Photo courtesy of Buffalo post
On Friday, February 26, 2010 James Arthur Ray was released from Camp Verde jail. On Thursday, Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Warren Darrow lowered Ray's original bond from $5 million to $525,000. By the next morning at 11:00 am, Ray was able to post bond. For now, he is a free man. The conditions of his parole are that he surrenders his passport, that he doesn’t conduct any more plastic sweats of visions quests and that he not leave the state of California except for work.
Ray’s statement to the public can be heard here:
It seems that a lot of frauds featured on Oprah are re-creating themselves these days.
James Frey has re-created his reality to include a fake Indian name – John Twelve Hawks.
Frey told the media, "I will neither confirm nor deny that I am John Twelve Hawks [...] or anyone else ... I will say that I have done, and I am continuing to do, projects that will come out anonymously or with invented names on them,"
James Ray has been tweeting differently lately. He seems to have abandoned "The Secret" philosophy – well at least he isn’t interested in how he attracted 3 counts of manslaughter – and he’s projecting a more mainstream, Christian image online.
Ray’s choice of quotations may merely be just part of his racist indoctrination in American culture. He may be unwittingly equating light with knowledge and civility and darkness with mystery and savagery from his CORE western Christian beliefs. He seems to have abandoned the create your own reality philosophy and is attempting to re-make himself in a more acceptable, mainstream born-again Christian fashion. I’m sure all this is for a potential jury. Frauds who get caught always re-make themselves and go back to doing exactly what brought in money before. Ray’s going to have to sanitize himself from any bizarre beliefs promoted by the Angel Valley people and present himself to a jury of his peers as a sincere, religious leader who was the victim of a terrible accident. To maintain control over the true believers, Ray has always demonized critical thinking and free debate. His latest tweets are quite chilling when you put it the context of his history of influencing people to take risks with their mental, physical, spiritual and financial health.
"…Aspirants to be noble clay under the Almighty effort, let us advance on chaos and the dark"
"If you can't embrace the dark you'll never dance in the light"
"Very few understand that it's the dark that creates and gives birth to greater light. Read the book of Genesis again."
"It's the experiences of the darkness that bring clarity to the light"
It’s not too bright after repeatedly being accused of being a cult leader to talk about turning people into clay, and Ray is a cunning guy. So I’m sure that this quote has a lot of hidden meaning to the true believers who are still out there, refusing to admit they’ve been fooled by this cunning trickster. I know the Angel valley compound uses "light" and "dark" metaphors in their space opera. Either way, Ray is clearly setting up an "Us verse Them" dichotomy to prevent his few true believers from being contaminated by free discourse or critical thinking. It’s not uncommon from frauds who have been unmasked to adopt a persecution complex and paint themselves as Jesus, crucified by the ignorant unbelievers. It should be interesting to see how Ray is "re-born" after the deathlodge incident.
Ray’s fate is now in the hands of a jury, so Ray’s PR team has probably been working on his public image before he faces a jury of 12 of his ‘peers’
I did an internet search for demographics by zip code for
the Angel Valley Retreat in Sedona 86336 and this is what I found:
James Ray’s ‘peers’ are 53.2% female, 92.5% white with a median age of 50.7. 57.4% are gainfully employed with a median income slightly above the U.S. average at $41,966 / year in 1999 dollars. 90.5% have High School diplomas, 38.5 % have Bachelor’s degrees (significantly above the national average of 24.4%)
According to my sources, the people of Sedona who will decide Ray’s fate are also overwhelmingly politically liberal and to open New Age philosophies. The jury pool includes all of Yavapai county, but Arizona only pays $12.00 per day for jury duty, so that lets out almost anyone who's not wealthy enought to afford to take time off for a long jury trial. I hear Arizona is having trouble getting jurors because very few people can afford to take even a day off for the fabulous wage of $1.50 / hour! Also, I hear from skinz in Arizona that there isn’t a lot of love lost between some of the more straight-laced proprietors of businesses that cater to tourism and the Angel Valley people. It should be interesting to see if Ray will distance himself from the people he termed "experts" in his "white papers". I'll definitely be watching how he re-creates his reality in the coming months.
Too bad there can’t be a change of venue to the 57770 code, ey?
The Rick Ross forum has been analyzing Ray’s tweets as the specific, technical persuasion techniques that they clearly are:
The Anti-Cult analyzes James Ray’s tweets as being "carefully written and deliberate." He claims Ray is using twitter to contact his followers and maintain control over their thinking so that they see themselves as ‘elite’ and special. This is what all plastic shamans do to prevent their followers from researching their credentials and bizarre paranormal claims.
James Ray’s supporters on twitter are:
An example of a James Ray true believer is Hermai Nelson:
Hermia tweets to James Ray: "Light can only serves it purpose if darkness exists. My #1passion is bring light into darkness. Wonder why I'm so supportive?"
Hermia tweets to James Ray: "thanks 4 play-by-play tweets. Feel like playing HWW in my head. 3 years ago my new life begins when I saw u in the secret dvd."
James Ray to Hermia : "Is it still uncomfortable 4u to become HUB master faculty member?? Be our speaker at HUB event to pre-sale your book in Nov 6-7."
Without all the attention to the Sedona incident, there would not be so much information about how MLM (Multi-Level-Marketing) Cults attract and manipulate young idealistic and ambitious people.
The willingness to believe on the part of MLM cult members is remarkably similar to the willingness to believe among New Age seekers. That willingness and desperation makes them vulnerable to cults that can take their live savings, their spiritual integrity and even their lives. Let's hope the nons learned their lesson this time.
You can't find spirituality from people advertising it on the internet. It has to come from within. It doesn't come effortlessly or without struggling with your shadows. If you truly want to be a more spiritual person, look within. Look at your relationships to other human beings. Native Spirituality is all about sharing and reciprocity. It doesn't have anything to do with living a long life or attracting wealth. James Ray's philosophies and the philosophies of most plastic shamans who advertise on the internet are completely antithetical to indigenous spiritual teachings. Our spirituality is about sharing power equally and creating community. Selfless giving is what it's all about.
My advise to any non-Indian seeking a spiritual dimension to their life it to look within -- examine your white skin privilege and find ways to balance power in the society you live in. Forget about revisionist history and creating a fantasy past that never existed. Look at the present society you live in and do what you can to make it a little bit better. Native Americans value acts of selflessness, NOT intentions. Spirituality is hard work. If you try to take short cuts, you make yourself vulnerable to cult leaders who manipulate you because of their insatiable lust for power. I hope the trickster James Arthur Ray learned his lesson, but I predict he will just shape-shift himself into a more cunning, more mainstream version of his old huckster self. It would be a great thing if James Ray could learn from his mistakes and really become a different, less self-involved and selfish person. He needs to understand that the Native community isn't fooled by empty promises or claims of good intentions. These things are meaningless if not backed up be real action. We decide who is our friend based on their actions. Our friends prove themselves to be our friends by their actions. A good man shows himself to be a good man by his generosity with people who are less fortunate than he is. James Ray was given many gifts by the creator which he squandered for accolates in the White world. Can he make amends to the indigenous communities he wronged by perverting their spiritual rites? A good start would be to give generously to Pine Ridge, Cheyenne River and especially the Northern Arizona reservations that were hit hard by severe winter weather. Is James Ray capable of "playing full on" and becoming a generous man of integrity? We will wait and we will watch.