme, with wonderous results yet to be unfolded.
So this was actually a good thing?! Yay! These people's capacity for self-delusion seems to be their main talent. Though it's rivaled by their talent for staggering illogic. Take this gem from "Nikki Agnew":

I remember when Harry Potter first came out and boy do you remember the backlash it got. My daughter was at an age then to read it. There was a lot of contriversy (sic) and it was going to banned in schools etc. Look at J.K.Rowling now, who would have thought!People fear change, this is all that it is.
Actually Nikki, people fear being fleeced by a smirking, materialistic conman. And J.K. Rowling hasn't ripped anyone off.

Reassured that you can still fool some of the people most of the time (the dumb ones mainly) Schirmer responded by assuring everyone that his "
Born Rich Seminar" was still going ahead in Melbourne this September.

Phew, that's a relief! Imagine if it didn't go ahead? David Schirmer might not be able to afford some $500,000 chairs to go with his $1 million table.

But one of the forum posters was also kind enough to link to a YouTube video in which, allegedly, Schirmer puts "his side of the story". Unfortunately, this so-called defence turns out to be an extended (and inarticulate) whine which is heavy on insincere righteous indignation and light on any actual information about what ACA got wrong. You'd think if the guy had a leg to stand on he'd be putting his case in this video, long and loud, and with full details. But instead all he does is bleat about what a poor victim he is and then, incredibly, spend the last quarter of the video plugging his bloody seminars!

But he does promise to keep us up to date regularly with what's going on. And ACA is doing a follow-up story tonight.

This is getting rather amusing. As one real scientist (cited by The Secret) once said:

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
(Albert Einstein)

Post Scriptum: - Connie Schmidt's excellent Whirled Musings blog has some rather nifty analysis of "The Martyrdom of Saint David" and the woolly-minded defence of their dodgy guru by "the Secretons". Worth a read folks.


Unknown said...

If I didn't know better I would say you know Schirmer the Squirmer.

Not once in all Schirmers chats, discussions and videos since the interview has he provided any evidence that contradicts the claims made on National TV.

Schirmers whole life is a lie, where he has continually made up stories to sell to the faithful followers. However for the first time he has international exposure, and it has now become a lot more difficult to shut everyone up with a threatening letter from his lawyer (as one of his clients indicated in the interview), and he can't back down as that would be a show of weakness, so instead he will continue headlong over the cliff.

It couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Unknown said...

Another point I forgot to mention:

Schirmer and all his slimeball friends are often seen and heard quoting about something being "negative" and preferring things that are "positive". In their deluded world, "negative" is a word meaning "I don't like what you are saying", and "positive" a word meaning "I do like what you are saying".

They are continually sticking their heads in the sand, not wanting to believe that their "Schirmer god" could possibly do any wrong. The truth is he is hard pressed to do any right.

Tim O'Neill said...

Thanks for your comments adalberto. No, I'm happy to say I don't know the weasel personally, but let's just say many years working in a field where I assess and analyse people for senior executive jobs means that I can read body language and what people aren't saying when they talk pretty well. Which means I can spot a dumb-but-cunning fraud when I see one.

I'm keeping close to the whole phenomenon of The Secret, so please pass on links to these posts and stay in touch.

Anonymous said...

The false, dangerous, deceptive and counterfeit "The Secret" that you follow, cannot bypass or escape the REAL SECRET, and that is..God's Law of sowing and reaping. You now MUST, by law, reap from the false seeds you have planted.

You cannot escape it, just like all the other "The Secret" teachers and students. Anyone following "The Secret" will eventually reap a counterfeit harvest and lose everything!

Any teacher or student of "The Secret" plants selfish seeds, which even though may seem good seeds to them, are in the end bad, evil and counterfeit seeds. And the REAL SECRET is God's true Law of Sowing and Reaping. And all those who plants seeds using the "The Secret" method, will eventually reap a FALSE harvest, and eventually lose everything! There is NO escaping the REAL SECRET.

Anonymous said...

According to "The Secret" community, a person attracts their dominant thoughts into their lives. This means that David Schirmer has proven to be a conman, as this must then show that he has been thinking about ripping staff members and the public off.

He has been thinking about it, and the result was he "attracted" being exposed into his own life. And this exposure, the results, is the proof that David has been thinking these thoughts of ripping them off.

David Schirmer says "What you focus on, you will get!". Well David being exposed as owing people unpaid wages etc, proves he has been focusing on ripping people off! Through his OWN philosophy and the ideas taught in "The Secret", David has been exposed as a Conman!

Unknown said...

Well it had to happen sooner or later, episode 3 of Schirmer on ACA in Oz is showing on Monday night at 06.30 (25th June, 2007), which could possibly feature a another 'secret teacher' that is a little bit upset with Schirmer. The promo's have already appeared on channel 9 for this episode.