Archive for the ‘Louise Hay’ Category

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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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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.