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James Ray sure does like high tempretures...
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 09, 2015 08:14PM

Controversial self-help guru tries for comeback after prison

Posted 10:32 PM, September 7, 2015, by Phil Blauer, Updated at 09:00am, September 8, 2015



SAN DIEGO – Controversial self-help guru James Arthur Ray is on the lecture circuit again.

Ray is speaking at a question-and-answer event in Phoenix on Sept. 11.

In November 2011, Ray was sentenced to two years in prison after being found guilty in the 2009 deaths of three people during his Arizona sweat lodge ceremony.

The event will cost $197 to hear James Arthur Ray answer questions for four hours with no pitch or script at an undisclosed Phoenix hotel ballroom.

One Scripps Ranch woman who was once part of Ray’s inner circle does not believe his prison sentence has changed him one bit.

“I think he just got a little angrier and is set in his ways,” said Connie Joy.

Joy spent nearly three years participating and volunteering at Ray’s seminars and events. She said there were definite warning signs that she saw leading up to the October 2009 sweat lodge deaths.

Ray, who has his business based in the North County, was convicted of felony negligent homicide and spent two years in prison. His experience behind bars now forms the basis of his new self-help program.

“He’s trying to spin this that he had an accident with a few close friends and that he’s terribly sorry about it," Joy said. "These were clients. Their lives were in his hands, and he really abused that responsibility."

Joy, who wrote a book about her experiences with Ray, said he can be very charismatic, and that's why some seminar attendees didn't mind shelling out $10,000 to hear his messages.

“He’s a very good teacher. Unfortunately, I don’t trust him and what he says and what he claims are his credentials,” said Joy. “It’s unfortunate because he has a gift, but I don’t think he’s using it to his best.”

Joy added if she could have a moment with her former boss, who is trying to make a comeback to the self-help circuit, she would tell him he knows better and really needs to be doing something different.

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Kirby Brown's legacy - Seek Safely
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: November 18, 2015 04:28AM

Kirby Brown's story

Seek Safely's empowerment guide


(The Seek Safely website has a convenient download function, making it possible to print this as a one page flyer.)

Make a few copies and thumb tack them on public bulletin boards next to
PR fliers for workshops you know to be dodgy.

Discreetly scatter them around as you think fit. Make sure you avoid
doing so in a way that would expose you to charges of littering.

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Re: James Arthur Ray - 2 die at Arizona retreat's sweat lodge
Posted by: dabcult ()
Date: January 10, 2016 11:37PM

Its is astounding to me that this crasy murderer could be back on the circuit
teaching people how to live a successful life ...NO SHAME

Its is even more astounding that people will pay money to be in seminars
with this murderer ....thinking that James Arthur Ray as the powers and abilities to improve their life ..
There are suckers ..born every minutes it is said
But suckers that have been cheated and suck dry
going back for more sucking .....Its terrible ...and the police let him do
his show ...what a tragic farce

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Re: James Arthur Ray - 2 die at Arizona retreat's sweat lodge
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 11, 2016 07:57AM

dab, people are not 'suckers'.

First it is difficult to find information about imposters. Often when
survivors attempt to describe the abuses in public, the imposter's disciples
swarm onto the website and troll the discussion.

In bad situations, the website is threatened with a lawsuit. Sometimes the survivors who speak up are subjected to threats -- look what a friend of ours has told us.

Discussions sites that preserve anonymity and prevent trolling and victim bashing are necessary.

Question a guru or reveal that guru's abuses, you risk losing friends, you may be rejected by family members. The general public call you stupid and a sucker. You are subjected to shaming, victim bashing, accusations of envy, etc.

By contrast, there is no risk and great incentives to praise gurus.
advantages in praising gurus. Guru advocates get built in rapport with other guru advocates. They have the delightful belief that they are earning good karma or merit in future lifetimes. They might even get promoted by the guru in this life.

And by defending their guru and attacking dissidents, the guru defenders squash down their own painful doubts.

All this means that most of what one hears about a guru will be the glowing advertisements. The things we need to know for our own protection -- that is what the guru tries to hide.

Many of us are told about a 'healer' by someone we already love and trust. And we tend to be especially trusting of our friends when we are suffering in a hard time of life.

These charismatic con artists do NOT tell us up front that they have no qualifications for what they do. They will not tell us that they have criminal records, either.

