Medicine Show

Well, I’ve read, heard and seen some moronic stuff in my time but I have to say that The Secret is one of the worst. It’s so bad I’m not going to include a direct link to it but you can find it on the interweb pretty easily – though I recommend you don’t bother.

The Secret is a movie which infers that by thinking selfish, egotistical thoughts you can have what you want. It blathers on about the so called law of attraction which simply put infers that if you get caught up in thinking bad things then bad things will happen, if you think on good things then good things will happen. How does this work? Well, according to advocates of ‘the secret’ the universe responds to our thoughts and therefore we can create our space in the universe just by thinking about how we want that space to be. So if you want a new car just think about already having that car and the universe will make your wish a reality. If you want money, just feel as if you already have it and you’ll get it. But be careful what you wish for! One of the saps portrayed in the movie thought happy thoughts about the elephant pictured on a post card he received and the elephant magically appeared in his living room!

In order to prop up this particular house of cards the producers of this streaming pile of manure rely upon a procession of talking heads, all of whom have benefited from knowing and practicing ‘the secret’. There are a lot of authors who appear (haven’t heard of any of them) and expound on how ‘the secret’ helped them and how it can also help you. Various ‘professionals’ give their testimony and you know there is real weight behind what they say because they hold titles such as visionary, metaphysician and philosopher and have lots of letters before and after their names. There are also appearances by those claiming to be physicians, psychologists, and quantum physicists and maybe that is what they really are but I doubt it.

These people spew forth all kinds of nonsense which is at times utterly vapid, at others violently repellent and liberally sprinkled with caveats. You know the sort of thing – “this is what you can try (it worked for me) but if it doesn’t work for you then your heart isn’t really in it / you don’t really believe / you haven’t achieved balance with the universe.”

There’s also an underlying theme that I find especially repugnant. The film implies that if your life sucks then it’s your fault because you’re constantly thinking about the bad things in your life. If you’re struggling with debt and can’t stop worrying about it then, because you keep thinking about your debts, the universe is just going to heap more debt upon you – isn’t that ‘law of attraction’ a wonderful thing? This theme is highlighted by a sequence which depicts a guy who is faced with a procession of increasingly serious bills and final demand notices with the implication that if he knew and practiced ‘the secret’ he wouldn’t be having these problems. And, before I forget, extra mileage is added to the guy’s misfortune by stressing the fact that his address features the number 13!

Then we come, as General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmany Melchett once said, to the “crowning turd in the water-pipe”. And this is much worse than poor Bob Parkhurst’s turn as a revolting drag-act! It’s the bit about how the teachers of the secret suggest that by thinking you have been cured, that by believing you are already well, you can be cured of fatal diseases such as cancer. This backed up in part by a so-called physician who gushes about how the placebo effect has shown that the mind is the most powerful contributer to the healing process. I note, and everyone else should too, that this doesn’t prevent him adding the caveat that if you are ill and attempt to use alternative healing methods you shouldn’t dismiss medication! He tells us to keep taking our pills just to make sure we cover all the bases! Well isn’t that a surprise!

We are also subjected to a lot of bollocks about how the word disease should really be hyphenated as ‘dis-ease’ because illness is caused by a body that is in a state of unease with itself. We get another guy, with the balls to place Dr. in front of his name, who tells us that all disease is caused by stress. Then a philosopher, who I guess is also using Dr. in a sort of take-me-seriously-I’m-a-professional way, tells us that disease is some kind of feedback loop that has been created to let us know when we have an “imbalanced perspective and we’re not loving, and that we’re not grateful”. Then a ‘visionary’ tells us some tosh about how a “manifested disease in their body temple” or some other discomfort can be turned around by the power of positive thinking.


There is no doubt that you can improve your lot by being positive and that positive thinking can make dealing with an illness easier. But as a curative? Don’t be so bloody naive!

Anyhow, there is a secret at work here. It’s just not the kind of ancient, spirtual, handed-down-through-the-ages claptrap these guys would have you believe – no matter how many quote-mines from Einstein, Churchill, Lincoln et al, that they pepper their manifesto with. That’s right, one of their other claims is that some of the greatest minds in history (Newton, Hugo, Alexander Graham Bell, Beethoven…Buddha…???) all knew and practiced ‘the secret’. That’s how they achieved great things. It had nothing to do with hard work, meaningful thought, learning, experimentation, trial and error! They just thought of what they wanted and it came into being. Aye, right, pull the other one!

But I digress. As I said, there is a secret at work here. Though it’s not that much of a secret really. The secret, or scam – to give it it’s more accurate name, is that the maker’s of this rubbish are raking in the cash and getting their heart’s desires by ripping off those gullible enough to part with their hard earned cash in exchange for this program’s false promise of a brighter future.

If you really want a better life. If you want to clear your debts, ease stress, get a better car, whatever. Don’t waste your money on this kind of crud. Use it to pay off the credit cards, loans and bills then do a little saving. Get off your butt and look for a job that pays more. Learn something new and add another string to your bow. These are the kinds of positive thoughts and actions that will take you places and make you happy. Not this kind of cheap multi-media snake oil!

Yep, ‘the secret’ is just a modern medicine show!


One thought on “Medicine Show

  1. Pingback: Ultimatum « A View From The West

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