Tag Archives: Isaac Newton

What’s Wrong with The Secret

The Secret teaches that victims are always to blame, and that anyone can have anything simply by wishing.

Brian DunningBy Brian Dunning via Skeptoid: Critical Analysis Podcast (2008). Read podcast transcript below or listen here.

Prepare to have everything you’ve ever wanted, simply by thinking happy thoughts about it; and be careful of negative scary thoughts which might cause those things to happen to you to too. Little did you know that, just like in the original Star Trek episode Shore Leave, whatever you think of — either good or bad — will actually happen! This is the premise of Rhonda Byrne‘s 2006 book and movie, both titled The Secret.

cccRhonda Byrne is an Australian television producer and author. Her book and movie propose that many of the most successful people throughout history have known a “secret” — a secret closely guarded in the marketing materials for the book and movie. The “secret” turns out to be nothing more than the old motivational speaker’s standby, that positive thinking leads to positive results. But she took the idea a step further. The Secret claims that you can actually cause events to happen by wishing for them hard enough, literally like winning the lottery or recovering from terminal illness. Similarly, a focus on fears or negative ideas will cause those things to appear or happen as well. The Secret calls this the “Law of Attraction”. The Secret further makes the completely unfounded claim that many great people knew and relied upon this wisdom, and taught it to others as “secret teachers”. “Secret teachers” included Buddha, Aristotle, Plato, Sir Isaac Newton, Martin Luther King Jr., Carl Jung, Henry Ford, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Andrew Carnegie, Joseph Campbell, Alexander Graham Bell, and even Beethoven. This claim is just a made-up lie: Most of these people lived before the “Law of Attraction” was invented, and there’s no evidence that any of them ever heard of it.

As of today (2008), a year and a half after its release, The Secret remains #26 of Amazon’s list of best selling books, better than any Harry Potter book. It has over 2,000 customer reviews. Half of them are 5 star, and a quarter of them are 1 star. This is the sign of a polarizing book. Most people either love it or find it to be utter nonsense. In the case of The Secret, most people love it. Thanks in large part to promotion by Oprah Winfrey, The Secret sold 2 million DVD’s in its first year and 4 million books in its first six months.

“Wealth is a mindset. Money is literally attracted to you or repelled from you. It’s all about how you think.”The Secret

Many of the people appearing in the movie version of The Secret are motivational speakers who spout the same old “If you can dream it, you can do it” nonsense that Amway salesmen have been chanting for decades. In essence, part of what Rhonda Byrne has done has been to simply repackage Motivational Speaking 101 inside the wrapper of a century-old philosophical construct, which we’ll look at in closer detail in a moment.

As you’ve probably heard, The Secret has been roundly criticized from all quarters. The most common criticism is of The Secret’s assertion that victims are always to blame for whatever happens to them. Whether it’s a rape victim, a tsunami victim, or a heart attack victim, The Secret teaches that they brought it upon themselves with their own negative thoughts. This idea is, of course, profoundly offensive in many ways. Doctors attack The Secret for teaching that positive thinking is an adequate substitute for medical care in cases of serious illness: Wish for it hard enough, and your cancer tumors will melt away. Religious leaders criticize The Secret for its ethical claims that victims are always to blame, and for promoting the attitude that anyone can be just like a god by wishing hard enough. Many financial critics and advisors have pointed out the dangers of yet another baseless get-rich-quick scheme. The list of critics of The Secret goes on and on, as tends to happen to any mega-successful franchise.

So the question people ask me is “What do I think of The Secret?”

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What’s Next for Doomsday?

Space Rock or Last Pope?
End of World Predictions

via LiveScience

Is the next Pope the last before the apocalypse? Some writings, though discredited, would suggest yes. Regardless of validity, doomsday predictions abound, including end-of-world dates set for 2020, 2040, 2060 and 2080.

