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NewChief
03-05-2007, 11:32 AM
An Oprah thread on the Planet, you ask? Consider this a PSA as many of you who are married may be getting talked to about this "Secret" crap that she's now foisting off onto her audience. This review is scathing. It will also give any Oprah-haters out there some more amunition:

http://www.salon.com/mwt/feature/2007/03/05/the_secret/print.html
Oprah's ugly secret
By continuing to hawk "The Secret," a mishmash of offensive self-help cliches, Oprah Winfrey is squandering her goodwill and influence, and preaching to the world that mammon is queen.
By Peter Birkenhead

Mar. 05, 2007 | Steve Martin used to do a routine that went like this: "You too can be a millionaire! It's easy: First, get a million dollars. Now..."

If you put that routine between hard covers, you'd have "The Secret," the self-help manifesto and bottle of minty-fresh snake oil currently topping the bestseller lists. "The Secret" espouses a "philosophy" patched together by an Australian talk-show producer named Rhonda Byrne. Though "The Secret" unabashedly appropriates and mishmashes familiar self-help clichés, it was still the subject of two recent episodes of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" featuring a dream team of self-help gurus, all of whom contributed to the project.

The main idea of "The Secret" is that people need only visualize what they want in order to get it -- and the book certainly has created instant wealth, at least for Rhonda Byrne and her partners-in-con. And the marketing idea behind it -- the enlisting of that dream team, in what is essentially a massive, cross-promotional pyramid scheme -- is brilliant. But what really makes "The Secret" more than a variation on an old theme is the involvement of Oprah Winfrey, who lends the whole enterprise more prestige, and, because of that prestige, more venality, than any previous self-help scam. Oprah hasn't just endorsed "The Secret"; she's championed it, put herself at the apex of its pyramid, and helped create a symbiotic economy of New Age quacks that almost puts OPEC to shame.

Why "venality"? Because, with survivors of Auschwitz still alive, Oprah writes this about "The Secret" on her Web site, "the energy you put into the world -- both good and bad -- is exactly what comes back to you. This means you create the circumstances of your life with the choices you make every day." "Venality," because Oprah, in the age of AIDS, is advertising a book that says, "You cannot 'catch' anything unless you think you can, and thinking you can is inviting it to you with your thought." "Venality," because Oprah, from a studio within walking distance of Chicago's notorious Cabrini Green Projects, pitches a book that says, "The only reason any person does not have enough money is because they are blocking money from coming to them with their thoughts."

Worse than "The Secret's" blame-the-victim idiocy is its baldfaced bullshitting. The titular "secret" of the book is something the authors call the Law of Attraction. They maintain that the universe is governed by the principle that "like attracts like" and that our thoughts are like magnets: Positive thoughts attract positive events and negative thoughts attract negative events. Of course, magnets do exactly the opposite -- positively charged magnets attract negatively charged particles -- and the rest of "The Secret" has a similar relationship to the truth. Here it is on biblical history: "Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and Jesus were not only prosperity teachers, but also millionaires themselves, with more affluent lifestyles than many present-day millionaires could conceive of." And worse than the idiocy and the bullshitting is its anti-intellectualism, because that's at the root of the other two. Here's "The Secret" on reading and, um, electricity: "When I discovered 'The Secret' I made a decision that I would not watch the news or read newspapers anymore, because it did not make me feel good," and, "How does it work? Nobody knows. Just like nobody knows how electricity works. I don't, do you?" And worst of all is the craven consumerist worldview at the heart of "The Secret," because it's why the book exists: "[The Secret] is like having the Universe as your catalogue. You flip through it and say, 'I'd like to have this experience and I'd like to have that product and I'd like to have a person like that.' It is you placing your order with the Universe. It's really that easy." That's from Dr. Joe Vitale, former Amway executive and contributor to "The Secret," on Oprah.com.

Oprah Winfrey is one of the richest women in the world, and one of the most influential. Her imprimatur has helped the authors of "The Secret" sell 2 million books (and 1 million DVDs), putting it ahead of the new Harry Potter book on the Amazon bestseller list. In the time Oprah spent advertising the lies in "The Secret," she could have been exposing them to an audience that otherwise might have believed them. So why didn't she? If James Frey deserved to be raked over the coals for lying about how drunk he was, doesn't Oprah deserve some scrutiny for pitching the meretricious nonsense in "The Secret"?

Oprah has a reputation for doing good -- she probably has more perceived moral authority than anyone in this country -- and she has done a lot of good. But in light of her zealous support of a book that says, in this time of entrenched, systemic, institutionalized poverty, this time of no-bid contracts for war profiteers and heckuva-job governance, that "you can have, be, or do anything," isn't it reasonable to ask about why she does what she does, and the way she does it?

Oprah recently opened, with much fanfare, the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in South Africa, and as I watched the network news stories about it, I couldn't get "The Secret" out of my mind. I kept wondering what would happen if professor Sam Mhlongo, South Africa's chief family practitioner who famously said that HIV doesn't cause AIDS, read about Oprah's connection to "The Secret" and found support there for his claim. I wondered if the students of the academy would read "The Secret" and start to believe that their parents deserved to be poor, or that the people of Darfur summoned the Janjaweed with "bad thoughts." Will the heavier girls be told, as readers of "The Secret" are, that food doesn't cause weight gain -- thinking about weight gain does? Will they be told to not even look at fat people, as "The Secret" advises? Oprah is already promoting these ideas to her television audience. Why wouldn't she espouse them to her students?

In many ways the Leadership Academy is a wonderful project, a school that will provide impoverished girls an education they otherwise might not have gotten. But it also seems to be the product, unavoidably, of the faux-spiritual, anti-intellectual, hyper-materialistic worldview expressed in "The Secret," the book that the school's founder has called "life changing."

