I received a nastigram in my email this morning, accusing me of plagiarism in my book Hidden Treasures. I thought you might find the interaction interesting, so I’ll share it below:
Subject: Plagiarize Much?
1-‐Law of Perpetual Transmutation
2-‐Law of Relativity
3-‐Law of Vibration
4-‐Law of Polarity
5-‐Law of Rhythm
6-‐Law of Cause and Effect
7-‐Law of Gender and Gestation
Bonus: Vacuum Law of Prosperity
The Seven Hermetic Principles, upon which the entire Hermetic Philosophy is based, are as follows:
I. THE PRINCIPLE OF MENTALISM.
II. THE PRINCIPLE OF CORRESPONDENCE.
III. THE PRINCIPLE OF VIBRATION.
IV. THE PRINCIPLE OF POLARITY.
V. THE PRINCIPLE OF RHYTHM.
VI. THE PRINCIPLE OF CAUSE AND EFFECT.
VII. THE PRINCIPLE OF GENDER.
A quick search of your document reveals no mention of the source material. Clearly, crediting your sources (an action which demonstrates gratitude) comes in at a distant second to your own self aggrandizement.
This is not meant to cast aspersion, as I am as ego bound, mortal, and fallible as anyone else.
It simply means, based on this (in)action, I must now consider you as a person of dubious integrity.
(Isn’t it interesting how quick humans can be at passing judgment based on a “quick search of a document”?)
Here is my reply to the accusation:
Thank you for your email. I do very clearly state [in my book] that this is not my information, and I do explain where I obtained it, which was from Bob Proctor. I had never heard of the Kybalion, nor have I ever been aware of the Seven Hermetic Principles. I also state that Bob Proctor will be the first to tell you that he didn’t create the information himself either.
From my ebook p 21-22: “So what are some of these “laws of our being,” anyway? This book will discuss the following seven laws. These are the names by which I learned them. Although I have seen them called different things, these are the terms I will use:
The Law of Perpetual Transmutation
The Law of Relativity
The Law of Vibration
The Law of Polarity
The Law of Rhythm
The Law of Cause and Effect
The Law of Gender/Gestation
While I learned these ideas from Bob Proctor, founder of Life Success Productions, he will be the first to tell you that they weren’t his original ideas either. Having been a VP of Sales for the Nightingale-Conant Corporation many years ago, he drew from his thirty years of study and reduced the best of the best ideas to their simplest and most precise form. Following is my own spiritual angle on a few of his philosophies.”
I have often wondered where the ideas all began, as there are many, many teachers who have passed the information along. I’m not sure even that The Kybalion is the first place it was said. Could be, but I don’t know. I can only cite the sources that I’m aware of, and that is what I have already done.
Thank you for the reference!
No offense was intended, I merely chose harsh words to insure I grabbed your attention.
No need, I usually read all of my mail, and respond to most of it already 🙂
For your reference. (Then he attached a copy of his other source)
Awesome, thank you!
It would be interesting to know the true original source if there really is one. The Kybalion talks about these secrets that have been passed down, so even it doesn’t appear to be the true original.
I have sometimes wondered why my teachers didn’t “cite” sources more, and came to the conclusion that the ideas are so ancient, and they have spread so wide and far, and it has been taught and described by so many authors, that the ideas themselves have been public domain for centuries.
Interestingly, I’ve even had the experience of writing something that feels like a new original thought (because it didn’t come from anything I had read or heard), only to find out that someone else had experienced the same “download” and wrote about it as well.
I’m convinced that true principles are given to people directly from God, and nobody can claim original ownership of the idea. In this case, I certainly don’t attempt to 🙂
Speaking as one Mormon [or Christian] to another, they don’t cite their sources because they don’t want to be burned at the stake! Those of us in the know are constantly chuckling at [another teacher’s] material, because it comes directly from ritual magic…
Also, let me take this opportunity to apologize for my original tone. I generally take the extreme position for maximum contrast and learning. Yes, it makes me a bit of an a**, but it also stirs things up, so I’m OK with it.
