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Decoding ‘The Secret’

Oprah lives by it. Millions are reading it. The latest self-help sensation claims we can change our lives by thinking. But this ‘new thought’ may just be new marketing.

Reading some of the excerpts in the Newsweek article, you’d almost think it was a spoof book if not for the millions of copies sold and the public support of celebs like Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres and Nicole Kidman. Are people really so desperately needy and pathetically gullible? The mind reels …

You’d think the last thing Americans need is more excuses for self-absorption and acquisitiveness. But our inexhaustible appetite for “affirmation” and “inspiration” and “motivation” has finally outstripped the combined efforts of Wayne Dyer, Anthony Robbins, Dr. Phil and Mitch Albom. We have actually begun importing self-help—and from Australia, of all places, that citadel of tough-minded individualism…