The Lower Quote, As If You Didn't Know, Is By Richard Dawkins, Son.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Here's The Secret: Blame the Victim

When I lived in Japan, I took a "self mastery" course for four days. No, it wasn't about masturbation (although that would have been WAY more useful). It was put on by some Australian dude who was a friend of a friend of mine, so I took it both because I was interested in that shit back then and as a favor to my buddy. The "teacher" talked a lot about "manifesting" and making reality what you want; he also said that he had a strong connection to water (rain, that is) and it seemed to follow him wherever he went. I remember at the time thinking, "Then why the fuck don't you go to Africa where there hasn't been rain in a decade or so...you know, so they can grow some food?"

In any event, the course ended with my total disregard for everything he said - also because he was a fan of the paranoid delusional known as David Icke. That being said, I thought this think-it-and-it'll-come-to-you bullshit was just retarded and would be relegated to the fringes forever. Holy shit was I wrong.

Watch this video preview and then we'll talk, k? K.

So holy jumping Cracker-Jack-eating Christ. Do people actually still fall for this shit? Apparently Oprah does. I love it when people with millions of dollars start talking about "manifesting" the shit they want in life. See, for them, "manifest" means "go out and buy". When Oprah "asks the Universe" for a new Bentley, she's really asking the Bentley dealer. When Bob Doyle (in the video) says, "What will help you generate the feelings of having it now? Go test drive that car, go shop for that home, get in the house, do whatever you have to do to generate the feelings of having it now and remember them, whatever you can do to do that will help you to literally attract it", he's saying something incredibly horrible about the less fortuntate in the world.

It is truly irresponsible to show a kid pining away for a bike in a catalogue and then the goddamn thing shows up on his doorstep. How many times are we going to blame people who have nothing for "not wanting it badly enough"? I can see Oprah on her next fucking mission to Ethiopia squatting next to a starving child:
It's really easy,honey, here's The Secret - all you have to do is try a bite of this deli sandwich I had flown in from Quiznos for my lunch. Once you taste how incredible this is (and it will be, because you've been eating sand and insect shells for the last few weeks), then you'll know what it is like and you'll be able to get the Universe to attract delicious food for you and your family!

Dr Joe Vitale MSC.D (whatever the fuck those initials mean), says one of the dumbest things I've heard this week: "This is like having the Universe as your catalogue and you flip through it and go, 'wow, I'd like to have this experience and I'd like to have that product...'it's you placing your order with the Universe." First of all, the Universe isn't a thing you can chat with. The Universe is not your buddy. Secondly, doesn't the idea that you have to work for things hold any water? Man, I guess three-second bacon and 30-second cakes has really brain-fucked people into wanting stuff NOW!

Bob Proctor says: "If you do just a little research, it'll become evident to you that anyone that ever accomplished anything did not know how they were going to do it - they only knew they were going to do it". Really, Bob? My dad built the house we lived in for 13 years, he knew how to do it. He bought a book that showed him and he had some people come in from time to time to help him. I guess if dad only knew The Secret, he could have just asked the fucking Universe to build the house and woke up the next day to a brand new, sparkly bungalow. Screw those months of planning and toil!

Then comes the capper. Author Jack Canfield says the dumbest thing you will ever hear. I'll put a guarantee on that. If you hear something dumber than this, when next I see you, I'll buy you a beer (or beverage of your choice up to a $20 limit). Here's the quote:
Think of this: a car driving through the night, the headlights only go a hundred to two hundred feet forward. And you can make it all the way from California to New York driving through the dark 'cause all you have to see is the next two hundred feet. That's how life tends to unfold before us. If we just trust that the next 200 feet will unfold after that and the next 200 feet will ...your life will keep unfolding and it will eventually get you to the destination.

That is some Top Shelf BrainFuckery, right there. Suggesting that driving around in the dark with only the lights from your headlights to guide you is enough to get you across the country, is just about grounds for a physical beating. So, you don't need to know your destination or any landmarks along the way, don't bring that map, you just head out, completely planless, for your end-point. Don't worry, as long as you've seen a picture of where you're going and you r e a l l y want to be there, the Universe will find a way to get you there.

Wasn't that the plot of Deliverance? Didn't Ned Beatty get ass-raped over a log by a hillbilly? I bet Ned wanted with all his heart for the Universe to stop that shit from happening.

Please don't give these people any money. All The Secret will do is succeed in making Oprah's gullible audience sit around in their mansions and four bedroom houses and trailers and think that it's the Universe that is providing for them instead of their husbands or bosses. Think about it, though - if the Universe actually provided what you desired in your heart and wished for daily, Paris Hilton would have been killed James-Dean-style two years ago.

(ed. note: I keep getting comments on this post that are either pointless or annoying, so I've stopped the chain. If you liked this post, great. If you didn't, then go learn how to do reiki or something because my site is probably not for you.)

83 Barbaric Yawps:

At 17/2/07 9:34 pm, Blogger EoR said...

EoR's still waiting for his wish to come true... Though it is true that there's one born every minute.

 
At 18/2/07 12:08 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Esther Hicks: where'd she learn her sales techniques?

Amway:
See the posts from Rcovering MLM here:
http://forum.rickross.com/viewtopic.php?t=2903&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0&sid=086ef6f34ea2f76e9687a3d638f2d35e

 
At 18/2/07 12:12 pm, Anonymous Evan said...

MSC.D is a Doctor of Metaphysical Science.

Hmm.

 
At 18/2/07 12:14 pm, Anonymous Evan said...

Better and better:

"*The title “Doctor of Metaphysical Science,” and the degree letters “Msc.D.” and “Doctor of Metaphysical Counseling,” and the degree letters “Mc.D” are copyrighted and may not be used by any other school or organization."

Nothing says "legitimate degree" like copyrighted titles...

 
At 18/2/07 12:50 pm, Anonymous Yahzi said...

That's just priceless.

Let's get some money together and fly a few dozen starving children from Darfur to Oprah's next show.

They can talk about how much they really want food and not to be shot or watch their mommies raped or their daddies beaten to death.

And then Oprah can tell them "The Secret!"

Word Verification: ugdvt - Ugly Damn Vulture!

 
At 18/2/07 1:05 pm, Blogger Interrobang said...

Wow, the "instant gratification" philosophy of life. Stuff like this is why I have no use for philosophy and metaphysics.

I was counting factual errors. In the original genie stories, the djinn is almost always a malevolent entity who will give you exactly what you ask for, not what you want, not unlike computer programming or the story "The Monkey's Paw," where the son dies in a grisly mine accident and his mother wishes him back to life. There's a knock on the door, and the mother rushes to open it...then wishes the gruesome, mangled thing back into its grave again. The moral of the story was almost always that you can't get something for nothing, that you had to work for what you wanted, and certainly that you might not get it.

Why does this also remind me of a woo-woo version of the "Prosperity Gospel" with the word "Universe" replacing the word "god"?

 
At 18/2/07 1:11 pm, Blogger The Rev. Jenner J. Hull said...

Faaaa-reaky!

Anyway, if all this "build your own reality" crap (have they been hanging out with Ramtha?) was true, then I would've been the despotic Overlord of the pititful planet years ago...

 
At 18/2/07 1:19 pm, Anonymous Prup (aka Jim Benton) said...

"the degree letters “Mc.D” are copyrighted"

Hmm, wonder how a certain well-known fast food company would react to that -- I'll ask next time I buy a Big Mac. (Yes, I like fast food, though really prefer Wendy's and Burger King.)

 
At 18/2/07 1:57 pm, Anonymous bainst said...

I find it absolutely hillarious and righteous that you use DELIVERENCE in your "objective" argument. Brilliant. Please list other fictional references that support your beliefs. :-)

I agree with the deplorable use of copyright. Well and justly targeted, Evan.

