Tuesday, August 17, 2010

New Book Draws USA Today Wrath

Mark your calendars. On Tuesday, the economic downturn ends.

Why? you ask. That's when self-help priestess Rhonda Byrne returns with The Power and a novel solution to everyone's money woes.

It's not a faltering economy or Wall Street that are at fault, according to the author. It's our feelings. "It's the attractive force of love that moves all the money in the world, and whoever is giving love by feeling good is a magnet for money," Byrne writes.

So stop worrying about that foreclosure notice or the 29% interest rate on your credit card and perk up, people! "You can tell how you feel about money, because if you don't have all you need, then you don't feel good about money," she writes.

But before you snicker and Google that P.T. Barnum quote about suckers, remember that Byrne's previous opus, 2006's The Secret, sold more than 19 million copies in 46 languages. Oprah Winfrey, among others, embraced the Australian TV producer's revelations about the "law of attraction." Boiled down, the idea is to open yourself up to life's goodies — big house, wonderful relationships, fabulous health, all-round happiness — and you'll get them.

The weirdest thing, according to USA Today, is that the author may actually believe herself. Her own narrative is pretty startling. A struggling mom of two reads Wallace Wattles' 1910 book The Science of Getting Rich and ends up as an enormously wealthy media superstar, thanks to her Secret DVD and books.

Her latest tome advises people to be positive and upbeat, believe in themselves, remain open to life's possibilities, and be grateful. Then add the magic ingredient: love.

The problem isn't the self-help genre, the reviewer argues, it's applying the law of attraction to your checkbook. "Byrne is no Suze Orman.

"Another creepy element is the way Byrne digs into the world's religions to pluck out quotes bolstering her crackpot theories about finance. Mother Teresa and St. Augustine are quoted in the money chapter. Quotes from 'Jesus, founder of Christianity,' pop up amid gems such as 'dollar bills want you.'

"With The Secret, Byrne made a fortune off the delusional bliss of magical thinking. Let's not give her any more power."


Copyright 2010 AmSAW

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