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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
Jul 2007
Harvest House Publishers

The Truth Behind The Secret: A Reasoned Response to the Runaway Bestseller

by James K. Walker & Bob Waldrep

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt



What Is The Secret ?

Unhappy with your love, your job, your life, not enough money? Use your head. You can think yourself into a lot better you. Positive thoughts can transform, can attract the good things you know you want. Sound far-fetched? Think again. It’s supported by science.1 -- LARRY KING, TALK SHOW HOST OF CNN’S LARRY KING LIVE

In February of 2007, publishing giant Simon & Schuster announced the largest reprinting in their history for the runaway bestseller The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.1 Earlier that month both the book and the DVD it was based upon shot to the top of the best-seller lists, supplanting Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Even though the book was out of stock, both versions of The Secret still climbed to first place at Interest in The Secret has truly exploded. Byrne reports that within a few months of the release of the DVD, enthusiastic followers began to hold Secret parties in homes around the world. Universities and schools began sharing the secret with their students, and churches of all denominations began sharing it with their members.2

Even Oprah Winfrey has helped to spread the secret. Oprah’s first program on The Secret received such a huge response that eight days later she aired an unprecedented follow-up show called “One Week Later: The Huge Reaction to The Secret.” The book and DVD have also been featured on a variety of network talk shows, including CNN’s Larry King Live and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Amazingly, Simon & Schuster’s record two-million-copy reprint order came just three months after the book was released. It brought the total number of copies in print to a staggering 3.75 million.3 This does not include the 1.5 million copies sold of the DVD version. This is truly remarkable for a first book written by an obscure Australian television producer.

How could an unknown author generate this kind of excitement and attention? What is attracting millions of loyal readers and viewers? What is the secret behind The Secret ?

The Secret promises to be the source of everything your heart desires—and more. Do you yearn for tranquility, financial security, strengthened relationships, or perfect health? Would you like to lose weight? Do you need a convenient parking spot at a busy mall, or would you like world peace? The keys to everything you have ever wanted—personal wellbeing, prosperity, and harmony—are all promised in The Secret. It is your Aladdin’s Lamp, whose genie does not limit you to just three wishes because “there’s absolutely no limit whatsoever to the wishes.” 4

Blog sites have sprung up on the Internet filled with testimonials about the positive power of The Secret to change lives. Amanda’s story, featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, is typical of this kind of anecdotal evidence that The Secret really does work. 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. Within 24 hours of watching the episode on The Secret, Amanda says her entire outlook on life changed. “I think that we have a miraculous chance of moving forward and having a great life together.”5

Some of the testimonials are so enthusiastic they seem to rival ecstatic religious experiences. One satisfied customer on Barnes & Nobles’ Web site claimed the book provided “a glimpse into the higher planes of our celestial realm.”

Indeed, The Secret promises not only physical riches and happiness, but it is a spiritual message as well. According to the book, this secret has a positive religious message taught by Jesus Christ and the Bible. Furthermore, the message of The Secret was purportedly known and taught by the world’s great religious teachers, including Moses, Buddha, Mohammed, Gandhi, and in the scriptures of Hinduism. Byrne claims that her research discovered “religions, such as Hinduism, Hermetic traditions, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam and civilizations, such as the ancient Babylonians and Egyptians, delivered [The Secret] through their writings and stories.”7

This, then, is the secret. It is the elusive answer to the eternal yearning of all humankind. Buried here is the key to the spiritual goals of peace, harmony, and awareness coupled with the very practical desires of financial riches and physical health.

Is this too good to be true, or is it something real? Could Rhonda Byrne’s discovery really change the world? Can an ancient secret contain this much power? Before you can begin to answer these questions, someone will have to share with you “the secret.”