Tuesday, March 16, 2010

James Arthur Ray's Trial Date Set



James Ray's trial date has been set for August 31st.

The autopsy reports show that Kirby Brown and James Shore died of heat stroke and Liz Neuman died of massive organ failure and hyper thermia from prolonged exposure to excessive heat.

The families of the victims wanted Judge Warren Darrow to withhold the autopsy photographs and all but the first and last pages of the autopsy report. Thankfully, he respected their wishes.

Please remember James, Liz and Kirby in your prayers today.

The Camp Verde Bugle reports that the trial should run from August 31 to approximately December 17th. If the trial continues the expected 56 days, jurors will only be paid $672.00 during that time, so only those who can afford to take that much time off will be able to judge whether Ray is guilty of manslaughter.

James Arthur Ray has plead not guilty to three counts of manslaughter. It's clear that he has the means to hire a legal team to engage in an extended legal battle to assure his acquittal. Since James Ray refused to issue any refunds, part of his defense may actually be financed with money from the deceased.

Arizona has been hit hard by the recession and very few lower to middle class people are likely to welcome extended jury duty. Consequently, James Ray is likely to have a disgruntled jury.

On the other hand, Ray may face a jury of individuals who also make their living selling spiritual quackery to unsuspecting tourists who may want to make an example of him to protect the fake-shame-man industry. Or they may be reluctant to make an example of Ray for fear of being prosecuted themselves one day.

What about the tendency of Arizona juries to nullify the law of criminal negligence? Can James Ray’s well -paid legal team convince a jury to reject the law out of concern for the fate of this particular defendant? Will plastic sweat lodge peddlers be willing to convict another plastic sweat lodge peddler?

Will the prosecution be able to assemble 12 people who can’t get out of jury duty and who are able to understand and follow the jury instructions? From the information I’ve gathered about Sedona, the jury may be composed predominantly of New Age enthusiasts who distrust logic and reason and are intellectually incapable of evaluating the evidence. Are there 12 people in Sedona who have 3-4 months to kill and who possess the basic cognitive skills to rationally evaluate the evidence and render a fair verdict?

I can just imagine the voir dire questions:

Do you believe that aliens from the Pleiades are influencing our lives on earth?

How often do you receive channeled messages from the archangel Michael?

How many times have you had your chakras aligned in a pay-to-pray sweat lodge?

What kind of sweat lodge are you currently running?

Do you believe the Universe is your cosmic ATM, willing to hand out all the prosperity you ask of it?

Can you see my aura right now?

I guess we'll all just have to wait and see.

For the latest updates on this case, follow the hashtags:
#jamesray or #deathlodge on twitter



Read More About It:

Fidel, N. (1991). Preeminently a political institution: The right of Arizona juries to nullify the law of criminal negligence. Arizona State Law Journal, 23, 1-60.

Horowitz, Irwin A. (2001). Jury Nullification: Legal and Psychological Perspectives. Brooklyn Law Review


NEWS LINKS

UPDATES
March 19, 2010

Stephen Ray Interview Transcript
[tommcfeeley.com/content/Supplement-140-Ray-Stephen-transcript-012510-C23.pdf]

"I think he was grossly negligent and I think he should have to suffer the consequences of that." – Stephen Ray

Stephen Ray gave testimony that James Ray had a bucket of water that he used to splash himself and his assistants, but offered no relief to the participants who paid thousands of dollars for harmonic wealth. Ray also testified that James Ray was adamant about having everyone take a teaspoon full of salt, which only dehydrates a person faster.

"I mean there was a call that he had after which was supposed to be for participants and one of his underlings spoke up and said, 'the people that passed away were in another place and were having so much fun that they just didn't want to come back'. And I thought that was the biggest crock of crap that I've ever heard in my life." – Stephen Ray

Detective Diskin informs Stephen Ray that even if James Ray is acquitted, the Yavapai County prosecutor can still charge Ray with nearly 50 aggravated assaults on behalf of the survivors with neurological problems.



March 18, 2010

Records in Arizona sweat lodge case offer details

"Stephen Ray, who was among the 18 people hospitalized following the ceremony, said he hasn't recouped his sense of taste or smell and still has ringing in his ears, severe headaches and trouble sleeping.

He said "James Ray showed a callous disregard for the participants because of his own ego and greed."

[www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35939247/ns/us_news/#storyContinued]

Verde Independent
The "accidental" ruling by the coroner will not change James Ray's prosecution status
[verdenews.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1189&ArticleID=35529&TM=75040.03]

Prescott Daily Courier
The main issue in the James Ray manslaughter case will be his recklessness and disregrad for human life.
[http://www.dcourier.com/main.asp?Search=1&ArticleID=78915&SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1086&S=1]



Autopsy Report released 3/17/2010 by the Arizona Daily Star

[www.azcentral.com/ic/pdf/0316sweat-lodge-autopsy-findings.pdf]

Prescott E-news James Ray Appears In Court As Trial Date is Set
[www.prescottenews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3223]
This report contains audios of the judge setting the trial date.

