The Secret - White LogoThe Secret was released almost a year ago, but has drawn considerable attention recently. It’s been featured on Oprah and the Ellen DeGeneres Show. It’s also been discussed by Steve Pavlina multiple times.

This “secret” has been kept from you your entire life. World leaders have suppressed it since the dawn of civilization. They have used it, even abused it, while the ignorant masses grind their way through their lives. And if you spend $29.95 on the DVD, the secret will change your life.

So, what’s the secret that’s been suppressed for ages and ages? The Law of Attraction, the idea that you will draw toward you the things that you think about most. Basically, if you concentrate on positives, you’ll attract good fortune, while if you concentrate on your Visa bill, your Mastercard bill will show up, too.

Never mind that The Secret claims it’s been known, used, and taught by everyone from Plato to Einstein. Never mind that it’s been in every new age self-improvement book ever written. And never mind that some of the people in the video have been hawking it to gullible schlubs since well before I was born. It’s a secret, and you need to watch this movie to find out about it.

The Problem with The Secret and the Law of Attraction

I’m all for giving people good advice. Unfortunately, The Secret isn’t giving good advice. The law of attraction isn’t really advice at all. It’s a get-rich-quick scheme, a 30-pounds-in-30-days diet. The law of attraction sells the idea that good thoughts, instead of hard work, will bring good things.

Easy sells. It’s sexy. Losing thirty pounds without dieting sounds great. Earning six figures part time sounds great. The idea that just thinking good thoughts could change your life sounds absolutely wonderful. Hard work doesn’t sound so great. In fact, it sounds kind of hard. However, hard work has the best chance of yielding the best results. Selling easy paths that don’t work distracts people from the real path that could actually help them.

Telling people that cutting out trans-fats will cause them to lose weight distracts them from the fact that eating less will cause them to lose weight. Telling people that they can earn six figures by flipping houses distracts them from the fact that good investments and budgeting will build wealth. Publishing a video claiming that good thoughts are the catalyst for improving one’s life distracts people from the fact that hard work is the only reliable catalyst for improvement.

The Truth in the Law of Attraction

I’m willing to grant that there’s a little bit of truth to the law of attraction. If you concentrate on improving your life, while your neighbor concentrates on how much his life sucks, you probably stand a better chance of improving than your neighbor, if only because you’re more likely to see the opportunities and take the risks that can help you out.

There’s no magic, though, and no law. It’s about you trying to better yourself. Big surprise. Trying to do something increases the chances of succeeding at doing something.

I’m sure that The Secret‘s cast would use this to defend themselves, saying that it’s good thoughts and hard work that really accomplish improvements. Sleezy infomercials pitching ab exercisers do the same thing when they briefly mention “proper diet” when claiming weight loss. Real estate scams print “results not typical” in tiny letters when discussing all the millionare success stories. A scam is a scam, even if you aren’t technically lying. Ab infomercials aren’t selling proper diet, real estate flipping programs aren’t selling personal bankruptcy, and The Secret isn’t selling hard work.

The Lies in the Law of Attraction

Since concentrating on negative issues is a surefire way to attract more of them, according to The Secret, your best bet to get out of debt is to simply not worry about it. Imagine having more money, and keep spending the way you’ve been spending. Somehow by imagining you’ve got money, you eventually will. Budgets are for chumps! That money you want will show up eventually. Either that or the debt collectors. But don’t think about that. That would attract problems.

If the law of attraction really worked the way The Secret says it does, then your best bet for improving your financial fortune would be to buy lottery tickets and think really, really hard about winning. Let me know how that works out for you.

The Insanity of The Secret

The Secret says that the people who have debt, heath problems, etc. are attracting their problems. Likewise, people with wealth are attracting prosperity. As evidence for this, The Secret cites the fact that people with debt and health problems talk more about these things than people without them, while prosperous people talk more about their wealth. This clearly shows that thinking (and talking) about debt attracts more debt, while thinking about wealth attracts more wealth.

First off, most of the wealthy people I know don’t talk about their wealth much. Second, isn’t it possible that people get problems and then talk about them? Doesn’t that seem to fit Occam’s Razor pretty well? I don’t talk about my lung cancer very much, but if I actually had lung cancer, I might.

Joe Vitale, a “metaphysicist” who appears in The Secret, tells us that people who get into car accidents do so because they were thinking about them too much, that they attracted car accidents. In my experience, the people who get into the most car accidents are not thinking about the possibility of accidents, or anything else to do with driving.

What about the people who get struck by lightning? Are they the ones thinking about it the most? When I think about getting hit by lighting, I get off the damned golf course.

A Case Study

The Secret tells the story of a gay man who had a terrible job with coworkers who treated him like crap, who was constantly physically assaulted by gay-haters, and who was heckled by homophobes when he did stand-up. By concentrating on his problems, he was causing them to magnify. When he learned about the law of attraction, he changed what he was concentrating on. By just concentrating on the good life he wanted, the mean coworkers quit their jobs, the gay-haters stopped assaulting him, and suddenly he was a riot on-stage and the hecklers were gone.

Are we seriously supposed to believe that good thoughts made others quit their jobs? That good thoughts stopped constant physical attacks and turned audiences full of homophobic hecklers into gay-embracing, supportive audiences delivering standing ovations? Are you kidding me?

Burglary victoms, don’t invest in better locks and an alarm system. That’s just concentrating on the problem. What you should do is concentrate on what you want. You know, a house that hasn’t been broken into, and a stereo that hasn’t been stolen.

Rape victoms, it’s your fault. If you were thinking good thoughts, those rapists wouldn’t have attacked you and violated you in ways you never thought possible. Now, go clean up and think about something positive, because if you keep thinking about the rape, it’s going to happen again. Mr.Vitale says so.

Why Even Care About The Secret?

Why do I have such a problem with the secret? Because it’s taking advantage of gullible people. It’s a slick sales pitch targeting the unfortunate. Sadly, people like Oprah and Ellen DeGeneres are helping them, instead of promoting people who actually have useful advice.

