About the size of an automobile CD wallet that might hold a handful of CDs, The Secret by author Rhonda Byrne, is a slim and eye-catching 198-paged work. However, if two of the albums inside the above-mentioned CD wallet were by comedians Richard Lewis and Lewis Black your money would have been better spent than on the $23.95 cover price of this book, or the $59.95 (now $29.99) price of The Secret DVD.
There is no denying that The Secret in all its manifestations has sold in prodigious numbers and, according to Forbes Magazine, has earned it's platinum-tressed author a cool dozen millions. On page xi of the Forward, she proclaims that, "My intention in creating The Secret was--and still is--that it will bring joy to billions around the world." That being your design, Ms.Byrne, how do you explain the $24 cover price, especially after selling tens of thousands of copies of The Secret in DVD form at $60, when a can of Coca-Cola in parts of Africa consumes a day's wages? Are these African-Africans to be denied the joy you offer?
Through wholly anecdotal evidence (for there are no footnotes) Ms. Byrne asserts and attempts to prove, that 'the secret' is the well-known 'Law of Attraction', simply with a special twist spun by her and the twenty-nine both living and dead contributors.
The actual secret is to publish a work with such sparse text that if printed as a normal-sized book, it would make Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning appear as many pagéd as War and Peace. (By the way, your dollars would be better spent on Frankl's book, paired with a good bottle of Kosher wine.) There is such a dearth of text because, after all, how many times can you say the same thing and present less evidence than there is for Sasquatch, Alien Abductions or Water Witching? However, frequent exclamation points do help convince the reader of the 'facts' reiterated in The Secret.
In an effort to make the book appear thicker, and worthy of its almost ten-cent per page cost, large script font is inserted that consumes, including the above and below spacing, as much as six lines of normal-sized text would. Then a full page rendition of The Secret wax seal logo begins each chapter and the entire book is printed on paper thicker than first century scraped-goat-skin. Then to further pad the book, it is concluded with fourteen pages of the contributor's biographies (penned of course, by the contributors) all of which contain a handy-dandy URL listing for their web site. And that's because should you not get the results promised in The Secret, you must be doing something wrong and you should feel free to consult with any of the still-living twenty-four contributors, although I doubt their answers will also be free.
Of these two dozen coaches, I have experienced only Denis Waitley via books, tapes, VHS and a single personal appearance. And either he has become addicted to hard-rock crack cocaine, or he did not fully understand The Secret's claims prior to allowing his words to be quoted in it.
Also in the Biographies section, I see that a Bob Proctor claims the learning heritage of Dale Carnegie, Napolean Hill and former Town of Paradise Valley, Arizona resident Earl Nightingale. Myself, having taken every course and read every book authored by Mr. Carnegie and listened to two years of cassettes spoken by the basso and gravely voiced Mr. Nightingale, can assure you that both Dale and Earl, after being linked to Mr. Proctor and the teachings of The Secret, are spinning faster in their graves than pulsars and tossing off enough friction heat to comfort Amanaland, Alaska through the coldest of winters.
We read about great avatars (defn. in Hinduism, the incarnation of a god) and we soon note the each contributor has been assigned his own avatar-symbol placed to the left of any of his or her quotes. Oh my gawd. What a coincidence.
The Secret is the law of attraction, ". . . wise people have always known this. You can go right back to the ancient Babylonians . . . They are also known for creating one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon." Dare I ask where these wise Babylonians are today in the 21st Century? Or did they forget, The Secret?
On page ten we are introduced to frequencies and learn that the law of attraction doesn't register "don'ts". So if I don't want the flu and I go get a flu-shot and don't get the flu . . . I am so confused.
On page fifteen we learn that, "Quantum physicists tell us that the entire Universe emerged from thought!" Granted, I've only read two books dealing with quantum physics, along with a multitude of magazine and newspaper articles, but I don't recall a single mention by any physicist of the universe being created by thought. (Books I have read on quantum physics: The Quantum Zoo and The Dancing Wu Li Masters.)
We read that, "What you think about the most or focus on the most, is what will appear as your life." If that were actually the case, I'd be waking up each morning next to a minty-breathed Morgan Fairchild, and then during my morning bladder emptying, soon be shivering from the chill water that fills the depths of my toilet bowl.
Another astounding claim made on page twenty-two tells us ". . . it has been scientifically proven that an affirmative thought was hundreds of times more powerful than a negative thought." That must be why, as a parent I can tell my kids affirming thoughts for weeks and then, in a moment of non-PC anger utter a single negative comment, and know they will be recalling it decades later while tearfully reading my eulogy over my cardboard casket.
