To begin with, I have seen the movie, but I have never read the book The Secret. So the basis for my thinking that The Secret is promoting bad hypnosis is based on the movie, and on my observations of my friends who have tried to put the secret of The Secret into action.
I recently ran across a report of current research that shows that visualizing the end result is much less effective than using a different method of visualization. And, the reasons that the small difference between the two methods that makes all the difference in a successful outcome will become clear in my next blog post, Part 2 of “Why The Secret is Bad Hypnosis, and What to Do Instead That Will Work”.
The Secret emphasizes that just intensely visualizing oneself as already have one’s desires will somehow make them appear. One man in the movie visualized a house in great detail for a while, and then some years later he realizes that he has bought the house that he had visualized, and was actually living in it. That story is offered as proof that the techniques of The Secret work.
The man was said to have “manifested” the house for himself according to the narrators of the movie. When people use the word “manifested” I get the impression that they mean that the desired item magically appeared out of thin air because someone visualized it intensely and clearly for a few minutes or hours.
Of course, what we do not find out from the movie is whether the “perfect house” that the man visualized was built before or after he visualized it. If it was built before, we have to conclude that “manifesting” is not subject to the normal restrictions of time and space. Or, perhaps the man experiences the paranormal phenomena called remote viewing, and intensely visualized an existing house that he had never physically seen.
It is certainly no surprise that someone would buy a house that was similar to one that he or she had passionately visualized some years before. In the movie the man claimed that he had no conscious awareness of how similar the house that he had visualized years earlier was to the one he bought until some months or even years after he had been living it.
Perhaps the more plausible explanation is that the man was unconsciously attracted to a house that was similar to the one that he had visualized. There is no way of telling.
Perhaps I am misinterpreting the message of The Secret. However, I am sure that others have bought the “visualize it and it will happen” line completely. One of my more metaphysically inclined friends, let’s call her Frannie, told me that she was frustrated with a woman at her work who was being unfriendly. Frannie, then let me know that she didn’t understand why the woman was not treating her better. After all, Franny had been using The Secret’s visualizations to make her coworker be more pleasant!
Another friend told me that she had “manifested” the parking space for us in the full parking lot in front of the bookstore that we went to by visualizing it for a few minutes before we arrived. And, she was serious.
So, The Secret seems to hypnotize people into believing that they can “manifest” whatever they visualize through mind power alone. What makes it bad hypnosis, is that it creates a false belief that tends to be immune to critical thinking. According to The Secret if the person visualizes and does not get their desired results, it is simply because that they did not visualize long enough, with enough desire, or enough clarity. And, that is bad hypnosis.