Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sticks and Stones and Words ALL hurt

On July 3rd I got some twitters asking me to send an email to Polk about my experiences with James Arthur Ray. It was absolutely the last thing I wanted to do. I talked to my husband and asked him what his opinion was. He said he thought I'd regret not writing it, so "you'd better get busy".

I tried writing on Saturday, but cried every time I attempted to put into words how my one and only meeting with James Arthur Ray had affected me ::: still affects ::: me. To this day I still can't completely wrap my brain around the why part.

I just feel so damned stupid. I mean what kind of a person becomes rabidly suicidal at the words of a stranger?! They're ONLY words, but they still hurt ::: and that simple fact fills me with hopelessness and shame.

I can't write in a letter how much energy and effort it took for me to attend My Ray's free event.  On days like today, I can barely walk ::: can't raise my arms above my head ::: can barely brush my hair up in a ponytail, let alone get dressed easily.  On days like today ::: I talk to the cat, play with our greyhounds, cry, pray, watch old movies and pretend I don't hurt.

On days like today my closest friends are the reflections of Doris Day or Jack Lemon on my HD TV.  I laugh at their antics and try to imagine what it would feel like to be back in a simpler time ::: in a world I understood much better than the world I now live in.

Allergies force me to live my separate from almost everyone else.  I'm like a person locked inside a building with a big picture window ::: watching the world go on around me  ::: seeing but never being seen or touched.

Lord how James Arthur Ray filled me with Hope ::: that's the thing I'm most ashamed by ::: that I could be so hungry for health ::: a hand up ::: a pat on the back ::: someone to help me find a better healthier life ::: that I became a total idiot sap and bought into his con.

In 2007, when James Arthur Ray looked at me with total disdain, it reminded me of all the people who've judged me by my outward appearance and found me wanting.  When James Arthur Ray said I'd never be anything but a looser and a fat slob ::: it was as if he'd brought forward my worst fears and my shame at how illness had shaped my body.

I could write a thousand concertos, record countless songs, publish more stories, photos, win awards, etc. ::: but nothing, absolutely nothing I could accomplish in this world would ever change the view people like James Arthur Ray have of people who look like me.

It's been four years since I met James Ray.  Four years later and I still have nightmares, and still cringe at the thought attending a pubic event.  How stupid is that?

The thing is, I'm just one of who knows how many nameless faceless people who have crossed James Ray's path.  How many other people has he pushed into despair with his words? 

Which brings me to an other question that's been bothering me ::: what really happened to Colleen Conaway?  What did he say (he was with her moments before she jumped / was pushed) to cause such a tragic end.  Why did he lie about it afterward?  Why the cover up?  Why wasn't he charged?

Why is James Arthur Ray able to steal millions -- commit corporate fraud and grand theft -- and be allowed to use that money to fund one of the most despicable defenses I've ever seen?

Why is it legal for Munger Tolles and Olson (ANY LAW FIRM) to accept money from such a questionable source ::: without any legal ramifications?!!

Why is James Arthur Ray walking free after being found GUILTY?  Where is the justice for the people he killed or permanently maimed?

I'm tired, don't feel well and I'm rambling ... sorry about that.  This whole trial thing has really got me down.

I spent most of the 4th writing a letter to Polk.  I spell checked it and then sent it before I could chicken out and delete it.  I've had horrid nightmares every night since.  I've pasted a copy of it below for anyone who's interested.

For the record I didn't write it for me ::: I intend to find my own salvation ::: grace ::: hope.  I wrote it in the hopes it might help keep James Arthur Ray from ever having the power to hurt ANYONE again ::: EVER!

Sheila Polk, SBN 007514
County Attorney
255 East Gurley Street, 3rd Floor
Prescott , AZ 86301

phone: (928) 771-3344

Ms Polk:

You and I have never met.

