DiscoverGuru: The Dark Side of Enlightenment
Guru: The Dark Side of Enlightenment
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Guru: The Dark Side of Enlightenment

Author: Wondery

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When we face challenges in life, we seek answers from people we believe can help us. When tragedy strikes an exclusive retreat with a self-help superstar, many people are left to wonder: how far is too far? James Arthur Ray was an Oprah-endorsed self-help teacher who achieved fame, fortune, and influence. But friends and family members of his followers questioned his unorthodox methods, and tried to stop him. From Wondery, the makers of “Dirty John,” “Dr. Death,” and “The Shrink Next Door,” comes a story about the dark side of enlightenment. Hosted by journalist Matt Stroud.

New episodes will come out weekly.

9 Episodes
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Introducing: Guru

Introducing: Guru

2020-06-1657:4620

A search for spiritual guidance leads a group of strangers to seek help from a self-help guru. He’s part of a growing number of entrepreneurs giving workshops and seminars all over the US in the 2000s. His unorthodox methods and blend of self-improvement philosophies and economic advice have won praise from Oprah and others. His career seems to be taking off, but his ever more extreme methods push his pupils to their limits. What are they seeking? What does he offer? And what happens when it all goes too far, and people die. Listen on Apple Podcasts starting July 1st.
Spiritual Warriors | 1

Spiritual Warriors | 1

2020-07-0142:1775

Ginny and her daughter Kirby attend an event featuring self-help superstar James Arthur Ray. Ginny has some concerns about him, but Kirby is drawn in. She spends her life savings to travel for a week-long event in the desert. But when things turn deadly, Ginny is left to figure out what went wrong.Support the show by supporting our sponsors!Simplisafe - Head to Simplisafe.com/GURU for free shipping and a 60 day money back guarantee.Best Fiends - Download Best Fiends FREE on the Apple App Store or Google Play.Wondery+ - Listen on Ad-Free https://wondery.app.link/56CveNM9V7
Black Bags | 2

Black Bags | 2

2020-07-0140:5346

Eight rounds. Scalding fire rocks. Oppressive heat. What happened to Kirby and the other participants at “Spiritual Warrior”?Support the show by supporting our sponsors!Simplisafe - Head to Simplisafe.com/GURU for free shipping and a 60 day money back guarantee.Best Fiends - Download Best Fiends FREE on the Apple App Store or Google Play.Wondery+ - Listen on Ad-Free https://wondery.app.link/56CveNM9V7
James’ Good Story | 3

James’ Good Story | 3

2020-07-0341:2953

When Detective Ross Diskin first arrives in Angel Valley in Sedona, he wonders if what he’s seeing is the result of a mass suicide . Now, his search for answers will take him from Angel Valley into James’ history. And it will lead him back to one particularly famous talk show host.Support the show by supporting our sponsors!Simplisafe - Head to Simplisafe.com/GURU for free shipping and a 60 day money back guarantee.Best Fiends - Download Best Fiends FREE on the Apple App Store or Google Play.Wondery+ - Listen on Ad-Free https://wondery.app.link/56CveNM9V7
Ginny flies to Arizona seeking justice. But will a jury decide what happened in Angel Valley was an accident or a crime?Support the show by supporting our sponsors!Simplisafe - Head to Simplisafe.com/GURU for free shipping and a 60 day money back guarantee.Best Fiends - Download Best Fiends FREE on the Apple App Store or Google Play.Wondery+ - Listen on Ad-Free https://wondery.app.link/56CveNM9V7
Play Full On | 5

Play Full On | 5

2020-07-1541:5730

The trial may be over, but Ginny’s family are not finished with James. And when another incident from James’ past comes to light, they get another chance to confront him.Support the show by supporting our sponsors!Simplisafe - Head to Simplisafe.com/GURU for free shipping and a 60 day money back guarantee.Best Fiends - Download Best Fiends FREE on the Apple App Store or Google Play.ShipStation - Use offer code GURU at ShipStation.com for a FREE 60 day trial!
Ginny gets an unwelcome interruption before Thanksgiving. And a fan of James Ray’s faces a stark choice.Support the show by supporting our sponsors!Simplisafe - Head to Simplisafe.com/GURU for free shipping and a 60 day money back guarantee.Best Fiends - Download Best Fiends FREE on the Apple App Store or Google Play.ShipStation - Use offer code GURU at ShipStation.com for a FREE 60 day trial!
Matt Stroud, Ginny Brown and Laura Tucker sit down with Laura Beil, host of Dr. Death and Bad Batch, for a live Q&A at the GURU virtual listening premiere.Support the show by supporting our sponsors!Simplisafe - Head to Simplisafe.com/GURU for free shipping and a 60 day money back guarantee.Best Fiends - Download Best Fiends FREE on the Apple App Store or Google Play.ShipStation - Use offer code GURU at ShipStation.com for a FREE 60 day trial!
Cult Buster | 8

Cult Buster | 8

2020-08-0536:359

Matt Stroud speaks with cult expert Rick Ross about his controversial “cult busting” career and how it led to his involvement in the James Arthur Ray case.
Comments (40)

SleepyCat

I thought inner happiness was more than success and money?😑

Aug 9th
Reply

SleepyCat

Many of these people needed therapy, medication and some social interaction, not some nut job locking them in a hot shed!!😬

Aug 9th
Reply

SleepyCat

This is based on cult models - dressed up as 'wellness' and 'empowerment' James Ray is a snake oil salesman with a thirst for power, cash and has a god complex. How did such intelligent people fall for such nonsense? Did I also hear Herbal life mentioned? Wasn't that some MLM scam??? Good grief😧

Aug 9th
Reply

Samp 75

I'm not sure why this is a 7 part podcast? It seems to be a witch hunt against an irresponsible person who was followed by equally irresponsible consenting adults which led to their demise...

Jul 29th
Reply

Kara Matthews

You know at first I was irritated by the followers, but the more I listened to what this guy was saying and how he was "grooming" them, I realized how manipulative he was. A lot of those people probably couldn't see past his machinations no matter how intelligent they were because he was playing on their vulnerabilities and telling them what they wanted to hear. In short, he brainwashed them. They didn't have the ability to make better decisions.

Jul 27th
Reply

Santos Mendez

This guy is so showman this is the same thing Joe osteen does

Jul 24th
Reply

Santos Mendez

Funny how Oprah Invites these scam artists to her show And gives him the green light and has people believing in them And they end up being Frauds What does that tell you people stop believing what Oprah says

Jul 24th
Reply

Kitabug

I always try to consider all sides of arguments presented and to place myself in others' shoes. I'm surprised that I find myself feeling more outraged/frustrated by the followers and their willingness to do whatever this guy said than the 'guru.' It's so sad that people are so willing to 'follow' that they would throw all rational thinking out the window. I'm just blown away by the fact that their need to believe in something cancelled their ability to recognize that they were literally baking to death. Wow! I agree with other comments that at the end of the day you're responsible for prioritizing your own personal safety. I guess they weren't given enough information to fully weigh the risks...but you would think that internal alarm bells would start to sound as they approached their physical limit. Had every participant in this extreme heat challenge died, I would have a completely different reaction. The fact that some of them had the soundness of mind to leave the tent when they reached their individual limits is what makes it hard for me to understand the ones that stayed.

Jul 18th
Reply

Domerciful

Great podcast but that intro music really gets on my nerves

Jul 18th
Reply

Lin

The charleton who ran the deadly weekend called it a sweat lodge so I think they are using his words for clarity. The show creators have pointed out it was nothing even resembling a sweat lodge and have also had representatives from the Native American community voice their condemnation of James Ray's cultural appropriation of the term sweat lodge. This guy (Ray) is disgusting, he's in it for the money, fame and ego boost...what a creep. He shows no remorse and takes no responsibility for all the trauma he caused. His only concern is for himself and his reputation. What a VILE man.

Jul 16th
Reply

Christy

I really wish they wouldn't refer to this as a sweat lodge because it wasn't.

Jul 15th
Reply

o

28:45 Complaining about their attitude "like that we're some crazy people that got people hurt." 🤦‍♀️ You are and you DID.

Jul 13th
Reply (1)

ashley

hate the opening music and all the ads, so loud and annoying

Jul 12th
Reply

Christy

My son's late unci (grandmother) was a healer. She lived off the reservation but had a lodge in her backyard. She was given permission by the family holy man to conduct lodge and I've participated in many. Lakota people have long used lodge for healing. I remember hearing about this when it happened and was so angered about this fraud using a sacred name for his gain. Unci always said that if someone charges for lodge, run. He killed people with his ego. A lodge can be hot with just 7 rocks. Creator will guide based on the people in the lodge and their needs. Unci never said you must die in order to be reborn. That's absolutely preposterous! He did not serve enough time, in my opinion.

Jul 8th
Reply

Tenielle styles

I enjoy most of wonderys podcasts however this particular one the adds were so frequent it became annoying. please reduce adds

Jul 6th
Reply

Pixie

the officer says there were doctors inside the sweat lodge but in the pervious episode, a victim says they asked if anyone was a doctor and no one was?

Jul 6th
Reply (3)

Pseudo Nymph

"After appearing on Oprah, thousands flocked to seek the guidance of renowned self help guru James Arthur Ray" I've heard this advertisement dozens of times. It implies that thousands of Oprah guests went on to follow James Arthur Ray. This makes me question the intelligence of the show's host. Here ARE alternate constructions that actually make sense. "After his appearance on Oprah, thousands flocked to seek the guidance of renowned self-help guru James Arthur Ray." (suggested rephrasing) "After renowned self help guru James Arthur Ray's appearance on Oprah, thousands flocked to seek his guidance" "After his appearance on Oprah, the guidance of James Arthur Ray was sought by thousands." Get your shit together Wondery. I don't expect perfection during podcasts, but if you're going to make me listen to the ad at the end of every single show PLEASE compose grammatically correct advertisements. You're not middle school dropouts, you can do better.

Jul 5th
Reply

Francesca D'Oriano

anyone with even a basic understanding of physiology would know that what he suggested was extremely dangerous. idiots

Jul 3rd
Reply

Francesca D'Oriano

anyone else thinking "what absolute dumbass is going to listen to this guy telling them to overheat themselves to death??" I am being judgemental because I'm sick of hearing about people falling for bullshit self-development "Guru's" who request $$$$$$ to regurgitate thousands of year old philosophies which you can learn by reading any book on Buddhism, Yoga and even Catholosism... I'm with the lady who didnt go in to the sweat cabin at the beginning telling all the participants not to go because it's crazy. she was likely one of the only sane people there.

Jul 3rd
Reply (1)

Six String Disco

I generally listen to almost all of Wondery's podcasts due mainly to their extremely high production quality. Recently however they have become more of a long Wondery advert interspersed with some short sections of stories. It's a shame, they've gone more for revenue than content.

Jul 3rd
Reply (1)
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