Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Secret Stuff

I was recently pointed towards a TV mini-trailer on the site what-is-the-secret.com. According to the presentation, a "Worldwide Television Event" will take place soon which will reveal a great secret to the general public; something which has helped all sorts of powerful businessmen and brilliant scientists leave their mark in history. With such claims being made, I can't help being a little skeptical (when was the last time television had anything really worth watching hmmm?), so I did a bit of searching around.

A quick bit of googling discovered an interesting thread on an Alternative Reality Gaming forum about the subject. Then there was also this thread on conspiracy-oriented forum "Above Top Secret". Apparently, it may be something to do with a man named Charles Haanel who authored a book called "The Master Key System" - a kind of self-help book for the beginning of the 20th century.

So is this just a marketing gimmick of some kind? Most probably. The domain name what-is-the-secret.com appears to be registered to ROCnet Data Designs, who also happen to own the domain powerfulintentions.com, which just so happens to be promoting "The Secret" in their forum. A guy named Bob O'Connor appears to be the web designer behind it, and also has a link to "The Secret" on his page. So what's the deal? As someone on the ARG forum thread put it:
It seems to be just some kind of silly quasi-spiritual self-help community, like the kind all my business student friends think means so much because they're in love with their own language. $10 this has something to do with Jesus or proactive thinking or self-motivation or something else designed to garner high ratings on PAX and launch a USA Today best-seller.
Got to admit, it's certainly looking like that. But worldwide television coverage? That seems to hint at a certain degree of influence (not to mention $$$), even if it's not going into prime-time slots.

Coincidentally, I was also struck by the similarity of the trailer URL name (the_secret_history.mov) to another - a book by named "", which I just happen to be reading at the moment. I'll blog a review once I've finished the whole thing, but it sure is a head-turning book!

Anyway, I digress; the reason this struck me was that in the first part of the book, Mrs Knight-Jadczyk discusses the idea that the government/military-industrial complex has actually spent a lot of time and effort over the last few decades constructing false spiritual organisations, and in fact the whole "New Age" movement owes most of its success to funds secretly channelled from military-industrial and intelligence agencies. Well, rigorous analysis of this hypothesis is beyond the scope of this blog entry, but an interesting has been published on the Cassiopaea website. If you're into reading about that sort of thing, check it out.

So could "The Secret" be something actually inspired by intelligence agencies in a "COINTELPRO"-style operation? Or is it just a bunch of New-Age salespeople pushing same-old "personal empowerment" philosophies? Well, I don't think there's enough data to come to any conclusions just yet, but it will be interesting to see just how this "Worldwide Television Event" materialises.

And yes, I'm aware that by writing this blog entry I've probably completely pandered to their objective of getting "The Secret" viral-marketed. That's irony for ya.

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