James Arthur Ray charged with 3 counts of Manslaughter in the Sweat Lodge deaths in AZ/ Found guilty of three counts of negligent homicide & sentenced to two yrs in prison

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Normal James Arthur Ray charged with 3 counts of Manslaughter in the Sweat Lodge deaths in AZ/ Found guilty of three counts of negligent homicide & sentenced to two yrs in prison

Post by NiteSpinR on Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:47 pm



Retreat leader speaks. The man in charge of a spiritual retreat in Arizona that left two people dead after they were overcome in a sweat lodge said Tuesday night he is facing a difficult time and "being tested" by the tragedy.

The man in charge of a spiritual retreat in Arizona that left two people dead after they were overcome in a sweat lodge said Tuesday night he is facing a difficult time and "being tested" by the tragedy.

The comments from self-help expert and author James Arthur Ray came during a seminar at a Marina del Rey hotel. Ray broke down in tears as he addressed the deaths.

"This is the most difficult time I've ever faced," he told the crowd of about 200. "I don't know how to deal with it really."

When an audience member asked Ray to describe what happened, he declined to elaborate, saying only that he has hired his own investigative team and is cooperating with authorities.

"We're looking for answers," he said. "I'm as frustrated and confused as other people are."

Ray led a group of more than 50 people last week through a five-day program intended to push people beyond their limits. The course included a Thursday sweat lodge ceremony, which ended tragically in the deaths of Kirby Brown, 38, of Westtown, N.Y., and James Shore, 40, of Milwaukee.

Nineteen other people were hurt, and one remains in critical condition.

Earlier Tuesday, Tom McFeeley, Brown's cousin and family spokesman, called on Ray to assure that the retreat's participants "were not mistreated and not put in a reckless situation.

"He was someone people believed in, people paid good money to get his advice," McFeeley said. "It's a person we all wanted to believe had our best interest in mind. Quite simply, that didn't happen."

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Normal Re: James Arthur Ray charged with 3 counts of Manslaughter in the Sweat Lodge deaths in AZ/ Found guilty of three counts of negligent homicide & sentenced to two yrs in prison

Post by Nama on Wed Oct 14, 2009 12:55 am

"He was someone people believed in, people paid good money to get his advice," McFeeley said. "It's a person we all wanted to believe had our best interest in mind. Quite simply, that didn't happen."
The victims were attending the ceremony during the final day of a five-day program called "Spiritual Warrior," which Ray has conducted at the resort annually since 2003. Ray's Web site lists the cost for next year's program at $9,695 per person.

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There lies the problem............James Arthur Ray's love of money. Fifty people X $9,695 = $484,750. He was laughing all the way to the bank.

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Normal Re: James Arthur Ray charged with 3 counts of Manslaughter in the Sweat Lodge deaths in AZ/ Found guilty of three counts of negligent homicide & sentenced to two yrs in prison

Post by Nama on Wed Oct 14, 2009 1:09 am


James Arthur Ray

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Normal Re: James Arthur Ray charged with 3 counts of Manslaughter in the Sweat Lodge deaths in AZ/ Found guilty of three counts of negligent homicide & sentenced to two yrs in prison

Post by Juanita on Wed Oct 14, 2009 8:14 am

push people beyond their limits? well thats exactly what happened!!!!

give me a freaking break, these people are extremeophiles just like any other.

whats the difference between him and those guys taking you up to mount everest?????

he shouldnt be held responsible, especially if he was smart enough to have all of them sign a waver
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Normal Resort near Sedona had previous sweat lodge incident

Post by Nama on Wed Oct 14, 2009 9:34 pm

The scene that unfolded outside a sweat lodge at a remote resort 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 responded to the Angel Valley Retreat center for a sweat-lodge related illness in mid-October 2005.

Amayra Hamilton, one of the retreat's owners, said the event 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.

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Normal After deadly accident at Sedona resort : Sweat Lodges For Sacred Ceremonies under fire

Post by Nama on Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:02 pm

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Sweat lodges were used by American Indian tribes for ceremonial purposes such as cleansing the body and preparing for hunts. An expert on American Indian sweat lodges stated that the actual lodges, unlike Ray’s, admitted only about a dozen persons and were made of permeable fabric to allow air circulation.“If you put a lot of people in a restrictive, airtight structure, you are going to use up all oxygen,” he said, “and if you’re doing a sweat, you’re going to use it up that much faster.”

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Normal Transcript of private call between James Ray and sweat lodge victims

Post by Nama on Thu Oct 15, 2009 3:29 am

Breaking news: Transcript of private call between James Ray and sweat lodge victims

Mind control is a subject commonly found in works of speculative fiction, but rarely in reality. Self-help guru James Arthur Ray is the latest to use mind-control, called coercive persuasion among psychologists, in the sweat lodge tragedy that occurred last week. James Ray is currently under investigation for two deaths and 19 additional hospitalizations that occurred at his Spiritual Warrior Retreat last week in Sedona, AZ during the sweat lodge portion.
Last night James Ray made his first public statement regarding the tragedy and today he had a conference call that was only for the victims of his latest retreat-gone-wrong. Why does James Ray want to have private communication with his victims? What is he hiding? It would appear that he is psychologically tampering with witnesses as well as continuing to hit them up for money, trying to enroll them into more of his programs, and giving them bad advice. What proof do I have of this? Today I received a transcript of this call from a victim that wishes to remain anonymous. I have great respect and sympathy for all the victims, their families, and what they are going through in this trying time, so I will not post the transcript in its entirety. I want to protect the victims that are not yet ready to speak out but I will gladly post everything James Ray and his staff said though, because it is inexcusable and he must be brought to accountability.

The call started with Greg (a staff member) explaining the purpose of the call was to bring closure to the retreat and to give James Ray a chance to interact with everyone. Next, Greg introduced Katie Carlson as an international follower of James Ray and strongly urged everyone to seek guidance about this tragedy with her, even though she is not certified as a counselor. I’d like to repeat that because of the crazy factor – he urged people to consult someone who is in no way certified in the fields of therapy. Why would he refer trauma victims to a non-professional to cope with this tragedy? Because James Ray and his staff kept stressing the importance of turning to others in the James Ray community for support, or as James Ray kept referring to his followers “Harmonic minded individuals”. This is a huge warning sign of cult activities – turning to unqualified people for help only because they are members. Cults focus their members inwards in an attempt to cut off outside influences.

Read the rest of the article on the link.

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Normal Sweat Lodge Death Investigation Turns to Self-Help Guru James Arthur Ray

Post by Nama on Sat Oct 17, 2009 5:00 pm

This guy reminds me of a Jim Jones, though he didn't force anyone to say in the sweat lodge. I think his methods are insane and it's all about the money. I wonder if he even believes what he teaches? He should have told his followers to come up with their own self help program and sell it to the unsuspecting and vulnerable and they could get rich too.

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Police have now turned their attention to television self-help guru James Arthur Ray in their investigation of an Arizona sweat lodge ceremony that left two dead and 19 hospitalized.

Yavapai County Sheriff Steve Waugh said Saturday that his detectives were focusing on the self-help expert and his staff as they try to determine if criminal negligence played a role in the tragic deaths at the Angel Valley Retreat Center in Sedona, Ariz., on Oct. 9.

The town is a desert vacation spot two hours north of Phoenix that is popular with those seeking meditation and spiritual health.

Waugh said Ray refused to speak with authorities and has since left the state.

