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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. The case never went very far in court, but the writer did manage to wring a few more bucks out of the deal.

But if Heriot is telling the truth, it's quite a plot twist in the long and chronically strange saga of The Secret. Here's how he puts it—rather cleverly, I thought—in a prepared statement: "To all who have been inspired by The Secret, please know that I am not suing the universal principles of The Secret. Rather, I am suing the corporate principals behind The Secret, who promised at the outset that profits would be shared, and who have not kept faith with The Secret's tenets of gratitude and integrity."

If I read the suit correctly, Heriot alleges that Byrne and her partners used a confusing "maze" of shell business enterprises to disguise profits and thereby withhold his deserved stake in the estimated $300 million The Secret has raked in to date. Heriot also challenges Byrne's implication that she was the sole creative genius behind the project. He contends that the genesis of The Secret was a collaboration in which he played a material role. As his attorney puts it, "The Secret franchise would never have existed if it weren't for Drew, and all he's asking is to be compensated for his work and creative contributions." In his pleading, Heriot claims that he gave the DVD "its distinctive approach and style"; that he "created the structure and order for the film, conducted the vast majority of those interviews, worked for months on the screenplay, directed the most important dramatic scenes and supervised the editing and post production." Further, because the book is "essentially a transcript of the movie," Heriot feels that his profit participation should extend to the book as well.

You gotta wonder what Byrne did to "attract" this.

Also today, on a related note, I present this outreach from John Curtis of
Notice - Seeking Potential Self-Help Fraud Victims

Seeking credible individuals who are concerned they may have suffered financial, physical and/or emotional harm by following the principles and practices known as the "Law of Attraction" as detailed in the book The Secret!

You will need to be able to demonstrate real, discernible and catastrophic harm. Information needed will include but not necessarily be limited to the following. (You will be able to tell your story while remaining completely anonymous):

1) Name or Personal Identifier of your choosing
2) Email address
3) Form of The Law of Attraction/The Secret: (book, CD/DVD, seminar, coaching)
4) Cost: (how much did you pay?)
5) Self-help provider source/website

Incident Details

6) What happened?
7) What harm do you feel you suffered?
8) Where, if at all, have your reported this harm?
9) What, if any, action have you taken to reconcile this harm?
10) Do you have concrete proof of actual financial, physical, emotional or psychological harm?
11) What resolution do you seek?

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