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Re: James Arthur Ray, Tony Robbins, Michael Burnett
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: December 23, 2009 08:46AM

Below is an article about one of Tony Robbins salespeople and franchisees named Michael Burnett.

[wotnews.com.au]
QUOTE: "Empowernet International...Provider of personal development seminars and associated products and services based upon intellectual property produced by Anthony Robbins"

This is very typical of the kind of guy who buys into a Tony Robbins selling franchise, or a James Ray selling franchise. These are the people who buy a franchise from the Guru for huge amounts of borrowed money, (the guru only takes a certified bank draft) and try to sell the same junk to others, using the same techniques.

These are exactly the kind of guys/gals who are the mini-sharks who try to copy the master, the big shark.
but more than 90% of the time, they also get eaten up by the big shark.
The article below is not exceptional, that is what happens time after time. They are crooks.

That is where James Ray is headed, and he's been there before.



for more info search Google for:

"Michael Burnett" tony robbins
__________________QUOTE___________________________
[www.smh.com.au]
A lengthy queue for Burnett's $100
SCOTT ROCHFORT
December 14, 2009
The former managing director of the listed ''wealth mastery'' firm once known as Empowernet seems to be having a few issues mastering his own wealth. Michael Burnett is trying to cut a personal insolvency agreement with his creditors, to whom he owes more than $3 million.

Burnett, who lives in a sizeable and freshly renovated Hunters Hill abode owned by his wife, appears to have fallen well behind with debts and tax.

It seems his $462,729 salary from his last 11 months at the listed motivational speaking firm (since renamed and sex-changed into Superwoman Group) has not gone far.

Aside from declaring that he has $100 in cash to his name, Burnett, 49, has no car and nothing owing to him.

But he has run up more than $104,000 on six credit cards, the Tax Office wants $355,000 for 10 years' unpaid tax and he owes money to his accountant and lawyer.

Burnett, who used to plug the merchandise and thoughts of the motivational guru Anthony Robbins, also owes a day trading business $650,000 over a licence fee.

Also owing: $300,000 to a company linked to the Melbourne nightclub owner Playground Concepts that planned to bail out Empowernet before Superwoman came to the rescue; $35,000 to a cup-sanitising business; and $169,000 personally to the owner of a Moonee Ponds business consultancy and $220,000 to the firm.

Burnett's business partners have included the former and convicted HIH Insurance executive Brad Cooper. The pair once held a stake in the motivational group Vision Pursuit, which in turn once had a substantial stake in Empowernet.

____________________________________________



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/23/2009 08:50AM by The Anticult.

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Re: James Arthur Ray - 2 die at Arizona retreat's sweat lodge
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 24, 2009 02:42AM

Nine Hours Sleep Breakfast of Champions--Lets Talk Basketball

Once again, this runs counter to LGAT leaders who claim that sleep is self indulgence.

Quote

"If you go three, four, five days in a row with less than six hours of
sleep, your reaction time is comparable to that of someone legally
drunk, " (Coach)Rivers of the Boston Celtics said. "You're trying to play a basketball game where just a 10th of second, a degree off, throws your whole game off."

Ahead of the Game: Some Pro Basketball Teams and Coaches are Increasing Sleep Hours

[www.nytimes.com]

Quote

Dr. Charles Czeisler is known in the N.B.A. as the Sleep Doctor. He advises players to sleep 8.2 to 8.4 hours a night, which requires nine hours in bed.

Bowing to Body Clocks, N.B.A. Teams Sleep In
By HOWARD BECK Published: December 19, 2009


Bill Sharman is no basketball radical. He was not trying to
revolutionize the N.B.A. when he became the Los Angeles Lakers' coach
in 1971. He simply wanted his players to be confident, relaxed and
mentally sharp on game nights. So Sharman instituted a brief morning
practice and gave it a lively name: the shoot-around.

Within a few years, every team in the league was holding them.

Doc Rivers is no basketball revolutionary. He simply wants his Boston
Celtics to be confident, relaxed and mentally sharp on game nights. So
a couple of months ago, Rivers eliminated morning shoot-arounds.

The Celtics, who lead the Eastern Conference with a 20-5 record, hardly
seem to miss them.

