Brad Warner:

The connection between The Secret and Buddhism may not be altogether clear, but it’s there. I have a fiend who works a large Buddhist bookshop in Los Angeles. A couple years ago she told me that The Secret basically kept the store afloat. The store’s impressive stock of just about every Buddhist book currently in print wasn’t selling for sour beans, but copies of The Secret were flying out the doors so fast they could barely keep it in stock.
The authors of The Secret draw upon the general public’s vague understanding of the Hindu/Buddhist concept of karma, couple that with a few mystical sounding pseudo-spiritual superstitions and latch it all on to that perennial best-seller greed. The result is a vaguely Eastern sounding philosophy that says just wish for something real hard and it’ll come to you. If you want that BMW bad enough, picture it in your mind’s eye and you’ll get it.
In the Family Guy episode Brian watches as his novel tanks while books about this kind of soft-soap spirituality sell by the truckload. So he cynically puts together his own version of the same thing and it’s a big hit. Sadly, this is not so far removed from what’s really happening.
My friend Brucekowski (thus dubbed because his name is Bruce and his writing showed the influence of Bukowski) and I hatched a similar scheme many years ago, as we sat there watching hippie burnouts and self-absorbed yuppies attempt to save the Earth by throwing all their recyclables in the wrong bins. Being within driving distance of presidential estates like Monticello (Jefferson), Ash Lawn (Monroe), Montpelier (Madison), and even Mount Vernon (Washington) at a stretch, our idea was to gather rocks, dirt, sticks and moss (and maybe even gravestone chippings) from the grounds and sell them in little baggies, which would be placed under pillows or dangled from rearview mirrors, where they would emanate that Founding Father aura to… I dunno, make you smarter, more eloquent, virile, you name it. We didn’t really get that far with the plan. But of course we immediately saw the potential for workbooks, $4.99/min. phone lines, and other additional merchandising tie-ins. Smooth operators are standing by…
So, what do you say? I mean, here I am blathering on a blog for my own amusement, and obviously you all don’t have anything better to do if you’re reading this. And we could all use some extra money, yes? So are we going to put our heads together and bring this idea to fruition or what? If it sounds unscrupulous to you, think of it this way: at least we’d be preventing people from spending that money on The Secret. We would use our newfound wealth for good, not evil!