The academy is a controversial enough project in South Africa that the government withdrew its support, because of the amount of money that's been spent on its well-reported, lavish design -- money that could have gone instead to creating perfectly fine schools that served many, many more students than the 350 who will be making use of spa facilities at the academy. But, when I watched Oprah's prime-time special about interviewing candidates for the school, it seemed to me that she wasn't nearly as excited about providing an education to the girls as she was about providing a "Secret"-like "transformative experience." (And not just for the girls, for herself; the first thing she said to the family members at the opening ceremony wasn't, "Welcome to a great moment in your daughters' lives," it was, "Welcome to the proudest moment of my life.")

On the special, Oprah talked far more about what the school would do for the girls' self-esteem and material lives than what it would do for their intellects -- sometimes sounding as if she was reading directly from "The Secret." And in discussing what she was looking for in prospective students, she didn't talk about finding the next Eleanor Roosevelt or Sally Ride or Jane Smiley. Instead she used "Entertainment Tonight" language like "It Girl" to describe her ideal candidate. She praised the girls for their spirit, for how much they "shined" and "glowed," but never for their ideas or insights. Oprah puts a lot of energy and money into aesthetics -- on her show, in her magazine, at her school. The publishers of "The Secret" have learned well from their sponsor and are just as visually savvy. They have created a look for their books, DVDs, CDs and marketing materials that conjures a "Da Vinci Code" aesthetic, full of pretty faux parchment, quill-and-ink fonts and wax seals.

Oprah's TV special about the Leadership Academy, essentially an hourlong infomercial, was just as well-coiffed and "visuals"-heavy. In fact, when Oprah was choosing her students, her important criteria must have included their television interview skills. On-camera interviews with the girls were the centerpiece of the special, but as one spunky, telegenic candidate after another beamed her smile at the camera, I couldn't help wondering how Joyce Carol Oates or Gertrude Stein or Madame Curie would have fared -- would they have "shined" and "glowed," or more likely talked in non-sound-bite-friendly paragraphs and maybe even, God forbid, the sometimes "dark" tones of authentic people, and been rejected. Sadly, the girls themselves (and who can blame them, desperate 12-year-olds trying to flatter their potential benefactor) parroted banal Oprah-isms, like "I want to be the best me I can be," and "Be a leader not a follower" and "Don't blend in, blend out," with smiley gusto.

When the special was over, I found myself equally impressed and queasy, one part hopeful, one part worried. I was happy the school was there, but disturbed by the way it created an instant upper class out of the students, in a country that doesn't exactly need any more segregation into haves and have-nots. I was hopeful for the students but nervous about what, exactly, they will be taught in a place called the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy. Will it be more "best me I can be" bromides? Will "The Secret" be on the syllabus? Oprah herself is going to teach "leadership classes" at the school, after all.

Has Oprah ever done anything that didn't leave people with mixed feelings?

And at what point do we stop feeling like we have to take the good with the craven when it comes to Oprah, and the culture she's helped to create? I get nauseated when I think of people in South Africa being taught they don't have enough money because they're "blocking it with their thoughts." I'm already sickened by an American culture that teaches people, as "The Secret" does, that they "create the circumstances of their lives with the choices they make every day," a culture that elected a president who cried tears of self-congratulation at his inauguration, rejects intellectualism, and believes he can intuit the trustworthiness of world leaders by looking into their eyes. I'm sickened by a culture in which the tenets of the Oprah philosophy have become conventional wisdom, in which genuine self-actualization has been confused with self-aggrandizement, reality is whatever you want it to be, and mammon is queen.

One of Oprah's signature gimmicks has been giving stuff away to her audience ("giving" here means announcing the passing of stuff from corporate sponsors to audience members), most notably in a popular segment called "My Favorite Things." These bits have revealed an Oprah who truly revels in consumer culture, and who can seem astonishingly oblivious to the way most people live and what they can afford. She seems to celebrate every event and milestone with extravagant stuff, indeed to not know how to celebrate without it. Oprah has explained the expensive appointments of her Leadership Academy by saying, "Beauty inspires." True enough. But hasn't the lack of beauty inspired some pretty great work? And aren't there are all kinds of beauty?

You might expect a powerful person who thinks of herself as "deeply spiritual" to have a less worldly conception of it, and you might hope that she would encourage her followers to do the same, instead of urging them to buy books that call Jesus a "prosperity teacher."

But, far more than "spiritual growth" or "empowerment," Oprah and the authors of "The Secret" focus on imparting the message of getting rich. Even the biographies of the authors of "The Secret" on Oprah's Web site are revealingly fixated on their rags-to-riches stories. James Arthur Ray is described as someone who was "almost going bankrupt, [which] forced him to focus on the life he truly wanted. Now he runs a multimillion-dollar corporation dedicated to teaching people how to create wealth in all areas of their lives." The bio for Lisa Nichols says, "After hitting rock bottom at age 19, Lisa prayed for a better life. Now, she has made her fortune by motivating more than 60,000 teenagers to make better choices in their own lives." And the one for "Chicken Soup for the Soul" creator Jack Canfield reads, he "was deep in debt before he made it big. Now his best-selling books have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide, and Jack travels the country teaching 'The Secret' of his success."

