What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
photo credit: SkagitLily
This week I had the opportunity to watch The Secret with some co-workers. My commentary can be best summarized with the following verse:
And he beheld Satan; and he had a great chain in his hand, and it veiled the whole face of the earth with darkness; and he looked up and laughed, and his angels rejoiced. (Moses 7:26)
The Secret is nothing more than “philosophies of men, mingled with scripture”. I didn’t get two minutes into the feature-length film before busting up laughing at how ridiculous the entire thing was.
“The Secret” is anything but a secret. The movie is nothing more than a prettied-up presentation of the law of attraction, which posits that “the universe” will “rearrange itself” to provide for you that which you desire.
The Secret (and the law of attraction) are completely void of any mention of or attribution to God. Man is “the maker of his own destiny”, and merely by thinking happy thoughts he can receive “health, wealth, and happiness”.
As stated in The Secret, there are three basic steps to follow in obtaining whatever it is you want the universe to give you:
The movie counsels the viewer to “command the universe”. “The universe responds to your thoughts.” It will magically rearrange itself to give you what you want—which is usually a material object.
In real life (i.e. outside of the secret fantasyland), the process of asking requires two persons: the person asking, and the person being asked. However, The Secret indicates that you should ask “the universe”—a nebulous abstraction if ever there was one. On the other hand (and for those who have some level of sanity and mental acuity), one can ask another sentient being:
Therefore, if you will ask of me you shall receive; if you will knock it shall be opened unto you. (D&C 14:5)
The Secret suggests that you believe the item is already yours—picture yourself driving your favorite car, wearing a diamond necklace, or living in your dream home.
You are to “have unwaivering faith” that the universe will give you what you want. Contrary to what such vague fluff suggests, we must place that faith in the person we’re asking:
The first principle of the gospel is not ‘faith.’ The first principle of the gospel is ‘Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ’. (Dallin H. Oaks, “Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,” Ensign, May 1994)
According to The Secret you should “feel the way you’ll feel once it [the object you desire] arrives”. Feel it now. And then magically, the “universe will provide”. The “positive energy” you are “sending out” will return to you whatever it is you want, “every time”.
In addition to these three primary absurdities, The Secret lacks any mention of personal accountability and labor. You don’t have to work hard for what you want—just ask, believe, and receive! Don’t think about bad things like debt, because then you’ll always get bills in the mail! Think happy thoughts, and the universe will provide.
An assortment of metaphysicians, reverend doctors, and divine visionaries (all with a bevy of strange acronyms following their names) appear throughout the film to praise the secret and certify its validity. Like many other propaganda pieces and Satan-inspired half truths, The Secret will convince (and has convinced) many that the law of attraction is as good as gold. Because they are “mingled with [truth]”, these philosophies of men are believed by many to be legitimate and proven.
Truth can be found anywhere, even in hell as Brigham Young once said. Nevertheless, the filtering of new age (and Satan inspired) fluff requires a strong spirit of discernment. Those who do not have this gift surely will become swayed by the flattering, facile filth pawned off as fact.
The process of “ask, believe, and receive” does work. However, the interaction requires a component that The Secret completely ignores: God. And He doesn’t keep secrets:
Come ye near unto me; I have not spoken in secret; (1 Ne. 20:16)