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Normal Sweat Lodge Deaths: Third Person Dies

Post by Nama on Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:44 pm

The story of sweat lodge deaths in Sedona, AZ., just got worse. A third person, 49-year-old Liz Neuman of Minnesota, died Saturday after remaining in critical condition for more than a week, according to Yavapai County sheriff's spokesman Dwight D'Evelyn.
According to a report by the Associated Press, Neuman was among Ray's earliest followers. She suffered multiple organ damage during the sweat lodge on Oct. 8. Authorities haven't determined what caused the deaths of Brown and Shore, and are awaiting further autopsy results.

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Normal Re: James Arthur Ray charged with 3 counts of Manslaughter in the Sweat Lodge deaths in AZ/ Found guilty of three counts of negligent homicide & sentenced to two yrs in prison

Post by CritterFan1 on Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:59 pm

Unreal....how could they not know how unsafe it was to crowd that many people in such a small space? Oxygen would be used up so fast in such a small hot space. Horrific!!!!!
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Normal Re: James Arthur Ray charged with 3 counts of Manslaughter in the Sweat Lodge deaths in AZ/ Found guilty of three counts of negligent homicide & sentenced to two yrs in prison

Post by NiteSpinR on Tue Oct 20, 2009 2:10 am

Have any of us ever heard of a Native American Indian dying while attending a Sweat Lodge Ceremony?

I don't go into Catholic Churches and confess.
(This person could just be pretending to be a priest.)
I don't drop to the ground to pray like veiled Muslims.
(The person beside me may not pray to Ala in the same way I do)
I don't rub Buddha's Belly (ok well there was that one time!)
I don't kiss charmed rattlesnakes or stick pins in dolls by candlelight. (I would be bitten on the forehead, my fingers pricked with poisoned pins.)
and I don't like to be sweaty in a hot dark place with others. (But that's just me)

I think the person who calls themselves a professional with knowledge of a certain procedure should be held accountable it someone dies as a result of this deception.

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Normal Sedona Sweat Lodge Deaths: Arvol Looking Horse Speaks

Post by Nama on Fri Oct 23, 2009 3:18 am

Arvol Looking Horse


For those who have not heard, three people died after taking part in a sweat lodge ceremony on October 9, conducted by new age self-help guru James Ray at a spa in Sedona, Arizona. Ray claims to help people achieve both spiritual and financial wealth. The two-time Oprah guest led a week long Spiritual Warrior workshop that included a 36-hour fasting vision quest, followed by a breakfast buffet in the morning and 2 hour sauna experience in the afternoon. Those who survived recounted that Ray pushed people to stay inside the blistering space way past their limits.

Between 55 and 65 people were crowded into a homemade 415-square-foot structure covered with plastic tarps, sweating out toxins without proper air circulation. Traditionally, Native Americans have no more than 12 in a purification ceremony, there is ample air circulation, only natural materials like cotton and wool are used as coverings, and people are allowed to drink plenty of water and are encouraged to leave if they feel they need to. Retreat participants – whose ages ranged from 30 to the 60s – paid between $9,000 and $10,000 to attend.

Twenty-one people had to receive medical care at nearby hospitals and a fire station after taking ill, many vomiting, some passing out. A 38-year-old female surfer and a 40-year-old father of three were pronounced dead soon after and a third female went into a coma and died earlier this week. The deaths are being investigated as homicides but no arrests have been made so far.

The Native American community has been deeply saddened by these events, in particular, as this Western appropriation of their sacred ceremony has cast a bad light on this time-worn ritual. Arvol Looking Horse, the 19th generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle, has published an article with his thoughts on the tragedy. His article was published prior to the third death.
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He reminds us: 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 inikaga (life within) when conducted properly. Today, the rite is interpreted as a sweat lodge. It is much more than that. The term does not fit our real meaning of purification…

Link to read the rest of Arvol Looking Horse’s essay

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Normal Pine Ridge Man Sues Arizona Retreat Cenover Sweat Lodge Practices

Post by NiteSpinR on Sat Nov 28, 2009 10:18 pm

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Mary Garrigan Journal staff
Posted: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 2:45 pm

A Pine Ridge man who represents the Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council has sued an Arizona retreat center where three people died in a sweat lodge tragedy for desecration of a sacred Lakota ceremony.

Floyd Hand Jr., who serves as an Oglala delegate on the treaty council, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Arizona earlier this month against James Arthur Ray and the Angel Valley Retreat Center.

Hand contends the "inikaga" ritual, commonly referred to as a sweat lodge, was desecrated by Ray when three people died and 18 others were hospitalized after a sweat lodge ceremony Oct. 8 that was part of Spiritual Warriors program that they paid about $9,000 to attend. The retreat center is legally responsible for allowing individuals like Ray to rent their property, which offers a sweat lodge for paying participants, Hand said. The lawsuit also alleges fraud on the part of Ray and the center for the "impersonating Native Americans" and for dismantling the sweat lodge immediately after the tragedy.

"Ray is a spiritual vampire who will use whatever means necessary to turn a profit. He and others like him that profit from our culture must be held accountable for their continual fraud and desecration," Hand said. "This ceremony comes from the Lakota. We maintain our cultural identity today and people like Ray are trying to mock it as a means to acquire material possessions. They cannot hide behind the Religious Freedom At. This is not a religion."

Hand contends that the sweat lodge and other ancient Lakota rituals are a way of life, not a religion. The other plaintiff in the lawsuit is Ivan H. Lewis, a member of the Pima/Maricopa/Yavapai tribes.

Lewis said he wanted to emphasize that he and Hand are not associated with the Council of Indigenous Traditional Healers, an Arizona group that seeks to reclaim traditional Native American ceremonies.

"This group claims that they will authenticate and qualify individuals, including non-Indians, to conduct our ceremonies. Our people know who is a real healer and who isn't," Hand said in a news release. "Yes, everyone is entitled to pray, but our ceremonies belong with us in our native tongue."

Also named as defendants in the suit are the U.S. government, U.S. Attorney Eric Holder, the state of Arizona, Gov. Jan Brewer and state Attorney General Terry Goddard for failure to uphold the "bad men" clause of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868. Article 1 states, "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..."

No criminal charges have been filed, but an investigation is ongoing. At least two other civil lawsuits seeking damages have been filed by victims or their families. Hand's lawsuit says they do not seek monetary gain but rather the prosecution of Ray and the retreat center so "the Lakota Nation may live in peace and maintain the Treaty of 1868 in its entirety."

Hand said a judge has been assigned to the case.

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Normal Re: James Arthur Ray charged with 3 counts of Manslaughter in the Sweat Lodge deaths in AZ/ Found guilty of three counts of negligent homicide & sentenced to two yrs in prison

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:27 pm

Moving here:

Docs Released In Sweat Lodge Deaths

Post by NiteSpinR on Thu 14 Jan 2010 - 2:21
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UPDATED: 7:48 am MST January 13, 2010

Transcripts Provide Most Complete Picture Yet Of What Occurred

SEDONA, Ariz. -- Authorities have released dozens of interviews with participants in an Arizona sweat lodge ceremony that turned deadly, with many attributing the three deaths and numerous illnesses to extreme heat inside the cramped structure.
One participant, Scott Barrett, said self-help guru James Arthur Ray, who led the ceremony, told the group it was going to be hot, according to the transcripts.

"'Our skin will feel like it will fall off,'" Barrett quotes Ray as saying. "'You will be detoxifying.'"

According to the transcripts, another participant, Jeanne Armstrong, said ceremony organizers were using death as a metaphor throughout the entire week.

The interview transcripts released Tuesday offer the most complete picture from authorities of what occurred during the Oct. 8 ceremony. Ray is the target of a Yavapai County sheriff's homicide investigation.

More than 50 people were inside, and for many it was their first time in such a ceremony.

The sweat lodge ceremony has been the culmination of Ray's "Spiritual Warrior" retreats for years. About halfway through the two-hour ceremony, authorities said, some participants began to show signs of weakness, vomiting and collapsing inside the 415 square-foot makeshift structure, but the 911 call wasn't made until about an hour later.

One of the witnesses, Shawna Bowens, told investigators she never saw Ray tend to anyone, according to the transcripts. He never got down on his hands or knees to offer blankets or water, Bowens said.

Ray's representatives say he and the staff on site took all necessary safety precautions and acted immediately when participants became seriously ill, administering CPR, dousing people in water, aiding paramedics and providing drinking water.

Ray has hired his own investigative team to determine what went wrong.

"These precautions had been more than sufficient to care for sweat lodge participants in the past and exceed the care available in traditional lodges," said a statement issued by Ray's Carlsbad, Calif.-based company, James Ray International. "No one had any reason to think that more was required."

Two people -- Kirby Brown, 38, of Westtown, N.Y., and James Shore, 40, of Milwaukee -- died shortly after the sweat lodge ceremony at a hospital. Liz Neuman, 49, of Prior Lake, Minn., slipped into a coma and died a week later. The families of all three have been sent victims' rights letters, an indication of possible criminal charges. Eighteen others were hospitalized.

"We're just looking forward to coming to a conclusion both civilly and criminally," said Lou Diesel, an attorney for Neuman's family. "We want to get to the bottom of why these people were killed."

Sheriff's detectives are looking into the construction of the sweat lodge, the time it took for medical care to be summoned and Ray's past events at which people were injured.

"The Sedona tragedy was a terrible accident, and James Ray and his team continue to work to get to the bottom of what happened," said Brad Brian, of the law firm Munger Tolles & Olson, counsel to Ray.

"The facts are that Mr. Ray was not the one who was responsible for the design, construction or maintenance of the sweat lodge."

You can go to this site and read James Ray's statement
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Normal James Arthur Ray charged with 3 counts of Manslaughter in the Sweat Lodge deaths in AZ

Post by Nama on Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:10 am

Motivational speaker James Arthur Ray is set to make his first court appearance on three counts of manslaughter for deaths that happened at an Arizona sweat lodge ceremony he led last year.

Ray was indicted and arrested on Wednesday for the deaths at an Oct. 8 ceremony intended to be the highlight of his five-day "Spiritual Warrior" event. The ceremony was held at a retreat center he rented near Sedona.

Ray is being held in the Yavapai County, Ariz., jail on $5 million bond and faces a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 12 1/2 years on each count. He's scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning.

Ray's attorneys call the charges unjust and say they're confident he will be exonerated.

Two people passed out inside the sweat lodge and died that night. A third died a week later.

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Normal Re: James Arthur Ray charged with 3 counts of Manslaughter in the Sweat Lodge deaths in AZ/ Found guilty of three counts of negligent homicide & sentenced to two yrs in prison

Post by Nama on Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:12 am

Ray's attorneys quickly called the charges unjust and said they were confident he would be exonerated in court. If convicted, he faces a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 12 1/2 years on each count.

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

Ray has built a multimillion-dollar empire as a self-help superstar who teaches people about financial and spiritual wealth, and uses free seminars to recruit followers to more expensive events. He soared in popularity after appearing in the 2006 Rhonda Byrne documentary ''The Secret,'' and he later was a guest on ''The Oprah Winfrey Show'' and ''Larry King Live'' to promote it.

The Oct. 8 sweat lodge ceremony was intended to be the highlight of Ray's five-day ''Spiritual Warrior'' event at a retreat he rented near Sedona. He told participants, who paid more than $9,000 each to attend, that it would be one of the most intense experiences of their lives.

About halfway through the two-hour ceremony, some began feeling ill, vomiting and collapsing inside the 415-square-foot structure. Despite that, Ray urged participants to push past their physical weaknesses and chided those who wanted to leave, authorities and participants have said.

Two people -- Kirby Brown, 38, of Westtown, N.Y., and James Shore, 40, of Milwaukee -- passed out inside the sweat lodge and died that night at a hospital. Liz Neuman, 49, of Prior Lake, Minn., slipped into a coma and died a week later. Eighteen others were hospitalized.

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Normal Employees of sweat lodge leader granted immunity

Post by Nama on Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:12 am

February 6, 2010; 12:48 AM
PRESCOTT, Ariz. -- Two employees of a motivational speaker facing manslaughter charges told authorities they had no reason to be alarmed when participants in a deadly Arizona sweat lodge ceremony began vomiting and passing out, because their boss told them such responses were to be expected, according to documents released Friday.

Megan and Josh Fredrickson participated in the October sweat lodge ceremony near Sedona, which authorities say led to the deaths of three people. The event was led by self-help guru James Arthur Ray.

Authorities in central Arizona's Yavapai County interviewed the Fredricksons in mid-January on the condition that nothing they said would be used against them.

The couple said staff members at the sweat lodge ceremony provided water to participants and took some other precautions, but few had formal training in dealing with heat stroke and other health problems.

Ray was arrested earlier this week and pleaded not guilty to three counts of manslaughter. He is being held in a Yavapai County jail on a $5 million bond.

The Fredricksons went to work for Ray in 2005 at his Carlsbad, Calif.-based company, James Ray International. Megan Fredrickson most recently was the company's director of operations, and Josh Fredrickson worked in technology.

Documents in the case released Friday showed the Fredricksons were granted immunity.

In lengthy interviews with investigators, they said they couldn't recall many of the details that participants did when asked what happened in the sweat lodge ceremony at Ray's five-day "Spiritual Warrior" retreat. Authorities said they expected Megan Fredrickson would remember more because she was seated close to the opening of the sweat lodge and those were the people who stayed in the longest and had a better recollection of the event.

Prosecutors contend Ray recklessly crammed participants into a 400-square-foot sweat lodge and chided them for wanting to leave, even as people were vomiting, getting burned by hot rocks, and lying lifeless on the ground. Public records show a pattern of illnesses at Ray-led events that he largely ignored.

His attorneys have said the deaths were a tragic accident, not a criminal act.

Megan Fredrickson said people who were vomiting, unresponsive and unconscious raised no red flags with her because Ray had explained those responses were possibilities. She told authorities that her experience with sweat lodges was limited to the ones led by Ray, and she never took it upon herself to research them or find out why people would pass out.

"James is my boss, so I listened to what he says and I listened to what he told participants," she said in the documents.

After emergency responders were summoned following Ray's 2005 ceremony at the same retreat, Angel Valley, his attorneys said he took extra precautions. Those included having an employee trained in CPR, setting up a recovery station and stationing a volunteer outside the sweat lodge who happened to be a nurse.

"Ultimately the plan is we never really had a plan for the extent of what happened," said Josh Fredrickson. "Call paramedics, I think is the plan." The staff never was instructed to call 911, he said, but Ray appreciated that someone had done so.

Megan Fredrickson, who was seated next to Ray during the ceremony, said three people who were part of Ray's "Dream Team" were instructed to help passed-out people leave the sweat lodge. They included Josh Fredrickson and Liz Neuman, a Prior Lake, Minn., woman who was among the deceased, she said.

Another person who was part of Ray's "Dream Team", Aaron Bennett, said he personally aided some people but couldn't tell the difference at times between people who were passed out and those who were simply lying close to the ground as Ray instructed them to do if they were having trouble.

Josh Fredrickson said the staff was not trained to deal with heat stroke or hypothermia, conditions that some of the 18 participants who were hospitalized suffered from.

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Normal Ray is Broke

Post by Nama on Sat Feb 20, 2010 12:23 am



Spiritual Warrior James Arthur Ray, the snake-oil salesman who organized a self-help retreat in Sedona that left three people dead and dozens injured, is claiming he's broke.

