Author Topic: "What the Bleep?" and "The Secret"  (Read 6987 times)

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Offline Ursus

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Re: So, what's The Secret?
« Reply #30 on: August 02, 2010, 10:59:29 AM »
Quote from: "Ursus"
Quote from: "DannyB II"
Quote from: "Ursus"
Quote from: "DannyB II"
You do understand the average price was $9000.00, not chicken feed. The people who attended were your above average income earners, white collar executives. Supposed to be smart, level-headed folks yet without much common sense.
Who pays $9000.00 for a weekend, folks who have cash and don't care how they spend it.
So no, they are not weak and gullible, they are folks with to much money and no common sense.
According to the update in this article, the price for the Spiritual Warrior experience was $9,695. As many as 68 people were allegedly crammed into that sweat box.

Within two hours, it became necessary to place a 911 call regarding two folk who had no pulse. By the time emergency help arrived, 19 additional folk also had to be transported to a variety of local hospitals, several even helicoptered off of the retreat site.

This would be a roughly 31% "mishap" rate, presuming an accurate head count. Not due to an act of God; no thunderbolts struck the sweat lodge, no tornadoes carted anyone away. So who was responsible for this, eh? Are ya gonna blame the whole thing on the participants who signed up for this, the "folks with to
  • [/b] much money and no common sense?"
Well if I was to take your train of thought, I would just blame James. I can't do that Ursus, why because their is a level of expectation that these participants have some common sense. They are above average wage earners so they must have some smarts.
I see. So... the more money you have or earn, the smarter you are? If I was to follow that train of thought, that kinda implies that ... the poorer you are, the dumber you must be. Maybe not.

Disregarding the disposable income issue for the moment, just what ARE you implying here? That it is totally okay for any huckster to come up with any newage "spiritual" experience they want, regardless of any consequences or common sense safety issues, and regardless of whether or not they know what the heck they are doing, and that it is completely up to the participants to protect themselves?

You state that there is "a level of expectation that these participants have some common sense." Isn't there also a level of expectation that the facilitators of these experiential exercises have common sense, if not more so, given that they claim to be the "professional experts," are paid handsomely for that expertise, and are the ones in charge of the whole affair?

Why do you fault the participants for not having enough common sense, yet not the facilitators or owners of these LGATs?
Bumpity bump.
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Offline psy

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Re:
« Reply #31 on: August 02, 2010, 11:16:50 AM »
Quote from: "Froderik"
So essentially what sort of bullshit does it attempt to convey?
Human potential, same as LifeSpring / Est / Resource Realizations / Premier Seminars / LifeSteps / Propheets...  Basically the idea that everything that's happened to you in your life is your fault (not just your actions which is reasonable, but also what is done to you).  Of course that means that if you can become "enlightened" into the viewpoint of the group you can do anything or go anywhere in life with sheer willpower.  The "Secret" teaches that if you're fat, all you have to do to become thin is to hang around exclusively with thin people.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret_(book)
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Offline Ursus

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Re: "The Secret"
« Reply #32 on: August 02, 2010, 12:45:54 PM »
Quote from: "psy"
Quote from: "Froderik"
So essentially what sort of bullshit does it attempt to convey?
Human potential, same as LifeSpring / Est / Resource Realizations / Premier Seminars / LifeSteps / Propheets...  Basically the idea that everything that's happened to you in your life is your fault (not just your actions which is reasonable, but also what is done to you).  Of course that means that if you can become "enlightened" into the viewpoint of the group you can do anything or go anywhere in life with sheer willpower.  The "Secret" teaches that if you're fat, all you have to do to become thin is to hang around exclusively with thin people.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret_(book)
Corrected LINK...
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Offline Ursus

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The Secret of Mass Delusion
« Reply #33 on: August 02, 2010, 12:56:02 PM »
The Huffington Post
Barbara Ehrenreich · New York Times bestselling author
Posted: February 27, 2007 01:22 PM


The Secret of Mass Delusion

The leaders of Delta Zeta - the sorority which just made national news by expelling all overweight and nonwhite members from its Depauw University chapter - must have read The Secret. In this runaway self-help bestseller, author Rhonda Byrne advises that you can keep your weight down by avoiding the sight of fat people. "If you see people who are overweight, do not observe them, but immediately switch your mind to the picture of you in your perfect body and feel it." Don't worry about calories, just get rid of that 150-pound sorority sister down the hall.

Here's The Secret, in case you missed it: You can have anything you want simply by visualizing it intensely enough. I don't have to write this blog, I can simply visualize it already written - or could, if I'd bothered to read the whole book and finish the DVD. To be fair to Byrne, she does not suggest avoiding nonwhite people; in fact one of the teachers of "the secret" she cites is the African-American motivational speaker Lisa Nichols. The Delta Zeta leaders probably just thought: Why take a chance?

