I am currently researching and considering the foundation of religion in this current president, that was raised with and influenced by Norman Vincent Peale. Many consider him the “father” of the “positive thinking” movement. But it embraces the dynamics of evangelical religious doctrine, in that all blessings on Earth are a product of approval by God. With the balance on that a belief in poverty or misfortune as the judgment by God for not doing His will.
Basically, it bypasses the notion of reward or punishment in an afterlife, and believes God is punishing and rewarding in real time. You know what is “good” or “bad” not according to policy or morality, but according to your own personal betterment following actions or decisions.
So if you punch someone in the face, for example — and nothing bad happens, only the respect for you and around you grows — then that is considered a right thing to do and you were doing God’s will.
And then the justification flowing from that, is that the person you hurt was a person who is NOT doing God’s will. That you are only the messenger, it is really God that hurt them. If God didn’t want you to punch them in the face, you would have received some kind of punishment for doing it.
When combined with wealth, and those who often get to “punch” others with little to no repercussions — it’s a recipe for bad behavior by those in power.
Now, specifically to the Peale religious tenets – there is a belief that you must “visualize” your success. Basically, enforces a method of lying to yourself that a “success” has already happened, and therefore this promotes or increases your likelihood of actually GAINING that success.
IF you are “visualizing” your success prior to any actual success, you are setting up a self-fulfilling prophecy that … if i go back to using my example — would tell yourself that you will have LOADS and LOADS of respect if you just punch that guy over there in the face. THEN, after you punch the guy, you are LOOKING for the respect rather than the condemnation — and of course, you will then see only the respect instead of any condemnation, and therefore determine that God approves of your action, and you are doing God’s will.
Now ………… how this fits in with our POTUS —- is when he lies about things such as being “the president to pass the most legislation since Truman.” He is employing… is SO ingrained with the positive thinking and visualization methods … that he is actually saying his GOAL is to pass more legislation than any other president. Whether it actually happened or not does not matter, he has entered into the stage of this belief system where aging has confused the line between the wish — the visualization — and the actual event.
OR, he is using the public forum to voice his internal “positive affirmations” and is oblivious to how that dicks with the reality and perception of others. Either way, it’s not a good thing.
I think one of the things on everybody’s mind, is how and where does the president get his information? We are used to believing and knowing that the USA president has access to more information than the citizens. That he gets briefings and is kept aware of the various happenings not available to the public. But his communications WITH the public, are on matters that happen AFTER any release to the public. Like he is getting his briefings from the TV and has no other influences or information other than watching the news.
And that is not only strange, it is creepy. Even if you assume that president Trump entered his position, telling himself that he would only comment on issues already in the public eye …….. perhaps to keep from accidentally spilling the beans on important matters of state — then his manipulations are alarming because it is possible he believes whatever spin of the day he is repeating. Also there is the chance that he designed the spin and released it first.
Either way — it’s alarming and not good.
The trump manner of speaking almost completely mirrors and patterns the speaking mannerisms of Norman Vincent Peale. From the use of humor, to the waving of the hands and repetition of words with very simple diction and non-complicated points. “You must embrace positivism by being positive!” And Peale thrusts his finger in the air.
The only problem, is that for positive to even be a positive, there must be a negative. There is no salvation for all, but a damnation for others that proves your own salvation is the will of God.
Now, it’s easy to scream out that is so wrong! Simply for being against established Christianity or Catholicism and Protestant beliefs. But i’m not concerned about the opposition as much as what kind of repercussions having a high-level official IN this religious process — causes.
And it’s possible that the Peale format is a very fine way of designing and constructing a society. I doubt it. But after centuries of Christian results, what do these opportunistic forms of Christianity represent and how will their impact play out?
