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Woo CEO Says Woman’s Fetus Has “Negative Agenda”

by Mark Edward, Aug 14 2010

Okay: So this is a touchy little tale of woo with a possibly questionable source, but looking into this stuff is what I’m here for.  This could be another worst law suit joke or this decade’s answer to “Rosemary’s Baby”(1968). Originally our blog site was set-up to parlay different and interesting stories that The Skeptologists team might one day explore. This one takes the cake. Read no further and steer clear if you are easily offended by religious impiety or work for a company that pushes a spiritual and religious atmosphere in the workplace “based on concepts incorporating universal energy, concepts of reincarnation, and intuitive spiritualism.”

Now that we got that warning/disclaimer out of the way, we can proceed with this week’s side-show extravaganza:

How would you feel about your boss telling you that you are fired after claiming that your unborn fetus had a “negative agenda” and was “‘hostile’ towards him?”  Well, it has allegedly happened thanks to another enthusiastic psychic working hard to make their woo woo living in a world gone mad:

Jammie Harms says that throughout her employment, managers pushed a spiritual and religious atmosphere in the workplace “based on concepts incorporating universal energy, concepts of reincarnation, and intuitive spiritualism.”

Gee, doesn’t every job do that? Another past employee, Mike Boyd told “If you worked there you were required to attend Mind, Body, and Energy sessions or MBE, a practice the company describes as holistic and good for their business. ”

Harms has stated that her boss, CEO John Smith (ahem…this is my first red flag that this might be a hoax) openly bestowed his belief that past lives determine current behaviors. It’s not for me to say, but do you think perhaps Ms. Harms might have grounds for a discrimination lawsuit based on any one of the following three catagories: religious, pregnancy or gender discrimination?  I smell book deals, Larry King and a reality show.

“The former executive assistant claims in Omaha Federal Court that Hearthstone CEO John Smith consulted with psychics about the “negative energy” he felt from her fetus, which reminded him of his own unpleasant experience in the womb, and then gave her the ax.”

Hearthstone creates custom log homes, timber frame homes, and heavy timber barns, including the Bob Timberlake log home collection, and special designs for Southern Living. What fun!

Unbelievable? It sounds absurd to me, but I’m only quoting from this Courthouse News Service article:

Wikipedia says that Courthouse News Service is a news wire that law firms subscribe to which has reporters in almost every major market in the country. If this story is true, it certainly raises the bar to new heights when it comes to woo in the workplace, doesn’t it? And there’s more. Former Hearthstone sales manager John Risley told Action 3’s Molli Graham:

“When we base buying land by the amount of land fairies that are on the land, nothing surprises me.” If you didn’t catch that, he said land fairies. Risleyclaims that’s one way Smith decided to buy land for a future subdivision. Other decisions were based on muscle testing. Former employees show me what muscle testing is. They say Smith would ask a question and if your fingers could be pulled apart, the muscle was weak and the answer no. If your fingers stayed together, it was strong or yes. “We would base hiring and firing people on muscle testing,” says Risley.

I know about muscle testing or “applied kinesiology.” It’s pure woo. But land fairies? Are we living in Conan Doyle cloud coo coo land?
Like all good employees, Harms “played along” with this weird game of cat and mouse in order to keep her job, but after Smith told his chiropractor and “self-described energy worker”  that he believed Harms’ baby had a “negative agenda,” she began to have second thoughts about working alongside him. She claims that the “energy worker” told Smith that the baby had a past life with him and then asked him to “partner with the baby.”  Mr. Smith apparently warned Harms that she needed to be cautious and told her a tale about how he had been traumatized while in his own mother’s womb when she had a sexual affair with another man. This is all just TMI, isn’t it? Smith sounds like troubled fellow to me, but once again it’s not up to me to decide that. What do I know? Mr. Smith is a CEO at a major corporation, I’m at home writing this blog. He must know something.
And the really sad part of all this? According to  The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2007 upheld a lower court ruling that Hearthstone discriminated against a Christian employee who was fired for refusing to participate in “Mind Body Energy” sessions. The sessions were meant to “cleanse negative energy” from workers and improve their job performance, according to court documents. A federal jury awarded the worker $1, plus $20,000 in attorneys’ fees.

