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September 07, 2008

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I can't wait... oh, all right then. I can wait.

Great, more of this crap? That... really sucks.

I have a hard enough time getting through an hour woo at a time. Getting through a movie must be truly painful. Sometime I should try enduring one of these.

Bigger that The Secret? ...
than
Bigger that “What The Bleep?”? ...
than
Bigger that “The Da Vinci Code”?....
than

oh i just couldn't help it... its just payback.


:)

For all its flaws, I must say I enjoyed The Da Vinci Code (the movie, anyway -- I didn't read the book), if only for its tweaking of the Catholic church, and especially Opus Dei. Also, Ian McKellen rules.

I wouldn't put the other two in the same category...

Cant wait, another comedy from Woo Pictures!

I also enjoyed the da Vinci Code, but not the movie- only the book. The movie changed the story significantly to try and placcate the Christians. It ruined both the story and the central message.

If The Ancient Code is going to be bigger, that must mean they'll be taking a courageous stand on some controversial issue. Maybe they'll attack the LOA as being just as fascist as any other religious law and offer people help in escaping God's tyranny!

(Or maybe not.)

I just want to know: if the ancients had the infallible key to long life, health and happiness, how on earth did science and technology ever get started?

"This class two lever can help you to lift heavy loads."

"Why would I need to lift heavy loads when I have everything I will ever want or need right here in my cave? Take your stupid lever and shove it."

How and why did people ever forget these marvellous, mystical paths to joy and enlightenment, condemning generations to pain, want and short, miserable lives?

I wonder if the ancient code involves hot and cold baths...oh no, silly me, thats from a fictional work.

Well I just sat through the trailer on their website. Complete waste of about 3 minutes. They show computer graphics of holy things, like the pyramids in Egypt, then the pyramids in Mexico, then the holy grail, then the Statue of Liberty(???). Lots of dramatic music. Then they said they know all the answers and will tell us about it in the film.

They reckon they can stop war, hatred, natural disasters & global warming.

Skeptico has become one of the Chosen Ones by signing up for a free copy of the film, and a free gift.

Personally, I think they shot their load with The Secret. There's no more room in their target audience for more of this garbage.

Um... are you the one who put the Ancient Code banner ad up there?

I was going to sign up for the dvd, but they want me to give them 10 emails. Sorry, I'm not going to waste my friends time with this rubbish, nor do I have 10 enemies I wish to gift.

All you need to know is a look at their sponsors. I'm impressed....NOT.

Why do they need sponsors? Why don't they just magic up a potload of cash for themselves using their mighty ancient secret?

Oh its another boring film and moneymaking ploy by that manipulative marketeer and one of the biggest prats on the earth today Philip Gardiner . . .
Money! money! money! - a song by ABBA.

Ken

Just given them fake emails!
Or use use emailmiser!

You know, Skeptico, this isn't the first time you write "that" instead of "than."
You have to work on that.
Certain people on this blog would say that it makes you look unprofessional.

Tom, that's pretty funny. Thanks - I hadn't noticed that typo(s). Fixed now.

Ancient code? They couldn't give it a cooler name than that? Next thing you know it'll be "old ass code!"

Skeptico:

"So is The Ancient Code more "ancient" that The Moses Code, and if so would that make it more powerful?"

Evidently it's not completely fixed.


~David D.G.

You know, I was watching TV recently with my little boy, and there was this cartoon with a rabbit in it, and a duck, and a coyote, and a whole assortment of mice and cats and dogs and birds.

Sounds pretty innocent, right? But get this: almost all the animals could speak! English! Can you believe it? And the rabbit walked upright!

And they kept shooting each other, and falling off cliffs, and having TNT go off right in front of them, for God's sake, and even though they were completely incinerated, they were perfectly OK in the very next scene!

The last straw for me was when the coyote, who concocted the most insane schemes and mechanisms to catch this bird who could run on roads really fast, painted a cliff to look as though it weren't really there, like the road just continued through it. Never mind that, lacking opposable thumbs, coyotes can't paint, do you know what happened next?

The bird just ran through the cliff, as if it weren't even there, and down the road that the coyote had just painted. Yes, you read that right.

If that weren't enough, the coyote blew his stack (like, the top of his head totally flew off and spun around, and there was actually steam coming out! And when it landed, it fell in exactly the right place and spontaneously reattached itself! As if!) and chased after the bird, but when he reached the cliff, he hit it!

The bird could run through it, but the coyote couldn't! So, like, which is it?

Finally I slapped my forehead and said, "Look, son, this is just stupid. First of all, animals can't talk, right?" (He nodded, his eyes widening.) "Secondly, if a stick of dynamite detonates right in front of you, you're gonna die, ok? I mean, think about it! Thirdly, if you fall off a 3,000 foot cliff..."

He looked at me like I was some kind of pissed-off nut, and said something like "Hey, take it easy, Dad, it's just a cartoon, lighten up."

Well, did that ever make me angry. "I didn't raise my son to be a mindless Woo zombie!" I shouted. At that, his little face twisted into a mixture of anger, cynical contempt, and bitterness. "That's more like it," I said, and switched to PBS.

Cartoons have been been fronting themselves as legitimate representations of reality?When did that start happening?

Your strawman is full of failure weeds.

I just had to pop in on this one (I realize I'm a bit behind here). You'd think that the market for New-Wage moviemercials (aka Hustledork Cinema) would be saturated by now, but apparently that's not the case. There are at least three or four of the things being released every month -- "The Opus," "The Compass," "The Shift," "The Leap," "Try It On Everything," etc. etc.

While they all basically follow the same format (and feature roughly the same cast of hustlers) as "What The Bleep" and "The Secret," I don't think any of them have done nearly as well as those two classics. But that doesn't stop the hustlers from churning 'em out.

Not long ago I did a piece on "The Moses Code" (which Skeptico tackled six months ago):
http://tinyurl.com/3vxfam

A more recent release in the Hustledork Cinema genre is "The Meta Secret"
http://tinyurl.com/4w79o5

"The Meta Secret" seems to be the closest thing we have to an actual sequel to "The Secret." The long-promised REAL sequel to "The Secret" seems to have been held up by the lawsuits against "Secret" perp Rhonda Byrne.