I am part of a group of a hundred or so people who have been following the James Arthur Ray trial via the Internet (blogger, twitter, CNN Live, facebook, etc.). I received some twitters this morning from [NancyOgilvie] and [@La_Huesera La Vaughn] asking me to send my story to you.

I had hoped once the trial was over and Mr Ray was found guilty ... I could put my memories of him away and go on with my life, secure in the knowledge that Mr Ray's words or actions would never again cause anyone harm. Now I'm being told there's a real chance that Mr Ray may only get probation ... and he may eventually start over doing the same things he did in the past.

This is a difficult letter for me to write. Even now, four years after the event, I still have nightmares about what transpired. To this day I struggle to understand why a man I had never met or had any contact with would verbally assault me in front of a room full of strangers.

My husband and I met James Arthur Ray at the Anaheim Marriott on May 31, 2007, while attending one of his free seminars. (please see attached email invitation and link posted immediately below)

Orange County, CA:
May 31, 2007 at 7:00 PM
Event Location:
Marriott Anaheim
700 West Convention Way
Anaheim, CA 92802

I'm currently disabled and have been on SSDI since about 1990. I suffer from Tourette's, fibromyalgia, celiac disease, dysautonomia (causes labile blood pressure and cardiac arrhythmia) and degenerative bone disease, along with severe food and chemical sensitivities/allergies. I was confined to a wheelchair for a while, nowadays I walk with a cane or walker.

Prior to becoming disabled I had a successful career. I've been listed in "Who's Who of American Women since 1991, I'm also listed in "Who's Who in America" and "Who's Who in the World". My illustrations, graphics, photographs and stories have been published internationally and garnered me numerous awards. I'm also a published composer/musician.

I've learned people (like James Ray) often judge other's by how they look, how much money they have, what they do, who they know, etc.. Which is the main reason I mentioned who I used to be, awards I've won, and what I used to do before I became too ill to live a normal life.

When the Secret came out I was initially put off by it. That said, I'm ashamed to admit that after hearing Oprah rave about the Secret, I allowed myself to get caught up in all that baloney. I respected Oprah's opinion so I purchased the CD. By the time I purchased the book I was a woman on a quest.

I read eventually read Mr Ray's book "The Science of Success", and signed up for emails from James Ray International. I began walking more (a good thing), making affirmations (a silly thing), and in general making a fool of myself (a sad thing). When I received an invitation to one of his free events taking place a few blocks from my home, I signed up my husband and myself (a really stupid thing).

I had wanted to hear Mr Ray speak and thank him for reminding me I'm more than my body.

To understand what a big deal this was for me you need to understand how sick I'd been, how difficult it was (and is for me to get around) and how little I get out. This was the first time in years I attended a public event. The first time in years I gone someplace public without wearing a special mask (w/ activated carbon filters). The first time in years stood in line for hours (they started the event 2 hours late).

My husband and I sat close to the front, at the end of an isle, so I could keep my walker next to me. We watched and listened to Mr Ray speak about his life, how poor he'd been, how he made himself over. We heard stories of people who had healed completely or became rich after reading his books, listening to his CDs and attending his seminars.

Towards the end of the event, Mr Ray told everyone to pick up the packet of information we'd been given at the front door. He told us to fill out the contract for an upcoming seminar without thinking. "Say yes, do it now, before you change your mind. Don't worry about the money. The money will come once you sign up."

My husband was nudging me to fill it in. We were too broke, and I didn't feel right borrowing from his father. I already owed him money for special medications I'd been taking. I read the small print and saw Mr Ray's so called iron clad refund policy was meaningless. He kept talking and saying "if you sign up today, you can bring someone with you for free." So we asked a JRI employee if they carried their own paper, that I'd pay them off monthly. The answer was no. It was for our own good, so we could learn how to make money on our own.

The person I spoke with spent 30 minutes trying to talk me into signing for something I couldn't afford. Telling me not to worry and that the money would come to pay for it. I told them about my allergy problems, and they said I'd be fine. "No one ever got sick at a James Ray event. People get better."