Can you really get anything you want through some mysterious "Law of Attraction"? It may not be as easy as it seems. Take the case of Esther Hicks, spirit-channeler, motivational speaker, and co-author of a book entitled The Law of Attraction. Byrne had told Hicks she would have a starring role in the DVD of The Secret, but her face was never shown in the film's first cut (although her voice, channeling a group of spirits called "Abraham" was used throughout.) Hicks was furious and demanded that her voice, or Abraham's, also be excised from the DVD, which has now sold about 1.5 million copies.

Possibly Hicks was just too fat for the film, or at least too dowdy. It's hard to judge her weight from a photo in the New York Times, which shows Hicks seated - eyes closed in channeling mode - inside her $1.4 million bus. But just underneath is a photo of a sylph-like Byrnes frolicking on a beach in a fur-trimmed jacket. From a Delta Zeta perspective, who would you rather look at?

Hicks says she is not going to sue, and why should she? She could just use the Law of Attraction to reinsert herself back into the DVD. Or to deflect Byrne's profits into her own bank account. Or to take off 15 pounds and have them padded onto Byrne's tiny waist.

If a leading proponent of the Law of Attraction cannot control a little thing like a DVD with her thoughts, then why are millions of Americans spending good money to find out how to use that Law to control the entire universe? The scary thing is that the subscribers to the Law aren't just a bunch of wistful, isolated, misfits. Read the reviews of the DVD of The Secret and you find that companies are beginning to impose it on their employees. An N.Van Buskirk writes that:

    I was presented this DVD at work and I found it disturbing. A gimmick to say the least, but the real issue is that I felt like I was being indoctrinated into a cult -- I had to leave about half-way through.

And Steven E. Cramer, an employer, reports that "I had my sales staff watch 'The Secret,' and saw an immediate jump in morale, goals and production."

Or check out the credentials of the "teachers" enlisted in The Secret. Most are well-known motivational speakers who claim to instruct such business heavy-weights as financial advisors, developers and a "master marketer." One of The Secret's teachers, Denis Waitley, includes on his website testimonials from Merrill Lynch, WorldCom, 3M, Dell Computers and IBM, among many others.

Well, here's a little secret I'd like to share, channeled to me by Einstein, Newton and thousands of enlightenment thinkers: When the leaders of a major economy lapse into mysticism and come to believe they can accomplish things through their mental vibrations, without lifting a finger - then it's time to start thinking about going into subsistence farming on a remote compound in Idaho. I'll have the DVD out in no time.


Copyright © 2010 HuffingtonPost.com, Inc.
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Offline DannyB II

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Re: Re:
« Reply #34 on: August 02, 2010, 07:12:24 PM »
Quote from: "psy"
Quote from: "Froderik"
So essentially what sort of bullshit does it attempt to convey?
Human potential, same as LifeSpring / Est / Resource Realizations / Premier Seminars / LifeSteps / Propheets...  Basically the idea that everything that's happened to you in your life is your fault (not just your actions which is reasonable, but also what is done to you).  Of course that means that if you can become "enlightened" into the viewpoint of the group you can do anything or go anywhere in life with sheer willpower.  The "Secret" teaches that if you're fat, all you have to do to become thin is to hang around exclusively with thin people.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret_(book)

OK so now this has to be the 18th explanation you have given on how you do life. When your talking about AA, it is pull yourself together, you are stronger then alcohol, God is not going to help you. When your talking about James Ray who works with adults you pretty much put the Adults on the same level as children in treatment centers. It is all there fault.
Which is in essence your whole premise for being here Psy, first it was mommy and Daddy (they kicked you out of the house), then it was the Treatment Center, then it was I forgive my parents (they let you back in the house) and it remained I hate the Treatment Center. Now I hate AA, James Ray, Warrior Workshops ect.....
Does this pretty much wrap it up in laymen terms.
It's common sense Psy, your pissed off and anything resembling (whether it is accurate or not) Benchmark will be labeled, oppressive.
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Offline psy

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Re: Re:
« Reply #35 on: August 02, 2010, 08:07:25 PM »
Quote from: "DannyB II"
Quote from: "psy"
Quote from: "Froderik"
So essentially what sort of bullshit does it attempt to convey?
Human potential, same as LifeSpring / Est / Resource Realizations / Premier Seminars / LifeSteps / Propheets...  Basically the idea that everything that's happened to you in your life is your fault (not just your actions which is reasonable, but also what is done to you).  Of course that means that if you can become "enlightened" into the viewpoint of the group you can do anything or go anywhere in life with sheer willpower.  The "Secret" teaches that if you're fat, all you have to do to become thin is to hang around exclusively with thin people.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret_(book)

OK so now this has to be the 18th explanation you have given on how you do life. When your talking about AA, it is pull yourself together, you are stronger then alcohol, God is not going to help you.t.