None of us wakes up one day and says, "I want to entrust my life to a
charismatic, charming con artist."

A person who formerly participated in false Native American ceremonies tells us exactly how one gets involved.

This person tells us that the charlatan was very convincing. And our informant did not possess deep background information about Native American ritual or qualfications for participation.


I should know, because I was a gullible follower of those "plastic shamans," as the Native Americans call them, for years.

I used to be obsessed with anything Native American.

Back in Germany, where people are easily duped by so-called "shamans" and "spiritual Indian teachers" touring the country, I had a Native American teacher (who later ended up in jail for defrauding and mutilating women in his alleged "rite of passage" ceremonies). There was also an "official spokesman of the Hopi" who used to give made-up messages from the Hopi Elders.

Bavaria is also a hub for a huge number of followers of Dhyani Ywahoo, who runs the Sunray Peace Village in Lincoln, VT.

But let's start from the beginning, and I'll tell you the whole story.

When I still lived in Germany, I absolutely LOVED all things Native American (still do, but now I have much more respect and don't spend my hard-earned money on those fake ceremonies and workshops anymore.)

Through friends, I found this Native American teacher, a very interesting character, to say the least. He seemed genuine, but I learned later that:

a) he had a habit of marrying younger German women who could financially support him;

b) that he couldn't go back to the US because he'd be arrested at the border (for what, I still don't know)

c) he went to jail because in some kind of self-styled "puberty ritual," he sowed women's vaginas together (without anaesthesia, of course, because true Indians aren't afraid of pain).

Unbelievable? Maybe. More unbelievable, though, may be that women were naive enough to allow him to do that.

Though I can see how that happened. I had one ritual with him (NOT the puberty one!), and his reasoning was very compelling. He basically said that in today's Western societies, so many people are emotionally and spiritually stunted because there are no real rites of passage anymore for kids (which I think is true).

In traditional Native American tribes, the boys' rite of passage was the "vision quest" at the age of 12-14, and the girls' rite of passage was a celebration when they got their first period and so became women. In our over-modernized Western world, we don't have those anymore, he said, and so many people would stay "boys and girls" throughout their entire lives and never reach full maturity.

There IS something to that, I must say... when you watch old movies from the '40s and '50s, you never see a grown man who still acts like a juvenile, whereas today it seems to be almost the norm. And I know many women -- for some reason especially those without kids -- who seem to stay girls perpetually; that even goes for some that I know that are in their sixties now.

(Some text omitted for brevity. You can read the entire essay here.

Anyway, I went to those Elders Gatherings for three years, and it was great. I totally loved it. They have two ceremonial arbors there, which are decorated for the gatherings; the bigger one is the regular arbor, which you have to enter clockwise after being smudged, and then find a seat to hear the teachings and speeches, and participate in the ceremonies and dances. The smaller arbor is the so-called "Moon Arbor," where women who have their period must go since they can't be with the others in the regular arbor. As far as I know, traditionally women in their moons were excluded from ceremonies because, according to what I've heard, their power in that time was so chaotic but strong at the same time that they could wreck an entire ceremony and cause havoc for the other participants... hence the "Moon Arbor."

It was a great experience to go there; for the Elders Gatherings, people would come from all over the US, Canada, France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, etc. and gather for a few days in peace and harmony. It was beautiful.

HOWEVER, after I'd gone there for three years or so, I happened to stumble over this Native American message forum on the Internet called "New Age Frauds and Plastic Shamans" (NAFPS), which was established by *real* Native Americans. I learned a lot through that website -- actually more than I ever wanted to know, to be honest with you.

First of all, it turns out that most Native Americans hate white/semi-white/native people who twist and warp their traditional ceremonies and sacred teachings and supplement them with New Age mumbo-jumbo. They call these people "Twinkies" and have nothing but contempt for them. What they basically say is that learning about true Native American spirituality is a way of life and takes years if not decades; it's not something you do in a weekend workshop.

Ray did not start out saying,

"I am not Native American. I am not qualified to lead prayer lodge ceremonies.

"Native American shamans never charge money for ceremonies. Yet I am doing so. What does this say about me?"

*"Those of you who are not yourselves Native American are not qualified to participate in this type of ceremony - not unless a genuine shaman says so.


