Posted by: twinkiewrangler | November 27, 2011

Video: AZ v James Arthur Ray in 10 Minutes

James Ray: You’re No Good!<div style=”font-size:12px;”><a href=””>AZ V James Arthur Ray in 10 Minutes</a> – <a href=””>For more funny videos, click here</a></div>


James Arthur Ray, was a man with aspirations to be the first New Age billionaire.

He managed to kill 3 people in a bastardization of a sweat lodge he concocted from the teachings of various New Age frauds previously exposed.

He was arrested for manslaughter on

February 3, 2010 and held on a 5 million dollar bond he claimed he couldn’t pay.

The trial began almost 2 years later, on March 8, 2011

The State’s first witness, Jennifer Haley testified that when she left James Shore there was “purple foam coming out of his mouth.”

Testifying about one of the other participants who left, Haley testified:  “a cute little like Argentina girl who was hallucinating earlier saying she didn’t want the Indians to get her.”

About another participant, Haley testified: “this was girl that was scared of her own shadow she was very quiet and now she’s screaming she wants to have sex with James.”

Linda Andressano testified that she did not know why she stayed in the sweat lodge.

Mellissa Phillips testified that James Ray told people that if they needed to defecate they had to do it “in the circle”

Laurie Gennari testified:

“It was an atmosphere of pressure: getting of very little sleep, controlling when our breaks were and controlling our food. It all put me off balance. I didn’t’ have access to my normal processing.

“Everything we did was about getting an order to do something uncomfortable and carrying through and doing it … we were well trained to do as we were told by the end of that week.”

He used the phrase “keep your goggles on” to encourage us to keep ourselves immersed in his teachings and not go back to our old way of thinking.

Dennis Mehravar testified, “When I had a doubt, he proved to me that I was wrong and he was right, so there’s no reason not to trust him.”

Scot Barratt:  James said High achievers make quick decisions and take fast action so I just stepped out of the back of the group and I trotted out of the group and they had 3 people waiting to cut your hair of and I was the first one to do that.

Melinda Martin testified: “I think he’s a pervert and he got off on hearing the abuses others suffered when it came to SEX.”

“I was witnessing chaos and vomiting and disorientation all around me and I was told ‘this is normal. This is what happens.’”

Melinda Martin: “One of the medics asked me if this was a mass suicide and I said no, it was a sweat lodge gone wrong.”

Stephen Ray testified that here was another participant that played full on and threw out his shoulder because he cared about his team so much.

Prosecutor: You urinated in the sweat lodge? How did the other participants react to that?

Lou Caci: They said don’t worry about it brother well get through this.

I really don’t know why I went back in. … If any of you have played any organized sports, it’s more of a selfish thing … when you’re injured you want to go back in and support the team. I wanted to play full on

Lou Caci: “Kirby Brown’s breathing was like when my dad and my brother passed. Her breathing was hard like people who have cancer. I wish I would have done something.”

Dr. Beverly Bunn testified: “You learn through the course of the week that you don’t question Mr. Ray on anything   …things are not optional.”

A woman told James Ray, “I can’t get her to move! She’s not breathing!” and he said “I can’t deal with that right now.”

James Ray said, “This round is now begun, the door is now closed we’ll deal with that at the end of the round.”

Beverly Bun testified that she did not want to shave her head, but she finally gave to pressure in and let them shave her head.

The Prosecution’s first strategy was to claim that the waiver’s the victim’s signed relieved James Ray of any accountability for negligent homicide.

Luis Li continually asked each witness if they signed a waiver and if they had free will to leave the deathlodge–even those who were unconscious.

The prosecution’s 2nd strategy was to introduce

Reasonable doubt

The defense blamed the deaths on everything about the sweat lodge EXCEPT the leader of the’sweat lodge’.

Mr. Li objected to …. well basically everything the State said.

And he was fond of showing the jury a big blue book that one day he intended to read.

Throughout the trail, Ms. Polk made every effort to humanize the victims of James Ray’s deathlodge.

Kirby Brown’s spirit.

James Shore’s heroism and commitment to being a good husband and father.

Liz Neuman’s loyalty & willingness to see the good in people.

Then things really got weird.

The folks from Angel Valley began to testify.

Hamilton claimed he could only answer questions about spiritual things. As to the $125K he accepted from Ray even though people got sick previously–you’d have to ask his wife.

Michael Hamilton testified that he met a real Native American at the dumpster at the In&Out burger who taught him how to talk to ants.

Amyra Hamilton defiantly insisted it was all James Ray’s fault.

Ted Mercer didn’t really seem to understand what happened.

Critter biscuits?

Deb Mercer testified that James Ray said at the end of the ceremony, “I am the alpha and the omega.”

Mark Rock caused a delay in the trial because he insisted on giving new testimony he claimed came from…

recovered memories uncovered through past life regression with the folks at Angel Valley.

Sane rational experts also gave testimony that it was more likely than not that the 3 people died of heat stroke.

Nice, reasonable scientists tried to explain scientific certainty to the defense.

Ms. Polk’s closing arguments were inspired.

Early in the trail, Ms. Polk told Mr. Kelly: “This isn’t gamesmanship … it’s a search for the truth.”

Ms. Polk started her remarks by saying, “Three people are dead who should not be dead. Three people have lost loved ones who should not be gone.”

You heard a witness tell you that if not for James Ray’s temper, he might have helped people.

James Ray intended that intense searing heat in order to obtain a financial investment from the participants of $10,000.

He controlled when people could talk in the sweat lodge and he even controlled when people could urinate.

The State has clearly proven that BUT FOR the defendant’s conduct, Kirby, James and Liz would not have died.

The defense wants you to ignore they want you to ignore what is right in front of your eyes as the cause of death.

The victims died of extreme heat.

James Ray intended to introduce hellaciously hot heat and steam.

I submit to you that he was aware of that risk.

She walked over to James Arthur Ray, pointed at him and said

The only difference between manslaughter and negligent homicide is the issue of awareness.

Mr. Ray intentionally used heat to create an altered state.

3 people are dead because James Ray consciously disregarded a substantial and unjustifiable risk that his conduct would cause death.

James Ray did in fact wear participants down using his words to get them less grounded so they could have that ultimate experience.

Mr. Li’s closing arguments consisted of vivid stories designed to take the jury’s attention away from his client’s hideous behavior.

After 3 full days of theatrics and insisting that James Ray had no duty to help people, the case finally went to the jury.

On June 22, 2011 the jury reached a verdict in less than 9 hours.

Not Guilty on the charge of manslaughter.

But …

Guilty of Negligent Homicide.

Nevertheless, the defense still hoped to sway the judge in the mitigation hearing and get James Ray off with just probation.

Note: At crucial times during the trial, James Ray’s ears would turn bright red. This is called vasodilatation and some people think that the increase in blood flow comes from a kick in adrenalin. It is usually an indicator of embarrassment or the perception of a threat. This type of “ear blushing” is a function of the sympathetic nervous system that Ray has no conscious control over.

That plan didn’t work out too well for them.

While everyone but the defense hoped for the maximum prison sentence …

Kirby Brown’s mother eloquently expressed her grief and rage.

As did Liz Neuman’s daughter.

Ginny Brown demanded to know: “Why couldn’t he see that it was just too damn hot?”

Despite all the ‘spiritual warrior’s’ sobbing….

James Ray was sentenced to serve 2 years in prison for needlessly taking 3 lives.

For the first time, someone who aspired to be a member of the 1% who used religion to kill was successfully prosecuted.

“Balance is baloney.” ~ James Arthur Ray

Think about HOW all this happened.

When what inside you has to die is your conscience, it’s time to …

Take off the goggles!

Never Again!

Don’t pay to pray!

For older computers, a low bandwidth version is available on ISUMA TV

Posted by: twinkiewrangler | November 21, 2011

James Arthur Ray: This is NOT What a Spiritual Warrior Looks Like!

In the past week, James Arthur Ray has demonstrated to the whole world that he has no right to define what a spiritual warrior is, or to call himself a spiritual warrior. In his desperate attempt to avoid accountability for his reckless actions, he as demonstrated behavior and values that are antithetical to the principles and values of a true spiritual warrior. He spent the last week behaving in a very un-warrior like manner– crying, appealing to emotion, blaming his profession for his megalomania and trying to emotionally manipulate the judge and the survivors of his negligence into allowing him to shirk responsibility for his actions.

Traditional values of a Lakota warrior are: respect, generosity, courage, fortitude, compassion, prayer and wisdom. James Ray exhibited none of these values. He used words like “harmonic” without any understanding of how to struggle towards harmony in a community through generosity and shared power. He preached about living “impeccably” while living only for himself. His prayers were nothing more than theater to trick people into believing he had some spiritual knowledge. He didn’t respect his followers enough or the Lakota people to humbly go to legitimate spiritual elders and ask permission to conduct sacred rites. He claimed to possess the wisdom of all the ancient spiritual giants, but all he could do was regurgitate the vapid works of charlatans like L. Ron Hubbard and Carlos Castaneda.

In indigenous communities, warriors are given a place of honor for their generosity, their leadership, and their bravery.  James Ray holds no honors in any indigenous community. A warrior is honored in indigenous societies for his selfless choice to dedicate himself to the welfare of all his people: his extended family, his clan, and his nation.  A warrior will endure anything if he believes it will create a better future for the generations to come. In contrast, James Ray dedicated himself to a life of ambition and self-aggrandizement. He knew how to manipulate people’s emotions by speaking frequently of helping others, but he lived a life dedicated to justifying the accumulation of much, much more than he needed. This type of selfishness and lack of generosity is the one characteristic that has universal disapproval in indigenous communities.

Ray tried to market identification with indigenous warrior societies while teaching his followers to be the exact opposite of spiritual warriors. Instead of standing up for the principles and values they were raised with, and unflinchingly defending the welfare of all their people, Ray taught his followers to be acquisitive, competitive, and to think only of themselves. He perverted the sweat lodge ceremony into an individual endurance competition and stripped it of any sense of community, compassion or duty to sacrifice for others. He twisted warrior values of bravery, generosity and sacrifice into a Western willingness to conform and to submit to an authority figure in order to gain a personal advantage. Because he knew that he needed to defeat their spirits in order to exploit them completely, Ray conditioned his followers to be the opposite of warriors. He knew that in order to maximize profits, had to diminish any strength his followers could find in unity with or compassion for each other.

Ray’s anti-intellectualism shows contempt towards what is the true essence of a warrior. A warrior is intelligent. He is always clear minded and takes direct action from his wisdom and understanding of the world to protect, women, children, elders and his land. Ray’s teachings taught people to distrust, not only their principles but their intellect as well. This is the opposite of the indigenous concept of a warrior. A warrior always strives to balance wisdom and understanding with compassion for those weaker than himself.  Ray exploited the popular conception of the warrior spirit for profit without any intention of helping others.  A warrior, raised with original instructions, traditional values and principles will naturally seek out environmental and social justice for others and for himself.  Ray sought out wealth and personal glory. These are things that have no value to a true spiritual warrior. Spiritual warriors do not equate material success with spiritual attainment, but Ray made this odious concept central to his teachings.

The warrior spirit isn’t something that you obtain by slapping down a credit card and blindly following the orders of the person who plays the role of an authority the most convincingly. Blind trust is not at all valued in indigenous communities. Every individual is valued for his unique thoughts and way of looking at the world and spiritual leaders do not discourage questioning. Indigenous warriors are judged by their willingness to act on behalf of their people, not on their eloquence or how adamantly they can state their “good intentions”. Intentions carry little weight with indigenous people, because actions mean everything.  Ray offered his followers an easy way to shop-lift the honor earned by a warrior by offering a short cut through “positive thinking” that involved no action, no sacrifice, no discomfort and no threat to the customer’s existing world view.

Because they have been taught love and compassion for their community, warriors make sure that power is shared equally among all. James Ray was all about power. He was addicted to it. He couldn’t get enough of it and he wasn’t at all concerned with sharing it others.  A warrior is defined by his commitment to something outside of himself. James Ray was all about himself, striving only for his own personal aggrandizement.

A warrior needs to display a balance of wisdom, compassion for those less powerful than he and generosity of spirit. Ray taught that “balance is bogus.” A warrior’s commitment to and passion for his people run deep. James Ray’s emotions were shallow. He didn’t feel strongly for any community, so he invented thrill seeking exercises to try to stimulate his own lack of feeling.   Living in undeserved privilege in Beverly Hills, he had no causes for which to struggle. His feigned concern for the environment was only to bait for potential followers.  A true spiritual warrior has a passion for social and environmental justice. He is compelled to take action to make things better for everyone. James Ray lacked a warrior’s sense of inter-connectedness to either the land or the people living on it.

Many Native scholars have written extensively about the humility of individuals who show true spiritual leadership. Those who we honor as spiritual leaders earn our respect through years of sacrifice to the community they were born into. Everyone in the community recognizes their abilities and their accomplishments. If someone is a medicine person or a spiritual elder, there is never any need to advertise on the internet or to go on national television to promote one’s abilities, because he is already known to his community. There is no need to instruct outsiders in the protocol of ceremonies, because this protocol is already known to everyone in the community.

Instead of using his rhetorical skills to inspire people towards generosity, compassion and bravery for their fellow citizens, Ray provided rationalizations for them to relinquish any responsibility to the people around them.  He re-defined self-interest and self-absorption as spiritual evolution. He redefined blind obedience as a path to spiritual enlightenment. He disrespected the individuality and intellect of his followers to an extreme degree because it was a hindrance to his own quest for power over them.

