Death Ray’s Mind Games

Band of Bandits

James Arthur Ray must be putting all his attention and intention into visualizing scathingly negative primetime TV specials :: cause he’s Law of Attracted two full hour long specials about his shenanigans in the last month.  If I were his life coach {for just infinite payments of $5,995 per month} I would advise him to go back to visualizing negligent “journalism” :: and Oprah. Maybe I’d even advise a vision board … because poster boards with magazine cut-outs aren’t just for 6th grade science projects and serial killers anymore {yes they are!! fuck sake …}.

ABC’s Primetime ran its long-in-the-works special June 29th …

Mind Games: Self help takes a look in the mirror.

Looking back at self-help in that mirror :: James Arthur Ray … cross eyed … teeth out … herpes … indebted … facing a triple homicide charge :: smirking and cackling about “having it all.”

The ABC story was superior in every way to NBC’s useless pile of cat crap {no offense to cats :: or their crap}. If you didn’t get a chance to watch it :: and you can’t afford a DVR because you WASTE all of your mother fucking money on guru-dumb™ :: then you should go to ABC’s website and check it out {with commercials!}. They haven’t made it embedable because they are ridiculous.  Alas.

Dan Harris :: and his cats {no relation to SheShe and Mr. BigglesBottom} :: did a great job of contextualizing the Death Lodge horror within the larger overall horror.  Horror FTW! I could complain about a couple of factual errors {like how Colleen WASN’T in the homeless clothes … and how JRI didn’t send anyone to identify the body} but I won’t because I’m not the sort of robot who complains about shit all the time. Keep it positive!  That’s what I always say.  I mean :: that’s what I sometimes say.  I mean :: that’s what I just said and probably won’t ever say again.

The most compelling :: and depressing :: part of the story is in the last segment when several Spiritual Warrior participants tell Harris that they are still in the market for helping themselves to death.  Christine Bivins and Brian Something-or-Other actually say that they’d attend another Ray event!  I mean seriously?  What the fuck?  If that doesn’t illustrate the disturbing severity of this problem … then nothing does.

Bivins could have died.  When help arrived to the scene of the crime :: she was foaming at the mouth and screaming out James Ray’s name. Her brains and vital organs may have been permanently damaged :: and a couple of years were probably shaved off her lifespan. In the months that have followed :: hard facts and sad stories have revealed Ray to be a sick and uncaring charlatan.  Yet she still sees these expensive {in every sense of the word} experiences as positives :: and is ready to get right back in line.

O. M. G.

A couple of people who were in that sweat lodge read this blog. Lots of prior Ray event attendees read this blog. I know ya’ll are out there … and you are to be congratulated for sticking it out around here. Facing up to hard facts is hard :: but it’s essential for recovery. I ask you strong few for a favor. Please don’t assume that the other people you met in and around these events are also reading nut-job SkepticBots. “Bad news” avoidance is taught by 100% of these manipulators :: and it’s become dogma for many adherents. Until the spell is broken :: harm is being done. CALL YOUR FRIENDS. Talk to them. Make sure that they are okay. Question their assumptions :: question your own. Sometimes the most positive thing you can do for someone is tell them that they are mistaken. It’s OKAY to think this shit is NOT OKAY.

I leave you with this picture of an ignorant flaming asshole holding up a $40 sticker on national television :: keeping a straight {but puffy} face …

… careful now … don’t look too close or all of your wildest dreams might come true!

… or not.

>> bleep bloop

84 thoughts on “Death Ray’s Mind Games”

  1. After spending all my money on guru-dumb™, I appreciate the wheat thins commercials (and the abc special). Thanks for the link

    1. I had to refresh the page and “This episode is sponsored by Kool-Aid”.

      How much more appropriate!

  2. For the longest time we’ve known gurus are to be blamed for exploiting people with their hype, lies and deceit. But seriously, there’s a significant chunk of population that is just dying (in this case literally) to give their money over to the next guy who can show them the dream of riches. This video particularly highlights it.
    We need to lock up the lying gurus, but also try to limit and edumacate the sillies who destroy our economy over and over by buying junk they cannot afford and then default on their debts because they’re looking for the magical purple unicorn that sparkles with gold.