That's funny... Part of his whole gimmick is bragging about his money and success, which he does quite often in media interviews and on his Web site. He even told Fortune Magazine in April 2008 that his annual financial goal is $21 million.

Ray, who now sits in a Yavapai County jail, had his bail set at $5 million, which may be part of the reason he's now claiming he's broke.

Ray's lawyer says $5 million for bail is "excessive and oppressive."

"Excessive and oppressive?" Oh, you mean like cramming scores of people into a tiny, steaming sweat-tent with little-to-no ventilation?

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

We would argue that many of those "misconceptions" were created by Ray himself in an attempt to appear wealthier and more successful than he actually is. Ray's business is "self-help." Nobody's going to listen to some broke guy, no matter how tasty the Kool-Aid may be.

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

Ray's lawyer cites the fact that Ray has no criminal history and is not a flight risk, so the bail amount should be reduced.

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Normal Sweat lodge guru tries to get $5 million bond cut

Post by Nama on Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:42 am

The routine procedure of setting bond in James Arthur Ray's criminal case has turned into a dispute over how much money the self-improvement guru really has.

Ray has been jailed in Camp Verde since his arrest Feb. 3 in connection with last year's deaths of three people at a sweat-lodge event near Sedona. Ray was charged with three counts of manslaughter, and his bond was set at $5 million.

His defense team has since pressed for a bond hearing, protesting that the amount is too high. They will finally get a chance to argue their case today at Yavapai County's Camp Verde court facility. If they succeed in reducing the bond, Ray could soon win release from jail pending his trial.

Ray, a celebrity self-help guru who teaches well-paying clients how to make money, was quoted in a financial magazine two years ago as saying his business brought in millions. But his attorneys now say he is tapped out and cannot afford the bond. Their assertions of where Ray stands financially could set the stage for future arguments in the case - and in related civil suits - having to do with money.

"Despite misconceptions perpetrated in the media, Mr. Ray is not a man of enormous assets - and certainly not the millions reported in the press," one of his attorneys wrote in a recent court filing. "Mr. Ray has over the last several months withdrawn funds from a number of bank accounts to pay for his legal fees."

Ray also deposited a "significant retainer" for a Los Angeles law firm to pay for his defense through his trial, if there is one, the records say.

Though many filings in the dispute over the bond have been sealed by the court to keep Ray's financial information private, a few offer glimpses of Ray's situation.

In order to win release from jail pending his trial, Ray currently would have to come up with $500,000 in cash and pledge collateral worth the full $5 million. Brad Brian, one of Ray's attorneys, said on national television recently that Ray "doesn't have that kind of disposable cash and property."

An unsealed financial statement on file in the case reports Ray's total assets as $234,000, with $220,000 of that in a retirement account. He lists monthly expenses of $94,000, including $38,000 for mortgage or rent payments.

The statement said the value of Ray's real estate was unknown. He has been trying to sell a Beverly Hills, Calif., house he bought for $4 million. It is unknown how much equity he has in that or other properties.

That stands in contrast to remarks attributed to Ray in the April 2008 edition of Fortune magazine, noting that his revenues were rising - from $1 million in 2005 to what he estimated would be $10 million in 2009.

Ray advocated a program he called Harmonic Wealth in which he challenged clients to improve their finances, relationships and the spiritual aspects of their lives. People paid thousands of dollars to attend his programs. The sweat lodge was the culmination of Ray's "Spiritual Warrior" retreat that some paid more than $9,000 to attend, authorities have said.

Ray stopped his appearances shortly after the Sedona deaths last October, however.

Jeff Wilhelm, owner of Speedy Release Bail Bonds in Prescott, said that in most cases, the bond issue would have been resolved quickly. He said the county probably set a high bond to emphasize that it considers Ray's a major case.

Yet Ray's lawyers have called that "excessive and punitive," complaining that prosecutors wanted to schedule arguments over a gag order before holding the bond hearing. They assert that Ray is not a flight risk.

Prosecutors have not detailed why they sought that amount for Ray's bond. However, they filed papers alleging there were aggravating circumstances in the deaths at the sweat lodge. And in a recent courtroom squabble, they argued that letting Ray come to court in civilian clothes - without shackles and handcuffs - could pose a security risk. The Yavapai County Attorney's Office has declined to otherwise comment.

"It is our hope that the public will understand and appreciate that we cannot try criminal matters in the media, but rather they must be tried to a fair and impartial jury in a court of law," a recent statement said in part.

Ray's defense also has spoken with other attorneys bringing civil lawsuits against Ray. His financial condition will figure into those cases, said Ted Schmidt, a Tucson attorney representing two plaintiffs in civil suits targeting Ray.

"I would expect a jury will award damages far in excess of the available insurance," Schmidt said. "I still have hope of finding money beyond the insurance, but assuming what you see in his financials is correct, the lion's share would come from insurance."

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Normal trial for James Ray that had been scheduled to begin August 31 has been put on hold

Post by Nama on Sun Aug 08, 2010 1:49 am

The trial for James Ray that had been scheduled to begin August 31 has been put on hold. A court document released Wednesday says that the date has been vacated and no new date has been set.

James Arthur Ray, a motivational speaker, had led a sweat lodge ceremony on October 8, 2009 that resulted in three deaths. He was arrested on February 3, 2010 and charged in those deaths. Ray pleaded "not guilty" to three counts of manslaughter.

A hearing on pending motions is currently set for August 10, this includes one motion to move the trial out of Camp Verde. Judge Warren Darrow, Yavapai County Superior Court, was recently assigned to another trial that was expected to overlap with the starting date of Ray's trial. Darrow is reported to have suggested that the Ray case be assigned to another judge but he remained on the case of of Wednesday.

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Normal James Arthur Ray's Death-Lodge Trial Will Stay in Yavapai County, Judge Rules

Post by Nama on Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:01 am

Sep. 21 2010
The manslaughter trial of James Arthur Ray, the Oprah-approved "self-help" guru charged with killing three people in a deadly sweat-lodge retreat near Sedona last year, will remain in Yavapai County, a judge ruled yesterday.

Ray's lawyers had pushed to have the trial moved to the Phoenix area because publicity the case has received in Yavapai County might hurt Ray's ability to receive a fair trial.

The media circus surrounding Ray's case, his attorneys would no doubt be publicly shocked to find out, has made its way to Phoenix -- so a change in venue wouldn't have been the solution the legal team was hoping for.

Prosecutors disagreed with the defense's claim. They say, aside from a few weeks after the incident, media coverage in Yavapai County has been minimal.

Ray's been charged with three counts of manslaughter stemming from last year's sweat-lodge event that left three people dead and dozens injured.

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Normal JVM Transcripts ~ Snipped ~ 02/28/11

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:22 am

did this charismatic leader lead three people to their deaths?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s the problem?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two people not breathing. There`s no pulse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not breathing?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

911 OPERATOR: Ok, is this the result of a shooting or something?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, it`s a sweat lodge.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What happened inside that intensely hot Arizona sweat lodge, where it got so hot that three people died? Tonight, incredible insight into the investigation as famous self-help guru James Arthur Ray goes on trial for manslaughter. Here he is.

The self-proclaimed visionary and motivational speaker who rocketed to fame in "The Secret" -- perhaps you saw him talking there. Tonight, he`s facing three -- count them, three -- counts of manslaughter. The question is, did this man, James Ray, recklessly cause the deaths of three people who were in that sweat lodge or was it all just a tragic accident?