Indigenous warriors serve as an example to the youth on how to deal with colonialism, institutionalized racism and extreme poverty, addiction and lack of opportunity. To date, James Ray had an easy life selling the privileged class the ideas they so desperately wanted to hear. Ray possesses no wisdom or coherent analysis of the society he lived in. His only interest is in finding the easiest way to accumulate wealth and power. He has no compunctions about creating disunity and imbalance by telling the wealthy that they deserved their privileges due to their superior thoughts. He happily reinforces the destructive ideas and values of the status quo — that those trapped in racist institutions deserved to be there due to their inferior thinking.  A person who loves is community doesn’t do this. A spiritual leader doesn’t do this.

Perhaps the greatest show of cowardice is Ray’s ploy to elicit pity from the judge by claiming that Native American inmates were threatening him in the Yavapai county jail and will be “out to get him” in the Arizona correctional facility that will be his new home for the next 2 years. A warrior is direct and honest in his communication. Ray is incorporating racist stereotypes about the “savagery” of Native Americans in institutions to manipulate Judge Darrow into feeling sorry for him. Ray claims that a “Native American” slipped a threatening note under the door. I find it hard to believe that inmates are just allowed to wander around the Yavapai County facility slipping missives to each other. I also noticed that there wasn’t any documentation offered as to all these threats that were allegedly made by Native American inmates.  It seems to me that if Ray were being targeted by a specific inmate population, there would be some documentation of this. Yet, no documentation was admitted into evidence. Don’t correctional facilities keep track of threats? Ray paints a shocking lack of supervision in the Arizona correctional system that is difficult to believe. Furthermore, if there were any threats made at all, it seems more likely that a New Age white person who identifies as “Indian” would be impulsive and daring enough to make a physical threat to a white inmate.  It’s a further indictment of Ray’s lack of character that he would use a racist stereotype in an attempt to mitigate his sentence. A warrior admits his wrong-doings and accepts responsibility for his actions.  He doesn’t use the weaknesses of humanity to his advantage.

James Ray is no spiritual warrior and he was never qualified to talk about what one is.  No warrior would ever engage in such quackery, nor would he hoard all the profits he made from it without sharing it with his extended family, clan, and nation.  No warrior would ever manipulate a “channelor” into suggesting that someone in his community consented to dying in a spiritual ceremony . No warrior would have someone speak so flippantly about those who have passed just to avoid having to make restitution to the surviving relatives.

Klee Benally stopping and excavator from destroying a sacred place

While all the media attention was on the James Ray trial this year, the social and environmental issues of indigenous people were ignored. Klee Benally, in my opinion, is an example of what a spiritual warrior would look like.  If we lived in a society dominated by indigenous values, Klee Benally would be honored as a warrior. This summer, Benally made a conscious choice to sacrifice his safety for the good of everyone in his tribal nation and 12 other tribal nations. While James Ray was paying attorneys to argue that his victims consented to his depraved lack of concern for their welfare, Benally chained and handcuffed himself  an excavator in an effort to stop it from destroying mountain held sacred to 13 tribes in Arizona. Benally is not living in a Beverly Hills mansion. He doesn’t seek out publicity. He is not a superficial style warrior, like James Arthur Ray.

When you hear him speaking clearly and directly to the officers on the video, you can see that the courage, love and wisdom of this spiritual warrior come from the principles and values instilled in him by both the men and the women in the community in which he is raised. While Benally decided to act on his values, many friends and relatives  from his community stood by him and supported him as he confronted the Forest Service. A true warrior always thinks of the women and elders who made him the person who he is and he always puts them first. He would never use them to get himself out of trouble as James Ray has done.

Klee Benally has no catch words or pricey retreats to sell to anyone. He’ll probably never be on Oprah and he’ll never have thousands of devoted followers. He defined himself by taking a risk to fight against an ecological danger that understood as a threat to his whole community. He didn’t stop to think of his safety, or how to make money from the situation. He didn’t pompously advise anyone to think “positively” about the excavator. He knelt down in front of it and put his body between it and the Forest Service workers and risked his safety to defend what he held sacred. There is nothing James Ray would risk his life for, because he doesn’t hold anything sacred. Ray has no understanding of the concept of sacred other than as a means to manipulate people into paying him for the illusion of an encounter with it.

When a warrior makes a choice to risk his life for something he believes in. The greatness of that gift is based on the greatness of the love that the warrior has for the life that he’s willing to sacrifice. Benally clearly has a great love for the land he holds sacred. In contrast, James Ray risked other people’s lives to trick them into thinking that the symptoms of heat stroke were really a transformative experience.  He loves only the status that material things can bring and seems to have no feeling at all for the people he claims to help. To James Ray, human beings are only a means to an end.

Benally stood up the Forest Service and the corporations behind the Snow bowl who are violating the human rights and religious freedom rights of his people by desecrating this sacred  mountain. James Ray made himself into a corporation and tried to use that as an excuse for his recklessness. A warrior accepts responsibility for his actions. He doesn’t lie. He doesn’t justify. He doesn’t rationalize. He presents himself as what he is: a humble member of the human race.

There are dozens of indigenous environmental struggles going on all over the world.  James Ray could have taught himself and other people about: Yucca Mountain, Dooda Desert Rock, Black Hills, Kanehsatake,  Keweenaw Bay , the battle to stop the Keystone XL pipeline or to preserve any number of sacred sites. The half a million dollars he collected for his impersonation of a warrior would have gone a long way towards educating the public about indigenous environmental concerns. He could have taught about real indigenous struggles, but instead he wove fantastic stories from the most popular misconceptions about indigenous spirituality.  He cherry-picked  ideas about indigenous people from pop culture that challenged no one and sold them using the easiest techniques, copied from others who also lacked the courage to stand up for what is right. There is no integrity in anything Ray did to achieve his success and all the tears and hysterics this week only serve to expose him as the bully and the coward he really is.

Klee Benally will be tried in January. There will be no media circus surrounding this trial. He won’t have high powered attorneys to speak for him. He will stand up to the court with integrity, admit what he did with a clear conscience and accept responsibility for being a warrior for his people. CNN will not find his trial newsworthy enough to cover. James Ray will continue the appeal process. He will continue to refuse to accept responsibility for his actions and as soon as he is released he will re-make himself into another false persona and continue to exploit people’s emotions in order to chase the fast, easy buck.

If anything is to be learned from this tragedy, I hope Indian and non-Indian people will see that they need to have the courage to confront people making boastful claims to spiritual knowledge. If they want to be honored as spiritual leaders, they need to start their spiritual quest with honor. If James Ray were any kind of a man, let alone a warrior, he would have had the courage to go to a legitimate Lakota tribal community and ask what is involved in being entitled to conduct sacred rites such as the sweat lodge and the vision quest. And when he was certainly told that he was not entitled to lead any ceremonies, he would have been man enough to respect the words of the rightful guardians of the ceremonies. A true warrior respects his elders. He willingly admits his shortcomings, his lack of knowledge and accepts being told that there are things he is not entitled to do with humility.  Those who still think the ends justifies the means and are willing to sacrifice integrity and principles to take a short cuts to spiritual warrior status, should stop and consider James Ray’s fate. Every step on a spiritual path must be taken with the courage and humility. James Ray’s break down and loss of control toward the end of the trial should be a wakeup call to all the “seekers” who still think short cuts are justified.  It has been said that being a warrior is learning how to cry, but not in the self-serving way that James Ray was crying this week.  A warrior knows how to cry for other people because he has compassion, wisdom and understanding . The crying of a real warrior is never for himself.  A warrior’s humility helps him see  beyond his own needs and empowers  him to act honorably towards the common welfare of his community.  The tragic sweat lodge trial is finally over. It’s time to talk about true spiritual warriors who sacrifice for others.  It’s time to forget about James Arthur Ray.


Klee Benally: Direct Action to Protect Holy Peaks Continues

Indigenous Action

True Snow

Klee’s upcoming trial

YouTube video of Klee chained to excavator 8/13

I’m hoping this uncharacteristically unskeptical post will spur further discussion and debate about the ethics of declaring oneself a “spiritual warrior”

All graphics and writing is copy-lefted. Feel free to share where appropriate.

Posted by: twinkiewrangler | November 14, 2011

Mitigating James Ray’s Conduct: What Can We Expect

The Dream Team: Putting out fires… with gasoline?

James Arthur Ray will most likely be sentenced this Friday, but not before the dream team attempts one last Hail Mary play to keep him free on probation,  Tuesday, November 15th will be the 4th day of the mitigation phase of the pre-sentencing hearings. The dream team has been given three days in which to convince Judge Darrow that probation is an appropriate sentence for James Arthur Ray. A list of  21 witnesses who can offer to offer mitigating evidence was submitted by the dream team several weeks ago.

The list of character witnesses for James Arthur Ray is as follows:

Adshead, Jeff

Allessandra, Dr Tony

Bynum, Dr Matt

Ferriter, John

Fleig, Kathy

Grothe, Amy

Mc,Call, David

Mowery, Dr. Arthur

Quigley, Jon

Parinello, Tony

Parker, Donneta

Parker, Wayne

Procter, Robert

Ray, Jon (Ray’s brother)

Ray, Joyce (Ray’s mother)

Roshi, Genpo

Sandroe, Dr. Richard

Smith, Ward

Smyth, Alex

Stephensen, Sean

Tabeau, Jason

Watkin, John

The Salty Droid has commented on some of these individual in his “The {turd}Bucket List”  It makes some very good reading.

The list is problematic in that many of Ray’s character witnesses are engaged in the same type of fraud that he was previously engaged in –- and plans to engage in in the future. This time, the dream team doesn’t have to convince the common folk of Prescott that James Ray is of good character, they have to impress a highly educated, sitting member of the bar. It should be interesting to see if Darrow can be convinced that the accumulation of wealth is equivalent to “good character.”

Yavapai County prosecutor, Sheila Polk, began the pre-sentencing proceedings by calling witnesses for the state on Tuesday November 8th. Ginny Brown, Kirby Brown’s mother, was her strongest witness and made a powerful statement. Problems arose which could affect an appeal from other witnesses who drank too much of the James Ray Kool-aid.  It’s interesting that the state has called more former members of James Ray’s secret society, Messengers of the Light, than the defense has.  Those who were the most heavily indoctrinated by Ray seemed to have left the sinking ship and now appear to be among his strongest critics.

One of the most disturbing facts about James Ray’s inner circle was revealed on Friday. It seems Marilyn Moss wrote a letter to the prosecutor requesting a glass partition be placed around Ray to prevent him from sending ” toxic energy” to the witnesses, jury and spectators.

This Marilyn Moss at a MOTL New Year’s Eve bash in 2007 with James Ray

ABC: Always be closing.

It seems that everyone in Ray’s inner circle wore and thumb rings to keep this magical “energy” from escaping and conducted rituals in white robes that Ray probably concocted from the nerd obsession Magic the Gathering. New evidence is coming to light Ray had an inner circle of rich, well educated, professional clients unknowingly fell under his spell and were  convinced that bits and pieces lifted and re-marketed from the collectable cards had the power to transform them into more ‘evolved’ beings. One card reads, “How can you claim the gods are merciless when they robbed the snake of its limbs to give the other creatures a sporting chance? Hakim, Loreweaver”  Ray used a variety of thought-reform techniques to convince his inner circle that concepts lifted and reformulated from a nerd game were really a portal to a “higher dimension.” Just for the MOTL scam, he should do 9 years.

Several anons have commented on the similarities to the paranormal beliefs that Scientology claims will come to those who obtain the highest levels, specifically the exteriorization of energy. The mainstream media has failed to even mention that James Ray has Scientology training and bragged that the so-called technology he constructed works “faster than Scientology.”

Kristina Bivins & Mark Rock have both claimed to have recovered new information from ”repressed memories.”  The actions of certain key individuals in helping witnesses recover repressed memories from past life regressions could be a big problem at appeal, but I don’t think it will work against the state in the sentencing phase. Many skeptics have demonstrated how easy it is to implant a false memory. Whether one would be willing to associate himself with the likes of James Arthur Ray is another question.

In his closing arguments, Li’s strategy with the jury was to use colorful stories about CPS abuses of power and government conspiracies to play to the part of the brain that causes intense rage in white libertarian-leaning jurors. He threw out numerous flash words that were intended to cause rage in white working class conservatives and distract them from the facts of the case. It back fired.  This week, we’ll see if the defense is capable of learning from its past mistakes or if it continues with irrational appeals to emotion. If Li participates in this week’s pre-sentencing hearing, I would expect to hear legal arguments designed to sway Judge Darrow and less hot button phrases aimed at the government.  We may have to hear more about James Ray’s right to his religious freedom, however.

Since he seems to be the most personable and the most familiar with Arizona law, I’m guessing that Mr. Kelly will handle the arguments, but I could be wrong.

What we haven’t heard very much about is the most crucial item of the sentencing phase — the probation report.  The Judge relies heavily on the information provided in the pre-sentencing report prepared by the probation officer which contains his recommendation on how guidelines apply to a particular case and provides the judge with a baseline score. The public, and usually the attorneys, don’t get to know what James Ray’s baseline score is, but the judge depends on it heavily. A defendant must be sentenced under provisions passed by congress and the U.S. Sentencing commission. From everything I’ve read, it seems that the probation officer’s base adjusted level used for sentencing is quite high. If so, the dream team must convince Judge Darrow that the probation officer was wrong.

Acceptance of responsibility will give Ray a slight adjustment in the deduction of 2 points. This may not affect the length of sentence applied very much. The fact that his remorse came only after he was convicted is not in his favor. Usually, remorse is considered as a mitigating factor only if it is displayed before conviction.  Also, from what I’ve heard Ray is claiming that he’s very sorry that an “accident” happened at Sedona and is not accepting any personal responsibility for the deaths. Judge Darrow still has discretion to go above or below the baseline sentence. Darrow can apply a harsher sentence if he finds an aggravating circumstance which has not been admitted in the case. The memorandum also suggests that Judge Darrow is free to think up mitigating factors himself that he use as justification for a more lenient sentence.  This is all this highly paid legal team can come up with? Hey Judge, we’re fresh out of ideas. Do you think up some reasons to let our client off yourself?

