Archive for November, 2009

30
Nov

Update from James Arthur Ray Nov 30 2009

   Posted by: Britt    in On James Arthur Ray

Received the following in my in-box today. Pretty well says nothing.

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I hope you enjoyed a blessed Thanksgiving holiday. As we move toward the end of 2009, I’d like to give you another update on the ongoing work in Sedona.

As you know, I’ve asked members of my team to travel to Arizona, meet with authorities there and provide all the information they have to offer. That process has gone on for the last two weeks, and we believe it’s been helpful.

Of course, if additional information is required, my team is ready to provide it in our continuing hope that the causes of the Sedona accident can be determined as quickly and authoritatively as possible.

I’m grateful for all the love and support we’ve received, and we’ll do our very best to keep you updated.

Much love and respect,

James Arthur Ray
President/CEO
James Ray International, Inc.


James Arthur Ray
President/CEO
James Ray International, Inc.

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All’s I can say in all honest is be careful whenever you consider attending a wealth-building seminar or get rich quick event.

There’s this thing called the race for the bottom. I’d like to thank Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter for this, as their book, The Rebel Sell: Why Culture Can’t be Jammed for this insight. They explain it, saying that you’ve committed a bank robbery with an accomplice and the cops know it’s you but they can’t nail it on you. Then, one day, they find both you and your accomplice in possession of drugs, and they take you both in, to charge you and question you. They put you in separate rooms. The tell you that if you agree to testify against your accomplice as the bank robber, you will not be charged for the drug crime. You know they are making the exact same offer to your accomplice. Your choices are thus:

  1. You testify, he doesn’t. Your jail time: nil. He gets six years.
  2. You don’t testify, he doesn’t testify. One year each for possession.
  3. You testify, he testifies. Five years each for bank robbery
  4. You don’t testify, he does. You get six years, he walks out a free man.

The Cold War is another perfect example as a race for the bottom. It goes something like this:

  1. You spend money on weapons of mass destruction and your enemy doesn’t. Optimum Safety, LOW risk.
  2. You don’t spend money on weapons of mass destruction and your enemy doesn’t. Medium Safety, HIGH risk
  3. You spend money on weapons of mass destruction, and your enemy does as well. Lower Safety, Medium risk
  4. You don’t spend money on weapons of mass destruction and your enemy does. Lowest Safety, HIGH risk

Because you can’t be sure that the “enemy” isn’t spending money on the arms race, once you are in, you are in a perpetual climb. And the more you accumulate, the more times you can blow up the world, the greater the risk.

It’s what the Americans engage in with their gun ownership laws.

  1. You have a gun and the intruder doesn’t. Optimum Safety, LOW risk.
  2. You don’t have a gun and the intruder doesn’t either. Medium Safety, HIGH risk
  3. You have a gun and the intruder does as well. Lower Safety, Medium risk
  4. You don’t have a gun and the intruder does. Lowest Safety, Highest risk

It’s why we’re all climbing over ourselves to through $2,000 to $6,000 per seminar to discover “insider secret.”

  1. You seek out the insider secrets and no one else does. Optimum Wealth, LOW risk. This is when you can become a wealth-plus-spiritual guru and charge $2,000 to $6,000 per head to anyone who will come and listen to you. You are accumulating your wealth on the backs of those who desperately want the knowledge and know they can get if they only find the right secret, the proper way of the applying the Law of attraction.
  2. You don’t seek out the insider secrets and neither does the population in general. Medium Wealth, HIGH Risk. Your wealth is medium because you will continue on your career path, earning, getting annual increases, and paying off your house. Your risk is high because you have no guarantees that the Jones’s won’t be going after the secret and perhaps they’ll get rich ahead of you. They’ll borrow the money you’ve deposited at the bank, and they’ll eek the gains, not you.
  3. You seek out the insider secrets and so does anyone the population in general. Lower Wealth, HIGH risk. You wealth will actually decrease as you wind up to take a kick at this can because you will be going into debt to get these secrets (T. Harv Eker charges $20,000 for the full meal deal). Also, according to the world’s best investor, Warren Buffett, “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.” If there are sixty to 2000 people in the room, and these seminars are recurring like revolving doors, this is the time to be fearful and suspicious. Simultaneously, your risk will be high because you will not be the only game in town. There’s only so many people who can charge $2,000 per head. I learned from a sub-“teacher”, ie someone who took some of these courses, and they were charging in the hundreds. They are now in deep financial straights, and have taken down a few others along the way, your truly included.
  4. You don’t have the insider secrets but others do. Lowest Wealth , HIGH Risk.

So why the hell am I writing about this? First, to get my own head cleared on the race to the bottom. Second, because on the Cult Education Forum (link to your right) today, there’s this headline: Wealth seminar a front for Scientology recruitment, say ex-members.

