Sunday, snarky Sunday
The new issue of Succeed Magazine, a glossy publication for fans of The Secret and the Law Of Attraction, has just been released, and Joe "Mr. Fire" Vitale is the subject of this issue's cover story. In his blog post announcing the new issue, Joe writes:
The story was the most revealing one ever written on me. The interview felt like therapy, as I talked about my childhood, my past struggles, and my turnaround to success — much of it never shared ever before in public.I thought Mr. Fire had pretty much shared everything about his past by now, but I guess the Succeed interview inspired him to
Anyway, I think one good interview deserves another. I am thinking that Mr. Fire should turn the tables and interview David Schirmer! Since Joe deals in miracles and magic, it's possible that Schirmer might be miraculously moved to reveal some things he's never shared ever before in public about himself (but that numerous others have attempted to).
Perhaps Mr. Fire, being an expert in hypnotic marketing and writing and so forth, could hypnotize Schirmer into telling us who really invented that hay baling machine that Schirmer and his brother Ian claimed was their brainchild. The Schirmer brothers' business ultimately failed, and if I am reading David Schirmer's account correctly, as he told it for Keith Leon's new book, the failure was supposedly due to greed, presumably other people's. Maybe Mr. Fire could get Schirmer to spill the beans on another possible reason that the business went belly-up.
Then maybe he could ask Schirmer if he ever paid back all that money he allegedly owes his investors, and that he promised on TV to pay back by Christmas of 2007. As a bonus question, perhaps he could ask him why noted quantum physics expert Bob Proctor, who also happens to be a friend of Joe's, decided he didn't want anything to do with Schirmer any more.
I am sure there are many more questions that a lot of folks, at least in Australia, would like to see truthfully answered by Schirmer. But my guess is that Mr. Fire wouldn't ask those questions of Schirmer, because, well, why focus on the negative? There's no money in that. Besides, the past is past! We all make mistakes! And even if that bad stuff is true, it all happened in Australia, which isn't anywhere near America, where the big money is. Best thing to do is just gloss over it and head on to the next big joint venture.
Anyway, I'm at the point where I think it might take more than hypnosis to make Schirmer come clean. And I think that more than a few Aussies would agree with me.
Of course, David Schirmer isn't the only one involved in The Secret franchise who has a shaky relationship with the truth. Other "stars" of that DVD have been known to be less than forthcoming about certain aspects of their own lives. And Secret creator and producer Rhonda Byrne herself seems to have had a bit of trouble getting her story straight about the origins and creation of the world's most successful New-Wage infomercial. Here's the current version of the "official" story of the birth of The Secret (from the official web site):
Towards the end of 2004, and following a string of traumatic events in her personal and professional life, Rhonda Byrne discovered a great secret - the secret laws and principles of the universe. Rhonda's daughter had given her a copy of The Science of Getting Rich, a book written in 1910 by Wallace D. Wattles. Of that moment, Rhonda says, "Something inside of me had me turn the pages one by one, and I can still remember my tears hitting the pages as I was reading it. It gave me a glimpse of The Secret and it was like a flame inside of my heart."
What followed was a two-month odyssey of research and investigation as Rhonda traced The Secret back through thousands of years, incorporating almost every religion and field of human endeavour throughout history.
Almost immediately her life was transformed, as she began to put into practice all she had learned. And in that moment her greatest wish, and new life mission, was to share this knowledge with the world.
With a successful background in international television production, Rhonda was perfectly placed to make that dream come true. She vowed to make a movie, to carry joy to every corner of the Earth, to share this knowledge with billions. And so the great journey that was The Secret began.
From the outset, conventional filmmaking procedures involving endless meetings, tight schedules, strict budgets, deadlines and revisions were dispensed with in favour of powerful Secret processes such as intention, visualization, appreciation, gratitude and faith. Or more simply, the team would Ask, Believe, and Receive.
As a result, right when the company was ready to begin production, as if by magic, the perfect people began to appear to help make The Secret. Suddenly the office was filled with brilliant, creative and talented people, all working to complete the most ambitious project any of them had ever worked on. Without exception, every single person was taught The Secret, and together they collaborated in total harmony working towards the goal of joy to billions.
According to a write-up in the Sydney Morning Herald, the original producer of the DVD, Drew Heriot (who has recently filed a lawsuit against Rhonda and company), has a slightly different take on the birth of The Secret:
One can't help but notice a few differences between Drew's scenario and the one told on The Secret web site.
In his lawsuit, Mr Heriot says he began working in 2000 with Ms Byrne's company, Prime Time, as an editor for the candid camera-style TV show, Australia Behaving Badly.
He said Ms Byrne told him and one of her producers, Paul Harrington, in January 2005 about an idea she had for a new television series based on several "self-help" and "success" books and audio CDs she had enjoyed while on holidays.
One of the CDs was by well-known inspirational speaker Esther Hicks and two of the books were The Science Of Getting Rich by Wallace D.Wattles, and The Master Key System by Charles F. Haanel.*
Ms Byrne wanted to make a documentary-style series with various self-help teachers. Mr Heriot said the three of them decided that the series should be called The Secret, which would ultimately focus on one self-help principle known as the "law of attraction".
I'm sure more interesting stories will emerge, and more secrets will be revealed, in the weeks to come.
Well, that's it. Sunday's almost over (and it's long over in other parts of the world), and I think I got the snark out of my system for a while. So...G'night, Dear Ones!
* I haven't read The Master Key System by Charles F. Haanel, but a couple of people whom I really like and respect are Haanel fans. And as it happens, my friend Tony Michalski (who in my opinion has one of the more balanced views of the self-help industry), has repackaged and published Haanel's works in a couple of convenient formats. If you're interested in Haanel, check out what Kallisti Publishing has to offer. (And no, I'm not getting paid, either directly or indirectly, for this plug. )