Cosmic Ordering: Real Or No Real?

Noel Edmonds, host of Deal or No Deal

Noel Edmonds, host of Deal or No Deal

This week it’s emerged that bearded box-opener Noel Edmonds of the granny-pleasing game show ‘Deal or No Deal‘ has something other than dumb luck and a penchant for stripey jumpers on his side. Noel, who’s career was saved by the quiz show after his popularity plummeted with the demise of his long-running 90s show ‘Noel’s House Party‘, has pinned his recent success firmly on ‘Cosmic Ordering‘.

For the uninitiated of our listeners, Cosmic Ordering is the mystical self-help movement whereby followers are encouraged to write down a wish list of things they want to come true and submit it to the cosmos and wait for it to happen. In that way it’s a lot like the Oprah-tastic self-help piddle ‘The Law of Atraction‘, essentially telling people that if you wish hard enough, anything you want will come to you.

In Noel’s case he was turned on to the power of the cosmos by that sure-fire source of life expertise – his reflexologist. Because, obviously, anyone who spends their day magically rubbing the feet of strangers clearly has the secret to getting ahead in life… but enough of the ad hominems. Instead lets look at this from a professional, respectable angle. Oh, sorry, mistake – let’s look at this in the Daily Mail.

The Mail opens with a small and characteristically-understated claim:

“Want a great new job or meet that special someone? Television presenter Noel Edmonds has launched an iPhone application that will call on the cosmos to help you” – Source: Mail Online, 21/09/09

Bet you didn’t see that coming! Because not only has Noel got the secret to getting what you want from the world, he’s prepared to let you download it straight to your iPod, for a nominal fee of course. This is self-help after all, and Noel needs to self-help too you know… The article goes on to explain:

“The app is based on the New Age philosophy of ‘cosmic ordering’ and allows people to place orders with the cosmos asking for their wishes to come true and then record what happens.”

I love the phrase ‘place orders with the cosmos’ – like it’s some kind of ethereal room service. ‘Hi, is that the cosmos? Yeah, I’d like a ham sandwich, a black coffee, and my own infuriatingly simple and irritatingly popular game series whereby I create drama out of people literally saying random numbers while a bunch of strangers open cheap boxes with other numbers written inside them. Oooh, could you give me my own phone where I can pretend to talk to someone else when really I’m just talking to myself like an bearded simpleton too, please? Excellent’

Noel Edmonds wishes you everything you want in life

Noel Edmonds' Cosmic Ordering will help you gain success and good fortune

Also, what the hell does it even mean to place your order with the cosmos. The cosmos is space, it’s the universe. There’s no placing an order – you’re a tiny insignificant blob of carbon on a tiny planet far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy. The universe owes you nothing, Noel. But download Noel’s app and you will owe him £1.20. Well it’s tacky nonsense, but at least it’s relatively cheap tacky nonsense.

You might ask me: ‘How does the app work?’ Well, it doesn’t, obviously. Then you might say: ‘No, no, I mean what does it do?’ In which case I’d chastise your lack of clarity, tell you I’m not a mind reader, and then explain to you that it apparently allows phone users to record their orders and how the cosmos responded to the request. What’s more the orders can be viewed by date placed, the target date for delivery as well as the subject, such as Family, Love, Health and Wealth. Which, again, is just meaningless dribble. While there is something to be said for writing down and recording achievable, progressive steps towards your goals (something Richard Wiseman covers in his latest book, I believe), the notion that writing down where you want to be and what you want to get and it will come to you is false; attaching it to a magical, mystical cosmic force is palpably nonsense.

Noel says of the scam – sorry, scheme:

“We must never forget that the cosmos exists solely to help those who want to help themselves. It is an incredibly powerful force and a wonderful friend and ally for all who adopt a positive approach to life. However, the cosmos won’t, indeed it can’t, assist you unless you adhere to the three basic rules of cosmic ordering, the most important of which is belief in yourself and your right to be successful.”

This is where it gets a bit nasty, if you ask me – sure, the idea that if you believe hard enough you’ll get anything you want is seductive, and sweet, and blah and blah and blah. But what about those who don’t get what they want? Who stay poor, or stay alone, or stay ill with disease – what of them? By Noel’s cosmic ordering, they didn’t wish hard enough, didn’t believe strongly enough. By the very logic of this self-help crap, anything that you don’t get, you don’t deserve; anything bad that happens to you, is your own fault. Charming. Kind makes me wish for the good old days when the only irritating crap Noel was pushing on us was Mr Blobby.

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  1. #1 by Andy on September 28, 2009 - 10:32

    Excellent post Marsh.

    Your final point, the one about “But what about those who don’t get what they want? Who stay poor, or stay alone, or stay ill with disease – what of them? ”

    They’ll probbaly never realise they didn’t get what they want. You can die waiting for shit like that to materialise.

    “Live your life while you’re alive” is my personal maxim which this article brings to mind.

  2. #2 by Yorkshireskeptic on September 28, 2009 - 20:06

    I wonder if the app will help me win the ‘deal or no deal’ quiz on the Itbox down the pub? 😛

    I used to love Noel’s House Party back when i was a kid, but he comes across as a bit strange on Deal or no Deal…talking to the mysterious ‘banker’ via phone In an odd familiar and enigmatic manner

    Has the banker ever revealed themselves? Have we ever heard the banker’s voice?
    Is the phone even connected?!

  3. #3 by Jane West on October 23, 2009 - 17:25

    The overtones in this piece are really demeaning. Why, one would think Noel Edmonds was responsible for forcing anyone to take up this service. After all, no one is forced to load gambling machines up with money or to waste it on drink, but it happens and life is too short to stay at home minding the children while “he” squanders the wages on whatever. This simply a distraction to take us away from the boredom of life, rather like this forum.

  4. #4 by Kaden Hayes on May 12, 2010 - 18:08

    I always watch Deal or No Deal on TV, what an exciting show and i love the briefcase girls too.’,’

  5. #5 by Scorpious on May 9, 2012 - 16:59

    I have only just come across this article as I have been lately reading up about Cosmic Ordering and although this article was published a few years ago, I want to really say a big thank you to the author of this article as it really shows just how crap cosmic ordering really is! I especially love the last paragraph and I think this is the one where frankly Cosmic Ordering is exposed as a huge cop out! Oh yes it ‘works’ if you strongly believe. But if you have a poor unfulfilled life, that’s your fault, no one else’s as you didn’t believe strongly enough….oh but the universe always wants to help you. Well try to telling that to all the millions of people around the world who are starving and living in poverty and have terminal illnesses, through no fault of their own! If Cosmic Ordering really worked we would ALL be using it and getting what we want from life. But life’s not that easy now, is it? Lastly, and this where it really falls down, if there 10 people going for an interview for one job and they all use Cosmic Ordering for their interview, it won’t bloody matter as there is only one vacancy and 9 people will fail, even though cosmic ordering was used! I hope that proves my point. Thanks again to the author of this article!

  6. #6 by Mario on January 22, 2013 - 23:51

    No skeptic has ever did anything special to change their life or the world.

    All things are created subconcious not conciously. Skepticism is often coupled with fear. Lie down and believe your going to die. Because skeptics could never see themselves well. They could never even try? Why bother? Why not die? Why bother trying to have any positive belief?
    Faith is beyond the eyes

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