Is the next Pope the last before the apocalypse? Some writings, though discredited, would suggest yes. Regardless of validity, doomsday predictions abound, including end-of-world dates set for 2020, 2040, 2060 and 2080.
CREDIT: sdecoret | Shutterstock

Y2K? A bust. Judgment Day 2011? As quiet as a mouse. The Mayan apocalypse? Certainly not now.

As they have throughout history, failed doomsday predictions come and go. But with the Pope resigning, an asteroid whizzing near the planet Friday (Feb. 15) and a completely unrelated space rock exploding over Russia, it seems a good time to ask: What’s next?

Plenty, as it turns out. Previous failures have in no way shut down doomsday predictors, and dates are set for possible apocalypses in 2020, 2040, 2060 and 2080 (zeros have an appeal, apparently). One of these doomsdays was even predicted by Sir Isaac Newton himself.

“It’s clear that these kinds of scenarios return over and over and over again,” said John Hoopes, an archaeologist at the University of Kansas who has studied doomsday predictions.

The end is nigh

Doomsday prophecies date back thousands of years. The ancient Persians kicked off the hobby of apocalypse predicting in the Western world, Saint Joseph’s University professor Allen Kerkeslager told LiveScience in December 2012. Apocalypse_100_300pxWhen the Zoroastrian Persians conquered the ancient Jews, they passed their end-of-the-world beliefs into Jewish culture, which subsequently handed them to Christianity. Now, everyone from Protestant preachers like Harold Camping, who predicted Armageddon in 2011, to UFO cultists and New Age mystics occasionally jump on the doomsday train.

The most recent apocalypse prediction was tied to the Mayan calendar, even though actual Mayans and scholars who study ancient Maya culture pointed out repeatedly that the calendar was never meant to predict the end of the world. The appointed day (Dec. 21, 2012) came and went without fire and brimstone.

But failures haven’t stopped aspiring doomsday prophets in the past. In one of the most notorious apocalypse failures ever, American Baptist preacher William Miller predicted the return of Jesus Christ on March 21, 1844. Nothing happened, so Miller and his followers revised the prediction to Oct. 22. When that day, too, passed without incident, it was dubbed the Great Disappointment. [Oops! 11 Failed Doomsday Predictions]

Likewise, Camping predicted the Rapture three times in 1994 before his 2011 predictions.

The Pope’s doomsday

So it should come as no surprise that doomsday believers have plenty of dates to fixate on in the future. Friday’s ultimately harmless asteroid flyby may trigger more anxiety about world-ending asteroid impacts in the near future, Hoopes told LiveScience. A Friday morning meteor explosion that shattered windows and injured more than 1,000 in Russia is likely to do the same.

The surprise announcement of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI last week has also triggered doomsday chatter.

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Where are the 2012 Doomers?

Fleeing Nergal, Seeking Stars

As you may have noticed, last December was not the last month of life on Earth, nor was there some great transformation or spiritual awakening. We still have politicians, right? So I had my fun pointing this out on the alleged moment the end was supposed to come.

Now it has been nearly a month since the lack-of-doom date, and usually there are excuses for why the end did not happen. So I tried to look around the Internet, especially at the recognized websites that promoted the 2012 Apocalypse, such as December212012, 2012Apocalypse.net, and 2012Apocalypse.info. It looks like there is no updates at all since the winter solstice, at least as of now when I am writing this. My searches on Google also didn’t come up with anything much, though there may be something buried in some forum somewhere.

I’m actually surprised by the lack of reaction…

View original post 360 more words

The Mayans Aren’t the Only Ones to Get It Wrong – Worst ‘End…

via PRNewswire — LONDON, December 28, 2012
(H/T: Thomas J. Proffit)

meteor.jpg.w300h247Last week the world has seen yet another failed doomsday prediction, but far from this being the preserve of either the Mayans or modern day “preppers”, established religions and even esteemed scientists have also had their fair share of failed predictions. However, now we are left wondering what the next big end of world prediction will be.