Promoting a false hope, a lie, about what it takes to improve ones life simply exacerbates the problem. Every person who spends more time hoping for extra money spends less time actually budgeting. Encouraging people to hope and think about change, rather than working for change, digs them deeper into the holes they are in.

It’s the right of every slimy guru to sell artificial hopes and dreams to fools, just as it’s the right of gullible people to buy that snake oil. That doesn’t mean we should say its acceptable.

A Solution that Doesn’t Rely on Hope

The truth is that improving your situation is usually possible, but it’s usually not easy. If you want to get out of debt, you need to build a budget and plan. Thinking about more money isn’t going to help. Actually getting a second job to earn more money will help. Hard work will always triumph over good wishes.

You don’t have to work hard if you don’t want to. You can take the false hopes. You can think really hard about improving your situation, instead of actually trying, and working, to improve your situation. But while you’re feeling upbeat about how eventually all your “hard thoughts” are going to pay off, your neighbor is actually getting a second job. In a few years, he’ll have whittled his debt down, while you’ve continued to rack up more credit card bills. In the meantime, the makers of The Secret will have made a pretty penny off your indulgence and gullibility.

My “Scientific” Experiment

In the name of fairness, I’m going to try the law of attraction for myself. If it works, I’ll rewrite this post to say that the law of attraction is scientific fact, and I’ll buy copies of The Secret for all my friends and family. I’m going to think about something I really want, and I’ll really hope it materializes. I’m going to hope like I’ve never hoped before.

However, if my thoughts can really control reality, then everyone involved with The Secret, you’d better stay off the streets, because what I’m thinking about, what I’m really, really hoping for, is that each of you gets crushed by a runaway garbage truck.

(See also: The Top 6 Reasons Why the Law of Attraction (and “The Secret”) is Bunk)

Best Comment

Sosuke Says:
February 20th, 2007 at 3:43 pm

“The Secret”, when combined with hard work and good exercise will make all your dreams come true!

*Hard work not typical of those who purchase “The Secret”

51 Comments on “The Truth About the Law of Attraction – Or – “The Secret” is Retarded”

  1. Gary Says:

    I think you miss a larger point of what the movie proposes – that by surrounding yourself with the feeling and vision of success, you naturally start doing, saying, and thinking things that help make that thing come true.

    The secret is not a get rich quick – it simply implies that people that are successful use the power of visualization IN COMBINATION WITH ACTION to achieve the things they want.

    And exercising “The Secret” isn’t easy. It is far from easy. It requires a tremendous amount of mental discipline to banish negative thoughts and concentrate not on needing of wanting something, but focusing on the feeling of already having it. If you want to see a low key version of “The Secret” just go to a local singles bar. The singles that are the most attractive are the ones having the most fun already.

    I doubt you’ll have much success with “The Secret” if you approach it half-heartedly and hoping for it to fail.

    If you want a more meaty and tangible version of what they are talking about, read “Think and Grow Rich.” Its real dollars, real successful people you’ve heard of, and 30 years of research without all the new age stuff thrown in. But really, its the same idea.

  2. Derek Park Says:

    Unfortunately, I feel that The Secret presented an entirely unrealistic picture of the law of attraction, just as most new age sources seem to. The only factual bit in the law of attraction is the one I mentioned. i.e. By focusing on what you want, you are more likely to take action to improve your situation.

    I don’t feel that’s what The Secret is selling at all. I think they are selling an easy fix. They weren’t selling action in combination with visualization. And sure, you can say it’s hard to change your thought patterns. They say the same thing. But changing your thought patterns to get out of debt sounds much easier to most people (including me) than actually getting a second job. The second job is a good way to help eliminate debt, but it’s not very appealing.

    Besides, not everyone who’s successful is positive, and vice versa. I know a pharmacist who, when in school, told herself (and others) after every test that she’d failed. She was always negative. She also always got A’s. Hard work is more important than a positive outlook.

  3. Joe Says:

    I watched “The Secret” after downloading it. No pay, no foul.

    While watching it the “B-ll-Sh-t” alarm in the head was ringing, but I kept watching.

    A friend of mine watched it as well, and he gleamed from it that by thinking of things hard enough, they will ‘manifest’ themselves.

    Pizzas are thought of, a delivery guy appears at your door. No calls, no work. Just like that.

    To me, this is rather unlikely. And probably the reason the BS alarm was ringing loudly.

    It was the 1/10th of the movie that rang true to me that kept me watching.

    The most successful and interesting people I know tend to see the world in a different way, they sense and respond well to change, they have a general plan but concentrate on concrete things within their control.

    They dont see limits, only obstacles, challenges and work. They live in the moment while planning for the future.

    Most people see only limits, see only risk and are unwilling to work on even small things within their control. Change is an anathame, stability is prized even in bad situations and possibilities are not explored.

    I share those traits too; they are deeply human. But to change them is largely about imagining how you would be with those changes, then to implement those changes in your life, since it is all in your mind.

    Living the life you want to live, in that context, makes a whole lot of sense.

    It makes substantially less sense to expect a new car to show up at your door, or to win the lottery, or the hundreds of other things that the BS-alarm-sounding part of “The Secret” was touting.

    As for your point about blaming the victim, I completely agree. That is an absolutely stupid use of this very general principle.

    I think the response to this movie says more about the person watching it than the people making it. You can learn a lot about a person by how they react and which parts of the movie appeal to them.

  4. Derek Park Says:

    I think there’s a very useful lesson to take from the law of attraction: believe that you can accomplish your goal.

    It’s very true that being positive, committed, and certain that you can achieve a goal will help the achievement of that goal. And I actually hope to write about that eventually. But I felt that I would be remiss if I discussed the positive without first pointing out the ridiculousness that some people have taken the law of attraction to.

    It’s absolutely crazy what some people are saying the law of attraction can accomplish. Yes, believing that a pizza will arrive at your door will help, but only so far as it encourages you to actually pick up the phone and call. (If you don’t believe the pizza will arrive at all, you probably won’t call, and you therefore won’t get a pizza.)

    I wanted to cut through some of the BS. The law of attraction has nothing to do with, e.g., winning lotteries. The law of attraction is a useful motivational tool, but that’s all. Once it’s interpreted to be more than that, to promise easy fixes, it’s a scam.

