Alberto Villoldo – New Age Fraud? Misinformer? Something else? (aka, an exercise in critical thinking – PART 3)

The few who may be reading this three part series may by now be asking themselves, “What’s the point?”  If that is the case, rest assured of a couple of things: 1) This final installment is, as far as I’m concerned, the most compelling of the three in terms of understanding how a seemingly benign (or, to some, ridiculous) narrative leads up to subtle, yet potentially quite effective mind manipulation.  2) The post following this one is to be a denouement, which will attempt not only to convey the personal back story related to Parts 1-3 but also how Alberto Villoldo, an anonymous acupuncturist and an author by the name of Johanna Michaelsen figure into the equation, amongst other things.

So, picking up where I left off in Part 2:

42) Statement: “In the Chamber of Wounds, we simply want to observe. The Chamber of Wounds, for the shaman, is the least important of all chambers….whereas in the West, we are addicted to exploring, excavating…” Observations/Questions: To phrase this in such a way as Villoldo does, implants a subtly negative implication to the listener – namely, that the acts of ‘exploration’ and discovery are overrated….problematic, even.  He does not state this outright, however choice words such as ‘least important’ and ‘addicted’ carry negative connotations.  The listener – if not consciously aware of how the connotation of these particular words serves to support his overarching message – is being led, albeit in a gently subconscious manner, to begin to consider discarding his or her tendency or capacity to explore, or put another way -to analyze.  Definitions of the words ‘explore’ and ‘analyze’ may prove useful here (paying particular attention to the last bullet points for each):

ex·plore
ikˈsplôr/
verb
  1. travel in or through (an unfamiliar country or area) in order to learn about or familiarize oneself with it.
    “the best way to explore Iceland’s northwest”
    synonyms: travel over/in/through, tour, range over; More

    • search for resources such as mineral deposits.
      “the company explored for oil”
    • inquire into or discuss (a subject or issue) in detail.
      “he sets out to explore fundamental questions”
an·a·lyze
ˈanlˌīz/
verb
  1. examine methodically and in detail the constitution or structure of (something, especially information), typically for purposes of explanation and interpretation.
    “we need to analyze our results more clearly”
    synonyms: examineinspectsurveystudyscrutinize, look over; More

    • discover or reveal (something) through detailed examination.
      “I intend to analyze the sexism in such texts”
    ex·plore
    ikˈsplôr/
    verb
    1. travel in or through (an unfamiliar country or area) in order to learn about or familiarize oneself with it.
      “the best way to explore Iceland’s northwest”
      synonyms: travel over/in/through, tour, range over; More

      • search for resources such as mineral deposits.
        “the company explored for oil”
      • inquire into or discuss (a subject or issue) in detail.
        “he sets out to explore fundamental questions”

       

    Inquiry and detailed analysis (aka: exploration) are the means by which one stands to arrive at the most logical and truthful conclusion possible in any given scenario.  Does it deserve to be paired with such a negative words as ‘least important’ and ‘addicted’?  I venture to guess that most would say ‘no’.  So, why is it?  If the implication is that ‘exploring’/’excavating’ is not so important, would Villoldo also suggest the wholesale elimination of history departments at universities, for example?  Ironically, Villoldo himself embarked on the ultimate exploration when he traveled extensively to South America to look for answers in the hopes of furthering his academic research.  Villoldo can explore; but conversely you, the listener, should consider that ‘we, in the West’, are addicted to exploration?

    43) Statement: “In the Chamber of Contracts, you’re able to witness the soul contract that your client entered into and has been the prime operating agreement.”  Observations: Foregoing the previous and standard, “Where is this information coming from? How can it be verified” line of questioning, I’ll go straight to Volloldo’s own anecdote. In this particular instance, a mother is estranged from her daughter.  The daughter calls to tell her mother she is going for a biopsy and the mother becomes so distraught that all she can do is cry.  She then goes to Villoldo for help and guidance.  Villoldo tells her that several lifetimes ago, she made a “contract” with “God” during a crisis in which she and her children were about to die (via a collapsing house).  She prayed to God, “God, please take my children before you take me, so that they know their mother is with them.”  Villoldo goes on to clarify that “what she really meant to say was, ‘God, please let my babies know that their mother is always here for them.”  Questions: Why did the house collapse in the first place?   Was that the result of some other bad contract made?  Why doesn’t Villoldo explore this line of questioning?  It seems key.  If the contract is the key operating component here, why not simply make a contract with God such that we are able to live in the same body forever, and never die or suffer pain or injury?  Why does God deal in “contracts” to begin with?  Or does God? Maybe someone or something else deals in contracts/bargains, and is being mistaken for God.  This is yet another unexplained assumption put forth which offers no means of verification for oneself.  Interestingly, “contracts”/”deals” and the “law” have oft been (even if somewhat humorously) referred to as the Devil’s domain, never God’s domain.  Also, wouldn’t an all-knowing God be able to “read” between the lines of a potentially “toxic” contract?  Clearly, it was not the mother’s intent that she continue to live out multiple lives in which her daughter dying before she does is a recurring theme.  Knowing this, it then casts God in a cruel light to allow such suffering to continue, based merely on a poorly constructed contract, the intent of which should be fully understood by God. This portrayal of God is reminiscent of the “genie in a bottle”, who grants wishes in an absurdly literal fashion, when the wisher’s “intent” is clearly different from the actual words being used.  So Villoldo’s implication then, by way of this anecdote, is that we are dealing with a God who gives no consideration to intent. Fascinating.  Even our flawed legal system considers intent when administering judgement/punishment.  Are we to believe that humans are more advanced than God in this respect?  A concerning implication indeed.  Further, Villoldo states: “As soon as we rewrote that contract, the woman stopped crying and was able to talk to her daughter again.”  Well, that may be.  But did the daughter get well?  And why was the contract not rewritten to specify that her daughter would be restored to health – eternal health for that matter?  Is it because there are limitations to what contracts can actually achieve?  What are these limitations?  Who gets to establish them?  Why does Villoldo not explore this key issue in the slightest?

