Monday, April 28, 2008

The Secret is 'out'

I hate to admit it, but every now and then I have a serious case of schadenfreude (taking pleasure in others' misfortunes), but only in the sense of delighting when someone or something overblown gets taken down a peg. (Like seeing that ostensibly perfect mom, the immaculately coiffed one whose whole-grain fed kids behave so perfectly, losing it and screaming at her kids in McDonalds'.) So imagine my delight when I read that the various co-creators of The Secret are at each others' throats in court!

I don't claim that positive thinking has no value, but I was always struck by the hypocrisy of Rhonda Byrne, The Secret's author, who claimed that she wasn't interested in profit, she just wanted to get the effectiveness of positive thinking out to the world. If it was really so effective, couldn't she just have visualized us all getting it, and saved everyone the $19.95 (or $29.95 for the DVD)? However, apparently she has now formed a production company, which is suing the web developer for infringing on their proprietary rights, and meanwhile the DVD producer with whom she developed the original concept is suing her for not making good on their original agreement to split the profits. It's all a bunch of complicated legal tussling over profit-sharing, copyright ownership, and employment versus independent contracting - basically fighting over the enormous income stream that has been generated by a philosophy that stresses gratitude, integrity, and generosity.

I was always a bit skeptical of anyone insisting that I just had to visualize a BMW in my driveway to manifest it - I was more interested in manifesting a clean family room and a tank of gas for less than $60. But now my skepticism has been vindicated by such delicious evidence of the underlying hypocrisy. Although who knows - maybe the lawsuits prove The Secret after all, and a bunch of lawyers visualized - then manifested - the most lucrative lawsuit they could imagine!


sue said...

Hi! I'm a friend of Scott's from high school (and earlier I guess)... we recently "linked up" on LINKED IN and I nosed around his "friends" or whatever they're called in that lingo.
Love your blog! I have 2 boys (and a younger girl) and altho I think yours must be a bit older than mine, I was cracking up at the antics... sounds like my house!

Must say--I was having a discussion (if you can call it that at 715 a.m. at the bus stop) about visualizing success--the whole BMW thing appearing in your driveway.

Don't you think this world would be a better place if everyone had diminished expectations and was happy and satisfied upon exceeding them? My friend suggested I write a book entitled "The Anti-Secret," and I leave it up to you to take it from there. I'm just not that funny and you seem to be.

I insist, however, that we share the profit since I gave you the idea. :)

Would love to meet you someday...


brian said...

Funny, funny post!!! And so well written! I'm going to have to read more!
But, yes, it's funny the correlation between a sinking economy and the rise of "simple wish fulfillment." I think the thing to be gained from this is ATTITUDE...a good attitude clearly accounts for A LOT...And, you have a great one - with wit to match!
Thanks for making me laugh!

Mommychaos said...

you're hilarious! I, too, often find myself seeking pleasure in others misfortunes. I think there's a warm spot in hell reserved just for me! Keep up the good work.

Mommyto2 said...

Too funny. I enjoyed reading your blog and hope to see more posts

Kathy said...

Very funny!

I want to now visualize a clean house, clean kids, folded laundry and twenty minutes of quiet time sometime today.

Hm, nope, didn't work.

Guess I better get off of the computer . . .

Great blog! Can't wait to read more!

Mistress of the Post said...

First, I love the word schaudenfruede.

I hate that stupid book. One of my friends really wanted to read it for our book club, but the saner members prevailed.

Anyway, she really believed in the book. She told me if I visualized anything I really wanted, I could have it. For example I could be a ballerina. Yeah, right... I'm 30 and fat...

Perhaps if you visualize success you motivate yourself to become successful in small situations, like studying more for a test because you want to pass.

But, its not getting a BMW or becoming a ballerina.

donna said...

I agree with brian, great post. I've tried to envision that same bmw and I haven't had any luck with it either! coincidence?