Author Topic: James Arthur Ray - Angel Valley Resort DeathSweat in Sedona: 3 dead, 20 injured  (Read 190486 times)

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 3 dead, 18 injured
« Reply #120 on: December 16, 2009, 08:36:18 pm »
http://www.examiner.com/x-11245-Philadelphia-Speculative-Fiction-Examiner~y2009m12d15-Breaking-News-James-Ray-drugged-participants-and-forced-snake-handling

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Breaking News: James Ray drugged participants and forced snake handling

December 15, 9:07 PM Philadelphia Speculative Fiction Examiner Cassandra Yorgey

 When news of the death lodge first emerged everyone called it a tragic accident. As more information came to light everyone called it negligence. As we continue to look into the James Ray scandal we begin to see a larger picture, a pattern of abuse growing in severity that resulted in at least four deaths, possibly five.

          I fully expected Nightline to divulge all the dirty little experiential events at James Ray’s other seminars since they were speaking to former JRI employee Melinda Martin. They didn’t though, so it looks like it’s up to me.

          The death lodge was not James Ray’s first attempt to cook people. I’ve heard reports that both his Modern Magick and Practical Mysticism seminars include an event where participants walk across a bed of hot coals and lots of people have been badly burned because of this. The worst example I heard of this was at a retreat where approximately 80% of people received second or third degree burns. Now, I don’t know a whole lot about fire-walking and it seems like a pretty bad idea to me, but plenty of people have reported walking across coals without any injuries at all. In the retreat mentioned above, where the majority received burns, it appears to be due to the accelerant James Ray “spilled” on the coals and sections of the dirt where participants were walking barefoot.

          What are some other features of the Modern Magick retreat, besides the human barbeque? James Ray also drugged participants. I repeat - James Ray drugged participants. Hallucinogenic breathing techniques are one thing, but James Ray goes above and beyond that and actually drugs his victims with some sort of hallucinogenic muscle relaxer.

What is this drink he coerces people into consuming? I don’t know, but we have a pretty detailed description. It’s a thick liquid described as mud-like. It tastes like dirt and definitely had mind-altering effects. James Ray described the substance as a sort of truth serum, claiming that it would release inhibitions and allow participants’ honest feelings to come out. Participants drank about four cups of this and it produced a heavy bloated feeling. Another notable side effect was that participants pooped black insanity for a couple of days. If anyone has ideas as to what this drink might be or what it’s made of please let me know in the comments.

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Read the whole article...

The author goes on to describe some very bizarre and dangerous stuff. People commenting say he gave them Kava, but some think it was Ayahuasca.

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #121 on: December 16, 2009, 09:11:31 pm »
There's also a discussion about Ray in the Rick Ross Cult Education forum. I found some interesting things in this thread (including a mention of us):

http://forum.rickross.com/read.php?12,77450,79406#msg-79406

December 12, 2009 01:54AM The Anticult wrote:

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What James Ray is doing, is at the end of a very long day, he pushes people into exhaustion, where their defenses are the lowest.
He then slowly paces and leads them into "unconscious" work, where he deliberately goes sub-vocal, and mixes in Suggestions with nonsense, confusion, and precise instruction.
James Ray is pushing people into Trance states, and then controlling those states of mind.

James Ray then inserts his Suggestions, deliberately done in a vague, confusing, and sub-vocal mumbling manner, to try and communicate directly with the unconscious.

He'd never get away with this with someone in the room who knew what he was doing. That is why James Ray (and others) kick out people from his seminars who stand up to him.

He also frames it probably with the hand-holding, as another deep unconsious bonding experience with people, and the "collective unconscious".

This is mental and emotional abuse of the highest order.
If you EVER notice anyone doing ANY of this stuff, and you have not studied this material for 10 years and know exactly what he/she is doing, get the hell out of that room immediately.
You have no idea of what they are trying to do to you.

This is James Ray doing an extreme perversion of Ericksonian hypnotherapy, and Deep Trance states.

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Oh yeah. I've seen this before. A vicious abuser/exploiter/ceremony-seller I knew does this under the guise of bonding and "instructing", and I also saw it in some of my run-ins with Newage cult types in the eighties. The exploiters especially use this on people with health problems, who are desperate for the healing the exploiter offers, and easy to tire out. Usually if some stranger would just spring this sort of manipulation on people, they wouldn't fall for it. But the clever criminal slowly builds up the illusion of mutual trust, mutual respect and dependence, and then once people have their guard down the exploiter starts chipping away at the people's self-esteem and free will, substituting their voice for the voice of the victim's conscience.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2014, 10:20:47 pm by Kathryn »

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #122 on: December 19, 2009, 09:26:46 pm »
We've been discussing this one for a while, but it looks like the mainstream media is now paying more attention to Ray's role in the suicide of Colleen Conaway. This makes four people dead that we know of.