Crimesider: Sweat Lodge Autopsies Show People Died from Heat Stroke and Organ Failure
[www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20000640-504083.html]

Autopsy reports released in AZ sweat lodge deaths
[www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j4PHcSvMF8pPe_CpIRZejl7OD1vgD9EG156O0]

Verde Independent
James Arthur Ray trial to take 3 to 4 months
[verdenews.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=35500]

Camp Verde Bugle:
James Ray trial to take up to 4 months

[campverdebugleonline.com/main.asp?Search=1&ArticleID=26035&SectionID=1&SubSectionID=992&S=1]


WKBT Channel 8
Judge issues orders in sweat lodge case
[www.wkbt.com/Global/story.asp?S=12150263]

News Talk Radio 97.5
AZ Judge To Decide On Withholding Pics, Autopsy In Ray Case

[www.wtaq.com/news/articles/2010/mar/16/az-judge-decide-withholding-pics-autopsy-ray-case]

38 comments:

LeeKuanMajorMinor said...

"I agree to release, waive and discharge James Ray International, Inc. (the "Company"), its principals, directors, shareholders, employees, agents, promoters, independent contractors, sponsors, volunteer assistants, associated coaches, and others associated with the Company, or any of them (the "Releasees"), from all liability to the undersigned for any loss or damage, and any claim or demands therefore on account of injury to the undersigned's person (whether physical, emotional, psychological or otherwise) or property or resulting in death, whether caused by the negligence of the Releasees or otherwise, relating to the Event, whether sustained during the Event or not."

http://www.nhne.org/news/NewsArticlesArchive/tabid/400/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/6463/language/en-US/James-Arthur-Ray--Sedonas-Spiritual-Warrior-Participant-Guide.aspx

MY COMMENT:

This looks very 'cut & dried'. I don't see how anyone can legally send James Arthur Ray to jail after such an agreement was signed. Please show me how they can legally do such a thing.

This liability agreement appears to be painstakingly created to protect JRI from just such a situation as what happened at Sedona. Why then was James Arthur Ray not protected?

The only way I can see is that…America is breaking its own laws! How should America be punished for doing this? Should not the judge who sent James Arthur Ray to jail be thrown in jail for breaking American law? Seems to me he should! The judge broke American Law by sending James Arthur Ray to jail after all the participants signed this liability waiver. It seems to me that judge should go to jail instead of James Arthur Ray. Why not?

LeeKuanMajorMinor said...

I was under the impression that you Native Americans were angry at the White Man for the way your people have been lied to and cheated by them. Why the hell do you care whether or not some White People died trying to emulate a Native American sweat lodge ceremony?

Have you suddenly decided that the White Man deserves to be rewarded for what they have done to your people?

Legal Eagle Dancer said...

LeeKuanMajorAsso,

You cannot enter into a legal agreement that releases anyone from liability where CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE has occurred. James Ray is being tried for CRIMINALLY NEGLIGENT manslaughter. All such waivers are null and void. In our legal system, a jury has the right to decide such things - or a judge should Ray waive his right to a jury trial. An Arizona jury is likely to convict him on a lesser charge and they don't have to be unanimous. You have no knowledge or understanding of Arizona law, so you'd make a perfect juror. The documents outlining the prosecution's case is widely available on the internet and anyone with even the slightest legal expertise can see that YCSO has put together a solid case. Ray also faces civil charges where the burden of proof is not nearly so high. I'm sure you're just one of Ray's brainwashed cult members mindlessly repeating his defense attorney's extremely weak case over and over again without understanding what you're saying. You're not influencing anyone with your mindless devotion to this egomaniac.

LeeKuanMajorMinor said...

You’re trying to say that such waivers are only valid when…

they are not needed

Legal Eagle Dancer said...

Major Asso,

Arizona law does not allow a waiver to protect against gross negligence.

Which big word did you not understand?

Suspicious in Sedona said...

This guy LeeKuanMajorMinor is obviously a James Ray supporter. Look at how he behaves like a $cientologist! Obsessively driving home the tech with no regard for reason, truth or logic. This troll you've got here really drank the kool-aid.

For all those he's tried to confuse: reckless endangerment of others is most definitely punishable by law. It’s pretty clear from the documents already released that there will be many, many people testifying that Ray used various forms of coercion to keep people in the lodge contrary to what a reasonable person should have done. I'm sure the judge will give instructions to the jury on the elements of the case.

I doubt that the waiver will even come into this. Ray’s attorneys would have to be pretty stupid to emphasize it because it makes him look like he was trying to protect himself from deaths and injuries he knew were likely to occur. If the prosecution is smart, they will use the waiver to help convict Ray - it shows a guilty mind.

And you are correct; Arizona juries almost always return a guilty verdict on the lesser offense in cases similar to this. My feeling is that Sedona business owners will want to make an example of him. Ray's attorney's should have encouraged a plea bargain. They should realize that a jury will probably vote to convict on the lesser charge anyway. At least it will set a precedent and offer some protection to the public.