  5. grawson Says:

    I haven’t watched the “Secret” but intend to. What’s typical of some of the naysayer comments and therefore humorous, is the “fact” that not a one of anybody on the planet knows where we came from, what we’re doing here, or where we’re going. Doesn’t stop you from “concluding” what’s true and what isn’t. As the animals say…silly human beings!

  6. Martin Says:

    Yeah, this article really misses the point. If you think positively, science has proven that you will do better at what you are doing. This means, yes, hard work is essential, but thinking positively promotes really good results, especially when it comes to sucking up to people and being charismatic. If you are thinking negative while say, being interviewed, you might screw it up just from your expression on your face.

  7. Dan Says:

    I saw the movie too and agree with the idea in principle, however, I feel that people who are skeptical will be too easily led to think it’s just magical bull crap. This is an unfortunate side-effect of how they explained it.

    Someone mentioned the idea that the pizza man should just magically appear because you think about it. I disagree with that expectation because the Secret is not magic. However, if you keep thinking about the pizza man and pizza, EVENTUALLY, you will get hungry and probably have convinced yourself you could go for pizza. Then you’ll make the call and pay for the pizza and the pizza man will come to the door.

    Maybe you won’t get hungry for pizza. But my point is that it’s NOT just magic. There are things you end up doing that assist in bringing the end result — consciously or unconsciously. And this is what I think the movie failed to reinforce. It’s not just the universe at work. It’s you working the universe because you whole-heartedly decided upon something.

    So in some sense we’re all correct. If you can concede that people who think positively do have a better chance of achieving their goals, then isn’t that chance in line with what the Secret is saying anyhow?

  8. Derek Park Says:

    It’s not just the universe at work. It’s you working the universe because you whole-heartedly decided upon something.

    Dan, that’s exactly the point that the movie missed, or intentionally avoided. The “you have to actually do something” part was completely avoided. They did pitch it as magic. That’s exactly the problem.

  9. Michael Says:

    I wish there were actual logical arguments besides saying it’s too easy and “Are you kidding me?”. Just because it seems far fetched doesn’t mean it’s not true. In this case, its better to judge the tree by its fruits.

    Regarding the statement about the Secret telling you to ignore your debts: the guy specifically says to set up a debt-repayment plan and then forget about the debt and focus on prosperity. You’re still paying the debt, but you’re no longer harassed and depressed by debt collectors now. Why twist what the show is saying?

    I personally have had good success with the Secret, having very cool things happen. I have friends and family that are a hell of a lot happier now after giving it a shot. Obviously it won’t work for you since you think it is a load of crap, but I don’t see how other people being happy is a bad thing and the show is certainly not harmful.

  10. marnouk Says:

    I’ve watched the movie as well, and yes, there are parts of it that sound too incredible to believe, but the point I think they are trying to make is beyond the obvious of “think and it will become.” If you have ever read or listened to Anthony Robbins’ books, such as Awaken the Giant Within, essentially he is saying the same thing without all the New Age mumbo-jumbo. The Secret is just a tool that you can use to MOTIVATE yourself and CHANGE your limiting thought patterns in order to ACHIEVE the things that you want in life. Focus, good thoughts, gratitude, love, appreciation, and like action will bring more of the same to you.
    Today, discoveries in quantum science currently show that a particle, which we think of as a solid thing, is really a wave that is spread-out in many possible locations, until it is observed. The instance you check on it…it snaps into just one of those possible positions. The act of observing the particle creates “the choice” for that particle. Reality therefore is not independent of the observer, in fact, the observer is “causing” the particle/wave to act a certain way.

    Quantum physics calculates only possibilities,but if we accept this, then the question that immediately comes is “who or what chooses among these possibilities to bring the actual event into experience?”
    So, consciousness must somehow be involved. The observer cannot be ignored. We know what an observer does from a point of view of quantum physics, but we don’t know who or what the observer actually is.
    Doesn’t mean they haven’t tried to find an answer. They’ve looked, gone inside the brain and into every orifice of the body to find something called “the observer.” And there’s nobody home. There’s nobody there… nobody in the cortical, subcortical, or limbic regions of the brain. There’s nobody there called an observer.
    And yet, we all have this experience of BEING something called an observer… observing the world out there.
    Is this observer which is so intricate to understanding this wacky weird world of quantum particles. And so, it’s like the ghost in the machine. It is the consciousness that’s driving the vehicle… and it is observing and causing the surround.

    So who is anyone to say that the “Secret” does not work? If you belive that it will not work, then it will not. But if you do belive, then it will work. So as above, so below, so as within, so without.
    For more on this, I recommend the movie, “What the Bleep Do We Know”. It explains this quite nicely.
    As for me, I choose to believe,
    M.

  11. Derek Park Says:

    Michael, I’m not sure exactly what logical arguments you expected. I don’t break out logical arguments when people claim the existence of unicorns and leprechauns. I dismiss it as ridiculous.

    Claiming to believe that concentrating on X with cause X to happen is in line with voodoo dolls. Claiming that people who have accidents attract them is ridiculous. I can dismiss these claims without having to rebut them, because there is no evidence for these claims. The fruits of the law of attraction consist mostly of hefty incomes for those selling it.

    I’ll provide an actual rebuttal if you really want, though:

    If we both buy a lottery ticket, and you think you’re going to win, while I think I’m going to lose, we still have the same chance of winning. Statistics is a well established science, providing plenty of evidence that your good thoughts will not affect the chances. If good wishes actually helped, there would be very few successful casinos. The law of attraction is bunk because the evidence does not support it.

    My BS alarm was going off while watching The Secret, and honestly, I began to tune out after a while. If I twisted some of their examples, I apologize. It was unintentional. There’s still plenty wrong with the movie other than their budgeting advice.

  12. Derek Park Says:

    marnouk, as a motivational tool, the the law of attraction is useful. The Secret pitched it as much more than that, and if you read the comments, it’s very clear that people believe it’s more than that. That’s what I have a problem with. As a motivational tool, it’s great. As anything more than that, it’s completely misleading.