The fact that the defense has filed strong objections to the language in the probation officer’s report suggest that they are aware that the probation officer has recommended a stiff sentence. They want this sentence stricken from the report:

“While it does not appear that Mr. Ray’s actions were intentional. This officer would suggest that he does need to be held responsible for the deaths of three individuals. His actions appear to this officer to be reckless, dangerous and negligent and he should be held accountable.”

Because of the numerous documents the defense has filed in this case, we already know what arguments they intend to present on Monday. It looks like the dream team had a hard time coming up with mitigating factors.

The list submitted is as follows:

The crime was unintentional and non- violent (3 deaths were “non-violent”?)

No prior arrests or convictions (yet)

Family members need his care

Ray is amenable to rehabilitation (yet is planning a numerology scam)

Ray has close family ties

Ray has good moral character

Ray has a reputation for past good conduct and good deeds (no specific good deeds are listed)

Ray has a reputation for non violence

Ray has a record of community service (no specific acts of community service is listed)

Ray expressed remorse

Ray displayed good conduct and appropriate demeanor in court

Ray loves and is loved by his family

Ray has the support from family & friends

Ray is a contributing member of his household (this seems to contradict his claims that he’s broke and in debt)

Ray has a history of good employment and a productive member of society (again this seems to contradict his claims that he’s broke and can’t pay his own bills)

Ray cooperated with authorities

There is residual and lingering doubt as to states proof of aggravating factors (it doesn’t say in whose mind this doubt lingers)

To me, this “extensive list of mitigating factors” seems to be redundant and centers around Ray’s “success’ as a charlatan. It makes me wonder if the dream team sat around laughing like the writers at Saturday Night live when they cooked up this ridiculous list of justifications for letting Ray off on probation.

If Mr. Li has any courtroom savvy whatsoever, he won’t be as over the top on Monday as he was in his closing arguments. From the memorandum, it appears that the defense intends to drive home the concept of “success” in American society and equate that with the accumulation of wealth.  As an indigenous person, this doesn’t surprise me. I would hope that the James Arthur Ray trial would cause people to re-examine the concept of social justice, reason, logic and freedom of religion in the American justice system, but I know better.  Instead, I’m expecting that James Ray’s unctuous charisma will be heavily spun as an indicator that he is a “productive” member of society. I fully expect that his success as a charlatan will be spun as a “mitigating factor” – code for an appeal to the common white skin privilege of the judge and the defendant and the common sense of entitlement to an extra big piece of the American pie. I hope Darrow sees through it.

I’m fully expecting to hear about three days of mythology and fantasy about what “success” means in American society and a lot of code words for James Ray being a member of the select club of the “successful” and “productive”. But what did James Ray ever make? What did he really ever contribute to society? How is it better because of his mansion and his jet and his Oprah appearances? These are questions I’d like everyone who still supports James Ray and the philosophy he espouses to ask themselves, but I’m not holding my breath.

Most of Ray’s character witnesses share his corporate mindset and the same definition of success that lead Ray to think it was acceptable to make obscene amounts of money through the desecration of the Inipi ceremony.  And why not?  Their ancestors made obscene amounts of money through genocide, slavery and the complete exploitation of the land.  Why not continue the tradition by exploiting whatever’s left of the original culture that made the mistake of inhabiting the land without exploiting it? I’d love to be disappointed, but I know I probably will be shocked by the ends to which the dream team will go to keep as much money in their client’s possession as possible.  The most offensive thing about Ray’s defense is that it comes from the corporate mind set of damage caps and setting monetary value on human lives, not from any spiritually awakened position.  These three deaths and all plastic sweat lodge deaths were the inevitable result of subjecting Native American spiritual practices to the domain of corporatism. This week,  same twisted logic that lead to James Ray’s “success” in the corporate sphere will be used to mitigate his guilt because Ray and his defenders are incapable of any other type of thinking.  It should be a difficult three days for the survivors of Ray’s charlatanism.

If you read through the documents submitted by the defense carefully, it becomes clear that it’s all about the money. The claims of Ray’s poverty are laughable. Ray just recently bought the Beverly Hills home of former football star Rodney Peete. It was listed at $4.25 million, but he only paid $4 million for it.

Ray’s mansion has 6 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms, plus “guest quarters” where his ailing parents could have stayed if Ray were really so interested in nursing them back to health. The mansion, where the devoted family man lived alone, has a pool, a gym and a movie theater.  The property taxes alone it were $23,668.43. That’s more money than most people with only a high school diploma make in an entire year. It’s probably more than his elderly parents receive from social security. The deeply religious “spiritual warrior” lived in a gated community that is 91% white.  I don’t know what good deeds he did in the 90210 zip code, but it’s suspicious that the defense failed to  list specifically what they were.

As Jeanne Barkemeijer (Jeanika) has pointed out in her blog, “My Gratitute Project” , James Ray is not unfamiliar with the courts.  She lists the legal trouble that Ray has gotten himself into, contradicting the claims that he is an upstanding citizen. When so many pending lawsuits are omitted, the assertion that Ray has no criminal history at all may be true on its face, but it is not completely honest.

The defense is trying to elicit pity from the judge by claiming that Ray’s home was foreclosed on. I doubt that we’ll see him at Occupy Beverly Hills anytime soon. The truth turns out to be that Ray is attempting to sell his home at a $1 million loss. This site shows that 11964 CREST Pl Beverly Hills, CA 90210 is authorized for short sale at around $3 million dollars.

The mansion was purchased by Ray through the company “Quantum Shift inc.” The corporation sounds to me like something associated with Oprah and has an active status with entity number: C3187154. Ray used the company to purchase his mansion in February of 2009. This was only 6 months before he negligently caused the deaths of three human beings. He claims to have made $9.4 million in 2008 on his way to becoming the first New Age billionaire. So if he bought a $4 million dollar Beverly Hills mansion slightly after that, where did the remaining 5.4 million dollars go?  Plus, we know he made at least another half million on the “Spiritual Warrior” fiasco. How do you spend $6 million dollars in slightly more than two years?

In September, Ray sent out emails trying to get people interested in numerology with a return address that was a Hollywood PO Box, that is not his parents Oceanside address.  That’s curious because if he’s broke and staying with his parents in Oceanside, CA, then why is he using this address in West Hollywood:

PO Box 691689, West Hollywood, CA 90069, USA

And why is he also still using his old address? 5927 Balfour Ct Ste 104, Carlsbad CA 92008, USA

Why is he promoting this guy’s numerology scam if he isn’t getting a piece of it?

Ray claims he’s rehabilitated himself, but this site is using the same hard sell tactics that Ray used to swindle people prior to the sweat lodge deaths. The site claims that ancient text found on a Chinese turtle shell can change a person’s life forever. The marks are subjected to high pressure sales techniques and were told that they could change their lives, but they must act immediately before closing the web page. It seems that Ray has no interest in good works or rehabilitation and is still up to the old hard sell to make a fast buck. If you go to the next page as instructed you’re asked for $67.00 for a “Life-Changing Numerology Reading package + 100% Money-back Guarantee” You find you can’t leave the page until you enter your credit card number.

Ray also has a non-profit corporation aside from JRI, The Institute For Global Harmony And Integration, Inc. located in Henderson, Nevada.  (entity number C10060-2004) It’s status seems to have been revoked, but where did all the millions he claimed to have raised in “good works” go to.  It seems to me that defense is opening the door with all this talk of James Ray’s success and good works for the state to investigate all these other potential sources of income.

Claims that Ray must care for his parents as a mitigating factor seem very disingenuous to me. His parents, with all their health problems, were living 100 miles south of James’ Beverly Hills mansion and his brother was living hundreds of miles away in Kansas City. Neither of the two brothers in this close family found it necessary to move in with their parents to care for them, before the trial. If James Ray is such a devoted son and brother, then why didn’t he move his frail parents and his brother into his Beverly Hills mansion? There was plenty of room, even if mom had to stay in the “maid’s quarters.”  Before James Ray was put on trial, he was free to travel all over the country collecting large sums of money for his ‘wisdom.’  He organized trips with rich people to Egypt and Peru.  If he it wasn’t a problem to be away from his parents while he was globe-trotting in order to become the world’s first New Age billionaire, it shouldn’t be a problem for him to be away while he pays his debt to society. Most people I know who care for their parents, have them move in with them.  If James Ray is truly so family oriented, then why didn’t every single member of his close family share his luxury accommodations?  How close a family can you have living hundreds of miles away from each other?

It’s telling that the defense spends more time in the memorandum arguing about restitution than providing any substantial proof of Ray’s good character. It disgusts me that they are still claiming the releases that the Browns and the Shores signed preclude any further restitution in a criminal case. I find it obscene that they would even use such arguments, but it’s just further proof that it’s all about the money with them.

Forever corporatists, the dream team clearly does not want to pay damages for pain and suffering, The claim that Ray is only obligated to pay for any ‘economic’ loss. This is not exactly a spiritually evolved way of thinking from a man who is truly remorseful for the pain he has caused.

The memorandum states that “Mr. Ray spent a lifetime as a productive, contributing member of society.” This phrase comes up a lot in the corporate world.  It’s unfortunate that no one ever stops to question the value of this productivity. James Ray never fed, clothed or sheltered anyone. The ‘good deeds’ he supposedly did left no one demonstrably better off. You can’t point to a building he’s improved, a single family he rescued from poverty, a receipt for money given to a charity, nor any group of disadvantaged people who can vouch for his good works.  It seems all his good works are in his mind and are measured solely by his insatiable accumulation of wealth.

Did his “good moral character” drive him to aspire to be the first new Age billionaire?

Ray did “good works” if you call posing with the locals in Peru to try to prove you have some spiritual connection to them and having the World Wide Wealth Society pay him thousands of dollars do a few token projects while engaging in spiritual tourism “good works.” I certainly don’t. I call it exploitation.

The memorandum also claims that the aggravating factors are not “legitimate” and ignores the victim impact statements. The dream team seems to be as callous and insensitive to the survivor’s pain as James Ray is himself. Or maybe they’re just applying Ray’s wisdom and creating their own reality.

The one thing that convinces me that this is all about the money is that the thing one that seems to irk the dream team the most is the state’s request for restitution. The state of Arizona is seeking restitution to victims $67.255.31 and $67,775.84 for costs of prosecution.   The defense claims that the civil settlements far exceeded the requested amount, but the confidentiality agreement prevents the public from knowing the exact amount that Ray paid to his victims.

The defense tries to have it both ways by objecting strenuously to the state’s request for compensation for months of ridiculous motions and demands for mistrials while claiming that James Ray needs to be put on probation in order to spare the state the cost of incarcerating him. If Ray was required to pay for his incarcerations also, that would remedy one of the defense’s disingenuous concerns about the burden placed on the Arizona taxpayers.  I’m very interested to see if the state of Arizona can be successful in charging a con-artist for the cost of his own prosecution, especially when the tactics of the defense were the cause of the majority of the  delays in the proceedings.

Appeals to emotion can be used to see that justice is done or to prevent it from being administered. While compassion and empathy are needed to in the justice system, they are all too often afforded to the “successful” and not to the people who need and deserve it most. Native Americans have been aware of this for a long time. Some of our non-Native allies are just starting to see how the justice system really works. If there’s one thing we will all learn this week, it’s that the American judicial process NOT based on pure reason; it’s not objective; it isn’t just; it isn’t fair and it’s certainly not devoid of emotion. You can bet that the dream team will pull out all the stops to elicit sympathy and empathy for James Ray in hopes of convincing the judge to more lenient toward their client.

I’m hearing rumblings that the Native American community of Arizona is planning a protest if Ray is only given probation. I hope they can unite with other outraged Arizona citizens and give the people of Arizona a “decolonize” the courts protest to be remembered.

Posted by: twinkiewrangler | June 16, 2011

Closing Arguments in Arizona v. James Arthur Ray

Closing Arguments for

Arizona v. James Ray

June 15, 2011

Closing arguments began this afternoon in the James Arthur Ray sweat lodge trial. Ms. Polk was magnificent. She started out with this forceful statement:

“Three people are dead who should not be dead.

Three people have lost loved ones who should not be gone.”

Ms. Polk then walked over to the defense table and pointed at James Arthur Ray and told the jury how he intentionally used what she termed “hellacious” heat to create what he believed “altered state” which he could market to his unfortunate victims.

Here are some of the highlights of today’s arguments:


Ms. Polk: Mr. Ray intentionally used heat to create an altered state.

They are dead because James Ray consciously disregarded a substantial and unjustifiable risk that his conduct would cause death.

(Pointing at James Ray) The only difference between manslaughter and negligent homicide is the issue of awareness.

The defendant’s sweat lodge consisted of crowding approximately 56 people together in that enclosed tight space for more than 2 hours. Participants sat shoulder to shoulder with no room at all.

You heard the defendant tell those participants how he was going to pack them in.

Take a look at the cars, you can see how small that lodge is in relation to them.

James Ray audio clip: “Stand up make one full rotation around the lodge and you’ll stop.

Invariably what starts to happen think you’re gonna think you have much more room than you really do. If you have touch-a-phobia, you’re going to have to get over it everybody butted up against everybody else…Once the back wall is full all the way around you’ve got to go forward.”

Ms. Polk: The Defendant did in fact wear participants down. In his own words to get them less grounded so they could have that ultimate experience.

