Psychology of Vision III – „We’ll get you all“: Multitasking in a pyramid scheme

As we have seen before, PoV employs strategies to lure in clients and keep them. The courses for „Steps to Leadership“ address a higher income business audience resp. persons who intend to qualify for executive functions.

Chuck&Lency are grateful German clients keep their fridge filled
Chuck&Lency are grateful German clients keep their fridge filled

Chuck&Lency are grateful German clients keep their fridge filled

However, public funding is always welcome. A PoV vendor from Northrhine-Westfalia sells courses in Steps to Leadership lasting seven weekends and one Saturday. The prices asked are € 1,390 for one person, couples will pay € 1,200 per person, and unemployed persons will pay € 1,000. Additionally, possibilities of public funding and subventions are lined out:

The Department for Employment, Integration, and Social Issues of the federal state of NRW may grant subsidies provided certain prerequisites are being met (a so-called Educational Cheque), or the Department of Education and Research may grant a so-called Educational Premium. […] [1]


How does a non-recognised, non-validated pyramid scheme without peer review trying to give itself the air of a pseudo-scientific appearance go together with (gasp) education? How can a federal state department „recognise“ such a mumbo-jumbo? Are they getting their homework done in the department every now and then? Hard to believe, in particular when one reads the description of PoV as provided by this vendor:

“Psychology of Vision is a groundbreaking healing model developed by Dr. Chuck and Lency Spezzano combining modern psychological know-how with the human emotional world. It demonstrates clearly how our inner and outer worlds are connected, what gives us back the power of decision to change of life, to recognise current challenges and to handle them.

Psychology of Vision deals with two main elements of our life: our relationships and our personal individual responsibility.“[2]

Healing model? Relationships? Emotional world? Perhaps we can also apply for a subsidy for a highly scientific course in lawn mowing in Northrhine-Westfalia? (Perhaps a subsidy for a course in lawn mowing is more appropriate than one for PoV.)

Apart from Steps to Leadership, there is another programme, although from its descriptions on PoV websites it is hard to tell whether this is an „official“ part of PoV or a tolerated sideline which trainers may use to generate a little income. PoV websites propagate it along other PoV programmes. We are speaking of „VisionWorks“, originally developed by British PoV trainer Sue Allen. This programme intends to apply PoV methods in schools. Although the alleged advantages for students are being emphasised, the programme primarily addresses school administrations and staff who are expected to book courses to function as multipliers and channel further clients into these courses.

The English VisionWorks website names 17 schools allegedly working according to their programme; their German-language sites do not provide a similar list, but one school on their website informs they apply VisionWorks with their 5th grades.

A Hamburg kindergarten also applies PoV, although at least VisionWorks is said to be recommended from an age of 10 years plus. An ad at Cylex, a classified online directory, lists 16 tags in the kindergarten profile, eight of which are definitely PoV-related and highlighted by capitals. The kindergarten particularly advertises its emphasis on foreign languages; an interesting aspect is whether parents are aware their children probably are also introduced to a pyramid scheme with its own linguistic redefinitions.

Chuck&Lency also say thanks to her for keeping them well-fed

An employee of this kindergarten was tried in 2014 for embezzling monies to pay participation in various Newage seminars in 2007/2008; she had misspent more than € 41,000 from company coffers which apparently caused IRS to get their tax fraud department going who secured evidence in a raid. These seminars were titled „Restoration of Love“, „All is relationship“, or „Healing the Inner Child“ and took place in Malaga and Honolulu.[3] Quite incidentially, PoV did happen to offer seminars with these titles in Malaga and Honolulu in 2007/2008. The employee, even years later, argued in front of the court that the seminars allegedly served personality development and insisted her decision was taken for the children’s good.

