A while back here at Apprising Ministries I wrote the article Erwin McManus: The Emergent Secret Behind “The Secret” where Emergent Church pastor Erwin McManus discusses the DVD “The Secret” with his friend “America’s Energy Coach” Jon Gordon author of The Energy Bus.

Gordon tells us that “The Secret” is:

a DVD movie that explains the law of attraction and low to use it to manifest the things you want in your life. The law of attraction is important to share and it’s a big part of my new book, “The Energy Bus,” which tells the story of a man who uses the law of attraction to help turn around the negativity, fear, adversity, and challenges in his life.

In understanding the law of attraction many are now realizing that they are involved in the creation of their lives; that their energetic thoughts, beliefs and actions have an impact on the world and in imprint on the energy fabric of the universe.

Well, below is a letter from an AM reader who shares their own personal experience with “The Secret” and the “viral marketing” used to promote it. They tell us why – far from turning around the negativity, fear, adversity, and challenges – “The Secret” actually contains a deadly spiritual virus:

Sometimes, when God tries to lead us in the direction that He wants us to go, we become like stubborn mules chomping against the bit. In times like these, the love of God shines through in that He’ll allow us to go through our “self-made” valleys in order to “work all things for the good of those that love Him”. The following is one such story.

In August of 2005, I was looking for ways to supplement my upcoming retirement and the best way that I could figure was on the internet. I began researching on line business opportunities and had come to the conclusion that “network” or “viral” marketing was the way to go. It had the potential to create a significant recurring income in a short period of time if your dedication level is high enough. I’m sure that most of you have heard of the viral marketing. Companies such as Avon and Mary Kay are built upon the concept and so it was that I requested some information about a company that offered, among other things, digital photography services.

I was drawn to the business model that this particular team used. As anyone who is familiar with this type of business knows, recruitment is the best way to build a recurring income very quickly. This team utilized an internet leads program to connect it’s members with people, like me, who were interested in starting their own internet based business. I received a call within minutes of requesting information from a very nice lady who put me on a recorded “three way” call which gave me a teaser introduction to the company and how it works.

I made a second appointment with the lady, whom I*ll refer to henceforth as Sue, and she sent me some additional information about the company. I researched the company and was amazed by the products that they offered. Not only did they offer digital photography services, but they offered lines regarding anti-aging, health, and internet services. It also hosted a benevolent site which was partnered with the “Feed the Children” program. This program was an all volunteer branch of the company and those who worked in this division did so on their own time for no pay. To date, this ministry has fed over 83 million children which impressed me greatly.

Before I go forward, I have to say that the parent company is an incredibly benevolent company which offers great goods and services, many of which I still use. At no time did I sense any pressure from the company concerning the things I*m going to relate. The only pressure I had came from the team of which I was a part. That said, the team of which I was a part of created more millionaires than any other team in the company so they wielded incredible clout.

I received my second appointment call from Sue the next day and told her that I was very impressed. She played another recorded call which explained further how to get started and the cost, which was very inexpensive considering that I was starting my own online franchise. I told Sue that I would have to discuss it with my wife because I consider her to be an equal partner in everything except for Biblical leadership responsibility in the home. My wife has always been supportive in nearly any venture that I undertook, (she understandably didn*t support me when I sang country music in bars prior to hearing the call of Christ).

I called Sue a few days later and told her that I was ready to get started. The first thing that she did was send me a script from which I would be reading when I called the “leads” that were purchased. Another thing that she sent me were a set of “affirmations” that I was supposed to “recite” every day prior to meeting for our recruitment calls (this was ignored red flag #1!). She assured me that as long as I was committed to success, she would be equally committed. She also sent me a list of “training calls” that were available during the week. It seemed that the only way one could avoid learning the business and becoming successful was to want to fail. With all the support and training, how could I go wrong (i.e. There is a way that seems right to a man….)??

At first, I was very successful. I attended a company convention in Salt Lake City in which people from all over the world attended. It was here that I first discovered that not everyone utilized an online leads system like our team. They were still hosting home parties and having recruitment meetings in hotel conference rooms. How lucky was I?? I attended seminar sessions in which existing product lines were explained and new lines introduced, sales techniques were presented, and motivational speakers such as Jack Lalane spoke. I was impressed! This company was huge! When I returned home, I was absolutely on fire for the company. I made “Director” very quickly and recruited very hard.