 
At 18/2/07 2:33 pm, Anonymous C.W. said...

I can't believe the negativie vibrations and the sarcasm flowing here. Does putting positive people down make you all feel better about yourselves? What is it with some people, who'd rather live a dark, miserable life than try out a new, radical idea? Open-mindedness, people! That's what creates the great innovators and thinkers. Just because something won't fit your materialistic, narrow-minded worldview, that's no reason to dismiss it out of hand.

Sorry. Just testing what it's like to be a new age kook. Seems overrated.

 
At 18/2/07 3:48 pm, Blogger Mr McKeifus said...

Well played C.W..

Im sure all Donald Trump or Warren Buffet ever did was wish upon a star. No way they toiled endlessly to find loopholes in the capitalist system while satisfying consumer demands and crushing their competition.

How much work we could save ourselves if we only just asked the Universe.

word verification: wcomk
Welcome, Keifus!

 
At 18/2/07 3:51 pm, Blogger Boss Foxx said...

The Oprah.com message boards are creeping me out with the way Oprah's fans are blindly defending this schlock.

 
At 18/2/07 4:21 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe it's just a new "secret" religion

 
At 18/2/07 4:35 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you guys are retards. i don't see anything wrong with living your life happily and enjoying it. if you have goals and strie towards them then you will achieve them. the secret just makes it more interesting to watch. but you are useless, keep living your garbage life blaming everyone else for how shitty it is, and when anyone tries to pass on some good information that helped them in their life, you just bash them.

 
At 18/2/07 5:40 pm, Anonymous gmanedit said...

My heart was in my mouth, hoping for the boy. I was crushed when he saw the other boys' bikes and he still didn't have one. Joy rushed into my heart (in my mouth) when the door opened and there it was (although it would have been better if the genie had been the one to give it to him).

Hey, maybe it was my wanting him to get the bike that kicked the Universe's ass into action. The program works!

 
At 18/2/07 7:19 pm, Blogger Joshua said...

"Author Jack Canfield says the dumbest thing you will ever hear. I'll put a guarantee on that. If you hear something dumber than this, when next I see you, I'll buy you a beer (or beverage of your choice up to a $20 limit)."

You owe me a scotch, then. I've read Deepak Chopra.

 
At 18/2/07 7:37 pm, Blogger BigHeathenMike said...

Yeah, fair enough, Joshua. I thought I might get called on that guarantee. Ah well, it's worth a scotch.

And "anonymous", if that is your real name, the entire point of this video seems to NOT have goals. You said, "if you have goals and strie towards them then you will achieve them." I totally agree, but asking the Universe for a goddamn bike isn't the same as, I don't know, doing chores or getting a job to earn the money to buy it. Wouldn't you agree?

 
At 19/2/07 12:38 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okaaay. While I agree that Oprah was being galactically stupid for falling for this crap, I don't think it's entirely fair to imply that she has no concern or empathy for the poor. She's actually accomplished tremendous works of charity, giving away millions of dollars and uplifting many lives in developing countries.

 
At 19/2/07 1:23 am, Anonymous thedaveg said...

These guys are close to something but light years from delivering it in any meaningful way. I have no doubts that a person can define their own existence in the universe however your existence in the universe is not what defines you.

Ask for your bike, ask for your car, ask for your house, ask for your cash, keep asking for everything. When you have everything you wanted, what do you have then? ... Nothing?

Let's ask for integrity in our own thoughts, honour in our actions and love in the world around us.

You can keep your bike!!

 
At 19/2/07 2:47 am, Blogger Faceless said...

Thank you, Mike! Finally, someone who sees Oprah, Jack "Chicken Shit for the Soul" Canfield, and the like as the useless, bantering fools that they are. Maybe you should've also mentioned that the "universe" they're talking to is actually the wallets and pockets of their fans and followers, who believe every little lie they say, and will buy whatever garbage they put out in the market. Whatever happened to good old hard work, anyhow? The universe my ass. Ha!

 
At 19/2/07 5:51 am, Anonymous Francesco Franco said...

Let's face it, folks: Oprah's either a complete dingbat or a very astute fraud, talented orator and unscrupulous manipulator of American minds. She can kiss my ass, along with the gullible idiots who buy all that shit. But you have to admit one thing: if a vast number of people are really stupid enough to fall for it (and they ARE, even over here in Europe....well, at least Italy!!), then they deserve to get their pockets, wallets and purse cleaned out. It may seem tragic, but the majority of humans are unreasoning, mindless fools and sheep. What esle can I tell you? I'm not angry at Oprah or Deepak. I can't blame them for jumping on the opportunity. It's humanity that is completely hopeless. No need to get all riled up about it. But, thanks for the comic relief. It IS funny stuff, after all.

 
At 19/2/07 7:58 am, Anonymous Clatu Barada Nikto said...

What bother you most about Oprah?

That she is BLACK of that she is a WOMAN?

(Don't worry, thats very Darwinian; he despised the savage races and though women were intellectually inferior.

 
At 19/2/07 8:11 am, Blogger BigHeathenMike said...

Anonymous: I will totally grant that Oprah does good things and is a very charitable person - but she's like the damn bible. Sure there's good stuff in there, but a lot of it is just stupid crap, and people believe all of it. Religiously. That's bad.

Clatu: Who the fuck brought up Oprah's race? You did, you stupid ass. All we're saying is that she's a bit on the retarded side for buying into metaphysical mumbo-bullshito. Don't even try to pull a racial/gender change of topic like that here, flapjack. Take that shit to where dumbasses will fall for it.

 
At 19/2/07 11:10 am, Anonymous Matt said...

I thought this might be true but then my wife pulled my head out of my ass and said "but what if you're born into a brothel in Calcutta?"

These people are like the types who are very into their bodies, meaning it feels really good for them to exercise. Then they go and tell the world that exercise is the key to well being when it happened to work for them. Exercise is painful to me and recent studies have shown that calorie reduction is identical to exercise and you lose no muscle mass.

One of the guy's wife on the secret died of cancer. Maybe she didn't envision health enough, eh?

I used to like Oprah when she had some humility but she's become a megalomaniacal idiot surrounded by worshipers. She kept saying that she'd been using the secret forever - what a egotistical dope.

 
At 19/2/07 11:43 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is truly fantastic news. I'm so glad The Secret has finally been revealed. I've already been busy at work going through my dream catalog. So far I've ordered a new car, a holiday in Australia, a mountain bike, and of course a new iPod.

This is so much better than those out-dated ideas of yore where you had to go to work, slog and slog saving money every week!

 
At 19/2/07 11:48 am, Blogger BigHeathenMike said...

Isn't it?! I'm asking for a pony and a lemon tree.

 
At 19/2/07 1:10 pm, Anonymous Erasmus said...

Hey, It works!!!!

I just took a big greasy dump and manifested a clean asshole out of the universe! No more toilet paper, Quantum Reality Wipes My Ass!!!!!!

 
At 19/2/07 1:20 pm, Blogger gravitybear said...

Looks to me like Grandpa noticed the kid had cut out photo of a particular bike from a catalog, and noticed that the kid was drawing pictures of himself riding the aforementioned bike.
Is this the secret? Having a kind and indulgent Grandpa?

 
At 19/2/07 2:47 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. So funny, I actually watched The Secret before I was sent this article. I really don't have time to debate semantics with you, but when you decide that living your life without the rage and hate you obviously have, check out www.discusswithus.com. I'm sure that your knee jerk reaction to this comment with me something along the lines of "This bitch is some kumbaya loving fucking fairy" but I'm OK with that. I'll risk you having that opinion of me to let you know you don't have to live in such a hate filled thought system. Check it out. discusswithus.com.

