Have you ever noticed how those guys willing to teach you how to sell real estate so you too can be rich like them always have a "Secret To Their Success", or that weight loss groups promise you the "Secret To Losing Forty Pounds In Six Months"? Everybody's got a secret these days, from their own "Secret Sauce" guaranteeing great barbecue to the secret of "Being The Best Possible You".
Most of these folk seem to live either on the Home Shopping Network or on infomercials late at night or first thing Sunday morning, the time slots most affiliate stations never seem to be able to sell. Some of these folk with secrets have also written books about how they became such successes. If you're really lucky you'll be able to buy their collected speeches for just $14.99, including a full colour booklet explaining how you can best use these tapes to help you emulate their achievements and learn their "secrets"
But the folk who are the hands down winners, and make these television pitch guys look like rank amateurs in the "secret" business, are the New Age proselytisers. The secrets they know! From ancient Egypt to the court of Arthur and all points in between, beyond, under, and so far out I don't think they'll ever come home again. They sell methods of telling your future based on their secret knowledge of Lord Of The Rings which inspired them to create a Tarot Deck based on fictional characters.
Some of them have even channelled the secrets of the Angels and have written out their conversations with them so you can find out what Michael and Gabriel think are your chances of getting laid this weekend. Or, if you're into something a little more down to earth, there are plenty of womyn ready to reveal the Secrets of the Earth-Mother/Goddess/Bunny Rabbit.
But now we are all so very lucky, there will no longer be any room for doubt, because someone has finally written a book called The Secret which I assume will make all those lesser secrets obsolete. In between the covers of that book you must be able to learn how to do everything from selling real estate with no money down, have buns of steel in just twenty days, and learn just what Michael and Gabriel are thinking about.
Proving once again that the majority of North Americans are looking for a quick fix and somebody else to do everything for them, this book has become an immediate best seller. If it wasn't so sad that so many people think the answer to all their problems could be found in a book, it would be funny. Thankfully comic and author Jim Gerard has come to our rescue to poke fun at the whole phenomenon of The Secret with his book Who Moved My Secret?: The Ancient Wisdom That Tells You It's Okay to Be Greedy. Published by Nation Books, an imprint of Avalon Publishing Group and distributed in Canada by Publishers Group Canada, Who Moved My Secret? exposes the real "secret" behind all these books, makes fun of the idea that a secret exists to make life easy, and generally pokes fun of New Age silliness.
Of course the real secret behind these books is greed and gullibility. Everybody wants to be able to have "abundance" in their lives and of course interprets that to mean material wealth. Authors of books like The Secret use that as their hook, and rely on those same people to be gullible enough to believe that their book will either tell them something new or tell them anything at all.
As Jim Gerard points out, the real "secret" for the author's success lies in being able to sell as many of these books as possible. Yes, you too can make massive amounts of money if you can figure out how to prey on other people's frailties. It's quite amazing how the more somebody promises you something wonderful, the more they end up taking from you.
What I really enjoyed about Mr. Gerard's book is how he's managed to nail so many of the worst characteristics of the New Age movement and expose them for the idiocy they are. So much of New Age centres on the theory of manifestation. You can call forth anything you want just with the power of your mind and positive thinking. Which is all very nice and good, but there's a flip side to that.
Anytime anything goes wrong it's your own fault. You get sick with cancer, well it's because you're far too negative and so you're only getting what you deserve. You stay poor all your life only because you keep having nasty, poor thoughts – if you can't think positive rich thoughts well you don't deserve to be rich.
New Age teachings talk continually about energy, giving off positive and negative energy and how it affects your life. In Who Moved My Secret? we learn that all thoughts actually have energy and vibrations. "Every time we have a thought it vibrates at a certain frequency. Some thoughts only dogs can hear. God has thoughts that only George W. Bush can hear."
According to Mr. Gerard's theory this is how we can manifest anything we want. If we think about it hard enough we can achieve anything from obtaining fabulous wealth to causing somebody's head to blow up. Of course, if we have negative thoughts and vibrate to a negative pitch, bad things could happen to us and they'd be our own damn fault for having bad thoughts.
For those of you like me, who have grown tired of the inane promises made by everybody from television sales dudes to New Age Snake Oil salespeople, you will appreciate Who Moved My Secret? Not only does it poke fun at the recent best seller The Secret, it takes a swipe at the whole New Age movement with intelligence and humour.
I'm sure you'll be able to find Who Moved My Secret? in most bookstores… well, maybe not New Age ones. In any case, I can predict — without even having to consult my oracle — that it will definitely put a smile on your face.