I don't see this trend ending any time soon. But that's okay; it's just more snark chum for all of us.

"Cartoons have been been fronting themselves as legitimate representations of reality? When did that start happening?"

Well, I don't imagine they ever did, any more than silly movies like "The Da Vinci Code" ever did. It's just that, IMHO, some people take them waaaay too seriously, either as patrons or as critics. It's just a movie, people.

So you see I wasn't presenting a strawman argument at all, or even an argument; 'tis merely satire, and a model of satire at that, if I do say so myself.

It's just that, IMHO, some people take them waaaay too seriously, either as patrons or as critics. It's just a movie, people.
The point you're missing is that neither "The Da Vinci Code" nor "Merry Melodies" ever promoted pop philosophy to the masses through a multimedia campaign of books, movies, TV appearances, and so forth. Neither Dan Brown nor Mel Blanc ever intended their creations to be perceived as scientific and religious fact by the consumers, and the consumers (save perhaps the truly gullible or the mentally disabled) never took the ideas presented in these books seriously.

The pop philosophers behind "What the Bleep," "The Secret," "The Moses Code," "The Ancient Code," and so forth do intend their products be taken seriously, and their consumers are believing their claims. At least one woman showed up on Oprah during "The Secret"'s fifteen minutes of fame to claim that she'd given up chemotherapy for her cancer in favor of the wishful thinking promoted by Rhonda Byrne and her ilk. I can't tell you how many people I've talked to since "What the Bleep" who think quantum physics is the idiotic magic promoted in that piece of trash. We as critics take these things seriously because people believe them, and that's harmful.

So you see I wasn't presenting a strawman argument at all, or even an argument; 'tis merely satire, and a model of satire at that, if I do say so myself.
No, "A Modest Proposal" is the model of satire. Your contribution was an inane, sarcastic caricature that bore no resemblance to reality and utterly missed the point. Toot your own horn elsewhere; no one here wants to see that.

It's really, really annoying that woos never bother to understand why we object to things.

Tom said

We as critics take these things seriously because people believe them, and that's harmful.

Even if The Secret & Co is full of crap from one end to the other, some people will use this shit to fertilize new ideas and find motivation and inspiration to do better things with their lives. Wouldn’t you need to take this group into consideration and look at the net effect on society, before stating that the belief in the film (whatever that means) is harmful? It certainly can be harmful, as your nutjob from Opera shows, but I wonder if some people (very different from yourself) can utilize some of the information in these films in some constructive way.

Perhaps what I’m really asking is whether or not something being wrong necessarily makes it bad?

Btw, I do cheap astrology readings over email if anyone's interested.

How exactly can someone come up with something constructive by believing the bad science? You can make statements about positive thinking without invoking bad interpretations of quantum mechanics or claiming that thoughts become things.

Btw, I do cheap astrology readings over email if anyone's interested.

However cheap, it'd still be more than I'd be prepared to pay, I'm afraid, Martin.

Then again, I'm a Scorpio. Not believing in astrology is a typical Scorpio trait.

What's the quote tag, BTW? I tried Q in angle brackets, but it didn't work.

The quote tag is [blockquote], just switch the brackets for greater than/less than signs.

blockquote - in these brackets: < >

Even if The Secret & Co is full of crap from one end to the other, some people will use this shit to fertilize new ideas and find motivation and inspiration to do better things with their lives. Wouldn’t you need to take this group into consideration and look at the net effect on society, before stating that the belief in the film (whatever that means) is harmful?
One thing: I specifically said belief in the films' claims, not necessarily "belief in the film." As you note, that's a pretty vague phrase.

I don't think "new ideas thought up by the credulous" is likely to outweigh "people killed by their credulity." I would submit that, much like people who find comfort and inspiration in religion, that there are better sources for those same feelings, which aren't tainted by the woo-woo, bad advice, and misinformation. By all means, let's keep the good stuff and throw away the rest--with "The Secret," with religion, with whatever.

In the case of "The Secret" and "What the Bleep," I suppose the "good stuff" really boils down to "telling people to have confidence in themselves and try to achieve their goals," and "fantastic marketing." The latter's not particularly inspirational, and I can get the former in a fortune cookie or two, without the bad science and with the bonus of a tasty cookie.

Martin said: "...some people will use this shit to fertilize new ideas and find motivation and inspiration to do better things with their lives."

In a way I agree - I would say that is what is happening on this site, for example.

(Also the lawyers involved in the legal battles which are engulfing its stars would also see some good in it.)

"Perhaps what I’m really asking is whether or not something being wrong necessarily makes it bad?"

That's a fair question, but I also find it a bit of a sneaky manouevre. As if it's trying to shift the argument so that any good that might come can be claimed as a merit of The Secret.

That also diverts the debate away from the elefant in the room, i.e. the fact that it's an aggressively marketed childish excuse for greed and willful ignorance.

Tom,

I must contest your assertion that fortune cookies are tasty.

@ wikinite

On fortune cookies' lack of tastiness: seconded.

Big Al way upthread asked:

How and why did people ever forget these marvellous, mystical paths to joy and enlightenment, condemning generations to pain, want and short, miserable lives?

Dude! It wasn't about forgetting, it was Pandora and that box. (Or Eve and that snake?) Anyway, at least our poor suffering ancestors were able to pass the story (or stories) down to us, so we need not wonder where our ancient powers went.

I must say I'm surprised at the Ancient Code people for not remembering about Pandora and Eve, though. You'd think they'd have factored that in, wouldn't you?

Since comments on The Secret and What the Bleep are closed, I had no alternative but to post here, because the never-ending comments show the true extent of misunderstanding surrounding the LOA and I have answers. Perhaps my explanation will help you understand it better and release some of your skepticism.

I have it on good authority, however, that "opposites attract."

