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Mind-benders Introduction

The almost total lack of clear thinking in today's culture is partly because the concepts of clear thinking, such as classical logic, are no longer taught, but partly because there are so many ideas being promoted that actually prevent clear thinking. Some of that confusion is intentional, coming out of academia promoting post-modern and cultural Marxist ideas with such pseudo-concepts as "critical thinking." That influence is political, but there is another influence which is the business I call the "thaumaturgy for success, wealth, happiness."

Thaumaturgy means "the working of miracles or magic feats," and the huge multi-million dollar business of self-improvement, personal development, and leadership training, promises truly "magical" results. In "courses" ranging from a half-day to a week, these magicians promise to turn mediocre individuals into innovative powerhouses, totally confused individuals into dynamic organizers, and complete failures into phenomenal successes.

It is out of this whole field of personal development, and consultation, that the worst (and most dangerous) of anti-intellectual ideas come. Some of the better known proponents, both individuals and organizations, of these ideas are the following, which shall each be dealt with separately. They include:

The de Bono brothers, a de Bono promoter, Greame Allan, the Myers & Briggs Foundation, a typical Myers & Briggs practitioner, Dr. Barbara Joyce Frank, the "Covey Coven:" including Franklin Covey, Stephen R. Covey, Sean Covey and, though not a Covey, definitely a coven member, Jennifer Colosimo, the well-known Landmark Education, ["dealt with elsewhere]," and psychologists, Nathanial Brandon and his The Six Pillars Of Self-esteem, and, to show the psychological similarity in all this claptrap, Abraham Maslow.

Before analyzing the specific bad ideas proposed by these individuals and organizations (in separate articles) I'll first examine the most important of those ideas themselves.

Anti-reason, Anti-truth, Pseudo-Concepts

There is literally no end of vaguely defined fuzzy concepts made-up to sound impressive invented by these mind-benders, such as, "parallel thinking," "exlectics," "type dynamics," "transformational leadership," and my favorite, "whole person paradigm."

Some of these terms have become part of the popular vocabulary showing up, not only in academic works, but in the MSM, educational materials, and even entertainment media. It is those terms I will discuss in detail. These discussions constitute a subseries of the "The Mind-bender" series called , "The Mind-bender Concepts Sub-series," which are listed below:

[NOTE: The separate discussions of each concept combined would make a very long article. To make it easier to read, each concept is contained in a separate article, linked from the list above. The separate articles all contain this list of links.]

—(01/19/11)