    1. @advancedNoob ::

      It’s true.

      But :: the solution for the lying gurus is obvious :: easy :: and fits well within our liberal democratic traditions. Namely :: strict enforcement of long existing laws against fraud and misrepresentation.

      The unicorn chasing problem is far more complex :: in both origin and solution.

      1. @SD,
        I understand exactly what you mean – and for all intents and purposes, I do agree we need to begin with locking up the DeathRays of this world.

        HOWEVER, what was the very last thing said by one of JR’s students?:

        “I know 3 people died and it was horrible, but my life is better and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.” (paraphrase)

        To me, these people are no less psychopathic than Ray. All they care about is making their life better and for that they’ll easily suspend logic, critical thinking, and even their base humanity. The woman saying this would have been dead if she wasn’t rescued by one of the workers.

        yes, let’s get rid of JR, but a few days down the road, the next JR or Vitale will take his place and lead the now shepherd-less flock of James.

        I sometimes have a very difficult time sympathizing with these ‘victims’.

    2. @advancedNoob,

      You make some good points. We all need to be educated about this stuff. It should be mandatory for everyone to take a class in Critical Thinking.

      Hopefully this show “Mind Games” will stay on the air. The public needs some kind of anti-venom against Oprah and others who irresponsibly promote con men.

      1. @Droid, Outstanding. It’s great to see you appeal to former Ray followers to call their friends who still support him. You’re the original Tin Man(Robot)with a very big humanitarian heart.

        @Hippo, I would also like to see a Consumer Education course required for high school graduation.

        @advancedNoob, Let’s be careful not to label all followers, especially the deceased victims,as dumb or crazy. Ray,Vitale and other faux teachers, possess well-honed techniques that lure and captivate economically solvent, intelligent,over-achievers, many who are willing to “play full on” as Kirby Brown’s mother has stated repeatedly. Although it may not seem logical to some of us, certain traits that make these folks successful, are the same qualities that can somehow render them suspectible to evil con games. It is,indeed,a complex situation,as SD points out.

        1. @Jean D,

          I apologize if it seemed like I was characterizing all the victims as idiots. I was not.
          I specifically meant to point out the couple of ‘students/followers’ of Rays who STILL insist that he is great and what not. They do not care that this psychopathic murdered and pathological liar has conned hundreds and killed (indirectly) at least 4 that we know of. As long as they can get ‘something’ out of it, they are content.
          It is this thinking that makes me think that if they had the same opportunity as Ray to build wealth by conning others, they’d take it without any questions.

          1. @advancedNoob,

            “It is this thinking that makes me think that if they had the same opportunity as Ray to build wealth by conning others, they’d take it without any questions.”

            That is indeed a core problem, and the same happens with the get-rich Internet marketing crowd. We’ve already seen that many people defend Perry Belcher, for instance, on the basis that “his methods work.”

            1. “It is this thinking that makes me think that if they had the same opportunity as Ray to build wealth by conning others, they’d take it without any questions.”

              Just as children of abusive parents often (but not always) grow up to be abusive parents themselves, victims of abusive self-help gurus and get-rich-quick scammers often (but not always) grow up to be abusers themselves.

              Breaking the cycle of abuse is difficult because it involves facing the cognitive dissonance that one’s spiritual teacher or marketing mentor is not who they portrayed themselves to be, and that all that money spent on seminars and marketing courses was a ripoff. Recovery is often a slow and humiliating process.

            2. I should clarify–not “all” money spent on seminars and courses is necessarily a ripoff, but when spent on getting abused it definitely qualifies, even if some of the information is useful in the end.

          2. @advancedNoob, That’s understandable,especially after seeing Kristina Bivins’ and Brian Asad’s willingness to continue following Ray. Asad is broke and Bivins surely suffers from brain damage. She had “seizures for 1-2 hours” according to Shawna Bowen in radio and law enforcement interviews last October! But why didn’t Bowen describe Bivins’ condition on Mind Games?She seems to be conflicted.

