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Monday, March 05, 2007

Oprah's ugly secret

Oprah's ugly secret | Salon Life: "By continuing to hawk 'The Secret,' a mishmash of offensive self-help cliches, Oprah Winfrey is squandering her goodwill and influence, and preaching to the world that mammon is queen."

If you put that routine between hard covers, you'd have "The Secret," the self-help manifesto and bottle of minty-fresh snake oil currently topping the bestseller lists. "The Secret" espouses a "philosophy" patched together by an Australian talk-show producer named Rhonda Byrne. Though "The Secret" unabashedly appropriates and mishmashes familiar self-help clich├ęs, it was still the subject of two recent episodes of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" featuring a dream team of self-help gurus, all of whom contributed to the project.

The main idea of "The Secret" is that people need only visualize what they want in order to get it -- and the book certainly has created instant wealth, at least for Rhonda Byrne and her partners-in-con. And the marketing idea behind it -- the enlisting of that dream team, in what is essentially a massive, cross-promotional pyramid scheme -- is brilliant. But what really makes "The Secret" more than a variation on an old theme is the involvement of Oprah Winfrey, who lends the whole enterprise more prestige, and, because of that prestige, more venality, than any previous self-help scam. Oprah hasn't just endorsed "The Secret"; she's championed it, put herself at the apex of its pyramid, and helped create a symbiotic economy of New Age quacks that almost puts OPEC to shame.

Why "venality"? Because, with survivors of Auschwitz still alive, Oprah writes this about "The Secret" on her Web site, "the energy you put into the world -- both good and bad -- is exactly what comes back to you. This means you create the circumstances of your life with the choices you make every day." "Venality," because Oprah, in the age of AIDS, is advertising a book that says, "You cannot 'catch' anything unless you think you can, and thinking you can is inviting it to you with your thought." "Venality," because Oprah, from a studio within walking distance of Chicago's notorious Cabrini Green Projects, pitches a book that says, "The only reason any person does not have enough money is because they are blocking money from coming to them with their thoughts." More

I remember when I used to believe this shit with all my heart, but then I discovered that it doesn't work and it's a bunch of crap. I was happier then, and I am not now, but I think I'm better off.

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Comments:
Isn't this the same crap that says to think of forgiveness as thank you for giving me? Now that is shite if I've ever heard it. So a person who is raped and beaten and robbed or whose family member is murdered or any other number of horrific scenarios is supposed to eventually conclude "thank you for giving me"? BULL!!!!
 
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