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Re: James Arthur Ray - 2 die at Arizona retreat's sweat lodge
Posted by: objektivist ()
Date: January 15, 2010 10:31PM

....... I'm grateful to have found this site to hear about what really goes on behind closed doors.

Welcome, objektivist. Thanks for sharing your recent experiences. You are not alone; this story (mine is a bit like yours) is not at all uncommon. I only came here a little over a year ago, after nearly going to the next level with BKI, after doing "The Work" online.

To encourage you, let me say that I am so much stronger and clearer minded than I ever thought I would be. I have quite a ways to go, before I feel confident to walk into the lion's den and converse with these professional persuaders, but I imagine more power is forthcoming. Growth takes time, eh?


Thanks for the welcome, but your message is really mixed. I personally will never be walking into the Lion's Den. More power is coming = new age undercurrent, to put it lightly, and growth takes time = slogan, in my opinion. I feel like I'm in an old 12 step meeting. I'm here to recover from that also. I don't need a sponsor, thanks anyway.

On topic, thank you Anticult for your time and effort spent to analyze and disect what's going on with JRI, BK, etc. it's much appreciated. It's really rough for me right now, finally seeing that I've been blinded by the light for so long.

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Re: James Arthur Ray - Dave Lakhani and the road to sociopathy
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: January 15, 2010 10:32PM

A slight tangent, although still relevant, I read a very good book by Martha Stout called
The Sociopath Next Door,


which did a good job of debunking the notion that this sociopathic behaviour is the province of glassy-eyed psycho's, that it is in fact quite common in the population, estimated at an incidence of 4% of the total.
I found the reading gave me a better understanding of the nature of this behaviour and what red flags to look out for.

Some people displaying this behaviour are of course are far more effective and predatory than others.

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Re: James Arthur Ray - Dave Lakhani and the road to sociopathy
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: January 15, 2010 10:39PM

I found The Sociopath Next Door a very interesting, eye-opening read.

Indeed, it talked about different "flavors" of sociopath -- for example, the kind that is very lazy and avoids work at all costs.

A good book to read for people dealing with cults, LGATs, etc.

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Re: James Arthur Ray - 2 die at Arizona retreat's sweat lodge
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: January 15, 2010 10:58PM

Regarding behaviour, I have found through trial and error (the hard way) that it is a mistake to assume that what someone else means by 'ethics' is the same as what I mean by ethics.
The word itself is another floating or empty signifier:

empty signifier

and lends itself to multiple interpretations.

As a rule of thumb, if I find myself caught up in such an assumption--which is confusion-inducing as both parties are using the same word to cover radically different territory---then it is time to stop listening to the words and to examine the behaviour. The pattern of behaviour is always a far more accurate guide to intent than the spiel.

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Re: James Arthur Ray - 2 die at Arizona retreat's sweat lodge
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: January 15, 2010 11:51PM

Good commentary and comments on the newly released documents (links posted on previous page, 39, of this JAR thread)

narrative 1

part 2

part 3

from Cassandra Yorgey

Cassandra commentary

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/15/2010 11:54PM by Stoic.

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Re: James Arthur Ray - 2 die at Arizona retreat's sweat lodge
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: January 16, 2010 12:18AM

Available as a free download for anyone wanting to read up on sociopathy, the classic text 'The Mask of Sanity' by Hervey Cleckley, M.D.

Mask of Sanity

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Re: James Arthur Ray - 2 die at Arizona retreat's sweat lodge
Posted by: ImthatDave ()
Date: January 16, 2010 04:39AM

The Anti Cult and Buffman -

I'll be addressing your concerns in more detail shortly as I have time. As I sure you suspect, I tend to disagree with most of your observations, they are off base and filtered through what frankly appears to be some paranoia. Not everyone is out to get you or manipulate you. Some people actually do have others best interests in mind.

It appears that you have a strong aversion to sales and marketing and it appears that what you most object to is my use of marketing language. I'm good with that.

Let me as you this, what is your intent in attempting to expose anyone or any technique here? Are you doing it to try and save people from something or to make yourselves seem smart? Because see, there is some intent behind what you are doing and you are employing many of the same techniques you accuse me of employing to some end. For example, you draw incorrect conclusions and rather than open them for debate present them as factual, which they are not. You quote my book out of context to support your theories, no surprising or even original but effective if you want to cause people with whom you have credibility to believe. Using your own metaphor, when you pick up one end of the stick you pick up the other. You are really no different than me except maybe you are in a different line of business. You do present yourself as holier than thou which I think I've never really done. I've admitted that I've used persuasion techniques inappropriately after I left the cult I was raised in, I used the tools the way I'd been trained. But as I studied and grew, I changed.

You also suggest that people can't change. Then using your own logic, you are no different now than the group you came out of.

In fact, my publisher did not want to publish the book I wanted to write when I wrote Subliminal Persuasion, I wanted to do a much more thorough expose on how LGATs influence people. But, they don't feel those books sell and frankly, they are right, there is a small group of people who want that material. And yet, it was those people who buy Subliminal Persuasion in great numbers and get real value from it. That book gets more calls than any other of my books from people who ask for help getting out of LGATs, Cults and other destructive groups. Calls which I always refer to the proper organizations to help them.

I'd like to ask both of you to be as transparent as I am, identify yourselves and your background. Show my your research, your books, your scholarly works other than posts that you put up here many of which are not well reasoned at best. They are full of opinions and off base observations presented as fact (Would you consider that manipulative?)

So, who are you, what have you written that has been published by a reputable firm, where and who have you studied with that make you an expert?

You can stand on your soapbox here and shout to the masses that I'm bad it doesn't make it true. I know what I do for people who've been mislead, bamboozled, and hurt, what do you do for others, other than pontificate in this forum?

I'm going to be having a call with Rick Ross as well because I'm not sure that I want to continue to support a group that lets such unfiltered, slanderous behavior go unchecked. I don't think he set this forum up to be a bully pulpit for people make inaccurate observations Not that it really matters to me what you say but what matters is that people who come here for help when they need it most end up reading opinions from people whose only claim to actual knowledge or education is 2900 posts.

Did I teach things in Renegades of Persuasion that my publisher didn't want to publish? Yep. Do I use persuasive marketing and sales tactics to sell my products and services? Yep. And you know what? There is nothing wrong with that. You keep referring to a quote form my book about subliminal messaging without referring to my definition of subliminal messaging. If either of you have a spouse or significant other it was not only the things that you did overtly that caused them to love you, it was also the little things you did that slipped in under the radar, subliminal messaging that caused them to change. If you do something knowing that a simple gesture or word will cause their emotion to shift you've used subliminal persuasion. But you likely won't categorize what you do as manipulative, but it is, ANY attempt to change someone's mind is manipulative if you want to be specific and have a semantics argument.

The bottom line to this is that you want all persuasion to be bad, you want all marketing to be bad and it just isn't. I'm the first to admit that there is a thin line between persuasion and manipulation because the techniques are often the same from a psychological perspective. So, after researching, studying, applying for more than 27 years now, the best assessment I could make was that it comes down to intent. Imagine for a moment that based on my experience, years of research, deep study and more that I really do believe that intent is the single differentiating factor (which I do). It may not fit your worldview but it doesn't make me wrong.

Why don't we debate this openly in a format where everyone can listen and make their own decisions? You appear to be skilled enough that even if I were going to try and manipulate you that you'd be able to catch me and point it out as we go. If I'm as devious and manipulative as you think, you'll be able to expose me. But if I'm not, you may find that I'm one of your strongest allies in outing people like James Ray who do things that cause people harm.

What do you say? Shall we do it then we can post the link to the recording here and everyone can hear it. The two of you should be able to easily take me or anyone else on in that kind of debate.

And thanks for pointing out that I'd never suggest that there are no advanced, high level persuasion techniques, I expose them every day. We are all impacted by them from political messages to church doctrine. They are all designed to get some kind of outcome. So, if that is true, and it is, then what do you suggest is the difference between techniques used to persuade and those used to manipulate?

Ok, in my next post, I'll be addressing your points one by one. Frankly, I don't care if you change your opinion or not but if you won't take the debate to a real time conversation then I'll continue to talk to you here.

So, identify yourself. Demonstrate the basis for your opinion. Explain why you won't or when you will have a public debate on this issue. Trust me, you have a lot less to fear from me than you imagine. You'd know that if you carefully listened to any of my interviews about LGATS, and in case you haven't, you should listen to this one that I just did on "How To Protect Yourself From Coercive Groups and Leaders." []

I look forward to a reasoned debate with you. I believe you are well intentioned and also incorrect.

Dave Lakhani

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Re: James Arthur Ray - 2 die at Arizona retreat's sweat lodge
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: January 16, 2010 05:44AM


It is optional for people to share their name and background here.

Some people prefer not to, which is their choice.

There is no requirement regarding disclosure of personal information, education and background.

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Re: James Arthur Ray - 2 die at Arizona retreat's sweat lodge
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: January 16, 2010 05:55AM

To whom it may concern:

This thread is going off topic.

The topic of this thread is James Arthur Ray, not Dave Lakhani.

Please start another thread if you wish to discuss another person and/or topic.

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Re: James Arthur Ray - 2 die at Arizona retreat's sweat lodge
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: January 16, 2010 06:00AM

To whom it may concern:

There should be distinctions made between various forms of persuasion such as education, advertising, propaganda, indoctrination or through reform (at times called "mind control" or "brainwashing").

See []

As outlined by psychologist Margaret Singer there are distinct differences that can be seen between these various forms of persuasion.

Also see []

Psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton describes thought reform in some depth.

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