Thursday, May 19, 2011

"Sacred Way of Conscious Evolution" WTF????

The original title of this post was Stupid Stupid Stupid Stupid, but then considering how close it is to Rapture Day, you might be expecting a post about Harold Camping. 

Noooo, this post is dedicated to a whole nother form of stupidity.  There are money-grubbing opportunists who are taking advantage of people who are disillusioned with traditional religion but still want something traditional and religious, or at least spiritual.  These people become victims of New Age prophets who mix everything good and wholesome and easily digestible into one flavorless yet satisfying stew that doesn't come cheaply despite not having any substance.

I have known many New Agers, and I dabbled myself (but not in witchcraft!!!) so I am not so much surprised that such baloney exists, or that people pay for it, or that it's not illegal.  I'm just surpised at the use of the sacred  and evolution togetherIt HURTS!!

New Age nonsense used to be so much simpler.  They picked out one random ancient practice, threw around words like "chi" and "energy," sold you a gizmo, and then told you how centered you were.  there are many disparate threads of stupidity interwoven to create a patchwork (pardon the mixed metaphor) ideology to bilk their marks with.

This post is dedicated to the idiocy that is (or are) the Sacred Way of Conscious Evolution
Okay, let's start with the title:
  • "Sacred" ohhhh this is a religious thing
  • "Way"  ohhhh this is a Taoist thing how Eastern and cool!
  • "Conscious"  ohhhh this is a psychological thing
  • "Evolution"  ohhhh this is a sciencey thing
*facepalm*  Well that says it all, doesn't it?  Oh wait the presenter's bio might help clarify things:

She is a Fellow of The Club of Budapest, and has received an honorary PhD in Conscious Evolution from the Giordano Bruno GlobalShift University. She has established a Chair in Conscious Evolution at Wisdom University and is a co-founder of many progressive organizations, including Global New Thought (AGNT), as well as The World Future Society. 

She is currently the producer and narrator of an award-winning, on-going DVD series entitled “Humanity Ascending: A New Way through Together.” Part One: Our Story, translated into seven languages, has been selected for the prestigious Spiritual Cinema Circle. Part Two: Visions of a Universal Humanity, now brings together cutting-edge scientific, social and spiritual visionaries to create a positive vision of our future equal to our new capacities.
Ohhhh okay.   She has an honorary Ph.D. from Globalshift University.  That means she's smart!

And here's some happy news! You can learn this crap through self-study (for a price).  You don't get an honorary Ph.D. from working through these workbooks and DVDs but you'll be so blissfully happy you won't care.  Or maybe you'll make up your own crackpot uni and give her an honorary Ph.D.  So here are the details:  Normally this crap is $265 but you can get it for the special price of $199.  Wheeeeeee  You get a workbook and four DVDs.  That's worth what?  $60.00 max?  But wait!  You also get "Online access to Recorded Gateway Calls featuring Barbara Marx Hubbard and Teresa Collins."  You can listen to a podcast!  That's worth what?  uhhh nothing?

So what exactly is conscious evolution and why is there a sacred way?  If we can will ourselves to evolve (*brain explodes*  sorry for the blood and brains and gore on your computer screen, I had to type that) then why do we need a sacred way?  Why not a scientific way?

Oh yeah, nevermind.  As an example of their approach to "science," I offer the "NOW" watch: 

Our answer is right here on "Node 8:"
In simple terms Conscious Evolution takes place when we intend to grow in consciousness and use our increasing awareness to guide our actions and achieve a positive future.

I'm not sure that "simple" would be the correct word to describe these "terms."  The sad thing is, there are probably noble ideas here that are being swallowed up by the jargon and the nonsense of New Agery. 

Bela H. Banathy, author of Guided Evolution of Society, offers this additional understanding of Conscious Evolution:It is a process by which we can individually and collectively take responsibility for our future.It is a process of giving direction to the evolution of human systems by purposeful action.

So basically it's teaching people not to be douchebags.  A noble goal.  Taking responsibility for our future is a great idea for everyone, and it would be especially appealing to atheists but then we get to this:

Conscious Evolution is at the core a spiritually-motivated endeavor. Its precepts reside at the heart of every great faith, affirming that humans have the potential of being cocreators with Spirit, with the deeper patterns of nature and universal design.

Okay, so is it "evolution" or isn't it?  Is it a natural process or a supernatural one?  And which "Spirit" is this, anyway?  Is this a Deist thing?  Taoist?  Christian?  What?

