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Louise Hay is a dangerous quack

January 24, 2014

I often get “hits” on this site from people searching for information relating to Louise Hay. One of the most frequently viewed posts is one  about her teachings — that you can heal all diseases by using affirmations. 

The post asks why Louise Hay — despite possessing a “miracle cure” for every known illness — chose cosmetic surgery instead of using her own teachings. If affirmations cured her cancer (where medical science failed), then surely her affirmations can also get rid of a few wrinkles — or, better still, help her to accept herself and her aging processes. 

But it seems it’s only her customers who have the honor of testing out her miracle cures. And there’s no evidence that she even had cancer in the first place, let alone cure it.

Since I wrote that post, a slow but regular stream of Hay’s fans have commented, repeatedly claiming that 

Louise Hay does NOT claim to have a cancer cure.

Well, she most certainly does indeed claim that, and I usually demonstrate this by quoting Hay directly claiming or clearly implying she has a cancer cure. Strangely, the commenters very often reply that her teachings are not the actual words on the page or the sentences she speaks. Rather, they argue, people should “take that which resonates with them” and leave the rest.

In other words, Hay’s fans say she is not a quack as long as you understand her in the right way…..

And I suppose products like her Cancer Healing CDs are supposed to be metaphorical or something. I don’t know.

CDLHCANC-L1Cancer: Discover Your Healing Power by Louise Hay

From one commenter:

…It was a 4 day retreat and not once did I hear either one of them speak in the black and white language you so vehemently say she professes….

And

If I hear something that resonates for me, I can choose to take that and leave whatever doesn’t fit for me. I don’t believe there are mindless droves of human sheep who are experiencing some kind of horrendous consequences from reading her books. AND if there are, that’s not about her, it’s about each person who chooses to disregard their own inner truth.

Well it’s not me who needs to hear that Louise Hay doesn’t claim she can cure cancer — please tell those who hopefully typed the following words into a search engine and for some reason landed here on this site:

Sample of Search Engine Terms from the last few months

louise hay cancer affirmations
louise l hay cancer cured
louise hay ms
louise l hay cancer
louise hay cancer of the lip
what does louise hay eat for cancer
louise hay rape
louise hay cancer success stories
louise hay cervical cancer youtube
louise hay breast cancer
louise hays aids work
louis hay + what do seizures mean?
what does louis m hay say causes cancer
what does louise hay say about skin cancer?
what does louise hay say about breast cancer
louise hay cervical cancer cause
louise hay &+ epilepsy
louise hay why people get cancer
louise hay cervical cancer affirmations
louise hay on breast cancer
louise hay heal your life reasons for skin cancer
louise hay vaginal cancer
louise hay skin cancer
what ails my body can be fixed with my mind louise hay
what does louise hay say about strokes
louise hay and nicotine addiction

Needless to say, Louise Hay is not qualified to speak on any of these matters. 

And I don’t get much traffic here. It must be the merest fraction of a percent of the traffic Louise Hay’s site gets. I shudder to think of what will happen to people like this if Hay’s story about healing her own cancer “resonates” with them. As the commenter above said, if they believe it and they die, it’s their own fault for “disregarding their inner truth” — not Hay’s fault. 

Please, from now on commenters, get on the forums and tell hopeful or desperate people like these exactly what you keep telling me — that Louise Hay doesn’t mean it when she says she can cure these things.

And one last one:

louise l hay affirmations seem to have failed. ruined.

Update Jan 13 2017

Someone just left the following comment (rough translation from Dutch):

Thanks to her unshakable belief in the teachings of this lady, and her refusal to follow a real treatment, which repeatedly drove a wedge into our happy married life, my beloved wife died last month, age 47. I miss her tremendously.

Posted by Yakaru

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97 comments

  1. “It was a 4 day retreat and not once did I hear either one of them speak in the black and white language you so vehemently say she professes….”

    But a reluctance to stick to “black and white language” can be a serious drawback — rather than a glorious feature which allows everyone to “take what resonates with them.”

    I think Daniel Dennett’s concept of the “deepity” is useful here because it seems to me that New Age-style thinking plays a lot with deepities. A “deepity” is a word, statement, or claim which sounds very profound because it can be interpreted in different ways: one interpretation is true but trivial; the other interpretation is extraordinary but false. You then use the superficial similarity as a screen to make the less plausible meaning look as if it’s either the same as, a variation of, and/or no more controversial than the more plausible meaning. All three, if needed.

    It’s an immunizing strategy which protects a bad idea from analysis — and criticism.

    My favorite example of a deepity is “we can change reality with our thoughts.” Ala The Secret, of course.

    True but trivial version #1: when we are in a situation we don’t like we can decide to change our attitude or behavior and improve the situation. For example, if you hate getting in a traffic jam when you go to work every day, then choose to enjoy the opportunity by listening to a book on tape; think of the slow-pace as relaxing as opposed to frustrating; or simply decide to take a longer but less annoying route. It’s “trivial” not because it makes no real difference in your life, but because it doesn’t challenge any major scientific ‘paradigms.’

    Extraordinary but false version #2: reality magically responds to our wishes and alters itself. You can guess the example. If you hate getting in a traffic jam when you go to work every day, then visualize an empty road before you start. If your intention is properly performed, then instead of 1,000 cars on the highway there will be less than 100 cars — and you’ll get to work early! Magic! The materialist scientists are wrong and mystics are right! Everything you thought you knew is wrong! (Q: Where did the other people go? A: Who cares! That’s not for us to wonder about.)

    People who believe in the Extraordinary but False will frequently flip back and forth between the two interpretations of the deepity. They don’t mean version #2, they mean version #1. Now they give version #2. Then they go back to the first one. If someone challenges the deepity then you’re challenging both of them and must be dogmatically hidebound. They’re different … and yet they’re the same. Pick what you need and leave the rest. Whatever “resonates” with you. Everyone happy, everyone getting what they need, nobody in conflict. What could be more accepting?

    Yakaru, I’m not familiar with Louise Hay but my guess is that the pushback and indignation you’re receiving — the denials that she actually says what she actually says — are due to the fact that Hay is using deepities and her followers think deepities add a needed flexibility and openness to discourse. Deepities provide an avoidance not only of “black and white language” but of the dreaded “black and white thinking” which fails to see nuance and possibility and respect for people finding what they “need.”

    You can get lost in deepities. That’s the point of the deepity: go so deep it’s all a blur.


  2. That’s a good way of putting it — an immunizing strategy. (Although these guys often don’t believe in immunization either!)

    Hay actually does write and speak in very black and white terms, but her followers provide their own deepities! If you’ve never come across her work before, you’d probably be shocked — really! She has a book that lists illnesses, their metaphysical cause (eg., fear) and their healing affirmation (“I trust”, or whatever). She literally says that you can heal everything from leprosy to alzheimer’s like that.

    But she’s NICE and positive and everyone wants her to have said beautiful things, so they just project it all on her. They usually pretend it’s all about stress being bad for you,. and a positive attitude can be helpful, etc, and that’s the trivial-but-true part of it. Then they hop over to “and it’s spiritual and miracles can happen” as if it’s a natural progression from the first part.

    (Thanks for commenting, BTW. I always read your comments on the catophile’s site!)


  3. Thanks; I followed one of your comments here and have been enjoying looking over your site. Lots of good stuff.

    But no, Hay would not shock me. I have a lot of friends who are followers of A Course in Miracles. Apparently inspired by it, one of them is (or was) a “spiritual healer” and endorses the same “illness is caused by negative thoughts” assumption as Hay. Although she’s an RN, she gives lectures on how she “healed her own fibromyalgia” by letting go of resentment, defending it by insisting she’s just telling people what worked for her and not telling anyone what they have to believe.

    It’s the sort of approach which often ‘works’ for what’s called the Worried Well — folks who either don’t have much wrong with them or there’s nothing much to do with what they do have wrong, so concentrating on being peaceful or what have you won’t hurt and might do some good. The dark side of the New Thought philosophy can be re-imagined, reinterpreted or dismissed when inconvenient. They mean well; therefore, if you aren’t pleased then that wasn’t what they meant. Or it wasn’t “right” for you, trapped as you still are in ego and fear.

    I once ‘reviewed’ (ok, ranted about) Course in Miracles. If you’re not familiar with the particular book I suspect it would feel familiar anyway.


  4. Yeh, Hay is also a New Thought follower. I have read at least two sentences, maybe three, of A Course in Miracles. That was enough!

    Here are a few passages from your article that especially “resonated” — so they are true for me.

    But when you look below the surface of at least some of these so-called “liberal religions” you can occasionally discern a regressive, repressive, anti-science, anti-humanist stance beneath the benevolent smiles and expressed concerns for peace and tolerance which is every bit as reactionary as the traditional fundamentalism they pretend to rise above…


    I understand many of them don’t vote, believing that their thoughts are already affecting the outcome of the election. (That’s probably one of the last ideas I would want to disabuse them of!)

    …There’s a hierarchical, mystical strain of irrational transcendentalist rebellion against the Enlightenment in this spirituality which is much, much closer to cult-like thinking than to empirical rationalism and the progress it has made in the world.

    …they often live like humanists but have the mindset of fundamentalists who cannot, will not deal with dissent…

    …Instead, it re-defines words so that they mean the opposite of what they normally mean, a technique which I believe is popular in brain-washing…

    Being skeptical of whether or not any of this stuff is true = “fear.”

    It’s funny/annoying for me watching the way commenters here criticize me while claiming that they’re not criticizing me. And it’s kind of sad when they include some kind of invocation to try to protect themselves from any resulting “negativity”.

    …And it’s all assertion, assertion, assertion with not even a scrap of an attempt to support anything with a rational argument….


    Yeh, I guess a lot of New Age gurus learned that from ACIM. Rhonda Byrne’s attempts at presenting the quantum physics behind the law of attraction in this declamatory style is one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever read in my life. Much more ridiculous than anything I’ve ever read from any creationist. (Maybe.) But it all has this disturbing mix of hypnotic cadence and authoritarianism.

    …And yet its thin veneer of tolerance (“hey, I don’t proselytize!”) actually masks a deep-seated hostility towards the common ground and human fallibility…


    That’s what pisses me off the most — that spiteful blaming of victims. I’m shocked to see it come from otherwise kind and loving people. And as far as I can see it mirrors psychopathy so clearly that I suspect it was invented by psychopaths. Certainly some of the most successful New Age teachers clearly appear to be psychopathic.


  5. I enjoyed your review, Sastra. Thanks for posting the link.

    Yakaru, I’ve been thinking, this idea of “take what resonates” is completely insane. If a teacher isn’t resonating, shouldn’t a person start asking questions? Yes, they should! (It only took me a decade or so to figure that one out.)

    High profile New Age teachers are either psychopathic, or are intentionally deceiving hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions of people. Which is worse?


  6. Good, I hope as many Louse Hay seekers as possible find this page, before they go deeper into the dark side. It never ceases to amaze me how strong those defences can be and how irrational people can become. The reference to brainwashing in Sastra’s piece is probably apt.

    Imagine if those quack-defenders did the same with the normal goods and services they consume. “Yes, my new car didn’t have its wheels very firmly attached and now I’m in a wheelchair after one of them fell off, but there was nothing in black and white about safety features, and obviously Ladas don’t resonate with me. While I was in hospital, I nearly died because the anaesthetist had no qualifications, but I think my inner voice was trying to warn me of that before the operation, and I just didn’t trust it enough. Later, during a very minor earthquake, my house fell down, but no matter, I won’t claim on the insurance – I’m happy that it resonated with Mother Earth’s energy. I live in a tent now and grow my own food on some badly contaminated land, which is fine, because I just take from it what I need and leave the rest.”

    Yet I suspect that the quack supporters would be the first to denounce sloppy controls in vehicle design, orthodox medicine and chemical waste disposal.

    I have been researching a bit lately the idea that many of these quacks are psychopaths. Many, I believe, would very probably be diangosed with narcissistic personality disorder were they to get assessed. They don’t, obviously. Why would they? They’re perfect. Hence the interminable assertions instead of evidence. Hence the callous disregard for how their pronouncements affect anyone else. In extreme cases, they even derive pleasure from hurting others, deceiving and getting away with it – it reaffirms how powerful they are – although most are probably just so wrapped up in their mythic selves they hardly notice anyone else. Other people are like part of the set where they play out their enormously important lives.

    Many are conventionally very successful, powerful people. Some get pretty twisted up inside, because at the centre of their inflated ego is an empty hole. They are larger than life on the outside to compensate. Narcissists need and solicit adoration. They can become very aggressive if they are criticised, and they manipulate people, making the other feel embarrassed or frightened to challenge them, if they can’t manage to recruit them as a fan. Charm and passive aggression come very easily to them.

    Narcissists tend to attract co-dependent personality types, who have a tendency to care for others but neglect self care. They collude together in this damaging pattern. This can go right up to the extreme of the continually or serially abused person who still craves further abuse by their aggressor and defends them completely, often blaming themselves.

