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Re: James Arthur Ray - 2 die at Arizona retreat's sweat lodge
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: January 08, 2010 07:58PM

'Just beware of the embedded persuasion tactics and upselling and self-marketing.'

I think the above always has to be a given when dealing with any marketplace. The other person always has their own agenda and it is worth remembering that it is an agenda designed to serve their own interests and is unlikely to serve yours.

This style of marketing is creeping into the mainstream and is becoming more commonplace in corporate business practices also, so for me a policy of complete avoidance is unrealistic.

I find I am recognising these tactics in daily use on a very mundane level, so it behoves me to educate myself to be clear about what I want from any given situation and to be able to recognise these crappy tactics of confused thinking when they are used against me.

I agree that the likes of Ray, Vitale, Harris etc are best avoided completely and not engaged with in any circumstance but recognition of these tactics at the first display of them is a prerequisite for avoidance in the future.

An interesting organisation that a lot of these guys are have set up for themselves is the 'Transformational Leadership Council' which seems to be a sort of trade body, a loose grouping of New Thought marketers and pseudo-spiritual business people who are positioning themselves as leaders and market-makers in the realm of "personal development" and "transformation experts"

They appear to believe that they are at the cutting edge of a new dawn of enlightenment for mankind and are selling themselves as enlightened types, harbingers of the next evolution of mankind.

James Ray was a founder member but he has recently been dropped from the roster of "enlightened marketers/ teachers" since news of the death lodge broke. Harris is there along with Beckwith and sundry other salesmen of that ilk.
For a list of salesmen to treat with great caution, the roster of the Transformational Council is a good, though hardly exclusive, guide.


TLC Trade Body

The way these internet marketing rings seem to work, I should imagine that having your name on the list of any of these "Transformational Leaders" would mean that your details are passed around (for a price) to all the others as a qualified lead. For 'qualified lead' perhaps 'sucker ripe for picking' would be a better synonym in this case.
By buying once from these people the lead qualifies him/herself as gullible enough to be worth other similar scammers expending the effort to sell spurious products for ludicrous fees.
Given that we are all human and therefore all vulnerable to appeals to our desires for more money, success, more luck with the opposite gender etc, education is better long-term strategy than complete avoidance.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/08/2010 08:17PM by Stoic.

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Re: James Arthur Ray - 2 die at Arizona retreat's sweat lodge
Posted by: objektivist ()
Date: January 09, 2010 01:53AM

Hello All,

I'm new here, at least to posting. I found out about this site through one of the you tube videos I was watching that was posted a few weeks after the third tragic death from the sweatlodge. I want to thank you all for taking the time to post the valuable information on here and how it has helped me. I'll briefly mention where I'm at now and write more later about how I got here. The nutshell version is I've been a self help junkie for the past 14 years and my end point was yesterday when I was reading a chapter from think and grow rich. A few quotes that pertain to this thread and all other LGATS are :

"All master salesmen know that ideas can be sold where merchandise can't." pg 111

"There is no standard price on ideas. The creator of ideas makes his own price and, if he is smart, gets it." pg112

So for me the buck stops there. I dabbled in some James Ray material after picking up one of his cd's at a local store of a grocery chain and was hoping to go to one of his free seminars this summer after my dad passed as I was feeling in need of some hope to say the least. I later did some writing using byron katie's method and I personally would advise against it. I'll be forever grateful to have not gone to any seminars or will I plan on it, ever. I could barely handle the trauma of my dad's death earlier in the summer nevermind it being rehashed through a traumatic "new thought" filter, and I did that on my own ....... I'm grateful to have found this site to hear about what really goes on behind closed doors.

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James Arthur Ray, Jack Canfield Transformational Leadershiship Council
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: January 09, 2010 02:20AM

The supersalesman Jack Canfield set up that Transformational Leadership Council (TLC).
(notice TLC tender loving care...not quite)

Jack Canfield's Key to Living the Law of Attraction: A Simple Guide to Creating the Life of Your Dreams [forum.culteducation.com]

Jack Canfield is the one who put together the Gurus for the Secret movie from his "TLC" Transformational Leadership Council. [forum.culteducation.com]

Transformational Leadership Council [forum.culteducation.com]


Its a way for them to try to lend eachother credibility. James Ray's seminars killed people, so they took him off the list.

But all those guys sell eachother their "sucker-lists", that is for sure.