According to the LOA, if that is what you believe (that opposites attract), then you will attract to you more situations and circumstances that PROVE it to you. Why? Because you have CHOSEN to believe that opposites attract rather than like attracting like. Therefore, the only thing it disproves is your own theory.

"the LOA does work every time - no exceptions".

Yes, it does. That does NOT mean that you automatically attract checks instead of bills. A lot more goes into the PROCESS before you can be set up to have that happen. First, you must clear out any limiting subconscious beliefs that are blocking you from receiving checks instead of bills—such as the belief that the LOA can't possibly work that way. (See Ho'oponopono, Zero Limits or EFT for more information on clearing blocks)

You see, if you're trying to manifest checks instead of bills, but subconsciously believing this is never going to work, bravo. The LOA IS working. It is attracting to you evidence to prove to you that you are RIGHT—this IS never going to work.

As for the traffic Jam...that's easy...you just would not take that route on that day. Call it a hunch, call it luck...but that's how it works ... as a Coincidence.

And if for some reason you decided that taking the other route wasn't logical, and you took the other route despite the mental suggestion to do the opposite, and wound up in the jam, it could be a lesson to TEACH you that, hey, that gut instinct/nudge/hunch is there to help you IF you pay attention to it.

You’re saying ALL the positive people concentrating on being on time would have taken a different route. All of them. And you really think this makes sense? Are you retarded?

You're making it too simplistic (even for the, ahem, mentally challenged). It's not that every commuter was thinking about being on time, therefore they took another route. Perhaps the on-time person needed a break to make an important life-altering phone call that, had they not been stopped, they would not have made, and would have missed out on the opportunity presented via the phone call. The energy he'd been sending out around the intention that attracted the opportunity also attracted to him the perfect opportunity to take a necessary action to help it manifest. Therefore, the jam was a blessing.

Or let's say the traffic jam was caused by an accident, and the rescue crew was having difficulty getting through the jam-up; but one of the on-time commuters who got stuck in the jam just happens to be an ER doctor or EMS and they wind up saving the life of one of the victims who would have died otherwise. Or maybe you want to be on time, but you have that meeting with the boss today that you are dreading, so... you attract a delay subconsciously in order to delay the conversation. There can be many, many "reasons" for subconsciously attracting a traffic jam, even when you consciously want to be on time.

Note that the majority of the time, until we become aware of it, we SUBCONSCIOUSLY attract things to us. Then we wonder, "now, why does this shit keep happening to me?" Well, right there. That's why. Because you keep AFFIRMING that this shit keeps happening to you. Get a grip on your subconscious mind, take control of what messages you are casually sending to it, and what it's sending back to you, and surprise, the LOA will begin to work for you, too.

How exactly does this 'thing' work?

I wished and hoped for our first two pregnancies harder than anything I've ever hoped for, yet my wife had two miscarriages. I wished and hoped for 15 years to get into the RAF as an officer and worked harder for that than anything I ever have, and yet after three attempts they told me not to try again. I wished my grandfather would get better and yet I attended his funeral two days ago. My grandmother is suffering from alzheimers but I'm pretty sure she didn't wish for that.

If this is something we 'all possess' then why the fuck doesn't it work?

In fact, just for one moment sit down and think of all the things you may have wished for and didn't get. Set aside your confimation bias and really think about it.

Well, I'm glad you asked. Sure. OK. I'd be happy to explain how this thing works. After all the ranting about how it's just a bunch of woo-woo new age crap, I must say I find it ironic that only NOW did you finally admit that your rantings are really caused by your lack of understanding about the LOA and its functioning. I'm very glad that you worked up the courage to ask how it works.

Before I explain, please accept my sincerest sympathies in your losses. Now, I have a few questions for you.

How DESPERATE were you to get into the RAF? You said you worked harder at it than you ever had at anything else, and wished and hoped for 15 years. Desperately? Fervently? Obsessively? As in, this is the only thing I want to do and if I don't do it, my life is over?

Or were you determined, but completely accepting of the outcome even if it didn't work out for you? Were you willing to consider that maybe the RAF wasn't the best choice for you, that perhaps there was something much better for you to do? In fact, what did you wind up doing? Would you say it is a better fit? When you look back, can you see that in retrospect, it turned out for the best? Is it possible that being in the RAF could have lead to your untimely death, but not being in it allowed you the chance at life?

How many secret doubts did you or your wife harbor about the babies? Were you wishing and hoping for the best, but terrified of the possibilities?

How much need surrounded the wants?

Desperation and needing a goal too much actually repels it. One must learn to practice detachment from the goal before it can manifest. Oh, I know—it's really difficult to get to the place where you are completely at peace with a goal—meaning, I'm OK with or without it—especially when the goal is critical, such as life or death, or needing money for rent when you don't have it. But again, this goes back to clearing out limiting subconscious beliefs about the goal and the possibility of its manifestation in order to REACH that place of peace and detachment.

Also, sometimes when we don't get what we think we want, either:
A. it's because deep down inside, we didn't feel we deserved it, or didn't really want it, or feared the consequences of getting it, so we subconsciously pushed it away OR
B. it's because something much better is coming along IF we can let go of our attachment to the outcome we think we want

Yes, I HAVE set aside my "confimation bias" and really, really, really thought about it as I studied the LOA in depth for the past three years.

Are you ready? Because I am about to reveal the secret to The Secret, ha ha!

...because we all recognize that it's simply not enough to wish for something, you have to work at it. What you're proposing is doing nothing and wishing you were doing something better, and waiting for something better to come along.

AHA! BINGO, LOL! GOTCHA! If YOU had bothered to really look into any of Joe Vitale's books, you would have read that statement pretty much verbatim in his book the Attractor Factor! Vitale himself states that the problem with The Secret is that it misleads people into thinking it's enough to just wish.

Then he says it's not true—you "wish" (set the intention), then you let it go, THEN YOU WAIT FOR THE NUDGES AND TAKE ACTION.

That's the part everyone overlooks at first—the taking action part! You set your intention, then you let go of it (forget about it, think about something else, go watch TV, whatever).

