Wealthy New Agers and Napoleon Hill
Throughout history there have always been religious/spiritual/philosophical writers who have defended great financial wealth, provided that the wealth has some kind of ‘divine’ approval and/or is being used in a ‘divine’ way. In the 20th and 21st centuries this defense has manifested in the ‘self-help’ movement and the NAM (New Age Movement), e.g. the ‘law of attraction’.
A very wealthy and popular New Age writer in recent years is DEEPAK CHOPRA. He said that “…spiritual people should not be ashamed of being wealthy”, though he contrasts ‘wealth’ with ‘money’. Money, he says, is just a “symbol”, whereas wealth is “…a state of consciousness which allows you to tap into the experience of abundance.” In his “The Seven Laws Of Success”, he writes that the creation of wealth requires us to align our consciousness with the subtle unseen forces that affect the flow of money in our lives.
What are these ‘unseen forces’? How do we know they will benefit us?
For many years, Chopra has run an expensive New Age retreat on the Hawaii island of MAUI for meditation, yoga, etc, costing between 3 to 7 thousand dollars per week (2015 prices).
I remember a magazine interview with Chopra who was asked about those people who couldn’t afford his spiritual teachings. I don’t have the magazine, but I’m sure that he replied that perhaps those people weren’t spiritually ready- the insinuation being that wealth and spirituality sometimes go hand in hand. Mind you, if a rich person is spiritually advanced enough to benefit from Chopra’s ‘wisdom’, then it could be argued that Chopra is just preaching to the converted. Maybe poorer wretches like me would benefit more.
One of the best-selling books of all time was- not surprisingly- about making money: “Think And Grow Rich” (1937), written by NAPOLEON HILL, who has been a significant influence on the modern self-help movement and NAM (New Age Movement). Intriguingly, Hill’s main influences are difficult to verify:
1) the very rich and famous philanthropists whom he claimed to have interviewed, such as JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER, junior and ANDREW CARNEGIE;
2) a kind of guardian angel (“infinite intelligence”) who told Hill to develop a “Law Of Success” philosophy, based on the notion of SERVICE as the cause of wealth and happiness.
Hill wrote that the steel industrialist Andrew Carnegie prompted his book “Think and Grow Rich”, and put Hill in touch with the likes of car maker HENRY FORD and JDRII ( John D. Rockefeller, junior). The book includes an endorsement from the ex-American President Woodrow Wilson.
Carnegie’s ‘God’ is an “Infinite and Eternal Energy from which all things proceed”, sounding similar to Hill’s ‘infinite intelligence’.
Rich philanthropists such as Carnegie and JDRII are the enemies of ‘the Devil’, according to Napoleon Hill in his book “Outwitting The Devil”, written in the 1930s but only recently published in 2011 on Hill’s instructions because he was concerned that his dialogue with ‘the Devil’ (imagined or otherwise) might be misconstrued. The Devil’s main weapons, wrote Hill, are fear, poverty and the exploitation of ‘drifting’, i.e. people who are easily influenced by others, and who don’t think for themselves.
OTD (“Outwitting The Devil”) is missing a chapter (“The Secret Chapter”) that in 2015 at least was only available online. In it, Hill describes his “Invisible Counsellors”- famous historical figures such as Thomas Paine, Thomas Edison, Napoleon Bonaparte and Henry Ford, though it’s difficult to ascertain whether their wisdom was real, imaginary or psychically channeled. Edison told Hill that the “secret of life” is that life is full of “intelligent energy” (or entities) that behave like a harmonious hive of bees, though they can become disharmonious.
Hill wrote that he had more than 50 invisible counsellors, though initially there were just nine – a significant New Age number that can be traced back to the nine Gods of ancient Egypt (the Great Ennead). More recently, THE COUNCIL OF NINE are the non-human intelligent beings supposedly guiding human evolution, and whose psychically-channeled messages form the basis of a key New Age book: “The Only Planet Of Choice” (1993).
“OTD” (“Outwitting The Devil”) was endorsed by STEVE FORBES, the editor-in-chief of the prestigious “Forbes Magazine”. As mentioned, OTD’s publication was deliberately delayed until 2011, coinciding with the NAM obsession with the years 2011 and 2012, when something ‘big’ was supposed to have happened: the start of a golden age.
OTD (the 2011 version) is annotated by SHARON LECHTER, who had been appointed to the US President’s Advisory Council On Financial Literacy (Bush and Obama administrations). Lechter developed technologies and programs for children’s education. She sat on the Board of CHILDHELP (to prevent child abuse).
