Edited to add: Please read about Law of Attraction, Rosicrucianism and New World Order at this link.
"The Secret" (film) (www.thesecret.tv) appears to be increasing in popularity now as the next big thing, but the reasons for it being popularized now aren't clear to me yet. I have watched "The Secret" several times now at the urging of a friend of mine, and although I think most followers' intention is an innocent, albeit universalist New Age one to free themselves from self-doubt and lead more positive, fulfilling lives, suppression or denial of negative feelings over the longterm can lead to disconnection with reality and callousness to the feelings of others to the point of psychopathic behavior. The film has many "classic" cult moments such as the renouncing of ego to become vessels of higher teachings, the central theme being monism or that the principalities of evil and good being one, therefore all things being permissible. At its best, in the hands of someone seeking inner peace and love, it can be a tool for self-knowledge and growth--at worst, it's the worst kind of propaganda. Monism has historically taken extreme turns into social Darwinism and scientific racism, Nazism in particular. In this writing I will attempt to explain why I see "The Secret" in the ways that I do.
The film unfolds like a Hollywood version of a motivational program, complete with highly emotional, dramatic visuals (fast edits and movements, flashing symbols), music and esoteric philosophies from the mouths of the world's famous intellectuals (but very few women are represented and the film appears patriarchal from the start, with Rosicrucian symbols exploited throughout). The film says we are one, or that the only true religion is truth (the New Thought motto), that all physical matter is created by our thoughts (manifestation) and how law of attraction (New Age/New Thought philosophy) would grant us in our lifetimes whatever thoughts we produce, positive or negative. These aren't original ideas. If you look up "The Secret" on Wikipedia, it would only mention law of attraction as the source of its doctrine but upon further research, I found out that there was a series of books called "The Secret Doctrine--The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy" written by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, the founder of Theosophy. Her masterwork was written in 1888 at the height of the occult revival in Russia (late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century). Everyone in the "know" read it from Albert Einstein to Aldous Huxley, and the book(s) eventually became a favorite of Adolf Hitler who took the teachings (a large portion of which is Gnostic or Aryan (or Indo-European) root race theory) and used it for propaganda (the ecstatic emotional element of the movement probably hooked people quickly). The rest is history--the Holocaust which would eliminate the Jews--how? By first brainwashing people into believing Jews to be spiritually unevolved, because they would reject monism in favor of traditional morality concerning the existence of good and evil. While "The Secret Doctrine" was hailed for being the most important intellectual work of its time, it's also a work that reflects Blavatsky's own antisemitism in several passages in the books.
"The Secret" film has recently inspired shootoffs such as hypnosis CDs made by followers of the doctrine--one such CD I heard was designed with the goal of taking the listener to an altered state in which to accept the crux of it all: the visualization of a field where you can do no right or wrong, a field in which all is forgiven, precisely at the point where the trance-like, rapturous music begins its rhythmic ascent into euphoria. I happen to like intoxicating trancendental music--good BGM can certainly make an induction to monism seem tempting but if I'm to be honest, I still come out believing that the Great Serpent of Gnostic tradition (aka Lucifer or bringer of the light) will bite me in the ass if I follow it. However, on a high note, I find it highly entertaining to imagine myself breaking free of this pesky belief in good-and-evil existing in the world and in the hearts of man. Who cares about morality when we're talking about mind control? How much easier would it be to just imagine and attract infinite riches, success, fame and your perfect 76 virgin girlfriends? Conversely, we could just blame the Jews for bringing the doom of genocide upon themselves by way of law of attraction, too, or is karma more compassionate than that? Is it time again to address the unhipness of a belief system created by the unhip creators of the Bible so we could all globally stop this Jewish Guilt Problem once and for all? Whatever your spiritual beliefs are, if you're a follower of "The Secret", I would be watchful and aware of where the supporters' money might be going.