It all happened in October 2009 -- there`s the sweat lodge right there -- when James Ray brought his spiritual warriors to a new age resort in northern Arizona. The price tag to attend: just about $10,000 per person. And we`re talking about 50 people, all right. That`s a lot of money. Most fasted for 36 hours with no food or water. That fast ended just hours before the super hot sweat lodge purification ceremony began.

Ray told them, quote, "You will feel as if you`re going to die. I guarantee that. You will feel like your skin is going to fall off."

Here is James Ray after his arrest.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES ARTHUR RAY, MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER: I`m really, really grateful for all the love and support and the prayers I`ve received during this time. I have a tremendous faith in our legal system. And I look forward to my day in court.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: James Ray and his followers entered the sweat lodge you see right there with ceilings so low that an adult couldn`t stand up straight. The top of the sweat lodge covered as you can see with blankets and plastic; the temperatures reportedly in the triple digits. It wasn`t long before people started getting sick and fainting. But did the ceremony stop? No.

James Ray has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter. He is out on $500,000 bail. Who were these people who died that night? And why did they stay inside the sweat lodge despite that unbearable heat?

What do you think? Give me a call, 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

As the trial gets under way, we are going to talk to a former James Ray insider. But first we begin with Tom McFeeley. He is the cousin of Kirby Brown who died in that sweat lodge.

Thank you so much for joining us, Tom, I know this has to be difficult for you. You have been quoted as saying that death was inevitable. What did you mean by that?

TOM MCFEELEY, COUSIN KIRBY BROWN DIED IN THE SWEAT LODGE: Well, I mean, previous to this sweat lodge, there were years and years of sweat lodges where injuries occurred, where people were seriously injured physically and mentally. In that spiritual warrior week, that five-day retreat, you mentioned fasting. There was holotropic breathing. There was sleep deprivation. There was all kinds of NLP techniques to really help condition the participants to follow Mr. Ray.

(CROSSTALK)

MCFEELEY: And to ignore the signs of previously years, other people got hurt, other followers were seriously hurt. And nobody -- only once did somebody call 911. Mr. Ray thought that was a very big problem and discouraged that behavior in the future. It was to him part of the process.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we are looking -- we were just looking at pictures of your cousin, a very beautiful young lady. I think she was what, 38, there she is, when she passed away. Prosecutors are going to try to prove James Ray knew his followers were in trouble and ignored it. Let`s listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So people were passed out though and he was still continuing this and not making any comment about that.

BEVERLY BUNN: He made one comment and they did say, she`s passed out, she`s passed out, I don`t know if she`s breathing. And he said, the door has now closed and this round has begun. We`ll deal with that at the end of this round.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now that from Beverly, who was an orthodontist, who shared a room with your cousin Kirby. Again, you just heard her. She says that she noticed Kirby was passed out -- I believe she`s referring to your cousin in that particular account --

MCFEELEY: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And wasn`t sure she was breathing. And this was the seventh round. I`ll explain what these rounds are. But essentially this sweat lodge process was eight rounds and each lasted 10 to 15 minutes of intense heat and they would take a couple minute break and then go back in. So this was the seventh round.

And so she`s essentially saying that she alerted Ray, that your cousin was not responsive. And what was his reaction in your knowledge or your opinion?

MCFEELEY: Well, he knew that people were in trouble, whether they said Kirby can`t breathe or Liz can`t breathe or she needs help. Those, those calls for help were ignored.

And to say that this round has begun or this round is about to begin, she`ll have to wait till the end of next round, we can`t help her now. And then nobody helped her. I mean, that`s the plain truth. And in that round, the person who was helping her, James Shore (ph), who had already saved one life, he perished almost instantly in those minutes.

So you can`t tell me these people had a choice when they were conscious at the beginning of the round and unconscious at the end of the round. That`s simply not given a choice to survive.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, let`s take a look. What is a sweat lodge? Well, it`s similar to a sauna, where water is poured on heated rocks. Native Americans use sweat lodges to cleanse their bodies. And now let`s take a look at the layout of the sweat lodge where these people died. We know the sweat lodge was only 4-1/2 feet to five feet high at its highest point so it was impossible for most of the people to stand up.

The three people who died were actually the farthest from the door opening along the north wall or the flap I should say, the north wall of the circle. So there was about approximately, according to published reports, 50 people inside, including the leader James Ray.

Beth Karas, correspondent for "In Session", you know all about this case, you`re going to be covering it in depth. What is the defense here? What are they saying in defense?

BETH KARAS, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": The defense is this was a tragic accident. James Ray had conducted sweat lodges for years. This was his seventh at the Angel Valley Retreat Center in Sedona, although it was the second year in that particular sweat lodge.

They`re saying that something else was going on here. They`re taking issue with the cause of death. Not only that it was an accident, that`s manner of death, but they also don`t believe the three people who died, died of heat stroke.

In fact, the medical examiners in this case couldn`t decide what the cause of death was for a couple of months after the death. They had a meeting with the prosecutor. They finally decided on hyperthermia, one said, and heat stroke, another said, on February 2nd, 2010. Now, these deaths were in October of 2009. The very next day, the prosecutor went into the grand jury.

So the defense does not believe -- there weren`t -- the telltale signs of heat stroke weren`t present, the elevated body temperature and the elevated enzymes in the vitreous fluid of the eyes, not present. And those are characteristic of heat stroke. So they think there`s something else going on.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, what else could be going on? Are you referring to toxic chemicals? I thought I read that they did a test and they didn`t find any toxic chemicals in there.

KARAS: Well, they did do tests. Hazmat went in there. They also took samples of the water, the rocks, the wood used to burn, soil. We don`t know though because it hasn`t been disclosed yet publicly exactly what was tested. They said they didn`t find evidence of something toxic. We just don`t know if it was a comprehensive test and if they tested for everything --

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tom McFeeley, you`re the cousin of one of the victims here, Kirby Brown. What was James Arthur Ray`s reaction after the tragedy? How did you feel he behaved: in a caring compassionate way or not?

MCFEELEY: Well, he tells us all to live impeccably, and then he did quite the opposite. Instead of staying there for his people and doing the right thing and calling the Brown family and calling the Shore family, he met with his staff. He called his lawyers. And he left town.

I don`t think that`s what anyone expects from a leader; a person who calls himself a true teacher, a true leader. And throughout the process, we`ve learned that he`s not the man that he says he is. He teaches all kinds of things about wealth and relationships and we`re not sure that he can put his money where his mouth is.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What about the issue of mind control? I mean, Kirby, James, Lizbeth, these were highly educated people. The defense is going to claim, hey, they had the power to get up and walk out.

What is your reaction to that, Tom, when the defense makes that claim? What would you suggest the prosecution say in return?

MCFEELEY: They didn`t have the power to walk out. You can`t walk out of a tent when you`re passed out. You can`t walk out of a tent when you`re in an altered state which was the stated goal of in Mr. Ray`s. You can`t walk out of a tent when your capacity to make rational decisions had been taken away from you.

That began the instant these people arrived at Angel Valley. Everything -- why do you think this was the pinnacle event at the end of the week? Everything conducted that week was to make sure that people fell in line, followed directions, lived impeccably and played full on. This was not any kind of accident. And these people were given their rational ability to -- their ability to make rational decisions, that was taken away from them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Tom, I hope you come back. We`re going to be covering this trial in depth and we`d like you to weigh in on all the key events. So, thank you for coming and again, our condolences -- our heart goes out to you.

We have so much more to talk about --

MCFEELEY: Thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: -- in this sweat lodge manslaughter trial. And we want to hear from you at home. Do you think this self-help guru should be charged with manslaughter? Was it a tragic accident, as he claims? Call me. 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When this thing happened, he immediately reached out to the families. We`ve been in conversations with their lawyers some of whom have filed lawsuits, some of whom haven`t. He`s been trying to get to the bottom of this. He`s been devastated.

