There is no secret: The myth of the Law of Attraction

This review was written several weeks ago, but I shelved it for fear of making anyone cranky. Things have changed. The Law of Attraction cultists are out in force, and they're gunking up my site with comment spam. Now I'm having my say — I'm fighting back.

The Secret is a best-selling motivational book (and DVD) published last fall. I didn't hear about it for a long time because I live in an intentional media vacuum. After a couple people recommended it, I read it. Twice. Not because I liked it, but because I can't believe that people still fall for this crap.

What is the “Secret” of The Secret?

The “secret” is the Law of Attraction, which is not actually a law of anything. The Law of Attraction states that your life is a result of the things you think about. From a psychological perspective, this notion has some merit, and if the book explored the existing literature and research on the subject, I might not be writing this review.

But the book does nothing of the sort. The Secret offers no evidence of any kind: no scientific discussion, no experimentation, but only scattered cherry-picked anecdotes. It's the worst kind of pseudo-scientific baloney. Die-hard believers, such as Rhonda Byrne, the book's author, have elevated the Law of Attraction to a whole new metaphysical realm. They've stretched valid psychological ideas to cover everything in life, and it just doesn't make sense.

Here's how Byrne claims the Law of Attraction works:

Thoughts are magnetic, and thoughts have a frequency. As you think, those thoughts are sent out into the Universe, and they magnetically attract all like things that are on the same frequency. Everything sent out returns to its source. And that source is You.

[…]

Asking the Universe for what you want is your opportunity to get clear about what you want. As you get clear in your mind, you have asked.

Believing involves acting, speaking, and thinking as though you have already received what you've asked for. When you emit the frequency of having received it, the law of attraction moves people, events, and circumstances for you to receive.

Receiving involves feeling the way you will feel once your desire has manifested. Feeling good now puts you on the frequency of what you want.

To lose weight, don't focus on “losing weight”. Instead, focus on your perfect weight. Feel the feelings of your perfect weight, and you will summon it to you.

It takes no time for the Universe to manifest what you want. It is as easy to manifest one dollar as it is to manifest one million dollars.

Don't worry if that didn't make sense. It doesn't make any more sense in book form.

The Secret to Money

In each chapter, Byrne and her team of “experts” offer advice on how to apply the secret to some aspect of life. For example, in “The Secret to Health”, we learn that germ theory is bunk:

You cannot “catch” anything unless you think you can, and thinking you can is inviting it to you with your thought. You are also inviting illness if you are listening to people talk about their illnesses.

Don't worry about the avian flu. If you don't think it can affect you, you're safe! I'm sure medical researchers are taking notes. Since this is a personal finance blog, let's look at the book's advice about money:

  • To attract money, focus on wealth. It is impossible to bring more money into your life when you focus on the lack of it.
  • It is helpful to use your imagination and make-believe you already have the money you want. Play games of having wealth and you will feel better about money; as you feel better about it, more will flow into your life.
  • Feeling happy now is the fastest way to bring money into your life.
  • Make it your intention to look at everything you like and say to yourself, “I can afford that. I can buy that.” You will shift your thinking and begin to feel better about money.
  • Give money in order to bring more of it into your life. When you are generous with money and feel good about sharing it, you are saying, “I have plenty.”
  • Visualize checks in the mail.
  • Tip the balance of your thoughts to wealth. Think wealth.

There you have it. Those are the secrets to money. You do not have to avoid debt. You do not have to spend less than you earn. You do not have to be frugal, or obtain a college degree, or start a Roth IRA. All you have to do is “think wealth”.

The only reason any person does not have enough money is because they are blocking money from coming to them with their thoughts. Every negative thought, feeling, or emotion is blocking your good from coming to you, and that includes money. It is not that the money is being kept from you by the Universe, because all the money you require exists right now in the invisible.

This kind of crap is dangerous. It's get-rich-quick drivel of the worst sort. It doesn't help people address their money issues. It puts them into a pattern of wishful thinking.

Just as the “Think Method” could not turn Harold Hill's music students into virtuosos, this advice will not help you achieve prosperity. These may be useful exercises to change your mindset about money, but they're not going to make you rich.

