The Secret Behind 'The Secret': It Was Stupid Crap Even In 1910

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The Secret is not just a book. It's a phenomenon. It's been discussed on Larry King, Ellen, Oprah, Today and Nightline. It's been on the New York Times bestseller list for 31 weeks. Today, BoingBoing posted a excerpt of a post from a blogger named Connie L. Schmidt:

If you're at all familiar with The Secret, you know that the big secret revealed therein is a centuries-old principle called the law of attraction, or LOA. In The Secret LOA is presented as a scientific law akin to the law of gravity. LOA believers maintain that whether we realize it or not, we "attract" everything that happens to us - the good and the bad, the sublime and the silly, the comical and the tragic. Financial success or failure, health or illness, a life of peace or one beset by violent crime or natural disasters, all occur because we somehow attracted them.


Uh, yeah. We totally attracted a zit on our forehead and a crazy phone bill today. Sure!

Schmidt goes on to expose the real secret:

Rhonda Byrne, the main creator and producer of "The Secret", was originally inspired by a 1910 book called "The Science of Getting Rich," one of many books by success/motivational writer Wallace D. Wattles (1860-1911). Wattles, who believed a fulfilling life was not possible without wealth, wrote that a "normal" person cannot help wanting to be rich, and that if you don't become rich, "you are derelict in your duty to God, yourself and humanity." Although he did not mention the law of attraction by name in the book, he alluded to it: "It is a natural law that like causes produce like effects." He added, "Once you learn and obey these laws, you will get rich with mathematical certainty."

I think it worthy of note that Wattles, who died at a relatively young age, did not die rich. Perhaps he failed to do the math...

Aha! The secret is revealed! A book about getting rich won't make you rich, but writing a book about getting rich could make someone else rich, when they rip off your idea almost 100 years later.

Exposing "The Secret" [BoingBoing]



@petuniacat: Dude, I was just talking to my boyfriend about this last night. Like, if the deep, profound changes experienced by these people are so deep and profound and life-changing, then why the fuck are they giving motivational speeches to other people instead of working as a nurse or an artist or a teacher or something like that?

And second, don't you think that if you had found the secret to happiness and it was simple enough to be shared with a person over the space of an hour, don't you think you'd want to just share this information for the sake of making it a happier place? That these people choose to withhold this supposedly wonderful knowledge until they get paid for it makes me think they didn't really experience said profound changes.

All of this is like, totally duh, but I felt like coming up with a logical way to debunk them. (I was really stoned, so forgive me.)