 
At 19/2/07 3:13 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@clatu

Is that a real troll or a Sears troll?

 
At 19/2/07 3:52 pm, Blogger Cogito said...

Never mind "MSC.D," did my eyes deceive me, or was one asshat labelled "Visionary"? I'm getting business cards printed with that:

Cogito: Visionary
(please hand over your wallets now)

I particularly liked the graphic of the kid's wishes emanating out from Earth. I had been wondering by what mechanism this program could possibly achieve its ends, but now it's all explained.

Oh, and Anonymous apologist, you are right. We are filled with anger. Anger at people who are taking money from gullible, desperate folk, and then foisting the failure of the system on the buyers' inability to wish hard enough. I'm sure that feels great for parents with stillborn children or kids dying of cancer. Gee, we're so mean.

 
At 19/2/07 4:04 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know you're a skeptic, so your attitude is 'show me'... a bit lazy yeah? At any rate, this same message is the same one put forward by Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill. Research the book a little (yes I know, you're thinking... NO WAY! SHOW ME!). I don't mean research the message, because you'lle just be saying 'no way', since you don't have any experience with success. But research the book. The history. How it came about. The 'secret' isn't secret at all, and it's understood implicitly or explicitly by every super powerful individual in America.

 
At 19/2/07 5:30 pm, Blogger Will Von Wizzlepig said...

I have been trying to manifest various delicious starlets, in various stages of disrobe, in various positions relative to my person since my mid teens, and so far, zippo.

I'll take that as proof.

 
At 19/2/07 7:30 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

its easy to knock somebody who has obviously acheived everything they wanted to... wait... no its not. you guys are fucking retards. i dont care if you are miserable, its not my job, and i think really everybody with a brain figures out how to manifest their desires and acheive them without oprahs help. her main mistake is thinking you retards would drink water if you were lead to it. have fun being miserable and unfulfilled! or, if you have found some other ways to acheive your goals, congrats. i can say in my own life this shit is for real. sure you have to do more than just think, you have to start taking action, but the 200 foot headlight thing is not really such a bad analogy. the only thing they left out is you need a compass too :) so maybe oprahs dumbing it down a tad for the walmart consumer but who cares, her goal is just to get hella rich and shes obviously doing it!

 
At 19/2/07 7:35 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"This is so much better than those out-dated ideas of yore where you had to go to work, slog and slog saving money every week! "

it sure as fuck is! i just made my months rent and enough for groceries in 5 hours work last night. now i dont have to slong and slog saving money every week for the next 3 3/4th weeks if i dont want to. you better beleive its better! you stupid fuker.

 
At 19/2/07 7:42 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

in my own life, the most succesfull person i know, who i really admire and look up to, a person who appears to literally acheive every goal they state, without even trying, so often that i had to ask them how they did it, told me basically the same theory as what oprah is saying as being the key to their success.

so, being a rational and skeptical person, i said, if i have graphic evidence that this person does things i cant explain rationally ALL THE TIME, and they say this is what they are doing, maybe there is something to it. despite my own skepticism, i started trying it myself. the results in my life have literally seemed like some bullshit story nobody would beleive, but i can say for sure im in a way better place than i ever have been. i just sent my friend a link to this article (in the chat), and he said, ha, no wonder oprah is so succesfull, she knows the secret!

its better to be skeptical of beleifs that limit you rather than beleifs that will allow you to accomplish far more than your context might appear to allow. i'd be more skeptical of some bitter loser who has nothing than somebody very succesfull. most of oprahs money and success wasnt made on espousing any sort of philosophy like this so you may want to consider it if she credits this as how she got to where people would even give the remotest SHIT about her philosophy, know what im saying? nobody cares about what you guys think but they do care about what oprah thinks, how did she get to that position of influence? hmmmm? dumb asses.

 
At 19/2/07 8:34 pm, Anonymous Marie said...

I think this sums it up quite nicely. I hope 'anonymous' fins this enlightening.

Pathologies of Hope

Barbara Ehrenreich

Harper’s Magazine February 2007





I hate hope. It was hammered into me constantly a few years ago when I was being treated for breast cancer: Think positively! Don't lose hope! Wear your pink ribbon with pride! A couple of years later, I was alarmed to discover that the facility where I re­ceived my follow-up care was called the Hope Center. Hope? What about a cure? At antiwar and labor rallies over the years, I have dutifully joined Jesse Jackson in chanting "Keep hope alive!" – all the while crossing my fin­gers and thinking, "F*** hope. Keep us alive."



There. It's out. Let pestilence rain down on me, for a whole chorus of voic­es rise up to insist that hope, optimism, and a "positive attitude" are the keys to health and longevity. The more acad­emically respectable among them – the new Ph.D.-level "positive psycholo­gists" – like to cite a study of nuns in which the ones professing a generally positive outlook in their twenties went rather tardily to their maker while the glummer ones dropped off like flies a decade earlier. The average author of motivational materials – books, CDs, and audiotapes – needs no studies to buttress the warning that negative thoughts "can be harmful to your health and might even shorten your life span."



Not only is health at stake; so is your credibility as a citizen, employee, or social entity of any kind. "Ninety-nine out of every 100 people report that they want to be around more positive people," claims the self-help book How Full Is Your Bucket? Many champions of positivity urge one to ostracize negative people – complainers and "victims" – because they are "committed to lose."



It's everywhere, this Cult of Posi­tivity, at least in America, the birth­place of Mary Baker Eddy, Norman Vincent Peale, and est, where 30,000 beaming "life coaches" ply their trade and a pessimist is no more likely to be elected president than an atheist. George W. Bush provides a sterling role model. Asked on his most recent birthday about the potential nuclear threats of Iran and North Korea, as well as the U.S.-instigated civil war in Iraq, he replied, "I'm optimistic that all problems will be resolved."



Google offers more than a million entries on "positive thinking" cover­ing almost any kind of challenge you might encounter. Dieting? Robert Fer­guson, the "Master Weight-Loss Coach," tells us, "With a positive at­titude you can do, have and be every­thing you want in life!" Bereaved? You can put the fun back in funeral by re­placing it with a "celebration" of the deceased's life. Need money? Attract it to your wallet with positive mental affirmations, such as:

I love having money. . . .1 am open to re­ceive money. I give generously to myself and others. I am generous. I feel great about all the money I spend. Note: Be SPECIFIC about amounts of money [you require].



Cancer? See it positively, as a "growth opportunity," and hopefully not just for the tumor. A representative of the American Cancer Society rebuffed a researcher in the mid-Nineties by saying that the organization didn't "want to be associated with a book on death. We want to emphasize the pos­itive aspects of cancer only." Laid off? Forget the economy and concentrate on reconfiguring your attitude, as ex­plained in the 2004 bestseller We Got Fired! . . . And It's the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Us.



One measure of the cult's success is the growth of the "self-improvement" industry, most of which promotes techniques for upgrading your attitude and visualizing success through affir­mations that open you to the abun­dance of the world – like this one, for example, from a current financial self-help book:

Place your hand on your heart and say

“I admire rich people." "I bless rich

people!" "I love rich people!" "And I'm

going to be one of those rich people too!"



In 2000, the self-improvement indus­try – including books, CDs, seminars, and coaches – took in $3.35 billion. In 2005, it grossed $5.62 billion, with the coaching market alone growing by almost 500 percent.



Until recently, the marketing of optimism was left largely to familiar snake-oil purveyors like motivational speakers, prosperity-oriented preach­ers, and self-anointed coaches. Then, in 2000, the new academic discipline of positive psychology emerged, com­plete with annual conferences, a Jour­nal of Happiness Studies, and a World Database of Happiness: There are now more than a hundred courses on pos­itive psychology available on college campuses, and in the spring of 2006, one of them was the most popular course at Harvard. Its professor, Dr. Tal D. Ben-Shahar, takes an indul­gent stance toward his disreputable confederates. "For many years," he says, "the people who were writing about happiness were the self-help gu­rus. It had a bad rap.... What I'm try­ing to do in my class is to regain re­spectability for the concept of self-help."