Then, on a Saturday morning training call, one of the ladies who hosted the call referred to an e-book called “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. She said that it had made a tremendous difference in her “mind set” and attitude and highly recommended it (which in “team speak” meant if wanted to be completely “coachable” you should do it). I researched the book and even ordered a free teaser training that was e-mailed to me daily for a week. As I began reading the course, it slowly dawned on me that they were promoting Eastern Mysticism (ignored red flag #2). I had taught a Sunday school class about various world religions and this book was a direct reflection of that demonic set of teachings. Still, I brushed off my feelings of foreboding. I offered excuse after excuse to myself that “these aren’t Christian people that lead this team. If I was running a business in the ‘world’, I’d have to deal with non-Christians every day”.

I attended a spring team conference in Dallas and was somewhat comforted by the fact that none of the leaders mentioned the heretical practice of thought projection into the “Universal One” or
meditative goal achievement. I figured those that taught mystical wealth attainment must be a very small minority within the team. All the people who were leading the team were so personable and seemed to genuinely care about the teams success. I went back home re-energized again and began making calls with renewed fervor. At this point, I began to experience panic attacks. They became so bad, that I went to my doctor, who prescribed a mood enhancing drug. Still, I was uneasy so I decided that the only way out of my “funk” was through prayer. I began to pray for the leading of the Holy Spirit and happened upon a TV preacher one Sunday morning named Joel Osteen. He seemed to have all of the answers but for some reason, I felt a bit of uneasiness (ignored red flag #3).

I began to pray daily that God would show me clearly, the direction he wanted me to go with the company. Have you ever noticed how we ask God f or divine guidance but we reject the answer because it’s not the one we want to hear? This was the case with me because after I started to pray for specific guidance, the remainder of my team promptly quit the business. I was shocked but was assured by my coach that this sort of thing happened all the time and the thing to do was work all the harder and build a new team from the ground up. So I ignored God (duh!) and began working to build a new team.

At about this time, a movie called “The Secret” was making it’s debut. One of the women on the team had viewed it and had become an almost overnight success within the team. As with anything else, when you find something that works, people want to reproduce that success so she became the new “darling” of the team. She was leading the phone conference training sessions on a nearly daily basis, all the while touting the benefits of following the principles of “wealth creation” as described in the movie. We were all “encouraged” to view the movie and promised that if we practiced the methods referenced in the movie, wealth and success would almost surely follow.

I wasn’t aware of just what “wealth creation” or the “word of faith” were so I thought that I would go ahead and purchase the movie online. After all, they made it very affordable ($4.95) for an advance online viewing (I wonder why??). As an aside, I later found out that the makers of the film used the method of “viral marketing” before release of the film so that people like Oprah Winfrey would hear about it and begin promoting it. I went to the website and decided to view the movie trailer. What I saw made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. A had my wife view the trailer as well and she got the same feeling. We both felt the presence of satanic forces emanating from the computer as we watched it. I rejected it and decided to pursue the business in my own way (ignored red flag #4).

My funk continued and I called my “coach” Sue to discuss what direction to take. She began by asking things like “How are you doing with your visualizations?” or “Have you watched that movie ‘The
Secret’ yet”; and was assured that if I would remain “coachable”
and do exactly as they said that I couldn’t help but be a success. it
was at this point that I lost faith in the team and the business. I, of course, being like a bulldog with its jaws locked upon its prey,
clung to the hope that I could make this thing work. I planned a
vacation for my wife and I around the next spring conference so that we could both get a sense of the direction that the team was going. Not once at the conference was this film or its methods mentioned during the conference but my wife and I both felt a subtle uneasiness that simply couldn’t be ignored. After the conference, I felt as if I had an incredible burden on my shoulders to the point that I couldn’t even talk myself into making recruitment calls or attend the training
conference calls.

At this time the Holy Spirit began really convicting with me and showing me that even if I didn’t endorse these methods of wealth creation and words of faith, those whom I recruited would be exposed to them and I couldn*t, in good faith, be responsible for leading another person down the wide path of destruction so I called Sue and informed her of my decision to quit. She was very nice but asked why I was so against the principles being endorsed by the team. God opened a door that allowed me to witness to Sue and regretfully, I only accepted the opportunity in part which I regret to this day.

This “valley” that I went through taught me some valuable lessons. The Holy Spirit very early when we’re on the wrong path if we’re receptive to Him. It’s when we ignore these warnings that we get
caught up in things that we have no business being in. My willful
ignorance cost me not only an emotional price but also took $25,000.00
out of my pocket (or more aptly, my houses’ pocket). We as Christians
need to flee from situations like this and like a cowboy who discovers
quicksand, warn as many people as we can to stay away from this very
real and pervasive danger. Our God, however, is a God of second chances and I, for one, am glad that he “disciplines those He loves”!!