Saturday, 26 November 2011

James Arthur Ray's so-called 'Science of Success' is an unoriginal title for an unoriginal fraud

Senior Law enforcement agents and legislators around the world should take note that James Arthur Ray is just one of many copy-cat charlatans who have been peddling the closed-logic pseudo- 'Science of Success.' Classically, Mr. Ray, has steadfastly pretended moral and intellectual authority. Even though he has just been sentenced to prison, he still poses as a philanthropic, autodidact scientist and philosopher who, after years of selfless research, has discovered the secret magic formula by which anyone (no matter what their sex, race, creed or colour), can lawfully achieve wealth, health, happiness, freedom, etc. .  Tellingly Mr. Ray has traded off the names and reputations of widely-respected American television celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Larry King. He has organized his fraud behind a legally-registered corporate-front known as 'James Ray International.' He has produced several, strangely-familiar works of fiction presented as fact, including one entitled 'The Science of Success.'  Apparently, this absurd comic-book has sold 20 millions copies around the world. However, I very much doubt whether this (also strangely-familiar) unsubstantiated claim is entirely accurate, whilst Mr. Ray has been reported as drawing an annual salary from his company of $10 millions. The vast majority of money flowing into 'James Ray International,' has come from the sale of endless publications, recordings and tickets to meetings; the contents of which can be summarized in just a couple of lines, because they have constantly bombarded the followers of Mr. Ray with a mass of incomprehensible 'New-Age, Mystic-Dream' hocus-pocus behind which has lurked a classic, 'negative versus positive' totalistic, thought-reform program.
In accurate terms, what Mr. Ray has actually been peddling is a dissimulated religion, or a non-rational belief system, based on a closed-logic pseudo-science. Mr. Ray has called his dissimulated religion 'The Secret of Harmonic Wealth'  or 'The Science of Success.'  Thus, he has taught his followers that they can only achieve their dreams and goals (i.e. paradise on Earth) through excluding all negative influences and by developing 100% positive thinking (i.e. unquestioning faith). Self-evidently, this type of fraud is not at all original.  
A while ago, the free-thinking readers of Corporate Frauds Watch were treated to some welcome comic-relief in the form of a string of intellectually-castrated comments from a poor Indian 'MLM' 'Amway' adherent who had fallen under the spell of Napoleon Hill (1883-1970), the best-selling charlatan author of : 
The Law of Success (1928)
The Magic Ladder To Success (1930)
Think and Grow Rich (1937)
How to Sell Your Way through Life (1939)
Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude (1960)
You Can Work Your Own Miracles (1970)
Napoleon Hill's Keys to Success: The 17 Principles of Personal Achievement
Grow Rich!: With Peace of Mind
The Master-Key to Riches
Succeed and Grow Rich Through Persuasion
Mr. Hill has been described as the first 'Personal Success/Development' or  'Rags to Riches Guru' and, by an extraordinary coincidence, one of his above comic-books, 'Think and Grow Rich,' also has apparently sold 20 millions copies around the world.
In brief, as a young man, Mr. Hill got a job working for the once-ruthless, multi-millionaire steel magnate, Andrew Carnegie, who after suffering an attack of conscience in his later years, had decided to give most of his fortune away to educate the masses, whom he'd previously exploited without mercy. As part of this philanthropic campaign, starting in 1908, Hill (aged 25) was paid by Carnegie to interview hundreds of the most famous, and rich, men and women of the day (many of whom were Carnegie's ruthless business rivals), to discover their own secrets of success so that these could be passed on to humanity. Strangely, not one interviewee suggested that he/she had become wealthy as a result of any lack of morality. Hill then spent the rest of his life trading off all these widely-respected celebrities' names and reputations whilst peddling essentially the same fiction as fact. In a series of never-ending publications, recordings and pay-to-enter meetings, Hill steadfastly pretended moral and intellectual authority. He posed as a philanthropic, autodidact scientist and philosopher who had conducted years of selfless research from which he had discovered the secret magic formula by which anyone (no matter what their sex, race, creed or colour), could lawfully achieve wealth, health, happiness, freedom, etc. . 
In accurate terms, what Hill was actually peddling was a dissimulated religion, or a non-rational belief system, based on a closed-logic pseudo-science. Hill called his dissimulated religion, 'The Philosophy of Personal Achievement' or 'The Science of Success.'  Thus, Hill taught his followers that they could only achieve their dreams and goals (i.e. paradise on Earth) through excluding all negative influences and by developing 100% positive thinking (i.e. unquestioning faith). 
Obviously religions, or non-rational beliefs, and closed-logic pseudo-sciences are not dangerous in themselves, but the propagation of one form of exploitative non-rational belief  (popularly known as a pyramid scam or dissimulated money circulation scheme) is forbidden by law. Unfortunately, if racketeers apply co-ordinated devious techniques of persuasion designed to shut-down individuals' critical and evaluative faculties in order to perpetrate a dissimulated money circulation scheme and prevent victims from facing reality and complaining, then the result can only be described as evil. However, as James Ray has again recently proved, when taken to extremes by narcissistic charlatans, these techniques (which are, in fact, impermissible experiments on humans) can cause serious physical, and/or psychological, damage, and even death, to the ill-informed persons upon whom they are inflicted. 
Once you know what Napoleon Hill was actually doing, it becomes immediately obvious that this narcissistic charlatan really had hit upon a secret magic formula, but only to benefit himself. Indeed, it would have been far more accurate for Mr. Hill to have entitled his best-selling comic-book : 'Stop Thinking and Make me Rich.'
The latest generation of narcissitic 'Personal Success/Development' or 'Rags to Riches' gurus, like James Arthur Ray, are no different. They have simply worked out how Napoleon Hill's age-old, blame-the-victim fraud functioned, and they have tailored it to fit the spirit of the times. But then L. Ron Hubbard, set up essentially the same unoriginal fraud in the early 1950s, which he also first peddled as the 'Science of Certain Success'.
David Brear (copyright 2011)


Michael said...

Rajesh Bothra was born in Mumbai 1968, in Marwari family from a Rajaldesar village in Rajasthan. When he was aged about 16. He decided to quit his further studies, because his ambition was to become an excellent businessman. After quitting his studies he decided to start his business. In Present days his Business is popular by brand name Mercury, which is sold and uses his product Worldwide by common people.

Anonymous said...

While I like what was said and tend to agree with it, I have doubts about whether Napoleon Hill was simply a fraud and con-man peddling snake oil. Two quick examples. Billionaire from blue-collar upbringing, Bill Farely, lists Think and Grow Rich as one of this top-five favorite books (see his website). Another example is Mitt Romney who read Think and Grow Rich after high school and promoted it to all his friends and fellow Mormon missionaries. We know Romney went on to great business and financial success. It is possible Hill is just a fraud, but maybe his Think and Grow Rich done have some advice that is transformative. I'm not sure.

Anonymous said...

...DOES have some advice...