Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Secret About the Secret

backstabbing, lying, but hey, at least Rhonda Byrne, maker of the Secret DVD followed her intentions -- to get rich. that's the story in today's NYT. the Secret teaches thoughts are things and that you can think your way into parking spots and restaurant tables and millions of dollars. it was, after all, "the science of getting rich" that prompted rhonda to think of "the law of attraction." or was it someone elses idea she stole? (read the story)

it is interesting to note that during the interview with the NYT, rhonda wore a
"glittering silver circle affixed with false-eyelash glue to the center of her forehead."
she's rich now, loaded. she can do foolish things like that. but good things happen to bad people.

of course, the video doesn't say anything about thinking your way into the soup kitchen, or starting a community foundation or helping out people who don't have as much as you. it's all about how to get things for you, how to get richer, more successful, more things, a parking spot. that's just icky. so many drank the kool-aid. when did people stop thinking critically and how can we get more people to do so?

it's a money making venture. a bunch of hoo ha. and oprah lifted the secret by hosting the "secret teachers" on her show. One of them even included in her visionary collage words about herself being on oprah. well, what person who has something to sell doesn't want to be on oprah. we'll probably get barak obama for a president, thanks to her backing. and thankfully, that will be a good thing. go barak!

but if oprah does her homework (she may read the NYT story because she says she reads it), she may lash out the way she did with james frey. her show has sort of become like QVC. i still love oprah. i think her producers need to be more discerning. there are so many people who are clamoring to be on her show. they need to tighten up their criteria, do more background work.

from the NYT. how sick is this?:

Last Sunday evening the Hickses relaxed in their $1.4 million luxury bus
parked outside the Rancho Cordova Marriott near Sacramento, where they had just
finished a six-hour workshop on the law of attraction in the hotel ballroom.
Three hundred people had paid $195 each to hear Ms. Hicks, a former secretary,
summon otherworldly spirits she says speak through her. The spirits, who
collectively use the name Abraham, answered participants’ questions.
“I don’t
have a lover yet,” one woman said.
Abraham, whose speaking voice is rounder,
quicker and more computerlike than Ms. Hicks’s natural voice, replied by
repeating the woman’s phrase roughly 20 times and then explained it contained
its own negativity, which was leaving the woman paddling upstream on the river
of life.
The audience applauded.

here's some of the hush, hush bickering going on behind the scenes:
The Hickses spend most of the year traveling the country, leading workshops based on the teachings they say Abraham has given them. They record the workshops and have 10,000 subscribers, who pay up to $50 a month for CDs and DVDs of Abraham’s wisdom.

When Ms. Byrne asked Ms. Hicks to appear in “The Secret,” as the most prominent interpreter of the law of attraction, she agreed to give the Hickses approval over much of the movie, according to a contract. But when the couple saw the first cut, they were livid. Ms. Hicks’s voice, chaneling Abraham, was used as narration throughout the film, but her face was never shown.

After negotiation, Ms. Hicks’s image was edited into the film and it was released, ultimately netting the Hickses $500,000 from sales, Ms. Hicks said. But the couple were unhappy with the distribution. They said they understood it would be shown first on Australian television, but instead it was being sold as an Internet download and later as a DVD.

Cynthia Black, the president of Beyond Words Publishing, a New Age imprint, who is both a longtime friend of the Hickses and the publisher of Ms. Byrne’s book version of “The Secret,” tried to broker a peace. She enlisted the help of Jack Canfield, the author of “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” one of the “transformational experts” who appears in “The Secret” (and whose nephew Zach Canfield says he used the law of attraction to score a date with the hip-hop singer Lady Sovereign). But Mr. Canfield was also unable to bring the parties together.

The Hickses consulted their lawyer, and Ms. Byrne in turn demanded changes to the contract, both sides said. No agreement could be reached. Ms. Byrne moved forward with a second version of “The Secret” without the Hickses. Advised by their lawyer to sue, the Hickses said they declined because litigation would take energy from their own pursuit of the law of attraction. “We don’t sue,” said Mr. Hicks, a former circus acrobat and Amway distributor.