POV Redux

A post I made in September of last year, in which I discuss a flyer I saw for something called “Psychology of Vision” has a very active commentary going on right now.  Do have a look!

Something the commenters may not be aware of is that I made a followup post after Julian Edward, the Spezzano’s online publisher, had a chat with me on Twitter.  It bears another look, but the important part is that he just about admits that it’s not based on evidence, to the point of saying

I’d say that a good half of people who attend the groups think it’s nonsense too but they use the tools and love it for that.

even Chuck himself says that his Psychology if a hoax. But he’s not interested in people believing it. Only in the results.

That cinches it for me – there’s nothing to POV, even if it is harmless (and whether it is depends on if you think spending money on something that isn’t what it pretends to be is a waste).  The exhortations in the comments that people need to try it for themselves before judging may sound legitimate on the face of it, but what would result?  People would spend money on something that at best only has anecdotal evidence supporting it, and at worst is an admitted fraud.  The people who -do- try it merely end up either thinking it was a waste of money, or providing more anecdotal evidence!  Based on my examination of the website, I concluded that it wasn’t based on evidence, and my chat with Julian Edward confirmed it for me.  However, one more thing really tips the balance towards BS:

The major issue I take with POV and other such products/workshops/etc is the use of scientific terminology to sell something entirely unrelated to the proper, accepted use of that terminology.  This is a massively popular tactic used to legitimize otherwise unimpressive and possibly useless products.  See Deepak Chopra hawking quantum consciousness, for example – or really, any random beauty product sold in TV commercials.  I -study- the psychology of vision.  When I see those words being used to encourage people to pay for something that the -publisher- doesn’t think works, I get crazy irritated.

I feel the need to do something about this practice, so I promote science literacy and explain to people what psychology really is, and do what I can to teach people to think critically about these kinds of claims.  I don’t have the time, money, or other resources to prove they’re fraudulent or report them to the police or a consumer advocate.  I don’t get mad enough tear down the posters or vandalize them, like I did with psychic ads when I was in my first year of university.  I will, however, scan ads I see around town and tell people what I think about them based on what I know about science and skepticism – and sometimes, I don’t need to pay for it and try it myself to find out that it doesn’t work.

That’s all I have to say about POV.  Let me know what you think in the comments.

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3 responses to “POV Redux

  1. Is it confirmation bias if I consider this a confirmation of my argument? 😛

  2. Thank you for sharing your inquiry into Psychology of Vision. I have been wanting to read other’s perspective on self help modalities such as Psychology of Vision (POV). I can only add my anecdotal feedback as a person who has attended several POV workshops. I have attending many related “training”, workshops, classes, etc for many many years. I did so in “reaction” to an unhappy life, seeking a better life through “model’s” that claim to be roadmaps to empowerment. I have many anecdotes of success and many adecdotes on not so much success. I won’t burden you with the details, other than to say, that at the age of 40yrs I have decided to be fully responsible for my own life and I am learning to think for myself. Having said that I am less dependant on external influences such “A Course in Miracles”, Psychology of Vision, Breath Work Practice. The benefits I received through such methods are not the results of psychology but related to the sense of community that served it’s short lived purpose in my life. I have now established and committed to my own sense of community that does not have a fee attached to it. I have met some very good friends, although after not returning to ongoing workshops, these friendships have subsided and when I decided to choose another path for myself, those friends are less interested in an ongoing friendship. I have no judgement of those friends, people or model, although for myself, I have come to a place in my life where I am becoming more accountable for my own psychology and clear vision for my life. Some concerns I had is the the confusion that can come from between a business vs. spiritual contract. My fear is that those people who can not say NO for themselves are often tempted to keep attending workshops when they at heart don’t want to continue attending ongoing workshops. POV is highly marketed and there is somewhat of a pyramid format to training, which it uses to sustain itself. One must train a certain amount of people and pay a fee for using the trademark. I like your stance on protecting the public because the use of “Psychology” language and terminology can create a lot of unclarify as it can confuse the public that the trainers are somehow trained in Social and Psychological Sciences. This clearly NOT the case. These trainers are far from experts in psychology, social sciences or psychiatry. They clearly have attendees sign a waver of responsibility, but often this is overlooked because attendees are often in situations where they are seeking resolved of an emotional problem. The benefits I have seen in attendees and myself is the influence on emotional responsibility. In this regard I give the program credit; although there is a business aspect of the program that keeps attendees “coming back for more”. I feel like I have broken the chain, whic is often linked to guilt and fear, i.e., “if I don’t keep coming back they’re going to think I’m resisting, projecting, introjecting….etc.” The use of such language by non-professionals can be mis-leading. Thank goodness I do have a back ground as an RN working in Psychiatry. As for me, I have taken what I want and I am leaving the rest. I like to find the lesssons in all my life circumstances. All I know is that if one is seeking life coaching, then this is something that should be sought be someone with some credentials received from a credible sourse that has demonstrated results such as Life Skills Coaching, etc. The POV model is often tagged as a roadmap for life. What I know is there is no road map for life that is applicable to a broad group of people.

