“The Secret”

Yes, it's another questionable literary enterprise. You've probably heard of "The Secret," a self-help book/cultural phenomenon. As with any such thing, it's Oprah-approved.

"The Secret" claims to reveal a Secret of the Universe, which is (SPOILER ALERT!) that you can have whatever you want, if you just think about it REALLY HARD. OK, that's a wee bit flip, but that really is the gist of the "secret."

Well, you also have to be a good person and you can't wish for bad stuff, but other than that, if you want it, you can and WILL get it.

It's all based on the "Law of Attraction," which author Laura Byrne says governs the universe. She goes on to explain, "The law of attraction says that like attracts like, and when you think and feel what you want to attract on the inside, the law will use people, circumstances and events to magnetize what you want to you, and magnetize you to it."

Not to be a big Cosmic Party Pooper or anything, but if you're going to propose a Physical Law of the Universe and compare it to magnetism, just for starters you really ought to know that with magnets, OPPOSITES attract. Just sayin'

I could go on and on about why this kind of thing really pisses me off, but I'm more interested in what you all have to say. So, here's a link.

Ok, have at it!

Literature/Language Science

Posted on Tue Jun 26, 2007


Imagine Sysiphus singing "You can get it if you really want You can get it if you really want But you must try, try and try, try and try You'll succeed at last" while rolling up the stone again and again and again ...
What's really weird is that the same old lame story - the american dream - is called "secret".
And that - unlike the rastafarians - you followers of Oprah don't even need illicit drugs to get youself into that relaxed, optimistic mood.
"When life is jolly rotten, there's something you've forgotten And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing":
And what would you sing?
"You can get it if you really want You can get it if you really want But you must try, try and try, try and try You'll succeed at last".
Posted by christianhauck  on  Tue Jun 26, 2007  at  03:51 AM
I once ingested a substance I'd prefer not to identify, and figured out "The Secret of The Universe". I wrote it all down. I framed it, and keep it in a closet, unseen from mortal view. Much like the portrait of Dorian Gray, the Ark of The Covenant and Micheal Jackson's real face. Every now and then, I take a peek, just to see if his whole nose has fallen off yet. How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie-roll pop? The world may never know, but I'll bet if somebody writes a book about it, Oprah will get a chunk of that action. Actually, the thought of all those new cars she gives away festooned with half-licked tootsie-roll pops, ruining the rich, Corinthian leather, gumming up the overhead DVD player used to placate the unruly Yuppie Larva gives me a pause that refreshes. Life's simple pleasures are the best. Are you gonna eat that pickle?
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Tue Jun 26, 2007  at  06:23 AM
Isn't this the stuff that Noel Edmonds keeps going on about? (Noel is a cheesy, unfunny 'comedic' presenter with a bad taste in sweaters who has rightly been off our TV screens for a number of years and has now slimed and slithered his way back on). He always has strange symbols on his hands that signify what he really wants (personally, I think that what he really wants is a good shave and then a slap, but there you go). He insists that it works, as he is now back presenting on TV - much to the dismay of the rest of the country.

What if the secret of the universe is that - THERE IS NO SECRET! Wouldn't that mess with people's minds? Tjat'd be funny.
Posted by Nona  on  Tue Jun 26, 2007  at  06:37 AM
I hate that secret thing so much. I see it everywhere. Flyer's for a "secret" meeting, people reading the books at the gym, the DVD's at Costco. How the hell did something so stupid get so popular?? Damn Oprah.
Posted by Razela  in  Chicago, IL  on  Tue Jun 26, 2007  at  08:25 AM
Ugh. How is this something new?? Wasn't this what manifest destiny was an eon ago or so?
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Tue Jun 26, 2007  at  10:40 AM
Just signifies the whole current "I want I want I WANT!!!"-culture.
Posted by LaMa  in  Europe  on  Tue Jun 26, 2007  at  12:28 PM
Wait. So this only works if you're a "good" person? And only if you want "good" stuff? So now the universe has a sense of ethics?

Huh. Go figure.
Posted by Tah  in  Idaho (Yes, Idaho)  on  Tue Jun 26, 2007  at  03:26 PM
like attracts like?