It can be comforting to embrace ideas like these. I know. When I was at financial rock-bottom a decade ago, books like this brought me solace. But they also led me to more debt. Wealth requires more than just thought — it requires action. And not the sort advocated by David Schirmer in The Secret:

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.

 

Visualizing checks in the mail will not make them magically appear. When I say “money is more about mind than it is about math“, this is not what I mean. I'm talking about mental toughness, about self-discipline, about changing beliefs and thought patterns. I'm not talking about “manifesting” checks in your mailbox.

You Are What You Think

The Secret is a motivational book. It can inspire you to set goals, and to visualize the life you'd like to lead. A lot of its techniques are time-tested psychological tricks to help keep you motivated. I like this.

The book loses me, though, when it claims that the Law of Attraction is a “universal law” such as the law of gravity. The Secret attempts to combine Christianity (Jesus followed the Law of Attraction, don't you know?), quantum physics, and more in an effort to convince readers that our minds are some sort of universal force governed by frequencies and wavelengths and so on. This is bullshit of the highest order, and it makes me angry. To quote Han Solo, “There's no mystical energy field that controls my destiny.”

What's more, its proponents want you to believe that everything that happens on the Earth (and in the rest of the universe) is a result of the Law of Attraction. This sort of absolutism is absurd. Everything that happens to us is a result of our thinking? Do tell. Six million Jews? Tsunami victims? What, they're all collectively wishing the ocean would wash them away? Here's how Byrne rationalizes tragedy:

Often [people] recall events in history where masses of lives were lost, and they find it incomprehensible that so many people could have attracted themselves to the event. By the law of attraction, they had to be on the same frequency as the event. It doesn't necessarily mean they thought of that exact event, but the frequency of their thoughts matched the frequency of the event. If people believe they can be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and they have no control over outside circumstances, those thoughts of fear, separation, and powerlessness, if persistent, can attract them to being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

If you can buy into a philosophy that says six million Jews were killed because on some level they willed it, The Secret may be for you. If you are attracted to a mindset that says thousands of people can summon a tsunami to destroy themseleves, The Secret may be for you. If you think that 32 people at Virginia Tech somehow willed their deaths with thought vibrations, then The Secret may be for you.

The Secret is not for me.


The Law of Attraction in action?

 

Other Complaints

Byrne doesn't offer a single piece of evidence to support her claims. She and her experts provide anecdotal accounts of The Law of Attraction at work, but these accounts are meaningless. Some can be explained by coincidence. Others are a result of the real psychological effects of believing in yourself and maintaining a ready mind. None of them have anything to do with your thoughts “manifesting” themselves to the Universe.

It also bugs me when Byrne tries to imply that great thinkers throughout history were believers in The Law of Attraction. (She cites Einstein over and over in an attempt to bolster her credibility through association.) These thinkers may indeed have believed in the importance of goals, positive thinking, and mental toughness, but most of them — especially the scientists — would probably disapprove of being associated with this pseudo-scientific nonsense.

Don't get me wrong: the psychological ideas at the heart of The Secret are excellent. There is true power in positive thinking. Believing in yourself is a great way to to develop confidence. But The Secret promises too much; it goes too far in declaring that the Universe will grant all of your desires if you simply wish hard enough. Haven't we outgrown that?

Go ahead and follow Byrne's general advice. But back up your goals and your visualizations with action and hard work. Make your dreams come true — don't just dream them.

Additional Resources

If you find the ideas presented in The Secret intriguing, and want to learn more about the psychological ideas without being subjected to the metaphysical stuff, you might enjoy these books:

  • Man's Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl is a classic. In the first part, Frankl describes how he survived a Nazi concentration camp by clinging to his values and beliefs; in the second part, he attempts to create a philosophy of life derived from this experience.
  • Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns, M.D. describes how to deal with negative thinking through cognitive behavioral therapy. This is an example of using your thoughts to create your reality, but in a way that works. This is an excellent book. It really helped me when I was struggling with depression.
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie does a marvelous job of describing how the law of attraction can help you build stronger relationships. (My review.) Of course, Carnegie never actually mentions the law of attraction, but that's the idea he's espousing.
  • Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker is a solid introduction to changing your psychological approach to money, success, and happiness. (My review.)