Much of the behavioral advice offered by the gurus, both credentialed and otherwise, is innocuous. "Smile," advises one success-oriented, positive-thinking website, "greet coworkers." Surely the world would be a better, happier place if we all held doors for one another and stopped to coax smiles from babies – if only through the well-known social psychological mechanism of "mood contagion." Nor can I quibble with the common as­signment in positive-psych courses to write "gratitude letters" or keep a "grat­itude journal." As the mother of two Ivy League graduates, I'm for having all students write weekly odes to their tuition-payers.



The problem, for anyone with a lin­gering loyalty to secular rationalism, is that the prescriptions don't stop at behavior. Like our culture's ambient Protestantism, the Cult of Positivity demands not only acts but faith. It's not enough to manifest positivity through a visibly positive attitude; you must establish it as one of the very structures of your mind, whether or not it is justified by the actual cir­cumstances. Some gurus attempt to dodge the potential conflict with re­ality by attributing to positive thoughts the power to control the outer world through a "Law of Attraction," as yet unknown to physicists, whereby thoughts somehow produce their ma­terial counterparts in the outer world. The 2005 book Secrets of the Million­aire Mind, for example, explains that the universe "is akin to a big mail-order department.... You 'order' what you get by sending energetic messages out to the universe based on your pre­dominant beliefs."



The academic side of the cult, which rests its claims to respectability on sci­ence, is of course barred from endors­ing wacko mind-over-matter notions. Instead, we learn there that irrationality, at least in the form of "positive il­lusions," works like a vitamin, even at the admitted "cost perhaps of less re­alism." Scientists should presumably avoid such magical thinking, but it is recommended to everyone else: Go ahead, pump yourself up, imagine that all the obstacles you face are projec­tions of some lingering negativity, whatever gets you through the day.



Why should an intelligent species need to rely on illusions? According to positive psychology's founder, University of Pennsylvania psychol­ogist Martin Seligman, it is our neg­ative, pessimistic, thoughts that are maladaptive and happily, as it turns out, vestigial:

Because our brain evolved during a time of ice, flood and famine, we have a cat­astrophic brain. The way the brain works is looking for what's wrong. The problem is, that worked in the Pleistocene era. It favoured you, but it doesn't work in the modern world.



In this view, which was restated un­critically in a February 2006 New York­er review of two books on happiness, our Paleolithic ancestors were well served by the suspicion that a saber-toothed cat crouched behind every bush. Today we would do better to vi­sualize pots of gold.



There are exceptions, the positive psychologists concede, even in the modern world, and at first glance they seem a little exotic: airplane pilots, for example, need to anticipate worst out­comes rather than happy landings. Re­cently, Seligman further limited the purview of positive psychology to na­tions that "are wealthy and not in civ­il turmoil and not at war," perhaps not realizing that he had thus excluded the majority of the world's people. But even leaving the poor and war-ravaged aside: if a pilot needs a healthy dose of negative thinking, what about the driver of a car? Should I assume, positively, that no one is going to cut in front of me or, more negatively, be prepared to brake?



Child-raising is another quotidian activity that eludes the positive psy­chologists. Religion and marriage are both recommended as positivity ­boosters, and they do seem to increase self-reported happiness, but children, according to Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert, can be "an extreme source of negative affect." Kids are, in other words, bummers, and it's easy to see why. You might want to be "posi­tive" by advertising a trip to the pedi­atrician as an opportunity to play with the cool toys in the waiting room rather than an occasion for a painful shot, but no parent dare risk assum­ing that the sudden quiet from the tod­dlers' room means they are studying with Baby Einstein. Visualize fratrici­dal stranglings and electric outlets stabbed with forks: that's how we re­produce our genomes.



If health and well-being in general are at stake, the positive psychologists would argue, why not indulge in some positive illusions even at the cost of "realism"? There's no question but that extreme, locked-in negativity in the form of depression is a risk factor for physical illness, but the evidence for the health-enhancing effects of posi­tivity is surprisingly muddled. A fre­quently cited 1988 article arguing that positive illusions, such as unwarrant­edly high self-estimations, promote mental health has been disputed. Nor are positive-thinking people necessar­ily happier than pessimists or realists, since anyone who self-reports positiv­ity is equally likely to self-report hap­piness. As for "success": in workplaces that enjoin a positive attitude, one would do well to conform, but the halls of fame are lined with the busts of ma­jor depressives, including Max Weber, William James, John Donne, and Samuel Johnson.



It takes a positive spin to see a con­sistently positive effect of positivity on physical health. A 2002 New York Times article headlined "Power of Pos­itive Thinking Extends, It Seems, to Aging" cited two studies linking opti­mism to longevity – and four studies tracing longevity to such other traits as “conscientiousness," calmness, pes­simism, and even cantankerousness. A 2002 study not cited in the Times article found mildly depressed women living longer than non-depressed or more severely depressed women, and even two positive psychologists re­ported that people displaying negative affect "complain about their health but show no hard evidence of poorer health or increased mortality." As for those oft-cited nuns: Nuns are popular with researchers because of their con­trolled, homogeneous lifestyle. But that lifestyle is not for everyone, and Freud might think of reasons why those who were not initially enthusi­astic about their vocation would go on to live lives of quiet and self-destructive desperation.



In fact, there is some evidence that the ubiquitous moral injunction to think positively may place an addi­tional burden on the already sick or otherwise aggrieved. Not only are you failing to get better but you're failing to feel good about not getting better. Similarly for the long-term unem­ployed, who, as I found while re­searching my book Bait and Switch, are informed by career coaches and self-help books that their principal battle is against their own negative, resent­ful, loser-like feelings. This is victim-blaming at its cruelest, and may help account for the passivity of Americans in the face of repeated economic insult.



But what is truly sinister about the positivity cult is that it seems to reduce our tolerance of other people's suffer­ing. Far from being a "culture of com­plaint" that upholds "victims," ours has become "less and less tolerant of people having a bad day or a bad year,” according to Barbara Held, professor of psychology at Bowdoin College and a leading critic of positive psychology. If no one will listen to my problems, I won't listen to theirs: "no whining," as the popular bumper stickers and wall plaques warn. Thus the cult ac­quires a viral-like reproductive ener­gy, creating an empathy deficit that pushes ever more people into a harsh insistence on positivity in others.



I got through my bout of cancer in a state of constant rage, directed chiefly against the kitschy positivity of Amer­ican breast-cancer culture. I remain, although not absolutely, certifiably, cancer-free down to the last cell, at least hope-free. Do not mistake this condition for hopelessness, in the beat­en or passive sense, or confuse it with unhappiness. The trick, as my teen hero Camus wrote, is to draw strength from the "refusal to hope, and the un­yielding evidence of a life without con­solation." To be hope-free is to ac­knowledge the lion in the tall grass, the tumor in the CAT scan, and to plan one’s moves accordingly.



From Harper’s Magazine February 2007

 
At 19/2/07 8:39 pm, Anonymous FrenchDoc said...

Boy oh boy... someone should have wished for spelling skills and a better temper!
Oh, and by the way, why do you Anons assume we're not successful and happy?

 
At 20/2/07 9:04 am, Anonymous Chris said...

Because we're skeptics. Thus we hate everything. And probably Jesus, too.

