The James Ray's of the world are not gurus but frauds, bringing their acts to anyone that will listen. They use tricks and gimmicks to electrify their audiences under the label empowerment, overcoming limitations and more with the promises of wealth and happiness. Endless claims of wealth in every area of your life and unlimited power are the basis for the pitch. It's a Barnum and Bailey's circus act with no animals, no trapeze act, no clowns and the lion tamer is not the one that gets hurt but the attendees. Hell, the attendees are part of the act. And more people are damaged than just just the victims of the recent James Ray Sedona workshop.
While everyone has their attention on the 3 dead and 19 hurt we forget of all the other damaged people that attended Ray's free workshops, where he uses gimmicks to hook people and create temporarily illusions of empowerment in order to sign them up for future seminars. These people leave inspired and hopeful of new powers until returning to the real world to discover that whatever they experienced is not transferable.
What do I know about this? I met James Ray over seven years ago in my home in San Diego. Ray was trying to break into the seminar business at the time and he knew that I had a successful one. He was curious about what I taught at my seminars and how I got people signed up. I told him, "Don't confuse me with some of the guys out there. I teach valid measurable business skills that can be transferred. We teach companies sales skills and best practices and implement measurable processes for the company. We don't do fire walks, board breaking, trust walks, or use tricks to sign people up." I told Ray, "Guys that do those thing are not experts at anything and harm people by giving them illusions of power with no valid improvement in skills."
The next time I heard about him he had supposedly returned from South America after doing a vision quest which included sleep deprivation, fasting and sweat lodges and was now intent on making this part of his seminar. Prior to this he was teaching pseudo science neuro-linguistic programming and using the chiropractor's kinesiology techniques to sell his products and seminars. I told a friend that had worked with Ray, "James Ray is dangerous, you should stay away from him." The next time I saw Ray was on Larry King talking about The Secret: a book that is a smorgasbord of people writing passages about esoteric beliefs, perfectly titled because it is filled with nothing but secrets, with no answers, no solutions and no skills that can be transferred to the reader.
Ray parlayed his two quotes in The Secret and Larry King coverage to draw audiences to free seminars where he would use a multitude of gimmicks to sell his products and upcoming seminars. During the five day seminar -- because the seminar leader lacks extensive and valid teaching material -- he resorts to a litany of experiential and untested supposed therapies, from sweat lodges, food deprivation, walking on glass and/or fire and the likes to fill up the agenda.
The leader uses a mix of practices, none of which is anymore than an amateur attempting to fill up the five days because he doesn't have legitimate material to share with his audience. "Lets do a vision quest, I did." "Oh, we have two days left, let's go on a fast and a sweat lodge." What these individuals provide is certainly impressionable, but not transferable. Experiential and memorable, absolutely, but unusable on Monday when the seminar is over,if you live through it, its gone. These guys aren't gurus, but frauds who are short on valid teachable material that is applicable in the real world and will resort to anything and everything to electrify the audience, creating a false sense of power and making it easier to sign them up for future events.
Guys like Ray will take pieces and parts from anything and everything, relabel it, refuse to invest in any research or studies to validate its workability, and never give credit to the source instead proclaim it for themselves. They use anything they have ever read or been exposed to and endanger people with mixed ideas from any variety of philosophies, teachings, even religions. With endless claims of 'create abundant wealth in all areas' 'complete harmony', 'total balance', 'peace of mind' and more, but with no way to measure any of the results or promises made only a way to charge for it.
Does James Ray believe what he is selling, absolutely.
Does he believe it helps people, he has to!
Was James Ray warned, yes, by me!