There are two primary objections to Ray Jardine. First, the attitude which says that "I, Ray Jardine, invented all ideas pertaining lightweight hiking and everyone else stole those ideas from me." Now that is just not true. Some facts. Ray states in BB that he was involved with Outward Bound in the 60's/early 70's and he was surprised they were using plastic tarps. In other words, people were using lightweight tarps BEFORE Jardine's time, as if we didn't already know that. "The Wilderness Handbook" is book by Paul Petzoldt, the guy who started NOLS/Outward Bound, published in 1974, which describes a net tent just like the one Ray describes in BB. Petzoldt also describes how tarps are better than tents in most situations. Granted, Petzoldt's tarp didn't have beaks, but are beaks really that extraordinary an invention? As someone who has tried beaks, I can assure you they have weak points (flapping like crazy in the wind) as well as stregths. Colin Fletcher was also raving about the superiority of tarps long before Jardine published anything. Fletcher was also talking about ultralight hiking (20 pounds base weight back in the 70's--remember, that was before silnylon and titanium) which he called "new wave" hiking, way before Jardine was publishing anything. One big difference between Fletcher and Petzoldt versus Jardine is that there is a hell a lot less obnoxious egotism in the first two authors.
No one is denying that Jardine energized the whole lightweight movement (or should I say re-energized, given how the Fletcher example shows that lightweight is NOT a new idea), but he didn't invent everything, by any means. Anyway, the whole idea of everyone stealing Ray's ideas (go to Ray's website for these accusations), is basically absurd. If anyone is a thief, it's Ray, for "stealing" the Petzold net-tent idea without giving proper credit and for "stealing" the whole tarp idea. And everyone who reads BLT is a thief because we "steal" each other's ideas.
Second, Jardine can be a really nasty guy at times. Go look at his web site and how he trashes Golite. Not merely does he call them unscrupulous, but he also knocks the quality of the equipment and encourages his groupies to do likewise ("golite junk" is the phrase they like to use), which is simply libelous. The Jardine tarp I used a few years back (before getting tired of it due to the wind flapping problem) was a Golite product, and it was well-made, as was the version 2 of the Breeze pack (as I understand, the version 1 breeze had some weak seams, but Golite offered to repair/replace those defective packs) and the Gust pack, which is what I use now.
The unscrupulous accusation is harder to disprove, but what I understand is that Ray was offered the opportunity to be a partner in the Golite business when it first started, but he turned this down, due to his nutty notions about how the outdoor business is evil, in favor of royalties. Of course, camping gear is a competitive, low-margin business and it is no surprise that the royalties were not that high, but I see no evidence that Golite ever broke their agreement. At least not until Ray started trashing Golite on his website, at which point I can fully understand their refusing to pay any more royalties. Ray has also threatened lawsuits against anyone who makes fun of his corn pasta or other ideas on various web forums. (He'll probably threaten BLT with a lawsuit if he reads this current posting of mine.)
But like I said in my earlier posting, whatever Ray's faults, I am hardly going to deny his brilliance. Read Beyond Backpacking if you haven't already. I can also highly recommend the products at ray-way.com. I haven't bought them all, but the one's I did buy were well-thought-out and a very good value for the money.
(And too bad if anyone doesn't like me posting anonymously.)