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Related Categories: International | Racial Justice
Oprah Winfrey Should Apologize for Promoting Dangerous Fraud James Arthur Ray
by Dr. Al Carroll
Wednesday Oct 14th, 2009 2:49 PM
Two people died in a distorted New Age version of a Native sweatlodge in Sedona. Dozens more were badly injured. They each paid over $9000 for a bastardized version of a ceremony which by tradition must never be charged for. Natives don't believe in "pay to pray," but apparently the New Age movement does. It is far more of a consumerist phenomena than a genuine spiritual movement. Many lost, misguided, and genuinely sincere seekers get caught up in the idea of paying cash for shortcuts to salvation, and Oprah Winfrey seems to be among them.
Oprah Winfrey Should Apologize for Promoting Dangerous Fraud James Arthur Ray


By Al Carroll


Two people died in a distorted New Age version of a Native sweatlodge in Sedona. Dozens more were badly injured. They each paid over $9000 for a bastardized version of a ceremony which by tradition must never be charged for. Natives don't believe in "pay to pray," but apparently the New Age movement does. It is far more of a consumerist phenomena than a genuine spiritual movement. Many lost, misguided, and genuinely sincere seekers get caught up in the idea of paying cash for shortcuts to salvation, and Oprah Winfrey seems to be among them.


Winfrey promoted New Age leader James Arthur Ray on her program a number of times. It was Ray who jammed over sixty people into a "sweatbox." Traditionally perhaps a dozen people are in a sweatlodge. The lodge is made from natural materials so the heat will not be too intense. But not Ray's "sweatbox." It was sealed with heavy plastic tarp to deliberately make the heat as intense as possible. People even competed to see who could withstand the highest temperatures, making it a bizarre contest rather than a ceremony to heal. Traditionally most of those in a sweatlodge have been through it before so they could guide novices, but seemingly the clients/victims of Ray's outnumbered those conducting it by at least twenty to one.


Traditionally, you don't charge for spiritual ceremony. You also don't do it out of curiosity, because you think it would be "cool," or for any reason except to heal. Survivors of alcoholism or PTSD are often healed by a sweatlodge. Thrill seekers should go elsewhere, hopefully to some self examination.


Spiritual exploiters like James Arthur Ray should be ashamed of themselves, but rarely are. After all, they get rich and have cult followings of the naïve or lost. Ray may belong in prison for negligent homicide, along with others who conduct extremely dangerous false versions of a sweatlodge. Ray's operation likely knew that a sweatlodge, when run by anyone other than an extensively trained Native traditionalist, routinely results in deaths or injuries. There are deaths from phony New Age sweatlodges in Texas, Britain, Australia, and in California multiple times. The Australian Medical Association issued a warning about phony sweatlodges, something that American and European medical associations should do.


A sweatlodge that is not properly run can result in death from asphyxiation, heart attack, or dehydration. Hapless New Agers routinely get burned or scalded. There are also many cases of psychological damage. You can relive traumas in a sweatlodge, such as child molestation or rape, as well as manic episodes. The rocks heated in a sweatlodge, if not properly chosen, can explode. Finally, many of the worst exploiters sexually abuse their followers. It's easy to pass out in the heat of a sweatlodge. Many women (and men) are molested or raped. No one should trust any operator who insists on a sweatlodge alone or in the nude.


Don't trust anyone who advertises or charges for ceremony. There's a simple standard that non-Natives should use when thinking about going to an alleged "Native" ceremony: If the operators seek out non-Native peoples, they are frauds looking to take your money. Actual Native traditionalists neither seek nor want converts. Native ceremonies are intended for Native communities, always. They lose their power and meaning once taken outside that context.


For her part in promoting the dangerous fraud James Arthur Ray, Oprah Winfrey should publicly apologize and vow to be more careful about who she endorses in the future. How many of the victims in Sedona would never have gone there had they not seen Winfrey's program? How wealthy did Ray become off of his victims because of Winfrey's repeated endorsement of Ray, both on her show and online? Why didn't her show's researchers take the time to look carefully and see what they should have known, that Ray was potentially dangerous to his followers?


Winfrey, I believe, is a good hearted person who sincerely wants to help her audience. She apologized for promoting an author who lied about the life he described in his books and strongly criticized him on her own show. Why can't she do the same to James Arthur Ray and confront him also? She should do the right thing and retract all endorsements of Ray and vow to take greater care in the future and never promote New Age exploiters again.