Pretty soon, you'll get these ideas that just pop into your head. "I think I'll call so-and-so, I haven't talked to him in awhile". You call, and Mr. So-and-so mentions an opportunity that is perfect for you, in alignment with your intention. What a coincidence! Even if it's something random, like "I feel like playing tennis today"—you never know where it will lead, who you might encounter that would be integral to achieving your goal. If you get a nudge, a whim, an inspiration, DO WHAT IT SAYS.

THAT IS THE MISSING SECRET: TAKING INSPIRED ACTION.

I know—you're going to throw back at me "Oh, so if I get the inspiration to jump off a cliff or play in traffic, I should just do it?"

You know what? Yes. You should. But make sure you're wearing appropriate bungee gear before you do. Or, just go ahead and do it naked. I really don't care. I realize you're just being facetious. The truth is, if you get an idea like that in your head, it's NOT the LOA. The LOA will only set you up to receive information in the form of nudges of inspiration that are in alignment with your intention.

Unless, of course, you've set an intention to kill yourself. In that case, receiving that nudge may be appropriate. And if it's really your intent, by all means, follow away.

Siamang said: I don't need the Law of Attraction. My life is perfect as it is. I can't imagine what I'd need that I don't already have.

That's so ironic, because what you said in the second and third sentences IS the LOA. You've envisioned your life is perfect AS IT IS RIGHT NOW. You have no need. You appreciate what you have. You are without want, you are detached from need. THAT is the recipe for GETTING more of what you already have—perfection. Congratulations, Siamang, you are PROOF that the LOA works. :-D

And if you have any more questions about the LOA, I would suggest with all due respect that you consider dropping the skepticism and having a good look at Joe Vitale's books. Try a few experiments as previously suggested by various comments. And, you will likely enjoy a great improvement in your life overall by simply dropping the negative, condescending, snide attitude and adopting a more pleasant, progressive and positive attitude.

Of course, if you did that, you'd lose the ability to complain and this blog would no longer be necessary. Oh, well. Small sacrifices. :-D

So, basically, when attracting good things doesn't work it's because you're doing it wrong, and when good thing come it's never a coincidence because the LOA works?

Did I get it?

JB, something tells me you have not pondered this - or probably anything else - particularly deeply.

Okaaaaaaaaaaaay... that's... interesting.

So, if you send out positive vibes for getting X, but Y is better for you, the LoA will set you up for Y instead?

I'm pretty sure that's not how it's supposed to work. Though I can see how someone might decide to say that's how it works, because it makes getting out of things like opposing wishes, for example, easier; something else was better for the person!

That was just a neat bit of rhetorical gymnastics in order to make the LOA unfalsifiable and therefore (if you buy a certain type of woo-woo reasoning) true. Specifically he's moving the goalposts and engaging in ad hoc rationalization.

According to what JB said, any happening or experience that would tend to falsify the LOA (i.e. any time somebody who really, honestly believed the LOA and put out vibes for X did not receive X) does not in fact falsify the LOA. It merely proves that the person wasn't really putting out the right vibes consciously. Here's where the goalposts are moved to the subconscious (of which JB seems to have a distinctly Freudian understanding). If you didn't get what you were attempting very hard to attract, no matter how sincere you seem or how sincere you believe yourself to be, it is necessarily true that your subconscious wasn't going along with your conscious mind.

It's like how prayers work 100% of the time according to some: if you get what you prayed for, it was God granting your prayer. If you didn't, it was God knowing what's really best for you. Presto, self-confirmo, prayer works all the time.

JB, I have two questions. Firstly, regarding this:

THAT IS THE MISSING SECRET: TAKING INSPIRED ACTION.

If the point Vitale is making is that the LOA "helps those who helps themselves," so to speak, if the LOA only works when you actually work towards the goals about which you're positively thinking, what is the difference between the LOA existing and the LOA not existing, and how do we tell the difference?.

An example: Bill wants a new plasma-screen TV. He is a devotee of The Secret, and so he spends time wishing for a plasma-screen TV and thinking positively about the TV being at his house. Then he takes "inspired action" and puts away $50 out of every paycheck until he can afford the new TV.

Since it was the $50 weekly savings that actually allowed Bill to buy the new TV, how can you say that the wishing had any effect at all? If you have to actually go out and work for the things you want with or without the LOA, that is if our life experience is exactly the same whether or not the LOA is true, what reason to you have to suppose it exists? And ad hoc hypotheses do not count as reasons.

Question two: What would falsify the "Law" of Attraction? What experiment or observation would, in your mind, prove the LOA to be false? As I've said, you seem to have rendered it unfalsibiable with your claims that any situation wherein someone sincerely attempts to enact the LOA but doesn't get what they really, really want still proves the LOA either because their subconscious was wishing the opposite or the LOA knows better what they really need later on down the road. So, then, what can we do to falsify it? Bear in mind, here, I'm not asking you to prove the belief wrong, I'm merely asking you to conceive of an experiment or observation that would prove the LOA wrong if it happened. If you won't admit to the LOA's falsifiability even in principle, then you have done little more than create a ghost; something unfalsifiable is scientifically useless. It is navel-gazing sophistry and illusion. Because we can't ever find a way to prove the idea wrong, we can't test it, and thus can never actually know if it is right.

I submit that your conception of the LOA, even aside from your attempt (as I see it) to render it unfalsifiable, falls flat on its face because it relies almost entirely on a pop-psychology conception of a volitional "subconscious" that doesn't actually exist, much less believe or want things in opposition to the conscious mind.

