The ‘secret’ is out

MESSAGE evokes emotion, his stature commands attention, and his fine luxury suits demand respect. Add all this with the tone of a greasy car salesman trying to rid himself of a lemon, and you’ll get Dr. John Demartini.

As a born skeptic, meeting Dr. Demartini would only solidify my stance against affirmations and exploiting the spoils of the universe. A successful author in his own right, Demartini is referenced in the self-help book ‘The Secret’, a world-wide phenomenon that grapples with the ‘Law of Attraction’ principle which posits that people’s feelings and thoughts attract real events in the world into their lives; from the workings of the cosmos to interactions among individuals in their physical, emotional, and professional affairs.

The book (and subsequent DVD) also suggests that there has been a strong tendency by those in positions of power to keep this central principle hidden from the public. The previews or ‘clues’ in the book and film show men and women who ‘uncovered the Secret.’ The tenets of ‘The Secret’ are relatively simple, or rather over simplified to cater to the desperate and disenfranchised - merely ask, believe, and receive.

It tells followers to know what you want, and ask the universe for it - this is where you need to get clear on what it is you want to create and visualise what you want as being as ‘real’ as possible.

Next simply ‘believe’. Feel and behave as if the object of your desire is on its way.

This is where you focus your thoughts and your language on what it is you want to attract. You want to feel the feeling of really ‘knowing’ that what you desire is on its way to you, even if you have to trick yourself into believing it.

Finally, ‘receive’, and be open to receiving it. The point where Dr. Demartini would have you ‘pay’ attention to your intuitive messages, synchronicities, and signs from the universe to help you along the way as assurance you are on the ‘right’ path. As you align yourself with the universe and open yourself up to receiving, the very thing you are wanting to manifest will show up.

For the sane among us, this is ludicrous. What it essentially entails is simply waiting around for the universe to align itself with even the most pretentious of demands. But for others, it is downright offensive, because it uses people’s weaknesses and convinces them to dismiss hard work, basic moral values, and modesty.

Demartini says that at the age of seven he was told by a teacher that he had a learning disability and would never read, write or communicate normally. He dropped out of school at fourteen, headed for the California coast and became a surfer, ending up in Hawaii by seventeen. His life in paradise nearly came to an abrupt halt when he almost died from strychnine poisoning. The near-death experience apparently turned Demartini’s life around. On the road to recovery he found Dr. Paul Bragg, a nutritionist and founding father of the health food industry, who, according to Demartini’s website, ‘would change his life forever by instructing him to repeat one simple affirmation every day - ‘I am a genius and I apply my wisdom.’ A chiropractor by profession, Demartini longed to be a self-help motivational speaker star.

Today Demartini owns several homes all over the world, with his main residence being a luxury cruise liner, ‘The World’, described on his website as ‘the only resort community to continually circumnavigate the globe.’ He has made remarkable progress since his days as a fourteen-year-old dropout.

But how did it come to be this way, one wonders? The ‘secret’ to Demartini’s success, and so many like him, is in the packaging.

The ability to successfully market this ‘new-age’ campaign is nothing more than a ‘new hustle.’ With a recent appearance at Virgin Megastore in Dubai, Demartini had the audience eating out of his palm. Admirers fawned over him revealing the reasons behind their pitiful existence, and why they needed to join in special group therapy session (at a hefty fee of course).

Attendees began asking the self-help guru for answers one could simply find in a cheap phone book.

‘How can I spiritually maintain a connection with my dead father?’... ‘How do I make the right investments to become financially stable?’... ‘How can I make her love me?’ His reply to his adoring fans and their real-life dilemmas? According to Demartini, in order to improve our lives by 20%, we need only to purchase one of his five published books. If we wish to better our chances at happiness, make it two books. If we want to really increase our knowledge of the universe, go for a cool three books.

For the truly disheartened and neglected among us, we ‘need’ his fourth book.

And for the sages among us, for a truly enlightened perspective on exploiting the cosmos to get what we want, one only needs to splurge on all five copies.

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