Okay I just want to say that I’m grateful that I learned the principles from Bob Proctor, because he presented it in a way that kept my mind open long enough to grasp them without prejudice. He shared them as true principles, which I now know that they are. And if they are indeed true, then they are from God. But yes, we need to be careful – and I think this analogy will help you understand why:
The law of attraction is a power that allows us to CO-create with God. But it is very much like PRO-creation, in that deep and enduring pain can result if the power is utilized in the wrong time, place, or circumstances.
There IS a right and worthy way, and a proper time and place. But there is also a wrong and unworthy way, and inappropriate times and places.
The power of both Co-creation and Pro-creation is divine, but it’s how and when we use it that determines whether it is either good or evil.
So just because occultists have used it doesn’t make the power evil, and just because Christian people use it, it doesn’t make the power good. The power just is. Whether it produces good or evil is up to the individual who applies it.
I’ve learned that the most right and worthy use of CO-creation is when we are trying to accomplish something that God has asked us to do, which at the time may seem impossible. We are to discover the ‘way prepared that we may accomplish’ whatever we’ve been directed to do. This can include temporal concerns like getting out of debt or creating a successful business, but it also includes finding healing from emotional and physical troubles. In every case, it most certainly includes action on our part and ‘seeing’ it done with an eye of faith before we begin the process.
What about the claim that the information comes from ‘ritual magic’? I responded:
Also, about [the other teacher] – that’s very interesting! I’ve spent a lot of time with him as he mentored me several years ago. I can tell you firsthand that he is one of these people who gets his own download quite regularly. If the things he shares are “directly from ritual magic” then I would attribute that to the fact that truth is truth, and truth seekers will find it, or ‘tap into it’ directly, even without reading each other’s materials.
As Brigham Young said, “The Gospel that I have embraced comprehends all truth. “How much of it is true?” All of it. “How much does it embrace?” All the truth that there is in the heavens, on the earth, under the earth; and if there is any truth in hell, this doctrine claims it.”
In fact, Brigham Young said this so many times in so many ways, he must have meant it! Here’s another one:
“What does the word ‘Mormon’ mean? In the strict sense, and as it was translated by the ancients, it means ‘more good,'” LDS Church leader Brigham Young said in 1871. “‘Mormonism’ embraces all the truth that there is in heaven and on the earth; and if there is any in hell it belongs to us. Every truth in the sciences and in the arts, and all the knowledge that God has given to man,” he continued, was incorporated in “what the world calls ‘Mormonism.'”
And another one:
“It is our duty and calling, as ministers of the same salvation and Gospel, to gather every item of truth and reject every error. Whether a truth be found with professed infidels, or with the Universalists, or the Church of Rome, or the Methodists, the Church of England, the Presbyterians, the Baptists, the Quakers, the Shakers, or any other of the various and numerous different sects and parties, all of whom have more or less truth, it is the business of the Elders of this Church (Jesus, their Elder Brother, being at their head) to gather up all the truths in the world pertaining to life and salvation, to the Gospel we preach, … to the sciences, and to philosophy, wherever it may be found in every nation, kindred, tongue, and people and bring it to Zion.”
And another one:
“I want to say to my friends that we believe in all good. If you can find a truth in heaven, earth or hell, it belongs to our doctrine. We believe it; it is ours; we claim it.”
And as I explain it in one of my other blog posts: “People sometimes fear information related to the law of attraction because it dances dangerously close to greed, selfishness, instant gratification, or even witchery. True principles will always have their counterfeit or misuse. When people know more about the counterfeit versions than they do the true and correct principles, the resemblance between the two can be enough to make them run the other way.”
Anyway, back to plagiarism. I would think it amiss for I, or any other author who captures the principles in print to claim ‘ownership’ of them. Nobody can ‘own’ a principle – they are transcendent and eternal. We may claim ownership of the ‘way’ we describe it, but there can be no real ownership of the principle itself.