The author of the mega-bestselling Women Who Run With the Wolves weighs in on James Arthur Ray in the blog Moderate Voice; click here to read what she has to say. Click here for Publishers Weekly’s announcement about Hyperion’s postponements/cancellations of Ray’s next two books.
Saturday the Arizona Republic posted a profile of Ray (Executive summary: Ray says he grew up in abject poverty, too poor to afford a Cub Scout uniform; the family sometimes slept in his father’s church office. “Even as a child, that son-of-a-bitch was on the make,” an acquaintance recollects). One caution, I noticed that the prices it quotes for various Ray products and services don’t line up–I think it left a zero out of one number; a premium product costs less than its junior version, etc. Proofreading issues, most likely.
Finally, as many sources have noted but I hadn’t, Ray has updated his blog. Click here to read his post, but I’ll give you the condensed version if you’re feeling lazy: he believes that he can best honor the amazing lives and everlasting memories of the dead by carrying on making money for himself. It’s a beautiful sentiment–one that he might have learned at the feet of the Ancient Peruvian sages who taught him about Quantum Mechanics. Ray’s cost structure reminds me a little of L. Ron Hubbard’s, who said, “One can keep doing this to a person–shuttle them along using mystery.”
Why do I keep coming back to Ray? Because people like him infuriate me. Not just his homicidal irresponsibility; his mendacious grandiosity, his gold-plated, pseudo-scientific, get-rich-quick, publicity-driven religiosity…. it’s because he believes that he has all the answers. Cultism is the opposite side of the Conspiracism coin, albeit with a more optimistic tinge. Conspiracists believe that life’s mysteries come down to just one big, bad thing: Someone wicked is out to get me and almost no one knows the truth but me. People like Ray say, “There’s just one big thing that you need to know. And if you pay me enough money, I’ll tell you what it is.”