You're missing my point.  People are 100% responsible for their own actions (drinking is an action).  People are not 100% responsible for what other people do to them.  That's the difference.  People who claim that they are in charge of everything in their lives are as absurd as the AA folk who claim they are in charge of nothing (or at the very least their own actions in relation to alcohol).  Other than the point you just brought up, AA has absolutely nothing to do with this discussion.  While 12 step and human potential philosophies are often taught in conjunction in programs, they completely contradict rather than complement each other.  Getting people to accept two sets of contradictory dogma is one method cults and programs use to stop critical thinking.
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Offline SUCK IT

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Re: Re:
« Reply #36 on: August 02, 2010, 08:36:02 PM »
Quote from: "psy"
People are 100% responsible for their own actions (drinking is an action).  

Science and all the professionals involved in the drug treatment industry would care to disagree. We get it, you don't believe in addiction, but it's a fact and has been studied for a long time. Why do you think people continue to smoke cigarettes even though they know it's horrible for their health? Denial, denial, denial, it's not just a river in Egypt.
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one day at a time

Offline DannyB II

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Re: Re:
« Reply #37 on: August 02, 2010, 08:46:56 PM »
Quote from: "psy"
Quote from: "DannyB II"
Quote from: "psy"
Quote from: "Froderik"
So essentially what sort of bullshit does it attempt to convey?
Human potential, same as LifeSpring / Est / Resource Realizations / Premier Seminars / LifeSteps / Propheets...  Basically the idea that everything that's happened to you in your life is your fault (not just your actions which is reasonable, but also what is done to you).  Of course that means that if you can become "enlightened" into the viewpoint of the group you can do anything or go anywhere in life with sheer willpower.  The "Secret" teaches that if you're fat, all you have to do to become thin is to hang around exclusively with thin people.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Secret_(book)

OK so now this has to be the 18th explanation you have given on how you do life. When your talking about AA, it is pull yourself together, you are stronger then alcohol, God is not going to help you.t.

You're missing my point.  People are 100% responsible for their own actions (drinking is an action).  People are not 100% responsible for what other people do to them.  That's the difference.  People who claim that they are in charge of everything in their lives are as absurd as the AA folk who claim they are in charge of nothing (or at the very least their own actions in relation to alcohol).  Other than the point you just brought up, AA has absolutely nothing to do with this discussion.  While 12 step and human potential philosophies are often taught in conjunction in programs, they completely contradict rather than complement each other.  Getting people to accept two sets of contradictory dogma is one method cults and programs use to stop critical thinking.


How are "Human Potential" and the "12 steps" a contradiction. Why would you even say such a thing. Why would a program want to teach both simultaneously, I don't think they would nullify each other but rather turn into to progression. I could see someone entering AA and sobering up and then get involved in workshops provided by HP.

The 12 steps are teachings try to help you rid yourself of the fears, that have been holding you back from being successful in all facets of life. Human Potential focuses more on empowerment, creativity, assertive action ect....

For the alcoholic who has been in the grips of drinking for years, Human Potential would be a bit much early on but as time went on, I could see this being offered.  

Just my short take right now.
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Offline psy

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Re: Re:
« Reply #38 on: August 02, 2010, 08:49:38 PM »
Quote from: "SUCK IT"
Quote from: "psy"
People are 100% responsible for their own actions (drinking is an action).  

Science and all the professionals involved in the drug treatment industry would care to disagree.
Depnding on how you would define "addiction", i believe in it.  If you call it bad habit, yes.  If you call it a disease, no.  Science agrees with me.  While some people may have a genetically greater desire (and even that's debatable) for certain substance that doesn't mean the desire (or any desire) overwhelms free will and takes away a person's responsibility for their actions.   The drug treatment industry disagrees because AA has been successful in prosthetizing itself into the treatment and public consciousness as the "only way".  Also, many in the treatment industry are former patients who now spend their time doing little more than proselytizing for a cult turned religion founded by an embezzling, philandering, drunk.

Quote
Why do you think people continue to smoke cigarettes even though they know it's horrible for their health?
Because they desire the pleasure of a cigarette more than they desire good health.  It's a choice.  Sure it can be difficult to give up that pleasure (as habits can be) but there is no magical "disease" interfering with free choice.  Lots of people quit every day on their own and nicotine as a bad habit is a lot more difficult to quit than many other substances.  They quit on their own because common knowledge tells them it's posible.  Thankfully nobody founded a fucking religion around it and tricked the populous at large into thinking they needed to wacky meetings and do bizarre step-based rituals for the rest of their lives.
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Offline DannyB II

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Re: Re:
« Reply #39 on: August 02, 2010, 09:29:43 PM »
Quote from: "psy"
Quote from: "SUCK IT"
Quote from: "psy"
People are 100% responsible for their own actions (drinking is an action).  

