What's the dope on "The Secret" and "The Laws of Attraction"

Over the summer I had the opportunity to view a film titled “The Secret”. Long story short, it is about some type of New Age philosophy centering on visualizing what you want and you will get it. It is based on something called “The Laws of Attraction”.

The production was a little cheesy and quite reminiscent of some of the current History Channel documentaries on spirituality based topics like The Da-Vinci Code, Nostradamus et. al. Reading the current mailbag article brought it to mind.

This film was presented to me and a group in a clinical setting (ok, it was a mental hospital, the group was an assortment of addicts and psych patients) by mental health professionals.

I tried all manner of searches in the SDMB archive and could not find any reference. Has this been discussed here before? Could anyone spare me a link?

If this has not been discussed here before has anyone else heard of it? Read the books? What is the general take on this (personally I remain a skeptic)?

Fuck Oprah: The Secret

Napoleon Hill and “The Secret” Are BS

The general consensus* seems to be that it’s all New Agey/Jonathan Edward/bullshit foofaraw, if not downright destructive blame-the-victim crap (“You have cancer because you wanted cancer”).

*=the general consensus here, I mean. In real life, I know more than a few people (including my mother, f’fucksake!) who actually believe in “The Secret”. (Hell, my mother actually said to me while I was visiting this weekend, “I don’t believe in that Jonathan Edward…but I think Sylvia Brown actually has something going on…”)

nd_n8, were you looking for a discussion of the movie or a discussion of New Age ideas? If the former, I will move this thread to Cafe Society where it might gewt a better reception and fewer abusive comments.

[ /Moderating ]

I was hoping for information and feedback on the ideas expressed in this “movement” more than thoughts on the film itself. But thanks anyway.

Abuse away :smiley:

It sounds like imitative magic to me. Basically it’s the idea that by going through certain motions, like thinking about something, it will stir supernatural powers that will have a mechanical affect upon the world.


Why would Great Debates have any abusive comments? Isn’t that what the Pit is for?

The Secret is part good and part bullshit, in my opinion.

I’m in partial agreement.

What’s the good part, Lib? Seemed like a warmed-over re-serving of the turn-of-last-century Quimbyist claptrap that gave us Christian Science and New Age.

All sweetness and light and considered opinions supported by facts and logic, so far.

A well-intentioned friend got it for me for my flight to France. I did end up reading it because I had read everything else.

I thought that, viewed in the right light, it had some good points. For instance, if you stay focused on something, you might be encouraged to make all the right choices for getting that something.

But I didn’t like other parts of it. One chapter said that food doesn’t make you fat and that you can eat anything you want as long as you worked The Secret to make you thin. I didn’t like that. I think that maybe if you stay focused on being thin you might make choices conducive to getting thin, but I didn’t agree that you can eat whatever you want.

And I didn’t really buy into the “supernatural” part of it.

However, just for fun, I did try an experiment. One thing that they suggested doing was to start small and try for something small. So I went for a wheat penny.

Oddly, within 10 days I found one in my change. I collect coins so I look at ALL my coins daily, so this wasn’t a case of “gee, you probably get them a lot, you just don’t notice.” Further, as mentioned in my thread a co-worker collects the wheat pennies so I always look for them. And lastly, I asked here how often other dopers see them. The general consensus was that they are given rarely.

Did this convince me of The Secret? Well no, but it was a fun coincidence.

How exactly does this differ from prayer?

I dunno, no God maybe?

Also people who pray don’t generally blame themselves for anything bad that happens. “God gave me cancer because I prayed for it without realizing.” That makes no sense. There are a lot of different reasons religious people come up with for bad things, but “I prayed for it” isn’t one of them.

On the positive side, prayer is not the same thing as wish-fulfillment. If you pray to get rich, God probably will not answer your prayer in the affirmative. Prayer is many things, but it isn’t a magic wishing box which will give you anything you ask for if you wish hard enough.

We must be related. My mother believes in them both. Times like these I wish I was adopted.

Attacks I can handle, but this is uncalled for. :stuck_out_tongue:

[Serious N8]
Prayer is asking for what you want and, if that is what God wants or fits in His plan then whatever is asked for is received. If not then it is God’s will, He has a reason for denying it. God will not give us what we cannot handle. If I pray for a million dollars but would probably blow it on hookers and booze then the odds are that I won’t get it.

The thought of bypassing this “safety valve” and simply wishing (or visualizing) what you want seems wrong in principal to me. If God does not think I can handle a million dollars then He will make sure I don’t get it no matter how hard I visualize.

While I do see the wisdom in being accountable for one’s self, I cannot see holding myself accountable for the actions of others. If someone beats the hell out of me I don’t think it is because I was thinking negative thoughts and brought it on myself (unless it is for pointing out Khadaji’s bad pun above). Any system that balances self imposed blessings with self imposed blame does not seem equitable.

Thus I’m still a skeptic.
[/Serious N8]

Whohh… Did someone mention hookers and booze? :eek:

The guy who wrote the book… he really should’ve just thought a lot about getting rich, and he wouldn’t have had to write the book at all. But the real secret is that he did write the book. Smart guy.

If thinking about something made it happen, teenage boys would get laid a lot more often.

And I’d have wished a few people into the cornfield.

The Secret was written by a chick. The Law of Attraction was written by a dude. Here’s a sample from an Amazon review of the latter.

I don’t know about you, but I’m convinced. That’s why I’m sitting here in my shorts and tank top, all fat and bald and hairy, having dinner with Isabelle Rossellini.

bwahahah and more 5 year old gor;s would turn out to be adopted out princesses who get called back to the magic kingdom…