  3. this letter is re-posted from the grifters hotel site

    http://griftershotel.blogspot.ca/

    Sunday, October 13, 2013
    This is about Behavior, not Belief
    Ultimately, criticism of Psychology of Vision and related businesses is not about their beliefs.

    They can believe what they want to, as long as their beliefs do not cause harm to themselves or others.

    That said, along the way as we research and critique POV, their beliefs are also going to be held up to scrutiny. Because as POV followers become more and more indoctrinated, their lives suffer.

    So what’s our issues with their behavior?

    Chuck and Lency Spezzano, along with their trainers, claim they are practicing a form of psychology. Yet they are not licensed to practice. They have no supervisor or oversight. They conduct unethical, traumatizing seminars and sessions using hypnosis and other manipulation techniques.

    Chuck and Lency Spezzano charge quite a bit of money for these seminars and sessions. Recruitment is heavy, the pressure is intense to take more seminars, ascend higher on their ladder, spend more money, devote more time.

    The system Chuck and Lency Spezzano has created never ends. Followers are never “done”, never able to rest, never able to stop spending money.

    Chuck and Lency are absolute authorities in their kingdom, there is no accountability. They are top dogs.

    Questions are not answered, instead those that question are told that they just need to do more group practices.

    Chuck and Lency’s business Spezzano and Associates Ltd. is a for profit business. There is no financial disclosure, there are no public annual reports. Quite a bit of money is taken in, including some supposedly earmarked for charities, the public is not told where it all goes.

    Unreasonable fear and paranoia about the outside world is encouraged by the Spezzanos. Chuck gives daily messages to his followers, many of these include predictions of darkness and danger.

    Former followers are shunned and harassed.

    In 2001 a news article included POV in its criticism of oppressive New Age therapies that prey on First Nations peoples. Stories from survivors are available online, as is ongoing critical review of Spezzano activities, along with research and discussion.

    Followers are never “good enough” according to this group. There are always more practices to do, more money to spend. There is a high level of negative judgement used by the hierarchy. Even when a follower thinks they might be doing something correctly, they will be told they are mistaken, and that they need to try harder.

    Chuck and Lency Spezzano are always right. Reading through glowing testimony from their followers, it is clear that they worship Chuck and Lency. Chuck encourages this worship.

    The Spezzanos, and their trainers, claim the “exclusive means of knowing ‘truth’ or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.”. Followers turn to them for all answers.

    I used these warning signs of a potentially unsafe group as a framework for this post

    Lency could believe that she downloads healings from heaven through her actual brain to the brain of another person all she wants. As long as she doesn’t charge incredible sums of money in the process, hypnotise and mess people over emotionally, and behave like a con artist grifter pretending to be a god.
    this one is showing an article from a 2001 Van. province writing about concerns with new age healing methods for first nations.. Psychology Of Vision is mentioned as a concern.

    http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/TurtleIslandNativeNetwork/conversations/topics/240

    “healing” in action..
    http://dougbottorff.com/2013/09/14/brainwashing-in-action/

    if you feel that someone is recruiting you to “join” this group,or that you’re even thinking of signing up with this group,..
    this evaluation of chuck/lency spezzano’s group will hopefully help you with creiical thinking and reconsider looking somewhere else for getting qualified licensed professional help that is suitable to your own personal needs,.

    http://www.psiram.com/en/index.php/Psychology_of_Vision
    reading the comments and evaluation of pov on this site are helpful is seeing a side of the spezzano’s that they do not want anyone to know about.
    and they do not want anyone to have anyone to have critical and objective thinking.
    http://www.mortythedog.com/search/label/Lency%20Spezzano

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