This is the first of a 2 part series of basic guidelines to avoid being scammed. Part 2 will be on what to look for in your Qigong and Tai Chi Master. Caveat emptor is a Latin term that means “let the buyer beware.” As Tai Chi and Qigong become more popular, the public needs to become more aware of who is teaching what. Here is a list of what to avoid.
1.) They will offer weekend Teacher Training or Practice Leader Certificates with little training. Purpose is to stroke the ego of the student and create the cheerleader effect.
2.) The Training will be a “New” or “Easy” method, based on ancient principles. Purpose is to avoid accountability and authentication of training method. Secondary purpose is to create the “Dunning–Kruger effect wherein relatively unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability to be much higher than is accurate.”
3.) Rules will be seen as “Limitations”. Purpose is to avoid authentication of practice.
4.) New Age Buzz words used frequently, like Tao, Qi, Energy and Spirituality. Purpose is to create a shared value of the “Spiritual Seeker” and activate the “Bandwagon Effect”.
5.) The Master will have no verifiable lineage or training. The Master will claim vast experience from unrelated disciplines like Yoga, Reiki, Buddhism or Spiritual Traditions. Purpose is to create a shared value of the “Spiritual Seeker” and activate the “null hypothesis” of no difference among groups.
6.) The Master will claim they do not know better than the student and will advocate what is good practice and training for one will not be good for another. Purpose is build a unique student identifier and to avoid accountability and consistency. This creates the Forer effect or Barnum effect “that individuals will give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that supposedly are tailored specifically for them, but are in fact vague and general enough to apply to a wide range of people.”
7.) The Master will promote their book or dvd with praise from self help gurus unrelated to Qigong or Tai Chi. Purpose is to create a position of authority and an appeal of popularity under the bandwagon effect.
8.) Established Qigong and Tai Chi Classic Principles will be rejected with claims of new and modern methods being superior. Purpose is to avoid accountability and authentication of training method. Creates a self proclaimed exclusive authority that cannot be verified.
9.) The Master will claim there is no need for Discipline, Breath Work, Body Alignment or Mental Training and claim the right thing is always happening anyway. Purpose is to establish an illusion of a “regiment of success” without effort or accountability. Secondary purpose is to create a “halo effect: in which an observer’s overall impression of a person, company, brand, or product influences the observer’s feelings and thoughts about that entity’s character or properties.”