Here are some other articles critical of The Secret and the Law of Attraction.

The first twenty minutes of the film version of The Secret are available on YouTube. I would embed the video here, but the copyright holders have added some extra verbiage to their post. I don't think this actually negates the YouTube terms of service, but I'm not going to take a chance. I do feel safe republishing the following “visualization tools”. The first one, “The Secret to You” is good. I like it. It's filled with uplifting affirmations, and I think it would be an excellent thing to watch every day:

 

“The Secret to Riches” visualization tool, on the other hand, is plain silly:

 

I'd love to hear your comments if you read and enjoyed the The Secret. Convince me that I'm wrong. Convince me that there's something to the Law of Attraction. Convince me that you can will checks to appear in your mailbox.

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Rob
Rob
13 years ago

While I do not think this is as mystical as they come off (I think it is a good marketing schitck), I think the idea is sound. I think it is similar to the idea that God helps those who help themselves. I have a few friends who grew up in horrible circumstances who were able to get themselves out of it and are brilliant and successful people, while others around them, including siblings, were not able to do the same things, despite being in the same environment and have (basically) the same genes. I have wondered why they are… Read more »

Laura
Laura
7 years ago
Reply to  Rob

Where exactly in the Bible does it say that God helps those who help themselves? I think you will find the answer to that question is NOWHERE. On the contrary, God helps those who believe and trust in Him.

Jim
Jim
7 years ago
Reply to  Laura

Laura,

There are two places in the Bible where it says that “the laborer is worthy of his wages”. Another verse that says “if one does not work, neither should he eat”. I will let you work to find the references. I think these verses pretty will sum up the expression…God helps those who help themselves. I hope you find this helpful.

Bill
Bill
6 years ago
Reply to  Jim

Laura is right, Jim is wrong. Ignorant people say “God helps those who help themselves.” If people are strong enough to help themselves, they don’t need God’s help, do they? On the face of it, the saying is nonsense. It reveals a lack of faith in God. The Gospel (good news) says: We are all spiritually DEAD. We cannot help ourselves. But God loves us and sent Jesus to SAVE us. Stop trying to be good enough (help yourself) and accept my free gift. Therefore, God helps those who STOP trying to help themselves and let God do it for… Read more »

ChinoF
ChinoF
5 years ago
Reply to  Jim

“God helps those who help themselves” is true to me. Another way to say it is “Faith without works is dead.” Christ saves us, true. But we still have to work.

Graham English
Graham English
13 years ago

I wrote my own law of attraction critique where I tried to integrate this ‘principle’ into higher-order thinking. Meaning, not reducing everything to the level of mind. I tried to be nice about it because I didn’t want to piss all the dogmatic believers out there, but just help them to think and move ‘beyond’ the idea of attraction being a rigid law. The Secret could have been powerful if it admitted it’s partial truth and not tried to turn it into science.

Aimee
Aimee
13 years ago

I have a half and half belief about the law of attraction. I do feel that our thoughts absolutely affect us, and those around us. I do believe that writing down goals makes them more likely to happen, and that by moving forward on positive goals, you do tend to attract situations and help. Now, is this because you are more aware and open to the chances available because you are thinking about it? Maybe, but there is something to be said for focusing on what you want to have happen, instead of focusing on the negative. The books you… Read more »

J.D.
J.D.
13 years ago

Rob: If you think it, and act accordingly, meaning take steps to make your thoughts real, it can take you a long way to overcoming fear and self-doubt, as well as open doors for you. Yes, I agree with this completely. I believe that setting goals, taking action, and believing in oneself can lead to great things. More than 150 years ago, Thoreau wrote: “I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success in uncommon… Read more »

sm
sm
13 years ago

positive thinking is one thing, but this crap is un-frickin-beievable.

Cat
Cat
13 years ago

Excellent review. The self-help movement was just beginning in my late teens, and my mother latched on to it a few years before she died. I have to say, this was a *good* thing. It helped teach us, trapped and impoverished, that we could pull ourselves out of our situation. Unfortunately, it looks like (and no, I won’t read it) “The Secret” takes it too far–slipping right into magical thinking; something those who feel trapped by their lives are very susceptible to. Will positive thinking help you live a better life? You bet. Is every bad thing that happens to… Read more »

r
r
13 years ago

Great review – thanks.

