Don't Buy It? Don't Milk It | Letters | Chicago Reader

Don't Buy It? Don't Milk It 

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What a sad piece of contrived conflict and blatant envy featured in your June 1 issue ["A Little Secret About The Secret" by Julia Rickert, June 1]. Who would ask us to believe that the deceit of James Frey's fabricated personal experiences published as non-fiction can in any way be compared to a missing direct reference among Rhonda Byrne's broad compilations of life testimonies and experiences that science has only recently begun to vigorously explore---except perhaps someone seething with envy and quite comfortable with ignorance. What the author labels as a "profoundly flawed central premise" is the subject of such broad study in fields as wide-ranging as psychology, neuroscience, economics, theology, and even ecology that I couldn't begin to cite the references (but I will on request). Although the temptation to leverage readership off of Oprah's extreme, multimedia vitality was likely overwhelming, publishing a feature with such obvious ham-fisted histrionics as: "promotion of selfishness and self-delusion," "illogic and irresponsibility," "quotations. . . shockingly divorced from their context," "The Secret has potential to cause tangible harm . . . ," "That The Secret's premise is a fantasy is undeniable," and on and on and on is just a bit opportunistic. Then again, perhaps the piece was meant as a tribute to the Onion.

Stephen R. Grove

Wicker Park

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