One lousy dollar. That is all that was awarded along with a lot of grief and attorneys’ fees back in 2007. One dollar is apparently all it’s worth to discourage top CEO’s and corporate America from cramming more unsubstantiated magical hogwash down our throats. It’s no wonder companies like Heathstone can get away with this form of heavy-handed workplace intimidation. If we don’t fight for freedom from these and other rigid doctrines of forced acceptance, we might one day lose our jobs because we didn’t leave a cookie on the mantle for Santa Claus on Chritmas Eve or forgot to pay off our kid for the Tooth Fairy. What’s next, Scientology at the 7-Eleven?

Still,  there’s hope. Harms is requesting a jury trial and seeking unspecified monetary compensation for lost wages and pain and suffering. She was given the go-ahead to file a discrimination lawsuit against Hearthstone this month. You Go Girl!

17 Responses to “Woo CEO Says Woman’s Fetus Has “Negative Agenda””

  1. Sgerbic says:

    Wow what awesome pictures Mark! BTW Larry King is retired, but maybe a story like this might bring him back?

  2. all i ever got was pictures of elbows….ur either great with photoshop or very lucky. Good one Mark !!

  3. It wouldn’t surprise me if it was true, I was once hired for a job because my sing was compatible with my major coworker. I was offended, but it’s difficult to sue for “wrongful hiring.”

    • Sgerbic says:

      I remember going through management training years ago, they told us that we were not allowed to ask for birthdays on the application. Because if they weren’t hired then we might be accused of not hiring because of their ast sign. Maybe there would be a conflict with others in the workplace. Crazy, but that was what I was told.

  4. Why would you want to work for someone like that? Getting fired would be a godsend.

    • MadScientist says:

      Unfortunately people need this stuff called money so they can buy things like food and shelter and clothing. Moving always costs a lot of money, and the employment prospects are not necessarily great in whatever place you happen to be.

  5. MadScientist says:

    I thought it was going to be a story about scientology with a few names changed – dang, I hate being reminded that there are other cuckoo cults too.

    • Mark Edward says:

      This isn’t a cult, it’s a major national home building company. I’m surprised they don’t have a Feng Shui Department.Sorry to be the one to remind you. but someone needs to do it…

      • MadScientist says:

        I guess it’ not a cult since the boss forces this stuff on everyone and the victims don’t necessarily subscribe to the same nonsense – so it’s a somewhat subtle difference between it and scientology. Good luck to the litigants; the company itself needs to get a new CEO though, this stuff just isn’t good for the folks working there.

  6. Shakespeare says:

    That’s one problem with power… it gives one an impression that every whacky thing popping into one’s brain is actually truth.

    We all need skeptics around us to remind us that we all have the capacity to be silly.

  7. Liz Ditz says:

    From a blog post on the previous litigation

    On one occasion, Smith determined by muscle testing an employee that drainage problems in a HearthStone subdivision were caused by that employee’s ancestors perishing on the land during the Ice Age. Smith determined that the employee was unknowingly defending the land on behalf of her ancestors, and required her to attend MBE sessions to cleanse her negative energy.

    From a 2009 article in a building trade pub on HH’s success

    Owner Smith is a disciple of “spiral dynamics,” a philosophy that examines past forces on people’s lives with an eye toward eradicating negative baggage. At HearthStone, he enforces a “whole systems” approach that links his employees’ personal and work lives. For example, HearthStone doesn’t open on Sundays because “our associates’ families were being undermined … by the work level that our sales associates had,” said Smith in a 2006 interview.

    Don Beck (a Spiral Dynamics guru) mentions Smith & Hearthstone


    The much more visible version of Yellow (surface) is now beginning to appear as more minds/groups have matured into something close to the Second tier zones where there exists the capacity to self-determine, to demonstrate self-reliance, to manage one’s self given the necessary access to information, along with the ability to be flexible and adapt to changing conditions and situations. From what I hear Google does have some of these characteristics, and even Southwest Airlines, an early adopter of many of these ideas, will exhibit, over all, elements of this systemic way of doing business and living life. (Southwest people also like to have fun!). John Smith’s Hearthstone Homes building group in Omaha is another prime example, as is, in my view, John Mackey’s Whole Foods Market.

