Archive for the ‘James Ray’ Category


Message for James Arthur Ray

June 3, 2018

A comment on a post about James Ray, spiritual teacher and killer of four, from a friend of his first vicitim Colleen Conaway.

Colleen was my best friend in high school and after high school. She was such an energetic and beautiful woman. I miss her so much. I did not know this article was here. Lynn I’m so sorry and as I was given the news my heart stopped and cried for days. This man needs to rot in jail. There’s something wrong with that judicial system to let this animal do ONLY those couple of years. Colleen, you are always in my heart.

Marcy June 3, 2018


James Ray Attacks His Victims — Kirby Brown “was estranged from her family”

December 8, 2016

The reason I started this blog, nearly seven years ago, was to speak out against the deadly failed self-help teacher James Arthur Ray. At that time, Ray was under investigation by Arizona police for his role in the “sweat lodge” deaths, but he was still running events and claiming that his “mission” was too important to the world for him to stop.

Today, seven years, three homicide convictions and one jail term later, Ray still hasn’t realized that he is a failure at this “self-help” stuff, and again needs other people to tell him to stop.

inmate2Ray, convicted of 3 counts of negligent homicide

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Lying for Death Ray Pt 4 – James Ray’s obsession with death continues

May 8, 2016

As we saw in the previous posts, duped journalist Lizzie Crocker has allowed the convicted killer James Arthur Ray to use her spot on the Daily Beast as a platform not only to advertise his deadly scam, but also to lie about the acts for which he was convicted. Crocker refused to interview the families of his victims and plays dumb about the facts of his conviction. Ray is well connected in the media, so sucking up to him is obviously a good career move. Either that or Ms Crocker is even dumber than Ray is, which I doubt.

But on with the final few sentences of this disgraceful piece of fraudulent journalism. For the climax of the article, Crocker recounts how James Ray gave her a sample of his profound wisdom.

Ray then told me a story from the Baghavad [sic] Gita, the ancient Hindu text which he read several times in prison, about Arduna [sic] and Krishna.

As with everything else in the article, that single sentence is riddled with lies and stupid errors. To start with, there is no one in Hindu mythology called “Arduna”. There is an “Arjuna”, and maybe Ray said it correctly and Crocker misheard him and didn’t bother checking before embarrassing herself. Or maybe Ray confused Arjuna with Iduna from Norse mythology and misspoke. Or maybe Ray misheard it from whoever mentioned it to him, because the one thing which can be excluded is the hilarious idea of Ray reading the Bhagavad Gita (note the spelling, Ms Crocker!) even once, to say nothing of “several times”.

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Information Pack for Journalists: James Ray’s 26 Favorite Excuses

April 25, 2016

Journalists are often confused by the James Ray “sweat lodge deaths” case. This doesn’t surprise me so much — the case is harder to believe than it is to understand. 

Ray, a failed self-help teacher, cooked three people to death in a bogus sweat lodge. He was trying to merely cook them to within an inch of their lives — hoping to induce the onset of heat stroke with its hallucinatory mental state which might equate with a “spiritual experience”. He went too far and left three people dead. He was later charged with three counts of manslaughter. The jury, missing a great deal of shocking and damning evidence, generously decided to convict him of the lesser charge of homicide.  Read the rest of this entry ?


Lying For Death Ray Pt 3 – New lies: now a doctor is responsible for Ray’s crimes!

April 24, 2016

I really don’t expect journalists to understand complicated details of difficult court cases. But I do expect them to exercise caution when interviewing convicted criminals about the crimes they committed. This is especially important in Ray’s case, as it was the media who gave him a platform for softball, self promotional interviews. Four deaths later, and they are still queuing up for round five. Three homicide convictions hasn’t convinced any of them that maybe they should be a little more careful before jumping into bed with him.

The previous post dealt with so new lies about the death of Colleen Conaway. Lizzie Crocker interviewed Ray and asked him about it — good move for a journalist… but didn’t consider the possibility that his might be a lie — really, a bit dumb, given she already knows about the multiple homicide convictions.

I am going through her article in detail, partly demonstrate how quickly this crook can send a journalist off the rails. If you simply take dictation from this fellow like Lizzie Crocker has done, he will play you for a fool, and use you to blame the victims and insult the dead.