In the end we decided not to sign up for the events they were selling that day. We didn't have the $10,000 they were ultimately asking for, not counting transportation, hotel rooms, food, books, CDs ,etc. I'm ashamed to admit, had they offered to carry their own paper, and given us the means to pay them back over time ... we'd have signed up without question. But they didn't ... and we were broke, and I wasn't willing to legally bind myself to something I knew I couldn't afford.

There must have been a couple of thousand people at this event. It seemed like they were all signing up for future seminars. We felt as if something really important and life altering had just passed us by. I reminded my husband that my main reason for attending this even was to thank Mr Ray for reminding me I'm more than my body, and to give him a small gift.

Mr Ray was at the end of the room talking with dozens of people, hundreds more waiting to speak with him. Every so often he would look away from the crowd, a bored expression on his face. Then he'd step forward to the next person and flash this on-demand smile of his.

As I made my way up the isle toward Mr Ray he flashed me an expression that bordered on disgust. I've seen that look before, from so called beautiful people who are offended by the sight of fat or disabled people. Semi bald (my hair occasionally falls out when I'm sick), pale and bloated from my allergies, overweight and walking with the aid of a walker, I was a natural target for mean spirited people.

One of the reasons I didn't get out much in those days was because I knew how bad I looked. At best people would stare at me or come up and ask me how long I'd been on chemo ... at worst people would point at me and snicker.

I asked my husband if he'd seen Mr Ray flash me a strange look. He shook his head and shrugged, then asked me if it was possible I was over thinking things. So I decided to stay in line and wait to speak with Mr Ray.

When I reached out to shake Mr Ray's hand he looked at me, reached for my husband's hand and then crossed his arms. When I started to thank Mr Ray, I spoke five words ... at which point he interrupted me to ask if we'd signed up for any of his seminars.

When I started telling him we had no money and were unable to attend, he again interrupted me.

James Ray
"I'm going to do you a favor" he said, "Don't ever say that again, [that you don't have money] the universe is listening."

"But I don't have any money right ... (I was going to say right now)"

James Ray ... interrupting again ... now shouting

"But it's true."

James Ray ... shouting even more loudly
"Then borrow it!"

"I have no one to borrow from."

James Ray ... speaking in a loud and angry tone
"You mean to say your life is so miserable that you have absolutely no friends who can loan you money?"

Me ... quietly
"No, my friends are struggling to."

James Ray ... shouting
"You'll never be anything but a fat slob and looser if you don't attend my retreat."

The brutality of his words, the sound of his voice, the anger in it's tone took my breath away. I think some of the people standing next to me were shocked by his words, but in reality I don't know.

If I live to be a 100, I'll never forget what Mr Ray did next. He looked at me and smiled, a hard cold angry smile that chilled me to the bone. Then Mr Ray walked away from me and motioned to the woman standing behind me. When she came forward, he put his arm around her and turned on a 200 watt smile as her friend took a picture of the two of them together.

Whispers from people around me
"Did he just call that woman with the walker a fat slob?" "What did she say?" "Look at that lard assed bitch, James is right, she's nothing ... a nobody."

All I wanted to do at that point is run. But I'm disabled and was lucky to get around with my walker. So I waddled out of the conference room in a slow shuffle, surrounded by strangers, struggling to hold back tears. While making my way to the parking structure all I could think about was finding the highest part and jumping off. Please know I've never reacted this strongly to anyone's words!

I doubt if I will ever understand why Mr Ray spoke to me the way he did, let alone why I reacted the way I did. I cried for weeks afterward. To this day I don't know why the words of a stranger filled me with so much hopeless despair, that for months afterward all I could think of was ending my life.

While I know autoimmune disease will eventually kill me, I'm going to struggle to stay alive for as long as physically possible. I've come to terms with my illness and the day to day pain that comes with it. I try to take each day as it comes, and strive to live my life as fully and completely as physically possible. Some days are better than others. I live for the good days.

