Another Positive Thinking Fraud

Another Positive Thinking Fraud January 26, 2014

I’ve made no secret of my utter loathing for the whole concept of motivational speaking, “life coaches” and the entire new agey, positive thinking racket. Here’s an example that practically makes my skin crawl, a con artists named MaryAnn D’Ambrosio, “Ph.D.” It’s a deck of cards that promises:


Wait…more time? A deck of cards that can create more time in your day? Of course not, but that’s the kind of idiotic babble that is used to market this crap. More such babble:

If you’re constantly feeling overwhelmed and running from one thing to another, wouldn’t it be great to be clear, focused and have more time for yourself and the relationships that really matter in your life?

You know you need to relax and breathe – yet, you’re trapped in busyness. Imagine being able to quickly set the tone for the day by accessing daily inspiration and guidance from your Just BE . . . Boundless EnergyTM Cards. The cards are your secret partner. They assist you with clarity, focus and next steps that are always in complete alignment with your soul and hearts desire.

Move through each day (and especially the tough ones) with greater resiliency, ease and an extra boost of energy. Know that your secret partner is their to support you. Instead of dragging your feet, notice the extra bounce in your step and experience a richer, more vibrant on purpose life.

Perhaps these flash cards should really spell out the difference between there and their instead, along with the proper use of apostrophes. Maybe then you could combine a command of the English language “in complete alignment with your soul and hearts (sic) desire.”

Each card features a photograph from MaryAnn’s personal travels around the world paired with a specific word to help you discover daily inspiration.

These are not your ordinary cards. Use them daily. They’re flashcards for the soul – they easily help you remember (on a very deep energetic level) who you truly are and your heart’s desire. Here’s what makes them unique and so special . . . during the design and creation process, each card is imbued with a distinctive energy. As you hold a card in your hand, you will feel the energy that is being conveyed. You’ll quickly realize the energy begins to expand your awareness, vision and overall well-being. It may sound extraordinary and yes, it is! The cards have a brilliance and extra aliveness built right in.

Ooh, they work “on a very deep energetic level.” Whatever the hell that means. And they’re “imbued with a distinctive energy.” What kind of energy, exactly? And how is it measured? Or is this just an empty buzzword being thrown around? And let’s find out a bit about the person who invented this scam, which costs $29.97:

MaryAnn’s passion is to work with individuals who are ready to “leap” and live a more vibrant, on-purpose life.

MaryAnn teaches heart-based entrepreneurs and professionals how to line up their energy to create their heart’s desire. A sought after motivational speaker and facilitator, MaryAnn has created numerous energy and spiritual workshops that have been called “inspirational and transformational.”

In addition to a Ph.D. specializing in holistic life coaching, MaryAnn holds an MBA and an Advanced Graduate Certificate from the Institute of Healing Arts & Sciences.

In other words, she has worthless degrees in ridiculous subjects and she uses that to give credibility to the meaningless bullshit she spews at the desperate and the credulous. She’s a new age version of Christian TV evangelists and every bit as loathsome.

"If 'Murcans can't find a country on a map, it's not important. IOW, no country ..."

Trump Wants to Cut Medicaid Now
"We’ll see. I don’t trust any of them."

Romney Says He’ll Vote to Hear ..."
"He'll only vote when it's obvious the vote won't really matter, so he gets to ..."

Romney Says He’ll Vote to Hear ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • coragyps

    Wow! Is her PhD from the same university as Dr. Hovind’s? I will be double super impressed if it is!

  • infraredeyes

    I’m disappointed that she doesn’t use the word “quantum”. All true New Age fruitloops should get “quantum” into their pitch somehow. Although she does have a (rather back-handed) endorsement from a fellow at

  • Trebuchet

    You can expect to see her with Oprah any day now.

  • My Holistic Life Coaching Ph.D. is not worthless.

    I paid $29.97 for it.

  • gingerbaker

    What’s the beef with Life Coaches?

    On a spectrum from helpful friend to clinical psychiatrist, there are a lot of people who have it together more than other people. Some people don’t “get it” when it comes to their lives, problems, situations, relationships. Some people can help.

    Where is the beef?

  • Doesn’t coffee do all that?

  • Stevarious, Public Health Problem

    You see, THIS is the kind of shit skeptics would make a living hawking if we really didn’t have any ethics.

    Of course, now that I actually say that out loud, who’d to say that many of these scams are NOT run by skeptics who got tired of being poor and honest? *sigh*

  • dingojack

    gingerbaker – I’m guessing you shelled out at little more than $29.97 then? Or is there some other reason you’re trying to rationalise going to a ‘life coach’?*

    🙂 Dingo


    * Was it the certificate on their office wall from the Ken Hovind Scool of Life Coachry and Taxidermy that was the first clue you might have been conned? Or something else?

  • governance:

    What is the science behind ‘life coaching’?

    What makes you think it is anything more than a new age scam to part people from their money?