According to the LOA, if that is what you believe (that opposites attract), then you will attract to you more situations and circumstances that PROVE it to you. Why? Because you have CHOSEN to believe that opposites attract rather than like attracting like. Therefore, the only thing it disproves is your own theory.
First, the comment was a joke--hence why it went on to talk about Paula Abdul. Second, it did point out the simple fact that here in objective reality, real attractors--charged particles being the prime example--do attract opposites rather than likes.
Yes, it does. That does NOT mean that you automatically attract checks instead of bills.
Really? Because the folks in "The Secret" sure said that it did.
A lot more goes into the PROCESS before you can be set up to have that happen. First, you must clear out any limiting subconscious beliefs that are blocking you from receiving checks instead of bills—such as the belief that the LOA can't possibly work that way.
So your subconscious desires trump your conscious ones? How does the Law distinguish between the two? Since I have no way of knowing with any certainty what my subconscious desires are, and no way of consciously changing them, how do I know what I'm attracting? If I don't know what my subconscious is trying to attract, then how do I even know if the Law of Attraction works?
You see, if you're trying to manifest checks instead of bills, but subconsciously believing this is never going to work, bravo. The LOA IS working. It is attracting to you evidence to prove to you that you are RIGHT—this IS never going to work.
See, this is what we skeptics call an ad hoc hypothesis. We start with some testable claim--say, Bob Proctor's "[the Law of Attraction] always works, it works every time, with every person." We perform a test, by trying to attract something. The test fails to support the claim, so the claimant adds on an ad hoc explanation--"well it works every time, but you're subconsciously telling it not to work." You've retroactively changed the initial claim to make it more difficult to test; that's classic pseudoscience, and certainly calls into question any suggestion that this "Law of Attraction" is a property of the universe.
And if for some reason you decided that taking the other route wasn't logical, and you took the other route despite the mental suggestion to do the opposite, and wound up in the jam, it could be a lesson to TEACH you that, hey, that gut instinct/nudge/hunch is there to help you IF you pay attention to it.
Except that the way the Law of Attraction is explained in "The Secret" and related materials, the person worried about a traffic jam will attract one no matter which direction he goes. Where does the "gut feeling" enter into it?
You're making it too simplistic (even for the, ahem, mentally challenged). It's not that every commuter was thinking about being on time, therefore they took another route. Perhaps the on-time person needed a break to make an important life-altering phone call that, had they not been stopped, they would not have made, and would have missed out on the opportunity presented via the phone call. The energy he'd been sending out around the intention that attracted the opportunity also attracted to him the perfect opportunity to take a necessary action to help it manifest. Therefore, the jam was a blessing.
A blessing for the person with the phone call, but a nuisance or annoyance to everyone else. What about the guy who misses his first child's birth because he's stuck in traffic? Why does one man's phone call trump another man's miracle of life? This is one of the major problems with the whole philosophy: how does the Law of Attraction determine which outcome to provide when two people are equally attracting opposing outcomes? Or do we just assume that one was subconsciously sabotaging himself?
Or let's say the traffic jam was caused by an accident, and the rescue crew was having difficulty getting through the jam-up; but one of the on-time commuters who got stuck in the jam just happens to be an ER doctor or EMS and they wind up saving the life of one of the victims who would have died otherwise.
So who's attracting this? The off-duty paramedic? The crash victim (and was the victim attracting the crash to begin with)? The EMTs who couldn't get to the crash? Why couldn't they attract a path to the wreck?

Or maybe you want to be on time, but you have that meeting with the boss today that you are dreading, so... you attract a delay subconsciously in order to delay the conversation. There can be many, many "reasons" for subconsciously attracting a traffic jam, even when you consciously want to be on time.

So again, subconscious desires trump conscious ones. What reason, then, do you have to suggest that this Law even exists? At this point, it sounds tautological--you attract whatever your subconscious mind desires, and whatever your subconscious mind desires is what you're attracting.

Get a grip on your subconscious mind, take control of what messages you are casually sending to it, and what it's sending back to you, and surprise, the LOA will begin to work for you, too.
Okay, so how do you consciously change your subconscious desires? And how do you know if the change worked?

I suspect it's kind of like praying the gay away.

Well, I'm glad you asked. Sure. OK. I'd be happy to explain how this thing works. After all the ranting about how it's just a bunch of woo-woo new age crap, I must say I find it ironic that only NOW did you finally admit that your rantings are really caused by your lack of understanding about the LOA and its functioning. I'm very glad that you worked up the courage to ask how it works.
Hey, JB, go attract yourself.

Incidentally, I don't much care how it works until there's some evidence that it works. I could offer you all sorts of explanations of how the Force works and how Jedi manipulate it and how Midichlorians are involved, but until I demonstrate that the Force exists, the rest is nonsense.

How many secret doubts did you or your wife harbor about the babies? Were you wishing and hoping for the best, but terrified of the possibilities?
Oh, so you're a contemptible ghoul, gotcha. When bad things happen, it's because the victims were subconsciously wanting them to happen--or were afraid, and the universe just can't quite tell the difference. So every Jew in a gas chamber at Auschwitz subconsciously wanted to be killed by the Master Race. Every woman who carries pepper spray and a taser and a rape whistle in her purse and walks home with friends at night and keeps her cell phone with 911 on speed dial is just asking to be raped, because all that vigilance just means she's thinking about it that much more. What a reprehensible philosophy you have there.
Desperation and needing a goal too much actually repels it. One must learn to practice detachment from the goal before it can manifest
So, the Law of Attraction gives you what you want, but it gives you what you want subconsciously even if that's no what you want consciously, and it doesn't give you either of those if you want it too badly. Makes perfect sense.
Also, sometimes when we don't get what we think we want, either: A. it's because deep down inside, we didn't feel we deserved it, or didn't really want it, or feared the consequences of getting it, so we subconsciously pushed it away OR
Right, the ghoul stuff, we've got that bit down.
B. it's because something much better is coming along IF we can let go of our attachment to the outcome we think we want
So the Law of Attraction knows the future? It gives you what you want (subconsciously) as long as you don't want it too bad, unless there's something that you'll want even more in the future, which you don't know about yet and thus can't want consciously or subconsciously? Do you see where this is starting to look like an unfalsifiable mound of ad-hoc hypotheses attached to a ridiculous claim? It certainly doesn't sound like a physical law. The law of gravity doesn't stop acting on me now because it thinks I might really want to be heavier at some point in the future.
Yes, I HAVE set aside my "confimation bias" and really, really, really thought about it as I studied the LOA in depth for the past three years.
If you've studied it for three years, then presumably you can provide us with the evidence that supports the existence and efficacy of the Law of Attraction, right? I mean, the folks in The Secret said it was a law of the universe, like gravity, which means it should be easily expressed in a brief series of postulates or (ideally) as a mathematical expression. Moreover, it should be supported by ample empirical evidence demonstrating a reliably repeatable phenomenon and a plausible mechanism. I'm sure you wouldn't have wasted three years studying a phenomenon that you have no reason to believe exists, right?

Incidentally, I suspect that you have no idea what confirmation bias is. Go attract yourself a clue.

AHA! BINGO, LOL! GOTCHA! If YOU had bothered to really look into any of Joe Vitale's books, you would have read that statement pretty much verbatim in his book the Attractor Factor! Vitale himself states that the problem with The Secret is that it misleads people into thinking it's enough to just wish.

Then he says it's not true—you "wish" (set the intention), then you let it go, THEN YOU WAIT FOR THE NUDGES AND TAKE ACTION.

That's the part everyone overlooks at first—the taking action part! You set your intention, then you let go of it (forget about it, think about something else, go watch TV, whatever).


It's not that people "forget" about that part, you boob, it's that the folks in "The Secret"--Vitale included--explicitly omit the "work for it" part in favor of newage claptrap about thoughts sending out energy signals into the universe, and "thoughts become things" and so forth.

There's nothing magical, controversial, or even original about saying "if you set goals and concentrate on working toward them, you might accomplish them." Nothing about that says anything about ending up in traffic jams; nothing about that allows you to have an off-duty paramedic near your car crash. You're equivocating, trying to use the reasonable common-sense method of "working for what you want" to lend legitimacy to the bizarre metaphysics. Yes, we agree that if you work toward your goals, you may achieve them--there's no need for the magical wishing middleman that the "Law of Attraction" proposes.

Pretty soon, you'll get these ideas that just pop into your head. "I think I'll call so-and-so, I haven't talked to him in awhile". You call, and Mr. So-and-so mentions an opportunity that is perfect for you, in alignment with your intention. What a coincidence!
Yes, a coincidence. Two incidents, happening in about the same time period. What's the reason for tacking on the special magical significance? What about all the times you think about calling so-and-so and don't find out about perfect opportunities?
Even if it's something random, like "I feel like playing tennis today"—you never know where it will lead, who you might encounter that would be integral to achieving your goal. If you get a nudge, a whim, an inspiration, DO WHAT IT SAYS.
So what's the Law of Attraction: is it something that causes what you want to happen to you, or is it something that causes you to get feelings in your gut that you should follow in order to make things happen to you?
You know what? Yes. You should. But make sure you're wearing appropriate bungee gear before you do. Or, just go ahead and do it naked. I really don't care. I realize you're just being facetious. The truth is, if you get an idea like that in your head, it's NOT the LOA. The LOA will only set you up to receive information in the form of nudges of inspiration that are in alignment with your intention.
So, the Law of Attraction is a physical law of the universe that gives you what you want, but prioritizes your subconscious desires over your conscious ones, and gives you gut feelings to help you achieve the things that you subconsciously desire. You should follow these gut feelings, because they're the Law of Attraction, unless those gut feelings tell you to do something crazy or stupid or dangerous, because that's not the Law of Attraction, because the Law of Attraction is always acting in your best interest, except when your subconscious desires contradict your interests, or when it gives you something you fear or worry about because it can't tell that apart from desire, or when it doesn't give you what you want because it knows that there's something you'll eventually want more in the future, or when it doesn't give you the things you need because you want them too badly and are too emotionally attached. Phew, and I thought "matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed in any reaction" was a wordy law.
Unless, of course, you've set an intention to kill yourself. In that case, receiving that nudge may be appropriate. And if it's really your intent, by all means, follow away.
I think your anus subconsciously desires your head, JB, because they seem to be pretty strongly attracted to one another.
That's so ironic, because what you said in the second and third sentences IS the LOA. You've envisioned your life is perfect AS IT IS RIGHT NOW. You have no need. You appreciate what you have. You are without want, you are detached from need. THAT is the recipe for GETTING more of what you already have—perfection. Congratulations, Siamang, you are PROOF that the LOA works. :-D
And you've just confirmed my suspicions about that whole confirmation bias issue.
And if you have any more questions about the LOA, I would suggest with all due respect that you consider dropping the skepticism and having a good look at Joe Vitale's books.
That's right, we should lay aside our rational faculties, bullshit detectors, and any semblance of logical thought or concerns about evidence, and hand our money over to a charlatan so he can tell us about magical laws of the universe that boil down to "get a job, hippie."

Hey, JB, with all due respect, you should consider dropping the skepticism and having a good look at this bridge I have for sale. I can also get you a great deal on some land in the Everglades. Also, I've written a word on the ceiling, and if you pay me $14.95, I'll tell you what it says.

Try a few experiments as previously suggested by various comments.
Can we resume our skepticism for this bit, then? Because experiments without it wouldn't be much good.

So, JB, care to propose a testable claim?

And, you will likely enjoy a great improvement in your life overall by simply dropping the negative, condescending, snide attitude and adopting a more pleasant, progressive and positive attitude.
Yes, drop your ability to reason and much of your money and adopt an ignorant philosophy of doing your own work, crediting the universe for the things you accomplish, and blaming victims for anything bad that happens to them. Life is far more positive that way than with an outlook of studying the real world and exposing charlatans, kooks, and crackpots.

I'm sure I'd notice great improvements in my life if I had my frontal lobe pulled out through my nostrils, too, but I think I'd prefer the occasional reality-based snarkiness, thank you very much.

Of course, if you did that, you'd lose the ability to complain and this blog would no longer be necessary. Oh, well. Small sacrifices. :-D
As long as there are arrogant, deplorable morons like you promoting bankrupt philosophies of newage garbage mixed with blatantly obvious common sense dressed up in fancy jargon, this blog (and all others like it) will be eminently necessary.

