RE: virus: God's Invisible Hand

Richard Brodie (
Mon, 20 Oct 1997 15:56:00 -0700

On Monday, October 20, 1997 1:45 AM, Charmin
[] wrote:
> I hardly see how you can complain about the values I live by or how I
> come by them.

I specifically did NOT complain about your values; if you remember, I
commended them as empowering. As for how you came by them, you were told
them by other people. Is that not correct? If not, I'm happily corrected.

> I picked up a copy of Getting Past Ok this weekend

I'm flattered!

> and I was trying to
> figure out the hoopla. In the first place, most of the ideas have
> been around since the beginning of pop-psychology. For example: you
> don't have to do anything really--you have a choice. I remember
> reading this in Dr. Wayne Dyer's book Your Erroneous Zones way back
> in the 70s. In addition Life 101 and other such books present these
> ideas far more creatively.

No argument from me. I say in the preface that all I did was glean the best
ideas from the various work I had done.

I'm delighted you like Life 101. Did you know that the author, Peter
McWilliams, is a homosexual with AIDS who self-published it while he was a
member of the Insight/MSIA cult? He put in a little footnote about the
scriptural basis for his writing so that he could sell the book through
Christian bookstores. His co-author, John-Roger, is the cult leader who has
been alleged to be a child molester. McWilliams recently wrote another
book, LIFE 102: What to Do When Your Guru Sues You (available at the Memetics Bookstore,
) in which he details his 15 years with the cult, during which he was so
brainwashed (by his own admission) that he literally believed John-Roger
had the power of life or death over him. He has since removed J-R's name
from all his books, asserting that although McWilliams gave him over $1
million from book sales, J-R never wrote one word.

> I was very curious about your statement:
> it is ok to lie to others, just don't lie to yourself. What type of
> values is that to teach someone.

GETTING PAST OK is not a Scripture, cookie, it's a book on using your mind
to improve your life. I jokingly say go ahead and fib to others if you
must, just don't lie to yourself. I say that because people do and will fib
to others, and my style isn't about guilt and shame, it's about thinking
and risking toward fulfillment. If you want values from my book, you've got
to come up with your own.

> If you do lie to yourself and
> believe it, then you're practicing self-deception. If you don't
> believe your own lies, then you're just being cunning.

Yes, the difference between a quack and a crackpot is that a crackpot
believes his own lies.

> I may be
> "told" to get my values somewhere, but I am intelligent enough not to
> get them from you, Richard.

One of my favorite pieces of advice is: only take advice from people with
lives you like. I'm not sure your intelligence enters into your decision so
much as your brainwashing, but nonetheless I'm here to help people grow who
want to grow. If that's not for you at this time in your life -- no hard

Richard Brodie
Author, VIRUS OF THE MIND: The New Science of the Meme
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