Bio: Al Carroll is a historian, Fulbright Scholar, and one of the founders of New Age Frauds Plastic Shamans (NAFPS) an activist group dedicated to warning the public about exploiters and imposters who pose as Native medicine people, located online at http://www.newagefraud.org/. His first book is Medicine Bags and Dog Tags: Native Veterans from Colonial Times to the Second Iraq War from University of Nebraska Press.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Newton Fortuin
(newton [at] newfort.co.za) Thursday Oct 15th, 2009 4:37 AM
Thank you for bringing up this issue as it validates what I have been saying for a while and appeared to be the only one doing so--at least where I reside in Cape Town South Africa. I detailed the entire scam that is The Secret in a manuscript The Scourge of our Time: The Demise of Critical Thinking in the Age of "The Secret", and the role Oprah inadvertently played in its conception and the eventual scale of its promulgation. I argue that view it is the greatest con ever conceived. I also wrote a general critique on Oprah's Flakiness titled Muddied Waters.

Many thanks,
Newton
by Mary Lavado
Thursday Oct 15th, 2009 8:53 AM
As a member of one of the dead's family, Thank You. This man needs to take responsibility, if found to be criminally negligent. I have faith in the AZ authorities to make sure justice is served.
by Howard Zinn
Thursday Oct 15th, 2009 1:06 PM
Everyone immediately yells at Oprah...Larry King also had James Arthur Ray on his show several times. This means Larry King also promoted James Ray. Oprah had several other speakers from on her show at the same time that James Ray appeared, several years ago. Larry King had several one-on-one interviews with James Arthur Ray. Oprah is not more accountable than Larry King. Funny how people often blame the woman and not the man. Oprah is a talk show host. Is she to be held accountable for all the actions of her guest forever more?
by Newton Fortuin
(newton [at] newfort.co.za) Thursday Oct 15th, 2009 2:06 PM
You're certainly right, but it has nothing to do with male or female or anything else. Oprah actively promoted (still promotes) these New Age ideas, the latest one being Eckard Tolle, though I don't think his a conman, but that I personally think his philosophy is greatly floored, and indeed this continual propagation of spiritual innuendo to her enormous captive mass audience, is what the likes of Ray feeds on.

Interestingly this is what Tolle had to say about his book <i>The Power of Now</i> in a packed auditorium in Germany: "Once I began to grapple with the immense power and vastness of the past and future I began to realize that now, which I had been telling people was so powerful, was actually a thin slice of practically nothing, something that is over just a moment after it has begun.”

OOP!

While some time later Oprah remarked: "I keep this book at my bedside. I think it's essential spiritual teaching. It's one of the most valuable books I've ever read."

The bottom line is that those who have such enormous power to influence such as Oprah, take far more responsibility for the power they wield over the masses, and to refrain from poisoning society with their wayward religious views. And I think this is where there is a major difference between King and Oprah, King interviewed these individuals, while this certainly had given them significant legitimacy, Oprah was clearly enamored by them. In fact since the secret she had taken on one of the masters as her own religious guide, self confessed former drug lord Micheal Bernard Beckworth (he confessed this on an Oprah show and his popularity grew even more), exchanging the opiate of hard narcotics for the more profitable and less risky trade in new age religion. The point I'm making about the distinction between the two is that Oprah brings an emotional dimension to this which clearly goes beyond a mere interview, and in my view is incredibly dangerous.

So yes, going back to the main point, because of her unprecedented role in having promoted the underlying worldview, and then to actively promote the exploiters of those so enamored, and that she consequently is more culpable than anyone else I know of (even King), I think she should apologies, as as she did in the James Frey debacle. But so indeed should King and others for their stupidity/willful ignorance.
by StephanB
Thursday Oct 15th, 2009 4:10 PM
To my knowledge, he was on her show regarding The Secret. He's not in her general stable of experts. There were five people promoting The Secret, and they appeared on several shows, including Larry King. James Ray was one of them.

