Archive for the ‘Louise Hay’ Category

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“It took me years to understand that that belief system is actually the foundation of abuse and toxic shame” —A Comment on Louise Hay

January 21, 2021

A comment was left recently on my post Speaking Ill of a Dead Cancer Quack, recounting experiences with numerous health professionals inspired by the teachings of Louise Hay. It is not easy for anyone to penetrate through the smoke screen of apparent sympathy and spiritual wisdom, and promises of healing that envelope these teachings. Those who are already in a precarious situation are especially vulnerable to the harm these teachings inevitably cause, especially if exposed to these ideas by a qualified medical practitioner. The dangers, traps, and implicit victim-blaming are built directly into Hay’s system. As the commenter notes, “Every symptom I had became a reason as to why what I was doing was wrong.”

With permission, I reproduce the entire comment here.

—:::—

I had a mental health councillor/General practitioner who claimed to be trauma-informed who believed these things.

I also met a nurse advocate in a hospital who gave me her book and told me to write down her details. I had just been abused at the time and was given it…

The second time I was under the above mentioned General Practitioner. I was homeless, being stalked, currently in the judicial system following up on convictions and was told, ‘The outside is a mirror for our insides. There must be some past issues that need to be resolved’. Sounds logical..Kinda.. Except I was then handed a bible verse and was denied medical treatment because my rashes from yeast infection, and reoccurring pain were due to, you guessed it- repressed anger! I was already vulnerable. This lady wasn’t advertised as anything other than a GP. And she was the first medical practitioner I disclosed abuse to. I told her I was exploring spirituality but wanted healthy spirituality and that was what I was told. She also gave me 3 separate reasons as to why my feet were hurting. I had been diagnosed with allergies previously and was told that my grief was causing them and to go into psychotherapy because it would make them disappear. I was given a new diet plan that consisted of what this doctor then wanted me to eat. When I got sicker and gained 15 kilos I was congratulated for looking healthy despite it being chronic inflammation > Which again, was put back on repressed anger.

I’ve had to have 3 years of gold standard trauma-informed therapy because of her reaction to the abuse. The therapy I had, proved her to be medically neglectful and abusive.

The shock trauma from my initial abuse left in 5 EMDR [Eye Movement Desensitisation & Reprocessing -ed.] sessions. The pain of what she has said left with me with Medical PTSD and it was aptly named spiritual abuse. It has not gone away because what she did was destroy my meaning making systems. Every symptom I had became a reason as to why what I was doing was wrong. Its also important to note this doesn’t just pertain to one aspect of health, people whom believe these things generally have similar justifications for other lifestyle choices too. What this belief system did was make me blame myself for my own homelessness, my own abuse and in all seriousness, it broke down my identity and self confidence to the point that I was then abused again. Not just once, but multiple times whilst I was under the care of this physician/qualified mental health practitioner. I had proof and recordings of my abuse that occurred whilst under her care, and not once was a proper protocol followed in following that up.

Instead, I was invited to ‘let it go with love and peace’ and told to read a book called People of the Lie because it was going to teach me that quote ‘people are monsters. They do exist out there’. I didn’t ever call my initial abuser a monster. I didn’t think it was justified because I saw what made them do what they do directly. However, to then have that person labelled as a monster was a seriously delusional thing to do. My social worker had to intervene and did when I couldn’t shut up about this horrific experience. 2 years of increased suicidality. I nearly ended up dead. Was abused twice more and forensics linked that to this belief system. It left me defenceless. I left her care showing the same symptoms one would have after being involved in a domestically abusive relationship.

I now can’t leave my house because I am terrified someone will call me sick. I went to a new therapist and was completely flooded with flashbacks of experiences with this doctor. It took me years to understand that that belief system is actually the foundation of abuse and toxic shame.

You can’t take what you need and leave it when it comes to vulnerable communities. There are specific protocols that need to be confirmed to restore justice and power to those with illnesses of any kind so that they aren’t exposed to crap like the above.

We need to call this woman and these people what they are if they deny or promote these services as all someone needs or if they discourage medical attention. Worse, this person was involved in the medical community.

They are abusers. It’s creating a dependency on a system for healing that has now been proved wrong by modern neuroscience AND trauma-informed therapies.

I think spirituality matters, but not this. This is not okay. I was introduced to this belief system at my worst and I quite legitimately lost my career, my health, my mind and now have a therapy bill of upwards of 10,000 and no trust in treating professionals or my own abilities because I was undermined and shamed for two years.

—:::—

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Two more comments trying to defend Louise Hay’s deadly quackery

January 19, 2020

On an earlier post titled Speaking ill of a dead cancer quack, two commenters have repeated the exactly the usual lies that all the other people who defend Louise Hay’s fraud. I will consider them in a separate post so that next time people leave exactly the same comment I can just send them here.

