Author Topic: James Arthur Ray - Angel Valley Resort DeathSweat in Sedona: 3 dead, 20 injured  (Read 190516 times)

Offline nemesis

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #135 on: January 16, 2010, 08:52:34 am »
The traditional healers should know better than to be lured away by/with money.  imho, a "traditional healer" who _can_ be lured away by money is part of the problem. Unfortunate.

I wonder if that may be a little harsh?

South America is a big place with many different indigenous tribes.  I am not an authority on South American tribal societies but from my limited experience of such things I understand that many tribal societies have complex cultural traditions relating to gift giving in relation to the services provided by healers.

Of course I have immense respect for healers who do not charge money or gifts for their services but I do not feel entitled to be critical of traditional healers who do make such demands, especially when payment / gifts for such services are part of their culture.

Also so many tribal peoples are affected by the encroachment of industrialization, environmental destruction and land theft, introduced diseases, etc. that they are unable to live in the way that their ancestors lived, even if they wanted to.

If such people want access to televisions, motorcycles, Nike trainers, conventional medicine, whatever, then who the hell and I to say that they should not have such things?  The fact is that healers can generate significant revenue for their communities by accommodating tourists on "shamanic" retreats and there is an upside and a downside to this for their communities.

The situation is complex.


All this goes back to the instant generation.. people don't want to do the work of a lifetime to gain experience, they want it now.  Trying to have spiritual experience via drugs.  First, it's not a spiritual experience, it's a drug experience.  Secondly, how can a person trust, lean on, their own inner spirit if they need a drug to access it?  It's weak. And a sham.  

Personally I do not believe that the fact that hallucinogens are used necessarily means that an experience is not a spiritual experience.

My concerns lay with the fact that shamanic tourists seem to take a "pick n mix" approach to their spiritual development where they feel entitled to take whatever appeals to them (usually a fast track approach to contacting "spirits" via hallucinogens) whilst at the same time playing around with other people's cultures in a massively disrespectful way.  

My understanding of the use of hallucinogens within traditional tribal settings is that they are used with extreme caution and respect using strict protocols and boundaries, for the purpose of serving the community.  

IME the nuager's motivation for taking hallucinogens in ritual settings is usually "self discovery" or the acquisition of supernatural powers.  Typically there is no deep feeling of family ties with or concern for the tribal community whose hospitality they may enjoy.  

I feel ashamed that my own people are plundering the ancestral heritage of tribal peoples in this way, especially given the historical and current issues relating to cultural and actual genocide.

It is not right to try to grab whatever you want that you feel will help your "me me me" quest for self knowledge and magical powers whilst dancing around in feathers and body paint prior to going home to your luxury apartment and leaving the tribal people whose hospitality and kindness you have enjoyed struggling in poverty and living with the multi-generational effects of terrible trauma arising from racism and genocide as though you have no responsibility towards them whatsoever.  

The really horrific thing is that some people have done exactly that; they have abused the kindness and hospitality of the people who accommodated them and then have gone on to abuse the knowledge they have gained in order to abuse and exploit vulnerable people in the vilest ways imaginable.

There are monsters abusing sacred knowledge and Mr Ray is one of them, not the worst by a long shot but a monster nonetheless.



« Last Edit: January 16, 2010, 08:54:15 am by nemesis »

Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #136 on: January 16, 2010, 04:34:30 pm »
The traditional healers should know better than to be lured away by/with money.  imho, a "traditional healer" who _can_ be lured away by money is part of the problem. Unfortunate.

I wonder if that may be a little harsh?

South America is a big place with many different indigenous tribes.  I am not an authority on South American tribal societies but from my limited experience of such things I understand that many tribal societies have complex cultural traditions relating to gift giving in relation to the services provided by healers.

Well, true.  I spoke out of only knowing of traditional aspects that do not involve money. It could be that these peoples are not as aware of this since they are much more isolated than the peoples living here in the states who live aside a society that reveres the dollar.  But I have to wonder on the aspect of their spirits, if warning is given of their possible demise by providing these commercial tours. 

And true, I should not really think in same terms in regards to them.  Their situation perhaps different, and I do not know why they would allow it.  I do know some Amazon tribes are not 'outsider' friendly.  I'm sure it all depends on what their needs are, but then I think, they lived for eons without these invaders and did not need from them. 

I guess in the end, I cannot say what is or what should be for them.  I can only speak of my own point of view.  Having seen the destruction of the indigenous peoples here. 

All this goes back to the instant generation.. people don't want to do the work of a lifetime to gain experience, they want it now.  Trying to have spiritual experience via drugs.  First, it's not a spiritual experience, it's a drug experience.  Secondly, how can a person trust, lean on, their own inner spirit if they need a drug to access it?  It's weak. And a sham.


Personally I do not believe that the fact that hallucinogens are used necessarily means that an experience is not a spiritual experience.

This is not what I meant.  I did not mean that a drug experience is not a spiritual experience, actually, in my belief ALL experiences are spiritual experiences.  But that's beside the point.  What I mean is in regards to the many people I have seen who want to skip over the parts of 'living to gain knowledge' and just jump into the experience.  The experience is not the knowledge.  It's a sham and weak way.  And I'm not speaking of the serious person who with proper rights and protocol is working towards "something" and partakes of drug as 'part' of that practice with a qualified spiritual leader guiding. 

