How the law of attraction fails and becomes brainwashing

How the law of attraction fails and becomes brainwashing

by Jon Rappoport

February 3, 2015

“The focus on positive vs. negative thoughts is juvenile. It’s minor-league foolishness. And it leads people to obsess about their own minds. People aren’t passive magnets that attract and repel. That’s utter nonsense.” (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)

The law of attraction is stated in two ways.

First, positive thoughts attract positive results in life, and negative thoughts attract negative results. This is mainly a descriptive overview. It doesn’t apply to people who consciously do something to change their own thoughts. It’s a “philosophic” basis for understanding why people get what they get in life.

Therefore, one assumes, if a hundred thousand people are dying of thirst during a drought, they brought that on by thinking a whole lot of negative thoughts.

People who advocate the law of attraction tend to dislike such examples. They sometimes hedge their bets by asserting that external events (e.g., a drought) are quite real and they never claimed otherwise.

This produces a blurry line between events that “just happen” independent of what people are thinking, and events which are the result of negative or positive thoughts.

The second version of the law emphasizes that people, by changing the nature of their own thoughts, automatically affect what they get in life.

Certainly, this isn’t achieved by a person entering his own mind like a surgeon with a scalpel, pruning away the negative. The interior landscape is far too large, the flows of thought are too mercurial, and quite often, what seems like a successful surgery later turns out to be a dud: the old excised thoughts return.

A frontal attack on thought is like trying to wipe out air.

But there are meditations and repetitive affirmations. Some advocates of the law recommend them. Focus on thinking about what you truly want. Clarify such thoughts. Repeat them to yourself over and over. Affirm them. Or concentrate on an object of desire.

Doing this in a dispassionate way hardly calls up very much energy. It’s about as effective as trying to move forward in an active ocean while sitting in a paper boat and paddling with a soup spoon.

What, though, happens if you really believe you can get what you want by thinking positively about it over and over, or by focusing on it?

In that case, the driving engine is that belief.

And this is a whole other territory. Suppose you ardently believe that by visualizing a purple rose sitting on a boiled egg, you will become rich? Suppose you believe that a pink bulldog dropping down from the sky holding the string of a large balloon will give you a new house?

The purple rose and the boiled egg and pink bulldog aren’t the vital components. What’s vital is the underlying belief.

Is belief enough? Will it carry the freight?

Exit From the Matrix

There is no blanket conclusion possible. It all depends on who is believing and how they are believing and with what power they are believing, and with what conviction, and with what passion, and with what “belief in their belief.”

I have seen, and you have, too, I’m sure, people who achieve remarkable things based on what they believe.

And it doesn’t matter whether they are engaged in “changing their thoughts from negative to positive.” The law of attraction itself is irrelevant.

Furthermore, people who hold very strong beliefs act on them. They don’t sit in a room and power up that belief-engine and wait for something to happen. They aren’t involved in some “snap-of-the-fingers” manifestation. They take massive and sustained action.

They live out their beliefs.

They create what wasn’t there before.

And in that act of creating, during a life lived, at some point along the line they experience remarkable collisions of events—the fancy label is synchronicity. People and situations come to their aid.

You could call that magic. You could call it oobladee. It doesn’t matter.

In large numbers of people, the ordinary notion of the law of attraction helps to make them passive. They wait. They think. They re-think. They spin wheels.

Some of them begin to believe they have to banish the negative, and this process leads them into confusion and discomfort of a high order, because it doesn’t work. Thoughts, untold numbers of floating random thoughts, are the wrong target. They’re a dime a dozen, and there are billions of dozens. Who cares?

The idea of purifying one’s own thoughts is a dead-end alley in the long run.

It becomes a fetish.

And those who preach the “philosophy” are, sometimes, merely interested in controlling the flock. The more androidal members of the flock will, now and then, say, “Did you hear about Bob? He’s in the hospital. Too many negative thoughts.”