After all, many earlier religions employed similar doctrines. Early Judaic believed Lepers and those visited with misfortune such as illness — the belief was that they were evil, and deserved it. That it was a “sign” that they were evil and God disapproved of them. It’s easy enough to consider that such a belief on a widespread scale, would hinder all efforts at healing. Little or no help would happen for those who were ill, because it would be considered the will of God and therefore just. Deserved. A judgment man himself could witness.
Well, in the Peale religion, you can witness God’s displeasure and judgment for those who are poor. If you are not successful, you are not following the will of God to become rich.
And so how would that hinder the efforts to raise the standard of living for others, and help those who are struggling? If someone else is poor, and that enforces your own belief that God made you rich because you are special and doing the will of God …………. how far does that reach to keeping others in poverty to affirm your own desire for superiority? The association with only other rich and wealthy people — hanging out with only those you consider blessed and doing the will of God — gives a very deliberate blind-eye to the goodness in the poor, a disregard or lack of knowledge, even. and THEN the meter for “goodness” is set by the wealthy, whose morals may be VERY subpar. And so the “poor” are thought of as HAVING to be worse than themselves, when it comes to level of morality.
Now …… I don’t know about you, but my observation is that the poor often give more and show more compassion for others than any other group. Sure, they might steal your stereo. Then they take all their friends out to lunch. I suppose there could be a lot of debate on that either way. My point is, that in general — the person who is giving a sandwich to the homeless guy on the corner, is NOT the wealthy driving by in their limo. It’s the little old lady living off of her social security check, who was moved by compassion.
Anyway ………. Peale.
The whole source of Donald Trump’s odd behavior is Norman Vincent Peale.
Incidentally, the publisher of Guideposts, a daily devotional used in the Lutheran church where i grew up, and many others. There is some evidence that through Guideposts, Peale worked to subvert traditional beliefs in a way that made his own doctrine more acceptable and seemingly logical.
Imagine if the Mormons had published a nation-wide magazine — introduced into other religions through very strategic contacts — and then that magazine contained stories that subtly changed the thinking on monogamy and how bigamy is viewed, and making it seem more acceptable. The outcome for the practice of bigamy in America might be very different than what we have today.
(I don’t care whether bigamy is good or bad. There are arguments for both sides. And that’s the point.)
But I do feel that with a POTUS who is THIS vested in his cult-like religion, there needs to be an exploration of HOW that religion is effecting his decision-making. Such as the decision to lie in a speech regarding amount of legislation he has signed. If confronted, he would say “he heard it from somebody” or “everybody says so.” And the reality is that the positive thinking brain washing IN HIS HEAD, told him so.
And though Trump imbibes the speaking and mannerisms of Peale — he is NOT a Peale. He is a follower, trapped with no escape route. The differentiation between a religion and a cult, is in the consistency of what is believed by the leader versus what is believed and embraced by followers. The leader will believe very different tenets, or sometimes non at all in a nihilistic or atheistic approach. And then what they teach is designed as a trap, and those caught are NOT effective leaders. You have to be “in” on the methodology, but also there is really no way to graduate a follower into a leader, without letting them know that you were fooling them all along as a follower.
Anyway, from what I can perceive, Trump is a follower of Peale and never graduated into a leadership role in his cult. So he is still operating under the Peale formula for Peale’s followers, a formula designed in large part for enriching Peale himself. In a way, it’s the only cult formula that allows for “high living” by the leader, through explaining that the imbalance — his gathering of wealth from followers — is a sign by God that he is doing God’s will.
Do you find this tiring? I find it very tiring. Oh well …. here’s the thing. There is no proof that standard Christianity is the greatest thing on earth, and any perversion of it is wrong. And there is plenty evidence that more atrocities have been done in the name of God, to the effect that all religion is evil and cultish.
But when you have a belief system that revolves on sharing belief… then that is more like a democratic religion? Where having a religion with separate rules or understandings for its leaders, is more of a kingship or dictatorship.
