I'm the CEO of Thomas Nelson. We published Breaking the Da Vinci code, which was actually the biggest book debunking The Da Vinci Code. It was on the New York Times list for several weeks.
I don't really think these books are published in order to hurt the sales of The Secret or The Da Vinci Code. I've read The Secret and watched the DVD several times. I gave a copy to all of my executive staff. However, the real purpose is to answer questions that Christians—our core audience—have about these books and how the philsophy integrates into their own.
One of the first questions that was asked of The Secret panel of experts on the follow-up show Oprah did was from a Christian woman who didn't quite understand how it fit with her faith. If you visit the Secret’s Discussion Forum, you’ll also see lots of questions from Christians who are struggling with the same thing.
I can’t speak for the author publishers, but I have read the manuscript to There’s More to the Secret. I would not describe it as a debunking book at all. It's more of a here’s-what-is congruent-with-our-faith and here’s-what’s-not kind of book.
I responded back, via email:
And that’s the sticking point, from my point of view. Some one is horning in on that monopoly, and thus the need to publish such responses. I can call it a "debunking" and you can call it "here’s-what-is congruent-with-our-faith and here’s-what’s-not kind of book", but ultimately that author wants to make sure that there is only one place to find that hope.
If Thomas Nelson, any other religious publishing house,wants to publish 247 books about Byrne’s work, or The Da Vinci Code (hey, I knew it was a novel, i.e. fiction. He proposed some wild theories that went against the State, and everyone went bananas. I got to admit, I found it extremely amusing), more power to them. But if Thomas Nelson’s "core audience" cannot see what The Secret really is and take it with the grain of salt it should be, then I question validity of their education, and what their churches choose -and not choose - to impart on their flock. The smart ones are the people who shrug and say: "It's clap trap, I know it, the author knows it. And I know most Americans suffer from ADD, so something else shiny and new will come this way shortly."
Thought about adding a postscript, but then realized I was tired. That could get me into trouble, as I so want to rant on the dangers of believing in both The Secret and religion. But, that will be for another day...