Friday, June 14, 2024

#2782: Gary Douglas

Access Conciousness is a pseudoscience and quasi-religious organization – potentially a cult and often described as a “Scientology knockoff” – founded in 1995 by Gary M. Douglas. The group offers a plethora of books, videos and physical classes, with memberships and accessories that will help you achieve non-specific benefits, including wakefulness and weight loss, in particular through a set of special head massages that will ostensibly achieve electromagnetic activation of chakra-like “bar points”. A central part of the underlying pseudo-theology is the assumption that there are 16 (or possibly 32) bars in your head that correspond to different parts of your life, and which Access Consciousness’s products will help you target. But it’s not enough to be a mere human to achieve the promised enlightenment; you have to be so conscious that you’ve become a humanoid, which is apparently a more conscious, free, non-sheeple-like version of human. The general ideas behing Access Consciousness are obviously influenced by concepts and ideas related to acupressure and chakra nonsense, as well as by Scientology. There is a detailed evaluation of the group here.


Apparently, you, too, can dismantle the implants that restrict you to being a mere human, for instance by repeating a set of nonsense mantras or “clearing statements” likeWhat stupidity are you using to create the old thinking you are choosing? Everything that is, times a godzillion – will you destroy and uncreate it all? Right and wrong, good and bad, pod and poc, all nine, shorts, boys and beyonds.” Currently, the Access True Knowledge Foundation is working to establish a series of Access Schools, “after-school programs or schools that educate kids in a more expansive and dynamic way.” Some such after-school programs already exist.


Fortunately, their webpage has a section labeled "how does it work?" related to the aforementioned access bars. Unfortunately, the section contains absolutely no indication of how it works and absolutely nothing resembling scientific ideas behind the procedures, though if you ask for the scientific basis of their claims, you are obviously not in the target group here. They do, like woo and quackery advocates often do, suggest that you must be receptive for the procedures to work; criticism from skeptics can accordingly be conveniently and summarily dismissed. Besides, “humans” who ask too many questions are just “evil little fucks” or “demon bitches from hell” anyways and not worth the time of True humanoid followers.


And you can of course choose your level of receptivity. In fact, according to Access Consciousness, everything is apparently a choice, and as “infinite beings” we always have a choice. As Access-acolyte Sarah Blumenfeld explains it: “For instance, my [late] husband had cancer. Well, I could judge that as wrong, but that’s what he chose and so ... the concept of everything-in-our-life-is-a-choice upsets a lot of people.” If you’re still unsure, she has an analogy: “If I had said that someone ate peas when they didn’t want to, to prevent someone else from having to eat peas who didn’t want to even more, then you would be okay with that, probably. It’s the same kind of a concept, but to such a greater degree that it makes you uncomfortable, and maybe you can't grasp that, and that's okay.” So, there. Commentators have been worried that, given its increase in popularity and followers, Access Consciousness is on the verge of turning into a sex cult.


The founder of Access Consciousness, Gary Douglas, used to be in the real estate business until legal conflicts with (mere “humans” in) collection agencies, the IRS, and the Department of Justice drove him to bankruptcy in 1993. After his bankruptcy, he conveniently discovered his channeling powers, and for a while, he apparently channeled a number of historical persons and entities, including Rasputin and extraterrestrials, to people willing to pay for such dross. The information he gained from these channelling sessions provided the foundations for Access Consciousness (i.e. Douglas discovered what level of shit some people were willing to believe), and the organization was developed with the help of connections provided him by his first first wife, a Scientology recruiter, and his second wife, a former Scientologist. The group remained obscure until its teachings were endorsed ex-NFL player Ricky Williams, possibly because Williams was too stupid even for Scientology – or perhaps because Williams perceived it as easier to milk a smaller organization for influence and money. There is a brief comment on Douglas’s participation at the MindBodyWallet Festival in Perth in 2006 here.


Like Scientology, Access Consciousness is largely a commercial enterprise, and they have a substantial online shop pushing books, classes, memberships, and certifications for opening new branches. And everything is expensive: it’ll cost you 130 dollars a month (2012 figures), for instance, to obtain a “creative edge” membership that allows you to see a telecast, “unpredictable surprises from anywhere at any time” and “a one-hour call every month” with Douglas or one of his associates Dain Heer, a former chiropractor and Douglas’s number two man; Simone Milasas, an “Advanced Facilitator and Business Development Coordinator” for the foundation; or Brendon Watt.


Diagnosis: You’d think that, at some level, Douglas is aware that what he is doing is trying to run a cult based on exploitative nonsense. But we admit that he really does seem to struggle to distinguish reality from his everchanging imagination – having an army of droning acolytes affirming anything you say may tend to obscure that distinction for you. It is rather unbelievable that this sort of bullshit should be able to sustain any kind of popularity, but then again, even Scientology seems to have been a successful venture for a while.


Hat-tip: rationalwiki

1 comment:

  1. I'd be genuinely amazed if he can even remember what year it is.