    I think some of this tendency may explain the fanatical defence of quacks by many long-term guru-followers and self-improvers. Implicit in the idea of self-improvement is the belief that one is imperfect. This can be a healthy wish to improve from a relatively good state or to correct some particular fault, with the help of someone you consider *relatively* wise, or it can be motivated by a deep feeling of inadequacy and near-worship of a saviour figure. If the saviour’s medicine does them no good, they may blame themselves, strive harder to work out what it is they’re doing wrong and simultaneously invest more hope and trust in the quack.

    It’s complicated, and potentially more positive than this. Co-dependents bothering to read and practise self help is probably a good sign, and can turn out well if they find good self-help.

    There’s a kind of co-dependent called counter-dependent, and they tend to be anti-authority. Looking for help, they might avoid the obvious, mainstream advice from qualified doctors and go for the charismatic maverick. And, of course, in adolescence, we’re all a bit prone to that. It’s cool to be alternative.

    Hi Sastra, thanks for the link – excellent stuff. I love the title and the pairs of opposites – like “humble” = pig-sure.


  7. lettersquash wrote:

    Yet I suspect that the quack supporters would be the first to denounce sloppy controls in vehicle design, orthodox medicine and chemical waste disposal.

    Exactly — they’re fostering a tribal mentality, since from what I can tell many of them also have very strong feelings regarding consumer protection, environmental protection, and the lies told by marketers and polluters. They don’t think an executive in an oil company who denies wrongdoing over an oil spill is somehow on the miraculous path to recognizing the power of the spiritual mind to change reality with positive thinking. No, in that situation their rational minds are working clear, strong, and true in the material world and they’re “judging” just fine, thank you.

    I like to think of this contradiction as a possible wedge on which there is enough common ground for a skeptical message to get through. There really isn’t an “Us” and “Them” — that firm “paradigm” division comes out of their own propaganda on natural essences, spiritual evolution, and elevated levels of Being. When push comes to shove we’re more similar than different. So it’s not that they can’t think clearly at all; they’re picking and choosing according to a personal agenda — while decrying that other people pick and choose for personal agendas. If someone follows this line of reasoning along far enough it’s eventually going to cause some cognitive dissonance.

    And bring people together in harmony after all. Just not the way they thought, via spirituality. Through reason.

    I have been researching a bit lately the idea that many of these quacks are psychopaths. Many, I believe, would very probably be diangosed with narcissistic personality disorder were they to get assessed.

    You may or may not be right about the leaders — it’s not something I’m qualified to assess — but I’ve recently been thinking along similar lines not about the people, but about the New Age philosophy itself.

    At least some of the important concepts seem to me to be dangerously sociopathic ideas (if an idea can be sociopathic.) The worldview won’t really do what it claims to do — promote love and harmony — because it can’t. Special revelations are special and that’s the whole point. So an ascending hierarchy of enlightenment and detachment might seem lovely on the surface, but will foster narcissism — and can do so in people who are otherwise very compassionate, caring, and considerate. They were attracted to Spirituality because it was supposed to help them become better people. From the inside, it looks like it’s working. But you have to judge that one from the outside and from our perspective it’s going backwards.

    Consider for example the idea of “nonduality.” I may not understand it correctly (nothing is ever clear, by design) but I’ve been trying to get a handle on it because it’s so important. Nonduality is apparently a very desirable state of existence and mind in which all divisions have disappeared and judgement has ceased. There’s no right, no wrong, no good, no evil — just peaceful acceptance of whatever happens.

    This sounds to me a little bit like brain damage, early infancy, or deep dreaming — but it also sounds like the world view of a psychopath. No good, no evil, no right, no wrong? Several times I’ve asked my friends (some of whom teach this philosophy) whether this means that according to ACIM there was nothing wrong with the Holocaust, or with bullies who taunt handicapped children. They just smile benignly and keep repeating “No right, no wrong, no good, no evil. That’s what the book teaches” as if I was a very dull toddler who wasn’t going to be capable of handling anything more complicated and my application wasn’t worth addressing any further.

    That’s sociopathic.

    But I want to emphasize that my friends are certainly not cold or unempathetic — when they’re just living in the ordinary world. It’s like a button is pushed and the Spiritual path is a socio- path. They don’t differentiate between thinking critically about someone else’s harmless hobby (it’s not for us to judge) and thinking critically about anything at all. If this version of nonduality is taken seriously and actually applied to life (as alt med is wont to do) — then it is toxic.

    It’s a harmful idea. You rise too far above the world and the other people in it. The story in your head turns life and reality itself into A Journey Towards Spirituality. Too many checks and balances are lost, critique is avoided. A follower may not actually have or even acquire narcissistic personality disorder from this, but it seems to me they can adopt a narcissistic mindset.

    I mean, really — you eliminate 900 cars with the Power of Intention so that you can avoid a traffic jam and it doesn’t even freaking OCCUR to you to wonder what happened to those 900 other people?


  8. As far as I can tell, non-duality — if it exists — is a state which cannot be experienced while blabbering about non-duality.

    What I’ve noticed is that there are plenty of New Agers who have ethics, who do think critically and are prepared to speak out against crooked gurus. (I used to be one I guess, but once one starts thinking critically, it all unravels at some point. What shocked me on researching it all is the degree of conscious manipulation and the extent of the deliberate lying.)

    Louise Hay states things so black and white because it sells if you put it like that. If she stated it the way her fans claim she does when they comment here, no one would buy her books. It would be too wishy washy.


  9. Question: does Louise Hay maybe do both — make regular black-and-white pseudoscience statements AND occasional wishy-washy reasonable statements which sound vaguely similar? If so, then her fans aren’t just misinterpreting: they’re cherry-picking, too.

    It’s the nature of deepities. Sometimes I will be offered the rational version as a sort of peace offering: I can use THIS one and they can use the OTHER one, okay? A well-intended gesture from folks who consider ‘conflict’ and the debate it engenders an unwelcome impediment to progress, as opposed to the vehicle.


  10. Sastra wrote:
    “I like to think of this contradiction as a possible wedge on which there is enough common ground for a skeptical message to get through. There really isn’t an “Us” and “Them” — that firm “paradigm” division comes out of their own propaganda on natural essences, spiritual evolution, and elevated levels of Being. When push comes to shove we’re more similar than different. So it’s not that they can’t think clearly at all; they’re picking and choosing according to a personal agenda — while decrying that other people pick and choose for personal agendas. If someone follows this line of reasoning along far enough it’s eventually going to cause some cognitive dissonance.”

    Yes, and that cognitive dissonance is built in, at least to the more – what to call them, idealistic?, anti-ego? Such a person might criticise my views for coming from a “dual” or “reductionist” or “rational” perspective. They might quote that thing “You have to go out of your mind to come to your senses”. But they have no choice but to present their mystical wisdom using language, which relies on all sorts of rationalising and reducing and dividing. To give a simple, extreme and rather concise example, consider someone who advocates non-duality. They may never notice that advocating non-duality can be translated into non-duality=good, duallity=bad (a duality). So passing on their wondrous gift is a failure to practise it. I think some of the silent orders probably started this way, with a dedication to the experience (whatever it is) over and above trying to express it, because they realised that whenever they try to speak about it, they abuse it in some way.

    So then we get “those who know do not speak; those who speak do not know” (another duality!).

    I guess what we see a lot of is people trying to escape this – into dogma (Guru So-and-so puts it so much better…) or more obscurantism, but I also think the cog dis is working away in the background. It helped wake me up.

    Incidentally, I’m not qualified to diagnose anyone, it was just some of what I read about narcissists. I agree with much of your application of that to the philosophy too – especially the new-age spritual consumerist shit based on the Law of Attraction / the Secret. I had some run-ins with them and certainly a lot of them drift towards complete selfishness, which they seem to think is somehow spritually advanced.


  11. @Sastra,
    Yes, she does pad things out a bit more and offer some wiggle room. But her own personal sob story plays a very central role in it. So she makes very concrete claims in relation to her own story — that she knew she could heal her “incurable” cancer, and did so by following the teachings in her own book — but also leaves enough room for the idea that maybe others might be too weak to do it all by themselves and might need support from mainstream medicine.

    The whole context is the law of attraction, which has all kinds of escape clauses.

    So it’s easy enough for people to write it off as “stress management & relaxation” while “hearing the spiritual message behind it”, as well as willfully ignoring the costs.

    This is her church, Religious Science, but she also has a TM background – that great fount of New Age lunacy. And of course the LoA is part of it too.

    Her bio fits the standard woo-meister rags to riches formula — Rags to superficial riches (proving they can be a worldly success), which they ultimately find to be shallow. Then a setback where they lose the worldly riches; and then the discovery of “true wealth” through spirituality — which looks remarkably similar to the superficial wealth stage!

    And as always with successful gurus, there are some curious (or dubious) details. She went from poverty & stress to becoming a “high fashion model”, and met the queen and had dinner at the White House. — Which would sound more plausible if I hadn’t heard similar stories from people I know to have been suffering from psychotic mental disorders.

    She didn’t keep any records of her cancer, even though she had already published her book and wanted to heal herself “to prove her book works”. And doesn’t remember any other details either, and hedges on many details. She implies it was incurable but doesn’t state it clearly.

    @LS,
    I used to have a copy of Hay’s book, and used it at times. I never really believed it or disbelieved it. I didn’t even question it. I certainly didn’t consider whether or not it might be dangerous. I do remember noticing some biblical guilt running through it though — leprosy being caused by “feeling uncean” for example is rather old fashioned — like 3000 years out of date.

    I do find it interesting how people come to wake up from this stuff. I wonder if it is easier to drop New age beliefs than traditional religious beliefs because NA stuff is both new, and thoroughly riddled with hard core marketing, fraud and malpractice.


  12. lettersquash wrote:

    They may never notice that advocating non-duality can be translated into non-duality=good, duallity=bad (a duality). So passing on their wondrous gift is a failure to practise it.

    Heh, true. In my experience this contradiction is supposedly ‘fixed’ by never, ever advocating this philosophy to the ‘dualists’ — the skeptics. Speak only to those who are willing to receive.

    The reasoning is that their belief that non-duality is true and good won’t run into the problem that its opposite is bad as long as they don’t tell anyone they’re on the bad side. It’s the same rationalization liberal Christians go through when they focus on the positive aspects of salvation and ignore the implications of damnation by refusing to ever tell anyone they’re damned — or discuss the issue with outsiders. Problem gone. Nothing but light.

    Shutting off debate is a passive aggressive way to avoid dealing with significant problems in one’s philosophy by framing open discussion as aggression. “I’m trying to avoid being confrontational” says the person who believes in nonsense, smiling gently and kindly to the unenlightened.

    I might try that one myself, if my position was as seriously flawed.


  13. I do find it interesting how people come to wake up from this stuff. I wonder if it is easier to drop New age beliefs than traditional religious beliefs because NA stuff is both new, and thoroughly riddled with hard core marketing, fraud and malpractice.

    I’m not sure. The obvious fraud and falsehood of testable claims in New Age might be balanced by the same sort of problem going on in the more fundamentalist sects, with their Young Earth Creationism, miracle claims, and preachers caught in sex scandals and high living. The True Believers often double down. But atheists who come out of Christian fundamentalism sometimes seem to have been shot from cannons.

    But from what I can tell a lot of New Age blurs into a fuzzier form of “spiritual but not religious,” lightly picking up and dropping pseudoscience without too much concern for whether it’s true or not. They identify less with a guru or system, and more with an “open” state of mind.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen statistics specifically aimed at tracking rates of change for New Age to alternatives (other religions or atheism.) I did find an interesting study here, though. Called “The Rise and Fall of Fuzzy Fidelity in Europe” it tries to discover whether the loosely spiritual who fall in between the traditional religious and the secular non-religious revert to the first, stay the same over time, or eventually join the third group. What they discovered is that the Spiritual does slowly become more secular.

    Fuzzy fidelity is not a new kind of religion, or a proxy for as yet unfocused spiritual seeking; it is a staging post on the road from religious to secular hegemony.


  14. Interesting study. Fuzzy fidelity is a good term.

    They identify less with a guru or system, and more with an “open” state of mind.

    I think that’s what’s going here too — loyalty to a general culture while excusing possible individual flaws. And this openness is being exploited by all the top gurus. They run the whole show as if it’s a kind of free form cult, with a consortium of scammers at the top instead of a single person.


  15. Louise Hay states things so black and white because it sells if you put it like that.

    A DS9 quote comes to mind. Quark has a lucid dream where he meets the first Grand Nagus who advises he break a contract despite “a contract is a contract is a contract (but only between Ferengi)” Quark asks him why if it’s not so clear cut, why they’re called the “Laws of Acquisition.”

    “Would you buy a book called ‘Suggestions of Acquisition?'”


  16. She also explained on a recording (I do not have the exact ref.) that she kept the analyses of her (supposed) cancer to never forget what she was able to create. Maybe Yakaru you have more details about it.


  17. @Caroline,

    Interesting, and it sounds like the sort of thing she’d say. She mentioned that she thought of her cancer as a chance to prove her teachings.. — Which makes me wonder if she even had cancer at all. I guess she had some form of it, and maybe they even operated and she got rid of it that way. I don’t know if the whole story is a fabrication — probably not, I guess. But the New Age is full of utterly bogus stories that are much more far fetched.

    @Bronze Dog,

    That would make a good competition — rewrite New Age bestseller titles according to truth in labeling laws.