James Ray did in fact wear participants down. In his words. to get them less grounded so they could have that ultimate experience. He intentionally wore them down so they would be less grounded so they could have an “altered experience.”

James Ray audio clip: “You can have altered states, states are temporary. I’m not a vegetarian.  I don’t advocate it particularly when you do a lot of energy work you need to be very grounded. However, I don’t want you grounded here I want you off balance. Balance is bogus anyway. That way you can push your threshold and you open up your greater opportunities.

Ms. Polk: You hear witnesses tell you time after time that participants entered that tent tired, hungry, physically weak and fully conditioned to follow James Ray’s instructions.

You heard Laurie Gennari tell you that by the end of the week they were all used to getting an order and doing it. We were well trained by the end of the week.

James Ray audio clip: (chastising participant) “You’ve played around for way to long now. You haven’t played full on yet. You’re more out of the room then in it. You don’t’ show up for yoga. That’s a pattern. You’re not seeing things through. If you want to be successful in your life, then you need to dig in here. If you play half assed here you’re playing half assed in other areas of your life.”

Ms. Polk: He taught them to ignore their own instincts to reach out and help somebody in distress.

You heard a witness tell you that if not for James Ray‘s temper, he might have helped people.

You heard Beverly Bunn say “You learn throughout the course of the week that you don’t question Mr. Ray on anything.”

You heard Dennis Mehraver say when asked if he would help someone in distress “I probably would wait until the round was over I wouldn’t have stopped the ceremony.”

They all believed that if something happened that they would be taken care of.

Stephen Ray passed out dragged out helicoptered up to flagstaff. His trust in Mr. Ray was the only thing that lead him to believe he could survive the rigorous of the sweat lodge.

You heard him testify of how much control the defendant had over everything and that he wouldn’t let anyone get hurt.

James Ray intended that intense searing heat in order to obtain a financial investment from the participants of $10,000 to achieve a break through exactly what defendant marketed to the participants.

Many participants were unable to leave by reason of their altered mental status which is the hallmark of heatstroke.

You heard Linda Andresano, the nurse for Tucson, say “I thought this was an honorable way to die… If I had been thinking professionally, I never would have stayed.”

You heard Scott Barratt say the defendant yelled like a drill Sargent and that those words affected his ability to leave. He repeated those words to himself to survive the heat challenge.

As they James Shore said to Sean Ronan – James Shore was really looking forward to lodge sitting up in front always had a fear of doing that so this was going to be a chance for him to break

Kirby Brown audio clip: “I sang the song rain, rain go away and there it was the rainbow. this power piece that I brought here. It was an old piece that was given to me when I was in 3rd grade. An old Scottish kilt pin for my grandmother’s. It wasn’t that she was so big in my life that was one of my pieces that I had to bring…

“I was like yeah I’m going to be the hero but then I died so quickly.”

“I puked and I swallowed it down underneath there underneath the blanket”

“I realized that the dead are there with us.”

As I laid there dying so I didn’t kill other people.”

“Out in my beautiful medicine wheel I hadn’t done much meditation at one point I needed to meditate and I did and a powerful figure came to me brother Leo Kirby my grandfather’s brother a very powerful priest always my person that I would go to ask for advice he appeared and I missed him this was nothing in my writing he came to me and I just said wow thanks for coming here. He said I have three words for you keep things simple that’s the same thing he said to me,

“understand that our loved ones are here with us now”

Ms. Polk: So determined was Kirby Brown to learn what Mr. Ray had to teach that for 5 hours during that samurai game she laid there without moving.

Mr. Ray knew that.

You heard Sean Ronan testify that, “Mr. Ray knows what I can accomplish better than I know myself.”

The defendant wants you to believe this is merely a corporate event that he just shows up for.

Who is the president? James Ray.

Who is the Secretary? James Ray.

Who is the treasurer of JRI? It’s James Ray.

Who is the director of JRI? It’s James Ray.

Who signed this annual filing but the defendant? James Ray.

There is not a question that the defendant’s conduct caused the death and there is no question that Mr. Ray controlled every single aspect of that heat endurance challenge.

The defendant controlled how much heat could escape, how much fresh air come in.

He controlled when people could talk in the sweat lodge and he even controlled when people could urinate.

He intended to use the heat to create this altered mental status in order to give the participants something extreme to think that they got their money’s worth.

He intended to take the participants up to death so that they could have a near death experience.

When one of the participants told the defendant that he died, James Ray said, “You were reborn so go take a shower and get cleaned up.”

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you don’t have to agree that it was hypothermia.

What you do have to agree beyond a reasonable doubt is that the defendant conduct caused the deaths.

Dr. Dickson reviewed all the medical records unequivocally testified that all the victims died of heat stroke.

Dr. Mosley determined cause of death to be heat stroke for Kirby Brown and James Shore and Liz Neuman, multi-system organ failure due to prolonged sweat lodge exposure.

All the doctors were aggressively cross examined, but all maintained original conclusions that heat caused the deaths.

Hypothetical questions were asked the witness to ignore the actual evidence and assume that something else was the cause. You must look at the evidence

The defendant wants you to freeze your knowledge in time to what the first responders knew that night.

The defendant chose to ignore those who lay unconscious

You are not in positionof first responders making their best efforts to figure out what happened.

The State has clearly proven that BUT FOR the defendant’s conduct, Kirby, James and Liz would not have died.

The defendant’s conduct in its natural and continuous sequence caused their deaths.

The state must prove superceding intervening event did not cause the deaths

What is some intervening event?

Is there some event outside of Mr. Ray’s control that caused the death?

If a boulder rolls on lodge and kills three people that wouldn’t be Mr. Ray’s fault.

If you find some unforeseeable event like a boulder rolling down and hitting the tent then you must find the defendant not guilty.

If you find that BUT for the defendant’s conduct the victims would not have died. then you must find d Mr. Ray guilty.

This issue of supervening event – this is where the hours and hours of testimony and cross examination comes in.

The defendant wants you to believe that something other than exposure to searing heat caused the deaths.

The list of possible causes of death reads a bit like a take-out menu from an expensive diner.

And It’s baloney it’s all baloney.

The right wood, the wrong wood, wood with nails, wood without nails … free will, victims chose to stay in tent, Rotillo, the landscaper, on his own purchased deadly toxins with his own money and sprayed them around. The Mercer’s built the sweat lodge wrong.

And of course the very short lived other caused offense that Ted was the one running the sweat lodge.

It’s ridiculous. The defendant wants you to ignore what is right in front of your eyes.

Signs of distress all around people seriously suffering he acknowledges but continues to add more rocks more water.

The defendant wants you to ignore problems in past events.

There were no problems in same structure when someone other than Mr. Ray facilitated a sweat lodge.

The defendant wants you to ignore a waiver that essential acknowledges that the way Mr. Ray does a sweat lodge is dangerous.

Organophosphates or something that coincidentally could only be tested for within a few days of exposure.

They would have come up with some other substance plutonium for instance that we didn’t test for.

Dr. Dickson works in ER in Yuma farming community where pesticides used and one of the hottest places in state of Arizona treats 20 live patients a year suffering from heat stroke.

He treated border agents who were directly sprayed by some pesticides and they didn’t die.

Dr. Paul never performed an autopsy on patients with organophosphate poisoning.

Dr. Paul who was asked point blank what is the lethal dose of an organophosphate that would be needed in this case

What would it be?

Dr. Paul’s answer was that he has not done any research in that area.

That would be beyond his area of expertise.

Dr. Paul admits he is not aware of any case where sitting on an organophosphate caused death why some people face down got sick and others did not why some people face up got sick and others did not

The problem with that theory is that there is not pattern of who got sick and who does not.

Mark Rock was face down.

Dawn Gordon was face up.

Kirby Brown was face up.

James Shore started out close to pit face down moved back side up tending and helping others.

Liz Neuman – both faced each other leaned back on Laura Tucker and Laurie Gennari.

Stephen Ray was covering mouth and nose with his hand and shirt.

Beverly Bunn was sitting up and still got sick.

Sean Ronan was sitting, laying on back, and then moved to stomach.

Linda Andresano was dragged out after ceremony was over and started out in the back sitting up.

Melissa Phillips was face down and not sick.

Laura Tucker was on her side and not sick.

Kim Brinkley was ace down.

Expert opinion testimony is judged as any other testimony. You are not bound by it. Give it as much credibility & weight as you think it deserves.

I suggest to you that the expert opinion of Dr. Paul had no credibility whatsoever.

Dr. Paul agreed all patients suffered from heat exhaustion.

The body will cool 11 degrees in an hour with aggressive cooling such as an ice bath.

Dr. Paul refused to talk about how much cooling you would do at ambient air temp 70 degrees in Sedona.

The body would have cooled about 2 degrees every 10 minutes or 12 degrees in an hour.

The defense talked a lot of Pneumonics, You heard testimony that if signs and symptoms fit in a box it points you in right direction, but you don’t just pick & chose a few have to make them all fit.

You can’t just pick out random signs and symptoms to fit your theory.

You can’t just look at a few signs and symptoms and conclude that there is reasonable doubt in that case.

You must look at the big picture.

Of those signs and symptoms, none of them fit neatly in that box to point you towards organophosphate poisoning.

Mr. Hughes had Dr. Paul write down signs and symptoms that support organophosphate poisoning and he wrote down ONLY signs and symptoms that support his theory and left out some of them.

In the official position paper that addresses determining causes for heat related deaths, one of the criteria looks at the circumstances.

Never once did Dr. Paul write down circumstances surrounding the victim’s deaths. That is so glaring.

That’s what the defendant wants you to ignore they want you to ignore what is right in front of your eyes as the cause of death.

It’s that superheated tight enclosed space for over 2 hours where they were subjected by Mr. Ray to searing heat and searing humidity.

Dehydration is not a necessary component.

A well hydrated person can die in a hot car in Phoenix.

Mr. Hughes said show me the literature where it says that and Dr. Paul couldn’t find it.

In exertional heat stroke (EHS) dehydration is not a necessary criteria. Dr. Paul testified that in Non-exertional heat stroke (NEHS) you have to have dehydration, but his profession does not support that.

Mr. Li wrote on the board that you have to have dehydration and elevated temperature, but that’s not true.

The only doctor who says you have to have dehydration for heat stroke is the defense’s doctor, Dr. Paul.

What are those pneumonics about? SLUDGE?





GI upset

Emesis sweating

All of these signs and symptoms are about fluids pouring out of your body.

Organophosphate poisoning is diagnosable. It’s not mistaken for heat stroke. It’s about fluids pouring from every possible orifice.

You drown in your own fluids.

Two completely different symptoms in your patients.

A few of the symptoms for heat stroke may overlap with symptoms for organophosphate poisoning. Not a single victim died from drowning in their own spit.

None of the doctors have ever seen a patient die of organophosphate poisoning.

The unidentified EMT said, “We’re not sure exactly why. “We don’t really know maybe carbon monoxide, maybe with some organophosphate mixed in with it. So we’ll look into it.”

The State has proven that the Hamiltons used very few chemicals on their property.

There was no pressure treated wood, pesticides, mysterious rat poisons and no organophosphates.

Use your common sense.

When I smell pesticides I smell them everywhere. Why has been nobody smelled anything unusual?

Debbie Mercer said she never smelled anything unusual.

Sargent Barbet didn’t smell anything.

Detective Diskin didn’t smell any odors.

Dr. Paul testified that some patients will have a very distinct garlic like smell not present in this case at all.

The Defense has taken one symptom from that toxidrome and built a house of cards hoping that you won’t notice.

Let’s Run it down:

Rat poison: Just One Bite … – none of these contain organophosphate all they cause rat to die by causing it to bleed to death.

Andro ant killer does not contain organophosphates.

Andro was not even used until June 2010.

In 10  years, Dr. Dickson had never seen patient who ingested Andro.

Rocks tarps, d logs and pole from sweat lodge structure were all seized and sampled and sent off to the lab.

The toxin could not have been airborne exposure would have had to have been through direct contact.

Rocks, wood ,coverings poles were all tested.

Samples were heated to 50 C / 122 F and the lab found nothing except trace amounts of 2 EH in one tarp piece.

2EH is a solvent to help form plastics – coverings contain vinyl

Heated for 8 hours to 122 degrees

Are we supposed to believe that pesticides were only sprayed in area where those who fell ill lay?

This theory requires you to completely suspend your common sense and ignore the evidence.

We all get exposed to chemicals to pesticides on a regular basis without anyone dying.

2 EH is even added to food.

Alpha turpinial in the wood is found in pine oils and is harmful if swallowed, but no one swallowed anything around the wood.

If there were toxic substances in wood smoke, you would expect those exposed to fire to suffer the most and that wasn’t the case. None of them suffered any ill effects from the smoke.

When samples were heated to 203 degrees, just short of boiling, various volatiles were found.

No way did the air inside the sweat lodge get close to boiling.

The victims died of an extreme heat.

Many other sweat lodge ceremonies had been conducted in that same sweat lodge.

You heard testimony that the only time participants were in distress is when defendant runs the event.

In 2007 and in 2008, Mr. Ray conducted a ceremony there and people got sick.

In 2007, he conducted a lodge in a  different structure people got sick.

This is fuurther evidence that it is Mr. Ray’s conduct and not some unknown toxin that caused the victims to die.

Now let me talk to you a little bit about this audio.

You have a crucial piece of evidence that the first responder did not have.

You have heard testimony about the defendant’s conduct.

You’ve heard the defendant’s own words describing how he was intentionally taking the lodge to extreme heat to achieve an altered mental state telling and them to ignore signs of their bodies.

Sweat lodge ceremonies are not inherently dangerous events.