I'm writing to you now for the others Mr Ray has harmed ... both by his words and his actions. I don't believe I'm the only person he has treated this badly ... because his words seemed too easy and too practiced. I can't help wondering how many other people gave up on life, or worse yet, committed suicide because of something he said or did. I only know I'm appalled at how close I came to ending my own life the day I met Mr Ray.

Please don't let Mr Ray hurt any more people. If he doesn't get jail time and there are no ramifications for his actions, I'm afraid he keep doing bad things.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.


Jeanne Barkemeijer de Wit



  1. I read your blog and your letter and the world stopped as I did. Jeanne, you are so obviously a beautiful person from the inside out and from the outside in.

    I believe you shone a light at James Ray and all others like him and in fear of that light - they attacked you. I am sorry that your suffering but this life is pretty short all told but eternity is a very long time.

    Long after you have gone home they will still be figuring it all out in different bodies that may have challenges too. I wish you well and send you much love and endless blessings.

    Miss Jeanne Barkemeijer de Wit (what a fabulous name!) you rock girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your post, for you email to Ms. Polk. The good news is that you DIDN'T sign up for James’s seminar!
    I relate so well with many of the things you have to say & how you felt at his words. I am now a 57 year old woman in pretty good health & still working on the things I wanted to work on when I DID sign up for his seminar, put it on a credit card and even signed my husband up as well. That was the beginning of the end (so to speak) I got sucked in to signing up for more & after the second one my husband & I even signed up for JAR's World Wealth Society. (money that I wish we hadn't spent on that). Fool that I am! (hopefully WAS). The things you described are things I started witnessing a lot of. The disdain that I saw him display toward people that didn't fit his "need". One of the things I saw a lot of was that he was only friendly, inclusive & accepting of people who looked right & had something to offer HIM. He barely tolerated those of us in WWS who didn't fit his criteria. He only tolerated us because of the large amounts of money we paid to be part of his inner circle. That was a huge joke!
    I get tearful whenever I bring this crap up again. I don't know what lesson it is that I haven't learned yet so that I can let go of it but I haven't. I believe a large part of my pain comes from the place in me that is hardest on myself & thinking that I was going to JAR events to get a handle on that stuff & grow & trusting him to teach me, then finding myself subjected to his manipulative, subtle & "charming" ways still sort of makes me crazy! I have a hard time accepting the fact that I chose to subject myself to his SH**. I went to all the seminars because they were included in the price of WWS at that time. (I wanted to “get my money’s worth). The more I went, the more I saw & understood that he was an extremely self centered, self serving & often cruel man. It was a slow process…. waking up to what was going on (imo). The duplicity of what he presented mingled with his other self serving ways was very masterful. I would "catch" him doing little things that made me sit up & take notice as if an alarm had gone off in my head that something wasn't right! I now know that he used NLP and other crowd control type methods to get us in his clutches (forgive the dramatics but.....) I'm guessing that most of my alarms were about ways he controlled people. I didn't see it for me so much as I did when he did it to other people he was speaking directly to. I do know that a lot of the information he taught or regurgitated was good stuff. I know he got all of his information from other sources & spun it just enough to make it his own! Therefore, I am still trying to sift out the good that came out of all of that for me because there were some good lessons there. One of the greatest lessons for me is letting go of the grip that his word had on me! I’m still trying to find a way to get him out of my head.


