I agonized briefly over whether to put my books banner or my plain blue one on this post, because while the book I am reading is called 'Neothink', that word also refers to the gestalt concept of what the author is teaching and promoting. But, it is a book, so this post is a book post.
First, have you ever heard of Neothink? If you google it, most articles and sites about it (aside from the official neothink page and Neothink group pages) are trying to debunk it as if it is a scam of some kind. Certainly when my mom's husband brought me his book to read, I was highly skeptical of it, because Ray tends to fall for all the gimicky things people try to sell through ads in the mail. He has been pushing boxes of Ch-Wa tea on everyone since I got here in April, and under all the clutter in their living room apparently there are lots of "get rich quick" and "live longer with our proven method" books.
I have read 353 pages of Neothink so far since I got the book last night, and I am 100% confident I know exactly what this Neothing book is all about. The sites saying it is a scam point to the fact that the book costs $130, and is what you are hooked into buying when you believe and follow through on the offer on the marketing materials you get in the mail. The marketing sure sounds fishy, like someone trying to sell snake oil, and I am not quite sure it is really benefitting the long-term success of the product they are selling. The sorts of people who buy snake oil from ads in the mail are not necessarily the sorts of people who will read, let alone understand the 1200pgs of the book. Why is this imortant?
Mark Hamilton, the book's author, is conveying through his book a philosophy and way of thinking that I agree has the potential to help many people make more money and have happier, more successful lives. However, in order for these results, which are touted as selling points in the marketing campaign, buyers must read the book carefully, and think about what they are reading, and understand it. They need not understand it to the extent that I do, but they will not get the value they paid for if they don't understand 'neothink' enough to apply it to their lives. The cost of the book, and of the 'key' that one buys later for $100, may be easily compared to the cost of any college textbooks. So, while a lot of money, $230 for all the knowledge and understanding and potential life-improvements these materials can provide seems reasonable. A college course would also have tuition, so by comparison neothink is a cheap course of learning.
I won't give away much of the book, because it would run counter to the nethink experiment this company seems to be trying to do. But, one of the rumors online about the Neothink groups is that they are a cult. They apparently pay $30/month in dues or membership fees, and they get together in person and online. Well, in the book one of the characters talks about how churches provide a value to thei rmembers by providing a social network and community, and then goes on to envision a non-religious organization that could provide such services for its members while being devoted to science, scientific advances, and most importantly advances in medicine that can prolong and improve our lives and eventually defeat death itself. Considering that theoretically Christians pay 10% of what they earn as tithes to their churches (yes, i am quite certain most Christians cheat on this little detail), $30 a month is not such a big deal. Does this make Neothink a cult? Well, are Catholics a cult? Are Baptists?
Would I pay $130 for this book? No, because I don't have the money to spend on such things. And, while I am enjoying reading it, I already know the philosophy the book is trying to teach. In fact I would go so far as to say that Mark Hamilton is a sort of Ragnar Danneskjold who didn't have to turn pirate. Hamilton makes quite a few gestures in his book acknowledging his intellectual mentor, the real person behind Hugh Akston. Or maybe Hamilton has strayed far enough from Ragnar's path to be his own character, a 4th prized pupil of Hugh Akston's who chose to be a teacher and lead people to the wisdom his mentor taught him. Cryptic? Yeah, I know, but those who know who these characters are, and which book they are from, know the stigma that often is attached to that book. Neothink has been crafted to stand alone, possibly for good reasons, but it is still essentially the same philosophy as that other book imparts.