Skip to main content

My Secret confession.

A regular reader, Case, gently chastises me as follows: "Since The Secret crowd was on Oprah last week, I've been waiting for a SHAM post on the topic." He also observes, "Isn't The Secret the anti-determinism?", and, helpfully, "FYI, the movie is now free on the web at [this site] that aggregates YouTube videos." got me dead to rights. The last few weeks have been crazed, so rather than watch Oprah's Secret-fest live (which I'm not sure I could've stomached anyway; I'd need several stiff drinks, and I can't start that early in the day), I TiVo'd it for later replay. Alas, the gods of technology decided to have a little fun with me: It didn't "take," for whatever reason. Maybe the Secretmeisters, in their state of profound cosmic contempt for me and my ilk, managed to dispatch some sort of curse into the ethers, and it later came to rest in my video equipment. Or maybe it's a "law of attraction"-type phenomenon: I brought the malfunction on myself through my inveterate pessimism. In any case, I missed out. Which is probably for the best, since alcohol gives me horrific migraines anyway. For a nicely tart take on the affair, try this, from one of Rhonda Byrne's compatriots. (Rhonda is the eerie-looking presence at right, btw.)

Oh, and to answer the question Case poses: Yes, The Secret might be described as "the anti-determinism" in its inflection: the idea that you can simply throw off the shackles of whatever life you presently lead and begin another life tomorrow (or hell, why wait? What's wrong with right now....?) However, I need to point out that determinism even encompasses and explains the beliefs of those who reject it. There is no paradox more than, say, when a democratic nation decides, democratically, to vote a Fascist leader into power.* (I can hear the cynics now: "We already have that, Steve....")

* It's not exactly parallel, but you get the idea.

Popular posts from this blog

Placebo: how a sugar pill became a poison pill. Part 9 of a contintuing saga...

Read Part 8 . In 1921, amid the early tumult of prohibition, a remarkable study took shape in Palo Alto, California. Stanford psychologist Lewis Madison Terman—as serious-looking a man as one is apt to find, with hi s specs, upright bearing and unsmiling mien—would one day be remembered most ly for designing and publishing the final accepted version of the Stanford-Binet IQ test. In '21, however, Terman began work on another project that may have more lasting import for humankind, despite being known today to just a small circle of “longevity wonks.” Terman proposed to track th e lives of 1528 American children from that point on. His subjects, encountered in the course of his study of intelligence, were all 10 years old. Terman himself was 44; he would follow them and their families for the rest of his life, and he obtained from his younger associates a pledge to do the same after he was gone. The goal was to note what kind of longevity the 10-year-olds achieved, and try to deduc

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.

'And if you need to fill your bank account, write a book loaded with empty thoughts...'

UPDATE, Tuesday, Aug. 24. Now that my take (scroll down) on Rhonda Byrne's The Pow-errrrr has indeed made it to "spotlight" status, there is apparently a massive counterattack underway from the other side. In just the past few hours, my review has accumulated at least 10 "not helpful" votes. Wonder how long I'll be able to "hang".... And let me add that this isn't some sly effort on my part to "sell a few more copies of SHAM ," as some have alleged. My being dour about The Pow-errrrr , as it were, is not going to sell many (if any) copies of my evidenced by the fact that at this writing, SHAM lolls at No. 529,411, down markedly in the past few days despite my sudden visibility on Rhonda's high-traffic page. I feel safe in proposing that there's virtually zero overlap between her target market and my own. =========================== UPDATE, Monda y, Aug. 23. I've never done this, folks, and I really don't b