Jul 5, 2020

Is James Arthur Ray Losin' It?

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

I don't check James Ray's social media often, but when I do, I totally spin out on the colossal arrogance, the indulgent self-pity, the insensitivity -- nay, cruelty -- of his posts. That's probably why I don't check it often. But my darling husband keeps sticking these posts under my nose and insisting I register the sheer insanity of them.

Ray's post-prison marketing has long been either tone deaf or deliberately twisted (my money's on the latter), but in recent months, it's taken a turn for the worse. He seems to be having some sort of meltdown. His "motivational" messages have gotten really angry and seem more like an excuse to vent his personal grudges. The weirdest part is that he seems to be really proud of these petulant rants disguised as advice and keeps putting them out across all of his platforms. In a recent set of postings, Ray set out to illustrate the common axiom "only hurt people hurt people," by whining about non-paying clients and how betrayed he was by friends who testified against him in the sweat lodge trial. It can be found on his Instagram and Facebook pages, as well as in this podcast on his site. Note that he keeps moving from the general ("you") to the specific (his personal gripes and grudges).

Has any client made financial promises they don't keep?
Have they ever gotten angry WITH YOU when you ask them to pay and keep the commitment THAT THEY made?
Have they ever thought about the fact that YOU have expenses (both personally and professionally) that you have committed to, based upon THEIR commitment to you?
Probably not.
If you're in business I'm sure you KNOW what I mean.
Here's a good one: Has anyone ever told you they love you and then turned around and stabbed you in the back hard?
Like telling you "You've changed my life and I'll stand with you forever" and then testifying UNDER OATH in trial against you, telling absolute lies, when the state is attempting to send you to prison for 30 years?

I mean... haven't we all been prosecuted for killing people and had our friends testify against us? That's relatable, right? We've ALL been there!

A post (also here) from about a month ago just made me gasp.

Look, NO ONE knows suffering better than me.
You might know suffering as much as me, but there's NO WAY you know it better.

He killed people, but HE's the victim. Families lost their loved ones to the gruesome tragedy he caused, but they can't possibly be as good at suffering as he is. He's exceptional when it comes to suffering. The rest of us can only aspire to his mastery of the art of suffering.

And he goes on.

Don't tell me about your money, your watches, houses and cars.
Don't show me your fake painted on smiley face, your "perfect life," or how you "have it all."

I know he was in The Secret, but now I have wonder if he's seen it.

So what has Ray so angry that he can't keep it out of even his most banal posts? If I had to guess, I'd say that he, like so many people, is taking a financial hit because of the pandemic. Why do I say that? Because he all but says so in this rant against lockdowns, masks, social distancing, and people who don't want to pay him for his coaching. How dare they freeload on his social media?!

As we learned in Enlighten Us, Ray has long been frustrated that he can't make enough money teaching people how to get rich.

The irony is that this video is promoting his seminar package Project Stay Home, but it's mostly a rant against staying home. Not even two minutes in, he declares that new hotspots shutting things down again, because of dramatic spikes in COVID infections, is "lunacy."

Without sounding too harsh, it's pure stupidity. Because we're looking at coronavirus cases rising, but the fact is if you talk to anybody in the know, all of us have been exposed to the coronavirus by now.

He reiterates this idea toward the end of the video, as he urges people not to be "bow down compliant" with mask and social distancing requirements.

Media! Numbers on the rise, numbers on the rise! GOOD! And I'm not being cavalier and I'm not saying we shouldn't take, uh, pay attention to those who are truly ill. What I am saying is that the only way to beat a virus is to develop herd immunity. And the fact is most experts who actually think for themselves are saying we've all been exposed to it already.

So which is it? Are the numbers rising or have we all been exposed to it already? If we follow Ray's logic, it can't be both, because herd immunity would be kicking in and the infection and disease rates would be dropping. Needless to say, Ray doesn't name a single one of these experts. He makes many medical claims and spouts statistics, but the video is entirely citation free.

As it happens, there are many citable experts who say the opposite. Herd immunity is not a thing to be counted on with this virus and not just because the death toll would be astronomical. It appears that some people are being re-infected after recovery. And according to Harvard Medical professor William Haseltine, herd immunity to this virus is a pipe dream, because humans don't develop lasting immunity to coronaviruses.

"I call this virus the 'get it and then your body forgets it.' This is not a standard virus that you're going to get herd immunity. There is no evidence of herd immunity for coronaviruses. It does not exist... Every year, the same four coronaviruses come back to give us colds. ... If you have one of those coronaviruses, it can cause the exact same disease a year later..."

