A private method cannot be called from outside the scope of the object to which it belongs.
So, this won't work:
class X private def priv( aStr ) puts("I'm private, " << aStr) end end ob = X.new ob.priv( "hello" ) # This fails
Ruby has a method called send for you to call private method.
The send method invokes the method whose name matches that of a symbol, which is passed as the first argument to send like this:
ob.send( :priv, "hello" ) # This succeeds