He's done lots of media.... Today Show several times this year... very practical topics.

by Howard Zinn
Thursday Oct 15th, 2009 8:34 PM
There are many people in the media who are influential, not just Oprah. But somehow people always seem to blame her when something goes awry. Oprah had about five other speakers on that particular show, along with Mr. Ray. The movie, "The Secret" was already a runaway hit before she interviewed these people. If I'm not mistaken, free speech is still in effect in our country. Oprah is not responsible for all the actions of every person she has ever interviewed on her show. Ultimately, James Arthur Ray and the other adults involved are responsible for their own actions. We are talking about adults, not children.
by Newton Fortuin
Thursday Oct 15th, 2009 11:39 PM
I acknowledge both your points. And yes, why should Oprah be singled out?

Well it simply is because she is probably the most influential person on this planet (even here in Africa), and over the past years she had ignorantly supported some really dubious characters. She has also almost single-handedly spawned the new age craze with the many flakes and quakes that had resulted from it, and who now are exploiting millions with impunity. In fact she still supports many of them, Beckworth and Tolle being two cases in point.

The point I’m making is that we should demand a higher standard from those who have such a monumental power over our lives. It’s therefore not only that we should have freedom of speech as that is a given, but that there should also be consequences, but furthermore that Oprah’s utterances have a profound effect on forming the mindset of society.

Granted, Oprah does a lot of good, but how much of that is PR? And this not only applies to her. Again, the point is that we should hold those we have bestowed such great power to a much higher standard because, simply becauwse of the power they wield over our lives.

Therefore I still maintain that those who created a fertile ground for the likes of Ray to operate with such great impunity (in particular Oprah) should also be held accountable for their influence in elevating frauds and opportunist like Ray. As the great psychiatrist Viktor Frankl once said, great Freedom must come with even greater Responsibility.
by Howard Zinn
Friday Oct 16th, 2009 4:27 AM
Mr. Fortuin. I find your arguments against Oprah thin. How, specifically, is Eckharte Tolle a dubious character?
by Newton Fortuin
Friday Oct 16th, 2009 5:36 AM
I don't think Tolle is a dubious character in that I don’t think he is a conman, although I think his worldview is rather flaky and that I think his misguided--my personal opinion though. But certainly the masters of The Secret indicated he was their inspiration, but they certainly fully knew that many were enamoured by his philospohy thanks primarily to Oprah. The argument in my manuscript is that Tolle et al's new age worldviews were about at the turn of the century, and that before The Great Depression, many fraudsters had used these exact views to exploit proponents of this root belief system. The book was written in 2007 and in fact I judged that, based on the level of proliferation of these views, that a major economic meltdown of the scale of the great depression is imminent--it is well documented that great falls, especially of empires, are preceded by the great proliferation of idealistic belief systems. This is usually evidenceed by the degree to which reality is subverted by the ideology.

Here is an extract from my manuscript which relates directly to Tolle and his worldview which would clarify my opinion of him.

___________________________________________________________________

Thus as much as views as The Power of Now by prominent new age thinker Eckhardt Tolle’s, is essentially good in constructively orientating oneself towards our neurotic preoccupations, is also limited, primarily because it does perceive the ego as the ubiquitous enemy.
The following extract from A New Earth givis some insight into Tolle’s thinking in this regard.

“The meek are the egoless. They are those who have awakened to their essential true nature as consciousness and recognize that essence in all "others," in all life-forms. They live in the surrendered state and so feel their oneness with the whole and the Source. They embody the awakened consciousness that is changing all aspects of life on our planet, including nature, because life on earth is inseparable from the human consciousness that perceives and interacts with it. That is the sense in which the meek will inherit the earth”.

While there is a larger context to this quote, it nevertheless is representative of the greater new age sentiment. In the book Tolle essentially argues that the fight between good and evil is an inner one, and that for evil to be vanquished, merely requires the abdication of our will to an indwelling ‘Source’. It then is presumed that, in our own individual vanquishing of our inner evil natures through subjugating our ego, the greater external world will succumb to the new collective consciousness developing in the souls of all the meek who have so seen the light. Thus, as this new consciousness develops in the increasing multitudes of humanity, those who have surrendered to “the Source” would eventually inherit the earth. Presumably then, all wickedness would be obliterated as this new state of consciousness develops in the collective hearts and minds of all humankind.

This to my rational sensibilities is absolute wishful thinking. What is completely ignored is that, as much as the evil aspects dwelling within every human being must indeed be bitterly fought from within, the battle between good and evil, for the most part, is an external phenomenon. This is because the collective good, of necessity, must wage an active battle against the collective bad. And that this can only occur within the greater world of action and consequence. The meek who supposedly have abdicated their will to “the Source” could therefore not be a productive force in this battle. It fact they likely would be of no meaningful consequence towards establishing the greater good. They may perhaps even become a greater hindrance. Or as history frequently have shown, are prone to become absorbed by a far greater unconscious evil force that humanity is yet to contend with.