  18. I realize this is an older thread, nevertheless I thought I would still leave my 2 cents. But before I do, I want to thank you Yakaru for this blog and for your effort to expose these dangerous quacks (and my apologies in advance for any spelling/grammar mistakes – English is not my native language).

    Yakaru wrote:
    “Since I wrote that post, a slow but regular stream of Hay’s fans have repeatedly left what is essentially the same comment: Louise Hay’s teachings, they all claim, are not the actual words on the page or the sentences she speaks. Rather, they argue, people should “take that which resonates with them” and “leave the rest”.”

    “I shudder to think of what will happen to people like this if Hay’s story about healing her own cancer “resonates” with them. As the commenter above said, if they believe it and they die, it’s their own fault for “disregarding their inner truth” — not Hay’s fault.”

    It is mind-blowing, isn’t’ it? That there are people who preach such disturbing teachings and many more who defend and follow them. These gurus preach ‘truths’ that are based on nothing but their own set of beliefs and magical thinking (through their million dollar industry of books, cds, dvds, seminars,…) without any real evidence to back them up. Then, in that list of truths, they include the truth that ‘there are no objective truths’ anyway, so each one of us should select the one that ‘resonates with us’. So, just like you said, if someone ‘chooses’ one with adverse consequences, then it’s their fault for not making the ‘right’ choice. In that case – and if they are still alive – I guess they should keep on searching for what ‘resonates with them’. Which they might find in the guru’s next best selling book or seminar.

    What these sort of hypocritical and nonsensical mantras do, above all, is to absolve the guru from any personal responsibility (while still promoting the good old New Age principle that we all have all the answers to everything within ourselves = we are God). They are free to say anything they want and if you get negatively affected by it, it is all your fault.

    I am not qualified either to say that these gurus are all pathological narcissists/psychopaths. But from what I have read and from my own personal experience (I was involved with a New Age man who displayed strong traits of pathological narcissism), New Age ideologies are a perfect playground for those who suffer from the disorder. Blame-shifting, double-standards, hypocrisy, magical thinking, God-complex, extreme reactions to criticism, denial of personal responsibility… are all aspects that can definitely be found in both New Age philosophy and Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

    However, I must disagree with lettersquash when he writes that: “Narcissists tend to attract co-dependent personality types, who have a tendency to care for others but neglect self care. They collude together in this damaging pattern. This can go right up to the extreme of the continually or serially abused person who still craves further abuse by their aggressor and defends them completely, often blaming themselves.”

    Indeed, some ideologies promote that idea, but I personally think that it borders the ‘blaming the victim’ approach. Amongst other characteristics, narcissists/psychopaths are highly manipulative and can even fake real emotions in order to get what they want from others, i.e., they are highly exploitative, taking advantage of human traits that are actually healthy to society – such as high levels of integrity, empathy, trust. The problem is that most people are unaware of how pathological people operate in the world and by the time they do (if they ever do), they have already been psychological and emotionally mugged. In my opinion, lack of information/ knowledge about these disorders is where the main problem is. People still think that all psychopaths are serial-killers and that Narcissists spend all their time in front of the mirror. Unfortunately, it is a lot more complex than that. Many – as mentioned here – appear to be the epitome of kindness, sensitivity, humility and generosity, knowing how to perfectly disguise their true motivations and nature and how to take advantage of other people’s naivete.

    You might want to read this blog entry entitled: “Self-help Narcissists” that describe how some pathological people take advantage of New Age/Self-Help information to their own benefit and how people can easily fall prey to them. You can find it here: http://n-continuum.blogspot.nl/2010/02/self-help-narcissists.html


  19. Hi Christine, I thought I should respond to your comment:

    <<I must disagree with lettersquash when he writes that: “Narcissists tend to attract co-dependent personality types, who have a tendency to care for others but neglect self care. They collude together in this damaging pattern. This can go right up to the extreme of the continually or serially abused person who still craves further abuse by their aggressor and defends them completely, often blaming themselves.”

    <>

    I would hate it to be thought that I *blame* the victim. I don’t. In fact, I don’t *blame* the perpetrator either. I have come to the conclusion that people do damaging things to others, or to themselves, or collude together in harm, and are on the whole *blame*less. I prefer to think in terms of responsibility to ourselves and others, and what I was referring to were cases where the so-called ‘victim’ is failing to exercise their responsibility to themselves.

    If you are intending to imply (by “some ideologies”) that you dislike the medical diagnosis of this as a personality disorder, I share some of your concern, but I was obliquely referring to this at least in the extreme case, and it should be recognised that the medical professionals who identify and classify behavioural complexes aren’t intending *blame*, but are describing observable facts (although usually subjectively judged) in the hope of helping people to take better care of themselves.

    I did a bit of research, as I said, before posting that, but I’m not confident of it, and very grateful for your disagreement. I took most of it from the writings of Dr Sam Vaknin, (for instance http://samvak.tripod.com/narcissistspouse.html ) who is very persuasive and prolific on the subject, but perhaps more educated in philosophy (in which he obtained his PhD) and financial analysis than psychology, although he lists Psychological Counseling Techniques on his CV., and he has an impressive list of journalistic acheivements and advisory roles, including Advisor to the Minister of Health of Macedonia. He may not be the best source, I admit. I also have counselling qualifications and ten years’ experience in the field, and can confirm that it’s possible to obtain counselling qualifications without having to keep up to date with (or study any) actual empirical research!

    Anyway, I should have made it clearer that I was applying this bit of hurried research, and my professional experience as a counsellor of co-dependents and abused partners, to the subject of gurus and their followers, in a somewhat conjectural way. I apologise if I sounded surer than I am. It just seemed likely, if narcissists tend to seek out self-denying and adoring sexual/life partners, and we’re comparing abusive gurus to narcissists and psychopaths, that the extreme case of a defensive guru-follower might fall into the same category as the selfless spouse.


  20. Oops, I missed a bit of Christine’s text where the angle brackets are above – “Indeed, some ideologies promote that idea, but I personally think that it borders the ‘blaming the victim’ approach.”


  21. Hi Lettersquash and thank you for responding to my comment. I really appreciate it.

    As mentioned earlier, I had a close encounter with a New Age man who I believe is a pathological narcissist and that was what triggered my interest in the pathology and its connection to New Age ideologies. I have no qualifications nor professional experience on dealing with co-dependent and abusive relationships, so your opinion – as someone who is much more qualified than I am on this subject – is more than welcome. My ‘knowledge’ is based on personal experience and by researching/reading everything I could find on NPD/Psychopathy – from Sam Vaknin to Elsa Ronningstam and from blogs to forums.

    Sam Vaknin is a self-declared Narcissist so although some of his writings can provide interesting and valuable information on how pathological people perceive and operate in the world, I think that one must be careful when considering the motivations behind them and his objectivity when ‘diagnosing’ others. In fact, as he said himself: “The book [Malignant Self-Love] was never intended to help anyone. Above all, it was meant to attract attention and adulation (narcissistic supply) to its author, myself. Being in a guru-like status is the ultimate narcissistic experience.” and “Narcissist tend to “diagnose” others. It gives them a feeling of omnipotence and omniscience. If the victim accepts the “diagnosis” as true – it gives the narcissist power over his prey. Pathologizing the victim gives the narcissist leverage.” It is no surprise then that this author would ‘diagnose’ the targets of narcissists as ‘co-dependent’, since blaming/undermining others is a feature of the disorder.

    But apart from Vaknin, I have read other authors promoting the ‘co-dependent’ diagnosis to those who were involved in pathological relationships and that worries me for several reasons:

    1. It over simplifies the dynamics between pathological and non-pathological people. It tends to overlook and dismiss what are also ‘normal’ reactions to ‘abnormal behavior’, ignoring for example research on cognitive dissonance, traumatic bonding or PTSD.

    3. When diagnosing someone as ‘co-dependent’ there is an immediate assumption that this was the CAUSE, the reason why this person was attracted and/or remained in an unhealthy relationship. Although that can be true in some cases, it tends to ignore the fact that in many others, co-dependency is actually the RESULT of being in a pathological relationship.

    2. And more importantly, I think it places additional ‘blame’ on the victim, which is the last thing she/he needs, after spending months or years being told how ‘defective’ she/he is and how everything was her/his fault. What these people need instead – at least as a ‘first-aid’ approach – is validation of their feelings and education on pathological behavior. And if indeed, there were some pre-existing circumstances that might have played a role in the dynamics, they should then be addressed – but I don’t think that should happen before sufficient self-confidence has been restored, otherwise it can and will often lead to counterproductive results.

    Like I mentioned, I was closely involved with someone who I believe to be a pathological narcissist and a New Age follower. Despite considering myself a well educated and independent woman with enough self-esteem, I too ended up in an unhealthy relationship, accepting behaviors that were unacceptable and taking responsibility for both his behavior and mine. Maybe that is why this experience has dramatically changed my opinion about some theories on ‘co-dependent/abusive relationships’, explaining why I have such strong reactions to them. So I apologize for having misinterpreted what you wrote and if my reaction to your comment – which I interpreted as ‘blaming the victim’ – was too defensive.

    “If you are intending to imply (by “some ideologies”) that you dislike the medical diagnosis of this as a personality disorder, I share some of your concern, but I was obliquely referring to this at least in the extreme case, and it should be recognised that the medical professionals who identify and classify behavioural complexes aren’t intending *blame*, but are describing observable facts (although usually subjectively judged) in the hope of helping people to take better care of themselves.” – lettersquash

    I actually do agree with you that medical diagnosis are important and even necessary to help people understand and hopefully change unhealthy behavior patterns. They do simplify and give a name to a set of observable behaviors/facts. I understand now that you were referring to this ‘co-dependent’ diagnosis in the extreme case when recognized by medical professionals, so thank you for clarifying that to me.

    As I mentioned on my previous comment, English is not my native language, so I am never sure if I am expressing myself clearly. I guess I just wanted to create some awareness to the potential dangers – particularly to those who are/were involved in pathological relationships – of ‘co-dependent’ diagnosis and on the other hand, to point out how incredibly complex these dynamics are.

    Thank you again for your response, lettersquash.

    P.S. Yakaru, I hope I am not shifting too much from your main blog post, by picking up the topic on co-dependent theories and discussing it in more detail.


  22. @Christine,
    Thanks for asking. It’s ok on this thread, and you’re exchanging ideas. I only complain if people seem to be using my blog as a platform for their own theories, or if they do it ALL the time.

    (After a week or so I might delete some of it though if it gets too long.)

    P.S. Your English is fine!


  23. I am very concerned about this question of responsibility and its answers. Anthropology has a lot to offer. We cannot take the individual without the whole group. There is so much more to understand about the place of each indivudal in regard to the group and we then realize how narrow our « freedom » realy is. For me, a victim is a victim. And if there is a second act, that is the victim wants to know more about our societies, then many domains can give many vues. Which is right ? Conclusions are numerous. And the space is open.

    I wonder, and that is my concern, how many victims are so much more affraid now to come out because of the actual tendency to consider them as « a victim but » and feel ostracised and lonely.


  24. Thanks, Christine, for expanding on your arguments, and for welcoming my opinion.

    I think there is some similarity in our views, if I understand yours correctly. Diagnosis potentially has helpful and unhelpful consequences. On the one hand, you appear to disagree with and worry about this diagnosis of co-dependent, but on the other, you say “I actually do agree with you that medical diagnosis are important and even necessary to help people understand and hopefully change unhealthy behavior patterns. They do simplify and give a name to a set of observable behaviors/facts.”

    “When diagnosing someone as ‘co-dependent’ there is an immediate assumption that this was the CAUSE, the reason why this person was attracted and/or remained in an unhealthy relationship. Although that can be true in some cases, it tends to ignore the fact that in many others, co-dependency is actually the RESULT of being in a pathological relationship.”

    There is an immediate assumption by whom? You, clinicians, the diagnosed person? You say it actually IS the cause in some cases, but I have always imagined psychiatrists assuming the opposite, that co-dependency is the result of some form of “abuse”, (in a wide sense – it may have been the gradual habituation as a child to poor self-protective boundaries.) – or perhaps some genetic disposition or a trauma (physical injury).

    I would question how realistic your view of cause and effect is. There may be people with very mild tendencies of this kind, a certain meekness of character, for whatever reason. Another might be mildly manipulative. In countless interactions between people, it is possible that manipulation “causes” more meekness in the meek, and also “causes” more manipulativeness in the manipulative.

    But is it only the manipulation that is the cause, or does meekness co-cause it? Maybe you are suggesting that it is only the manipulation that is active, but I’m not so sure. Bumping up against other people’s boundaries is part of life, and deciding not to protest, when our boundaries are pushed too far constitutes a behaviour and a choice. Or if it is not a choice, but an inability to respond with healthy self-protection strategies, then it is arguably even more desirable that we address it.

    Similarly, slightly manipulative children may gradually develop into bullies if the aggression is rewarded (by gaining power, i.e. if they are not disciplined). Which is the cause in that case? Aggression, because that’s active, or weak parenting?