Sweat lodge guru now linked to San Diego death
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SAN DIEGO, Calif. (CBS 8 ) - A self-help guru who is linked to three sweat lodge deaths in Arizona has now been linked to a bizarre suicide at Horton Plaza. A woman on one of his retreats committed suicide at the mall, and another participant actually witnessed it.

That witness didn't realize what he was seeing until hours later, or that the woman was a part of the group. There was confusion because the woman was dressed as though she was homeless.

Colleen Conaway's family is still in shock the Minnesota native took her own life while on a three-day seminar last July here in San Diego hosted by self-help guru James Ray.
... ... ...

Colleen Conaway had paid $12,000 dollars on the San Diego retreat and two future James Ray events. Her family says at the very least they're entitled to a refund. Conaway's family says they have received no money back from the James Ray group.



Read full article...


Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #123 on: December 26, 2009, 06:42:59 pm »

Heather at Don't Pay to Pray asked me to post this for her. Thanks for all the info, Heather.  8)



Breaking News on James Ray Deathlodge: Judge reverses ruling and orders Sweatlodge Records Unsealed

Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Michael Bluff vacated his previous order to seal search warrants and police reports and murder scene photos from James Arthur Ray’s Sweat Lodge held in Sedona on October 9, 2009 that has killed 3 human beings.

KGUN 9 has the AP story on this: http://www.kgun9.com/Global/story.asp?S=11725623

In the Senor Reporter blog today: http://regulus2.azstarnet.com/blogs/senorreporter/17743/judge-orders-sweat-lodge-case-reports-unsealed

http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/hourlyupdate/322625

Here’s another blog

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AZ_PUBLIC_RECORDS_WIOL-?SITE=WIMAD&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

and another

http://www.examiner.com/x-23325-Tampa-Deism-Examiner~y2009m12d24-Judge-vacates-order-to-seal-documents-and-murder-scene-photos-in-James-Ray-sweat-lodge-case

and another:

Media Attorney Declares Records Win it 2 Big Cases:

http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/dpp/news/local/phoenix/media_atty_122409

and another: http://www.thelizlibrary.org/liz/FRtactic.html

 
For the latest updates on the deathlodge, follow on twitter:

www.twitter.com/dontpaytopray

The public should be able to obtain records this coming week  through the Yavapai County Sherrif’s Office

Let's all do what we can to have an informed jury.

http://www.co.yavapai.az.us/SOContent.aspx?id=19320

Thanks,

Heather


Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #124 on: December 29, 2009, 07:44:00 pm »
More updates from Heather:


here's the latest updates:
For people in the News Blackout area - most of the Southwest Sedona Uncensored blog is publishing blocked news stories

http://sedonauncensored.blogspot.com/
 
There's an article today about conflicting accounts of what happened and the guy who built the sweat lodge, Theodore Mercer

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2009/12/28/20091228raydocs1228-ON.html

http://bizsayer.com/

Please distribute this info wherever you find appropriate.
thanks for your support,
Heather

Terry Hall has posted actual documents on line


Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #125 on: December 30, 2009, 01:34:11 am »
Can't recall if anyone posted this one yet:

Spiritual Warrior Participant Guide http://www.nhne-pulse.org/files/2009/2009103-spiritual_warrior.pdf

contains liability waivers people had to sign, instructions to bring tobacco, writing about NDNs in the past tense, etc

Offline Diana

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #126 on: December 30, 2009, 03:41:07 pm »
Here's some more info on death ray. My bold.



http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SWEAT_LODGE_DEATHS_AZOL-?SITE=CODEN&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT


Docs in fatal sweat lodge case show past problems

By FELICIA FONSECA
Associated Press Writer
 
 
 

 
 
PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) -- Documents released in the investigation of a fatal sweat lodge ceremony show that people lost consciousness and others suffered broken bones at past events led by self-help guru James Arthur Ray, but Ray largely ignored the medical problems that arose.

Three people died after an Oct. 8 sweat lodge ceremony that was the highlight of Ray's five-day "Spiritual Warrior" event at a retreat he rented near Sedona. The Yavapai County sheriff's office has focused a homicide investigation on Ray, who has made millions of dollars by convincing people his words will lead them to spiritual and financial wealth.