Several years with people into Castaneda who wanted to jump into the "nagual" and skip the "tonal".  It is the same thing, you can't just jump into the 'spiritual' deep end of the water without having yourself in shape so that you do not sink and drown. 

Many people take or seek the drug avenue to 'gain experience' but it is a sham because when they go back to their luxury homes as you say..  and back to their lives, they are only weakened by the experience.  And when faced with real life, do not possess the knowledge. They may claim they do because they had this or that "spiritual experience" but that experience does stand on it's own.  It was induced. 

You cannot claim knowledge without the direct experience of it.. people believe this means if they go take a drug and experience something spiritual directly, then they have the knowledge.  They don't.  What they have is an induced spiritual experience that they will most likely never have on their own w/o the drug. And when coming face to face with something direct, their so called 'knowledge' fails.  It has to be built up from the inside out.. not the from the outside in.. and that is what, imho, drugs for spiritual experience do when without the real living part of it.   The life they live mostly likely does not reflect the real walk of that knowledge..  they jump back and forth and get weaker every time. 

People like James Ray take advantage of this.
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Offline Superdog

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #137 on: January 16, 2010, 07:23:42 pm »
Here's an update from James Ray's camp.  These are links to the information that James Ray's "investigators" have put together and their case of why it's not negligent homicide.  They're very long PDF files and will definitely take a while to go through.  I haven't finished them myself, but from what I have read...it's terrible.  The files make outrageous claims about Sweat Lodge and gives undeserving people titles like "expert".  It's obvious,  just from the little I read, that this is one very long excuse.  The articles are called "The White Pages".

Just a warning...the more I read...the angrier I get at the whole situation.  From the things I read....it was his fault, but he's trying to put the blame off everywhere but himself.

http://azruraltimes.com/2010/01/15/james-ray-issues-white-papers-on-sedona-death-lodge-incident/

Superdog

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #138 on: January 16, 2010, 07:35:51 pm »
From the things I read....it was his fault, but he's trying to put the blame off everywhere but himself.

http://azruraltimes.com/2010/01/15/james-ray-issues-white-papers-on-sedona-death-lodge-incident/

Let's hear it for "You create your own reality."

Until your reality sucks, that is.

Offline flyingdust

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #139 on: January 17, 2010, 06:34:59 am »
Why don't they just charge Ray already and throw the book at him.  Here's a criminal carrying out his own investigation on himself, in much the same way police forces conduct their internal investigations...and predictably come up with results favorable to them.  This is getting pretty freaky.  ???

Offline Diana

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #140 on: January 20, 2010, 02:19:20 am »
Interesting article



http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2010/01/19/20100119sweat-lodge-deaths-lawmaker-wants-to-regulate.html


Regulations sought in wake of sweat-lodge deaths

7 commentsby Jonathan J. Cooper and Felicia Fonseca - Jan. 19, 2010 04:04 PM
Associated Press .


An Arizona lawmaker introduced a bill Tuesday to regulate the use of traditional Native American practices after three people died last year in a northern-Arizona sweat lodge ceremony.

The measure from Sen. Albert Hale, D-St. Michaels, seeks to sanction the use of Native American ceremonies off tribal land for profit without permission.

Self-help guru James Arthur Ray charged people more than $9,000 each to attend his five-day "Spiritual Warrior" retreat near Sedona that culminated in a sweat lodge ceremony on Oct. 8.
 
Participants said they trusted that Ray, who touted training under a Native American shaman, knew what he was doing.

Three people died and 18 others were hospitalized after becoming overwhelmed in the 415 square-foot sweat lodge that was covered with tarps and blankets. The deaths and illnesses sparked outrage among American Indians, who drew distinctions between what Ray did and what would be considered a traditional Native American sweat lodge.

Hale, a member and former president of the Navajo tribe, said the bill is partly an effort to protect people from false advertising.

"This process has been a perversion of our traditional ways," he said. "The dominant society has taken all that we have: Our land, our water, our language, and now they're trying to take our way of life."

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. Ray has hired an investigative team to find out what happened, and his lawyer said the deaths were the result of a tragic accident, not criminal negligence.

Hale's proposed restrictions would not apply to ceremonies taking place on tribal land or with the authorization of a tribal government.

It's unclear exactly how the law would be enforced. The bill leaves those details up to the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Arizona Commission of Indian Affairs, but Hale said a violation would likely be a civil offense similar to a traffic ticket.

Sweat lodges are commonly used by Native American tribes to cleanse the body and prepare for hunts, ceremonies and other events. They typically hold no more than a dozen people, compared with more than 50 people inside the one led by Ray.

The ceremony involves stones heated up outside the lodge, brought inside and placed in a pit. The door is closed, and water is poured on the stones, producing heat aimed at releasing toxins in the body. In traditional ceremonies, the person who pours the water is said to have an innate sense about the conditions of others inside the sweat lodge, many times recognizing problems before they physically are presented.

