Author Topic: James Arthur Ray - Angel Valley Resort DeathSweat in Sedona: 3 dead, 20 injured  (Read 190471 times)

Offline simplyme

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #150 on: February 04, 2010, 02:34:18 pm »
James Ray doesn't look so smooth or happy in his mugshot.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100204/ap_en_ot/us_sweat_lodge_deaths;_ylt=Ak3nS1624TAoubG22P.zn6wuQE4F;_ylu=X3oDMTNhZ2tiamZoBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAwMjA0L3VzX3N3ZWF0X2xvZGdlX2RlYXRocwRjY29kZQNtb3N0cG9wdWxhcgRjcG9zAzcEcG9zAzcEc2VjA3luX3RvcF9zdG9yaWVzBHNsawNzZWxmLWhlbHBzcGU-



They keep saying it was an accident and could not have been foreseen...  guess they didn't bother asking any REAL Elders, lodge pourers or firekeepers.

Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #151 on: February 04, 2010, 04:02:05 pm »
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« Last Edit: March 25, 2010, 03:32:51 am by critter »
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Offline debbieredbear

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #152 on: February 05, 2010, 02:32:20 am »
He was smug wasn't he? I thought that he must think this is all a big joke and he will write about this experience and have workshops and make more money. Ugh.

Offline taraverti

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #153 on: February 05, 2010, 08:02:09 am »
They keep saying it was an accident and could not have been foreseen...  guess they didn't bother asking any REAL Elders, lodge pourers or firekeepers.

Worse. In this article one of his followers thinks he can help "the Native American Community".

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory?id=9741748

One participant in the latest sweat lodge questioned the worth of having Ray behind bars and said he could do more good by speaking publicly about how to handle adversity and contributing financially to the families of the deceased — something the families have said hasn't been done so far.

"He can't change what happened, but he can respond to what happened in a concrete, tangible way," said Kristina Bivins of San Francisco. "His desire is to help the families, to help the Native American community, to make sure that nothing like this ever happens again."

blech blech blech


Offline flyingdust

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #154 on: February 05, 2010, 09:43:12 am »
I could just see James Ray going into Native American Communities and saying: "Now you people don't you ever EVER pack 60 people wall to wall into one very low sweat lodge and hold 8 - 10 long rounds back to back...and don't use plastic tarp because that can kill the participants for lack of air...and..."  And I can see him going to the families and saying, "Too bad for what happened...now here's some money...that'll make you feel better."   Best way Ray can help everyone is to do hard time in jail and set an example to all the other nuagers messing with our ceremonies and endangering people, make them think twice about what they’re doing.   ;D

Offline educatedindian

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #155 on: February 20, 2010, 04:16:18 pm »
Ray now claims to be broke and is whining about the high bail. Doubt he'll get much sympathy.

-----------------
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/feb/19/guru-charged-in-sweat-lodge-deaths-says-hes-broke/
Guru charged in sweat lodge deaths says he's broke
By FELICIA FONSECA, Associated Press Writer

Friday, February 19, 2010 at 1:06 a.m.

 
/ AP

FILE - This undated image provided by James Ray International, shows James Arthur Ray. The man who built an empire with a motivational mantra that teaches people to create wealth contends he's broke and cannot post a $5 million bond in a criminal case that threatens the survival of his self-help business. (AP Photo/Courtesy of James Ray International, File) NO SALES

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — A man who built a multimillion-dollar empire with a motivational mantra that teaches people to create wealth contends he's broke and cannot post bond in a criminal case that threatens the survival of his self-help business.

James Arthur Ray was charged earlier this month with three counts of manslaughter stemming from the deaths of three people following a sweat lodge ceremony he led last year in Arizona. His bond has been set at $5 million, a figure his attorneys say is "excessive and oppressive."

"Despite misconceptions perpetrated in the media, Mr. Ray is not a man of significant assets and certainly not the millions reported in the press," his attorneys wrote in documents obtained by The Associated Press from the court. The documents are now officially sealed.

Ray himself has touted his wealth and success in numerous media interviews and on his Web site, including an estimated $10 million in revenue in 2009 and a seven-figure advance for his book, "Harmonic Wealth" that hit the New York Times Best Sellers List in May 2008.

He told "Fortune Magazine" for an April 2008 article that his financial goal was $21 million a year and that he was sure there were limits, but "I am not aware of them."

But the court documents paint a much different picture, showing that he is severely in debt with a net worth of negative $4.2 million. Real estate makes up about $3.1 million of Ray's total assets of nearly $4.2 million, but he has little equity.

The properties include homes in Hawaii and Nevada, and rentals in California. Ray's Carlsbad, Calif.-based business, James Ray International, and a Beverly Hills mansion he recently put up for sale are not listed among the assets.

