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Maybe they figured they'd keep the profits a 'Secret' too?

So now comes word that Drew Heriot, the director behind The Secret DVD, has filed suit against Rhonda Byrne et al, alleging that he was denied his fair share of profits from the project's otherwordly success. It's too soon to know what's really going on here—and it might be a mistake to assume automatically that Heriot's legal claims represent the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. This wouldn't be the first time someone signed on to a project for a negotiated fee, saw the project take off beyond his wildest dreams, then decided he'd sold his soul too cheaply. I knew a struggling writer some years back who agreed to accept a $25,000 flat fee to ghost a book for a Certain Middling Celebrity. After the book became a New York Times bestseller, the ghostwriter filed suit claiming that he'd had a "gentleman's agreement" with the Certain Middling Celebrity that there'd be more money coming—a whole lot more—if the book took off.
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A Ray of caution?

Folks, I am as down on James Ray as anyone. As I recently told a Member of Major Media, Ray and his travails epitomize all that's wrong with latter-day self-help. Little or no credentials to be selling what he's selling...the promise of near-instant transformation...a distinct proclivity for "churning" his disciples...scandalous prices for a slapdash program consisting of unproven, potentially (now manifestly) dangerous material. All that said...I'm getting a wee bit uneasy about the ardor of our collective assault on Ray. I think there is danger in piling on, as some of us have —including your host . I think that we run the risk of unwittingly marginalizing ourselves : that in our zeal to find and trumpet every last incriminating detail, background circumstance or untoward facial expression —while at the same time ignoring or rationalizing aw ay any possible mitigating circumstances — we make ourselves look like, say, the liberals who once were accused of "

'Helping Rhonda'? & is Michael Moore the Left's Glenn Beck?

Rhonda Byrne may have been a tad late getting to her own party, but the positive-review-athon for The Pow-errrrr appears finally to have kicked in with a vengeance (no doubt with Amazon looking studiously the other way, if not actively participating in the conspiracy). All three of what we used to call "spotli ght reviews" for the book are now glowing 5-stars, as are all 10 of the most recent reviews featured in the sidebar. My negative review has been kicked down the stairs to the cellar...along with a thoughtful and quite-literary take from Kathryn Price that once held sway among the spotlights with a helpful rating of over 70 pe rcent but can no longer compete with the recent slew of 100-percent-helpful 5-stars. ================================= Speaking of unwarranted hype, last week I finally saw Michael Moore's highly engrossing logical quagmire, Bowling for Columbine . As far as I can tell, here is Moore's thesis: The words racism and violence have almos

'The Only Self-Help Book You'll Ever Need—The Sequel.' By Rhonda Byrne.

Let's start, boys and girls, with a disclaimer/confession: I have not read Rhonda Byrne 's new book, The Pow-errrrr . (And can't you imagine the phrase being uttered just that way, in breathy tones that drip with a practiced air of mysterioso? The Pow-errrrr ... One almost hears distant nighttime thunder and gusty winds rustling through trees in the background. Whooooossshhhhh ....) That said, I ask you to read her publisher's own product description, as appearing on Amazon, and experience for yourself the utter contempt for the collective intelligence of her target market: The Secret revealed the law of attraction. Now Rhonda Byrne reveals the greatest power in the universe— The Power to have anything you want. In this book you will come to understand that all it takes is just one thing to change your relationships, money, health, happiness, career, and your entire life. Every discovery, invention, and human creation comes from The Power . Perfect health, incredible

Election afermath: Score one for The Secret.

What a lot of people miss about the New Age is that in philosophy and tone, it is very much aligned with latter-day conservatism and the sorts of things we saw happening, say, at AIG and Goldman-Sachs before the f all. The Secret , after all, is nothing if not wildly, irredeemably, unapologetically aspirational. Along with its philosophical sibling movements in the megachurches — such as that run by our friend Joel ("the gospel according to Vera Wang") Osteen — The Secret legitimizes the idea of endless upward mobility and a reality in which wealth is not zero-sum, but in fac t can be attained by everyone everywhere at the same time if "you just want it enough." Secret alum Lisa Nichols says it flat-out in the very title of her CD: " You Deserve It !" In the world according to Rhonda Byrne and her (pseudo-)philosophical protégés, every man (and woman) is an island, and all of those islands are the Caymans . Both The Secret and cons ervatism encourage a

Byrne-out: a tale of two cancer victims.

Today, boys and girls, we have one of my occasional guest columns, this time by a regular who pops in now and then under the name "Frances." A few prerequisites. First — as is always the case when I present these columns — they are not to be interpreted as anything beyond "one person's opinion." * I am showcasing the following thoughts not under the guise of presenting universal truth (though I do think they cut pretty close to the heart of the mat ter , or perhaps in this case the breast of it); I'm showcasing them because I find them interesting and on-message. Second, by the ir nature, all posts of this type deal in anecdotal evidence. Frances is comparing the plight of one high-profile cancer victim who turned to conventional medicine to the plight of another high-profile cancer victim who turned to The Secret . Bear in mind, however, that in the latter instance, anecdotal evidence of failure carries more weight than in the former instance, because devo

Would you buy a complete metaphysical system from this woman? ... Byron Katie, Part 2.

In our last episode , we met Byron Katie and were introduced to her Four Questions, which supposedly will take you to a new level of peace, happiness and fulfillment. And, in fairness, you'll have no trouble finding legions of online fans.'ll also find legions of people who swear by oxycontin , at least in terms of the narcotic's propensity for making life seem rosier and less anxious (till you run out of the drug). Which raises, in my mind, a Fifth Question: Is what Katie espouses really a valid metaphysical system? Or is it just the New Agey equivalent of oxy...a convenient, seductive-sounding way of rationalizing all the bad stuff (and generating enormous revenues for Katie, or so we're led to believe)? Once again, we'll let Katie set the tone in her own words. This is from her site: "The Work of Byron Katie is a way of identifying and questioning the thoughts that cause all the anger, fear, depression, addiction, and violence in the wor