  3. Part 2

    I reeled at the news of the deaths in Sedona in 09. I had been there the year before & felt close to death myself. I found myself “cheating” in the sweat & trying to dig little tunnels in the sand under the canopy so that I could put my mouth to the air to the outside & breathe! I felt like such a wienie and a loser but I wasn’t ABOUT to let him know that I couldn’t take it. I went out to cool off in between round 4 & 5 and found out after the fact that I had stayed passed out for round 5. Not wanting to be a loser, wanting to be more than my body, I went back in for round 6. It was foolish of me but I, for whatever reason, was under his sway and wanted to prove myself to him. Why I wanted to do it all for him I still don’t understand. I admired him & hadn’t fully realized what he was. I wanted him to be proud of me & didn’t yet realize that it was only ME that needed to be proud of me. (a lesson partially learned so far (smile)) When the sweat was over I sat in the spray of water that the Dream Team was spraying from a hose, trying to cool us off. I watched James walk over to the golf cart that was waiting to take him to his room at Angel Valley. His helper (don’t remember which one) handed him a towel & he wiped at his face and angled his head toward those of us who were still getting sprayed. The disdain I saw on his face in that moment was so clear & so palpable. It was as though he was drained & tired himself and happy to be leaving us there to deal with our issues & they had nothing to do with him. He was relieved to be driving away to his seclusion. I’ll never forget the look on his face & the feeling it gave me.

    I don’t think I told anyone about my “cheating” during the sweat. I finally talked to my husband about it when I heard of the deaths of the 3 in 09. He gave me a different perspective on it. He said that he was really grateful that my survival instinct was strong enough to do that even though I really wanted to stay in & appear to have done the whole sweat. He knows that my body doesn’t tolerate high heat very well (lots of experiences have taught us that). He said if I hadn’t done that I would have likely been one of the dead ones. I heard someone cry for help & ask to be let out & she wasn’t allowed to leave. She was passed out, unconscious, when the sweat was over. I watched two other women being carried out because they couldn’t rouse them. One of them ended up foaming at the mouth & ……….. I get the details past that mixed up. I asked about them… they didn’t come to the final meeting that night because they were sick. One of them told me herself the next day. I never saw D. the next day & was worried about her. Sad for her.

    There are lots of other stories I could relate… I’ve rambled longer than I meant to. I am surprised when these things come up for me at how much I still have to process. I really do empathize with your story. I really am grateful for your willingness to put it out there because it’s helping me process some more. I have a great inner struggle with truly despising James Ray & finding the god within him so that I can love, rather than hate. This is one of my greatest tests! It is my belief that love is the only way to true happiness & while I harbor these feelings for JAR I still have a great work to do.

    God bless you in your efforts to overcome the effects of having JAR in your life for even that one night! I resonated with the feelings you conveyed & want you to know that you have helped me by sharing your experience.

    Thank you

  4. Sending prayers and love for your continued healing.

  5. Both of these stories by anonymous and Jeanne have deeply touched me. My heart goes out to both of you. My prayer for you is that you will come to know the Comforter in a personal way. Just before Jesus went to his death, he told his disciples: "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (and this is my favorite part)Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you:not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:26 & 27.
    We're all looking for peace. You don't have to look any further than Jesus and it's free! Don't carry the bitterness around with you any longer. It doesn't hurt JAR but it does hurt you. I've been sitting in this trial every day and when I heard from participants how their hopes for becoming a new person, or realizing their dreams were dashed, I ached for them. The Bible promises "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things have passed away and all things have become new." I Corinthians 5:7 They were looking for peace, contentment, newness, hope in the wrong place. I now see for myself how someone could get caught up in what JAR was selling.

    My prayers are with you. Don't give up. God loves you so much He sent His son to die in your place to give you life with him forever. Take him up on his offer. It's free, but not cheap. Take the deal!

  6. Thank you Jeanne for daring to share your story! How courageous of you to do so! I appreciate how smart and articulate you are! I wish you peace and healing and joy. and Thank you anonymous for sharing your story also. for some reason, I crave these personal accounts of JAR.

  7. Dearest All ...
    your responses overwhelm me ... I don't know what to say. I only met Mr once, and our entire interaction was probably less than 10 minutes in duration. To this day I'm stunned that his words still affect me. Amazing how words can be so powerful.

