Tonight I thought we’d open up a dialogue about “The Secret” and the ideas behind “The Law of Attraction”….

Lunacy, Positive Mental Attitude or Mastery of Universal Energies ???

Whatever, for the author of The Secret it has proven to be a very profitable enterprise, dare I say franchise?

Before that please allow me to share some seasons wishes via the Yule Yeti…

 

 

And now, some items of news…

 

Litigation Madness

September this year Jared and Lindsay Rowley from Aurora Colorado sued Jesse Dimmick for $75,000. Dimmick broke into the Rowleys home in 2009 and his invasion resulted in emotional distress.

Dimmick was convicted in May 2010 and sentenced to nearly 11 years in prison and still faces murder charges over the 2009 killing of a Denver area man. However the convicted kidnapper has now decided to counter-sue the Rowleys for ‘breach of contract’.

Dimmick wants $235,000 because the Rowley’s they did not deliver on an “oral contract” to hide him in exchange for money.

Who censors the censors?

Senator Stephen Conroy, the minister in charge of television and radio broadcast standards who also wants to censor the internet in Australia lived down to his own lowest common denominator when he used the F-word during a live TV broadcast.

British born Mr Conroy was addressing the National Press Club in Canberra when he used the expletive in response to a question about investing in Australia.

“I love the debate about sovereign risk,” he said. “If a tax goes up, God, that is sovereign risk. But if a tax goes down, ——- fantastic.”

The Minister for Communications immediately apologised for the slip of the tongue, quickly adding: “Excuse me.”

So are Black Cats a sign of Luck?

A black cat in Italy has lived up to its reputation for good luck after inheriting 10 million euros (£8.5 million) from his adoptive owner, a widowed heiress.

Four-year-old Tommaso, who was saved from a hardscrabble existence on the mean streets of Rome, Italy, as a kitten, is now the proud owner of cash, shares and a property empire which includes flats and houses in Rome and Milan and land in Calabria.

Tommaso went from flea-bitten alley cat to “pussy galore” after being rescued by a lonely old lady, named only as Maria Assunta, who was married to a property tycoon but widowed at an early age. The couple had no children.

She became besotted with her pet but as her health began to fail, feared for his future.

So in November 2009 she wrote out a will in which she bequeathed her “entire estate” to the unknowing Tommaso.

She instructed her lawyers to “identify an animal welfare association or group to which to leave the estate and the commitment of looking after Tommaso”.

Faking It..

A Sacramento-area teenager is facing charges after allegedly faking an elaborate kidnapping story via text messages and voice mails. Christina Almanza, 17, was the subject of an Amber Alert after she was reported missing from her home. Almanza sent her family members disturbing texts and voice mails claiming she was being held with other girls in a possible sex ring. Police found Almanza in a home with two other people the next day, including a man she apparently met via social media

Almanza is believed to have a two-year-old child, and may be pregnant again. Police suspect she may have faked the kidnapping so her parents would not be upset about her second pregnancy.

She is charged with filing a false police report.

Parent Power

On the 7th December a group of parents have a took a school headmistress and several teachers hostage in the town of Berre l’Etang in the south of France. The parents wanted one of the teachers fired.

“We are very worried that the pupils are falling behind in school. We think our children are in danger. That’s why we have decided to hold the headmistress and a couple of teachers hostage. We want things to change,” said Christophe Planes, one of the parents, reported in the paper Le Figaro.

Pupil Disempowerment

On the 1st December a Lawsuit was filed after New Mexico Teen was arrested for burping in class

The 13-year-old had been handcuffed and hauled off to a juvenile detention for burping in class, according to a lawsuit filed against an Albuquerque school principal, a teacher and city police officer.

The boy was transported without his parents being notified in May after he “burped audibly” in PE class and his teacher called a school resource officer to complain he was disrupting her class.

The lawsuit also details a separate Nov. 8 incident when the same student was forced to strip down to his underwear while five adults watched as he was accused of selling pot to another student; the boy was never charged.

