The Grail Code 
I’ve got a secret!

It may surprise you to learn that Jesus was a multimillionaire who lived with all the trappings of worldly success. I confess it surprised me, until I started to remember some of the things he said in the Gospels. “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head, because the cleaning staff has the north wing all in an uproar, and all the guest rooms in the west wing have that awful draft.” I remember that one now.

Yes, Jesus was a multimillionaire, and he came to us to show us how we, too, could achieve the material prosperity we’ve always dreamed of. I presume he was nailed to the cross by the IRS.

That’s just one of the amazing fun facts you can learn from a book called The Secret, which has infested the bestseller lists for months largely through the merciless promotion of Oprah Winfrey.

The secret of the title is the long-hidden knowledge that you can have anything you want just by really, really wanting it a whole lot. Conversely, nothing bad can happen to you unless you believe it can happen. So if, for example, you are currently flying through the air after having been blown up by a sectarian bomb in Baghdad, it may comfort you to know that you brought it on yourself.

The same doctrine applies to contagious diseases. There’s no such thing as a contagious disease: there is only a disease you thought you could catch. The negative thought brought on the disease. Just think how much money we could save if we replaced medicine with persuasion! Think how many lives could be saved in southern Africa if people stopped believing they could catch AIDS! Okay, so maybe that’s a bad example.

Now, I know what you’re probably thinking right now. You’re thinking that Oprah’s belfry must be missing a few of its bats if she believes that stuff. But I’ve long since given up on trying to figure out what Oprah actually believes. Besides, she’s far from the only one. Legions, armies, hordes of people are buying the book instead of paying their rent this month.

So do you want to know what I think? I didn’t think so, but I’ll tell you anyway. I think this book was written by Satan himself, or at least inspired by Satan, in the same way that God inspired Galatians even though Paul actually did the writing part. Yes, I’m sure the authors are very nice people. Satan prefers to work with very nice people. Don’t we all?

The message of the book is the same old message Satan always promotes. You can have every earthly desire—I’ll give them to you for nothing—and all you have to do is give up on your quest for what’s really worthwhile. You just have to focus all your desire on earthly things. Don’t worry—I’ll be here to help you every step of the way. (For a good description of Satan’s modus operandi, see the fourth chapter of Luke.)

Well, maybe I’m all wrong about the book. I’ve only skimmed a few excerpts. I haven’t read the book, and I probably won’t read it, although I remember a time when I said that about The Da Vinci Code (which, as I promised, I counted as a business expense on my tax return this year). But it sure sounds like the devil and all his empty promises to me.

One Response to “I’ve got a secret!”

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(C) 2006 Mike Aquilina and Christopher Bailey