I once worked security
at one of his little 'shows
' at Wembley Arena
. It was absolutely packed, and I was there for three out of the four days the program ran for.
A lot of idiots with too much money (it's not cheap, you see) sat and listened to him shout truisms at them, and then he'd go and jump into his tour bus full of money while a pre-recorded video of his speeches was shown on a huge projection TV. Nothing he said was particularly unconventional or thought-provoking, so we didn't so much say, "Gosh, what a really unique perspective and original, creative viewpoint he has!", as, "Well, duh".
During the intervals, desks were laid out absolutely covered in his various tapes, books and other gobbledegook, at vastly inflated prices. All the patrons would return to their homes or hotels in BMWs, Lexuses, Mercs and Audis, while I'd struggle to catch the last tube, or, heaven forbid, a night bus home (through Harlesden no less). A fool and his money are soon parted. And Anthony Robbins had an entire arena full of them.
My personal highlights, standing there as I was in a flourescent green shirt and a radio extender, was his 'hug the person next to you' bit where all these rich yuppies grabbed the people next to them. Once crazed woman, unable to find a fellow audience member, grabbed wildly at my shoulder, but I was able to escape.
I also started talking to one of the, shall I say, roadies, volunteers who follow Anthony around and help him out. This guy was convinced of Robbins' preachings, that you should only drink a tiny bit of milk a day because too much calcium will overwhelm your system. For his birthday, his daughter (who was also working as a volunteer) got him - get ready for it - a three week trip to Fiji - for an Anthony Robbins course!
On the final day he also played a lot of meditation music (off a Ministry of Sound Chillout Album probably) and we had the entire arena blacked out for an hour, filled with people lying in the aisles and slumped in their seats in total silence. This, you see, is his technique to tear them apart, break their self esteem to bits, and then build them back up again.
And of course, the firewalk. I opted to stay inside rather than go out and watch them walk, but the following week I was at the rear gate letting trucks in and out for the Tina Turner gig. The guard booth was filled with bottles of lighter fluid and an immense crate of his unsold Powertalk tapes. To this day I wish I'd taken the tapes home and sold 'em on eBay.
I could've been rich, I tells ya! Those tapes go for a fortune, and it was well over £1000 for the five day course, most likely a lot more (around £1800, I can't remember) - the other staff and I were dumbfounded at how much these people had spent, it was easily more than we'd earn in 6 weeks of working almost every day. We calculated he was taking home about £3.5mil with him, PROFIT.
He is the real life embodiment of the hateful consultants you see in Dilbert.