Enlighten Us



Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 55%
IMDb Rating 6.2 10 601

Keywords:   woman director

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
April 04, 2022 at 01:02 AM



855.07 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 33 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ejonconrad 9 / 10

Fascinating study of the power of narcissism

You might not remember the name James Arthur Ray, but you certainly remember the story: three people died in Sedona, Arizona during a "sweat lodge ceremony", which was part of some sort of very expensive "self help" workshop. James Ray was the self help guru who organized the workshop and was sentenced to two years in prison for negligent homicide as a result of the deaths.

The documentary follows Ray's attempt at a "comeback" after being released from prison, with flashes back to the story of his life and career, culminating in the deaths at Sedona and his trial and sentencing.

The story is presented completely without narration or commentary, but as another reviewer said, the makers are very good at "giving Ray enough rope to hang himself" - which he is only too happy to do.

I've always felt there's a blurry line between self-help gurus and religious cult leaders, an Ray unquestionably left that line in the rear view mirror. I tend to be very cynical about these things, but even I was shocked at what an unapologetic, narcissistic sociopath Ray is. He can whip up crocodile tears over the deaths when it serves his purpose: as part of his show, in front of the judge, etc, but in the one-on-one interviews, he doesn't even pretend to have the least remorse. I'm not even talking about taking responsibility (which he never does); I'm talking about simply feeling bad that three people died in an activity that he organized. Other people involved in the event, even peripherally, were genuinely distraught over what happened, but Ray only sees things in the context of the effect it had on his career. He seems to honestly believe that he was the ultimate victim of what happened, and after his release from prison, the whole incident has simply become a prop for his comeback tour - which, amazingly, is still finding a paying audience!

I'm not someone who could ever fall for this sort of thing, but if you or a loved one are at all susceptible to this type of manipulation and control, I really recommend you watch this, and pay close attention to the audio tapes from the "Spiritual Warrior" workshop that led to the deaths. By then Ray was clearly drunk with his own power over people. He even made them shave their heads just to demonstrate his dominance. Maybe this documentary will help people recognize the warning signs, and look for the exits, before they do something stupid.

Reviewed by Zeebahussain 9 / 10

Infuriating, fascinating story of the fall of a sociopath

Caught this on Netflix, and I was surprised to see that this film had zero reviews. Ostensibly this is the story of the rise and fall of James Arthur Ray, the self-help guru who saw his star crash to the ground when 3 people were killed in a sweat-lodge at his costly motivation retreat. He served time in prison and is aching for his "comeback" (as he says at one point in the film), so he can land his book deal, and move on with his life. The documentary follows him around as he goes to middling speaking tours, pushing people to sign on for further talks and wonders what happened to all the people he helped, where they disappeared after his fall. But the film is also incredibly sly about what it is doing, which is let this unbelievably self-delusional man talk as he justifies his actions, his life and molds the incident into an "experience" that made him stronger while taking no responsibility for it. The more he talks, the tighter the noose gets. The film literally ends with him making the figure three with hand while saying "I'm responsible", and then in the next sentence blame someone else for the deaths. The film is also fascinating when it locates James Arthur Ray in the self- help/motivation landscape that is almost unique to America, the nitty gritty look of the self-help industry-the book deals, the Oprah recommendation, the economics of it all is actually quiet fascinating. It also spends time on how someone like him to could rise and take advantage of deep-seated insecurities and difficult times of the people who may or may not be getting help. This was a really great story told really well.

Reviewed by lyndsayw 9 / 10

Narcissism at it's BEST..... or worst, whatever works for you.

Before watching this documentary I had never even heard of James Ray. I have always had a fascination with people who have personality disorders (narcissists, psychopaths, sociopaths, borderline personality disorder etc...) and especially with cult leaders. James Ray ticks off more than one of these boxes. James Ray built his empire through the pain of other people. He used their pain through methods that people have been using since time immemorial. He is the snake oil salesman of today. He would take people who desperately needed hope, then he would promise them the cure for that pain, convincing them that he had the recipe for the cure that could fix everything. He would tell them a story about how when things were bad for him and he was searching like they are now, he discovered this way to fix everything and now he wanted to share that cure and help others. He employed techniques that cult leaders have perfected over time. He would rip their world and all their self worth apart and then he would give them a moment of euphoria aided by everyone else there. They would watch as he tore into them, believing his lies about how he did this to heal them and out of love. Then they would have what he called a breakthrough which in truth was really that he had successfully reprogrammed their whole way of seeing things and then he and all the others would love bomb them. These moments felt so good after all of that and the result was that they would become addicted to these breakthroughs. This entire situation was a recipe for disaster. The more people followed him and paid to be put through this over and over, the more you could see tragedy looming on the horizon. Sedona was that tragedy. This is a powerful documentary and not for the reasons James Ray wanted. I would suggest it to anyone.

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