            1. @Jean D,

              I wonder if the brain damage has anything to do with them continuing to follow Ray? I don’t know if Brian has any brain damage, but there was a gentleman named Daniel something who passed out in a JR sweat lodge in 2005 who continued to attend Ray’s functions, and I believe he is now broke and homeless, after having previously been doing very well. I believe he has brain damage, but I don’t know the particulars.

            2. @Jean D,
              Maybe Bivens told Bowen “You better not too say much!” before they went on the air..I kind of wondered why Bowen down played it also,’cause it sounded pretty bad what Bivens went through on that radio interview that Bowen gave.. I am glad that they mentioned Colleen also but it seemed to me that they kind of glossed over it a bit..

            3. @Jean D,
              I think it goes without saying that all the participants are very conflicted.
              Its a big thing to admit to yourself that you have been comprehensively conned, especially when you have invested so much hope, desire and sheer desperation etc into the process, actively encouraged and led on by these conman shysters.
              Most of us can write off a financial loss due to a poor buying decision–it is rather more complex to write off the soul hijack that these psychopathic manipulators such as James Ray set out to accomplish.

              There is a good description of what it feels like to be under such control on the rickross site,

              http://forum.rickross.com/read.php?4,71652,83341#msg-83341

              the writer makes the point that this can only be described with such precision way after the event and after much work has been done to rectify the damage. For those still under the spell it is utterly confusing and crazy-making.

            4. I’m conflicted on whether I feel these people are still under Ray’s control, permanently brain damaged, being paid off, or hoping to be paid off. Clearly any sense of empathy they could have for their friends who were killed and injured is muted by either their own problems or blind greed.

              And I don’t say that as someone who wants to villainize (probably not a word) the survivors of the sweat lodge, but it’s definitely hard to have sympathy when they’re willing to continue on Ray’s path. I was a Secreteer follower once, too, but when I came out of the fog, I got myself together and stopped the insanity. It’s hard to see others choosing not to do that.

            5. This phenomenom, of the failure of the guru increasing the commitment of the True Believer, was studied in the 50’s by a man called Leon Festinger who came up with the theory of ‘cognitive dissonance.’

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance

              He wrote a good book on it ‘When Prophecy Fails.’

              It has a lot more to do with the problems inherent in being subjected to ‘thought reform’ or ‘coercive persuasion’–commonly known as brainwashing than with any personal failing on the part of the brainwashed.

              I find it difficult to have empathy with those who continue to follow an obvious conman and worse, propagate his lies and manipulations but they have been comprehensively mindfucked by a psychopath. Until a glimmer of light starts to dawn they are truly lost and should be avoided if you want to keep your sanity. But they are victims of James Arthur Ray and some will eventually break free.

            6. This is to Feather Boa Constrictor:

              All of those things are possibilities, or maybe none of them. These folks could just be in denial, because facing the truth is simply too painful. The money they wasted is the least of their problems.

              I don’t know if “villainize” is a word, but “demonize” surely is, and would fit in your sentence quite nicely.

            7. The other thing to consider here is that not only brain damage but perhaps other organs have been damaged (e.g. kidneys) in the extreme heat and dehydration. If any other organ damage occurred, it may not be noticed for many years until other health complications occur, and it may be hard psychologically and physiologically to make the connection.

        2. @Jean D,

          After thinking about this a bit more, I am even wondering if some of these stubborn followers would need some kind of cult-deprogramming therapy.

          Of course, they wouldn’t go willingly, so that’s a problem.

          1. @Hippo, Yes.Cult de-programming and PTSD therapy would help them. Hey, if money is tight,and/or insurance won’t cover the cost of a therapist,why not send the bills to Oprah?!

            1. @Jean D,

              In a perfect world, Oprah would do that.

              Of course, in a perfect world, we wouldn’t be talking about people being injured or killed at self-improvement seminars.

