Wednesday, February 14, 2007

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.


a/good/lysstener said...

Love the heart, Steve. Love it, love it! And a happy Valentine's Day to you, too!

Cosmic Connie said...

Hmm....maybe the Secretrons do have a grip on our technology. Just after Christmas the Rev and I replaced my computer, something we'd been needing to do for months. While Ron was busy setting up my new machine, I was using his desktop computer.

I'd been writing a blog post about The Secret and wanted to provide a link to a sappy discussion between Rhonda Byrne and some new-agey interviewer. When testing my link I decided to listen to the interview again. I'd listened to most of it when suddenly Ron's computer, which previously had been behaving itself reasonably well, simply crapped out. I tried to reboot...nothing. Ron tried...nothing.

We ended up having to replace Ron's computer too. It really Byrne'd me up (sorry).

Anyway, it's apparent that Oprah is a real Secret fan. Steve, I loved the opinion piece you linked to in your post ("Making bucketloads from the gullible"), but there wasn't a byline on that page. I did a little snooping around and it seems that the writer is Anita Quigley ("Quigley Down Under?" :-)); it originally appeared on her blog the previous day. Thanks for the tip. I feel another blog post of my own coming on...

And I second Alyssa's wish to you: Happy Valentine's Day!

Anonymous said...

I also was hoping to see you comment on last week's Oprah about 'The Secret.' Apparently she has received an overwhelming response from last week's show - there will be a follow up show this Friday. Blech.

Steve Salerno said...

Sigh. Another show? Another show??

Now I'm depressed on Valentine's Day.

You know, folks, it has just about reached the point where, if you tell people that by stuffing carrots up their noses and chanting the phrase "I can do it!!" over and over in Lebanese, untold riches will come to them, they will praise your name and love you, and pay you almost any amount of money to KEEP RIGHT ON telling them that!

My agent was right. The battle for common sense is already lost. Or, as an author-acquaintance of mine puts it, repeating what HIS agent told him, "People don't want to deal with sorting through complex things like issues.* They just want answers...."

One grows weary...

* ..."complex things like issues." Can you imagine?

ratherNOTgetinvolved said...

So, what do you do when you are not complaining about other people's interests?

Steve Salerno said...

I could shoot from the hip with a glib response designed to make you look bad, but since I believe that you see your question as legitimate, let me give you my legitimate reply, also opening in the form of a question:

Would you ask the same of someone who was crusading against heroin?
Because that's what this stuff is (assuming you're talking about The Secret). It's a social narcotic. It is at least every bit as addictive and, if you read my book and/or other work on the subject, as damaging, both to individuals and the fabric of wider society.

durga said...

"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? "
I commented here earlier, but apparently my effort was futile as my post got lost in the ether, so I'll repeat... Whatever I said about free will doesn't apply to the Secret. It shouldn't even be in the argument, as the kinds of assertions it makes are so ridiculous.
I'm glad to see people like you challenging these new wage ideas. I have about had it with new wagers telling me I can resolve my "issues" by a simple act of will. It doesn't quite work that way. But the secretrons would have us believe that it does and that all of us who still have bad days are just whiners who haven't properly manifested the new reality that is just waiting for us around the corner.

Cosmic Connie said...

I feel your pain, Durga. Those manifesters have all the answers, don't they? And woe to those who criticize them. As one of the Secretrons told me, "The universe will send it right back to you."

Oh, and here's something even more exciting, Steve (Valentine's Day is overrated anyway. :-)). Joe "Mr. Fire" Vitale, who was considered but passed up for Oprah's first Secret show, says he is going to be on Oprah this summer to promote his book on Ho'poannoyance, the ancient Hawaiian healing method. He says the book is already pre-selling briskly on Shamazon even though it's not scheduled to be released till the summer. And the promotional web site ( claims to be the world's first web site that "cleans" you while you look at it.

I think, Steve, that your friend and his agent are right, but maybe only to an extent. What many people seem to want, where issues are concerned, is maybe to whine about their personal issues for a while, but then they want the happy ending: the illusion of having dealt with those issues by somehow transcending them. In other words...yeah, okay...a social narcotic. Good description, Steve.

PS -- Are you insinuating that the carrots-up-the-nose, Lebanese-chanting method does not work? I've wasted a lot of good carrots, not to mention a lot of time learning Lebanese. Thanks for the disillusionment. :-)

Steve Salerno said...

It doesn't work for life fulfillment--and you will get pulled aside for those "random checks" in airports more often--but you'll find that you have remarkably fewer sinus problems.

Heather said...

Does "The Secret" work with every aspect of your life? I visualize Starbucks! Well, what do you know, a grande, fat-free vanilla latte.

mojo said...