"All of them, to a man, said: ‘Wow, it took some getting used to, but
I'm fresher. I love it, ' " said Rivers, the Celtics' coach. "So
there it is."

For 38 years, the morning shoot-around has been an unquestioned staple
of the N.B.A. game-day routine. It may soon be extinct, another dusty
exhibit in basketball history, next to the peach basket, the two-handed
set shot and John Stockton's short shorts.

Three teams - the Celtics, the San Antonio Spurs and the Portland Trail
Blazers - have dropped the morning shoot-around. The Knicks now hold
them only for road games. The Denver Nuggets dropped them last week.
The Washington Wizards are experimenting without them, though only in
spots.

A growing interest in sleep science - and a recognition that players
need more time to recharge - is fueling the trend. Simply speaking,
N.B.A. players often fail to get enough sleep.

The typical night game ends at about 10 p.m. By the time players
shower, dress and speak with the news media, it is close to 11 p.m.
They are usually famished, so everyone eats a late dinner. Even the
most conservative players - those who do not frequent nightclubs - will
not get to sleep until at least 2 a.m. If the team is traveling,
players may not reach their hotel until 3 a.m.

For a shoot-around or practice that starts at 10 a.m., players have to
arrive as early as 9 a.m. to lift weights, receive treatment or be
taped.

"You're talking about our players functioning on five or six hours of
sleep a day, " Rivers said, "and that's just not good enough."

Rivers was once a skeptic on the topic. He now speaks like a sleep
evangelist.

"If you go three, four, five days in a row with less than six hours of
sleep, your reaction time is comparable to that of someone legally
drunk, " Rivers said. "You're trying to play a basketball game where
just a 10th of second, a degree off, throws your whole game off."

Rivers got a full education last summer from Dr. Charles Czeisler, the
director of the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School
and the chief of the sleep medicine division at Brigham and Women's
Hospital in Boston. In the N.B.A., Czeisler is better known as the
Sleep Doctor.

Nate McMillan, the Trail Blazers' head coach, consulted with Czeisler
last year, before wiping out all shoot-arounds and morning practices.
At Czeisler's recommendation, McMillan took the effort further. He
gave his players permission to stay out until 2 a.m. on the road, to
keep their body clocks on Portland time.

Czeisler advises players to sleep 8.2 to 8.4 hours a night, which
requires about nine hours in bed. Coaches also need to account for the
time it takes players to wind down after a game.

"The general principle is that if you are going to prioritize anything,
you should prioritize sleep, " Czeisler said. "Right now it's being
taken for granted that you're never going to have a problem, that you
are somehow going to be able to function without sleep."

Over the past 20 years, professional sports teams have become
increasingly attentive to fitness and nutrition. Czeisler, who has
also advised NASA, called sleep "the third pillar of good health."

A key function of sleep is to restore neurons in the brain, a process
that is critical to learning and mastering new information, he said.
If players practice a new play, then get a sound night of sleep, they
will be 20 percent better at performing it, Czeisler said. But with
insufficient sleep, he said, "you simply never get that improvement."

Doctors at the Stanford University Sleep Disorders Clinic have come to
similar conclusions. Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich cited their work when
he moved the Spurs' off-day practices to 3 p.m. He dropped morning
shoot-arounds two years ago.

Rivers dropped shoot-arounds in the second half of each of the last two
seasons, including in 2008, when the Celtics won the championship.
This is the first season he has eliminated them altogether, with happy
results.

"You can visibly see it in practices, " Rivers said. "We've had better
practices this year."

The typical morning shoot-around is nothing special. Most last about
an hour and involve a walk-through, some light shooting, a review of
that night's opponent and perhaps a film session. Players may be
half-awake.

"Shoot-arounds seem to be very tedious and nonenthusiastic situations,
" Nuggets Coach George Karl told The Denver Post last week, when he
announced the elimination of shoot-arounds.

Yet 24 teams still religiously gather between 10 and 11 a.m. on game
days. Even Phil Jackson, the Lakers' famously nonconformist coach, has
stuck with the tradition, which he considers necessary to get his
players focused.