The promise of Conscious Evolution is nothing less than the emergence of a universal humanity capable of its guiding its own evolution into a future of unimaginable cocreativity

Well isn't this just ducky?  Universal humanity.  I'm guessing this woman doesn't watch The News.  Capable of guiding its own evolution?  Assuming such a thing were possible, shouldn't she start by convincing humanity that evolution is a scientific fact?  How can you get people to evolve when they don't believe evolution ever happened?  "Unimaginable cocreativity"  Maybe I shouldn't blog late at night, but this sounds positively orgasmic.  Who would turn down the chance to experience this for only $199 plus whatever it costs to buy all the other crap this site sells and go to workshops?

Oh and the cost of renting a woodchipper to toss your brain into, because that's the only way this stuff could possibly sound like a good idea.

Now, here's the kicker.  They sell all this crap and do workshops all over the country, and then they have the nerve to have a donations page.  And instead of having paypal like every other clever con artist, they set it up as part of their "store" and basically sell you NOTHING... and you're supposed to do this willingly!!!! in conclusion, the STUPID WON'T GO AWAY!!!!  How could people who promote "self-evolution" be such morons?  *cries*  oh wait...



Nameless Cynic said...

Oh, it gets better. You didn't think it didn't get better, did you?

I'd heard of Giordano Bruno, but not of his "university." But it's a one-step google to find. (Seriously. "I feel lucky" will get you there.)

And they're so full of shit their eyes are brown.

The Giordano Bruno GlobalShift University strives to become the world’s pre-eminent humanistic online institution of higher learning, serving young people, and people of all ages, without regard to nationality, ethnic background, belief system or other conditions that have hindered communication and interconnectedness among the people and cultures of the human community.

No, seriously. "pre-eminent humanistic online institution" - Learn woo from the comfort of your own basement!

And "The Club of Budapest"? Ooh, fancy and foreign!

"Founded in 1993, by Dr. Ervin Laszlo, the Club of Budapest is an informal international association dedicated to developing..." yadda yadda yadda

Wait, wait... "Dr. Ervin Laszlo" - I saw that name... right! A link off the main page for GiorBruGlobShitU - "An Open Letter to the Youth of the World" by Victor... sorry, Ervin Laszlo.

Yeah, they're not one big connected blob of feces.... it's... synergy!! That's it!

Anyway, I'm looking, but I'm not finding a physical address at all. It's like they're just... an internet force! They only exist in your mind!

You know, there are 13-year-olds who can set up a website. I'm just sayin'...

I especially like their "Our Schools and Accreditation" link - "We are initiating a process to obtain International level accreditation by the 'Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools'..."

Translation: We sent for the paperwork! Ain't got it yet...

The closest they have to an address is on the homepage, where you see "1426 21st Street NW Suite 101 Washington, DC 20036 USA"

Yeah, that's a mail drop. The same address gives us:
Vajrayogini Buddhist Center
American Institute of Implant Dentistry
Greater Washington Society of Association Executives (huh? Word salad alert!)
Phi Delta Phi International Legal Fraternity
Gay Therapy DC
TransAfrica Forum

And that's just the first 2 pages of Google results. (And it all seems to fit on the second floor, weirdly enough.)

And that's just sitting here for 20 minutes - finding shit faster than I could write it.

I don't know - think it could be a scam?

LadyAtheist said...

They're too nice to be scammers!

And anyway, they're trying hard to get accredited. *snicker* The Middle States are having a flood or something at the moment...

I got to this page via a link I'd stumbled on for one of her seminars being held in a church (while I was looking for something else almost as stupid). But then the link went dead. Apparently the church elders decided the word "sacred" wasn't enough to justify holding her seminar or something. It was just too good to be true. $250 for a weekend of dreck, or $25 for a ticket to her lecture.

LadyAtheist said...

... and this is rich. You can study online at the Leonardo da Vinci School of .... *brain explodes*

oops sorry. That happens a lot when I look at this stuff

It's a "university" but just try finding their course offerings. (No, really! I couldn't and I looked!)

It sounds like something the Mob would set up to launder money!

LadyAtheist said...

p.s. this is beyond description so I'll just leave you with this link.

Hurry! Classes are starting soon:

Psychedelic Adventures at the Edge of the Abyss:
The Ideas of Terence and Dennis McKenna
(4 Calls, Starts June 5)