A series of children’s stories- “The Adventures of Blue Ocean Bob”- were advertised on a website of the same name that recommended Napoleon Hill as one of 4 ‘inspirational authors’. Blue Ocean Bob is a fictional boy who is guided by his animal friends on the “principles of achievement”, such as vizualisation; overcoming fears; mentorship; setting goals; letting go and trusting that all will be well; i.e. the usual NAM fare.
Bob’s creator is BROOKS OLBRYS, an investment bank Managing Director and founder of “Children’s Success Unlimited”. His 3 other inspirational authors are:-
1) BOB PROCTOR, author of “You Were Born Rich”; featured in the popular NAM film “The Secret”, based on the bestselling book “The Secret” (RHONDA BYRNE, 2006) that proposes the “law of attraction”,i.e. your thoughts become reality.
2)EARL NIGHTINGALE (1921-1989), a famous American radio broadcaster who cited Napoleon Hill as an influence. Nightingale’s popular audio recording “The Strangest Secret” (1956) outlines the secrets of success, e.g. we become what we think about; what you sow, you reap.
3)WALLACE WATTLES (1860-1911), author of “The Science Of Being Great” (1910) and “The Science Of Getting Rich” (1910), which helped inspire “The Secret” author Rhonda Byrne, so she said. Wattles studied the world’s religions and practiced creative visualization. He advocated a philosophy later described as NEW THOUGHT, a 19th century American movement based on the idea of a universe pervaded by “Infinite Intelligence”. By aligning your thoughts with this cosmic intelligence, a healing of mind and body can be achieved.
The father of the ‘New Thought’ movement is considered to be PHINEAS QUIMBY (1802-1866), an American hypnotist/mesmerist. A patient of his became the founder of CHRISTIAN SCIENCE: Mary Baker Eddy, who turned Quimby’s teachings into a God-based religion. The Ruling Elite are doing something similar, only the UN ‘God’ is a force rather than a conscious mind.
Mesmerism is named after FRANZ ANTON MESMER who gained fame for putting people into a trance using magnets, electricity, etc. Mesmer belonged to one of the numerous mystical secret societies (“The Society Of Universal Harmony”) stimulating political and religious rebellion in 18th century France.
Mesmer, the Freemasons and Rosicrucians all describe an intuitive faculty that connects humans to a ‘divine’ intelligence. Mesmer studied at a Jesuit school and university, and he set up a ‘magnetic’ health clinic with a Jesuit professor. The current Pope in 2017 is a Jesuit and appears to me to be more open to New Age ideas than previous Popes.
Napoleon Hill’s business tips included the need for more cooperation, to the point of developing a kind of ‘group mind’ or “collective mind”, which he called a MASTER MIND or THIRD MIND, and which can be utilized by each individual mind. Who is controlling who? Napoleon Hill wrote that when 2 minds work together, the result is that a third, invisible, intangible, psychic force is created, “… which can be likened to a third mind” (“Think And Grow Rich”).
His ‘third mind’ was recommended on the website of the ASAE (American Society of Association Executives), which is a ‘center for Association Leadership’, and which claims to represent thousands of association executives and industry partners. The ASAE’s members manage leading trade organizations; individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the USA and abroad.
Hill’s unverified claims extend to him advising the US Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt. This might be true if Hill’s links to Carnegie and Rockefeller are genuine. Hill claimed that Carnegie had spurred him to interview Wilson when Wilson had been President of Princeton University.
Following on from my comments on the esoteric number nine and the ‘Council of 9’ (see above), there is a sci-fi/horror movie called “Plan 9 From Outer Space” (1959), written, produced and directed by legendary Director ED WOOD. The film is considered by some to be one of the worst movies of all time. Perhaps the film was deliberately bad, so that no-one would take seriously any occult analysis.
The story concerns aliens who try to prevent humanity from developing a weapon that could destroy the universe; shades of the protective aliens in the sci-fi movie “When the Earth Stood Still”; similar to the New Age view of the supposedly benevolent -but tough- ETs and/or spiritual entities who are overseeing human evolution.
Plan 9 involves resurrecting dead humans in order to create chaos and scare humanity into being more peaceful. The dead humans could be symbols of the unconscious mind that New Agers want us to contact. Other resurrections and ‘living dead’ include:
1)Jesus; 2) Dracula; 3)Egyptian mummies; 4)the ‘living stone’ (the Philosopher’s stone? The Holy Grail?); 5)the quantum realm or ‘self-aware’ universe.
Beatles musician John Lennon was obsessed with the number nine, as seen in his songs “No. 9 Dream”; “Revolution no. 9” and “One after 909”. He and Yoko Ono were interested in New Age/occult subjects. Lennon’s “Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds” could be a reference to Lucifer (Lucy) and altered states of awareness.