Commenter “River” said this:

The person who wrote this article not even read her books and is saying lies. She never said that you don’t need to go to the doctor or take medicines. When she was sick she had chemotherapy and healed with that and her beliefs. She doesn’t talk about a “methafisical” healing, all she talk is about changing the way we think about ourselves and how that can help to heal us, sadness and guilt in fact can create illnesses and we all know that, because our inmune system goes down. This article is just for to divert the attention from the inner knowledge and make people buy more to pharmaceuticals and be addicted to it and continue being anxious and unhappy because that’s what the system needs.

Ok. First two sentences:

The person who wrote this article not even read her books and is saying lies. She never said that you don’t need to go to the doctor or take medicines.

“River” is lying. I didn’t say she said that. Read the article.

When she was sick she had chemotherapy and healed with that and her beliefs.

What she claimed is that affirmations healed her where the doctors failed. That’s why the doctors were so baffled (she says) when the cancer she claimed she had was gone. That was the whole point of the story, and that’s why I emphasised that she “couldn’t remember” the doctors’ names or what stage her “cancer” was at, and that she did bother to keep any record of it, even though she’d already published the book which claims affirmations can heal cancer and every other disease (You Can Heal Your Life).

Se doesn’t talk about a “methafisical” healing, all she talk is about changing the way we think about ourselves and how that can help to heal us…

Flat wrong. Look at You Can Heal Your Life. Three columns appear on each page: Illness; Metaphysical Cause; Healing Affirmation.

…sadness and guilt in fact can create illnesses and we all know that, because our inmune system goes down.

Stress can weaken the immune system and exacerbate already existing problems, leading to illness. This is well researched, well understood, but in my opinion, under-emphasised in medicine. Louise Hay has contributed nothing but confusion and lies to this field.

This article is just for to divert the attention from the inner knowledge and make people buy more to pharmaceuticals and be addicted to it and continue being anxious and unhappy because that’s what the system needs.

Like every other commenter who has ever tried to defend Louise Hay here, “River” has not addressed the problem I raised about people dying because they thought Louise Hay is offering a cancer cure. They don’t care about their fellow customers who have died because they thought that “Healing Affirmation” means “affirmation that heals”, or her “Healing Cancer” cd is concerned with healing cancer.

They don’t care about any of the cases I mentioned in the article, nor do they bother reading the earlier post (Louise Hay is a dangerous quack) I linked to where I list some of the hundreds of google searches that show in my site stats, revealing people googling “Louise Hay cancer cure” Louise Hay breast cancer” and the like.

“River”, I agree with you that Louise Hay does not have a cure for cancer. You don’t need to tell me that. You need to get on the Louise Hay forums and tell people there. They might believe you before they believe me. You might save a few lives.

And also, River, where did Louise Hay say she had chemotherapy? I never read that anywhere or heard it. But go ahead and tell people she did though — that lie at least might help convince someone to do it.

I’ll go through the she second comment, from Carla, line by line.

I really recommend you to read “You Can Heal your Life”, this is not about “methapysics”, it’s about being in peace with yourself and your past, is about forgiving the people who hurt you in the past and that’s what will change you.

Then why does it claim that all diseases have a “Metaphysical Cause”?

My friend healed from cancer thanks to this books and the chemotherapy.

This assertion is potentially deadly. While some will read it and think “Louise Hay’s products will help heal me along with chemotherapy.” Fine as long as they undergo chemo. If Louise Hay’s mushy words help anyone at all who has to go through that, I wish them all the best. Really.

But other people, like the people I mentioned in the article and whom Carla and River ignore, will read Louise Hay saying that affirmations healed her where the doctors failed.

I healed from other illnesses too.

Again, asserting that Louise Hay’s products “heal” illnesses. They don’t. In fact, affirmations are a very poor form of stress management. Simplistic and unreliable, and are often attached to the false and psychologically unhealthy idea that thoughts and events can be divided into “positive” and “negative”.

I became less hateful.

Well you are certainly less hateful so far than many other Louise Hay fans, like the earlier commenter on this thread telling me I would get cancer because of my “negativity”.

Many lifes had changed with her help. She never said to not going to the doctor or not taking medicines.

Just like “River”, Carla accuses of saying I said she did. Why do Louise Hay fans ALL repeat the same lies here about me? And never address any of the serious criticisms I make of Hay?

It’s clear that the person who wrote this article never read her books.

It’s clear Carla didn’t bother reading the article, because I discuss the content of her books in some detail.

EVERYBODY who read this book love it and feel better.

Great advertising from Carla, but it’s obviously not true. Human psychology is not as simple as Carla thinks, and physiology is more complex than Hay claims. Hay talks as if we know as much about human physiology today as we did in the time of Jesus. Thus leprosy has a metaphysical cause, and a prayer can heal it. Thus, everything that goes on under the skin is a mystery that we can only gawp at in wonder or horror.

