Oprah’s Secret isn’t that secret, but it is a lie

The theme of the best seller The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne, is not a secret, it is the same old “you are God / you can become God” nonsense that has been around since Genesis 3.  The claims in the book are false and contradictory, but discernment in this culture seems to be at an all time low.  For example, one of the keys to The Secret is the law of attraction, which demands only this:

  1. Know what you want and ask the universe for it.
  2. Feel and behave as if the object of your desire is on its way.
  3. Be open to receiving it.

There are many flaws with this philosophy.  But one is completely fatal to its premise and nearly self-evident: What if two people want the same thing, such as marrying the same person, or opposite things, such as the farmer wanting rain and the family wanting a sunny picnic?

This flawed worldview is really tragic.  I know a person who is consistently miserable but holds tenaciously to the view that he creates his own reality.  Without me even having to ask, “So, uh, how’s that working out for you?,” he’ll concede that it isn’t working well at all.  He thinks he just has to try harder.  He is immune to logic.

Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason wrote an excellent and important article about the book.  I encourage you to read it all.  Oprah Winfrey’s worldview is based on The Secret and is one of the most popular in the country today.  It is basically a mix of the American prosperity gospel (“God wants you to be rich”) and Hinduism.  With just a little thought people should realize that the premise is ridiculous, but they want to believe it is true.

Oprah Winfrey is the “pastor” of the largest church in the country. “The Church of O,” Christianity Today noted, has a congregation of 22 million vigorous, faithful, evangelistic members, making Oprah Winfrey  one of the most influential spiritual leaders in America.” Oprah’s theology is based on a secret. That secret is in a book: The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne.

. . .

Generally, no spiritual lie is pure falsehood, but rather a clever example of truth twisted. There is always some legitimacy in even the darkest deceptions. That’s what makes them so appealing. It’s  also what makes them so nefarious. The Secret is no exception.

The smidgen of truth found in The Secret is this: If you mentally focus on some end, you are more likely to accomplish that end.

I’ll stick with the Gospel.  It isn’t a secret, but it is true and it has the power to save and transform lives, now and for eternity.  Living according to The Secret is a sure path through the wide gate.  As Koukl notes:

The Secret is a lie because what it teaches is false. It’s appealing because it takes something true (the ability to use thought and language to focus our wills to accomplish important goals) and twists  it into something poisonous by grounding it in a lie: You are God.

. . .

Rather, God is the Creator of the universe. God is the center of reality. We are His rebellious subjects. We are under His judgment. And unless we surrender, we are destined for an eternity of suffering and anguish that will never end, this at the hand of the real Master of the universe.

. . .

The truth is no secret. It is being proclaimed from the rooftops by Jesus’ faithful followers. There is rescue for rebels, forgiveness and eternal friendship with God for those who lay down their arms  and appeal for peace on God’s terms.

And the only “law of attraction” in operation is the one that flows from the cross: “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself” (John 12:32).

0 thoughts on “Oprah’s Secret isn’t that secret, but it is a lie”

  1. “What if two people want the same thing … or opposite things”

    Doesn’t it depend on who sends the most money to the teacher of the secrets? (Sorry, couldn’t resist the cynicism).

    Many will disagree with me, but I firmly believe that Oprah intends to do well teaching her distortion of the Gospel. I also believe that she’s one of the most destructive voices around today.

    Her version of the Gospel is rooted in the Truth, but lures people away from dependence on Jesus Christ. She tells people what they want to hear instead of pointing them along The Way.


  2. Should have also said that she’s a fan of the social gospel, like our President and many others. They look for what they can get out of Jesus, not what they can give. Society would say that their heart is in the right place. I would argue that their hearts need to be in His place instead.


  3. I would caution against the notion that determination and perserverance can be mistaken for this claptrap. It is important to know what one wants and to focus on the goal, even to the point of visualizing what it is like to have it, in order to raise the likelihood of successful achievement. In physical skills, such as any needed in sport, the really succesful are those who see themselves as able to do what needs to be done. I think this explains many who are seen as “naturals”. But anyone who adopts the method of visualizing themselves performing the action will develop the skill faster than those who can’t picture themselves doing it.

    BUT, this is part of what was said in the exerpt:

    “There is always some legitimacy in even the darkest deceptions.”

    That legitimate truth can be twisted to imply something spiritual when it is really quite normal and natural for everyone who employs it. Frankly, everyone should for the sake of self improvement. Self-improvement is good. Thinking it makes you God is not.


  4. Rhonda Byrne has been writing a new book called The Power, a follow up of The Secret.

    “The knowledge contained in The Power can and will change lives instantly. And the profound revelations are amplified by the book’s breathtaking illustrations – the book’s beauty is truly astounding.”

    The Power is the book Rhonda Byrne was inspired to write after answering several thousands of letters from readers of The Secret.
    I am reading it right now. It is good……I’ll get back when I am done reading it:)


    1. What a load of lies. Consider this claim that she makes:

      You are meant to have an amazing life! This is the handbook to the greatest power in the Univ erse — The Power to have anything you want.
      Every discovery, invention, and human creation comes from The Power. Perfect health, incredible relationships, a career you love, a life filled with happiness, and the money you need to be, do, and have everything you want. It all come from The Power.
      Inside of you is The Power to have everything good in your life.
      You don’t realize that the life of your dreams has always been close to you.
      To create anything, to change anything, all it takes is just one thing – The Power.

      People gullible enough to believe that deserve to waste their $20.

      P.S. When Byrne gets sick and dies will she give refunds to everyone? After all, she promises “perfect health.”


      1. Heck, she promises anything I want. I want the ability to manipulate the space-time continuum. I’ve always wanted to see what the other side of the universe is like close up. Instantaneously. I’d say if she can give me that for a measly 20 bucks, it’s the deal of the century.


  5. The Secret will only work for you if you let it. It basically tells you what you already know and gives us that ‘push’ we need to start thinking positively and manifest good things in our lives. It works for me :-/


      1. The Universe, a higher power, maybe God… I’m not sure. I don’t believe everything I read. But I believe in the positive message of this book. Rhonde’s book isn’t telling us anything new.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s