    How sad that a man born with the gift to move and inspire people that James Arthur Ray has ... would use it to the ends he did. How sad that so many people had to die before the monster he is ... was outed and stopped. God willing the courts will prevent him from ever going forward to hurt others again.

    Anonymous ... I'm sorry for all you've suffered under the administrations of Mr Ray.

    It's awful that Mr Ray's seminars ::: which should have been a joyous and SAFE haven ::: were not. It's horrifying that a teacher and a self professed healer would abuse his power so completely and with such devastating results. God willing ::: with time ::: you will find the solace and closure you need.

    Wendy, thank you for your kind words of hope and healing through Christ. For the record, bitterness has never been something I've ever carried within me.

    Thank you everyone ::: thank you!

    Love and Care,
    Jeanne Barkemeijer de Wit

  8. I too am very saddened by Jeannes story and having only just heard about James Ray I am still digesting what this all means.

    I am a professional NLP Practitioner and Advanced Hypnotherapist. I usually work with individuals but occasionally I deliver trainings.

    I study the mind-body connection and am fascinated by the new sciences discoveries in cell actions and the communication that goes in between the mind and its 'charge', the body. I like best the description given by Candace Pert who wrote Molecules of Emotion, that 'your body is your unconscious mind'.

    In my work I have witnessed miraculous changes in people. People have rid themselves of automimmune diseases or disorders and overcome medical problems. These changes occurred during our work together and my area of interest is 'the mind'. Because of my experiences I have studied as much as I can and of course knew all about the theories behind the Secret long before that became pop culture.

    My first and most important consideration when reading stories like this is the intentions of the injured versus the intention of the perpetrator.

    NLP is a very powerful set of techniques and knowledge of internal and external communication that can help you to create rappor with anyone more easily.

    Because of people like James Ray (who I cannot judge personally as I have never met him) NLP can get a bad rap. But when used correctly, like most things, it can be extremely helpful for people who want to improve their lives.

    So my reason for adding to this post is twofold. One I want to stand up for the power of the mind to effect the body. And I know that it always comes from within. I do also know that human beings can manipulate energy and energy is capable of assisting in healing, hence sometimes people can seem to be healed by others prayers etc. (When I say I know - I mean I 'believe' for I cannot 'know' what is going on in another person & as yet, I cannot know what life really is about...) As I was saying - there are two reasons for commenting. To absolutely confirm that you Jeanne did begin to change yourself and your did find within a great power to effect some changes in your health - mind and body health. Remember the feelings you had, not the person who you once thought triggered those. His words were just a vehicle that lead you to where your own power exists and it is still there, undaunted and ever powerful.

    to be continued/...

  9. continued... LeahJuly 11, 2011 at 3:07 AM

    My second reason for commenting which will no doubt resonate more with other readers is this:
    Having spent quite a lot of time with 'gurus' in the field of Personal Development, I can say this - they begin their journey with a fascination and a desire to help others. They have a strong faith in the mind and body to work together to improve life. They speak with genuine passion and become obsessed with spreading the word.

    As with all human beings however, they are governed by their ego first. And our ego loves to be loved, wanted, included, safe. Our ego is greedy for all these things and this is completely normal. It is part of our basic instincts to live and remain alive. Money makes us feel safe and loved. Two very powerful motivators for making sure we can get more.

    Some 'gurus' (not all) lose some of their initial desire for helping others, and become more aware of the 'being loved' element aswell as the money element.

    The 'gurus' also find themselves with 'followers'. People who want to work with them for nothing, just to be associated with them and their name. They like to believe they are 'included' in a special circle. The followers wont necessarily be told to push people to spend money they cannot afford, but because they want to earn favour, they can at times be guilty of this. They also have become one sided and choose not to see the greed in their actions, instead they focus on how much the 'guru' has changed their life and how they have witnessed others change too.

    What is important is this: we have the opportunity to learn. We can learn from people, books, movies, seminars, radio, internet (as I have been learning from reading this). And in order to live our best life, we must learn. And from what we learn we need to use our instinct to sift out what is good and helpful and useful, and let go of what is not.

    Learning from James Ray's behavior is what's important. He is teaching us that anyone, even people who are supposedly there to help others, can be just as selfish, spiteful, ego driven, stupid, greedy, manipulative for negative reasons, self centred and cruel - as the scum bag who mugs people on the street.

    He is reminding us to look outwards for more learning, but to go inwards for insight. Jeanne, you have clearly shown you did just that! You went inwards and let your instinct, your insight guide you.

    The lady here who pushed her head outside the sweat lodge to survive, let her instincts dictate - her inside lead her outside behavior.

    So anyone who have ever encountered anyone who has negatively affected them (thats probably the entire population of the world) needs to remember, sift out whats useful, what message or lesson have you learned that you can personally benefit from (in this case, trust your instincts) and dump the rest.

    Now I have a tip for you - put James Ray in your head and instead of hearing that voice you once heard - change the voice into a squeaky girls voice - see his stern face with a really seriously ridiculous voice! Make that voice higher and higher and notice how hard it is to take notice of his words.

    Next, put him in a pair of stiletos and shrink him to half his size.

    My very first thought when I heard about James Ray was - what on earth has he been thinking about to create such a disaster. I can only assume that he was affected by the callousness of his own actions and must believe he deserves to be punished for his stupid actions.

    I still don't get the sweat lodge idea - cant ever imagine a reason for asking anyone on a seminar I was to host to do something so utterly strange. There are millions of things you can think of to do if you need to prove something to yourself. Like volunteering for a charity for a few months. Clean your neighbours house every Friday night. ???

  10. and finally ... LeahJuly 11, 2011 at 3:13 AM

    Anyway - my beliefs are undaunted. I developed an interest in the mind when my son was first diagnosed with an eating disorder aged 4! When my sister in law was murdered by a thief in her own home I wanted to understand what could motivate someone to do such a thing. So tragedy lead to my interest and my interest has become a career.

    I have been able (in part) to forgive the person who killed my sister in law and hurt every member of my family. I still watch her children suffer in their twenties. I did this for me, for my sanity and not for him.

    I will never be perfect, I don't aim to be. I cannot really judge (altho I appear to have done so here) anyone else's behavior as I am so far from being as good a person as I could be. I aim to always learn more, be more, create more and use my inner guidance to keep me safe.

    Finally - one of the best things I learned when I began my training into Psychotherapy was about why people can be rude or cruel to others. I never ever realised that it was a reflection of their weak and vulnerable ego. You have to put others down beneath you in metaphorical position, in order to elevate yourself above them. Only people with a low self esteem need to do this and to them it comes instinctively.

    Many of my clients over the years (intelligent people) have been confused about being confident because they assume this is the same as arrogance. NO - arrogance is like the above, raising yourself above or putting people below you - is arrogance. Confidence is just comfortable, being comfortable in yourself and threatened by others. Being confident means you are at peace with who you are.

    For me, that lesson was a huge relief. I used to be wallflower, quiet and easily offended. I have felt exactly as you described Jeanne and wanted to end it all following a comment from someone I had believed in. But not anymore, not since I realised that they are truly feeling 'less than' and hitting out verbally is their only weapon. The funny thing was, since I learned this, it hasn't happened to me since - that's in 13 years!

    From that moment of awareness I can honestly say, I felt sad for the person who used to be hurtful, sad that they feel so badly in themself and sad that the me back then, didnt know this.

    Knowledge is power. Keep learning Jeanne, become a teacher with all those talents you have.

    Best of luck

  11. Hi, Jeanne, we follow each other on Twitter since this case and I've read several of your other blog entries. I had no idea until I came across this one that you were yet another person to whom James had been so effortlessly cruel. My heart and prayers go out to you and I echo everything Wendy said.