Science and all the professionals involved in the drug treatment industry would care to disagree.
Depnding on how you would define "addiction", i believe in it.  If you call it bad habit, yes.  If you call it a disease, no.  Science agrees with me.  While some people may have a genetically greater desire (and even that's debatable) for certain substance that doesn't mean the desire (or any desire) overwhelms free will and takes away a person's responsibility for their actions.   The drug treatment industry disagrees because AA has been successful in prosthetizing itself into the treatment and public consciousness as the "only way".  Also, many in the treatment industry are former patients who now spend their time doing little more than proselytizing for a cult turned religion founded by an embezzling, philandering, drunk.


OK are we talking about actions or addictions. I believe you can have a addiction and through proper action remove its core and render it mute.
Though Pys, you must admit the addiction, dependency, bad habit, self destructive behavior for the proper source of action, to happen.
This is what the 12 steps are teaching, period.
Psy, it is folks like yourself who give AA this "sinister power".



Quote
Why do you think people continue to smoke cigarettes even though they know it's horrible for their health?
Because they desire the pleasure of a cigarette more than they desire good health.  It's a choice.  Sure it can be difficult to give up that pleasure (as habits can be) but there is no magical "disease" interfering with free choice.  Lots of people quit every day on their own and nicotine as a bad habit is a lot more difficult to quit than many other substances.  They quit on their own because common knowledge tells them it's posible. Thankfully nobody founded a fucking religion around it and tricked the populous at large into thinking they needed to wacky meetings and do bizarre step-based rituals for the rest of their lives.


OK, did we really need to insult Bill, com'on he is dead already.
 
That drunk revolutionized they way they deal with drunks. They used to give them Valium and let them drool it off, gave them shock treatments, lobotomizes and just straight jacket them for days. So hey, we have come a long ways.
Relax Pys, folks like yourself and I can bring the 2nd revelation to AA, " It's a choice", "There is no magical "disease" interfering with (Free Choice)".

I am more serious then you think. AA was supposed to be a place were you went to study/learn for one hour, then go back to your life. Many folks in AA have turned their local meeting into a hang out, a place for social activities. This is why we have all these negative connotations because a bunch of undisciplined folks who are used getting high, drinking, picking up dates and so forth, have a place to do this.
I seldom attend meeting at AA clubhouses, I would rather go to a church. Seems like folks are less inclined to act out there.
I like to see folks recover from a seemingly state of hopelessness and despair. That what I enjoy doing is giving back.

Folks are lazy that want to believe in the "disease theory". I don't. I am about action, always have been. The 12 steps gave me a design for living that nobody else was able to do. Yes I was ready at 28 years old, finally. In my case my parents could have never taught me what AA did, I don't rule out a mentor, a priest, adopted father, uncle ect...could not have taught me probably the same principles of life. Though I seriously doubt that any of those I mentioned above could have shared similar experiences that a drug addict/alcoholic endured. So I am grateful that AA I both lessons available for me.
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Offline DannyB11

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Re:
« Reply #40 on: August 03, 2010, 11:46:39 AM »
my apologies Psy, again my multiple personality disorder is flaring again. I am powerless over it you see. I want to clarify that in my previous post when I said i enjoy "giving back" that really means "creating new minions". I have a secret: each new person i convince that they are an addict like myself - I gain their soul as a slave in the afterlife.
Peace and Powerlessness
Danny
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Peace and Powerlessness(TM)

Offline Ursus

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James Ray & John Norcross debate THE SECRET, March 2007
« Reply #41 on: August 03, 2010, 12:50:35 PM »
Here's a great little interview. The news anchor who interviewed these two ... later ended up also doing a fair amount of news coverage of the James 'Death' Ray sweat lodge debacle just two and a half years later:

    CBSNewsOnline · March 01, 2007
    Experts Debate Self-Help Phenom 'The Secret' (CBS News)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zn4EXAETBhA

    James Ray and John Norcross debate the merits and the demerits of 'The Secret'[/list]

    I couldn't help but notice James Ray's continual reference to "case studies," perhaps more accurately described as testimonials. These appeared to be pretty much the basis for Ray's claims of "scientific studies."

    John Norcross pointed out that case studies are not the same thing as clinical trials. There will always be cases of spontaneous remissions, etc. etc. Their co-occurrence does not prove causality. Sound familiar, anyone?  :D
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    Offline Ursus

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    The Key to the Law of Attraction
    « Reply #42 on: August 06, 2010, 07:40:55 PM »
    There are actually six separate links to the same site within this older "blog" entry by James Arthur Ray ("CREATE HARMONIC WEALTH® IN ALL AREAS OF YOUR LIFE..."), which direct you to purchase the book, The Key: The Missing Secret for Attracting Anything You Want. That's high even for an obvious commercial!  