I have been burned, badly.

Here is how people got involved with Mr. J. Ray:

* People they loved and trusted might have recommended James Ray.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/11/2016 08:23AM by corboy.

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Re: James Arthur Ray - 2 die at Arizona retreat's sweat lodge
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 11, 2016 08:14AM

"I dont just listen I look at their life."

Corboy: This is very good advice. Only problem is that some
very clever gurus find ways to hide just how badly they treat people -
they inflict horrible pressure on thier inner circle entourage while being
inspiration to the auditorium crowd which generates the big bucks.


The ugly truth about Native American "shamans," "wisdom keepers" and "spiritual teachers"

Comment from "The Gut" on page Three


I spent the better part of 4 years moving amongst that crowd. I wasn't there as a wide-eyed believer but I did keep an open mind. I bet I know 20 "Shaman" and 5 times that many light workers. Myriad channellers too.

The access I enjoyed included spending time with some of the best-selling authors and 'guru' types of the new age movement. I've never seen more neurotic folk in my life than those at the 'top' of this field. The Celestine Prophecy? Please believe me when I tell you folk like that have NOTHING to teach you about being a more peaceful and "connected to the Source" human-being.

Whenever I've deeply considered the philosophy of another human being, I don't just listen, but look at their life. Time & time & time again the rhetoric was lofty and beautiful but the reality of their lives--to put it simply--was not.

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Re: James Arthur Ray - engineering death in human oven
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 15, 2017 09:11PM


From Psychobabble to Stoicism
A new documentary and a book from Denmark point to the dangers and dead ends of the self-transformation industry, says Scott McLemee
By Scott McLemee
February 15, 2017

This discussion page from 2011 is worth re-reading.


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James Arthur Ray: Like It Never Even Happened
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: May 25, 2017 09:32PM

"Ray remains the epitomic reminder that self-help culture may be less about bettering the self than about creating alternative realities in which your unimproved self is just fine."

Like It Never Even Happened

A self-help guru who killed three in his sweat lodge says the experience has helped him “find himself.” His rhetoric shows he has yet to move beyond the problematic structure of his ideology.

Slate/December 1, 2016

By Steve Salerno


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Re: James Arthur Ray: Like It Never Even Happened
Posted by: Alex45 ()
Date: November 14, 2017 03:07AM

The self-help field has grown far and wide because of the increasing awareness of how each person is responsible for his/her own health. And because the toxins in the environment and in food has reached staggering proportions. And because many in the conventional medicine industry have proven as untrustworthy as the big agriculture industries. But, as there is always a bad—or dangerous—side to the good—or safe—side of things, it is also our responsibility to do our own research and due diligence.
This is a tragic result of negligence on both sides, albeit heavier on the self-help “guru.” Let it be a good lesson for more cautious participation in any such endeavor but let it not erase the heaps of good others have given in service.
But Ray's track record scrathces him out of the list of 'safe' forever. If people still want to listen and follow him, that's their right but it's also their folly.

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James Ray out of prison and promoting his latest book 2018
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: November 02, 2018 08:39AM

Disgraced self-help guru out of prison and promoting new book

Fox News 5, California /October 30, 2018


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Seek Safely - Kirby Brown's Legacy
Posted by: Wiser Aussie ()
Date: December 17, 2022 03:11PM

Hi Everyone,

This tragedy occurred over a decade ago, but still poignant and sad.

To think these self appointed gurus, leaders, presenters, motivational speakers, whatever they want to call themselves, still don't get it!

I feel for all three families. A grief that's irreconcilable.

My deepest sympathy goes out to them.

I was looking at the Seek Safely website and I urge everyone to look at the list of Practitioners who've signed "The Promise" to make sure their participants are safe.

Looking at the list of Practitioners who've been Invited to sign "The Promise" is revealing.

Interestingly the list comprises of very well known gurus who haven't taken up the invitation to sign.

Personally that's a message to stay well clear. Unfortunately for me I have already caught up with one of them and well aware of the others who are fashioned from the same guru mould.

Be aware and do yourself a big service to stay informed and educated.

I lost many years of my life to some of these people without a conscious. That's nothing to losing a life as Kirby Brown did.

This website is most definitely a legacy.

Please support the work of Ginny and Jean Brown

My heart felt thanks to them.

Wiser Aussie

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