Thus, the body is both mysterious — somehow affirmations will help and we can’t know how — and also so simple that EVERYBODY will react exactly the same way to the affirmations that Louise Hay claims will heal, as inevitably as an aspirin will thin the blood.

Posted by Yakaru

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Another Louise Hay Fan: manipulation

February 27, 2019

I am in fact careful about referring to comments from people in a blog post. I do want people to assume that if they post a comment, they will be engaged in the comment,s and not on the (somewhat) larger platform of a blogpost. I want the comments to remain a forum where people can put out their ideas spontaneously and in unpolished form. Writing is a tool for self-reflection, of emptying out the contents of ones thoughts and occasionally getting a horrid or pleasant surprise. The current culture of the internet doesn’t allow for this anywhere near enough.

So I do consider whether or not the risks outweigh the benefits in this light. In this case, I have decided to post a brief comment that I perhaps would have written a line or two in answer to in the comments, but there is in fact a lot in it that is worth unpacking. And I want to emphasise that the subject here is how Louise Hay has manipulated people into not only feeling an extraordinary degree of product loyalty, but expressing it publicly as well. And all this to such a degree that trumps normal human empathy.

In my post Speaking Ill of a Dead Cancer Quack, I highlighted an earlier comment from a man who had lost his wife to cancer:

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.

The commenter today reacted to this in the following manner:

Louise hay was never against medicine to cure. She believed God worked through medicine as well . I don’t see why this man is blaming her for the death of his wife .

The final sentence, of course, works perfectly as a statement of fact. The reason why she doesn’t see this is because Louise Hay has trained her not to.

Instead of feeling even a little sympathy for this man who lost his wife, the commenter feels compelled only to displays loyalty to the product Louise Hay sells. I defy anyone to read that man’s statement and not feel at least a twinge of his pain, even if they feel his anger at Hay is misplaced. Yet somehow Louise Hay has circumvented this person’s emotional responses at a surprisingly deep level.

This is what manipulation looks like. The commenter is no longer acting in her own interests, with her own priorities, but instead has unwittingly allowed Louise Hay in under her normal defenses, until she no feels her own feelings, but instead feels compelled prioritise Hay’s interests over even her own (I can only assume) feelings.

This manipulation has several strands. One of them is the way Hay weaves deeply personal details of her life (being raped – she claims – when she was five, for example) into her promotional material. This switches her sales pitch from the commercial to the personal, making anyone who questions her claims appear impolite. Hence the indignant if not positively outraged tone her fans adopt with me simply for doubting her statements.

In this case, instead of attacking me, she attacks a man she really knows nothing about except that he lost his wife: that is, she attacked what, underneath it all, probably touched her the most.

Instead of feeling her immediate feelings, she saw only a threat to Louise Hay’s status.

I won’t say much about the other two sentences beyond noting that Hay has also convinced this person to put her product on the same footing as medical science – God works through medical science, just as he works through Louise Hay. I don’t know of Hay explicitly saying this either, but it is interesting that this is the impression she elft with this commenter. Hay dropped her overtly Christian Science teachings in favour of New Age jargon and marketing strategies. But just as the Law of Attraction is prayer, only with quantum physics instead of Jesus, Louise Hay’s product is old fashioned religion from biblical times, only with ‘negative thought’ and cancer instead of sin and divine judgement.

Posted by Yakaru

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Commenter: I will get cancer because I criticised Louise Hay (Fear as a marketing tool)

February 13, 2019

I will highlight yet another comment from a Louise Hay fan. It’s short, but revealing.

On my post titled Speaking ill of a dead cancer quack, Twila writes:

Yak-whatever.

As I mentioned previously, Yakaru is my spiritual name. I don’t know why this person feels compelled to mock it. I imagine they must be very angry with me.

Nevertheless, Twila has some advice for me:

You would benefit from anger management study.

Of course — it’s me who’s angry, not her.

So let me clear a few things up. I have indeed written plenty of angry words on this website, but I have always done it consciously, or deliberately, and for a specific purpose.

When people have developed an unhealthy loyalty to a spiritual teacher it shocks and angers them, to see someone undermine the elevated status they have granted to that teacher. And, often, it frightens them too. I’ve noticed clearly in personal interactions over many decades with followers of various sects and cults and teachings. They think it’s all love and light and outsiders just don’t understand, but they don’t see any connection between the feelings they feel when a (supposed) outsider criticises the boss, and the teachings of that boss. No no, those teachings are all nice and positive.