Crocker’s article continues:

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Lying for Death Ray Part 2 — Cover up of Colleen Conaway’s death continues

April 24, 2016

In the previous post, I got about half way through Lizzie Crocker’s atrocious parroting of the deadly spiritual teacher James Ray’s lies.

Here’s a tip for anyone — journalist, fake journalist, customer — about listening to James Ray: He is not someone who tells the truth. Not a word. It just doesn’t happen. Ray only has two modes:

(1) Advance grinning and spouting lies (teachings, manipulative statements);

(2) retreat, protesting innocence and claiming to the be the victim, while lying and covering tracks.

It is truly difficult for people to believe he is so dangerous, so deceitful, and above all, so utterly and shockingly stupid that he was prepared to risk killing his own customers. But that is exactly what the jury found him guilty of — and they didn’t know the half of it! (Because Ray’s $5 million law team prevented them from hearing the rest… If the facts are really the way Lizzie Crocker presents them, then why did Ray’s lawyers try so hard to keep all mention of such details out of court?)

James Ray is a walking demonstration of the complete lack of standards and ethics in the self-help industry, the total lack of consumer protection, and the reflexive habit of many to hold “spiritual teachers” to far lower standards than they hold anyone else to. Skepticism and deliberate inquiry can be some protection against this, if people are lucky enough to have discovered that it’s necessary. But anyone can be conned — con artists trigger responses in people, that are safe and normal nearly all the time. They exploit loopholes in social customs and weak points in normal social interactions. A skilled con artist can make otherwise secure people feel helpless and insecure. And in that state, people naturally tend to be more trusting and to take risks they normally would not take.

People who were lucky enough to recognize the red flags around James Ray usually make one of two choices. Either:

(a) Get out and warn others; or

(b) Say “Oh well, that’s business, and I might get rich if I kinda sidle up to him nicely.”

Crocker may have chosen some version option (b), but doesn’t seem to have woken up to how extreme and unusual Ray’s behavior has been, or how easily his lies can be exposed today simply by spending 5 seconds on google. We have seen her support Ray through phase 1 (“he still wants to help people”), and 2 (“tragic accident”). In this post, we get some new lies from Ray about his involvement in the horribly sad death of Ray’s first victim, Colleen Conaway, all dutifully reported as fact by his new journalistic chump. (By “lies” I mean, demonstrably false statements that contradict well known and easily confirmed facts, both from direct evidence, and police records.)

Crocker’s train wreck of an article continues:
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Lying for Death Ray – Crappy PR for James Ray presented as journalism (Part 1)

April 23, 2016

This is a long post and it probably won’t interest all that many people, so I’ve put it below the fold.

Enter failed self-help teacher and deadly criminal, James Ray.

Enter struggling film maker Jenny Carchman, and struggling journalist Lizzie Crocker….

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James Ray rejects his own teachings (and his supporters don’t notice)

November 26, 2013

James Arthur Ray, the motivational torturer convicted of three counts of homicide, has served his jail time and completed his probationary period in Arizona. Now he’s back in his old home in Carlsbad California and is giving interviews again to the uncritical media and speaking publicly. And of course, continuing to cut a path of destruction through the lives of his customers.

But there has been at least one change in this recurring nightmare. In his new blog post, he has rejected all of his previous teachings. That’s right all of them!

None of his fawning supporters have noticed it, but there it is in black and white:

One of the biggest fallacies for the students of the Law of Attraction (that became so popular all over the world a few years ago), is the belief that “If I understand the LOA, and execute it perfectly… then nothing bad, ugly or challenging will ever happen again in my life.” This is a lack of understanding; an illusion of the grandest proportions.

An illusion of the grandest proportions. But this illusion is exactly what James Ray had been teaching up until now. This is what he wrote in The Science of Success, (which I wrote about just last month):

Anyone on Earth can apply this science, and it will make them successful every time. That’s because the Science of Success works with universal laws, laws as fundamental and unbending as the law of gravity. If you follow these laws I guarantee that you will succeed – every time, and in whatever endeavor you undertake...

So there you have it folks. James Ray now says that the product he used to sell is “an illusion of the grandest proportions” Write and demand your money back (ha ha).

This won’t bother his supporters of course. It didn’t bother them when he failed to act according to his own teachings in court, and it didn’t bother them when his own claim of “mastery” was contradicted by his jail time. So it won’t bother them that Ray’s new teachings contradict the old ones. (The product he is promoting isn’t really a set of teachings anyway. Rather, what Ray is selling is his own persona; and that product has proven itself to be completely reality-proof.)

It will, however, bother his potential customers, and it is for them that I will briefly outline a few things about the product James Ray is offering.

The law of attraction, of course, does not exist. Those who teach it (at least the famous ones like those who appeared in The Secret) know this and do not attempt to use it in their own lives. This is demonstrated by the infighting and acrimonious court cases, cut throat business practices, blatant fraud, and general nastiness they all engage in.

Attempting to apply this nonexistent “law” to your own life is dangerous. It makes you overestimate your potential resources and your control over reality. Most importantly, it makes you ignore events that you would have recognized as a warning sign if you were using plain common sense. The course that James Ray’s life has taken over the last decade or so illustrates such failures clearly.

Participants in Ray’s events were injured doing the risky “motivational” exercises he was giving them. He ignored the complaints, the broken limbs, the cut faces, etc. Then a participant, Colleen Conaway, died during one of his events. Any sane person using basic common sense would realize that they are not only risking the health and lives of others, but their own business interests as well. Ray lied to police about Colleen’s death and managed to avoid any criminal charges, but failed to recognize that he was asking for trouble.

Two and a half months later, Ray found himself lying to police again. This time his lies didn’t work. (He claimed that he was not in charge of the deadly fake sweat lodge that killed three and sent two dozen to hospital, and — incredibly — tried to blame it on the fire keeper. This pattern of inventing excuses and lying to shift the blame onto others continued throughout his trial, and is still going on today.)

Ray claims that he did not know that people were in distress during the sweat lodge (in which he crammed about 60 people into a low, dark sweltering tent from which there was no escape (the sides were secured), and in which he controlled the air supply and the only exit.

Well actually, he doesn’t always claim he didn’t know that people were in distress. During the pre-trial investigation his lawyers claimed that, but they dropped the claim soon after reading the witness testimony. In court, that line of defense was not raised. What came out was witness after witness saying that Ray both heard and responded to people calling out that numerous people were in trouble, wanted to leave, had passed out, were not breathing. He refused to help and simply closed the exit and kept going.

It seems to me to be entirely likely that he had a narcissistic belief that “everything happens as it should” and it’s up to the universe to pull people back from the brink of death, that any deaths would be for the “highest good” of the victims. He felt no responsibility to follow through on his promise that people were safe and would be cared for should they pass out. He does seem to have spiritual ideas about out-of-body or near death experiences, and was probably trying to induce altered mental states through heat stroke.

His recklessness not only killed three more people, but also ruined his business, his finances, cost him his freedom for two years and stained his record with three convictions for negligent homicide.

The only way to make money with the nonexistent law of attraction is by selling it to others and taking their money. You can then point to that money and success as evidence that the law of attraction indeed does exist. But Ray can’t really do that anymore, can he — he turned his own in life into a quagmire. He’s a failure, and it’s entirely his own stupid fault. So instead of the law of attraction, he has suddenly invented a brand new “Law of Polarity”. (*See Update 2 below.) This is something makes bad things to happen to nice innocent homicidal psychopaths like James, for mystical higher purposes. Here’s the relevant sample of James Ray’s profound wisdom. Fasten your seat belts….

I was speaking to a group recently, and I reminded them that every coin has two sides—both a heads and a tails. You absolutely cannot have one without the other. This principle in the world of physics is called the Law of Polarity.

James Ray is on safe ground with the bit about the coins — that doesn’t over extend his 8th grade mathematical abilities. But the rest of it is nonsense. I would suggest people take a short cut avoiding both the law of attraction and the Law of Polarity and follow something called the Law of Common Sense instead. Common sense is wrong sometimes too of course, but it’s a LOT safer than any of Ray’s teachings.

Ray and his bullish, cut-throat and greedy supporters want to convince you that Ray’s “suffering” in jail was a deep mystery.

It’ll probably take the rest of my days to even begin to understand and describe all that I’ve been gifted to see and experience.

But it’s no mystery and it needs no cosmic laws or quantum physics to explain. Ray was convicted and went to jail because he cooked three people to death and stood there gawping while others were desperately administering CPR. Then he went and had a shower. He was sitting in his undies eating a sandwich when the police knocked on his door. Then he tried to blame it all on Ted the fire keeper. And now he wants to tell you that he is a wise expert on human life. 

