'The Secret' is 'Religion 2.0': Using Pseudo Science to Sell Snake Oil

in science •  10 months ago

'The Secret' is 'Religion 2.0': Using Pseudo Science to Sell Snake Oil

I know I know the very nature of that statement is (according to The Secret) a negative statement which in turn puts out negative energy. But isn't that a little convenient?

So the other day I was in the room when someone was watching The Secret. I know it's a book but now there is an infomercial on Netflix and Amazon video talking about how great The Secret is. It starts off with it's gimmick of telling you how there is this great secret that has been kept from you your whole life. All the most powerful and influential people in the world have used to to make themselves rich.

What is The Secret?

You really want to know?

Yes they really string you along by being dick heads like this. Telling you about all the wonderful things it will do for you. Then when they finally reveal it, what's the secret? Think happy thoughts. No I'm not kidding, that's pretty much all they say. Think happy thoughts and be positive and good things will happen.

Which to an extent has some level of truth to it, in that if you enter a situation expecting to fail then you most likely will. But the levels of pseudo science they went to in describing their 'Law of Attraction' is absolutely insulting to all serious scientists out there. No wonder there are people like Thunderf00t out there when people try to pass off such bullshit as being science.

I am not a scientist like Thunderf00t is, however I at least have the ability to look at the facts presented and know when someone is trying to sell me snake oil.

For those unfamiliar with the concept of 'selling snake oil' read this article on wikipedia

But up until this point I have just made the claim without backing it up. So lets get into their pseudo science and why people fall for it.

It's Dogmatic

In The Secret they make the claim that negative thoughts attract negativity. If you are expecting a bill to be in the mail it will be there. If you expect debt or think about debt then you will keep getting more and more debt.

Not sure if not thinking about your debt is really a good idea you know seeing that's probably why you are in debt in the first place. Spending more money than you have. Just saying...

So what is their solution?

Follow their steps.

  1. Ask
  2. Believe
  3. Receive

Now isn't that a little bit familiar?

  1. Pray to God
  2. Believe
  3. Accept God's plan

I mean why don't you just go rub a magic lamp and wish something will happen?

Oh wait I guess they actually used that in the infomercial as a translation of the concept.

It only works when you BELIEVE it will work

That is a whole different level of genius right there. Because you're giving your followers a specific reason to dismiss any criticism. I said to the person watching the infomercial (I know it's labeled as a documentary film, but it's really just an infomercial)

"My experiences are the opposite of what they're saying here."

Their response?

"Well of course it didn't cause you don't believe in it."

I gave them examples such as when I was in High School I started to feel pretty good and overall positive with how my life was going. That day I got called out of class for a two hour meeting including the school psychologist, my Mom and multiple other school officials because they thought 'I didn't smile enough'. I'm not fucking kidding, that actually happened.

You don't just magically attract nice people because you are nice. Nice people are the ones who get taken advantage of. Kinda like the people who read self help books like The Secret.

So what about all the incredibly successful people out there who have had incredibly negative outlooks on the world? Or at the very least 'they put out negative energy'.

Take a look at Chester Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park, a majority of their songs are about being unhappy with life. Yet the band has made millions of dollars.

Kurt Cobain had a very critical lens on the world yet he was worth millions when he died.

TJ Kirk who recently came to Steemit and D.tube has had incredible success being a cynical asshole who has a lot of great insight into how stupid people are.

So this whole concept of 'all successful people are sending out positive energy at all time.' Quite honestly from what I've seen it's the exact opposite.

The Pseudo Science

Yes, this infomercial actually has thought waves coming out of people's heads to control the universe.

If they kept the concept to 'thinking positive and confident without being an asshole to people because other people don't want to deal with assholes' I'd think, "OK, not a bad message" But when you go and start talking about how people have telekinetic powers, that's where I start to say 'hold on that's bullshit'

But we come back to the whole 'it only works if you believe' which is incredibly genus in it's ability to convince people that it's actually working. The people who want it to work use their confirmation bias to reaffirm the story in their head. Anything that doesn't fit they attribute it to the person not believing.

The most compelling aspect of The Secret is it's ability to control people into believing their ideology is true. The way it's constructed is perfect for ideologies of all kinds. I'm just confused how many people don't see through the bullshit.

I guess some people are just willfully ignorant and want to have this 'good feeling' in their mind. It's not about facts, just how they feel. hmm I wonder how many Social Justice Warriors like The Secret? Then again the otherkins believe they are wolves, dragons or whatever thing they see themselves as. But you never see them turning into any of them.


Maybe it believed in The Secret.

Anyways, I could talk hours upon hours about how stupid the concepts behind The Secret are. But I feel this has kinda gone on long enough, I've put my brain through enough torture trying to rationalize their crazy beliefs.


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Big respect for those thoughts dude.


Thanks man, just try to call it the way I see it.

I thought the same thing when I started to read this insidious book.

For people easily swayed I think it could mess their mind up pretty good. Making for some extreme denial of facts, their own situation, their own past and future.

Instead of facing their struggles and just work through them -
they get to stay in lala-land while their problems gets worse.

It's just like religion in a way indeed.
A mind-trap for the feeble-minded.


Thank you, I feel like I'm taking crazy pills being around people who think it's an actual science. I had so much more I wanted to say on it but figured I shouldn't make the post too long, was getting up there.