    “2. And more importantly, I think it places additional ‘blame’ on the victim, which is the last thing she/he needs, after spending months or years being told how ‘defective’ she/he is and how everything was her/his fault. What these people need instead – at least as a ‘first-aid’ approach – is validation of their feelings and education on pathological behavior. And if indeed, there were some pre-existing circumstances that might have played a role in the dynamics, they should then be addressed – but I don’t think that should happen before sufficient self-confidence has been restored, otherwise it can and will often lead to counterproductive results.”

    I agree with most of this – the validation of feelings, education on pathological behaviour, analysing the dynamics. I think there is a danger that the diagnosis of codependent is heard by the diagnosed as criticism and blame, and should be sensitively given, taking care to minimize this reaction. As far as I understand it, part of the phenomenon is blaming oneself too readily, so it is vital that the diagnosis is understood as implying no blame, but identifying certain underdeveloped or suppressed parts of the behavioural repertoire. It is not, however, unique to codependency. People tend to feel guilty or blamed when diagnosed with anything.

    I think you may be imagining the implication of blame, but I certainly see the problem. I have witnessed it many times with different diagnoses. People tend to dislike labels, especially medical diagnoses. I used to be very against psychological diagnoses of any kind. I’m not sure now.


  25. Hi lettersquash and thank you again for your response. I understand why some of my previous statements could have have been misunderstood and even seemed contradictory, so I will try to explain them in a way that can hopefully bring some clarity to the discussion.

    “On the one hand, you appear to disagree with and worry about this diagnosis of co-dependent, but on the other, you say “I actually do agree with you that medical diagnosis are important and even necessary to help people understand and hopefully change unhealthy behavior patterns. They do simplify and give a name to a set of observable behaviors/facts.””- lettersquash

    I agree that medical diagnosis are important for both professionals and those affected by a disorder. However, I don’t believe that just because someone develops co-dependent behaviors in a relationship with a pathological individual, they should be labeled with a co-dependent personality disorder. In other words, formal diagnosis are important but only if they have been rightfully applied. And in my opinion – from what I have observed and researched – people who do not have a previous history of co-dependent behaviors can also develop them in pathological relationships. In the same way, they can also exit them and enter new healthy ones where they no longer exhibit those traits.

    This is what I meant to explain when mentioning ‘co-dependency’ diagnosis as the cause or as the result of pathological relationships: that some people with previous history of co-dependent behaviors might feel attracted to dysfunctional relationships and in this case, there could be a pre-existing disposition = cause. However, I also think that in many other cases, such behavior can be triggered by the dynamics of the relationship and in this case they can be the consequence=result of being exposed to pathological behaviors. I guess what I am trying to say is that I simply do not agree that all people who have partnered in a relationship with someone with a personality disorder, have personality disorders themselves.

    “There is an immediate assumption by whom? You, clinicians, the diagnosed person? You say it actually IS the cause in some cases, but I have always imagined psychiatrists assuming the opposite, that co-dependency is the result of some form of “abuse”, (in a wide sense – it may have been the gradual habituation as a child to poor self-protective boundaries.) – or perhaps some genetic disposition or a trauma (physical injury).” lettersquash

    I do agree that co-dependent behaviors are likely the result of some form of abuse/trauma and also maybe of genetic predisposition. However, I was not referring to the original cause of such behaviors (such as from childhood trauma), but of those that are exhibited in adult relationships with disordered individuals. And like I mentioned before, I believe that those can be triggered – or not – by pre-existing disposition/patterns.

    So when I say that there is an immediate assumption that a ‘co-dependent’ personality is the reason (=cause) why people are attracted and/or remain in unhealthy relationships, is because of statements like the ones you made:
    “Narcissists tend to attract co-dependent personality types, who have a tendency to care for others but neglect self care.” or “But is it only the manipulation that is the cause, or does meekness co-cause it?” The way I interpret such remarks, is that in your opinion, the victim has a character ‘deficiency’ and that such ‘weakness’ is the reason why she/he engages in a dysfunctional relationship. In fact, you said that you don’t blame the victim, but by referring to the victim as someone who ‘neglects self care’ and have ‘a certain meekness of character’, you seem to contradict that statement.

    So what do you exactly mean by ‘meekness of character’? The term seems to imply a submissive personality and that is the type of assumption that concerns me. You previously mentioned Sam Vaknin as your main source when forming your opinion on how narcissists/psychopaths tend to attract people with co-dependent personalities, but for reasons that I shared in my last response, I believe that he is indeed not a reliable source. There is a larger and growing number of professionals who are more objective (and experienced) when analyzing the impact of pathological behavior on non-pathological people, explaining the extremely complex dynamics that are part of it. Some, such as Sandra L. Brown has even conducted a research on the personality of the victims of psychopaths and concluded that they do seem to display similar traits that make them the perfect target of these individuals. But according to it, these traits include high levels of empathy, relationship investment, attachment capacity, trust, cooperation and responsibility. This seems to indicate that these traits can end up being unhealthy and even dangerous, but when in close interaction with the traits of pathological people. And that is why it is important to make the victims understand how their ‘strengths’ can also be their ‘weaknesses’ in such dynamics and to teach them how to protect themselves in the future. But are these traits an indication of a personality disorder, which also affect the victims in their relationships with non-disordered individuals? I don’t think so. Instead I agree with Sandra L. Brown when she says: “On the rare occasion when a psychopath’s victim is identified, she is lumped together with more typical domestic violence survivors; or labeled as codependent, a relationship/sex addict, and/or assumed to be suffering dependent personality-disorder. These inaccurate and often biased explanations of pathological love relationships have neither helped victims find specific treatment for their unique relationship dynamics and aftermath symptoms, nor have they contributed (as they could) to our knowledge of psychopathy itself.” (full article here: http://www.sott.net/article/228663-The-Unexamined-Victim-Women-Who-Love-Psychopaths).

    “Maybe you are suggesting that it is only the manipulation that is active, but I’m not so sure.” ” – lettersquash
    What I am trying to explain is that pathological relationships are extremely complex and that reducing all victims of these relationships as ‘co-dependent’ personalities is not only simplistic, but also dangerous. It is dangerous because in many cases such ‘co-dependent’ behaviors are only observed in interactions with pathological people and therefore are not an indication of a personality disorder. And above all, it is dangerous because it tends to re-victimize the victim and therefore to delay or even prevent the recovery process from happening.

    As I mentioned before, I think that validation of the victims feelings should be the first step in any therapeutic program, by understanding and explaining the symptoms they are exhibiting. One of the characteristics of Cluster B personalities is that they don’t take responsibility for their own behavior, but instead blame their victims for it – so the last thing they need is to have that same dynamics repeated in what should be a safe and ‘blame-free’ environment for recovery.

    “People tend to feel guilty or blamed when diagnosed with anything.” – lettersquash
    I actually think that in many cases, people welcome diagnosis as it gives them a name to set a behaviors/feelings that they are experiencing and that are incomprehensible to them. And more importantly, it gives them hope that they can find ways to overcome them. Nevertheless, I don’t think that diagnosis should be given indiscriminately. And in the particular case of people who were in pathological relationships, I really think that applying the ‘co-dependency’ model to all their victims, can be dangerous for the reasons I stated above.

    I do appreciate having this opportunity to discuss this issue with you lettersquash. A few years ago – before I found myself in one of these pathological relationships – I would have probably agreed with everything you said. But I guess such experience coupled up with intense research on the topic has certainly changed my perspective on its dynamics and how it affects people. Nevertheless, I do welcome opinions that differ from mine – and particularly from people like you who have professional experience as a counselor of co-dependents and abused partners – so if you have further comments and/or questions, I would gladly discuss them with you.

    And thank you Yakaru, for allowing this discussion on your blog. I actually found it when I was researching the link between New Age and pathological narcissism. And it has been very validating to read that my own perceptions of how this ideology and the personality disorder seem to be somehow connected is shared by you and other people.


  26. Hi Christine. I think that has helped to clarify the issues. I hope I can clarify my own position further.

    I’ll cut to the chase.

    “I guess what I am trying to say is that I simply do not agree that all people who have partnered in a relationship with someone with a personality disorder, have personality disorders themselves.”

    I am sorry, but you seem to be imagining a disagreement with something I said. I hope I did not say anything as clear-cut (or stupid). Please note what I did say, which you quoted yourself: “Narcissists tend to attract co-dependent personality types, who have a tendency to care for others but neglect self care. They collude together in this damaging pattern. This can go right up to the extreme of the continually or serially abused person who still craves further abuse by their aggressor and defends them completely, often blaming themselves.”

    You quote this passage, in fact (for the second time now), followed by another where I suggest that meekness might co-cause the dysfunctional relationship rather than just manipulation, and you clarify: “The way I interpret such remarks, is that in your opinion, the victim has a character ‘deficiency’ and that such ‘weakness’ is the reason why she/he engages in a dysfunctional relationship. In fact, you said that you don’t blame the victim, but by referring to the victim as someone who ‘neglects self care’ and have ‘a certain meekness of character’, you seem to contradict that statement. So what do you exactly mean by ‘meekness of character’? The term seems to imply a submissive personality and that is the type of assumption that concerns me.” – Christine

    I feel fairly strongly that I have given a sense of the shaded, graduated spectrum of behavioural strengths-weaknesses that form part of my view of people, rather than black-and-white. I don’t think I have used the word “deficiency”, which you put in quotes, and probably not “weakness” either until now as the opposite of strength.

    I also feel that I have been careful to suggest that relationships are a shared responsibility, and, in this case, that manipulativeness might complement a characteristic we might call ability-to-be-manipulated, but which I called “meekness” for short, rather than blaming anyone concerned. Indeed, my first response to you made that clear, that I blame no-one in such circumstances, not even the psychopath.

    If you see “meekness” as a characteristic automatically attracting blame, I do not. Meekness is an essential quality in good human relationships. So is toughness. The question of health depends on how wisely one uses each, and how freely, choosing one’s response in different circumstances. However, perhaps “meekness” is not correct. I am finding my way in these technical areas as best I can.

    Sandra Brown appears to be concerned to correct a (perhaps similar) misunderstanding. Although I find her article a bit confusing and anything but academically rigorous, the view she criticises does include “she is … labeled as codependent”. So maybe “codependent” is wrong as well. Or maybe sometimes a “victim of a psychopath” is “too meek” or is “codependent” and sometimes isn’t. I don’t know.

    But there is a strong correlation between my position and Sandra Brown’s. If she is, as she seems to suggest, gathering evidence of a new constellation of characteristics of “women” (there are also men, which she acknowledges, and I would like to do so here) who are suffering in relationships with psychopaths, then all she is doing differently from my short, off-the-cuff remark, is studying more carefully what those characteristics are. Like me, she suggests there is such a type. Like me she ADVOCATES VERY STRONGLY their identification and diagnosis, which you seem to have a problem with, for reasons as yet unclear to me.

    Some of the features she identifies appear to be at odds with my word, “meekness”. Indeed, the “victims” appear to be extraverted excitement-seekers. But wait, what have we here? Also listed are “high relationship investment; sentimentality; attachment; cooperation; hyper-empathy; responsibility…”. While she (ignorantly, in my view) characterizes these as “good things” belonging to “outstanding women”, I see in them precisely the type I expected and briefly sketched. I think I have already said they take too much responsibiility (including for others).In the list is also “low harm-avoidance”, which I mentioned, also in the bit you’ve quoted twice now, where I say they “have a tendency to care for others but neglect self care”. Self care is avoiding harm to one’s self. I just used different words, but you objected to mine for some reason.

    I feel irritated, Christine. You may not have meant to, but you have misunderstood/mis-read/mis-represented my views, disagreed with this made-up version, and now use as support something that almost paraphrases me (granted there are some differences).

    I’m not sure why you don’t consider Brown to be blaming women like you, when she sums up: “What happens when you put all this together: Too much empathy + high bonding + high sentimentality + and low harm avoidance? You get inevitable harm.” I’m not sure how that’s not a CLEARER attribution of cause and effect than I gave. She gives no sense that this is one form of a relationship out of two or more, so if anything she is more clearly identifying ALL women as being at risk for these reasons – no “tend to” about it.

    As I say, the only nice bit of this – which makes me wonder if it could explain your pleasure with her and displeasure with me – is that she says (patronizingly, in my view) that these attributes are wonderful things of outstanding women. I must insist again that I do not suggest the opposite – I do not consider people who get into relationships with psychopaths as bad, stupid, dumb or anything negative. (Ironically, Brown goes on to say that “too much of a good thing can be bad”. I almost always avoid the word, and always did in my counselling, preferring to say “unhelpful”.) They have particular characteristics that put them at risk. I am not particularly concerned what words attach to what those turn out to be with however much analytical psychology the geeks get up to.


  27. Correction – I shouldn’t have suggested that I strongly advocate diagnosis, like Sandra Brown. She seems to. I’m not at all sure.


  28. Louse Hay is just before her time. I agree there are New Age Guru Quacks out there. And some who are arrogant like Deepok, can be annoying. But both Deepok and Louise Hay have tapped into what I think Amercia is beginning to discover and unfold….and that is..

    We have alot more jurisdiction over our physical health through our lifestyle especially that of our day to day thinking and mental approach to our lives.

    But these modalities themselves need support!

    It’s Diet Diet Diet. We are killing ouselves with the food. Its all the food. Disease is food related first then lifestyle related, the combination of toxic lifestyle with toxic eating is the source of most illness.