NDN 1L said...

James Ray’s attorneys seem incompetent to me. Do they have ties to the CO$?
They don’t seem to know the distinction between the mens rea required for second degree murder and the mens rea required for involuntary manslaughter.
It appears to me that they’re arguing their case as if charged with 1st degree murder instead of manslaughter.
The court will instruct the jury as to the elements of the case and define voluntary and involuntary manslaughter for the. The jury will determine if he acted recklessly, with disregard for human life … etc.
Re: Waivers and intent to waive negligence
Thinking that this case is cut and dried shows a complete lack of understanding of the complexities of law. LeeKuanMajorMinor seems to be confusing tort law with criminal law. I suspect he is a strong James Ray supporter and is deliberately trying to create confusion in the minds of the readers of this blog, and possibly to influence potential jurors.
In Arizona, exculpatory contracts are enforceable, but they are highly disfavored in the law. Generally, the effectiveness of these types of agreements depends on whether the injury or harm caused by the activity or participation was anticipated. We already know that paramedics had been called to previous sweat lodges and that a reasonable person could have anticipated potential harm. I’m certain the plaintiff’s attorneys in the civil trial will make a strong case that the victims did not anticipate their deaths as a result of participating in an exercise that was designed to bring them wealth and prosperity. They clearly intended to live to enjoy their future wealth.
Under Arizona law a waiver/release agreement has two primary protective purposes:
1) "Contractual Exculpation" which uses contract law principles
2) (waiver/release is a contract) to excuse an organization for its simple negligence and 2) provides "real evidence" of the organization's warning of inherent and other risks thereby triggering the common law Assumption Of Risk (AOR) defense under tort law.
James Ray may use Assumption Of Risk (AOR) As A Defense To Negligence in a civil trial, but it doesn’t make any sense to use it in the criminal trial.
Under the tort system, James Ray can only try to excuse himself from “simple negligence”. A waiver/release should never attempt to disclaim responsibility for "gross negligence" or other outrageous conduct. It can only disclaim responsibility for "negligence". James Arthur Ray cannot legally excuse himself from gross negligence. Gross negligence always invalidates a waiver. If the plaintiffs can show that the deaths of their loved ones resulted because of intentional and reckless behavior, they barred from seeking and collecting damages under such circumstances in a civil court.
Gross negligence is a legal term with a specific meaning. It can be found in many different law dictionaries.
Gross negligence n. carelessness in reckless disregard for the safety or lives of others, which is so great it appears to be a conscious violation of other people's rights to safety. It is more than simple inadvertence, but it is just shy of being intentionally evil. If one has borrowed or contracted to take care of another's property, then gross negligence is the failure to actively take the care one would of his/her own property. If gross negligence is found by the tier of fact (judge or jury), it can result in the award of punitive damages on top of general and special damages.
Gross Negligence: An action or an omission in reckless disregard of the consequences to the safety or property of another. Unrestrained disregard of consequences; where ordinary care is not taken in circumstances where, as a result, injury or grave damage is likely.

NDN 1L said...

Also known as the Latin term culpa lata., or, as the Roman lawyers most accurately call it) dolo proxima, is, in practice, considered as equivalent to dolus or fraud itself, and consists, according to the best interpreters, in the omission of that care which even inattentive and thoughtless men never fail to take of their own property. Jones on Bailments, 20. It must not be confounded, however, with fraud, for it may exist consistently with good faith and honesty of intention, according to common law authorities.
The validity of the liability waiver will be a jury question, making waivers not entirely predictable means for avoiding liability.
1. Is the waiver clear and unambiguous?
2. Does the waiver contain clear, explicit language waiving a person or entity’s liability?
3. Is the waiver language conspicuous within the document or hidden in fine print?
4. Is the parties’ intent to "waive negligence" clearly and expressly stated in the agreement?
5. Were the parties sufficiently informed about the potential risks in order to permit a "knowing" waiver of those risks and attendant liabilities?
If any of these questions are answered "No", the waiver may be unenforceable.
From the documents I read, the deceased did not know they would be participating in a vision quest without food, water or adequate shelter, nor did they know they would be subjected to dangerously high temperatures for dangerously long periods of time. That makes the waiver highly ambiguous and unclear as to what risks the participants would be taking. There’s a good change the waiver will be ruled unenforceable. A waiver is just a business contract and the plaintiffs are free to argue for its invalidation.
Just the fact that James Ray gave them a waiver to sign in the state of Arizona that refers to the laws of California may be problematic enough to invalidate it.
The plaintiffs could easily argue that James Ray, the Mercer’s and the Angel Valley owners acted negligently by failing to rescue the deceased more quickly from the unsafe sweat lodge and by providing inadequate emergency medical care. In my opinion, waiting 20 minutes to pull them out was not something that a reasonable person would do. Not attending to an unconscious person immediately in an environment of intense heat, in my opinion, constitutes gross negligence.

NDN 1L said...

But that’s the civil case. James Ray is being tried in a criminal court for manslaughter. The news reports didn’t say if he’s being tried for voluntary or involuntary manslaughter, but I believe the jury in Arizona is given to option to convict on the greater or the lesser charge.
Criminally negligent manslaughter is where death results from serious negligence, or, in some jurisdictions, serious recklessness. A high degree of negligence is required to warrant criminal liability. A related concept is that of willful blindness, which is where a defendant intentionally puts himself in a position where he will be unaware of facts which would render him liable.
I’d say James Ray was unaware that there were two people in a life-threatening situation at the back of the sweat lodge who required immediate medical attention.
Criminally negligent manslaughter occurs where there is an omission to act when there is a duty to do so, or a failure to perform a duty owed, which leads to a death. In the case of heat stroke, James Ray had a duty to provide immediate, competent medical attention. Thinking that they were having some kind of New Age out of body experience doesn’t relieve him of the obligation to act to preserve human life. The existence of the duty is essential because the law does not impose criminal liability for a failure to act unless a specific duty is owed to the victim. In my opinion, James Arthur Ray owed his students an opportunity to go on living their lives.
If I were on the jury, I’d definitely find that James Arthur Ray owed those 3 people the ability to enjoy all the harmonic wealth he promised would come their way if they followed his teachings. The prosecution doesn’t have to prove that Ray’s intention was to kill those people. The key issue in the manslaughter case will be his Recklessness.

There are 2 main elements to the case
Element 1 - Cause of death
The first element is that James Arthur Ray caused the death of James Shore, Kirby Brown and Liz Neuman. This means that the Ray's conduct was the proximate cause of the decedent's death. The jury must find proven beyond a reasonable doubt that they died as a result of the actions of the defendant.
Proximate cause instructions can be googled
Element 2 - Criminal negligence
The second element is that the James Arthur Ray was criminally negligent in causing the death.
Criminal negligence jury instructions can be googled as well.
I’m not sure what the educational level of an Arizona jury may be, but the jury will have ample opportunity to ask questions. Sedona is very New Age, but the people are significantly more educated than the average person in the state. It’s hard to tell how a jury will decide such a case.
Bryanchen ‘s blog is pretty good blog that explains the legal terms to the layperson
You can also look up Revised Arizona Jury Instructions (Criminal) on the net.
Tom McFeely, a relative of Ms. Brown has posted a collection of the interview transcripts in the James Arthur Ray manslaughter case. (google Tom McFeely communications – transcripts are in lower right box)
Anyone who wants to know more about this case should read them. They are highly informative.

Sorry for the long post, but there are a lot of people who don't understand the law trying to confuse the issue here.

judy said...

I like your blog.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, James Arthrur Ray is a narcissistic vampire who believes he is so special that the rules don't apply to him. This LeeKuanMajorMinor is one of his mindless minions, incapable of intelligent thought who goes through his worthless life like a stupefied sheep endlessly repeating the insipid mantra from the law of attraction bullshit idiot-ology. All he can do is repeat his guru’s bullshit verbatim. He is not longer capable of thinking for himself. The racist and idiotic comments he made are just further proof that James Arthur Ray’s multi-level-marketing cult endangers the public and he needs to be locked up for a long, long time. I hope that the members of the jury are not the same type of brain dead, mouth breathing knuckle dragging true believers who think it is their mission in life to smear any intelligent critical thinker who reveals the inherent evil in narcissistic New Age gurus like James Arthur Ray. Keep up the good work exposing this menace to all freethinking individuals!
Keep looking into the connection between James Ray’s mindless minions and the cult of $cientololgy. I’m sure they’re in this up to their greedy, dishonest asses.

We are Anonymous. We are legion. Expect us.

Anonymous said...

ANGEL VALLEY DESTROYS THE SWEAT LODGE

From the PDF file called The White Paper No 1 Page 4

http://jamesray.com/docs/White_Paper_No._1.PDF

“2 The reasons for this tragic accident may never be known, in part because we understand that Angel Valley subsequently destroyed the sweat lodge structure and coverings and buried the stones used in the ceremony. The loss of this critical environmental information may render determining the exact cause of death impossible, and the loss of this critical evidence from any “crime scene” would itself undermine and criminal charges against Mr. Ray.”

MY RESPONSE:

WHAT????? The authorities investigating this case did not confiscate exhibit A???

The yokels in charge of this criminal investigation are going to have a very difficult time explaining to the judge why they did not confiscate EXHIBIT A, in this Sedona investigation, and allowed the OBVIOUSLY GULITY PARTY which is ANGEL VALLEY to destroy the evidence.

ANGEL VALLEY constructed that sweat lodge, not James Arthur Ray, and Angel Valley apparently destroyed the evidence OBVIOUSLY because they knew if they did not THEY would be proven the guilty party in this criminal investigation!

Can you imagine what the media would have said if James Arthur Ray was caught destroying exhibit A in the Sedona criminal investigation? We would still be hearing the repercussions all over the media. So, you who are so vocal about guilt in this matter consider that ANGEL VALLEY destroyed the evidence. Why? Because THEY are obviously the guilty party in the Sedona tragedy. If they were completely innocent in this matter they would NOT have destroyed exhibit A in this criminal investigation.

Those in charge of this criminal investigation are going to really get in trouble for not confiscating that evidence. You can bet they will! It’s going to be very (((VERY))) embarrassing for them as they try to explain why they did not confiscate the evidence and allowed the obviously guilty party, in this tragedy (Angel Valley), to destroy that evidence.

It’s going to be brutal! I hope they televise the trial so we can all watch those idiots trying to explain to the judge why they did not confiscate exhibit A as evidence and allowed Angel Valley to destroy it.

Cheryl Gatewood said...

James Ray contracted Angel Valley and the Mercers - who live on the Angel Valley compound to construct the sweat lodge. He told them how big to make it and he told Ted Mercer how many rocks to use. James Ray controlled the water and steam is a crucial factor in heat stroke. The law holds the person who is running the event more responsible than brainless Angel Valley cult lackies who were "just following orders." Also, the STATE OF ARIZONA is prosecuting James Ray for manslaughter. The State of Arizona acts in the interests of the people of Arizona and has not signed any waivers with James Ray. The whole issue of the waiver is a red herring to keep people from seeing what kind of New Age crap goes on in Sedona, Santa Fe, Taos, San Francisco and other New Age Meccas. I hope the state of Arizona is able to protect the public from egomaniac gurus like James Ray. Thanks for your blog. It's very informative and I like the liks and updates.

彬彬 said...

great msg for me, thanks a lot dude˙﹏˙

葉雅慧 said...

期待你的下次更新喔^____^........................................

奕LonniePettus0908希 said...

肯定與支持你!!!加油囉~........................................

Anonymous said...

(These are an important two posts. I created them on a Native American site:)

Let's put it this way:

A group of six White People decide to go to one of YOUR Native American sweat lodge ceremonies. You charge them nothing and there is no liability waiver to sign. One person ends up dying and two are hospitalized. The families of the White Person who died are determined to throw you in jail and the remainder of the White People are determined to testify against you and that your were negligent.

SHOULD THEY WIN THE CASE AND THROW YOU IN JAIL?

WHY NOT?

*I assume you are going to say they should not throw you in jail


MY COMMENT AFTER THEY TRIED TO CHANGE THE SUBJECT:

You think you are slick, but I am slicker than you! I know your tricks on trying to change the subject and not answering my direct questions. I feel like slapping your faces and demanding you answer my direct questions. Of course that is not possible, but that is how I feel when people like you try to change the subject. I have you psychologically checkmated and YOU KNOW IT!

And don't give me any crap that in my scenario the White Man would not lie under oath to make you look negligent when you were not negligent. You should know by now that lying comes easily to the 'fork-tongued' White Man.

Trying to take James Arthur Ray for every penny he has is DISHONORABLE!!!! Do you have any sense of honor left or are you determined to completely sink to the dishonorable ways of the White Man? The White Man has no real sense of honor. That is why contracts and treaties are written up. Such contracts and treaties are mandatory when dealing with the dishonorable. The honorable need no contract in order to keep the agreements they make with others. You only need contracts when dealing with the DISHONORABLE.

The White Man made a treaty with James Arthur Ray and the White Man should be made to abide by the treaty they signed and not find some dishonorable way around the treaty!

If you Native Americans are angry you should be angry that the White Man made a treaty with James Arthur Ray and now they are trying to break that treaty in ways not unlike how the White Man broke the treaties they made with the Native Americans.

How dare you sink to the level of White Man hypocrisy and pretend you care whether or not the White Man dies trying to emulate your sweat lodge ceremonies.

How dare you sink to the level of trying to rob James Arthur Ray by acting as though you have some sort of legal copyright on how sweat lodge ceremonies must be conducted.

The White Man may have robbed you of many things. Don't let the White Man also rob you of your sense of honor!'

WAKE UP!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Let's put race aside for a moment. Many races have used healing lodges(aka sweat lodges) for years. Gyms have suanas that can be hotter then sweat lodges. It is at your own risk. When it gets too hot, the person leaves. An employee at the sauna woundn't encourage not so safe practices, like staying in longer. That would be a liability on the company and would cost the employee their job. Since the person that created this blog site doesn't seem to mention, the days leading up to the sweat lodge, I'll fill you in. That is important. When doing these lodges water intake is important. Many of these people came off a fast, ate a meal and then went into the lodge. Think about that for a moment. Would you allow someone in your lodge if they fasted for days, then ate food and then sit them down in a sweat lodge? You probally wouldn't do that because it is a death sentence for those who do. James may have had waivers, but those waivers don't cover wreckless negligence. Also, there was no disclaimer: Get out if you don't feel good. Don't force your self. I have been told that before dozens of sweats. Wait for the rest of the facts before claiming his innocents. Facts are facts. It comes down to the jury, nothing more nothing less. There are many facts that haven't been released to the public. Come August many things will become public. When that day comes, it will be clear who is guilty. I hope James helps prisoners with his program. Maybe that's his new calling.....GIVING FOR FREE

Anonymous said...

The mentally sick want bad things to happen to people who have done them no wrong. The wise and mentally healthy have hearts full of love, joy, mercy, happiness and forgiveness. It's a fact. I have no desire to see bad things happen to ANYONE. How about you?

Anonymous said...

TO THE FAMILIES OF THOSE WHO LOST RELATIVES AT THE SEDONA WARRIOR WORKSHOP:I've had four near-death experiences and am just waiting for a NOBLE and HONORABLE opportunity to leave this world of body order and hardship with honor. I am indeed ready to die RIGHT NOW and, as any Samurai worth his salt will agree, the Native American adage is indeed correct: 'It is a good day to die'. I've read how those three who died at the warrior workshop were athletic, giving, wonderful people. Yes indeed! Well, wonderful people are honorable people. When an honorable person borrows something you don't have to chase him or her around to finally get what was borrowed back, right? When the dishonorable borrow something they 'conveniently' forget they borrowed it secretly hoping that you have forgotten so that they can, effectively, steal it. Those three who died were honorable people, right? They returned whatever they borrowed without having to be chased and hounded, right? Honorable people don't need contracts to keep to the agreements they make, right? And the three people who died were indeed 'honorable' people, right? Now, when you are dealing with the dishonorable even if they sign an agreement promising to do something they will try to find a way out of the agreement they signed and, chances are, you will have no choice except to take them to court in order for them to be FORCED to keep to the agreement they signed. The court systems are there because most are obviously dishonorable. HOWEVER, the three who died at the Sedona Warrior Workshop were not like that, right? They were honorable people, right? Well, I AM AN HONORABLE PERSON and I would have considered it an honor to die at that Warrior Workshop giving my best to become the very best person I can possibly become. That would have been an honorable and noble death indeed! I would not want to face eternity with my relatives doing their best to make me break the LEGAL PROMISE I made in the agreement I signed.

Anonymous said...

TO THE FAMILIES PART 2:

PART 2: I would not want to face eternity with my relatives doing their best to make me break the LEGAL PROMISE I made in the agreement I signed. If you are successful in getting the 'legal system to break the promises made in that agreement you stain the reputation of those who died at the Sedona Warrior Workshop. Their noble deaths will be stained by the fact that YOU made them break the sacred promise they made before they died honorably. Yes, the final promise a person keeps before he or she dies is indeed a 'sacred promise'.Is money more important to you than the honorable reputation of those brave warriors who died at the Sedona Warrior Workshop? Would you stain their entrance into the infinite by making them dishonorable liars who do not keep the promises they make? If money is more important to you than the honorable death of those you love then YOU ARE DISHONORABLE and you shame their memory by your selfish actions. UNDERSTAND THIS: just because some judge will allow you to be dishonorable and legally get away with it DOES NOT MAKE IT RIGHT!

Anonymous said...

TO THE FAMILIES PART 3:

PART 3: Oh, so you want someone to pay for the deaths of your loved ones? I don't blame you. Find out who destroyed exhibit 'A' in the James Arthur Ray manslaughter case and you will indeed have your culprits. Angel Valley DID NOT want anyone to discover that the vinyl tarps covering the sweat lodge were partly melted. That's why they destroyed exhibit 'A' in this case before it went to trial. Why, if James Arthur Ray was caught destroying exhibit 'A' in his case you and your kind would probably have lynched him from the nearest tree if you caught him before the police arrived! Study into the matter and you will find that the fumes from melting vinyl tarp material are indeed toxic. How convenient Angel Valley destroyed the evidence that would confirm this. How convenient indeed. A sign of Angel Valley's 'angel-like' innocence in this matter? I DON'T THINK SO!

Anonymous said...

REMEMBER: The honorable do not need treaties to keep to the agreements they make. Treaties are there to make certain the dishonorable keep to their agreements. Still, the dishonorable will try to get around what they agree to doing. That's what makes them dishonorable. If YOU make an agreement to take full responsibility for your actions you have no one else to blame but yourself for going back into a sweat lodge until you need to be hospitalized, period!

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable gross negligence. James A Ray could have retired and done good things! Such a tragedy.

You are all in my prayers

Anonymous said...

There is a white woman who goes by the name Mary Thunder. I once heard a woman tell me about a sweat she went to at Mary's ranch. She said that when everyone got into the lodge, Mary closed the door and said, "no one leaves my sweat. no one. If you do, then do not ever come back here, as this is a disrespect to me and Great Spirit. If you feel like you may die we will pray for you, but do not leave. Do what you must, to face your demons". It'd widely known that Mary Thunder is a new age quack. Now what do you think James Ray's sweat lodge leaders told these people as their sweat begins? I can only speculate.

Anonymous said...

You can only speculate, but seem as though you have already made your judgment. The questions is would you go back into a sweat lodge if you felt you could not handle it? Would it matter who might be encouraging you to do so? If you are a responsible adult you take responsibility for your actions, period!

Passing Through said...

This article is just more uninformed bashing; the author is likely another clueless member of the "I hate anything self help oriented" club.

If you actually look at the public domain evidence rather than just regurgitating the smug candor from mainstream media, you'll find suggestions of "criminal negligence" are not supported by anything tangible.

People everywhere will jump on any opportunity to heap ridicule on someone who writes, speaks, teaches, etc. any sort of personal growth or self development content. This is a sad testimony of just how weak-minded and in love with the mundane most citizens are these days.

Anyone who fasts for a couple of days and then AGREES to enter a sweat lodge is taking a risk. I refuse to believe the deceased were somehow unaware of this fact. These were educated people who could swing $10k for a week-long event - they weren't clueless teenagers on a drunken outing.

At what point do people in this country get to GROW UP and take responsibility for their CHOSEN ACTIONS? I'm so tired of this constant BS where someone has to take the blame for a tragedy just so all the news junkies can sleep better at night.

Anonymous said...

It just seems so cut and dry simple. I can't believe people can be so dumb that they cannot see it.

The defense attorney asks the jury: Would you go into a hot sweat lodge if you felt you could not handle it? No, right? Would you, your honor? No, right? Would it matter if everyone else was going in and not suffering any adverse reactions? No, it wouldn't matter at all. Even if your own mother was encouraging you to go in you wouldn't go if you felt you could not handle it, right? Of course not...unless you were trying to prove how tough you were. If you were trying to prove how tough you were and went into a hot sweat lodge over and over and over, ignoring your body screaming that it was actually dying, you would have no one to blame but yourself for whatever would happen as a result. ESPECIALLY, after you signed a liability waiver stating that you promised to take full responsibility for taking part in the scheduled activities of the workshop.

You must remember that MOST OF THE PEOPLE who participated in the sweat lodge workshop DID NOT suffer adverse reactions to the event. What does that say about those who did suffer adversely? Well, it obviously says they should not have gone back in after the breaks between each 10-15 minute round. They have no one to blame but themselves for going back into the sweat lodge when they knew they could not handle it, period!

These are responsible adults we are speaking of who REALLY wanted to be at that workshop to the point of spending over $9,000.00 in order to attend. It was THEIR responsibility to research into what they could expect at that workshop and judge whether or not they could handle it. It was NOT James Arthur Ray's responsibility to know what each person could or could not physically handle. YOU know your body better than anyone else. It is YOUR responsibility to protect your life, not anyone else's

Anonymous said...

How can you be responsible for something you have never experienced? These people trusted him.He just wasn't there for them. He betrayed their trust. Somebody has to be accountable for what happened and why. In an army, if you are the leader and you recklessly cause your men to get killed, you are certainly held accountable. They were paying this guy thousands of dollars. I am sure they weren't expecting a death experience as part of the deal. Somebody has to care about what happened. How can you not care, if you are the one causing the damage?

Anonymous said...

Is there any substance to the rumor I heard that Angel Valley paid a very large sum of money in order to bribe the investigators to elevate the investigation from an accidental death to a homicide so that the attention would be shifted off of the sweat lodge and onto James Arthur Ray? The investigators deliberately left exhibit A at the crime scene knowing full well that Angel Valley would completely destroy the evidence. One of the people who was paid off supposedly got guilty drunk one night and confessed to some friends who in turn spoke to others. They made certain Mr Ray could not get an independent autopsy performed on the three bodies. They actually died from a strange combination of toxins from the melting vinyl tarps of the sweat lodge and the scrap construction wood used to heat the Grandfather Stones. It's some weird combination of chemicals that apparently made especially sensitive participants feel they were fine when they were actually dying. Supposedly, Angel Valley made Mr Ray the 'fall guy' and threw him to the wolves in order to save themselves. I think it was one of the coroners who got drunk and spilled the beans. Have any of you heard this rumor?

Anonymous said...

“You have to understand the situation before you blindly judge it. If YOU went to that workshop, with any one of the three people who eventually died, and lasted till half-way though the last round of the sweat lodge you would have said something like, 'That's it for me, I've got to get out. Are you doing okay?' And they would have said, 'Yes”. Then you would have asked, 'Are you sure you're okay and want to stay?' and they would have said, 'Yes!'” Everyone around them was convinced they were okay. (((EVERYONE))). If ANYONE for one moment was certain these people were actually dying they would have started screaming (((SHE'S DYING!!!))) No one ever did. That's why James Arthur Ray wasn't concerned. He trusted that the people were responsible enough to get out when they had had enough. There is no crime in this! IT WAS AN ACCIDENT, as he said all along, and the coroners agree with him. All three deaths were officially categorized as “accidents”. Look it up if you don't believe me!

All those who initially were certain the deaths were not accidental were DEAD WRONG!!!!

http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&q=Sedona+sweat+lodge+deaths+accidental

Anonymous said...

