Law of Attraction charlatans use lies to sell people lies. And the people who buy the books and videos (etc.) enrich these charlatans while getting nothing out of it. A true life transformation takes hard, persistent work. Not tricks like LOA. But few people want to hear that.
Hello Readers, hope all’s well. Time for another End Times post.
If you’re a regular Reader of my blog, you might know I love books. I love to read for at least an hour a day, and always have a book in progress. Though I mostly read Christian books, I make sure to get some variety. So I end up reading books on many topics.
Right now I’m reading The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene. It was published in 2000. I had been looking forward to reading this book, because it’s famous and many people talk about it. But once I started reading through the book, I was saddened by what I was reading.
The 48 Laws of Power teaches how to gain power at all cost, even if that means sociopathic or amoral actions. Almost all the strategies taught in this book are dishonest; some are downright evil. I can’t recommend this book to Christians, as its completely against the Spirit of the Gospels.
As Christians we’re focused on everlasting power and Glory in the next world. We’re not focused on temporary power here on earth, where we will one day die and lose all our power. Chasing after power here on earth is a pointless exercise, and the New Testament shows why. But I’ll leave that topic for another day.
For today, I want to talk about one chapter in the book. It relates to the Law of Attraction, and the people who advertise it and sell courses/webinars about it. This chapter from The 48 Laws of Power is about the charlatans of medieval times. When I read this chapter, I realized the people pushing Law of Attraction nonsense today are the charlatans of our times.
What Is a Charlatan?
Charlatan. Noun: a person falsely claiming to have a special knowledge or skill; a fraud.
Charlatans are scam artists, tricksters, fraudsters. In the past, they would sell fake “miracle cures” and “health potions” and other things like that. The 48 Laws of Power describes them like this:
The great European charlatans of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries mastered the art of cultmaking. They lived, as we do now, in a time of transformation: Organized religion was on the wane, science on the rise. People were desperate to rally around a new cause or faith. The charlatans had begun by peddling health elixirs and alchemic shortcuts to wealth. Moving quickly from town to town, they originally focused on small groups […]Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power, Page 216
The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries sound much like the times we live in now. Keep that in mind as I continue.
These charlatans attracted great crowds by generating interest and excitement. People came to see what they were offering. The more people gathered around the charlatans, the more interest they attracted. The more interest they attracted, the more people wanted to buy what they were selling; potions and miracle cures and so on.
The charlatan’s preyed on people’s need to believe. This need to believe makes us vulnerable to things like elixirs and get-rich-quick schemes. Instant, magical solutions to our life problems. Good health from drinking one health potion. Vast riches from watching one video webinar series. That kind of thing.
Because who doesn’t want to be rich? And who wouldn’t want to become rich overnight, without doing any work for it? Something like winning the lotto, for example. Who wouldn’t want that? That lotto-type fantasy appeals to something inside us all. But a reasonable person knows that’s fantasy.
Robert Greene explains how humans are vulnerable, gullible, for get-rich-quick schemes and more. What we’re gullible for are promises of instant, overnight change and transformation. As well as new causes to follow, revolution, those kinds of things.
As humans, we have a desperate need to believe in something, anything. This makes us eminently gullible: We simply cannot endure long periods of doubt, or of the emptiness that comes from a lack of something to believe in. Dangle in front of us some new cause, elixir, get-rich-quick scheme, or the latest technological trend or art movement and we leap from the water as one to take the bait.Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power, Page 216
Remember that in the old charlatan’s time, science was on the rise and religion on the decline. A situation we know well, because that’s our world today. But people need something to believe in. Human beings can’t go for long periods of time without Faith in something. This is because we are creatures of both flesh and Spirit. We have a Spiritual side to our nature, and it must be fed and nurtured.
Christians understand this well. We have a Bible that teaches us how to grow Spiritually. How to nurture our Spirituality and stay safe in the Spiritual realm, which is full of danger (demons). The Bible teaches us how to interact with God our Father and Jesus our Savior, and how to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The New Testament gives us the guidance we need to have a thriving and vibrant Spiritual life in Jesus. This thriving, vibrant Spiritual life feeds a basic human need which is a core part of our humanity. This need is what Greene is describing, above. But he does so from a non-Christian perspective.
But what if people don’t have Jesus? What then?
When people reject the truth of Christ, they open themselves up to all sorts of lies.
If people don’t believe in God, they’ll find something else to fill that void where God belongs. Because most people aren’t comfortable with believing in nothing, as Greene says. And since we’re creatures of flesh and Spirit, not having any Spirituality at all is uncomfortable to most. So without Jesus, people will reach for something, anything. And this is where they fall into traps. When people reject Jesus and look for something else to fill the void where He should be, they’ll eat up demonic deceptions like the Law of Attraction.
