Monday, May 11, 2009

The Secret Subtext: I'm a Liar; Don't Believe Me

In Rhonda Byrne's book "The Secret" there are a lot of very bold claims. Rhonda Byrne claims to know, for example, that Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell employed "The Secret" (Law of Attraction) even though, quite obviously, Rhonda Byrne has never met these men and, of course, they're not around anymore to defend themselves. How convenient for Ms. Byrne.

But there are quite a few examples in the book of claims made or stories told that seem, well, let's just say "hard to believe" and leave it at that. So the question is, do we have any good reason to believe anything in this book? Do we have any reason to trust Ms. Byrne at all? Do we have any reason to assume, by default, that she's attempting to communicate truth? Well, it seems that Ms. Byrne herself has answered that question for us when she writes on page 179:

“Be happy now. Feel good now. That’s the only thing you have to do. Whatever you choose for You is right.”

I cited this quote earlier when I compared her teaching that morality is relative against the Christian doctrine that morality is absolute. But it's appropriate to this issue because it reveals that Ms. Byrne, assuming she believes what she teaches and practices what she preaches, feels no moral obligation to tell the truth about anything. She believs that whatever she chooses is right for her. She never says "except for lying… you should always tell the truth no matter what."

So essentially what she's saying here is that you, the reader, should NOT believe her. You should assume that everything she says is a lie because she's just told you that she is under no moral obligation to tell the truth.

And a year or so ago when I attended the Paul Martinelli Law of Attraction seminar, I wrote down this quote, from Paul Martinelli:

"Don't ask whether something is right or wrong. Just ask whether it will help you achieve your goals."

Here again, Martinelli is admitting that nothing he says should be taken seriously. Anything he says could be a lie because he's not concerned with whether it's right or wrong to lie. He's only concerned with whether it helps him achieve his goals.

It's always nice when the fraudsters tell you up-front that they are fraudsters.

1 comment:

  1. These charismatic people are, first and foremost, sellers of snake oil. The only thing they are passionate about is getting people to part with their money.

    "What ever you choose for You is right" Forget about absolutes. If it feels good, it must be ok. This sounds like we're back in the 60's!

    It seems to me that this "Secret" snake oil has to be pretty easy to sell. Much easier than trying to convince people that there are consequences to the choices that we make. Just let your temptations go the way they will go.

    No, that's just not right.