 
At 20/2/07 10:12 am, Anonymous emily said...

i think oprah does a lot of good in the world... i hate it when she backs drivel like this, or when anyone does, for that matter. the problem is, there is a line between focusing your thoughts on what you want (thereby inspiring yourself to go find the right opportunities) and wishing and praying for it to be dropped in your lap.

example: my roommate believes in this. she's so mired in it that when things _do_ fall in her lap, she still doesn't take action, and then when the opportunities pass, she thinks it "wasn't meant to be". meanwhile, she's 33 and can't afford to live on her own, in love with a guy that fell out of love with her long ago, and she just sits in her room every night doing rituals and praying. occasionally she spends hundreds of dollars (more than her rent, which she usually can't pay on time) to energy healers. don't even get me started...
meanwhile, i'm 25 with my dream job, my dream car, a relationship built on respect (and not dependency), in a house that i own--i've been very lucky, and i've worked very hard. what she calls spirit guides and "the universe", i call the self-agency that god (or whoever, or no one) blessed us with all that time ago. i mean, isn't that what it means to be human? isn't that what makes us what we are?

I think people like "anonymous" go on these online missionary expeditions and then get angry when they don't work because they can feel, somewhere, that there's a flaw, and that's pretty painful to admit when so much of yourself is laid upon such a foundation.

 
At 20/2/07 2:26 pm, Anonymous Siamang said...

I linked to this story here:

http://off-the-map.org/atheist/2007/02/20/the-secret-prosperity-theologys-moral-problems/

 
At 20/2/07 4:48 pm, Blogger Citizen Deux said...

Sweet sassy molassey! The Abraham-Hicks, Secret, LoA whack jobs are out in full force!

For the record, it's not about negativity, it's about reality. The Secret proposes only half of the equation. Part two is to get off your hind and do something! David Portney has a very simple debunking (disassembly rather) of these "power of positive mainifestoids".

For all the reality deniers - that means you Anon (et al), take a moment and conduct the root cause analysis of your good (or bad fortune). Are you in trouble due to your chemical dependency or living well due to a cush job which requires no effort?

The universe did not conspire, you took advantage of an opportunity (or not) some time ago.

 
At 21/2/07 12:46 am, Blogger SUEB0B said...

I am a successful, prosperous person. How did that happen? I worked hard, thought positively, and got really, really lucky.

I think to deny the element of luck is to shrink one's capacity for compassion for the less fortunate.

I wonder if Oprah would have the same beliefs, had she been born 30 years earlier into a society that would have rather seen her dead than successful.

 
At 21/2/07 4:50 pm, Anonymous TB said...

I love how Oprah acts like she practically invented "the Secret" just as she does with every other pedestrian concept she touts on her show. Then she shares it with the millions of delusional sycophants in the US population and suddenly Oprah has become some sort of bizarre metaphysical gatekeeper. It baffles me.
Great fucking post.

 
At 21/2/07 8:41 pm, Blogger chooseDoubt said...

Anonymous said "its better to be skeptical of beleifs that limit you rather than beleifs that will allow you to accomplish far more than your context might appear to allow."

Ok, great. Go and be skeptical of a belief that you can't fly without worrying about the context that you don't have any wings and see how that goes for you.

You are ranting on (or possibly it is other anonymi) about what hate filled fuckers we sceptics are but I don't see that being concerned for people being sold snake oil by charlatans is a particularly hate filled thing to do. It's quite the reverse. Skeptical minds, critical thinkers, almost overwhelming recognise that basing decisions on reliably emprical evidence is a responsibility we all have to our fellow living things. It's an act of kindness, not hate, and it is thanks to many other kind people thinking critically and basing their decisions on reasonable evidence that you get to enjoy all the wonderful technology and medicine that your parasitic arse sits on today. But don't bother thanking the real pioneers for any of that. Just wish up the the HIV, malaria, cancer and whatever else cure that millions on this planet are waiting for. Thank you very fucking much for your efforts you fucking twat.

Apologies for being harsh. Actually, no. If I'm sorry about anything it's that idiots like you think you have the right to tell people much wiser and more reasonable that you that they should give up actually connecting their understanding of the universe to observable reality and gamble everything on wishful thinking. That's why we still have so many very serious problems that so many people so very seriously suffer from - because idiots such as yourself can't handle the truth because you think it is more miserable than facing up to your responsibility to do something about it.

So go on, go fuck off with your smiley happy "I WANT, I WANT, I WANT" thoughts and don't spare any of that limited brain capacity in actually connecting what you have to how you got it and the efforts and discipline of those that gave it to you. Fucking idiot.

Mike, very nice post.

 
At 21/2/07 8:53 pm, Blogger chooseDoubt said...

I suppose I could have said that more eloquently, but it's late and I am uncomfortably aware that these people aren't even useful as toilet paper. The way they preach the errors of critical thinkers makes me sick. They can't even handle haemorrhoids without the help of real thinkers and it's about time we started to do a cost benefit analysis of their right to be stupid and acted on that empirical evidence.

 
At 21/2/07 9:19 pm, Blogger BigHeathenMike said...

So true, so true. Without much exaggeration, everything we have is because of science and the advances from using the scientific method. When the "you guys are so fucking sad, angry and pathetic" anons pipe up, all I can think of is Moe from the Simpsons saying, "Yeah, what's science done for us anyway? TV off", and the television turns off by voice control.

 
At 23/2/07 3:05 am, Blogger William said...

Jesus CHRIST I am so sick of Oprah. She brainwashes so many people into believing the stupidest shit imaginable. I stumbled across this page looking for blogs on Oprah's ridiculous endorsement of fraud Allison DuBois only to find more inane crap that she's corrupting housewive's brains with. What's really sad is that I just now had a conversation with my friend who actually believes this shit (and watches Oprah of course), and it's hard for me to convince her that it's bullshit without alienating myself from her. Shit like this just weakens my hope in Mankind. There certainly are a lot of gullible morons out there

 
At 23/2/07 1:08 pm, Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Well, I am proud to say that one of the Secretrons has appointed me Captain Bring-Down, and has called my blog a garbage barge because I've been sniping at "The Secret" since last August. I've been told I don't know what I'm talking about. I've also been told that I'm negative, bitchy, sarcastic...so...er...what's their point? I may be all of those things, but that doesn't mean "The Secret" isn't a load of recycled crap.

 
At 24/2/07 4:20 pm, Blogger David Portney said...

Mike, I'm really enjoying your rants. Would you read my booklet on my site and let me know what you think? It's not as funny as your rant(s), but it really nails the subject - if you like it, please feel free to share it with anyone and everyone. It's here:
www.davidportney.com

David Portney

 
At 24/2/07 4:23 pm, Blogger David Portney said...

Hey Cosmic Connie, I've got you beat: someone called me THE DEVIL (!!)for daring to make important distinctions on "we love the secret" forums and for my booklet "The 5 Biggest Lies About The Law Of Attraction...

Top that!

 
At 1/3/07 3:01 pm, Blogger Bronze Dog said...

Mostly skimmed the comments, including one that mentioned the "cult of positivity" in America.

Don't remember the product that was being advertised, but The Secret and all its promoters remind me of it: Have some business people riding in a gondola or whatever, and it suddenly stops. Most everyone panics. Have this one guy going on about "the power of positive thinking" while one calm skeptic pushes a green button labeled "emergency start". Guess who gets the credit when everything starts back up.

 
At 2/3/07 3:46 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Go to your local library or your kid's room

2. Check out or pick up a copy of The Little Engine that Could

3. Buy yourself a latte with the money you saved because with your $ some good (the latte) really did come to you.

 
At 6/3/07 3:42 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to see I am not the only one thoroughly pissed off with the narcissistic self-serving and irresponsible 'Optimism Ideology', and Martin 'Happy-Chappy' Seligman. Mr Seligman, who should damn well know better, conveniently fails to mention the solid body of literature in psych studies that show the so-called pessimists are better at predicting the outcome of real world events than the 'optimists'. I say neither an optimist nor a pessimist be, but rather a realist.