On a political level, this degenerates into “we suspect Jones just had an incorrect thought.”

Living a creative life through and by imagination is a whole other process. It’s the major leagues. It’s the expression of life-force in a voice that tears away the curtain of consensus reality.

Inventing what otherwise would never be there.

This kind of life quite naturally, without effort, defuses trillions of sputtering thoughts because they don’t matter. Negative? Positive? Makes no difference. It’s a puerile distinction.

In living a life through and by imagination, one’s past, one’s experiences, feelings, thoughts, memories—they’re all fuel for the fire. In that fire, a soul forges what he will invent, what new reality he will make.

He doesn’t diddle around with “positive and negative.”

Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at or OutsideTheRealityMachine.

26 comments on “How the law of attraction fails and becomes brainwashing

  1. kara says:

    I am so appreciative of your clarifications on the law of attraction and Imagination followed by action!! Thank YOU!!

  2. Sounds like the very same thinking pattern with many of these “Rapturists”.


    There are those wo say “Let God handle it”, as if WE were supposed to do nothing but “believe” – something akin to living a life of “hope”.

    “Hope” conveys no action, and possesses no energy of its own; It merely makes the believer more subject to the manipulation of others (usually, by the self-vaulted “priesthood” class). A TRUE practitioner knows that follow-up ACTION is also a required step in completing the process of creating and/or changing that which currently is, or is “soon-to-be”. So yes, this “Law of Attraction” is not all that it is “cracked up” to be.

    – Rev. Dragon’s Eye

  3. John browne says:

    Very good. Believing in a Law of Attraction is like believing the you in your dreams controls the dream. The you in your dream doesn’t control any thing in your dream. It’s the You the Dreamer that does that. What about lucid dreamers you say? Yes they do seem to control some things in their dreams. However, even lucid dreamers aren’t fully conscious they are the Dreamer of their dream. You understand.

  4. A Reader says:

    Clear thinking. What a pleasure.

  5. JTA says:

    Excellent! I myself have read A LOT on this Law of attraction. The one major thing that is left out is the action part. I often remind others that you can sit there and visualize all you want but if no action is put forward then you will never succeed. The positive mindset helps in spurring on action just as a negative mindset hinders action. As of yet I have NEVER had anything happen unless I step into the action part of life. Some excellent points in your article!

  6. henry says:

    To create, you must think and act. If you act without thinking, then you might get lucky and create something by chance. If you think but never do anything with the ideas that you have generated, then you will never create anything.

    Educated people who have been conditioned with a belief that those in control are so much smarter and stronger than they are that it makes no sense to attempt to think or do anything, have been pacified. They often denigrate those who people who haven’t had the benefit of the education that pacified them when they achieve anything. It is safer to stay with the herd because if you try, you may fail, and if you succeed, you will be the object of scorn.

    Another debilitating belief is that the world has so many problems that it makes no sense to try to set the world right. If you enter into the debate, you may be blamed for the problems but if you do nothing but criticize those who say that they are trying to make the world a better place, then you are clearly not part of the problem.

    Yet another debilitating belief is that everyone is so much dumber than you are. Some people are really stupid. Their education and chemicals in their environment have limited their cognitive abilities. But, I have not met many people who are not subject matter experts when compared to me. Hockey, stamp collecting, how to cut down a tree, what store has the lowest prices on different products, how to train a cat, and many other subjects may have been learned by your dumb neighbors. Whenever I talk to people that I don’t know, I try to identify areas of their expertise. As part of the discussion, ideas that they have not mastered may be injected. This often leads to results that are similar to imagining.

  7. From Québec says:

    I agree 100% with you on that matter.

    I’ve also studied the Law of attraction when it became popular, decades back. Just like religions, it’s all BS.

    Let’s say there is a plane crash, would that mean that more people on board had negative thoughts? Let’s say 49 people had positive thoughts about the flight and 50 had negative thoughts about it. Would that mean that ONE thought alone got the plane down?