    I’m sick of hearing people use quantum physics to support unrelated concepts. The law of attraction is unrelated to quantum physics. Yes, it’s true that particles act in a dual wave-particle manner. And yes, it’s true that the act of observation can affect quantum particles. The intentions of the observer do not, however, have any effect on the final state of the particle. Observing the particle may force it to be, e.g., in one slit or another, but you don’t have any effect on which slit the particle travels through. The results are nondeterministic (meaning random) with probabilities following statistical rules. The intentions/desires of the observer are wholly irrelevant.

    Just as the intentions of the observer of a coin toss do not affect the random results of the coin, the intentions of the observer of a quantum particle do not affect the random results of the particle. There’s no evidence to the contrary.

  13. marnouk Says:

    So if you don’t believe unicorns and leprechauns, likewise you should not believe in god or UFOs, since there is no scientifically proven evidence for
    them. (Although some might argue that there is more evidence for UFOs than there is for god.)
    These are the problems I have with The Secret as is.
    If you REALLY REALLY believe that you are immortal and jump off the Empire State building, will you die or fly? Obviously, I do not advocate doing this because I have observed and have been conditioned into thinking that I will die if I do this because GRAVITY SUCKS. But what does prevent man from living to 200 or 300 years of age but only his thoughts that he will die somewhere in, around, or before his mid-90s? Of these things I am naturally sceptical, but a part of me really WANTS to believe that these things CAN be possible, that I can fly, yet everything in nature tells us that this is just not so. The EVIDENCE is just not there. Or is it? Have we really looked hard enough? I doubt that we have discovered everything that there is to discover.

    So what should you believe? I think that you should believe in the things that empower you into thinking and knowing that you can affect future potentials by choosing and acting upon things to change them for the better. The Secret does this. Believe NOT the one that ridicules and tells me that I am crazy or that there is no hope for changing for the better.

    Your opinion has been shaped by the classical (and by now outdated) paradigm, a popular world view for hundreds of years. Today, Einstein’s E=mc2 proves solid mass is in fact not solid, but energy vibrating at a
    particular frequency. Therefore, we are all just highly evolved matter particles (or quanta energy) trying to understand our very own nature. Our minds have evolved out of the matter of stardust to function as a link between the inner (soul) and outer (our universe) levels of information. We just have not evolved to our utmost potential yet, but only still a work in progress.
    So what is this thing called “conciousness” or the observer? Is it the “man behind the curtain” or are we all BORG and part of a collective hive or matrix?
    F#*K if I know. But I digress…
    Back to The Secret… sure, many mind-power programs claim that they will change your life for the better. But if you just keep banging your head against the same brick wall and expect to get different results then nothing will come of it. We must change our THOUGHTS in order to change the powerful emotions and feelings that CONTROL the reflexes (addictions or brain chemistry) that limit our potential by instructing us to KEEP banging our heads against the wall. When you WISH to change and do not “FEEL” like it, it’s the emotional addiction to the same old way of thinking, feeling, and being that is your challenge. Which reminds me of an old joke…
    “How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb?”
    One, but the lightbulb has got to WANT to change.
    The metamorphosis from a way of being that has caused limited success to another way of being that brings a whole new way of living is indeed an uncomfortable journey because we are indeed moving out of a comfort zone. But learning and knowledge are the rewards, and what a powerful thing that is to have. You have to MAKE a conscious decision that you are going to get what you want and there are NO EXCUSES or obstacles that are EVER going to be insurmountable. That is all there is to the secret…

  14. Derek Park Says:

    Marnouk, are you saying that I should believe in unicorns and leprechauns? And that I should believe that UFOs are space ships from other planets?

    As for God, I’m not interested in debating religion on my site.

    Living to 200 or 300? Lots of things stop that. Namely disease and the body’s own destruction. Simply being alive causes cell damage. Eventually the damage will result in death. It has nothing to do with believing you will die. This same argument has been rehashed forever, and no one yet has lived to be 200 (excluding biblical stories, which I am also not interested in discussing).

    I have no doubt that there are things left to discover. I see no reason to believe that we will discover that the mind has direct control over age or gravity, though. People have debated this stuff since the rise of man. Nothing yet has come of it. People have jumped off buildings believing they could fly. They did not succeed.

    Relativity didn’t say that we are made up of vibrating energy. That’s a concept from quantum physics. E=mc^2 states that matter can be converted to energy and vice versa, but the vibrating strings bit came later. And it’s irrelevant either way.

    I read your new age blurb at the end of your comment multiple times, and I can make little sense of it. Suffice it to say, the idea that the mind can affect thing directly is not new. It’s been around forever in various forms, and there is still no evidence that it’s anything but a scam.

  15. William Furr Says:

    “So if you don’t believe unicorns and leprechauns, likewise you should not believe in god or UFOs, since there is no scientifically proven evidence for
    them. (Although some might argue that there is more evidence for UFOs than there is for god.)”

    Yarp. As Richard Dawkins puts it, I’m agnostic about God the same way I am about fairies.

    Anyway, looks like this article turned into another case of people getting caught up in your (and the Secret’s producers) hyperbole and rhetoric rather than actually taking the time to think about what they’re saying. Newbs.

  16. Sosuke Says:

    “The Secret”, when combined with hard work and good exercise will make all your dreams come true!

    *Hard work not typical of those who purchase “The Secret”

  17. Derek Park Says:

    Sosuke, that’s the best comment yet. I’m adding it to the article.

  18. Paul186 Says:

    Yo..S–T Happens!

    People get blown up at randomn in Iraq.

    The kid obsesses over BMX- gets BMX.
    The stupid movie says nothing about the
    incredible love , Granpa has for his Grandson..
    it’s an unfathomable “secret.”

    Ellen DeGeneres should be ashamed the gay guy
    being blamed for his thoughts? Get real!
    Call the cops, it’s against the law!

  19. D dog Says:

    The way “The Secret” is put together is so offensive as to make it ridiculous. What’s sad and annoying – for you as well I see – is how stupid people get in this lemming sort of “new cult” type of magical thinking, emotionally reactive stampede. Bless their hearts.