  8. This really reminds me of someone I had the (dis?)pleasure of working with at one stage. He’d come up with a design for a perpetual motion generator and was convinced the idea was delivered to him in his sleep by the Burning Tongue of Babylon. The device being based on perpetual motion was only the beginning of woo-shit.

    I can remember him being very secretive…as you would…considering there was nothing remotely different about his device. He’d not attempted to even bother researching his device or he’d have realised it was done to death. Anyway, I remember him coming forward and asking me if I’d like to partner with him and a few others in helping develop this generator. Not having seen the device or told anything other than “It works!” I decided I’d take a look into the proposition. I can remember the first night we all met in a very secluded location. When I arrived, I realised I knew everyone there so there was a circle of trust established. Then, the creator went on to explain how he came up with the idea…it went like this…

    Inventor – I was asleep when I was suddenly awoken by a bright light at the end on my bed. It was the Burning tongue of Babylon
    Jose – Wait…what? *looks really confused*
    Inventor – Let me finish. It was at the foot of my bed and it spoke to me. It told me I was going to wake up with an idea that would change the world. When I woke up, I had the idea for a new engine that generates free electricity, and that’s why you’re all here.
    Jose – Alrighty then. Question: You did say a burning tongue?
    Inventor – Yes, the Burning Tongue of Babylon
    Jose – Ok, so, you had a vision? Or was it actually standing on your bed talking to you?
    Inventor – It spoke to my mind.
    Jose – Ok, dude. If I wake up and I have a burning tongue at the end of my bed, then, I’m fuckn’ out of there. There’s nothing that tongue has to say that I’d be remotely interested in because it’s a tongue…and it’s on fire…and it’s talking. How does it even talk? It’s a tongue. I’m the only one not getting this?
    Inventor – It spoke to me telepathically.
    Jose – Well that explains everything.

    So I signed a NDA, crossed my heart and hoped to die, and I was allowed to see the device. Within seconds I knew exactly how it functioned and explained all the flaws. I pulled out right there and then but offered my services free of charge as a designer for their prototype documentation because he had explained he would be building the device in developing nations to try and help those in need. I thought that was a pretty cool idea even if this thing was never going to make it off the ground.

    He sent me a word doc with his business plan. His business plan read like something he’d thrown together without even reading the questions. The one thing that caught my eye was some kind of disclaimer where any employee would have to adhere to some weird religious calendar. I explained that any future employees would have an issue with his idea that all employees would not be allowed to celebrate Christmas in December, which according to him, should be in June. There was no Easter and anyone who didn’t accept the new calendar would not be offered a position in the company. Then his idea of helping “those in need” actually translated to a cult situation where anyone involved would have to accept his religion and way of life. Which was strange considering he wanted to build the device in India and enforce some twisted religion that had me scratching my head. It was like an extremist arm of Christianity on steroids.

    At that stage…I walked away. This gentleman was clearly not right in the head.

  9. Chris Howard says:

    If he accepts government contracts, he’s probably going to be getting a call from said client, soon. Then again, my tax dollars have already paid for a variety of “faith based” poppycock.

  10. marybeth says:

    Are they buying land with a lot of land fairies or are they trying to avoid displacing them? I understand that’s probably the wrong question to come away with but it’s better than my second question which is, why haven’t I just been making up stuff to get my way?

  11. Elsa says:

    This is the first entry I’ve looked at – but what you’re writing about, that I know a lot about, though not any example as extreme as this one. Actually, maybe I should take that back – on New Age sites, over and over you hear that you are responsible for everything in your like, you have created everything. So Jews presumably created the Holocaust, Tutsis the slaughter in Rwanda, and so on. Where is science, reason, logic, I often wonder?

    By the way, love the photo of the baby with flame-shooting eyes.

  12. Sua says:

    I need to know what is a negative agenda? definition

    Please I need it!!!!