Archive for the ‘On James Arthur Ray’ Category


Quantum Physics PsychoBabble

   Posted by: Britt

ABC News takes a critical view of the self-help think-yourself-healthy industry….check this out!

“At 10 p.m. (Eastern) next Tuesday, June 29, ABC 20/20 will air an hour-long special devoted entirely to James Arthur Ray, magical thinking, and the oft-overlooked dangers of the New Age.” See Steve’s Shamblog for more information, and tune in (on all levels, folks!).

I’m really interested in this piece. I’m of the mind that JAR is taking the fall for the entire industry. He is not the only one to do the firewalks, board breaking, walking into the arrow, etc. What happened at the JAR event could have happened to each of them. And you can bet that they are all stepping away from the edge of the cliff that they’ve ALL been sending their followers to. I sure hope they are sending him condolence cards, and thank you cards as well. Although I doubt it. It’s an industry where the duplication of information and techniques is rampant, yet never acknowledged, referenced, or cross-referenced.  It seems important that the student believe the guru is self-made.

Funny that, following the directions, the teachings of an uneducated teacher. By which I mean a self-taught, directionless teacher. Who is actually a plagiarist, not a messiah.


Wrongful Death

   Posted by: Britt

For those of you following the James Arthur Ray sweatlodge incident, here’s a link to a blog posting by the Dolan Law Office in Chicago. Having said that, I’m not too sure if the Dolan Office is actually representing any plaintiffs or if they are just posting out of a desire to communicate. The Dolan Law Office does dabble in wrongful death suits.

Feel free to comment.

On Saturday, June 12 2010, Dateline broadcast a one-hour special on the “Deadly Retreat” hosted by James Arther Ray at Sedona in 2009. It’s worth watching.

Deadly Retreat – Dateline

Here’s a link to an excellent blog that captures the essence of what I think is wrong with many of these “woo woo” get-rich gurus who like to bring in metaphysics and spirituality to argue their case. In it, LaVaughn makes the case that the universe does not exist to serve your ego. That thought, in and of itself, should be enough to stir some into a type of awakening.

I know just a little about Buddha. And I know enough to make the claim that enlightenment comes from ego-less-NESS. It’s about letting go of possessions, of ownership, of power. Of letting go of the concept of self.

Anyway, read thisblog. It’s a mental gem.

Here is an interview with Deepak Chopra by Anderson Cooper of CNN (December 15, 200), coming on the heels of the James Arthur Ray fallout.

Interesting, because Deepak is up there with the (f)Law of Attraction folks; what sets him apart is his education as he is a PhD holder (just goes to show that regulation is not the final screening mechanism).  I have this book of his at home, called The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, where right from the onset he sets out to define “laws.”

Which is fair enough, as I too do that in my upcoming book, Without a Doubt.

In my book, law is defined as one of two things: it is something that can be upheld by an authority (eg civil law), or it is an immutable truth (such as gravity). Now, the (f)Law of Attraction folks like to compare LOA with gravity. Which is about as dumb as it gets. My favourite is hearing some sub-guru say that if you wake up one morning and decide the defy the LOA, then you will live to regret that morning.

Which is borderline retarded, as you cannot DECIDE to defy an immutable law.

So anyway, Deepak sets out to define his concept of laws. Ready?

“[L]et us understand the concept of law. Law is the process by which the unmanifest becomes the manifest; it’s the process by which the observer becomes the observed; it’s the process by which the seer becomes the scenery; it’s the process through which the dreamer manifests the dream.” (Pages 3-4 in the 1993 New World Library hardcover version.)


Then he loops into a deep (metaphysical-like) conversation about the self-curving back into itself, and the perpetuity of motion coming from the field of “potentiality which is purely unmanifest” (p 5), and then feels he has sufficiently defined the meaning of “law” and can now begin discussing the seven spiritual laws of success.

All that just to say it’s like asking one guru if the guru industry should be regulated.

Personally, I don’t think regulation is the answer. People need to know how to recognize spin, and how to separate “blind faith” from fact. Deepak is another spinner of the flawed Law of Attraction, and were the industry regulated, he would still be swimming in that muddy ocean. But amongst fewer fish, which would actually see him and his business in good stead.

Less regulation and more education is my opinion. Get out into the periphery. The real periphery. Not amidst the masses who are all being sold on the spin that they are the upper 5% of the echelon who will succeed (get out your wallets), but those who dare to defy the money makers of the world, those who dare to burn bridges, and risk telling you an unpopular, non-millionaire-manifesting truth.

