Is James Ray Stupid?February 28, 2010
On the Rick Ross Forum, prolific and incisive commenter The Anticult has been demonstrating the manipulative techniques and strategies behind Death Ray’s apparently bizarre twittering. It’s always fascinating and often a bit startling to realise how coldly calculated and manipulative even the most simple of Ray’s statements are – and anyone who hasn’t been reading that forum is well recommended to do so! [Update: See especially this excellent comment on the topic.]
However, I also note this comment from The Anticult:
For some reason, some critics have labelled James Ray as “stupid”, but that is a serious error. James Ray is reckless, greedy, careless, sociopathic, a copier of others techniques, and totally self-interested, but “stupid” is not an appropriate label.
I agree that’s a valid point which I hadn’t fully realised before, and I also think it’s important for people like me to realise that merely pointing and laughing is an inadequate response, which underestimates the degree of skill with which Ray manipulates his followers and the media.
James Ray looks at the public gallery during his bail hearing
….I also think it’s worth considering the possibility that Death Ray may also genuinely be a bit stupid.
Actually, this is all just a footnote to The Anticult’s comment, and a side discussion, but here’s my argument:
1. James Ray is a product of The Secret and Oprah. He found far more success than he was capable of achieving under his own powers, and doesn’t know how to deal with it.
He got lucky, hit the big time and couldn’t handle the pace.
Without the sudden Oprah-infused stardom, he’d probably still be running his shonky suped-up telemarketing trainings. He would never have garnered the power, the numbers (and the credibility that goes with it) and above all the implicit trust that his victims placed in him.
He still hasn’t woken up to the fact that he is way out of his depth.
2. Ray seems to believe his own myth – way beyond the necessary portion of self-deception.
A smarter man would have kept his own megalomania and sadistic cruelty in check. But, as he once said in a different context “I’m sure there are limits, but I am not aware of them.”
He ran obviously life-threatening death lodges for several years, with several warnings. He seems really to have believed he was giving people powerful spiritual initiations. He was quite proud of what he did to Daniel Pfankuch, instead of realizing he was an inch away from inflicting severe brain damage or death, which any scammer would know is not good PR.
Despite deaths occurring before his eyes, he thought he could shoo away a police officer with the words “can’t you talk to Josh about it”. Shortly after refusing to speak to detectives (his one and only smart move in this whole sorry mess), he drafted an email about the event being a great success despite some people having “taken ill” – etc. That is not intelligent behaviour. Sure, he’s using the manipulative techniques he learned, but he was using them stupidly.
He is lucky that he has not (yet) been charged with homicide for Colleen Conaway’s death, and lucky he is not facing a string of lesser charges related to injuries he caused in the death lodge and other events.
The techniques he uses are indeed sophisticated – way too powerful for a dolt like Ray to use.
He’s like a speed freak who got to swap his sports car for a formular one car.
I accept that the quantum and DNA magick that a lot of these guys sell is just a smoke screen and part of a wider plan to deactivate critical thinking, divide and polarise believers and doubters, and switch off the mind to make it susceptible to manipulative suggestion….
I also think a person must be genuinely stupid to make statements like the following…
Classic Stupid from The Secret stars
Skeptic Mike, picks out this nugget of wisdom from Jack Canfield:
Think of this: a car driving through the night, the headlights only go a hundred to two hundred feet forward. And you can make it all the way from California to New York driving through the dark ’cause all you have to see is the next two hundred feet. That’s how life tends to unfold before us. If we just trust that the next 200 feet will unfold after that and the next 200 feet will …your life will keep unfolding and it will eventually get you to the destination.
Mike notes: That is some Top Shelf BrainFuckery, right there…So, you don’t need to know your destination or any landmarks along the way, don’t bring that map, you just head out, completely planless, for your end-point. Don’t worry, as long as you’ve seen a picture of where you’re going and you r e a l l y want to be there, the Universe will find a way to get you there.
He continues, aptly using a movie plot to disprove the LoA…
Wasn’t that the plot of Deliverance? Didn’t Ned Beatty get ass-raped over a log by a hillbilly? I bet Ned wanted with all his heart for the Universe to stop that shit from happening.
Here is Bob Procter explaining a new theory of magnetism and how receiving welfare benefits alters your DNA.
Now, do you mean literally attract?
Absolutely, just like a magnet. You felt – well –
But I thought, I thought magnets attracted their opposite.
Well, magnets complete a chain…Like attracts like. You’ll find poor people all living in the same neighborhood. You’ll find wealthy people all live in the same neighborhood. They’re attracted to situations.
Yeah, but poor people can’t afford to live in the wealthy neighborhoods and the wealthy don’t want to live in the poor neighborhoods.
Well, that, that’s, that’s the obvious answer but that isn’t the real answer. You’re going to find that almost all people in poor neighborhoods are fourth, fifth generation welfare recipients. And that is because this thinking has been passed along in the genes…It’s genetic programming…
Secret fans have often been embarrassed to find that defending the LoA forces them to defend the proposition that the holocaust was created by the victims. Usually they squirm a bit before soldiering on reluctantly, but not Ray. He boldly confronts the issue head on:
James Ray (looking spritely and motivational) saying the holocaust wasn’t all bad.
James’s moment of glory in The Secret, of course, had him insisting that Aladdin’s Magic Lamp was a true story:
It wasn’t just three wishes, it was unlimited wishes. Yeah, think on that!
James explains string theory and a new form of basic arithmetic where 3 = 1.
“There is theory called string theory…super string theory. And basically they’ve proven that there are eleven dimensions … and 3D is only one of them”