    All that crap about ancient teachers and leaders keeping it secret, is a ludicrous interpretation of taking other people’s worlds and making them fit in with their interpretation. I’m not sure which is more idiotic, the genie thing or that silly whispering. And personally, there wasn’t a single person in the movie that didn’t feel like a charlatan – sort of greasy car sales man ewww.

    Positive thinking got really popular in the 20′s. There’s nothing wrong with positive thinking if the emotional underpinnings are clean and conscious. But if one is truly free of their emotional attachments, thus able to see clearly, then there’s no need for positive thinking because one is no longer in the negative trance of human conditioning (which believes in the trance).

    But who do you know out in the world is fully emotionally clear? Damned near not a one and I’m including those of us who work at it. Without the necessary inner work, all that positive thinking is nothing more than icing over dog shit. Because if you really examine positive thinking, it’s a deep belief in the negative and therefore the need for positive thinking to ward off the boogies of negative thinking.

    Sober examination and critical thinking is much more useful, accurate and present in the now. In fact going past thinking is a much higher state than all of this nonsense but that’s a far more complex bit of discourse for a simple email.

    Peoples thoughts and goals are nothing more than conditioned programming based on their deepest, unresolved emotional garbage. In other words, utterly useless – especially the lust for material gain. Our “wants’ are our lacks – are our programs. Most people aren’t willing to do the work necessary to clear it up. All those thoughts, unconscious or not are in play. Do you really think anyone like that’s gonna “manifest” with any success? O hell no.

    Yes Virginia, the quality of our thoughts is important. All that other outrageous crap, even the name, “The Secret” is ridiculous and offensive to anyone working to be conscious.

  20. rOBERT Says:

    ANOTHER HYPE THAT DOESNT WORK…
    ONLY TO MAKE THE AUTHORS RICH
    AND THE AVERAGE TO SPEND THERE MONEY..
    rEALLY NOTHING NEW
    IF YOU READ BOOKS FROM THE SELF HELP INFORMATION VISUALIZATION RELAXZATION AND HYPNOSIS
    WIL BRING YOU TO YOUR LIGHT
    i BOUGHT THE BOOK AND APPLIED THE PRINCIPALS i AM HAVINGNOTHING BUT BAD LUCK SO YOU KNOW WHER YOU CAN STICK THER BOOK TEH SECRET..

    HENRY841U@AOL.COM

  21. lynn Says:

    I feel the real problem with The Secret isn’t even whether or not it works. It’s the idea that money, looks, and material things are what you need to be happy. And that you are the center of the universe. It is ultimately a self-centered view of life.

  22. Stanford Kawasaki Says:

    It sounds too materialistic and slick
    in the production values. Obviously, whoever
    promotes the DVDs are mking money off hype.

  23. Anonymous Says:

    Take this example: You are born to a Chinese woman. All your life, since the day you were born, untill you were in your last hours of life, you believe and think you are Japanese. Then one day, at the ripe old age of 72, you find out that you are actually Chinese. All your life you have thought and believed you were Japanese, but your not. What matters here is your mind’s perception of your own reality, not the facts themselves. All that matters is the facts you believe and think in your head, not the “actuall” facts.

    Jumping off a building: It is inconceivable that someone actually truly thinks and believes that falling from a height of 100m and hitting the solid ground isn’t going to kill them. The reason you will die, is because there will always be a voice inside you saying, you are lying, your going to die.

    All facts in the world are “facts” because we perceive them to be as facts. It’s our perception that makes them facts. If you are very hungry and you truly believe and think that you are full, you won’t feel hungry. But as soon as you go back to “reality” and the belief that you are hungry, because that’s what’s being presented in front of you, you start to feel hungry again. Why is this. It is our thought that controls our destiny, forget the “law of attraction” it’s just a very simple way to explain such complicated ideas to dumb people.

  24. Anonymous Says:

    I look back at all the comments and I think good for you all, you each expressed YOUR THOUGHTS, YOUR BELIEFS and your TRUST in them, after all, that’s all that matter. YOUR OWN THOUGHTS.

    So it doesn’t matter whether the law of attraction is true or not, all that matters is your own thought and perception.

  25. Anonymous Says:

    What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve

  26. Derek Park Says:

    Anon, what you think or believe isn’t nearly as important as what actually is. To use your example:

    Imagine again this Chinese woman who always thought she was Japanese. Now, imagine that as a Chinese woman, she’s more susceptible to certain hereditary diseases. It doesn’t matter that she thinks she’s Japanese. She’s actually Chinese, and her genes don’t care how she labels herself. If she’s Chinese, she will be susceptible to the hereditary diseases of the Chinese, not the Japanese. It doesn’t matter what she thinks.

    It is conceivable that someone could believe that they can jump off a building and not die, for two reasons: 1) Some people have fallen long distances and survived. There are cases of people falling from 10000 feet and surviving. 2) Some people are mentally ill, and truly believe they can fly. However, if those people jump, their fall is dictated by physics, not what they believe.

    The law of attraction isn’t a way to explain a complex idea to dumb people. It’s a way to sell a dumb idea to gullible people.

  27. Spencer Says:

    Wow. Reading this whole page took a little longer than I expected. I love your comebacks to the comments because you address every point of the commenter. Great job, I loved reading this and look forward to reading more insightful arguments.

  28. Anonymous Says:

    Quote: Anon, what you think or believe isn’t nearly as important as what actually is.

    Yes but it doesn’t matter what actually is, what matters is what actually is in your own mind. If you had that mentality you wouldn’t have dreams you wouldn’t say for example I can see myself in the olympics, instead you would say but I can’t I’m fat and old because that’s what actually is. I’m not defending the law of attraction it’s an idea not a law. It’s just a money-making philosophy put into easy-to-understand context to fool people. But many of the concepts are real.

    Let me ask you a question. Did you once believe in the law of attraction? I know that after learning about it, before I read the opinions of sceptics I felt much better about myself, I felt invincible. Whether it works or not is not my point, again it comes down to your thoughts and beliefs, and about feeling confident good about yourself. These ideas that I’m presenting are actually what the people in the past such as Einstein idealised not the claims of “The Secret”.