There's no doubt that Oprah's doing a lot of good with her South African project, and with many other charitable works. And yeah, I know, her book club "gets people to read," and yadda yadda yadda. But there's also no doubt that a lot of us have been making forgiving disclaimers like that about Oprah for years. And that maybe they amount to trains-running-on-time arguments. Maybe it's time to stop. After reading "The Secret," it seemed to me that there were basically three possibilities: 1) Oprah really believes this stuff, and we should be very worried about her opening a school for anyone. 2) Oprah doesn't believe this stuff and we should be very, very worried about her opening a school for anyone. 3) Oprah doesn't know that any of this stuff is in the book or on her Web site and in a perfect world she wouldn't be allowed to open a school for anyone.

The things that Oprah does, like promoting "The Secret," can seem deceptively trivial, but it's precisely because they're silly that we should be concerned about their promotion by someone who is deadly earnest and deeply trusted by millions of people. It's important to start taking a look at Oprah because her philosophy has in many ways become the dominant one in our culture, even for people who would never consider themselves disciples. Somebody is buying enough copies of "The Secret" to make it No. 1 on the Amazon bestseller list. Those somebodies may be religious zealots or atheists, Republicans or Democrats, but they are all believers, to one degree or another, and, perhaps unwittingly, in aspects of the Oprah/"Secret" culture. And yes, sure, a lot of the believing they do is harmless fun -- everybody's got some kind of rabbit's foot in his pocket -- but we're not talking about rabbits' feet here, we're talking about whole, live rabbits pulled out of hats, and an audience that doesn't think it's being tricked.

"Secret"-style belief is a perfect product. Like Coca-Cola, it goes down easy and makes the consumer thirsty for more. It's unthreateningly simple, and a lot more facile, sentimental and, perhaps paradoxically, intractable than the old-fashioned kind of belief. Like Amway, it enlists its consumers as unofficial salespeople, and the people who constitute its market feel like they're part of a fold. It's indistinguishable from, and inextricably bound up in, the Oprah idea of self-esteem, the kind of confidence you get not from testing yourself, but from "believing" in yourself. This modern idea of faith isn't arrived at the old-fashioned way, by asking questions, but by getting answers. Instead of inquiry we have born-again epiphanies and cheesy self-help books -- we have excuses for not engaging in inquiry at all. Let other people schlep down the road to Damascus; we'll have Amazon send Damascus to us.

That "Secret"-style faith, whether it's in God, or in one's own preordained destiny to be an "American Idol," which takes all of a moment to achieve, is perhaps its most important selling point. Here's "The Secret" on arriving at faith: "Ask once, believe you have received, and all you have to do to receive is feel good." The kind of faith that couldn't be reached by shortcut, the confidence of the great doubters and worriers, of Moses and Abraham Lincoln and Jesus Christ, has been replaced by the insta-certainty and inflated "self-esteem" of "The Secret's" believers.

Books like "The Secret" have created, and are feeding, an enormously diverse market of disciples, and they're thriving in every corner of the culture, in megachurches and movies, politics and pop music, in sports arenas and state boards of education. Oprah has far more in common with George Bush than either would like to admit, and so do the psychics of Marin County, Calif., and the creationists of Kansas. The believers come from all walks of life, but they work the same way -- mostly by bastardizing and warping source materials, from the Bible to the Bhagavad Gita, to make them fit their worldview. On Page 23 of "The Secret" you'll find this revealing doozy: "Meditation quiets the mind, helps you control your thoughts." Of course, the goal of meditation is precisely the opposite -- it is to be conscious, to observe your thoughts honestly and clearly. But that's the last thing the believers want to encourage. The authors of "The Secret" sell "control" in the form of "empowerment" and "quiet" in the form of belief, not consciousness.

The promises of Oprah culture can seem irresistible, and its hallmarks are becoming ubiquitous. Believers may be separated into tribes according to what they believe, but they do it in pretty much the same way, relying on a "Secret"-style conception of "intuition" --- which seems to amount to the sneaking suspicion that they're always right -- to arrive at their tenets. Instead of the world as it is, constantly changing and full of contradiction, they see a fixed and fantastical place, where good things come to those who believe, whether it's belief in a diet, a God, or a Habit of Successful People. These believers may believe in the healing power of homeopathy, or Scripture or organizational skills -- in intelligent design, astrology or privatization. They all trust that their devotion will be rewarded with money and boyfriends and job promotions, with hockey championships and apartments. And most of all they believe -- they really, really believe -- in themselves.

For these believers, self-knowledge is much less important than self-"love." But the question they never seem to ask themselves is: If you wouldn't tell another person you loved her before you got to know her, why would you do that to yourself? Skipping the getting-to-know-you part has given us what we deserve: the Oprah culture. It's a culture where superstition is "spirituality," illiteracy is "authenticity," and schoolmarm moralism is "character." It's a culture where people apologize by saying, "I'm sorry you took offense at what I said," and forgive by saying, "I'm not angry at you anymore, I'm grateful to you for teaching me not to trust shitheads like you." And that's the part that should bother us most: the diminishing, even implicit mocking, of genuine goodness, and of authentic spiritual concerns and practices. Engagement, curiosity and active awe are in short supply these days, and it's sickening to see them devalued and misrepresented.

Not that any of this is new. Aimee Semple McPherson, "The Power of Positive Thinking," Father Coughlin, est, James Van Praagh -- pick your influential snake-oil salesman or snake oil. They were all cut from the same cloth as Oprah and "The Secret." The big, big difference is, well, the bigness. The infinitely bigger reach of the Oprah empire and its emissaries. They make their predecessors look like kids with lemonade stands. It would be stupidly dangerous to dismiss Oprah and "The Secret" as silly, or ultimately meaningless. They're reaching more people than Harry Potter, for God-force's sake. That's why what Oprah does matters, and stinks. If you reach more people than Bill O'Reilly, if you have better name recognition than Nelson Mandela, if the books you endorse sell more than Stephen King's, you should take some responsibility for your effect on the culture. The most powerful woman in the world is taking advantage of people who are desperate for meaning, by passionately championing a product that mocks the very idea of a meaningful life.