 
At 7/3/07 8:28 am, Blogger KrisKr said...

Recently saw The Secret. Fascinated by your site!! Like a breath of fresh air. Have never watched Oprah, is she some sort of talkback host?
Agree the materialism, and "cargo-cult" mentality exposed in The Secret is almost obscene. Unfortunately it, in a way, taints a legitimate positive thinking (glass half full) that can lift spirits and make life more enjoyable.

 
At 10/3/07 9:04 am, Anonymous Maronan said...

Wow! The Secret is amazing! People can get what they want solely by wishing for it! We could all be happy if only more people knew.

Wait a minute, people have different and mutually exclusive desires.

Therefore the "secret," if true, would create mutually exclusive situations.

So the "secret" is a logical impossibility.

Damn.

It's scary that people really believe this.

 
At 10/3/07 12:23 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about the theory that if you worry and fret enough about something bad,it won't happen? (Like being scared to death while flying. If you stop clutching the armrests in terror, the plane will then crash.)

It's what my Mamma taught me.

I may start a movement called Negative Imagining to Keep the Universe Away. Of course,I just know it will be a failure!

My serious point being that the idea that thoughts control the future is nothing but superstition. It's no different from the belief that a broken mirror will cause bad luck, or finding a four-leaf clover will bring good luck.

 
At 11/3/07 8:51 pm, Blogger photochick45 said...

Okay, so I suppose those with an std can just visualize that shit gone then go bang 50 people worry free. yeah.....

 
At 11/3/07 8:55 pm, Blogger photochick45 said...

I hope these freaks know what they've created. There are some dumbass people out there now signing their lives away, mortgage and all, because they just know that 2 million dollar check will be in the mail on Monday morning.

 
At 11/3/07 9:04 pm, Blogger photochick45 said...

>C.W. said...
I can't believe the negativie vibrations and the sarcasm flowing here. Does putting positive people down make you all feel better about yourselves? What is it with some people, who'd rather live a dark, miserable life than try out a new, radical idea? Open-mindedness, people! That's what creates the great innovators and thinkers. Just because something won't fit your materialistic, narrow-minded worldview, that's no reason to dismiss it out of hand


C.W.
I'm all for positive thinking. I totally believe that positive thinking will create positive returns. But there are logical reasons behind the out come.

Example. The book states that if you stop thinking about your bad debt it will go away. Instead of thinking about it start paying with auto pay and let the debt take care of itself. OKAY then....for those of us who are poor at financial responsibility and spend our money instead of paying our credit card bills that would be a great idea. And guess what...the logic behind it is....if you're doing auto bill pay that money is paid to the bills before you get your hands on it to spend and WOW, imagine that, your bills are paid and you didn't have to think about it. And in six months....just by not thinking about having to pay your debts, they are all paid.

I'm very open minded. Just not stupid.

 
At 13/3/07 2:31 pm, Blogger Steve Salerno said...

Mike, some seriously inspired stuff here--the kind of stuff I wish I could get away with saying on SHAMblog, except that my agent and publisher and the editors who customarily hire me would think I'd lost what's left of my mind (or I'd have to start thinking about a new writing genre, which, come to think of it, maybe isn't such a bad idea, the way SHAM has been selling of late). Keep calling it as you see it, man, and let the chips fall where they may.*
--Steve Salerno, SA.DoSB
(Self-Appointed Doctor of SHAM-blogatology)
*Just watch out for that surprise call from TR's lawyers

 
At 15/3/07 9:46 am, Blogger Howard said...

A couple of people have mentioned David Portney's "debunking" of The Secret. Out of curiosity I followed the link to the site, then the PDF, then a link out of the PDF to... well, what do you know ... Mr Portney trying to flogg you "The Master Key System" on the same site. What's the Master Key System? One of the original "new thought movement" texts from the first half of the last century, which by Mr Portney's own admission was the basis for all the metaphysical theories espoused in The Secret! Law of attraction, power of focus of thought, feelings as an internal guidance system... it's all there!!
Ain't it funny how even the debunkers seem to want a piece of the pie, once there's money to be made, eh?!

Anyway, I'm one of those "new age kooks" who believe that the Secret and Master Key System for that matter are quite on the ball. All the criticism of The Secret here seem to centre around debunking the idea that "you get what you wish for", which was never, ever the point of any of the LOA teachings. The Abraham-Hicks material covers all this obvious objections in great detail, and personally to my logical satisfaction, though I can't speak for anyone else. I do agree though that the simplistic way in which things are portrayed in The Secret could quite easily lead people to believe that it's all just about wishful-thinking.

 
At 16/3/07 8:13 am, Anonymous Joe Black said...

I wrote this on another Blog about THE Secret of The Secret ...

and I'm posting this around coz I'm sick of seeing people duped by pyramid schemes ....

When I saw the first Trailer from the secret - the one with the Aladdin lamp and snapshots of people getting their wish, I thought, wow, just like a movie production.
It was FREE so what the heck, just watch it then....

Then came the DVDs, I didn't get them. But later I got an email saying I can watch The Secret movie for free on youtube, so I watched all 11 video clips.

So far so good - waddaheck, it's FREE...
and free is GOOD.

Then those Secret folks sent me an email about a blog.

So I went there, just curious to know what's there... and

BAM !!

I just knew it!
All that free trailer, even the entire FREE The Secret Movie had only one purpose...

It was gearing everyone up for the big launch ...

Yeah, that big launch of: The SECRET SCIENCE OF GETTING RICH ...

... for 'only' .... yeah, baby, 'only' yours for $1995.

and what do you get?

A 'magical briefcase' that'll teach you that it's OK to be rich, with supporting video, audio and workbooks ... oh yeah, and don't forget the Affiliate Program.

Don't forget too that you'll recoup the $2000 dollars you spent by referring just 2 friends, and they each refer 2 friends to buy the magic briefcase ..... oh, and did I mention too ... you also get a website and all the tools you need for 'affiliate marketing' this product ...

Sounds familiar, yeah?! Hell it does!

Check it out here:
http://purchase.theofficialsecretseminar.com

... and you'll see what i mean ...

so now I know the Secret of Getting Rich ...
and the secret of the Secret....

...it's one big Multi-level-marketing project, with all the fanfare and fluff that goes with it ....

... yeah, genuine BS does sell.

Joe B.

 
At 16/3/07 7:54 pm, Anonymous sizzle said...

"All that we are is the result of what we have thought." - Buddha

 
At 18/3/07 10:05 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People! PEOPLE!

Man... stop the crap-o-thon already! Yes people are trying to make money from this secret thing and yes some will still try to make money from naive douchebags. Who gives a flying rat's ass?

Just fucking chill, the whole thing is just a little too "fairytale" that's all.

Why do people become so angry frustrated when some solutions could be very simple?

What makes something simple like "the law of attraction" difficult it's that we're all conditioned to bitch, moan and blame whomever of whatever the fuck we think of for being unsucessful. They won't say that it's difficult 'cause improving oneself is too freakin' hard for most and they know. It's America, it has to be fast and easy.

Is life just a fucking series of random chaotic events that we have no control over? Is it??? If it is so, then we can all die now in our own poop.

 
At 31/3/07 2:59 am, Blogger J said...

"Is life just a fucking series of random chaotic events that we have no control over? Is it???"

Yes.

"If it is so, then we can all die now in our own poop."

Or we can learn to develop some character and integrity and deal with reality as it is. The dying in our own poop thing is easier, though. Easier still is buying into a bunch of BS that makes us feel good, even if it's obviously nuts.