Endurance challenges where participants are told to ignore signs of heat illness are incredibly dangerous.

No one could imagine that James Ray would ignore calls for help and allow participants to pass out in that tent and just leave them there.

He knew

He intended to introduce hellaciously hot heat and steam.

He told participants to ignore their body’s warning signs of distress and pushing through pain and suffering was a good thing.

He told them they were not supposed to speak during sweat lodge ceremony unless asked by him.

He told they could not leave the tent during a round. He told them the  “stone people” are heated to a fevered pitch and he said, “I am the grand master in this temple and I need you to think of it in this way. The person running the lodge is like a priest.”


James Ray audio clip: “…By the time we get to the 27th round – just kidding I will promise you we’ll have at least 7 rounds it just depends on how I get inspired. You’ve got to surrender to it. We’ll be during some prayers and chants and I may go into an altered state. …

I’m the master of the lodge and when I tell you to do something that’s when you do it.

The 1st pouch rep the underworld

Normally the 1st round for me is just a warm up round. I have to transcend my body.

This is my chance to live honorably to live my values above and beyond my moods. Moods say get the hell out of here. .

Before the first round you’ll be saged outside

In 1st round I’ll offer some sandalwood to the fire and the lodge.

Sandalwood has been the incense of the archangel of earth.

I’ll ask you to offer up your prayers to the lodge and to the universe.

Underworld – what you’ve committed to doing in that direction with your unconscious issues

Need to proclaim it like you really mean it keep doing it until you …

Find strength in unity of this group in connectivity of your intentions

My expectation is that you’re going to go through this like a samurai.

You’re going to transcend this this mother fucking James Ray shit.

Show you what you’re really capable of doing…

You will be in such an altered state in such an altered state you’ve ever been in minus psychoactives. Really.You’ll have the opportunity to explore your own consciousness.

You’ll go into one of the most profound altered states you’ve ever experienced. We’ve had people who don’t even know who they are anymore.

So I was talking to a Native American friend of mine and he said that the lodge is the only one that even comes close to … is the Lakota and you know the Lakota.

The only thing that comes to move you forward in your evolution is …. altered states

You are going to have one of the most intense altered states you have ever had in your life.

They’ll come to a time where I have to not be James anymore it will be the most intense experience, the most intense heat you have ever had in your life. I guarantee that you will feel like you are going to die I guarantee that.

You see the true spiritual warrior has conquered death.

You will have to get to a point where you … and it’s ok to die.”

Ms. Polk: What you must consider is did the defendant’s conduct pose a substantial and unjust risk of death and was the defendant aware of the risk. Did he substantially disregard the substantial risk of death?

To prove crime of manslaughter you would have to prove Mr. Ray was aware of the risk of death and ignored it.

I submit to you that Mr. Ray was aware of that risk.

His words before and during the heat challenge itself is proof to you that he was aware.

His conduct inside sweat lodge as round after round after round more people got sick and his conduct about what he did and what he did not do shows you that what was happening is what he intended to happen. You’ve heard his intent was to create this extreme mental state.

But he intended to use that heat to take them up to that brink of death and think they were getting something for their $10, 000.

That’s why he doesn’t stop as people being dragged out. This is what he intended.

What the lawyers say is not evidence the testimony is evidence

You’ll have to go through t3 ½ months of evidence.

Witness after witness has testified about the growing chaos in this tent starting really about the end of round 4.

Amy Grimes passed out on Kim Brinkley. She testified she yelled out for help and that Amy was dragged out.

Somebody drags out Amy right out past the defendant.

Lou Caci seated at 12 o’clock originally delirious and unconscious falling into that pit of heated rocks.

You have heard so much testimony about the growing chaos moans request for help dragged out limp and lifeless in front of the defendant.

All the info that he had about people being in distress as early as the 4th round and all the opportunity he had to stop this challenge. He didn’t.

Mr. Ray’s desire to make people think they were experiencing something unique took precedence over their safety.

Debbie Mercer testified that she assisted about 25 people.

Beverly Bunn testified that everything was chaos after the 4th round. Sydney Spenser was dragged out completely lifeless right past the defendant. The defendant shouted, “Everybody quite down. I am in  charge.”

When Scott Barratt tried to move Linda Andresano, the defendant yelled at him to stop. Scott Barratt testified that he stopped because he was afraid that the defendant would yell at him again.

Mr. Ray said, “Just leave her. We need to keep going”

All these opportunities to stop that event.

These deaths were not inevitable.

Ask yourself , if the defendant had stopped the ceremony when he had these warnings would Kirby James and Liz still be alive?

Mike Olesen testified that Christine was in his path babbling and holding on to her tobacco pouch.

Mike Olesen testified that the defendant yelled at him to back away and let lady to back in.

He tried to make Linda Andresano lay down and asked for help but found that everyone around was out of it.

You can infer from that evidence that what was happening was what the defendant intended to happen.

What about Liz Neuman?. Was Liz upset with herself due to the reprimand she received from defendant for drinking wine and maybe disturbing his nap?

Was Liz determined to prove that she was “more than that” possibly?

And participants told Mr. Ray that Liz was struggling.

Laura Tucker’s testimony sat at the 9 to 10 o’clock position near Liz Neuman. Liz had coached her on tips to survive the sweat lodge.

Around 4th or 5th round Liz moved closer to hot rocks tried to get Liz to come back from the heat Liz brushed her hand away she called out to Mr. Ray James its Laura I’m concerned about Liz

Mr. Ray did not investigate. He did not leave his spot by the door. Instead he said, “Liz has done this before and she knows what’s she’s doing.”

This suggests that this was was acceptable to him because this is what he intended to happen.

When Laura Tucher touches Liz shoulder and asks if she needs to leave James Ray says, “She’s all right.”

Liz, who had just heard Mr. Ray say she’s all right, answers yes.

Did Liz Neuman say no because she had heard Mr. Ray say that Liz knew what she she was doing?

Laurie Gennari in her words said Liz looked awful, like a drunk .

She heard Mr. Ray respond, “Liz knows what she’s doing.”

Asked by Laura  if she wanted to leave, Liz responded slurring no no no no no no

Ms. Mercer heard someone say, “I can’t get her to respond” and she hear Mr. Ray say, “She’s been down this road before. She’ll be ok.” She  heard Mr. Ray say to worry about yourself and don’t worry about others.

Lou Caci started at 11 o clock near the pit

He went back in for the last round.

As he crawled back in James Ray said, “This one’s for you. Lou.”

He took a position near Liz Neuman at 7 -8 o’clock position

In the last round he testified that Liz’s breathing wassimilar to breathing of his brother and his father shortly before both of them had died.

Kim Brinkley stayed at 4 5 o’clock the entire time. She heard Laura yell out she’s concerned about Liz who was unresponsive. She heard Mr. Ray respond, “She’ll be fine.”

Liz Neuman was pulled out of tent 2 rounds later unconscious and she never recovered.

Nell Wagoner, the gynecologist form Alaska, encountered Liz with no one tending to her she lay by Liz and urged her Liz wake up stayed with Liz until paramedics arrived. She testified that Liz had foaming form the mouth and she told her Liz was cold.

Before paramedics even arrived, Nell Wagoner testified that she touched Liz and Liz was already cold.

Jennifer Haley testified that she had taken 2 cups of water poured it on Liz.

Most likely she was cooled down like all the others with hose or with 5 gallons buckets like everybody else.

You heard many people testify how quickly they went from being hot to being shivering cold.

Melissa Phillips sat at the 2 o’clock position and she left after the 3rd round

Melissa testified that she came back in for last three rounds because she did not want to disappoint Mr. Ray.

She laid face down with face turned toward Kirby Brown.

She called out 5-6 times that there was something wrong with Kirby and Kirby needed to be taken out.

Someone responded, she’s fine but she didn’t recognize the voice.

A participant named Theresa, probably Dawn Gordon, directed others to roll Kirby over Kirby stopped the snorting sound couldn’t tell you if Kirby was even breathing

Finally Mellissa Phillips testified that someone tried to crawl out back of lodge and the defendant chastised him and told him not to do it. Melissa Phillips testified that that person was James Shore.

Laurie Gennari moved to three o’clock right before last round heard a voice call out, “She’s not responding”.

And at another time, she heard someone called out, “She’s not breathing.” She heard Mr. Ray respond, “leave her there we’ll deal with it at the end of the round.”

Beverly Bunn sat at 2 -3 o’clock position for first 4 rounds but she decided she needed to get out and as she crawled towards door the defendant said, “Beverly, especially you. You are stronger than this. You can get through this.”

Had been working directly with James Ray and she believed Mr. Ray knew better because he had done this before.

She ended up at 8-9 o’clock could get some air when flap opened

She heard a voice say, “I can’t get her to breath. Someone’s not breathing.” And she heard Mr. Ray respond “The door is closed this round has begun. We’ll deal with it after the next round.”

Outside, participants were waiting for Mr. Ray to go check up on them but he did not instead he started another round introducing more rocks more heat more water and more searing steam.

He had information that in the back someone was in trouble, not breathing and Mr. Ray lets another round go by.

You saw Dr. Bunn’s demeanor on the stand remembering how she crawled past her friend Kirby making a snorting gurgling sound.

At that point, according to witnesses, Kirby was still breathing. According to Dr. Bunn still alive.

If a heart has a heartbeat it still has a shock able rhythm.

How much more time before Kirby was pulled out by Debbie and Sara Mercer?

Mr. Ray, who took care of himself first, celebrated, got some water and went to shade, took a seat.

Eventually, he told Debbie Mercer she could remove them if it was absolutely necessary.

Mr. Ray told somebody to urinate in that tent. Now that it’s over, he has information that three people are still down. He doesn’t get up and help open back of tent and tells Debbie Mercer she can only open back of tent if it’s absolutely necessary.

If Mr. Ray had paid attention to calls for Kirby would Kirby Brown would still be alive.

If Mr. Ray done something to get EMT working on her faster, would Kirby Brown still be alive?

Nell Wagoner sitting at the 5 o’clock position was very close to Mr. Ray.

She testified that he was aware that people were being dragged out others seemed to be unconscious.

She heard someone say, “Wait there’s one more.” She sat just a few feet from Mr.Ray and she heard him reply “We’ll have to wait until after the next round.”

Mark Rock testified that around the 6th or 7th round, he heard Kirby Brown making a gurgling noise sound. That was only sound in the tent at the time.

Mark Rock heard someone say, “I think she’s in trouble she need s to get out.” at 10 o’clock and he heard Mr. Ray say, “We’re closing the gate.”

Mark Rock also heard James Shore struggling actually lifting the edge of the flap to get some air in order to survive the event himself.

Kim Brinkley heard labored breathing coming from spot where Kirby sat and that it was concerning.

Dawn Gordon testified that James Shore dragged out Sydney Spencer (unconscious) and came back to a position in tent next to Kirby.

James Shore called out, “We need help over here.”

Was James Shore referring just to Kirby or referring to himself as well?

He made comments to Dawn Gordon suggesting that he was struggling.

James Shore calls out WE need help over here. Could he have meant for himself and Kirby.

Dawn Gordon told the detectives that James Shore yelled out for help. On the stand, she said he just put it out there.

Pushed and pulled Kirby to her side and encouraged her to keep breathing

On the stand Dawn Godon testified that Mr. Shore again called out for help but in a weaker voice.

Mr. Shore, in a last ditch effort to survive and to help Kirby survive, lifts the edge of the tent to get some fresh air. Dawn Gordon testified that Mr. Ray yelled out, “Turn off the light!”

She testified that after that things got quiet and after the ceremony, they were both unconscious and not moving.

You heard testimony about what happened near the end of the heat endurance challenge.

Debbie Mercer told you around the 6th or the 7th James Shore dragged someone out of tent right next to Mr. Ray. She saw him hit his head on one of the beams.

The autopsy report indicates an abrasion on his forehead.

She heard someone say, “So and so is not breathing” and testified that she heard Mr. Ray respond, “Really? They’re not breathing?” She also heard Mr. Ray respond, “They’ll be fine. That’s where they need to be.”

Debbie testified that Mr. Ray instructed her to close door and he never checked up on anyone.

Things were then quiet for that last round.

Sarah Mercer heard someone say, “There’s a few people unconscious.” She heard Mr. Ray say that was a good thing. She also heard someone ask if they should take them out.

You heard testimony fromFawn Foster. She heard someone say there were three people down inside. She did not hear a reply. She heard Mr. Ray say, “Leave them until the end of the next round.”

That is proof beyond a reasonable doubt the Mr. Ray was aware and consciously disregarded that his conduct would cause death but there’s more.

Let’s look at the waiver. You’ll be able to see them when you go back.

The waiver releases Mr. Ray and JRI of liability for acts.

You can consider this as evidence that Mr. Ray knew his conduct created a substantial and unjustifiable risk of death.

The waiver states that there may be a “ceremonial sauna” involving intense temperatures and  there is a risk of injury or death.

It states that people may have been seriously injured by participating in activities.

People may suffer physical emotional, financial injury and there is or can be no guarantee regarding my health or safety re participation in activities.

The defense wants you to believe that this is not an awareness of risk of death of these activities.

Looking at entire record ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Rays conduct is a gross deviaton from the standard of care a reasonable person would exercise.

A reasonable person knows that if you spend too much time in a super-heated environ you will die.

If you are too hot for too long you will die.

It does not require special knowledge to know intense temperature is life threatening.

Dr. Dickson testified that participants should take time to acclimate, get plenty of sleep, be well rested, be in top physical condition, hydrate continuously, not fast, should be educated on signs and symptoms of heat illness and should get out and immediately and cool off before change in mental status occurs. Participants should look out for each other may not recognize a change in mental status.

