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The Amazon Adventure - A True Story


Just read along the string carefully. Nothing has been omitted.

You should be able to follow it without problem. S.D.


The Elements of Persuasion: Use Storytelling to Pitch Better, Sell Faster & Win More Business

(17 Reviews)

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Sterling Doughty


Location: Adliswil, Switzerland


Reviewer Rank:  216,132


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 4 of 5 people found the following review helpful:

Reader Beware of Deception in Persuasion, October 6, 2007


Sterling Doughty

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In his review of The Elements of Persuasion, Christian Intemann says:

"I'm not sure who these guys are but they seem to be on to something..."

Mr Intemann is being somewhat economical with the truth or he is suffering from severe dementia. He has known Richard Maxwell and Robert Dickman since at least 1970 when all three were part of a ten month "esoteric" training given by Oscar Ichazo in Arica, Chile. They have been close friends and members of the Arica Syndrome since that time.

Concerning the reviews. At present there are 16. 14 are 5 star, 1 is 4 star, 1 is 1 star (mine). 12 reviewers have only 1 review, 2 have 2 reviews, 1 has 14 reviews and the 4 star reviewer has 99 reviews.

Reviewers Anderson, Kaskey, and Intemann were all members of the 1970 Chile training along with the authors and have been closely associated with each other and the Ichazo-Arica Syndrome for nearly 40 years. Reviewers Hoose, Pauker and Wechsler joined the Syndrome somewhat later. I suspect several other "reviewers" are Aricans as well, but am not able to definitely so state at this time.

The named reviewers, as well as the authors, have all been disciples of Mr Oscar Ichazo, upon whose work "Elements" is claimed to be based, for nearly four decades. It seems to me rather unusual that none of the reviewers mentioned any relationship whatsoever in their reviews. In ethical circles such acts would be termed orchestrated deception.

Mr Ichazo's and Arica Institute's own successes with the techniques is somewhat less than the book's claims would lead one to believe would result from their use:

In the January 1997 issue of Enneagram Monthly, Mr Ichazo stated.

"The Velocity Training has such Great Power that it will change the global culture and civilization, because the new paradigmatic worldview presented by Arica is based on a holistic logic that will explain and unify the structure of all processes of the individual, society and the Universe."

This fantastic training was to be presented in a "monumental and historical" World Tour first announced for 1996, then again for 1997, that was to be part of Arica's fifteen year "transformation of human society". If you have never heard of this miraculous event, it might be because it never occurred. Didn't happen. Non-existent. That is typical of the grandiose claims Mr Ichazo and his acolytes repeatedly make. I suggest reading the glowing reviews with a sense of caution.


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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion

Initial post: Oct 6, 2007 3:46 PM PDT

 Stephen W. Schlabs says:

Wow - can you say, "...chip on your shoulder?"

Your reply to Stephen W. Schlabs's post:

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 Randall Unruh says:

The book states it is based on Plato's five elements, and that Mr. Ichazo explained and elaborated on these five elements. Mr. Doughty is a self professed thief and self admittedly suffered from mentally illness and has been observed by a practicing, licensed therapist having an episode described as a psychotic break.

Mr Doughty did not address the ideas presented on their own merits in this book, only his own paranoid beliefs.

You just replied with a later post

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Your post, in reply to an earlier post on Oct 18, 2007 1:47 AM PDT

 Sterling Doughty says:

I waited several days before responding to this comment, to see if any enlightened Cult Aricans realized what had happened. Apparently not, so here is my comment to the infantile attempt at defamation.

Background: Mr Unruh hates me because I was a former member of his cult and have put up a website - metaton - that is quite critical of the Cult Guru, Ichazo and HIS organization. He can't refute the information therein as it's as true as I could make it, so he attacks me from time to time with inaccurate deliberately defamatory material. Such attacks are called "kill the messenger" or Ad Hominem. This is one of the lowest and dirtiest tricks in the book. Really low class.

Brief String: 1) I learned of a new book by Maxwell and Dickman, two cult members, both very bright guys, being promoted at a bookstore in Pacific Palisades. 2) I checked out the book on the publisher's site and on Amazon 3) There I discovered a series of absolutely glowing reviews about the book. I mean Splendid. Then I noticed that many, if not most of the reviews were written by Cult members - not noting their relationships - who have known the authors for decades, including a review by one guy who says: "I don't know who those guys are..:" Okay, I know this sort of hype goes on, but it's really not ethical. If you write the Washington Post a letter, you have to advise them of any relationship you have with the subject. Fine. That's clear and ethical.

Observation: Now, Aricans consider themselves enlightened and still offer a few courses ostensibly leading to that goal. So what was the response to my writing a note letting the reading public know that many of the reviews were made, without attribution, by longtime cult members?

Several options come to mind 1) Complain that my statement was untrue. Well, it wasn't, so that's out. 2) Say Oops, we should have done that and ask all reviewers to note any affiliation with Cult Arica. That would have been both ethical and intelligent. Didn't happen. 3) Set loose the RUnt of the litter to attack me a thief and mentally ill. That was the choice they took. This is fine for Jihadists and Skinheads, and courtesy of Mr Unruh and his co-cultists, this episode really outs the nature of Arica enlightenment.