The Secret

1 Feb

Can I tell you a secret?  I have neither read the book, nor watched the movie, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I don’t want any part of “The Secret“.  I know that some people would criticize me for judging this (shall we call it a movement?) without spending more time learning about it, but just from the hype and the media on it, I’ve had my fill.

It’s not that I doubt the power of positive thinking; I’m all for positive thinking.  Nothing is a bigger turn-off than someone who is all bitch and no sunshine, ya know?  And I am a firm believer in looking for the good in a situation, of hoping for the best, of viewing things from a glass-half-full kind of perspective.  But I haven’t heard anything in there about the ingredient that makes positive thinking work, namely, positive doing.

My initial impression of The Secret was negative, I’ll admit it.  There’s something about positive thinking masquerading as hard-and-fast science that just sticks in my craw.  The idea of “what you put out there, you get back”, of karma, of you-reap-what-you-sow, I’m fine with all that.  Call it the “Law” of Attraction and you’ve got me reaching for the Gravol.

My knee-jerk reaction was only reinforced when I heard one of the “teachers” of The Secret on the radio explaining that everything that happens to a person is explained by the so-called Law of Attraction.  What about a woman who gets raped? someone asks.  The teacher guy explains that while the woman might not have wanted to be raped, the fact that she worried about it or had a deep-seated fear of rape, that’s the cause, so yes in a way she brought it on herself.  Excuse me?!  This is empowering?!  (I can hear my voice getting screechier with indignation, even as I type.)

C’mon people, The Secret is just the same self-help message we’ve heard for decades packaged up in some shiny paper with some pretty bows.  Much as I admire good marketing, the over-simplification in the latest delivery seems frankly dangerous if it encourages people to blame a victim for their own problems.  Not to mention how many people are parted with their money buying the book, the DVD, the conferences, and all the spin-off products.

If you want some real self-help, try reading How to Win Friends and Influence People.  Not only is it a classic and a shining pillar of common sense, it’s actually fun to read.  And you can probably find a copy at your local library.  Or you can read Smart Couples Finish Rich or The Wealthy Barber for some practical financial advice. 

Whatever, just don’t try to sell me The Secret.

</rant>

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5 Responses to “The Secret”

  1. yf February 1, 2008 at 2:09 pm #

    I agree 100%. The book is not cheap and I cannot finish reading it. Worse advise from one of my friend. Bad investment:(. yes, I enjoyed reading “How to win Friends and Influence People”. It is very easy for me to read and follw the concept. I keep a copy near my work, I gave aways many copies, because it is really a good book.

  2. Murray February 1, 2008 at 3:58 pm #

    Well, now I have to watch “The Secret” DVD that a friend gave me – I’ll let you know how it goes. The guy’s rape comment, though, is appalling 😦

  3. Trudie February 2, 2008 at 8:00 am #

    After reading your post, I had to check out the link – and my eyes glazed over after about 5-6 lines of that nonsense! Too bad scheisters (sp???) like that seem to be able to lure so many – time and over again!

  4. IndyComp0T1 February 2, 2008 at 2:51 pm #

    So many people talked about The Secret when it came out that one time when I was at my local bookstore, I decided to browse through it to see what it was about. It was only a skim, but my initial impression was that the book was designed to prey on the innocent and the impressionable. It was borderline cultish. I couldn’t quite put my finger on exactly why I felt that way, but that book just gave me a bad feeling. After reading your post, I now know why. I’m just glad that there are other people out there who can see past the crap that is this book.

  5. Stacie February 2, 2008 at 5:48 pm #

    We had someone give a talk on that “Law of Attraction” thingy last summer and I tell ya, everyone at work had the impression that the speaker could have very easily been a smarmy used-car salesman. Five minutes with him and the word “sheister” kept entering my head…

    That rape comment is freakin’ unreal.

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