As far as avoiding these guys, just a clarification on that.
For the average person, who is not going to take the time to learn the advanced persuasion methods, they had better avoid any dealings/seminars with these guys, as they are going to get duped, as those guys are professionals.

But ideally, everyone should work really hard to learn all about the advanced persuasion methods being used, so they can protect themselves.
The problem is that its easy to get scammed even while learning the persuasion skills, from those who are supposedly teaching them.

But the best defense against all of these manipulation techniques is to learn everything about them. The problem is how to do so, as those who "teach" the techniques are ALWAYS running other manipulations at the same time, and putting in a lot of misdirection.
A person can get burned eve worse trying to learn persuasion techniques, than even just attending new age seminars.

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Re: James Arthur Ray - 2 die at Arizona retreat's sweat lodge
Posted by: buffman ()
Date: January 09, 2010 04:20AM

Quote
Stoic
The way these internet marketing rings seem to work, I should imagine that having your name on the list of any of these "Transformational Leaders" would mean that your details are passed around (for a price) to all the others as a qualified lead. For 'qualified lead' perhaps 'sucker ripe for picking' would be a better synonym in this case.
By buying once from these people the lead qualifies him/herself as gullible enough to be worth other similar scammers expending the effort to sell spurious products for ludicrous fees.
Given that we are all human and therefore all vulnerable to appeals to our desires for more money, success, more luck with the opposite gender etc, education is better long-term strategy than complete avoidance.

One way these guys get around the rules of not selling lists without permission is simply to sell each others stuff. So if you buy Holosync from Bill Harris, you get his endless long-form sales letters for Learning Strategies Corp (Paul Scheele--member of TLC), Genpo Roshi's retreats (Harris's Zen teacher and co-marketer), etc. etc. It's pretty clever actually, but it also links all these guys and gals together which I don't think they realized when they took on James Arthur Ray as a founding member. PR-wise, they would be smart to make a public announcement condoning the actions of James Arthur Ray, but they probably won't do that.

Good point that education is probably smarter than avoidance. I wonder if studying social psychology and therapy textbooks might be a way to avoid being scammed while still learning a thing or two about persuasion.

I should add that when learning about these methods of persuasion in order to protect yourself against others using them on you, there is always a risk of you yourself "going to the dark side" and using these methods on others, especially since that's how the persuasion material is presented ("get what you want" whether it's fame, money, power, sex, starting your own cult, etc.). Special attention to working with one's own dark desires for power is part of learning about persuasion for self-defense.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 01/09/2010 04:32AM by buffman.

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Re: James Arthur Ray - 2 die at Arizona retreat's sweat lodge
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: January 09, 2010 05:50AM

'Special attention to working with one's own dark desires for power is part of learning about persuasion for self-defense.'

Agreed.
If I cannot recognise and exert a measure of control over my own dark human proclivities then studying the workings of human nature in others will be treacherous.

With my personal history (I have a life-long morbid fear of authority and what is close to paranoia when I spot a control tactic being used on me) I find engaging with manipulators and persuaders quite terrifying, but academic knowledge of these practices is not much help when they are being used on me in present time.

I do need these tactics spelled out by someone in a book or article so that I can study them, recognise where I have been trapped by them, figure out why they were so compelling, decide whether I contributed to the con by my own sloppy thinking and whether there is anything I can do to prevent myself falling so quickly the next time a similar con is attempted.

This is essentially about recognising the reality of human nature, including my own vulnerabilities and dark desires, and not buying into the rosy view peddled by the Transformational types, of endless upward evolution to some god-like state.

I may not ever be faced with such a dire situation as James Ray and his Death Lodge but the knowledge and awareness gained can only increase my options for defence when the next manipulator shows up.

Human nature being what it is, there will always be someone to step into Deathray's shoes.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/09/2010 05:59AM by Stoic.

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Re: James Arthur Ray - 2 die at Arizona retreat's sweat lodge
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: January 09, 2010 05:51AM

I was going to mention that, it happens a lot. Power corrupts.

Quote
buffman
I should add that when learning about these methods of persuasion in order to protect yourself against others using them on you, there is always a risk of you yourself "going to the dark side" and using these methods on others, especially since that's how the persuasion material is presented ("get what you want" whether it's fame, money, power, sex, starting your own cult, etc.). Special attention to working with one's own dark desires for power is part of learning about persuasion for self-defense.