    What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve; Untill you accept that quote your always going to be skeptical and never believe in yourself like I do and have the freedom Like I do. You will always doubt yourself, whether “The Secret” or “The Law of Attraction” works or not is not my point.

  29. Anonymous Says:

    Take another example, a “mentally ill” person. You put him in a room and observe his actions. You tell one of your staff to go in and question him. Since he is mentally ill, When you come in he perceives you as some sort of ugly creature. So he starts laughing uncontrollably. Yes he might be ill and he needs treatment, but his perception is his own, which is his own reality and that’s all that matters to him. So he is happily laughing away, even though you are actually a normal person and not an ugly creature. Do you see what I’m trying to say. I can hold any perception of belief and conceive it to be true and I will acheive it. Let’s not get into whether the universe will rearrange itself and that bullshit presented in “The Secret” but my point is what I believe in et cetra. I know I will have an extremely fullfilling life with this belief.

  30. MYMYSELFANDI Says:

    I saw The Secret, and I gotta tell you guys…I really dont know what to make of it because I am prone to thinking negative all the time and I notice that when looking back on my life; all the negative thinking that I have done had some significant involvement in regards to the things that have happened in my life and it started with a negative thought. Now, I have to wonder that if it works with negative thinking; isn’t it likely to work with positive thinking also? Now I dont agree with them making it seem so easy as though you can say presto chango and wallah and things happen. I think its a little more complex than that, however, I also think it is possible to draw positive things into your life by visualization and faith. In fact, I am seeing some evidence of it now. The only thing about the movie “The Secret” is that I think they may have exaggerated a bit much making it seem ridiculous.

    I do believe that there are universal laws that most of us will never tap into because we don’t believe in it and would never examine it and I dont think its fair to say it isnt so if you have never examined it. Most people who say it isnt true have never even tested the theory.

    As I said before, I am seeing things from my past that were caused by my own negative thinking and believing, therefore, if negative thinking can have an impact on things, I think that positive thinking and believing has an impact as well.

    Example: Look at one of the greatest problems you have ever had in your life when you couldn’t see anyway out and you thought you were doomed. When you faced that problem, the first response would be to find a way out, therefore, you start visualizing solutions and then you start seeing the outcome or the place you want to be in once you apply that solution. Now ask yourself….does the problem still exist now? Remember that The Secret said that the thought which is the ultimate outcome is the dominant thought and has more power brings the greatest rewards. How many times have any of you visualized the outcome of a devastating issue and actually came to the end of it through seeing it. I bet you all have done it and don’t even realize it. Now I’m not saying that everything that the movie says is true, I am just saying that some things are relevant and some things aren’t.

  31. Lance Says:

    I have to agree with you. In fact, I found this article by searching for The Secret is retarded.

    However, I do believe that confidence goes a long way in helping people get what they most want, and I also believe that worrying affects one’s confidence, so there is some truth to it, but it’s no magic pill and it’s not even really innovative. The power of positive thinking was first published in 1952 and I’m sure there were others before that.

    The reason I found the Secret so ridiculous was that they seemed to take the whole broadcasting to the universe so literally.

  32. Robert T Says:

    I think my dear friends that what we are forgetting is physics, not quantum physics which has many ideas yet to be proven. I’m talking about good old physics which say this is what it is, it can’t change or move without a force enacted upon it. It does not exist in more then one plane as physics states. Thinking long and hard about what you want is going to give you nothing but a headache. However, planning about something will get you something. And then one must enact their plan. However, one must be able to achieve this plan. If I think I will win the Olympics, its very likely I wont even with an excellent plan because there are PHYSICAL boundaries that can not always be surpassed regardless of what you do or what you think. If I am a slow runner, then it’s not very likely that I can win that race, even if I believe I can. Now yes I admit that a positive attitude will greatly increase your chances versus a negative posture. However, I think that the Secret is saying look at the good stuff and you’ll be happy, Well of course you’ll be happy you moron, If you are not aware of the bad things then of course your happy but they are still there and having a negative impact no matter how happy you are. Its as the old proverb goes, ignorance is bliss. But to believe that this will change if you are happy is merely wishful thinking and does not surpass that. If you have cancer, being positive about it and thinking it will go away will only get you a young death and a shallow grave. Despite what you want to believe its not there. There is no force or underlying power as they say, it is only in your mind, and it is the work of some one who has taken too many drugs to know facts. This supposed law of attraction as they call it is nothing but a hoax, like the loch ness monster. I propose that is not a law and is merely a theory, while it does have proof, it cannot be proven in every instance and thus is not a law. And the instances that it has been proven can be compared to the flip of a coin. Its supporters would say that if you did not achieve desired results that you must have done it incorrectly or maybe it’s because it’s not really true and just some of the people who believe in this had it become true, much like when flipping a coin you either get one side or the other. Just as people either achieve something or they don’t. Much like the followers of this so called law. You don’t hear about the ones that tried and failed, and if you do they are said to have done it wrong. The only people you hear from are people who have actually achieved something. Also I would like to refer back to a statement that the secret was an infomercial, I like to point out that they said that your supposed to see results in six to eights weeks, much like an infomercial, I’m surprised they didn’t ask for shipping and handling when the universe delivers your good thought present. I end with that the secret is in general a most ridiculous of ideas.

