The Selfish Self-Help Industry

Selfish HelpIt’s an unregulated industrial pandemic disease that’s spreading rampantly throughout Western society. This endemic epidemic infests and infects humongous throngs who just seek a panacea… but this supposed betterment turns out to be merely an impediment. The pathological etiologies driving this malady are greed, avarice and sometimes megalomaniacal narcissism.

Today we possess the technological capabilities to find any and every piece of human knowledge through a plain cyber search box, and to connect virtually the entire planet via a bluish social networking platform. But even with all this newfangled technology readily available at our fingertips, a huge chunk of the population still can’t grasp how to attain the most basic, the most primal, the most innate of human needs- Satisfaction, fullfillment and happiness.

And inside this emotional/spiritual void enter the self-harm gurus, motivational untruth speakers and life sucking coaches.

While they flash their artificial smiles, reiterate their vacuous phrases and chant their meaningless mantras, they are raking in profits through books, info-products, audios, videos, webinars and live events. According to estimations of recent years, the self-help industry has been piling up $11 to $12 billion each year… money that is directly pumped out of people’s susceptibilities and vulnerabilities.

Consumers are losing all their duds and chattels in this desperate pursuit of ever-elusive fulfillment… and sometimes even getting physically afflicted in the process.

Useless Self-Help Guru

James Arthur Ray was one of the most sought-after motivational speakers in the world. People had paid tens of thousands of dollars to participate in his seminars and events while he had occasionally been hosted on the top-rated talk shows on television. But then he killed a bunch of naive fellows at his sweat lodge and was sentenced to two years in jail.

Tony Robbins, an extremely wanted motivational speaker, had almost led his own event’s partakers down the same fiery path as JAR’s victims, following in their footsteps… quite literally. During one of his $2,000 seminar, two dozen people had reported they had burned their feet after they were urged to walk on burning coals as a metaphor for facing their fears and accomplishing their goals. The motivational speaker never spoke about the incident.

The self-help author Joe Vitale is making millions from selling info-products while he flaunts his so-called doctorate without ever disclosing that he received it from the unaccredited University of Metaphysics. And after buyers provide him with their private contact information, Vitale sells those personal details to the boiler room company Prosper, once again without proper disclosure.

The notorious self-help motivational speaker, author and life coach Kevin Trudeau, was actually already convicted for quite a few frauds in the past including larceny, credit card fraud and stating false claims for commercial purposes. Even though the FTC placed Trudeau under a lifetime prohibition barring his promotion of products via infomercials, he failed to comply and was fined $37.6 million (which he has yet to pay).

Recently, another sad and tragic affair which further murkily paints the self-help industry had transpired, though this time the victims were in fact the self-help gurus themselves. The life coaches Lynne Rosen and John Littig took their own lives in a joint suicide pact, after they themselves had failed to find the happiness that they had purportedly attempted to help others discover.

Deceit. Exploitation. Plunder. Harm. Death.

The self-help industry is the ailment and we are the body that hosts it. We have nourished it, fed it, let it to grow into the gargantuan behemoth that sucks so many innocent souls today. And it’s entirely up to us to diminish it by simply recognizing that it does exist to begin with.

Next time you feel unhappy or sense that you need some inspiration, do yourself a huge favor. Either get professional help from someone who is fully licensed with accredited qualifications or just watch Mel Gibson deliver his stirring speech one more time in the epic scene from Braveheart… because even Madcap Mel with all his antics and craziness, can help you more than the supposed self-help gurus.


  • 2funnyone

    For every bad self-help book, website, or gurus there are equally excellent ones. For every bad doctor, teacher, priest, etc are good ones. What people need is critical thinking lessons on how to determine if what they are reading, hearing, or listening to has value, like the media.

    • Omri Shabat

      No. There’s a huge difference between doctors/teachers who are actually QUALIFIED and SKILLED to those bogus self-help gurus. Sure there are some bad professionals out there … but their prevalence is significantly lower compared to the fake self-help industry, which almost exclusively comprises of con men.

      I completely agree that critical thinking is VITAL in a society … and quite ironically, many of the self-help gurus are trying to repress any sort of criticism.

  • Johnny 5

    “re-examine all you have been told in school or church or in any book, and dismiss whatever insults your own soul” Walt Whitman

    If it doesn’t ring true for you in your life then don’t go along with it. It’s simple. The answers are all inside us and teachers are unnecessary because all of life is a teacher! But you can still find much to benefit from within authors and teachers in the self help industry! Many of the people are NOT accredited but they still are sharing WHAT WORKED FOR THEM! It might not be right for you or someone else, but that is why we all have our own ability to judge and determine the validity of anything we are told for ourselves!

    Ignoring the self help industry (or anything) as a whole just because of some bad apples and things that can go wrong? NOW THAT IS SOMETHING ALL WOULD DO BEST TO IGNORE!

    Talk about ignorant and limited thinking! Sheesh! But yes, don’t just accept everything or anything just because someone is saying it’s true. I’d assume that is pretty freaking obvious.