So in that sense, you know, he feels like -- he feels a sense of responsibility in that sense, but that`s a lot different than legal liability and certainly criminal liability, which he denies.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: At a different sweat lodge in Sedona, they have their theories about what happened. This one is conducted by the people who came up with the concept many generations ago, Native Americans who invited us to experience the sacred ceremony in the intense heat first hand.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, guess what, this weekend, I am going to join some of my "In Session" co-workers and experience a sweat lodge firsthand. Yes. I`m going to go in there and experience it and then I`m going to come out and talk on camera and we`re going to show you it all next week. And I`m going to do it with an organization that knows most about this sweat lodge and how they really should operate, a Native American organization.

And hopefully I will have some of the answers to the questions that you`ve been asking about these sweat lodges. So wish me luck. I`m going in there this coming weekend. And I certainly hope I get out. Ok.

I want to go to Connie Joy, author of "Tragedy in Sedona: My life in Jay Arthur Ray`s Inner Circle". You are a former member of James Arthur Ray`s inner circle. And you did many, many events with him.

But you ultimately became disillusioned with him before this 2009 sweat lodge event. What -- why did you become disillusioned with him?

CONNIE JOY, AUTHOR, "TRAGEDY IN SEDONA": Well, before we do that, Jane, I just want to say I know you just said you`re going to be in a sweat lodge --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes.

JOY: -- but you`re going to be there with real Native Americans so your sweat lodge is going to be a real one. What we experienced and what other people experienced with James was not.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How is it different? How is it different?

JOY: Well, how`s it different? First of all, usually they`re are around four rounds. Usually they pour some water on the rocks. Usually they let people that are in there talk in between the rounds to share what they`re experiencing. And I`m not aware of any true Shaman, Native American Shaman, who would allow people to pass out inside his sweat lodge and continue on with the ceremony.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, ok, you believe then, I would assume, or tell me, do you think he behaved irresponsibly?

JOY: I believe he definitely needs to take some responsibility for how he acted. There are people clearly in distress. By the way, though, this was not the first time this has happened. All the way back to 2005, a man was taken away in an ambulance with heat stroke after being in his sweat lodge.

In `07, when I was there, I saw a woman carried out who couldn`t control the movements of her arms and legs. Many, many people are always laying on the ground shaking, throwing up, disoriented. In `08, one of my friends stopped breathing twice when he came out in the middle. Another woman was unconscious for hours. Another friend of mine thought she was going to die.

So, again, he had plenty of warning that what he was doing was not safe. And yet he continued on.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, I want to ask you about the claims that he may have had a God complex. Because we read one of the exercises leading up to this, during this event that they go to of several days, involved him actually playing God.

JOY: That`s correct. He actually --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tell me about that.

JOY: -- dressed up in a white robe. Yes, he dressed up in a white robe and he was God. He called it the samurai game which, of course, he adapted something, a growth game that`s used in business. But growth games in business don`t involve a God who points at you, orders you to die, and you have to drop to the ground immediately. If you don`t do what he tells you instantly, then another person from your team is told to die and drop to the ground. So they have to suffer the consequences of your non-action.

Once you`re there, you may be laying there for several hours on concrete. You`ll be missing meals. And if you move, another person on your team is told to die.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, what, has he got -- is this sadistic? By the way, his attorneys are invited on anytime to tell their side the story. We want to be fair here. But, I mean, that sounds kind of -- sounds kind of, to me --

JOY: Disturbing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL; Yes, it`s a little disturbing. Let me ask you this, what kind of training did James Arthur Ray have? He says he is qualified to conduct a sweat lodge ceremony. One thing`s for sure, he`s pretty high on himself.

Listen to what he said on one of his DVDs for sale. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RAY: And you say, James, you`re really harsh on TV. No, there`s some good things on TV. I`ve been owe on Oprah twice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Sounds like he has a huge ego. I have to go to Dr. Kathleen London. You`ve been listening to all this testimony. What do you make of this sweat lodge and these people who died; two of them at the event and then one nine days later at the hospital.

DR. CATHLEEN LONDON, FAMILY MEDICINE PHYSICIAN: It sounds like this was incredibly dangerous. From things that I`ve read as well, they had an experience in the desert where they withheld food and water even leading up to this. So they were in a sense dehydrated going in. That`s an extremely dangerous combination.

And for people who were as young as these three individuals were to drop, you know, like that -- there were a lot of warnings. People were vomiting. Someone passed out. Those are huge warnings.

You know, I`ve worked many marathons and when we`re in the med tent at the marathon, one of the things we look for is heat stroke and heat exhaustion and you need to be aware and be treating it right away.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: More on the other side. And we`re taking your calls -- next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUDABEH SHAHBAZI, REPORTER: This is the site where the sweat lodge took place and this was the actual place where the fire pit was. These are the stones that were used inside that ceremony. Now they`re formed a heart as a memorial to each of the three people who died. They`re also represented by these crystals here and the whole area is going to be turned into a garden called the Garden of Transformation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The actual sweat lodge where those people tragically died was demolished but it would be very difficult to forget what happened there. It`s a horror.

Three people hoping to better their lives died from being inside that sweat lodge. And now the self-help guru, who led the event, James Ray going on trial for manslaughter, opening statements tomorrow. We here at ISSUES will be covering this trial in depth.

Mary, Illinois, your question or thought? Mary, are you there?

MARY, ILLINOIS (via telephone): Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What is your question or thought, ma`am?

MARY: Well, my thoughts on this -- this is what really disturbs me is that James Ray extorts the emotions out of people and he preaches so badly about levels of consciousness, the five levels of consciousness. And in this tragedy, what he did was he consciously ignored the calls for help. I don`t want to repeat everything Tom McFeeley said because he said it beautifully. My heart goes out to him on the loss of his cousin Kirby and to his whole family. But I can`t believe that James stood in that tent, James Ray, and he heard people call, like James Shore and say I need help here with her, I need help.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me say this, Mary. First of all, we don`t want to convict him, the trial`s just getting under way. Beth Karas, I want to get his side of the story.

KARAS: Well, let me tell, you it`s not just James Ray who ignored these pleas for help. There was a medical doctor in there, Jean Armstrong is her name, she went all eight rounds. And you have to believe that Jean Armstrong, who, by the way, is on the defense witness was not on the state. For some reason, the state doesn`t want to call everybody who was in the sweat lodge.

If she thought anyone was in real danger, you would think that a medical doctor would have gone to her aid. I mean it`s not that big. It`s bigger than a typical sweat lodge, but it was a small area in there with 55 people. Other people did start leaving after about the third round.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: One second. Let me go to Wendy Murphy, you`re the former prosecutor; is this going to be a tough case to proof because the flap was open, even though people were passing out, allegedly?

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: You know, look, I don`t know all of the evidence, there`s been a gag order, but it seems like a very strong case to me, on a very simple issue. They have to show that this guy consciously disregarded a substantial risk of death. Three people are dead and he said to them, when you feel like you might be dying, stay put.

I mean I don`t know -- this is a very strong case because three people are dead, not one, not two, three. Obviously there was a substantial risk of death. I see it very clearly.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m going to give Dr. Cathleen London the last word here, Dr. London?

LONDON: Just because there was medical personnel in there, I heard she`s saying a physician, I heard a nurse. Regardless, if they aren`t people trained to understand, to recognize heat stroke and look for the signs of it, then they`re not useful to have there.

MURPHY: And clearly she was unconscious -- she was probably unconscious, this doctor.

(CROSSTALK)

KARAS: She was administering aid.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There was a doctor on the outside, and there was a doctor on the inside. The doctor was a participant. It was pitch black and people weren`t supposed to be talking, is my understanding.

