The Secret

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne is a 2006 film produced by Prime Time Productions, consists of a series of interviews related to the idea of optimist thinking.

It states that everything one wants/needs may be accomplished by wishing it and believing in it. Distributed through DVD, and online, the film and the publication of a book by the same name and of the same topic as the film, has attracted interest from media figures such as Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, and Larry King..

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The Secret, described as a self-help film, uses a documentary format to present the Law of Attraction. As described in the film, the “Law of Attraction” principle posits that feelings and thoughts can attract events, from the workings of the cosmos to interactions among individuals in their physical, emotional, and professional affairs. The film also suggests that there has been a strong tendency by those in positions of power to keep this central principle hidden from the public.

Teachers of Law of Attraction:

The film includes interviews of individuals self-described as professionals and authors in the fields of quantum physics, psychology, metaphysics, coaching, theology, philosophy, finance, feng shui, medicine, and personal development, who are referred to as “secret teachers”.

Portrayal of ideas preceding the New Thought movement

The Secret website cites the Emerald Tablet, said to be written by Hermes Trismegistus (purportedly a “secret teacher”), as “… one of the most important historical documents known to mankind”. Byrne posits that the earliest trace of “the secret” occurred in the Emerald Tablet, followed much later by the Rosicrucians — a “secret order that espoused many of the ideas of The Secret.” Mention is made of Victor Hugo and Ludwig van Beethoven’s supposed membership in the order as well as Isaac Newton’s purported work in translating the tablet.

The Book

A companion book, The Secret (Simon & Schuster, 2006) by Rhonda Byrne was published.

The Secret was featured on two episodes of Oprah — and as the film reached number one on the Amazon DVD chart in March 2007, the book version of The Secret reached number one on The New York Times bestseller list.

For much of February through April 2007, both the book and the DVD versions were #1 or #2 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Borders. Simon & Schuster released a second printing of 2 million copies of The Secret — “the biggest order for a second printing in its history,” while Time reported brisk sales of the DVD through New Age bookstores, and New Thought churches, such as Unity and Agape International Spiritual Center.


The Secret has been described as a “self-help phenomenon”, a “publishing phenomenon”, and a “cultural phenomenon”.

Several critics wrote about the Secret as related to the more general self-help phenomenon. Julie Mason of the Ottawa Citizen wrote that word-of-mouth about the film spread through Pilates classes, “get-rich-quick websites” and personal motivation blogs.  According to Jill Culora of the New York Post, fans of The Secret have posted on a wide range of blogs and web forums accounts of how shifting from negative to positive thoughts had created major improvements in their lives.

The Secret is reportedly being discussed in “e-mails, in chat rooms, around office cubicles, [and] on blind dates”. It is recognized as having a broad and varied impact on culture and is likened to a “Hollywood phenomenon”. — New York Post

(more from Wikipedia)