Tony Robbins is in the news

I didn’t discuss famous life coach/motivational speaking Tony Robbins much in my series on Jordan Peterson and the wider phenomenon of self-improvement as gateway to fascism. However, time serves to provide more examples of what I was trying to articulate and Tony Robbins has unwittingly elected to demonstrate the vague point I was making.

http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity-life/life-coach-tony-robbins-says-women-are-using-metoo-movement-to-make-themselves-significant/news-story/a4024435c14fa0a0f8c2aebb8e8e3c78

The main headline has been Robbins criticising the Me Too movement against sexual harassment and assault. That is bad enough but in relation to the connection between self-help and a dysfunctional view of society, Robbins’s behaviour is better demonstrated by a specific incident:

“During his speech, an audience member named Nanine McCool, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, is given a microphone to ask Robbins a question. She starts off by saying, “I think you misunderstand the #MeToo movement…” before Robbins cuts her off.

When Ms McCool gets the floor back almost a full two minutes later, she explains that she feels Robbins has mischaracterised an entire movement by claiming that women are using it for their own personal gains.

Robbins then goes on to use Ms McCool to make his point. He walks her backwards through the aisle of the stadium by pushing against her fist, asking her why she’s resisting his push in order to make his point. Pushing against someone else doesn’t make you more safe, he explains.”

It may seem like a contradiction that a spokesperson for self-empowerment is arguing against pushing back against bullies but it absolutely fits 100% with the underlying message. Pushing back works when it is done collectively and the one thing that simply unites conservatism, libertarianism, self-help and fascism is opposition to people organising from the ground up without direction from leaders.

I’m also kicking myself because I relaise that I didn’t talk about the cult of personality aspect of characters like Robbins and how that joins them neatly with cult-like organisations, fascism and authoritarians & totalitarians in general (and for another example see Ayn Rand.)

Here’s a longer piece on Robbins https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life-and-relationships/anthony-robbins-where-have-you-been-20180408-p4z8gk.html

 

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38 thoughts on “Tony Robbins is in the news”

  1. Robbins recounts a story in his first book about meeting a little girl who was being abused by her brother. His solution? Forget telling the cops. Instead, train her to say no very forcefully, using his empowering techniques, because he just knew it would never happen to her again if she did.
    I sincerely hope he was making it up.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Robbins’ warning about not pushing back reminds me of MLK’s observations about how there was no tension in Egypt when the Israelites submitted to slavery and baked their bricks. And that too many people think that was preferable to the Israelites fighting back and stirring things up.
    Or to paraphrase Frederick Douglas, anyone who thinks you can win freedom without anyone pushing back wants crops without plowing the ground.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The guy who warned women survivors not to push back when abused — and openly physically threatened a woman on camera — is getting pushed back on his words and deeds and panicking. Robbins makes a lot of his money off of white women, like a lot of self-help gurus, and he decided to attack his main audience. He makes the other half of his money off of businesses and having a guru who on video tells a sexual abuse survivor off is not something most companies want to have on record as their consultant or giving team empowerment seminars to their staff. So he better hope that with his past fame he can carve a suitable niche for himself out of the libertarians and disgruntled young white men, the latter a not high money pool that has already been considerably milked. (Though it worked for Peterson.) Must be hard for him that women don’t do what he says and stand up for their rights and their daughters’ futures.

      It’s a cultural shift and I’ll be interested to see what happens to him, because he went for a look that was about 90 degrees off his former image here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. He can, but it’s a narrower market and there are a lot of people working that particular market, which is aging out and demographically fading. If he ends up being seen as part of the alt right, then he’ll have to get a lot more political than he has been, not just woman hating. Woman hating is just the first step on the tour. His people have been reaching out to Burke, the woman he attacked, and other major MeToo players, trying to do damage control. So this was maybe not an intended plan.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. This is a textbook example of punching down. I think that it’s actually Robbins who is trying to use his “disagreement” with the “Me Too” movement to make himself significant once more. There’s nothing more pathetic than a washed-up white man when he fears himself becoming irrelevant.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I saw that video a couple of days ago and thought he came off as horrible, self-righteous, uninformed and aggressive (so, his brand). It would be great if people used their economic power to stop attending his seminars or buying his books, and/or stand up and walk out in large groups after that sort of display. These magalomaniacs** only understand the accumulation of money and power and self-aggrandizement, so it is very disorienting to them when people band together, refuse to play and walk away (ie: Parkland kids, boycotting Laura Ingraham, Stormy + lawyer, teachers in W Va, KS, TN etc).

