Author Topic: James Arthur Ray - Angel Valley Resort DeathSweat in Sedona: 3 dead, 20 injured  (Read 190496 times)

Offline Laurel

  • Posts: 140
Netflix instant streaming just put up a documentary about him called Enlighten Us. It's short on the "sweat lodge" deaths, but long on letting himself show exactly who and what he is.

Offline Sparks

  • Posts: 1020
I don't subscribe to Netflix, trying to find other ways of watching the documentary. Found this: (Interesting links below the trailer …)

Offline Laurel

  • Posts: 140
I shouldn't have posted before watching the whole thing. There is a lot of material about the "sweat lodge" later in the film.

Offline Defend the Sacred

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 3430
He is getting ready to try to sell fake ceremonies again. He is trying to collect NDNs on social media in order to data-mine, to try to learn the right things to say, to try to infiltrate. Most of the NDNs he is trying to follow are blocking him.

Offline debbieredbear

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1485
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
This just makes me want to scream. How many more will this fraud/huckster/sociopath kill??
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 01:08:56 am by debbieredbear »


  • Guest
Quotes from surviving family members:

He took a Native American ceremony, perverted it, turned it into a marathon, by his own words. Even when you run a marathon, there's water stations. There are people there to help you if something goes wrong. He had no risk management plan because he didn't have to. This is an unregulated industry. He didn't have to have a risk management plan. He didn't have to have medical support on hand when he was doing something so dangerous.

He's not the victim, he's the architect of this tragedy.

There's no letter of the law to prevent him from lying, from manipulating people or from running away. He's not a psychologist, he's not a religious leader, he's a capitalist.

And his narrative of being a victim -- is he being deliberately deceitful? Or is he simply delusional? I think both are pretty dangerous.

He's a normal man with delusions of super power twisted in some bizarre belief of religious superiority. He's a charlatan with a steel will and uncanny ability to let those around him fall
His first business was built on lies and he's now looking to restart that business in a new way.


  • Guest
In 2009, after rising to the top of the industry, James was involved in a terrible incident that claimed the lives of three of his clients who he cared about deeply.

True to his own teachings, James maintained an attitude of Absolute Responsibility coupled with resilience, mental toughness, and emotional strength to get back up and climb back up.

His Habits of the Wealthy course consists of dvds and workbooks for $1,997.00

Recent brief advertisement video with him What a horrible man.

Offline Defend the Sacred

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 3430
Yes, "a terrible accident" that he pushed them into, then fled the scene of the crime. He never showed a bit of caring or compassion for those people that he cooked to death, while he sat by the door, cooling down every time the door was opened, yelling at them to just tough it out as they suffered and slowly baked to death.

In his talks now, in that new documentary, he does classic DARVO* and reframes the narrative to act like HE is the victim in all of this. He is begging people to pay him to gaslight them.

Yes, he acts like this is just a terrible accident. That happened to him. So pity him, and give him more money, so he can commit yet more negligent homicide. Horrific piece of work this con artist is. Horrific.

*DARVO - classic modus operandi of sociopaths:

Deny the crime/abuse happened, or deny it happened the way it actually did
Attack the people who are telling the truth about the crimes he committed
Victim and

Poor, poor James. Giving his low-attendance seminars at Holiday Inns to lonely old white ladies. Posting his creepy memes on his twitter account. All he wants is to be paid to bully people? Why can't we just let him do that some more? We're so mean....


  • Guest
Concerns surround Carlsbad self-help guru James Arthur Ray's redemption effort
Lindsey Peña
6:49 AM, Oct 31, 2018

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A Carlsbad self-help guru who went to prison after the deaths of three people at a sweat lodge is seeking redemption.

James Arthur Ray is back in the public eye, and he’s talking about the tragedy that occurred at his self-help retreat in Sedona, Arizona, in 2009.

Ray has recently released a book and is trying to rebuild his business, which some believe is the last thing he should be doing.

"Three people died at my event, under my watch, under my tutelage, and I have to live with that every single day … that's not an easy thing to do,” Ray told 10News.

In 2011, Ray was convicted of three counts of felony negligent homicide, and he served two years in prison. He was released in 2013.

While Ray continues his redemption effort, some are questioning whether he has learned from his mistakes.

“The fact that he would do this suggests to me he hasn't learned all that much -- the idea of trying to turn what he did into somehow generating money by the redemption book or whatever,” said Connie Joy.

Joy was a former client of Ray’s, and she has experienced his methods firsthand. She said he wasn’t qualified to help people then and isn’t now.

“Nothing’s changed. I mean, he didn't go off and learn how to do sweat lodges from Native Americans, go off to become a Kahuna; that takes you a lifetime. Same thing with being a Shaman,” Joy said.

Joy, who knew the three people who died in Ray’s sweat lodge, said even though he has paid his debt to society, he’s still a long way from making things right.

“I think this is just rubbing salt right back in the wounds for all of them and the people who are either financially ruined or mentally damaged by that entire event,” said Joy.

Joy and others who were involved with Ray are encouraging people to do their homework before they give their time or money to someone claiming to be able to help them.

Offline Sparks

  • Posts: 1020
Re: James Arthur Ray - Angel Valley Resort DeathSweat in Sedona: 3 dead, 20 inju
« Reply #279 on: November 07, 2018, 03:07:29 am »
I always find it interesting to see how people present themselves on Facebook. Also James Arthur Ray:

His FB profile:

New York Times Bestselling Author at Official James Arthur Ray
Manages Official James Arthur Ray

Links from there: "404 The page not found."
"NOTICE: This domain name expired on 10/15/2018 and is pending renewal or deletion."

A critical FB profile and two critical, almost identical, FB pages:
Jamesarthur Ray (narcissist con man)
"Here to expose james arthur ray as a fraud and a kool aid dispenser, narcissist."
"Tragedy In Sedona: My Life In James Arthur Ray's Inner Circle"
"Tragedy In Sedona: My life in James Arthur Ray's Inner Circle"

The Wikipedia article about him has not been linked to in this thread, I'll quote part of it:

Native American perspective
Native American experts on sweat lodges have criticized the reported construction of the structure, as well as Ray's conduct of the event as not meeting traditional ways (the words "bastardized", "mocked" and "desecrated" have been used). As Indian Country Today reported, "Ray drew the ire of Indian country from the start as the ceremony he was selling bore little if any resemblance to an actual sweat lodge ceremony."[46] Native American leaders expressed concerns and uttered prayers for the dead and injured. The leaders say the ceremony is their way of life and not a religion. It is Native American intellectual property, protected by US laws and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The ceremony should only be in the hands of sanctioned lodge carriers from legitimate nations.[47] Objections included a lack of training (permission to lead lodges are usually only granted to those raised in the ceremonial ways of that particular Native American community, and after many years of apprenticeship), unusual construction from non-breathable materials, charging for the ceremony (seen as extremely inappropriate), too many participants, and excessive length of the ceremony.[48]

The Native American community actively seeks to prevent abuses of their traditions.[49][50][51][52] The Angel Valley owners announced they have accepted Native American friends' help to "heal the land".[53] On November 12, 2009, news reported Oglala Lakotas filed a lawsuit, Oglala Lakota Delegation of the Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council v. United States against the United States, Arizona, Ray and site owners, to have Ray and the site owners arrested and punished under the Sioux Treaty of 1868 between the United States and the Lakota Nation, which states that:

if bad men among the whites or other people subject to the authority of the United States shall commit any wrong upon the person or the property of the Indians, the United States will (...) proceed at once to cause the offender to be arrested and punished according to the laws of the United States, and also reimburse the injured person for the loss sustained.

The Oglala Lakota delegation holds that James Arthur Ray and the Angel Valley Retreat Center have "violated the peace between the United States and the Lakota Nation" and have caused the “desecration of our Sacred Oinikiga (onikare, sweat lodge) by causing the death of Liz Neuman, Kirby Brown and James Shore".[49]

The Oglala Lakota Delegation also claim that James Arthur Ray and the Angel Valley Retreat Center fraudulently impersonated Indians and must be held responsible for causing the deaths and injuries, and for evidence destruction through dismantling of the sweat lodge. The lawsuit seeks to have the treaty enforced and does not seek monetary compensation.[49]

The lawsuit was eventually dismissed in October 2010, on the basis that the case was based on a good being offered, and the judge deciding that the sweat lodge was a service and not a good.[54]

Offline Sparks

  • Posts: 1020
Comprehensive article summarising events from the Sedona deaths up to today:

Felonious Self-Help Guru James Arthur Ray Wants You To Remember Oprah Loves Him And Forget He's Killed People

Dave McKenna — Today 2:11pm Filed to: JAMES ARTHUR RAY

Offline debbieredbear

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1485
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
Great find, Sparks! I like how they brought Oprah into it. She has a lot to answer for, with all the phonies she has promoted.

Offline Defend the Sacred

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 3430
The Oxygen Network, which was ironically co-founded by Oprah, is now running a True Crime show that just featured James Ray's killing of the three people in the fake sweat.

This would have never happened when Oprah still had a controlling share of the network, but Oxygen has been sold, so this featured clips of James Ray on Oprah, with Oprah, and mentioned multiple times how people trusted James Ray with their lives and finances largely because he had been endorsed by people like Oprah and Larry King.

Former followers stressed that James Ray used his lies about selling Indigenous Wisdom to rope them in. They gave him money because they wanted the benefits of Native teachings, fast and easy, for money, from a white man, rather than having to actually respect and trust Native people. Obviously, they didn't admit the latter part of this, but several were very clear about the fact that Ray's lies about having the Native Secrets were why they trusted this con man and subjected themselves to his deadly torture.

While no Natives were interviewed, the lead investigator stressed that they investigated Ray, and Ray's backround and training. They quickly discovered what we all know: James Arthur Ray had no training or qualifications to lead any Native American or Hawaiian ceremonies whatsoever. He is a complete fraud, con man and cult leader who killed people out of his own greed and negligence.

While phrasing was not consistent, it was repeated that this was not a real, or Native, or traditional, ceremony, and that Ray was not only totally unqualified and untrained, but that he was inventing harmful things and, as we know, completely ignoring people's cries and symptoms of severe distress. Family members of the victims are interviewed along with former followers.

As James Ray keeps trying to re-launch his appalling, self-help, newage grift, I think this new True Crime special is a good addition to the coverage out there.

The Show is on the Oxygen Network and is called "Deadly Cults". The James Arthur Ray episode, S2 E1, aired on Sunday under the title, "Spiritual Warriors", with the description: "After three obedient followers die during an intense sweat lodge ceremony put on by a prominent self-help guru, police must determine if their deaths were accidental, or did the guru push the participants too far."

Offline Sparks

  • Posts: 1020
The Oxygen Network, which was ironically co-founded by Oprah, is now running a True Crime show that just featured James Ray's killing of the three people in the fake sweat.

I tried to check if I could somehow see this show from Europe, and I found some information:

'Deadly Cults' Returns To Oxygen For Season Two On April 26
- “Deadly Cults” is back for a chilling season two Sunday, April 26 at 7pm ET/PT on Oxygen.
- In the season premiere episode titled “Spiritual Warriors,” police must determine if the deaths of three obedient followers who die during an intense sweat lodge ceremony were accidental or if they were pushed too far by a prominent self-help guru.

APRIL 26, 2020, 10:59 AM ET
'The Trap Got Set': Self-Help Cult Retreat Leads To Agonizing Sweat Lodge Deaths
Followers of James Ray went to the “Spiritual Warrior” retreat seeking enlightenment; what they found was misery and death.

When authorities responded to an emergency in Yavapai County, Arizona in October 2009, they were greeted by the sight of dozens of people milling around aimlessly, and some writhing or unconscious on the ground.

“I noticed women with their heads shaved walking around in a daze,” Yavapai County Sheriff's Sgt. Ross Diskin said. “I initially thought, this has got to be some kind of cult.”

Three people were dead and 18 others were hospitalized after a sweat lodge ritual went terrible wrong. And authorities quickly realized they weren't investigating an accident, but a homicide, according to the season premiere of “Deadly Cults” on Oxygen.

The sweat lodge was the climactic event of a multi-day retreat organized by self-help guru James Arthur Ray, whose doctrine of personal improvement and enlightenment had exploded in popularity after he was featured in the hit 2007 film “The Secret.”

Melissa Phillips, a survivor of the sweat lodge incident, said that Ray promised that enduring — and shelling out thousands of dollars for — his intense course of ritual challenges would change their lives.

“I believed it. I really did believe it,” she told “Deadly Cults.”

The sweat lodge was meant to be a grueling ordeal, Ray told his followers. The peak of a five-event retreat called the “Journey of Power,” “Spiritual Warrior” would allegedly cause a spiritual breakthrough. Ray allegedly prepared followers for the trial by describing the effects of heat stroke — and painting them as signs of success.

Participants had shelled out thousands of dollars. Introductory events in Ray's school of positive thinking and the so-called “Law of Attraction” were often free, but successive retreats could cost as much as $10,000. 

At the Angel Valley Spiritual Retreat ranch, Ray's followers were asked to shave their heads — and ridiculed if they demurred, according to survivors interviewed on “Deadly Cults.”

First, they spent 36 hours without food or water in the desert. Ray played “God,” forcing people to lie on the ground motionless when he said they were dead, in something he called the “Samurai Game,” the Verge reported.

Ray warned his followers that they would feel like they were going to die. 

“You might think you are, but you are not going to die,” he told them, according to the Verge report.

Followers had been conditioned by weeks spent among happy, like-minded people and Ray's insistence that a breakthrough was imminent. Phillips described the experience as “thrilling” and “addictive” — until the deadly sweat lodge trial.

“The events program you to accept his instructions, even if it's personally detrimental,” she told producers. “You had to challenge yourself. That's how the trap got set for the people inside the sweat lodge.”

The trap Phillips described claimed the lives of Kirby Brown, 38; James Shore, 40, and Li Neuman, 49, inside a tent where hot rocks were piled upon a fire and participants were forbidden from leaving as they sweltered and some called for help.

Kirby Brown “cooked to death,” her mother, Virginia, told CNN. 

And authorities' investigation of Ray and the event soon made it plain that the self-help guru was well-aware of the dangers the sweat lodge posed. Ray would eventually go on trial and be convicted of negligent homicide, but the story is still not over.

For more on James Arthur Ray's deadly “Spiritual Warrior” trial, including disturbing accounts by survivors of how it sounded and felt inside the lodge and what happened to Ray afterward, don't miss the season premiere of “Deadly Cults” on Sunday, April 26, at 7/6c on Oxygen.

Ways to watch:

Offline Sparks

  • Posts: 1020
Kirby Brown, one of the victims who did not survive, has been frequently mentioned in this thread.

Kirby Brown’s mother’s testimony was both moving and memorable. She testified previously that has come to realize that Kirby should have been more skeptical and has become active in educating the public about the dangers of blind acceptance of those who claim to know something about spirituality. Today, she told the judge, “my heart's been ripped out, my life blown apart.” She strongly criticized the New Age teachings that were promoted by James Ray and the Angel Valley camp and referred to the “horrible fact of Sedona.” Kirby’s mother made a strong statement against those who tried to rationalize her daughter’s needless death as a choice to "transition" and labeled the thinking behind it as “horrifying” and “disturbed.”

Out of this came a Facebook page and an Internet site started by members of Kirby Brown's family:

The Facebook page: — Wide coverage of James Arthur Ray.

SEEK Safely is a non-profit organization to educate the public, empower consumers, and promote ethics and safety in the unregulated self-help industry.

The comprehensive Internet site:

Meet Kirby. She had an adventurous, dynamic spirit and lived every day to be a better person. Her boundless energy touched everyone around her, but her beautiful life came to a tragic end.

Kirby’s family started SEEK Safely as a way to guide consumers and keep Self-Help practitioners accountable for their actions through legislation.

Example of recent content:

AN OPEN LETTER TO MORGAN JAMES PUBLISHING, regarding the release of “The Business of Redemption: The Price of Leadership in Both Life and Business” by James Arthur Ray

February 7, 2020  —  Jean Brown  — Featured, Self-help in the News, The Story of Sedona

SEEK Safely is deeply disappointed that Morgan James Publishing has decided to enable James Arthur Ray to reach a wider audience and promote his life coaching business by publishing his new book, “The Business of Redemption.”

This book, which is available for order this week, significantly distorts and exploits the events surrounding the deaths of Kirby Brown, Liz Neuman, James Shore in 2009.

Kirby, Liz, and James Shore had been attending an intensive personal development retreat designed and led by James Arthur Ray in October 2009. The culminating experience of this retreat was a faux Native American “sweat lodge”— which James Arthur Ray was not trained or qualified to lead.

Prior to the event, James Arthur Ray proudly and openly touted his “sweat lodge” as hotter and longer than authentic Native American sweat lodges. But he assured his participants that, although they would feel like they were going to die, they would not, and it was safe for them to remain inside the lodge until its conclusion.

Three of them did die.

James’s role in the deaths of Kirby, James Shore, and Liz–and the injuries and trauma experienced by multiple other participants in that event–goes beyond having been present when an “accident” occurred.

Also contributing to the events and their aftermath was James having packed the sweat lodge beyond its intended capacity; having altered the design and duration of the traditional sweat lodge ceremony to make it hotter and longer; and James’s admitted behavior of encouraging participants to stay inside the lodge even though they had reached their physical limit.

After the ceremony had concluded, James left the area, oblivious that multiple of his clients were seriously ill and/or not breathing.

When he was informed that the police had arrived, that several of his clients had died, and that the event was being investigated as a homicide, he contacted an attorney and left the scene so as to avoid being arrested (he himself admits this).

This is the man who is now promoting a book on “leadership” and “crisis management.”

James served a year and a half in prison for the role he played in killing three people– and now he is literally looking to profit from it. 

It is hurtful and disrespectful to the families of Kirby, James, and Liz, that Morgan James Publishing has decided to publish and promote James’s book.

In “The Business of Redemption,” James frames his experience in being convinced of negligent homicide and serving less than two years in prison as something that happened “to” him.

James has repeatedly described the tragedy in Sedona as something that cost HIM his liberty and his business empire. 

James is trying effortfully to frame the experience of rebuilding his coaching business as a “comeback” story, describing how difficult the entire ordeal was for HIM, and how the tragedy of Sedona “had to happen” in order for HIM to “grow” as a person and as a teacher.

This is a sickeningly narcissistic take on a situation that saw James very briefly lose his liberty and some cachet in the self-help industry (although he is, as of February 2020, back to promoting seminars for which admission costs between $500 and $13,000…) but which cost the families of Kirby Brown, Liz Neuman, and James Shore much more than money or career opportunities.

SEEK Safely is an organization founded by the family of Kirby Brown to promote ethics and accountability in the self-help field. Part of that mission involves identifying those who enable James Arthur Ray to use the traumatic, painful events of Sedona to try to sell books and promote seminars.

Right now, that enabling entity is Morgan James Publishing.

We respectfully invite Morgan James to reconsider partnering with James Arthur Ray.

This is not a matter of James Arthur Ray having “served his time” and “paid his price” for the crime of which he was found guilty.

This is about whether someone with James Arthur Ray’s history of exploitation and dishonesty (even before Sedona, James routinely lied about his life experiences and qualifications in order to make his events more marketable) should be allowed back into the self-help space at this time, in this way: peddling a “comeback” story in which he casts himself as the conquering hero who was unjustly held responsible for what he seems to think was a freak accident.

We strongly urge Morgan James Publishing, its authors, and its customers, to consider whether they want to be part of James Arthur Ray exploiting and disrespecting the survivors of the Sedona tragedy in this way.

James Arthur Ray would desperately like to regain his fame and fortune as a self-help provider, and he needs to spin the story of Sedona as a “trial by fire” and a “comeback” narrative in order to do it.

On behalf of Kirby Brown’s family, Liz Neuman’s family, and James Shore’s family, SEEK Safely strongly advises Morgan James not to participate in James Arthur Ray’s deceptive, gratuitous, hollow attempt at “redemption.”

Written by Dr. Glenn Doyle, Psy. D., Board Member of SEEK Safely, Inc.

The "SEEK Safely" site was first referred to by Epiphany (Piff) five years ago, commented on twice by Defend the Sacred (also in 2015), and the background explained in a quote by educatedindian in 2016: