Subliminal Advertising in The Secret (Part 4) — In Bed With EinsteinSeptember 8, 2012
In the earlier posts (see Part 1), we saw how the advertisers who made The Secret used various standard advertising tricks to sell Rhonda Byrne’s story and turn her audience into active promoters as well as consumers of the product. In this post, as well as some more subliminal images and some good old-fashioned lying, we will notice the way discovering The Secret has been carefully constructed around the framework of a sexual encounter….
The film makers face their most difficult challenge in this section of the film. They have built up an entirely bogus story linking “The Secret” with ancient mystical traditions, and upped its value by claiming that people were burned alive in order for you to see it; and that the content you are about to see is the first time these ancient life secrets have ever been revealed to a mass audience.
The stage will finally be set for the dramatic entrance of The Secret’s teachers with a triumphal sequence which reaches its climax with the entirely bogus claim that Albert Einstein “knew The Secret”….
….And then somehow they have to make the transition to Bob Proctor, a man who believes no one knows how electricity works, and that receiving social benefits will alter your DNA.
But I want to back track slightly and pick up a sexually related image that I missed in the previous post.
I speculated about the possibility that the film makers used the only white sheet of paper in the entire film to present an image that looked like a child being tucked in to bed, thus reinforcing the association of The Secret with a child. The person in sequence who laid that sheet of paper over the Emerald Tablet was the young man with shoulder length hair. But in the actual sequence, Rhonda Byrne’s hair has been photoshopped over the man’s hair. (Not so clear in this still, but it’s carried through three frames. Click on the images to enlarge.)
Rhonda is making a bed and is about to lie on it. (Or lay in it, for US readers. Lying or laying, they both have appropriate double meanings.)
Rhonda Byrne, we shall see is going to need to go to bed with Albert Einstein in order for the film makers to ease the transition from the great men of history to a bunch of successful, fraudulent, backstabbing losers.
We pick up where we left off last post, with the inevitable explosion of yellow light.
This happens with that old-fashioned reading glass that Byrne has been suggestively toying with. Previously, the words The Secret appeared behind the glass, as it swings hypnotically back and forth. Now the glass is still as an eye, and the background shifts.
Rhonda Byrne has decided to “trace The Secret” through history” and couldn’t believe who knew it. “They were the greatest people of history.” Now follows a procession of MEN, even though Byrne carefully avoided using sexist language and said “people”. Why no women? Because that would screw up the sexual dynamics for the subconscious manipulation that the film makers are toying with. So forget about all the women who were burned for their spiritual beliefs and practices. There’s selling to be done.
So, who “knew The Secret”? Plato is the first face that swings through the reading glass.
Anyone familiar with Plato, will be wondering how they missed his advocation of get-rich-quick-schemes for the masses.
Mystical teachers have always loved Plato’s esoteric stuff – The Timaeus talks about Atlantis, so at least he’s on track with some New Age themes. But I notice they never seem to like his contemporary Diogenes, who was famous for carrying a burning lantern during the day. When asked why, he would respond “I am searching for an honest man”. Nope, that kind of attitude is not welcome for some reason. (It’s also worth noting that Diogenes once accosted Plato with a plucked chicken, in order to make a point about categories. Plato called him a “Socrates gone mad”.)
Then follow Shakespeare, Newton, Victor Hugo, Beethoven, Lincoln, Emerson, Edison, and finally…
This wise face gazes out at us. But for once this sequence doesn’t end in a black out or a flash of yellow light. Instead, it blends into a sensual close up of Rhonda Byrne lying on her back, no doubt on the bed she prepared earlier. She’s upside down, so that it kind of seems she is lying face to face with Albert Einstein.
The camera lingers on her lips as she mouths the words “Why doesn’t everyone know this?” Kinda like having sex for the first time? Such a change of perspective. And by harking back to it, the same feelings are subtly triggered in the audience.
Over the ensuing blackout, Byrne exclaims, “All I wanted to do was tell the world”. (Just like a first sexual experience, and exactly how the average Secret fan felt when they also received this “gift”.)
From the blackout emerges Byrne sitting at her laptop. If anyone still thinks I’m granting too much to the film makers’ devotion to detail, I will rest my case with the following still. For a mere two frames, we see this picture. Note the book in the bottom left corner.
For readers who were not in an English-speaking country in the 1990s, the book is from the mega-bestselling series by “Dr” John Gray, on the theme that “men are from Mars, women are from Venus”. It was the book that New Age women were thrusting at their boyfriends. This book looks like Mars and Venus in the Bedroom, appropriate, given Byrne’s recent encounter with Albert Einstein, and her desire to continue her life together with The Secret.
Next we see a close up of the screen. The first words that are visible are “Getting Into the Right Business”. And from this point on, mysticism is dead. Now the totally unrelated get-rich-quick-scheme that is The Secret stands in the place of the world’s mystical traditions.
Byrne’s fingers walk like legs over the keyboard, modeling the behavior that her audience is to re-enact when they “tell the world about The Secret”. (The entire film was initially available online as part of the viral marketing strategy, for fans to share this gift with the world. Maybe you received an email from one of them.)
But before we launch into the footage of teacher/scammers lying to people, there is still one last bridge that needs to be crossed. Byrne says that she began searching for people alive today who know The Secret. “One by one they began to emerge.”
As she says this we get another hit of subliminals. After receiving the avalanche of images, thunderous music and emotions that the previous two minutes contained, this sequence barely registers in the mind of the viewer. Appearing before a background of Byrne’s laptop screen and that page from earlier containing the word Rosicrucian, the faces of the teachers who are about to appear get flashed at us for about two frames each.
This is not classical subliminal advertising. Rather, it’s another subliminal “advance organizer” intended to soften up the brain for the procession of jerks and scammers who are about to follow on from the “greatest people of history”.
This dude is in Plato’s intellectual lineage????
Bob Proctor is flashed on, giving a secret Masonic sign.[/sarcasm]
The procession of scammers flashes on through. Here’s David Schirmer…
…Now banned by the Australian Anti-Corruption Commission from engaging in financial advisory businesses.
This guy also got his name in the papers too.
It makes me shudder to think that some whose lives were ruined or ended by James Ray got their first glimpse of him from a subliminal image, without even realizing it.
The whole burst of images lasts about a second, before the screen blacks out again and the music reaches another crescendo. Then peace after the storm. We see Bob Proctor (billed as a “Philosopher”) standing in front of a yellow background with Leonardo-like drawings on it. He says in a patronizing pseudo-avuncular tone, “This Secret will give you everything you want.” We get a smattering of sound grabs from the other teachers, and then another black out, which turns into this.
“The Secret is the answer to all that has been, all that is, and all that ever will be.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
There’s a literary term for a quote like that. It’s called fraud. Emerson never said that.
And with that lie, The Secret pushes off from the shores of reality, breaking the last tenuous threads which connected it to real historical people and events. From there it surges off into a fantasy world into which the viewers have unwittingly been drawn, step by step, believing they can carry it over into the reality of their own lives. They have accepted a tightly scripted role in a greater drama, in which they pay with real money and real consequences, for the teachings of a cabal of corrupt and self-serving losers, criminals and scam artists. These teachers of course do not, never have, and never will follow the teachings advocated in this film.