The Home That 2 Built TV - Penn & Teller TV - Oscar Wild - The UnXplained with William Shatner - Killer Clans - James Arthur Ray - Enlighten Us 2016 - George Carlin - Scott H Young - Louis Theroux TV - Cults & Extreme Belief TV - Breaking Bad 2008-2013 - A Very British Cult TV -
It was a decade of such extreme and rapid change … [BBC2] began with a range of how-to programmes that were reassuringly old-fashioned. The Home That 2 Built s1e1: The Sixties, BBC 2020
It’s bullshit! Breaking boards, walking on glass, psychology seminars and counter-groups, self-improvement books and videos, even walking on hot coals. Penn & Teller, Bullshit! s1e9: Self-Helpless, Showtime 2003
There are over thirty thousand self-help books in the US alone. ibid.
In reality life-coaching is bullshit. Penn & Teller, Bullshit! s3e4: Life Coaching
There are over fifteen thousand life-coaches in America. ibid.
The aim of life is self-development. To realize one’s nature perfectly – that is what each of us is here for. Oscar Wilde
Jersey City, New Jersey 6th March 2009: Self-help guru and author James Arthur Ray takes to the stage to speak to a packed audience at his Harmonic Wealth weekend seminar … On the strength of his seminars, media appearances, and best-selling book, James Arthur Ray became a household name in the field of personal development. The UnXplained with William Shatner, History 2021
As they spent many hours baking in the temperatures of the sweatbox, many people began slipping in and out of consciousness … ‘as much as 200 degrees’ … The inevitable finally and tragically happened … A third would die a week later. ibid.
Kirby Brown is an adventurous artist striving for self-improvement. Self-help Guru James Ray guarantees a transformation that will unlock the life of your dreams. But Ray’s methods come at a high price and with great risk. Killer Clans, ID 2014
Kirby signs up for more of his seminars. But immersion into Ray’s world comes at a high price. ibid.
Two deaths and twenty-one serious injuries. ibid.
He is actually a junior college drop-out. ibid.
James Ray is released in 2013. ibid.
You will feel as though you are going to die. I guarantee that. James Arthur Ray
It was supposed to be a journey into spiritual discovery and wholeness … Enlighten Us: The Rise and Fall of James Arthur Ray, James Arthur Ray, news report, CNN 2016
A third person has died after being overcome by extreme heat … ibid.
James was one of the top speakers in his field. ibid. Ferriter
The self-help industry is a huge industry. It’s ten billion dollars a year. ibid. commentator
I still want to connect with you. ibid. Ray
The work you get done here is the work you get done. ibid.
I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, ‘Where’s the self-help section?’ She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose. George Carlin
There are two reasons I see for disliking Self-Help. The first is that you dislike the substance of the philosophy backing Self-Help, the second is that you dislike the style in which this philosophy is delivered. Scott H Young, Here’s What’s Wrong With Self-Help, 2010
Las Vegas, Nevada, a showbusiness capital built in the desert. I’d heard about a new generation of entertainers who’ve been transforming people’s lives using the mysterious powers of hypnosis. They form part of a multi-billion-dollar personal growth industry. Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends s3e1: Hypnosis, BBC 2000
Is it a moral mission or is it about making money? ibid. Louis to hypnotist
[Marshall] Sylver was selling two programmes: a weekend of personal growth called Turning Point and a millionaire mentorship programme – a ten-week course in becoming a millionaire. ibid.
Marshall Sylver: He’s still doing it, the same slick video packages with their cheesy effects and catch-phrases seemingly as successful as ever. Louis Theroux’s Life on the Edge, review of Marshall Sylver’s motivational seminars, BBC 2020
Nxivm Female sex ‘slaves’ allegedly branded with secretive group leader’s initials. Cults and Extreme Belief s1e1: NXIVM, CBS News online 27 March 2018, CI 2018
‘We take our shoes off at the door, we call Keith Raniere Vanguard – because Vanguard means leader of a philosophical movement – there’s a ranking system similar to martial arts using sashes, and all of it’s been preempted with, there is going to be things that happens in this module that will make you uncomfortable … it means that you’re doing it right …’ ibid. Sarah, victim
During her 12 years in NXIVM, Sarah was responsible for the recruitment of over 2,000 members who each paid between $300 and $10,000 for NXIVM workshops and seminars. ibid. caption
In 2017, NXIVM founder Keith Raniere released a series of one-on-one conversations on YouTube inviting the public into the secret world of NXIVM. ibid.
‘I actually think that the branding doesn’t compare to the other emotional abuses that have been going on for decades.’ ibid. victim
Women who have had sex with Keith Raniere say it was billed as a spiritual experience, a transfer of his godlike energy. ibid. Times Union online
Keith Raniere was arrested in Mexico and extradited to the United States. News of his capture was broadcast nationwide. ibid. caption
On April 13 2018 Keith Raniere was charged with sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and conspiracy to commit forced labor. ibid.
Who is here for self-improvement? Breaking Bad s3e1: No Mas, mediator to Jesse at retreat, AMC 2010
Dozens of people with experience of Lighthouse have spoken to us for this documentary. Many of them were too scared to be filmed. Terrified of extreme harassment as a result. A Very British Cult, investigator, BBC 2023
Lifehouse? It’s life coaching. It’s a pioneering mentoring organisation. ibid. man
I started to feel as though I couldn’t think anything unless my mentor said it’s a healthy thing to think. ibid. woman
You started becoming separated from people. ibid. man
The total I invested was £131,000. ibid.
Every day. Seven days a week. It just didn’t make any sense. ibid. girlfriend of victim
Around 20 Lighthouse team members lived together in shared rental houses in the Midlands. ibid.
The topics were getting more sinister. ibid.
He was sitting there listening all day to quite unpleasant stuff. ibid.
From the very beginning people paid big money to become Lighthouse associates. ibid. investigator
So many long-term members were in terrible debt. ibid.
Basically brain-washing people and destroying families. ibid.
A judge shuts down Lighthouse in the public interest. ibid.