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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?



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

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  1. Ox Drover says:

    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

  2. Ox Drover says:

    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

  3. KatyDid says:

    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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