The suit was one of two filed by civil rights attorney Shannon Kennedy, who says she has been fighting the district and police for years over the use of force with problem children.

In the other case, the parents of a 7-year-old boy with autism accuse an Albuquerque police officer of unlawful arrest for handcuffing the boy to a chair after he became agitated in class.

The Cost of Alternative Treatments

Although Steve Jobs had the foresight to design popular products such as the iPhone and iPad, cancer was something nobody could’ve of predicted.  For the Apple co-founder, his emphasis on alternative treatments didn’t exactly turn out as well has hoped.  According to the authorized biography by Walter Issacson, Jobs revealed that he stalled his surgery by nine months to pursure alternative methods instead.

According to doctors, the pancreatic tumor Jobs had was “treatable” and by delaying his surgery, the chances for survival were cut. He went beyond his doctor’s recommendations after being diagnosed with cancer in October 2003 and delayed treatments which could’ve saved his life.  According to doctors, the pancreatic tumor Jobs had was “treatable” and by delaying his surgery, the chances for survival were cut.

The biography descibes how Jobs attempted to combat his cancer using a variety of alternative treatments which included a vegan diet, acupuncture, herbal remedies, and even consulting a psychic.  Jobs would later regret his decision to wait so long for surgery, a period which possibly allowed the cancer to spread.

“I really didn’t want them to open up my body, so I tried to see if other things would work,” says Jobs.  The biography which is set to hit stores Monday was originally scheduled to be released much later in the year, but production was pushed after Jobs’s untimely death.

Here’s another in our occasional features of list of odd Top Tens – this time..

The Top Ten Coincidences

10 :   Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, an 18th century German poet was riding on the road to Drusenheim. Riding toward him was someone who looked exactly like him, but but wearing a gray suit trimmed in gold. Eight years later, von Goethe was again traveling on the same road, but in the opposite direction. He then realized he was wearing the very gray suit trimmed in gold that he had seen his double wear eight years earlier.

9. While American novelist Anne Parrish was browsing bookstores in Paris in the 1920s, she came upon a book that was one of her childhood favorites entitled “Jack Frost and Other Stories.” She immediately showed it to her husband, remarking that the story had been one of her favorites as a little girl. Her husband opened the book and was stunned to read the inscription inside: “Anne Parrish, 209 N. Weber Street, Colorado Springs, Colorado.” As it turns out, the book was the one she had as a child.

8. In 1858, Robert Fallon was shot dead, an act of vengeance by those with whom he was playing poker. Fallon, they claimed, had won the $600 pot through cheating. With Fallon’s seat empty and none of the other players willing to take the now-unlucky $600, they found a new player to take Fallon’s place and staked him with the dead man’s $600. By the time the police had arrived to investigate the killing, the new player had turned the $600 into $2,200 in winnings. The police demanded the original $600 to pass on to Fallon’s next of kin – only to discover that the new player turned out to be Fallon’s son, who had not seen his father in seven years.

7. Mark Twain was a popular American author who wrote such books as the Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.  Mark Twain was born on the day of the appearance of Halley’s Comet in 1835, and died on the day of its next appearance in 1910. He himself predicted this in 1909, when he said: “I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it.”

 

6. Henry Ziegland thought he had dodged fate. In 1883, he broke off a relationship with his girlfriend who, out of distress, committed suicide. The girl’s brother was so enraged that he hunted down Ziegland and shot him. The brother, believing he had killed Ziegland, then turned his gun on himself and took his own life. But Ziegland had not been killed. The bullet, in fact, had only grazed his face and then lodged in a tree. Ziegland surely thought of himself as a lucky man. Some years later however, Ziegland decided to cut down the large tree, which still had the bullet in it. The task seemed so formidable that he decided to blow it up with a few sticks of dynamite. The explosion propelled the bullet into Ziegland’s head, killing him.

