Whirled Musings

Across the Universe with Cosmic Connie, aka Connie L. Schmidt...or maybe just through the dung-filled streets and murky swamps of pop culture -- more specifically, the New-Age/New-Wage crowd, pop spirituality & religion, pop psychology, self(ish)-help, business babble, media silliness, & related (or occasionally unrelated) matters of consequence. Hope you're wearing boots. (By the way, the "Cosmic" bit in my moniker is IRONIC.)

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Jimmy Ray Deathlodge is going to Disney World to preach to GIN faithful

Yes, the rumor
reported here the other day is true: James Arthur "Death" Ray is indeed going to be the keynoter at the upcoming Global Information Network (GIN) Family Reunion at Disney World October 16-18, 2015. That stellar event takes place the week following the six-year anniversary of the infamous Death Lodge in Sedona, Arizona, which resulted in the deaths of three people: Kirby Brown, James Shore and Liz Neuman. (Another follower of Ray's, Colleen Conaway, had died at a San Diego Ray event the previous July, but her death was covered up and didn't really come out in the open until the sweat lodge story broke.) If you have the stomach to do so, you can read all about Ray's GIN debut in the September 2015 GIN Report, which features Ray's mug on the front cover. Not his mug shot, of course -- his post-prison, hot-on-the-comeback-trail mug.

The Ray "interview" is on pages 4 and 5. Here's how it starts out:
GIN Report: What is one accomplishment that you consider the most significant of your life/career?
JAR: Certainly I've been fortunate to accomplish many things from being an Inc. 500 inductee 2009, a New York Times bestselling author, frequent guest on Oprah, Larry King, The Today Show and more. I'm grateful for all of them. But properly understood, these are all the effects of the greatest accomplishment I believe I have experienced in my life which is finding my unique gifts and genius and clearly defining my purpose which has allowed me to face great adversity and turn it into opportunity. Take so-called failure and turn it into fuel.
And it just continues on the same note throughout. Spoiler alert: Not one mention in the interview of the killings and the cage time.

the news of Ray as a GIN keynoter is profoundly disgusting it is not unexpected, since as I've noted more than once on this blog, GIN founder, infomercial huckster and now-imprisoned serial scammer Kevin Trudeau (aka KT, aka Katie) and James Ray have been publicly stroking each other off for years. Trudeau publicly defended Ray a few years ago, and Ray returned the favor by pushing GIN while he was in prison.

In case someone wants to point out to me that Trudeau is no longer at the helm of GIN, let me first say that it's obvious you haven't been on this blog very much. If you had, you would know that I'm very well aware that
GIN was sold last year to a group of investors who just happen to be long-time buddies and business partners -- and are still fans and defenders -- of Trudeau. You might even call them proxies, and you might not be wrong. And Katie's famous line, "Who do you listen to?" is still being pushed by GIN CEO Troy McClain, aka "T-Mac" (I am not making this nickname up).

Apparently one of the people Troy and friends want you to listen to is Death Ray.

And that in a nutshell is what makes Scamworld so insidious. As Salty Droid wrote
in a 2012 post (and yes, I've quoted this before, but here it is again):

GIN doesn’t exist :: it’s the lipstick on the pig … after you wash it off with a hose that whore pig is going to tart right back up. It’s the pigs involved that need to be stopped if anything is going to be stopped … not the shell corporate entities organized in the name of young Ukrainian wives...
You nailed it (as usual), Jason.

Meanwhile, the GIN MLM is back in place, as I'd mentioned a couple of times over the past year or so. I hadn't visited
the page with the details in a while but did the other day. They never really took the references to the program off of their "legal disclosures" page, and the "referral bonus" program has been in place for some time now. But they've expanded it and announced the revamped program at the Dream Weekend in June 2015.

If you have 30-plus minutes to waste hearing
very long-term Katie buddy and GIN co-owner Blaine Athorn bloviate about "sharing" GIN, by all means watch the video on this page. Drinking game: Every time Blaine mentions your "fellow human beings on Planet Earth"... toss one back for me.