    I never even heard of JAR until this trial yet I have been so affected as I learn how he has manipulated and used people, as well as how his careless hubris allowed him time and again to walk away from people suffering in the mud after one of his "events." It is mind boggling to me, even though I am a retired nurse and have understood for years that those who behave in such a manner are simply trying to reinforce their own weak egos. It simply is too much to completely comprehend. Having been a person with low self-esteem who reaches out to others like me, the idea that I would belittle them in order to exalt myself and not be ashamed is a concept I cannot grasp.

    My prayer is for you and all those who have been hurt by James and his ilk will come to know Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life Who will truly set you free. James twisted many of His words and teachings, as well as many teachings of others which he attempted to amalgamate into his very own path to enlightenment, which will lead to his own destruction unless he repents of his sins against others, which are ultimately sins against God. Maybe he will escape true justice here on earth, but not the ultimate justice.

  12. P.S. I think one reason I feel so strongly about this case is that years ago, before I found the Lord, and truly understood our true value to Him, I could definitely have been another JAR victim.

  13. Reading all of your posts and sending love ... we're all on such a big journey of healing, of speaking out the truth, of asserting justice and fairness ... Jeanne, wishing you continued healing and well done you for all the inner processing you're doing and such honest fact finding and action ... my health's not been good for a long time, then through years of rape and torture, and I assert the truth no matter what, processed and process ... am in long-term rape counselling ... my wish too is to see true justice done re this person, and I have truly cried at seeing clips of him being cruel to people at seminars etc ... he is vile sh** ... you are beautiful in every way, and never let any 'human' being supercede how God/the Universe views you ... as perfect and beautiful, loved and looked after, in daily life and in the big collective picture we’re all a part of ... the Universe made it impossible for you to sign up to the program, and was saving you from a much more entangled path and harm ... life can be a long path, a very tough path, but light and truth does and will always win. Keep shining always ... that is what I work to do always, as every person who finds their real esteem, beyond this world, with God/the Universe, can't be beaten/harmed/entangled in such vile energies or hurt anymore ... is safe. Love from Cat, to Jeanne and others who've posted. xx

  14. Hi Jeanne,
    I don't know whether you will ever read this or not but I read your words with a deep sense of sadness and I just wanted to give you a hug and say that you are beautiful just the way you are. Hold your head up girl and look the world in the eye and be proud of yourself for what you have accomplished. I never met JAR but I would have if I was living in the USA. I live in the UK and so much wanted to attend his events but the cost of air fares, hotels etc was prohibitive so I contented myself with reading his books. I also (stupidly) considered remortgaging my house so I could attend his events but at the last minute had the sense not to do so. Jeanne people who start working in the spiritual growth industry start out genuinly wanting to help people but I fear that some of them grow too used to the idea that they are better than everyone else and allow their ego to take over. It's all about checks and balances and JAR has harmed many people by thought word and deed. You are better than that you are beautiful. My dear lady be strong and know that the world needs you just as you are.

  15. I have been conned by "gurus" and think you are lucky to have escaped from his clutches! You paid a price by being abused by him but looking at the big picture that was better than falling deeper into his trap.

    So glad you did not sign up for anything he had to offer. He is an evil person who preys on vulnerable people, in times gone by he would have been tarred and feathered for selling snake oil. Just think of him like that every time he comes to mind and he will lose his power over you.

  16. I don't know if you'll ever read this but I just wanted to tell you what a beautiful person you are and how very, very wrong he was. I'm horrified by what you suffered at the hands of this charlatan, and your story touched my heart. He was wrong about you. He was so wrong about you and as this was written a few years ago, I hope that you know that now. Sending you big virtual hugs, Fae.

  17. For me, you're a far more inspiring person than that James Ray or any other "motivational speaker". They can only "motivate" people through glib words, but you've inspired and motivated me and countless others through your courage and perseverance. I wish you all the best in the years to come.