In documents released Monday, a man Ray hired to build the sweat lodge told investigators that he was hesitant to assist with the ceremony for a third year because participants previously had emerged in medical distress, and emergency help wasn't summoned. Theodore Mercer said the latest ceremony was hotter than in years past, but Ray repeatedly told participants, "You are not going to die. You might think you are, but you're not going to die."

Mercer's wife, Debra, told investigators that one man emerged from the sweat lodge halfway through the October ceremony believing he was having a heart attack and would die. She said that instead of summoning medical aid, Ray said "It's a good day to die," according to a search warrant affidavit.

When Ray was advised that two participants were unconscious near the end of the two-hour ceremony, Debra Mercer said Ray did not appear overly concerned and said they would be OK until the end.


A message left Monday at a phone listing for the Mercers was not immediately returned.

No charges have been filed. The investigation, including hundreds of interviews, is expected to be turned over to prosecutors next month. Sheriff's officials said they would have no further comment until then.

Ray has hired his own investigative team to determine what went wrong. Brad Brian, an attorney for Ray, said in a statement Monday that Ray's representatives have been working with Arizona authorities to determine the facts, and he urged people not to jump to conclusions.

Brian said he believes the investigation will show "that the Sedona tragedy was a terrible accident that no one, including James Ray, could have seen coming."

Authorities and participants have said no one was forced to remain in the sweat lodge, but they were highly encouraged to stay inside.

Sheriff's officials said they found nothing to explain how the three people - Kirby Brown, 38, of Westtown, N.Y.; James Shore, 40, of Milwaukee; and Liz Neuman, 49, of Prior Lake, Minn. - died other than the extreme heat inside the pitch-black sweat lodge - a 415-square-foot makeshift sauna covered with tarps and blankets and heated with hot rocks.

Authorities have interviewed most of the more than 50 people who attended the event and detailed about a dozen of the interviews in documents released Monday after a judge ruled last week that they be made public.

Some of the people told investigators that Ray responded to cries for help from a man who was burned and warned other participants not to leave the sweat lodge during eight 15-minute rounds so they wouldn't also be scorched by the hot rocks in the center.

Others who were interviewed by investigators described suffering broken bones at other Ray-led events after being instructed to break bricks with their hands. Others said they vomited and slipped into altered states of consciousness.

Mickey Reynolds, who attended Ray's 2005 "Spiritual Warrior" event said it was implied the sweat lodge was safe since Ray had done the ceremonies before. Reynolds told investigators there was no discussion of safety procedures or a plan if something went wrong.

The owner of the Sedona retreat, Amayra Hamilton, said she told Ray in 2005 that he would have to change his ceremonies after a man became severely ill and she saw improvements the following year.

Richard Wright said he took part in the latest sweat lodge as a test of courage, enduring seven of eight 15-minute rounds. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., resident told The Associated Press participants never were asked to provide emergency contacts or answer questions about their health, and they never were given a clear picture of the effects of a sweat lodge.

Instead, they took Ray's word that vomiting and passing out were normal, he said.

"We all chose what we did," Wright said. "But again, if you make a choice with only having half the story, have you really made a choice?"
 




Offline 04-2106-johanna

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #127 on: January 05, 2010, 07:10:32 pm »
what has come out of this situation is that fake medicine men are claiming their way of life is being bastardized. This same person has done the same things, including murder in 1961. That is only the surface. Yes, he is only a racist if you don't give him money.  I gave him plenty including paying over two hunderd dollars for his business cards.  Now that i know the truth, you should too.

Offline flyingdust

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #128 on: January 07, 2010, 09:06:16 am »
Last I heard or read is that Ray has not been charged to date.  He's made millions and will no doubt buy his way out of this one.  In fact he has made a few apologies to the families of his victims in a letter on his website, but in the next paragraph he promised to be back in business as soon as he can make sense of what happened in his own mind.  Freaky rationale, but then the society we live in is freaky that way.

I’m a Cree from Canada who grew up in the traditions and culture of our people. Fasting and sweat lodge ceremonies are a part of my everyday experience. My deepest condolences go to the families of those innocent victims of James Ray. It is so unfortunate that all of the participants were mislead into a trap that ended in tragedy.

But I do want to voice my opinion, which is in line with what others have said on this topic.  The possible cause of their deaths and illnesses are a combination of the following: No traditional ceremonial leader in his right mind would ever use plastic tarp on a sweat lodge structure. That is downright dangerous. Firstly, our sweat lodges have to breathe, so only porous canvas and/or blankets are used. Secondly, as someone else mentioned, the plastic releases toxins that participants breathe in. Ray’s sweat lodge was a death trap. In addition, traditional sweat lodge makers are trained to use certain types of rocks in a sweat. Certain rocks will either blow up in a sweat or give off toxic sulphuric fumes and dust. The temperature inside a sweat is controlled by an experienced and trained sweat leader who takes care not to “burn” anyone in the ceremony. Rarely if ever sweat lodge ceremonies are more than four rounds, some are only two rounds. Ray violated this observance and held 8 blistering, smothering rounds. These are just a few dangerous physical aspects he exposed his participants to through negligence, carelessness, and stupidity. Finally, along with the physical the spiritual aspect of ceremonies requires a great deal of humbleness, carefulness, and respect that can only be learned from people who observed them in the way they were intended for centuries on end. Ray most certainly neglected and is unaware of these areas.

Arthur Ray is literally a plastic shaman with a plastic sweat lodge – a fraud and a thief messing with something he knows nothing about. His greedy intent and shameless theft and exploitation of Indigenous American culture and the many careless mistakes he made with it was a recipe for tragedy. His intent to create a following and to make money off of them with Indigenous ceremonies was probably his greatest mistake. There are no gurus, priests, and especially no "shamans" in our world and advertising and show-boating our ceremonies is an absolute no no. These notions are not inherent to but are contrary to our traditional ways. Ray totally disrespected and violated an age old Indigenous tradition, fooling around with our ceremonies, mixing and matching, anything goes kind of attitude, and all this for personal gain. But beware there are many James Rays out there. Just a warning to people: if you approach a sweat lodge covered with blue plastic tarp, head in the other direction. ::)

Offline nemesis

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #129 on: January 14, 2010, 01:37:32 pm »
People were wondering about the identity of the hallucinogenic substance that was given to the participants.

I do not know what it was but my provisional hypothesis would be that it was a substance containing DMT.  For the DMT to be active when administered orally, an additional substance that is a MAO inhibitor would have been required.

MAO inhibitors can be extremely dangerous when combined with certain foodstuffs and medications (e.g. fatal when taken with veined cheese) and it is usual for anyone taking an MAO inhibitor to either take extreme care with their diet, or, when nuage people get together for ayahuasca "rituals" it is common for people to fast and abstain from medications for at least 48 hours prior to taking the substance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monoamine_oxidase_inhibitor

A very common reaction to DMT is for people to fear that they are dying.  This is because, in the early stages of intoxication, people commonly experience time dilation.  It may seem that each breath, and even each heart beat, are minutes apart. Of course this is just a subjective experience, and once the effects really kick in people stop worrying that they are dying and become engaged with other things.

Death and rebirth are common themes of many Rites of Passage (ROP) rituals and may take many forms.  In Candomblé and in Masai ROP rituals death and rebirth are symbolised by washing and then shaving of the head.  Christian baptism has a similar ritual theme.

Purging though vomiting and / or diarrhea also feature in many ROP rituals, the purging being symbolic of the death of the old self prior to being "reborn" anew.

Such rituals can have a profound effect on people, especially when they take place in a community setting.  People can and do sometimes feel "born again".

The use of DMT and / or other hallucinogens in a ritual setting can affect people profoundly and can leave them extremely vulnerable to coercion and manipulation by unprincipled individuals.  

I can understand how the subjective experience of dying followed by a cleansing experience of a ritual bath can leave an individual feeling profoundly changed.  

What I find extremely disturbing is that a money orientated, greedy entrepreneur could play around with the deepest and most delicate and intimate aspects of a person's psyche in order to manipulate them and relieve them of their wealth and material possessions.

As I said before, I do not know what the substance was.  Kava kava is a very subtle experience conducive to socialising.  I would not consider it a hallucinogen.

I was just very interested by the anecdotal accounts of witnesses and survivors of this atrocity who described Ray's nonchalant responses to people who expressed the fear that they were dying.  His responses were what one might expect from a not very caring person who had administered DMT to his victims and who assumed that their anxieties about dying were due to the subjective experience of time dilation.

This is only a provisional hypothesis as I do not know what was in the substance and there are many ethnogens that it could have been, however on the basis of the reports so far my hypothesis would be DMT + MAO inhibitor.