    Diet will be the main thing, but lifestyle, and your thinking process will be also determining factors. Out of all of these its the Diet that will be the main culprit for disease. Louise just didn’t realize or know she was fighting against the American Diet giant.

    As we are now are coming to realize, the evil sinister processed foods we’ve been eating for years.. sanctioned by the FDA and the over consumption of meat products are causing more and more illness.

    But don’t blame Louise Hay because she figured out only part of the equation.

    Because all of her work, we are coming to realize, really works in conjunction with investigating the underlying root causes of your illness and re-investigating the pharmaceutical remedies that may just be killing you off sooner. If you are getting radiation and chemotherapy plus drugs, and doing Louese Hays work, the first two modalities will kill you before her work can take hold.

    just sayin.


  29. Thanks for your comment… although you didn’t understand the post. As I explained, it’s directed precisely at the dozens of people who have already left almost exactly the same comment as you.

    To repeat, the people who need to hear that Hay “only has a fraction of the equation” are those who trust Hay and believe the statements she makes.

    Here are some more search terms from the last month or so:

    louise l hay affirmations for breast cancer
    what does louis hay say about breast cancer
    what does louise hay say about ms
    what causes right sided breast cancer louise hay
    what does louise hay say causes cancer
    louise hay ailments and cure
    louise hay cancer causes
    how did louise hay heal her cancer
    louise hay mindset cured cancer you tube
    louise hay skin cancer

    These people are not hoping for “part of the equation”, but the cure Hay is selling to them.

    I blame Louise Hay for lying to them and not caring if they die experimenting with her quackery. And rather than making excuses for her and instructing me not to blame her, I suggest that you do something positive and get on the New Age and Christian healing forums and tell people that Louse Hay does not have any cures for any illnesses at all.


  30. @ De Leon

    You wrote

    …have tapped into what I think America is beginning to discover and unfold

    There is nothing new coming from the people you mention. Since you mentioned black belt certitude creator Deepak Chopra, read about the scientifical misinterpretations involved. Some quantum physicists have done the painful work.

    Meal for starving people entering the magic kitchen : take what has been already discovered or studied (even more than 2’000 years ago, why not, some do not know or do not care its warmed up), cook it with some soporific spices, add a new dressing à la neoliecharm, denaturing the product, serve it its-true-as-you-wish.

    You wrote

    if you are getting radiation and chemotherapy plus drugs, and doing Louise Hays work, the first two modalities will kill you before her work can take hold.

    Without questioning too much the character of this allegation, may I ask you, if your reasoning is right : why are « health teachers » equally touched by disease ?

    And, could you give me names of new age gurus having had cancer who didn’t get heavy therapies or medical intervention once ill, with a proven medical diagnosis ?


  31. @Caroline,
    Well said.

    Thanks for picking up that second quote from De Leon. That he claims to know that chemo will “kill you before Louise Hay’s methods can take hold” is a co,plete reversal of the truth. No one knows how many people die needlessly because the used Hay’s teachings until it was too late for chemo or surgery to have effect.


  32. De Leon, I’d like to support you in a lot of what you say, if it’s taken in pieces, “out of context”. But you are conflating different issues.

    What “America” (and the other nations) are “beginning to discover” is, I agree, that diet is very important. Americans are – if you’ll pardon the generalization – vastly and dangerously obese, and Britain, where I live, is not far behind. It is also become pretty clear that this is because powerful food companies have been pushing sugar in various forms, and have been manipulating us through its advertising, our biological drives and its political machinations. One of these is the deliberate focus on fat as the great evil, and the supermarkets are still stuffed full of food advertised as “low fat”, which we have been trained to equate with healthy, much of it packed with sugar and other carbohydrates, and it is probably the sugars and calorific total that are our biggest danger.

    You say it’s “diet, diet, diet”, which is perhaps too simple, but generally a good point. But then you stress two other things, “lifestyle” and “thinking”, and your reason, apparently, for posting here is to advocate the “thinking” talked about by the likes of Hay, which is meant to magically fix everything.

    First, it’s sold to you as magical, a deep insight emerging in human consciousness of a “deep” connection between what we think and what we get out of life. That is essentially religious nonsense, demonstrated empirically as such, while, of course “thinking” influences our “lifestyle”, including the food we eat, and elements of those have also been shown empirically to be important. So unfortunately, you can’t generally and reliably, as these charlatans pretend, think yourself well, rich, successful, etc., except by those thoughts being translated into action. There is one important exception, the placebo effect, where thoughts affect action in some way as yet unknown, and it is this quirk of nature that these charlatans blow out of all proportion.

    Second, it doesn’t, unfortunately, fix everything. Animal bodies have been honed by evolution to wear out, and biological systems are always in a state of war (or dynamic truce with skirmishes). Hence sickness and eventual death are utterly and completely natural. If they are overcome (and they won’t be), it would be by extreme technological measures, like artificial genetic modification of the human genome, not by the dawning of higher consciousness. Sorry and all.

    Thirdly, any fixing we do temporarily while we’re alive can be achieved partly through the things you’re saying – thinking differently (mostly if we think rationally and empiricallly) and through “lifestyle” changes, like getting more exercise, eating more healthily, etc., those things that empiricism discovers are true causes.

    And, of course, if you throw “lifestyle” into the mix, you’re playing a joker. It’s such a wide term, almost anything can come under it.

    So to give you some credit, there’s a grain of truth in what you say. If I were diagnosed with cancer or some other life-threatening illness tomorrow, for instance, I would try to avoid the powerful treatment options of radiation or chemotherapy, because they do have extremely dangerous side-effects. They are essentially very toxic, and cause a lot of damage. There is strong evidence that my earlier decades of smoking, and my diet, which still includes too much sugar and other garbage food, is likely to be a big factor, and there is increasing evidence that “stress” (too little attention to periods of relaxation, too high a level of “arousal”) is a factor, and that excercise is very important. I would work on these areas – lots of yoga, relaxation, cycling, walking, running, swimming, fresh (organic) fruit and vegetables, cut out refined sugar, investigate other potential nutrient deficiencies I might suffer from, get more vitamins, especially C, antioxidants, etc.

    I might do some visualizations during my meditation periods – not because Hay is right, but because of the placebo effect – and try to keep a relaxed idea in the back of my mind that the next time I go for testing, I’ll be a paragon of health. It would be a new lease of life, of course, if that came about. But it wouldn’t be “a miracle”. It wouldn’t be, essentially, because I (directly) manifested my thoughts into reality. Placebo might have played a part. And it might not work. It’s not a magic bullet.

    I would also be faced with the difficult decision – if the doctors said I wasn’t clear of the disease – of how long to persist in a “non-medical” or non-invasive cure. And in the case of cancer I might continue regardless and not bother with the chemo. I’ve seen three family members go through it, and, while it may extend life in some cases (and probably does on average), it, at least temporarily, becomes an overwhelming part of one’s life, makes one very sick indeed, and – I believe – damages many of the other lifestyle improvements. There’s a sense in which it fails, ultimately, even if you have ten or twenty years relatively well, and the only really long-term solutions are “lifestyle” ones.

    None of that makes Louise Hay any less a dangerous quack. In fact, these are some of the probable truths (I’m trying to be humble) that she twists into her dangerous quackery. It’s the same con as the low-fat thing. What’s it called, bait and switch? “Fat’s really bad for you – buy this delicious zero-fat Sugar Bar!”.


  33. @lettersquash

    so well said.

    So you would try … and be realistic about the present situation in the present time of our knowledge and evolution ? Well, that’s very much courageous. This courage to face the reality of our life/death cycle.

    When I was in the situation of serious illness (very serious) I had to face it, well I didn’t face it, cause my little boy was only 4, I couldn’t face it. But I tried everything to stay alive. What saved me is medical progress and what hold my hope was my love to my child and the irresistible beauty of nature; and some hugh tales I had to let go, one after another when I was ready for it. This was 15 years ago.

    I wanted to add. My comments here were only always adressed to those healers full of their own needs, sometimes at a gotesque level.

    Finally, in those years, the knowledge that there are some spontaneous healings reported in various cases helped me tremendously. The little dog and his bone.


  34. @Caroline,

    I’ve never faced any serious illnesses (yet) but I’ve certainly had times where believing some fictions probably rescued my psychological health. I think everyone needs some fictions otherwise even every day life is too hard. What we don’t need is a bunch of assholes preying on that human need. Lies are different than fictions!

    Glad you pulled through!

    @LS,
    Yeh, I think there’s plenty of good stuff in spirituality, covering a lot of human needs, and human nature. But we’ve never found a way of kicking out the quacks, the scammers and the psychopaths. They sense a vulnerability and exploit it. As Blake said,

    “As the caterpillar chooses the fairest leaves to lay her eggs on, so the priest lays his curse on the fairest joys.”

    (And so too does Louise Hay lay her parasitic eggs on the deepest vulnerabilities.)

    We need to find a way to kick out the crooks. (And after that we could probably kick out the boring “holy” type gurus as well, but for a start, I’d happy enough just to get rid of the crooks!)


  35. hahaha Yakaru, so tasty you way to put it


  36. … Excellent Yakaru !

    and thank you


  37. It is your faith of what you believe in and your own opinions given. Most of the topics are really our power of mind and belief not saying there’s a cure but why dwell on such negativity in our lives. There are too miracles but I suppose you do not believe in miracles either. Needless to say you can have your own opinion and be judgmental if it makes YOU feel better.


  38. Elias, you didn’t understand the post.

    It’s about Louise Hay fans who come here and tell me she doesn’t claim to have a miracle cure for cancer. I say she does claim that, and that many people — like you, for example — believe her. Your comment proves that point.

    And I’m sorry, but I am going to have to point out your hypocrisy. You tell me not to “dwell on negativity”, but that’s exactly what you are doing. Why do you think it’s fine for you to criticize me, but not ok for me to criticize someone who I think is dangerous?

    And you even go as far as to write this piece of nastiness:

    “you can have your own opinion and be judgmental if it makes YOU feel better”

    Gee thanks for granting me that right. And I return the favor — you’re also allowed to have your own opinion and be judgmental of it makes YOU feel better. In fact you might notice that I have provided this space for you to enjoy leaving a negative and judgmental comment.

    And please read the comment policy before you comment again. It asks people not to say exactly the kinds of things you said. Why is it that you people all think identically to each other?

    https://spiritualityisnoexcuse.wordpress.com/about-2/


  39. I’m including another sample of search terms that brought people to this post. Again, this is a fraction of a percent of the traffic that Louise Hay’s site gets.

    As I point out in the post, Hay’s fans continually tell me that Hay does not really claim to have a cancer cure, so she’s not really a quack. Well that’s not the impression I get from reading her statements. And she must see thousands of following kinds of search terms each day —

    desperation and pain suicidal thoughts louise hay
    what does louise hay say about fibromyalgia
    heal your life louise hayes skin cancer
    louise haye, affirmations against spider bites
    what does louse hay say about breast cancer
    louise hay brain injury affirmation
    louise hay rape affirmation
    louise hay cervical cancer
    louise hay aids
    louise hay cancer
    louise hay stop criticism
    louise hay meaning of emphysema
    stroke and louise hay cause
    louise hay cancer affirmations
    louise hat meaning of facial skin cancer
    louise hay cervical
    louise hay cervical cancer affirmations
    louise hay affirmation for cervical cancer
    louise hay cervical cancer & emotion
    louise hay on life after ruin
    louise hay curing cancer in dogs
    louise hay left breast affirmation
    louise hay hiv cure
    louise hay healing affirmation for cancer
    cancer affirmations louise hay
    louise hay seizure meaning
    louise hay “skin cancer” meaning
    louise hayes breast cancer

    Louise Hay does not know how to treat any of these conditions.


  40. Good article. Did not read all comments.

    She (L.H.) sees Multiple sclerosis – involving scarring of nerve tissue – as the result of ” mental toughness , rigidity .

    ” Polio or poliomyelitis is caused by ” crippling jealousy, the desire someone to hold someone.

    “Accidents are due to ” resisting authority . Believe in violence, ”

    Bowel problems to” undigested ideas . ”

    Hard NOT to “take that which resonates with oneself”.Together with all other shit!

    It seems that our Universities in the Netherland are overfloaded with the stream Louise Hay represents.

    I quoted Karin Spaink who is her main critic in our country. She blames L.H to deny the body itself.

    http://www.spaink.net/1989/11/01/het-totalitaire-universum-van-louise-l-hay/

    http://nrcboeken.vorige.nrc.nl/recensie/karin-spaink-niet-ik-ben-ziek-het-is-mijn-lichaam-kruistocht-tegen-de-kwakdenkers

    I’m sorry not to offer you an English version….

    Cathrien Stroink


  41. Thanks for the links. They are good articles! Here are googlized translations of each

    First and second link.


  42. That second translation link doesn’t work, yakaru.


  43. Ach, google translate uses the entire text just about as the URL. No wonder two of them wouldn’t fit.

    Thanks Lettersquash!

    Here is the second link……

    Nope, that doesn’t work either, thanks to google translate’s psychotic URL text. Instead, here is google tranlate. Readers can copy the text of the article and paste it there. (Each link will open a new window.)