Still trying to reconcile that with my ungodly obsession with babes.
Posted by Joe  on  Tue Jun 26, 2007  at  09:15 PM
"Wait. So this only works if you're a "good" person? And only if you want "good" stuff? So now the universe has a sense of ethics?"

That's just one of my objections to this nonsense. Oprah's involvement is another, of course. If you have Sirius satellite radio, you get to hear endless promos for the Oprah and Friends channel in which Oprah explains God, the Universe and Everything Else to us.

Not to go off-topic here, but how did a talk show host acquire the Wisdom of the Universe? I just don't understand the Cult of Oprah. I mean, I admire her success in broadcasting, but how does that make her the Oracle of Delphi?
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Wed Jun 27, 2007  at  02:47 AM
I remember Oprah from, lo, these many years ago, as a co-host of a morning talk show out of Baltimore. It beclame clear, early on, that Oprah would clearly eclipse her show partner, who I dimly recall as Richard Sherr(?). Each time Oprah spoke, a glow appeared over her head, faint crackles of electricity escaped from her fingertips, and a host of heavenly voices joined in harmonic accompaniment. That, and Richard looked really pissed, exhibiting an incredulous non-understanding of why She got all the glory, and he got a rock. Hmmm. now that I think of it, CMG seems somewhat lost in the dust by Her success, possibly suggesting what Dr. Phil has coined "Oprah's Penis Envy". Personally, I just think she's a manipulative manichean exploiter of The Uneducated. I am willing to bet, however, that Oprah's Penis sincerly means well.
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Wed Jun 27, 2007  at  07:26 AM
" but how does that make her the Oracle of Delphi?"

B/c her name uses letters from it?? Anywho.

I never "got" the big deal about her. I have tuned in a few times, when the subject matter itself seems interesting. But I am generally put off by how she acts & speaks with people. I used to get a Christian magazine focused at teen girls. Similar to a Seventeen or something, just no sex or nudity. Anyway. One article appeared, written by a 15 yr old girl. She had been on the Oprah show with her mother (as audience members) b/c she had always admired her, blahblahblah. I don't remember what the actual content of the show she saw was supposed to be...but after the show, the audience was allowed to ask questions about it...and Oprah was the one answering the questions.

In the course of the questioning Oprah revealed she WAS a Christian...but then went on to say things that were cleary un-Christian. This girl got up to question her...and Oprah just blasted her for it. Sure, the article was written from the girl's perspective, but she seemed to be giving it a pretty good journalistic perspective. Rather than the perspective of a "silly teenage" girl.

I just figure if she can hate on a teenage girl like that...w/o either being an adult about it, or just ignoring it...she can't really be all that fantastic.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Wed Jun 27, 2007  at  07:35 AM
yow... my brain is in freefall by Maegan's hefty revelation re: Oprah's Name being found within ORAcle Of DelPHi. Let's extrapolate, shall we? Winfrey, is clearly found within the passage: "ThE quIck bRoWN Fox jumped oveR the laZY dog." This suggest to me that Oprah regards herself as a test method to determine the ability of typewriters to print the entire alphabet. Knowing, as I do, that most of my posts are verbose, lengthy and overdrawn, taht I have somehow been using Oprah's name unknowingly, offerring a silent, cryptic prayer to the Godess of Gab. I Feel so Used and CracKed up.
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Wed Jun 27, 2007  at  09:25 AM
Wish for it really hard, and you'll get it, eh?

If there were any merit at all in this theory, Gweneth Paltrow would be married to me by now.
Posted by Big Gary  on  Wed Jun 27, 2007  at  06:05 PM
I remember being mesmerized by Oprah in high school up until college because I just liked the make-overs, and Charles Aucoin as a guest turning random audience members into movie stars. I also remember that despite his best efforts, Oprah did NOT look like a member of the Supremes. I'm shallow like that.

I'm also more than a little miffed that she essentially screwed over the Amazing Randi, and whenever a skeptic of silly things like psychics happened to be in the audience and asking questions, she would give them a condescending nick-name throughout the show and talk over them.
Posted by mumblina  on  Wed Jun 27, 2007  at  06:12 PM
"I'm also more than a little miffed that she essentially screwed over the Amazing Randi, and whenever a skeptic of silly things like psychics happened to be in the audience and asking questions, she would give them a condescending nick-name throughout the show and talk over them."