I should also say that these fake gurus and shamans often control large groups of vulnerable people and may take the opportunity to conduct their own experiments into the effects of different ethnogens on the human psyche, using their victims as guinea pigs.

Sheela Silverman, the personal assistant of Bhagwan Rajneesh AKA Osho, ruled his massive sprawling ashram "big muddy" with a rod of iron and, according to various 1st person accounts of survivors, experimented on "orange people" in the medical facility, the same medical facility that produced salmonella bacteria for an act of bio-terrorism that left many people poisoned.  That was 25 years ago and it would be extremely surprising if things had not moved on since then.

A horrible state of affairs.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2010, 01:52:25 pm by nemesis »

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #130 on: January 14, 2010, 07:36:54 pm »
What if he spiked an herbal preparation with DMT or LSD?

Someone might consent to drinking Kava, thinking it's "natural", safe and traditional. They'd be expecting a mild alteration in their perceptions... then find themselves tripping their brains out.

Similar to sprinkling cheap marijuana with Angel Dust, then selling it as "really good sh*t, man."

I've sometimes wondered if the touchy-feely sex gurus dose people with Ecstacy to destroy their boundaries. For those who are already fragile and prone to altered states, even cannabis can destroy their psychic boundaries, let alone chemical hallucinogens.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2014, 10:21:10 pm by Kathryn »

Offline flyingdust

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #131 on: January 15, 2010, 06:48:02 am »
 Any use of hallucinogens in a ritual setting that is not conducted by practitioners of cultures who have been doing it for thousands of years is foolhardy and dangerous.  ;)

Offline nemesis

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #132 on: January 15, 2010, 09:56:16 am »
What if he spiked an herbal preparation with DMT or LSD?

Yes.  That could have happened.  At this point we have insufficient data to be certain.

When people put their trust in people who offer rituals using hallucinogens they put their mental health and their lives on the line. 

Someone might consent to drinking Kava, thinking it's "natural", safe and traditional. They'd be expecting a mild alteration in their perceptions... then find themselves tripping their brains out.

Or, if the shaman/guru/criminal has prepared the ground, people may actually believe that they are communicating with aliens/angels/spirits/gods and having an authentic spiritual experience.  If the shaman/guru/criminal possesses significant knowledge and experience of the drug and his/her motives are unethical, s/he can use the drug experience to manipulate other human beings in all kinds of ways including but not restricted to; financially, sexually, politically

IMO to abuse human beings through the use of DMT and other hallucinogens is a crime at least equal to rape. It is a way of getting right inside people's inner selves and abusing them in the most profound way possible.


I've sometimes wondered if the touchy-feely sex gurus dose people with Ecstacy to destroy their boundaries. For those who are already fragile and prone to altered states, even cannabis can destroy their psychic boundaries, let alone chemical hallucinogens.

You wondered right.

Bhagwan Rajneesh AKA Oshso covertly administered ecstasy to affluent followers during sessions in which they were invited to write him big cheques.  It was very successful.  Many former followers also believe that they were given drugs, probably ecstasy, while they were working crazy hours on starvation rations in Big Muddy.

Numerous sources claim that ecstasy was introduced to Europe via Bhagwan's followers, as a quick google will confirm.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2014, 10:21:54 pm by Kathryn »

Offline nemesis

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #133 on: January 15, 2010, 10:10:45 am »
Any use of hallucinogens in a ritual setting that is not conducted by practitioners of cultures who have been doing it for thousands of years is foolhardy and dangerous.  ;)

^^^
this

Also there can be significant problems relating to the ritual use of hallucinogens, even when conducted by authentic practitioners with a cultural history of such use.

There are serious problems in some parts of South America where traditional healers who have served their communities for generations are being lured away with $$$$ by affluent tourists who want in on the shamanic experience.

I don't have any problem with traditional healers making money of course, but the relatively recent phenomenon of shamanic tourism is adversely affecting cultures that are already under immense threat from environmental destruction, the introduction of diseases, cultural and actual genocide, etc.

The removal of traditional healers from their communities in order to provide rituals for tourists is an important aspect of the cultural genocide currently affecting many communities today.


 

Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #134 on: January 15, 2010, 02:40:14 pm »
.  
« Last Edit: March 25, 2010, 03:31:47 am by critter »
press the little black on silver arrow Music, 1) Bob Pietkivitch Buddha Feet http://www.4shared.com/file/114179563/3697e436/BuddhaFeet.html