White magic in America: Capitalism, Mormonism and the doctrines of Mormon Stephen Covey
The following is from Eric’s ex-Mormon mailing list.
Stop everything and run to your mail box, your library or favorite magazine store and get the 23 Feb. 1998 issue of New Republic. On Pages 26 – 34 [there is an article entitled] “White Magic in America: Capitalism, Mormonism and the doctrines of Stephen Covey”, by Alan Wolfe.
someone else writes:
What is the article about?
To which someone else who has read the article responds:
It’s a review of Covey’s newest book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families: Building a Beautiful Family Culture in a Turbulent World. The author juxtaposes Covey’s ‘principles’ with the story of Joseph Smith, the influences on early mormonism – money-digging, white magic, etc.
Basically Wolfe doesn’t like Covey’s idea of internalizing the “7 Habits” to the point of NOT thinking but reacting. Some of the fun quotes about Covey are:
“…Covey’s books are popular in spite of themselves.”
“…Covey writes in a flip-chart manner as if he barely pauses between the oral presentation to a seminar and the printed page.”
“Covey has brought the art of white magic to the writing and publication of books.” The goal of white magic being, “…to persuade people that things which are perfectly obvious, even completely known to them, can nonetheless be revealed to them.”
In Covey’s books, “No one questions the system and wins. Covey wants to share with us the experiences of real people. What he shows us instead is the power of cultspeak.”
“Following The Seven Habits, it would seem, provides obedient automatons.”
It’s a good read but doesn’t get real interesting until sections 4 and 5 (out of 5 sections). I’ve not read any of Covey’s books so I can’t comment on how well the author interprets them, but he doesn’t much like Stephen Covey or the Mormon church.