5. In 1975, while riding a moped in Bermuda, a man was accidentally struck and killed by a taxi. One year later, this man’s bother was killed in the very same way. In fact, he was riding the very same moped. And to stretch the odds even further, he was struck by the very same taxi driven by the same driver – and even carrying the very same passenger!

4. An article in the January, 1980 edition of Reader’s Digest reported the strange lives of identical twin boys, separated at birth in Ohio, and adopted by different families. Forty years later the boys were reunited and discovered that their lives had been amazingly parallel. Both boys were named James. Both trained in law enforcement. Both had abilities in mechanical drawing and carpentry. They both married women named Linda, had sons named James Alan and James Allan, respectively. Both brothers later divorced and both remarried women named Betty. They both owned dogs named Toy.

3. In the 19th century, the famous horror writer, Egdar Allan Poe, wrote a book called ‘The narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym’. It was about four survivors of a shipwreck who were in an open boat for many days before they decided to kill and eat the cabin boy whose name was Richard Parker. Some years later, in 1884, the yawl Mignonette foundered with only four survivors and were in an open boat for many days. Eventuality the three senior members of the crew, killed and ate the cabin boy. The name of the cabin boy was Richard Parker.

2. Then comes the lives of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, two of America’s founders. Jefferson crafted the Declaration of Independence, showing drafts of it to Adams, who (with Benjamin Franklin) helped to edit and hone it. The Continental Congress approved the document on July 4, 1776. Surprisingly, both Jefferson and Adams died on the same day, July 4, 1826 – exactly 50 years from the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

1. In Monza, Italy, King Umberto I, went to a small restaurant for dinner, accompanied by his aide-de-camp, General Emilio Ponzia-Vaglia. When the owner took King Umberto’s order, the King noticed that he and the restaurant owner were virtual doubles, in face and in build. Both men began discussing the striking resemblance between each other and found many more similarities. Both men were born in the same place, on the same day, of the same year, (March 14th, 1844; Turin, Italy).  On the day that the king married Queen Margherita, the restaurant owner had married a lady named Margherita.  The restaurateur opened his restaurant on the same day that King Umberto was crowned King of Italy.  On the 29th July 1900, King Umberto was informed that the restaurateur had died that day in a mysterious shooting accident, and as he expressed his regret, an anarchist in the crowd then assassinated him.

(Source: Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, Phenomena: A Book of Wonders, John Michell and Robert J. M. Rickard, Reader’s Digest, January 1980, BBC, Wikipedia.)

 

THE SECRET…

Is ‘The Secret” a real Secret?

 

Well it’s not now anyway…

With over 5.3 million copies of the book sold in the US alone and with sales in 2007 averaging about 150,000 copies in a week any claim to ‘secrecy’ must be called into question.

“The Secret’s” not so secret website happily proclaims that …

“Rhonda Byrne’s discovery of The Secret began with a glimpse of the truth through a 100 year old book. She went back through the centuries, tracing and uncovering common truth that lay at the core of the most powerful philosophies, teachings and religions in the world.”

So tonight we will be looking at the background to this claim; the source of Rhonda Byrne’s Secret and, perhaps, the somewhat unsavory logical conclusions that can be drawn from it.

As is usual I set our researcher lose on the topic to see what she could glean from a fairly rapid internet search. Like so many of the topics we cover this was something which was totally new to her and so she approached the task with unbiased mind and a keen reporters eye.

This is Catherine’s ‘primer’

The Secret

‘The Secret’ is a self-help film published in 2006 by Australian television producer and author Rhonda Byrne that evolved into a book.  It centralises around themes of positive thinking and the law of attraction, that is, that positive and negative thinking directly affect or induce positive and negative consequences.

Prior to her rise to fame as write of ‘The Secret’, she produced Sensing Murder, Worlds Greatest Commercials and Marry Me and in 2010, she released a sequel to ‘The Secret’ – ‘The Power’.