Below is a video of part of state prosecutor Sheila Polk’s summing up from Ray’s trial In it she lists the pathetic attempts at evading the charges that Ray’s attorneys made. In fact she spent more time on them than the defense did in their summing up

Sheila Polk: “Three people are dead because of the conduct and the actions of this man, James Ray. They are dead because he intentionally used heat to create an altered state and he was criminally reckless about the consequences. To use the words of the manslaughter statute, they are dead because James Ray consciously disregarded a substantial and unjustifiable risk that his conduct would cause death…”

(The jury, prevented from knowing of Colleen Conaway’s prior death or of previous life threatening sweat lodge events, eventually convicted Ray of the lesser charges of homicide.)

Update 1As always, the Salty Droid has the background story on Ray’s slippery, slimey return to grace with the uncritical media.

Update 2: LaVaughn has pointed out in the comments that Ray has in fact used ideas about “polarity” in the past, and reminded me that this was even alluded to in the “Letters of Support” sent to the judge in Ray’s trial. Ray follower, Wendy Benkowski had this to say:

James has integrity and his message has integrity. I am witnessing the power of his spoken word. I am witnessing the shadow side of Harmonic Wealth. The 2009 Spiritual Warrior Retreat is a great lesson. The LESSON has touched the consciousness of the world. I respect and honor the sacrifice of Liz, Kirby, and James. I request compassion for my friend James Ray.

Potential customers should note this. If Ray causes your death, it will be considered a “sacrifice”, according to his teachings. My apologies to the bereaved for posting that again, should they happen to read it again here.

Posted by Yakaru


Blogging James Ray’s book, The Science of Self-Destruction: Part 3

October 4, 2013

For a bit of a change, I’m not going to start off talking about James Ray’s 2003 book The Science of Success.

Instead I’m going to quote something from J.D. Salinger’s book, The Catcher in the Rye. I’m sure you’ll see where I’m going with this soon enough…

The trouble was, I knew that guy Stradlater’s technique. That made it even worse. We once double-dated, in Ed Banky’s car, and Stradlater was in the back, with his date, and I was in the front with mine. What a technique that guy had. What he’d do was, he’d start snowing his date in this very quiet, sincere voice – like as if he wasn’t only a very handsome guy but a nice, sincere guy, too. I damn near puked, listening to him. His date kept saying, “No – please. Please, don’t. Please.” But old Stradlater kept snowing her in this Abraham Lincoln, sincere voice, and finally there’d be this terrific silence in the back of the car….

The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 7

Death RayJames Ray, before the Science of Self Destruction had fully kicked in

More than anything else, I wish I could communicate to consumers of motivational products the importance of being able to recognize that fake “Abraham Lincoln voice” when you hear it. It sounds steady and reassuring, but when you take a step back it sounds pushy, overbearing, grandiose, and focused on one thing only: closing a sale.

And now back to the book. In the previous post we made it through the introduction and now we’re onto Chapter 1. The Abe Lincoln voice continues:

This book presents the universal SuperLaws and Power Principles that make success inevitable…..

SuperLaws??? Okay, clearly this stuff is not “just like the law of gravity” like he said in the introduction. It’s a SuperLaw. Maybe one day gravity will also rise to the level of being a SuperLaw if it focuses its intent and does its networking.

The subject of success has fascinated people for centuries, perhaps for ever.

…has fascinated people for ever?????

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Abe Lincoln never spoke in horrid, grammatically unsound babble like James Ray does. It was just a metaphor, okay? (Dammit, metaphors are supposed to last a bit longer than that!) 

Clearly Ray did not employ an editor or even a proofreader. So I am offering James Ray an easy-to-use universal principle of success: If you don’t know how to do something, find someone who does, and ask them “How do I do this?”

Research and my own personal experience has shown me that when people consistently do not succeed, it’s not because they aren’t smart or don’t work hard, or because they aren’t lucky. It’s because they simply don’t understand how success works. They don’t understand the specific SuperLaws and Power Principles that activate success.

Well it might also be that they never bothered to learn how to do something properly. Or because they are so arrogant and stupid that they don’t even realize they don’t know how to do it properly. No one ever seems to have told James Ray that his spelling and grammar are not up to a standard where he can just write and publish immediately. 

So we get things like this on his official website [Update — he’s finally taken it down]:

James Ray -- obsticles

Overcoming “Obsticles”?