I particularly appreciate your being direct about just how offensive some of the implications of this book are. I completely agree.

r

HardwareGuy
HardwareGuy
13 years ago

So if I visualize having money, and then write a book/DVD that thousands of people foolishly think will allow them to succeed, then checks will start appearing on my doorstop.

Sounds like it’s working for the author.

I saw this trash a few weeks ago when I was out shopping. I was laughing out loud after reading the jacket on the back of the DVD. I can’t believe what some people will fall for.

Rahul
Rahul
8 years ago
Reply to  HardwareGuy

LOA does work on a certain level. During the GFC, people who kept on thinking about Job losses, ended up without jobs—isnt it like wishing a disaster to happen? As for LOA, how different is it from – As you sow so shall you reap. Or from – God helps those who help themselves. In fact the book Secret, just points people towards thinking positively and creating self-belief, two thigs which are fundamental for success. Isnt it? And yes, Rhonda Bryne, did manage to manifest cheques coming through her mail box by writing the book and making the film. It… Read more »

Steve
Steve
13 years ago

AMEN! You called it – this is crap, pure and simple.

Sure, thinking positively is nice, because who can be effective if you’re sitting at home being depressed about life? But it’s a psychological thing – nothing to do with metaphysical mumbo jumbo. These ideas (the way presented in this book – as a religion / cult idea) are very dangerous.

Derek Park
Derek Park
13 years ago

Thank you for posting this. The Secret has been bouncing around for far too long, being pushed by far too many people who *know better*. I’m glad someone with a large readership took the time to address this. I posted about how “The Secret” is ridiculous on my blog a while back, and a ridiculous amount of negative responses. It’s sad how so many people have latched onto this because they so desperately want an easy way out. The Secret is a scam, and everyone who promotes it (and related trash) is a liar, plain and simple. It’s an absolute… Read more »

Michael
Michael
13 years ago

So do you mean that you can’t just see a necklace in the window and have a man buy it for you? You can’t dream of a new bike and have your grandfather (I’m hoping that’s who he is supposed to be) just show up with one?

This whole idea is pathetic – but the dreamers will never understand that hard work, spending less than you earn, saving, and investing are the only ways to do it.

Allan
Allan
13 years ago

Oh, great, J.D. Just when I had my energies focused right and those checks pointing in my direction, you come along and cast all this doubt, man. What a buzzkill!

Your blog has cost me millions, just reading this post. I had The Secret, and now it’s lost.

I hope you’re happy.

Now I’m going to do something rash, like visualize you losing your hair or something.

Paul
Paul
13 years ago

If there is a connection between aspirations and actions then maybe, regardless of the ‘science’ acting in the belief of attraction might affect the way people are, and its that that creates a difference for them. I’m skeptical my partner isn’t, but she drives to the supermarket and tries the parking space trick and it works every time!!

Dani
Dani
13 years ago

Thank you for posting this. It’s truly refreshing to see a review of the Secret that doesn’t inflate its hype. While I do strongly believe in positive thinking, I think the bulk of this is crap.

A few theories on “unexpected checks”…
1. the author is a member of one of those chain letter pyramid scams (send a $1 check to these 16 people, and it will come back to you one thousandfold!)
2. the author gets the same unexpected checks I do, from credit card companies trying to sell me insurance (cashing this check signs you up for…)

RJ
RJ
13 years ago

It’s good to be aware of how our thoughts affect our circumstances, but this is way too new-agey and pop-mystical. And some of the points seem downright harmful: “It is helpful to use your imagination and make-believe you already have the money you want. Play games of having wealth and you will feel better about money; as you feel better about it, more will flow into your life.” And: “Make it your intention to look at everything you like and say to yourself, “I can afford that. I can buy that.” You will shift your thinking and begin to feel… Read more »

MofoTomO
MofoTomO
13 years ago

love the review, sums it all up!

