Week Later: The Huge Reaction to The Secret
Following the huge reaction to the Oprah show on the Secret,
Oprah did a follow up show on Feb 16. Here is the transcript from
On February 8, 2007, millions tuned in to The
Oprah Winfrey Show to learn the mystery of The Secret. Since the
show aired, our message boards have been buzzing with people who
want to know more.
The Secret is defined as the law of attraction, which states
that like attracts like. The concept says that the energy you
put into the world—both good and bad—is exactly what
comes back to you. This means you create the circumstances of
your life with the choices you make every day.
To help answer your burning questions, two teachers of The Secret,
James Arthur Ray and the Rev. Dr. Michael Beckwith, are back.
Michael says he thinks The Secret is alluring because it helps
people stop feeling like victims. “I think us talking about
the law of attraction, talking about these universal spiritual
principles, allows them to see that they can begin to govern their
thoughts and their way of life,” he says.
The Science Behind the Secret
According to James, there is scientific evidence to back up the
spiritual practices and laws defined in The Secret. “Science
tells us that everything is energy, and so your thoughts are energy.
Your body, your cash, your car—everything you think is solid,
if you put it under a high-powered microscope, it’s just
a field of energy and a rate of vibration,” he says. “And
so are we. So if you think you’re this meat suit running
around, you have to think again.”
One way to describe this energy is by comparing it radio waves,
“The frequency you give out through your thoughts and your
emotions is what you have a tendency to manifest in your life,”
Michael says. “Whether those thoughts and emotions are conscious
or unconscious, it doesn’t matter.”
This means that if you are sending out the same negative energy
over an over—whether thoughts or feelings—you will
attract like energy back to you. James says that when bad things
happen people might ask, “Oh, God, why me?” “Because
it is you,” he says.
Mending a Marriage
After 16 years of marriage, Amanda and Mark say they were at a
breaking point in their relationship. “I was exploding with
anger and had just had enough,” Amanda says. “Neither
one of us felt in love, or really loving to each other.”
Neither Amanda nor Mark was willing to go to counseling to deal
with their issues. Mark says he felt his needs weren’t being
met and there was no room for improvement. Both felt they were
headed for a separation. “Our emotional barriers at that
point became a physical barrier. We put the pillows in between
ourselves, so that was the fence,” Mark says.
That’s when Amanda heard about The Secret.
Amanda’s life took a dramatic shift when she saw Beverly
and Carlton discussing their marital problems on The Oprah Show.
Within 24 hours of watching the episode on The Secret, Amanda
says her entire outlook on life changed. “I had to step
back and look at myself and realize I didn’t like myself.
I was an unhappy person. And I was putting that out there and
polluting my environment. I needed to change my focus,”
When the couple sat down to discuss their problems, they realized
at their core they were both “achingly sad.” “One
thing just led to another and [a] dam burst and there we were
just talking and talking,” Amanda says. “I think that
we have a miraculous chance of moving forward and having a great
James says an important lesson for everyone is to stop focusing
on things that are wrong in your life. Instead, use that energy
toward things you desire, like a happy marriage. “Energy
flows where attention goes,” James says. “We have
attention surplus when we are focusing on the things we don’t
want—I don’t want to be broke. I don’t want
to be unhappy. I don’t want to be fat,” he says. “The
mind can’t process a negative.”
What About Religion
Maureen has a question many people want answered: “[My family
puts] our faith in God, and it seems that The Secret teaches you
to put your faith in yourself. And so I was wondering, is God
anywhere in this?”
Michael says The Secret involves the laws of the universe and
they, in turn, describe the nature of how God works. “[Jesus]
said, ‘Pray believing that ye have that ye may receive.’
That’s The Secret in a nutshell,” he says. “Pray
believing and feeling and sensing that you already have it, and
then you’re available to receive it.”
Michael says The Secret isn’t about contradicting religion—it
supports it. “It actually goes underneath the culture and
explains to you the sacred laws that these wonderful teachers
have brought to us,” he says. According to James, The Secret
is about supporting the great spiritual traditions in a more modern
form. “It really is just putting Christianity, Judaism,
all the great teachings into a current vernacular,” he says.
