I think The Secret by Rhonda Byrne is one of the worst best-selling books ever. It’s one of the most popular Law of Attraction books and one of my greatest pet peeves.
I call it the Atlas Shrugged of manifestation. Don’t get me wrong: You can learn the basics of LOA manifestation from The Secret.
But like Ayn Rand’s tome, it also teaches you to be a selfish bastard.
According to The Secret, you should stay away as far as you can from people with (gasp!) problems. Don’t go near them, otherwise you might attract all that negative stuff they’re dealing with.
What a load of crap.
Now, there is a group of people you should stay away from. I call them “energy vampires.” But they're not the same as people with problems.
Energy vampires are those perpetually pissed-off party poopers who will suck you dry if you spend more than 15 minutes in their presence.
You can tell you’re with an energy vampire when you...
People with problems—i.e., people who are down on their luck or depressed—on the other hand, deserve your compassion and attention. It’s pretty heartless to avoid someone who is grieving, has money problems, or lost their job because you don't want to taint your precious auric field.
I also don’t like that The Secret tells you that you’re God and therefore almighty.
According to The Secret, the thing that fulfills your wishes is “the Universe,” a sentient but robotic desire-vending machine that will do anything you ask if you just ask the right way.
Oh, and by the way, don’t be shy. Just ask for anything you want, because the Universe will happily deliver all the yachts, Ferraris, and Caribbean cruises you can handle.
Here's what's really important: For the sake of your immortal soul, you need to believe in God and align yourself with his will.
For one thing, it keeps you humble. Listening to The Secret makes it easy to feel like Superman (or -woman) and forget where all the good things in the world really come from.
Unsurprisingly, some of the people doling out this kind of advice are not the greatest role models themselves.
James Arthur Ray, one of the contributors to The Secret, went to jail for two years after killing three people in a sweat lodge in Sedona, AZ, in 2009.
During his “Spiritual Warrior” retreat, he deprived attendees of sleep, starved them, and then let them sit, in their already weakened state, for hours in a sweat lodge.
When several attendees started complaining that they felt dizzy and nauseated, he refused to let them leave the lodge.
Three people died, nineteen others “collapsed, vomited, had trouble breathing, hallucinated, foamed at the mouth or fell unconscious,” according to a CNN report.
Ray got out on good behavior in 2013 and went right back to promoting himself as a spiritual teacher.
Now, I’m by no means perfect, but wow. There's no doubt in my mind that the devil has his claws in Mr. Ray. Let's pray for his soul; he'll need it.