by RIP RENSE
(July 20, 2009)
Let us pray. Or more likely, let us prey.
This more or less
describes modern Amurricuns. They either pray, or prey, or are
preyed upon (often while praying.) They are either busy
proselytizing about Jay-zuhs, or Yaweh, or Oprah, or taking
advantage of anything/everything for profit. What would the
prophets think? Well, we know the answer to that one: Armageddon
I was watching that
cue-ball headed, pot-bellied, certainly flatulent huckster, Dr.
Wayne Dyer, on PBS. Which, of course, made me wonder what in the
hell was so Public about this Broadcasting Service when a
pseudo-religious figure can appear like a skipping CD, night
after night after night, pitching his incredibly expensive dogma
and New Age doggerel (“Begin to see yourself as a soul with a
body rather than a body with a soul.”) Gad, remember when it was
called “educational television?”
This guy is aptly named.
Dyer. Die-er. Everything he says and sells enables sanity and
grace to die a little bit. He’s a dyer-ed-in-the-wool snake-oil
salesman, and a slithery one. Boy, does he know how to prey, in
the guise of pray. He should be (probably is) studied heavily by
all bright-eyed young greedballs majoring in soulsucking---I
|Twain’s fictitious Duke and Dauphin of
“Huckleberry Finn” would fall about in fawning apoplexy if they
could see how their little dumb-act to bilk an impressionable girl
out her father’s inheritance has bloomed into million-dollar 21st
I watch him because I can’t look away. It’s like watching a dogfight,
or a stripper, or footage of Michael Jackson with his head on fire.
Astounding banality. Dyer strolls around his elaborately appointed Discount
Zen stage backdrops, wiping away the white stuff that accumulates in the
corners of his mouth (vitamin deficiency there, Wayne), gesturing endlessly
with this one-handed speedbag rolling motion, holding forth about the most
featherweight nothingness this side of Hallmark.
And the audience---the
mostly white, affluent, middle-aged/senior mostly female audience---sits
there with worshipful eyeballs, spellbound as mesmerized cobras. But Dyer is
the snake here, fangs deeply inserted into the guilt complexes and
narcissism of his prosperous victims, sucking out dollars. Tickets for his
“lectures” go for $80, and his CD sets run about $40.
Eighty bucks to sit and
listen to this guy tell you things like this:
“People who want the most
approval get the least and people who need approval the least get the most.”
“When I chased after
money, I never had enough. When I got my life on purpose and focused on
giving of myself and everything that arrived into my life, then I was
Wow. The disingenuousness
at work here is about as subtle as the sun. No wonder audiences are blind to
it---they’re blinded by it. This dumpy old fart actually stands there,
raking in millions of bucks, and says he has devoted his life to. . .giving!
It’s times like this that I really wish I was Mark Twain, as I do not have
the wordsmithery to do justice to the shamelessness and flimflam at work
The nicest thing I can
say about the guy is that at least he does not flagrantly encourage
out-and-out slavering sociopathic self-reward, as does that mutant Jerry
Lewis crazyman, Tony Robbins. No, Dyer dresses everything up in guru gauze,
making self-indulgence seem hazy, honied.
Dr. Dyer (right) preparing to bring his message of love and light.
His latest little spin is called “Excuses Begone.” Which I think he must
have appropriated from that popular pest control stuff, “Roaches B-Gone!” Go
to his website, and take a look at
Dyer, posed carefully with half-smile, half-mystical expression, dressed in
the ever-popular flab-disguising, mystique-inducing all-black.
The Johnny Cash of New Ageyness, singing the Fools’ Prison Blues. Right,
that’s the hook---he makes his minions feel like fools, then holds out the
promise of showing then how to become pure, if not holy. Or, as he likes to
describe prized colleagues, “full of nothing but light and love.” (Urp.)
The Excuses thing is a
perfect example. See, the only reason for your problems is you. And the only
reason you cannot achieve your goals is that you are making excuses. No arms
or legs? Just an excuse for not walking. Chronic depression? Nonsense.
Psychologically tormented as a child? Silly! Raped? Stop that self-pity!
Don’t let these things get in the way of following your bliss! (And don’t
let them get in the way of following Dyer’s bliss, either: buy the book
($19.96)! Buy the DVDs ($36.00)! Buy the---Gawd help us---children’s book
When Dyer tells his flock
that they are imprisoned by excuses, the fleece is already complete.
Everyone immediately thinks of the complaints/bitching/self-pity they have
indulged, and everyone---every single one of the $80-a-head sheeple on
hand---feels chagrined, ashamed, guilty. Right there, Dyer’s got ‘em. Then
he begins spinning that arm like he can’t turn the thing off, pacing the
stage, and wiping away the white stuff from the corners of his cottonmouth,
and oh-so-gently-and-humbly holding forth with crap like this, a recent Dyer
Twitter (Tweeted while on an Alaska cruise):
“Harmonize with energy
that can do anything and everything, for this is your original nature.”
Oooooo! Yes. I must
harmonize. . .whoops, bit of gas there. . .I must get back to my original (urp,
snort) nature. . .
But this, of course,
is the pretty side of Dyer’s diabolical methods. In his recent PBS
(accent on the BS) ooze-a-thon, The Man in Black resorted to the oldest,
cheapest, ugliest, shoddiest, most manipulative, crass, rotten, cynical,
diseased little ploy ever imagined by a two-bit holy roller before he passes
the hat. I mean, Twain’s fictitious Duke and Dauphin of “Huckleberry Finn”
would fall about in fawning apoplexy if they could see how their little
dumb-act to bilk an impressionable girl out her father’s inheritance has
bloomed into million-dollar 21st century industry.
Dyer rolled out the
Or, rather, the cripple.
Just need one, really, if the story is compelling enough. And this poor
devil’s tale makes tragic look like Mardis Gras. I sat on my couch,
me, the self-pitying Excuse Monster, and watched this young guy who was
burned head-to-toe as a child come out on stage, with fake-toothed permanent
smile jutting out from a skin-graft face adorned by a bad wig. No fingers,
stubs for hands. Dyer, of course, had the tears jerking before his cloying
introduction was finished as he brought “my friend” Dan Caro out on stage.
His friend. Right. They
hang out and play pinochle together, and talk babes.
Caro is a marvelous
example of prevailing over horror. He plays drums in rock bands, somehow, by
managing to hold sticks in his stubs. Okay, great. Nice going, Dan. Hats
off. Keep up the good work. But you’re a tool here, a tool of
marketing/demographics/profiteering by a false prophet (yes, Dyer actually
refers to himself as a “prophet.”) So by the time Caro is finished with his
paradiddles, the audience has been diddled by Dyer. Nothing left but a mushy
mess of guilt, shame, and compassion. As Twain entitled one of the chapters
with the Duke and Dauphin, everyone is “All Full of Tears and Flapdoodle.”
And the lobby is full of
DVDs, books waiting to be snapped up on the way out. Only a hard-hearted
cynic would pass them up.
This is Wayne’s World,
one where there is no compunction about selling sophomoric self-help
because hey, it does no harm, and might even make people feel better. If
I get rich in the bargain, that’s fine, because I’m giving. That has to
be his rationale. Or maybe he believes he is a holy man, who knows?
Excuses Begone? Wonder
what Dr. Wayne Dyer’s excuse is.