Signs you are being scammed by a fake guru

Monday, February 27, 2012 by: Mike Bundrant
Tags: gurus, scams, self improvement

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(NaturalNews) All over the web, self-proclaimed gurus are telling you lie after blatant lie in order to get your money and pump their ego. Chances are you have fallen for some of their tactics, even if you have never been taken for thousands of dollars in exchange for some relatively worthless information. Here are a few of their favorite tactics. Buyer beware.

They tell you there are no limits

Gurus love to preach that you'll have no limitations (if you buy their products). Their "proven" strategies will either 1) catapult you past anything in your way or 2) give you unlimited power. Outside of the trance induced state their marketing materials tend to foster, it is easy for any sane person to understand that nobody has unlimited power and no person can give special powers to another. Yet, the claim is made all the time - no limits, beyond all boundaries, you can have everything you want, achieve unlimited wealth and abundance, etc...and other lies.

As you soon as you lock your intention upon it, bang! You've got a Mercedes. And that's how it works.
James Arthur Ray

They sell secrets

Selling secrets is an age-old tactic used by hustlers and scam artists. Of course, if there were any secrets to easy wealth and unlimited happiness, then it would still be hard to believe that some self-proclaimed guru got access to them for the purpose of selling them online. Secrets miraculously preserved through the ages! Secrets that only the XYZ exclusive super duper group of super heroes know!

In my field, Neuro Linguistic Programming, secrets are sold all the time. Having been an NLP trainer for over 20 years, I happen to know that there are no NLP secrets, never were, and never will be. There are only communication skills that aren't mainstream, but are pretty darn useful. Who wants to learn communication skills that are just pretty darn useful? Luckily, there are mature people who want to learn something new and expect to pay a fair price for the education. It's the naive ones who get scammed into purchasing "secrets that can only be found through this website" (on the other side of the PayPal button). Don't fall for secrets. There aren't any.

They fake credibility

This is one of the sneaky tactics introduced by the father of American public relations, the original spin doctor, Edward Bernays. In 1913 Bernays was hired by the actor Richard Bennet to protect a play that supported sex education against police interference. Bernays set up a front group called the Medical Review of Reviews Sociological Fund (officially concerned with fighting venereal disease) for the purpose of endorsing the play. The point here is, if you don't have a credible endorsement, just create an official sounding group and endorse yourself. This little tactic has really caught on and served many self-proclaimed gurus over the years.

They make you feel inferior on purpose

The infamous "twist the knife" tactic goes like this: find a person who is struggling and feeling bad, then make him feel even worse. Then, when he is in a desperate, horrible, helpless state, tell him that it may never end. When you offer a quick and easy solution that has clearly "worked for others who were suffering just like you" the poor schmuck will surely take the bait. Tony Robbins calls it the Dickens method. It is aggressive, wildly manipulative, and it really works, unfortunately.

They say anyone can do it

We all have different gifts and talents. This diversity is part of what makes life interesting. It allows us to appreciate each other. It fosters interdependence. No one has a talent for everything and no one can succeed at whatever they might try. Ask me to become an electrical engineer, a musician, or a calculus teacher and watch me fail. I am OK with this. I accept these limitations. I consider knowing my limitations part of being a self-aware adult. Fortunately, I possess talents that I enjoy and can make a living with, among other things. All good.

Yet, the gurus who have something to sell claim that anyone can succeed at their whiz-bang-program-for-a-mere-ton-of-money if he or she is willing to put forth a little effort. Lies. Ask any guru to show any credible evidence of the large scale success of their minions. They avoid this question like the plague. They can offer some specific examples of students who succeeded, which are often a prefabricated stories, but they can't offer even small-scale evidence of real success or true follow up with past students.

Real evidence looks like this:

Over an adult's working life, high school graduates can expect, on average, to earn $1.2 million; those with a bachelor's degree, $2.1 million; and people with a master's degree, $2.5 million. Persons with doctoral degrees earn an average of $3.4 million during their working life, while those with professional degrees do best at $4.4 million (U.S. Census Bureau).

We know how much people will spend to "touch the hem" of a guru (this is a common way of putting it among guru marketing teams). Just how people benefit financially, emotionally and spiritually is an unknown. Of course, it is up to the self-proclaimed guru to prove otherwise. He can't. That's why he needs to be a very persuasive marketer to survive.

They jack their prices sky high

The hallmark of a self-proclaimed guru is out-of-this-world-pricing. This is the desired end result for the guru, what its all about. This is why they need to use the above lies, to build perceived (translated: fake) value. How would you like to pay $10,000 for a weekend personal development course? Forget it, unless you are going to get something really incredible, right? The value has to be there or you won't part with your hard earned cash (or credit).

The problem is, no information, skills or education at any personal development weekend could possibly be worth ten grand (not including travel, accommodations, taxes and, of course, the up sell products you will need to really pull things off). So, they artificially inflate the importance, urgency and grandeur of the event. Amazingly, it works! Don't fall for it. Anything you can learn from a guru for 10K, you can learn from a $20 book or from an honest person for a few hundred bucks.

Sources for this article include:

About the author:
Watch the free video The AHA! Process: An End to Self-Sabotage and discover the lost keys to personal transformation and emotional well-being that have been suppressed by mainstream mental health for decades.

The information in this video has been called the missing link in mental health and personal development. In a world full of shallow, quick-fix techniques, second rate psychology and pharmaceutical takeovers, real solutions have become nearly impossible to find. Click here to watch the presentation that will turn your world upside down.

Mike Bundrant is co-founder of the iNLP Center and host of Mental Health Exposed, a Natural News Radio program.

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