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It may turn out to be true that The Secret "appears to contain at least one fabrication" ["A Little Secret About The Secret," June 1]. But why would the Reader publish such a flimsy piece when the writer making these allegations is herself a notorious hoaxer? Julia Rickert is famous for secretly recording her phone sex partners while posing as a fictional teenage girl, and selling the recordings without their knowledge. The Reader is well aware of Rickert's own deliberate fabrications--you published an approving article profiling her exploits not long ago [August 19, 2005].

It seriously damages the credibility of your publication (and detracts from the important work of writers like John Conroy) when you publish the work of brazenly unethical "reporters" like Rickert. The Reader is rapidly losing whatever journalistic credibility it once had.

Kevin Shapiro

North Center

Julia Rickert replies:

If readers of The Secret discovered Byrne's misrepresentations as easily as did the men who called my house in 2001 and interacted with a prerecorded voice (mine) spouting absurdities, there would have been no reason to write about her book.

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