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James Arthur Ray: Guru or Charlatan?

By Ox Drover

The ABC network has a new program called Mind Games that plays on Tuesday evening, and I caught their first show. The show was about James Arthur Ray, who is an advocate of the “Law of Attraction” and was one of the people interviewed on the movie The Secret.

Ray has written several “best —selling” books including, Harmonic Wealth as New York Times bestseller. Ray also charges as much as $10,000 for seminars.

Ray’s biography from Wikipedia states that he was born in 1957, the son of a Christian  minister who was so poor at times that the family lived in the Church offices. Ray’s teachings are described as a “mix of spirituality, motivational speaking and quantum physics.”

Critics say that Ray is a charlatan who preys on the insecurities of the rich who are looking for meaning. In one exercise Ray even dressed in flowing white robes and designated  himself as “God.”

In an exercise in October 2009, participants paid almost $10,000 each to attend and were pushed to physical and emotional limits in various exercises, one of which included being in the Arizona desert alone for 36 hours without food or water in a “vision quest.” He left them with only a sleeping bag, but did offer them Peruvian ponchos for an additional $250.  After coming back from that, the participants were  given a buffet breakfast and sent, still dehydrated, into a large sweat lodge. Three people ended up dying as a result of the sweat lodge, during which they were discouraged by Ray from leaving the lodge even though after about an hour they were disoriented and vomiting. One individual who had fallen into the hot rocks and suffered burns in which his skin was “hanging off” his arm, according to a witness, would not let it be dressed but went back into the lodge.

On February 3, 2010, Ray was arrested and charged with three counts of manslaughter for the deaths in October, 2009. Interestingly enough, the former followers of Ray, even though they state that he is a charlatan, still believe that they received “benefits” from his teachings, and would, if they had the money, which they don’t, pay another $10,000 to attend such an event.

Guru? Or charlatan?


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39 Comments on "James Arthur Ray: Guru or Charlatan?"

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Dear Frank Lee,

I don’t think your friend who doesn’t charge a fee for her “coaching” is what we were talking about as a “life coach” There are some “ministers” who eithr take a reasonable salary or no salary for their ministries and there is Bakker who took zillions of $$ and the other ones I could also name and encourage the parishioners to give and give and give while they become wealthy.

I think everyone here who gives advice to someone else or comforts them is a “life coach” the OLDER NAME FOR THIS IS FRIEND! Smile

Dear Wheresmylife,

Welcome to LF! I’m sorry you have a need to be here, but it is a great place to learn about both the psychopaths and about healing! KNOWLEDGE=POWER so hang around and I suggest reading the old archived articles, there is a lot of wisdom in them! again Welcome, and God Bless.

Thank God for giving you wisdom Oxy, so you can tell it like it is aka Life Coach being the new terminology for Friend.

I enjoyed that one.

LOL Thanks Wini! I do have my funny moments! LOL

wheresmylife- I was the same!! I had a therapist and I was working on becoming more positive and attracting the right relationship for me…The therapist kept telling me to override my instinct to get out because , I was ‘sabotaging’ the relationship because of my lack of trust in it. I was being told to TRUST a psychopath….I don’t blame the therapist, I blame myself for giving the therapist my power, when I knew better…I would NEVER go to that therapist again. He he even tried working with me and the P and missed every sign..I could see it all happening and this is also the stuff of my flashbacks…

So I “judged” my God given intuition as my enemy, most of the red flags were turned into a white ones curtesy of positive thinking, and a therapist in my ear saying stay with it, invest into it, go further..my fault for listening, I can see it now so clearly in hindsight. it’s painful!

It’s a disgrace really because Therapists are only useful (in my opinion) to the extent they foster an internal locus of evaluation, that means the answer is inside, the answer is always inside…and whilst we can read books, use therapy and perhaps go through a phase of needing them to “tell us what to do” a good therapist will always, always return the power back to the client, so that the therapy can end and the answers are now from within…a bit like teaching us how to use our own unique sensing devices rather than BECOMING the device (which costs money to consult with) eh and no one will be telling ME what to do for a while…the anger that comes up when I feel someone manipulating me…time…it’ll take time…

Well, he is coming to trial now, and there are various people testifying about what happened in the sweat lodge. Be interesting to see what the outcome of this trial is.

Here’s a link to one of the stories, there are many other stories out there about the trial as well.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/CRIME/03/08/arizona.sweat.lodge.trial/index.html

False Guru James Ray convicted of three counts negligent homicide for sweat lodge deaths, yet his followers still stand behind this man and his cultish teachings.

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/06/22/20110622sweat-lodge-case-james-ray-verdict-arizona.html

Sentencing verdict in. I don’t think it is enough time, but what do I know? ONLY three people paid $10,000 each to be baked to death, the rest that paid this guru 10K, well they got out alive at least.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/18/justice/arizona-sweat-lodge-sentencing/index.html?hpt=ju_c2

Said this over and over and have been shut down as not giving the idea a chance, “THE Secret” message is that we’re not responsible for the outcome of our behavior towards others.

So when people are attracted to that message… can psychopathy be far behind?

One of the women who my husband cheated with was one of these “wish” women. That’s what I call the followers of The Secret, the Wish Women, b/c they believe if you WISH for it, it will happen. BS The mindset sets you up as a target for spaths. It’s GULLIBLE 101.

I am a sales person in my career. There is a school of thought where you get others together in a group to “support” you. They “like” your fb page. They write reviews for your work. The internet LOVES this kind of activity and it moves your website to the top b/c the algorithms search data for patterns. It’s not personal, it’s jsut a way to beat the system. “The Secret” group of people work the same, they review each others books, they promote each others sales material. AND one cornerstone is setting the price.

It’s not RICH people paying $10,000 to walk on stones Tony Robbins. It’s poor people scraping up, going into debt, b/c they are convinced there is a short cut to riches and success. (or affluent but uneducated about how to live rich people) Shortcut kind of people are PERFECT spath prey.

ps Rich people pay for one on one coaching, whether it’s for exercise or financial investing or medical or a therapist. $10K is NOT a rich people price.

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