  3. Joe “Wee Wee” Vitale sure doesn’t miss any opportunity to hawk his ridiculous paper “wish dollies” for $40.

    Tip to Russians: NEVER reveal your mythology to someone like Vitale, who will simply spin it into digital garbage and sell it via digital dowload on his web site.

    Oh, and you can also thank Pat O’Bryan, his scruffy caveman-lookalike sidekook and co-bullshitter. How much longer before Vitale and O’Bryan start selling their own feces as “good luck charms?”

    1. I was hoping for a clip of that magic moment when Mr. Fire got annoyed like the giant baby man he is and admitted, “*gasp* Yes, hurricane victims are victimized.”

  4. Dan Harris FTW!

    Keep in mind Joe Vitale is also the author of a book called There’s a Customer Born Every Minute. He’s a living parody of a con man.

    1. @Duff, He’s unlikely actually the author. These guys farm out their book-writing to schlubs on E-lance (like me) who happen to be talented writers who need the work (like 98% of talented writers).

      Many of these frauducts are written by guys sitting in front of their computers in their shorts, happy to be getting food money for the month by doing the cheap-ass low-priced job.

      Personally, I’m out of that game, having not even been in it very long, due to having the distinct disability of a soul and a conscience. But be sure the typical big-name frauduct is not written by the big name.

      1. @Velithaene, Well, in all fairness I have to say that Joe did write “There’s A Customer Born Every Minute,” at least the original edition that was published years ago, when my guy Ron and I were still friends with him. Joe was always a fan of PT Barnum (who, incidentally, did NOT say, “There’s a sucker born every minute” — Joe is right about that). Joe put a great deal of work into the manuscript, including making a trip to Bridgeport, Connecticut to do extensive research. Ron and I were among those who reviewed the initial ms and offered suggestions. While several of Joe’s later works seem to include a substantial amount of “testimonials” and contributions by others (and some of his editors on those later works reportedly did more writing than “editing”), I know that at one time he did write his own books.

        As for many other New-Wage goo-roos, though, I have no doubt that they use cheap ghostwriters whenever it suits them. I am absolutely appalled by some of the job listings on E-Lance and similar sites; I’ve seen solicitations for ghostwriting a book-length nonfiction manuscript (200-250 pages) for as little as $300.00 — about one-tenth the average market rate in the US for a professional job.

        New-Wage gurus apparently do make use of sites such as E-Lance and 99Designs, and most offer a level of compensation that is an utter insult to professionals. Joe himself sells a piece of software called “Hypnotic Writing Wizard,” and on the sales page he notes that you can use it to make eye-popping amounts of money in a variety of ways. One of the things you can do if you buy and use his product, he says, is to become a ghostwriter. “Good ghostwriters make $50,000 and up PER book,” he gushes. Yet I seriously doubt that he or most of his cronies would ever consider paying someone else that much money to write a book for them.

        There are some exceptions, I’m sure. But for the most part, New-Wage gurus who brag about making tons of money balk at shelling out even a fair price for professional creative services.

        1. Regarding my comment above: $300.00 for ghostwriting a book-length nonfiction ms is one-one HUNDREDTH the market rate in the US. I’m not *that* innumerate, just a little sleep-deprived.

          1. @Cosmic Connie,

            If ghost writers make that much, they’re doing better than most “authors.”

            You might get 50k to ghost write for Sarah Palin, with a bonus on top of that if you don’t use an implausibly large number of “big people words.”

          1. @Duff, No problem… I am just trying to be as fair as possible to everyone. However, as for your statement about “a living parody” etc., I can’t argue with that. :-)

    2. @Unicorn Army ::

      For realz! That’s an ass load. If that’s how much ghost writers make :: sign me up! I could knock out 250 pages in 3 weeks … and I can be at least as dumb as Sarah.

      @Connie ::

      How much do you think Linda Sivertsen got for ghost writing Harmonic Wealth? Do you know her :: or of her?

      @All ::

      It’s not just creative types that they are ripping off either. Software nerds :: publishers :: professional services :: office cleaning staff :: sign makers :: etc etc. Without a doubt :: they create “abundance” in their own lives by ripping off everyone in their immediate vicinity.

