Sweat Lodge Indictments

On December 14, CNN’s Gary Tuchman spoke to Melinda Martin, the ex-James Arthur Ray employee, about the Sedona sweat lodge investigation (click here for full transcript). “The sheriff’s office in Sedona is not talking to reporters,” Tuchman said, “But is talking to families of the sweat lodge victims. And some of them have told us they are confident, based on their conversations, Ray will be charged. Melinda Martin, who the James Ray company does acknowledge helped those who were sickened, has also been interviewed by the authorities, and tell us she believes Ray and others will be charged.”

TUCHMAN: What have they told you about that?

MARTIN: I think they told me there might be 10 people indicted. I don’t know who those 10 people might be.

TUCHMAN: But might we presume there are other employees of James Ray who would be included in that?

MARTIN: Yes, you know, I hate to speculate. All I can do is speculate. And that would look bad.

TUCHMAN: Melinda says she has been assured she will not be one of the people indicted. She adds she has regular nightmares about the situation, has visited family members of the victims.

And if you’re wondering about her employment with Ray, she took a leave of absence before receiving a note from the James Ray company that her portion was being eliminated.

And, Anderson, not a big surprise here, but, down the road, very possible that she could be a very important prosecution witness against James Ray.

Elsewhere (The Examiner.com, click here for full story), it’s reported that family members have been told that indictments will be coming in “the first part of 2010.”

4 thoughts on “Sweat Lodge Indictments

  1. Whereas,

    the public deserves accurate, comprehensive and objective information about the benefits and consequences of self-help practices.

    Whereas,

    the entire self-help profession is at risk of being viewed as greedy charlatans and scam artists due to the reckless actions of James Ray.

    Whereas,

    the self-help, industrial complex has no existing regulatory oversight, no governing body, no code of ethics nor standards of behavior.

    Therefore,

    legitimate self-help professionals, in an effort to fortify public opinion of the field of self-help, commit to adhere to the following existing advertising policies of the Federal Trade Commission:
    __________________________________

    GENERAL ADVERTISING POLICIES

    Under the Federal Trade Commission Act:

    Advertising must be truthful and non-deceptive;

    Advertisers must have evidence to back up their claims; and

    Advertisements cannot be unfair.

    What makes an advertisement deceptive?

    According to the FTC’s Deception Policy Statement, an ad is deceptive if it contains a statement – or omits information – that:

    Is likely to mislead consumers acting reasonably under the circumstances; and

    Is “material” – that is, important to a consumer’s decision to buy or use the product.

    __________________________________

  2. This is just more evidence that if you are a slick talking pitchman, you can foster a “god-like” image.

    This tragedy highlights the inherent danger of our tendency to easily and blindly raise others to super-human status, or at least a status well beyond the reality of who they are.

    What ever image-producing talents Sarah Palin has are what fooled McCain’s team into picking her as a running-mate. She easily could have ended-up President of the US. Luckily, she was obliged to give a couple of interviews and a debate, and we were able to see a little deeper.

    If this James Ray tragedy raises our awareness of how being a photogenic presenter is different from being an amazing person with substance, then something good has come out of it.

  3. I was deeply shocked by the tragedy at Sedona–but it was literally a “tragedy” in the Greek sense, in that everyone “allowed” what happened, out of limiting beliefs of their own. I would guess that all parties projected personal power outside of themselves–Ray thinking he needed others to project their power (and money) onto him and the others who participated in the retreat thinking they needed to receive the power and wisdom of Ray. So all involved met their downfall through their own limitations–and I would aver that the actual amount of power was equal all around–as was responsibility for what happened. We all have direct access within to all of the wisdom and power we need. That is my belief.

  4. Lama Norla laughed before answering the question posed to him about how anyone could have compassion for or empathy with a suicide bomber. He said that if a spiritual leader tells those who follow that they will go to heaven, be saved, or that God wants them to do such things, then it is the fault of the leader, not the suicide bomber who is following the order of her/his spiritual leader.
    When spiritual traditions are taken out of context, sullied by exchange of money, not followed with discipline and without ego, then powerful healing ceremonies become lethal and leaders like Ray murderers.

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