Ray, however, is convinced that this is just a good workout for the immune system. He seems to believe in germ theory, but not that people should protect themselves against infection from said germs. Lack of protection against rogue pathogens, of course, has worked out very well historically: the black death, cholera, ebola, the Spanish Flu... It's not like epidemics and pandemics have ever racked up massive death tolls or anything.

Ray is particularly disdainful of masks and mask requirements. He's very angry that the Nevada governor is mandating masks, but he'll have you know that it can't possibly be mandatory unless there's an "executive order" from the president. He's apparently never heard of states' rights or that governors can give executive orders, too.

He goes on to explain that businesses can require masks just like they can require shirt and shoes. Indeed. But, he insists they have to provide you with a mask, they can't make you go out and buy one. Right. Just like business have to provide you with shirt and shoes, I guess. Many businesses are providing masks, just as restaurants that require jackets have done for decades. But it has nothing to do with any legal requirement. They want your business and it's better than turning you away for not having the required apparel.

Masks are bad because you're breathing in "your own" and not getting enough oxygen, says the man who killed three people by creating a dangerously overheated, carbon dioxide heavy, oxygen deprived death tent. Why anyone would take health and wellness advice from a man who cooked people to death -- after swearing to them that they'd feel like they were gonna die, but wouldn't -- I'm sure I don't know. But wearing masks does not put people at risk for hypercapnia.

According to Ray, "anyone who does their due diligence" knows that masks "make things worse." Breathing your "own toxins" back in is "not healthy." Spewing them into other people's faces, though, is apparently fine. Could there a more perfect example of self-centeredness?

It's "possible" that you could get mold spores from the moisture that came from your own mouth into the mask, he exclaims, and why, oh why is it that the "powers that be" from the WHO and the CDC don't KNOW this? I dunno, maybe because it's bullshit? (Um, you're supposed to wash/replace them.)

There are some precautions to wearing masks, but there's more and more data showing that wearing masks reduces the spread of respiratory diseases. In regions where masks are being worn, both infection and mortality rates are significantly lower. Are they a little uncomfortable? Sure. But definitely preferable to a respirator.

Ray predicts -- he may be wrong, but he doesn't think he is -- that there will be a spike in flu cases in the fall, because of masks, and that they'll call it COVID. So it's not even entirely clear that he thinks COVID is a real thing. COVID is not the flu. I know too many people who've been physically brutalized by it to wish it on my worst enemy. People are having, not just lung damage, but blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, and other organ damage. Some of that damage may well be permanent. Loss of limb definitely is.

Ray says Instagram has removed a number of his posts on this topic, so this video may be gone by the time you read this post. I'm no fan of censorship, but invented statistics (Did you know that 50% of Americans haven't payed their rent in months? Neither did I!) and dangerous medical claims are very troubling, so it's kind of a hard call. IG would be doing Ray a favor, though, by removing it, because he seems to have lost any ability to self-monitor.

Throughout the video he spits out names of viewers like some sort of verbal tic. He praises people who are paying him and scolds people who are not. His harshest criticism is directed toward a Mr. Perrymel... Perrymal... he's not sure which it is. But he is sure that this fellow is not being "serious." What does he mean by serious?

Go to my website, James Ray dot com, and click on store, and join us at Project Stay Home... If you won't make an investment in yourself, then I'm sorry, I can't help you. You have to make an investment and we've made the investment ridiculously small.

Yes, Project Stay Home is just the Ultimate Performance Forum with a name change and a rate reduction to compete with Netflix and HBO (he references both specifically). Nothing says success like an 85% price cut.

Throughout the video, he praises other viewers, also by name, for having ponied up the pennies for this seminar package. It's like a really weird episode of Romper Room, where today's lesson is that paying customers are good and social media freeloaders are bad.

Periodically, he diverges from his many complaints to spout platitudes, stare into the camera, and say, "Are you with me on this?!" So even in the midst of his outrage, the NLP training kicks in like a reflex.

Ray is certainly not alone in his frustration with the current pandemic and the disruption it's brought to our lives and economic prospects. But for Ray, it's only the most recent setback to his dreams of wealth and power. Even at the height of his career, he was living well beyond his means. And maiming and killing people at his events turned out not to be a good business move. Between the legal fees and the business hiatus when he was in prison, he's been reduced to shabby hotel conference rooms and other low key events with a very diminished client base. But one thing that never changes with James Ray is his crass, hard sell tactics. From pitching the next high priced seminar in the midst of a guided meditation, when he was as successful as he'd ever be, to this pathetic attempt at low-rent social media shaming, the avarice is always evident. The other thing that never changes is that he doesn't care who gets hurt, or who gets killed.

1 comment:

  1. //Loss of limb definitely is.//

    And now the guy is dead, so sad.


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