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The Secret : should we believe it ?
Posted: 24 January 2009 01:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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telner - 22 January 2009 12:56 PM

The ultimate comment on The Secret is contained in The Best Amazon Review Ever

The Secret saved my life!, December 4, 2007
By Ari Brouillette

Please allow me to share with you how “The Secret” changed my life and in a very real and substantive way allowed me to overcome a severe crisis in my personal life. It is well known that the premise of “The Secret” is the science of attracting the things in life that you desire and need and in removing from your life those things that you don’t want. Before finding this book, I knew nothing of these principles, the process of positive visualization, and had actually engaged in reckless behaviors to the point of endangering my own life and wellbeing.

At age 36, I found myself in a medium security prison serving 3-5 years for destruction of government property and public intoxication. This was stiff punishment for drunkenly defecating in a mailbox but as the judge pointed out, this was my third conviction for the exact same crime. I obviously had an alcohol problem and a deep and intense disrespect for the postal system, but even more importantly I was ignoring the very fabric of our metaphysical reality and inviting destructive influences into my life.

My fourth day in prison was the first day that I was allowed in general population and while in the recreation yard I was approached by a prisoner named Marcus who calmly informed me that as a new prisoner I had been purchased by him for three packs of Winston cigarettes and 8 ounces of Pruno (prison wine). Marcus elaborated further that I could expect to be raped by him on a daily basis and that I had pretty eyes.

Needless to say, I was deeply shocked that my life had sunk to this level. Although I’ve never been homophobic I was discovering that I was very rape phobic and dismayed by my overall personal street value of roughly $15. I returned to my cell and sat very quietly, searching myself for answers on how I could improve my life and distance myself from harmful outside influences. At that point, in what I consider to be a miraculous moment, my cell mate Jim Norton informed me that he knew about the Marcus situation and that he had something that could solve my problems. He handed me a copy of “The Secret”. Normally I wouldn’t have turned to a self help book to resolve such a severe and immediate threat but I literally didn’t have any other available alternatives. I immediately opened the book and began to read.

The first few chapters deal with the essence of something called the “Law of Attraction” in which a primal universal force is available to us and can be harnessed for the betterment of our lives. The theoretical nature of the first few chapters wasn’t exactly putting me at peace. In fact, I had never meditated and had great difficulty with closing out the chaotic noises of the prison and visualizing the positive changes that I so dearly needed. It was when I reached Chapter 6 “The Secret to Relationships” that I realized how this book could help me distance myself from Marcus and his negative intentions. Starting with chapter six there was a cavity carved into the book and in that cavity was a prison shiv. This particular shiv was a toothbrush with a handle that had been repeatedly melted and ground into a razor sharp point.

The next day in the exercise yard I carried “The Secret” with me and when Marcus approached me I opened the book and stabbed him in the neck. The next eight weeks in solitary confinement provided ample time to practice positive visualization and the 16 hours per day of absolute darkness made visualization about the only thing that I actually could do. I’m not sure that everybody’s life will be changed in such a dramatic way by this book but I’m very thankful to have found it and will continue to recommend it heartily.


If that guy’s story is for real, it’s anything but an endorsement for “The Secret”. I wonder if he really believed it was the “Law of attraction “working or is he making a mockery of it all ? It’s an interesting peice though .

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Posted: 28 January 2009 07:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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My sister has currently organized her entire belief system around this book.  Of course the “law of attraction” is complete nonsense.  If you say, “I don’t want to get fat”, by this law you will get fat.  If Obama says “I don’t want the economy to suck”, it will suck.  It is extremely depressing that people can swallow this stuff.  When it is your sister it is all the more so.  She has said that every good idea she ever had came from Oprah.  There is a guy named Jack Canfield who she went to see.  She got a signed copy of his “Law of Attraction” and gave it to me.  She was so excited about it.  Sigh.

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Posted: 01 February 2009 06:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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The ‘law of attraction’ is the unholy merger of religious douchebaggery (in the form of easily digestible woo-woo, spooned into the deluded dillweeds by that bitch-queen-from-Hell, Oprah) and that great and noble ideal that all capitalists so yearn for with all of their cold, little, avaricious hearts; money for nothing.

No wonder that this drivel sells well to a people who have to pay more taxes on actual labor than on the money they make on their ‘investments’ which they ‘earn’ as they infest the golf courses, swill Martinis, belch platitudes and scratch their fat, Docker pants clad, asses.

No wonder that this gratuitous nonsense finds a warm welcome with the zombie-droid housewives that flock to Chicago to sit and smile ,like the simpletons they are, at the feet of the populist sibyl of our time, who shall declare (sometimes with the aid of those insufferable frauds, ‘Dr.’ Phil and Cheap-Hack Dopra [TM from SC]) what to do to succeed in life ( other than starting a frigging talk show and inflating your own ego to the size of Nebraska).

By Marie’s tits, we live in scrotum-crushing revolting times.

Thank Buddah I will soon be dead.

[ Edited: 01 February 2009 06:11 AM by Lapin Diabolique]
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Posted: 01 February 2009 09:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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I think the worst disservice these yahoos do to the world is by just crying wolf.

There are in fact in the sea of nonsense self improvement concepts and ideas that are factually solid and would certainly factor into what Sam Harris has been trying to pinpoint in the field of secular spirituality.

The notion that happiness is in the end purely a matter of mental conditioning has been known by psychologists for a long time.

While there is obviously events or conditions in the physical world that will wreck your sense of happiness, having that happiness in the first place is all about how you think and how you handle things and not in the slightest about how often you buy a new plasma tv.

