8 episodes

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.

Guru: The Dark Side of Enlightenment Wondery

    • True Crime
    • 3.8, 245 Ratings

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.

    Seeking Safe Self-Help

    Seeking Safe Self-Help

    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!

    • 40 min
    The Business of Redemption

    The Business of Redemption

    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!

    • 37 min
    Play Full On

    Play Full On

    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!

    • 40 min
    “Remember, You Must Die”

    “Remember, You Must Die”

    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

    • 36 min
    James’ Good Story

    James’ Good Story

    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

    • 39 min
    Black Bags

    Black Bags

    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

    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5
245 Ratings

245 Ratings

MasochistRevol ,

Interesting

Interesting and well researched tale about “Self-Help” guru James Arthur Ray, the scam artist who inspired and was featured in Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret book and documentary.
I have taken a mark off for misplaced ads and cheesy/inappropriate theme music.

recidivist_again ,

Interesting podcast

I listen to a lot of podcasts and I don’t have a subscription to any premium services. Because I get well written, researched and preserved entertainment daily I would never mark a podcast down for having ads in it. The people making them have to make a living and if I’m not paying for it then I don’t mind being advertised to.

Beyond that I think this is great. Interesting and in depth. First person interviews really take you into the story. Some scenes feel like you’re in a nightmare but it’s sensitively covered.

Solly1978 ,

Great Series.... more balance

I like this series and it’s clear JAR is a nut, opportunist and full of woo woo, but I would of liked to hear from more people that received benefit from his courses..... a lot of people must really like it.

For example .... I thought the hair shaving thing sounded like a good way to look at someone’s attachment to their image..... good idea!

More balance please ...

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