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Remembering Kirby Brown www.kirbybrown.org
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: January 09, 2010 06:14AM

_______________QUOTE________________________
[www.bajapulse.com]
A Life Interrupted: Remembering Kirby Brown
by Cathy Buchanan

...
According to those who survived, the five-day workshop began with classroom work, after which the 60 participants were told to shave their heads in a symbolic gesture representing rebirth -- a new beginning. Kirby was hesitant, and held off on cutting her hair for a day, then gave in, cropping her long blonde locks close to the scalp. She may have been under pressure from Ray's staff and other participants to conform -- and to obey.

Following the head-shaving there was more classroom time where participants were encouraged to forego sleep because there was too much work to be done. They were encouraged to keep journals documenting their experience. Next came a 36-hour vision quest alone in the desert with no food, water or warm clothing – although participants were offered the opportunity to purchase a $250 poncho from Ray's staff, and this in addition to the $1300 they had paid for lodging. Ray did not participate in this event.

When the group returned from the desert, they played a game that seems to embody the atmosphere of the entire retreat In this game, Ray dressed in a white robe and declared himself God, while his “dream team” staff, dressed in black clothes and makeup, played the angels of death. Ray gave orders and if participants did not do precisely as instructed, the angels of death would “kill” them and they would be forced to lie motionless on the ground and pretend they were dead. At this point two women became fed up with Ray's decidedly unconventional techniques and quit the seminar. They had to fight with staff to be allowed to leave. Those that remained were treated to a meager buffet breakfast then asked to burn the journals they had been keeping. Kirby kept two journals. She burned one, and the other is currently in the hands of the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office as they are considering charging Ray with homicide for the events that would happen next.


According to Rick Ross, a noted expert on cults and controversial movements, Ray’s techniques were similar to those employed by cult leaders. “Sleep deprivation, diet and physical exhaustion apparently were components he used to break people down,” Ross told Baja Pulse. “Though I don't consider the Ray seminars a "cult," many of the calculated coercive persuasion techniques the self-help guru reportedly employed to manipulate people are in the same category of methodology frequently used by cult leaders,” Ross stated. “He appears to have used cult-like techniques to garner a devoted following and then exploit them for personal profit.”


Deathtrap

Ray's next move was to order his sleep-deprived, malnourished and dehydrated flock into a 400 square-foot sweat lodge cobbled together out of tarps and blankets. No building permits exist for said structure. Ray positioned himself by the door, the only place where fresh air could enter, in order to control who went in and out. Kirby sat near the back of the lodge, next to James Shore, a 40 year-old man from Milwaukee and Liz Neuman, a 49 year-old woman from Minnesota. None of them would survive. At intervals of 15 minutes rocks that were heated in a fire outside the sweat lodge were brought into the tent and water was poured over them. Soon temperatures inside the lodge reached upwards of 120 degrees. Anyone who asked to leave was chided and ridiculed by Ray, who encouraged other members of the group to ostracize them for being weak. As time dragged on and minutes turned into hours, conditions inside the lodge turned deadly. Ray seemed oblivious to the danger. People began to cry out to Ray, telling him that they couldn't breath. He suggested they dig into the dirt floor and take a breath from the dirt. Participants began vomiting, which Ray told them was all part of a spiritual purging process. Kirby's neighbor, Shore, managed to help some of those who were suffocating out of the tent, but eventually lost consciousness himself. During these moments Kirby was drawing her last breath. Survivors recall a traumatic scene of people stumbling out of the tent in a stupor and falling in the fire pit outside, burning themselves severely, yet still reentering the sweat lodge on Ray's orders.


When it became apparent that people were dead or dying, a 911 call was placed, but it would be 20 minutes before paramedics would arrive due to the remote location. Beverly Bunn, an orthodontist and Kirby's roommate during the seminar, tried to assist Ray's staff in reviving those who had lost consciousness.

"I told them about 10 times, 'I know CPR, I know CPR,” Bunn said in a heart-wrenching interview on national television. "They kept pulling me away and pulling me away,” she recounted as she broke into tears. Paramedics reportedly mistook the scene for that of an attempted mass suicide.

Ray seemed detached and didn't offer to help anyone, says former employee Melinda Martin "He came out and he stretched his arms up and everybody hosed him off and he's like, 'Hey thanks!'… and it really stopped me in my tracks. I just stopped, and I said, 'How can you walk out of there with all these people down, and they just looked near death, and you guys can walk out there looking like you just spent the day in the spa,'" Martin says.

