Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru

By Dan Clendenin

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Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru (2016)

I might have heard of Tony Robbins (born 1960 as Anthony Mahavoric) before my friend told me to watch this Netflix Documentary. Robbins came from a chaotic and abusive family, left home when he was seventeen and never returned, and didn’t go to college. Today he’s one of the most powerful self-appointed self-help gurus on the planet. He earns about $30 million a year, has written best sellers, done infomercials, is a philanthropist and “peak performance coach,” and the master of the aphorism — like “turn fear into power,” or “anyone can be successful at almost anything.” He’s been married twice, and had a child with a third woman. He’s most famous for his seminars called Date with Destiny — a six-day, 12-hour-a-day emotional marathon that costs $5000. For the most part this movie follows the six days of one of these seminars. I found the psycho-babble, the emotionally abusive tactics like fire-walking and board-breaking, and his “science of taboo language” (lots of f-bombs) hard to watch, even scary. It’s like Dr. Phil on steroids. But three things became clear — Robbins is an earnest believer in his snake oil, many people have experienced shocking amounts of pain, and they long to experience honesty, authenticity, and healing. I watched this film on Netflix.

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