    I can’t believe that they have tried to make people believe in that delirium state of mind. The things they come up with to keep the slaves asleep is overwhelming!

    Positive whishfull thinking is just as ineffective as praying to God.

    Like you’ve said in your previous post: Imagination is the Key! It opens every doors.

    • From Québec says:

      I meant: Would that mean that one PERSON’s thought alone got the plane down? And witch one person’s thought would that be on the 50 negative thoughts? Hum… Try to answer that one!

  8. laura says:

    Check out Deuteronomy 28. Worship God… be blessed. Turn to worship other gods… be cursed. Pretty simple. Go to another standard… that’s going to another god. Look around. Deuteronomy 28 curses abounding. Why? GOD is the Source of all blessing. He doesn’t wave a magic wand and “bless folks”. Rather, He dwells with them…. and brings Heaven on earth. It’s getting hellish as the world forsakes God and seeks out their own inventions… and wants to be God in His place. Getting more and more hellish. There’s a reason.

  9. seamlessone says:

    The only real law of attraction that matters is this: Like attracts like.

  10. Robert Redshift says:

    Yes! The mind, the imagination, the creativity, the action of life–is Beauty. There is an intellectual, spiritual Renaissance coming. We all sense it, somewhere deep inside of us. We fear evil, of course, but we also sense an awakening. In order for us to experience Beauty, we first need to face evil. There is this prevalent sense of shame and guilt in us all. We feel this sense when we meet the gaze of a stranger. We want to say hello. We want to embrace humanity and love one another. We want to experience a loving world. We were ignorant, intimidated, arrogant, and at times, indifferent to our people and our world. We should first look into the mirror and say, “I forgive you. I love you.” When we do this, understand we are communicating to humanity! Be the leader of your community. Take action. The mind, the imagination, the creativity, the love of humanity–is infinite. Take action. Nothing can stop us!

  11. T Hilton says:

    I have followed The Law Of Attraction for many years, and it’s working for me. I don’t see a problem.

    • kara says:

      @T Hilton, There is this phenomenon called synchronicity. You have been imagining certain scenarios and you begin to notice in your reality experiences or things that very much are related to your imaginings and emotions. One example that stands out for many is when they admire a certain type of car, and suddenly they keep seeing these cars, where they hadn’t really noticed them before. I notice that when I am frustrated in traffic and feel that there are careless drivers on the road, I seem to be attracting more and more bad drivers into my experience.
      But, the way the LOA is taught these days is that if you just dream/imagine what you want and think great thoughts then your dreams will manifest. We can prove this wrong easily. If I want to be a successful artist I can’t just dream/imagine my beautiful paintings.. I actually have to PAINT the painting.. in fact I have to paint many paintings, I have to show those paintings to others and so on..I can’t become a successful artist just by dreaming about it….And we can think of a zillion more scenarios where thinking and dreaming and feeling happy are not enough to create our cause a manifestation.

    • Melanie says:

      Exactly! What Mr. Rappaport fails to get here is that a THOUGHT (thinking it over and over)
      becomes a BELIEF and then you have a manifestation! A belief is just a thought that you keep
      thinking! Law of Attraction works perfectly when you belief what your thinking (which Rappaport
      did say) but the same thought over and over again creates that belief! At that point, circumstances
      begin to happen where you find yourself in those places that you thought about! Try it!!

      • ozziethinker says:

        Lol, I have heard it all now.

        If truth defies belief, what is to be believed?

        You […] have absolutely validated Jon argument “with knobs on”.

        There are only FACTS, PERCEPTIONS & VIEWS. Beliefs are redundant.

        • Hey Ozziethinker.

          If I could put it this way. If you were in a unlocked dungeon and you believed 100% that to leave the dungeon would mean certain death then you most certainly wouldn’t leave. Although I suppose you could argue that what I’m describing is a perception.

          AKA the man who believes that he can’t be successful. He will unconsciously sabotage himself as he tries to be successful until he believes that he can be successful.