    I suspect the reason the Atlantic fired Williamson is not because they disavowed or didn’t know his opinions, but because they miscalculated its dollar impact. I had a subscription but I cancelled it last week with a one-line message “This is a direct response to your decision to hire Kevin Williamson.”

    it’s quite a delightful bit of schadenfreude to see all these free market, competition 4 lyfe guys freaking out when their worldview is a loser.

    ** this was a typo but I’m leaving it in.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I always thought he was horrible and sexist, so I was completely unsurprised. Just glad more people are realizing it.

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  6. “Pushing back works when it is done collectively and the one thing that simply unites conservatism, libertarianism, self-help and fascism is opposition to people organising from the ground up without direction from leaders.”

    Which is a lie, and even if it was true, would differentiate them from progressivism, statism, social justice, and communism–how?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well I genuinely meant what I said, so definitely not a lie. Maybe you meant to say that I was wrong or incorrect but just reached for ‘lie’ because it sounded stronger?
      Not sure what you mean by “progressivism” and “statism” and I’m really not interested in a discussion of what you mean by those terms.
      I’m guessing you are going for a general “socialism” left wing thing?

      OK, well then an even cursory look at leftwing movements will find that within them there are many, many, many examples of long lasting grassroots movements not based on leadership-principle or single charismatic leaders. Sure, lots of examples on the left of people doing the OPPOSITE as well (e.g. before you say it Stalin, Mao et al) but the point being it is NOT a consistent feature of the LEFT in the way that it is one of several key features of Fascism.
      For how it is a less obvious feature of (right) libertarian movements and self-help see my previous essays on Jordan Peterson https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/category/peterson/ Obviously you don’t HAVE to read all of those but I’m not going to retype everything in them again – so if you want to see why I genuinely (if perhaps mistakenly) think what I think, that’s the place to look 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “the point being it is NOT a consistent feature of the LEFT”
        That’s without a single basis in reality.

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      2. Herald Newsbringer: That’s without a single basis in reality.

        Camestros has already provided a significant amount of evidence in his essays (try reading the linked one) to back up his position.

        You, on the other hand, have provided nothing other than an “Is so!” Your credibility is nil.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Camestros, I said it was a lie because I’ve had the misfortune of interacting with you in the past. Would you like me to link you to places where you have lied when it was patently obvious that you were?

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      4. 60guilders: Camestros, I said it was a lie because I’ve had the misfortune of interacting with you in the past. Would you like me to link you to places where you have lied when it was patently obvious that you were?

        Oh, yes, please do! It will be very entertaining to see you taken down on your specifics! 😀

        Liked by 3 people

      5. That makes zero sense as an argument. If you wish to comment here at least try to be interesting. If your second comment is an immediate attempt to change the subject then clearly you can’t defend your first claim.

        Ah, what the heck. You clearly CAN’T defend your last comment (no surprise there) so what the heck – by all means bring on the CRIMES OF CAMESTROS! You’ll need to defend each one though and given your failure rate is already zero to two, I’m not optimistic.

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      6. I did have a moment of panic that maybe the poor chap was stuck in the spam filter and here I was wondering why they hadn’t come back but no. Only Phantom struggling with parsing a sentence.

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      7. They both buy soap by the box load obviously. Very sound. Buying non-perishable goods in bulk saves money and also puts you in a strong position when the world is plunged into a grime-apocalypse, the economy collapses and soap becomes the default currency.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. And still, the silence continues! “Would you like me to link you to places where you have lied when it was patently obvious that you were?” Yes, yes, please! I feel so let down now.

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    1. They just usually don’t show up 🙂 I’m curios how long they can last without suddenly changing the subject because they already lost their first argument. Oh! It takes exactly one message!

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