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Category Archives: Law of attraction

Bob Proctor: sensible uncle vs. sensationalist salesman

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The snake oil skeptometer goes through the roof at the merest mention of The Secret and the ‘law of attraction’ – see previous post – however, this here article by celeb psychic Greg Riley in the free paper An Alternative Voice, repeats some pretty sound advice from one of The Secret’s ‘Master Teachers’.

Bob Proctor (I’m guessing ‘Bob Proctor’ isn’t his real name – it sound suspiciously safe and dependable, unless you’ve got colon cancer) is a wealth mentor and personal development guru. Given that Greg Riley is a graduate of Bob Proctor’s Life Success Program, I feel like this shouldn’t be sound advice, but I’m prepared to roll over meekly and concede when something I investigate seems genuinely helpful. I’ve edited the points down to a line each.

Law of Attraction in everyday life

  1. What other people think of us is none of our business.
  2. Every day, visualise the same stretch objective [personal development speak for ‘ambition’] coming true.
  3. Life is a balance of mind, body and spirit. Establish what is important to you in each category.
  4. Set goals every six months.
  5. Create a gratitude card and look at it five times a day.
  6. Create a vision board of what you would like your life to be and look at it each day. Meditate each night on your dream and imagine you are already in that situation.
  7. Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb and make life changes.
  8. Take action.

I like these pointers because they’re basically about taking the time to assess and focus, instead of turning up the white noise in your brain by way of mindless telly, internet, consumerism and chemicals, and then realising you’re all out of time.
Number 1’s something your mother ought to tell you, instead of “they’re just jealous”. Numbers 2 and 6 – visualising – works a bit: sometimes I like to walk down the street as though I’ve just had great sex, and pretty much everyone smiles at me. Number 3, about mind, body and spirit, is even worth plotting out on paper, writing down your values in each area. If you haven’t already tried it, do list your values – it’s astounding the first time you discover you have some, particularly when you find you’re unfathomably moral about one issue and then completely amoral about the very next. Number 5 might just stop your next whinge in your throat. Number 7, going out on a limb, should be a no-brainer. I relish curve balls and rolling with the punches: okay, you’ve cut me off at that pass; now I’m going to take another road, quite possibly the low one. Number 8 – take action – ought to silence any of life’s armchair critics and complainers.

As well as The Secret, Bob hawks ‘The 11 Forgotten Laws’ – of which the law of attraction is just one. The others are the laws of: thinking, supply, receiving, increase, compensation, non-resistance, forgiveness, sacrifice, obedience and success. Just as Rhonda Byrne, author of The Secret, attests vaguely that ‘the law of attraction’ has been known by and kept schtum by philosophers, artists and the wealthy throughout history, so also were the forgotten laws – but now they can be yours.
Put ‘Bob Proctor’ into Google and ‘bob proctor fraud’ and ‘bob proctor scam’ will be suggested. In a completely wily move, one pro-Bob website has the url of You may enter it a skeptic and come out completely converted – suck it and see.

The Secret: unfairly excludes infidels and the faithless

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Get them while they're young.

“Everything happens for a reason.” OOF.

“It is what it is.” OOH-YAY.

I’m as vague as the next old dear, but even I need a bit more direction than “throw it out to the universe” as a roadmap to run my life.

Still, according to the Oprah-endorsed The Secret by Australian Rhonda Byrne, everyone from Plato to Shakespeare to Beethoven to your next-door celebrity Scientologist is in on a magical formula to get everything you want, so I’d better jump onboard quick-smart.

The Secret is essentially the law of attraction: visualise brilliant things happening to you and those brilliant things will be helpless to resist speeding towards you, like “iron filings to a magnet”.

A quick email around the office instantly conjures up three copies of The Secret, although everyone groaningly insists their copy was pressed upon them by some chump. Sure. I take one down to the beach for a peruse – not for an extra spiritual experience, but so nobody catches me reading it.

Opening the book at random, P59 explains how to visualise yourself thin. Even though you may have stuffed yourself cross-eyed and giggling, “food cannot cause you to put on weight, unless you THINK it can.”

You can also think yourself well and think yourself a million bucks. Don’t be anti-something, be pro- its positive opposite. And don’t resist! I’m confused, though… how does ‘visualising’ what you want differ from ‘fantasising’, which I’m already doing every waking minute? All that’s brought me is a tendency to not hear a word you’re saying.

Look, maybe there’s something in this. A ‘positivity can’t hurt, and people around you seem to prefer it’ sort of something. When I was a child, home life was a cacophony of tuts: Dad’d get started with one of his epic to-be-followed-by-rumbling-storm-clouds-of-oaths tuts that would make your heart skip a beat with dread, then Mum would fall in with the empathetic, oh-dear-that’s-torn-it tuts, and eventually we were all at it. On trips away, tension would do a Mexican wave around the car at the bloody unfairness of it all, whatever that was. Heeding someone else’s sensitivity to tuts and forecastings of doom by being outwardly chipper was not considered.

So anyway, let’s see what we have here.

Funny – I’ve always been told I’m NOT the centre of the universe, yet here on p46, within a jolly metaphor about Aladdin’s lamp, it clearly says: “You are the Master of the Universe, and the Genie (that’s the law of attraction, or the Universe) is there to serve you.” I’m advised to “place an order” to the Universe by writing it out on a piece of paper in the present tense. (Fried chicken wings?)

Step two is to believe that it’s already mine. I guess I already do this when I go shopping. I look at a dress and imagine myself parading down the street wearing it, looking fine, with my hair bouncing around.

Of course, The Secret does have itself a get-out clause. You’re to believe with “complete and utter faith”. So I guess if you don’t get the dress you wanted, your faith was lacking. And if you live in a third-world country and are STILL starving to death, well, I guess you should have put it out to the Universe harder.

I come from here, Rhonda. Do you think the Universe can be arsed?