James Arthur Ray Seminars: A Gang for the Middle Class

Another Reason I Blog About James Arthur Ray Killing 3 People in a Seminar

I’ve been healing a case of PSSD or Post Seminar Stress Disorder (no, it’s not PiSSeD). PSSD is Seminar Induced PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). I’m sure that I’m not the first to coin this phrase, but I could not find any other reference for PSSD. So maybe I have coined a term.

Blogging about James Ray and the seminar industry business practices I want to see changed is been healing and cathartic for me.

It seems that Seminar Communities fill the same need in Middle Class folks as Gangs fill for Poor People in the Inner City.

Stress-ZebraStripesIt wasn’t until after I quit the seminar industry in 2007 that I realized how much stress I put myself through. I was numb and felt dead. I was a good student and always worked and tried harder, but the harder I tried the worse I got. After decompressing in early 2008, I realized how far astray I was from my true feelings, beliefs and core values. I made big mistakes in judgment in my business, financial and my personal life.

The “results at any cost” mantra that pervades many personal growth and transformational seminars had me seeking “creative solutions” to problems that only existed because of a “weed of discontent” some where inside. I could never quite pull all the roots of this weed. The seminars added water and fertilizer to this part of me and helped it grow uncontrollably promising the next seminar, book, program held the answer. To say that differently, I wanted to belong, be loved, accepted, make a difference and feel powerful. I wanted these things very badly and I got disconnected from my voice of reason and knowing. I was running intuitively blind.

It’s funny. There’s one Seminar where you’re encouraged to be “Unreasonable”. But for me,  acting without reason is running without my internal radar system.

Here’s what I realized when I got out of the Seminar Rat Race:

  • I prefer places of quietude and peace.
  • I have all the answers I need, if my mind is quiet enough to hear.
  • There’s nothing in the world I will take with me other than my memories.
  • If I think I know what’s best for anyone else, I AM WRONG!
  • Life is more than a “dash” on a tombstone.
  • Love is the answer to everything.
  • Love starts and ends with me and I can share my love with the world.
  • Life is too short to drink bad wine and deal with a**holes.
  • For those that don’t “get it”, they will… In time and On time.
  • There are only 3 questions and now I know their answers (for me that is).

That’s it. I have a simple life. I develop websites to help business owners make money (no seminar companies yet). I Enjoy being with my wife and watching my granddaughter grow up.  I am happy!

4 thoughts on “James Arthur Ray Seminars: A Gang for the Middle Class

  1. It’s interesting, Terry. I’ve listened to a lot of James Arthur Ray CDs, and he has a lot of value to offer. I think, though, that he may have gotten too caught up with Gold Rush Fever, and lost sight of what he was teaching and why. If you follow the guru style, there are (too) many overlaps between Anthony Robbins, T. Harv Eker, J.A.R, and the likes.

    I’m nonetheless interested in pursuing the seminar path as a career, but I think this is a call to keep the purpose of the participant first and foremost in mind.

    I understand that “letting go of money” demonstrates commitment, but I don’t think you should have to remortgage your house to do so. Knock off a few zeros and then I think you’re in a realistic ball-park. (This is what Dan Kennedy would call a race for the over-populated bottom though.)

    I still don’t know what to make of the whole thing. I guess that’s why I’m as fascinated with it as you are!

  2. Hi Britt,

    Thanks for stopping by again. Indeed, seminars are a good business and can be a fun career. But it is a business and the business of business is to make a profit/return on investment for the owners of the business. When profit takes precedence over the the well being of the students/customers problems occur. Many Seminar Gurus make fun of and ridicule how broke public school teachers are. Robert Kiyosaki’s book “Rich Dad. Poor Dad.” illustrated the typical feelings the seminar industry holds toward teachers. He learned this attitude while working for the Seminar Company that holds the license for Money & You.

    Teachers don’t teach to get rich. They teach because they love teaching. There is no feeling in the world better that seeing someone get/understand what is being taught. When a student or client has the light bulb go off in their head (some call it the “ah ha” moment) and so are in the presence of a “paradigm shift” or “enlightenment”. That’s the part I miss. When I see direct evidence of the difference I made for another human being it’s heaven on earth.

    In my experience, if you embrace your passion, exploit your talents and have a viable economic engine you will experience heaven on earth. As for owning a seminar company, please follow what’s fair to you and to your customers. Have clear policies and efficient systems in place for an excellent client care. Be careful if you ever think that you know what is best for another person. Then go forth practicing whatever it is you preach and have fun doing it.

    • You’re right to say that there is a lot of academia-bashing going on with the get-rich gurus. In part, I think it’s marketing. It justifies spending tuition equivalencies on a four-day seminar that will give you the inside “secrets” that CNN pointed to today.

      I agree that embracing your passion combined with your talents is the ultimate path to personal success. I taught motorcycle safety for 9 years, and it was seeing that “ah ha” moment in the student that was the most rewarding!

      • It’s ironic that the Many Seminar Companies & Self Help Gurus are very good at the business of business. They are students of the Game of Business and attract customers with perfect marketing messages speaking directly to the problems their target markets have.
        Then when the “lead” comes in, the Seminar Company/Self Help Guru use instant rapport and credibility techniques to instill trust with 3rd party endorsements from their past customer testimonials and Guru Buddies. Setting the customer up to “buy” whatever is being sold.
        Then the very thing the customer wants is used as the “closing tool/take away close” to persuade the customer to “buy now”.
        The Seminar Business is a Business. There are a great many folks, including Bob Proctor that have said “James Ray has helped a lot of people”. So helping people justifies killing 3 possibly 4 human beings and leaving 3 children without a father…
        Again, my platform is to regulate and license the Business of Seminars. It’s funny that on Dec 1, 2009 the FTC new guidelines for the use of testimonials and claims of results. Both of which have been used and abused by the seminar and self help hacks…

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