Ray's liabilities were listed at more than $8.5 million, much of which was unexplained in a statement of net worth.

In a financial statement filled out by Ray the day of his arrest, he wrote that he pays out $94,000 a month in expenses, including for rent and mortgages, utilities, insurance and vehicles. He listed his assets as $14,000 in a checking account and $220,000 in a retirement account.

Ray's attorneys said his financial stability has been shaken by withdrawals from bank accounts in the last several months to pay creditors and legal fees, including a significant retainer deposited in a trust account at the California-based law firm representing him.

Ray's attorneys say he has no criminal history, isn't a threat to public safety or a flight risk and cannot afford the bail. They are set to argue Tuesday in court to have Ray released on his own recognizance coupled with the surrender of his passport or have bail set at a minimum.

It's unclear what position the Yavapai County, Ariz., attorney's office has taken on the defense request to reduce bail. Its response to the motion is sealed, and a spokeswoman cited fair trial rights in declining to comment.

Ray has pleaded not guilty to each of the manslaughter counts. If convicted, he faces up to 12 1/2 years on each count, with probation being an option.

Prosecutors contend Ray recklessly crammed more than 50 participants of his "Spiritual Warrior" event near Sedona into a 415-square-foot sweat lodge, a sauna-like experience that uses heated stones to cleanse the body and is commonly used by American Indian tribes. Many participants have said Ray chided them for wanting to leave, even as people were vomiting, getting burned by hot rocks and lying unconscious on the ground.

Three people died - Kirby Brown, 38, of Westtown, N.Y., James Shore, 40, of Milwaukee; and Liz Neuman, 49, of Prior Lake, Minn. Eighteen others were hospitalized.

Ray's attorneys have called the deaths a tragic accident and said he took all the necessary precautions and immediately tended to the ill.


Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #156 on: February 20, 2010, 06:53:24 pm »
Wow. Either he lied about being so wealthy in order to sell his scams or he's lying about his assets now. Either way, he's a liar, a killer, a fraud. He's created quite the reality for himself.  ::)
« Last Edit: July 19, 2014, 12:18:15 am by Kathryn »

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #157 on: March 07, 2010, 12:06:24 pm »
Thought some of you may find this interesting.

http://www.vcstar.com/news/2010/mar/06/sweat-lodge-ceremonies-still-held-locally-since


Water hisses as it splatters in a glowing pit of lava rock at an avocado field outside Ventura. Steam rises. The air in an already sweltering shelter grows thicker, hotter.

Inside that cocoon — a 5-foot-tall lodge made of willow branches and covered with four layers of blankets and tarpaulin — 20 people sit cross-legged on the dirt in absolute darkness. They chant tribal songs. They pray for everything from direction in their lives to a good score in a coming law test.

And they sweat. So much perspiration streams down their bodies that the earth at their feet becomes a muddy puddle. Shorts and T-shirts look as if they’ve been left outside in a thunderstorm.

Last month, entrepreneurial self-help guru James Arthur Ray was charged with manslaughter because of an October sweat lodge tragedy in Sedona, Ariz., where nearly two dozen people suffered dehydration, burns and other injuries. Three people died.

End of five-day retreat

The sweat ceremony came at the end of Ray’s five-day spiritual retreat for which participants were charged $9,000. Survivors said people were vomiting and collapsing in the lodge but were urged to stay in the heat. Ray pleaded not guilty and on Feb. 25, his bail was reduced from $5 million to $525,000.

The deaths have shaded perceptions about sweat lodges everywhere, including the half-dozen in Ventura County that perform the ancient tribal ceremony. Operators of a sweat ritual held in an earthen structure at the Ojai Foundation have discussed making participants sign legal waivers. Two lodges at Lake Cachuma in Santa Barbara County closed because of safety and liability concerns.

But in the avocado field, little has changed. About 40 people stand around a raging fire built over rocks collected from the Mojave Desert and used to turn two small lodges into spiritual saunas. There’s a schoolteacher, a real estate agent, a holistic doctor and two men in their 20s with tattoos on their chests.

They come here to commune with each other in what they refer to as Mother Earth’s womb. They use buffalo skulls and sage in carefully regimented ceremonies. They enter the lodge on their knees, moving clockwise and saying “all my relations” as they enter.

There are no waivers to sign, no mention of liability. And if someone asks for water or to leave the heat for fresh air, there are no protests.

“What happened in Arizona is a separate reality from what we do,” said Moses Mora, a 60-year-old artist and community activist who has been leading sweat lodges for more than 20 years. “That was more of a new age, moneymaking enterprise that has nothing to do with what we do.”