In fact, and this will come out clearly below, Louise Hay’s teachings are based on fear every bit as much as they talk of love and light. Above all, Hay was a fanatical Christian. She just switched from threatening people with hell for their misdeeds, to threatening them with cancer. Think a negative thought (about Louise Hay, for example) and you will get cancer.

This is what Louise Hay triggers in her followers: fear.

And this fear drives their anger when they see her being criticised.

It is people like you who are full of misdirected anger that get cancer.

Twila is angry enough with me to ridicule my name — a pointless personal attack that has nothing to do with the issue — and angry enough to tell me I will get cancer because of my misdeeds (I would bet she has never suffered from it herself nor had anyone close die of it)….

…..but somehow she has decided that it is only my anger that is negative. Her anger must be positive. She is defending poor dear Louise, so her anger is well-directed and won’t cause cancer. This is what Louise Hay does to her customers: criticise Ms Hay and you get cancer; defend Ms Hay’s product and you’re safe. It’s a form of psychological colonisation.

Louise Hay died from old age. She was a sweet and dedicated woman who believed in peace, love and light.

And customer loyalty.

Loyal customers who have all learned to repeat the same lines of defense when the product (the teachings) is being criticised. This is why I could already write my comment policy specifically asking Louise Hay followers not to leave their stereotypical defenses. It means I can just copy and paste instead of typing the same thing each time one of them shows up here.

From the comment policy:

…Also, before commenting about your “positive experiences” with a particular teacher, please ask yourself if it really in fact addresses my criticism. Unless I have explicitly argued that no one has ever had any positive experiences with a teacher, then your comment is likely to be irrelevant.

I also ask people please not to–

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

In other words, please don’t leave exactly the same comment that all the other angry Louise Hay fans have already left.

Twila continues:

My message is for anyone reading this who thinks…

And maybe I should add another one to that list, because they’ve pulled that one before here too.

Do not use the space I provide for your comment to talk over my shoulder in order to lecture those reading here. It is impolite. Comments are to respond to my article how ever you see fit, or to answer other commenters directly (as long as its on topic). It is not a platform for you to promote the product I was criticising.

My message is for anyone reading this who thinks you “have a handle” on life and living, because I feel strongly that you definitely do not.

I did not give out any such advice in that article. Rather I handed out a long list of substantial criticisms, and Twila ignored every single one of them. But still felt entitled to comment anyway.

Just guessing, but you probably have no sense of fairness either so if you delete my message it won’t bother me, but hopefully will bother you because you’ve read it.

Twila, you have used the comment space on my blog to mock my name, tell me I will get cancer, tell me about character deficiencies you think I have and assume you know how to fix them, talk over my shoulder to readers, and then lecture me about fairness.

Where exactly do you get this feeling of entitlement and superiority? Why do you think it is that you have just left the same comment that several dozen Louise Hay fans have also written?

Do you think it might be because you have all been taught to by someone, whose teachings are all directed at evading criticism and recruiting customers to promote the product to others? –And promote it so unconsciously that you all come out with the same sales pitch to defend it.

You are welcome to comment further, Twila, but I will give two conditions:

1. read the comment and fairness policy (side bar top right under Website: Comment & Fairness Policy)

2. respond to the criticisms of Louise Hay from the article this time.

Posted by Yakaru

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Another comment from a Reader — the standard Louise Hay fan

February 3, 2019

Note to Louise Hay fans: please read my comment policy and re-consider whether or not the comment you want to leave is really your own. Here is the latest example of dozens of the identical comment left here over the years by Louise Hay’s fans. Here it is in full, after which I will respond, either by simply quoting from my Comment Policy, or personally.

Yakuru,
You are quite the judgemental person, which honestly sucks more for you then for anyone else. To tear down a person who recently died and who has positively impacted millions and millions of people’s lives is beyond sick, it’s even more sick that you find joy in this. Louise has positively impacted my life as well as many I know through the application of manifestation, affirmations and and positive thinking. I hate to tell you there is no cure for cancer, I study and practice medicine and this is a huge area where allopathic medicine fails… let me tell you that the way we think, feel, and act all influence the state of our immune system and this is our largest natural defense against cancer. We constantly are producing the cytokine TNF-alpha which targets and destroys cancer cells, so there is some validity in her reasoning, however there are pieces missing such as the other factors that are causing the cancer in the first place (poor diet, environmental toxins, lack of exercise, inadequate sleep, hormonal dysfunction, and cognitive dysfunction amongst many others). Have you positively influenced millions of people’s lives? Definitely not. Should you keep you negative uneducated opinions about cancer to yourself? I vote a strong yes.

Okay, so let’s start.

Yakuru,

Firstly, my name is spelled Yakaru. It is my spiritual name, and believe it or not, it is a part of my identity, even more so than my birth name is. I use it here for two reasons: because part of my spiritual path is to speak the truth as I see it, regardless of my fears of being judged or habits of fake politeness that still haunt my social life; and because it is my way of affirming my political belief in religious and spiritual freedom. I understand it’s unusual, and it doesn’t bother me in the slightest when people spell it wrong, but if you follow it up with insults, you don’t get any Brownie points.