That means something.

LV Tim
03-05-2007, 11:37 AM
Sorry - - too many words for us guys to read.

If you tell me a secret . . . it wasn't much of a secret, now was it?

kepp
03-05-2007, 11:40 AM
No secret - especially when it involves Oprah - is worth that much reading.

Ultra Peanut
03-05-2007, 11:41 AM
You wanna know a real secret?

OPRAH YOU ARE FULL OF SHIT

JBucc
03-05-2007, 11:42 AM
That's long.

Brock
03-05-2007, 11:43 AM
Oprah is great at bilking white suburban soccer moms out of their husband's money. What else is new?

SBK
03-05-2007, 11:44 AM
I can't help but wonder if the guy that wrote this is happy, successful and rich.

I'd be willing to be he's not.

Jenson71
03-05-2007, 11:52 AM
I can't help but wonder if the guy that wrote this is happy, successful and rich.

I'd be willing to be he's not.

Probably not. He's probably just a journalist. But I bet he thinks a lot damn more than the people who would read and practice "The Secret".

This reminds me of a book called "Bait and Switch". There are a couple of good points in that book: 1. Self-help and career coaches and what they're all about 2. networking and church.

Mr. Laz
03-05-2007, 11:57 AM
cliff notes version?

StcChief
03-05-2007, 11:59 AM
She should be auditioning as the next Madam Cleo.

Ultra Peanut
03-05-2007, 12:02 PM
I want to see Randi stick his foot up her ass.

Wile_E_Coyote
03-05-2007, 12:07 PM
Aging black female billioniares are so easy to relate to

NewChief
03-05-2007, 12:13 PM
cliff notes version?

Oprah is pimping some new self-help book called "The Secret." It's a bunch of feelgood BS that says things like "You attract poverty to yourself through thinking about poverty. Think success!"

Oprah is dangerous because people might actually take her idiotic ideas to heart.

Oprah is a symptom of a larger cultural malaise.

Groves
03-05-2007, 12:15 PM
I can't help but wonder if the guy that wrote this is happy, successful and rich.

You're wondering if he works for Athan? Sure worked for Phil.

ChiTown
03-05-2007, 12:17 PM
I want to see Randi stick his foot up her ass.

It'd swallow him whole............

chagrin
03-05-2007, 12:17 PM
It really sounds like a combination of "Creative Visualization" and anything Joel Osteen says or writes.

I read both books and Creative Visualization was pretty cool, Joel left me very disappointed.

But guys, before you shit all over this idea totally, Ari Chi3fs is a young rich man and he was on here spreading "The Secret" Gospel around, you might want to take heed

Duck Dog
03-05-2007, 12:19 PM
Anyone who watches, listens and takes the advice of Dr Phil, Oprah or anyone else on TV deserves to lose.

Jenson71
03-05-2007, 12:19 PM
From Ophrah's website on The Secret:

"All of that affects how we feel, and the feelings actually send out a wave into the universe, and anything that's vibrating in a similar level gets attracted into our life," Jack says.

Demonpenz
03-05-2007, 12:19 PM
More money more problems. I don't even have time to play with the toys I have now.

Phobia
03-05-2007, 12:20 PM
1. Can't believe I clicked into an Oprah thread.
2. Can't believe I started to read that.
3. Can believe I lost interest 2 sentences in.

Jenson71
03-05-2007, 12:20 PM
Oprah is pimping some new self-help book called "The Secret." It's a bunch of feelgood BS that says things like "You attract poverty to yourself through thinking about poverty. Think success!"

Oprah is dangerous because people might actually take her idiotic ideas to heart.

Oprah is a symptom of a larger cultural malaise.

Why do you think the Self-Help/Improve your life with 7 secrets stuff is so big now? At least, it seems like it's big NOW. But I may have not noticed it before or was too young to know.

NewChief
03-05-2007, 12:25 PM
Why do you think the Self-Help/Improve your life with 7 secrets stuff is so big now? At least, it seems like it's big NOW. But I may have not noticed it before or was too young to know.

I think most of it is a cultural leftover from the 1960s. Now the children of the hippies are growing up, and they've been exposed to this sort of New Age thinking for a long time. Some of them are going on to found prosperity/success theories loosly based in the New Age philosophy from the 60s while others are just consumers primed for consumption by being raised in such an environment.

This sort of bullshit, pseudo-religious mysticism has all the depth of a kiddie pool and has always been one of my major pet peeves.

chagrin
03-05-2007, 12:26 PM
Deepak Chopra has been writing this sludge for years now; it's her turn I guess.

KCFalcon59
03-05-2007, 12:30 PM
cliff notes version?

Oprah lies
Bitches cry

morphius
03-05-2007, 12:35 PM
LOL! I believe this is wehre Ari/ali Chiefs philosophy on life came from...

KC Kings
03-05-2007, 12:35 PM
I didn't make it very far into this article, but the writer is very biased and probably had a bad personal experience affect him and this "bad things only happen to people with bad thought" pisses him off. True, you can't will yourself against cancer, a natural disaster, or a ton of other things, but there are millions of poor Americans that end up in poverty situations because of their mentality. There are plenty of white trash kids that make their mind up at an early age that they will spend thier life living pay check to pay check at a dead end job and getting drunk on their days off. There are plenty of black inner city kids that give up and accept the fact that they will be poor ghetto trash their entire life.