Russell Heimlich
Russell Heimlich
13 years ago

Oh man. A friend bought the DVD and was watching it at my girlfriends a couple of weeks ago. I rolled my eyes as it got started. I especially like the one with the guy who was paralyzed and the doctors told him he would never walk and now he is walking just fine. Pure B.S.!

Lyman
Lyman
13 years ago

Wow… outstanding post. Balanced, but with some honest emotion behind it. While I am one of those who *is* into the mystical stuff, I do agree that to simply sit around on your butt and wait for checks to come in the mail is ridiculous. I initially loved the movie, and as an introduction to the Law of Attraction, the original version is still the best I’ve seen. I haven’t seen the “extended” edition, or read the book (which I assume is based on the new version), so I can’t really comment on them. I try stuff out, take what… Read more »

Curtis Timberlake
Curtis Timberlake
13 years ago

Thank you for posting the truth about ‘the secret’. Unfortunately, the human mind is easily manipulated. We believe in all kinds of crap. This is no exception. Hard work breeds success. Smart investing makes money. There is no ‘Secret’.

lynden55
lynden55
6 years ago

What kind of hard work? 🙂 I have yet to meet a rich ditch digger.

GH
GH
6 years ago

I always find it interesting when someone says they can prove something is a scam or fraud. Heck, they killed Christ because they didn’t believe he was the Son of God. Anyone can prove of disprove anything and get enough lemmings to follow you and you have a cult, albeit religion, government or Law of Attraction. Lots of energy goes into disbelief – it is called fear. Fear is what killed Christ. Today, it is fear that kills learning, having an open mind, and finding out for yourself. I love comments that say things like I read the jacket or… Read more »

Angie
Angie
13 years ago

Thanks for that review, JD. I’ve only been hearing bits and pieces about this phenomenon, because I’m largely unplugged from mainstream media, too. This kind of thinking has been floating around in New Age circles for a long time and it’s kind of a surprise that it’s hit the mainstream. It drives me absolutely batty.

The cruelest thing about it is that when something happens that is truly terrible and outside a person’s control–a car accident, cancer, whatever–this philosophy essentially tells them it’s their fault. Blaming the victim in the worst possible way. Absolutely appalling.

Bart
Bart
13 years ago

Excellent post. It seems like the extremism represented here is the method for Byrne and company to make those visualized checks in the mail really come. If the book wasn’t so extreme, it wouldn’t have attracted nearly as much media attention. Maybe I should write a book that takes a tried and true principle and makes it so extreme that it turns heads and makes lots of money. “You think my ideas are crazy? Maybe they are, and maybe I am, but at least I’m filthy rich now!!!”** **Disclaimer: My comment assumes the book and media attention are bringing in… Read more »

JW
JW
13 years ago

This is mental prozac, and masturbation at the same time. It allows people to believe that no matter what happens there is a certain level of locus of control. Ignore when something and it will go away, and only pay attention to the positive things in life. This way you can control what you perceive, and what happens is you become a very unrealistic person.

Oeolycus
Oeolycus
13 years ago

From another perspective, this book’s message (that people bring bad events onto themselves) is true, in a bitterly ironic sense. If you were the author of this book, what better answer to the critic’s question, “Poor people aren’t to blame for their poverty! There’s no REAL secret in your book!” than, “Hey critic, why then did 2 million poor people spend $30 each looking for it?” As my friend put it, “The Secret seems to me one of the most terrifying manifestations of the inability of the common man to lead himself to any sort of prosperity.” Ayup. If you’re… Read more »

Jon Morrow
Jon Morrow
13 years ago

Glad to hear someone else commenting on this, as I’ve been thinking about it ever since watching the movie for the first time. From a more scientific standpoint, I think there’s something to this because: 1) Visualizations change your sense of identity. To grow (financially or otherwise), you often have to redefine who you are. If you’re trying to become a millionaire but you’re still thinking like a minimum-wage earner, you’ll experience a lot of internal resistance and confusion, even if you know what actions to take. By visualizing yourself as a millionaire and asking yourself what a millionaire would… Read more »

Jonathan P
Jonathan P
13 years ago

‘The Secret’ is nothing more than a feel good book. People read it (imo) to get motivated. The way I see it is, you read it, get the warm fuzzy feeling, start thinking about the positives in live, and by thinking about it, you motivate yourself to do something about it. It’s the readers who fail to do that last step from ‘just thinking’ to actually ‘doing’ that will suffer. Personally, I prefer facts. Show me the steps. What are the conditions I need to fulfill to get what I want? What are the risks? What is a realistic balance… Read more »

Matt Haughey
Matt Haughey
13 years ago

I couldn’t agree more with your assessment of The Secret, but did you really have to use that image in the post of a mass grave? It kind of shocked me on a nice lazy sunday afternoon to have to look at that and remember stuff like that really happened.

