In my review of The Secret, I complained about the get rich quick mentality the book espouses. I was particularly cranky at the financial “advice” to visualize checks coming in the mail. That tip came from David Schirmer, an Australian financial “expert”. Here's the complete passage from The Secret:
When I first understood The Secret, every day I would get a bunch of bills in the mail. I thought, “How do I turn this around?” The law of attraction states that what you focus on you will get, so I got a bank statement. I whited out the total, and I put a new total in there. I put exactly how much I wanted to see in the bank. So I thought, “What if I just visualized checks coming in the mail?” So I just visualized a bunch of checks coming in the mail. Within just one month, things started to change. It is amazing; today I just get checks in the mail. I get a few bills, but I get more checks than bills.
Unsurprisingly, it turns out that David Schirmer's “secret” is to scam his students and employees. An Australian news program filed an investigative report:
This video is a little uncomfortable to watch — it's always awkward to see somebody flounder when confronted — and I wish the clip had been edited to allow us to see more of Schirmer's responses. But it's nice to see somebody taking these people to task.
Read more about this at Van Demonian and Whirled Musings. Schirmer Exposed is an ongoing catalog of anti-Schirmer information. Here is David Schirmer's response video. Finally, here's an Australian comedy show taking on The Secret. It's pretty funny, though it does contain some profanity.
[Thanks to the many readers who sent me links related to this story.]