You can't will yourself a million dollars, but coming from a lower income family I can guarantee you that you can will yourself a better life, and with proper decision and a good work ethic you don't have to give up and settle for a crappy life of being poor.

Ultra Peanut
03-05-2007, 12:35 PM
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NewChief
03-05-2007, 12:36 PM
LOL! I believe this is wehre Ari/ali Chiefs philosophy on life came from...

That's what someone else said, too. Now I feel bad, because I like Ari..

Iowanian
03-05-2007, 01:54 PM
Here's a secret Soccer moms.....

Stop taking advice on Marraige and children from a billionaire woman who isn't married and doesn't have Children.

Ari Chi3fs
03-05-2007, 02:20 PM
That's what someone else said, too. Now I feel bad, because I like Ari..

Haters... the whole lot of you. heh.

The Secret is based on what you think about, you create in your life.

We are all energy, protons - neutron - electrons... E=MC2

If someone is negative and sending out negative vibrations, then you will only attract negative vibrations back.

Like attracts like.

There are parts of the Secret that are a bit hokey, but it brings me joy to know that finally a movie has come out to help people think and to stop placing blame on everything around them, and to take responsibility for their thoughts and actions.

You bring about what you think about. If you worry, you get more things to be worried about. If you focus on getting rid of debt, you get more debt.

If you focus on being prosperous... you get more prosperity.

Since I adopted the prosperity focus, I have earned more than 6 figures. From April 2006 - March 2007, I used to focus on my lack of money, not having enough to pay the bills.

You can be cynical and discard this stuff as mumbo jumbo, but in reality, all you will do is find more things to be cynical about.

Iowanian
03-05-2007, 02:22 PM
I'm gonna be rich! I'm gonna be Rich! I"M GONNA BE RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICH!

http://thewizardofoz.warnerbros.com/movie/img/photos/photo16.jpg

Ultra Peanut
03-05-2007, 02:23 PM
There are parts of the Secret that are a bit hokey, but it brings me joy to know that finally a movie has come out to help people think and to stop placing blame on everything around them, and to take responsibility for their thoughts and actions.Yeah... it's their fault they got cancer! It's their fault their plane got hijacked, and if they'd directed enough positive energy, those terrorists wouldn't have crashed it into that skyscraper!

The kernel of truth (thinking positively helps you take positive steps) doesn't justify the mystical bullshit that accompanies it.

CoMoChief
03-05-2007, 02:24 PM
I didn't read that because:

1. It was way too long.

2. It was about Oprah.

Taco John
03-05-2007, 02:42 PM
Yeah... it's their fault they got cancer! It's their fault their plane got hijacked, and if they'd directed enough positive energy, those terrorists wouldn't have crashed it into that skyscraper!

The kernel of truth (thinking positively helps you take positive steps) doesn't justify the mystical bullshit that accompanies it.


Blah blah blah blah...

Foaming at the mouth because someone believes something does exactly what for you?

Ultra Peanut
03-05-2007, 02:45 PM
Blah blah blah blah...

Foaming at the mouth because someone believes something does exactly what for you?OH MY GOD I'M SO MAD ABOUT THIS GGGGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

My point is, unless he regrew a kidney or willed cancer away after watching the DVD, there was nothing in there that he couldn't have gleaned from The Little Engine That Could.

It would be AWESOME if all it took to make life amazingly wonderful was just thinking it would be amazingly wonderful. Really, truly having unlimited happiness and health would be fantastic beyond the telling of it. But it's not possible, and believing in it doesn't make it so. The problem with "THE SECRET!!!!!" is that it gives people in dire circumstances false hope that can lead to terrible consequences ("Who needs medicine? I'm doing great just thinking positively!").

If Ali wants to believe following the Flying Spaghetti Monster's set of rules for attaining success are what led him to where he is today, fine. Maybe it's true. But I'd prefer to give credit to Ali for doing what he needed to do to make it happen rather than saying it was all in the vibrations.

Taco John
03-05-2007, 02:49 PM
Yeah... it's their fault they got cancer! It's their fault their plane got hijacked, and if they'd directed enough positive energy, those terrorists wouldn't have crashed it into that skyscraper!



I just wanted to add that this new marketing iteration of an old philosophy doesn't ascribe "fault" for people who get cancer (and the like). The underlying philosophy is that people aren't victims of their lives, but rather choose their destiny going into them. Thus, they go into them to learn from specific experiences. As the philosophy goes, someone isn't at "fault" for getting cancer, but rather are experiencing the life of a cancer patient. It's now up to them to live that life, either as a victim of cancer, or in control of the experience.

ChiefFripp
03-05-2007, 02:51 PM
The secret to people being rich lies in the very fact most of us can't be and will never be.

Ultra Peanut
03-05-2007, 02:53 PM
I just wanted to add that this new marketing iteration of an old philosophy doesn't ascribe "fault" for people who get cancer (and the like). The underlying philosophy is that people aren't victims of their lives, but rather choose their destiny going into them. Thus, they go into them to learn from specific experiences. As the philosophy goes, someone isn't at "fault" for getting cancer, but rather are experiencing the life of a cancer patient. It's now up to them to live that life, either as a victim of cancer, or in control of the experience."The Secret" isn't about life experiences and shedding karma to reach enlightenment; it's about, well: "Ask once, believe you have received, and all you have to do to receive is feel good."

Just feel good and all of your wildest dreams will instantly come true!

And you actually hit upon what's most distasteful about this: It's a shitty marketing scheme to make money off of people who really WANT something like this to be possible. They take a few sensible ideas ("I think I can, I think I can..."), wrap them up in a shiny new "spiritual" coating with all sorts of fun buzz words that mean absolutely nothing, and rake in the dough.

