Friday, May 21, 2010
#18: Michael Bernard Beckwith
Beckwith is a New Thought minister and founder of the Agape International Spiritual Center in Culver City, California, a New Thought church with 8000 members. Beckwith was one of the featured teachers in The Secret movie (hence an automatic consideration for inclusion in our encyclopedia); teaches meditation and “scientific prayer”, speaks at conferences and seminars and is the author of numerous books. Beckwith is a prophet of the infamous Law of Attraction, a crackpot idea in pseudo-scientific dressing about how positive thinking metaphysically attracts success. When Beckwith says "There's enough for everyone. If you believe it, if you can see it, if you act from it, it will show up for you. That's the truth", it is not meant metaphorically. The same goes for "There are laws of the universe and if you practice them they will respond to you." No, Beckwith, that’s not how it works.
Beckwith’s main project is to combine the most fluffy ideas from the world’s religions with New Age thought – and then proceed to declare it “science”; the epitome of New Age flakiness, in other words.
It should be mentioned that Beckwith is a serious contributor to various charities and environmental issues; unfortunately his ridiculous metaphysical rantings might overall have more adverse consequences than his contributions to social issues have positive consequences.
Diagnosis: Professional snowflake with delusions of grandeur and a serious shortage of critical thinking skills; quite an impact, but it is unclear to what degree his metaphysical gibberish contributes to his influence.