 
At 12/4/07 9:24 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After reading several articles about positive thinking, the so called secret and all the previos comments here, I don´t think the positive thinking excludes the reality of having to work, or looking for a job, or dealing with real life, I se it more like some kind of fuel for your mind to reamain optimistic and work your ass to achieve things.

I am not american, yet I know Oprah, etc, and maybe she just showed a very simpistic or radical point of view about this and probably just highlighted the ¨get rich¨part of it?

I personally try to take what is good and works for me, and if you are positive with your thoughts, and think that you can achieve what you want, you feel happier, happy ppl attract other ppl, you work better and you feel better.

I agree that this shouldn´t be taken as some kind of ¨religion¨ or think that everything will happen solely by the act of thinking about it. It also doesn´t make sense if you are undergoing extreme situations, such as starving people in Africa, etc. I would say you can take a few good tips that will make you feel better ( and yes, some of you might say that you are tricking your mind by doing it, but isn´t it the same thing when we have a few drinks? )

nikad

 
At 12/5/07 3:04 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i like phoebe.. the character from friends.. she's so funny.. and so different..

 
At 13/5/07 10:30 pm, Blogger zootscoot said...

I don't need Oprah or anyone else to tell me that "what you give is what you get."
I've known people to perpetually have bad luck. They have a very negative personality, and that is what they draw to them.
Some people create their own purgatory, some people create their own heaven"

 
At 26/5/07 12:11 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe if I think positively long enough it will make this bogus movie go away....

 
At 20/8/07 5:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whew! I was skeptical a year ago and there were less posters to reflect
on the topic.I produce videos and
saw the obvious bullshit. Typical
slick-copycat DaVinci Code hype.

Lessee- Create BS. Have peoples send you money; spread some on the lower
tiers of the pyramid (this is to
continue DVD sales among other things)and attend Hollywood parties.

Ewww people..kinda dopey.
Try simply helping a neighborhood
\homeless family or something.

 
At 20/8/07 5:13 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amway con job past-has me solid
I will never respect or trust those
stupid "friends of 20 years ago.

Common sense: Ya wanna be a drag on
family and friends? Pitch them!

"The Secret" skirts all the
people who have helped make certain
people successful. The ones awash
in their own "self-made/ my mind did it" egos are idiots. The most common chest thumpers rarely
thank their spouses who made it
all possible...otr mommy and daddy
who scrapped to send them to school so they could read the idiotic liddle book.

 
At 20/8/07 5:28 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's so "Secret?"
If you have a shitty personality
and are sarcastic and put others down-you repel people.

If you're upbeat, positive and
a good supportive friendly type,
you'll attract people and more opportunities.

Wishing for specific crap -like cars and material shit can come with an aftermath of problems.

Self brainwashing that we really
wanted that car was shit we all
did in High School.

Then we grew up and saw there was
a bigger deeper world and it's
irresponsible to send money to
con jobs.

 
At 20/8/07 5:41 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wishing for stuff is perfectly fine
...if you're an uncreative type.

On your way to the bus stop:
"I see the car in my head-I want that car-It's mine-I will have the car-
I can see me driving the car- I see
every reflection-I see the car---
OOOOOmmmmmmmmm.

A creative writer or visual artist
sees an incident on the way to
the bus stop. He fills his/ her
thoughts with a structure that
will end up in a masterpiece of art
work, a play, a musical..so on.

Meanwhile "Secret-pants" waits for the bus ,oblivious, cuz his/ her
mind is preocupied with the shiny
red carbon monoxide mobile...
"I want-the -car-i can -see-it-
it is-shin-nee-It's mine-Owoooooomm.

 
At 12/10/07 11:14 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one can prove the existence of God, or Heaven, or Satan, or the magical powers of Jesus, but BILLIONS of people fall for that shit, and no one but the atheists think they're nuts...So why not cut some slack for the folks who want to give the Law of Attraction a try?

 
At 23/10/07 1:44 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Law of Attraction may or may not work. There have been instances in my own life that I can point to and say "I really wanted that to happen and it did". There are just as many that point the other way - both before and after learning "The Secret."

The bottom line, in my opinion, is this: having faith in something that gives us enough hope to try for one more day (and one more, and so on) is more gratifying - even if it be false gratification - than questioning and doubting everything and everyone and never having faith in or hope for anything better.

Skepticism and cynicism are traits better left to those who'd rather hang themselves than live in a world where things are at least 'possible'. As for me, I prefer to live as close to that river in Egypt (de Nile) as possible.

 
At 15/11/07 12:17 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i found this very enteraining, especially the rain part, man you made me laugh hard. thx for that. i always like a good laugh. but all i read here is he said that, he was this, i am such, the secret is good or bad, etc ... Ladies and Gentlemen you can get rich if you want to, not thinking about others, not underestimating others, not looking up to others is one of the golden rules of becoming rich, EoR's check will most certainly not manifest, you know why ? because there strict rules of becoming rich, nothing drops down from heaven or universe. You have to accept certain rules and apply them with precision then you get rich. You dont get rich by wishing it, you get rich by doing business in a Certain Way. The Secret is a very well thought marketing and affiliate program, well is it good in my opinion, it makes people earn money, i love creative money. it is also one of the golden rules. focus on creative money not competitive money. well i must know because i made my self rich. it took some time but i did it. a lot of people think of me as an ass, but more people think of me as a rich man who provides creative potentials and makes other people rich. my point is dont get carried away by The Secret, but extract everything you think would help you to get rich from it. becoming rich is fun, being rich is even funier.

Cheers A.K.

 
At 27/12/07 8:50 am, Blogger Revin Floyd said...

Two words define the not so secret “secret” not quite revealed in The Secret. And they have nothing to do with some mythological “Law of Attraction” repeated ad nauseam in the four CD audio-book I ran through for a little trance torture endurance training. These two words are: Hypnotic Marketing.

Hypnotic Marketing is the brainchild of, you guessed it kids, Dr? Joe Vitale, arguably one of the most talented copyrighters alive. Dr. Vitale is a marketing geniuses, an expert manipulator, and a wordsmith of the highest caliber.

The purpose of The Secret is to prove that a monkey could write this stuff using the Hypnotic Swipe File to write powerfully pursuasive material out of Vitale's marketing cliche generator

“To put a spell on people, that turns them on to your product or service, guides them directly to your order page and like a robot, programs them to send you money 24-hours a day, 7-days a week!”
AND IT’S SO EASY!
So there you have it. Surely that spells it out, doesn’t it? Well, kind of. The remarkable truth embodied in The Secret, and Joe Vitale’s Marketing copy is what fusion/rap music artist MC900 ft. Jesus (Mark Griffin) sang about back in 1990: in his radio hit “Truth Is Out Of Style” This song embodies the truly not so secret “secret” not revealed in The Secret. “The Secret” is that the inspiration, and in fact the material for the book was actually lifted directly off an MC 900 ft. Jesus lyrics page! IT'S ABSOLUTELY TRUE! And it was SO EASY! The lyrics and free .mp3 download of the song are available at: http://www.theendoftheworld.org/900/truth.shtml. Also a somewhat amusing video with a talking dummy singing the song is posted on YouTube. Search “Truth Is Out Of Style”

The lyrics are surely relevant to this thread, and thus, my mindwave Freak Quincy Trance Receiver is directing me to post them here, and so I must, because, I just want to really, really, really bad, like nothing else I’ve ever wanted in my life! The Universe is making it so! Enjoy:

MC900 Truth Is Out Of Style:

This is a journey upon which we shall make some remarkable discoveries of that inner realm that is part of your consciousness this very moment.

123 ...this is a test...
123 ...this is the take.

