Monday, May 30, 2011

Oprah's Spiritual Charlatanism

Mark Oppenheimer writes (in the NYT):
In her earnest spiritual seeking, Ms. Winfrey gave platforms to some rather questionable types. She hosted the self-help author Louise Hay, who once said Holocaust victims may have been paying for sins in a previous life. She championed the “medical intuitive” Caroline Myss, who claims emotional distress causes cancer. She helped launch Rhonda Byrne, creator of the DVD and book “The Secret,” who teaches that just thinking about wealth can make you rich. She invited the “psychic medium” John Edward to help mourners in her audience talk to their dead relatives.
“The Oprah Winfrey Show” made viewers feel that they constantly had to “sculpt their best lives,” Dr. Lofton writes. Yet in her religious exuberance Ms. Winfrey gave people some badly broken tools. Ms. Winfrey nodded along to the psychics and healers and intuitives. She rarely asked tough questions, and because she believed, millions of others did, too.
And lest we forget, she also gave the people this tool.


Julie Culshaw said...

She probably would have endorsed Tiger Woods, had he run for President.

Ms. Doubt49 said...

Oh and the time she had on this lovely Palestinian lady who cried and cried (quietly) about how horrible the Israelis are making life for her. At that point I scribbled off a note to Oprah and had asked her why she did not have an Israeli to tell his/her side of the story. Still awaiting answer. Yep, she and Obama may have more in common than previously thought.