Ray’s Teachings — Success as a Sticky Substance

Ol’ Death Ray seems to think success is a substance that will inevitably stick to you if you think and act in a certain way. This is of course completely stupid. You can only be successful within a certain limited context, in relation to certain standards. To say that a person is “a success” is a complete misunderstanding. (I am going to ignore the idea that success can be “activated”.)

Next we get a heading for a new section:


Huh? Shouldn’t that be in the introduction and not in Chapter 1? For a guy who claims to have studied many hundreds of books, he seems to have noticed nothing about the way they are usually structured. And then he needlessly starts repeating the stuff he’s just said in the introduction — that he was interested in Gandhi, Einstein, Martin Luther King and, um, Napoleon Hill. From this he has “synthesized the formula that causes people to succeed.”

This is really insane. A guy with the literacy level of an 8th grader (according to his prison aptitude test) reckons he knows what “caused” Einstein to succeed? He doesn’t realize that his ridiculous “SuperLaws” contradict everything Einstein ever said, as well as the whole of modern physics!!!

If Ray’s SuperLaws exist, Einstein failed.

Bad example, James. Baaaaad example.

self destructUm, James, you don’t need a “.” (period or full stop) at the end of a book’s subtitle. What you DO need is a proofreader who can spell and knows what books should look like.

Martin Luther King can of course be described as a successful civil rights activist, though not “a success”. There were many aspects of his life that didn’t work all that well, and most importantly, he was assassinated. How does that fit with Ray’s SuperLaws? It certainly was due to his success that he was assassinated, but is that also part of Ray’s SuperLaws? Or is Ray saying that King got himself assassinated because he failed to follow the SuperLaws? 

I can’t help but wonder if Ray even knows that King was assassinated. That would at least explain why he made such an unfortunate choice of a famous personage to exploit to sell his product. Or maybe he did know and the name of King’s assassin just didn’t stick in his memory. (Some loon even mistakenly commented here once, thinking I had been writing about King’s assassin. I had to tell him that if he’d read the post a bit more closely he might have realized that James Earl Ray was not the kind of guy who would have been leading a sweat lodge, even a fake one.)

Gandhi was a successful political opportunist revered by many, including Dr King. But, like King, he also got assassinated. This rather important fact also seems to have slipped past Ray during his years of “research”. Could it be that Ray is an ignorant fool who chooses iconic personages to promote his ideas without knowing the first thing about them?

My advice is just stick to the normal laws of physics, a great many of which happily coincide with common sense — a much better guide than any SuperLaws.

Posted by Yakaru


Blogging James Ray’s book The Science of Self Destruction — Part 2: Self-defeating prophesies

September 27, 2013

In some ways, James Ray probably isn’t the worst motivational speaker out there. 

A quick glance at the Salty Droid website reminds me of Bernd Klein, a nasty small man from Germany who changed his name in the US to Dr Leonard Coldwell and is living his psychopathic motivational dream. This “doctor” has a habit of raping his clients while they’re lying on his therapy table. Or there’s the entire Herbalife company which specializes in systematically ruining the lives millions of people and, as it happens, also seems to be a money laundering front for the US Drug Enforcement Agency in the horrifying drug war in Mexico.

Multi-level marketing and motivational speaking go hand in hand. The manic psychological state of motivational speakers is the perfect medium for selling products devoid of intrinsic value, and exploiting not only people’s greed but often people’s desperation. James Ray has, since his release from prison, been attempting to kick-start god knows how many MLM scams.

And so we proceed to Part 2 of our inspection of James Ray’s 2003 book, The Science of Success

We left off last time in the middle of Ray’s obligatory and formulaic rags to riches story, He was in the “material success” phase and on the cusp of the “catastrophe” phase of his narrative. After becoming a successful body builder by working out and shooting steroids, he had a motorcycle accident. He was told by doctors that his body was now too damaged to work out like he used to, so he got depressed and lay about for six months. Then one day — holy heck this story sucks, James, hurry up! — he was watching TV and started to wonder if he can still be an okay person even if he can’t be a body builder anymore.

At that moment something changed. I saw that I was the same person that I’d always been, with the same character, and the same values, goals and dreams. I started waking up to who I really was, and promised myself I would never again… put myself in the position to define myself [sic] by externals.

Okay, scrap that joke I made in the first post about Ray having a ghost writer. This guy doesn’t even have a proofreader by the looks of it. Anyway, his deep existential crisis was solved by reading pasty new age books about spirituality and quantum physics. And then…..

I got multiple promotions at work and became an upper-mid-level manager in a fortune 500 company. I started earning a very handsome salary and attracting new friends into my life who loved and supported me.

When I was an upper-mid-level manager at AT&T, I left and started my own company. That was a stretch for me, and I was scared. But i did it anyway, and the first year my income tripled.

Er, so what was that about not defining yourself by externals? But this was a different kind of materialistic success, because Ray achieved it using the “laws” in this book, which involve “remembering who we are.”

When we do not succeed, it’s because we are not living in alignment with those laws. It’s just that simple.

So there you have it folks. All your successes you can attribute to ol’ Death Ray, and your failures are your own fault. But what the fuck happened the idea of not defining yourself according to material successes?

James Ray’s version of living in harmony with the Eternal Laws of the Spirit

Neither Ray nor any other Law of Attraction guru has thought about this beyond the “give me your monies” phase of this royal road to self destruction. Ray’s plan isn’t just an effective and fail-safe method of ruining your finances and becoming an insufferable loudmouth along the way. It’s also a path to needless self-doubt and self-blaming, and general psychological implosion.

There may be times when you don’t understand exactly how the Science of Success works, just as you may not understand exactly how electricity works. You don’t have to understand how electricity works in order to flip the light switch and turn on a light. I promise that if you study and apply the principles in this book, you will “flip the switch” and you will succeed.

And here we have the Second Universal Principle. Remember the First Principle we identified in Part 1; that all LoA gurus will say it works just like gravity. The second is of course that every LoA guru will sooner or later tell us we don’t know how electricity works. (You’ve probably already worked out what the Third Principle must be — something about magnetism.) But the person who installed the light fitting knew enough about how electricity works for the light to function. What James Ray is offering you is a light switch with no wires attached, and wants credit for each time the sun happens to come up. Nights are your own fault,

Discovering who I am, and how success happens, has made all the difference in my life. It has made getting up reach morning a joy. I have the partner, the work, the house and the life of my dreams because I live in harmony with universal laws.

This is crass materialism justified by the existence of imaginary laws which are supposed to be somehow spiritual. And it’s a recipe for disaster on every level. You identify your deepest sense of sense with worldly success, and necessarily blame yourself for any misfortune that may befall you. A friend dies, you get diagnosed with a terrible illness, whatever — it happened because you weren’t in harmony with Death Ray’s imaginary Universal Laws. How can you tell if you’re in harmony with the laws?

Don’t bother asking Ray or any other LoA guru — they don’t know. Even if the laws were real, you can only tell with hindsight if you were acting in accordance with them. This means that those lucky — or ruthless — ones at the top of their MLM pyramid get to go prancing about mouthing off about their God-given success, and their victims are left struggling to buy clothes for their kids.

See Part 3 

Posted by Yakaru


Blogging James Ray’s book, The Science of Self Destruction — Part 1

September 17, 2013

James Ray’s book is actually called The Science of Success, (published in 2003), and the first forty pages of it are readable on Googlebooks. I thought I’d take a look at it.

There is no “science” of success. But there might be a science of self destruction. Certainly part of it would involve maintaining an unrealistic belief system which narcissistically fails to identify risks and dangers and dismisses any warnings as “negative”. A really dangerous belief system will also cause one to persist despite disastrous failures and obvious errors of judgment. The ideas contained in this book might also give an insight into James Ray’s own self destruction.

Ray (or his ghost writer) starts:

The principles in this program are nothing new. You have heard most of them before. What is unique about the Science of Success is that I have put this information together in a way that is understandable, and usable by everybody! The Science of Success makes universal principles of success available and practical. Anyone on Earth can apply this science, and it will make them successful every time…

Personally, I think it’s about time that people learned to find this kind of absolutist talk not just dangerous but repulsive. And I challenge any dissenting reader to admit that they already know that there is an escape clause just waiting to pop out of that sentence; and that they already know what it is. “These laws always work. If you are unsuccessful it’s because you haven’t applied them properly.”