Please let me introduce you to a brand new idea
It aint like your stupid car because it dont come from korea
i wont charge you for this tip but you can take it to the bank
And when your whole life starts to turn around, you'll know who to thank

thank god for mc 9-0-0 will be the first thing you say
when you are jumping out of bed, at the start of every day
dropping on your knees while you are calling out my name
saying thank you thank you thank you
and you'll bless the day i came into your life
which up to this point had been a big fat joke
that you were playing on yourself but now its time you awoke
from this dream you've been having and confront reality
so shut your mouth for one minute and pay attention to me

"pay attention", "say what?"
"Pay Attention", "Pay...Pay...Pay Attention!
cuz i am going to reveal the secret of my success
so now you can share in my continued happiness
you will know the blissful peace of all the masters of old
and anything that you touch will turn to fourteen karat gold

it's an easy five word sentence
that's the key to all your dreams
so from now on you dont have to worry about no complex schemes
your life will be a simple game that you will always win
and for every dollar that you spend, the bank will pay back ten

and i know you're sayin "well, why dont he stop beating around the bush"
well i'll get there when i get there so there aint no need to push
cuz the point im trying to make contains my whole philosophy
so listen to what i tell you and repeat it after me

truth is out of style (out of style)
truth is out of style (out of style) (say what?)
truth is out of style (out of style) (say what?)

"truth" "is out of style"

"yo won't you tell them what your name is"
i hear what you're sayin', "mc 900 foot Jesus, exactly how did you come to the conclusion that truth is out of style?"

well i was on my way to work one day when i spied a rocket ship
some aliens abducted me and took me on a trip
to a previous existence on another astral plane
i met a real nice lady there name shirley maclaine

the truth is not an obstacle for someone such as me, she said
because you see we all create our own reality
and if a problem should arise
the best thing you can say is
dont worry, be happy, and have a nice day

well i thanked her very kindly for the excellent advice
she said she'd bill me later at a reasonable price
then the aliens brought me back and beamed me down into this bar
but i could not go to work because bigfoot stole my car

sample: "i know a mother fucking bigfoot when i see one"

truth is out of style (out of style)
truth is out of style (out of style)
truth is out of style (out of style)

"truth" "is out of style."

you possess the ability to control the movement of
the invisible magnetic energies of light. And you also
posses a mental power over even the gross physical objects around you.
this concept seems fantastic yet it has been proven.
:-)

 
At 13/1/08 11:54 am, Blogger Newton said...

Happen to find myself at the toe end of Africa and for a reality dose some of those happy clappy commentors need to spend some time down here.

Example:
To highlight the reality delusion associated with many neo esoteric beliefs I want to recount an incredibly horrific incident.

It concerns a seven year old girl who was brutally raped, her throat slit, and after being left for dead, was thrown into a burning fire. This atrocity recently occurred in my city a dozen or so miles from my home.

And to add to the depravity of the act, it was perpetrated by a close friend of the girl’s family; therefore someone the girl had known and perhaps even trusted. Despite the inhuman savagery the girl survived, though most certainly having to bear the scars of this unspeakable horror for the rest of her life.

However the real tragedy is that this is a far too often occurrence in a society having been ravaged by centuries of brutal colonialism, savage slavery and racial oppression. Though now in post colonial South Africa the former victims of past oppression are sadly brutalising their own.

When looking at it logically, if you believe in karma and reincarnation, then it must also be your view that what happened to this unfortunate girl must as a consequence of your belief have been as a result of her past misdeeds. That is in this life but also of her past lives, and that she now is repaying back an overwhelming karmic debt.

Or if you believe in personal spirit guides, then they in their infinite wisdom must have orchestrated this monstrous event from some or other higher cosmic vantage: perhaps it is so that the girl had willingly chosen this lifetime to learn her spiritual lessons by experiencing pain and indignity.

Or according to the language of The Secret “You cannot 'catch' anything unless you think you can, and thinking you can is inviting it to you with your thought”, explain to that girl how her thinking had brought this cruel inhumanity upon herself.

Or if you are of the opinion that “love is all there is, and all else is an illusion” (a quote by John Demartini on whose assertions much of the ‘scientific theory’ of The Secret is based), then explain to that child that the horror she is experiencing is not really real, but that from a deeper perspective had been an act of love. Thus the actions of the perpetrator were in fact motivated by some or other form of cosmic love which he had unconsciously enacted upon.

If these indeed are your views then my honest opinion is that you are not living in my reality and particularly not of that of that girl’s, but rather in a sick delusional fantasy.

Though if you are of the opinion that you are not deluded, then you must be an incredibly cruel and unfeeling person for having had the gall to confidently proclaim that these are your views. What you therefore are implying is that at some supposed more consequential level, this girl had not been the innocent victim of human savagery, but somehow had deserved her fate.

Such attitudes are very real and unfortunately are significantly increasing with the advent of New Ageism. The real danger in these neo ‘spiritual’ views is that they essentially are escapist. For instance at a talk I gave in Cape Town where I spoke about the exact incident, a prominent person in the city’s New Age movement attempted to defend the notion that “love is all there is, all else is an illusion” by indeed rationalising it from Demartini’s perspective.

In defence of his ideology he intimated that, unless one takes mental heed of the event, it did not really happen at all from one’s individual perspective.

In fact he literally equated the events of our lives to the fictitious events on a movie screen, indicating that, if a particular event was not filmed, it then does not exist from the vantage of the movie audience watching the showing of it at all.

This quite frankly is the most inhuman argument that I have ever heard.

I say this because I always understood from my Judeo-Christian upbringing (not that I’m a Christian or Jew but an Agnostic, if anything) that one’s capacity to be aware of the inhumanity around one and then to actively reach out to those ill-fated by circumstance, is the most consequential act of humanity one can ever show.

Moreover, it is imperative we fully acknowledge that the brutality of ‘humans’ are real and omnipresent and cannot by wished away or meditated into spiritual oblivion as is becoming the increasingly predominant view.

Rather it is incumbent on us to fully acknowledge that this type of barbarity is very real and is a reflection of a scourge within humanity that must be bitterly fought against if we indeed are to collectively evolve to a higher level of being.

For more on "the secret" goto www.newfort.co.za.

 
At 5/2/08 6:36 pm, Blogger Mia kepia said...

The Secret wouldn't be getting so much flak if its disciples didn't in some way believe that it was utter bullshit. Hows that for manifesting your reality, you stupid fucktards.

 
At 12/3/08 11:07 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Working in a bookstore.. whenever someone asks me for books on, "Quantum Physics" I show them the science section. Then it dawns on them that they really want New Age. Sheesh, if you add the word quantum to anything, suddenely they think it's scientific fact.

 
At 15/3/08 10:32 am, Anonymous Michael said...

Mike - you are a breath of fresh air in an otherwise junk-filled world!

I'm going to try and email you about this "Lie of attraction" as I call it, watch out for it as we need all the help we can get to get the truth out there.

The movement is just days old but is gathering pace;
http://www.lieofattraction.com

Michael

 
At 23/3/08 8:34 pm, Blogger Christina said...

Wow. There's so much nastiness in many of these comments...so many empty insults and claims of knowing what the real story is, and look how stupid all these rich people are for believing in this garbage..."crap...poop...shit...stupid...dumb...idiots"..wah wah wah. A fun bunch you all seem to be. Just an observation. I don't think I'd ever want to get stuck in an elevator with any of you. I don't necessarily want to get stuck with Oprah either, or Deepak Chopra, but certainly not any of you. I guess I'm just as bad for posting my own wah wah comment, so at the end of the day, I guess the moral of the story is to just enjoy the present moment as best you can. And then move on to the next present moment and enjoy that one too. Maybe I'll have pizza for dinner tonight. If so, I will try to enjoy it thoroughly. And I probably won't think about this blog site again.

 

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