Paying a painful price for huckster's advice

Saturday, June 25, 2016

The pain of others should not provoke humor. In this case, I'm sorry, but it does.

Here's the background.

You've probably heard of motivational guru Tony Robbins, the highly-photogenic mogul who promises to unlock your hidden potential by attending his somewhat costly seminars.

For a couple of hours and a couple hundred dollars, Robbins will try to convince you through his "Unleash the Power Within" seminars that you can overcome the roadblocks of fear by following his canned advice.

Most of those who plunk down cash for the Robbins experience are firmly convinced that greatness is just a seminar away and by following his advice, their futures will suddenly become prosperous in all ways possible.

As part of this life-changing experience, Robbins urges his followers to walk on hot coals to face their fears.

As one of his "trainers" acknowledged, "Storm across a bed of hot coals. Once you start doing what you thought was impossible, you'll conquer the other fires in your life with ease."

So this week during a Dallas seminar, Robbins urged the 7,000 attendees - yep 7,000 - to take the fear-removing walk and tip toe barefooted across a bed of hot, flaming coals.

And that's when the troubles began.

Apparently a few dozen Robbins' followers fell somewhat short of conquering their fears and ended up in area hospitals with severe burns.

Who would have thunk?

Actually, back in 2012, two dozen participants also suffered burns during a similar event in California.

But the motivational guru wasn't deterred and said proudly that the hot coal walk was successful because so few people were injured.

Throughout our history, a gullible public has flocked to charlatans who promise wealth and happiness just for the price of admission.

With ample speaking skills and some form of charm, those who promise more than they can ever deliver keep assuring the public that their shortcomings can be cured with a seminar. And in Robbins' case, a quick stroll down a bed of hot burning coals.

I'm so very sorry that I cannot read this tripe without uncontrollable laughter.

I don't actually blame Tony Robbins. Heck, he's arrived at a formula to make money with very little heavy lifting.

But I do wonder about the poor lost souls who actually believe that a foolhardy stunt like coal walking will somehow change the direction of their lives.

Robbins didn't coin the phrase: "There's a sucker born every minute." And yet he's built a successful empire on just that premise.

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