The Secret

There’s a book out there that seems to be taking the country by storm.  A certain Australian author was vaulted to best-seller status when Oprah started plugging the book The Secret which claims to offer the secret to everything a person wants.  It’s basically a “name it and claim it” new age pantheistic collection of thoughts. 

Gina brought the audio version and wanted me to copy it for Arwyn.  She apparently wanted me to do it right away, while she and Arwyn had a “girl’s day out.”  I was busy having fun with the boys, making ice cream, going to the store to buy stuff to make it, and then getting them involved in my Stepmania game by hooking up the second dance mat. 

 

When I first saw the title, I thought this was a work of romantic fiction or something.  Like The Notebook or something.  Then I read the back and red flags started going up.  I began listening to the first of the 4 CD’s and more mental flags were waving.  I logged onto the internet and read various reviews while listening and realized this thing, spiritually speaking, was a load of crap.  Talk about pyromarketing!  Gina bought into it lock, stock and barrel. 

 

She and Arwyn came home while I was investigating this, and I’m afraid I flew into Gina a bit harshly.  She got defensive and then I got defensive and it was a bit intense.  More intense than I meant. 

 

Admittedly, I did not listen to the whole thing.  I have not seen the Oprah special.  Good grief, that woman has influence!  I simply read some of the review on her website. 

 

The Devil’s gambit is to lie, deceive and entice, which this whole work is based around.  There’s this idea of attracting only good things through positive thought.  Attracting wealth, happiness, curing diseases and having wonderful relationships.  Who wouldn’t want that?  So there’s the enticement.

 

So where’s the lie?  Well, the author claims that the secret has been known and studied throughout history by the greatest philosophers and thinkers who ever lived.  Really and truly buying into this idea of a secret handed down through the ages requires that you buy into the idea that it actually works as it worked for all those folks she lists as masters of the secret.  Certainly Socrates, Plato, Einstein and others were extraordinary thinkers.  But they all are still dead.  The secret did not spare them from that.  None of them were extravagantly wealthy.  I’m not sure about the Greek philosophers, but I know Einstein struggled with his interpersonal relationships.  Abraham Lincoln supposedly knew the secret.  Ever read this guy’s autobiography?  He suffered from depression, he was not wealthy, he struggled with his marriage and he was shot in the back of the head!

 

HELLO??!!!??? 

 

IS ANYONE THERE?

 

I’m sure proponents of the Secret philosophy have an explanation for all of this.  Perhaps Lincoln did not apply the Secret correctly.  Perhaps he abandoned it after being elected president.  Whatever.

 

The author of this book is being made extraordinarily rich; thanks to people buying the oldest lie in the known universe.  It is repackaged and slickly marketed.  I get my blood up with the realization that the masses are so gullible as to fall for this bit over and over and over again. 

 

This is probably why I flew into Gina so harshly.  I like her and hate to think of her as being so gullible.  But as Arwyn said later, she has had some rough times.  She’s still locked into this butt-ugly divorce with Donald, and is totally drained of all financial resources.  She’s had the rug pulled out from under her, and is searching for some sort of Answer.  I just wish Oprah wasn’t the first stop for so many searching for the Answer.

 

P.T. Barnum was the one who knew the real secret.  There’s a sucker born every minute.

 

I have no idea how to talk to someone who has fallen for the lie.  No one wants to be told they are gullible.  Challenging them simply makes them dig their heals in deeper.  Perhaps some REBT-style inquiry might cut through some of the euphoric fog.  But that’s part of the problem: when the fog is intoxicating it’s difficult to get anywhere.  Somehow reality has to bring a person back to earth.

 

D.

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2 Responses to “The Secret”

  1. Drunken Housewife Says:

    There’s a pretty ugly reverse side to this particular coin. If you can, by the Rule of Attraction, bring good from the universe to you, then logically it is your own fault if bad things happen to you, because you COULD have brought yourself good things. You were just too much of a fuck-up to buy the book or have ferreted out the Eternal Wisdom therein.

    The Jews in Auschwitz? Their own fault for not working the Rule of Attraction.

  2. Hazel Says:

    As you say, there’s a sucker born every minute. It never fails to amaze me how many people fall for that kind of crap. I wonder, is it some kind of brainwashing?

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