  33. Denise Says:

    If the law of attraction worked the way The Secret would have us all believe it does, then the undertakers would be wringing their hands with glee right about now because every time someone opens their mouth to spew a little more of this bull, every fibre in my body wishes they would go take a flying leap off the nearest building. But because they’re still around either The Secret doesn’t work, or I’m doing something wrong.
    Thing about fact, or truth, if that’s what you want to call it, is that it doesn’t depend on belief for it’s existence. A thing does not need to be true to be believed. Nor does it need to be believed to be true.
    Longevity also doesn’t necessarily make it true either. Christianity, Buddhism, Gnosticism etc. have been around forever, yet are no more believed or disbelieved than they were thousands of years ago. You’d think by now they would have proven themselves one way or another. It seems to me that the things that we chose to believe, go in and out of fashion. In times of weakness, we seek a warrior God who is strong and who will fight for us; in times of confusion, we seek an authoritarian God. Someone who will be a leader and take control. So what we chose to believe is often dependent on what we need to believe.
    If The Secret was promoted as merely an idea that might work, or might not, but was maybe worth giving it a try, then it might not be so insidious. But the problem arises when people suffer unprovoked misfortunes and are suddenly made to feel that they must have brought it on themselves because ….. what? ….. they weren’t positive enough. Tell that to Jon Benet Ramsey, or Lacey, or the kids at Columbine or their families. It is stupid, insensitive and insulting to say the least, and if that is the case, and that’s how we’re going to think, then we may as well be back living in cave and filled with terror at the dancing shadows cast upon the walls from the flames of the fires that warm us.
    Positive thinking is not the only positive motivator in the world. Ask any soldier who ever earned a purple heart for bravery by putting his life on the line for another and he’ll probably be the first to admit that he was scared shitless doing it. And more than a few of them would also admit that they felt like they had no other choice. If they did nothing, they would never have been able to live with themselves.
    I’m tired of this “Positive good. Negative bad.” brand of thinking. Some times I think we think too much.

  34. Mat Says:

    If you don’t want to use the Law of Attraction then don’t.

    It has worked for me! I atracted a brand new Hummer H3 in only 3 weeks of visualizing it and I ALSO WON OUR LOCAL LOTTERY 2mil. ! in 7 weeks !

    ASK…BELIEVE…RECEIVE!

  35. JohnQPublic Says:

    Awesome. My thoughts exactly. However, you’re forgetting the catch in both your lottery example and your scientific experiment: if it doesn’t materialize, it’s because the universe knows you didn’t need it. It’s heads-I-win-tails-you-lose logic.

    Wayne Dyer once wrote that when he was asked by a woman if she could win the lottery with LOA, he replied, “no, but you’ll feel like you did.” So, yet another possible outcome in your experiment.

  36. Joe Says:

    MAT you must not be doing it right I won 254 MILLION in one week after buying my copy of the SECRET… you can too and I can show you how… send a check for $29.95 to 1conjob@yourlose.com

  37. Joe Says:

    But in all honesty there is 3 possibilities..
    1) yes 2) maybe 3) No … when it comes to luck here.. 1) get the check in the mail right away 2) it takes awhile and one gets something.. could be years… 3) the negative word NO… well ya didnt do it right… or in the case of prayer.. God knows what’s best,, but it the bible it says ask and its given.. doesnt say anything about maybe or no either… in fact in the book of mark it says to ask, and go about as if it has been given to you already..

  38. Vincent Says:

    There’s the possibility the Secret is completely true in all the ways the documentary portrayed it to be and there’s a possibility it’s all basically a psychological tool to get people fired up. The only possible way to determine its truism is to try it out yourself- absolutely no doubts. Most people, especially the smart one’s won’t even try since their afraid of appearing gullible … but assuming the secret is true, these people will keep getting the kind of results that correspond with their attempts to not appear gullible. Only one way to find out- Try it with all sincerity!

  39. JohnQPublic Says:

    Vincent: Actually, you’re suggestion is not a way to determine if something is true. There are many false patterns and beliefs people pick up from first person experiences. A good example is the gambler who only tends to remember the wins more than the loses. It’s just not a good method of determining if something is random or is associated with a cause–and is why it is not used in science. You really need a controlled environment that is carefully recorded.

    But there are so many examples of people (e.g. artists, musicians, actors, etc.) who focus most of their lives on something–millions of them–only to never attract any success. In fact, there’s more examples of them than those who do attract success which is a mere fraction of the statistical population. How do you explain that?

  40. James Says:

    There is obviously missing ideas in any idea or program people come up with. I find it funny that you have so much natural negativity that something is crap and doesnt work, and then talk about how its crap and doesnt work. I didnt think there was anything easy about the idea of The Secret. It only sounds easy unless you really take the steps to change your thinking patterns. If you truly changed your thinking patterns to better your life you wouldnt have the time to convince everyone that its a load of crap. You want to talk about contradictions, this article is just as strong of one as the movie itself. Dont be scared to think you dont know everything, cause we dont.

  41. Ana Says:

    JohnQPublic makes an excellent point with his example of aspiring actors/artists/dancers/writers, etc., dedicating their lives and thoughts to achieving success in what they loved, and most are not successful. And they not only thought positively enough to continue plugging along, they also worked and worked for it. All for naught. Where was the so-called “LOA” there?

    I studied this for years. I had a dream that I concentrated on for many years. In addition to learning to meditate in a way that had me imagining I already had it, I did all the required research and work looking for the right opportunity. It never came.

    After I watched “The Secret” and studied some more, and meditated some more, I found an opportunity, actually 2 opportunities that were exactly what I had been looking for all these years. I was SO excited. I thought this was “The Secret” in action in my life.

    While taking all the required action to follow up on the opportunities, as carefully and cheerfully as I could, I meditated each and every day, not HOPING or WISHING I would get it, but FEELING DEEP INSIDE THAT I ALREADY HAD IT, just as the LOA says must happen inside. The joy was incredible!

    Nothing. I didn’t even get the interviews. And I had followed up later as well. Where was the so-called LOA then?

    It’s all a scam that made a few people rich. The rest of us emptied our pockets for nothing. For the few who said it “worked” … all coincidence.

  42. Sudath Says:

    Hi guys,

    i have really applied this and has worked well for me, i think many of the speculators don’t understand the underling 2 concepts of law of attraction the link between what you really want and using law of attraction to achieve it. if u think that just by visualizing something you will get it is insane and is not what law of attraction says…
    it creates a link between wht you really want and achieving it. all the hard work that goes in to achieving a goal is also a way that it manifests. i hope you all get a open view of the law and use it to prosper like many millions who have done it. it is pointless just commenting or speculating with out trying and see if it works or not. :-) be more intelligent and try it out.. remember is it wht you REALLY want then apply the law dont ask a date with Angelina Jolie unless that is what you really really want!!!

