It all started to make sense to me when I attended Learning Annex’s Wealth Expo earlier this year-a seminar where teachers of The Secret, the hosts of Flip This House, George Foreman, Tony Robbins and former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan [pictured above in banner from Learning Annex website] purportedly taught the thousands in attendance how to take advantage of the current foreclosure boom.

Using language borrowed from today’s more money-centric New Age spiritualists, as well as the get-rich-quick books of the early 1900s ‘New Thought Movement’ on which these pyramid schemes are based (such as Elizabeth Towne’s The Science of Getting Rich or Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich), they encouraged their mostly black audience to get on the ladder to success by purchasing educational DVDs and wealth-building ‘systems.’

These courses all promised to teach the properly motivated American how to find homeowners down on their luck and approaching foreclosure, as well as how to buy those homes from under them and resell them at a great profit. What made the spectacle doubly outrageous were not the dancing girls or indoor fireworks; it was the fact that most of the participants were themselves desperate former homeowners, whose illnesses, divorces, fires, and floods had put them in to foreclosure, too. Get it? They were paying to learn how to feed on people just like themselves. […]

Participation in business or, in most of our cases, land or home ownership, means helping put those wheels of the credit industry in motion. And the more we push, the more momentum they gain, and the more influence they have over an increasingly large portion of our experience. Reality becomes defined by credit sectors, and our time is consumed more each day with wondering how we’re going to pay back what we’ve borrowed.

Every once in a while, though, we break the rules and get to see the possibility for another kind of economy. Whether it’s an alternative currency, an open source software solution, or the simple good faith gifts we make to one another for creating value in each other’s lives.

Full Story: Arthur Magazine