You heard testimony that heat stroke symptoms occur on a continuum.

The hallmark is an altered mental status.

Dr. Dickson testified that that is the demarcation between heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

He testified that if someone passes out in a heated sweat lodge they should be immediately removed.

The defendant kept the heat event challenge a surprise for most of the participants.

He told them of the event for 1st time 1 hour before commencement.

In his pre-event briefing, Mr. Ray described all the signs and symptoms of heat related illness, but then told them to ignore them and that it was safe to do so.

Mr. Ray told them it was ok to pass out inside sweat lodge and they’d be taken care of.

He arranged for a 36 hour fast leaving them hungry, dehydrated and not grounded,

They were deprived of sleep.

During the ceremony, he did not allow them to hydrate unless they went outside.

Mr. Ray intentionally decided to ignore warning of heat illness he knew they would experience inside his sweat lodge and told them to ignore signs of heat illness.

Mr. Ray encouraged them to let others have their own experience and not to interfere.

Rather than teaching participants that altered mental status is hallmark of heat exhaustion, Mr. Ray encouraged them to push through and endure and that they would have a breakthrough.

You heard Stephen Ray’s testimony about Mr. Rays actions when sweat lodge was over. He came out, gave a  victory wave, hosed off, got a  drink and sat in the shade.

Meanwhile, the Mercers dealing with that horrifying chaos.

Christine was shouting, “James! James! Why did this happen?”

He went over and took her hand and said, “Christine, wake up.”

This was what he intended

From his perspective they were having this altered mental experience that he wanted them to have.

Debbie Mercer came over told him three people still inside.

He told Debbie she could open up back only if absolutely necessary.

He let two women who are about my size pull back the tent and try to pullout three people.

Even beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Ray intended everything to happen.

He decided to intentionally bring participants up to edge of death to have that extreme altered mental state that he told them was a good thing. His behavior, beyond a reasonable doubt, is the crime of reckless manslaughter.

Ms. Polk reads the definition of gross deviation:

Gross Deviation: one that may be characterized by such terms as flagrant, extreme, outrageous heinous or grievous. Deviation from reasonable conduct must be greater than mere heedlessness that is required in a civil suit.

Substantial and unjustifiable risk: civil merely unreasonable

Criminal risk of death must be substantial and unjustifiable.

By Mr. Rays own words he intended to create something that was extreme.

By his own words, he intended to create this extreme event and he did.

This is clearly gross deviation from how a reasonable person in that situation acts.

Chance to learn a little bit about Kirby, James and Liz

No way they experienced any kind of free choice to stay inside of tent as they died

No way could they exercise any free choice as they were struggling and falling unconscious.

You heard the audio clip of James Shore where he told the group his intention. I’m playing it again for the limited purpose of understanding James Shore’s state of mind as well as Mr. Ray’s knowledge of Mr. Shore’s state of mind.

JAMES SHORE CLIP:  “I’m a samurai James Shore.  My purpose breath honor and truth with every second of this life to live impeccably be in perfect HARMONY with creation to live to best of my abilities at all times continue to path of enlightenment without distraction …. I am Samurai as a child of god I claim my right to ascend to the throne of god as a fully enlightened ascended master Aye ya ya” – James Ray repeats “Aye ya ya.”

I assert to you that Mr. Shore was living impeccably. What a contrast between teacher and student.

Mr. Ray who sat there consciously disregarding risk of death that his conduct created.

Mr. Shore, struggling to survive, yet taking care of those around him.

From 6th round down what James Shore did and what James Ray did not –again what a contrast between teacher and student.

James Shore becomes aware of Sydney Spencer is unconscious, described by witness as lifeless. He drags her out bumps his head. He has opportunity to get out himself, and be with us today and what does he do? He’s aware of somebody else is in trouble so he turns around and he goes back in to dark area in back where there is not air.

He goes back when the door is still open he calls out for help and he doesn’t get it.

He’s taking care of Kirby and trying to talk her through– trying to keep her alive.

In the 7th round James Shore calls out for help. Mr. Ray, hearing those words, says the door is closing.

You heard more testimony about James Shore trying to keep Kirby alive – lifting up the flap desperate to stay alive, so weakened in his state, clearly altered, he obeys and puts down the flap

In 15 minutes or so they are both pulled out without a heartbeat.


Why did Mr. Ray not stop time and time again he had info that people were not doing well?

He chose to bring in more rocks, more water, create more heat and more steam.

Death was not inevitable.

Death did not have to happen in this case.

Think how different it would be if after the 6th  round right in front Mr. Ray he had just stopped this event then.

Ask yourself why he did not.

He did not because he wanted this extreme altered state.

This is what he sold to participants for $10,000.

Ms. Polk explains how to fill out verdict forms …


Kirby James and Liz all arrived at Angel Valley full of life, but when Mr. Ray told them to push through pain in order to have a break through, Mr. Ray senselessly snuffed out their lives. That is what manslaughter is all about –recklessly causing the death of another.

Kirby's tobacco pouches

Highlights from State of Arizona vs. James Arthur Ray

April 6-7, 2011

Testifying today is  Theodore “Ted” Mercer

Here are highlights from direct examination by Ms. Polk


Theodore Martin Mercer testimony in James Arthur Ray's Manslaughter Trial

Theodore "Ted" Mercer



yogicher J. Cheri

Ted Mercer will testify how he constructs the sweat lodge, this afternoon. #JamesRay


RayShouldPay James Ray’s Shame

Mr. Kelly agrees that Kirby & James’ imaginary love affair isn’t relevant :: but then he rubs it in a little anyway. #JamesRay


RayShouldPay James Ray’s Shame

Maybe James Shore was in love with the idea of Kirby not dying alone on the floor of a con-man-hot-box. #JamesRay


RayShouldPay James Ray’s Shame

Maybe James Shore was in love with the idea of Kirby not dying alone on the floor of a con-man-hot-box. #JamesRay


katiecoolady Kathy M.

404 b ruling, state of AZ: #jamesray


RayShouldPay James Ray’s Shame

Judge :: be careful to ask questions that properly build foundation and don’t elicit hearsay #JamesRay


RayShouldPay James Ray’s Shame

Judge basically saying that past lodges aren’t necessarily “prior bad acts” the way they are being introduced by the State. #JamesRay


TomMcFeeley Tom McFeeley

That’s going to be my answer to everything: Singing Bear told us. #jamesray


RayShouldPay James Ray’s Shame

Evidence permitted :: but it must be carefully introduced. #JamesRay

katiecoolady Kathy M. @JaneLWilcox Darrow is wise to know that this will be appealed up the yinyang after a conviction-avoiding retrial. #jamesray


katiecoolady Kathy M.

We will limit witnesses’ testimony strictly to what they observed–(which is bad enough for Ray) #jamesray

RayShouldPay James Ray’s Shame

Predict that the defense will move for a least 3 mistrails before the end. That’s what you do when you have no case, or ethics. #JamesRay


katiecoolady Kathy M.

Motion for mistrial DENIED. Let’s get a move on. Ok now they want a “brief stay”. Oh please. #jamesray


dotfreedom DOROTHY

Kelly arguing Defense is not prepared “given our ethical responsibility to represent Mr. Ray.” Wants “break in trial. #jamesray

RayShouldPay James Ray’s Shame

Stupid motion for mistrial :: denied. Mr. Kelly asks for a delay in the jury trial. #JamesRay

Jeanne0o0 Jeannika

More stalling tactics from Mr. Kelly – states he’s caught off guard and not ready to go forward. Let’s take another sick day off. #JamesRay

RayShouldPay James Ray’s Shame

Mr. Kelly says the defense was assuming prior lodges would never be mentioned … guess he didn’t hear Ms. Haley’s testimony. #JamesRay


yakaru309 Yakaru

In white paper pg 6: “JRI used lodge in 08. Over next yr 8 other groups used same lodge w/o incident.” #JamesRay


RayShouldPay James Ray’s Shame

Mr. Mercer had no experience with sweat lodges until he started working at Angel Valley. #JamesRay

RayShouldPay James Ray’s Shame

Ted makes no pretensions of knowing what he was doing or why during the semi-religious/semi-sacrilegious lodge building ceremony. #JamesRay

RayShouldPay James Ray’s Shame

Mr. Li allowed a small voir dire on Ted’s knowledge or tarp storage. #JamesRay

yakaru309 Yakaru

In the white papers defense was arguing *same* lodge was used for 2 yrs with no problems, so #JamesRay couldn’t have foreseen problems.


MicheleInSedona Michele

Li suggesting the blankets and tarps have a life of their own. #jamesray TM did not see them every day of the year.


MicheleInSedona Michele

TM never sprayed the blankets, etc. with anything other than water #jamesray

RayShouldPay James Ray’s Shame

Mr. Mercer saw the rat poison in the pump house :: but didn’t put it there himself. #JamesRay

@yogicher there was a giant rubber blanket-type thing. Mercer called it a “rubber deal” #JamesRay

RayShouldPay James Ray’s Shame

Religious structures built like stage props pretty much sums up New Age spirituality … #JamesRay

TomMcFeeley Tom McFeeley

Mercer: 2 or 3 layers of blankets under all tarps on sweat lodge #jamesray (blue materials were often moving blankets, not tarps)

RayShouldPay James Ray’s Shame

There’s a focus on blocking out the light from the lodge. Blankets and tarps are added until it’s dark. #JamesRay

yogicher J. Cheri

Ted Mercer: The (big) rubber deal never got hot. #JamesRay

RayShouldPay James Ray’s Shame

The tarp and the rubber deal were never hot to the touch during the ceremony. #JamesRay

MicheleInSedona Michele

TM: We never use the same rocks twice for sweat lodge. Used rocks used to build a wall. #jamesray

MicheleInSedona Michele

TM was fire keeper for 09 #jamesray lodge. He had only been fire keeper for 2 lodges.

MicheleInSedona Michele

Wood was cut and stacked waiting for them for ’09 #jamesray sweatlodge. Used mixture of wood around creek and construction wood.


yogicher J. Cheri

TM: the wood was already cut and stacked. Ted didn’t supply it. Looked the same as that construction pile 100yds away from SL tho’ #JamesRay


MicheleInSedona Michele

TM says construction wood (from cleaning up property) was used beginning in ’08 #JamesRay



TomMcFeeley Tom McFeeley

Mercer: #jamesray fire was combination of construction wood and wood from near creek; May 2009 sweat was all construction wood for fire


TomMcFeeley Tom McFeeley

Mercer: I never got sick in 2007, 2008, and 2009 after tending the fire. #jamesray


yogicher J. Cheri

TM never got sick, being in sweatlodges using construction wood. Lunch time. Ted asks the judge if he can have lunch with his wife.#JamesRay

RayShouldPay James Ray’s Shame

Only people who didn’t live and work at Angel Valley got poisoned :: how magical. Lunch Recess. #JamesRay


Afternoon:  April 6, 2011 Direct Examination of “Ted” Mercer by Ms. Polk

Ms. Polk: Who is in charge of a sweat lodge ceremony?

Mr. Mercer: Yes.

Ms. Polk: The person who is inside the sweat lodge –the pourer — I guess that’s what they call him he’s the one that’s in charge of the ceremonies?

Mr. Mercer: Yes.

Ms. Polk: Who was the pourer?

Mr. Mercer: The 1st one was James Ray.


Ms. Polk: Do you recall who the pourer of who lead the ceremony?

Mr. Mercer: I don’t remember his name.

Ms. Polk: What other pourers do you remember?

Mr. Mercer: I remember Healing Wolf and David Singing Bear and James Ray and well the Agape group but I don’t know who was in charge of that

Mr. Mercer: There was another guy that had a real Indian name I can’t remember his name but I did a sweat lodge for him too –Kerrie Dancing Butterfly she did a sweat there.

Ms. Polk: Tell the jury where that sacred space is?

Mr. Mercer: Right on the other side of these rocks there’s like a circle of rocks right around the whole thing.

Ms. Polk: What about the sage, how is that used?

Mr. Mercer: We burn it it’s like a symbolic thing to try to clear any negative energy and bring good energy to that space.

Ms. Polk: And how is the saging done?

Mr. Mercer: They stand with their arms open and you just run the sage smoke around them. Sometimes they burn that smoke and the smoke sets their intentions into participation.

Ms. Polk: Before the saging, have any heated rocks been put in there yet?

Mr. Mercer: No.

Ms. Polk: When do you bring the rocks in?

Mr. Mercer: When the pourer asks us .

Ms. Polk: There’s somebody that brushes it off gets all the soot and stuff?

Mr. Mercer: We say,  “Aho.  Mitakuye Oyasin.” Everyone in the sweat lodge says that that’s welcoming the grandfathers into the sweat lodge.

Ms. Polk: What is a Grandfather?

Mr. Mercer: We call the lava rocks grandfathers.

Ms. Polk: Where does the water come from?

Mr. Mercer: I don’t know.

Ms. Polk: Once a number of rocks for first round what happens?

Mr. Mercer: We open it out so we can get to the rocks.

Ms. Polk: Then what happens?

Mr. Mercer: We scoop em out and hand them into the sweat lodge.

Ms. Polk: How long would it take to get one rock into the sweat lodge?

Mr. Mercer: Well the 1st rock usually takes a lot longer but just a minute or so. You want to get them in there quick.

Ms. Polk: Once that person who’s inside of the door where does that person go?

Mr. Mercer: They just go in.

Ms. Polk: What is it that determines how hot a sweat lodge will get?

Mr. Mercer: The number of rocks I guess.

Ms. Polk:  Who determines how many rocks will go into it?

Mr. Mercer: The pourer.

Ms. Polk: Are the rocks always uniformly hot?