How Do Heaven and Hell Come into Play
As a Christian, Maureen says she believes in heaven and hell,
and she’s concerned that The Secret’s promotion of
free will and personal choice imply that you do not face a final
James says that while he honors Maureen’s Christian belief
system, he suggests looking at the concepts of heaven, hell and
judgment in a different way. “Jesus the Christ said the
kingdom of heaven is within. He didn’t say it was out there
somewhere—[he said] within. And so is it possible to consider
that the kingdom of hell is within as well?” he says.
“The kingdom of God is actually in us, and what comes out
of your mouth, what you think about, how you express—you’re
either participating in the realm of ever-expanding good or you’re
cutting yourself off from the realm,” Michael says.
Michael suggests that instead of living a life preparing for
some ultimate reward, you should live in the now. “When
you’re anticipating some future good, you’re preventing
that good that is all around you from expressing through you,”
he says. “[Don’t] put life on the layaway plan and
try to anticipate that it’s going to get good in the future.”
Rediscoving a life worth living
Angela says she has understood the principle of The Secret for
years and was living the life she wanted, but everything changed
on September 11, 2001. One that tragic day, one of the hijacked
airliners crashed into Angela’s office building. For the
past five years, she says she’s been struggling to keep
her head above water. Her life was no longer filled with purpose
and she had a hard time “just surviving.”
“What I was bringing to the table was a tired, worn-out
survivor, and I knew that,” Angela says. “I was shut
down, but I was moving.”
After watching the show, Angela says she had a reawakening. “Everything
made sense again, and I’m ready to get my life back on track,”
she says. The first thing Angela did was to start journaling and
focusing on all the gratitude she felt in her life.
Michael says this is very important because nothing new can come
into your life without being thankful for what you have already
been given. “The moment you began to focus on gratitude,
you create within yourself the condition for more things to be
grateful for to come into your life,” he says.
“Basically what you’re saying is, ‘Thank you
so much. Give me more of this,’” James says. “The
most powerful magnetic attractive force in the universe is the
power of gratitude.”
Angela says she created a sense of peace inside herself by focusing
on this energy. “That peace was already there,” Michael
says. “But the filters of the way you were looking at life
were blocking you from experiencing it.”
In 2003, Lisa says she was living her “dark fall of the
soul.” She was single, severely in debt and unemployed.
For years, Lisa struggled with a tragedy from her childhood.
When she was 12 years old, her two sisters were killed in a tragic
accident. Since that fateful day, Lisa says she has carried a
lot of pain with her.
“For a lot of my life, I’ve struggled with feeling
guilty that I’d survived. And so I wouldn’t allow
myself good things to happen because I didn’t necessarily
feel that I deserved them,” she says.
Lisa discovers the law of attraction
After years of living in depression, Lisa started reading about
the law of attraction and decided to put it to the test! Lisa
started to visualize the life she wanted to live—she wanted
to be her own boss, find true love, have children and create a
home. “A big part of the change was opening up to whatever
the universe was going to throw at me,” she says.
In less than a year, Lisa successfully created the life of her
dreams. First, she started her own business. In January 2004,
she met her future husband. In May, they bought a house. In June,
they got a dog. In December, Lisa gave birth to their son.
“I think that our mind is a very powerful thing,”
she says. “I think anything is open to you if you believe
that you can have it.”
Living up to your potential
Michael says that Lisa used the power of choice to change her
thinking—the important first step in turning her life around.
“She had to come out of the ‘poor me’ victim
consciousness,” he says. “She had to come out of repeating
the same old patterns, and actually open herself up for another
possibility and the universe matched that.”
James agrees that Lisa’s altered thinking changed her life.
The reason, he says, is that humans are spiritual beings. “The
mind is the bridge between the two most powerful forces in the
universe, which are spirit and form.”
