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Blind Boy Apollo
and the All-White Astronauts

New Age "Asiatic" thought ... is establishing itself as the
hegemonic ideology of global capitalism. (Zizek)

Tuesday, March 27

like a box of supernatural bon-bons

First, re-read the previous post -- The Whole Visionary Apparatus -- then read about Hot Chocolate for the Mystical Soul: 101 Stories of Angels, Miracles, and Healings. Author Arielle Ford (Little Debbie's snack-cake sister) writes on her books page...
The stories range from miraculous occurrences, near-death experiences, contacts from "the other side," divine intervention, angel sightings, personal transformations, mystical animal experiences and fantastic coincidences. The stories in "HOT CHOCOLATE" are for those who love magic and mystery and know for certain that "an unseen presence is watching over us." I like to think of these stories as fairytales for adults ...
The Booklist review says...
Ford, who does public relations for such New Agers as Deepak Chopra, Louise Hay, and Marianne Williamson, has collected first-person anecdotes in which a variety of people (many involved in aspects of spiritual healing) recount modern-day miracles and visits from otherworldly beings. The collection is like a box of supernatural bon-bons -- once you start, it's hard to stop. Patrons looking for quick and easy inspirational reading will find it here. Still, there seems to be a disconcerting trend developing: books packaged as spiritual comfort food, aspiring not to elevate the spirit but to tranquilize it, like chicken soup or hot chocolate. What's next? Literary Jack Daniels for the fevered brain?
Well, not quite (or not yet), but there's more where that came from.

Don't miss her New-Ager-name-dropping video -- especially if you want to get yourself on Oprah! -- and here's even more promo copy she worked into that page.

  • "Arielle Ford is the best publicist in the world. Learn the secrets from her." - Deepak Chopra
  • Arielle Ford has been the publicist for Deepak Chopra for over twelve years (whose career she is credited with launching) as well as more than a dozen New York Times bestselling authors in the field of self-help, spirituality and personal growth including Wayne Dyer, Neale Donald Walsch, Dean Ornish, Jon Gordon, Debbie Ford, Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen.
  • Arielle has packaged her know-how into a complete course... It is the equivalent of a graduate level course about the publishing business, how to get published, how to write and sell a book and make a living as an author. "If you want to become master of your publicity fate, listen to Arielle Ford. She has taken our CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL series repeatedly to # 1." - Mark Victor Hansen
So if you ever wondered how these hosers keep making money hand over fist, Arielle is apparently a big part of the answer. Unfortunately, Amazon has only two used copies of the book she's flogging in that video -- Everything You Should Know about Book Publishing, Publicity, Promotion and Building a Platform: A Step-by-Step Guide for Authors and Writers -- and they're both going for $487. Why not buy one and stash it away to show your grandkids how intellectually bankrupt America was at the dawn of the 21st century? Except that, the way things are going, in 20 years Arielle is likely to look like fucking Shakespeare.

Friday, March 23

the whole visionary apparatus

The following is from The Consolation of Theosophy II by Frederick C. Crews (The New York Review of Books, Volume 43, Number 15, October 3, 1996. Subscription required.)
...we should not overlook the broad epistemic likeness between Theosophical dreamers and the ideologues who smoothed the way for the terroristic Nazi state. The common factor was their shared rejection of rational empiricism. By pretending that reliable knowledge can be obtained through such means as clairvoyant trances and astrological casting, the original Theosophists encouraged their German colleagues to "uncover" in prehistory just what they pleased; and the resultant myth of how Aryan hegemony was broken by quasi-simian races formed a template for the infectious post-World War I story of betrayal by Jewish materialists and the vindictive Allies. The whole visionary apparatus -- the vitalistic sun cult, the mystic brotherhood, the pygmy usurpers, the lost ancient continents, the millennial cycles, even the idea of a conspiracy by a cabalistic "Great International Party" of diabolical antitraditionalists -- was already there in The Secret Doctrine. There needed only a specific historical grudge and a fevered demagogue to set in motion the march toward paranoid eugenics and actual extermination of the "polluting" social elements.