And so the question is what are the different beliefs involved within the Peale cult? From all appearances, he follows his own advice. Except for one crucial level … where the visualization to create your fortune, has also been the way he created his own fortune. Because his was done with tremendous planning and orchestration. He didn’t just “think positive.” And in that sense, the followers — IF there had a been a Peale that Peale had followed as a boy — he would never have become Peale the leader.
And a leader that is a follower of the Peale doctrine, is one who believes that punching the guy in the face is not just the right thing to do, it is the BLESSED thing to do. It’s approved by God himself.
Peale had one hell of a sense of humor. And at the foundation of things — Tricks are for kids? Tricks and hoodwinking is one way to entertain yourself as you go on in life. But trump is not reaching Peale’s level of being entertained. He is confused. He thinks it means he should be more cruel. Maybe he should start breaking legs as well as punching in the face. Or maybe he should try hugging the other guy. The problem is HE DOESN’T KNOW.
His moral guidance — you could almost say natural moral tendencies — have been tampered with. Unlike many who originally joined Peale’s cult, Trump was raised in the cult. So he didn’t receive any foundation from another morality-based religion. His introduction was not the dichotomy of suddenly being able to do everything that you were taught was wrong. NO. He is the product of having no other morality in place, other than Peale’s.
And at this point … it would take minds greater than my own to figure out exactly what that means. But what it stands for or what can be concluded …. is that he, Trump — is out of the formula range. He is NOT in any planned religious state by Peale — because Peale planned to be dead by the time those who grew up in his cult came into an age of influence.
His formula did NOT take into account further generations. Screw that, take the money and run.
SO ………. Therefore ……….. the generations of those raised in the Peale (evangelical) faith could be time bombs waiting to go off.
Either through careless planning or deliberate last joke on society. Result is same. My point is that cults primarily work to exploit a need not fulfilled by other religious experiences. They get engineered for removing others FROM traditional religions, not for BRINGING UP followers in the faith. So they have an expiration date.
And so, something like the Mormon church — constantly evangelizes. Because they need that new blood to carry on their formula. Those raised in the Mormon faith have an entire different outlook, because they do not have the dichotomy provided by coming from another faith. Jury is out still, as far as I’m concerned. I’m not seeing too many societal problems with those raised in the Mormon faith, other than sexism, racism, etc — which society at large is already inundated. And the only problem that exists, which also exists with evangelism and other cults — is the expiration date that folds into their formula an “end of times.”
So you don’t have to worry that Jimmy’s mom needs to hire and pay a doctor to fix Jimmy’s face — a face you used for a punching bag because that validated your belief in God ———— you don’t have to worry about him needing a doctor, because tomorrow will not come anyway. An expiration date exists, is woven into the cult formula. This ensures a disregard of fallout within society for the repercussions CAUSED by that collective belief.
Whew ……………….. I know all this stuff. It’s just hard getting it all presented.
Because I do have a point to this write. A reason why I felt the need to share what I know. Firstly, there is a very slim line between “religion” and “cult.” At some point in history, every major religion began as a cult and only developed into a religion over testing through time. The formula was tested for the type of society or the viability for survival — of the society it created.
Ones that did not stand the test of time, we term mythology. Or that’s part of it. Dead religions that basically destroyed the host they infected.
And what I’m getting at, is Christianity was not designed to shoulder this kind of “transformation” and evangelism as well as mormonism … (haha not a word) …..needs to be viewed as a cult or new religion. Just because someone screams they believe in Jesus, doesn’t mean they are following the path or teachings of Jesus. And the church, Christianity itself has split so many times, you could argue that there is no such thing as an age-tested and stable religion. They all split and morph as the society they are within adapts and grows.
But the formula, the Christian formula is in the bible itself. The transformations are in large part done with what is disregarded as no longer relevant. So the term of cult is also for the designation of adding moral rules or regulations. The wrong of a cult is not within any change of omitting parts of the formula, it’s a change by adding to the formula. Or having a completely different formula that only mimics some elements of a proven formula.