      Speaking of 99Designs :: and Harlan Kilstein {on a different post} :: a little birdie told me that this knock off site is his doing …

      http://www.99copywriters.com/

      1. @Unicorn Army: When Sarah Palin’s book, “Going Rogue,” was first released, the buzz was that she received a $7 million dollar advance. Sources close to Palin reported that it wasn’t nearly that much; it was closer to $2.5 million. But still.
        http://blogs.forbes.com/bizblog/2010/07/07/what-sarah-palin-really-earns-less-than-you-think/

        In any case we can be pretty sure that Palin’s “collaborator” (who actually did the bulk of the writing) received considerably more than $50,000. Advances of even $2.5 million are rare these days, of course, especially since most publishers are hurting. But some are still willing to shell out the big bucks for “celebrity” books. And HarperCollins, Palin’s publisher, is owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who has a lot of money to throw around and is pretty much on the same page as Palin, politically.

        @SD, I’ve been trying for some time now to find out more about Linda Sivertsen’s deal. I know *of* her but I do not know her personally. Linda is an established professional ghostwriter and author consultant (who has been dubbed the “Author Whisperer”). I imagine she nailed a professional-level deal for Harmonic Wealth, perhaps as much as 50% of the advance James Ray received from the publisher, though I don’t know. Whether she also got in on the royalty deal as well is anyone’s guess. Again, I don’t know.

        Since Harmonic Wealth was published in the wake of JAR’s “Secret” fame, he certainly commanded a considerably larger advance than he would have otherwise. As many know, Forbes reported that it was in the seven figures. JAR bragged about it on his blog…
        http://blog.jamesray.com/2009/02/heres-how-i-got-harmonic-wealth.html

        …and linked to Linda as the secret behind that huge deal:
        http://www.winningbookproposals.com/

        BTW, JAR’s previous works were self-published, and I’m sure that he paid his ghostwriter(s)/collaborator(s) a pittance for those, but again, this is just speculation on my part.

        While $50,000 to ghostwrite a standard nonfiction book may be on the slightly higher end of the going market rate in the US, it is not actually an extravagant amount if we’re talking about a book that is properly researched (if applicable) and professionally written, a process that can and usually does take considerably more than three weeks. Depending upon the complexity of the subject matter, it can take three months, six months or even a year or longer. I say this as a person who, in partnership with my guy Ron, has made a fair living as a ghostwriter, though not on the level of a celeb-autobio collaborator of course. This is a feast-or-famine business for most of us. Maybe Ron and I have just been doing it wrong all these years, but we’ve found that writing a real book is more difficult than it appears on the surface — though admittedly you’d never know that from reading the offerings of some of the h-dorks who just churn ’em out by the week.

        My beef about Joe V breezily saying, “Good ghostwriters get $50,000 and up per book” is that he is claiming to sell a “writing wizard” software product that could potentially allow anyone to easily make this kind of money (which is very unrealistic at best) — and yet I’m guessing that he and his abundant-minded buddies would NEVER pay anyone nearly that much to write something for them.

  5. “It’s OKAY to think this shit is NOT OKAY.:

    Isnt this exactly why David Schirmer from Australia got exposed?

    When people get a strong gut instinct that they are being manipulated they soon get the confidence to speak up. And these guys like nothing worse than when their ex clients get together and start comparing notes. It is about time these guys were really held accountable for their unforgivable greed.

  6. We just want to say the episode on ABC was good, and we are glad they remembered colleen…Dan Harris was in our home in Nov. and we think they are doing a fine job in keeping this story out there…NOT as good as the droid…OF COURSE!!!!!!! thank you again from colleens family

    1. @john graham,

      Bless your heart. I was very glad they covered a bit of Colleen’s story, since she is so often overlooked.

      I never attended a James Ray event, but have been fooled by other proponents of magical thinking, so I empathize with you and your family.

      I hope that James Ray gets the maximum penalty for the sweat lodge deaths, since they may never be able to put a case together for Colleen.

  7. @SD wrote of the Wish Dolly pic: “… careful now … don’t look too close or all of your wildest dreams might come true! … or not.”