Mr. Mercer: Well no. When I first started doing it I wasn’t the best at keeping the rocks really, really hot.

Ms. Polk: Who is it that determines how long the door will be open?

Mr. Mercer: That’s the pourer.

Ms. Polk: Who is it that determines how hot the rocks will be?

Mr. Mercer; That’s the pourer.

Ms. Polk: Who is it that determines how many rounds? T

Mr. Mercer: That’s the pourer.

Ms. Polk: Why are the  rocks are not reused?

Mr. Mercer: Energetically you just don’t want them around.

Ms. Polk: Who determined how hot the lodge would get in the first sweat lodge you assisted in?

Mr. Mercer: Gary Palish determines how hot he’s the fire keeper. (AKA Silver Bear a friend of Michael Hamilton)

Ms. Polk: Who else was there?

Mr. Mercer: My wife and Mr. Artillo.

Ms. Polk: How many people were at Mr. Ray’s sweat lodge ceremony on October 8th?

Mr. Mercer: I’m sure it was over 40.

Ms. Polk: At some point was there a person who appeared to be in distress?

Defense: Objection.

Judge Darrow: Sustained.

Ms. Polk: With regard to the people who drew your attention, did you observe something that concerned you?

Defense: Objection.

Judge Darrow: Overruled.

Mr. Mercer: Yes.

Ms. Polk: Specifically what concerned you, limiting your answer to what you observed about that person?

Mr. Mercer: In part there was this one lady who came out of the sweat lodge  a tall lady not large. She came out and her eyes were rolling into back of head she passed out and her face went right into the dirt and she scraped up her whole face and it was bloody and bleeding and all that.

Ms. Polk: Specifically what did you observe?

Mr. Mercer: Well at first we saw her laying there getting cooled off and getting her energy back so she could sit up

Ms. Polk: Talk about a 2nd person specifically that you recall. Did you assist people come out of the sweat lodge?

Mr. Li: Objection. Move to strike.

Judge Darrow:  That response will be stricken and the last as well

Ms. Polk: For the 1st person, how did you assist them?

Mr. Mercer: We cannot enter the sweat lodge so when they get to the door we just grab their arm and we just pull them over to the tarp.

Ms. Polk: With respect to 1st person that you assisted what specifically did you observe that made you assist them?

Mr. Mercer: Ok when her eyes rolled in the back of her head.

Ms.Polk:  What about another person?

Ms. Polk: With respect to that ceremony in 2007 do you recall by the final round approximately what % of participants were outside? That’s a yes or no.

Mr. Mercer: Yes

Ms. Polk: Tell us what %

Mr. Mercer: It was close to 50%

Ms. Polk: Do you recall how many participants?

Mr. Mercer: I think that one was a lot bigger.We had to build it bigger for him so a little over 60 people.

Ms. Polk: Where tarps used?

Mr. Mercer: Yes

Ms. Polk: When do you recall tarps being used?

Mr. Mercer: After the last so the one in ‘09 I don’t think we used them in ’08 .. Yeah that’s right I don’t’ think we used them on the ground until 09

Ms. Polk: Could it have been 08?

Mr. Mercer: That was incorrect because there was no tarps. That’s one of the reasons why we started using tarps because we started dragging people out in the dirt

Ms. Polk: At some point in ceremony 2008 was your attention drawn to a specific individual?

Mr. Mercer: At specific times yes

Ms. Polk: Limiting your answer to just that one person, what drew your attention to them?

Mr. Mercer: All of her muscles were cramping and she couldn’t get it undone.

Ms. Polk: Describe for the jury what you saw.

Mr. Mercer: Her arms were all cramped up and her legs were like this and she was in the fetal position.

Ms. Polk: Do you recall how long she was like that?

Mr. Mercer: Well yes

Ms. Polk: And what was your role that year?

Mr. Mercer: I was the fire keeper that that one.

Ms. Polk: Who assisted?

Mr. Mercer:  My wife Debbie a gentleman Rotillo and my daughter Sarah.

Ms. Polk: When was it that you agreed to do the ceremony?

Mr. Mercer: By 2009 I was no longer working for Angel Valley.

Ms. Polk: Were you paid to assist with the 2009 sweat lodge?

Mr. Mercer: As far as tips go, I got tips for assistant (This is a lie, he insisted on being paid more that year)

Ms. Polk: Who paid you?

Mr. Mercer: Gary did (Gary Palish aka Silver Bear: )

Ms. Polk: “Do you recall how much you were paid?

Mr. Mercer: I can’t remember no.

Ms. Polk: When did you start the ceremony?

Mr. Mercer: I started heating rocks at 2:00 pm

Ms. Polk: When did the ceremony start?

Mr. Mercer: Nobody got in there till at least 5:00 because I remember the fire was burning for at least 3 hours before they got there.

Ms. Polk: In the 2007 ceremony conducted by Mr. Ray what type of wood did you use?

Mr. Mercer: That was all natural just downed trees that were over by the creek

Ms. Polk: Who collected the rocks?

Mr. Mercer: Rotillo

Ms. Polk: What kind of rocks were they?

Mr. Mercer: Lava rocks.

Ms. Polk: Do you add anything to the fire?

Mr. Mercer: No. Before we start the fire we add a pinch of tobacco and a pinch of sage for an offering

Ms. Polk: Did you have a conversation with Mr. Ray before the ceremony began?

Mr. Mercer: Yes, I let him know that this was the hottest fire I’ve ever had and the rocks were hot.

Ms. Polk: Did he respond to you?

Mr.Mercer:: Yeah he said good.

Ms. Polk: What did Mr. Ray do then?

Mr. Mercer: He had me go into where the participants were and he had me tell them the same thing.

Ms. Polk: How do you brush them off?

Mr. Mercer: With a whisk broom

Ms. Polk: Do you recall how many rocks were called for  the 1st round?

Mr. Mercer: No

Ms. Polk: Do you recall for any of the rounds?

Mr. Mercer: I remember 1 round he only asked for 4 rocks

Ms. Polk: Do you recall when you noticed that participants were starting to feel distress?

Mr. Mercer: No I can’t say specifically but it was in the 4 -5 round area.

Ms. Polk: Do you recall how many rounds were held?

Mr. Mercer: There was 8 of them.

Ms. Polk: Do you recall how many rocks were called for

Mr. Mercer: No

Ms. Polk: Do you recall how many rocks were gathered before the ceremony began in prep for the ceremony?

Mercer: There was 100 rocks.

Ms. Polk: How were they used?

Mr. Mercer: I’m not sure how they were used.

Ms. Polk: Could you hear what was going on inside the sweat lodge?

Mr. Mercer: I heard people yelling out there intentions there were some singing going on you could hear the pourer talking and explaining things.

Ms. Polk: At some point was your attention drawn to a specific person?

Mr. Mercer: Yes

Ms. Polk: When was that?

Mr. Mercer: Probably around the 4th or 5th round A guy came out and his whole arm was burnt and it was burned really bad and he had fallen into the hole where the rocks were

Ms. Polk: What did you see happen to him?

Mr. Mercer: We took him over to a place to sit down and somebody was getting ice for him or butter. Then fawn came in and said no not butter let’s just put ice on it.

Ms. Polk: Did he go back into the sweat lodge?

Mr. Mercer: I saw him there while he was sitting there and talking and after a while he went back in

Ms. Polk: Did you have any interraction with him before he went back in?

Mr. Mercer: Yeah

Ms. Polk: Did Mr. Ray said anything?

Mr. Mercer: Not that I can recall no

Ms. Polk: Was your attention drawn to another person?

Mr. Mercer: Yeah he was yelling about having a heart attack and he didn’t want to die and he was getting rather loud

Ms. Polk: Where were you?

Mr. Mercer: standing over him

Ms. Polk: What was he saying?

Mr. Mercer: He was screaming and yelling that he didn’t want to die and he was  having a heart attack.

Ms. Polk: Did you hear Mr. Ray say anything to that man?

Mr. Mercer: Yeah I heard him yell out to him he said you’re more than what’s going on and you’ll be ok

Ms. Polk: What did Mr. Ray say that you’re not going to die and everything will be fine and you’ll be ok

Mr. Mercer: Yeah he encourages em to come back in … Something like the doors open and we’re going to start a new round and does anybody want to come back in

Ms. Polk: Did Mr. Ray address participants who had left his sweat lodge?

Mr. Mercer: Yeah

Ms. Polk: In 2008 what did you hear him say?

Mr. Mercer: Pretty much same.

Ms. Polk: Did you notice a difference between the way in 2009 Mr. Ray addressed those who had left and way he addressed them in 2008?

Mr. Mercer: Yes.

Ms. Polk: Did you notice a difference between the  way he’d addressed participants in 2009 and 2007?

Mr. Mercer: Yes.

Ms. Polk: Was there a difference?

Mr. Mercer: No not really.

Ms. Polk: Tell us the difference between 2008 and 2009 in the way Mr. Ray addressed those who had left.

Defense: Objection.

Judge Darrow: Overruled.

Mr. Mercer: He was louder, louder and he seemed to talk a little bit more.

Ms. Polk: Were you ever made aware of a safety plan?

Defense: Objection. Lack of foundation the term safety plan is vague and ambiguous

Judge Darrow: Sustained.

Ms. Polk: Were you ever informed whether nurse present.

Mr. Mercer: Yes.

Ms. Polk: Did you know who that was?

Mr. Mercer: No.

Ms. Polk: Did you ever have a conversation with her?

Mr. Mercer: Yeah I did talk to her

Ms. Polk: What did you talk about?

Mr. Mercer: The weather

Ms. Polk: Did you ever discuss with you anything pert to taking care of participants?

Mr. Mercer: No

Ms. Polk: In the final round recall how many participants inside?

Mr. Mercer: Still quite a few in there was well over half

Ms. Polk: Do you recall how ceremony ended?

Mr. Mercer: Yeah just like any other one . He said open the door and all the people came out just like regular.

Ms. Polk: At some point were you aware of people in distress?

Mr. Mercer: Well in one participants case my wife was yelling and I could hear her yelling for help I went over to the other side of sweat lodge — 2 people her and my daughter were pulling them out

Ms. Polk: Did you wife open up the sweat lodge to get those people out?

Mr. Mercer: Yeah she opened it up herself.

Ms. Polk: When your wife opened the sweat lodge how did she get your attention?

Mr. Mercer: When she yelled.

Ms. Polk: And then you ran over there ?

Mr. Mercer: Yeah.

Ms. Polk: Tell jury what you saw.

Mr. Mercer: I saw 2 people laying just outside another guy still inside the sweat lodge. I went over to a young lady that way laying over there. I started checking their vital signs

Ms. Polk: What did you observe?

Mr. Mercer: Blue lips a greyish face no pulse.

Ms. Polk do you have any medical training?

Mr. Mercer: I’m an emergency first response instructor

Ms. Polk: When were you certified as that?

Mr. Mercer: In 2004

Ms. Polk: And right now?

Mr. Mercer: Right now I’m on non-teaching status

Ms. Polk: When had you gone from teacher to non-teacher?

Mr. Mercer: Probably 2008

Ms. Polk: What would you teach?

Mr. Mercer: I would teach people who wanted to learn 1st aid and emergency CPR adult CPR

Ms. Polk: And did you become aware at some point that the other man was James Shore?

Mr. Mercer: Yes

Ms. Polk: When did you learn his name?

Mr. Mercer: I don’t recall, later

Ms. Polk: And what did you observe about Mr. Shore?

Mr. Mercer: I checked his vital signs also.  His face was getting grey, his lips were blue there was no pulse or no breathing.

Ms. Polk: Did you become aware of Kirby Brown?

Mr. Mercer:  Kirby Brown, yes she was a thin girl and in good shape

Ms. Polk: How much time passed from the time Debbie left and emergency 1st responder arrived?

Mr. Mercer: Probably half hour.

Ms. Polk: At some point did you step away from Ms. Brown and Mr. Shore?

Mr. Mercer: That’s why I stepped aside because someone identified herself as a doctor and said she was in control.

Ms. Polk: What time did you leave Angel Valley?

Mr. Mercer: Probably until bout 8 or 9 because the police told everybody they needed to stay until the police arrived.

Ms. Polk: Where were you when the police arrived?

Mr. Mercer: I was working on Kirby Brown

Ms. Polk: Did you perform CPR on Kirby?

Mr. Mercer: At first I gave a couple of puffs then other people came and took over.

Ms. Polk: Were you aware of where Mr. Ray was?

Mr. Mercer: Uhhhhh well no

Exhibit 229 admitted

Ms. Polk: Do you recall what he did?

Mr. Mercer: I think he was just lookin at what was going on.

Ex 278

Ms. Polk: Do you recognize this photo? Can you read the shirt?

Mr. Mercer: Verde valley fire district

TomMcFeeley Tom McFeeley

3 people dragged out by Mercers: Kirby, James and Sean Ronan #jamesray

Jurors are requesting a break

After break

Ms. Polk: You’re a scuba diver instructor?

Mr. Mercer: Yes I am

Ms. Polk: What else are you certified in?

Mr. Mercer: I am an emergency 1st responder instructor

Ms. Polk: Are you able to tell if conscious or unconscious?

Mr. Mercer: Yes

Ms. Polk: Did you observe anyone who was vomiting?

Mr. Mercer: Yes, right out of the sweat lodge vomited right at the door

Ms. Polk: In 2008 did you observe anybody vomiting?

Mr. Mercer: Yes

Ms. Polk: Did you observe anybody vomiting in 2007?

Mr. Mercer: Yes

Ms. Polk: Did you observe anybody vomiting 2009?

Mr. Mercer: Yes.