And of course, we are talking about formulas for social control or social manipulation. Ways in which humans can work together without killing each other. Or that is the general idea.
The Peale formula involves NOT working together. It is a policy of elimination. You are eliminating the guy you punch in the face, because God wants him eliminated. In this way, it fits in snugly with right-wing German elimination policy that creates such things as the holocaust and genocide on almost an industrial level.
And THIS is my concern. My concern is that the Peale formula for “positive thinking” goes terribly awry and into elimination policy. Which then explains the problem with mass shooters and bullies, etc etc. …… the social policies initiated by Peale …… and WIDELY ACCEPTED …….. have led to what could easily become a self-destructing society.
I can’t go back and change the moves, the cause and effect patterns are too large to even map. I don’t want to follow the fascist manner of finding “one” enemy and deciding that enemy is the WHOLE problem and everything would be perfect without them. Because that plays into the formula that is set up by occultists in the first place. And really only works with a time machine to eliminate people before they initiate a cause. And then we’re down the rabbit hole.
But I AM saying that this is something we should be aware of when puzzling over the president’s behavior. He is using the same cult-methods for leading, that he was taught by following them.
I don’t know where that leads. But I can tell you that Peale was no genius, or no magnanimous genius — and where it IS going was NOT planned.
Now, more than ever, it is important to embrace the meaning of Christianity itself — which is Love. The tenets of Christianity — love thy neighbor as thyself, Love the Lord your God with all your heart.
Not do everything you can to get God to love you and make you comfortable. That is hedonism. Not get them before they can get you. That is fascism. Not every man out for himself. That is nihilism or chaos.
No. The formula must begin with Love, and we are still hammering out the details for the rest of it. But omitting the Love element in the equation creates a very different sort of social animal. One that will punch you in the face and call it God’s will that you have a broken face. It is sad enough for those who believe hurting others is God’s will. It is magnitudes worse if the one with the broken face, also believes.
There is a way to create hell on Earth, and that is the way. “Just think positive!” Go blow yourself, Mr. Peale. The way to success is not through riches … a wealthy man entering heaven is as likely as a camel fitting through the eye of a needle. And even removing heaven — which we have in our social structure, have removed both heaven and hell ……. so even without heaven as a destination. The pursuit of happiness … joy for a wealthy man is as likely as fitting a camel through the eye of a needle. Or fitting a Trump into a golf hole.
Joy is in the giving. Love is in the action. Existence is not fulfilling a destiny, but creating your own. What I believe doesn’t matter, I am merely a product of my social environment. This is the end product of the equation we have so far.
And the only issue is that in removing the Devil, the need for opposition to overcome and find purpose — is fulfilled by opposing other humans. Human beings are called evil or toxic instead of “all God’s children.” And then that gets channeled into fascism and off to the races we go.
But imagining “demons” and that delusion process — is extremely problematic in the electronics age. To the point that we would not be able to enter the electronics age without dropping the “demon” and “devil” placeholders for opposition. So this is the right path, unless we go back and undiscover electricity.
Which might not be a bad thing, but a little late now. And many theories exist for ways forward. Best paths and beliefs for a society. But that must begin with an eye for the longevity of a nation or people. There are many theories for ways forward, but no unknown ways back. The bad paths are known, studied and even set up as monuments of lost civilizations, so we can sigh at them and say “well…at least they tried.”
We have been visited with images of a destroyed society — the statue of liberty sunk in the sand. The streets torn apart and overgrown with vegetation. And maybe that is the fate of all societies. But maybe not. Maybe we can continue without cults and without an Apocalypse. Maybe Love can win.
I for one, am unable to Love someone who is punching me in the face. I never really “got” the part of Christianity that tells you to turn the other cheek. It might be what I’m missing … what WE’RE missing. I’m going to think on that a bit.
So that’s it … be well, live long and joyfully. Until next time.
And keep an eye on that Mr. Trump. A Peale disciple AND DO NOT FORGET THAT.