Breathe, Britt, breathe.

Here’s a video of a news snippet from CNN. In it, the commentator discusses the tragic death (suicide) of Colleen Conaway. The most striking part for me is that JRI (James Ray International) does not reimburse those injured or deceased. Ms. Conaway died at a JRI event and had paid for for future events. Okay, perhaps it’s a bit insane to have a written policy that states you’d give unequivocal refunds to anyone who dies at your events for current and future classes, but it does make compassionate sense to reimburse, don’t you think?

I understand the concern that a reimbursement might be seen as an admission of guilt, and perhaps that’s why none has been issued to date. But where the hell is the compassion from the man who is claiming to be changing lives of people world-wide?

A suicide, by definition, is a self inflicted event. I’m not looking to blame anyone. What I am looking for is a demonstration of compassion. That Colleen Conaway paid for courses after her death, which were not reimbursed, seems cold to me. That only one out of the three Sedona deaths received a partial reimbursement (Kirby Brown’s family received $5,000) seems callous, not to mention inadequate.

For someone who makes millions of dollars a year, you’d think that reimbursements to the tune of even $50,000 are but a drop in a bucket. Funny, because he teaches Cialdini’s marketing techniques, and there’s a proven technique of reciprocity where if you give something that’s been unsolicited there’s typically a larger return attached to it. He knows this inside and out. But what I’m seeing is a stingy man who is teaching abundance for all, to all who can afford it.

For a man banking on the Law of Attraction, you’d think paying out would be the fastest way to solicit a return. A reimbursement is a small price to pay, especially if you’re banking on the Law of Attraction to see your way out of this mess.

Here’s a different take on the whole James Arthur Ray fiasco. Buckle up, and prepare for the roller coaster ride contained within these three consecutive YouTube videos.

First Video

Second Video

Third Video

At one point, Sheila, the “Astrologists Astrologer” says that the cheaters were the winners (they were, apparently, sneaking fluids). When here, it sounds like she’s sympathetic to the victims. In the second video she says that all the people were spiritually connected and they were destined to be there (and apparently to die).

Is she suggesting that perhaps James Arthur Ray should have first consulted his oracle, and then changed where the door was on the sweat lodge that all would have been well???? And at another point in the second clip, she uses J.A.R.’s comment that what you focus on expands, and because he focused on being Christ-like, he too will be prosecuted and fall. So what? The same applies to all priests, ministers, etc???

On the third clip she refers to those who died as those who “transcended.” That’s just woo-woo spin as far as I’m concerned. They died. End of sentence. End of person. End of Life. Period.

While I’m sure that this astrologist is in her full integrity, the message lacks clarity. I’m never quite sure what she’s advocating. Go see your astrologist? Don’t have a God complex? It’s not his fault as the universe was all in alignment for this to happen? It’s okay to cheat? That the Law of Attraction is all good and well, and that J.A.R. just got too carried away?

If anyone can shed light on the matter, I’d sure appreciate it.

It strikes me as somewhat unethical that some multi-million intake “teachers” bus their students out to the ghetto-parts of town to intermingle with the homeless. Of course, I don’t know if they give back. I know that Anthony Robbins was partially motivated to provide Thanksgiving Dinners.

From Wikipedia (Tony Robbins. (2009, November 26). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 17:53, December 5, 2009, from

Robbins is the founder of the Anthony Robbins Foundation, which proclaims its mission is to empower students, help prisoners to improve their lives, organize food drives, and fund Robbins’ “Discovery Camp”. According to the website, it has “products and programs in more than 2,000 schools, 700 prisons, and 100,000 health and human service organizations. The Foundation is committed to make a difference in the quality of life for children, the homeless, the prison population, and the elderly through its various programs”. Charity Navigator gives the foundation an overall rating of three out of four stars. The foundation has subsequently led to the forming of “Basket Brigades” across the world that occur each Thanksgiving. Individuals and groups have joined together to assemble and deliver dinner baskets to more than two million needy people.

Two million people. That’s a significant number.

The teachers who I have in mind who I know incorporate the Homeless Experience into their teachings are Byron Katie and James Arthur Ray. (If there are others, let us know.)  I don’t find similar entries under their Wiki pages. Not that that is the definitive authority. That would be you, the reader. So if you know otherwise, again, let the rest of us know.


Update from James Arthur Ray Nov 30 2009

   Posted by: Britt Tags:

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


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
James Ray International, Inc.

James Arthur Ray
James Ray International, Inc.