You are quite the judgemental person, which honestly sucks more for you then for anyone else.

From the comment policy:

Before Commenting —

Please do not do any of the following:

  • Judge me for being “judgmental”

 To tear down a person who recently died and who has positively impacted millions and millions of people’s lives is beyond sick

From the comment policy:

Also, before commenting about your “positive experiences” with a particular teacher, please ask yourself if it really in fact addresses my criticism. Unless I have explicitly argued that no one has ever had any positive experiences with a teacher, then your comment is likely to be irrelevant. Feel free to share it if you must, but it would be polite to apologize for going off topic. (Note: having “helped people” does not automatically cancel out your favorite guru’s criminal activities nor the damage they have done.) 

it’s even more sick that you find joy in this.

From the comment policy:

Please do not do any of the following:

  • Attempt to analyze my motives rather than addressing my criticism

–Louise has positively impacted my life as well as many I know through the application of manifestation, affirmations and and positive thinking

See above, and also realise that this is a baseless assertion. Events which you perceive as ‘positive’ have followed certain practices and you assert there is a cause and effect. Applying such labels to one’s own life is fine of course, but when you start asserting it in public, you need to have more to back it up that snootily saying ‘It simply is so and now pay me.”

I hate to tell you there is no cure for cancer

Really? Well the laser treatment on my skin cancer did work and saved my life. Had I followed Louise Hay’s advice I would currently be in a painful end phase of my life.

And instead of telling me this, you should have told Louise Hay not to write her book where she claimed she cured her own cancer that the doctors couldn’t cure. And you should tell her millions of desperate cancer sufferers who visit her website having searched for “Louise Hay cancer cure“. Get on the New Age forums and tell her fans there that she doesn’t have a cancer cure, and stop lecturing me — I already know she has none. Off you go.

I study and practice medicine

An appeal to authority, or an attempt at one. So you’re an MD? What of it? Or are you just trying to fluff up some flaky ‘healer’ status? Either way, your tone is self-aggrandising and odd.

and this is a huge area where allopathic medicine fails…

In fact, as everybody including you with your whatever-qualifications should know, medicine has made tremendous progress and is continuing to — unlike quackery where the only ‘progress’ to be seen is in alterations to advertising material. And ‘allopathic’ is an attempt at a pejorative term invented by homeopaths who have also made no progress whatsoever in the last 200 years.

let me tell you that the way we think, feel, and act all influence the state of our immune system

No I won’t let you tell me that because I already know it. It’s been entire field of medicine since the 1930s at least — the study of stress. There was even a Nobel Prize for it. It has been, and is being thoroughly researched.

and this is our largest natural defense against cancer. We constantly are producing the cytokine TNF-alpha which targets and destroys cancer cells, so there is some validity in her reasoning

Nope. There is no evidence that stress reduction prevents cancer. And “some validity” is not what she has been selling and is not what makes desperate people flock to her. And the way you are throwing around a fancy chemical term in isolation suggests to me that you have not studied medicine and are only borrowing such terms to try to sound authoritative.

however there are pieces missing such as the other factors that are causing the cancer in the first place (poor diet, environmental toxins, lack of exercise, inadequate sleep, hormonal dysfunction, and cognitive dysfunction amongst many others).

For some reason you didn’t mention genetic predisposition, the discovery of which and ever increasing ability to detect are among the most spectacular achievements of medical science. Louise Hay’s biblical teachings have continuted absolutely nothing to this.

Have you positively influenced millions of people’s lives?

Nope, but according to comments people have left, I have played a role in getting them to seek proper treatment rather than trust Louise Hay. I have also provided some comic relief to people who felt insulted by having been told that they created their cancer themselves with their “negativity”.

Louise Hay has convinced millions of people that they have been “positively” affected by her, but no one knows how many have died because they followed her advice — and died in misery believing they had failed to clear out their own negativity and thus let down their children and their loved ones, who have also commented here with their stories and expressed a hope that my words exposing this fraud my help save a life. That means a tremendous amount to me, but I would write what I write anyway.

Definitely not. Should you keep you negative uneducated opinions about cancer to yourself? I vote a strong yes.

My “negative” opinions about cancer will just cause more cancer, won’t they. There is nothing “positive” about paranoia.

Let me tell you something. It is psychologically unhealthy to divide the world, events, thoughts, emotions up into “positive” and “negative”. The whole idea was invented by Christian fanatics and is where Louise Hay, also a Christian fanatic (member of the Christian Science cult) got it. That’s why her blue book includes an entry for ‘leprosy’, (for heavens sake). Try some Eastern mysticism like Buddhism or Taoism instead of this Christian hellfire and divine punishment stuff. Events are just what they are. Don’t interpret everything according to your short term egotistical value judgments. And don’t think that you’ve “manifested” the money you’ve scammed out of people with this deceitful and deadly scam.

 

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Speaking ill of a dead cancer quack — Louise Hay

September 12, 2017

Louise Hay, unlike some other cancer quacks, probably did not die of cancer. At least there is no evidence she died of cancer…. No evidence, in fact that she ever even had cancer at any time in her life.

Louise Hay said she had cancer in 1977 or 1978 — she can’t remember which. She said her doctors thought it would kill her. And she said she cured it herself. But she can’t remember the doctors’ names, and can’t remember what stage the cancer was at when she “cured” it.

But Louise Hay had already published her first book, You Can Heal Your Life, in 1976. So she published a book listing a hundred or more diseases from leprosy to cancer, listed a “metaphysical cause” and a “healing affirmation” for each, and then a year or two later, “got cancer” herself. She promptly “cured” it — the perfect vindication of her book — but didn’t keep any documents and can’t remember even the most basic details about it.

Or none of that happened, and she was lying.

Lying, and believed by her customers because people don’t usually lie about that kind of thing. And then watched as millions of customers bought her “cancer cure” and tested it on themselves.

The husband of one such customer left a comment here earlier this year:

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.

What Hay certainly knew is that cancer sufferers make great customers. They are already emotionally invested in the product’s success, and better still, they need a great deal of support and reassurance from others around them — so they will be promoting the product to these people too. If their cancer by chance goes into remission, then that’s  a success story for Louise Hay.

And if they die, it means they’re not hanging around anymore to warn people that the product doesn’t work. And, if they die, chances are they would not end their life blaming Louise Hay and warning others, but die instead condemning themselves for their failure to rid themselves of negativity as Louise Hay said she did.

Or their death is blamed on something else. As in the case of the cancer quack Bill Henderson who got cancer, and was foolish enough to test his quackery on himself rather than on his customers. And the quackery worked perfectly, or at least that’s what his followers said…… 

But…

The problem was that Bill also had thrombophlebitis, which resulted in blood clots in his legs. According to the physician who was treating Bill, it was a combination of heart attack, stroke, and pulmonary embolism in the wake of a blood transfusion which took his life. It was not due to cancer.

Or, as the oncologist David Gorski explains:

Um, no.

Bill Henderson died of cancer. If he didn’t have cancer, he wouldn’t have needed a blood transfusion, and wouldn’t have had the heart attack, stroke, and pulmonary embolism….When cancer kills, it is usually not the cancer itself that kills, but rather complications caused by the growth of the cancer.

Another deceased cancer quack is Hulda Clark. She got rich off her string of bestsellers, The Cure for All Diseases, The Cure for All Cancers, and, (in case the latter didn’t work), The Cure for All Advanced Cancers. And then she died of an advanced cancer, but not before killing an unknown number of her customers. (Read about one such victim here.)

Another was Jerry Hicks, husband of Esther Hicks, the originator of the “Abraham” channeling and law of attraction scam. He made a career out of telling people that illness is the result of negative thoughts and emotions. A former follower quotes Esther Hicks as saying “You could have every deadly disease known to man, within you, today, and if you chose different feeling thoughts tomorrow, they would all leave your body.”

So how did Jerry Hicks react when he discovered he had “manifested” leukemia for himself? He “started immediately with aggressive chemotherapy treatments. Something they have always claimed is that modern medicine of any kind is something that you don’t need.” He explained his hair loss with a convoluted story about a spider bite. Eventually they admitted it was chemo, and spun a spiritual yarn about how going along with the doctor’s recommendation was “the path of least resistance”.

Fear suddenly smells different, when it’s your own.

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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 my most frequently viewed posts is about her claim 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 surgery to get rid of a few wrinkles, instead of using her own teachings. If affirmations cured her cancer (where medical science failed), then surely her affirmations can also maintain the health of cells in the epidermis — far less complicated than altering the growth cycle of cancerous cells. 

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. Her ideas come from the fanatical Christian Science cult, and are based on the idea of sin and redemption and Jesus, and are directly contradicted by everything we know from medical science. Furthermore, she offers no proof she even had cancer in the first place. She “can’t remember” what stage the cancer was in, and all the doctors who treated her “are dead” and there are “no records”. 

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 those who searching for such advice, if they believe Hay’s story about healing her own cancer and try to do it on themselves or their loved ones. 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 you fellows who don’t think Hay claims to have a cancer cure, get on the forums and tell everyone else 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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Highlighting a Comment: Forgiveness & Louise Hay’s Emotional Blackmail

June 19, 2013

A few days ago someone left a brief but very poignant comment on a post here about Louise Hay. In a few measured words she sums up the private distress that Louise Hay’s teachings both trigger and exploit. I hope for it to be read by anyone who visits this site trying to gain some perspective on Louise Hay’s teachings.