The question is, how many people have to bottom out before the madness ends? Bottom out financially, or maybe even pay with a bigger price.

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28
Nov

On Adyashanti

   Posted by: Britt    in On Seekers

Adyashanti, born Steven Gray, is a fellow from San Francisco who is a spiritual teacher. He studies zen for 14 years, and experienced the grand “awakening” or as it is called by some, “liberation.”

This fellow is fascinating to listen to, and I strongly encourage it. Some of the key things I like about his message:

  • He veers away from the charismatic super-star teacher role that so many “self-help gurus” liken themselves to
  • He says liberation is not at all perpetual euphoric bliss that so many seem to be seeking
  • In his experience, when you let go and awaken, you’ll know that it was always there
  • There is no you, there is no attachment to your own genius,
  • The harder you look for it, the more elusive it will be (“the seeker is always seeking, as that is what seekers do”)

Adyashanti means is a Sanscrit word meaning, “primordial peace.” If you listen to him, you’ll get that.

Here’s a short quip from his website from a page entitled “Selling Water by the River”:

The funny thing about enlightenment is that when it is authentic, there is no one to claim it. Enlightenment is very ordinary; it is nothing special. Rather than making you more special, it is going to make you less special. It plants you right in the center of a wonderful humility and innocence. Everyone else may or may not call you enlightened, but when you are enlightened the whole notion of enlightenment and someone who is enlightened is a big joke. I use the word enlightenment all the time—not to point you toward it but to point you beyond it. Do not get stuck in enlightenment.

If you’re looking for fame, riches and fortune, enlightenment is not your path. If you’re looking for fame, riches and fortune, perhaps you can in-authentically teach enlightenment in the footsteps of other such gurus. But you probably won’t get there like that.

See the Wikipedia page and Adyashanti.org for more information on this fellow.

Oprah was a principle supporter of James Arthur Ray.

  • On the Oprah website, “The Secret is Out” slide show.
  • The Oprah Community discussion on J.A.R is available here.
  • The Oprah Community calls on Oprah to apologize here.
  • The link to the Oprah/J.A.R show is available here.

Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I’m not really a big fan of Oprah. I think her show is voyeuristic and sensationalized, though I admire the distance she has traveled in life. I also don’t believe she needs to apologize for the actions of a guest, two years after their appearance on the show. There’s an explosion of information out there through the Internet, and really it’s incumbent upon us, the individuals, to do our research.

Also interesting how it took an extreme event to swing heads around. J.A.R. was doing what he has been doing for years now. So in a way, people are reacting to the results instead of to the event itself.

Just thought I’d throw that out there, and see what comes back.

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25
Nov

More on Cialdini’s Marketing Techniques

   Posted by: Britt    in On Marketing

I found the following on RickRoss.com, the cult education forum. It is an extract (or exerpt?) from the book Cults in our Midst: Psychological Persuasion Techniques by By Margaret Thaler Singer (with Janja Lalich)

Emotional Manipulation

According to Cialdini, the majority of the thousands of different tactics that compliance professionals use fall into six categories, and each category is based on a psychological principle that directs human behavior. These six principles are:

  1. Consistency. We try to justify our earlier behavior.
  2. Reciprocity. If somebody gives us something, we try to repay in kind.
  3. Social Proof. We try to find out what other people think is correct.
  4. Authority. We have a deep-seated sense of duty to authority figures.
  5. Liking. We obey people we like.
  6. Scarcity. If we come to want something, we can be made to fear that if we wait it will be gone. The opportunity to get it may pass. We want to take it now – whatever is being offered, from an object to cosmic consciousness.

We can see how transformations occur when the six principles are skillfully put into play by cult leaders and cultic groups. For example:

  1. Consistency. If you have made a commitment to the group and then break it, you can be made to feel guilty.
  2. Reciprocity. If you accept the group’s food and attention, you feel you should repay them.
  3. Social proof. If you look around in the group, you will see people behaving in particular ways. You imitate what you see and assume that such behavior is proper, good, and expected.
  4. Authority. If you tend to respect authority, and your cult leader claims superior knowledge, power, and special missions in life, you accept him as an authority.
  5. Liking. If you are the object of love bombing and other tactics that surround you, make you feel wanted and loved, and make you like the people in the group, you feel you ought to obey these people.
  6. Scarcity. If you are told that without the group you will miss out on living a life without stress; miss out on attaining cosmic awareness and bliss; miss out on changing the world instantly or gaining the ability to travel back in time; or miss out on whatever the group offers that is tailored to seem essential to you, you will feel you must buy in now.
25
Nov

Janaki Experience with Byron Katie

   Posted by: Britt    in On Byron Katie

Janaki wrote of her experience with Byron Katie in an online document. I keep on trying to link to it, and after a short while the links always get broken. One site I hit said they removed the post due to legal threats.

Perhaps all is not as beautiful as it seems?