Jackson sometimes pushes back the start time to let them rest, but he
does not consider the shoot-around an imposition.

"I think that people get used to a wake-up time, " he said.

Everything a team does at 10 a.m. could just as easily be done at 4
p.m., a few hours before a game - which is what the Knicks, the Blazers
and the Celtics now do. (The Spurs review their shoot-around material
at the previous day's practice.)

Knicks Coach Mike D'Antoni cited a variety of concerns, including rest
and commuting time. The team's trainers also wanted players to have a
healthy pregame meal, which is now part of the Knicks' home schedule.
They are required to be at Madison Square Garden by 3:30 p.m. for a
7:30 game.

"I just don't like being in the gym for that long, " said Knicks guard
Larry Hughes, a 12-year veteran. "I'd rather go in the morning and do
the hour in the morning and come back ready to work."

Some coaches cling to the morning shoot-around as a means to force
players to rise early, presumably to discourage late-night partying. A
lot of players, who are night owls by necessity, dread the morning
session. As the Celtics star Kevin McHale once remarked, "It was a
dark day in the N.B.A. when Bill Sharman came up with that idea."

According to N.B.A. lore, Sharman invented the shoot-around to get Wilt
Chamberlain out of bed. Sharman said that was not the case.

He actually began holding shoot-arounds in 1962, when George
Steinbrenner hired him to coach the Cleveland Pipers of the American
Basketball League.

"Some of the players looked at me kind of funny, " Sharman said, but
the results were good. The Pipers won the championship that year. In
1970, Sharman coached the Utah Stars to the American Basketball
Association title.

The shoot-around actually began as a personal quest to calm his own
nerves. As a young player for the Celtics in the 1950s, Sharman was
too wound up on game days to sit home. With nothing else to do, he
began practicing jump shots at a nearby junior high school gym.

"I didn't want to overdo it, but it kind of made me relax a little bit
more, " Sharman said in a telephone interview from Los Angeles, where
he remains a Lakers consultant. "Just the idea to loosen up and get
more confidence in a game."

It worked. Sharman, who was elected to the Hall of Fame as a player
and a coach, said his shooting percentages began to climb after he
adopted the morning routine. As a coach, he thought his players would
also benefit.

In Los Angeles, Jerry West and Gail Goodrich welcomed the new
practice. Chamberlain was wary but told Sharman he would go along with
it, if it helped the team.

But, Sharman recalled Chamberlain saying, "If it doesn't help the team,
I'd like to stay in bed."

Fate took over from there. The Lakers won 69 games, including an
N.B.A.-record 33 straight, and claimed their first championship in Los
Angeles. Soon every team was adopting the morning shoot-around.

"The players realize that the money they're making, the opportunity
they have, they'd be an idiot not to do everything they could to help
themselves and help the team, " Sharman said.

In 1971, that meant dragging a weary body out of bed to get to the
gym. In 2009, it may mean a few more hours of dream time.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/24/2009 02:45AM by corboy.

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James Arthur Ray - gaslighting his seminar victims
Posted by: buffman ()
Date: December 24, 2009 07:14PM

So I found this article which gives more insight into the late-night repetitive questioning "is this real or a dream" in one of Ray's seminars.

[blog.maxpersuasion.com]

It's called "gaslighting," and the aim is to get you so messed up you don't know what's real anymore. Highly manipulative stuff. This guy Kenrick E. Cleveland claims it can be used for good as well, but I'm not so sure about his examples.

Here's a quote:

Quote

From the 1944 film Gaslight the term "gaslighting" acquired the meaning of ruthlessly manipulating an individual into believing something other than the truth.

The jist of the movie is that a husband tries to make his wife seem insane in order to get her out of his way by getting her admitted to a mental hospital. He does this in subtle ways that cause her to doubt her own ability to interpret reality.

Understanding and influencing how your affluent prospect interprets their reality is an intregal part of persuasion.

There are five main strategies employed in the technique of gaslighting and you can use each one to your advantage when persuading your affluent prospects.

The first is repetitive questioning and this is used to plant the seed of doubt in a person.

Game shows employ this tactic in order to heighten anticipation by causing the contestants to doubt their decisions - asking and reasking, "are you sure?"

