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James Arthur Ray trial: Sweat lodge survivor shares her tale

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posted on Mar, 3 2011 @ 12:59 PM

James Arthur Ray trial: Sweat lodge survivor shares her tale

Phillips, 43, of Toronto was the first witness that Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk called to the stand. Phillips said she first encountered Ray in the self-help movie "The Secret," then read some of his writings and signed up for several seminars.

The Spiritual Warrior event in Sedona was to be yet another step on her path to enlightenment.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Mar, 3 2011 @ 12:59 PM
I know how much the staff here just hates long quotes but I'm going to beg forgiveness as the web site might not open to those who live outside the US ... or don't have accounts with the story source so... here's the best part of her testimony

Phillips' enthusiasm began to wane during the Samurai Game, which took place two days before the sweat lodge. After admitting she had inadvertently broken the code of silence Ray had imposed in the afternoon, Ray, playing the role of "God" in the game, pronounced her dead.

She then had to lie motionless on a hard floor for several hours, missing dinner, until volunteers had her get ready for the vision quest.

"I felt like I'd been hit in the head with a two-by-four and my hands and feet were numb," she said.

That experience served her in the sweat lodge. Not comfortable with heat, Phillips said she left after the third round.

"After my experience lying on the floor," she said, "I took an attitude of looking out for myself."

But she returned, unwilling to be a source of disappointment.

"I respected (Ray) highly," she said. "I didn't want to disappoint him, the dream team or myself."

Back in the sweat lodge, she recounted, chaos was erupting. She saw Kirby Brown and heard her labored breathing, and she heard a "blood-curdling scream" when Lou Caci fell into the pit of hot rocks and burned his arm. At one point, she was near Liz Neuman.

She said she called out five or six times that people needed help, only to be rebuked by some of those same people. Ray, she said, did not respond to her cries.

Outside, after the ceremony, Phillips said she was shaky but recovered after getting sprayed off and drinking some water. She said she saw Ray sitting in a chair, drinking water and looking for the volunteer nurse to help the stricken.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Mar, 3 2011 @ 01:14 PM
reply to post by DaddyBare

He declared her dead????
I knew he was a rip off artist but had no clue he was striving to be a cult leader as well.
This guy is a power hungry little cockroach feeding off the gullible.

I knew a bit about this case but didn't realize exactly how messed up this guy is.

posted on Mar, 3 2011 @ 01:26 PM
reply to post by DrumsRfun

If you can bring up the story web site they also talk about how Ray has had other sweat lodges before and yes people were hurt then too... it's like he pulled a Charlie Sheen and just flipped out ya know...

posted on Mar, 3 2011 @ 01:38 PM
...more info on scummy ray...

On October 8, 2009, at a New Age "Spiritual Warrior" retreat conceived and hosted by Ray at the Angel Valley Retreat Center in Yavapai County near Sedona, Arizona, two participants, James Shore and Kirby Brown, died as a result of being in a sweat lodge exercise. Eighteen others were hospitalized after suffering burns, dehydration, breathing problems, kidney failure or elevated body temperature. Liz Neuman, another attendee, died October 17 after being comatose for a week.[18]

The attendees, who had paid up to $10,000 to participate in the retreat, had fasted for 36 hours during a vision quest exercise before the next day's sweat lodge. During this vision quest, participants were left alone in the Arizona desert with a sleeping bag, although Ray offered them Peruvian ponchos for an additional $250.

...i wonder how his bs belief in the law of attraction is doing now... probably helping him deny culpability and creating his next book / video / lecture circuit / torture seminar cuz, unless he goes to prison for a long time, theres always more newagers with too much money and no common sense...

posted on Mar, 3 2011 @ 03:53 PM
Self help will cure a lot of ills, depression, sleeplessness, erotic dysfunction, the inability to put up with other peoples crap for more than a quater second without feeding them a piece of furniture, but I guess its crap useless for curing a lack of common sense.
I mean on a list of things you do not want to do if you want to live another twenty or thirty years, I would say fasting for thirty six hours, then going to a sweat lodge has to be pretty high up there. Sure, in a large majority of people, a thirty six hour fast is going to do not a whole lot to a persons ability to survive a sweat lodge, but heres the thing. Not everyone is perfectly healthy, and if you are a person who writes self help books, and organises spiritual adventures (while not actualy being a spiritualist, or a medical doctor either) you ought to be a LOT more careful with your clients than to slam em all in a hot room after thirty six hours without any form of sustainance, unless you know that this group have NO medical complaints, and only AFTER they have all been looked over carefuly by a trained medical doctor, to ensure that no strange side effects of the fast are present to cause a problem with the lodge part of your trip into cloud bloody cuckoo land.

I have been doing a little checking around about heat bathing techniques, and did you know that not one single source could I find for the actual operating temperature of a sweat lodge? I pulled a story from the BBC about a deadly "sauna competition" in Finland though.

The skinny is this: Basicaly some crazy Finns thought it would be a real blasteroo to have a competition where you sit in a INCREDIBLY warm sauna for as long as you can. Who ever gets the hottest the longest wins. It so happens that yes, this is as dumb of an idea as you were thinking. At a temperature of 110 degrees celcius, two competitors passed out, and one never got back up again.
In the article , the experts (one Prof Brewer from... a hell read the damn link
) say that at "competition" temperatures (and humidities) the real danger is dehydration.
Now, check out this little nugget from the National Health Service ( I am tempted to sing the British national anthem , but Im not going to...) on the subject of fasting.

Now obviously from the address you know that this advice is meant for those who are celebrating ramadan... however, this advice is universaly helpful , especialy the part about dehydration, which is a common side effect of fasting. Go ahead, read up .
It also says that if anyone passes out from dehydration that you must raise thier legs above thier head, wake them up, and get liquids in that person as quick as you can . Yet, when one person raised the alarm, nothing was done, and she was made to feel foolish, while people were dying, right there infront of her, and infront of every person that walked out of that room. I can only assume that nothing that even RESEMBLES a health and saftey assesment was ever carried out by the organisers.

Now, although I couldnt find a source worth quoting, I did find some CRAZY suggestion that a sweat lodge can reach about three hundred degrees celcius, but I dont buy that ... I mean its possible, but no one outside of the Vatican hates themselves enough to go through that, right? However, if people are even THINKING about numbers that high, then I would assume that lodges are consistently warmer , or just more capable of dehydrating thier occupants, than are saunas. If thats the case, then with seasoned competitiors of an annual sauna survival event dropping dead, Im pretty sure that sweat lodges after a fast were ALWAYS going to end badly, especialy for the kinds of folks who are that heavily involved in self help that they do it on HOLIDAY !


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