    -------------- • -------------- • --------------

    Tuesday, October 23, 2007
    The Key to the Law of Attraction

    Many people often question the Law of Attraction...

      "Come on, does the Law of Attraction work or not?"
      "Why does it seem to work sometimes but not all the time?"
      "Why is there at least one stubborn problem in my life that just won't go away, even when I throw all the self-help methods at it?"

    Maybe you're even asking the same...

    My friend (and fellow costar of The Secret), Joe Vitale has a brand new book that addresses all of these questions and more. It's called The Key: The Missing Secret for Attracting Anything You Want.

    This phenomenal book explains what Joe regards as the fundamental error in virtually all self-help programs...

    In short:

    • Anything will work when you are in alignment with your goals.
    • Nothing will work until you get in alignment with your goals.

    "Alignment" means your conscious and unconscious mind want the same thing.

    Most people are not in alignment with what they say they want, so they end up blaming their lack of results on everything from the movie they watched, the book they read, the therapist they saw, the self-help program they tried and so on.

    But the real problem isn't out there... it's inside and requires inner "clearing" work.

    How do you get in alignment so you can have, do, or be virtually anything? How do you get your conscious intent and your unconscious counter-intent to agree? How do you "get clear" once and for all?

    The Key is the missing secret to knowing how to consciously co-create circumstance...the final piece to the puzzle.

    Get the book, as well as a bunch of free gifts, from this link: http://www.unlock-the-secret.com/

    If you know you can achieve more but can't seem to make it happen, The Key reveals the psychological and unconscious limitations that are holding you back. It reveals ten proven ways to remedy this situation, aligning your conscious and unconscious beliefs once and for all.

    I highly recommend you get your hands on a copy right away.

    By the way, The Key is also available on audio, read by the man himself, Joe Vitale. Look for it on iTunes, Audible.com, Amazon.com or BN.com.

    Labels: book, vitale

    --------------  --------------

    Comments:

    George Thomas said ... (10/30/2007 7:02 PM):
      GOD BLESS YOU, James Ray.

      You'll forgive my overwhelming enthusiasm. This is evidence (in case any was needed) that TRUTH, LOVE and - dare I write it - Nah.. But some know what I was about to.

      You have promoted the work of what 'back in the old days' would have been viewed as a "competitor".

      But - with new understanding comes new behavior. I commend you as much as another human can - God Bless you, James Ray (and I know it is happening as I write).

      Yes, I'm reading Dr. Joe's book. Yes, I was in Atlanta for the weekend (and I recommend that any and everyone make one of these events).

      Sincerely (without wax) -
      Love - to you, and the team,

      George
    http://www.iwantmiracles.com/[/list]
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    Offline Ursus

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    James Ray on the Today show (Feb 2007)
    « Reply #43 on: August 17, 2010, 02:38:05 PM »
    Another older blog entry by James Ray ... with some interesting comments. Do these people really believe that testimonials qualify as "facts" and "science?" I wonder what these folks are thinking now...

    -------------- • -------------- • --------------

    Tuesday, February 27, 2007
    James Ray on the Today show
    In case you missed it, here's the link to James' interview on the Today show... Hear what the skeptics have to say about The Secret and how James responds.

    Labels: interview, media, the secret, today show


    Comments:

    Lori said ... (2/27/2007 12:22 PM):
      I just finished watching the segment on The Secret and the Law of Attraction and these were my comments to NBC.

      I find it quite telling that the Today show chose to spend the 7 minutes the program allotted this topic, denigrating the Law of Attraction, focusing on it's so called harmful effects and reducing it to fluffy "positive thinking" or "simple desire", when it is so much more.

      They spent more time in the previous hour regurgitating the Anna Nicole Smith story for the seven thousandth time (can you say OVERDONE?) and investigating the fascination with celebrity in our country. What about those harmful effects? Not even mentioned. Telling, very telling.

      Yes, The Secret is new packaging. So what? "What the Bleep Do We Know" is a movie of the same concept with as many, if not more doctors, scientists, spiritual leaders etc., spouting the same facts and science, but because it did not reach the masses like the Rhonda Byrne movie, no one felt the need to gather a flurry of experts to dispute the validity. Oh wait, experts? A professor, a writer/editor of Newsweek and an uninformed psychiatrist, not exactly what I would call experts, but have it your way NBC, more power to you.

      It's sad that a movie that has the possibility of giving people power over their lives and taking them OUT of victim mode is so scary to the mainstream media. What are they afraid of? Did any of them even watch The Secret? Most likely not, as evidenced by Dr. Gail Saltz misleading statement insinuating that the movie claims if you think hard enough about not having cancer then you don’t have to go out and get chemotherapy or radiation. Absolutely not even close to what the movies states and she and Matt could not have misconstrued the message of the movie more. Why she felt the need to cut off James to spew this nonsense is unimaginable. Dr. Saltz seems to want to keep people in victim mode by telling them that what happens to them is not related to the thoughts, beliefs and feelings they are sending out.

