Frank Warren inspired a full crowd in the Granite State Room with his secrets Wednesday.
The project, of having anonymous people from across the globe send post cards stating their deepest secrets to Warren on post cards, has ballooned into five books and an internet sensation since its beginning in 2004.
"The first step is to choose words to own a secret," said Warren, whose lecture helped to highlight suicide prevention. The event was free, but all 830 tickets were claimed before the event. Warren's lecture was sponsored by The Veritas Forum and SAFC to highlight their two-day exploration of secrets and confessions in the MUB.
Warren has given lectures to crowds from 5 to 1,000 about this project, which has earned him the moniker ‘the most trusted stranger in America.'
The lecture was split into three sections. The first was background on how the project was started, the second was secrets which had to be kept out of the books for one reason or another, and third was an open mic conversation in which UNH students were able to stand up in front of their classmates and reveal a secret.
"I tend to do a lot more listening than talking," said Warren, who applauded the courage of people to share one of the two kinds of secrets he described, ones we keep from others and ones we keep from ourselves.
The project began in 2004, and has since ballooned into a literary and internet phenomenon. Warren said he receives 200 postcards a day and that some of them come on items as unique as a coconut, a bag of coffee and old food wrappers.
"It was so much better then I expected," said Lisa Brown, a senior. "He said so many things I could relate to."
Warren gave a free copy of one of his books to a lucky audience member who raised her hand to show she had sent in a secret postcard. He also played a voicemail message from his mother who explained that she was not a fan of his art project.
Warren gave everyone a post card on which they would be able to send in their own secrets. He finds a transformative power in what he is doing and uses this as a positive way to prevent suicide. He expressed that there were other outlets to help people contemplating suicide, one being 1-800-SUICIDE.
The best secret Warren said was one he never saw. He explained that a woman emailed him saying she had made the card and was about to mail it but instead tore it in half. She claimed that just seeing it helped her to no longer carry it along with her and thanked Warner for his project.
"I just love the mystery of it," said Warner.