"The Secret" is Out.
Melbourne native, Drew Heriot, flew to Los Angeles in 2005 to begin work on “The Secret,” a documentary revealing one the greatest and most sought-after mysteries in the known universe.
At least that’s what the first five minutes of his film reveal.
The hidden idea that the documentary discusses is a rather simple concept to grasp.
And no, there is no black magic embedded in this article. By reading it, no terrible fate will befall you…but just to be safe:
We take no responsibility for any of the following: bleeding eyes, demonic possession, stigmata, spontaneous combustion of the Raiders of the Lost Ark persuasion, or the sudden transformation into a Biblical pillar of salt while reading this critique of Drew Heriot’s “The Secret. ” The readers take full responsibility for their own well-being. So peruse this article at your own risk and, as always, please read responsibly.
“The Secret” revolves around a scientific staple known as the Law of Attraction, wherein energy must attract to like energy. Since all things are comprised of energy at their core, we as human beings must, by scientific law, receive what we put our energy toward.
If we think positively and act toward our goals, the Law of Attraction gives them to us. The same rules apply with the negative: if your head’s in the gutter, you’ll continue to have horrible things happen to you.
"You can’t turn it off," Heriot said. "The Law of Attraction is constantly working whether you are conscious of it or not, and whether you believe in it or not. It’s all about infusing the Law into your daily life and your routine, combining an open-mind and skepticism."
The film begins with an eerie, almost ghastly Gregorian choir and the solemn silhouette of a woman walking over the horizon. Through the foggy lens, she kind of looks like Halle Berry with those white highlights a la Storm from X-Men, but not.
The woman is Rhonda Byrne, Australian television producer and author of the book version of “The Secret” and the springboard for the entire project, including the self-help-y celluloid version.
According to Australia’s Herald Sun, Byrne suffered a tragic blow when her father passed away in 2004, a rift that would begin to chip away at her career, her relationships and her bank account.
Byrne’s daughter, the Herald Sun said, handed her a copy of Wallace Wattles’ 1910 classic, The Science of Getting Rich, which uncovers the basics behind the Law of Attraction.
The introduction to the film follows this story, which is a much more romanticized version, but still pretty true.
But then, all of the sudden, I lost faith.
Cut-scene after cut-scene begin to fly past me, starting in an ancient Egyptian temple where a man–who kind of reminded me of the lead singer of the band HIM–is etching away furiously at an emerald tablet, which the viewer is supposed to understand embodies "The Secret of Life." His etching passes through time to a knight, and then to a priest, and then to a man in pantaloons and a powdered wig.
The segments look like an overzealous Da Vinci Code preview and overall, they give you the impression that this film takes itself far too seriously. For about a minute and a half of hectic cut-scenes, you then get to sit and listen to crazy people talk for ninety minutes.
"Do you know this secret gives you everything you want?" preached Bob Proctor.
The occupational title under his name simply reads "Philosopher." His website shows him as a philosopher of getting rich.
Throughout the entire film, the viewer gets to meet people like this. Their names seem to blur together, but there’s a certain je ne sais quoi in seeing how the producers at Prime Time Productions tried to punch up these people’s job descriptions to make them sound more omniscient and all-knowing.
Sure, the film has several qualified and successful individuals such as Jack Canfield, author of the famous Chicken Soup for the Soul book series, but that’s about as good as they come.
Additionally, there’s Dr. Joe Vitale the "Metaphysician," Dr. Michael Beckwith the "Visionary," and Marie Diamond the “Feng Shui Consultant.”
We can defer to Ms. Diamond when we want to know how facing the couch toward the southwest will open up chi flow, but not when dealing with the mysteries of human existence.
Even the specialists within the realm of an honest occupation blur the line, like Dr. Fred Alan Wolf, a geriatric quantum physicist, who reminds me vaguely of an over medicated grandfather.
He is the most entertaining part of the entire film.
Heriot went on to say that Prime Time Productions started with only a few "experts" and ended up with fifty-five people vying for pole position in the documentary.
"We had to cut it down to twenty-five," he said, "and we filmed over one hundred hours of footage."
With regards to the future of The Secret Heriot politely responded, "Well, we’re doing pretty good right now. We’re the number one best-selling movie and book on Amazon.com.
To sum it all up, “The Secret” is a corny, yet charismatic look at a dated philosophy.
In the hands of get rich quick entrepreneurs, even the beautiful gloss of "The Secret of Life" has lost its luster.
All joking aside, the message behind The Secret is an uplifting one. It isn’t based on the fundamentals of any specific religion, despite its tendency of the film to have a cultish aftertaste.
At a few points in the movie, you start to wonder when men in cloaks are going to start asking you to burn a large wicker man while Jim Jones leads "The Polyphonic Spree" in a rousing sing-along.
Lisa Nichols, author and "Secret Teacher" talks about how much better your day would be if you woke up, looked in the mirror, and told yourself: "I am perfect."
Personally, with the current political, social and emotional state our country, a little sunshine on a cloudy day couldn’t hurt.
For the sake of editorial fairness, there is something to be said for the fact that this movie is so amazingly popular.
The question is, how?