      Thankfully I give the people more credit than Dr. Saltz does. I am confident that anyone who actually watches the movie will see through her total misunderstanding of these concepts. The real fact is whether one is thinking "have cancer" or "not have cancer" the fact that one is thinking "cancer" at all is the real issue. What you focus on expands. That is fact. Watch it occur in the negative as much as in the positive.

      The movie never claims to heal cancer by positive thinking. "Secret Teacher" Bob Proctor clearly states "Let the doctors worry about the disease while you focus on health and well being." To mislead the public by stating that The Secret advises positive thinking as the cure of disease or the cure of any woe is downright despicable and misleading. And the fact that media outlets (Larry King and CNN are also guilty of this) insist upon describing the Law of Attraction as mere positive thinking is infuriating. Anyone with half a brain could watch the movie and understand this is far from the case.

      Thank God for people like Oprah and Ellen who give The Secret the time and explanation that it deserves. The world is transforming and you can't stop the evolution of consciousness. But you can stop viewers from tuning into your show. This one just did. And I have a lot of friends and family. Shame on you NBC and the Today show.

      Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't - either way you are RIGHT. THAT is the Law of Attraction.

      Sincerely,
      Lori Petro
      Actor, Educator, Mom and Powerful Human happily attracting parking spots wherever I go.
    sasmbs said ... (2/27/2007 3:41 PM):
      It seems the press continues their habit of picking out parts of a statement and representing it as the whole in order to shift the meaning of the message. In this case they have failed in their attempts to prevent TRUTH from reaching the public.

      James congratulations on standing up for TRUTH and continuing to speak the facts.

      As you have said "truth is timeless" and the truth will feel like the truth to those who are willing to listen.

      I continue to appreciate your commitment and your courage.

      Namaste.
    IrmaMitton said ... (2/27/2007 5:37 PM):
      James, the fact that you could so calmly, gracefully, and eloquently speak up for your convictions in that hostile environment just shows how much you are a master of everything you teach. How sad that the other participants were so determined to discredit Rhonda's work and all the Universal Principles it contains. Thank you for taking the time again to spread the Secret. You are such a brilliant emissary of love and joy! Peace always.
    maryam said ... (2/27/2007 9:31 PM):
      Interesting.of cours Dr. Gail what ever would say that ,think about it when people start understanding the Law of Attraction,there wouldn't be so many client for her.By the way Dr. Gail ,next time you appear on TV ,please get a book and study a little ,so you can at least argue like a adult .
      James, I'm so thank full to have a teacher like you.Cod bless you and keep up amazing work.
      Maryam from seattle
    Amy J + Energy = Bliss! said ... (2/28/2007 12:51 AM):
      Thank you for posting this. I missed it!

      Oh my! The Doc is quite the skeptic! More than that, she is radiates shutdowness and negativity. I noticed I didn't feel any joy radiating from her nor was her physical carriage one of joy.

      James you did brilliantly with the little time they allowed you to say anything without being interupted.

      The world will get what the world will get from this interview, the Newsweek coverage (boy did the Newsweek writer radiate grumpy negativity!)as well as The Secret. The world is waking up to the truth of WHO is really here!

      All Love,
      Amy
    GoodLifeDenver said ... (2/28/2007 7:50 AM):
      I was wondering when the naysayers would appear. Here they are. It's okay. We've been co-existing for centuries and enlightening the planet anyway. Rock on, James.
    Christina said ... (2/28/2007 10:11 AM):
      Thanks so much for posting the interview. I belong to the Abraham-Hicks Yahoo group, and folks were talking you and the interview today --- so I'm thankful to be able to view it for myself.

      First off, I want to say one big 'way to go James'!!! That you stuck in there despite Rhonda not being there (for whatever reason). And that you are playing in the big leagues with this. The Today Show no less. Congrats on hitting some of your own personal goals (Oprah, Larry King, etc). Good on you! Very inspirational.

      Secondly, I'm just glad that someone (James!) who has been preparing for this for quite some time, is now prepared enough to handle these kinds of hot seats. You did a great job ... I felt the interview ended on a 'to be continued kind of note'. It was starting to get into a juicy discussion, with interesting points on either side. Things that need to be hashed out so folks can really get what LOA is truly about.

      Even though the angle was obviously a little skewed from the big biz / media bias, James did an admirable job in holding his own. And was respectful ... something I think is very important to demonstrate in all of this. It is ok to have different beliefs. To discuss these ideas with civility.

      It is really a different paradigm that LOA is about. The doctor even saying 'people focusing on not getting cancer' ... nope, she doesn't get it. You won't get any where by focusing on what you don't want.

      Ahhhhh, so great that these kinds of conversations and debates are going on. Obviously its difficult to fit anything into 30 second sound bites ... especially what is really being said with LOA.