The dollar amounts are still smaller than they were back in GIN's heyday with Katie, of course, and the promises have been tamped down a bit (at one point Blaine Athorn mentions in passing that the GIN referral program is not a get-rich-quick scheme, but it can make you wealthier). And the "cash money" rewards are relatively modest, with most of the "rewards" being GIN Bogus Dollars. Oops, I mean GIN BONUS dollars.

But clearly, the hustle is still on.

And clearly, there are still no neat and tidy endings in Scamworld. The big sick machine just goes on, and on, and on.
Update 8 September 2015: I just found out about this live Death Ray event coming up on Friday, September 11 in Phoenix.

Ray is hosting "a night of solutions" where he will "sit down, no pitch, no script...armed only with his intellect, his vast experience and the wisdom" to mentor and "reveal to you the answers to the things that are holding you back," according to his website
I'd actually gone to Ray's site a couple of times over the past week to see if there was any mention of his keynote appearance at the GIN event, but I overlooked this one. The copy on the site is pretty disgusting, especially when you consider how pricey the former incarnation of his "World Wealth" shtick was. (You can read about that here, and much more about it in Connie Joy's book, Tragedy in Sedona. It floors me that he is starting this scam up again.) Meanwhile, there's this this:

You Asked, James Is Answering! 

With the launch of The World Wealth Summit just Around the Corner…

With the Cancellation of a LIVE Event…
[apparently it was "Life Unleashed Live" ~CLS]

With a Recent Gallup Poll Showing 71% of people surveyed are bored, unhappy and disengaged…

You Need a Night of Solutions
from James Arthur Ray!

If you had tickets to Life Unleashed LIVE – YOUR SEAT IS FREE!
Guests without tickets, it’s a steal, so BRING YOUR BEST QUESTIONS
and get your seat for ONLY $197! 

This may NEVER happen again…
An Entire Evening of Q & A with James Arthur Ray!

There's no specific indication of where the event will be, beyond the fact that it will be in Phoenix, Arizona, from 6:00-9:00 PM. But the first (and most expensive) hotel listed in conjunction with the event is the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort (from $150 a night). So it's possible the event itself will be there.

Tom McFeeley, cousin of Death Lodge victim Kirby Brown, told ABC-15 News (KNXV-TV Phoenix) that he found out about the event via email. He is on Ray's list so he can keep tabs on him. McFeeley said that for Ray "To go to Arizona particularly is really thumbing your nose at the community, at the state, at the good people in that area. So it's all disgusting."

But this isn't the first time Ray has been back to Arizona for an event since his release from prison in 2013. He held an event in Phoenix earlier this year. I guess he just loves Arizona.

McFeeley -- and the reporters working on the story -- did take this opportunity to once again publicize the non-profit started by the Brown family,
Seek Safely, whose purpose is to educate people about how to safely participate in the self-help industry. So I too will take that opportunity again, and will also note once again that none of the industry giants invited to sign the Seek Safely Promise has signed. Here are the people who have signed -- good folks, I'm sure, but not the most prominent in the industry.

It's really all about choosing one's teachers wisely, and anyone who chooses James Arthur Ray as a teacher is not making a wise choice at all. Wake up, people. Please.

Update, February 2016
It occurred to me that I never did a followup regarding Ray's GIN Family Ruin presentation and how it was received and reported by GIN. Well, here you go (as usual, click on pics to enlarge):

Those screen grabs are from the November 2015 GIN Report. You can avail yourself of the entire issue by clicking here. Not only will you get the scoop on Death Ray's inspiring talk, including the parts that really resonated with the GINtendees, but you'll also get a special letter from a very bloated-looking Troy McClain, who reminds us that November is a special time to cherish the "blessing of Family." He did not mention the possibility that for the Brown, Shore, Neuman and Conaway families, Thanksgiving and all holidays are especially painful.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Damn - tried to post previous comment but it got wiped out having to log into Wordpress. I'll try and re-create again. What I was saying was...)

Isn't is weird how next to Ray, Trudeau seems like a bit of a saint? (Again, apologies if I've just made someone spit out their coffee and choke on it there, but stay with me...)