    44) Anecdote #2: Villoldo talks about a client of his who was sexually assaulted at the age of 7 by her father.  Her “contract” at that age, according to Villoldo, was “If I’m a nice girl, then daddy won’t hurt me.”  Villoldo then goes on to say, “The first thing that has to go is the ‘nice girl’ part”.  He then goes on to say, “She rewrote her contract to say, ‘When I trust and respect myself, I am respected by others.”  Questions/Observations: Villoldo first posits that it is the contract itself that creates the resulting reality.  If that is the case, why didn’t the original contract she established at age 7 work?  It is a perfectly reasonable contract, by Villoldo’s own admission.  He does add the rather disparaging qualifier, “for a 7-year old”.  Did it not work because the girl failed to be “nice”?  Or some other reason? Why should her age have anything to do with it? If some other reason, what was it?  Why does the “nice girl” part have to go? Why are the two (being treated well and being nice) being presented as mutually exclusive?  Where is the logic for this?  What is the argument?  Villoldo puts forth none.  Incidentally, Villoldo himself sounded and looked rather breathless at the exact moment of this particular argument (the “nice girl has to go” argument).  Of note, and in one of my last posts, I wrote about how changes in breathing patterns can often indicate either deception or lack of full disclosure by the teller, when attempting to discern truth from lies.  Another question: What if the girl, as her 7 year old self made Villoldo’s current suggested bargain – “When I trust and respect myself, I am respected by others”.  What would have happened then?  Would she still have been sexually assaulted?  Why or why not?  Further, consider the horrors of Nazi Germany, or the heinous crimes committed at the behest of Mao Tse Tung, or Pol Pot and other deplorable individuals.  Are we to believe that millions upon millions of victims had zero trust or respect for themselves, and are therefore responsible for their own tortures?  And what of the perpetrators? Does this imply exoneration for them?  After all, if we are all responsible for ourselves, and contract making is the operative tool, then it follows that criminals and evil-doers should not be punished.  After all, it’s the fault of the victim for not constructing the proper contract.  The lack of any decency or morality implied in this inescapable conclusion is thoroughly disturbing and ought to be rigorously questioned.

    45) Statement: “These soul agreements <aka contracts> have to be renegotiated in the depths of our psyche.  They cannot be renegotiated here in our world – in the middle world – through the act of the will.  They have to be installed very deeply in our unconscious”.  Observations/Questions: Really?  But once again, why? And now we come to the very crux of it.  The message here is, one cannot truly change one’s life circumstances (aka contracts) at the very core of the matter.  Rather, we need to accept the idea that an implant needs to be “installed“.  It all sounds rather disturbingly like being programmed.  Is that what this is truly all about?  Allowing someone or something else act as a medium for the installation of contracts on behalf of our (will)powerless selves?  And why exactly would that be?  How do we know if what is being installed is truly good, morally sound and trustworthy?  Who is making and/or guiding this decision?  Can such decisions by overriden?  And by whom?  Does one need to rely on the shaman to provide the override, if it is later discovered that the implant was faulty?  Why are none of these salient points addressed by Villoldo?

    46) Statement: The Chamber of Grace houses the soul part that remains whole, untouched by trauma.”  Questions: Can a soul part be stolen from the Chamber of Grace and destroyed?”  If not, why?  If yes, what recourse does one have?  Who or what established the overarching structure of these chambers?  Can they be changed?  Why can’t trauma be done away with altogether by the architect of the belief system Villoldo wants us to buy?

    47) Statement: “The shaman is interested in shifting the soul contract so that the part that always remained in grace is able to return.  Once you reaffirm a new set of beliefs that say you will honor, respect and express the beauty and grace and creativity in you, then that soul part is more than willing to return.” Questions: How does the shaman shift the soul contract, precisely?  Does the client have a say in the mechanics of it?  Why or why not? If this cannot be done through “middle earth willpower” (see #45), then how much say can the client really have?  According to Villoldo, acts of will are insufficient for this purpose.  But isn’t the reaffirming of a new set of beliefs also a demonstration of will?  Here lies an inconsistency.

     

    This concludes the final installation of my three-part analysis. 

    In my next post, I will reveal the circumstances and events leading up to and responsible for the analysis.

 

 

2 thoughts on “Alberto Villoldo – New Age Fraud? Misinformer? Something else? (aka, an exercise in critical thinking – PART 3)

  1. I was sent a book of his to read. Very excited I started reading it and I noticed it had so many interesting concepts that “we will fully discuss in later chapters” and such a subtle message of how he was the Incas only hope to spread this knowledge. It kept bothering me more and more. Now I’ve gotten to the part where he offers up his school. Wow. 10,000 dollars to teach me to find myself huh? This is the only blog I can even find discussing him.

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    1. Hey Wolfe,
      I’m sorry that you sent this comment back in March and I am only just getting to it now! I have a lot more to say on the topic of Villoldo, including an upcoming post which is supposed to sort of wrap up my experience with one of his students, but I have not yet been able to do so given a very busy schedule. It is also somewhat painful to write about, like ripping the bandaid off an injury. But it needs to be done. Thank you for your comment and be on the lookout for more info here on the blog.

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