The Law of Attraction (LOA) fulfills the same role today like what Robert Greene talks about in The 48 Laws of Power. Modern-day charlatans recreate the same scenario when they hype up LOA and make wild promises about it (which are lies). But many people get hooked by the hype, and start believing in the Law of Attraction and practicing it. To learn how to use LOA they pay the modern-day charlatans for courses and videos and whatever else.
It’s the same scenario as in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. All that’s changed are the ways the charlatans can get their message out, and what they’re selling.
How to Sell what Sounds too Good to Be True
Let’s look at one part of how cult leaders form cults, because there are parallels between that and the modern-day charlatans who push LOA. (And also their accomplices who shill for them.)
Step 1: Keep It Vague; Keep It Simple. To create a cult you must first attract attention. This you should not do through actions, which are too clear and readable, but through words, which are hazy and deceptive. Your initial speeches, conversations, and interviews must include two elements: on the one hand the promise of something great and transformative, and on the other a total vagueness. This combination will stimulate all kinds of hazy dreams in your listeners, who will make their own connections and see what they want to see.Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power, Page 217
People who push LOA—who sell books, videos, and courses about it—do this exact thing. What do they do as far as actions? Nothing. They stick to making videos that they put on YouTube or wherever to push their true products (which are their courses, etc.). They also make sure to use vague words hinting at great things.
They make big promises of wealth and happiness and a completely transformed life using loosely-defined (and changing) terms like “the Universe,” “manifesting,” “abundance,” and so on. They do the exact thing Greene describes as the first step of making a cult: Big promises of transformation, using vague words.
This combination makes people fall for the Law of Attraction deception even more. Moving on, Greene details the language charlatans use once they’ve got people hooked.
To make your vagueness attractive, use words of great resonance but cloudy meaning, words full of heat and enthusiasm. Fancy titles for simple things are helpful, as are the use of numbers and the creation of new words for vague concepts. All of these create the impression of specialized knowledge, giving you a veneer of profundity. By the same token, try to make the subject of your cult new and fresh, so that few will understand it. Done right, the combination of vague promises, cloudy but alluring concepts, and fiery enthusiasm will stir people’s souls and a group will form around you.Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power, Page 217
All the language surrounding LOA is like this. It sounds quasi-scientific or Spiritual, but means nothing. Things like “affirmations,” “vibrations,” “manifesting,” and more. These words mean nothing real, but sound full of meaning. They sound cool. They get people interested, which gets people hooked. The semi-scientific or Spiritual tone makes LOA sound like a serious subject.
LOA charlatans love to talk about how LOA is a hidden secret of the universe. The most elite and successful people, they say, know about LOA and use it. Having secret knowledge excites people, so this advertising tactic is extremely effective. People love to feel like they have secret knowledge that others don’t. And many people feel like they could be as successful as society’s most elite if only they had something to launch themselves to that level. If only they had something to even the playing field, they could be rich and powerful too.
This is because almost all people want easy answers and fast solutions. It appeals to the flesh nature in us, the part of our nature that wants to be lazy and comfortable. The part of our nature that wants to take the path of least resistance. We want instant transformation; we want our dream life right now. The idea that we can live our dream life right now, if only we use the LOA meditations and so on, appeals directly to this desire in people.
Robert Greene explains it like this:
[…] your appeal should also be simple. Most people’s problems have complex causes: deep-rooted neurosis, inter-connected social factors, roots that go way back in time and are exceedingly hard to unravel. Few, however, have the patience to deal with this; most people want to hear that a simple solution will cure their problems. The ability to offer this kind of solution will give you great power and build you a following.Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power, Page 217
People’s problems are complex and deep-rooted. Fixing them is no small task. It takes persistent hard work, and time. People may not want to hear that, but they need to. It’s better for them to face reality and get started on what they need to do now rather than waste time with LOA or other dead-ends first.
Face it: Change Is Hard
Sometimes I’ve heard people criticize Christianity as something offering easy answers. For example, they look the wrong way at God’s Merciful Promise of the Forgiveness of sins for our Faith in Christ Jesus. They see it as something Christians can use to do whatever we want here on earth. (Sadly, some Christians do abuse God’s Promise to do exactly that, which doesn’t help our case).
But their criticisms come from a major lack of understanding of Christianity—what it is and how it works.
