Author Topic: James Arthur Ray - Angel Valley Resort DeathSweat in Sedona: 3 dead, 20 injured  (Read 190475 times)


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Self-Help Author Imprisoned For Sweat Lodge Deaths Is Making a Comeback
James Arthur Ray spent two years in prison after a sweat lodge ceremony in 2009 left three people dead. His experiences behind bars now forms the bulk of his new self-help program

Bloomberg News/March 3, 2015

I manage to get in one more question before the end. Why would Ray, after being held responsible for the deaths of three people and serving prison time for it, go back to the same pursuit that led to his downfall? There is nothing else that can bring him fulfillment, he replies. There is, he says, “a power that works through” him—a faith, not in his “finite abilities,” but in his “clarity of purpose” and his power to captivate audiences.

“If you see any level or mastery in my abilities, it’s not me. It’s something that was given to me that I developed.”

To give up on that power, he says, “would destroy me.”

Offline debbieredbear

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The real reason he goes back is his massive ego. That and the money is good. What a narccisistic jerk.


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IMHO, he should "let it destroy him" and "give up the power".

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Better that he destroy himself before he destroys more people.


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Convicted hackers can be told they cannot touch a computer for a certain amount of years, even life. Physicians can have licences revoked and not be able to practice again. Ray should be barred from doing anything in the self-help Nuage field again, ever.

His events, books, everything should be boycotted.

What a horrible man - to base a "comeback" on the bodies of those he murdered.


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Kirby lost her life because she believed in a fraudulent leader. Her thirst for self-improvement and growth was exploited. She invested energy, money and trust, expecting a professionally-run and enlightening experience.

Instead, her leader lied about his knowledge and credentials, and he ultimately had little concern for his students. His behavior during the retreat and following the events of October 8, 2009, which took the life of Kirby and two others, revealed a reckless, arrogant, irresponsible, careless, heartless, self-absorbed, and basically “harmonically bankrupt” person – a FRAUD, unable to live what he taught. While there is value in the self-help industry, there is also great potential for so-called leaders to abuse the platform they have assumed for their own gains. In seeking their own ends, they exploit their customers and even put these customers in danger, using psychological techniques they are not certified in, therapeutic treatments they are not trained in, and orchestrating dangerous physical challenges without proper safeguards in place.


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At the top of his industry, James was involved in a terrible accident in 2009 that claimed the lives of 3 people he cared about deeply. As a result, James lost his
business and he was abandoned by most of his friends and colleagues. Simultaneously his mother was diagnosed with cancer; father with dementia and eventually…James also lost his freedom.

This is from his press kit. He has quite the slick web site and media machine.

One-on-one Harmonic Wealth Mentoring
6 hours
$ 12,500.00

His past business is in forfeited status, don't know what he is operating under now.

Entity Number:   C2586229
Date Filed:   10/28/2004
Jurisdiction:   NEVADA
Entity Address:   PO BOX #691689
Entity City, State, Zip:   WEST HOLLYWOOD CA 90069
Agent for Service of Process:   INCORP SERVICES, INC.
Agent Address:   5716 CORSA AVE STE 110
Agent City, State, Zip:   WESTLAKE VILLAGE CA 91362-7354

forfeiture affects a business in many ways. The business loses its rights, powers, and privileges to conduct business in California

James Ray International in Nevada is in revoked status.

Can you trust anything James Arthur Ray says?

Ray does still have a company active in Nevada called Soluna Capital Management, LLC. Possibly others too.

Offline AClockworkWhite

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One of my friends asked if there's a petition to stop JAR from killing again. Or is there a site specifically to raise awareness of his re-birth after prison?
I came here for the popcorn and stayed for the slaying of pretenders.

Offline Defend the Sacred

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There's that "Seek Safely" group, started by the family of one of his victims. Some of us had some interaction with them, but it only went so far as they wouldn't come out against appropriation. So far, we may be it. His new scam is called IBIS. We could start a thread on that, as well.

Offline AClockworkWhite

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Thank you, Yells.
I came here for the popcorn and stayed for the slaying of pretenders.

Offline Defend the Sacred

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I just took another look at the "Seek Safely" site:

While they may save some nuagers' lives and wallets, I still see no commitment to stopping the harm done to people who are not privileged. If I missed something, I would be happy to be pointed to anything I may have overlooked here.

The harm done by nuagers to POC and to Indigenous cultural survival via racism and racist cultural misappropriation is real, and a bigger concern to me than whether or not another rich white person loses some money. I don't mean to downplay the fact Ray killed people in addition to ripping them off. What he did was evil; he should still be locked up, and those people did not have to die.

But I look at this site, and the "who has signed the Seek Safely pledge" looks in some ways like self-promotion, and plenty of those people are just more Sedona-type appropriators. I think the families of the people Ray killed had a chance to make a big difference here, but they haven't gone far enough. So far it looks like they've only settled for "protecting" white people.

Offline milehighsalute

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im still very interested what kinda time an indian would have gotten for those 3 deaths

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Either life or death penalty, depending on the state.

Offline educatedindian

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No shame nor remorse on his part. Ray is asking the court to set aside the verdict, so he can claim to clients he was never truly convicted. Families of the victims are petitioning the court not to. Can anyone track down the court? We need to contact it ourselves and petition the same.