The people pushing this are no better than people who claim they can talk to the dead or move objects with their minds.

Baby Lee
03-05-2007, 02:56 PM
I can buy that people can concentrate on the right things and synapses are created from said concentration that give them insight into achieving their goals.
I can't buy that you radiate energy that the cosmos rewards you for radiating.

Taco John
03-05-2007, 02:57 PM
It would be AWESOME if all it took to make life amazingly wonderful was just thinking it would be amazingly wonderful.


Not "it would be Awesome." It *is* awesome. I know first hand because this is the way I've always thought. Not that life doesn't deliver me lemons. But there's something to be said for the ability to take lemons and make lemonade. Not everyone can do it. Some people take lemons and make sure that everybody knows that the lemons are bitter. Now take those two and juxtapose what you think each of these different types of individuals are going to attract into their lives?

It's pretty simple, even using your example of a cancer patient. What do people who have cancer and are miserable and talk about death all the time attracting to them? What are people who have cancer and go out and talk about life attracting to them?




The problem with "THE SECRET!!!!!" is that it gives people in dire circumstances false hope that can lead to terrible consequences ("Who needs medicine? I'm doing great just thinking positively!").

Only if you drastically misinterpret it. I haven't heard refusing medicine advocated by anyone who ascribes to this philosophy. Have you?

Baby Lee
03-05-2007, 02:58 PM
Lemons are sour.

Redrum_69
03-05-2007, 02:58 PM
"The Secret" isn't about life experiences and shedding karma to reach enlightenment; it's about, well: "Ask once, believe you have received, and all you have to do to receive is feel good."

Just feel good and all of your wildest dreams will instantly come true!

And you actually hit upon what's most distasteful about this: It's a shitty marketing scheme to make money off of people who really WANT something like this to be possible. They take a few sensible ideas ("I think I can, I think I can..."), wrap them up in a shiny new "spiritual" coating with all sorts of fun buzz words that mean absolutely nothing, and rake in the dough.

The people pushing this are no better than people who claim they can talk to the dead or move objects with their minds.


Your mom is like the "Secret"....everyone is buying into her, she gives out unlimited happiness to all who pay to finger her pages, and when you are tired of her you can dump her onto your friends

Frazod
03-05-2007, 02:59 PM
1. Can't believe I clicked into an Oprah thread.
2. Can't believe I started to read that.
3. Can believe I lost interest 2 sentences in.

No shit. My brain needs a shower. :cuss:

Iowanian
03-05-2007, 03:02 PM
When Life hands me Lemons, I find a person who life handed Vodka.

Taco John
03-05-2007, 03:05 PM
I can buy that people can concentrate on the right things and synapses are created from said concentration that give them insight into achieving their goals.


That's pretty much the long and short of it. People who concentrate on the right things are more open to recognizing the right opportunities when they are presented. It's really about knowing what you want, and keeping your focus on that, rather than what you don't want.

Ultra Peanut
03-05-2007, 03:08 PM
That's pretty much the long and short of it. People who concentrate on the right things are more open to recognizing the right opportunities when they are presented.I'm curious. What opportunities are presented to cancer patients who concentrate on the positives in their lives that are not afforded to those who are worried and scared by their condition?

Baby Lee
03-05-2007, 03:26 PM
Powder Milk biscuits give shy people the strength to get up and do what needs to be done.

Baby Lee
03-05-2007, 03:27 PM
That's pretty much the long and short of it. People who concentrate on the right things are more open to recognizing the right opportunities when they are presented. It's really about knowing what you want, and keeping your focus on that, rather than what you don't want.
So, are you not on board with the cosmic ray, positive ion, aspect of this philosophy either?

PunkinDrublic
03-05-2007, 03:28 PM
I'm curious. What opportunities are presented to cancer patients who concentrate on the positives in their lives that are not afforded to those who are worried and scared by their condition?


By the way rep for the James Randi clip.

Ari Chi3fs
03-05-2007, 03:33 PM
Ultra Peanut decided he was gonna get fit and get into shape... he focused on getting fit and did the right things to get into shape.

Due to his focus, he went from 260lbs to 170lbs...

Same principle.

You get what you focus on.

people have a hard time buying into 'vibrations', but what about gravity, or magnets or wireless internet? We don't see any of that stuff, but it has an effect on us.

Just because we don't 'see' doesn't mean its not prevalent in our lives.

--- FWIW, the 'Secret' to me, is just repackaged Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich... which is one of the best books ever.

To attain anything, you must have a goal, a definite purpose, focus on that goal, and do the actions towards attainment of that goal. That is the 'Secret'

Fish
03-05-2007, 03:34 PM
So.... for the past 6 months or so... I've been concentrating very hard on Jenna Fischer... :drool: and wouldn't ya know it... she left her husband and she's moving in with me....

greg63
03-05-2007, 03:45 PM
…To lazy to read all that; could someone summarize?

Cochise
03-05-2007, 03:47 PM
This is really no different than the philosophy that is championed by the kookier brands of televangelists - that if you have enough faith, you can create whatever reality you want.

I don't mean the regular mainline pastors who happen to broadcast on TV, but the ones who claim to be able to heal people or are knocking people over with their jackets and such.

That philosophy - that you can somehow change reality just your mind - is packaged in Christian terminology by televangelists for their audience, people who are at least superficially susceptible to religion. It sounds like Oprah is selling the same thing repackaged in self-help terminology for people who are susceptible to self-help.

Jenson71
03-05-2007, 03:47 PM
…To lazy to read all that; could someone summarize?

Oprah bought scientist. Made time machine. Went back in time. Got stepped on dinosaur.

