Psychology of Vision II – Grabbing state money, demanding donations, and still mimicking the benefactor

Not to worry our European readers about where their tax money goes to: this is happening in Canada. Methods and practices aren’t any less perfiduous and merit a closer look.

Canada, same as the USA, has an indigenous population who were not always treated nicely by the government. There is a multitude of reservations, mostly not alloted to entire ethnicities, but to individual groups or villages of an indigenous nation. In ancient Rome, this was called: divide et impera. Members of these groups were recognized as „Status Indians“. However, indigenous populations always present a reminder to the fact that the land once belonged to other people, which is a fact that may be inconveniently aggrieving – on the other hand, the good colonialist aims at civilising the „savages“ and knows what’s best for them.

One measure of civilising were the so-called Residential Schools for indigenous children and adolescents. These schools (the last one being closed only in 1996) mostly were far away from the students‘ home communities, so that family life was more or less restricted to the summer holidays. However, the schools weren’t exactly what one calls a summer resort: many of them kept by a particular religious denomination, they aimed at civilising and christianising indigenous children, and oh yes: educate them a little. Use of their mother tongue was strictly forbidden and got punished brutally, the cultures of origin were defamed as inferior. Accomodation and care were gruesome; many children died from raging infectuous diseases, in attempts to escape, or by suicide. Many of the children also became victims of physical, psychological, and sexual violence. A few years ago, this issue was taken up in Canada, and the government offered money to pay for a respective treatment of the survivors. All in all, the Canadian government coughed up some CAD 500 million for the treatment of traumatised indigenous persons. Where’s the hitch? E.g. that no one-to-one counselling was paid for although appropriate in many cases, but only group therapy. An article offers some further information regarding how quacks and charlatans hopped on the gravy train, and how Health Canada prefered not to notice that e.g. Neurolinguistic Programming and other quack therapies were purely Newage.

Chuck Spezzano - Founder of PoV
Chuck Spezzano – Founder of PoV

PoV also jumped on the bandwaggon and descended on British Columbia; after all they are determined to „heal the planet“. Anyways, one happens to be soooo nice towards the Indians who of course are really and duly grateful – the „white father“ of course knowing exactly what is good for his „red children“. And actually PoV has got the same values as indigenous cultures – the Spezzanos say, and everywhere PoV turns up, a „renaissance of indigenous culture“ is said to take place.

One of PoV’s principles, by the way, is that a person will only experience what they have done to others before or are still doing to others. One hesitates to imagine what such a load of BS does to survivors of sexual violence and systematic abuse, and which additional traumata will be caused.

PoV also does not mind to evoke the impression they were „treating“ indigenous persons for free: no, they only give slight reductions on seminar fees. So e.g. for this seminar, with a reduction to CAD 360 from an original CAD 460, both plus tax. Of course, indigenous clients are also expected to complete the „100 day program“ as well as other programmes. The reduced prices are made up for by worldwide fund raisers with PoV members who may generously donate to a „First Nations Fund“, which PoV denies having anything to do with and claim it was an activity entirely organised by their membership.

Susan How, manager of the First Nation Fund
Susan How, manager of the First Nation Fund

There are also various incentives to organise PoV seminars in indigenous communities, as instructors in this case will have all expenses refunded which of course otherwise have to be covered by instructors themselves. The annual trainer’s licences may also be worked off, either in part or completely, with seminars for a predominantly indigenous clientele. This is what Section K of the PoV Trainers‘ Manual says. Per full seminar day, trainers may deduct the amount of $ 350 from the annual licence fee.

Speaking of treatment: it is probably apt to remind our readers that PoV is no recognised psychological method – it isn’t even a psychological method to begin with. A peer review never took place. Still, PoV does get mentioned in a German thesis: as a Newage self-optimising therapy in a list of numerous other methods of quackery and charlatanry.

On PoV websites, the following smoke grenades are employed to dupe customers:

Psychology of Vision is both a healing model and a global community of people teaching and practicing that model. Psychology of Vision is a path of the heart that has helped tens of thousands of people around the world through seminars, one-to-one coaching and its many products and publications. It has helped people improve their lives, their relationships and their health by giving them an understanding of themselves and others, and giving them insights into the events in their lives. It is a model that teaches emotional intelligence through a remembering of Self.

Inside PoV, our great saviour of relationships apparently mutates into a healer. The combination of a claimed healing model with an alleged global community points to a cult-like structure in PoV. Additionally, its commercial character is emphasised by references to „seminars, individual counselling and many products and publications“ which ultimately means they concede PoV is no therapy. Speaking of „commercial“: a PoV website announced Spezzano’s coming to Enland in April and July 2014 and pointed out he would be available for private counselling and – „His fee for a one-hour session is £700“[2]. Now, isn’t this an hourly wage that will cause watery eyes in seasoned trade union members?

In the way of indigenous clients, PoV seems to prefer persons working in local tribal administrations. As the Trainers‘ Manual explains, advancement to higher positions also means a commitment to and declaration of how the candidate intends to contribute to „healing the planet“. The Manual even provides a few hints: introducing colleagues and above all seniors in tribal administrations, but also family and friends as well as members of traditional tribal social and political structures (which are often hereditary with the First Nations in British Columbia) to PoV methods and urging them to adopt and apply these methods on further persons. So this is a usual pyramid system, in which victims are required to recruit more victims and thus eventually „advance“ to being perpetrators. In particular when members of tribal administrations have to hand in quarterly reports of success, their taking an influence on further members of their ethnic group becomes conceivable, since in many reserves, tribal administrations are an important, sometimes even the only large local employer. Additionally, further important areas like housing, administration and allocation of profits from commonly held property, access to qualification measures, benefits etc. offer possibilities to channel inflow to PoV seminars.

This creates the image of a cobweb in which clients get entangled and caught. We’re getting curious now, so in part III, we will be looking at PoV structures in Europe and whether they will apply similar strategies or whether they will stick to mending relationships (Spezzano does sell a „relationship emergency kit“ — and no, dear readers, I’m afraid you’ve got an impure mind, it’s really just about how to put some glue on your partner’s chair make your partner stay.



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