Ray, the currently destitute ex-con, continues:

…That’s because the Science of Success works with universal laws, laws as fundamental and unbending as the law of gravity. If you follow these laws I guarantee that you will succeed – every time, and in whatever endeavor you undertake – just as surely as a pencil will fall down when you drop it instead of up. People who win and succeed consistently use these laws and principles, whether or not they are aware of doing so. When you understand the Science of Success, you can choose to use them consciously. In doing so, you guarantee your success.

release mugshotJames Ray, philosopher, out of jail now and ready once again to “guarantee your success every time”.

Ray is of course referring to the dangerous and stupid idea that “thoughts become things.” The science of success — whoops I forgot to capitalize it so it looks like it’s his own special product — is merely Ray’s version of the Law of Attraction. The only universal law here is that who ever asserts that “thoughts become things” will also assert that “it’s a law just like gravity”.

Of course, if the Law of Attraction were real, it would immediately disprove the law of gravity. (Note to Secret fans, don’t insist your fantasy law is as real as a law that completely, utterly, and devastatingly contradicts it.)

The next universal law that Ray follows is the rags to riches story which, according to quantum physics, must attach itself to every get rich quick guru, regardless color creed or gender. In Ray’s case the fact that his daddy was also a get rich quick guru as well had absolutely no influence on him whatsoever. So insignificant is that fact, that he doesn’t even bother mentioning it. Instead he describes how he started off as a weedy little kid who then grew up to become a body builder and have some moderate degree of success and improvement of self esteem. Along the way we get an interesting admission:

…I started injecting myself with dangerous doses of anabolic steroids.




I guess he’s talking about pharmaceuticals like the regular cocktail that body builders imbibe or inject. And those are indeed photos of Ray’s personal stash of anabolic steroids. But that’s not the young James Ray’s bag in the 1980s; rather, it’s the middle aged James Ray’s bag in 2009. But what the heck, you gotta do something to keep up appearances, okay?

Those photos were taken by police after Ray had fled Arizona. Those who only know Ray through his website will be surprised to learn that James Ray cooked three people to death in a fake sweat lodge in 2009. He was later convicted of three counts of negligent homicide.

That’s what success looks like according to James Arthur Ray. He ran a sweat lodge which killed three people, resulted in the hospitalization of a further twenty-three, and required the state to provide four rescue helicopters, a dozen ambulances, dozens of fire fighters, 60 police investigators and the Yavapai County Hazardous Chemicals Unit.

You probably thought I was being ironic or sarcastic when I began that last paragraph with “that’s what success looks like for James Arthur Ray.” I wasn’t. A few hours after the last helicopters and ambulances had left, and with two of his victims having died before his very eyes, Ray sent out an email to the customers on his mailing list declaring the event “a success”, “despite some people having taken ill.” 

Welcome to the world of James Arthur Ray.

There are indeed lessons to be learned from Ray. He clearly demonstrates the lack of consumer protection in the self help industry and its ruthless and exploitive attitude towards its customers. He clearly demonstrates the depths to which gurus will sink in order to turn a buck, and the risks people are taking in becoming involved with people like Ray and the rest of the manipulative cabal known as motivational speakers.

See Part 2

Posted by Yakaru


James Ray – The Prison Want Ads

May 21, 2013

James Arthur Ray, motivational speaker and star of The Secret, was found guilty of negligent homicide and sentenced to two years jail, after he cooked three people to death in a bogus sweatlodge in 2009. He is due for release on July 12 this year.


I have been wondering what James Ray will do upon his release. I’ve been expecting a slippery, slithery return to business, aimed at new customers and avoiding mention of what he’s been up to lately. Also, there are those who have clung onto him so far, hoping to grab a bargain business deal from a fallen dictator. They will be flooding the atmosphere with good vibes about Ray, and promoting exploitive “business opportunities” to the most vulnerable end of the market they can find.

That’s all still to come. But first up, the parole board requires Ray to remain in Arizona for 110 days after his release. That might pose some logistic difficulties for him I guess, but James Arthur Ray, author of Harmonic Wealth: The Secret of Attracting the Life You Want is an expert in using quantum physics and the Law of Attraction to get everything — yes everything — he wants… and you can too.

Or not.

Actually things don’t seem to be going so Harmonically well for Death Ray. He doesn’t know where he’s going to stay in Arizona for that time and has been reduced to getting his brother, Jon C Ray, to beg to other people for money, support and a couch to sleep on. An email which Jon Ray sent out privately has fallen into the hands of the activist blogger and kick ass fake robot the Salty Droid, who kindly featured it on his website:

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