          I’m no avid follower of things magically appearing, goals have to be realistic and action must be taken.

    • ozziethinker says:

      When ignorance, censorship and denial come together as one harmonious union, “law of attraction” works. Of course, a catalytic event can change everything.

      I will pray your little world isn’t “rocked”, T Hilton.

  12. ozziethinker says:

    Another great post, Jon.

    I have always said your circumstances are far more pressing and important than you divination. Yes, you choose your path, but often whether that path turns out good or bad isn’t up to you.

    It is like calling infatuation “love”. To sacrificially aid the person that repulses you the most is to truly love and not “attracting” twin-souls.


  13. nansye says:

    Thoughts may certainly be “mercurial” but I think that’s the hidden point? Most mature adults prune/cut “negative thoughts from their mind – rightly so, because you are going to “reap what you sow” if you spend your days “plotting/thinking” about revenge, murder, stealing from others, etc. So, then, you can’t say these people don’t then “attract” their own kind & thus also attract more problems for themselves? How does the Law of Attraction not apply here? Honestly enquiring. 😀

  14. basically the world exists as it is: obstacles need to be climbed, for everything there is a price that needs to be paid. If your desire is unrealistic it ain’t gonna happen.

    But if you get really in tune with what you’re aiming for, then that can help you to access your subconscious and valuable information within it that can help you achieve your goals. So you “attract” thoughts which can help you.

    And yes, as Jon says, if you’re in tune with a realistic aim then IMO through the interconnectedness of all life you may sometimes find people and situations “magically” appear which help you on the way towards your goals.

    But, at the end of the day, the idea of LOA is merely an important tool to help you along the way. If your goal is crap, or your actions towards that goal are rubbish, then you wallow in no mans land.

    But, then I suppose, saying things will appear from nothing sells more books.

  15. GMan says:

    It just blows my mind how people close their mind to ideas and theories without even trying them to prove them false or true. I have been practicing thoughts are things for over 30 years and I often looked at events or changes in my life and could see why they happened. No I could not explain how the pieces fell into the right place or how it happened so quickly. That again proved to me time is in reality non existent. How was I led to do what I needed to do instead of just worrying and giving up? I found if I listened then acted on it I was doing what I needed to do on my part to bring the manifestation into reality.
    God helps those that help themselves. IMO that means God or whatever you want to call it, perhaps universal law, will bring about what needs to happen but then you have to accept it or in other words you have to do your part in the play. We often have to be the director as well as the actor.
    I have seen and for that reason I totally believe if you really feel your desire but take no action then you may experience great turmoil for the manifestation to become reality. There is a lot to old sayings and the saying watch what you pray for might just happen is so true. It says in the bible be in constant prayer. In other words keep your thoughts on truth and the truth shall set you free. Believe and speak all the hype and watch what you receive. Read the book of JOB and gain this understanding.
    They crucified Jesus because he taught the way to life outside of worldly ways. Be in this world but not of it. In other words don’t fall for and be a part of the limiting mind games played in the world. Claim your own creative power. They were not going to let some man tell them they were responsible for their own quality of life. It is easier to blame someone else for our short comings. That’s the power that they don’t want people to know so they can be kept in the bread lines for the handouts and sickly for the medications that are just money grabbing rip offs.
    If thoughts, aka beliefs, aren’t things then why is it that people that fail to plan fail. People don’t plan to fail but they fail. Pieces of the puzzle for the plan somehow come about like divine right action was happening but nah that is just a coincidence. There are no coincidences only actions activated in the unseen so it is seen. Explain to me how something or someone that you knew not somehow comes into your life at the right moment? Don’t be so closed minded people!
    Salvation is not by works alone lest any man boast. Yeah people are taught the mindless BS that the salvation is for the soul to get the end rewards after they die. They are taught be good law abiding people and accept Jesus and you will get your salvation in the after life. The real salvation is man realizing he doesn’t have to be under mind games controlling their lives. We are in reality the creators of our lives and sorry to say we the masses are unknowingly being programed how to create our lives under false beliefs. We all are creative whether we know it or not.
    Walt Disney was told by his educator in school that he would never amount to anything without a school diploma. It seems Walt realized that man had no authority to pigeon hole and limit his expression of life. I don’t think all successful people just happened to get it right. I believe they learned how to make life work for them to get it right. Anyone that thinks negative thinking has nothing to do with it is a fool. Negative thinking is brainwashed thinking.
    Do I believe in man made religion? NO! Do I believe there is a Universal Law or call it GOD or Spiritual world? Absolutely because I no way possible made or brought things or people or what seemed divine action into my life.
    People think believing in Jesus is the salvation. Jesus never taught that. He taught the HOW TO in order to gain salvation. He taught we and the father are one with the same creative attributes. Yes I believe heaven and hell are right here in this thing we call life.

