NORMAN_VINCENT_PEALE_AND_THE_POWER_OF_POSITIVE_THINKING.doc

13 donald meyer confidence man new republic pages 8

  • No School
  • AA 1
  • 39

This preview shows page 2 - 4 out of 39 pages.

13. Donald Meyer, "Confidence Man", New Republic , July 11, 1955, pages 8-10 Hard to substantiate One major criticism of The Power of Positive Thinking is that the book is full of anecdotes that are hard to substantiate . Almost all of the experts and many of the testimonials that Peale quotes as supporting his philosophy are unnamed, unknown and unsourced. Examples include a "famous psychologist", a two-page letter from a "practicing physician", another "famous psychologist", a "prominent citizen of New York City", and dozens, if not hundreds, more unverifiable quotations. Similar scientific studies of questionable validity are also cited. As psychiatrist R. C. Murphy exclaimed, "All this advertising is vindicated as it were, by a strict cleaving to the side of part truth," and referred to the work and the quoted material as "implausible and woodenly pious." [15] 15. Murphy, R.C. "Think Right: Reverend Peale's Panacea." The Nation . May 7, 1955, pp. 398–400 Concealed hypnosis A second major accusation of Peale is that he attempted to conceal that his techniques for giving the reader absolute self-confidence and deliverance from suffering are a well-known form of hypnosis , and that he attempts to persuade his readers to follow his beliefs through a combination of false evidence and self- hypnosis ( autosuggestion ), disguised by the use of terms which may sound more benign from the reader's point of view ("techniques", "formulas," "methods," "prayers," and "prescriptions."). One author called Peale's book "The Bible of American autohypnotism." [3] 3. Donald Meyer, The Positive Thinkers . Pantheon Books, 1965
Image of page 2

Subscribe to view the full document.

Psychiatrist R. C. Murphy writes "Self knowledge, in Mr. Peale's understanding is unequivocally bad: self hypnosis is good." Murphy adds that repeated hypnosis defeats an individual's self-motivation, self- knowledge, unique sense of self, sense of reality, and ability to think critically. Murphy describes Peale's understanding of the mind as inaccurate, "without depth," and his description of the workings of the mind and the unconscious as deceptively simplistic and false: "It is the very shallowness of his concept of 'person' that makes his rules appear easy ... If the unconscious of man ... can be conceptualized as a container for a small number of psychic fragments, then ideas like 'mind-drainage' follow. So does the reliance on self- hypnosis, which is the cornerstone of Mr. Peale's philosophy.'" [15] Psychologist Albert Ellis, the founder of cognitive therapy and influential psychologist of the 20th century, compared the Peale techniques with those of the hypnotist Emile Coue, and Ellis says that the repeated use of these hypnotic techniques could lead to significant mental health problems. Ellis has documented in several books the many individuals he has treated who suffered mental breakdowns from following Peale's teachings. Ellis' writings repeatedly warn the public not to follow the Peale message.
Image of page 3
Image of page 4
  • Fall '19
  • New Thought, Norman Vincent Peale, Prosperity theology, Word of Faith

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern