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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Oprah Has a Secret

 
UPDATE: Mike beat me to it. Read his posting [Here's The Secret: Blame the Victim]. He has videos!

Oprah Winfrey is a sucker for new-age psycho-babble. The latest people to dupe her are some kooks who've discovered "THE SECRET." The secret, as it turns out, is to think positively and radiate good thoughts. If you do that then good things will come back to you.

Apparently this latest version of self-help nonsense was triggered by a movie called The Secret produced by an Australian named Rhonda Byrne. (Why is it always Australians who cause trouble?) She discovered that the The Secret has been around since 3500 B.C., although it seems to have been forgotten from time to time. (Like you're going to forget the secret that makes your life wonderful?)

It wasn't long before others recognized a good thing. In this case people like Rev. Dr. Michael Beckwith and James Arthur Ray. These are two of the charlatans who conned Oprah into advertising their ignorance on national television.

If you want to profit from the secret it helps if you accept Jesus as your Saviour. (Apparently atheists aren't very good at radiating good thoughts. Who knew?)
Michael says The Secret involves the laws of the universe and they, in turn, describe the nature of how God works. "[Jesus] said, 'Pray believing that ye have that ye may receive.' That's The Secret in a nutshell," he says. "Pray believing and feeling and sensing that you already have it, and then you're available to receive it."
Millions of American and Canadian women (and a few hundred men) have been transformed by discovering The Secret. In less than a week their lives have changed dramatically. Oprah broadcast the first show about ten days ago and she had to follow up with a repeat performance yesterday. She was just as gullible the second time, and so was the audience.

Maureen Dowd watched the Oprah show and wrote a column aboout it in today's New York Times [A Giant Doom Magnet]. Here's part of what she says ..
So I was sitting around watching “Oprah” yesterday afternoon when I realized how I could stop W. and Crazy Dick from blowing up any more stuff.

All I needed to do was Unleash my Unfathomable Magnetic Power into the Universe!

Energy flows where intention goes. Or maybe it’s the other way around.

Anyhow, Oprah taught me how to stop abusing myself and learn The Secret. I finally get it: because the Law of Attraction dictates that like attracts like, my negativity toward the president and vice president is attracting their negativity and multiplying the negative vibrations in the cosmos, creating some sort of giant doom magnet.
In spite of Maureen's sarcasm, this is actually very serious. If people like Oprah Winfrey can't tell the difference between truth and nonsense then we're in big trouble. It's bad enough that she fell for John Edward. Now she falls for this?

People should speak out. We need to get out the message that this stuff is unacceptable in a rational society. It's weird. It's like believing in witchcraft.

20 comments :

  1. The secret, as it turns out, is to think positively and radiate good thoughts. If you do that then good things will come back to you.

    Aaaauugh, you told. Now it's not a secret anymore.

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  2. We need to get out the message that this stuff is unacceptable in a rational society.

    Do you happen to know what their views on evolution are? I mean if they aren't creationists then I don't see any reason for getting them all upset. Next time please check and see if they are on the evolution team before suggesting what is unacceptable or acceptable for a rational society. Thank you.

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  3. Just a suggestion: why does your feed only show your posts' name? Why don't you make it possible to read even the content?

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  4. 386sx says,

    I mean if they aren't creationists then I don't see any reason for getting them all upset. Next time please check and see if they are on the evolution team before suggesting what is unacceptable or acceptable for a rational society. Thank you.

    I get upset because there are stupid evolutionists out there as well. Or did you think that the Creationists had a lock on stupidity?

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  5. ncurse asks.

    Just a suggestion: why does your feed only show your posts' name? Why don't you make it possible to read even the content?

    The feed looks fine in my aggregator. The blog is set to feed the first few lines of every post.

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  6. this reminds me of an article in macleans (andrew potter maybe?) pointing out that the far left is just as intollerant, ignorant and dangerous as the religious right. By the way, I have only been getting headlines in Google Reader as well

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  7. this reminds me of an article in macleans (andrew potter maybe?) pointing out that the far left is just as intolerant, ignorant and dangerous as the religious right

    I don't see why - it's got nothing to do with the discussion at hand.

    I don't see demanding skepticism as ignorant or dangerous. In fact, I find credulity (of the degree needed to take "The Secret" seriously through merit) ignorant and dangerous.

    "The Secret" was shown to my mother by my uncle (who readily accepts all the new age psychobabble), and she bought it bait, line and sinker - even when I heard "what the laws of attraction say, basically, is that like forces attract" come from the TV.

    Is it intolerant? Of course; but it has nothing to do with "far right" or "far left", whatever that means.

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  8. Billionaires can afford to believe in and throw away their money on this kind of nonsense. The rest of us, not so much.

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  9. Does Sam Harris know "The Secret?" It sounds not unlike his forays into eastern-mystical consciousness-raising.

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  10. Why is it always Australians who cause trouble? - I take offense at that remark. We (I'm an Aussie) don't "always" cause trouble. We only do it occasionally, as the mood strikes. And why shouldn't an Aussie make some money out of stupid people who will believe anything? But seriously, let them believe that you can change reality with your mind, at least they aren't hurting anyone, unlike Christians... Muslims... Hindus... etc.

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  11. Les, I know you were just taking a poke at the religionists, but this kind of magical thinking isn't harmless and shouldn't get a pass.

    I think that the more woo that is presented to the public in a positive light, the worse off we are.

    People function by correctly predicting outcomes. Whenever we succumb to wishful thinking because it makes us feel warm and fuzzy, we lose the chance to determine the real cause of an event.

    Sylvia Browne, Uri Geller, Pat Robertson; they all tell lies that people want to believe and will pay to hear.

    This week's JREF touches on these charlatans.
    www.randi.org

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  12. So if you can't expalin it without a drawing or some kind of formula then it must not exist. You need solid evidence. Then why don't you do a science experiment to prove it wrong. What can it hurt? The worst that could happen is that it does not work for you or you can possibly become a better person.

    If some people believe they've found a way to end some minor or even great misery in their lives by shifting their attention in a positive way then why not?

    Afterall it only works if you believe and if you don't then you can go back to what you believe to be your nice life and move on. Live out your life and let others live. The fact is neither you or I or even the scientific community know much about anything. We all have more questions than answers. You're attacking a mindless nice pure thought? Ask yourself Why?

    I know it's hard for the all fact based community to get their minds wrapped around a simple idea, but why hate and vilify that which you cannot understand or even stand. You're just as biggoted and fascist as the worst evolution has to offer.

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  13. Sure, hand out crutches to people that don't really need them. Cocaine, heroin, etc. make people very happy as well. Lots of people even think there is no harm in drugs or religion.

    Sitting around just wishing for what the universe should give you next will ensure that you will accomplish nothing more than a higher BMI and a sense of disillusionment.

    There's nothing wrong with positive thinking a la "When the bee stings..." because it can make a difference.

    Who said evolution was nice? You expecting someone to defend a mindless mechanism? You are equally as much a product of evolution as anyone or anything that has ever lived.

    If as some say, it was a Designer that came up with the many different kinds of parasites and their ways of making a living from their hosts, I never want to meet Him. They are very successful organisms, yes - but it would take a very ugly mind to create millions and millions of accumulated years of torture for billions and billions of creatures.

    There is much joy to be had in a scientific appreciation of how some part of the universe works.

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  14. I'd just like to add that it's not really Australia's fault. After all, they only seem to find an audience for their quackery in America. No one in Australia would take them seriously!

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  15. Consciously or subconsciously we all knew the secret & we have been living with it for all our lives. However what Rhonda & her team have done is that, they have made all of us aware of this fact. I don’t know if the secret will help me achieve all the things that I desire but yes since I have watched the movie I am feeling good & it seems like everything happening around me is great & it will be so for the rest of my life.

    I work with a non-profit organization Blog The Bible, where we discuss all the things which can make you happy & also relate to Jesus & Bible at the same time. I think if The Secret can generate the same happiness within all of us then there is no harm in believing the Law of Attraction.

    We all have experienced it, whenever we feel good & happy we think of god, we think of Jesus, we think of Bible. So I would say that no matter what everybody thinks but this DVD has surely brought me close Jesus, Bible & at last Happiness.

    Sydney Jones
    http://www.blogthebible.com

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  16. "Consciously or subconsciously we all knew the secret & we have been living with it for all our lives. [ ...] this fact."

    What an arrogant and presumptuous claim! Just what I needed to see on a monday, with bad weather to boot. ;-)

    Sure, you are entitled to your beliefs. But it is meaningless to go around and redefine facts to mean 'shit I say without having observational evidence'. It doesn't work since the rest of us doesn't agree that this is what facts is. Rather, it is contraproductive since you just come over as an ignorant jerk.

    "I think if The Secret can generate the same happiness within all of us then there is no harm in believing the Law of Attraction."

    Of course it is harmful to perversely proclaim 'laws' without having any observations behind, it devalues the correct usage as in science.

    But more importantly, it is harmful to engage in fooling people and especially supporting charlatans that most often prey on weak people with problems.

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  17. The challenge is simple. This is not for everyone. Test it yourself. If it works for you then fine if it does not work for you well fine. it's not a lab test.

    The secret sounds like a bad marketing ploy but the simplicity of this complex mindset is what those that want to believe can use it to their advantage or those that don't believe can prove to themselves just how wrong this is.

    Win win.

    I know it lacks the flashy lighting effects and lab tests with the buttons and gizmos that measure and test the zone tempeartures and echtoplasm and such, so it's a big turn off to the skilled gear head scientific sort. Not enough star trek pizzaz!

    Just remember that this is the only time that we know of in history where massive information and misinformation is accessible to the average person with access to the internets and other forms of communication.

    instant information that most people with an average education can decide for themselves what's right and wrong and I can make you an educated guess that most people are not as foolish as you think you all are smarter.

    So enjoy your lives and I hope for the best for you.

    enjoy!

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  18. Haha it is very funny to find articles like this on blogs like this.

    What made laugh the most was "It's weird. It's like believing in witchcraft."

    So you don't believe in witchcraft? What do you believe then my rational friend...

    That's why it is called a secret. Not because of the knowledge, but because the know how to apply it in your personal life. Go on thinking this is a scam... then it will be a scam.

    It works for some of us.
    You write with such anger it makes me think you are just jealous / mad because some clever people are making money through a nice production that would eventually help people out, and it wasn't your idea.

    I will pray for you. And i sugest you make a little research on witchcraft you might find some interesting belieable stuff my smartass friend. ;)

    sorry bout my english

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  19. ya know what the law of attraction is initially people???????????? ITS SEX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    thats what gets people together(being sexually attracted to each other).It doesnt keep them together in the long term because having sex with the same person after a while becomes boring.Thats when your personallities come into it.But rest be assured robbie williams aint gonna get it on with a chick hes not sexually attracted to(unless hes in it for something else than sexual gratification)and neithers angelina jolie gonna get it on with some bloke shes not sexually attracted to NO MATTER HOW MUCH THEY WISH IT AND THINK THEY KNOW THE SECRET.This is another one of those new age american sourced money making crap pyramid multi marketing shit.The secret to success and making money is using your natural apptitudes in areas yor good at(talents)and the secret to getting laid is to be sexually attractive(even if it requires plastic surgery) and the only people spending money on this fucking dvd will be the gullible stupid vulnerable easily led dumbbells.

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  20. O boy...no wonder she endorsed Hussein Obama. Power...that's what has corrupted her. This kind of stuff is downright scary & 386sx...you hit it dead on. C'mon, that "ACIM" garbage is as dangerous (if not more) than Muslim terrorists. This is the stuff that will continue to pile on until the good Patriots of America can't take it anymore & snap. Then all heck is gonna break loose. The good, decent folks are getting tired of our beautiful country being taken over by sinister forces such as this (yes, I liken it to witchcraft, homosexuals, evolutionists & corruption)--all are weapons of Satan, an assault on God, Country & family. Why can't all the bad people leave...maybe move to hmm, California! The'd fit right in with the commies' that run the courts, schools & government out there in the USSC. I just hope I'm not around to see the next revolution. If it comes, I WILL DEFEND my country to my last breath. Just as Alexis de Tocqueville said,"Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." To the Colors, my patriot friends...keep the sword sharp & to the ready. VAN

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