  16. Eulie says:

    Yeah…anyone who practices the LOA and thinks all they have to do is wish for it..well, they deserve what they get. Nothing. You can’t help BUT to act when you travel down this path. It’s the truth. You aren’t limited by such dribble as what I have read in this piece. You ignore them. You are finally free of the naysayers and live your life like it’s golden. It does work, and if you don’t like it, then you are free to ignore those of us who choose to meander down this path. That is one thing I like about the LOA…it is truly fair to all. You want good things, think on it. You don’t? Then don’t. Either way, you live and then die and the world moves on. If smiling more, being a happier, healthier and more positive woman is considered by you to be brainwashing, in the words of Redman “I’ll bee dat.”

  17. Focault says:

    What does science tell about the Law of Attraction? It tells that LoA doesn’t work. Do you need a proof by scientific evidence? Read this:

    Just let scientists make their own work. For the sake of the truth, for the evolution of both our specie and our culture,please, don’t mix science with mystical woo.

    People, I will always save my emotions. i’ll never force myself to think positive. I don’t need it. I’ve always earnt from my mistakes and sometimes even sufference was a useful tool for improving my life. I’ll never set aside someone because of negative thinking. I won’t fear to be contaminated by negative thinking, but I’ll listen people and I’ll try to offer my help. I don’t program my brain lie a robot, I just use my heart, in a natural manner. How dare can we struggle for discovering the right way to use LoA, while so many people are starving? Don’t be selfish. If we think that LoA is useful, then let’s try to use it for knowing ourselves instead of wishing a new car. My life is wonderful, my wishes are normal. Friends, I don’t need LoA at all.

    Jerry Hicks passed away because of cancer. Although he believed in LoA he used the mainstream medicine for trying to heal himself. Why? Perhaps because several people used LoA and died faster then the ones who used the mainstream medicine (eg. Kim Tinkham)?

    Best Regards

  18. Mike says:

    I am sure that you defined the Law of Attraction within your argument against it. The Law of Attraction requires action. Without action thoughts remain day dreams. The Law of Attraction does not state that the universe can be controlled simply through thinking. There must be conscious and focused action toward the acquisition of a goal. Any interpretation otherwise is simply wrong and generated by underlying fear.

  19. Focault says:

    Mike, it is clear to me that you didn’t read the link about the scientific publications written by Dr. Kapper et al. In such experiments action was required, but LoA didn’t work. If LoA was true, then presidents of several countries would have used it to launch nuclear bombs one against another. If LoA was true, then people affected by mentall illness who believe to be Napoleon could dominate the world. If LoA was true, then children could manifest all crazy stuff they want,because they believe in fairy tales without any effort, just like you.

  20. Allan says:

    The ‘Law of Attraction’ is a New Age spin on the psychology of how positive thoughts and attitudes affect your actions. It has become a ‘magical idea’ that somehow makes everything better without having to do anything. I can see why it has gained popularity with the ‘entitled generation’ not wanting to put in hard work or struggle to earn their reward.

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