However, he says, too often people place their focus in the wrong
places. “We’re accessed and able to do anything and
everything,” James says. “And yet what we tend to
do, with our mind, is define ourselves by our physical circumstances.
… When you look at your current results and say, ‘This
is me,’ the universe says, ‘Your wish is my command.’
But that’s not you, that’s not who you are. It’s
who you were. It says nothing about who you can become and what
you’re capable of.”
Intention, attention, action
To begin living the ultimate life you want, you must first describe
that life in as much detail as possible, Michael says. However,
don’t just list the ways that you’d like your present
circumstances to change.
Instead really think about how you want your life to be. For
instance, Michael suggests this description: “I see myself
living a life [in which] I’m absolutely, totally healthy.
Everything is working together for my good. There’s prosperity
flowing through me. I’m in a place of employment that I
really love. I’m really providing value everywhere I go.”
James says that this describing—”Not asking. Not
hoping,” he says—is just the first step, which he
After you’ve established your intention, the next step,
James says, is attention. Here, you should feel gratitude and
maintain your feeling that your intended goals are coming, he
The third step is action. “This is the scary part, even
when you teach this stuff,” James says. “Step forward,
taking action in the direction … not where you are currently,
but moving forward and saying, ‘Okay, if this is who I’m
becoming, then what action would I take right now if I were already
The true definition of forgiveness
Three years ago, Joan’s husband was killed in an automobile
accident, leaving her a widowed mother with two sons. “I
couldn’t get over the grief I was facing and couldn’t
forgive him for leaving me alone with our boys,” she says.
When she saw The Oprah Show about The Secret, Joan says James’s
definition of forgiveness really opened her eyes. He said forgiveness
is being able to thank the person who has wronged you. “You
say, ‘I don’t want it to be different because there
are so many gifts that came out of that. Thank you for giving
me that experience,’” James said.
The purpose of forgiveness…it’s not for them
When she heard that, Joan says, “I wept in my chair. I sat
there and said, ‘Oh, I forgive you.’ I couldn’t
say that before. I could not tell him that I forgive him for leaving
Almost instantly, Joan says her life changed. “A friend
of mine even said, ‘I can see it in your face. I can see
it in your eyes.’ It was like this boulder was lifted off
Michael says that by not forgiving, Joan was enduring self-abuse.
“The message to the universe is, ‘I want to keep repeating
this experience over and over,’” he says.
“Being unwilling to forgive is like drinking poison expecting
the other person to die,” James says. “Ultimately
you don’t forgive for the other person. If they accept it,
that’s great. It’s wonderful. But if they don’t,
you forgive for you, because you release that toxic energy from
your body and you move forward.”
A bad day turns bright
On the day that Oprah introduced the world to The Secret, Clarissa
thought she was in for an ordinary day—which usually includes
missing The Oprah Winfrey Show because she’s at work. But
just 20 minutes into her workday, her boss called her into his
office to tell her she was being fired.
On her way home, Clarissa called a friend who was fired by the
same boss weeks before. “She and I were talking and we were
just saying such bad things about him, just [the most] horrible
things that we could think of. There was a lot of anger in both
of our hearts for him because we were upset,” she says.
After she arrived home, Clarissa and her mom watched the show
about The Secret. “It just made me seriously think back
and think, ‘God, it wasn’t him. It was me. He was
right. I was negative. I didn’t want this job. I didn’t
need the job. It was just a stepping stone.’”
She immediately typed up words and phrases—gratitude, true
happiness, gratefulness—and hung them on the walls of her
bedroom so that she’d remember them daily. Clarissa even
wrote her old boss a letter. “I was upset at your reasoning
for letting me go. Then I watched The Oprah Winfrey Show and the
topic mesmerized me,” she wrote. “For the things you
said to me, I forgive you. And in the same sentence, I hope you
forgive me. … Thank you for hiring and firing me.”
“Now I’m so much more positive on everything that
has happened,” she says.
“You’re open to the possibility of whatever is supposed
to come into your life,” Oprah says.