In the US, the book sold more than 5 million copies .

In 2004, Byrne experienced an unspecified period of personal trauma which quickly turned into a breakdown.  In her time of trouble, she turned to a book by Wallace Wattles entitled ‘The Science of getting rich’ published in 1910.

This book was the inspiration behind her writing ‘The Secret’ and became an integral foundation on which her theories were built.

Wallace Wattles himself was a New Thought promoter, the central ideas of which may be familiar to current New Age thinkers.  Ideas involved mostly include ones of personal betterment and the metaphysical, such as the aforementioned positive thinking and the law of attraction as well as the transcendental notions of healing and life force.

Wattles theology dated as far back as 3000BC according to Byrne and she referenced many historical figures as promoters and teachers of this way of thinking, despite the fact that many of those she spoke of were not around in a period when these theories first circulated.

Among those she quoted as being ‘Secret teachers’ were Buddha, Aristotle, Plato, Sir Isaac Newton, Martin Luther King Jr, Carl Jung, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Alexander Graham Bell and Beethoven.

The book was featured on the Oprah Winfrey show and since then gained massive amounts of hype, Byrne’s experience as a producer helping her to successfully promote and advertise her book.

While the book has been met with many claims of ‘it saved my life’ or ‘turned my life around’, it has also been met with a great deal of hostility given the main principle in the law of attraction.

The idea that positive thinking attracts positive consequences could be considered fairly harmless, perhaps beneficial, however, positive thinking to an extreme degree could be damaging.  Cases exist of people abandoning much needed medical treatment in favour of wishing the ailment away and for this reason those in the medical profession openly reject ‘The Secret’ and it’s underlying values.

The notion that negative thinking attracts negatives consequences is an even more contraversial idea that many argue is incredibly detrimental.

It is a concept that suggests those who suffer bring it upon themselves on both an individual basis, such as a heart attack victim, and on a wider spectrum such as the citizens of Japan during the tsunami.  The criticism some make of the law of attraction is that it would conclude that these individuals and cultures thought negatively and therefore it is their own fault that these things happened to them.

The law of attraction could be seen as a premise that boycotts compassion of others and as one that seeks to promote a God-like self-importance.  Religious leaders criticise it for these reasons as well as its’ quotations from the Bible, in particular it speaks of ‘asking for anything through prayer and it shall be received.’

It could also be noted that the books promotes the obliteration of stress, putting aside the fact that stress can accompany a difficult but necessary task that eventually leads to something positive.  If there is no stress involved in life then how would one get a degree or earn a promotion?  It has been pointed out how it might be worth remembering that nothing worth having comes easy.

Public criticism aside, ‘The Secret’ also attempted to bolster it’s statements with quantum physics.  However, it spoke of the quantum physics of ‘thought energy’, in more of a metaphysical way than a scientific one.  Use of the words ‘magnetic’ and ‘radiate’ were not strictly testable or measurable forces.

Additionally, Byrne has no education or qualifications in relateable fields.

The book has been parodied in many a TV series since, including The IT Crowd, Family Guy and The Simpsons.  The IT Crowd episode featured a religion called ‘Spaceology’ (Also parodying Scientology) whereby stars in the sky were fulfilled wishes and by writing wishes down and throwing them over your shoulder you could obtain anything you liked.  The character featured went as far as wishing for a robot hand prior to wishing for a tattoo, after giving himself a tattoo it became infected and his hand was amputated, thereby resulting in his robot hand!

Listen to the show  to get more of the discussion..

 

Music in tonights show from musicalley.com

Music tonight:

Jen Elliot : The Secret’s Out

Dialis : Secretly-TheAbyss

3rd Culture : Like I Used To

Al Stravinski : In A Dream

Crossfire : Show Me the Way

Brian Keith Waller : Frame of Mind

Other References:

The Secret of Happiness 

 

The Rational Mystic Blog  (search The Secret)

 

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta