Author Topic: James Arthur Ray - Angel Valley Resort DeathSweat in Sedona: 3 dead, 20 injured  (Read 199286 times)

Offline educatedindian

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #30 on: October 14, 2009, 09:01:19 pm »
So far CNN, CBS News, and the AP have all left messages asking me for comment, then not gotten back to me. The NY Times asked if I wanted to write an editorial on the subject. I said yes, and they said it would be published on Thursday or Friday. So here it is below.

I'm hoping that Ray will be confronted over the deaths he caused by his incredibly callous negligence and endangerment. And I hope one of America's leading media figures, Oprah Winfrey, will have the integrity to confront her own role in promoting Ray and contributing to the man's rise to where he became a danger to his followers.

Obviously a big part of the editorial is trying to warn others as much as possible. With a 750 word count limit, I unfortunately couldn't more than briefly touch upon the problems with Nuage in general.

As far as I'm concerned, anyone is welcome to repost or quote from my editorial. I'm also going to try and post it on Oprah's online forum.


Oprah Winfrey Should Apologize for Promoting Dangerous Fraud James Arthur Ray
By Al Carroll

Two people died in a distorted New Age version of a Native sweatlodge in Sedona. Dozens more were badly injured. They each paid over $9000 for a bastardized version of a ceremony which by tradition must never be charged for. Natives don’t believe in “pay to pray,” but apparently the New Age movement does. It is far more of a consumerist phenomena than a genuine spiritual movement. Many lost, misguided, and genuinely sincere seekers get caught up in the idea of paying cash for shortcuts to salvation, and Oprah Winfrey seems to be among them.

Winfrey promoted New Age leader James Arthur Ray on her program a number of times. It was Ray who jammed over sixty people into a “sweatbox.” Traditionally perhaps a dozen people are in a sweatlodge. The lodge is made from natural materials so the heat will not be too intense. But not Ray’s “sweatbox.” It was sealed with heavy plastic tarp to deliberately make the heat as intense as possible. People even competed to see who could withstand the highest temperatures, making it a bizarre contest rather than a ceremony to heal. Traditionally most of those in a sweatlodge have been through it before so they could guide novices, but seemingly the clients/victims of Ray’s outnumbered those conducting it by at least twenty to one.

Traditionally, you don’t charge for spiritual ceremony. You also don’t do it out of curiosity, because you think it would be “cool,” or for any reason except to heal. Survivors of alcoholism or PTSD are often healed by a sweatlodge. Thrill seekers should go elsewhere, hopefully to some self examination.

Spiritual exploiters like James Arthur Ray should be ashamed of themselves, but rarely are. After all, they get rich and have cult followings of the naïve or lost. Ray may belong in prison for negligent homicide, along with others who conduct extremely dangerous false versions of a sweatlodge. Ray’s operation likely knew that a sweatlodge, when run by anyone other than an extensively trained Native traditionalist, routinely results in deaths or injuries. There are deaths from phony New Age sweatlodges in Texas, Britain, Australia, and in California multiple times. The Australian Medical Association issued a warning about phony sweatlodges, something that American and European medical associations should do.

A sweatlodge that is not properly run can result in death from asphyxiation, heart attack, or dehydration. Hapless New Agers routinely get burned or scalded. There are also many cases of psychological damage. You can relive traumas in a sweatlodge, such as child molestation or rape, as well as manic episodes. The rocks heated in a sweatlodge, if not properly chosen, can explode. Finally, many of the worst exploiters sexually abuse their followers. It’s easy to pass out in the heat of a sweatlodge. Many women (and men) are molested or raped. No one should trust any operator who insists on a sweatlodge alone or in the nude.

Don’t trust anyone who advertises or charges for ceremony. There’s a simple standard that non-Natives should use when thinking about going to an alleged “Native” ceremony: If the operators seek out non-Native peoples, they are frauds looking to take your money. Actual Native traditionalists neither seek nor want converts. Native ceremonies are intended for Native communities, always. They lose their power and meaning once taken outside that context.

For her part in promoting the dangerous fraud James Arthur Ray, Oprah Winfrey should publicly apologize and vow to be more careful about who she endorses in the future. How many of the victims in Sedona would never have gone there had they not seen Winfrey’s program? How wealthy did Ray become off of his victims because of Winfrey’s repeated endorsement of Ray, both on her show and online? Why didn’t her show’s researchers take the time to look carefully and see what they should have known, that Ray was potentially dangerous to his followers?  

Winfrey, I believe, is a good hearted person who sincerely wants to help her audience. She apologized for promoting an author who lied about the life he described in his books and strongly criticized him on her own show. Why can’t she do the same to James Arthur Ray and confront him also? She should do the right thing and retract all endorsements of Ray and vow to take greater care in the future and never promote New Age exploiters again.

ETA- Here's the link to my thread on Oprah's forum. We'll see if they let it stand or not. Either way, they can't claim to not know.

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #31 on: October 14, 2009, 09:37:23 pm »
@NDN Outlaw: I'd say two counts of Criminally Negligent Homicide, and about sixty counts of Reckless Endangerment. If they go too easy on him, maybe only Reckless Endangerment on the twenty or so who had to be hospitalized. I don't know if Manslaughter or CNH carries a higher penalty.

As for which charges concerning the woman who is still in a coma... depends if she lives or dies.


@Al: Reposting.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2014, 11:39:39 pm by Kathryn »

Offline Superdog

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Offline taraverti

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #33 on: October 15, 2009, 02:07:04 am »
A comment on claiming these were not the first deaths associated with a James Ray seminar

Offline earthw7

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #34 on: October 15, 2009, 02:45:52 am »
Below is a statement from Chief Arvol Looking Horse on the recent "sweat
lodge" deaths in Arizona.

As Keeper of our Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle, I am concerned
for  the 2 deaths and illnesses of the many people that participated in a
sweat  lodge in Sedona, Arizona that brought our sacred rite under fire in the
news. I would like to clarify that this lodge and many others, are not
our  ceremonial way of life, because of the way they are being conducted. My
prayers go out for their families and loved ones for their loss.

Our ceremonies are about life and healing, from the time this ancient
ceremonial rite was given to our people, never has death been a part of
our  inikag¹a (life within) when conducted properly. Today the rite is
interpreted as a sweat lodge, it is much more then that. So the term
does not fit our real meaning of purification.

Inikag¹a is the oldest ceremony brought to us by Wakan Tanka (Great
Spirit).  19 generations ago, the Lakota/Dakota/Nakota Oyate (people), were given
seven sacred rites of healing by a Spirit Woman Pte San Win (White
Buffalo  Calf Woman). She brought these rites along with our sacred C¹anupa
(pipe) to  our People, when our ancestors were suffering from a difficult time. It
was  also brought for the future to help us for much more difficult times to
come. They were brought to help us stay connected to who we are as a
traditional cultural People. The values of conduct are very strict in
any  of these ceremonies, because we work with spirit. The way the Creator,
Wakan Tanka told us; that if we stay humble and sincere, we will keep
that  connection with the inyan oyate (the stone people), who we call the
Grandfathers, to be able to heal our selves and loved ones. We have a
³gift² of prayer and healing and have to stay humble with our Unc¹i
Maka  (Grandmother Earth) and with one another. The inikag¹a is used in all
of the  seven sacred rites to prepare and finish the ceremonies, along with the
sacred eagle feather. The feather represents the sacred knowledge of our

Our First Nations People have to earn the right to pour the mini
wic¹oni  (water of life) upon the inyan oyate (the stone people) in creating
Inikag¹a  - by going on the vision quest for four years and four years Sundance.
Then  you are put through a ceremony to be painted - to recognize that you
have  now earned that right to take care of someone¹s life through
purification.  They should also be able to understand our sacred language, to be able
to  understand the messages from the Grandfathers, because they are ancient,
they are our spirit ancestors. They walk and teach the values of our
culture; in being humble, wise, caring and compassionate.

What has happened in the news with the make shift sauna called the sweat
lodge is not our ceremonial way of life!

When you do ceremony - you can not have money on your mind. We deal with
the  pure sincere energy to create healing that comes from everyone in that
circle of ceremony. The heart and mind must be connected. When you
involve  money, it changes the energy of healing. The person wants to get what
they  paid for; the Spirit Grandfathers will not be there, our way of life is
now  being exploited! You do more damage then good. No² mention² of
monetary  energy should exist in healing, not even with a can of love donations.
When  that energy exists, they will not even come. Only after¹ the
ceremony,  between the person that is being healed and the Intercessor who has
helped  connect with the Great Spirit, the energy of money can be given out of
appreciation. That exchange of energy is from the heart; it is private
and  does not involve the Grandfathers! Whatever gift of appreciation the
person  who received the help, can now give the Intercessor what ever they feel
their healing is worth.

In our Prophesy of the White Buffalo Calf Woman, she told us that she
would  return and stand upon the earth when we are having a hard time. In 1994
this  began to happen with the birth of the white buffalo, not only their
nation,  but many animal nations began to show their sacred color, which is
white.  She predicted that at this time there would be many changes upon
Grandmother  Earth. There would be things that we never experienced or heard of
before;  climate changes, earth changes, diseases, disrespect for life and one
another would be shocking and there would be also many false prophets!

My Grandmother that passed the bundle to me said I would be the last
Keeper  if the Oyate (people) do not straighten up. The assaults upon
Grandmother  Earth are horrendous, the assaults toward one another was not in our
culture, the assaults against our People (Oyate) have been termed as
genocide, and now we are experiencing spiritual genocide!

Because of the problems that began to arise with our rebirth of being
able  to do our ceremonies in the open since the Freedom of Religion Act of
1978,  our Elders began talking to me about the abuses they seen in our
ceremonial  way of life, which was once very strict. After many years of witnessing
their warnings, we held a meeting to address this very issue of lack of
protocol in our ceremonies. After reaching an agreement of addressing
the  misconduct of our ceremonies and reminding of the proper protocols, a
statement was made in March 2003. Every effort was made to insure our
way  of life of who we are as traditional cultural People was made, because
these  ways are for our future and all life upon the Grandmother Earth
(Mitakuye  Oyasin All my relations), so that they may have good health. Because
these  atrocities are being mocked and practiced all over the world, there was
even  a film we made called ³Spirits for Sale².

The non-native people have a right to seek help from our ³First Nation
Intercessors² for good health and well-being, it is up to that
Intercessor.  That is a privilege for all People that we gift for being able to have
good  health and understand that their protocol is to have respect and
appreciate  what we have to share. The First Nations Intercessor has to earn that
right  to our ceremonial way of life in the ways I have explained.

At this time, I would like to ask all Nations upon Grandmother Earth to
please respect our sacred ceremonial way of life and stop the
exploitation  of our Tunka Oyate (Spiritual Grandfathers).

In a Sacred Hoop of Life, where there is no ending and no beginning!

Namah¹u yo (hear my words),
Chief Arvol Looking Horse, 19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White
Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle.
In Spirit

Offline Moma_porcupine

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #35 on: October 15, 2009, 03:14:49 am »
I am really glad to read Arvol Looking Horse's statement on this. I hope people start paying attention to what the true Spiritual leaders are saying. Thanks for bringing his words here.

Offline NDN_Outlaw

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #36 on: October 15, 2009, 04:26:34 am »
This forum is like a high reving engine running on all 8. Well done all of you.

Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #37 on: October 15, 2009, 04:56:20 am »
« Last Edit: March 25, 2010, 03:27:01 am by critter »
press the little black on silver arrow Music, 1) Bob Pietkivitch Buddha Feet

Offline Diana

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #38 on: October 15, 2009, 06:08:24 am »
Found this on ABC news website out of Arizona, also there are some very good comments which I also posted from viewers. My Bold

Resort owners ask for prayers after Sedona lodge deaths

SEDONA, AZ – The owners of the Sedona property where a retreat was held that claimed two lives have released a written statement regarding the fatal sweat lodge.

In it, Michael and Amayra Hamilton said they called 911 and they're asking for prayers for the victims who were killed and are recovering.

"We ask to pray that something positive will come out of this," they said.

They also said they performed a prayer and meditation on the sweat lodge site James Ray rented for his "Spiritual Warrior" retreat.

But Ray is refusing to speak with media or detectives. He posted a statement on his website on Sunday.

His friend and colleague, John Asseraf said he understands why.

"We're ultimately responsible, ok, for what occurs in the environment that we're bringing people into," said Asseraf.

In all, the Yavapai County Sherriff's Office said up to 65 people were crammed inside the sweat lodge last week for upwards of two hours.

It was all part of a spiritual cleansing that turned deadly for two people, three others remain hospitalized.

Investigators said they may pursue criminal negligence and/or endangerment charges.

To determine that, they said they're not only waiting for autopsy results, but they're also waiting for lab results for potentially hazardous fumes that may have come from a long list of items from the sweat lodge's framework including tarps, soil, blankets, boulders and the sandalwood incense.

"There are some snake in the oil salespeople out there, but the majority of the people, James being one of them, really has the love and the intention and the care of other people," said Assaraf.

But one of the victims families said if that's true, why has he not taken any responsibility for the retreat investigators said netted him $500,000.

"I think he's (looking) for answers as well," said Assaraf, "And will he take responsibility? I hope he does, I think he will knowing his character."

Ray has posted several tweets on his twitter account since the deadly retreat, but he is scheduled to speak publicly at an event in Del Mar, California Wednesday night.

Stay with ABC15 and for developments.

PRESS RELEASE October 13, 2009
Angel Valley Sedona

A tragic and unexpected accident took place at Angel Valley on Thursday afternoon, October 8 during a sweat session under the direction and control of facilitator James Ray, who rented our facility for his Spiritual Warrior Retreat.

We express our deepest feelings of sympathy, love and support for the families and friends of those who passed on and for those who are still recovering.

We want to thank all the many people who have sent us tokens of their love and who have offered their support. Many prayer circles have been created to pray for all involved.

We want to express our sincerest feelings towards the Native American Community for this having taken place on the sacred land that we are the stewards of. We have been offered assistance by Native American friends to heal the land, which we have accepted with gratitude. We also know that an initiative has been taken among those who lead sweat lodges in the authentic way, to get together and review how incidents like this can be avoided in the future. We feel the pain of the Native American Community.

Our Angel Valley team is in pain and grief by what has occurred.  Since Thursday evening we have been attending to the needs of those involved in the accident along with their family and friends. We drove to the hospital to pick up people after they were released, we collected their belongings and were in contact with family members.

From the moment we dialed 911, minutes after people were brought out of the sweat lodge, we have done the best we could to assist and provide the space for the paramedics and the police to do their work. We want to thank both departments for the gracious and thorough way they went about performing their tasks.

We are being inundated by the media and we understand their need to report the News. Yet, we felt that it was our priority to take care of the participants of the retreat as well as our own staff. We told everybody that we will speak, but asked to give us some space to tend to our priorities.

Saturday October 10, after the police had released the site of the accident, we performed a ceremony in prayer and meditation on the sweat lodge site, together with those participants of the retreat that were still around and our staff, finalized by a prayer song by a Native American Elder. Our ceremony was our attempt to come to terms with what had happened, We prayed for Kirby Brown and James Shore and their families, for all others involved who need support, either physically or emotionally, for the Native American people and their tradition, for all those who struggle with what took place and for our own healing.We laid a heart in stones as a memorial to Kirby and James.

We ask all who see this to send your prayers and love to all involved and affected.
We ask to help transform anger and judgment.
We ask to pray that something positive will come out of this.

Michael and Amayra Hamilton,
Co-founders of Angel Valley Spiritual Retreat Center and owners of the land.

yumacat - 10/13/2009 10:37 PM  This statement from the resort owners is more shallow, clueless and just plain selfish than any I though possible. Mr. and Mrs. Resort Owner: No one cares about your prayer rocks in a heart shape; no one cares about the media hounding you; no one cares about whatever "native" people you hired to cleanse the site; no one cares that you were the one who called 911 (like you went out of the way to do some special duty or something); and, no one cares about your interest to turn something "positive" from this tragedy, at least not your definition of "positive". Two people died on your property either in a tragic accident or by a criminally negligent act. No amount of feather-waving, earth-cleansing, heart-stone monument ceremonies will change this fact. Therefore, maybe your statement could have been something like: "We are deeply grieved by these tragic deaths and deeply concerned for those who are still ill. While the exact cause of this tragedy is still under investigation, we pledge to do all that we can to ensure that such a tragedy never happens again as well as owning up to any legal or civil liabilities as a result of this tragedy for which we are responsible." I know, the power "within" you unleashed by all those vortexes and crystals is a bit too vain to stick your neck out like that and admit to possibly being wrong and liable even though it is the right thing to do.
Crow Woman - 10/13/2009 7:22 PM 0 Votes Report User Angel Retreat owners, do you plan to refund everyone's money who was at the retreat? Are you paying for crisis counselling for the survivors? Are you paying the hospital bills, especially for those who have no medical insurance? And why did Mr. Ray turn tail and leave the state? He wouldn't talk to the police. Wouldn't a "spiritual leader" care about what happened and stick around to be of help to the survivors? I think his action of fleeing the scene tells us what this man truly is. I love Sedona and have been there many times. Angel Retreat owners, you have sullied the reputation of Sedona and of its neighboring native peoples, through your greed and your stupidity. I hope that all the bad publicity forces you to have to close your doors forever. I hope that no other spiritual pilgrim will ever appear on your doorstep again. Both you and Mr. Ray should face criminal charges. What a disgusting display of greed. Angel Retreat owners, guess what? Grace and enlightenment do not cost $10,000. How dare you offend one of the most sacred native ceremonies? Your "apology" is lame. Stand up and take responsibility for what you did. There is blood on your hands.
doejoe - 10/13/2009 7:19 PM 0 Votes Report User This really does sound more like a promotional advertisement for their retreat than it does a letter of condolence. At least they made an effort to help. James the spiritual guru was completely MIA. Apparently preparing for his next love fest and raking in those fees.
sagemind - 10/13/2009 6:22 PM 0 Votes Report User Attn: Angel Retreat Center murderers....obtw: being rich doesn't make you smart. Find more beneficial ways to spend your time and money; helping other human beings would be a tremendous start!
sagemind - 10/13/2009 6:19 PM 0 Votes Report User CYA; is all I hear, yeah pray for him, he's gonna loose alot of his precious money. And he's probably got more "sheep" paid up for another stupid feat and doesn't want them to cancel and get refunds...imitating with the focus of making money; another culture's ceremony is a complete no, no on many levels.
tricksterpower - 10/13/2009 6:15 PM 0 Votes Report User To the Angel Retreat Center: I hope & pray that you evil new age scumbags go under. You SUCK and will reap what you have sown. What balls to ASK for anything from anyone?! Goes to show how selfish you really are! Enjoy your ghosts that will haunt you to the end of your days.
Lorida - 10/13/2009 4:17 PM 1 Vote Report User This is the statement from the Angel Valley Retreat? Its so shameful and lame, its shocking.....all they said to the media was they are "praying for the injured people that attended Rays sweat lodge,"... thats it? Thats their statement? Wow, hope the pd gets more than this lame ass response.....its a bunch of garbage! What did we expect from these guilty parties? I hope no one gets away with killing these two people, and the suffering of 65 people had to endure for hours, crammed into a tiny make shift tent, breathing toxic plastic fumes with out fresh drinking water nor any fresh air after being weakend by fasting prior to the sweat, of course now I realize Ray saved money on the food expense. What scammers in Sedona! Will they refund everyone's money or what? Will the police get face to face answers from James Ray and Assaraf? What are the police waiting for? Investigate everyone involved.
IM4US - 10/13/2009 3:04 PM 0 Votes Report User i wonder how much he'll charge for this next public event...i'm wanting to go just to throw stones at the cheap foreflusher. he doesn't deserve the respect he's gotten and is still getting. that is so obvious. people listen to the wee small voices in your heart and head about this guy. he's a fake, a phony and a foreflushing coward. listen - it's all there inside you to hear.

Offline taraverti

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #39 on: October 15, 2009, 07:28:20 am »
This guy is just darn dangerous.

Resort near Sedona had previous sweat lodge incident

44 commentsby JJ Hensley - Oct. 15, 2009 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
The scene that unfolded outside a sweat lodge at a remote compound near Sedona was not the first time paramedics responded to one of James Arthur Ray's seminars at the Angel Valley Spiritual Retreat Center.

Records released Wednesday show firefighters also were called to the center for a sweat-lodge-related illness in mid-October 2005.

Amayra Hamilton, one of the retreat's owners, said it was another Ray retreat.   

The records show paramedics treated a 42-year-old man who was unconscious after spending time in a sweat lodge. The man was taken to Verde Valley Medical Center about 20 minutes later. Hamilton said the man returned the next day.

As for the events that left two dead and four hospitalized last week, records that the Verde Valley Fire District released Wednesday depict a scene that tested the resources of the emergency responders in the Sedona area.

By the time the legion of ambulances, fire engines and helicopters reached the remote area at about 7:40 p.m. Thursday, emergency workers found "multiple people lying on the ground around a sweat lodge needing medical condition," according to reports.

In addition to two patients in cardiac arrest, some were lying on the ground unconscious and others were "walking around not feeling well," according to reports.

Kirby Brown, 38, of Westtown, N.Y., and James Shore, 40, of Milwaukee, were later pronounced dead at Verde Valley Medical Center. Services for both will be Saturday.

More people who were in the sweat lodge had moved to the retreat center's dining hall and, according to Angel Valley and Ray's spokesman, didn't need any medical attention. Eight of those people later went to emergency rooms in Sedona and Cottonwood after paramedics assessed them.

Others were feeling ill, but the doctor in charge of the outdoor triage scene determined that those who were not critical were "all becoming better fast" and instead recommended they call 911 or go to the hospital if they started to feel sick.

The reports didn't say what caused all of the people to get sick, although authorities have ruled out carbon monoxide poisoning. Investigators have said there were more than 60 people in the 415-square-foot enclosure.

Kim Moore of Verde Valley Ambulance Co. was one of the emergency-medical people called to the scene last week. She said one of her patients had burns. People didn't want to talk about what happened because the event was intended to be a personal spiritual experience.

"The people weren't talking about it, the ones who could talk," she said.

Ray stuck to his schedule of events this week. He told a Los Angeles-area seminar Tuesday night that his advisers told him not to, but he wanted to keep his commitments.

Ray had another seminar scheduled for Wednesday and also was scheduled to begin his two-day World Wealth Summit in San Diego on Friday. His Web site says the two-day event costs nearly $1,000. Authorities said people at the Sedona event paid more than $9,000 for the five days of lectures and exercises that culminated with the sweat-lodge event.

Howard Bragman, Ray's spokesman, said Ray wouldn't comment on the ongoing investigation.

"There's more questions than answers right now," he said.

Of the four people hospitalized after Thursday's events, two remained at Flagstaff Medical Center on Wednesday afternoon, with one patient in good condition and one in critical condition.

The family of Liz Neuman released a statement that said she remained in a coma in critical condition.

"Liz is still fighting hard and her family asks for everyone to keep her in their thoughts and prayers," according to the statement.

Offline educatedindian

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #40 on: October 15, 2009, 02:19:03 pm »
AIM Santa Barbara has called for protests to shut down Ray's outfit.

I'll also start a seperate thread on the other person mentioned in the message, Spivak.

And this is long overdue: Moved to Frauds.


Corine Fairbanks sent a message to the members of American Indian Movement
Santa Barbara.

Good Afternoon-

Some of you might have already ran across this story about the New Age Death
Sweats occurring in Sedona, AZ- where 2 people died, 50 people were injured
and all of them paid over $9000 to participate.

the person responsible for this is named James Arthur Ray;

Ray will be in California next week at the World Wealth Summit for Oct 16-17
2009, at the Hyatt Regency in La Jolla,;CA

(I hope some of you will be moved to organize a demonstration or a massive
letter to the editor campaign (or just get creative!)  against this guy)

by the looks of his website you can see how this person operates and preys
upon others and people are stupid enough to buy into it?.

We all have a responsibility to call people out on this- Do we have to be nice
about it? Do we have to be Politically Correct about it? And why should we?

#1 are OUR SACRED RELATIVES for SALE? These are Elders that teach us our ways,
and help us when we are sick- bring recovery and clarity in our lives- DO WE

#2 where does the money go when someone sells Sweats, Buffalo Skulls, Sage,
sweet grass or other sacred relatives? Not back to the people- in fact it is
BLOOD money- because all of our ancestors died trying to protect and yet now
there is some greedy freak counting the change from selling it

#3 Our people have been at WAR with the government, churches and schools to
protect our sacred ways, languages and medicine for over 500 years. To watch
our traditional ways, medicine and ceremonies be disrespected, mistreated,
ABUSED, and DESECRATED, CAPITALIZED ad MARKETED is a violation against all of
us. Someone that does this has no right to care take these items and the
sacred relatives should go back to where they can be prayed over and safe
before being used properly and what they were given to us to be used for.

We know that this goes on in every community; Natives and Non-Natives do it-

[Off topic section removed. See discussion on Spivak.]

When will it end? When someone dies in his sweats?

It is our responsibility- ALL OF US - to close these fakes down, it is a life
and death situation, and our silence makes it okay, our silence is a slap in
the face to those that died protecting it, and will mark the end our

(But we might be able to buy a really cheap version of it in the future on
some 2am infomercial?.)

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #41 on: October 16, 2009, 12:41:18 am »
Sweat lodge deaths investigated as homicides

"(CNN) -- An investigation into the deaths of two people who spent up to two hours inside a "sweat lodge" at an Arizona retreat last week has been elevated from an accidental death investigation to a homicide inquiry, Yavapai County Sheriff Steve Waugh told reporters Thursday."
... ... ...
" A search warrant was executed Wednesday at the James Ray International offices in Carlsbad, California, the sheriff said. Authorities were attempting to determine whether documents exist on how to construct sweat lodges and on their proper use, as well as documents showing whether participants were advised of the risks of sweat lodges either before or during the program. They also were searching for rosters from past events, Waugh said.

"Police would not say what, if anything, was found in executing the search warrant.

"Asked why the deaths have been classified as homicides and the investigation upgraded, Waugh said, 'We believe there are indications that it was not accidental, and ... we feel that there should be some culpability on some individuals.'

"Those individuals could include Ray and possibly others, he said."
... ... ...
"At least one of those who died was in the back of the structure, Waugh said. Ray was positioned near its door."

Read full article here

Video report here (includes some footage of song and prayer in a lodge, which appears to be run by Vernon Foster in Sedona)

ETA: Found this on Vernon Foster:

This Southwest Journey will bring you in intimate connection with indigenous culture, traditional Native American ceremony and experiences, as well as being in the extra-ordinary nature of the Sedona and greater Southwest.

See more details at:
or email Robert Dakota for a detailed

Our first day will be spent with
Vernon Foster & His Wife Leitha
on their land they will guide us in learning drumming, songs, creating a medicine wheel and sweat lodge, which we will sweat in at the end of the evening with more drumming, ssinging before entering the new sweat lodge. Following with the ever famous potluck feast. Everyone will participate in a potluck ceremonial feast and have the opportunity to stay on the land where we will sleep under the deep night sky of Sedona. The stars will be shining.

Spiritual Teachings
in the
Native American Tradition

The Buffalo Heart Project is managed and directed by Vernon Foster "Thunder He Walks With" (Klamath/Modoc)and is a vision of he and his wife, Leitha "Defender Woman" (Lakota).

Buffalo Heart is located on the banks of Oak Creek as it meanders through Cornville, Arizona. "Thunder He Walks With" has recreated a wonderfully peaceful environment that consists of Sweat Lodges, a Long House, Medicine Wheels and a clear sparkling pond.

You are cordially invited, as many others have from around the world, to join us for spiritual "passages", Native American "teachings" and experiences involving Mother Earth as passed down from the Elders.

For more information on the Buffalo Heart Project go to:



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Looks like spiritual tourism.

Do the Klamath have sweatlodge? What about the Longhouse and Medicine Wheel?
« Last Edit: July 18, 2014, 11:40:35 pm by Kathryn »

Offline debbieredbear

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #42 on: October 16, 2009, 01:11:41 am »
This was in the Arizona Republic's article:
A woman identified as Barb told the callers that a channeler at the retreat said the deceased had an out-of-body experience during the ceremony and “were having so much fun that they chose not to come back.”

I'd like to give "barb" an out of body experience... ;)

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #43 on: October 16, 2009, 01:28:16 am »
Because kidney failure from dehydration, and asphyxiation amidst plastic fumes while being lectured to by a crazy white man about making money, is really, really "fun".

Re: Angel Valley Resort Sweat Lodge in Sedona: 2 dead, 19 injured
« Reply #44 on: October 16, 2009, 02:12:45 am »
« Last Edit: March 25, 2010, 03:27:48 am by critter »
press the little black on silver arrow Music, 1) Bob Pietkivitch Buddha Feet