Saturday, October 28, 2017

Scam Psychology: The Secret's real secret is victim-blaming and reckless thinking

Recently, I came across MLM "inspirational" propaganda that permeated social media. An example is embeded below, along with my reply:

The original tweet is an attempt to reframe sunk cost fallacy as a virtue, when it's really a cognitive bias that leads you into making irrational decisions.

Think about it... Why is "working through" the pain is preferred way to resolve the pain, when it is just as easy to stop the pain altogether?  Yet that is clearly the implication of the original tweet... by implying that your setbacks are only temporary, and as long as you dedicate sufficient effort you will succeed.

This is unrealistic, dangerous and utterly reckless thinking, yet what MLMers call "positive thinking".  Positive thinking was repopularized recently because some author copied a 1910 book and added some pseudoscience to unproven pop psychology. And MLMers ate it up. 

Yes, I am talking about "The Secret".

First of all, the Secret is not new. As I said, it's a rewrite of a 1910 book with some new pseudo-science references to quantum physics that really made no sense. It is basically magical think: if you ask and believe, you shall receive. It's a rephrase of Bible Matthew 21:22, yet somehow this was generalized to anything in life.

Yet there are a lot of stuff you don't know that's in The Secret...  And they are things you won't hear about from the MLMers who don't want to read about "negativity", even if it's in the book that taught them about positivity.

Did you know that The Secret advocates victim blaming? It's right there in the section "Attract Abundance".
If you do not have enough, it is because you are stopping the flow of money coming to you, and you are doing that with your thoughts.
That's right. The book blames YOU for being poor.

Furthermore, the book also advocates don't visit people who are sick or even take phone calls from them so you cannot hear their negativity regarding their disease. Don't believe me?
You cannot "catch" anything unless you think you can, and thinking you can is inviting it to you with your thought. You are also inviting illness if you are listening to people talking about their illness. As you listen you are giving all of your thought and focus to illness,
Again, book blames YOU for getting sick, and if you listen to people who are sick, you'll get sick too. Argh. Guess that precludes you from speaking to people who're not rich either, huh?

In fact, Rhonda Byrne blamed people who died in disasters and terrorist attacks for not thinking positive thoughts and thus "hit the same frequency as the event" (The Secret Made Simple).
...masses of lives were lost...  If people believe they can be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and they have no control over outside circumstances, those thoughts of fear, separation, and powerlessness, if persistent, can attract them to being in the wrong place at the wrong time. 
Yep, you read it correctly. Rhonda Byrne blamed victims of natural disasters and terrorist attacks for their own negative thoughts which "attracted" the disaster and the attack. This was confirmed by Bob Proctor, one of the positive-thinking coaches quoted extensively in the book.  ABC Nightline interviewed Bob Proctor in 2009, and the dialog follows:
Nightline: "Children in Darfur are starving to death... Have they attracted that starvation to themselves?"
Proctor: "I think the country probably has..."
It's worth noting that Bob Proctor made a mint speaking at MLM events, esp. Vemma events before Vemma was shut down by FTC. In fact, Bob's wife and daughter were prominent Vemma members.

But what's even more interesting is the Secret's approach to money. It says... don't worry about bills. Imagine they're really checks, or whatever. You have to put yourself into positive frame of mind, imagine you have plenty of money, to open bills, and money will flow in magically. Or to put it another way, the book said any one can be like Jesus... who can magically create more food out of some food... people who believe can create more money out of a little money.
Focus on not enough money, and you will create untold more circumstances of not having enough money. You must focus on the abundance of money to bring that to you. 
Remember? Victim blaming again. Book says you are poor because you're thinking poor thoughts. But it gets even more bizarre.
When you have a pile of bills that you have no idea how you are going to pay you cannot focus on those bills, because you will continue to attract more bills. 
Oh, but it gets worse.
If the words "I can't afford it" have passed your lips your power to change that is now. Change it with, "I can afford that! I can buy that!" Say it over and over. Become like a parrot. For the next thirty days, make it your intention that you are going to look at everything you like and say to yourself, "I can afford that. I can buy that." As you see your dream car drive past, say, "I can afford that." As you see clothes you love, as you think about a great vacation, say, "I can afford that." 
Except that's LYING to oneself. If you can't afford it, you can't afford it. You may be able to afford it one day, but NOT NOW. And denying reality generally results in it coming back and bite you in the rear, and it will hurt a lot, and may put you into the loony bin. Your bank and your creditors will not care if that "check from Universal Bank" hadn't cashed yet. No, I'm not kidding about the check.

yes, The Secret website wants you to buy this check
and put your name as the payee to prove you are thinking
positive thoughts and soon you'll get your unlimited abundance

The Secret is basically rehashed "New Think" (which is 100 years old at least) advocating victim-blaming and reckless thinking, which made it a PERFECT MLM recruiting tool... as they require people who do no due diligence (reckless thinking) and can blame themselves if they fail. And that is its real secret.

1 comment:

  1. "Think about it..."

    That's kind of the exact opposite of the purpose for the "inspirational" propaganda. It's all loaded up with thought terminating clichés.

    "The only way to fail, is to quit!"

    "Find a way, make a way!"

    "If it's to be, it's up to me!"

    "You have to show up to go up!"

    Gobbledygook. You're not supposed to think about it, you're supposed to parrot the one-liners and blame yourself when it goes wrong.