Bunn concurs with Martin. “Ray pretty much abandoned all of us,” she says. “He left us there to figure out what was going on. After the incident he never came back."

...
Liz Neuman a personal friend of Ray’s who had been on his “dream team”. Neuman suffered massive organ failure and lay in a coma for eight days, accruing a hospital bill in excess of $300,000 before she died on October 17. Ray never went to the hospital or contacted her family.

Ray did not contact Kirby’s family until five days after her death. He sent her parents a check for $5,000 . Kirby’s parents were appalled and the check remains uncashed

Kirby’s friend Lisa Brusseau blames Ray for Kirby’s death. “My husband and I were feeling (and still are) so angry and horribly sad about losing one of our very best friends. We felt compelled to try to make sure this person, James Arthur Ray, never again holds another seminar of any kind,” she told Baja Pulse. Brusseau, who owns buildings just down the street from Ray's corporate headquarters, had a series of banners made, which read “Be accountable James Arthur Ray. You were trusted by our friend Kirby Brown and now she and two others are dead.” Ray’s attorneys have contacted the Brusseaus requesting that the banners be taken down.

“When we learned that someone at the sweat lodge called out, 'We can't get her to move, she is not breathing' and James Ray's pathetic response was, ‘Leave her alone, we'll deal with her in the next round’, we knew this was a criminal event,” Brusseau states. “The Sedona sweat lodge incident was a gross negligence act on the part of James Arthur Ray fueled by his large, selfish ego. It is our great hope to see him behind bars and that he never makes another dime from devoted followers who could end up paying with their lives just as Kirby Brown, James Shore and Liz Neuman had to.”

....
Living with Loss

Toward this end, the Brown family intends to create a foundation in Kirby’s honor to help regulate the self-help industry. The Brown family feels it is a matter of consumer protection. “Today, there is a guarantee for just about everything you pay for,” Ginny points out. “This does not currently extend to the self-help industry. People should be able to go on spiritual quests and not have their lives endangered.”

She is advocating proper training and background to conduct such seminars, as well as medical training and availability, especially when people are pushing their physical limits.” Ray reportedly had little more than a Tupperware box of band-aids and did not take medical histories of participants to insure that they were in good physical condition.
...

To make a donation to the Kirby Brown Memorial events, or to support the foundation in her honor to regulate the self help industry, please got to www.kirbybrown.org
...
Sunday, January 3, 2010
_______________________________________

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Re: James Arthur Ray - Fractionation, hallucinations
Posted by: jeand ()
Date: January 10, 2010 05:35AM

It is most likely that the drinks and teas Ray gave to participants was Ayahuasca, not Kava Kava. For years Ray has been describing his use of Ayahuasca. There are several websites where he talks about it. This is why he travelled to Peru so frequently. His sham shamanism was taken from the drug tourism/NewAge "ancient mystery" nonsense that is flourishing in South American countries. The question is," Did the participants know exactly what they were ingesting? " Anyone who experienced trance-like states or hallucinations at a JRI event needs to contact law enforcement and or the attorneys who are representing the victims of these events.

How did Oprah, Larry King and those other producers not vet this guy? They would have seen that he has been openly involved in the hallucinogenic drug culture. That's just downright dangerous!

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Re: James Arthur Ray - Fractionation, hallucinations
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: January 10, 2010 06:37PM

According to this one source,

doc release

there will be a further release of the collected documented evidence on January 12.


'How did Oprah, Larry King and those other producers not vet this guy?'

It didn't serve their purposes to vet him.

They, after all, are in the same business of grabbing the audiences attention by any means possible in order to sell something. In their case the pay-off comes in increased ratings so there is an extra step between the intro and the resulting cash payoff, but it is still a manipulative sales process.

I remember reading somewhere also that the operators of shows such as 'Oprah' often negotiate a more direct cut of the resulting sales in exchange for the exposure--stands to reason if you think about the guaranteed credibility such a show lends to any featured guest and the devoted following such a presenter can aquire.

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Re: James Arthur Ray - Larry King
Posted by: buffman ()
Date: January 11, 2010 06:18AM

I have to give Larry King more credit than Oprah though. Both promoted Ray around the time of The Secret, but only Larry King has covered the Death Lodge.

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