Apologetics Index

The Secret

Wealth. Love. Happiness. Health. Peace.

It’s absolutely possible for everyone to have these things and more — at least that’s what the teachers say in “The Secret.”

Centering on the universal law of attraction, the 92-minute film cannot be seen in theaters; it’s only available on DVD or at the “The Secret” Web site. Last week, the film was the No. 5 top-selling DVD at amazon.com.

Nevertheless, it’s been seen in every country around the world through word of mouth since its March 2006 release. While some are skeptical of the film’s message, more than 700,000 copies of “The Secret” have been sold in the United States.

In the film, viewers learn to ask for what they want. And, if they believe it, they will receive it.

It sounds simple enough, but here’s the catch: If you’re cynical, sad, depressed and resigned that nothing will change, nothing will. Thoughts are so powerful, the teachers insist, that you attract what you think about, even if you don’twant it. Get it?

“Whatever you hold in your mind, consciously and subconsciously, is what you are attracting to your experience,” says “Secret” teacher Hale Dwoskin, author of the “Sedona Method” (Sedona Press, $17). “If you want to know what you are holding in your mind, look around you.”

The teachers — who include ministers, philosophers and writers, such as Jack Canfield (“Chicken Soup for the Soul”) and John Gray (“Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus”) — say to receive what you desire, you must act and feel it’s already done.
– Source: The Secret is out, The Detroit News, USA, Jan. 30, 2007

Marcia Montenegro, of Christian Answers for the New Age, says, “In my past, I learned about and believed these teachings before they were called The Secret, so they are quite familiar to me.” In an article about The Secret she writes:

Some good points were made: we should be grateful for what we have, and we should be forgiving. These attitudes are beneficial for everyone, and most likely enable us to fare better in life. However, rather than appreciating these purely for their moral value, they are taught as part of techniques that allow us to be open to receiving what we want when we learn to create our own reality.

There is a downside. If we attract good things, then we can also attract the negative. So this means that if you are robbed, assaulted, or if your car is stolen, etc., then you attracted that to yourself. This has hideous implications if you apply this theory to horrific events like the Holocaust and 9/11.

But I can tell you that this is how people who believe you create your own reality really think. People who have suffered must have attracted it into their lives. This is the kind of callous thinking that inevitably results from the belief in the “law of attraction.” So if you get cancer, break an arm, are raped, are robbed, etc., then you have brought this on yourself.

So what is secret or new about the Secret? Absolutely nothing! These are the exact same views I read and learned about for many years starting in the mid 1970’s. They derive most recently from a movement called New Thought, which has roots back to Emmanuel Swedenborg in the 18th century. Swedenborg and his successors like Anton Mesmer and Phineas Quimby taught that Jesus was a way-shower, not the Way; that illness is a result of incorrect thinking; that heaven and hell are states of mind, that throughout history there has been a Christ spirit that descends on various individuals, and that there is an energy we can “manipulate” to heal like Jesus did.

These ideas eventually became the basis for the Church of Christ Scientist (Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of this church, studied Quimby), the Church of Religious Science, and the Unity School of Christianity.[†] Although the names of two of these churches contain the word “Christian,” these churches depart from the historic faith and from the Bible in proposing that man is not in sin, that God does not have wrath on sin, and that man does not need redemption. According to New Thought, man needs liberation from his illusions and incorrect thinking. Of course, if our perceptions are incorrect, wouldn’t the perception that our perceptions are erroneous be incorrect as well?

These notions, however, go back to something even older than New Thought. Believing that a technique using inner powers of the mind or will can bring about a change in the material world is also the basis of sorcery, known today in Western culture as magick.[‡] To materialize non-matter into matter, and to effect causal change through the power of thought is a hallmark of sorcery/magick. In essence, this is an attempt to be one’s own god, deciding for one’s self what is best and what is needed, and then endeavoring to create that desired reality.
– Source: The Secret: A Cosmic Dream Machine, Marcia Montenegro, Christian Answers for the New Age

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First published (or major update) on Saturday, February 24, 2007.
Last updated on February 26, 2007.

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