As such they would be the one’s Edmund Burke referred to when he proclaimed “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for 'good' men to do nothing.”

In fact the danger in this call is that those who heed it, become far more egoistic. This is because, in their resignation to meekness, so to prefer not to become part of any active solution as they are already in harmony with the source. And that it would not serve their present harmonious state to give any heed to the greater disharmonious world, and who indeed are paying the price for not incorporating their worldview.

However what Tolle is essentially arguing for is complete mental resignation to circumstance in the wake of what potentially can become an unprecedented social cataclysm (with reference to the economic crisis).

That is considering the sheer mass of humanity today as opposed to the years of the great depression,
rapidly dwindling resources including basic food commodities, unprecedented consumerist greed, but
from which he believes his meek will emerge victorious. History notwithstanding his idealism informs us that the meek will certainly be devoured at such times as the rules of the jungle always re-emerges more wickedly when times are desperate.

It is also the meek who are most prone to incorporate escapist new age philosophies, so wishing to flee from their dreary daily realities. In this quest for the easy way out, become the very one’s who overwhelmingly fall victim to false inducements as well—in this case, as The Secret’s.

And history certainly informs us that it also was the meek that became Hitler’s unquestioning following, while it most definitely was the brave who eventually brought him down.
To gain some perspective on this issue it is useful to consider the insights of the most eminent expert on the ego, the Dalai Lama. In The Dalai Lama’s Book of Wisdom he writes.

“I usually make a distinction between different types of ego. One ego is self-cherishing in order to get some
benefit for itself, disregarding the rights of others. This is the negative ego. Another ego says, "I must be a good human being. I must serve. I must take full responsibility." That kind of strong feeling of 'I' or self opposes some of our negative emotions.
“So there are two types of ego, and wisdom or intelligence makes a distinction. Similarly, we must be able to
distinguish between genuine humility and a lack of confidence. One may mistake the two because both of these
are sort of slightly humbling mental functions, but one is positive and the other is negative.”

What is apparent is that there truly is not a state of egolessness unless one is in a vegetative state, but
rather that one may have a weak inconsequential one. For this reason the call for the renunciation of ego is a completely nonsense one. While Tolle prophesies his new world order based on his neo Eastern philosophy, Americans in particular are well advised that, while China have been one of the most advanced nations over the ages, history further informs us that they have never been a particularly meek and benevolent one—that is to neither man nor beast. That is aside from the fact that, with their current economic momentum and sheer mass of humanity, clearly are poised to rule the earth.
________________________________________________________________

Extract from The Scourge of our times: The Demise of Critical Thinking in the Age of “The Secret”.
by Howard Zinn
Friday Oct 16th, 2009 9:31 AM
Mr. Fortuin said:
"But certainly the masters of The Secret indicated he (Eckhart Tolle) was their inspiration, but they certainly fully knew that many were enamoured by his philospohy thanks primarily to Oprah."

Me:
A few corrections:

A) Eckhart Tolle was not the inspiration for "The Secret." Esther and Jerry Hicks were the inspiration, and their "Abraham-Hicks" materials were the basis for the movie "The Secret."

B) "The Power of Now" was a runaway bestseller long before Eckhart Tolle appeared on Oprah. He was already extremely popular and known worldwide on his own accord.

C) The philosophy in "The Secret" is quite different from Eckhart Tolle's philosophy. The two have little to do with each other.

Mr. Fortuin said:
"I don't think Tolle is a dubious character in that I don’t think he is a conman, although I think his worldview is rather flaky and that I think his misguided--my personal opinion though."

Me:
D) If Eckhart Tolle is neither a "conman" nor a "dubious character" then there is nothing wrong with having him on her show, even if your personal opinion is that his worldview is "flakey." You have a right to your opinion, as Oprah has a right to hers.

E) In each of your responses, you took one short quote out of context from the materials you don't like and have created entire arguments based on the quote. Unfortunately, your responses actually sound like you haven't really read much the book(s). Sorry!
by Newton Fortuin
Friday Oct 16th, 2009 11:12 AM
I’m going to attempt to answer in one go and not necessarily point by point.
In the book they certainly have indicated that Tolle was their inspiration, though this is perhaps only a marketing line. However, what you will find is that a great majority who have become followers of The Secret and the likes of Ray most likely were taken by the views of some or other new age guru, and particularly Tolle.

And yes, Esther Hicks (or rather the channeled Abraham) was the initial inspiration until she distanced herself from it, but hey, I’m going with what they are saying in their book. This though was a general reference and also referred to Chopra and others.

You certainly are right about Tolle’s work, it has some merit, but that Oprah has given unprecedented airing of such a floored worldview (granted that this is my own view) is questionable in itself. The point however is that she indeed does espouse a particular brand of religion via Tolle, Zukov and co (none of them I think are conman), while we as a society should demand a level of circumspection from someone in the public domain, and not have her religious persuasion so brazenly proliferated. I suppose one could argue that Christians and other religious groupings also do that, so why shouldn’t she? But that’s a debate for another time.

And sure the The Secret’s and Tolle’s philosophy are very different, particularly when it comes to the issue of manifesting wealth, but I in fact did indicate that much of it is not bad, but it certainly is not the alpha either.

About using the quote from Tolle, I said “While there is a larger context to this quote, it nevertheless is representative of the greater new age sentiment”. So it was used to illustrate a point in a much larger argument about how these views are exploited by the likes of Ray, and hence it’s greater danger, but the book was not meant to be a critique of Tolle and this was the only reference.

Finally let me leave you with this quote Tolle gave in a packed auditorium in Germany I which referred to in a earlier comment:

"Once I began to grapple with the immense power and vastness of the past and future I began to realize that now, which I had been telling people was so powerful, was actually a thin slice of practically nothing, something that is over just a moment after it has begun.”

The thing is, how many people did the book influence? As floored in its main premise as Tolle admitted. See, it’s not that aspects of what he is saying is not valuable, but that there are so many aspects to the truth, and that Tolle’s worldview is floored in so many very critical aspects. But hey, he certainly has the right to promulgate his views, just as much as I prefer to view his utterances critically.
by LC268
Friday Oct 16th, 2009 4:55 PM
I really don't think Oprah needs to apologize for anything. Yes the tragedy that happened at Rays retreat is very sad to hear about. I am sure that it is a matter of something gone wrong. Oprah would never promote anyone or anything that she felt would harm anyone. Nor do I think James Arthur Ray or any other person that does this type of event would intentionally risk anyones life. It was a huge mishap that unfortunately cost 2 people their lifes. Asking oprah to apologize for promoting Ray is like asking her to apologize for promoting an Amusement Park where a ride broke and killed the passengers no one expects these things to happen that's why they are called accidents. People do get alot out of these seminars i personally have gained alot of information and insight into my personal and business life by attending these events. I haven't been to one of Rays events but others who are eaqually in to this genre of information.
by Newton Fortuin
Saturday Oct 17th, 2009 12:11 AM
I know I’m hogging this site but I personally feel compelled to set the record straight, particularly with regards to Ray.

Firstly, whether Oprah should apologies is neither here nor there, that’s here choice, she is not directly responsible. It’s just that she should be more circumspect about what and who she promotes, and in particular, it ought to have been insulting to the average person’s sensibilities that she spouts her religious convictions on air as she does, and in this case it cost lives. But that we accept her at times profane religious views and the clowns that promote them is sadly more a reflection of society at large, that we have elevated Oprah, Trump, Paris Hilton, James Arthur Ray and the like, to colossal godlike figures we wish to emulate, while many if not most do have very fickle feet of clay, while al along the true heroes we should strive to be like are in and amongst us, but who oftentimes choose to ignore.

About Ray, he charged $10k for a sweat lodge retreat and crammed 69 people into a decrepit facility (do the math, , more than a half a million, not bad for a couple of days work). True medicine men do not charge for this rite, while in effect commercial operators generally charge more or less $300 per person, and usually no more than a dozen or so. Furthermore he did not have a permit to erect it. What this points to is that he did not care for the participants well being at all.

If this was an Amusement Park, the owner certainly would be held criminally negligent (particularly if he raked huge profits as Ray did without the upkeep of the facility), while the promoter in the very least should be apologetic for having been responsible for getting people to use a decrepit facility and hence apologize. This is notwithstanding that they are not directly culpable, but if they had some knowledge about the state of affairs they most certainly are.

BTW after airing The Secret Oprah received thousands of letters from people who indicated they decided to stop their cancer and other mediation on the advice of The Secret, yet she continued promoting it. That is on this cue in the book:

_________________________________________________________

"You don’t have to *fight* to get rid of disease. Just the *simple* process of letting go of negative thoughts will allow your natural state of health to emerge within you. And your body will heal itself.
"I’ve seen kidneys regenerated. I’ve seen cancer dissolved. I’ve seen eyesight improve and come back.”
_________________________________________________________


How many people actually died because of the false hope conveyed? Indeed she then is also culpable for the many who therefore must have died because of it as she she should have renounced her support of this abomination.

But again, we should hold her to a higher standard because of the power she does wield over our lives, but unfortunately we don’t—perhaps you should read Oprah’s Ugly Secret, although I think the article is perhaps a bit harsh but does make the overall point about Oprah’s responsibility as a shaper of our culture.

After Having said all that I did, I personally think Oprah is one of the good guys in the media, but this is perhaps even more subliminally dangerous.

About that it was an accidents, consider the following lines of the book:
_________________________________________________________

"The Law of Attraction is a law of nature. It is as impartial and impersonal as the law of gravity is. It is precise, and it is exact.
"Everything that surrounds you right now in your life, including the things you’re complaining about, you’ve attracted. Now I know at first blush that’s going to be something that you hate to hear. You’re going to immediately say, "*I didn’t attract the car accident*. I didn’t attract this particular client who gives me a hard time. I didn’t particularly attract the debt." And I'm here to be a little bit in your face and to say, *you did attract it*. This is one of the hardest concepts to get, but once you’ve accepted it, it's life transforming… you have a choice right now."
_________________________________________________________


So in Ray and the Masters of The Secret's world there are no accidents?

I wonder then what Ray must have thought to have brought this calamity upon himself? Or was it merely the thoughts the poor victims had that had brought their fate upon themselves?

So yes, I agree, that is when following the above abominable logic, James was not responsible, the victims were.

The Scourge of our Time: The Demise of Critical Thinking in the Age of “The Secret”
by Sophie
Saturday Oct 17th, 2009 6:19 AM
This recently published inside account of the tragedy is truly shocking. If it is all true, James Ray is starting to look like a very dangerous man, an outright sociopath, and needs to be stopped from recruiting new victims immediately.

http://tinyurl.com/yfy7e7r

http://www.examiner.com/x-11245-Philadelphia-Speculative-Fiction-Examiner~y2009m10d16-Breaking-news-Inside-accounts-of-James-Ray-sweat-lodge-tragedy-and-retreat
by Newton Fortuin
Sunday Oct 18th, 2009 6:57 AM
Sadly a third person died at Ray's hands, a woman by the name of Liz Neuman of Minnesota past away last night of multiple organ failure. And Sophie, it's a real shocking article and one we should all heed. Clearly he is a sociopath, but how many others who come across as the saviors of mankind, in fact are also nothing but narcissists only interested in our adoration for their deeds that they may gain from us.
by J C W
Sunday Oct 18th, 2009 8:54 PM
I believe once charges have been laid and Mr. Ray, who has obviously created this outcome by his choices, has been come to the realization that he was wrong. She will do that. right now, there are is still a week or so of the investigation, that everyone is waiting on.
As a person of partial Native heritage, I urge people to take your advice before wandering into any sweat. And to always be careful no matter what.
Better if women can just find an all Womans sweat. But if it is mixed, be sure of the ethic's of those who lead.
by sophiej
Friday Oct 23rd, 2009 7:58 AM
Most of the world's spiritual traditions advise sharing your knowledge freely, and most of our current "gurus" use and commercialize the knowledge and hard-won wisdom of others.
Dr. Carroll is right. Oprah should apologize, so should Larry King and anyone else who has helped promote these plagiarists of spiritual truth. Insight is not for sale. It must be earned to be learned.
by Newton Fortuin
Friday Oct 23rd, 2009 10:49 AM
Just a thought? It may not be a good idea for her to apologize even if she wants to as this most likely will open a floodgate for civil litigation. This is because those who died at Ray's hands were not the only people to have died because of The Secret's philosophy. I recall her once making an announcement to those who were stopping to take their cancer meds because they believed The Secret would cure them. How many did not heed this call and died as a result. She should have distanced herself there and then but she missed that opportunity and I think that in all likelihood will come back to haunt her. Seems as if it’s a true life case of the law of attraction in action, but not as advertised.
by Dr. Alice Carroll
Tuesday Oct 27th, 2009 3:46 PM
It is truly ironic that the biggest fraud of them all is asking for an apology from Oprah. Al Carroll, fake Apache blow-hard has to this day never provided his so-called Apache lineage. Carroll has been kicked off the internet several times for violating just about every code in the book. He stalks his victims then, with the help of his Euro-idiot supporters, releases the personal info, phone numbers, residential addresses, business address, of people who he thinks are frauds.

IMO, idiots like Carroll promote non-Indians to conduct Native American ceremonies, like the Inipi. Carroll's illegal and oppressive tactics only fill the hearts of new agers with a firm resolve to hold their own pseudo-ceremonies. Carroll likes to toot his own horn to anyone who will listen. Until the Ward Churchill like Al Carroll provides the Native Community with his own alleged Apache blood-line, anything he comments on should be taken with a grain of cocaine. Carroll has been a menace to the Native community for years. He is just one in a long line of non-Indian "do-gooders". A useless, soulless coward who runs a cheap website where he bans anyone who disagrees with his anti-Indian rhetoric. It is Carroll who needs to apologize to the American Indians for printing misinformation detrimental to real Indian men and women. Carroll is a fake. By his own admission he is Irish/Mexican.

http://medicinebags.blogspot.com/2008/07/is-al-carroll-even-native-american.html

Dr. Alice Carroll Mexalero-Apathy
by NDN-born-NDN
Wednesday Nov 11th, 2009 8:12 PM
Please ignore all the comments of the mouth-breathing knuckle dragging morons posting their jealosy and hatred of Dr. Carroll. There are a number of people on the internet who spend their entire lives attacking anyone who exposes the nuage flim flam artists who are destroying true native spiritual practices. They are either 50 something whitemen who want to be NDNS or thin bloods who are not wanted by their own communities who have moved to big cities where they can play NDN to other tribes who don't realize what bullshit artists they really are. Most of them are fat & bald and spend a lot of time in "Native" dating sites lying to women about their true physical appearance. Most of them are married. They have never done anything with their lives, they have never published anything of value and they seeth in jealosy for Dr. Carroll. A man's words should be evaluated on their merit and how close they come to the truth. Al Carroll has a lot of value to say about exploitatin of native spirtual practices and the jealous rantings of those who chose not to do anything with their lives are mere weapons of mass distractions. Notice how the cowards refuse to list even one person that Dr. Caroll has falsely identified as a fraud. Notice how they adopt the same stratgies that the neo-cons did to silence their opposition. Notice how the take any rational discussion of any issue and turn it into an Orwellian 3 minute hate. They define themselves by their jealousy and their lack of accomplishments.
by tahoe geminii
Monday Nov 23rd, 2009 3:19 PM
Scam artists like J Ray have their little minions doing constant blog infiltration-whether it is to direct hapless sheep to their scam by seemingly unsolicited referrals or to discredit any journalists that post the TRUTH about James Ray's little spiritual scam or the FACTS about the death lodge in Sedona--I don't think it should be even given the name of Sweat Lodge as that is a term for a righteous Native Indian tradition and should not be sullied by people thinking that the ridiculous set-up that cheap you know what was "calling" a sweat lodge was in fact a real sweat lodge--Oprah needs to take responsibility for pushing this crap on all her brainwashed TV absorbed housewives that think the only education they need is to listen to Oprah--she has pushed a couple of fame seekers recently that turned out to be scammers-so I don't think see checks anything out enough--she just grabs what's hot to make ratings--any mindless fool that takes her recommendation obviously could end up dead if they don't have any common sense. Watch for the JAR bloggers as they will be on every comment site that has a JAR article--first they will try to belittle the journalist and then the like to go into "you are all haters" thing and finally about how could you blame JAR for this horrible "accident"--like it was completely set up and controlled by JAR the entire time --negligence is not an accident and if they are going to blame the Army Corp of Engineers for Katrina(ACE begged for money to fix levees in NO for over 20 years and CONGRESS is the one that said there was no money-basically tying their hands and now using ACE as a government scapgoat) then I would say James Ray you better look up the definition of first degree murder-because you willfully and with out regard to safety endangered and then killed people who trusted you above all others--
by Newton Fortuin
(newton [at] newfort.co.za) Tuesday Nov 24th, 2009 10:53 PM
In fact many of these guys employ ghostwriters who are supposedly people who used their methods and benefited from it--usually that they supposedly became multi-millionaires or was cured from cancer using some or other hocus pocus technique, this is how The Secret was marketed via such viral marketing.

Joe Vitale of The Secret, former Amway exec and CEO of Hypnotic Marketing (great "spiritual" credentials) and the next biggest contributor, is the master of this. See Indoctrination 101, to get an idea of how they do it and what they think of their victims (or prospects who are in trances as he refers to them).

And just in case you think I work for Dr Carroll--and indeed you should be skeptical--I'm based in Cape Town South Africa, and never heard of him until now. BTW, be skeptical about that as well, it's the only way to sift fact from fiction these days.
I find this article to be nothing but contempt prior to investigation. To character assassinate James Arthur Ray by calling him a "fraud" and making statements implying Oprah Winfrey is one who "supports paying cash for shortcuts to salvation" is nothing but absurd.

We don't really know if James Arthur Ray is an intentional fraud or if he is truly passionate about what he teaches and we don't know if Oprah Winfrey is just as passionate as well. Harm was not intended on any of the victims and this is a case of tragedy.

There are so many spiritual retreats out there and most of them do require a fee to participate. Who is to say that is right or wrong?

Garbage. People have too much time to scrutinize and not enough resources to get the facts straight. The truth will always materialize. It is yet to be revealed.
by Newton Fortuin
Thursday Sep 23rd, 2010 9:12 AM
Yep, I think you've raised a valid point, people are not using enough judgement at all, that's how they end up being scammed by the like's of Madoff, or how an entire nation ends up swamped in an almost never-ending financial morass.

My judgement says anyone who charges 50 people $10k to then squeeze them into a ramshackled furnace (these are all facts), without any due care to their safety, surely is someone I would choose not to defend. And all this money was supposedly spent to acheive spiritual enlightenment... surely to any rational thinking person (who applies some judgement) this must sound a little crazy, or is it just me?
by Stephen H
Saturday Apr 2nd, 2011 7:38 AM
I just found this on a Native American website: “I know a medicine man who says the whole Sedona sweat lodge disaster was orchestrated by Native American shaman spirits who are angry at the white man. Now that they have given three human sacrifices to the spirit that whole area is more haunted than it has ever been. He says all the relatives have to do to prove this truth is to pitch a tent on the sites where their loved ones fasted for 36 hours. If they fast for about 24 hours on the same site alone and only using their cell phones in the event of an emergency, they will find that the area is indeed haunted and if they ask properly the Native American spirits will reveal that they did indeed kill the three people at the Sedona event. He says that anyone who wants to conduct this test must take full responsibility for whatever may happen as a result. It is not safe. They may indeed die of fright because those Native American shaman spirits hate white people and with good reason!

He also says any medicine man worth his salt will casually tell you that anyone who stays in a sweat lodge longer than he knows he should in order to impress others with how tough he is has no one else but himself to blame for whatever may happen as a result. What can I say? I agree!”
by Cesare Bonventre
Tuesday Sep 25th, 2012 10:47 PM
I would like to ask the author:

Do you see any difference between believing James Earl Ray's promises and a nation believing that Obama (or Romney) is going to create a million manufacturing jobs?

Face it - Humans are little more than talking chimps in a poorly designed zoo throwing feces at each other - and in America, prone to deadly shopping mall stampedes!

For instance, Americans say nothing at all when corporate guru's make on average 475 times more than the average employee - Or that National Banks and the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank is allowed to create all the money it wishes out of thin air!

From Dr Phil to Jim Jones, sheeple are eager to look for the instruction of the head guru!

Cognitive Linguists (like Peter Lakoff) have proven that man is NOT a rational creature. Neurophysiologist have proven that man's unconscious mind makes his strategic decisions - And NOT his conscious mind!

Sheeple are eager to give anything to the master that promises to hold-them-by-the-hand in life!

By the way, as a result of the MF Global fraud, the Appellate court ruled this year that the US FDIC no longer must cover any financial losses due to bank fraud!

So who is your personal savior now?
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