The Secret: Is It the Real Deal?
A theory about the power of positive thinking draws adherents -- and controversy.
Secret Rx for Health?
Another Secret teacher, entrepreneur James Arthur Ray, the president and CEO
of the Carlsbad, Calif.-based James Ray International, recently
appeared on Oprah to discuss The Secret.
"The Secret is based upon the scientific evidence that all things
are energy. And like energies are attracted to each other and dissimilar
energies repel," says Ray, the author of several books including The
Science of Success: How to Attract Prosperity and Create Harmonic Wealth
Through Proven Principles.
For instance, "if you're constantly thinking and feeling broke, and
acting upon those thoughts and emotions, you'll never create and experience
When it comes to chronic diseases, "Michael J. Fox is a great example of
noticing his situation is a gift," Ray says. Fox has Parkinson's disease
and has been widely quoted as saying that he is grateful for his Parkinson's
disease and that his life is richer for it.
In addition, "there are mounds of research of complete turnaround and
remission with all these [chronic] diseases," Ray says. "At minimum,
[The Secret] will give anyone practicing a sense of peace and a better
quality of life."
Maurice A. Ramirez, DO, the founder of High Alert, a disaster preparedness
consulting firm in Kissimmee, Fla., is also in on The Secret.
The former emergency room doctor can't count the number of times he or
fellow doctors have said 'by all rights this person should have been dead' when
they go on to survive and thrive.
The common denominator? "Those who believe in something, whether God or
a spirit or just in the fact that they will get better do, in fact, get better,
get sick less often, and do better," he says. "We see this in health
care every day."
But, he cautions, "it's not just enough to think yourself healthy, you
still have to act on it by exercise or eating a healthy diet or in some cases,
by taking your medicine, and by taking good advice," he says, adding that
the flip side is also true. "Action without belief is
The secret of The Secret -- applying the law of attraction to success
-- is not new, explains Judy Williamson, director of the Napoleon Hill World
Learning Center at Purdue University Calumet in Hammond, Ind. Napoleon Hill, a
reporter-turned motivational speaker, first wrote Think and Grow Rich in
1937 -- and some say this idea even goes back further. Hill interviewed more
than 500 of America's most successful self-made businessmen to uncover the
secrets to their success.
One of Hill's principles involves learning from adversity and defeat.
"When you have a setback or any kind of trauma, Napoleon Hill says that
there is good within the bad and you need to take that mindset and look for
whatever it is that could be good within the bad," Williamson says.
"If we maintain a positive mental attitude, we can achieve anything in
life," she says. "It's not going to cure cancer, but an attitude of
hope may allow a person to look for cures or treatments that they may not have