If you are at all familiar with social media, you probably had a good idea what was going to happen after Bill Harris decided to threaten Duff McDuffee. Twitter lit up in support of Duff, a smattering of notable blogs wrote about the threat, and in the end Beyond Growth received a ton of traffic. Perhaps the Law of Attraction works after all–Bill threatened Duff in a blast of negative energy, and the result was a lot of negative publicity. Mission accomplished Bill. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘The Secret’
On December 22, Duff McDuffee received an email message from Bill Harris, the founder of “Holo-sync” and the “CenterPointe Institute” claiming that he had been served with a cease and desist letter regarding the post titled “The Hollow Sink of Push-Button Enlightenment.” Harris claims that he intends to file suit against Duff for “defamation” in federal court. Harris finally sent the cease and desist document via email to McDuffee, you can read it at the bottom of this post (updated 12/29). In response to Harris’ email, Duff revised the post to insure no defamatory statements exist within it, and that it is clear that everything contained therein is his opinion. This effort itself was mainly done to in good-will, as we do not actually believe that anything in the original post was defamatory simply because it was clear that the post itself was an opinion piece on a variety of intangible and unprovable subjects. (more…)
Due to a cease and desist letter sent from Bill Harris’s lawyer, I have edited this article on 12/22/2009 to be more clear regarding facts vs. opinions. Thanks for the feedback, Bill! (Although maybe next time a friendly email would be the best way to initially communicate your feedback.) UPDATE 12/28/2009: I actually haven’t received a cease and desist letter. I was confused and thought Harris’ email was a C&S letter, but then I heard from several people that such letters are delivered by certified mail or courier, and haven’t received anything in the mail or from a courier from Mr. Harris or his lawyer. UPDATE 12/29/2009: Harris has since emailed his C&D letter to me, which you can read here.
Bill Harris—star of popular New Age infomercial The Secret and former marketing partner of James Arthur Ray—is founder and CEO of the (in my opinion) manipulative marketing organization called Centerpointe Research Institute. His main product is the “Holosync” binaural beat meditation CDs, which I find very expensive compared to competitors products, and less effective as well.
While the name “Centerpointe Research Institute” makes it sound like this is a non-profit think tank, this organization is simply a for-profit business. Part of the “research” apparently includes that co-branding with killer gurus is good for business—at least until people die, at which point it’s most profitable to pretend like it never happened. Or at least that’s how it appears to me, given that Harris used to market products with James Arthur Ray, but since the “death lodge” incident of November 10th, 2009, Ray’s testimonial has disappeared from Holosync’s web page. But perhaps Bill Harris didn’t know Ray’s character, or perhaps no one could have predicted such an awful turn of events. But why not? Why did we all not see the signs? (more…)
The Dark Side of The Secret: Reading James Arthur Ray’s Sweat Lodge Disaster through a Magickal LensSaturday, October 10th, 2009
As I reported on yesterday, participants of James Arthur Ray’s “Spiritual Warrior Event” got more than they paid for (and they paid $9,695 each) when two people died and 19 were injured in a large sweat lodge with 64 people.
What can we learn from this?
One thing we might conclude is that all spiritual teachers or personal development gurus are bad, and should be avoided. Or that James Arthur Ray specifically is a greedy, evil person. Or that the Law of Attraction and The Secret are total bullshit. And these would indeed be ways to read the situation that have some merit. I’ve been tending to take this more cynical view of personal development and spirituality lately.
But what if we read this event through the eyes of magick? James Ray claims lineage in the Western esoteric or occult tradition, so perhaps we could learn something interesting from reading this terrible event in this way that would deepen our understanding. Perhaps we could even find some ideas for moving forward in a positive new paradigm for personal development.
When I begin to think about the deaths of Ray’s seminar participants in this way, I find myself having a change of heart towards the man, far less cynical about his words and basic message while still holding him accountable for what transpired. Perhaps you will have a similar change of heart.
Many personal development gurus posit that you can and should have it all, that every area of your life can be perfected without any need for compromise. Consider this quotation from personal development guru James Arthur Ray’s website:
“You really can enjoy total abundance financially, relationally, mentally, physically and spiritually…” ~James Arthur Ray, Master of Hyperbole
The total abundance James Arthur Ray is really enjoying is an abundance of total bullshit. Not surprisingly, Ray’s tagline is “As seen on Oprah, Larry King, and The Secret,” sources not exactly known for their journalistic integrity.
Nothing real exists in “total abundance.” Not atoms in the Universe (approximately 1080), not the amount of money in circulation, and not even “abundance mentality”–which is sometimes present and sometimes not, no matter how often or intensely you visualize your goals. Perhaps Ray is referring to mathematical abstractions? “You really can enjoy counting a total abundance of integers. The possibilities of multiplication are unlimited!” (more…)