What if I promised you that you could make anything happenanything!just by wanting it to happen?
You would think I was crazy, and you would be right. So why is a book based on this premise selling so fast that bookstores cannot keep it on the shelves?
Rhonda Byrnes The Secret has been on the New York Times bestseller list for months, and a DVD version is also selling out everywhere. Byrne is selling the tempting message that anything you want is possible and easy to get.
This isnt just about keeping an optimistic attitude to improve your lifeit goes far beyond that. Byrne says a force called the Law of Attraction guarantees that if you think positive thoughts about what you want, you will get it. The Universe will bend over backwards to hand you whatever you wish for: money, a better job, a spouse, anything.
Byrnes claims are absurd on their face. She swears repeatedly that the Law of Attraction never fails, that its as reliable as the law of gravity. So what happens if two people both use the secret to make opposite things happenfor instance, if one wanted a sunny day and the other wanted rain?
Somehow, Byrne forgets to address this topic.
But thats not the worst part. Among all the positive rhetoric are some very ugly concepts. While you are rearranging the universe to suit your own wishes, Byrne claims, you must avoid people who might inspire negative thoughts. So you should never look at overweight people or let sick people tell you about their illness.
Furthermore, if some people are poor, it is because they are blocking money from coming to them with their thoughts. (Jesus Christ, she announces, was actually a millionaire.) And people involved in tragedies and disasters brought it on themselves. They did not want enough not to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Friends, I am not exaggerating. Its all in there.
Tim Watkin reports in the Washington Post, I watched Bob Proctor . . . one of the gurus Byrne quotes most often, being asked on Nightline whether the starving children of Darfur had manifestedthat is, visualizedtheir own misery. In utter seriousness, he replied, I think the country probably has.
But Byrne is not saying you should not care about other people. You should care about thembecause it is good for you: If you think thoughts of love, guess who receives the benefitsyou!
Unfortunately, people are really swallowing this stuff. And it is dangerous. The book contains examples of people who supposedly cured themselves of cancer without treatment, and people who bought expensive things because they just knew the money was coming inI saw many of those in bankruptcy court when I was a practicing attorney. Karin Klein reports in the Los Angeles Times, Therapists tell me theyre starting to see patients who are headed for real trouble, immersing themselves in a dream world in which good things just come.
Byrne has scammed millions of people by appealing to their pride and greed, and she is making a fortune. But I will tell you this for free: Byrnes hot new trend is simply a repetition of the oldest lie there isYou shall be like God.
Thats the secret, not of success, but of misery.
From BreakPoint®, May 3, 2007, Copyright 2007, Prison Fellowship Ministries. Reprinted with the permission of Prison Fellowship Ministries. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or distributed without the express written permission of Prison Fellowship Ministries. BreakPoint® and Prison Fellowship Ministries® are registered trademarks of Prison Fellowship Ministries