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Jim Moret Over James Ray Any Day

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Watch what you ingest under the name of "self-help."

jim moret and james arthur ray

Robin Sax: It strikes me as ironic that the other day -- just as I am about to post my review of Jim Moret's new book -- self-help speaker/author James Arthur Ray was arrested in Arizona on manslaughter charges. Ray is implicated in the deaths of three people during a sweat lodge ceremony that he orchestrated. From the Associated Press:

The October 8 sweat lodge ceremony was intended to be the highlight of Ray's five-day "Spiritual Warrior" event at a retreat he rented just outside Sedona. He told participants, who paid more than $9,000 each to attend, that it would be one of the most intense experiences of their lives. About halfway through the two-hour ceremony, some began feeling ill, vomiting and collapsing inside the 415-square-foot structure. Despite that, Ray urged participants to push past their physical weaknesses and chided those who wanted to leave, authorities and participants have said.

I did not read James Arthur Ray's "Harmonic Wealth: The Secret of Attracting the Life You Want," but I did read Jim Moret's "The Last Day of my Life." It just strikes me as bizarre that I am about to post these words about Jim Moret, below, while at the same time hearing news of the so-called spiritual leader who has the admiration of Oprah and Larry King and credits Deepak Chopra and Tony Robbins as friends.

Jim Moret is not super famous. He is neither a psychologist nor a therapist. As a matter of fact, like many other TV personalities, he comes from a background in law. Yet, he relates to us on deeply psychological and emotional levels. In our fast-pasted world, so many of us are desperately seeking answers and understanding. In a mere 161 pages, Jim Moret provides us with the ability to find answers in ourselves. He pours his heart and soul into the book and gets the reader to examine their own journey. Not many therapists can do that (for the price of a book anyway)!

How is that this famous "leader," a self-proclaimed "spiritual warrior" can crash so hard so fast? Could it be that he was a fraud all along? Did he read too much of his own press and get a big head? Did he simply endorse one horrific mistake? Many more questions run through our minds while we await these answers. I question what type of spirituality James Arthur Ray can really have when he did not seek medical attention for ill people in the lodge. I am simultaneously amazed at the tremendous spirituality, transparency and raw emotion that emanates from Jim Moret's book.

It is interesting to juxtapose Moret with Ray. James Arthur Ray may have wanted to -- or even tried to help people -- but he has failed as a mentor and healer. His actions allegedly lead to the death of three people. Jim Moret was not seeking to be a mentor or healer himself, but he has succeeded in inspiring thousands with his book.

One would never guess that such an emotionally charged book could come out of an investigative journalist like Moret -- whose job is basically about exposing someone else's soul without exposing his own motivations, bias, ideas, and emotions.

And as for James Arthur Ray, he is headed for a fight that may include prison time. He faces three counts of manslaughter. It is a lesson to all of us to examine closely the resources we seek out for help. The followers of Ray may have believed he was a "spiritual warrior" but according to AP, the investigation into Ray shows many red flags including that some people lost consciousness and others suffered broken bones at past events led by him. He was also known to ignore medical problems that arose at his seminars.

When I compare the so-called star power of James Arthur Ray and the quiet grace of well-known TV personality Jim Moret -- there is no comparison. Moret's life lessons resonate deep in our hearts, whereas the shenanigans of Ray will fade with yesterday's news.

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51 comments so far | Post a comment now
John Curtis February 9, 2010, 4:38 AM

It’s easy to vilify Mr. Ray and applaud his arrest! Now, at least, he will be tried in court and made to face the consequences of his actions… but what of the REST of the self-help “industrial complex?”

I respectfully submit that we (consumers and producers of self-help) establish the “Association of Self-Help Professionals” or whatever name seems most appropriate to elevate the professional and protect the public.

All that is lacking now is the motivation and leadership. If you consider yourself a self-help expert OR if you are a consumer of self-help products, I urge you to consider working together to turn the Sedona Sweat Lodge deaths into a legacy that salutes the virtuous work of the earliest self-help experts like Napoleon Hill, Norman Vincent Peale and Dale Carneige, honors the efforts of legitimate, self-help professionals of today, and turns the deaths of those who died in the Sedona Sweat Lodge… Liz Neuman, Kirby Brown and James Shore into a legacy for the betterment of the self-help profession and society.

Any help you can provide in this regard would be greatly appreciated!

John Curtis, Ph.D.
Americans Against Self-Help Fraud

“The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it” - George Bernard Shaw

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@chels I know what you mean, its hard to find good help these days. People now days just don’t have the work ethic they used to have. I mean consider whoever wrote this post, they must have been working hard to write that good and it took a good bit of their time I am sure. I work with people who couldn’t write like this if they tried, and getting them to try is hard enough as it is.

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