“The Secret” Is Out

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There’s a podcast called By the Book, in which comedian Jolenta Greenberg and producer Kristen Meinzer read various self-help books and put each of the books’ tactics into practice.  Described on Greenberg’s website as “half reality show, half self-help podcast, and one wild social experiment,” By the Book has showcased works like Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, French Women Don’t Get Fat, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and The Five Love Languages.  Prompted by an episode of this podcast, I finally read (well, skimmed) Rhonda Byrne’s New Age bestseller The Secret.

The Secret, featured on the podcast’s premier episode, details the Law of Attraction: the concept that positive thoughts bring positive experiences into your life. It combines affirmation and visualization exercises, cognitive reframing techniques, and gratitude training to help make readers calmer, more focused, and more confident agents of change in their own lives.

While the book, which started as a film of the same name, has been criticized by numerous scientists and researchers for its lack of hard scientific evidence, it has sold over 20 million copies throughout the world and is available in over 50 languages: a kind of evidence of its own.

The Secret
By Rhonda Byrne
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Author draws on literature, religion, and philosophy to demonstrate the power of positive thinking and the laws of attraction. Profiles twenty-four people—doctors, authors, ministers, teachers, and entrepreneurs—who offer advice on applying the “secret” to all aspects of life to overcome challenges and find success and happiness. Bestseller. 2006.