    Silly Robot. Just looking at Wish Dolly won’t make your dreams come true. You need to print out the picture and draw eyeballs on Hoshun. That involves a little effort, yes, but the good news is that you can print out as many pictures as you have wishes. What a bargain! With the free version on this site, though, you’ll have to supply your own magickal clearing audio.

  8. Great job, as usual, Droid.

    As a reminder, the blind Secret Russian Wishmaker sticker was modeled after an actual doll that a Russian woman named Maria gave to Joe Vitale during his fateful trip to Russia last fall. Maria apparently wanted to do a joint venture with Vitale to bring Hochun to the American people, and also earn some money for her charity. Her site:

    http://www.hochun.ru/

    Joe and Pat decided to replicate Maria’s artwork on a JPG, put it on some Cafe Press coffee mugs, etc. and couple it with their ear-splitting audios.

    Maria apparently left some comments on Connie’s blog post about that:

    http://cosmicconnie.blogspot.com/2009/10/hello-dolly.html

    Not sure what happened from that, whether or not Maria decided to pursue anything behind the scenes, but it was readily apparent from this critic’s quite existent eyes that an impropriety took place.

    I personally can’t wait until Vitale goes back to Russia, he keeps teasing that he he will. I wonder if Hochun’s army will be waiting.

    1. Yeah, that was “real nice” of Joe Vitale to run with that woman’s idea and turn it from a genuine, physical artifact into a digital joke. I bet she feels really great having shared and trusted her heritage and village craftsmanship with him now.

      Do you think this will be Joe’s next “wish dolly” conversion? …

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daruma_doll

      1. @burp, Jesus, I hope not. As a Zen student and practitioner, that would be remarkably saddening…

    2. Wow, the Russian woman Joe Vitale took that idea from responded as follows on Cosmic Connie’s blog above (go check it out and read all the followup comments):

      “I created my doll three years ago and now I sell them all over the Russia. And when I got to know that Joe would visited my town I decided to offer him a cooperation. But I didn’t know that He will take my idea and without any thanks will use my trade mark and idea for his own profit!!!”

      It sure sounds like Vitale is a total dirt bag.

  9. What annoys me more than anything is when these people have the gall to come out and say “I had nothing do to with it” LIKE HELL!!!!!!! If they choose to play God then everyone else is entitled to do the same AND THEY WILL!!!!!!

  10. There is something really dumb-ass about that guy on the Secret movie who talked about visualizing car parks. I bet that pathetic comment has haunted him every time he goes out looking for a car park. Oh and the same idiot writes his own checks in the mail. If there was anything about that movie that looked incredibly stupid and suspicious it was that guys contribution. The fact that its all about “mind-games” is no surprise when you look at who was involved in it. Seriously how sick and sad do you have to be to need a LIFE COACH???????????

      1. @Duff, When I heard that I thought finding a close parking space would not be the Will of the Universe because we humans are supposed to walk, the Universe wants us to! Unless of course,one is not able, or has problems walking, and for that, the Universe has created handicapped spaces and permits.

      2. @Duff, Good points about confirmation bias. At any rate the “car park” and “checks in the mail” examples are especially humorous when you consider that this person is the infamous David Schirmer, who, among his many other troubles, was recently banned for life from providing financial services in Australia.

      3. @Duff,

        I’m afraid that everyone is mis-informed about how to find good parking places.

        I have a Parking Goddess on my dashboard. Everytime I am in a crowded lot, I wind up the Parking Goddess, she flaps her wings, and then I am able to find a spot.

          1. @Jean D,

            Actually, I must confess to complete and total lame-ness.

            I once tried to post a YouTube video, and, despite Mr. Salty’s explicit and careful instructions, I was unable to do it, and he had to do it for me.

            I later tried to post another one, and it still didn’t work. I think I need someone right here, telling me what I’m doing wrong.

            I don’t know how to post a picture, either.

            I have some minor brain damage, which, coupled with my advanced age, is apparently quite deadly.

            However, I bought the Parking Goddess through a catalog, and I might be able to post a link.