CptofMySoul
CptofMySoul
13 years ago

I wish I could pick stocks as well as the Bestseller List picks bad books. Really, there doesn’t seem to be a better list of books to avoid.

I never saw it, but this sounds the same as “What the do we know?” except that “The Secret” is being driven by profit instead of cult recruitment.

DJ
DJ
13 years ago

Hear hear, great comments JD. Most of those who will lap up “The Secret” would be much better off spending time reading blogs like yours that actually offer practical advice (for free!) about how to improve their financial lives.

Nvesta
Nvesta
13 years ago

post # 24 ” My point is, sometimes the accuracy of a belief is less important than the results that the belief creates. If other successful people I know believe in something, then I’m willing to give it a shot, regardless of whether it makes sense. If it works, I’ll continue. If it doesn’t, I’ll reevaluate. In my opinion, modeling and experience are frequently a better teacher than analysis.” I really don’t like this because I don’t think as adults we should need to be talked to like children to motivate ourselves to make practical decisions. I’m not entirely sure… Read more »

Hex Rodri
Hex Rodri
13 years ago

All these comments can also be said about christianity, budhism, etc. I saw the DVD and realized what Henry Ford said; If you think you can do it or not, either way your right. The message being; If you think you can…you can. Then again I could be negative and dismiss the possibility just because there is no scientific backing. Thankfully, we live in a society that doesn’t push faith based mumbo jumbo like “Catholicism” or the like…oh..wait.

hiker7
hiker7
13 years ago

Kudo’s to J.D and Jon Morrow – great posts. The sum of them is -be realistic and positive. Does anyone remember the late Earl Nightingale? He wrote a best seller ‘The Strangest Secret’, where he expounded on ‘we become what we think about’ .. but he was also quite realistic in his approach. Look him up – he’s good.

Oh – J.D. – good Thoreau quote. He also said ‘If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where
they should be. Now put the foundations under them.’

adam
adam
13 years ago

“To attract money, focus on wealth. It is impossible to bring more money into your life when you focus on the lack of it.”

That statement is true to SOME extent. If you focus your time and energy on learning about money and how to make money and taking action, you’ll bring it back to you, if you focus on not having any money and not doing anything about that, you’ll never have any money.

icup
icup
13 years ago

when i was a kid, i used to think about winning the lottery all the fricking time. I would visualize all the cool things I was going to buy when I won. I would literally think about this for hours at a time, sometimes all summer long. Guess what? we never won the lottery. and we never had the money to buy the cool stuff I spent so much time visualizing. Oh well, I guess i was doing it wrong or something, because this idea is too good not to work.

Andy
Andy
13 years ago

What a great review. You’ve hit the nail on the head; positive thinking and defining goals is fine, but magnetic thought waves?

One might say that the only surprise is that The Secret is subject to this criticism, when many other forms of wishful thinking are accepted by a large portions of the population as writ.

SBF
SBF
13 years ago

Funny – I knew this was popular but I thought it was some sort of metaphysical “tween” novel for the Harry Potter set!

And I worked in books…

Jonny
Jonny
13 years ago

Thanks for the post–it’s always refreshing to see pseudoscience knocked down a peg. That sort of nonsense is so dangerous it’s unreal.

Homeopathic medicine gets me into a foaming rage, too, but I guess that’s a slightly different subject. 😀

JW
JW
13 years ago

I’m glad to see we live in a world we people have the motivation and ability not to be sucked in by a few positive words, propaganda, and “secret truth” that is about as secret as a poem written by Paul J. Meyer. “Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe, and enthusiastically act upon… must inevitably come to pass!” Isn’t that what “the secret” tells us? What one man said in a few words they made a comprehensive dvd of associations and sell it for $30? Hey everyone here’s another “secret” God said in the bible “Ask and you… Read more »

~Dawn
~Dawn
13 years ago

If Oprah hadn’t talked about this, no one would be the wiser… I blame Oprah.