...

As you can see, gaslighting isn't necessarily a nice practice. It is designed into trick someone into doubting themselves and their own sanity.

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James Arthur Ray - gaslighting his seminar victims
Posted by: buffman ()
Date: December 24, 2009 07:18PM

On the other hand, Cleveland seems to be focused on selling to the affluent, which is more than we can say about James Ray who will steal from anyone with a pulse and a credit card...until they no longer have either.

[www.maxpersuasion.com]
Quote

With MAXpersuasion.com, my goal is to teach you exactly how to persuade your prospects, and not just any old prospect. I want to teach you specifically how to persuade the affluent, because when you focus your energy on those with money you will be handsomely rewarded with more money in your bank account and more time with those you love.

The affluent think differently than the rest of the population. That's why they are millionaires, deca-millionaires, and multi-deca-millionaires. In order to persuade these affluent prospects, you must think like they do.

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Re: James Arthur Ray - 2 die at Arizona retreat's sweat lodge
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 24, 2009 10:22PM

That technique of repetitively asking 'Are you sure?' is surprisingly effective. And it is
lethal when used by persons who lack empathy.

Some persons who are ultra self centered (as in having serious, serious narcissistic personality disorder) can use this without even attending a training seminar.

There was a guy at my school who just could not compute any viewpoint that did not match his own. He was well educated, well read, appeared quite capable of having '
an open mind but the hidden reality was, he could only compute something if it agreed with his viewpoint or with what he wanted.

You'd marshal evidence, facts try again and again and again to rephrase your point,
and the guy would just stand there and say, earnestly, 'I dont see what you're getting at'.

Eventually, you'd come to fear you were nuts or give in from sheer exhaustion and go along with what the guy wanted for himself.

It was like arguing with the proverbial 'box of rocks'. You can keep talking from now until doomsday and it wont change their minds.

Everything you say is just funny noises to them. The only word they hear is 'yes' or 'I agree'm or 'You're right'. They can tune everything else out until from sheer exhaustion you utter those magic words.

And, if you decide they are wasting your time and you walk away, They will accuse you of being unreasonable and crazy. (Treat it as a compliment)

If you try to keep reasoning with them to prove you are not crazy or unreasonable, you risk getting worn down.

Thing to do is get away from these folks, fast and warn your friends.

I once had to wrangle with someone like this and used logic and evidence, and the guy just refused to see the point.

When I refused to back down, he suddenly switched gears and said, 'You seem to be going off the deep end. I am really concerned about you.'

I knew from that moment that the guy was typical: A charmer when he got what he wanted and nasty and invalidating when pinned to the wall.

The kind who will never, ever admit he's in the wrong, not even when the evidence (and I mean it in the legal sense) is piled 20 feet high.

He only turned nice when he found out I had close and friendly ties with someone powerful whom he was beholden to.

We are civil these days, but I have kept printed copies of his emails and have them in a safe place for future use, just in case its ever necessary.

There's a book on Gaslighting by forensic psychiatrist Theo Dorpat.

Anyone who used that information for manipulative and nefarious purposes deserves
to have an incurable disease of the private parts.

Here's the info about Dorpats book:

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James Arthur Ray scam, KENRICK E. CLEVELAND maxpersuasion.com
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: December 25, 2009 01:06AM

That is a good point about the Gaslighting.
That is what these LGAT salesmen are doing to people, modifying how they perceive reality, and installing delusions, and taking people into deep trance, as well as all the other techniques.

There are some people out there who do claim to teach these advance persuasion techniques, like KENRICK E. CLEVELAND, but one has to be extremely skeptical and careful in what is being sold.

As they are full of tricks as well. One of the tricks they use is to tell people to target the rich! The problem is that most "rich people" are not suckers, so its not as easy as they say. But they tell people to target the rich, simply to get them to buy their products.

So KENRICK E. CLEVELAND is not targeting the rich, he's targeting those who want to be rich.
[www.maxpersuasion.com]

Frankly, one line on the website of KENRICK E. CLEVELAND shows he is your typical scammer.
QUOTE: "Automatically install 30 years of Persuasion knowledge into your mind while laying on the couch or driving."

Right there Cleveland is pandering to the lazy, greedy salesperson.
Its an outright lie that you can learn these complex persuasion skills by listening to audio recordings. They have to be carefully practiced, and learned with a lot of hard work.
But Cleveland knows salespeople are generally greedy and lazy, so there you go.

He also calls his course for the intermediate persuader, which means he is going to hammer you with endless courses if he can reel you in.

What the persuaders find is that it is too hard to target the rich.
So instead, they learn to target large numbers of naive "soccer moms and dads" and just get them to max-out their credit cards.
That is exactly what happened to Colleen Conaway.
And it happens all the time with hundreds and hundreds of other regular people who get lured in, with no awareness of what is happening.

If you press the link on the front page above, you go to Clevelands other website
Persuasion Factor [www.persuasionfactor.com]
KENRICK E. CLEVELAND is another scam-artist.
He tries to run every lame technique in the book on that page, its unreadable.
The page is full of lies, like he's only accepting 100 people! That literally is a sucker-test, as if a person believes that one, then Ken Cleveland wants your home number.

He is also copying Tony Robbins with his "Platinum" sucker club.
And the price?
Frankly, its not worth even looking at, but it looks like its $99 a month, witih automatic debit? So Cleveland charges you $99 a month to get spammed by him, and good luck getting that cancelled.
That is pretty clever.
If Kenny Cleveland had only 100 suckers/students, that is $10,000 a month for him, or $120K a year.
So Ken is going to charge you $100 a month to spam you and persuade you to buy more of his stuff.

What Cleveland is selling, his audio recordings with the dumb blinking glasses from 10 years ago is a scam scam scam scam scam.

He has copied some advanced info from others, which will be excerpted below.

_____________QUOTE_____________________

Here are the Persuasion Strategies you’ll be learning in just the first 12 months. With this breakthrough program, you'll be able to quickly and easily integrate these skills into your daily behavior.

...

How to Tell Persuasive Stories

How to create the content for your stories...

How to make them compelling...

How to determine whether to use a longer story or a shorter story...

How to install suggestions into the minds of your listeners through the story...

How to covertly stack what you want the prospect to do within the story...

How to covertly use emotion within a story...

The power of using stories to alter people’s consciousness...



How to Elicit, Change and Use Criteria

Yes, you can change and mold someone’s criteria making it so that you are the only one that can fulfill it...

Other methods of eliciting criteria that are more covert...

How to combine criteria with other persuasion skills to increase it’s power significantly...

How to discover the internal strategies people use to become convinced, buy, fall in love etc. and how to covertly use that information in what you say thus triggering that response in them...




Powerful and covert suggestion strategies

These will allow you to put ideas in people’s minds without resistance!

You can use this to get people to automatically assume what you’re saying is right...

Get people to think that doing something you want them to do is their idea...

There is so much to these strategies I could talk about them for hours. And this will be a very considerable section that we’ll be covering in chunks as we go throughout the program...
...

Strategies to covertly and conversationally alter people’s consciousness and why you would want to do that
Also, why you wouldn’t want to do it, and how to use this to get what you want...
What is and is not possible with this...



Strategies to fractionate someone’s consciousness

Use this to create more compliance in someone covertly...

Use this to overcome objections...

Use this to cover your own errors...

Use this outside of awareness to create results fast!



Learn how to literally change
someone’s perception of reality

Use this to overcome objections in advance...

Use this to disarm hostility...

Use this to overcome objections whenever they come up...


...
_______________________________

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Re: James Arthur Ray scam, KENRICK E. CLEVELAND maxpersuasion.com
Posted by: buffman ()
Date: December 25, 2009 08:32AM

Ok, now I agree that this Kenrick E. Cleveland fellow appears to be a very shady character.

Good catches with the appeal to laziness and greed, and the apparent approach of stealing from the rich when in fact the "soft targets" are naive Midwestern soccer moms, etc.

That "persuasion factor" sales letter is totally loaded with manipulative B.S. As corboy said, "Anyone who used that information for manipulative and nefarious purposes deserves to have an incurable disease of the private parts."

On a positive note, Merry Christmas everyone!

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Re: James Arthur Ray scam, KENRICK E. CLEVELAND maxpersuasion.com
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: December 27, 2009 04:43PM

A new investigation and details emerging about the hypno-persuasion techniques of...

The Visionary Rev. Dr. Michael Beckwith cures kidney disease / cancer?
The Tao of Persuasion by Alex Benzer.
[forum.culteducation.com]

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Re: James Arthur Ray - 2 die at Arizona retreat's sweat lodge
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 29, 2009 10:17AM

[news.yahoo.com]-

Quote

Documents in sweat lodge case show past problems

By FELICIA FONSECA, Associated Press Writer Felicia Fonseca, Associated Press Writer – 1 hr 31 mins ago

PRESCOTT, Ariz. – Documents released in the investigation of a fatal sweat lodge ceremony show that people lost consciousness and others suffered broken bones at past events led by self-help guru James Arthur Ray, but Ray largely ignored the medical problems that arose.

Three people died after an Oct. 8 sweat lodge ceremony that was the highlight of Ray's five-day "Spiritual Warrior" event at a retreat he rented near Sedona. The Yavapai County sheriff's office has focused a homicide investigation on Ray, who has made millions of dollars by convincing people his words will lead them to spiritual and financial wealth.

In documents released Monday, a man Ray hired to build the sweat lodge told investigators that he was hesitant to assist with the ceremony for a third year because participants previously had emerged in medical distress, and emergency help wasn't summoned. Theodore Mercer said the latest ceremony was hotter than in years past, but Ray repeatedly told participants, "You are not going to die. You might think you are, but you're not going to die."

Mercer's wife, Debra, told investigators that one man emerged from the sweat lodge halfway through the October ceremony believing he was having a heart attack and would die. She said that instead of summoning medical aid, Ray said "It's a good day to die," according to a search warrant affidavit.

When Ray was advised that two participants were unconscious near the end of the two-hour ceremony, Debra Mercer said Ray did not appear overly concerned and said they would be OK until the end.

A message left Monday at a phone listing for the Mercers was not immediately returned.

No charges have been filed. The investigation, including hundreds of interviews, is expected to be turned over to prosecutors next month. Sheriff's officials said they would have no further comment until then.

Ray has hired his own investigative team to determine what went wrong. Brad Brian, an attorney for Ray, said in a statement Monday that Ray's representatives have been working with Arizona authorities to determine the facts, and he urged people not to jump to conclusions.

Brian said he believes the investigation will show "that the Sedona tragedy was a terrible accident that no one, including James Ray, could have seen coming."

Authorities and participants have said no one was forced to remain in the sweat lodge, but they were highly encouraged to stay inside.

Sheriff's officials said they found nothing to explain how the three people — Kirby Brown, 38, of Westtown, N.Y.; James Shore, 40, of Milwaukee; and Liz Neuman, 49, of Prior Lake, Minn. — died other than the extreme heat inside the pitch-black sweat lodge — a 415-square-foot makeshift sauna covered with tarps and blankets and heated with hot rocks.

Authorities have interviewed most of the more than 50 people who attended the event and detailed about a dozen of the interviews in documents released Monday after a judge ruled last week that they be made public.

Some of the people told investigators that Ray responded to cries for help from a man who was burned and warned other participants not to leave the sweat lodge during eight 15-minute rounds so they wouldn't also be scorched by the hot rocks in the center.

Others who were interviewed by investigators described suffering broken bones at other Ray-led events after being instructed to break bricks with their hands. Others said they vomited and slipped into altered states of consciousness.

Mickey Reynolds, who attended Ray's 2005 "Spiritual Warrior" event said it was implied the sweat lodge was safe since Ray had done the ceremonies before. Reynolds told investigators there was no discussion of safety procedures or a plan if something went wrong.

The owner of the Sedona retreat, Amayra Hamilton, said she told Ray in 2005 that he would have to change his ceremonies after a man became severely ill and she saw improvements the following year.

Richard Wright said he took part in the latest sweat lodge as a test of courage, enduring seven of eight 15-minute rounds. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., resident told The Associated Press participants never were asked to provide emergency contacts or answer questions about their health, and they never were given a clear picture of the effects of a sweat lodge.