With you on that one. I'm a big fan of Randi (I send him links to stories which he occasionally uses on his site and I've actually spoken to him on the phone). I read where he was complaining about his treatment on Oprah's show.

From what she says on the Sirius promos for her channel, she thinks she was personally chosen by God to be O*P*R*A*H. People like that scare and confuse me.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Wed Jun 27, 2007  at  07:31 PM
It occurs to me that I should mention that I've actually been seen on Oprah's show.

Video of me "protesting" Binney and Smith's "retirement" of eight of the original Crayola colors from 1990 aired on Oprah in 1997. I had no idea it was going to be on the show and I didn't see it. When I called Harpo Productions to try to get a copy of the show, I was told that they didn't have any. Uh huh.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Wed Jun 27, 2007  at  07:37 PM
Actualy, I think Oprah got her name from one of the women in the Old Testament, but misspelled. Same with O.J. Simpson, his first name came from one of the Old Testament book but got misspelled so he always went by the initials. Does this mean Oprah is going to get away with murder and end her days golfing? And, yes, I know he was declared innocent by the criminal jury; and that he is therefore innocent of the murders by legal definition.
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Wed Jun 27, 2007  at  08:17 PM
Actually, isn't the real ingredients to Coca-cola some deep, dark secret that would rend the world in two if ever divulged? Or is that Dr. Pepper... you know, the more I think of it, I should correct myself: Divulging the secret formula to Coke would render Dr. Pepper in two. My bad
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Wed Jun 27, 2007  at  08:54 PM
you know what, I've received several e-mails expressing dismay at my contention that Dr. Pepper is in danger of being torn to pieces. Just for The Record, I do not advocate any tearing, rending, ripping or divulging of anything. Except for dead fish. They scare the crap out me.
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Wed Jun 27, 2007  at  08:58 PM
okay, look, I'm not advocating tearing dead fish in two, I just wish they'd stop staring at me with those dead fish eyes. Bastards, they haunt my dreams, and they stink, and nobody likes stinky dreams
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Wed Jun 27, 2007  at  09:01 PM
"Actualy, I think Oprah got her name from one of the women in the Old Testament, but misspelled."

That is correct. There's apparently someone in the Bible named Orpah. Imagine being named after a typo.

Anyway, I realize this Oprah stuff is off-topic, but here's the latest development on Planet Winfrey:

Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Thu Jun 28, 2007  at  02:37 AM
named after a typo... dude, they didn't have typewriters when the bible was written. I consider myself pretty gullible, but I'm not falling for that one. Next you'll suggest that Guttenburg had a Mac, eh? And, do, please, try and stay on topic. It might please you, but the rest of us have a lengthier attention span. I wonder if Paris Hilton is drunk yet?
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Thu Jun 28, 2007  at  07:11 AM
okay, I'm sorry, my first cuppajoe hasn't kicked in yet, and I went too far with my insinuations. I didn't mean to suggest that you're easily swayed by others into tangental meanderings, but you really should focus on the thread topic in the name of all that's holy. Of course for some people, worshipping at the altar of Typo Windfree IS religion. I'll bet she's really a man. Paris, not Typo. But she'll probably be wasting our brains with useless divergence from real events for a long time to come. Typo, not Paris
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Thu Jun 28, 2007  at  07:19 AM
You know what, allow me to make this modest proposal: Make the MOH a "Paris and Typo- Free Zone", ignoring all their useless distractions from now on. This is a hoax site, right? Damn, I get sore when I think that hard. I must have Morgellon's Disease. I need an excuse from work. Can you help we with that? Cool
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Thu Jun 28, 2007  at  07:24 AM
I really really want to fly...

Damn, it didn't happen. I think this book is a sham.
Posted by Mera  on  Fri Jun 29, 2007  at  02:22 PM
This self help crap makes me sick.
Posted by Lina  on  Sat Aug 04, 2007  at  01:46 PM
Uh, Hairy, it wasn't a typo, it was a misspelling. If I remember the story, as reported in some approved by Oprah newspaper, it was what her aunt wrote down on the birth certificate when what she wanted to write down was Orpah.

