The New Hotness in Religion: “The Secret”

Get in on the New Hot Thing in Religious Bullshit!

Christianity? Islam? Hinduism?
Old hat! We need shiny new idols to pray to! How about a picture of a bike? Yeah, that’s reasonable…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret_%282006_film%29
http://www.thesecret.tv/
http://thesecret.org/
http://what-is-the-secret.blogspot.com/2007/02/oprah-discovers-secret.html

It’s SO nice being an atheist! The books are more informative, the movies have better plots, and you’re much less likely to buy into pseudoscientific bullshit like “The Secret.”

Shame on Oprah for pushing this cult on her brain-dead legion! They might be mindless, but she should know better.

Though I’m blessed :P to be in a relatively nonreligious place, Los Angeles seems to be the veritable Holy Land for stupid “we’re all energy” new-age cults like this one. It’s no wonder that Scientology is so rampant in this place. The Secret is all over the place.

If you’ve taken even one physics class in your life, you should know that their claims of being “supported by science” is total BS. Like DOESN’T attract like! Electrons (with like charges) repel one another! Opposites attract, everyone knows that!

It’s just the same old MO that all religions follow. They tell you something that’s so mind-bogglingly obvious (”Positive thinking is good ones!”) that you think they can’t be *completely* full of it. And then they say that every great thinker in history supports them, so you think, “Wow, they must be really great!” Then they tell you that your wildest dreams will come true, if you only dream those dreams right, and to learn how to do that, you have to pay $$$ on movies and books and lectures. In the end, it’s a recipe for moralizing, victim-blaming, Holier-Than-Thou woo-woo mysticism. And it’s a waste of money.

Have you had any interaction with this new cult? What do you think of it?

5 Responses to “The New Hotness in Religion: “The Secret””

  1. On March 4th, 2007 at 07:46:38, L. D. Said:

    I share your contempt for The Secret and Oprah’s flogging of it, but not for Oprah’s “brain-dead legion.” The book & DVD versions of The Secret being both #1 sellers on Amazon show that a lot of people are hurting, and that all is not right with the world, no matter how cool wikis, FreeBSD and the newest code breakthroughs are. Some hurting people are even thoughtful and well read.

    There are individuals and nascent communities searching for new points of ethical behavior and spiritual grounding. For a take (my personal one) at what is wrong with The Secret from such perspectives, see my post How “The Secret” Harms Holistic Communities at my weblog theseekeracademy.com.

    PS: The ten ethical teachings of Judaism, opposing traditional shame-and-revenge cultures, was not “mind-b” obvious; neither was the Gospel teaching that every human being is dignified, irrespective of their economic position.

  2. On March 7th, 2007 at 14:56:03, Isaac Said:

    The Skeptic Society posted an article about The Secret on their site. It’s a pretty good analysis. Go check it out!

  3. On March 9th, 2007 at 21:12:54, Peter Goodman Said:

    Interestingly enough, socilogical data show that more often then not, similar people are attracted to eachother. However, that is just me nitpicking. One theory for why cults such as these gain momentum is simply because the dominant religion, in this case Christianity, has basically monopolized the market (the people) and no longer needs to give incentives / get creative to bring in new members. Under these conditions, niche religions/cults will pop up, be competitive, and attract members from the previously dominant religion(s).

    Hooray for sociology 021!

  4. On May 10th, 2007 at 03:40:53, SeventhCycle Said:

    I found your blog based on your post about friendlymatch.com, but since you had an entry on The Secret, I figured that I would chime in.

    From October 2006 to January 2007, I worked for a company out of Chatsworth that sold copies of The Secret DVD through Amazon.com. In fact, at the time I worked there, the company was the only authorized merchant selling copies of the DVD through Amazon (even Amazon didn’t have copies of the movie at the time).

    The Secret is pure, unadulterated bullshit. Being surrounded by people who follow the Law of Attraction with an almost cultlike obsession is close to unbearable. It defies logic.

    What’s obvious about The Secret is that it’s thinly veiled marketing material for all the “motivational speakers” on the DVD. What’s not so obvious about the project is that it’s closely affiliated with Network Marketing / MLM crowd (the pyramid scheme people). Before I quit this last job, I had the unfortunate task of going to a Network Marketing conference in Dallas. The Secret an MLMers Bible. The reason for this is that encouraging people to be irrationally positive helps keep retention. After all, if you’re making money, The Secret is working. If you’re not making money, you’re not being positive enough and just need to stick it out a little bit longer.

    What I wonder about most with the whole Law of Attraction issue is how they explain 9/11. Bob Proctor, the mentor of my old boss and grumpy looking old man, claims in the DVD that everything bad that happens in one’s life is the fault of their own negativity. So, in that case, were the building hit because there was just one person who was so negative that he attracted a plane to the tower, or was everyone in the building negative. Like most religion out there, this new age Law of Attraction crap doesn’t have a solution to every contingency.

    Someone really needs to come out with a Readers guide for The Secret DVD that debunks it the same way the Loose Change reader did for that movie. In fact, I would love if Penn and Teller did an episode of the show Bullshit about this.

    Anyhow, have a good one. I’ll add your blog to my RSS feed.

  5. On May 10th, 2007 at 15:35:26, Isaac Said:

    Yeah, a Penn and Teller segment about the Secret would be great.

    Emily Yoffe, the “Human Guinea Pig”, did an article on this recently, and it was pretty funny.

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