Well that was fun Tom, May I sum up?

there is no difference at all in JBs description of The Secret and any apologists defense of praying for things from God. If you get what you want its becuase you prayed hard enough. If not its becuase you didn't pray hard enough, or God knows what is best for you.

You just replaced "God", with "subconsciousness". Every fallacy about any particular religion, applies to your version of The Secret, guess officially making it an organized religion. Good work.

Late to the party and as usual Tom and Akusai have taken all the best bits. Still, I can't decide if JB is an elaborate Poe or a genuine Secretard whose post requires an answer. Erring on the side of caution, I decide that just to be on the safe side I'll throw in my 2 pence.

First, I have to agree with Akusai. You've defined the LOA in such a way as to make it completely unproveable and unknowable in any meaningful sense.

If you get what you want and work for, its the LOA. If you don't, it's the LOA. If you get something else, it's still the LOA. If you don't get anything, it's still the LOA. No matter what happens, good; bad; indifferent; known or unknowable; wanted or unwanted; planned or unplanned it was the LOA.

How is this any different to Sagan's dragon?

The answer? It isn't.

The LOA is a worthless explanation as you define it because it apparently applies to everything, even contradictory opposites.

First, you must clear out any limiting subconscious beliefs that are blocking you from receiving checks instead of bills—such as the belief that the LOA can't possibly work that way.

How exactly do you clear out your subconscious? Isn't the whole point of the concept of the subconscious that you aren't, you know, conscious of what is in it? If you were aware of your subconscious that would make it, well, your conscious.

Do you see the hole this creates for you? No, probably not.

You see, if you're trying to manifest checks instead of bills, but subconsciously believing this is never going to work, bravo. The LOA IS working.

As has been said, congratulations on defining your terms in such a way that they can never be proven or disproven. A sure sign that something is bullshit.

And if for some reason you decided that taking the other route wasn't logical, and you took the other route despite the mental suggestion to do the opposite, and wound up in the jam, it could be a lesson to TEACH you that, hey, that gut instinct/nudge/hunch is there to help you IF you pay attention to it.

Shorter version:
No matter what, its the LOA everytime. Which proves the LOA exists.

You're making it too simplistic (even for the, ahem, mentally challenged).

And you're adhoc-ing explanations at a phenomenal rate.

Of course, your version of the LOA doesn't even come close to explaining directly opposing desires from different people. How, exactly, does the LOA determine between two contradictory outcomes that are equally desired and equally worked towards by two different people, with all things being equal?

Note that the majority of the time, until we become aware of it, we SUBCONSCIOUSLY attract things to us.

This just always comes up with Secretards doesn't it? You just can't help blaming the victims can you? And you don't even bother to think through what you're saying before saying it do you?

I really am beginning to think that the beliefs of Secretards are the most vacuous and morally bankrupt of the ideologies I have come across.

Been raped - you wanted it and worked towards it. Or the LOA determined it was best for you.
Been murdered - you wanted it and worked towards it. Or the LOA determined it was best for you.
Lost a loved one - you wanted it and worked towards it. Or the LOA determined it was best for you.
Lost everything - you wanted it and worked towards it. Or the LOA determined it was best for you.

You might not know it, but you or it did.

In fact, why even bother punishing criminals? The victims, by your own admission and words, either wanted it consciously or subconsciously and had to have worked towards it. Or the LOA just thought it was better for them. Or it was better for someone else that it happened to who it did. The criminals were merely acting as agents of the LOA. If it is an impartial law of the universe then it makes no moral or judicial sense to punish them.

After all, that child rape victim was just asking for it. Right? They consiously or subconsciously brought it upon themselves didn't they?

I hope Skeptico will forgive me this one indulgence:
People like you are either stupid or scum. Which are you?

Go on, try and explain without contradicting yourself why the LOA doesn't blame the victim. But bear in mind your own words:

Then we wonder, "now, why does this shit keep happening to me?" Well, right there. That's why. Because you keep AFFIRMING that this shit keeps happening to you.

We can wait.

Get a grip on your subconscious mind, take control of what messages you are casually sending to it, and what it's sending back to you, and surprise, the LOA will begin to work for you, too.

Woah, hang on. The LOA is always working you said. Whether you get what you want or not. Which is it?

Before I explain, please accept my sincerest sympathies in your losses.

Meaningless coming from someone like you. What is the point of expressing sympathies when you think I wished this on myself anyway, either subconsciously or consciously; or that the LOA determined it was for the best; or that it was for a purpose? Unless of course, you don't actually believe the shit you spout. Or only believe it when it suits you.

You really haven't thought this through have you? You think you have, but the true consequences of your beliefs you've managed to hide away because they're too unpleasant and unpalatable. If it wasn't for the fact that you promote them openly I'd pity you.

How DESPERATE were you to get into the RAF?

Apparently your reading comprehension skills aren't all they are cracked up to be. I told you I had wished and hoped and worked hard. I was not desperate. That is what you tried to imply. You need to believe I was desperate because otherwise your house of cards comes crashing down. Please don't project your fears on me.

Desperately? Fervently? Obsessively?

Nope. Hopefully. Again with the attempted strawman setup.

As in, this is the only thing I want to do and if I don't do it, my life is over?

Bit of a drama queen aren't you? It was the only thing I had wanted to do, but no I did not think my life would be over, I had and still have other plans. I'm not done yet.

Or were you determined, but completely accepting of the outcome even if it didn't work out for you?

I was determined, but no I did not accept the outcome. Oh dear, this isn't looking good for you is it. Could it be your childish new age amateur psychology has gaping holes in it and not nearly the depths necessary to explain the real world?

Were you willing to consider that maybe the RAF wasn't the best choice for you, that perhaps there was something much better for you to do?

No to both. I was willing to consider alternatives and that my life would not be 'over' because of one thing. Easy on the false dilemmas here. None of your carefully constructed options are as black and white as your belief in the LOA needs them to be I'm afraid.

In fact, what did you wind up doing? Would you say it is a better fit?