  43. Dr. Carlos Garcia-Carranza Says:

    Your review was very interesting. You are are having the same problem 98% of the population has understanding how it all works because you are looking at it from a “it does not make sense to me perspective.” In order for this to make some sense you need to read this book: The Millionaire Mindset is Conditioned Reflex
    http://www.iuniverse.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?Book=173930
    after you read it and I am sure you will understand it…please rewrite your post you are causing a lot of harm to others that are probably not as smart as you. Dr. Carlos Garcia-Carranza

  44. neil Says:

    hi all,
    i read the whole post, and comments.
    I just want to say that, people who dont have the complete knowledge and realisation about something, should not post such critising articles or comments.
    We have advanced so much, but we still lack the truth of existence.
    The critics here are a bit ignorant. So good creative thinkers should avoid to read this nonsense webpage.

  45. Barry the real live Unicorn Says:

    Hahaaa!
    Finally a result. I read this review almost four years ago now and I have to say that I too was skeptical of the whole thing because it didn’t make sense to me. But I thought I’d give it the benefit of the doubt and try it. I have been concentrating really hard on somebody enlightening me on how it all (LOA) works for quite some time now, and at long last the LOA has proven itself to me! ‘Dr. Carlos Garcia-Carranza’ (2 posts above) has helpfully shared a direct link to a page where I can buy a copy of his book that explains all that I cannot comprehend. And for only $24!
    That is proof enough for me – I needed to understand, and now I do!
    If you are skeptical then you should buy his book, it will make you understand how to understand the LOA. Understand? Good.
    On a final note, here’s just a little more proof to whet your appetite: I am now going to concentrate on you finding this page and reading my comment. Oh yeah, LOA in action baby!

  46. katie Says:

    I watched ‘The Secret’ a few months ago… it was a movie?? in all seriousness, it only came across to me as an infomercial…. and a pretty unconvincing one at that lol

  47. Daniel Says:

    First, if you want to be a critic and type a bad reveiw of anything you should spell correctly , in case you did not know it’s VICTIMS, not VICTOMS. Secondly, you have missed the whole point of the book/movie. Nobody there has ever claimed that merely wishing something it makes it happen. If you have something in mind that you desire, the universe will give you a course of action to be taken that eventually will lead you into getting the thing that you asked for. It’s not all about sitting down and visualize, big part of the work comes from you, the universe can put you on the right track.
    The way you look at things create your reality, like in the case of the gay guy who used to get bullied : Only focusing on the bad things makes you a magnet to them. That doesn’t mean you have to neglect your bills or burdens, but instead of whining about it you should visualize yourself having more money.. Then the universe will give you an idea or create circumstances and open new doors for you, but it’s all up to you and your intuition knowing and recognize which road to take.

  48. John Connor Says:

    Oh yes, I read the book, followed the steps pictured on my mind what I wanted, concentrated on the positive aspects and this is what happened:
    1) Every week I get a check for $10,000 in the mail
    2) my penis grew from 6 to 10 inches
    3) Lost 40 pounds and I now I have an 8 pack
    4) I am dating two Victoria Secrets models at the same time
    4) I don’t pay taxes, just concentrate on it really hard…
    It works, if it didn’t work for you is because you are not being positive enough and picturing your wishes hard enough

  49. angela Says:

    To put it simply..this debate is also proof that it works…Without a doubt and I do mean without a doubt.

    Fact: All the believers have experienced it because they beleive 100%

    Fact: All the non believers haven’t exprienced it because they believe less than 100%

    It doesn’t take a genuis to work out why.

  50. Jonatan Says:

    All I can say is this. The Secret has a point, and is perfectly logical and it makes sense. Everything about it. But, there is one thing that it for some reason does not bring up. And it is called confidence. Confidence and self-esteem are two entirely different things. You can simply NOT think yourself to better confidence, which I have read some followers of the LOA claims in some places. There is a quote that goes

    To be you must do – Niietzsche (misspelling probably)
    To do you must be – Kant
    do be do be do – Frank sinatra

    This is quite smart. To gain confidence, you must take a risk. You must be willing to accept the fact that the whole fantasy scenario that you have vizualised -MIGHT- not turn out as you WISHED for. Because regarding the future there are simply no easy way outs. There is always a little black hole that no one knows will happen with. Now the secret teaches greatfulness, which is good. Because when you go for the ride, take the ticket and really go all out butt naked to do that thing that you have visualized, and you do not succeed, to get back up again its good to be greatful for something. But still, The secret sais nothing about confidence and this is what me personally believe is dangerous as fuck with this book.

    I saw the DVD about a year ago, and bought the whole thing. I just got out of the psychiatric hospital diagnosed with severe deppression and panic-anxiety.

    So, to ACT on your visualizations as they say. Does NOT HAVE TO BE EASY, which they claim. They throw around words such as “easy” all the time in the film and it is ridiculous. Things can very well be really really hard and you have to accept that. You need confidence and you dont just get that. You earn it, for yourself. Its like your own christmaspresent. You go out and do entirely NEW things, and You get rewarded by yourself because of it. So, become whatever you want, set goals, learn that you are not worthless you can actually do whatever you set your mind to do. But, you will need confidence. You will need belief in your own ability, as well as the ability to let yourself cry like a little wimp and accept and chew on those “negative emotions” that the secret so deeply want you to avoid, if you fail.

  51. aj Says:

    Hi All , For some reason I have been through this phase i kept thinking about good things i wished about things , i had no clue how m gonna get i just lived my normal life and things keep happening good things , its just so true as m not much educated but i had confidence n inner belief that i will get a good job i applied for it and one day i got it , after 2 years i was not happy n scared of losing job , guess what i got sacked cos some girl complaint against me i dint knew that girl but she came out of no where as irate customer n bang and I dint lose hope i was actually happy as my inner self always wanted to do business and I got a idea from somewhere about some business where investment is ;less so i just started that business and now i am in middle of setting up that business and have no job but i am happy and i positive about making a lot of money in coming years now law of attraction will be true if my business takes off well and by end of the year if i will be satisfied with what my goals are i will come back to this page and edit it and let you all know what happen good luck all trust me this works , it worked for me so far

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