            I may need some lemonade afterward.

            1. @Hippo, Too funny! This site has fantastic funny gifts. Thanks for the links http://www.mcphee.com/shop/
              When my friend years ago mentioned “parking lot luck” which is ridiculous to me,for reasons I stated above, my response was,”If you park far away you’re guaranteed a quick parking space AND you get some exercise which will help you lose the weight you’re always complaining about.”

            2. To Jean:

              I don’t think Archie McPhee has this item anymore, but they DO have bacon-flavored toothpicks.

              If you really want one, maybe you can find one on eBay.

  11. Positive thinking does work sometimes, though.

    As Mr. Fire wrote in a February 2010 post…

    “Again, we won’t know what the entire ABC News show will be like until they edit it and air it in May. (Nerissa filmed the entire interview on her flip cam, so we can match their editing with what was actually recorded.) I think the show will be great. After all, I’m thinking positive.

    “As for now, I’m grateful to have met Dan Harris and attracted ABC News here…”

    http://blog.mrfire.com/attracting-abc-news/

    I would imagine that a fairly substantial viewing audience is grateful as well.

    1. @Cosmic Connie,

      Holy shit this post is hilarious… I love all the Attract Money Now anchor text. Does he not realize he looks like a complete fucking tool?

      1. @Big Chuck,
        The funny thing is that Vitale really thought the ABC program would be called “Positive Thinking”.. It is hilarious that instead they called it “Mind Games”!!

        1. @wondering why, @Big Chuck : Equally amusing is this trackback post on Matt Welsh’s Spiritual Media blog:

          http://www.spiritualmediablog.com/2010/02/11/abc-news-program-on-positive-thinking/

          The post begins: “ABC News will air an hour long TV special in May, or sooner, on positive thinking. It will include people against it and people in favor of it such as Dr. Joe Vitale, Rev. Michael Beckwith and Bob Proctor.”

          Notwithstanding the oversimplification and outright inaccuracy in the implication that critics of self-help gurus are “against” any sort of positive thinking, I think Matt Welsh’s blog post — as well as Joe’s — reflect what ABC’s original plans apparently were. Over the months their plans changed (with, I would imagine, a little guidance from some of their sources). This happened despite all of the positive thinking, LOA invocation, and lucky charms the h-dorks had at their disposal.

          1. @Cosmic Connie, just replace “positive thinking” with “absolute bullshit” and it reads just fine.

            They just needed a little help with the editing.

  12. I think people still under the control of these Mind Manipulators should start taking a really good look at themselves and discover just how successful they have been “under the influence”. The only successful people are the manipulators themselves and it sure isnt financial success that they are achieving but success manipulating people in a very negative way.

  13. I will say, the ABC special came on while I had my son and a friend on vacation. I made them start watching it, but they were fascinated, and we watched it all. They could not believe the bullshit coming out of Ray (even this watered down ABC version), and they wondered why anyone would keep coming back. They thought the people at the end were ass clowns.
    Jokes about needing the law of positive attraction to catch more fish filled the next day, but they got it – so two more people were hopefully saved from something stupid. They asked me deeper questions, and we talked about it. Which was cool.
    So yeah – it was weak (weak, like Dan Harris’ psuedo-hip wardrobe choices and nicely forced ‘hands-in-pockets’ delivery, and weak like Vitale’s human traits), but it was something. And the more ‘somethings’ we see out there about these assholes (thanks to Cosmic Connie and the droid for great strides here), the more kids like mine will consciously see these charlatans and cretins for the shit they are, and keep flushing their way violently in the opposite direction.

  14. “The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence that it is not utterly absurd; indeed, in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more often likely to be foolish than sensible.”

    Bertrand Russell

    AND STILL SOME PEOPLE BELIEVE IN THESE FOOLS!

  15. Vitale, Schirmer, Ray and the rest of the sad people mentioned on this blog are like pigs at the get rich quick trough.

    I read somewhere “When times get tough and the tide goes out, that’s when you get to see who’s been swimming naked.” They are now getting exposed like never before and it seems they have been full of shit all along.

  16. With all that happened that night in the sweat lodge. With all that has come out about JAR. Not only are people still lining up to go to JAR events but some **who attended the sweat lodge and could have been fatally injured** are still willing to spend their hard earned money with the very man who showed a reckless, even callous disregard for their lives.

    As my drill instructor used to say:

    “You’ve gotta be shittin’ me”

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. It’s obvious the people attending these events are looking for something and for some inexplicable reason believe spending five figures with JAR will help them find it.

    Makes crap like this seem lame in comparison.

    http://www.patobryan.com/pdsl.htm
    http://www.myalienguitar.com
    http://www.attractanewcar.com
    http://www.secretrussianwishmaker.com/

    1. @corsair, Yes they are looking for something that they aint going to find with any of these fools.

      “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.”
      Albert Einstein

      Kudos to everyone who has spoken out about these characters, you deserve a medal.

  17. Oh, my, it’s Old Home Week on YouTube. On the same page where I saw the Joe V video that I linked to above, there was a link to this by Not-Doctor Harlan Kilstein:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjrVLwpOyc0&feature=related

    In this vid we learn that the most deadly sin is beating up on yourself and downplaying your success.

    And one of the sponsored links that popped up was an ad for Kevin True-dough’s Your Wish Is Your Command CD set.

    OK, that’s enough links for now.

  18. Pingback: » The Final Four
    1. @wondering why, Click on the author’s name and you go to this:
      “Karen Giardunio wants you to discover for yourself how to make Big Money as an Affiliate Marketer in order to Recession Proof your Income. Karen wants to introduce you to her mentor… he is a Mutli- Millionaire who will bring you into his inner circle and show you ways to promote and sell other peoples products or services using proven strategies and systems that really work. You will be affiliated with a reputable…”

      Need we ask who her mentor is who wants to “bring us into his inner circle” ?

      1. @Jean D,
        Oh yes..I see..another scammer..I just hope no gets sucked in by her little “blog”

  19. Anybody else pick up a copy of Steven Salerno’s “Sham: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless” after seeing him in this? I checked it out from my local library, and so far, I wish it was a little less opinion-piece, a little more case study (but he’s mainly an essayist, so I guess that was to be expected). But interesting all the same, and it’s not like I lost any money on it either way. I just found his blog as well, which looks wrought with the usual suspects. Enjoy! http://shambook.blogspot.com/

    1. @Feather Boa-Constricter, I found Steve’s blog a little over four years ago and enjoyed it so much that I was inspired to start my own. I enjoyed the book SHAM as well. Yes, it’s an “opinion piece,” but a well-researched one. SHAM was initially published in mid-2005, quite some time before The Secret hit the fans, and apparently before the author was completely aware of the extent to which New-Agey concepts have permeated the larger culture (though the book does mention New-Age stars such as Deep-pockets Chopra and Marianne Williamson). Even so, IMO it provides a good overview of the negative effects of self-help on our culture, and I think it has withstood the test of time quite well. I hope it gets more exposure as a result of Steve’s appearance on the Mind Games episode.

      1. @Cosmic Connie, I agree with you, and I hope his publisher encourages a post-Secret chapter or something. I’m glad to see *anything* at this point as a contrasting opinion, and it wasn’t a big shocker that this was the only book of its kind in my public library (amidst the see of the Dyers and the liars. ;) ).

  20. “Sham: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless” AND the rest of the world!!!!!!

  21. A little aside: I was watching Good Morning America today and there was a spot about Mel Gibson’s latest domestic-violence woes, which could mean big trouble for him legally. The damage-control expert GMA called upon to offer his expert opinion on this matter was none other than Howard Bragman, who, as most of us may recall, enjoyed a brief stint as damage-controller for Death Ray. I’ve often wondered exactly what Mr. Bragman thought about the split with JRI — relief, perhaps?

      1. @Jean D,

        Ah, thanks. I should’ve guessed. I was almost going to answer but then got that strange sensation like getting ones shirt caught in a paper shredder.

  22. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

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