I am a librarian who recently purchased The Secret DVD and book at the request of a patron. It's a brilliant marketing ploy, I'll give them that.

For me, the best part of the DVD was before anything else--before the menu, before the program--they have this large obnoxious copyright notice. It struck me, if they were really focusing on the positive, aren't they just ATTRACTING bootleggers?

And then yesterday I was surfing for more info. Found this site, and found--maybe through Connie's blog?--a link to Joe Vitale's blog. Where, on February 11, he lists a bunch of YouTube links to the Oprah show for people who missed it.

I was doubly amused that people who so care about their OWN copyright are so quick to promote the violation of another's--even their benefactor. I clicked on one of the YouTube videos out of curiosity. YouTube removed them after a copyright complaint was lodged by Oprah's lawyers.

I'm sure the Secret people (I misread the word "Secretron" at first as "Secretion" and it made me laugh) will be quick to point out that *they* didn't post the clips, so *they* are blameless.

(Oh, and I bought Steve's book for the library, too. Catering to all viewpoints, dontcha know.)


Sydney Jones said...

Consciously or subconsciously we all knew the secret & we have been living with it for all our lives. However what Rhonda & her team have done is that, they have made all of us aware of this fact. I don’t know if the secret will help me achieve all the things that I desire but yes since I have watched the movie I am feeling good & it seems like everything happening around me is great & it will be so for the rest of my life.

I work with a non-profit organization Blog The Bible, where we discuss all the things which can make you happy & also relate to Jesus & Bible at the same time. I think if The Secret can generate the same happiness within all of us then there is no harm in believing the Law of Attraction.

We all have experienced it, whenever we feel good & happy we think of god, we think of Jesus, we think of Bible. So I would say that no matter what everybody thinks but this DVD has surely brought me close Jesus, Bible & at last Happiness.

Sydney Jones

Anonymous said...

Guys Guys,
The Secret is very real and true, I speak from experience... My Father died when I was 6 and my Mom worked 3 jobs to keep food on the table, so as you may guess I lived in a poor part of town. I always knew I had to keep a positive outlook on life or I would be so disgruntled I could have literally killed someone.

My mom tried her best and she was very religious, and put the bible on me too. At the age of 18 I left home to eventually discover life and other religions on my own.
I went to college and made things happen for myself. No help from anyone. I had once read Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain to discover how I could put forth more efforts in my words and thoughts to enrich my life. First I was skeptical but if you think about it hard enough if you were to get pissed off at work and think all day that I would just love go off on someone or even want to just take my aggression out well before the day ends you will be in a fight with someone.

Of course many of you will question it, but is that not what they say in the video anyways? Who wants to believe that their whole life they have studied hard, worked hard and did'nt get what they want, but now these people tell you to just ask for it and you shall have it. No one can believe that it could be that easy, and your right it's not that easy. It takes time to accept it and then to practice it with confidence and confidence is something ALOT of people don't have.

We all live in a lack of confidence within ourselves. That is why there is conflict in our society today!!

That's why plastic surgery is so big, fake tans, Bling Bling, Fashion and violence is also on the rise... insecurity in oursleves is the conflict that tears you away from the truth.

Most people put their time, money and confidence into Jesus.

You mention Jesus and people believe in this person who you never see. Who will also bring you all that you ask for, is'nt that the same?

Master Yogis believe in this higher level of universe, buddhist do too... Could this maybe be a key that unlocks all religions to being the same? Worshipping one all mighty universe??

Yet, once again it's impossible for people to even fathom a confidence within themselves that you yourself contain a certain harmony with the universe around you.

We all live in conflict.

Yes, I saw the secret and never paid for it either, but who cares about copyrights and woohoo it's all a scam... just take the notes in like a good student and practice it, like they old saying goes "Don't knock it until you try it."

Oh and by the way, after watching the secret it all made perfect sense to me and have been rockin'
with it since. I have received so much good fortune it just seems to find me all the time... pretty wild is'nt it?

You would'nt believe the rewards I have received, monetary and physically... Things that would be
unheard of that most just stay amazed how I have this capability to make things work for me.

Two friends I have call me "The Maker" cause they always talk about how I seem to make things happen.

Success is one thing but the parallel harmony I now I have with life is like I am riding the surf waiting for the next wave to come and I can't understand how others don't see the waves.

I wish you all the best on your journeys, and please keep the mind open to possibilities... The Chinese have studied space for centuries, and we have spent billions of dollars on space travel, but yet nothing has been found of life forms or proving the existence of a higher god that might have created us.

Could it be that maybe the answer is right here within us?