      Yes, The Secret has its flaws or weak points ... what doesn't. However its playing a wonderful role in creating debate and introducing people to some different ways of thinking ... outside of our current victim consciousness that seems to reign so supreme.

      Again, congrats James. I look forward to seeing the next morphs and shifts that the LOA path takes ... and thank you for your public role in helping these things unfold.

      In gratitude. Christina Merkley
    Shelly said ... (3/06/2007 7:55 AM):
      The really funny thing about all the "neigh sayers and skeptics" is that even their so called negative input and focus actually brings more attention and energy to The Secret and expands the consciousness on the planet. That is the beauty of the LOA. Pretty darned cool if you ask me!

      The only way the "skeptics" (aka Source's Co-Creators) can reverse this phenomenon is for them to embrace the principles and focus on the opposite..... which would mean they would have to endorse the message in the film. Win-win.

      Supporters or skeptics....it's all good! Really.
    Sheila said ... (4/23/2008 1:02 PM):
      How's your butt?

      That seat was so hot it was smoking!

      Here's my comment in a nutshell. Truth is in the eye of the beholder. Science or no science, real or not real, I choose to believe because my life has shown the results of removing limiting beliefs. I am finally becoming the example of possibility I always knew I could be but didn't know how.

      That woman was sent in to play devil's advocate and that is such a good thing, because every time a person stands up for their beliefs it reinforces the passion behind them.

      You eased elegantly through that one and I am grateful everyday for this fantastic journey!

      Well Done.
    Monica said ... (4/28/2008 10:45 AM):
      James, you are truly an amazing amazing being. Anyone else would have crumbled in that seat under so much negativity, pressure and impudence. You were the star of the interview even though some inconsiderate individuals kept cutting you off. I was blown away at how you rebutted with those psychology quotations - you were so much more informed than a "medical doctor." I am so grateful to have a guru that practices what he preaches. I am so grateful to have you as my teacher. I remember your words every day. Thank you for changing my life.
    Madalyn said ... (2/25/2009 11:06 AM):
      This post has been removed by the author.[/list]
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      Offline Ursus

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      Barbara Ehrenreich's Bright-Sided Explores the Dark Side...
      « Reply #44 on: September 20, 2010, 01:59:51 PM »
      Gotta love Barbara Ehrenreich!  :D

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      Religion Dispatches Magazine
      ESSAY
      October 11, 2009


      Barbara Ehrenreich's Bright-Sided Explores the Dark Side of Positive Thinking
      By Michelle Goldberg

      · Have a nice day.

      Bright-Sided: How The Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America
      by Barbara Ehrenreich
      Metropolitan Books (October 13, 2009)


      Last month, the front page of the New York Times style section ran an inadvertently depressing story about a group of young life coaches sometimes referred to as the "spiritual cowgirls." These hip young women, who have lots of charisma but no professional qualifications, are setting themselves up as ersatz gurus to their questing peers. They charge hundreds of dollars for sessions that combine new age atmospherics with the kind of power-of-positive thinking nostrums that made a phenomenon out of The Secret.

      "[N]ow there is a new role model for New York's former Carrie Bradshaws—young women who are vegetarian, well versed in self-help and New Age spirituality, and who are finding a way to make a living preaching to eager audiences, mostly female," reported the Times. One 31-year-old member of this eager audience is quoted praising her spiritual tutor Gabrielle Bernstein, a 29-year-old former nightclub publicist who lectures on using the "laws of attraction" to "manifest" one's desires. "A lot of women look up to her," the student says. "We need this guidance and we are searching for this guidance." Bernstein's audacity in marketing herself as a sage appears to be matched by the piteousness of her customers.

      The Times story is evidence of the timeliness of Barbara Ehrenreich's bracing, acidulous new book, Bright-Sided: How The Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America. A broadside against exactly the sort of pabulum peddled by Bernstein, Bright-Sided reveals the historical roots and conservative uses of the positive thinking movement, showing how it encourages victim-blaming, political complacency, and a culture-wide flight from realism.

      "The flip side of positivity is... a harsh insistence on personal responsibility: if your business fails or your job is eliminated, it must be because you didn't try hard enough, didn't believe firmly enough in the inevitability of your success," writes Ehrenreich. "As the economy has brought more layoffs and financial turbulence to the middle class, the promoters of positive thinking have increasingly emphasized this negative judgment: to be disappointed, resentful, or downcast is to be a 'victim' and a 'whiner.' "

      It's satisfying, in a cranky contrarian way, to watch a writer as smart as Ehrenreich take aim at something as universally revered as dogged optimism. Yet while America's obsessive positivity might be risible, it initially seems like a stretch to describe it as dangerous. Nevertheless, Bright-Sided makes a surprisingly convincing case that positive thinking—which essentially teaches that one's thoughts, properly harnessed, can control physical events in the world—is often delusional and sometimes actively dangerous.

