James Arthur Ray “Spiritual Warrior” and promoter of “Practical Mysticism” Arrested and Charged in 3 Deaths
February 4, 2010
We’ve written about James Arthur Ray previously here and should add that our disgust for this class of New Age hucksters and con-men (and women) knows no bounds. We’re glad that criminal charges have been filed.
[After spending 36 hours in the desert without food or water, a buffet breakfast was served and 64 people were packed into a “Sweat Lodge” 24 feet wide and 4 1/2 tall for two hours. 21 people were taken to hospitals after this ‘re-birthing’ ceremony ended. Three people died.]
There is no indication that Mr. Ray put himself through the same ordeal he charged his clients $10,000 for.
People like James Arthur Ray are the moral equivalent of child predators in that they exploit emotionally vulnerable and intellectually weak-minded individuals who are genuine in their desire for self-improvement but lack the critical thinking skills to see through the con.
Let me be clear: these self-proclaimed gurus prey upon adults and no one has accused Mr. Ray of molesting children. But for me, personally, this is a difference without much of a distinction. Exploitation of the vulnerable is reprehensible and those who do it, knowingly and for profit, deserve the severest sanctions society can mete out.
A defense attorney might make the case that a child molester suffers from a psychological disorder but the James Arthur Ray’s of the world are simply greedy and have developed a good line of patter.
A measure of blame and complicity should also be laid at the doors of Rhonda Byrne (author of The Secret), Larry King, The Today Show and Oprah Winfrey for their uncritical promotion of Ray.
Let’s remember that when Winfrey turned on fraudulent memoirist James Frey (A Million Little Pieces) no one died as a result of his duplicity. Will Oprah take a public stand on James Arthur Ray?