Instead, they took Ray's word that vomiting and passing out were normal, he said.

"We all chose what we did," Wright said. "But again, if you make a choice with only having half the story, have you really made a choice?"

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Re: James Arthur Ray - 2 die at Arizona retreat's sweat lodge
Posted by: Eddystone ()
Date: December 29, 2009 08:20PM

Differing accounts of Ray's behavior in sweat-lodge deaths

by JJ Hensley and Glen Creno - Dec. 29, 2009 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic

As followers around him staggered and collapsed inside a hot sweat lodge near Sedona, motivational guru James Arthur Ray seemed to ignore the unfolding medical crisis, according to statements given to investigators.

Ray repeatedly discussed death during the October ceremony, telling participants they would feel like they were dying, according to officials' reports released Monday. When a man tried to open the tent for air, Ray reportedly called him "sacrilegious."

In the end, three of the more than 50 participants in the sweat-lodge ceremony did die.

Statements from many people who survived the ceremony depict Ray as indifferent to the suffering around him, and more than one person told authorities that similar medical problems had occurred at past retreats.

But other participants said Ray never stopped anyone from leaving, and the statements investigators took show participants were motivated to follow Ray's message of self-empowerment.

One man described as an "amazing experience" breaking his hand while shattering a brick at a different Ray retreat. Another called the sweat lodge an exercise in "group encouragement."

The dozens of investigative documents offer the most complete look yet at what took place at the Angel Valley Retreat Center that week and how participants came to view the man who would play the role of God in some events, according to the documents.

One of Ray's attorneys stressed that the material only tells part of the story.

"We urge fair-minded people to await the revelation of all of the facts before reaching any conclusions," Brad Brian said in a statement.

A Yavapai County Superior Court judge unsealed the search warrants and witness statements late last week at the request of attorneys representing Channel 12 (KPNX). The records indicate that investigators have spoken with most of the 50-plus people in the sweat lodge and include details of interviews with current and former retreat participants, current and former Ray employees, and the family who constructed the sweat lodge.

The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office has an ongoing investigation into Ray and the role he might have played in the deaths of three people who participated in his October retreat, dubbed Spiritual Warrior.

Ray has not been charged with any crimes. He is named in civil lawsuits from three participants in the Spiritual Warrior event, including family members of one woman who died after being in the sweat lodge.

Ray has denied any wrongdoing and said he hired investigators to help Yavapai County authorities with their investigation.

Kirby Brown, 38, of New York, and James Shore, 40, of Milwaukee, died at the scene after being overcome in the saunalike hut on Oct. 8. Liz Neuman, 49, of Minnesota, was among at least 20 people taken to a hospital for treatment. Neuman died at Flagstaff Medical Center nine days later. It was Shore whom Ray called "sacrilegious" for trying to lift the side of the structure to get more air, according to the reports.

The sweat-lodge event came at the conclusion of a five-day retreat where participants paid more than $9,000 to receive guidance from Ray.

More than 50 people entered the sweat lodge, made of sticks and covered with blankets and tarps.

Ray told participants they would feel like they were going to die during the sweat-lodge ceremony but they would not die, according to sworn statements from a detective.

The depiction of Ray being indifferent to the needs of his enthusiasts contradicts the statements detectives received Oct. 8 from a physician taking part in the retreat.

Jeanne Armstrong, a doctor from Indiana who helped treat some victims, told investigators that Ray exerted no pressure on participants to remain in the sweat lodge and that people went in and out of the structure, though most exited when the flap was open because it was difficult to see inside when it was closed.

Attorneys for the people who died and were seriously injured have said their clients were situated far away from the flap. Armstrong told detectives she was close enough that she could feel air when it was open.

Two past participants contacted detectives to tell them about a 2005 retreat when one man was taken to the hospital in an ambulance following the sweat-lodge exercise, and Ted Mercer, who has constructed the sweat lodge for three years, told investigators that people exited "in medical distress" every year he was involved.

Ray's attorney said that James Ray International took precautions this year, including stationing a registered nurse and five staff members outside the sweat lodge.

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