The comment is reproduced below in its entirety.

(Please Note: Comment moderation has been switched on for first comments, and there may be a slight delay in posting.)

____________

Comment – June 18 2013:

Late on the thread. This thread [Link] has really helped clear my head. I’m 26 and am having a difficult time with my parents. My mother and I have a strained, messy, painful relationship and I think about it a lot. Many times I’ve felt even suicidal. I read the Louise Hay book “Heal Your Life” a few years ago. Then I ran into a particularly vampiric guy who told me that every painful family relationship is due to a curse that runs in families.

My grandmother died of breast cancer before my mom turned 3.

My mom never had any experience of cancer. I’ve been experiencing pains in my breasts since I was 15 due to growth around the beginning of each menstrual cycle. And until recently I didn’t have much of an issue with these pains, just assumed them to be a normal part of growing as many women experience these pains around the same times I do.

But recently the psychic stress of accepting Hay’s ideas as “true” is catching up with me. Now every time I feel an ache or twitch in my breast tissue I think about my relationship with my mother and if I’m still holding onto resentment (which will cause my ultimate cancerous demise).

Sad to say I still haven’t gotten to the bottom of that question and never will. In other words I don’t think I ever could forgive my mother enough or fully rid myself of “resentment” because it isn’t actually there.

By throwing arbitrary labels at people and leaving it up to them to incorporate the labels into their lives, Hay is able to sit back and let people work for her. Her key trick is that she defines herself as a spiritual medium without saying so by spouting sexy ideas about how we choose everything and are really powerful. And she’s really powerful with all her money and cache so why wouldn’t we believe her?

It’s very circular.

____________

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“Anonymous” lectures you about Louise Hay

June 27, 2012

Dear Readers,

You have been personally addressed by an anonymous commenter on my (comparatively popular) earlier post on Louise Hay.

Now, commenters often pull various stunts to avoid dealing with the issues, (in this case, Louise Hay’s cancer quackery and dubious personal claims.) But this is the first time I’ve seen anyone simply open a comment with Dear Readers and then start lecturing people over my shoulder — as if to block me out of the conversation about my own post on my own blog!

And of course, this person didn’t deem it necessary to address any of the issues I had raised either. And it came as no surprise either, to encounter a New Ager with a narcissistic sense of entitlement instead of manners.

And she, (I feel it’s a she, but maybe I’m wrong), also didn’t bother reading the earlier comments in the thread: She would have seen that others had already made exactly the same points that she was wanting to make, (strange coincidence!), and that I (and others) had already responded to those same points.

She also didn’t bother reading my Comment Policy either, which specifically asks people not to leave comments exactly, point for point, like the one she left.

Never-the-less, after leaving a brief reply to her about her lack of decorum, I have generously decided to feature her brief and pointless lecture in a special post all of its own. I will also add the relevant sections of the comment policy (see side bar, top right), so that in future, Louise Hay fans can see how far this conversation has got until now, and can stop driving it around in circles.

And maybe they might even start reflecting on what it is that makes them all come up with exactly the same faulty logic. (Hint: manipulative persuasion and marketing should appear in your answer.)

Read the rest of this entry ?

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More on Louise Hay & some general statements about Alternative Medicine

April 8, 2012

Another commenter on my earlier post about Louise Hay’s cancer quackery has raised some issues concerning alternative medicine. I responded  to her criticisms (or lack of them as the case may be) over on that thread, but I’ll also take the opportunity here to gather a few points about the way proponents of alternative medicine deal with criticism in general.

Responses usually seem to follow a formula: a mix of smokescreen, personal attack and insistence on an entire worldview or ideology — an ideology that is opposed to “western” medicine and must be swallowed whole to be understood. None of this involves the idea of small incremental gains in knowledge or rejection of failed hypotheses. It’s all or nothing, because, well it has to be. There are a whole lot of modalities and treatments for which there is little or no evidence, which must be bolstered by an ideological armoring in order to survive. Criticizing one aspect of it can bring down the whole modality. So any criticism meets an ideological counter-attack on multiple fronts, none of which address the original criticism.

For evidence of this, read the entire comment thread on that post.

This is an attempt to deal with some aspects of that kind of multiple front ideological attack.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Blaming the Victim: Comments on Louise Hay

March 4, 2012

There have been some interesting comments on an earlier article about Louise Hay. Here is a link to it. I want to make some general comments here as well, in addition to the exchanges there.

