You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
I once held a great respect for Louise Hay, but in her recent publishing years, she has proven herself to be as much of a fraud as the authors she promotes, including the charlatan Sylvia Browne, former Amway star Jerry Hicks (with his wife Esther who speaks for "nonphysical"), plagiarist Neale Donald Walsch, and phony PhDs Doreen Virtue and Caroline Myss. This book, though including some practical advice that she has pulled from Aaron Beck's work in cognitive therapy, contains an overwhelming amount of woo that makes outrageous claims regarding the power of mind. She disregards science and logic in exchange for dubious pseudoscience that encourages self-blame and guilt regarding disease. This wouldn't bother me so much had the dawn of her career not been acquired through her claim to AIDs patients that they too could heal themselves if they got rid of their "bad thinking". Nowhere in these books does she speak of any AIDs patient's miraculous cure due to her work. And since this book, she has yet to offer any credible evidence that it can do this.
I am appalled by this, not because it offers false hope, but because she is preying on a demographic of desperate people who are looking for answers. She claims to have these answers, but offers no proof beyond anecdotes and testimonials. This is no greater than the testimonials of Christian Science (incidentally their leader Mary Baker Eddy was known for having kidney stones in her old age and relying on morphine to ease the pain even though her text claimed they should rely solely on God for relief). This is one of the most irresponsible feats that has ever been accomplished in publishing, and though I believe it could bring many some emotional relief as they use the processes that have been sampled from cognitive therapy, I also believe that it will and has brought to many a sense of guilt and self-blame regarding the tragedies of their lives.
This book will claim a science to healing, but there is no institution (including Hay's) that offers hard proof of these facts. And if you will read the disclaimer in the beginning, you will be reminded that this author is not to be held accountable to your failure in using these principles.
Due to this book, Louise Hay has now created one of the largest New Age publishing houses in the world. And she has made it clear through the authors she publishes that she is more concerned about the bottom line of her company than she is people's well being. It is a shame to say that this modern Mary Baker Eddy, known as the affirmations guru, is nothing more than a charismatic charlatan.
If you do decide to venture into this book, do so with critical thinking skills and remember that this author will take on no responsibility for your success or failings in these teachings. Also look at the credibility of her own healing, which can be explained as a lie, misdiagnosis, and perhaps, if she is correct, divine healing. Her words will likely validate you, send you swooning into good feelings, and overwhelm you with the presence of love as she constructs an imaginary world where you create your reality through your thoughts. Just make sure when you set this book down to leave that world behind as well.
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