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Oct 09 2009

Greed And Woo Kill Two In AZ

In Arizona news, today
A tale involving James A. Ray—
As seen on Oprah, he’s the man
Who tells us all, that Yes! We can!
Can make more money! Gain more wealth!
Can grow our spirit, mind, and health!
Create the life of which you dream!

He’s hit a speed bump, it would seem.
He hosts a lodge, where people meet
At his Sedona health retreat
His guests lined up—they chose to pay
Perhaps nine thousand bucks to stay
And join with other open minds
And other guests of many kinds
(I’ve seen his website—all you need,
To wish to join this group is… greed.)
At Angel Valley, host James Ray
Was with the others, there today,
Inside a sweat lodge, close and hot,
Where people learn what they have got—
A journey of the spirit, and
The mind—at least, that’s what was planned.
A leap of faith; a show of trust;
They’d brave the sweat-lodge if they must;
And when they started feeling funny,
Concentrated on the money.
Like Oprah’s “Secret”, here you’ll find
Success is found inside your mind—
Mind over matter! Just be tough!
You’ll win, if you are strong enough!

With sixty-four shut tight inside
A score fell sick, and two have died.

A brief story in most of the major news providers, but an interesting backstory. This was a retreat hosted by an Oprah favorite, James Arthur Ray, who is one helluva motivational speaker, apparently. From his website: (wait, seriously, is that a pyramid? How can anyone offering wealth on the internet put a pyramid on their website?)

Anyway, he hosts retreats at Angel Valley in Arizona, where people pay a bunch of money to do stuff.

Self-help expert and author James Arthur Ray rented the facility as part of his “Spiritual Warrior” retreat that began Oct. 3 and that promised to “absolutely change your life.” The schedule had few details about what participants could expect, other than thrice-daily meals and group gatherings that started at 7 a.m. and ended 16 hours later.

The details came in a lengthy release of liability that acknowledges participants may suffer “physical, emotional, financial or other injuries” while hiking or swimming, or during a multi-day personal and spiritual quest in the wilderness without food or water or the sweat lodge.

Some participants told detectives they paid up to $9,000 for the event. In a testimonial on the Angel Valley retreat’s Web site, Ray said it “offers an ideal environment for my teachings.”

Source: AP.
Woo-inspired mind-over-matter bullshit led these people to stay in that lodge after they felt sick. If they leave, it is because they are weak, because they lack faith, because they aren’t good enough.

I only hope Ray has the balls to accept responsibility. It would certainly be consistent with his message to blame the victims, and that would be horrible.

Again from the AP:

Ray’s most recent posting on his Twitter account said: “Still in Spiritual Warrior … for anything new to live something first must die. What needs to die in you so that new life can emerge?”

The posting and two others were deleted Friday afternoon.

No comment.

Share/Bookmarka2a_linkname=document.title;a2a_linkurl=”http://digitalcuttlefish.blogspot.com/2009/10/greed-and-woo-kill-two-in-az.html”;

3 comments

  1. 1
    Duff

    Excellent poem! And I too hope Ray takes responsibility as a "spiritual warrior" and goes to jail, or otherwise settles this matter ethically.I have captured all of JamesARay's deleted tweets about the event here on Beyond Growth:http://beyondgrowth.net/guru-criticism/james-arthur-rays-spiritual-warrior-event-kills-2-injures-19-in-sweat-lodge-fiasco/

  2. 2
    Cuttlefish

    Nice post you have there, Duff. Good job, saving those tweets, and I agree with everything you say in your analysis. Thanks for linking it.

  3. 3
    Podblack

    Geeze. :( Very well encapsulated, but what a hell of a story. :(

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