MURPHY: She`s a participant, ok.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: How is she supposed to know? We are staying on this trial -- thank you fantastic panel -- here on ISSUES and "In Session". We will be right back in a second.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Connie Joy, author of "Tragedy in Sedona". Your thoughts about the underlying problem here?

JOY: Well, I go into detail in the book, which of course you can`t cover in a few minutes. There were a lot of problems here. This was building up on top of each other, especially over the entire year of 2009. This is a $2 billion to $3 billion industry. When you have that kind of money floating around, you`re going to have people taking advantage of other people.

In the last chapter of my book I call for specific things that have to happen in order to start building some controls. Really basic stuff.

James made a lot of claims about his training. It turned out likely not true. A lot of money disappeared, prepaid events, all this money evaporated. There`s a lot of things that need --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we`re going to have to leave it right there but we want to have you back because ISSUES is all over this trial. Opening statements tomorrow, we are going in depth into this tragedy and we will bring you the very latest as it happens day after day.

Thank you so much for joining us, check in tomorrow. Nancy Grace is up next.

END
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Normal Sweat Lodge Update: Jury Selection Begins in Manslaughter Trial of James Arthur

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:29 am

Posted by Barry Leibowitz

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Sixteen months after three people died at an Arizona sweat lodge retreat, jury selection is under way in the trial of James Arthur Ray, the motivational speaker and self-styled spiritual guru accused of manslaughter in the case.

Ray has pleaded not guilty to three counts of manslaughter, stemming from the two-hour ceremony he led near Sedona in October 2009, that ended in the deaths of Kirby Brown, 38, of Westtown, N.Y., James Shore, 40, of Milwaukee, and Liz Neuman, 49, of Prior Lake, Minn.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys have spent the past few weeks narrowing the list of potential jurors.

Prosecutors contend Ray recklessly crammed more than 50 people inside a sweltering sweat lodge and admonished them for wanting to leave.

Ray's attorneys say the deaths were a tragic accident and he is not to blame.

Opening statements are set for March 1 in Camp Verde, Ariz.

The judge overseeing the case says he'll see if an impartial jury can be seated before ruling on a change of venue motion.

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Normal James Arthur Ray's Manslaughter Trial Begins Tuesday

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:33 am

Updated: Monday, 28 Feb 2011, 9:11 PM MST
Published : Monday, 28 Feb 2011, 6:04 PM MST

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CAMP VERDE - Opening statements begin Tuesday in the trial of James Arthur Ray, the motivational speaker charged with causing three people to die during a sweat lodge ceremony in Sedona.

It is expected to be a long intense trail. Ray is charged with three counts of reckless manslaughter.

The temperatures inside that Sedona sweat lodge reached dangerous levels. As followers started getting weak, investigators say Ray encouraged them to tough it out.

15 people fell ill, and Kirby Brown, Liz Neuman, and James Shore died. Autopsies show two of the three died of heat stroke, the other from organ failure.

Last year, Kirby Brown's mother Virginia told us, "She was in great physical shape. She surfed, she mountain-biked, climbed, rappelled… she was very conscious of safety, so for this to have happened, something really off took place."

All three deaths were ruled accidental by the medical examiner.

"You know when there is a drunk driving accident it is called an accidental death. But the person who was driving drunk is still held accountable for their actions," said Virginia Brown.

Ray's attorneys maintain the self-help author took precautions by stationing a nurse outside the sweat lodge. They assert he did not force people to participate or prevent them from leaving the sweat lodge.

While it appears nobody was forced to stay in, after the incident, participants said they were encouraged to wait until the end of each round before they could leave. The ceremony consisted of eight 10 to 15 minute rounds.

"He is in a position of power over them so to speak. He could influence and maybe even intimidate him so maybe they didn't feel like they were free to leave," said valley attorney and FOX 10 legal analyst Monica Lindstrom.

"The prosecution can use that to say he knew something was wrong, there were unconscious people inside that sweat lodge, however he choose to do nothing about it."

The defense has said from the beginning that this was nothing more than a tragic accident, and that the victims all made a choice to participate. Ray's attorneys are also expected to argue that the people contracted to build the sweat lodge built it improperly.

Opening statements begin Tuesday at the courthouse in Camp Verde. Monday, a Yavapai County judge decided that prosecutors could call an expert on group psychology -- and why dozens of people felt that they couldn't leave.

Rick Ross will testify about large group awareness as long as prosecutors provide an appropriate foundation, and defense attorneys can cross-examine Ross on his cult deprogramming practices -- but cannot bring up his criminal history.

The judge is also allowing prosecutors to play parts of an audio recording of Ray's October 2009 "Spiritual Warrior" event that culminated with the sweat lodge ceremony.

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Normal Jury hears opening arguments in sweat lodge case

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:37 am

CAMP VERDE, Ariz. — Prosecutors in central Arizona have painted self-help guru James Arthur Ray as a reckless man.

They contend he conditioned dozens of people to trust him before leading them in a sweltering sweat lodge ceremony that turned deadly.

Starting Tuesday, they'll try to convince a jury that Ray is to blame for the deaths of 38-year-old Kirby Brown of Westtown, N.Y.; 40-year-old James Shore of Milwaukee; and 49-year-old Liz Neuman of Prior Lake, Minn.

Ray's attorneys say the participants were well aware of the health risks and voluntarily took part in the ceremony. They say no one could have predicted the deaths.

Ray has pleaded not guilty to three counts of manslaughter stemming from the October 2009 ceremony he conducted near Sedona.

Four months have been set aside for the trial.

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That is a lot more than the Anthony case.

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Normal James Arthur Ray Employees Rat Out Self-Help Guru, Get Immunity from Sweat Lodge Deaths

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:41 am

PRESCOTT, Ariz. Megan and Josh Fredrickson, who worked for self-help guru James Arthur Ray, told police they had no reason to be alarmed when participants in a deadly Arizona sweat lodge ceremony began vomiting and passing out, because Ray told them such responses were to be expected, according to documents released Friday.

Investigators conducted a lengthy interview with the Fredricksons in mid-January on condition that nothing they said would be used against them, in the case stemming from the deaths of three sweat lodge attendees last October. The couple went to work for Ray in 2005 at his Carlsbad, Calif.-based company — James Ray International — and took part in the retreat near Sedona, Ariz. that led to Ray being charged with manslaughter.

Megan Fredrickson said people who were vomiting, unresponsive and unconscious raised no red flags with her because Ray had explained those responses were possibilities. She told authorities that her experience with sweat lodges was limited to the ones led by Ray, and she never took it upon herself to research them or find out why people would pass out.

"Ultimately the plan is we never really had a plan for the extent of what happened," said Josh Fredrickson. "Call paramedics, I think is the plan." The staff never was instructed to call 911, he said, but Ray appreciated that someone had done so.

Prosecutors contend Ray recklessly crammed participants into a 400-square-foot sweat lodge and chided them for wanting to leave, even as people were vomiting, getting burned by hot rocks, and lying lifeless on the ground. Public records show a pattern of illnesses at prior Ray-led events that he largely ignored.

Ray has pleaded not guilty to three counts of manslaughter. He is being held in a Yavapai County, Ariz., jail on a $5 million bond.

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Normal Re: James Arthur Ray charged with 3 counts of Manslaughter in the Sweat Lodge deaths in AZ/ Found guilty of three counts of negligent homicide & sentenced to two yrs in prison

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:51 am

I would bet TruTV w/be covering the trial starting today.

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Normal James Ray Statement/Narrative Parts 1,2 & 3/Video - cannot embed.