  44. As a Christian, I see Louise Hay as a false prophet — teaching that we can overcome on our own power. I reject this concept. I was also stunned when i saw her photo of what an artificial face she has, certainly she’s had much cosmetic surgery. This doesn’t say much for her sense of self worth. This is my opinion.


  45. Yes — it’s also interesting that she can “cure cancer” but can’t cure wrinkles. And also telling that she didn’t think of using an affirmation like “I love and accept my body and its aging processes”. In fact accepting a few wrinkles is one thing for which affirmations are admirably suited.

    She is in fact some kind of Christian, similar to Christian Science, but she is certainly not a loving or sincere person.

    In fact I’ve often thought her work is a throw back to biblical times, where lepers were blamed for causing their own illness through their supposed sins, and cast out. Hay blames people for causing their own illness with their supposed “negative thoughts”. Except she doesn’t cast them out, she takes their money and gives them a useless cure.


  46. I saw one of her quack posts saying we should relinquish all ideas, habits and relationships which do not ‘benefit’ us. charming! It was shared on FB with 44,000 or so of her brainwashed fans, whe were commenting with ‘amen!’ etc. Selfishness sells. She acts like other people are the cancer to be cut out and if you just cut out the ‘baddies’ or ‘toxic people’ you will be safer from cancer. all very black and white, not positives and negatives in perpetual interplay like the real universe from the molecular level up.


  47. James Joyce once said “We muddy the waters to make them look deep”….


  48. I have listened to Louise Hay and read a couple of her books. I, personally, have not read yet where she states that she has a cure for cancer.

    [Note from Yakaru, site owner:
    Sorry Roan. I have removed the next 1000 words of your comment. You haven’t read the post, as demonstrated in your first sentence. In fact you don’t even need to read it. Just look at the pictures! You will see Louise Hay’s “Cancer Healing” cd.

    I still have a copy of the rest of your comment and will consider displaying it again if you read the post and respond to it. You are not just going to turn up here, ignore what I’ve written and use my blog as platform for promoting deadly quackery with your borrowed, fake “knowledge”.]


  49. Roan:- There is a theme here, a lesson, that tells us, upon further review, that Words are powerful, dangerous, damaging and to choose and use them wisely.

    I’m subscribed to this thread, Roan, so I got the whole of your post. I wish you luck in learning that lesson, because the rest of your post gratuitously abused the principle.

    It seems that if you’re interested in words and how to use them well, you’re likely to come out of the woods you’re lost in. On the other hand, the things that can help you in that can seem pretty uninviting and irrelevant – empiricism, scepticism, rationalism. They don’t compete well with the charms of magical rhetoric, which are a bit like a drug, easily swallowed, comforting, very morish. Welcome to rehab.

    Why empiricism? Well, because wise words are ones that are in accord with actual results. We don’t have premonitions of someone phoning us and we don’t get through the traffic just when we need to, we imagine those kinds of things – experiments demonstrate that beyond all reasonable doubt.

    Why scepticism? Because we have such a powerful tendency to trust what we already think, so we have to deliberately work at criticising our current position. Experiments prove this beyond all reasonable doubt as well.

    Why rationalism? Because if you’re not talking sense, you’re talking nonsense. Logic is indefatigable. Cutting and pasting bits out of the Bible and Chopra and Hay and finding similarities to support the whole is a silly, false method. Enough people talking rubbish doesn’t make it true. If you think it does and join in, now there’s just one more person talking rubbish. I reckon you’re smarter than that.


  50. Thanks, Lettersquash, that’s an excellent response to Roan. Hits exactly the right tone.

    For the record, after I deleted Roan’s comment I sent him a politely worded email to say I’d now removed all but the first sentence. I also said that any subsequent comments he should make will be posted directly now without moderation, and offered him to send him the text of his first comment.

    (He replied very politely, incidentally.)

    I don’t like messing with people’s comments like that, but in this case, he demonstrated in the first sentence that he hadn’t bothered to read the post, and the rest of it was simply denial. And it was about 5 times longer than my original post!

    I decided that rather trying to teach him how to drive, I would simply indicate to him that he hit a tree. He’s clearly a decent fellow, and deserved the very decent and insightful driving lesson you have given him!


  51. Never was there a moment when L.H. stated that she cures cancer. We, ourselves have the power to heal our inner state of being. It is a proven fact that any vibrations that we send out come back to us. Notice, positive people have positive outcomes in life. We are happy and healthy. And when something does go awry it is because we have caused that imbalance. Spiritual or not rarely matters. I have friends that are probably on the lowest levels of being spiritual however even they feel when they send out certain vibrations thats what comes to them. A person very close to me has changed the way she thinks, feels, she let go of anger, accepted forgiveness, let LOVE for all in and a new beautiful life welcomed her with arms wide open. I, myself have been going through the transformation of positive thinking, health, beauty, harmony and LOVE. Needless to comment, this beautiful world has welcomed me as well with open, loving arms. Life without problems? Not just yet. But, as I transform my mind these problems dissolve. Have that thirst to live people, take advantage of this positivity and manifest it into something great.

    Lastly, I would like to wish everyone here love, love for yourself, for your neighbors, POSITIVE thinking, and eliminate the stress. WE have the power within us.

    ALL BE WELL.


  52. It is very disrespectful of you to leave comment without having read the article.

    You didn’t read it at all did you. Not a word. Yet you decided that you have the right to lecture me without even bothering to find out what I have written about Louise Hay.

    This post was explicitly written for all the presumptuous, impolite Louise Hay fans like you who leave exactly the same comment as you did, on other articles about LH.

    Well she does claim to have a cancer cure, and you wre one step away from repeating it that long list of assertions-presented-as-fact that you left. Anger is a “negative” emotion that causes cancer, and LH healed her own cancer when she “let go” of it. Remember?

    Incidentally, you are wrong to try and “eliminate stress”. That is psychologically unhealthy. Chronic stress is not good, but stress itself is an important stimulant for the nervous system.

    Likewise, it is psychologically unhealthy — infantile in fact — to divide emotions and experiences up into “positive” and “negative”. You should read up a bit on spirituality. Buddhism, Taoism, Stoicism or common sense can be instructive with this.

    And should you wish to comment again, please show a minimum of decency and read the post before you do.


  53. Should YOU wish to point our who is disrespectiful again maybe first distinguish between who is lecturing. I believe when people start such topics its opened for discussion? Clearly, not this this case since all you have presented it with strangely enough reminds me of the word “dictatorship” and “brainwashing”. Since you decided to turn a pleasant conversation/debate into an attacking and hostile environment, I will let you dwell in it. Good day.

    PS.
    The post was read oh so very carefully and with GREAT interest. Thank you.


  54. Thank you for reading the post.

    You will therefore have realized that you were wrong to say that Louise Hay never claimed to have a cancer cure.

    You will also have realized that the point of the post was to ask people like you — who also know that Hay has no cancer cure — to inform the millions who believe she does, that they are have made a dangerous mistake.

    As for brainwashing and dictatorship, this is simply a blog. You are a guest here on my blog, and you used the space I provide for your own purposes, rather than to leave a comment relevant to the article I wrote. You still have not addressed *any* of the issues that I wrote about in the article.


  55. My husband completely believes in Louise Hay. However he still needed prostate surgery even after affirmation. He blames himself for not being positive enough! What total BS. She is dangerous to truly sick people. For exple Wayne Dyer who passed away from cancer that was supposedly cured by positive thinking and “Psysic surgery”! Are you kidding me! How gullible are people? No wonder Obama thinks he’s king of America! We deserve what we get. She has my husband so blinded it’s pathetic. It breaks my heart.
    Curiously Wayne Dyer published his books through Louise Hays publishing company. Think about that.


  56. Thanks for your comment, and I’m glad your husband got surgery in time. Louise Hay’s publishing house is should be renamed Quackery Central.


  57. I remember hearing Wayne Dyer say that you don’t even need to read his books, just physically carrying them around with you is healing because of the higher energy vibration of the words contained in them. Yep.

    I have read Louise Hay and I’m embarrassed to say I fell for a lot of that nonsense. The whole “take what you need and leave the rest” is used a lot by New Age believers, not just with Louise Hay fans. I’ve heard it used many times.

    I do have an issue (I know it’s late but I just read this post and the comments) with what lettersquash”s comment that the “continually or serially abused person…still craves further abuse by their aggressor.” I hate this, the idea that people who are victimized actually CRAVE abuse. It’s sickening. People will stay with an abuser IN SPITE OF, not because of the abuse. And they definitely don’t “crave” it. Manipulative people can be charming and seem like the nicest, kindest person you’ve ever met. People stay because they want to believe that initial impression of the person is who they really are and they have bonded with that false persona, not the abusive one.
    Maybe that wasn’t what lettersquash intended to say, but if it is, it’s a false and dangerous belief.


  58. I imagine that lettersquash didn’t mean it quite the way he wrote it, but I will let him revisit his terminology and weigh in.

    And I think it’s important that you highlight such language use and terminology. I imagine that people stay with an abuser because of low self esteem and some form of bonding. And perhaps hope that it will get better. (Just going on what I’ve seen and to some degree done.) But I’ve seen abused people being told by New Age “therapists” that they will inevitably seek out abusive partners. It’s one thing to recognize dangers and tendencies, but quite another to add this “spiritual” law of attraction or “subtle energies” kind of dimension to it.

    Yeh, I also fell for LH, many years ago, without realizing how dangerous or absurd it was. I actually think there could be some value in the kind of thing she does, but if it was stripped of the magical powers stuff, it wouldn’t sell. “Be kind to yourself, and think happy thoughts instead of pointless bad ones.” A bit short for a book or weekend seminar with constant upselling.

    I even read a few of Dyer’s books too, and I can attest that indeed, just carrying them around is just as beneficial as reading them! I still remember (25 years ago) being half way through one of his books and he said he saw a picture of the pope visiting and forgiving the man who shot him. Dyer wrote that he wept when he saw the picture. I closed the book, and that was the end of it for me with WD!


  59. I’m happy to defend my words as I wrote them, theoreticalgrrrl. Please note the full paragraph says (with added emphasis, if the markup works):

    “Narcissists *tend to* attract co-dependent personality types, who have a tendency to care for others but neglect self care. They collude together in this damaging pattern. This *can go right up to the extreme* of the continually or serially abused person who still craves further abuse by their aggressor and defends them completely, often blaming themselves.”

    I am describing different personality types, on a sort of continuum. I mention a particular type of person who craves abuse. I don’t believe my words imply that everyone who is abused or is in a relationship with a narcisist or psychopath craves abuse. I’m sorry if I didn’t make my point clearer.

    I should also qualify the idea of the “crave” that I’m talking about here. I mean that they have a powerful unconscious need to be badly treated. They may not know that. They may not understand why they are repeatedly badly treated.

    I am going on psychological theory that I studied several decades ago, in particular Transactional Analysis https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transactional_analysis . I’m not what experimental studies there are about this, but it is a theory that is widely appreciated by therapists and clients. If it is a valid model, then people do not ONLY stay with abusers IN SPITE OF the abuse, but SOMETIMES because it satisfies a masochistic tendency that has developed in them. The aim of Transactional Analysis (as a therapy) is to bring our habitual, unhelpful responses to other people (whatever they might be) into the light of conscious reasoning, so that we can respond from the “adult ego state”.


  60. I would have some reservations about that model. I know someone quite well (not me) who would fit that profile exactly, but there is no way that I would say this person has a “need” — unconscious or otherwise — to be maltreated. I see a deep seated belief that they are either unworthy of getting anything better, or incapable of finding someone who treats them better.

    I don’t know exactly what an unconscious need would really mean in this relation. I think need is the wrong word. Someone might show dependence, and reflexively submissive behavior which would lead to further abuse, but to talk of this being a need — I see that as too vague a term in relation to whatever the psychological processes are at work.

    And I can’t help but wonder if TA risks placing too much emphasis on conscious reasoning in relation to powerful stress hormones, in such cases.


  61. Yakaru, I’m not sure what you mean. You say you know someone who “fits that profile exactly”, but you wouldn’t say they had a need to be maltreated. I can’t understand what the “profile” is that you’re referring to other than the one I described, which includes the idea of a need for maltreatment. Should I assume you’re just referring to a person who _is_ repeatedly abused?

    The question of what causes us to behave in a certain way is often described in terms of drives, and my experience persuades me that we respond to unconscious drives, or “drivers” (TA).

    It’s fine to describe someone’s repeated abuse as due to “a deep seated belief that they are either unworthy of getting anything better, or incapable of finding someone who treats them better”, but the question arises of why such a person doesn’t have an average, random distribution of experiences, from good to bad. Not knowing how to find a kind person doesn’t cause us to find unkind after unkind person – and I’ve worked with a number of people who do just that, and ignore or revile kind people who will treat them well. This is not a lack of knowledge, but an active (but unconscious) “choice” that the person is making time and time again. Indeed they can have ample knowledge but fail to use it. It is, as you say, often because they don’t believe they are worthy of anything better. This is a part of TA.

    The idea that we can make choices unconsciously is, of course, problematic, but a common short-hand, and it is a common short-hand to call these as satisfying some kind of “need”.

