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Discussion 1 to A Miscellany 227
The reason is no secret - but The Secret

by: JT

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There was a brief follow up item in Sunday's newspaper[1] on this tragedy. It said that the county sheriff's office was investigating and were focussing on self-help expert James Arthur Ray and his staff. Apparently Ray refused to talk to authorities and left the state.

I did a little research on this so-called expert. What is he supposedly an expert in? The Secret[2] and the Power of Attraction. Wish for it and it will happen. That's his area of expertise. As if the three poor unfortunates who died wished their deaths upon themselves.

I'm going to quote the nonsense he offers in the description of the Spiritual Warrior course to justify his claim to "expertise"

In Spiritual Warrior, you'll build upon what you started in Practical Mysticism. You'll become privy to techniques (many kept secret for dozens of generations) that I searched out in the mountains of Peru, the jungles of the Amazon (and a few other places I don't care to recall).

    Mastering these (quite esoteric) practices required me to think and act more differently than I've ever had to before. At first it was quite grueling, but the results...well...all I can say is, "Wow!"

    It wasn't until I had completely mastered these concepts and techniques that I was able to combine them with state of the art scientific technology and, as always, create practical real-life applications (you should know my style by now).

What a crock of self-satisfied manure! And the suckers pay over $9,000 for this

And what do they get on the course? I'm just going to mention two of the several specific benefits he claims particpants will get:

  • You'll learn (and apply) the awesome power of "integrity of action"...

  • You'll experience, at the spiritual level, the ancient methodologies of Samurai Warriors; and gain a true understanding of the authority and strength that come from a life of honor...

And the person in charge of this course - refused to answer questions about deaths on this very course and left the state. That demonstrates his real integrity of action! His life of honor! Those words must mean something quite different to James Arthur Ray than they do to everyone else.

Apparently four years ago, in a similar function hosted by him in the same facility, another person required emergency medical help after being pulled unconscious from the sweat lodge. It's not as if James Arthur Ray had no warning of the hazards. And still he went on cramming fifty people ($450,000!!!!) into a tent covered with plastic sheeting (which would contain the steam and prevent air circulation) acting as if he was oblivious that it was inherently dangerous.

Of course he knew the risks. Just look at the disclaimer[3] he gets participants to sign absolving him of any liability whatsoever. And pay particular attention to one line in that disclaimer:

I also understand that the Company does not purport to offer any medical, psychological, therapeutic, religious, or other professional advice at the Event... (emphasis added)

Makes you wonder what people think they are getting for $9,000 - but who reads three page liability waivers in detail before they sign them. At least it is evidence that James Arthur Ray knows exactly what he is selling - meaningless nonsense with severe health risks attached. And that sums up The Secret.

Footnotes:

  1. Police probe deaths inside U.S. sweat lodge, Calgary Sun, Sunday, October 11
  2. To understand what they are selling suckers in The Secret and Law of Attraction without wasting money on the book or risking your life with a self-proclaimed self-help expert, see Meditation 791
  3. See pages 15-17 of this participant package (pdf) that I grabbed from his website. This belongs to a different course that he offers, but I think you can be assured the disclaimer is equivalent to the one on the Spiritual Warrior course.

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