Monday, April 16, 2007

Dirty little 'Secret'

Tim Watkin over at The Washington Post has a great piece debunking "The Secret," the latest New Age wish-fulfilment fad bilking the Lottery crowd out of their hard-earned food stamps and cigarettes, thanks in part to the book's author appearing on Oprah. As the female Pope of pop culture wisdom to far too many soccer moms out there, Oprah's blessing has turned this empty can of Bud(dhist) Light into a best seller.

The secret to 'The Secret's' secret? Visualize a million dollars, new car or that supermodel in the hot tub you so richly deserve and it will come to you, courtesy of the universe itself, simply for the wishing.

" can even print out a check from 'The Bank of the Universe' off 'The Secret's' Web site. Write in the amount you want. Imagine spending it. Then sit back and watch the cash roll in."

Watkin calls it nutty. That should be obvious. Only it's not only the Lottery crowd buying into it -- to the tune of 1.3 million copies sold in the U.S. -- it's a whole range of seekers, including investment gurus who should know better. Or maybe they've just invested in the publishing company.

"What's missing from this recycling of an old egalitarian ideal is the Protestant ethic and Enlightenment beliefs. Hard work, talent, education, even luck go unmentioned. As 'The Secret' puts it, all you have to do is 'put in your order with the universe.' Ask. Believe. Receive. That's the mantra."

Ah, life on post-Christian planet earth...

Thank the real God (as opposed to your inner deity) we're already a confirmed superpower, because this strikes me as a one-way ticket to failed nation status of Sudanese proportions.

But it explains a lot: The Democrat response to Islamic terrorism... Hillary's bid for the presidency... Sanjaya Malakar... The list goes on.

Now excuse me while I wish myself a new head of hair to replace the fistfuls I just accidentally yanked out.

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