And Lina, you need to work through these issues you have with self-help. I suggest a good book on the subject, found in any bookstore, that can help you work your way through the problem and come to a better you.
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Sat Aug 04, 2007  at  02:17 PM
1) go outside on a clear midnight and look up

2) then say "I know how all that works"

3) Now wish for a GM electric car

4) Those ATTRACTED to wealth, know the SECRET of getting it - like monopolizing railroads, banking and energy while everyone else is distracted with little secrets they think they have - and making it grow perpetually.

5) It is extremely easy to become an inspired preacher, peak performance guru, etc. if you have the gift of the gab and a natural ability to charm. Charm is worth a million, itself.

6) "If you have faith the grain of a mustard seed" IN ANYTHING: if you capture the belief of people by packaging a tempting secret lushly you stand to walk away really rich promising THEM wealth. In all these things the vast majority are left with used products and the same state because they need to just grow naturally and be themselves apart from sainlty vultures preying on their insecurities during a recession. It takes time to grow. They think they want a motor boat. One guy said in an exerpt "I have a 4 million dollar home and a beautiful wife". How does that order of prioities strike you ladies?

7) So, when you find very impure idle thoughts and plugging Divinity interlaced with the rest you know that it is not legit. But if you can use it for good and are attuned to what such things have to offer - and you may be able to do something about the coming famine in North Africa where they are visualizing loaves of bread every day - OK.I like Anthony Robbin's secret to wealth: don't spend more than what you have and invest the rest. Invest in hard negotiable stuff however! This is a balanced way for the plumber and the oral surgeon alike. Positive thinkers are really boring. Life has many deep lessons to learn. They speak of people like Beethoven. He was often arrested for drunken vagrancy and wrote profane letters to his patrons. He suffered from manic-depression, suffered the fires of hell. How could all that timeless beauty and power come from a dapper con artist in $3000 suits? Politics and business are full of them. Get deep. Be a great carpenter, artist, scholar, Mama, Dad. Bring up a generation of real people not in love with cars, iPods and cheap music.

The stage magician, Al Koran, came out with so much of this in an early book. And they are selling repackaged material that is free as a PDF. Just search the net, have a blast and be your own guru and make it a free game except for the ADSL for fun. Don't make them richer. Con artists. Be original and do not give these people one cent. Start just being open. Work on that, alone. We do tend to close up which is not healthy. Open up little-by-little. We all need some humanity. Give warmth - and the "law of attraction" has always been what a 6 year old notices.

Now, aren't I a great guru? All in 15 minutes.
Posted by Jose Imanez  on  Thu Jul 17, 2008  at  06:43 PM
i hope that this "the secret" video and the book should be send to the people who is in illness and the person who is having depressing life.
i hope to send this secret to the all patients in the hospital, so they can change their health and have great new life...
and they can remember, and believe in that fact
"i can survive"
Posted by someone  on  Tue Sep 30, 2008  at  07:10 PM
"The Secret" - book and DVD - is nothing to do with wishful thinking. It's everything to do with having a POSITIVE attitude about yourself, to your life, and being really focused on what your goals are (this can only apply to people who who understand what they really want/where they are going). A positive approach brings positive actions which are all stepping stones to your desired success. I never met a successful person yet who didn't believe in himself/herself. It would be a contradiction in terms. If the great inventors of the world hadn't BELIEVED and had an open mind as to what was achievable... can you imagine the kind of living conditions we'd be living in today!! Thank God for the people who actually have passion and vision and are not limited by sceptical, negative beliefs.
Posted by Shaz  on  Thu Jul 16, 2009  at  02:26 PM
This does not work for only good people. This works for the bad. If we abide by the laws and are fueled by positive energy, the same can be said about the bad. If you do not see it, look at our nation and our leaders. I can sit in this chair and concentrate on five names on this page, find everything about you, know everything about you. I will brush shoulders with you and tell you that you are right all along: all you do is complain about silly things like oprah, or not believing in something more than you.
Posted by infinitus  on  Fri Jun 25, 2010  at  09:33 AM
I think a much more important "secret" and challenge in life is that opposites are attracted to each other. I.e. soft, goodhearted un-egoistic persons to hard, dominating egoistic ruling ones etc and that it often takes a life long partnership to really understand what kind of person each really is and what really happens in one's relationship.
Posted by Victor von Alten  on  Sun Aug 07, 2011  at  06:01 AM
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