Trump and I have something in common: Norman Vincent Peale.

Now I have to deconstruct Peale. I subject all of my influences to this treatment. Mr Rogers survived 100% intact. Carl Sagan suffered some casualties. Let’s see how Peale does.


American autohypnotism”. Ahhhh – interesting!

“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.”

==== – well this was a mouthful to read. Apparently since Peale’s thinking was drawn from the Methodists (he left but retained most of it), and I was raised Methodist, it’s understandable why it was appealing to me as a kid.

I never really looked at Protestant theology, although having read this, I can see why I progressed through the Unitarian Universalists and such. How I ended up Eastern Orthodox for five years in my late 20s was part of a “finding my religious roots” process. I can also see why certain aspects of Buddhism were appealing to me in my early 20s, as some of Wesleyan Arminianism seems compatible (or rather, not really against).

Whew, what a headache that was to read but I think I ‘got it’. Surprising to me is I always thought what I was raised with was VERY anti-Calvinist. What a surprise to discover that, no, it wasn’t really so different but the split on predestination *was* a pretty big deal.


Oh, it’s where he gets his confidence from. Here’s an example (it’s this type of thing that probably pushed me to constantly tackle what I call “impossible projects”: I seek challenges that are far bigger than I can do with the knowledge that I’ll be able to conquer them. It works. For me it’s impossible projects, for Trump, it’s “Hey I’m gonna be President”.

I discovered a repackaged Peale-like program is “The Secret” with its “Laws of Attraction”.


Yeah – it’s all the same kind of thing. Lots of rich and powerful people in the USA follow these concepts and fully believe them.

It can be a useful delusion if you have people around you that believe in your success too.

Fascinating to me. I never really looked into the background of Methodism. Wesley believe in a form of “Arminianism” which is summarized here. I’m reading this and thinking, “Yeah, makes sense” and yet to those in Protestant churches that are Calvinist, this is considered heretical.






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