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.)

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Message to James Arthur Ray: Please. Stop.

A couple of days ago I published a brief (for me) post about the CNN premiere of Enlighten Us, a documentary about New-Wage hustledork, star of The Secret and -- oh, yeah, convicted killer -- James Arthur Ray.

I didn't watch the premiere. I don't have cable so I don't get CNN on TV, and because I live out at the Edge of Nowhere, in an area where currently the only option for high-speed Internet is severely bandwidth-restricted satellite Internet, I can't do in-demand (if that's even an option right now for this film). At some point, if I get a chance to watch Enlighten Us -- which some have described as a James Ray infomercial -- for free or relatively cheap (maybe on Amazon Marketplace or in the Walmart DVD remainders bin), I will. But what I have been doing is keeping up with the buzz around the film, and it appears that Death Ray is milking it for all the publicity it's worth. (I know, big surprise.)

Yesterday I found out via
a Facebook post from Jean Brown Allison, the sister of Ray victim Kirby Brown, about some of the egregious and hurtful lies that Ray has been spreading about his victims and their families -- specifically, about Kirby. Then last night Salty Droid sent me a link to a snippet from an interview Ray gave, in which he claimed that Kirby had been "estranged" from her family, and that she had attended the fatal event in part because she was trying to deal with her family problems.

Jean, who gave me permission to share her Facebook post here, wrote:

This morning, I got a comment on my Oprah letter. I can only imagine this is in response to the effort we've made to counter James Ray's infomercial.
"Darlene" wrote: "I’m curious Jean,why you would purposely go to James Ray’s FB page ? Why do you care what he’s doing? He served his sentence. What exactly do you expect him to do? All the hatred towards him leads me to believe you want him dead! Like that would be the only solution that would make you feel better. He has a right to move forward and live his life. So should you!"

I responded:

"Hi Darlene,

Thank you for your question. I appreciate the opportunity to discuss how I feel.

I would never wish anyone dead. That is not at all what I wish for James Ray. I’ve always been a pacifist, do not believe in the death penalty, etc. James Ray’s trial tested those convictions and I assure you, they held up. He absolutely has a right to move on and live his life and I recognize that he fulfilled the conditions of the law following his conviction.

The problem, and the reason that we continue to follow him, is that he is not moving on. Moving on would be recognizing his mistakes and vowing not to recommit them. Instead, he is back in the same line of work, trying to convince people to trust him with their desire to improve their lives.

Instead of moving on, he is using the story of what happened–my sister’s story–to relaunch his business.

And in fact, he’s now manipulating her story. He was on CNN yesterday saying that she was estranged from our family. This is a gross and deeply hurtful lie. Just months before she died, she was my maid of honour, in the wedding at my parents’ house! Kirby was seeking her own path in life, absolutely. A path that deviated from the normal path, certainly one that deviated from my parents’ path. But that does not at all mean she was estranged from our family.

Do you understand why James Ray using and misrepresenting her story would be so deeply hurtful to me and my family? And yes, I have a right to move forward. Ray’s return to the self-help industry makes it very difficult for me to do that. He is using my sister’s story–and in so doing makes us relive our pain over and over–for his own gain. Do you see how that prevents us from moving forward?

I continue to share this story and press this case because in order to live with my sister’s death, I need to do everything I can to make sure someone else doesn’t die needlessly as she did. I need to make her story mean something. Despite saying that he takes responsibility, James Ray continues to deflect responsibility and will not recognize the actions he took that led to people’s deaths. This is why I still feel he is dangerous. Honouring my sister’s memory means I will continue to warn people of this danger, from James Ray and others in the self-help industry who abuse their customers’ trust.

Thank you again for your question. I wish you well!

Jean Brown"


Friends, I share this because we are very much in the "post-truth" era, and I feel like over and over again I'm losing the battle to proclaim the truth. I need help. Please share whatever you can far and wide to help us tell the truth about James Ray. My posts about SEEK, etc, are usually public and shareable. [Seek Safely is the Browns' nonprofit that attempts to bring responsibility and accountability into the self-help industry. ~CC]
Thanks xo
"Post-truth" era, indeed. We're seeing signs of that everywhere, and I won't get into the political angle on this post, because what I wish to stress here is that it is the height of arrogance, ignorance and insensitivity to callously declare that the loved ones of those who were killed as a result of James Ray's recklessness -- as well as those who were injured or otherwise traumatized by him in some way -- should "just move on."

Jean has been making a concentrated effort to counter Ray's lies, and yesterday
she posted a video imploring him to "Please stop." It's embedded at the beginning of this post, or you can click on the link in the previous sentence.

Jean and her family are not going to shut up about this, and neither am I, and neither are several other bloggers... and if you care about countering the dark side of Scamworld, neither should you. And by the way, if you need a primer or refresher on why those who were hurt by Ray, or those who sympathize with their cause, cannot and should not "just move on,"
here again is a direct link to Ray's October 2016 motion to have his convictions for negligent homicide overturned, and -- more importantly -- the State's response.

Never forget.

PS added 8 December 2016: Salty Droid will never, never forget. Here he does a detailed debunking of Death Ray's outrageous lies about the Brown family (and Ray's other victims as well). And once again Salty points a finger at CNN.

Keep in mind that this isn’t a pathetic attempt at journalism. This is CNN using air time on its news shows to promote its entertainment content. It’s a fucking commercial … and that’s how James Ray is using it as well.

So inside the commercial :: within the commercial :: within the news show … James Arthur Ray is allowed to speak horrible unquestioned slander against Kirby and her family.

PPS added 9 December 2016: Who's afraid of Virginia Brown? Cowardly Death Ray, apparently.

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