A mother's anger
Virginia Brown remains skeptical.
"His three good friends that he left in the dirt? Unconscious and did nothing to help them?" she counters. She is among the families of the three dead and 19 hospitalized who are angered by Ray's use of the tragedy in his presentation.
"Really, returning to self help? Why don't you sell cars?" Brown asks of Ray. "I don't hold out that I want his life to be ruined. He should have a second chance for a good life, but not in this venue."
Based on what she has seen in the film "Enlighten Us," Brown considers Ray to be a dangerous force in the unregulated, $11 billion self-help industry.
Ray told CNN by phone last week that returning to self-help is "exactly where I should be, and absolutely must be." He said to quit now "would be disrespectful to the memory" of those who died.
"They're heroes, not victims," Ray said. "Like all of us they were there for a specific reason — something they believed in. So if their memories are going to live beyond the tragedy, to continue to have meaning, I really believe I have a responsibility to tell that over and over."
A calling, not a crime?
The victims' families question Ray's sincerity after he filed a motion earlier this year seeking to restore his civil rights and set aside the judgment of guilt against him. If granted, Ray would regain voting rights and international travel would become easier.
While he'd remain a convicted felon in Arizona, Ray would have the ability to explain to potential business entities like insurance companies that a court set the conviction aside, finding him to be a different person than the one originally found guilty.

"It's frustrating that the sentence he got was pretty light, and it's frustrating that he's trying to get it to look even lighter," said Andrea Puckett, whose mother Liz Neuman followed Ray for seven years until her death in the sweat lodge incident. "It's frustrating he's able to file motions and make things better for himself while the rest of us are all still living with the pain."
Puckett, along with Virginia Brown and family members of James Shore — the third person to die in the sweat lodge — all wrote letters to the court asking a judge to deny Ray's request.
Ray insists he's not trying to shirk responsibility for his actions.
"I've served two years in custody and paid restitution and complied with all of the laws. I'm applying that same law to get my rights back," he said. "I have an unwavering commitment to inspire entrepreneurs to live their best. That's a calling, not a crime."
Attempting a comeback
Today, Ray lives in Los Angeles and says he's working on a book along with an online learning platform. He doesn't deny that the sweat lodge incident should be a part of his story forever.
"The biggest error I made was participating myself — I was in there for 12 rounds," Ray said of the sweat lodge process, which consisted of participants sitting shoulder to shoulder in a large tent as hot rocks were doused with water. The resulting steam heated the air inside to well over 100 degrees.
"There was no way to anticipate what happened," Ray said, though he admitted that participating in the extreme conditions may have prevented him from objectively assessing the health of his followers. "Sure we were doing something extreme, but extreme athletes in our country are heroes and I believe Liz, James and Kirby are heroic as well."

Ray said he hopes the public will see his return "and say I can get through my challenges as well."
But the victims' families see the incident as more than a "challenge" to overcome. They point to witness testimony that outlined a horrific scene unfolding in front of James Ray: people were "vomiting," "babbling," "screaming," "crying," and "passed out," according to court documents.
Victim James Shore dragged someone to safety in view of Ray before returning to the tent to save Kirby Brown. But Shore and Brown did not make it out alive.
The incident, and resulting trial, left the victim's families raw and worried about Ray's attempt at a comeback.
What Ray said Friday on "CNN Tonight" to promote the documentary has caused the family more pain. When asked on the show to respond to Virginia Brown's comments made in this story, Ray said "my greatest critic, who said her daughter (Kirby) was 'cooked,' was actually estranged from her daughter and that was one of the reasons her daughter was there."
Kirby Brown's sister called that statement "absolutely untrue."
"Kirby was the maid of honor in my wedding at my parents' house three months before she died," Jean Brown said. "She was obviously seeking her own way in life but to say she was 'estranged' is a horribly, insulting misrepresentation of the truth."
'I want her death to save lives'
Virginia Brown has decided to be what her daughter always called her: a "Warrior Princess." She's trying to get the self-help industry regulated.
"Seeking isn't wrong," Brown said. "My daughter was a seeker and was always wanting to grow and expand her life."
Brown started a non-profit group called SEEK Safely, whose letters stand for "self empowerment through education and knowledge." While not a fan of regulation, Brown is now pushing for legislation after first asking big names in the self-help industry to sign a set of guidelines aimed at keeping consumers safe. She says they wouldn't do it.
But regulation may be difficult, admits Christine Whelan, a clinical professor at the University of Wisconsin who studies the lucrative self-help industry and now sits on the board of SEEK Safely.

"Do we regulate the physical things someone can do at one of these workshops?" Whelan says of the challenges of regulation. "Are we regulating the speech in terms of what advice people can give? And then who is the judge of what is good and bad advice?"
Whelan says the immediate solution will likely be more consumer awareness.
Through SEEK Safely's website Brown recently received an email from Calcutta, India. The writer was considering a series of self-help seminars echoing "The Secret," the documentary that propelled James Ray to stardom in the early 2000's.
"After looking at our site," Brown said, "this person said 'I think I better understand that maybe the answers are within myself, and not within someone else.'"
It's a small victory for a mother who says her daughter -- who tackled everything from surfing to horseback riding to building a painting business -- "never did anything small." Brown just wants people to live like her daughter did, not die like her.
"I want her death to save lives," Brown said. "I want the story of her death to be a cautionary tale that will save other people's lives."