This isn’t the only incident in which the motto seems to be „We don’t give a damn whether it’s legal or illegal“. The person named as a contact for customers on the German VisionWorks website emphasises she is employed with Frankfurt University: „She is the head of an institution for vocational training and services at Goethe University Frankfurt“.[4] She even supplies her University business address for persons interested in VisionWorks to make a contact. This means she exploits her professional position to promote her activities with VisionWorks – while her professional website does not mention PoV at all. What’s more, she apparently has lots of time for a sideline to do at the same desk. As the lady happens to be employed in public service, we very much hope her employer did get a chance to approve of the second job, and we hope even more that this sideline has been described truthfully…; still, the employer will most probably assume the side job is not done during any time paid by them. A public employer in the field of education and a side job in a pyramid scheme with totalitarian aspects (cf. further down), however, may not be regarded a felicitous combination.

Another German PoV trainer (level 1) also exploits her profession as a legal guardian to promote her PoV courses and also uses the premises of her official bureau for PoV seminars. According to information provided on her website, she employs techniques like „family constellations, card readings, energy work with angels etc.“ to create a „healing environment in which physical, mental-psychological blockades may be solved“. Yeah, sure. If and when we were in need of a legal guardian, nothing beats a (court-appointed) legal guardian who first reads us the cards to decide whether we can continue living in our home or need to be taken to an institution. That’s simply dripping with respectability. In her profile pulished at the PoV website, this trainer also mentions she has been educated as an NLP trainer.

Of course, VisionWorks, same as PoV, lacks scientific recognition; there is no peer review and no supervision. Although the programme is said to have been developed by teachers, the websites explain it was suited for children „aged 7 to 10, i.e. from grade 4, in particular for grades 5 and 6“[5]. It is hard to imagine that teachers should not be in a position to know what age students will be in which grade.

Comments regarding the contents of the programme are vague and present themselves rather as a cure-all:

„There will be improved classroom behaviour, better academic results and stronger relationships. Staff and students will feel less stressed. The school community will be a happier one“

„You will see improved classroom behaviour through raised self-esteem and increased self-management. Relationships across the board will show a marked improvement. Classes will be more settled, therefore everyone’s learning will improve“

„In this seminar we pinpoint the root causes of behaviour and demonstrate how simple strategies can give pupils new awareness and power to make more positive choices about their behaviour, and more effective ways to manage themselves and their behaviour.“

Additionally to mere promises (all will be gooood even better), there’s „simple strategies“ and shortcuts to instant solutions instead of development processes. This is based on a mechanistic image of human beings with a firm belief that the same input will result in the same output taking the same amount of time in every case – if it doesn’t, it’s not the system to catch the blame, but the client (more workshops, more seminars …).

Stressed teachers are addressed with the following slogans:
“Optimising of homeroom classes with simple moduls immediately useable. Improving of behaviour and tolerance in students. Establishing a common language in order to handle conflicts and differing views.“[6]

So it gets even worse: „Optimising“ with „simple modules“ once again points to the mechanistic image of human beings, but establishing a common language implies that any person not familiar with this „common“ language made up of redefined terms will be excluded from communication – and users of such a language will not be able to communicate with outsiders without problems, so that contacts to the outside often get reduced more and more. Conflicts and differences in opinion furthermore are to be „handled“ – with compliments from Scientology? How tolerance may be learned, let alone improved when differences in opinion and conflicts are meant to be dissolved even before they occur does not get explained (well, apparently it is easy to be tolerant when everybody shares the same opinion).

This runs contrary to the official aims of education which state that schools will prepare students to take an active part in a democratic and pluralist society in which differences in opinion are usual and must be suffered, and conflicts will not be „handled“ but students are expected to learn how to actively achieve at inclusive solutions. Children and adolescents at VisionWorks will be subject to a programme making use of totalitarian strategies which VisionWorks propagates as a progress. This means that the vendors of VisionWorks have left the common ground of free democratic basic order.

With Scientology, this was sufficient for the alleged church to be observed by our spooks. While PoV does not claim to be a church, but with a definition of „both a healing model as well as a global community of people teaching and practicing this model“, they seem to have already begun the Long March. Global community? — „… and tomorrow ze vorld“?







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