    A twist of the circumstances may help to get to grips with these “drives” or “needs” or “cravings” – when the abuser is ourselves. Self-harmers often describe their “need” or “craving” to hurt themselves, and the relief they feel afterwards. Somewhere in between, I’ve known one man who, despite his overt desire, suffer from a similar increasing urge until he went out to get drunk and picked a fight with someone he knew would beat him up.

    I don’t think TA is unaware of powerful hormones. It puts emphasis on conscious reasoning because that is a way to undermine the power they wield over us. “The unconscious” approximates what our unthinking emotional states make us do.

    There’s a strong connection with rational scepticism. I wonder if you would be comfortable with the statement that some people have an “unconsious need” to feel loved by a supernatural being. It could also represent a lack of knowledge or failure of conscious reasoning.


  62. The word craving here instead of need makes more sense to me. Not saying it shouldn’t be defined like TA uses it; just noting that for me it has different connotations and of course the danger that when misunderstood it moves closer to the idea of blaming the victim.

    But even then, all I can say is that I’ve never seen anyone who I could say craves mistreatment, either. Something irks me about that whole approach, but I lack the knowledge to locate exactly what it is.

    Children bond without choosing who they bond to, or how that person treats them. their nervous system adjusts itself whatever happens to them, and recognizes it as familiar. In an adult, I guess you could call it a craving, or an unconscious need, but it’s a need for connection to another human — not a need for abuse.

    I think we probably agree, more or less, but use different terminology.

    Interesting point about unconscious need to be loved by a supernatural being. I think I’d call it an emotional need, again, for contact, that gets twisted or sublimated.


  63. Thinking you can tell if a person has a subconscious “need to be maltreated” is arrogance that is off the charts. Psychiatry is a soft science and has been used to perpetuate some toxic beliefs esp. about women staying in abusive relationships. Staying in abusive situations was seen as a sign of all women being “natural masochists.” Instead of looking at the socialization and socioeconomic oppression of women over the centuries, and the individual learned helplessness and fear of worse violence if they leave, women have been labeled wanting it, liking it, or asking for it (“it” being all sorts of abuse).
    I have no patience for that b.s. We’ve had centuries of it, I’m done hearing it.


  64. I does seem to me like the terminology, at the very least, is in need of an overhaul. This whole issue is surrounded by poisonous bullshit from every quarter, and I think it’s important to counter it in every possible way.


  65. To add to my thought above, I think what disturbs me about “unconscious need” to abused, is actually quite similar to my disagreement with the idea of people having an “unconscious need” to believe in God.

    Just as the religious see this “need” as a free standing, autonomous element of human nature (rather than a sublimation of of a normal social need), so too does an “unconscious need” to be abused sound like it’s a self contained aspect of human nature. It’s a damaging manipulation of the mammalian bonding instinct, not a “need” like the need for food, warmth, social contact, etc. Even if technically TA doesn’t blame the victim, I think the terminology is unacceptably vague and unacceptably dangerous.


  66. Yes. I should just clarify that I was – in my original text – bashing out ideas without a great deal of care over language, and maybe rather thoughtlessly. And in my later analysis of this, I don’t want to portray what I’m saying as an authoritative position on TA. TA formed one part of my counsellor training, and I’m not using the terms techincally. I don’t know if “need” or “craving” are in the TA vocab.

    I’m really sorry to have come over as extremely arrogant, theoreticalgrrrl. I am taking your views seriously, and I am thinking that I should be much more careful with my wording. However, you should understand that, from my point of view, you have unfairly identified me with a lot of misogynistic views that I have not expressed, never would express, and vehemently oppose. If you read into my words that I think women deserve abuse, like it or want it (in a general sense) then that’s your stuff, not mine. It’s a reaction I have experienced to making this kind of point before, and no doubt will again, and, as I say, I need to be more careful with my language if I want to make that less likely, but I am not going to be hauled over the coals for being a male chauvenist when I am certainly nothing like one.

    I also find it rather tiresome that these gender-neutral points I have made are often, as a part of the reaction I’ve mentioned, twisted into gender-specific ones, as you have done. It may come as a surprise to you, but men are abused. Boys are raped and tortured. Women abuse men and children, and we’re only just beginning to realise how widespread abuse by women is. It is sad how often abuser and abused are identified casually and thoughtlessly with males and females, respectively, in common speech and even in academic works.

    Also, to show “arrogance off the charts” doesn’t one have to stick very rigidly to a view, or belittle those who disagree, or something? I’m not sure what I’ve done to deserve that assessment other than be badly misunderstood by you. Can’t I just say what I think and you say what you think and maybe we’ll help each other think better without those kinds of insults?


  67. A general note: please avoid commenting about people’s character or motivations.


  68. I wasn’t accusing you of chauvinism, lettersquash. What I meant was the field of psychiatry has used the idea of having a subconscious desire to be abused to justify things such as misogyny and inequality. I do believe it is an extremely arrogant idea to think one can know what people want subconsciously. I was using Freud’s theory of “natural” women’s masochism as an example of that arrogance. Now HE was very gender-specific about it, and I think the reason you may get this reaction frequently is that women have experienced this completely gender-ized explanation that defines it as “woman’s nature”, and then used as proof we are inferior. It wasn’t meant as a personal attack, and I am very aware that men and boys can be and are victims of abuse by women. I would never treat that as any less serious or important in any way.

    I can see how fair and decent people can buy into the belief that people may have subconscious desires or a craving to be mistreated, with no ill will or bigotry intended. I apologize if it sounded like I was accusing you personally of that having a sexist viewpoint, I was more annoyed and fed up with the ways the field of psychiatry has been used to justify or normalize inequality and abuse, and make it a personal problem rather than looking at the bigger picture.


  69. People who say take this from a teacher and live the rest are weak brainwashed poor souls, wth does that means? No a person is ethical or not, it’s spirituality, you got test before teaching, it’s dangerous, how cruel it would be to say there’s a cure and this be a lie???????????w should be a crime in a normal world


  70. I read Louise Hays book and she asserts things without saying where she got her info from. ie We choose our own parents. I’ve been blocked from commenting on her Facebook page but another page came up from Hay House. So I asked her for evidence that we choose our own parents. Or does she just make this up as she goes along. ( I was blocked for saying this before). I think she gets this stuff from other psychic books.

    I was quite astounded by the list of illnesses at the back of the book and what caused them. No evidence provided of how she knows this. In many ways its guilt inducing that their own thinking has made them unwell.
    I questioned why she suggests affirmations to people to accept their bodies when she’s had plastic surgery. She’s made millions out of this with huge number of adoring devotees.
    I’ve come to the conclusion she’s another fraud. Making money from old rope. Just happened to be there at the right time


  71. Well done, for getting blocked from her fb page! That demonstrates how she (and her company) sees people — purely as customers. Bad customers ask tricky questions, like “how is this supposed to work?”.

    I am happy to hear of her being challenged on this.

    Yes, I also think she just happened to be there at the right time. As I understand it, Hay is a fairly fanatical Christian, and was connected with a sect with similar beliefs to Christian Science. That’s where that sense of guilt, punishment and sin comes from. And of course it’s where the Bronze Age understanding of human physiology comes from too. (In fact the ancient Greeks had a far better understanding of physiology than Hay.)

    I remember a joke — A person goes to their Christian Science doctor and says “My uncle is sick. What should he do?” The doctor says “He only believes he is sick. He must change his beliefs and think only about health, and he will get better.” A week later the person goes back, and the doctor asks “So how is he now?” The person answers “It’s worse. Now he believes he is dead.”


  72. Granted, it’s been a few years since I read Heal Your Life or seen Hay speak – but one of the things she was emphatic about was that – “At the point that a disease has manifested in your physical body medical intervention is necessary” That phrase stuck with me, because a favorite teacher, a Christian Scientist, died of stomach cancer – very unnecessarily imo – so someone advocating skipping medical treatment would have rang a lot of bells for me. She was simply advocating dealing with medical issues from more than just the physical/ medical perspective.

    Too often we deal with an issue specifically at the physical level only to have it come back. She’s not advocating dealing with the emotional exclusively but in conjunction with medicine. If I were diagnosed with cancer tomorrow, I’d still get all the medically necessary treatments and I would also look at my emotional health and the issues where I am carrying around rage and anger. Releasing and forgiving is (imo) just as important as the medically prescribed course of action.

    The most powerful thing I ever learned from Hay was the concept that “We are all victims of victims” As simple and logical as it is to say that abusers were typically abused themselves – to shift my thinking to them having once been a victim was liberating in a way I can’t explain.

    Sitting down with my mother and asking her about her childhood – to hear the stories about her parents screaming and yelling made me understand that my mom wasn’t just a shitty verbally abusive parent – she had been a victim too – just one that didn’t learn from her situation. It allowed me to see my mother differently, to forgive her for not knowing any better and most importantly by fully seeing the cycle in my family to break it with my own child.

    While I respect that her teachings aren’t for everyone, just as religion, or the Beatles aren’t for everyone – i think that to say that her teachings are dangerous is really unfair if you aren’t taking the time to learn what she is actually saying.


  73. Thank you for commenting.

    Your comment actually reinforces the points I was making in the post, which, strangely, you don’t seem to have read. I am really not sure why you commented, especially given that you criticized me for not having read Louise Hay closely enough.

    So, again, this post is to encourage people like you to get onto the New Age forums and tell others that Louise Hay does not claim to have a cancer cure. The list of search engine terms in the article is people looking for “Louise Hay cancer” etc. They need to hear from you. You need to convince them — not me — that Louise Hay cannot cure their cancer.

    Louise Hay does indeed tell people to see a doctor, but she also says her doctors couldn’t cure her cancer but she succeeded herself without them. That is where her dangerous quackery starts.

    Firstly, there is no evidence she even had cancer in the first place. She “doesn’t remember” which stage it was at and all of the doctors “are dead”. Second there is no evidence that she “cured” herself either. Why didn’t she keep any records if she is going claim a healing miracle? (She had already written her Heal Your body book. Why not keep some proof of this miracle if it really happened? Why “forget” vitally important details?)

    Cancer sufferers are scared and and vulnerable and easily fall into denial. They don’t need a trusted “authority” like Hay spinning these ridiculous stories of how she cured her cancer without the help of doctors.

    Same in your version of what she says:

    “Too often we deal with an issue specifically at the physical level only to have it come back.”

    There is no “emotional level” or “metaphysical level” of illness as Hay and a million other quacks claim. This is a Bronze Age version of physiology, and it’s dangerous in minimizing the role of medical science or, as in Hay’s claims, making it irrelevant — she claims to have “healed herself” without doctors “cutting away” at her.

    And incidentally, “understanding and forgiving” an abuser as you describe, can be dangerous to psychological health. It risks merely shifting the identification onto the abuser, (which is itself a symptom of abuse), and not ever dealing with the psychological consequences of the abuse.


  74. Louise Hay was recommended to me by a well meaning person when she discovered the extent of my struggle with Lupus and chronic illness. I was out when I read that Lupus was “giving up and choosing to die vs standing up for myself”. This sort of spiritual elitism and hoo-doo quickly turns into patient blaming and a whole lot of crazy making. I definitely believe that thoughts have power over our physical being and that we can influence our well being with our mental well being and vice versa. However to make the kind of blanket statements that Louise Hay makes while not taking into account an individual’s personal medical history is flat out dangerous and irresponsible.


  75. At least your friend *meant* well… I used Hay’s ideas for a while myself many years ago. It was only much later that I looked more closely and realized that she really did mean all those things that I had simply blended out unthinkingly. (You can cure leprosy with affirmations? Really???) I know people often mean well and think Hay has a “positive message” — I assumed that too for a long time.

    I’m glad you seem to have seen through it far more quickly than I did. For people with a serious condition, these ideas could really be quite dangerous, or at the very least a cause of greater stress.

    I think your point about victim blaming is important. Hay doesn’t advertise the fact anymore, but she is a quite fanatical Christian with some dangerous and invidious beliefs about sin.

    Her teachings also play subconsciously on people’s fears — that if they don’t follow her teachings they will create an illness in themselves. As well as that, implied in her teachings is that if one gets sick or can’t heal themselves, it’s one’s own fault — and *not* Louise Hay’s fault for selling a bunch of baloney.

    Hay’s understanding of physiology is similar to that of biblical times too. And yes, it is clear that thoughts affect health — the neurobiology and physiology of stress is quite well researched and quite accessible to being studied.

    Thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts, and I wish you all the best with your treatment.


  76. Unfortunately, you don’t get the point in Louise Hay’s message. She doesn’t claim to have a cancer cure, but instead she teaches about everyone’s innate healing power. If you read one of his books, you’ll probably see that her message is simple, yet very powerful.
    Blessings


  77. Thank you for commenting, Sylvia. Unfortunately, Louise Hay does indeed claim to have a cancer cure. She claims she cured her own cancer (by letting go of negative thoughts of anger and resentment), and even claims to have *caused* that cancer herself.

    Many of her products, and especially her short book “Heal Your Life” claims to know the “metaphysical cause” of illnesses, and their healing affirmation. Many people believe that she is telling the truth — that she cured her cancer using these methods. As I say in the post, I see every day search terms that people used on google and landed on my site with. Read through them. That is the kind of thing I see each day here. A short selection from the post above:

    louise hay why people get cancer
    louise hay cervical cancer affirmations
    louise hay on breast cancer
    louise hay heal your life reasons for skin cancer
    louise hay vaginal cancer
    louise hay skin cancer
    what ails my body can be fixed with my mind louise hay

    *Those* are the people who you need to tell that Louise Hay does not have a cancer cure. Those are Louise Hay’s customers. For every one that clicks on my site, there must be literally thousands each day who click on Hay’s site.


  78. What does the author of this page bring us?

    A hint of disdain, a middling of disgust. From what I have read from Hay, she has always asserted, “I am not a healer, I do not heal anybody”. She makes a point of saying this in most of her work.

    The author of this site comes across as somebody bitter, somebody who has nothing to say apart from bite.

    Apart from you bite, what words of wisdom do you have for us?

    Apart from your bitterness, what do you have for us?

    If all you have is bile, then the world has enough of this already. If all you have is words of spite, there is also enough of this.

    Miss Hay may not be right in many things, (or ANY thing) but from I can see from her words she attempts to teach lessons from her own life, without saying anybody else is wrong.

    What do I get from this site in comparison? What seems to be a lot of misdirected hate, towards a person who is quite benign.

    All the best finding lessons that are of use to you, perhaps they will ceom from your own experiences, or perhaps from the lessons of others. Either way, I hope you find peace and happiness.


  79. What does the above commenter bring us?….. Apart from your bitterness and bile, what are you bringing to my site? You use this space that I have provided for you, to spread nothing but bile, bitterness, negativity, ignorance and above all indifference to the fate of the people for whom this particular post was written.

    If you want to comment here again, keep your insults to yourself and make sure you understand the meaning of something before commenting.

    I say Hay is a dangerous quack, and provide evidence and make the case as clearly as I can. Other people understood it, but you didn’t. You say she is benign, but don’t bother dealing with the problems I pointed out, and expect people to simply believe you because you can string together a personal attack on someone you know absolutely nothing whatsoever about.

    You ignorant and pointless comment also ticked off just about all of the “standard stupid things that stupid negative nasty-minded bitter commenters write when they are defending Louise Hay without being aware of their own negativity” that are made here so often that I list them in the comment policy.
    https://spiritualityisnoexcuse.wordpress.com/about-2/


  80. You are quite closed off and angry. It clearly isn’t for you, or hits a nerve that marks where you need to grow. Let it be if others gravitate towards something. You do not know all, and from your words you have never delved into this or anything similar beyond the surface to really know anything on it. Don’t read her then. Why be so angry?


  81. Why did you leave this negative and judgmental comment? You judge my character and motivations despite not knowing anything about me at all. If you had have asked, I would have been quite happy to tell you my background and experience with spirituality. But you didn’t even ask before deciding you already know more about me than I do. You also didn’t understand what the article was about. I wasn’t attacking Louise Hay, but rather telling her fans they need to inform each other about her, not me.

    I provide a space here for people to comment, but I do expect them to discuss the article I wrote, not just insult me. You are disrespectful, negative and impolite.

    And also, had you read my comment policy, you would have seen that your comment breaks nearly every rule I listed:
    (from the comments policy)

    Please do not do any of the following:
    Attempt to analyze my motives rather than addressing my criticism
    Judge me for being “judgmental”
    Leave negative comments about me being “negative”
    Criticize me for being critical
    Assume that I am ignorant of- or feel threatened by spirituality and then criticize me for that

    The reason I listed all those things is exactly because nasty, unimaginative people like you always behave in the same predictable manner when something makes them angry.

    If you want to comment here again, please read the article first and say something about its content.


  82. ” or hits a nerve that marks where you need to grow”

    These Louise Hay fans do come out with some new age baloney.

    They talk about closed minds but do not explore the possibility that’s she’s a charlatan making good false claims. Or at least be skeptical about some of her writings. In her famous book and the whole back of it is explaining why we have each illness. Such as you’re angry with a parent if you display such and such an illness or complaint. She’s got no proof of any of it. She’s purely made it all up with no scientific evidence to back it.If you politely question her on facebook she blocks you. Sure sign of a charlatan that she can’t and wont answer skeptical questions.

    Her mirror work was pinched from someone else.

    I’m glad I found this blog as some of Louise Hays stuff I found disturbing and wondered if anyone else felt the same way. No proof either that she even had cancer let alone cured it with diet. She’s made a lot of money from her claims she can’t back up with any proof.


  83. So I can’t do exactly what you have just done? I would want to know when I’m being limited, but I get it. My apologies. it is your blog, rightful one way street


  84. Had you read the post, you would have noticed that I did not do to Louise Hay what you did to me. Having previously criticized her for claiming that she has a cancer cure, and then getting dozens of people telling me she makes no such claim, I simply asked that such people tell their friends or any cancer sufferers they know exactly what they told me: that Hay does not claim to have a cancer cure.

    You accuse me of knowing nothing about spirituality and being angry.

    And now you accuse me of running a “one way street” here, even though both your (irrelevant) comments are visible and will remain so for as long as this blog exists.

    And your “apology” is insincere and sarcastic.

    I invite you to try a civil tone if you want to share clearly what you found wrong in the post, and why. (And please only use one name.)


  85. @Moira,

    Indeed — that is standard practice too, to block people who want some product information. Spiritual culture has absolutely no concept of consumer protection at all. Even to raise the possibility is an outrage.

    Hay is in fact a quite fanatical Christian who traces it all back to old fashioned Bronze Age notions of sin. Her book also has a cure for leprosy among other things!

    She had already published that book (1975) at the time she claims to have had cancer (1979). And she claims that the doctors who treated her are now all dead, and she didn’t keep any records, and “doesn’t remember” what stage her “cancer” was at.

    So instead of keeping some evidence to support her claims in the book she had already published, she decided instead to stick with unsupported claims of cancer and assertions that she somehow knows that it was caused by her resentment at supposedly being raped as a child.

    It is standard practice to weave deeply private information into claims of healing miracles, so that people’s sympathies are engaged, and anyone who doubts appears heartless. The customers who double as promoters without even realizing it, usually repeat this model with their own personal stories of healing miracles.


  86. There’s a central mystical idea that “negative energy” or “negative emotions” cause illness, ignorance and sin (indeed that these are almost identical). Kat’s accusation that you’re angry and haven’t delved into anything like this probably has something of that going on, and might be motivated more by pity and a wish to enlighten than spite. If Kat sees your perceived anger as a justification to dismiss your critique, maybe it rests on that erroneous idea: anger = poor judgement.

    Anger is feared by many people who believe the New Age myths because it’s thought to cause illness, much like Hay (if we give her the benefit of the doubt) believed that her resentment caused her cancer (and, as Moira said, she has a whole fanciful dictionary of these psychological causes of somatic disease).

    There is a grain of truth in this, but it is merely that subjecting your system to undue stress, pumping adrenaline and cortisone around your body with little physical exercise to dissipate it, may be associated with a range of diseases. Taking time to relax, laugh and enjoy life, or learning to meditate, can ameliorate these stress-related diseases. The problem with the New Agers is that they turn this into a great complex edifice, a religion, stuffed full of nonsense.

    The other side of the coin, Kat, is that anger is a useful and valid emotion, and probably not harmful in moderation. Anger fuels a lot of good work. It’s how it’s directed and controlled that matters. I don’t know if Yakaru was angry when he wrote this, but Hay and all her deluded or fraudulent kin sure make me angry. Don’t you ever feel angry on behalf of victims? Well, we’ve seen victims of this stuff. We’ve been victims of it. So a certain amount of anger would be justified.


  87. Worth repeating:

    “The other side of the coin, Kat, is that anger is a useful and valid emotion, and probably not harmful in moderation. Anger fuels a lot of good work. It’s how it’s directed and controlled that matters. I don’t know if Yakaru was angry when he wrote this, but Hay and all her deluded or fraudulent kin sure make me angry. Don’t you ever feel angry on behalf of victims? Well, we’ve seen victims of this stuff. We’ve been victims of it. So a certain amount of anger would be justified.”

    I have been angry at times when I’ve written things on this blog, and I thought twice before publishing it. As far as I know, on those occasions, the anger was also clearly expressed in the text. I have felt more horror and fear than anger when looking at the search terms quoted in the post each day when I look at my site stats. I am sure I was partly motivated by anger at the thought of people with cancer turning to Louise Hay’s fake cancer cure, but I don’t think I expressed any of it, or needed to in the post.

    More likely, Kat felt angry when she saw the title, projected it onto me (because Hay fans never see themselves as angry) and, it appears to me, left her nasty without even bothering to read the post, and without even noticing how nasty and disrespectful she was being.

    This kind of behavior also annoys me, I confess, but I can get over it. If she would try to write a civil and sincere comment, I would be as polite as Lettersquash was, in return.


  88. Mede door haar rotsvaste geloof in de leer van deze dame en haar weigering om een echte behandeling te volgen, wat meermaals een wig in ons gelukkig huwelijksleven geslagen heeft, is mijn geliefde echtgenote verleden maand op 47jarige ouderdom overleden.
    Ik mis haar enorm.
    Hopelijk kan deze dame haar in haar onmetelijke goedheid opnemen.


  89. Diederik, het spijt me voor uw verlies. (I am sorry for your loss.)

    Kat, assuming you don’t read Dutch, I’ve saved you the trouble of copying and pasting this into Google Translate.

    “Thanks to her unshakable belief in the teachings of this lady and her refusal to follow a real treatment, which repeatedly has beaten a wedge into our happy married life, my beloved wife last month on deceased 47jarige age.
    I miss her tremendously.
    Hopefully this lady to her record in its infinite goodness.”

    You get the gist.

    All you apologists for Louise Hay and the other New Age Sociopaths, suffering like Diederik’s and his wife’s is the result, each example a personal tragedy, and repeated across the world I don’t know how many times. Yes, I respond with horror and fear and anger. It’s the bitterest end of a sour lake of suffering of millions of deluded individuals captured by those sick _religious_ memes (masquerading as cutting-edge science):- ignore symptoms of illness and eschew the best medical treatment available; everything will be fine if you just chant / pray / wave a crystal / read a book / attend a course / find your power animal / astral plane / lucid dream / have out-of-body experiences / “evolve” / meet your angel / think happy thoughts. Do these if you’re not yet ill and you’ll stay healthy. Do these really well and you’ll even cheat death itself.

    But we can only ignore empirical facts and reason for so long.

    Yakaru works hard to expose some of these fraudsters and dangerous whackjobs. He does so with personal integrity and careful research.


  90. Thank you for your comment, Diederik. That is extremely sad.


  91. Thank you very much for your kind reply.
    Let us hope it will be helpfull to someone, it may save a live,


  92. I updated the article yesterday, Diederik, with a note about your comment and a brief translation. I don’t get very much traffic here, but this post is read by 20 or 30 people each day.

    If you ever want to write more about this, I would be happy to post it here as a guest-post.


  93. I didn’t say I was a fan, tbat is your way to judge and name call instead of actual understanding my words.


  94. I didn’t call you any names. You attacked me and insulted my character on a very personal level, and in a very negative and judgmental manner.

    What exactly are you objecting to in the article I wrote?


  95. You’re doing a grand job. Calling someone a Hay fan is not judging or abusing them. I notice Hay changes her story. She says a neighbour raped her then it’s her father. Sounds like she’s concocting a story and not remembering what she has said.
    How the hell does she know the psychological causes to each different physical illness?! I found the whole back of her famous book astounding. Just making it up as she goes along.I was blocked for saying that.

    There’s a healer on facebook called Ed Strachan who charges thousands of pounds for a few sessions of miraculous healing although you have to sign a disclaimer in case it doesn’t work. Could you take a look please. He promises a lot and has numerous testimonies that may be fake.


  96. I have come across Ed Stracher. He seems to me to be a fairly straight forward psychopath in the James Ray mold, and, like Ray, probably believes his own stupid and dangerous teachings, at least as long as he can male money from them.

    I haven’t had anything to do with him or any of his customers, but I would assume that a person like that would seek to dominate their customers (especially young women). His message is “*I* will heal you”, rather than I can help you heal yourself. It’s all about him doing it to people.

    I would assume that he is quite dangerous and half mad. His customers, I would expect fall into two categories — the wounded, vulnerable and trusting (who are in great danger); and those who are have internalized some spiritual ideas and are looking for power, who hope to replicate his “success”, and are who are assholes.


  97. No Ed Strachar does say healing comes from within. So if it doesn’t work it’s because you don’t want it to work. I suppose that’s his get out clause. He charges £5000 for 3 sessions. His course which I’ve read is like NLP costs $1200 if you order in 4 hours.
    He gets many testimonials from mostly professional successful people mainly cos that’s the only people who can afford him.
    They talk about him removing demons or a curse off them. It’s quite bizarre.
    He said that a lawyer said he didn’t want to spend his life savings $11.000 on healing. Ed Stracher said he was dead within 2 weeks and that money was no good to him now. Implying he could have magically cured him if he’d handed over the money. He’s opened up orphanages or so he claims. May be for tax purposes. Or just pictures of him with orphans. People must be mad to part with thousands of dollars etc when there’s no guarantee



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