Numerous, by Kelly Rogers , out now on Amazon Kindle, is a thriller written around the Papal Prophecy, by Ireland’s first ever saint, Archbishop Malachy, who correctly predicted each and every pope until the very last, as well as his own death. The 900-year-old manuscript still lies in the Vatican archives.

Modern-day readers may believe that this book has no relevance to our lives today, but think again. St Malachy’s prophecy predicts that the final pope will usher forth “The End. When the terrible judge will judge his people.” We currently see the penultimate pope, Joesph Ratzinger , in the Vatican and exactly what “The End” will be we can only guess at… But we’re sure this is going to be the next big thing in doomsday predictions!

The Modern Day Doomsdayer

Californian preacher Harold Camping took a very public climb-down in May 2011 when his end-of-the-world prediction failed to materialise, after a nationwide billboard and radio advert campaign. This was not Camping’s first failed foray into the world of divination; he inaccurately predicted the world would end on the 6th September 1994 and consequently some followers gave up homes, savings and jobs. When the end failed to occur he revised the date to September 29 and then again to October 2.

He said, “I don’t have any responsibility. I’m only teaching the Bible. I don’t have spiritual rule over anybody… except my wife.” We imagine everyone, including his long-suffering wife, will take any further predictions with a liberal pinch of salt.

2000 reasons to not believe

Apocalypse_by_DearJuneMany luminaries over the centuries predicted 2000 and the end of time, including: Blavatsky, founder of Theosophy; Edgar Cayce , world famous US psychic and healer; Sun Myung Moon , founder of the Unification Church; and even the esteemed and revered Sir Isaac Newton .

This also has to be the least original prophecy in history. At the turn of the first millennium many people expected Christ to return and ‘the end’ to arrive with him. Our prediction: expect more of the same for the year 3000.

The TV Evangelist turned would-be US president

Ex-Baptist minister and US TV evangelist Pat Robertson said that “God told him the end was coming”, but to avoid catastrophe we all needed to “pray real hard”. We can only assume that the world did just that as no cataclysm arrived.

Robertson’s power of prophecy has also evaded him in his own life; evidently not seeing his total defeat as a Republican presidential candidate in 1988.

False Witness

end-of-the-worldWe all know how tenacious Jehovah Witnesses can be when it comes to door knocking and it seems that they’re equally as dogged when it comes to doomsday predictions. They first predicted Armageddon in 1914, when disaster failed to appear they revised their prophecy to 1915, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975 and 1994.

No Method in the Madness

Charles Wesley , one of the founders of the Methodist church, predicted the end in 1794, as did the Shakers. Despite his obvious error Charles’ brother, John, joined in and predicted that 1836 would be the year of the Great Beast and would herald the beginning of the end.

However, Charles Wesley clearly had his shaky convictions; he begged to be buried in an Anglican not Methodist grave just before his death.

The Millerites were never right

William Miller (founder of the Millerites, now the Seventh Day Adventists) predicted the end would come between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844. The dates came and went with nothing occurring so the date was revised to April 18th. Again nothing happened and the date was changed to October 22, 1844. Miller continued to wait for the end until his death in 1849, which certainly was the end for him. However, the modern-day church that Miller founded continues to claim to this day that the date was correct, but as it was an event that occurred in Heaven it went entirely unnoticed by us on the Earthly plane.

The Jupiter Effect

galactic-alignment1The Jupiter Effect was written in 1974 by two astrophysicists, John Gribben and Stephen Plagemann . Predicted for 10th March 1982 when all nine planets would align and create a gravitational pull that would cause a “huge increase in sunspots, solar, flares, and/or earthquakes”. Gribben later claimed it never was a prophecy but a theoretical “what if?” However, people did believe that it was actually going to happen, the credentials of the theorists adding weight to the calculations. And indeed an effect was measured on Earth – a 0.04 millimetre high tide!

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To read the first three chapters of NUMEROUS visit http://www.kellyrogersauthor.com and click portfolio.

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