Someone shared this link. Mr Ray must be able to prove it all:

http://www.jamesray.com/blog/2011/03/

Anonymous said...

"The EMT’s and emergency room doctors all documented that participants appeared to have signs of organo-phosphate (pesticide) poisoning with some believing it to be carbon monoxide. The sweat lodge structure was provided by Angel Valley Ranch for which Ray’s company, James Ray International, paid over $100,000 to provide in addition to food and lodging for the participants. The contract specifically stated that Angel Valley would provide “a 415 square foot space to accommodate up to 75 people.” On the day of the accident the sweat lodge contained 52 people. Angel Valley Ranch is owned and operated by Michael and Amayra Hamilton, both residents of Yavapai County.

Even though a written contract was presented between Ray’s company and Angel Valley, the Yavapai County Sheriff, Steve Waugh, said October 10 that the investigation was focusing on Ray and his staff in an attempt to determine if criminal negligence was involved. The county sheriff’s office held firm in the belief that Ray’s staff actually built the sweat lodge completely disregarding the contract.

On the night of the accident, Ted Mercer, an employee of Angel Valley Ranch and the man who built the lodge, told detectives that the tarps used were “stored with chunks of rat poison all year long in a shed,” he further told detectives that this was the first year that they used “pressed wood to heat the stones versus tree wood” and that he was “told by Hamilton to do so.” Pressed wood is well known to contain formaldehyde and other poisons and to be toxic when burned."

Anonymous said...

I know a medicine man who says the whole Sedona sweat lodge disaster was orchestrated by Native American shaman spirits who are angry at the white man. Now that they have given three human sacrifices to the spirit that whole area is more haunted than it has ever been. He says all the relatives have to do to prove this truth is to pitch a tent on the sites where their loved ones fasted for 36 hours. If they fast for about 24 hours on the same site alone and only using their cell phones in the event of an emergency, they will find that the area is indeed haunted and if they ask properly the Native American spirits will reveal that they did indeed kill the three people at the Sedona event. He says that anyone who wants to conduct this test must take fully responsibility for whatever may happen as a result. It is not safe. They may indeed die of fright because those Native American shaman spirits hate white people and with good reason!

He also says any medicine man worth his salt will casually tell you that anyone who stays in a sweat lodge longer than he knows he should in order to impress others with how tough he is has no one else but himself to blame for whatever may happen as a result. What can I say? I agree!

Anonymous said...

What a twisting of the truth. Ingesting salt helps the body to retain water! According to testimony Mr Ray was constantly telling people to "hydrate, hydrate, hydrate". Well, ingesting a teaspoon of salt would help their bodies to retain the water they drank! Get a clue before you post slander!

Anonymous said...

Supposedly, this psychic prediction came from someone from the Angel Valley people, not from Mr Ray's people: "I mean there was a call that he had after which was supposed to be for participants and one of his underlings spoke up and said, 'the people that passed away were in another place and were having so much fun that they just didn't want to come back'. And I thought that was the biggest crock of crap that I've ever heard in my life." – Stephen Ray

Anonymous said...

When I saw the testimony of, then Angel Valley employee, Ted Mercer who stated that on top of moving type blankets, electric blankets and vinyl tarps they placed a rubber tarp then sealed it off with rocks so that no air would get in I was shocked! I say there is no way the prosecution is going to find an expert sweat lodge builder who will testify, under oath, that the Angel Valley sweat lodge was a safe structure. They will testify that such a structure could indeed kill people. Sweat lodges are supposed to be covered with natural fiber blankets and allowed to breath. You don’t seal them off with rubber and make them air tight. That’s just plain crazy! If Mr Ray built such a structure on HIS property and people died as a result of using it he would be guilty of manslaughter. Angel Valley built the structure on THEIR property then didn’t properly supervise its use. If Mr Ray wanted too many hot rocks in the structure is was Angel Valley’s responsibility to make certain the structure THEY BUILT did not get too hot. Mr Ray legally protected himself from the irresponsible with an ironclad liability waiver legally binding under California law. It’s not right that an Arizona judge should decide whether or not a legally binding California liability waiver should be broken or not. The state of California should be having a very active role in this case! If Mr Ray forced people to go into the lodge and prevented them from leaving then the state of Arizona has grounds to break the liability waivers those people signed. If Mr Ray did not force people to enter the lodge and stay there, in a just legal system, the state of Arizona has no case. The liability waivers are valid and those who signed them are legally responsible for going into the sweat lodge and staying there, period. Whether the irresponsible like this fact or not is completely irrelevant. Besides, when the gym’s Zumba class is too full and I feel I can’t breathe it is my responsibility to get out. Whether or not everyone else can endure it is irrelevant. If I feel I can’t breathe I get out! That is my responsibility!

Anonymous said...

As of today it has been revealed that the prosecution violated a very big law by hiding information that would implicate Angel Valley! Yes, it seems there is more going on with Angel Valley than the prosecution wants the world to know. I mean, building a sweat lodge then covering it with rubber and sealing it until it is almost airtight. That is just plain crazy!