The Best Things in Life Really Are Free...But Try Telling That to the Wealtharians
Today was way too hot in Los Angeles. It got to be around 90 degrees on the Westside, and I have no air conditioning, because usually I don't need it with the ocean breeze. I had an errand to run in Venice Beach, so I parked my car and walked down to the sand.
When I hit the water, I immediately saw an entire cavalcade of dolphins playing in the surf. They were splashing around and body surfing in the crashing waves. Children were there with families along the beach. During my walk, a tiny 3 or 4-year-old girl and her smaller brother almost pounced upon me in at the water's edge, grinning and shrieking and happy as pie. "Are you having fun???" she asked me...or, I think she asked me, because she was young enough to be somewhat intelligible, and the surf was loud.
I couldn't help but think about the ideas in my recent blog post, where I was commenting on the need some people have to make a lot of money in order to be happy. These kids certainly didn't need any money. Kids seem to pop out happy right out of the box. Happy and unconditionally loving.
A few days ago, I heard George Noory interviewing Wiley Brooks of the Breatharian Institute. Wiley claims to be a 5th-Dimensional Ascended Being who does not need food in order to stay alive here in our 3rd-Dimensional "Fallback Earth," as he calls our planet.
Wiley does, however, apparently need a lot of money to survive. In order to be "initiated" with Wiley to become an "ascended" being, you must pay him a non-refundable fee of $200,000 (that's not a typo), in advance. This price is apparently going to double to $400,000 on July 1, 2007. (Though, I suggest you check back on his website and see if he actually follows through with that, or if the doubled-price was really just a marketing gimmick. You know what I mean - buy now before the price goes up!)
One savvy caller challenged Wiley on his ridiculously high pricing. Wiley gave the following evasive, BS responses:
1. People who are ready to ascend must be able to handle a lot of light and energy, and obviously only people who have $200,000 are capable of holding that kind of energy. (Oh, you mean, people like Alec Baldwin? He's got money...and a big mouth too! He sure sounds like he's ready to ascend!)
2. Money is the highest way we express love to one another. Yep, that's what Wiley said. He said that when you buy something from someone, what you are really doing is saying "I love you."
Ummm...OK. Right. The next time I want to tell someone I love them, I'll get out my checkbook.
This still begs the question as to whether I'd love Wiley enough to part with $200,000 to give to him personally instead of, oh, gee, a family member or someone else I knew in need...if I had that kind of money to give away.
3. He then claimed that he had spent a lot of money to learn everything he was teaching, upwards of a million dollars. At this point, I was scratching my head and going "Whaaa?" My first question is, where do budding Breatharians go to spend millions of dollars, except to Wiley himself? My second question is, if Wiley was truly an ascended, 5th-Dimensional Being sent here to help others ascend, why on earth would he need to pay someone else to learn what he should already know?
Now, ultimately, I'm not really concerned about some wealthy person paying Wiley $200,000 to try to "ascend" to "Earth Prime." What I am concerned about are desperate, gullible people who just want a change in their lives and are willing to put a second mortgage on their home and tap their credit cards to pay Wiley.
Now, Wiley may be easy to poke fun of, seeing as he calls himself a "Breatharian" and all that, but how many "Wealtharians" do you know of who use the same sort of convoluted logic to try to sell you their overpriced seminars and products?
When new age gurus and coaches tell you that you should embrace the wealthy and emulate them - and for goodness sake, don't ever look at them or the financial system with a critical eye - what they are really doing is trying to win you over by spiritualizing greed. These folks are part of the "Wealtharian" cult. In other words, they are willing to come up with any sort of rationalization to get you to give them more money.
Now, I do not have a problem with people charging a respectable price for their services or products. I myself have charged $100/hour for consulting work I have done.
What I do have a problem with are people who try to justify their obvious greed and materialism by trying to paint it as "spiritual" or somehow more "evolved."
The Wealtharian response to this sort of criticism is that I'm just buying into old beliefs about poverty being more spiritual.
Nope, poverty is not more spiritual. Poverty is one of the worst evils in the world. But folks, I have to tell you something. The reason we have poverty in the first place is because we have too much wealth concentrated in the hands of too few. It's not because the poor didn't "think" positively enough or didn't work hard enough "attract" wealth to themselves.
The reason we have poverty in the world is because there are a lot of greedy, unscrupulous people who will stop at nothing to get wealth for themselves...and then there are a whole slew of other people who are willing to support unbalanced system that was set up to reward the people at the top. And now we've got the "Wealtharians" - the so-called "spiritual" new age gurus that you'll see on things like The Secret - who are doing their part by glorifying wealth and telling the poor people in Africa that they just "attracted" their poverty with their negative emotions.
Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of wealthy people who do go out of their way to help others and change the system. But the system is the problem, not the people. And it's frankly sad to me that it's stars like Bono, Angelina Jolie, and Oscar de la Hoya who are out trying to make a difference, while the so-called "spiritual" people are blaming the poor for their own predicament!
So the next time some new age guru tries to tell you that the universe is all abundant and if you just give them an extra $2,000 to pay for their course then you'll get the money back "magically," consider that you are talking to none other than a Wealtharian. Buyer beware.
Finally, get some perspective. If you can, stop by Venice Beach sometime and look at the people dotting the shoreline. Young, old, rich, and poor...everyone there is happy and having fun, if just during their stay on the sand. Perhaps you'll find people like that who live near you, in the park, or at the lake, appreciating the simple things in life.