Website: About & Contact
This blog was started in response to the deaths caused by “motivational speaker” and Secret star, James Arthur Ray.
In particular, the death of Colleen Conaway (Ray’s first victim two and a half months before the more famous deaths in a fake sweat lodge in Arizona) motivated me to speak out about Ray and the industry which produced and still supports him. Ray has since been convicted of three counts of homicide and served a two year jail sentence. He was released in 2013 and is rebuilding his high profile scam, (aka “motivational speaker”), as if the whole thing was merely a PR problem and jail was a “profound learning experience” rather than a very soft punishment.
He is unlikely to be charged in relation to the death of Ms Conaway, whose death he also recklessly caused at one of his events. He and his staff (I will note the names Greg Hartle, Megan Fredrickson and Michele Goulet, though there were others), abandoned Colleen’s body in a shopping mall and lied to the San Diego Police. The truth only came out after other staff members discovered the details and informed the authorities. By then the San Diego Police had summarily declared Colleen’s death a suicide and closed the investigation. The jury in Ray’s subsequent trial regarding three extra deaths he caused two months later were prevented from hearing about Colleen’s death. They might have convicted Ray of manslaughter had they known. The conditions for a manslaughter conviction were clearly fulfilled by the prosecution’s case.
In large part, this site is dedicated to laying bare the way James Ray and other spiritual teachers do their business. I believe that people should be able to explore spiritual ideas without being bankrupted or having their life endangered.
I am Australian, but I live in Germany. I have studied many spiritual traditions, several quite deeply, and have been interested in meditation for a couple of decades. My “spiritual search”, backed up my reading of science, has led me to a thorough going atheism.
This means that I don’t believe in any gods, and more importantly I don’t believe that any individual people are vested with any divine powers or divine insights which are withheld from the rest of us. I do however respect everyones right to publicly identify as whatever religion they wish. Likewise, I claim the same right to publicly identify as an atheist without summarily being labeled evil or untrustworthy.
I mention plenty of people by name here, but not myself. My legal name doesn’t actually appear anywhere on the entire internet as me. Yakaru is a spiritual name I got a couple of decades ago, and is also the “handle” I always post under on numerous other sites (since about 2006). More importantly, there are also professional reasons why I don’t use my legal name. (I work in the field of social work and want people to be able to share openly about their religious views, should they wish, without being confronted with my ravings.) However, as a special service to anyone inquisitive enough, or even despicable enough to hire private investigators (like you, Mr Ray), my legal name is available to anyone who emails me.
I have no financial or professional interests of any kind related either to this blog or to any of its contents. All of the factual information presented here is freely available on the web or published elsewhere.
You can email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.