Anyway, TODAY’s links to Janaki’s document are here, here and here. We’ll see how long they last.

Interesting. This is the most frequently visited page on my blog. Robots? Paid patrollers? If one is so terrified of the opinions of another getting out, perhaps one shouldn’t pursue the life of a public figure.

Sheesh.

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25
Nov

James Arthur Ray – November 25, 2009

   Posted by: Britt    in On James Arthur Ray

I don’t know why I’m obsessed with this, but everyday I look for news on what’s happening with him. Today’s latest:

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25
Nov

One Person’s Experience with Byron Katie

   Posted by: Britt    in On Byron Katie

This was posted in 2008, from a person who attended one of Byron Katie’s 9-day schools. This is a direct quote from the source.

First, I want to tell you that finding your message here was a real blessing. I’ve been searching the internet off and on for months hoping to find something about Byron Katie and The Work relating to recovery from cults. I think your concerns are perfectly legitimate. From the first time I read the first chapter in her book “Loving What Is”, I knew something was horribly wrong, but my curiosity and the subtle persuasion of personal testimony led me on.

It’s hard to say that she’s a cult leader, considering how she got into this business. And, having met and talked with Katie personally, I want to say upfront that I believe she is very innocent/ignorant about what she is doing to people. I believe that she sincerely believes she is what she says she is, and that’s probably what makes her so convincing. At the same time, there is no doubt that she falls into the category of a guru, regardless of how adamant she is that she is not one… and a mass manipulator. The book “In Sheep’s Clothing” offers a list of tactics that covert aggressors use to manipulate, distract, and deceive. The descriptions match Katie very well… she is the queen of diversion, evasion, and distraction. However, I believe that it is herself she is deceiving the most. I think she is still very mentally ill, and it’s scary, because so many people are following her lead.

With many reservations, I attended her 9 day school. We were sworn to secrecy about the events that go on there so as not to “spoil it for others” who would attend in the future. I’ve written about my experiences there, for my own sanity, and while I will spare you the gory details, I will offer a small list of things that happen there.

  1. A  forced 36 hour fast.
  2. An day long “outing” where we were left to beg for food among homeless people in the streets of Los Angeles. We were instructed not to take any ID, or anything with us but the clothes we had on.
  3. A rich organic diet that sent many people’s bodies into shock. Vomiting was a regular occurrence, and was offered as “evidence” of cleansing, and of how powerful The Work really is.
  4. Long days with brief breaks for meals. (7 am to 11:00 pm most days.)
  5. Long, intense confessional sessions.
  6. Deep, excessive probing into one’s past traumas. (She used violent Korn music to trigger our worst memories.)
  7. No contact with family or the outside world. (We turned our cell phones into the staff.)
  8. Not allowed to wear make-up, to exercise, or to eat outside of the diet given.
  9. Eating meals and taking breaks in complete silence.
  10. Going at least 2 full days as a “silent one”, unallowed to talk with others.
  11. Being invited to criticize Katie and The School, and those who did were silently, subtly shunned by the group and Katie.
  12. Having every doubt and concern about what was going on at The School questioned and “turned around”, until no one could trust their own perceptions anymore.

Although The Work is presented as for anyone of any religion, once I became a part of Katie’s captive audience, it became very clear that was no so. Katie claims to have no beliefs, because she is “clear” and lives in “reality” or “heaven”, her belief system is actually very strong, very distinct, and very anti-Christian. And, anyone whose belief system doesn’t match hers is treated like the “unenlightened” sap who needs to keep questioning his/her thoughts until they can see things Katie’s way.

I was surprised by the number of educated professionals at The School. Teachers, doctors, psychologists, social workers, counselors of all kinds. I was even more surprised how everyone seemed reduced to this “blissed out” state by the end, where they couldn’t even hold an intelligent conversation anymore. It was scary, and sad.

And, most of them would fight to the death to defend Katie’s validity and honor.

I kept in touch with several people after The School, and when I made the decision to throw out all of my materials and abandon the process altogether, I met a lot of resistance. That was about the time her new book came out “A Thousand Names for Joy.” I bought it, again out of dire curiosity. I read through it one evening, and that was all it took for me to toss it out. Hearing her tell about watching a man having a stroke, and feeling no concern for his well being because she was “in love”… was crazy. Since when did apathy become love?

But, I think it was the passage where she said that she likes pretending to be human and called it her “disguise” that really put the whole thing over the top. Apathy I could probably handle… but inhumanness is going too far.

I can’t even express the disturbing way I’ve felt watching all of these people (there were about 300 at The School) throwing away a normal, healthy range of emotions for “bliss.” And, I find it interesting that none of them have ever actually become like Katie. I guess psychosis is pretty hard to self-induce… ?