  • dingojack

    A ‘life coach’ like Jezza?

    😀 Dingo

  • Karen Locke

    The only “life coaches” I believe in are *some* licensed therapists, people who got an advanced degree in psychology and clinical training. They can be truly useful. Any fast-talking idiot can hang up a shingle with “Life Coach” on it.

  • Argh! Damn auto correct!

    The above was a response to gingerbaker.

  • Al Dente

    If anyone feels the urge to get a genuine PhD in Holistic Life Coaching, the Institute of Metaphysical Humanistic Science will sell you one for a mere $1652 if you pay upfront. Plus, at no extra cost, you get bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well.

  • MaryAnn holds an MBA

    Master of Bunco Administration?

  • grumpyoldfart

    Back in 1953 I learned the art of Flipism – sixty years later I’m still going strong.

  • $30 for 33 flash cards? People are actually willing to pay this?

  • roel

    I thought The Professor had the Ph.D.

  • iplon

    @coragyps #1:

    I believe you mean Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. Hovind.

  • thecalmone

    I’ve been unemployed for around nine months now. I have three real degrees but have been wondering for some time if I should simply say goodbye to engineering (the bottom has fallen out of auto engineering here in Australia) and move into woo. I have two colleagues in the same boat. One is doing a Gestalt training course and the other is setting up a massage business. It’s been suggested to me that I could make a good psychic, but I can’t bring myself to do it, morally.

  • Sastra

    What I find particularly annoying about these scams are the “deepity” aspect of flashcards which “help you remember (on a very deep energetic level) who you truly are and your heart’s desire. ” The extraordinary and false claims of the magic energy are accompanied by a much more prosaic but potentially useful mental trick which involves starting the day with a more positive attitude — one jumpstarted by looking at pretty pictures and inspiring words presumably given to you by a friend who truly cares.

    I don’t think any of us would be shocked if there were testimonials from D’Ambrosio fans that oh, her deck of cards really, really worked because now I feel happier and more energetic. Positive thinking is not, per se, fraudulent. If you THINK you are more cheerful and relaxed then, to an extent, you are. It’s a self-assessed internal state. Plus there are plenty of studies which show that ‘fake it till you make it’ can actually work when it comes to mood and attitude. Assuming, of course, that there’s nothing really wrong with you to begin with — no clinical depression, no acute life crisis. The so-called Worried Well often respond to placebo — and a placebo which was only supposed to make you feel as if you are better is for all intents and purposes the same as the real thing.

    But the true but trivial aspect of D’Ambrosio “PhD” provides cover for the fraud. The “energy” claims and the “cards have a brilliance and extra aliveness built right in” nonsense will, at best, screw up the thought processes and scientific understanding of a lot of gullible people. At worst, this scam can seriously harm someone who really needs much more real help than some bogus magic flashcards can provide, but who will forgo seeking it because hey, magic.

  • What Sastra said — the cards are psychological “props”.

  • bcreason

    My boss is a motivational speaker and says pretty much the same things. The difference is he gives practical advice. You want more time, hire someone to do the drudge work. Want more energy take a day off and rest.

  • paulburnett

    “thecalmone” (#19) wrote: “…I can’t bring myself to do it, morally.”

    You will die a noble death – see

  • voidhawk

    I prefer Pokemon cards. The energy is measurable, at least.

    Having a bad day? Simply use your Pikachu card equipped with three lightning energy cards to thunder you’re troubles away.

  • “It’s been suggested to me that I could make a good psychic, but I can’t bring myself to do it, morally.”

    That’s all right, the “genuine” psychics don’t do it morally, either.



    “I’ve made no secret of my utter loathing for the whole concept of motivational speaking, “life coaches” and the entire new agey, positive thinking racket.”

    Struck a deep, essential, nay–ELEMENTAL vibrational chord in my completely bound-up earth shakra, allowing me to express expellious energy to eliminate the effluvia of ersatz erudition earned by emulating enlightened exemplars earlier in this life cycle.

    Thank you, sensei Ed! Namaste*

    * I behold the light in you; or maybe it’s just swamp gas.

  • Thumper: Token Breeder



    I am suspicious of anyone who uses made-up words in their adverts.

  • Donnie

    You know what helped my “energy” levels? Getting onto thyroid medication and increasing my T3 and T4 levels. Plus, going on a daily regiment of testosterone. My energy levels are fine, Thank you.

    Note: My testosterone levels were lower than most women. Now, my levels are age appropriate. That is, I am not trying to be the freaky old guy with the ripped body that tauts testosterone therapy as a wonder drug for all cures.

  • leonardschneider

    “More energy, more time, greater clarity, more happiness and vibrant aliveness!”

    Well, hell, that’s what my Adderall is for.

  • arakasi

    As you hold a card in your hand, you will feel the energy that is being conveyed.

    Maybe the cards are impregnated with meth. Are there any warnings against licking the cards?