The most hyped book / movie / phenomenon since “The DaVinci Code”, The Secret is (as the many web sites proudly announce) a “New Era for Humankind”. Subtitled “Law of Attraction”, this book claims to be the holy grail, the solution to all life’s problems, the answer to all your dreams. Oh, puleesee.
Based in some weird science where, because “everything is energy, including you, me, and the sofa”, it really is simply just a new way of taking the power of positive thinking to the heights of hype. By the “Law of Attraction” all you have to do is will your way into a better job, a new car, a new life, and presto, you’ll get it. You see, the story goes, all that positive energy you are imparting through your positive thinking is effecting the physical world.
Created by Rhonda Byrne, The Secret is supposed to be a legacy from years gone by shared by DaVinci, Einstein, and all the great geniuses of history. They have kept this a powerful secret, but Rhonda is the one to share it with the world. From her web site:
One spring day towards the end of 2004, Rhonda Byrne discovered a secret – the secret laws and principles of the universe. Almost immediately her life was transformed, as she began to put into practice what she had learned. It seemed to Rhonda that almost no-one knew the things that she had discovered, even though the concepts could be found in almost every religion and field of human endeavour throughout history. And in that moment her greatest wish, and mission, was to share this knowledge with the world.
Perhaps the most telling part is this later paragraph of the “behind the secret” story:
And on that spring day in 2004, when a small, old book called The Science of Getting Rich was put into her hands, and Rhonda’s whole life suddenly pulled into spectacular focus, she knew exactly what her mission was to become.
No clearer statement of this needs to be made. The secret is “How to Get Rhonda Rich”. You see, Rhonda wanted lots of money, so she conjured up all of this metaphysical horse pooh, wrapped it in some fancy packaging, gathered up a bunch of “experts” (who coincidentally all wanted to get rich), and sold the heck out of it.
In fact, the most impressive part of this whole thing is not The Secret, it’s the marketing campaign. The publicity campaign is breathtaking. Multiple web sites (just Google for “the secret”), a “world-first” rollout of the DVD across the globe, a series of shows on Oprah, and on and on, make this one of the most expert publicity campaigns I’ve ever seen.
I have to give the people responsible, Rhonda and her firm called Prime Time Productions, a lot of credit. [ed: that’s a very telling company name, no?] Just getting past the phalanx of producers at the Oprah show is impressive. To leverage that into the world-wide “phenomenon” class is quite a feat. Spend a few minutes trolling their sites if you want to see this effort in action, they expose it all right there, with the press releases, the web marketing programs, and all.
I’ve written about this kind of scam before, and the world’s thirst for “the answer” never ceases to amaze me. But this one is especially virulent. I hope Rhonda and company ride this one hard, because it will be gone in a flash.
If you read much here on my site, you’ll know I’m pretty much a “power of positive thinking” kind of person. Just read the article here, or look at any of my constant preachings on the value of good visions for projects, and you’ll see that I believe strongly that you have to envision a future goal to get there. But this whole mess about scientific proof of positive energy, or that somehow Rhonda Byrne has a magic that you don’t have is simply hype.
To quote Dorothy:
If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with!
There you have it once again, The Wizard of Oz lays bare all of life’s problems.