After all, "all" he did was lie - he didn't actually kill anybody. Plus, from my perspective Trudeau actually worked hard. He pounded the streets in the beginning pitching Amyway or whatever which takes a lot of time and effort to build up a decent income in, then all of his infomercials, seminars, events, etc. and then the mother of them all - GIN. I'm not giving a free pass on his ethics or the legitimacy of any of these endeavors, but at least the actual hard work was there (in-between stealing) in my opinion.

Take Ray, Coldwell, Wink, and these other clowns, however - although the same level of arrogance and narcissism is there (Heir Hemorrhoid Coldwell reigns supreme on both), they also seem to have a HUGE amount of laziness and sloth to go along with it, don't you think? Unlike Trudeau, all these others seem to do is just troll around trying to find their next coattail on which to ride and cling to (The Secret, GIN, etc.) or their next email list to partner with, steal, and/or simply exploit.

Funny thing is, too - even with all their money (which I think is grossly exaggerated) and how smart they pretend to be at business, Ray, Wink, Athorn, Coldwell - none of these guys would last a day out in the real world of competitive business. They'd all be eaten alive, and rightly so. Kevin is actually one of the guys who out in the real business world I think could have held his own, which is also what made him so dangerous to the general public as far as scams were concerned. Out of all of them he had the smarts to actually build an empire, and the level of effort necessary in order to pull it off, too.

(Wait, am I defending Trudeau, even if the slightest? I just made MYSELF spit out my coffee and choke - haha!) Nah - just saying, though, if Trudeau is gutter slime then Ray and these other guys are the shit on the gnat that takes a shit on the gutterslime (and then Coldwell comes along and licks it up because he's an itchy, festering, horrible excuse of a hemorrhoid of a man).

Anyways - just piling on Ray here. Thanks for indulging me. Great job again, Connie.


Sunday, September 06, 2015 2:10:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thank you for your input, VRK, and you can pile on Ray (and those others) all you want. I don't disagree with you about Trudeau. He's a man of no small manipulative talents, and yes, he is a hard working hustler and always has been. Unfortunately, as you pointed out, he has used his talents to no good end. In any case I've often said that I don't think he (or most nonviolent criminals) belong in a cage.

I do think that Ray belongs in a cage because even though he's not an axe murderer or mass shooter, his arrogant recklessness killed people. So I consider him a violent criminal who didn't serve nearly enough time to pay for his crimes.

I also consider sex predators violent and worthy of being caged, even if they don't actually kill people. Had Coldwell ever been charged with and convicted of some of the nasty things of which he's been accused, he too might have done some cage time. But I don't see that happening. I suspect he will continue to slither and slide his way out of compromising situations, choosing instead to turn on his accusers with threats, intimidation, bribes, and unsuccessful lawsuits.

Sunday, September 06, 2015 3:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

True re: who belongs in a cage and who doesn't. I guess I don't know which is more sad re: these self-help hucksters - the hucksters themselves or the thousands and tens of thousands who give them enough oxygen (and money) to exist.


Sunday, September 06, 2015 4:20:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

That's a question I wrestle with continuously, V. Where does the culpability of hucksters end and the personal responsibility of their audiences begin? When does a customer become a victim? I do think people have a responsibility to educate themselves, but I am far more likely to place the lion's share of the blame on hucksters when things go wrong. The hucksters are almost always working at an advantage and are in a position of power, and when they abuse that power they should be held accountable.

It's easy to blame people for giving their power away to the hucksters, but it's a very human thing to do. We are all vulnerable to manipulation and to being fooled. And even though I (and other critical bloggers) have been accused of encouraging a victim mentality and thus disempowering the very people we claim to be trying to help, I think people who pose as motivational/psychological/spiritual leaders, experts or gurus of any sort should be held to a higher standard than the folks in the audience.

Back when Wink and I were frenemies we discussed the matter of guru culpability v follower responsibility, and I wrote a blog post about it in 2010(see especially under, "It takes two (or two million) to tango" and "Yes! We are all individuals!").

And there's this, also from 2010...

I'm still undecided about some issues. But I think I have become pretty good at recognizing a scam or scammer when I see one, and the best I can do at this point is to continue to blog about these matters. I appreciate your participation in the conversation.

Sunday, September 06, 2015 4:38:00 PM  

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