Ari Chi3fs
03-05-2007, 03:52 PM
It sounds like Oprah is selling the same thing repackaged in self-help terminology for people who are susceptible to self-help.

Who doesn't want some area of their life to be better?

Cochise
03-05-2007, 03:54 PM
Who doesn't want their life to be better?

That's not the same thing as being a self-help junkie, someone who worships the Oprahs and Dr. Phils of the world, someone who has chronic low self-esteem and is addicted to pop-psychology, buying into every self-help fad that comes down the pike.

SBK
03-05-2007, 04:08 PM
The Secret to me is Wallace D Wattles book, The Science of Getting Rich. Like Ari said Think and Grow Rich is all through it too. Heck, Proverbs says "as a man thinks, so is he."

What I find interesting is that people who are crazy rich, and have been super successful share how they did it--and are looked down upon for it. The people that haven't seen success will quickly insult these people because they obviously don't know what they're talking about.

At the age of 25 I was living in a $1.25 million dollar house, and I grew up in poverty. I dropped out of college because I couldn't afford it, and I took a job making $6.25 an hour. I was 20 when I did that.

The 'Secret' absolutely works.

greg63
03-05-2007, 04:11 PM
Oprah bought scientist. Made time machine. Went back in time. Got stepped on dinosaur.

Cool! Now mabe my wife will quit watching her.

Jenson71
03-05-2007, 04:15 PM
At the age of 25 I was living in a $1.25 million dollar house, and I grew up in poverty. I dropped out of college because I couldn't afford it, and I took a job making $6.25 an hour. I was 20 when I did that.


Man you worked a lot of overtime! ;)

Taco John
03-05-2007, 04:19 PM
So, are you not on board with the cosmic ray, positive ion, aspect of this philosophy either?



Not so much. At least I don't look at it cosmically at all. I think it's kind of silly to apply a macro philosophy to something that you want to apply on a micro level. I do believe that there is some sort of cosmic tie in somewhere along the line, as I'm a believer in God, and I think there is more to life than "you live, you die." But I'm not going to pretend to know how He works. I have my own opinions, but am humble enough to know that they're just that: opinions.

I just know that when bad things happen to me, I try to put the best face on them as possible and look for the opportunity. Sometimes it's easy. Sometimes it's incredibly hard. Sometime you just have to take a bad experience at face value and learn from it as best you can.
I don't know about cosmic rays or positive ions... I do know about "Garbage in Garbage out" and "I think therefore I am."

Taco John
03-05-2007, 04:20 PM
I'm curious. What opportunities are presented to cancer patients who concentrate on the positives in their lives that are not afforded to those who are worried and scared by their condition?


That's simple. The ones that they recognize.

Taco John
03-05-2007, 04:25 PM
Ultra Peanut decided he was gonna get fit and get into shape... he focused on getting fit and did the right things to get into shape.

Due to his focus, he went from 260lbs to 170lbs...

Same principle.

You get what you focus on.



Ooooohhh! Sounds really mystical! Should I stop taking my medicine?

Jenson71
03-05-2007, 04:33 PM
To attain anything, you must have a goal, a definite purpose, focus on that goal, and do the actions towards attainment of that goal. That is the 'Secret'

I don't mean to be disrespectful, Ari. But I'm just thinking - why do people need to buy a book/dvd/board game/self help coach to tell them that.

That is not a secret. That is common sense.

SBK
03-05-2007, 04:35 PM
I don't mean to be disrespectful, Ari. But I'm just thinking - why do people need to buy a book/dvd/board game/self help coach to tell them that.

This is not a secret. This is common sense.

Why do teams have coaches? Each player knows how to win, what's the coach there for?

Stewie
03-05-2007, 04:36 PM
People get what their little minds deserve. TV is a vast wasteland... Daytime TV is pandering to the smallest of minds. I remember surfing through channels while I was on vacation a couple of years ago. Oprah had a guy on their discussing health. He made a statement that blew me away. Something about how the oxygen content in the atmosphere was in the 35% range in the 1800s. I immediately changed the channel. I'm sure people bought into that idea.

Jenson71
03-05-2007, 04:41 PM
Why do teams have coaches? Each player knows how to win, what's the coach there for?

Because sports involve decisions, and a team is not a democracy.

Ultra Peanut
03-05-2007, 04:45 PM
Ooooohhh! Sounds really mystical! Should I stop taking my medicine?I guess so:

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=2681640&page=2

Perhaps the most controversial claim in "The Secret" is that the mind wields enormous power over our health.

"I've seen kidneys regenerated. I've seen cancer dissolved," said Michael Bernard Beckwith, founder of Agape International Spiritual Center.

Byrne told ABC that she wouldn't even get a flu shot because "if you're feeling good, how can you attract any illness to you?"

"Disease cannot live in a body that's in a healthy emotional state," Proctor says in the film.

KChiefs1
03-05-2007, 04:54 PM
Oprah is why my wife wants me to read Sidney Poitier's Measure of a Man book.

Fairplay
03-05-2007, 05:00 PM
I think Oprah might be the anti-christ.

Taco John
03-05-2007, 05:27 PM
I guess so:

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=2681640&page=2


So where's the part about not taking medicine?

I do appreciate the part where they say that it's sooooooo controversial to claim that the mind wields enormous power over our health. Oh wow! Such controvesey! Straight out of left field! Well, except for the fact that the "placebo effect" has demonstrated this to be the truth for almost a century... But other than that! Wow! It's just wacky-crazy!

Otter
03-05-2007, 06:16 PM
* Video cameras at a bachelor party or an all guy Vegas Vacation.