Post by Wrapitup on Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:04 am

Brad Brian, of the law firm Munger Tolles & Olson, Counsel to James Arthur Ray, has released this statement:
"The Sedona tragedy was a terrible accident, and James Ray and his team continue to work to get to the bottom of what happened."
"The facts are that Mr. Ray was not the one who was responsible for the design, construction or maintenance of the sweat lodge."
"All of the participants in the event were fully informed of the health risks that could be posed by sweat lodges -- even though such lodges have been used for thousands of years -- and all of the participants chose to go forward."
"None of this changes the reality that this was a terrible accident, but we hope everyone will resist a rush to judgment until all of the facts are known."

Narrative Part 1: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Narrative Part 2: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Narrative Part 3: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Very interesting video: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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Normal Re: James Arthur Ray charged with 3 counts of Manslaughter in the Sweat Lodge deaths in AZ/ Found guilty of three counts of negligent homicide & sentenced to two yrs in prison

Post by Nama on Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:58 pm



Guilty of three counts of negligent homicide......could serve 3 to 4 years in prison.

Hope I heard all that right.

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Normal Re: James Arthur Ray charged with 3 counts of Manslaughter in the Sweat Lodge deaths in AZ/ Found guilty of three counts of negligent homicide & sentenced to two yrs in prison

Post by Guest on Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:30 pm

BJ wrote:

Guilty of three counts of negligent homicide......could serve 3 to 4 years in prison.

Hope I heard all that right.

:no: that punishment does not fit the crime.
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Normal Re: James Arthur Ray charged with 3 counts of Manslaughter in the Sweat Lodge deaths in AZ/ Found guilty of three counts of negligent homicide & sentenced to two yrs in prison

Post by jeanne1807 on Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:13 pm

lindamarie wrote:
BJ wrote:

Guilty of three counts of negligent homicide......could serve 3 to 4 years in prison.

Hope I heard all that right.

:no: that punishment does not fit the crime.

No it certainly doesn't. Made me immediately wonder if little Caylee will receive justice or will Casey just get a slap on the wrist?

This is amazing. This man was responsible for the deaths of three people.

Does this give you an idea of what our society has become? We just don't value human life anymore. Ho hum and move along little doggie.
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Normal Re: James Arthur Ray charged with 3 counts of Manslaughter in the Sweat Lodge deaths in AZ/ Found guilty of three counts of negligent homicide & sentenced to two yrs in prison

Post by Nama on Sun Oct 02, 2011 12:56 am

The court case began on 1 May 2011 and the prosecution rested its case on June 3, 2011 after 34 witnesses had taken the stand and 43 days of testimony. On June 22, 2011 Ray was found guilty on three counts of negligent homicide, though he was found not guilty of the manslaughter charges brought against him. Sentencing is scheduled for September 26, 2011.

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Normal Re: James Arthur Ray charged with 3 counts of Manslaughter in the Sweat Lodge deaths in AZ/ Found guilty of three counts of negligent homicide & sentenced to two yrs in prison

Post by Nama on Sun Oct 02, 2011 12:57 am

Sentencing is scheduled for September 26, 2011.
Can't seem to find anything about the sentencing.

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Normal Re: James Arthur Ray charged with 3 counts of Manslaughter in the Sweat Lodge deaths in AZ/ Found guilty of three counts of negligent homicide & sentenced to two yrs in prison

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Oct 02, 2011 1:00 am

over reaction thinking
Color me confused.

This is the 2nd time you've said that today. I don't understand Why the media doesn't keep up with the trial outcomes or what the latest news is. head bang

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Normal Re: James Arthur Ray charged with 3 counts of Manslaughter in the Sweat Lodge deaths in AZ/ Found guilty of three counts of negligent homicide & sentenced to two yrs in prison

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:49 pm

Guru to be sentenced in Arizona sweat lodge deaths
By FELICIA FONSECA | AP – 50 mins ago

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) — The families of three people who participated in an Arizona sweat lodge ceremony tearfully pleaded with a judge Friday to give the self-help author convicted in their deaths the maximum sentence.

James Arthur Ray was found guilty on three counts of negligent homicide and faces anything from probation to nine years in prison.

Kirby Brown's mother urged Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Warren Darrow to take Ray off the self-help market to ensure no one else is harmed.

The 38-year-old Brown, of Westtown, N.Y.; 40-year-old James Shore, of Milwaukee; and 49-year-old Liz Neuman of Prior Lake, Minn., were overcome by the heat in the sweat lodge more than two years ago.

Ray's supporters and defense team say probation is best for the man whose teachings have bettered people's lives.
Yea, Right!!!!!

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Normal Re: James Arthur Ray charged with 3 counts of Manslaughter in the Sweat Lodge deaths in AZ/ Found guilty of three counts of negligent homicide & sentenced to two yrs in prison

Post by Nama on Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:54 pm

Supporters of self-help guru James Arthur Ray said today they had hoped the man who helped them navigate life's hurdles would be shown leniency when he was sentenced for three counts of neligent homicide and decried the fact that Ray now must spend the next two years of his life behind bars.

"He's no threat. If you're going to call him a threat, you would have to call people who teach skydiving or scuba diving instructors a threat," said David McCall, a Texas trucking business owner who said he spent $125,000 to attend Ray's seminars in 2008.

A diverse group of Ray's supporters, including McCall, a former Army staff sergeant who said he was on the brink of suicide before Ray's influence, and a former Hawaii probation officer, testified in the sentencing phase of Ray's trial.

Yavapai County, Ariz., Judge Warren Darrow sentenced Ray to two years in prison for each death, though he ruled the sentences could be served concurrently.

Ray must finish 85 percent of his sentence and will receive credit for 24 days already served, so he could be out of prison in 600 days.

McCall, who participated in a sweat lodge with Ray in 2008, a year before the ceremony that killed Kirby Brown, 38; James Shore, 40; and Liz Neuman, 49; said people were free to come and go as they pleased, adding that he took several breaks when the heat became overwhelming.


Jack Kurtz/The Arizona Republic/AP Photo
James Arthur Ray listens during his trial on... View Full Size

Famed Self-Help Guru on Trial Watch Video

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James Ray: 'Follow the Leader' Watch Video

"I've been to every event he has had and I just think you've got to be responsible for you," McCall told ABCNews.com.

But witnesses in 2009 told a different story, of vomiting or unconscious people being dragged out of the sweat lodge. Family members of the victims asked the judge to sentence Ray to the maximum allowed term of nine years in prison.

"He wanted to be omnipotent and play God. When there was chaos, he was impotent and did nothing," said Ginny Brown, who lost her daughter Kirby.

Ray's defense argued that he had no idea people were sick in the triple-digit heat in the sweat lodge, which Native Americans traditionally use to cleanse the body and achieve spiritual breakthroughs.

"I would have stopped immediately had I known. If there was anything I could do to turn back the clock, I would do it," Ray told the judge before he was sentenced.

Some said there was no way Ray would do anything negligent to harm another human being. In fact, former Army Staff Sgt. Jack Lane credits Ray with saving his life.

"At the time that I met with Mr. Ray, I truly wanted to end my life and Mr. Ray, I truly believed, helped me," the Prescott, Ariz., Daily Courier reported Lane said in his testimony. "He saved a life."

Ray's team plans to appeal the sentence, based on "prosecution errors," The Associated Press reported.

But for now, Ray plans to offer his brand of positive thinking to his fellow inmates as he begins his two year stint in prison, his family said.

"He was in good spirits and said this would give him the opportunity to help people in prison that need it," Ray's brother Jon told the AP.

It's something Ray's core group of loyalists say they have no doubt he'll do.

"Wherever James goes," McCall said, "he always does good."

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