It’s always a bit disturbing to find people who are obviously kind, intelligent and caring people suddenly advocating a ruthless blame the victim mentality. I’ve seen it often enough but it still shocks me. It’s nearly always expressed in tolerant spiritual sounding language, but I still haven’t seen anyone back down or shy away from the hideous implications. The relevant part of one comment:

We are not victims. If I hear something that resonates for me from an author or speaker/presenter, 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.

The commenter means here that someone who dies as a result of believing Louise Hay’s cancer quackery, it’s not Louise Hay’s fault. If that person had have listened to their “inner truth” they would have known that Louise Hay’s teachings were “not right for them”.

Now the person who left that comment might still withdraw it or qualify it – I hope so, though I doubt it. But in any case it’s a perfectly representative expression of New Age ideology. (I will take it as such for now, rather than referring specifically to the particular commenter.)

By this view, of course, the most tragic and horrifying events are inevitably portrayed as something the victims somehow brought upon themselves. Now, if anyone wants to tell me that people who got burned as witches brought it on themselves with their negative thoughts, they had better have a damned good argument for advocating such grotesque ideas. And they don’t.

But it also specifically clears Ms Hay of any responsibility for any damage her teachings may cause. No attempt was made here to address my specific accusations of cancer quackery. According to these standards, Louise Hay is free to claim whatever she wants. If someone dies, then it’s not a sign that Ms Hay’s methods and credentials need to be checked, rather, another thought process automatically and instantaneously kicks in. The fault can’t lie with the teachings, no matter how spurious. The fault must lie with the victim. 

This is what consumer protection looks like in the New Age.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Superheroes of the New Age: Louise Hay

November 23, 2010

Cosmetic surgery is obviously a private matter, but I do think it’s reasonable to ask why Louise Hay, who has made millions teaching that cancer can be cured with positive thinking, should decide to get a face lift. Can cure leprosy; can’t get rid of a few wrinkles?

Louise Hay: Affirmations can cure all known diseases…..but can’t cure wrinkles? 

Clearly, Hay decided to go under the knife because she didn’t think affirmations would fix her wrinkles. She didn’t even want to try a few words like

I love and accept my body and its aging processes

to learn to accept herself as she is.

Ms Hay has made millions selling people the idea that positive thinking can cure every single illness there is, without so much as an asprin, to say nothing of surgical procedures. Yet when faced with simple straight forward issue that really can be effectively dealt with by muttering a few positive words at oneself, she instantly capitulated.

Louise Hay was already selling people the idea that all illnesses are caused by thought patterns when she “was diagnosed with cancer”. I put that in quotation marks, as is the usual custom when repeating unsubstantiated information based entirely on hear-say from a party with obvious financial and emotional investments. She “doesn’t remember” which stage it was at, just that it was “incurable” (note quotation marks again). There are no doctors nor any medical records to confirm this story. “It was years ago“, (it was either 1977 or 78, she’s “doesn’t know which”) but luckily for her, her customers have been kind enough to assume she is telling the truth.

Hay “healed” her “cancer” within six months, as was “confirmed” by the “doctors” whose names she has “forgotten”. She claims she managed this feat by forgiving those who “raped” her as a child. Yes — quotation marks again I’m afraid, given the financial interests and dangerous quackery involved. It’s standard woo procedure to weave deeply personal and private details into the fabric of their supernatural claims, so that any expression doubt immediately looks like a sadistic personal attack. She was already selling her first book. Why didn’t she keep the evidence that would back up her claims?

So Louise Hay — who couldn’t use thoughts to come to terms with the fact that humans get older — has made millions telling others that they can use thoughts to cure conditions like leprosy, AIDS, cancer, seizures, stroke, and even being comatose, to name but a few from the 80 odd pages of Heal Your Body. (A book, incidentally, which contains no entry for face lift or aging.)  

She’s careful to tell people to see a doctor as well, so no legal difficulties for her there, but when telling her own story she bullishly explains how she rejected the advice of her “doctors” and went off to cure her “cancer” herself.

How many people have believed her teachings and died as a result? No one knows, and no one ever asks her about it.

All we know is that after the supposed healing miracle of her supposed cancer, her career took off. (As always, thanks, Oprah!) While there is plenty of information on the internet debunking claims like the ones Louise Hay makes, her name is almost never associated with them. That is New Age nirvana – she takes the credit and the cash, others take the rap.

So, in review, Louise Hay may well have invented her cancer scare story and used it to promote herself as living proof for a set of utterly preposterous and dangerous ideas for which there is no basis in human physiology. She received money from millions of people for telling them to avoid surgery, yet when faced with a problem for which her method was actually well suited, she chose to go under the knife rather than put up with any pesky emotions.

For her craven hypocrisy and culpable stupidity, Louise Hay can truly be called a Superhero of the New Age.

See also Louise Hay is a Dangerous Quack.