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"As above, so below.
—The Emerald Tablet, circa 3000 B.C.
The Secret is a self-help book by Australian TV producer Rhonda Byrne that claims to be able to teach you how to get everything you ever wanted (yes, everything! Even that!) by simply keeping a positive attitude and performing some simple exercises such as meditation, visualization (basically, using your imagination), and writing about what you want. In the book, the eponymous secret is the "Law of Attraction," which states that a positive outlook on life and positive thoughts will attract positive things into your life, whereas negative thoughts will do just the opposite. A big part of this is daydreaming about the things you want and believing they're already yours.
There's also some Techno Babble regarding Einstein, string theory, and quantum mechanics. Also, there are a lot of personal anecdotes from a bunch of people who are suspiciously privileged (ie, mostly white men).
Optical engineer and Sci-Fi author, Travis S. Taylor, recently put out a book titled The Science Behind The Secret attempting to support The Secret with appeals to authority, noting a long history of similar beliefs, and a terribly butchered reading of quantum physics.
If The Secret actually works as intended (which it might, at least in the sense that being positive will make you more productive), then it's a real-life Magic Feather. If not, it's just a multi-million dollar franchise which teaches bad values.
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Several historical figures, such as Napoleon, Leonardo da Vinci, and Albert Einstein, are mentioned to have studied up on the Law of Attraction and mentioned it in their writings (along with more modern, albeit obscure, names who contributed to the book).
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: How the Law of Attraction supposedly works.
- Daydream Believer: What this book wants to turn you into.
- Did Not Do the Research: We do not advice that you use the book as a substitute for actually learning about quantum physics.
- Documentary of Lies: A particularly insidious example.
- I Wish It Were Real
- Literal Genie: A metaphor describes the universe as a genie that will
grant your every desire instantaneouslyconsistently give you whatever you think about the most in your life, be it positive or negative. Although for some bizarre reason, it will give you the negative stuff if you so much as give it a passing ponderance, but you have to concentrate to get the good stuff.
- Quote Mining: Used to make it seem as if famous people from the past used "the secret."
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Obviously, lies on the "idealism" end of the scale.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are