After those 9 days being constantly bombarded with questions about everything I think, believe, and perceive… I definitely noticed a difference in me. I still struggle to hang onto my thoughts and judgments without automatically turning everything around on myself. I mean, if someone slapped me in the face, my mind would probably automatically flip it around to someone make it either my fault, or to convince me that it was somehow for my benefit.

For awhile, I really struggled with what I observed about Katie… but no matter how many times I turn it around, I can honestly that I’ve never done what Katie is doing. It’s bad.

The one thing good that came out of it, was that I learned about cults and cult mind control. I’ve read every book I can get my hands on. And, I’ve learned what it was that made me vulnerable to The Work. Also, I’ve gained a lot of knowledge that hopefully will protect me from the next snake-oil peddler that comes along.

Anyway, thank you for posting. I really needed to hear another person’s perspective to help validate my own… I can trust my thoughts about Katie and The Work, after all. Imagine that! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

25
Nov

The Secret and It’s (f)Law

   Posted by: Britt    in On The Secret

Here’s an MP3 audio, that had me laughing out loud. I LOVE this guy!

Thanks for visiting!

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24
Nov

Tony Parsons – a recent video

   Posted by: Britt    in On Seekers

Just stumbled upon this, 43 minute video of him in conversation, on conscious.tv

It looks like one of the hardest interviews the interviewer ever had to do, as the ground rules were completely shaken up.

Tony Parsons turns “seeking” on it’s head. After all, that what’s most of us are doing when we attend guru-led events. Interesting that when you go to Tony Parsons website. There’s the book sales. There are the 3 hour open discussions, going for £10.00 and an afternoon with Tony for £15.00, which is limited to 35 people. Costs for weekend meetings is 80 Euros.

What the heck? There’s no multi-thousand dollar event. (Nevermind that, there’s also no guru … but watch the video first and you’ll know what I mean. Then, be sure to visit his website, where there’s other information — for free).

The following quote is from Tony Parsons, as noted by a woman by the name of Janaki, a woman from the Netherlands who worked for decades with Byron Katie. It’s a rather long document, and you can find it here.

On page 44 of her document, you’ll find the following quote from Tony Parsons.

Quote from The Open Secret by Tony Parsons.

I used to believe that people actually became enlightened, and that the event was similar to someone winning the jackpot in a national lottery. Once the price had been won, the beneficiary would thereafter be guaranteed permanent bliss, infallibility and incorruptible goodness.

In my ignorance, I thought these people had obtained and owned something that made them special and totally different from me. This illusory idea reinforced in me the belief that enlightenment was virtually unobtainable except for an extraordinary and chosen few. These misconceptions sprang from some image I held of how a state of perfection should look. I was not yet able to see that enlightenment has nothing to do with the idea of perfection.

These beliefs were greatly strengthened when I compared my imagined inadequacies with the picture I held of whichever ‘spiritual hero’ I happened to be attracted to at the time.

I feel that most people see enlightenment in a similar way.

Certainly there have been, and still are, many who seek to encourage such beliefs and who have actually claimed to have become enlightened. I now see that this is as pointless a declaration as someone proclaiming to the world that they can breathe.

Essentially the realization of enlightenment brings with it the sudden comprehension that there is no one and nothing to be enlightened. Enlightenment simply is. It cannot be owned, just as it cannot be achieved or won like some trophy. All and everything is oneness, and all that we do gets in its way by trying to find it.

Those who make claims of enlightenment or take certain stances have simply not realized its paradoxical nature and presume ownership of a state they imagine they have achieved. They are likely to have had a deep personal experience of some kind, but this bears absolutely no relationship to liberation. Consequently, they still remain locked in their own individual concepts based on their own particular belief systems.

These people often need to take on the role of ‘spiritual teachers’ or ‘enlightened masters’ and inevitably attract those who need to be students or disciples. Their teaching, still rooted in dualism, inevitably promotes a schism between the ‘teacher’ and those who choose to follow the teaching. As the following increases, so does the exclusive role for the master need to be enhanced.

One of the usual symptoms, when such a role has been adopted, is a clampdown of any admission or sign of ‘human weakness’. This condition usually creates distance between the ‘master’ and his or her followers. As the specialness of the ‘master’ becomes more effective, and the demands of the followers become greater, so invariably do the teachings become more obscure and convoluted. As the obscurity of the teaching increases, so does the schism get wider, and many of the followers often become more confused and submissive. The usual effect on those involved can be unquestioning adulation, disillusionment, or an awakening and moving on.

However, these kinds of influences have established and maintained an illusory sense of doubt and inadequacy in the collective unconscious about people’s ability to open to and realize something that is as natural, simple and available as breathing.

Those who have fully comprehended and embraced liberation have absolutely nothing to sell. When they share their understanding, they have no need to embellish themselves or what they share. Neither do they have any interest in being mothers, fathers or teachers. Exclusivity breeds exclusion, but freedom is shared through friendship.

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