Apr 16, 2011

James Ray: Sweatlodges and Plagiarism

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

Last night Jeanne0o0 posted something on Twitter about yet more material being posted on James Ray's site that really doesn't flatter him. Loathe as I am to give him more traffic, I peeked. I was about three paragraphs in to this blog post before I said to myself, not only isn't this flattering, there's no way it was penned by James Ray or any of his help meets. It's way too well-written. So I googled some of the text and discovered that it came from Prescott eNews. I've cited this publication many times in blog posts following the James Ray debacle. The reportage is always excellent and this article is no exception. So, in that sense, I guess it's no surprise that he stole it. Let's face it. Misappropriating other people's intellectual property is what he does. Just ask Stan Grof inventor of Holotropic Breathwork or Lance Giroux of the Samurai Game®.

Not only was there no link or any other attribution to the original, the article was not excerpted. It was republished in full, which you cannot do without permission. I couldn't find an email address for Lynne LaMaster of Prescott eNews on the site but I found her on Twitter and shot her a tweet to see if she knew her article was now on Ray's blog and if she'd given permission. She had not.

This morning she tweeted that she had posted a comment on both her site and James Ray's blog calling for removal of the plagiarized material. But when I looked at James Ray's blog, I found that Lynn LaMaster's comment had been removed. Her article had not. JaneLWilcox confirmed that the comment had appeared there earlier this morning.

Here is LaMaster's comment as it appears on her site:

Here is the emptiness left by the removed comment on Ray's blog:

The only question now is how many Cheneys this gets on the Cook's Source mendacity scale. If you're not familiar with Wil Wheaton's brilliant proposal regarding the Cook's Source scandal, see here. In that case it was the publisher of a small, local food magazine who lifted an internet article and then insisted that anything on the internet was public domain. Maybe that's what James Ray and/or his staff think. Because as of this writing Lynne LaMaster's article is still posted on James Ray's blog without attribution and without her comment alerting them to her knowledge of their plagiarism.


  1. That James Ray...what a classy guy.
    Thanks for this LaVaughn. I am amazed this shyster was lauded by Oprah and others in the media. He's pathetic.

  2. Just for the sake of clarity, none of the comments from the original article were carried over to Ray's blog, so Ms LaMaster's comment would never have appeared there.

    What is clear is that other posts on Ray's site which Ray authored were also posted by "Admin" with no other ID, just like this one.

    So in effect, Ray is claiming authorship of the article. In the comments on other posts, for example, the commenter "Admin" signs "James" to his comments.

  3. @spiritualityisnoexcuse, The comment in question was placed on James Ray's blog by Lynne LaMaster after she learned about his plagiarism. Here is the text of her tweet explaining:

    "I've added a comment to my site, and the #jamesray blog, pointing out the plagiarism and asking him to remove it. Thx again, y'all rock."

    So, yes, her comment did appear on Ray's blog. At least two other people saw it. Then it was gone.

    Admin definitely appears to be Ray. However, I still think it's unclear how much of his site administration is really him. My guess is that he still has volunteers, because I don't think he's paying anyone right now, who are keeping the lights on for him while he's at trial. I could be completely wrong. He could be doing all of his own tweeting and all of his own plagiarizing. Many high profile people don't do their own posting, though. Lots of things are done in their names by staff. It's common practice.

  4. Sorry - I should've checked it out more carefully. I had the impression comments were moderated before they appear.

    If it was indeed a volunteer (as seems likely), it speaks volumes that when caught the person would just remove the offending comment and leave the post up. Clearly they understand Mr Ray's methods perfectly well.

  5. @spiritualityisnoexcuse, My husband made a point on the comment removal. It's totally in keeping with The Secret's perception as reality mindset. Rhonda Byrne tells us that the way to lose weight is not to look at fat people because it's thinking "fat thoughts" that makes us gain weight; not how much we eat. So it stands to reason that it's not stealing intellectual property that makes James Ray vulnerable to still more litigation. It's observing, or acknowledging that they've stolen intellectual property. Out of sight. Out of mind. Comment gone. Problem solved. It's all mind over matter.

  6. I saw the author's comments and a few other underneath it that morning...then went back over and poof! you know LaVaughn, as I read your post above it makes me so sad as it's such a metaphor of how Ray (dis)regarded Kirby Brown, James Shore and Liz Newman: "out of sight. out of mind. (People) gone. Problem solved. It's all mind over matter." Oh yeah and lest we forget "they were having so much fun out there they didn't want to come back" or whatever audacious statement he made right after the deaths.

    If you can step back, sociopaths are interesting to study like rare bugs because they are so far off the norm.


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