“The academy is a controversial enough project in South Africa that the government withdrew its support, because of the amount of money that’s been spent on its well-reported, lavish design — money that could have gone instead to creating perfectly fine schools that served many, many more students than the 350 who will be making use of spa facilities at the academy. But, when I watched Oprah’s prime-time special about interviewing candidates for the school, it seemed to me that she wasn’t nearly as excited about providing an education to the girls as she was about providing a ‘Secret’-like ‘transformative experience.’ (And not just for the girls, for herself; the first thing she said to the family members at the opening ceremony wasn’t, ‘Welcome to a great moment in your daughters’ lives,’ it was, ‘Welcome to the proudest moment of my life.’)”
“And at what point do we stop feeling like we have to take the good with the craven when it comes to Oprah, and the culture she’s helped to create? I get nauseated when I think of people in South Africa being taught they don’t have enough money because they’re ‘blocking it with their thoughts.’ I’m already sickened by an American culture that teaches people, as ‘The Secret’ does, that they ‘create the circumstances of their lives with the choices they make every day,’ a culture that elected a president who cried tears of self-congratulation at his inauguration, rejects intellectualism, and believes he can intuit the trustworthiness of world leaders by looking into their eyes. I’m sickened by a culture in which the tenets of the Oprah philosophy have become conventional wisdom, in which genuine self-actualization has been confused with self-aggrandizement, reality is whatever you want it to be, and mammon is queen.”
Oprah’s ugly secret, By continuing to hawk “The Secret,” a mishmash of offensive self-help cliches, Oprah Winfrey is squandering her goodwill and influence, and preaching to the world that mammon is queen. By Peter Birkenhead, Salon, March 5, 2007
Whoa, when did Catherine Ponder come back into fashion?