And things like this would really be beneficial to people, not to mention would a real, scientific self improvement philosophy be a good alternative to religion.
But whenever there is a fucktard who throws out another book of new age woo woo it drags the few good things down with it into the abyss as well.

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Posted: 01 February 2009 11:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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Unbeliever - 01 February 2009 02:17 PM

it drags the few good things down with it into the abyss as well.

If a good thing can be dragged down into the abyss by a little woo, then maybe it wasn’t so studly to begin with.

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Posted: 01 February 2009 01:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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Salt Creek - 01 February 2009 04:26 PM
Unbeliever - 01 February 2009 02:17 PM

it drags the few good things down with it into the abyss as well.

If a good thing can be dragged down into the abyss by a little woo, then maybe it wasn’t so studly to begin with.

Yeah who wants to be happy anyway.

But with good things I mean simply the idea that there is room for working with oneself and ones own way of thinking and be more happy and more objective.

I think it would be arrogant to suggest that there is no such means.
And when this field is completely swarmed by the merchants of woo it makes people like us throw the baby in with the bathwater and eventually learn to shrug of the very concept right away without actually hearing what people got to say.

All it does is that it ensures that when people do have good ideas, we won’t be listening.

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Posted: 01 February 2009 02:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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Unbeliever - 01 February 2009 06:55 PM

there is room for working with oneself and ones own way of thinking and be more happy and more objective.

Exactly. That’s why I look forward to being dead without being in any actual rush to be dead.

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Posted: 01 February 2009 03:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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Salt Creek - 01 February 2009 07:59 PM

Exactly. That’s why I look forward to being dead without being in any actual rush to be dead.

BS. If you could eat vanilla ice cream with blackberries and listen to Alison Krauss for eternity, and have the opportunity to actually discover all the secrets of the universe, you would do it. Nobody who has a reasonably good life looks forward to being dead.

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Posted: 01 February 2009 07:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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Indeed Bruce.

The mere existence of Adam Steffey’s divinely inspired mandolin parts on the early Krauss albums makes heaven’s existence seem a certainty. 

Ok maybe not quite - but close.

[ Edited: 02 February 2009 08:24 AM by wahoo]
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Posted: 01 February 2009 11:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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The Secret sounds like a rip off of the Bible without the woo and with the same results.  Diet pills, paths to easy riches, and religion all promise to bring happiness if you give your money and wish real hard for what you want.

Isn’t there a Buddhist warning that desire is a source of disappointment?

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Posted: 14 February 2009 08:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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A part of me feels a little silly breaking my long silence by commenting on something as silly as The Secret, but it has been on my mind for a while anyway, so what the hell. . .

It is, of course, a load of bovine scat. The idea that a child starving slowly to death in a third world country is in any way responsible for their situation because they are thinking about their hunger, and thus inviting it, is incredibly appalling.

That said, there is, in a very narrow sense, a case to be made for a certain kind of positive thinking. I would rather call it the power of determination, but basically it boils down to never giving up. Never giving up increases the odds of achieving a desirable outcome, but certainly does not guarantee it.

Of course, it does help if the thing that someone is not giving up on is actually possible given realistic constraints, but perhaps that is a discussion for another day.

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Posted: 04 March 2009 11:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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psiconoclast - 15 February 2009 01:58 AM

It is, of course, a load of bovine scat. The idea that a child starving slowly to death in a third world country is in any way responsible for their situation because they are thinking about their hunger, and thus inviting it, is incredibly appalling.

That said, there is, in a very narrow sense, a case to be made for a certain kind of positive thinking. I would rather call it the power of determination, but basically it boils down to never giving up. Never giving up increases the odds of achieving a desirable outcome, but certainly does not guarantee it.

I was going to say something similar to this.  The friends I have who believe in this crap use it in a way of keeping their priorities in order because they believe some magical power is helping them do it.  Perhaps they are to weak willed or simple minded to realize this, but it works in the same way a placebo   does. 

My aunt gave me this book for my birthday. I was thinking of re-gifting it as a joke to a friend, but after reading that review I will keep it in case I ever end up in prison!

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Posted: 05 March 2009 10:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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psiconoclast - 15 February 2009 01:58 AM

That said, there is, in a very narrow sense, a case to be made for a certain kind of positive thinking. I would rather call it the power of determination, but basically it boils down to never giving up. Never giving up increases the odds of achieving a desirable outcome, but certainly does not guarantee it.

This recipe has two parts, 1. hope 2. action.  Hoping without action relies solely on good fortune and has nothing to do with increasing odds, while hoping with action does increase the odds by taking an active role in making something happen.

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Posted: 05 March 2009 10:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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‘The secret to the secret is that it tries to act as a focus knob for our inherent confirmation bias’

WOW, is that right on! Telling people what they have already decided they want to hear. Brilliant. And people gobble it up.

So much for critical thinking eh?

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Posted: 05 March 2009 04:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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Skipshot - 05 March 2009 03:21 PM
psiconoclast - 15 February 2009 01:58 AM

That said, there is, in a very narrow sense, a case to be made for a certain kind of positive thinking. I would rather call it the power of determination, but basically it boils down to never giving up. Never giving up increases the odds of achieving a desirable outcome, but certainly does not guarantee it.

This recipe has two parts, 1. hope 2. action.  Hoping without action relies solely on good fortune and has nothing to do with increasing odds, while hoping with action does increase the odds by taking an active role in making something happen.

“Hope is working to make it so, not wishing it were so.”
G. Gurdjieff

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