Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Secret Debunked

bent on helping people refrain from drinking the kool-aid, i offer more critical thinking on "the secret," which says that through the "law of attraction" you can get a spot on Oprah, win the lottery and have or be anything that you truly believe.

that's a mighty powerful secret. i heard on the radio this morning about a man, imprisoned for 16 years, who was freed recently after DNA evidence proved he was innocent. i wondered, how does the "law of attraction" apply there?

did he attract a 16 year prison sentence to his life? or did something horrendous happen to an innocent man?

here's what they're saying in creator's rhonda byrne's australia, where she's known as a commercial producer.
here's what newsweek has to say:
But that's not what "The Secret" is saying. Its explicit claim is that you can manipulate objective physical reality—the numbers in a lottery drawing, the actions of other people who may not even know you exist—through your thoughts and feelings. In the words of "author and personal empowerment advocate" Lisa Nichols: "When you think of the things you want, and you focus on them with all of your intention, then the law of attraction will give you exactly what you want, every time." Every time! Byrne emphasizes that this is a law inherent in "the universe," an inexhaustible storehouse of goodies from which you can command whatever you desire from the comfort of your own living room by following three simple steps: Ask, Believe, Receive.

here are a few other things to think about.
bad things always happens to good people. think about the bad things in your life. did you attract that? in some cases perhaps, but sometimes the world just works that way. there are other "universal laws" at work, not just the "law of attraction."

what about the child who is abused by his parent? is he or she "attracting" that punishment? or doesn't the "law of attraction" work on children?

if you believe in karma, what about it? what if you owe a karmic debt?

what about slavery? did African slaves attract their fate? or didn't the "law of attraction" work that long ago? does the "law of attraction" just work on middle class people with middle class desires?

what about the bad person who always is lucky or "successful?"

does the universe really want everyone to win the lottery because if people really believe this, that's what they'd wish for.

what about the child born with any number of physical ailments? did he or she attract that somehow? can they wish it away?

if i wish and believe harm on another person, will the "law of attraction" work? after all, i'm focusing my thoughts.

the effect of "the secret" could be a bunch of selfish people on a mission to get what they want -- houses, cars, money.

is there an altruistic component to "the secret?" wouldn't the "universe" want that? no, there is not and apparently no. anyone, good intentions or bad, can get what they want if they believe. that's mostly what makes "the secret" hooey.

sure, think good thoughts. but it's more important to do good things for other people. that's not a secret.

salon's take