Greg C.
Greg C.
13 years ago

The Secret is a big steaming pile of BS. It is a shame Oprah pimps this crap. Not that I’m a huge fan of Oprah, in particular.

J.D.
J.D.
13 years ago

Here’s a piece that does a good job explaining how The Secret stretches a good idea beyond all credibility: The law of attraction is real, the movie ‘The Secret’ is fake.

Kevin Gunn
Kevin Gunn
13 years ago

Thank you, JD! It’s so refreshing to see someone unafraid to throw a little light on this kind of metaphysical junk. I’m a big believer in affirmations. I like to start my day reminding myself to be “Healthy, wealthy, happy, wise”. Do I think that’ll make money appear in my mailbox? No way! However, it puts me in the right frame of mind every morning to make the kind of choices that make me healthier, wealthier, happier and wiser. I’m not drawing anything to me on some mystical frequency — I’m creating the right mindset to reach my goals. It… Read more »

jokermage
jokermage
13 years ago

I was afraid only us skeptics were seeing the BS in this fad. Glad to know others are getting it too.

In the book form, page 54 mentions that eating doesn’t make you fat, negative feelings do. Their ideas about health and medicine are just evil and stupid.

~Dawn Says, “If Oprah hadn’t talked about this, no one would be the wiser… I blame Oprah.”

Motion seconded. She’s a propagandist for all sorts of credulous ideas.

oftencloudy
oftencloudy
13 years ago

I’m glad you went this way in your opinion of this “method”. I would have lost respect if you had followed down the path of the believers. Although, I think your last line should have been worded like this:
“Convince me that you can will checks to appear in MY mailbox.”

That way, if there is something to this madness, maybe you’ll accidentally get hundreds of checks soon. I will be convinced if I start receiving dozens of checks soon.. instead of the bills that haunt my mailbox.

Debbie
Debbie
13 years ago

I can’t believe you were able to read this book twice. Now we don’t have to!

One note: In addition to the six million Jews killed during the holocaust, there were six million other people (gypsies, people with deformities, etc.). Twelve million people.

William Mize
William Mize
13 years ago

The only attraction going on here is the money from your wallet is moving to their wallet.

There are OUTSTANDING Law of Attraction books out there, stuff done 10, 30, 50 years ago. This is nothing new.
This is just marketing.

And the whole Cult Of Oprah, well that’s another rant altogether.

Patrick Szalapski
Patrick Szalapski
13 years ago

The worst thing about the secret is that people are using it to direct their faith. Instead of reading the Bible, many think there is a “secret” they need to learn to try to figure out how God wants them to be. You think “imagining checks in the mail” is bad, what could “imagine God is sending you checks in the mail” result in???

rhbee
rhbee
13 years ago

My wife brought it home, The Secret, but she didn’t open it. Turns out it was a gift from a “well-meaning” friend. I on the other hand, laughed out loud when Denny Crain used the Secret to bring a movie star or someone beautiful and famous to him and ended up with Phyllis Diller. You are what you pretend to be. And so it goes. Or not.

"Anya"
"Anya"
13 years ago

I’m on the email list, so I get each post as HTML email. I’m really glad you’re debunking this book, especially if it’s popular. But I truly wish I hadn’t seen a pile of dead bodies from the holocaust in my inbox with no warning. I think of (used to think of!?) GRS as a fun read that will have either neutral pictures (like the talking heads from a video) or fun pictures (like your garden). It has never, to my knowledge, shown something so disturbing. I hope in the future you can reconsider if you’re planning on including a… Read more »

Robin
Robin
13 years ago

Excellent review – thanks.

Joel
Joel
13 years ago

Thanks for the apt Harold Hill reference. The analogy actually works on a deeper level because, despite the fact that the Think Method didn’t work on his students, the parents Believed in it to the point that they loved the cacophony their children produced, thus giving The Music Man its happy ending.

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