Webs of Woven Words, Threads, Stitches and Enchantments

Thursday, October 15, 2009

James Ray replies - sort of

This is the response to the deaths in Arizona on James Ray's website.

For All Those Affected by the Tragedy in Sedona

I am shocked and saddened by the tragedy that occurred at Spiritual Warrior in Sedona, Arizona, Thursday evening. I wish to express my deepest heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of those who lost their lives as well as offer my prayers for a speedy recovery for those who were taken ill. Because there are so many more questions than answers at this time I believe it inappropriate to comment further until we know more.

Out of respect for the deceased and their loved ones and for those who have taken ill and for whose speedy recovery we pray, we will not be replying to individual postings. Instead, we thank you for writing, and we hope you will share in our continued wishes of support, strength and comfort to all those impacted by this tragedy.

We also want everyone to know that a friend has been at the hospital monitoring the condition of those still ill. Our love and warm affection is with all who mourn and with all of you in this time of grief, sadness and challenge.

With never-ending love and prayers,

James Arthur Ray
James Ray International, Inc

I read that the deaths were being investigated as homicides. Yavapai County Sheriff Steve Waugh said the deaths of Kirby Brown, 38, of Westtown N.Y. and James Shore, 40, of Milwaukee were not accidental.
"A combination of circumstances led to the deaths," Waugh told reporters. "Whether or not we can prove a criminal case, that has yet to be determined."

Ray led more than 50 people into a makeshift sweat lodge at a retreat outside Sedona, Ariz. on Oct. 8. After about two hours, Brown and Shore were pulled out of the sweat lodge. Nineteen other people were taken to hospitals, and one remains in critical condition.
"He's a motivational speaker who tried his hand at very dangerous physical things, and it was reckless," Brown's cousin and family spokesman Tom McFeeley said of the sheriff's announcement. "It doesn't surprise us in the least."

It was also noted that a search warrant was served Wednesday at Ray's California office. Police were looking for medical records of attendees to the retreat and other items not specified.

Ray also conducted a group teleconference call for those who were at the retreat "to provide closure." It was noted that one individual proposed that the two victims "chose" on some level, to "leave." I've heard this baloney before and I call it blaming the victim. These two people chose to give almost ten thousand dollars to Ray to obtain some kind of spiritual awakening and that's all they chose. I despise the premise that people CHOOSE to have cancer, heart attacks, to die or be half beaten to death, whatever terrible things that befall them - all in the name of learning lessons. Shit happens, plain and simple.

In any event, this IS a lesson that we all need to be careful in our pursuit of enlightenment. We need to do our homework and make sure that when we trust someone to lead us on to another branch of our spiritual path, that they are well-trained to do what they do - not always easy. James Ray has led these sweat lodges before - quite a few times. There was a problem only once in 2005 and it certainly did not result in death.

I resent the fact that this tragic occurrence will give metaphysics and alternative spiritual pursuits another beating. And, most of all, I feel heartsick that two people, Kirby Brown and James Shore, who were searching for answers, enlightenment and healing, are dead. They didn't chose that.

Blessings nine!

Addendum: Liz Neuman of Minnesota died a few days after Kirby Brown and James Shore, the third victim of this gathering. May she find peace and renewal in the arms of Hekate!

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