"We need to be respected," Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. said. "Our ways cannot be abused."

Offline Scott Brainard

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #141 on: January 20, 2010, 05:50:20 pm »
The "on tribal land" part might be an issue for NA folks who live off-reserve and hold a lodge...might be better if the rule focused on doing them for hire which is never right.

Offline Scott Brainard

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #142 on: January 28, 2010, 04:25:54 pm »
An update on the ongoing blame game, seen in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

http://www.startribune.com/local/82875627.html

Offline Superdog

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #143 on: January 28, 2010, 05:36:57 pm »
Interview with James Ray in NY Mag.

Lawyer by his side, not really answering a whole lot.  Any real questions are met with "You'll have to refer to the White Pages on that one"

Ironically titled "James Ray Defends Himself", but I've yet to see any real substantial defense to his lack of knowledge of what he was doing and subsequent maneuvering to keep himself out of jail at all costs since the moment things went wrong....he's slimy...IMHO

http://nymag.com/news/features/63259/

His homepage says to look for more to follow...looks like he's gonna do a media blitz and try to save his image before the charges come down.

Superdog

Offline NDN_Outlaw

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #144 on: January 28, 2010, 06:33:11 pm »
The photo of the interior of the "sweat lodge" is disturbing as it bares more than passing resemblance to the legs of a giant spider. I would like very much to know who passed him the lodge.  :(

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #145 on: January 28, 2010, 07:29:07 pm »
I would like very much to know who passed him the lodge.  :(

No one. Or, no one legitimate.

Up thread I posted links to the sites of some young, white guy who lives in Hawaii. I'm pretty sure that's Ray's only named "teacher". The rest of his story is the usual, "many (unnamed) shamans".

And they don't even realize how absurd it is when they say their "teacher" is from a culture that doesn't even have the ceremonies they are claiming to lead.

There are now generations of these self-taught, self-proclaimed white leaders of these plastic ceremonies. None of them was ever passed anything. They went to a few events run by a fraud, who went to a few things led by a fraud, and on and on. Nons not even teaching nons, but simply being exposed to the outer forms of the ceremony a few times and thinking that's enough.

Most of the Newagers and Neoplaygans love to call anyone they ever spoke with or followed around a bit their "teacher". They claim they say that out of respect, but it's usually to try to ride people's coattails. I knew a non who bought a pipe, handed it to Sun Bear for a minute, then told people he had made them a "pipe keeper". No sh*t. People like that not only went on to lead fake ceremonies, but have now spawned generations of frauds... like bad xeroxes of a xerox of a xerox... each one less substantial. Each one potentially more dangerous.

Offline flyingdust

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #146 on: February 03, 2010, 08:31:01 am »
It's sad that these newagers collect our objects that we respect so much and use in very sacred ways.   They collect them like they're popcorn prizes and play with them.  It's tragic that they use those objects to prey on so many people and I bet these poor victims wind up worse off then before they went to them.  I find this forum really interesting to read and really important to the cause of exposing these frauds for what they are.  :(

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: James Arthur Ray Arrested, Indicted 3 counts manslaughter
« Reply #147 on: February 04, 2010, 01:26:45 am »
James Ray is arrested and charged. Looking at 15 years in prison.

----------------quote---------------

http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/02/03/arizona.sweat.lodge.charges/index.html?hpt=T2

(CNN) -- Self-help guru James Ray was arrested Wednesday after a grand jury indictment charging him with three counts of manslaughter in the deaths of three participants at an Arizona sweat lodge ceremony he organized last year.

Yavapai County Sheriff Steve Waugh said Ray was arrested at his attorney's office in Prescott, Arizona, Wednesday afternoon.

He will eventually be housed at the Camp Verde Detention Center, the sheriff's office said, and his bond has been set at $5 million.

Ray is charged with the deaths of Kirby Brown, James Shore and Liz Neuman.

Ray's attorney, Luis Li, said that the charges were unjust and that Ray would be exonerated in court.

"This was a terrible accident -- but it was an accident, not a criminal act," Li said. "James Ray cooperated at every step of the way, providing information and witnesses to the authorities showing that no one could have foreseen this accident."

As many as 65 visitors, ranging in age from 30 to 60, attended Ray's "Spiritual Warrior" program at the Angel Valley Retreat Center near Sedona in October.

They spent as long as two hours inside a dome-like structure called a sweat lodge, which was covered with tarps and blankets and had hot rocks and water inside to create steam.

Three people died after spending time in the sweat lodge October 8 and nearly 20 others were sickened. Brown and Shore were pronounced dead shortly after they arrived at a local hospital, and Neuman died October 17 after being hospitalized since the incident.

Native Americans used sweat lodges in spiritual and physical purification ceremonies.

Ray is widely known for programs that claim to teach people how to create wealth from all aspects of their lives -- financially, mentally, physically and spiritually.

He has appeared on various national programs in the United States, including CNN's "Larry King Live."

Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #148 on: February 04, 2010, 03:40:11 am »
This made my day.  Very good news.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2010, 03:32:23 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