* A 2nd attempt at a failed high five.

* Channel surfing during a football game.

* Oprah threads on Chiefsplanet.

Can anyone tell me what these four situations have in common?

Fairplay
03-05-2007, 06:18 PM
* Video cameras at a bachelor party or an all guy Vegas Vacation.

* A 2nd attempt at a failed high five.

* Channel surfing during a football game.

* Oprah threads on Chiefsplanet.

Can anyone tell me what these four situations have in common?


Threads made by Newchief?

NewChief
03-05-2007, 06:25 PM
Threads made by Newchief?

nlm I'm riding this bitch to 100!

Guru
03-06-2007, 02:16 AM
Cliff notes version?

Ari Chi3fs
03-06-2007, 02:26 AM
Cliff notes version?

dude, CP rule is that when someone boasts of 100, you are supposed to let the thread die.

anyway, for all the haters, who thinks this is Im-ag-in-ary Cra-zi-ness.

<object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/csiAsbPxmmY"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/csiAsbPxmmY" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object>

how can this information be 'bad' for anyone? Seriously?

NewChief
03-06-2007, 04:24 AM
dude, CP rule is that when someone boasts of 100, you are supposed to let the thread die.

anyway, for all the haters, who thinks this is Im-ag-in-ary Cra-zi-ness.

<object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/csiAsbPxmmY"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/csiAsbPxmmY" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object>

how can this information be 'bad' for anyone? Seriously?

I'll watch the movie if I have time. Just a quick reason it might be "bad" for someone, though. What if someone has been handed a ton of shitty events and situations in their life: family members unexpectedly dying, children with health problems, financial woes. On top of that, let's say that person already battles with depression. Now, suddenly, they get this philosophy that basically says the reason they're having problems is because they've sent out negative vibes, thus bringing negativity back to them. Probably going to do wonders for that person's depression, right?

That's just one example of how I see this whole, "You get what you put out" theory as being dangerous. I agree with the idea that perspective is powerful. I don't agree with the cosmic ray projections control the events that occur in our lives.

Kraut
03-06-2007, 04:40 AM
You wanna know a real secret?

OPRAH YOU ARE FULL OF SHIT
:clap: :clap: :clap:

Ari Chi3fs
03-06-2007, 04:49 AM
I'll watch the movie if I have time. Just a quick reason it might be "bad" for someone, though. What if someone has been handed a ton of shitty events and situations in their life: family members unexpectedly dying, children with health problems, financial woes. On top of that, let's say that person already battles with depression. Now, suddenly, they get this philosophy that basically says the reason they're having problems is because they've sent out negative vibes, thus bringing negativity back to them. Probably going to do wonders for that person's depression, right?

That's just one example of how I see this whole, "You get what you put out" theory as being dangerous. I agree with the idea that perspective is powerful. I don't agree with the cosmic ray projections control the events that occur in our lives.

Family members dying isn't anything we have control over, moreover, it does effect our lives, but it ends theirs, so there is a finality to it...perhaps that is the result of their collective choices?

Children with health problems is another thing that is perplexing... perhaps it sometimes seems that those who die at an early age leave an important lesson for us, as they get to move onto a better place, we are left to ponder the meaning of it all.

How do we deal with such adversities? Do we crumble and choose to live in depression with bitterness? Or do we try to find a lesson in it to help us and others along their paths?

No one knows the answer to everything, we are all on a path, and there always seems to be exceptions to the rules...

but, our attitude ultimately determines our altitude in life, regardless of any beliefs.

Guru
03-06-2007, 04:50 AM
You wanna know a real secret?

OPRAH YOU ARE FULL OF SHIT
So thats how she takes the weight off?

Ari Chi3fs
03-06-2007, 04:57 AM
So Im watching the Movie The Prestige... and as soon as I sent my last message, this line of the movie was said.

" The Secret is nothing to them, it's how you use it, that is everything."

heh. a little synergy...

Ultra Peanut
03-06-2007, 07:04 AM
* A 2nd attempt at a failed high five.GIVE HIM THE BIG 8!

<object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/3ibL-srwJHo"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/3ibL-srwJHo" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object>

Ari Chi3fs
03-06-2007, 07:24 AM
I'll watch the movie if I have time.


Things like this always amuse me... when people have such a strong opinion about things they haven't even fully checked out.

NewChief
03-06-2007, 07:37 AM
Things like this always amuse me... when people have such a strong opinion about things they haven't even fully checked out.

I've checked out enough half-baked New Age crap in my life to be able to reliably predict what's going to be in the movie. It's all watered down versions of great philosophies and religions. For instance, this one seems to basically take some Tantric Buddhist practices and ideas and make them accessible.

StcChief
03-06-2007, 07:39 AM
New age BS.

Somebody is bilking a bunch of folks outta money.

Fish
03-06-2007, 08:22 AM
IMO, "The Secret" is incredibly shallow. It promotes greed and the selfish desire for material goods. It gives an overly simplistic and unrealistic outlook on life. It leaves people praying and thinking constantly about wealth and possessions, and gives them the false hope that all they need to do is want these things more.

And the way they try to mask this idea, as if it were some long lost formula hidden away in a tunnel, is just outright silly.

Think positively and work towards your goals, but don't think that the universe is going to provide you with all of your petty little material wants simply because you really really want them.

boogblaster
03-06-2007, 08:24 AM
I did Oprah once..and yes, its the opening to the black-hole.....

Cochise
03-06-2007, 08:26 AM
This reminds me of that HeadOn stuff. I'm sure there are people out there who will swear up and down that it works, that applying the chap-stick like substance on their skin is somehow going to penetrate their skull and relieve a headache.