Christianity is not an easy solution. When we turn to Christ, He demands us to change. The Gospels challenge us to leave our past sins behind, to become children of God and act differently. To be better. To try harder and be better every day. To battle our sins, with the help of Christ Jesus. This is not an easy thing to do. The Christian walk is about conquering ourselves and our sinful nature; one of the hardest things a person can ever do.
And we do this hard work because we understand the Spiritual reality of this world. This life is temporary, and it’s a test. Our material prosperity here on earth is meaningless. We’re pursuing everlasting, eternal prosperity in our true life to come. Our eternal life with Jesus is our real life. The prosperity we can enjoy there by following the Gospels in our life now is the only prosperity that matters.
But anyway, change is hard work. Success isn’t built over night. And the hardest change of all is to change ourselves, to become better and defeat a sin we truly enjoy. To deny our flesh and build ourselves up Spiritually. These personal changes are the hardest of all.
And people don’t want to hear that. Again, almost all people want easy answers. Magical change, overnight. Robert Greene explains like this:
Remember: People are not interested in the truth about change. They do not want to hear that it has come from hard work, or from anything as banal as exhaustion, boredom, or depression; they are dying to believe in something romantic, otherworldly. They want to hear of angels and out-of-body experiences. Indulge them. Hint at the mystical source of some personal change, wrap it in ethereal colors, and a cultlike following will form around you.Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power, Pages 220-221
This is what LOA charlatans do all the time. They don’t tell people the truth about change, they tell people they can enjoy their dream life using LOA. That’s all they need to do: LOA. It’s the magic secret they’ve been waiting for. Meanwhile, these charlatans selling their books and videos and everything else never reveal that the true source of their wealth is the video and book sales (etc.)!
LOA charlatans use lies to sell people lies. And the people who buy the books and videos (etc.) enrich these charlatans while getting nothing out of it. A true life transformation takes hard, persistent work. Not tricks like LOA. But few people want to hear that.
It’s ironic that one time I saw a YouTube ad from a LOA charlatan who was pushing his online course. He claimed there was a secret technique to absorb the knowledge of a book without actually reading it. What a perfect illustration of what I’m talking about. And what a foolish, self-defeating move for anyone who actually tries that.
Anyone who tries to absorb the knowledge from a book without reading it only hurts themselves. They won’t gain any knowledge … which they COULD gain if they just read the damn book!! A person who puts the work in to actually read the book is miles ahead of the person who believed the hype from a LOA charlatan and tried to take a shortcut to knowledge.
But there will always be people wanting magical transformation, an instant change in their life. So there will always be charlatans preying on that desire. In the past the charlatans sold snake oil and fake health elixirs. Today they sell books and video courses on the law of attraction. The products have changed, the methods of advertising have changed. But the people who buy the hype get nothing at all out of it, and only enrich the charlatans. That hasn’t changed.
Deceptions never End Well
There’s always a price to pay for sin. Being a charlatan and deceiving people isn’t worth it. Robert Greene explains the constant danger charlatans face—being found out.
One reason to create a following is that a group is often easier to deceive than an individual, and turns over to you that much more power. This comes, however, with a danger. If at any moment the group sees through you, you will find yourself facing not one deceived soul but an angry crowd that will tear you to pieces as avidly as it once followed you. The charlatans constantly faced this danger, and were always ready to move out of town as it inevitably became clear that their elixirs did not work and their ideas were sham. Too slow and they paid with their lives.Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power, Page 226
Always having one foot out the door, ready to leave town at a moment’s notice because an angry crowd might tear you apart. Does that sound like a good life to you? The fact that charlatans had to be ready to run (and would die if they were too slow) proves their path is not worth following. What does it matter if you make all the money in the world, but can never stop and settle down to enjoy it?
Something similar will happen to the Law of Attraction charlatans of today. Many people are deep in the demonic deception of the Law of Attraction and its witchcraft. But many people break free of it every day too. Once more and more people break free of LOA and turn away from it, these LOA charlatans will begin to be exposed. The true source of their wealth will be revealed as their book sales, speaking fees, and so on … in other words, the money they swindle from their followers.
When these charlatans get exposed, there will be consequences for what they’ve done. They won’t get torn apart by an angry crowd, but their followers will turn on them though. There will be consequences, as there always are for sin.
But until that happens, we must stand firm in the Truth of God’s Word. If we stick with God, stick with the Truth, we are more protected from charlatans and their lies. We will recognize a charlatan when we see one. We won’t get wrapped up in their hype and join their group. And if we stay out of their cloud of vague hype and big promises, their lies have no power over us.
For another post debunking the Law of Attraction, read: “The Law of Narcissism.”
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Until next time, be strong and do good!
Your new best friend in Christ,
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