James Ray: what a difference four years make
On my previous post, I quoted briefly from a February 2007 post that Joe "Mr. Fire" Vitale wrote on his old blog, Beyond Marketing. He was defending the runaway bestselling New-Wage moviemercial The Secret against what he apparently saw as the first real wave of criticism of its teachings. At the end of his post he wrote:
TIP: Most people who criticize The Secret are doing so because they want it to work but can't seem to make it work. One of the biggest reasons The Secret doesn't instantly work for someone is due to lack of forgiveness. An entire culture can experience this. But it can be changed with one person forgiving. Namely you....And dare something worthy, that will inspire yourself and others, rather than raining on a parade that could heal millions. Don't be seduced by the dark side. Go toward the light.And toward the [fake] light the millions streamed, and many were blinded. Some are still blind.
What struck me more than Joe's blog post itself was the fact that several of the commenters, also Secret apologists, used the performance of one James Arthur Ray on various talk shows as an admirable example of how to deal with critics of The Secret and the Law of Attraction. Oh, those were the days, my friend, when James Ray and all of the Secret "teachers" were riding high on accolades and attention and their own seriously bloated egos. Most of them were already pretty successful at parting marks from their money, which was why Rhonda Byrne chose them to be part of her project in the first place. But The Secret propelled them to new levels of fame, and they raised their prices accordingly. James Ray, of course, was one of those who profited handsomely from that ol' Secret black magic.
In my own blog post yesterday, I linked to one comment to Joe's piece that particularly stuck out for me, though I didn't quote it on my post. But I'll do so now to save you from having to go back searching through links. A woman named Vicki Kunkel, a self-described "nationally-recognized expert in mass appeal," wrote, in part:
...I witnessed a rather hilarious segment on The Today Show where James Ray was defending The Secret, and two nay-sayers were vehemently spouting their disapproval. James was smiling, calm, composed, relaxed. In a word, peaceful. The one opponent -- although slim and good looking -- appeared tense, uncomfortable and ill-at-ease. The other was sweating profusely and seemed on the verge of a heart attack because he was so out of shape. (If ever anyone could benefit from some self-help, this guy was a good case.)Well, four years have passed since those heady days of Secret mania, and between then and now some pretty bad things happened with various Secret stars, one of the worst of which was James Ray's Death Lodge in October 2009. You know what they say about hindsight, although my personal opinion is that some of the people who spent so much time and energy defending The Secret and hailing James Ray were always practicing a type of hindsight, in that they had their heads up their a$$es. How many of the folks who vehemently defended Ray back then feel the same way, now that he is finally on trial for three counts of reckless manslaughter?
Hmmm...quite a disparity there. I couldn't help chuckling at how well the nay-sayers unwittingly advocated the validity of "The Secret" through their tense body language and demeanor.
In any case, we shall see in the weeks and months to come how James Ray's demeanor holds up. Will he be "smiling, calm, composed, relaxed...peaceful?"
I'm not going to be attending the trial at Camp Verde, Arizona, which is expected to last four months. I won't be able to watch the whole thing on TV either (it will be televised live on In Session), but I will be checking back frequently on various spots, including Salty Droid's James Ray Trial Update page, for blow-by-blow accounts. Here's the link: http://saltydroid.info/james-arthur-ray-trial-updates/
There's also a link in the left-hand sidebar, right under my Twitter link, so it will be continually visible on the opening page of this blog for as long as the trial lasts.
I'm hoping the mainstream media will give this story the attention it deserves. Dan Harris at ABC is off to a good start, as Salty Droid noted, in his own eloquent way, on a related post about the beginning of the trial: http://saltydroid.info/get-set-go/
On that post, Salty embedded the video of Dan's Good Morning America segment from this morning. Here's another link to that video, which Dan shared on his Twitter page: http://t.co/zBiJYqO. The page to which Dan linked also contains the code for embedding the video on your own site, but I suck at embedding so I think I'll leave it alone, and you can watch it on Salty's site or the one Dan shared. But do watch it, if you haven't already, because it shows photos from the 2008 sweat lodge that the jurors are not going to be allowed to see.
So ABC is off to a good start, and judging from some correspondence I've been having with a producer at another major broadcast network, that network may also be pulling its weight for this story. I hope so. And good for In Session for their decision to televise the trial. As Salty Droid wrote on his James Ray Trial Updates page:
In the final week before the trial :: Judge Darrow agreed to a request for live television coverage. Ray shouldn’t be too nervous :: he’s been on television before …Perhaps some of the chat shows will even pick up on this story...hey, maybe the ladies on ABC's The View will give it a whirl. I'm guessing Oprah won't be saying much about it, though.
As I remarked on Twitter earlier, March is blowing in like a lyin'...sociopath. I hope that some justice for the victims and their families and other loved ones blows in with it. I guess we'll know for sure by July, if not sooner.
PS ~ I apologize for using a graphic I'd already used on a previous post, but I figured, what the heck. In searching Google images for "James Ray trial," my little composite was the first result. Go figure. So I decided to borrow from myself.
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