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'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 relationships, a career you love, a life filled with happiness, and the money you need to be, do, and have everything you want, all come from The Power.

The life of your dreams has always been closer to you than you realized, because The Power—to have everything good in your life—is inside you.

To create anything, to change anything, all it takes is just one thing…THE POWER.
(Wait! I'm hearing it again now: Whooooosssshhhhh....)

Then we have the "about the author" section:
Rhonda Byrne's intention is to bring joy to billions. She began her journey with The Secret film, viewed by millions. She followed with The Secret book, a worldwide bestseller now available in 46 languages. Now, with The Power, Rhonda Byrne reveals the single greatest force in our Universe.
OK. A few thoughts. In my own book, SHAM—which, honesty also compels me to confess, was not a bestseller and is not available in 46 languages, in part, I'm sure, because my goal wasn't to "bring joy to billions" but rather to bring sanity to as many as were willing to listen—I discuss the concept of repurposing. As described on page 6, I learned about repurposing during my 16-month stint at Rodale: It consisted of "reusing chunks of our copyrighted material in product after product under different names, sometimes even by different authors."

Byrne, at least, repurposes her material under her own name; I'll give her that. But folks—really now—well, here are a few lines from an interview she gave early in the viral-marketing stage of The Secret:
"With the knowledge from The Secret there is not anything any human cannot be, do or have...not a single thing. No limits whatsoever. It doesn't matter where anybody is now—it doesn't matter if they're sleeping in a park, if they're totally broke, it doesn't matter if they're not well, it doesn't matter if their relationships are a mess. It doesn't matter where they are, when they gain this knowledge and when they apply and use The Secret in their life, their lives will totally change."
Or let's revisit the product description of The Secret that appears on Amazon to this day:
In this book, you'll learn how to use The Secret in every aspect of your lifemoney, health, relationships, happiness, and in every interaction you have in the world. You'll begin to understand the hidden, untapped power that's within you, and this revelation can bring joy to every aspect of your life.
Starting to sound familiar at all? Think some small portion of that same stuff, artfully repurposed (or not), might now be in The Pow-errrrr?

More to the point, if The Secret was the only thing you needed in order to be one with the Universe...why the hell do we need a second book? Maybe it's just me, but if you're framing The Pow-errrrr as the key to success, isn't that a repudiation of The Secret? An admission of failure? So why should anyone believe Byrne now?

Of course, maybe our gal Rhonda has just grown weary of watching various Secret alumni, including James "Sweat Lodge" Ray, cash in with spin-off products that sought to explain why the original Secret failed to usher in an era of universal (pun intended) prosperity. In fact, if there's one silver lining in the financial meltdown of recent years, it's that the economy went to hell in a hand basket within months after Byrne came along, telling us all how to have anything we wanted in life.

Not that any amount of commonsensical thinking will prevent The Pow-errrrr from taking its un-rightful place alongside Byrne's previous tome in the annals of New Age marketing. I'm betting that Byrne is already at work on the third book in the trilogy: I Still Can't Believe People Buy This Shit!

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