We hear about frequencies coming back from the Universe being transformed into physical desires and all I can think of is, "Am I going to have to buy an HD Receiver for those frequencies too?" Do you imagine that these frequencies were the ones the person who pummeled Dan Rather two decades ago was referencing as he asked, "Kenneth, what is the frequency?"
Here's the answer to all our weight loss diets for on page fifty-six we read, "Let go of all those limiting thoughts. Food cannot cause you to put on weight, unless you think it can."
On page eighty-two we learn that all inventions come from the Universe simply because one person held the picture of the end result in his mind. I can only think of Thomas Edison and the light bulb. The Universe sent him It's end result, but it took Edison another one thousand tries to get His end result. Oops.
There is a visualization game mentioned involving turning bills into checks, then adding a zero on to them and chanting, "More money for me! Thank you. Thank you." I tried that and all I got was a call from a Ms. Rhamadamadingdong in Mumbai OR Bangalore, India politely telling me and in perfect 19th Century English, that I was late on my Dell computer payment.
"If you have been brought up to believe that being wealthy is not spiritual then I highly recommend that you read ... you will discover that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and Jesus were not only prosperity teachers, but also millionaires themselves, with more affluent lifestyles than many present-day millionaires could conceive of."
Readers, this is why, if you claim to be a Christian, you've got to know what is actually written in the Bible. Now I know there's a talking donkey, a giant slayed by a pebble, and a Herb-Alpert-like horn solo that blasted down the walls of Jerico, but I don't recall ever reading in the Bible of Jesus being a millionaire. That is, unless he lost all his money in the mortgage crisis of 31AD.
Marie Diamond tells us of the art director and famous producer who even though he was a " . . . gorgeous-looking man . . . " could not get a date. She determined this was simply because he had painted portraits with women facing away from him. As soon as he brushed new art with him instead surrounded by women he had more dates than he could find the time to schedule.
I thought I'd try the same thing, although not being much of an artist, my portraits contained stick-figure women and sure enough, soon I had more two dimensional stick-figure women than I could find the time to simply pencil in.
Michael Bernard Beckwith, whose avatar is apparently, a reddish-pink bloom erupting out of a dirt clod tells us, "I've seen kidneys regenerated. I've seen cancer dissolved. I've seen eyesight improve and come back." However my eyesight is improved by old-fashion prescription glasses and using them to their fullest, I don't see any evidence verifying these astonishing claims.
Ms. Byrne tells the reader, "I never studied science or physics at school, and yet when I read complex books on quantum physics I understood them perfectly because I wanted to understand them."
Good for you Rhonda, because genius physicist Dr. Richard P. Feynman was quoted as saying:
"I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics" . . . But yet Rhonda does.
And here's the deal-killer for any Christian following the teachings of The Secret. For in Chapter 9, Page 164, Verse IV we read, "You are God in a physical body. You are Spirit in the flesh. You are Eternal Life expressing itself as You . . . " (Capitalization her's.) Long ago, Christians and Jews believe that God gave the millionaire Moses the Ten Commandments, of which the very first one states that Man should have no other god than Jehovah God. And here author Byrne tells us we are Gods. I'm not sure what, or who, caused her to write that down but, like in the old SNL Dana Carey/Church Lady Skit, I must ask, "Could it have been Satan?!"
Thinking about the law of attraction, the author's name is what I believe will happen to her when she passes from this life into eternity by her knowingly, and for immense profit, misleading of the lost, the downtrodden, the hopeless and the sadly ignorant. She will Byrne in hell.
Now there is nothing at all wrong with the long accepted theory of the law of attraction. (Don't ask me how one has a 'theory' of a 'law'.) A person definitely wants to dwell on the accomplishments, both physical and spiritual that he or she wishes to achieve.
But Rhonda Byrne has managed to become a multi-millionaire by writing a book whose core claim is that 'frequencies' sent out in the correct manner are always returned from the Universe in physical form. And that simply isn't so.
However, as all charlatans know, anyone promising easy money, in both a novel and convincing way, will herself attract seemingly more money than the universe contains.
reviewed: June 24, 2007
Page 56 "If it's people you need, you'll attract it."
Begun: 06/16/2007 Finished: 06/17/2007
Purchased: May 2007
Book Loaned to Me by Dear Friend
B&N Net Rank: 15