Crappy IT jobs, and no they were not a better fit. This just isn't going well for you is it?

When you look back, can you see that in retrospect, it turned out for the best?

Nope.

Is it possible that being in the RAF could have lead to your untimely death, but not being in it allowed you the chance at life?

Not really given the branches I was looking at going into. Certainly not compared to some of the alternatives I was and have considered. Try again.

How many secret doubts did you or your wife harbor about the babies?

So, you are scum.

Were you wishing and hoping for the best, but terrified of the possibilities?

Absolutely. But then, we also were for the two pregnancies that have been carried to term so far. In fact, more so because we knew how fragile early term pregnancy is. We were terrified and obssessed by miscarriages for the first 5 or 6 months of each pregnancy. And yet we have two kids. Not going well for you is it? You lose again.

Try blaming a different victim.

How much need surrounded the wants?

What does this even mean?

Desperation and needing a goal too much actually repels it.

What? How, exactly, is desperation determined in and by the LOA? Define your terms clearly and show your working. We can wait.

If desperation and needing a goal repel it, how come my wife and I have two children we desperately wanted and needed? You lose again. Oh, let me guess. We weren't too desperate or needy but just the necessary amount of desperate and needy, right? How, exactly, is too much measured by the LOA? Show your working.

Now let's go back to the RAF for a moment, because this whole period raises even more problems for you Secretards.

At the same time I was going for the RAF, my younger brother was going for the Royal Navy. He decided to do so in a short period of time, his heart was not set on it, he did not work as hard as me for it (except on physical fitness), where I was quietly confident through the process and thought I was doing well he was (as he was at the time because of his personality) more pessimistic and far less confident. He has now been in the service for 5 years.

He was consciously sure that he was not doing well, and yet he got in. I was consciously sure that I was doing well, and didn't.

So, supposing for a moment my subconscious was the reason I didn't, apparently the subconscious has more affect than the conscious on the LOA. Which means the LOA is worthless at predicting anything or explaining anything since the subconscious is, by definition, unknowable.

Or do you have some other adhoc reasoning for this?

Also, sometimes when we don't get what we think we want, either:
A. it's because deep down inside, we didn't feel we deserved it, or didn't really want it, or feared the consequences of getting it, so we subconsciously pushed it away OR
B. it's because something much better is coming along IF we can let go of our attachment to the outcome we think we want

Ah, yes you do. But hang on. What use is the Secret if the LOA can decide for you that something else you were unaware of is better? If something you are unaware of but that might be much better might be coming along, then isn't it dangerous to work towards and hope for any goal?

Yes, I HAVE set aside my "confimation bias" and really, really, really thought about it as I studied the LOA in depth for the past three years.

You show no hint of even understanding what confirmation bias is, never mind having gotten beyond it. If you had, you would know about all these counter points, and yet you have obviously only studied the 'pros' of the LOA.

Then he says it's not true—you "wish" (set the intention), then you let it go, THEN YOU WAIT FOR THE NUDGES AND TAKE ACTION.

Wait wait wait. This is news how, exactly? What exactly makes this revelation earth shattering or even remotely astounding?

"Want something? Get off your arse and work for it then."

Simply earth shattering.

Of course, renaming common sense and calling it the Secret does not change what it is. Although, after speaking to people like you it is obvious that common sense has been kept a secret from at least some members of society.

That's the part everyone overlooks at first—the taking action part!

We didn't. Try reading what we wrote.

Pretty soon, you'll get these ideas that just pop into your head.

Wow. Nothing escapes you Secretards, does it? What are these 'ideas' that you speak of? Is that some new fangled LOA word for 'things what I thunk about'?

THAT IS THE MISSING SECRET: TAKING INSPIRED ACTION.

Well, missing secret to some apparently.

Someones sold you simple common sense mate, you've been done and you still don't realise it.

I know—you're going to throw back at me "Oh, so if I get the inspiration to jump off a cliff or play in traffic, I should just do it?"

No, I'm going to throw back at you the fact that we all knew this and have been calling it common sense and good old fashioned hard work. You saw a donkey dressed in a saddle and convinced yourself it was Red Rum. We saw a donkey, and we've always seen a donkey. Because it's a donkey.

You've been had.

You know what? Yes. You should.

I wish you would.

The truth is, if you get an idea like that in your head, it's NOT the LOA.

How, exactly, do we know when it is or is not the LOA. Isn't the LOA always working, even when we don't know it? You're starting to lose it. Three years seems a waste of time so far.

The LOA will only set you up to receive information in the form of nudges of inspiration that are in alignment with your intention.

And if your intention is to jump off a cliff then the LOA is giving you those ideas, right? But you just said it wasn't. Oh dear for you.

Unless, of course, you've set an intention to kill yourself. In that case, receiving that nudge may be appropriate. And if it's really your intent, by all means, follow away.

Oh ok. Once again we have the 'If something happens it is the LOA. And if it doesn't, it is the LOA. And if you get the idea, it is the LOA. And if you don't it is the LOA. And if you get an idea that isn't from the LOA, it is still the LOA.'

Congratulations, Siamang, you are PROOF that the LOA works.

Congratulations JB. You are proof that people really will believe anything. Especially when you take something everyone already knew about and dress it up in new clothes and a hefty price tag.

"Breathing oxygen mate? It's rubbish. Now, this O2 is the real deal. You get two of them. And it's yours for £5000 a breath."

And if you have any more questions about the LOA, I would suggest with all due respect that you consider dropping the skepticism and having a good look at Joe Vitale's books.

And if you have any more problems grasping reality, I would suggest with no respect at all that you try using the apparently untouched grey matter between your ears.

And, you will likely enjoy a great improvement in your life overall by simply dropping the negative, condescending, snide attitude and adopting a more pleasant, progressive and positive attitude.

Oh good grief. You think that this innocent victim brought it upon himself either consciously or subconsciously (who the hell can consciously or subconsciously concieve of that, never mind wish it), but we are the ones who need to be more pleasant, progressive and positive?

You blame the victim. You really are scum.

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