Worried about liability

Sweat lodges in Ventura County range from an American Indian retreat in the Cuyama Valley to backyard shelters in Oxnard, Ventura and Box Canyon outside of Simi Valley. The Ojai Foundation holds but doesn’t advertise an open ceremony once a month. So does Mora.

Most of the operators say the Sedona tragedy couldn’t happen to them because they take precautions. Some question participants to see if they have heart conditions that can make them more vulnerable to heat. All say they offer water or allow people to leave if needed.

“My teacher taught me if you want endurance, join the Marines,” said Josie Salinas, a retired corrections officer who leads weekly sweat lodges for inmates at California Youth Authority in Camarillo. She praises people who ask for water or a break. “I say ‘good for you.’ You know how to speak up.”

The Los Angeles Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a spiritual humanitarian group, runs a camp for disadvantaged kids on Lake Cachuma in the mountains above Santa Barbara. When leaders of the group learned in November that an adult organization that rents the facility was planning on a sweat lodge, with rumors that nudity was somehow involved, they shut it down.

“It was just the concerns of health issues,” said David Fields, the council’s deputy executive director, pointing to the Arizona tragedy as justification for the closure. “We definitely did the right thing.”

Paul Perrotta of Simi Valley operated a sweat lodge at Lake Cachuma’s Camp Whittier. He said camp leaders told him to dismantle the lodge because of worries over the liability that would accompany any kind of accident.

He said similar worries are causing other lodges to close.

“They don’t understand why it happened,” he said of the Sedona tragedy. “It happened because of a man who is now up for manslaughter, not because of the lodge. ... It’s not the gun that’s dangerous, it’s one who uses it.”

Perrotta, who went through his first sweat 35 years ago, also runs a lodge that is used for youth retreats and other events at the Ojai Foundation retreat center in the Upper Ojai Valley. He said foundation leaders haven’t talked about ending the lodges but have broached the possibility of legal waivers.

Sweat lodge operators debate the training needed to run a lodge, with some arguing that it’s necessary to go through a tribal process that includes prayer, four days of fasting and, often, piercing. They argue over money, too, with many suggesting that even recommending a specific donation is wrong.

But they agree lodges should be seen in purely spiritual terms, as a place to pray. They say it’s a way to clear barriers that block people from their full potential. Addicts use ceremonies to gain strength for recovery. Others claim to have visions or even out-of-body experiences.

“I was taught that the lodge is alive, a living being,” said Perrotta, sitting in the dirt in the lodge he built outside his home in Box Canyon. “No matter how we come in, she loves us just the same.”

‘It’s church’

On a cold February Saturday in the avocado field, 20 people sit in two circles — one inside the other — in a lodge so enclosed there is not a sliver of light. Seven red-hot lava stones are placed in a fire pit in a ritual that will be repeated three more times in the next two hours. Water is poured over the rocks.

Leaders of the lodge won’t allow photographs or video of the ceremonies before or after the sweat because they say it is a spiritual experience. When a journalist tries to record the sounds of a chant inside the lodge, the tape recorder is confiscated and later returned. In the dark, a man worries that if any of the prayers are shared with the outside world, they won’t be answered.

The prayers, drumming and chants come in a steady stream. People ask for permission to speak and then talk about challenges in their lives.

“It’s church in a different form,” said Darrell Geer, a 51-year-old entertainment production worker from Glendale who has been doing sweats since 1986. “The difference in the native tradition is that everywhere is a church, everywhere is a place to worship.”

Others say the ceremony helps them feel connected to the world. Velia Soto, an Oxnard teacher for special needs students, said the ceremony makes her feel completely relaxed and at peace.

The heat is intense but not unbearable. At the end of each of four rounds, the lodge’s front flap opens, allowing outside air to enter, and the leader asks participants if they’re OK.

Near the end of the two hours, one woman leaves the lodge briefly for air and then returns. Geer said there’s a feeling in some lodges that if you’re uncomfortable with the heat, you’re not praying hard enough.

But he said being uncomfortable with the heat is different than being in medical danger — vomiting or being on the verge of unconsciousness. Most people who run lodges understand the difference, and those who don’t need to change.

“It’s that fine line between praying harder and being stupid,” he said.

Offline Paul123

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #158 on: March 07, 2010, 05:15:02 pm »
If your going to sweat you may as well do it in style. and for only $300.00



This is NOT the one mentioned above.
http://www.cowboysindians.com/travel-adventure/lodging-leisure/2009-09/skana.jsp
« Last Edit: March 07, 2010, 05:20:16 pm by Paul123 »

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #159 on: March 07, 2010, 05:51:37 pm »
Quote
Sweat lodge ceremonies still held locally since Arizona deaths
By Tom Kisken

The reporter missed the point entirely. He never indicated anything about what cultures the people interviewed were from, or their backgrounds or training. Calling it an "ancient tribal ceremony" is meaningless when you don't indicate where the people got their training. This could be white people who attended thirty years of fake newage rituals. Bad journalism.

Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #160 on: March 07, 2010, 09:07:14 pm »
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« Last Edit: March 25, 2010, 03:33:10 am by critter »
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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #161 on: March 08, 2010, 12:19:59 pm »
I agree 100% with all of you.

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #162 on: March 10, 2010, 01:03:13 pm »
as someone who is dedicated to Mi'kmaq Cultural Revival, and as Sacred as i hold the Lodge to be, i would never advise anyone to just go to a Sweat, they have to meet and dialogue with the Conductor of the Ceremony, understand what they are going for, and lastly, i insist they meet with their doctor, (they wont understand a Sweat-lodge but they will understand if you ask them is it ok to go to a sauna) high blood pressure is a dangerous malady for someone who wants to Sweat (the Lodge causes your blood pressure to fluctuate - usually a sudden drop, not good for those with heart problems like angina,) (my goodness i just got a mental picture of a Sweat-Lodge Conductor opening his Sacred Bundle and theres an electric thermometer and a high blood pressure machine in it! rofl)
and if you don't get the ok to enter the Lodge, there are many important activities that one can do to be fully integrated into the Ceremony; working the Fire, helping to prepare the Feast, fetching Water, etc.
what happened in sedona is criminal negligence, there's no other way to put it.

Offline ska

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #163 on: March 10, 2010, 04:18:19 pm »
I would like to please respond to this comment from critter:

"If I were in a lodge and the people in it were praying for their own lives and test scores. I'd have to leave."

For anyone new here, I am the non-Lakota wife of a Lakota man.  I have been invited to sweat more times that I ever imagined I would be privileged to do so, always with Lakota people, always friends and family.  I feel so grateful to the Lakota Oyate, their ancestors and descendants, who have sacrificed so much so that this good way of life can continue to exist, a way of life that teaches through inclusion and gentleness, not self-righteousness and piousness.

Sometimes,  people pray for themselves.  Maybe a kid who hasn't been to ceremony for a while will show up and pray their hearts out for help in passing tests or winning games.  I've noticed that their elders and family members often chuckle about it, maybe even tease them in a good-natured way, reminding them that opening their hearts to the pain and suffering of all of our relations is a way of strengthening our personal connection to the Spirit.  They are so happy to see their people practicing their way of life, many of the young ones coming back to what is their birthright, they don't try to shame them about the way they prayed.  Over time, children (including adults taken away from their way of life) come to an understanding of their people's way of life, and an understanding of how our thoughts and actions affect one another.  Gradually we learn that when we pray for others, we are praying for ourselves. 

I never seen a traditional person chastise anyone for praying the wrong way.  Sure, someone who is new to praying in community may start off praying in a self-centered way, but don't we all learn to walk a path of ego in this society?  Ego orientation can be overcome. Surely a ceremonial space can be somewhere where people can talk to their Maker without judgment. 

Not once have I ever heard a traditional Lakota person judge the way a person prayed, or what they were praying for.  Judging or criticizing others is not a behavior that is valued or appreciated in my husband's traditional way, at least that is my observation. 

I do recall a ceremony where another non-Lakota (and non-Native) was in the lodge and, afterwards, he criticized the way that others were praying, saying they shouldn't have prayed for this or that, and that he himself was a really good prayer.  He was rebuked, but probably in a way that he didn't understand.  One elder spoke in Lakota and said a sentence that translates to "nobody says that".   I've noticed that, when I'm around traditional Lakota people, if I start talking bad about others, I am said to be revealing more about myself than the ones I am criticizing.

Many years ago, I remember my husband coming out to Coast Salish territories.  Many people were trying to complain to him about the behavior of others in a particular lodge.  Rather than entertaining their cricitism (my husband tends to refer to this kind of talk as "gossip and rumor"), my husband's response was "keep the focus on yourself, you are not in ceremony to focus on what others are doing or saying.  Take the opportunity to strengthen your own relationship with the Creator."

Thanks for letting me share this much. ska

Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #164 on: March 10, 2010, 04:43:59 pm »
Ska,

Thank you. Yes, I am aware of all this you wrote. I understand these, and I am not about to judge someone in ceremony.

My humble apologies for being so cold/blunt/destructive with my comment. It was not intended toward real ceremony of any kind.

« Last Edit: March 25, 2010, 03:35:09 am by critter »
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