Canfields work is shrouded in stories that are

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Canfield’s work is shrouded in stories that are genuinely heartwarming and seemingly innocent, but when you check out some of the authors of these tales, a whole different picture emerges. For instance, the original Chicken Soup volume contains at least 25 New Age attributions or contributors, such as Wayne Dyer , Eric Butterworth (popular New Age spiritual leader), and Richard Bach (of Jonathan Livingston Seagull fame who believes our apparent physical limits and mortality are merely appearance), Teilhard de Chardin (his writings were condemned by the Church), Carl Rogers (one of the founders of the very New Age humanistic approach to psychology) to name a few. This volume also advertises the New Age oriented magazine called Changes . Some of the stories are clearly New Age, such as Canfield’s “The Golden Buddha” story in which he writes: “We are all like the clay Buddha covered with a shell of hardness created out of fear, and yet each of us is a Golden Buddha,’ a golden Christ,’ or a golden essence,’ which is our real self.” The second volume contains stories written by 38 New Age or Mormon contributors such as Sai Baba (Indian guru who thought he was a reincarnated saint) and the noted transcendental meditation promoter Harold Bloomfield . The third volume is no improvement and contains 23 New Age or Mormon contributors and Chicken Soup for the Surviving Soul contains 20 New Age contributors. Some of these authors include Marianne Williamson (who promotes the occult-based A Course in Miracles ), Joan Borysenko (mind/body healer), see , Norman Cousins (another mind-over- matter guru) and Alan Cohen (self-help guru who founded a university dedicated to “higher learning for the higher self”). Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul is even worse and contains at least 27 New Age and Mormon authors or attributions including a “psychic,” two Transcendental Meditation trainers, a Unity minister, and a shaman. Unfortunately, there are now 200 titles in this series and 112 million copies in print in over 40 languages. That’s getting a lot of mileage for the “be your own god” crowd. But that’s not all Canfield has been up to. Some say he’s behind the huge success of Rhonda Byrne ’s The Secret (based on the idea that there is some kind of secret knowledge about God, humanity and the universe of which the general population is not aware that can make you fabulously rich, beautiful, attractive, etc.) and that it was his Transformational Leadership Council that provided all the gurus who appeared in the movie The Secret . But none of this is all that shocking for a person who bases his “religion” on a mish-mosh of spiritualities. According to this quote from Choosing to Be Happy : “Every religion I’ve looked at has some technology— … I’ve studied all of them and found what works for me and I’ve tried to make it available to others. What works for me is a combination of disciplines: I do yoga , tai chi which is a Chinese martial art and three kinds of meditation - vipassana , transcendental and mantra (sound) meditation. If you have to pick a yoga
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  • Fall '19
  • New Thought, Norman Vincent Peale, Prosperity theology, Word of Faith

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