I recently took Carolynu2019s “Influenceu201d course and boy do I wish I hadnu2019t. If I knew what she considered a course I would have run far and fast. Once you sign up (read: pay the first of four $100 recurrent payments via PayPal) you are added to the Influence Facebook discussion group at the start of the round. Then….well, that is pretty much it other than reading emails and following instructions. There is a weekly email with audio and pdf of that weeku2019s lesson, which generally is less than 20 pages long generously double-spaced. All told, if it was bundled together in a book it would be less than 100 pages with normal book spacing. She also does a few FB q&a live sessions, and loosely – veeeeeery loosely – moderates the FB discussion group. At the start of the class there was supposed to be an intro with instructions sent out. She forgot to send them. One of her assistants did well after the ‘classu2019 was going and people were confused. Class seems to mostly consist of people in the course doing the weekly homework and posting to FB about their results and getting tips and praise from each other and talking about how great Carolyn is. Like, this would be fine if she was a Llewellyn author and this was a freebie FB discussion group for her fandom to talk about her books, and I had paid $12.99 for a thin book that was mostly old wine in new skins. But she isnu2019t, and it isnu2019t, and sadly I didnu2019t. Like a fool I paid much, much more. Let me be clear: There is no actual teaching to speak of. Her lectures are basically blog posts that are emailed to you (that sort of tone and depth); materials are thin and nothing new if you have any background in self help or psychology or occult. She mostly seems to get by on style, with an edgy ‘you go girl!u2019 tone and lots of content about her dark side and how dark and delicious and sexy it all is once you embrace your shadow with her techniques. Iu2019ve eye rolled myself into a sprain reading her more than once. But fine. Maybe the writing isnu2019t to my taste, but what about the other course materials amirite? Mmmm, nope. There is no learning management system, no archive of materials searchable by topic as there would be in a discussion forum (which still wouldnu2019t b a course, but would be an improvement). Her solution to people complaining about the chaos and lack of direction was to suggest we use hashtags so people could search more easily on the FB group. Oh, and to become offended. She gets offended very easily. It seems to be that she is bery ego-invested in the ‘courseu2019 and sees herself as the product. Donu2019t like something in the class? It is an insult to her, and she will get snarky in return quite often even when people who have questions or issues are perfectly polite. She asks that people who have problems with the course message her directly, but some of those who have say that the messages are mostly ignored. She says the course is her “living roomu201d and if you are rude to her in her home or at her table she will remove you. That the students are guests. I guess the idea is that we should all just be grateful to be there soaking up the wisdom? For this, you pay four hundred dollars. That is not a typo. Also, everyone who has ever taken the course can go back through – and be in the group – an unlimited number of times. So it is like discussing a book with a book group where some people have read to the end and are talking about things that make no sense to the new people, etc. Hot. Mess. Save your money. Not recommended AT ALL. An unpleasant experience, on top of being useless and silly.
This review (Carolyn Elliott) was originally published at Holy Smoke !.
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