      Pentecostals call their version of positive thinking ideology "naming and claiming." New age types call it the "law of attraction," and business consultants peddle it in the form of quasi-mystical motivational exercises and paeans to visionary leadership. All of them promote a similar type of magical thinking, whose roots Ehrenreich traces back to the "New Thought" movement of the 1860s. "New Thought," Ehrenreich explains, emerged as a reaction to harsh Calvinism: "In the New Thought vision, God was no longer hostile or indifferent; he was a ubiquitous, all-powerful Spirit or Mind, and since 'man' was really Spirit too, man was coterminous with God... The trick, for humans, was to access the boundless power of Spirit and thus exercise control over the physical world."

      From there, Ehrenreich shows how positive thinking evolved into a creed of capitalist motivation, largely by way of Norman Vincent Peale. She writes of the truly terrifying extent to which positive thinking is enforced in corporate America, where it seems to constitute a form of self-enforced mind control. In 2007, she points out, an employee at a Utah-based company called Prosper Inc., which specializes in corporate motivation, was waterboarded as part of a business exercise—his colleagues were urged to fight for sales as hard as he'd fought for air.

      Rather than offering a refuge from the acquisitive creed of positive thinking, much of the evangelical world has embraced it, though not as egregiously as pentecostals have in the prosperity gospel, which holds that God rewards positive thinking with material riches. In one of the book's most effective, maddening chapters, Ehrenreich travels to prosperity preacher Joel Osteen's sprawling stadium of a church. For Osteen and preachers like him, she writes "success comes mainly through 'reprogramming' your mind into positive mental images, based on what amounts to the law of attraction: 'You will produce what you're continually seeing in your mind,' Osteen promises."

      In a society with as much desperation and instability as ours, such promises are cruelly tantalizing. Hence the tremendous success of prosperity preachers, life coaches, and quasi-metaphysical self-help authors like Rhonda Byrne, author of the aforementioned positive-thinking bestseller The Secret. Byrne once claimed that disasters like the 2006 tsunami can only happen to people who are "on the same frequency as the event," which appears to suggest that the victims brought catastrophe on themselves.

      Positive thinking, then, employs sticks as well as carrots. "It ends up imposing a mental discipline as exacting as that of the Calvinism it replaced—the endless work of self-examination and self-control or, in the case of positive thinking, self-hypnosis," writes Ehrenreich.

      Indeed, such magical thinking extends to our perception of sickness and health. Bright-Sided begins with a chapter on the relentlessly insipid, pink-beribboned culture surrounding breast cancer, which Ehrenreich was plunged into after being diagnosed with the disease. Based on a widespread but flawed belief that positive thinking can improve one's odds of survival, breast cancer patients are urged to eschew anger and find meaning and even uplift in the disease. "In the most extreme characterization, breast cancer is not a problem at all, not even an annoyance—it is a 'gift,' deserving of the most heartfelt gratitude," writes Ehrenreich.

      Those who can't or won't adopt such a sunny attitude may be ostracized or browbeaten. "[T]he sugar-coating of cancer can exact a dreadful cost," she writes. "First, it requires the denial of understandable feelings of anger and fear, all of which must be buried under a cosmetic layer of cheer. This is a great convenience for health workers and even friends of the afflicted, who might prefer fake cheer to complaining, but it is not so easy on the afflicted."

      At this point, it's easy to protest that there's a difference between superficial cheer and, say, a hard-won self-acceptance, or a sustaining hope for the future. The biggest flaw in Bright-Sided is that it fails to distinguish between different kinds of optimism, to differentiate positive thinking from the healthy cultivation of mindfulness or gratitude. Instead, Ehrenreich tends to write as if all work towards improving the self is a diversion from the real work of improving society. "The threats we face are real and can be vanquished only by shaking off self-absorption and taking action in the world," she writes.

      That's true to some extent, but the division between internal and external change isn't entirely neat. Some variant of determined optimism, after all, is needed for social change. How else could Gandhi believe that he could get the British to leave India, or Martin Luther King convince himself and his followers in the possibility of winning racial equality? Barack Obama became president in part by imbuing millions of individuals with the wild hope that they could change the world. Isn't that also a kind of positive thinking?

      Clearly, Ehrenreich is not counseling a widespread embrace of despair, but it still would have been useful to see her explain how galvanic, inspiring varieties of optimism vary from the willful self-delusion she decries. It's delicious to watch her demolish the smug pieties that rationalize so much American injustice, but even a committed pessimist can see that not all positivity is negative.

      Michelle Goldberg
      Michelle Goldberg, a contributing editor for Religion Dispatches, is the author of The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power and the Future of the World (Penguin, 2009), and the New York Times bestseller Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism.



      © Religion Dispatches 2010.
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