Ms. Polk: Did you have an opportunity to observe eyes of the participants?

Mr. Mercer: Sure.

Ms. Polk: Specifically what did you observe?

Mr. Mercer: Two ladies actually they would look right through ya– they were up and they were sitting but they couldn’t tell you their name they couldn’t’ tell you what the date was ..You would look at them and their eyes would go right past ya.

Ms. Polk: In 2009 did you observe any other non-ordinary symptoms?

Defense: Objection.

Judge Darrow: Overruled.

Mr. Mercer: People crawling out laying in the dirt laying on the tarps faces are all red just laying in the dirt trying to recover from their experience

Ms. Polk: Do you know whether or not wood was pressed?

Mr. Mercer: No

Ms. Polk: Do you know whether or not wood treated?

Mr. Mercer: No I do not

Ms. Polk: What direction smoke was blowing?

Mr. Mercer: It would blow in all directions

Ms. Polk: Do you recall whether the Smoke ever went inside the sweat lodge itself

Mr. Mercer: No it did not

Ms. Polk: Where there any beverages to drink?

Mr. Mercer: There was yes

Ms. Polk: Did you ever drink anything at Mr. Ray’s sweat lodge ceremony?

Mr. Mercer: Yeah I probably did

Ms. Polk: Did you get sick?

Mr. Mercer: No

Ms. Polk: Anything to eat

Mr. Mercer: Not afterwards they brought out some fruit

Ms. Polk: Why did you do that for the participants? Because they looked like the needed help was that your function there?

Mr. Mercer: Well no my function was the fire keeper

Counsel stipulates to admission

Ms. Polk: How a blanket from underneath the sweat lodge got on top of the sweat lodge?

Mr. Mercer: Yeah its town apart it probably got yanked out

Ms. Polk: Did you become aware of blankets taken from sweat lodge itself?

Mr. Mercer: No

Ms. Polk: Do you know if other people did it?

Mr. Mercer: Not to my knowledge

Ms. Polk: Does the sweat lodge normally look like this after a sweat?

Li Defense: Objection. Your honor obviously, the police have compromised the scene

Ms. Polk: In 2009 did you observe any other non-ordinary symptoms?

Defense: Objection.

Judge Darrow: Overruled.

Mr. Mercer: People crawling out laying in the dirt laying on the tarps faces are all red just laying in the dirt trying to recover from their experience

Ms. Polk: Do you know whether or not wood was pressed?

Mr. Mercer: No

Ms. Polk: Do you know whether or not wood treated?

Mr. Mercer: No I do not

Ms. Polk: What direction smoke was blowing?

Mr. Mercer: It would blow in all directions

Ms. Polk: Do you recall whether the Smoke ever went inside the sweat lodge itself

Mr. Mercer: No it did not

Ms. Polk: Where there any beverages to drink?

Mr. Mercer: There was yes

Ms. Polk: Did you ever drink anything at Mr. Ray’s sweat lodge ceremony?

Mr. Mercer: Yeah I probably did

Ms. Polk: Did you get sick?

Mr. Mercer: No

Ms. Polk: Anything to eat

Mr. Mercer: Not afterwards they brought out some fruit

Ms. Polk: Why did you do that for the participants? Because they looked like the needed help was that your function there?

Mr. Mercer: Well no my function was the fire keeper

Counsel stipulates to admission

Ms. Polk: How a blanket from underneath the sweat lodge got on top of the sweat lodge?

Mr. Mercer: Yeah its town apart it probably got yanked out

Ms. Polk: Did you become aware of blankets taken from sweat lodge itself?

Mr. Mercer: No

Ms. Polk: Do you know if other people did it?

Mr. Mercer: Not to my knowledge

Ms. Polk: Does the sweat lodge normally look like this after a sweat?

Li Defense: Objection. Your honor obviously, the police have compromised the scene

Ms. Polk: Did you ever provide a statement to law enforcement with an attorney present?

Mr. Mercer: No

Ms. Polk: Specifically in 2007 ceremony not conducted by Mr. Ray, did you observe anybody vomiting?

Mr. Mercer: No

Ms. Polk: Did you ever have to assist someone out of a sweat lodge conducted by anybody other than Mr. Ray?

Mr. Mercer: No

Ms. Polk: Did you ever observe someone unconscious in a sweat lodge ceremony not conducted by Mr. Ray?

Mr. Mercer: No

Ms. Polk: Think back to all the sweat lodges in which you assisted not conducted by Mr. Ray. Did you ever observe anybody vomiting?

Mr. Mercer: Not at all

Ms. Polk: Did you ever observe anybody that you needed to drag out?

Mr. Mercer: Not at all

Ms. Polk: Did you ever observe anybody unconscious?

Mr. Mercer: No

Ms. Polk: Did you ever observe anybody sick?

Mr. Mercer: No

Ms. Polk: At the other sweat lodge ceremonies did you ever observe anybody who was sick? Vomiting? Or did you assist anybody to come out of sick in any way?

Mr. Mercer: No no no

Ms. Polk: For the sweat lodge ceremony Conducted in 2007, not conducted by Mr. Ray, what is the normal length of the ceremony in terms of rounds?

Defense: Objection. Relevance

Council approach bench – another lengthy side bar

Ms. Polk: Now I’m going to ask specific about sweat lodge ceremony you had a role in in 2007. For the ceremonies not conducted by Mr. Ray, Do you recall how many rounds that was?

Ms. Mercer: I think it was about 8 rounds

Ms. Polk:  For the 2nd ceremony in 2007 how long was that?

Mr. Mercer: Well not how long whole thing lasted hour and a half

Ms. Polk: Mr. Rays ceremony was how long?

Mr. Mercer:  Over two hours.

Ms. Polk: With respect to ceremony in 2007 you did for someone other than Mr. Ray, do you recall how long the door was opened?

Defense: Objection. Judge Darrow: Sustained.

Foundation issue on foundation Judge Darrow: Sustained.

Ms. Polk: For the 2nd ceremony you did in 2007. do you know how many rounds?

Defense: Objection. Relevance

Mr. Mercer Yes

Ms. Polk: Tell the jury how many.

Mr. Mercer 4

Ms. Polk: With respect to that ceremony do you recall how many rocks were used?

Defense: Objection.

Judge Darrow: Overruled.

Mr.Mercer: Can I Answer that?

Judge Darrow: Yes

Mr. Mercer: No

Ms. Polk: Do you recall approximately how many?

Mr. Mercer No

Ms. Polk: Do you recall with respect to that ceremony in 2007 what the facilitator did with respect to participants between the rounds?

Defense: Objection. Relevance and all of the things at sidebar your honor

Judge Darrow: Sustained.

Ms. Polk: Are you familiar with role of facilitator, the role of pourer at a sweat lodge?

Mercer: No

Defense: Objection.


In that picture it’s hard to tell what’s going on there.

Ms. Polk: Did you have a role in taking down the Kiva

Mr. Mercer Yes

Ms. Polk: Tell the jury how you took it apart

Mr. Mercer We had a knife and there were some people untying it.

Ms. Polk: Did you have a role in the burning ceremony?

Mr. Mercer: Yes I said let’s say a prayer to the corn meal and offer it to the sweat lodge. It’s an energetic offering you offer it pretty much you try to help any negative energies or any of the souls that might be hanging around.

Ms. Polk: What did you do with the tobacco pouches?

Mr. Mercer: Those are called prayer ties

Ms. Polk: What did you do with them?

Mr. Mercer: We threw them into the fire too. You know to get rid of the bad energy.

Ms. Polk: How many rocks would there be at the other sweat lodge ceremonies, those not conducted by Mr. Ray?

Mr. Mercer I know that singing bear would only have 24 Kerrie she had approximately 30. I know that healing would be in the 20-24 range.

Defense: You instructed Ms. Polk that she could not make comparisons between sweat lodges

Judge Darrow: Li in his voir dire did some substance potential foundation about that

Mr.Kelly : I’m not arguing the point

This argument had to do with 15 disclosed witnesses and what’s going to happen now

Mr. Kelly: This goes to the issue of physical causation and doesn’t need to be cumulative

Mr. Hughes will address that topic ..

Long sidebar and admitting evidence about past sweat lodges

Mr. Hughes: with who were not participants in 09 will be relatively brief witnesses

I do believe there is a point where evidence become cumulative. We don’t intent to cross that point

It’s not just about causation and here’s the circumstantial evidence of that

People getting up there and going far beyond strict observations

404b – life threatening conditions were involved

Ms. Polk heard her articulate a pattern

Mr. Kelly: It appears that 404b floodgate is open. And now under the myth of causation they’re going to be. The jury can’t just get one side of this.  We’ve been through this in November

One picture, look what distress they’re in — another picture with thumbs up and big smiles on their face

Mr. Hughes: I realize it’s 4:30

Mr. Hughes: The state takes exception to the myth of causation. Causation is appropriate for the defense to address it

At this point we may not call all 15 we just need to make that …

Mr. Kelly: Causation is not a myth it’s a necessary element that the state has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

Mr. Kelly: 15 out of hundreds is not an accurate factual representation of what happened.

Mr. Kelly: In order to properly assess our alternatives we need clear direction from the court as to what’s going to be allowed

Mr. Kelly: That’s inadequate judge

There’s not going to be cumulative testimony

It depends on what the defense does

Judge Darrow: Suggesting some sort of propensity it’s not going to be that

That’s all I can say.

Mr. Kelly: The Defense is entitled to a list of people that they intend to present as to those prior years

Mr. Hughes: I don’t know if the 15 number is quite accurate that would be approximately 4 per year

Individual witnesses remember different things about each year

Mr. Kelly: Cumulative rule applies in every case in terms of every bit of evidence

Mr. Hughes: We may continue to pare the list down.

Photograph had to be disclosed

Mr. Kelly: A Lay observation of an affect at a sweat lodge has been introduced at this trial

Judge Darrow: There were objections. There’s No reason to dwell on this type brought up with respect to physical causation not the legal aspect of causation.




State of Arizona v James Arthur Ray

Manslaughter trial

April 7, 2011

Morning: Cross examination of Theodore Martin Mercer by Mr. Li

Afternoon: re-direct by Ms. Polk


yogicher J. Cheri

Li to Ted Mercer: do you know if they’re allowed to charge extra for room/board, as a church? #JamesRay how would TM know?!

RayShouldPay James Ray’s Shame

Mr. Li asking about Angel Valley charging #JamesRay $100K for SW09 :: are they allowed to do that as a non-profit ministry? A: I don’t know.

yogicher J. Cheri

Having a megalomaniac at the helm does RT@TomMcFeeley Li asks TM if a veg diet @ retreats eliminates people’s ability to make choices.#jamesray

RayShouldPay James Ray’s Shame

QUESTION: Did Angel Valley have a building permit for the sweat lodge? A: Don’t know. #JamesRay

Jeanne0o0 Jeannika @dotfreedom 404 rules only apeopley to the defendant. #JamesRay attorneys can basically say whatever they want to impeach.

RayShouldPay James Ray’s Shame

Mr. Li making a pointing of saying “James Ray International” repeatedly. #JamesRay

TragedyInSedona Connie Joy

She chose to face plant RT @RayShouldPay: Li points out it’s not that bad to pass out and face plant if you are already crawling. #JamesRay

thefash thefash

Li starts talking about camp pendleton… TM doesn’t know about that, Li continues, pointing out laying in mud is normal behavior #jamesray

dotfreedom DOROTHY

“this lady””an Asian looking woman”-Li laughs that Mercer can’t tell difference between Chinese or ….I hate being called “Lady”- #jamesray

godlesswoman Lisa DeGraaf

As I watch the #jamesray trial I can’t help but wish people would just use critical thinking skills.

Jeanne0o0 Jeannika @TomMcFeeley Gee, I wonder if they’ll be calling Hermia Nelson to the stand / #JamesRay ‘s girlfriend … that would be good

TomMcFeeley Tom McFeeley

So you’re CPR trained but know nothing about heat injuries….You silly fire tender #jamesray

RayShouldPay James Ray’s Shame

Mr. Li introduces a series of photos from the 2008 #sweatlodge :: #JamesRay

TomMcFeeley Tom McFeeley

Li insinuating that the state did not disclose ALL of Deb Mercer’s photographs of 2008 sweat lodge. Surely more to come #jamesray

Jeanne0o0 Jeannika @OkieVision I wonder if she and #JamesRay are still an item? If so I agree Nelson would most likely NOT be objective.

katiecoolady Kathy M.

No matter how Li tries to spin this as a Disneyland ride, people DIED here, were seriously INJURED. Not a fun ride. #jamesray


Giddiness is a symptom of heat exhaustion. #jamesray @JamesARay

TomMcFeeley Tom McFeeley

FYI, Megan Fredrickson told police that #jamesray instructed Angel Valley to build a lower lodge because 2007 wasn’t hot enough

RayShouldPay James Ray’s Shame

Mr. Li implying the everything was all smiles :: so it was all good. But Lou Caci went back in the lodge … was that all good? #JamesRay

dotfreedom DOROTHY

“…the lady in the bikini just talking to some people” – Li describing pp outside sweat lodge in 2008.Just like a damn party. NOT #jamesray

TomMcFeeley Tom McFeeley

And let’s not forget #jamesray told participants “we don’t want the heat to go too far” when telling them why roof was low

dotfreedom DOROTHY

“another lady lying on her side with her eyes closed” -Li still describing the “party” outside sweat lodge #jamesray

dotfreedom DOROTHY

“there’s a guy massaging somebody’s feet?” – Li It was like being at a spa! NOT #jamesray

luckygalnj Martha Stem

People smiling in 2008 but also clearly seen are others in obvious distress ! #cantyouseemrli ? #jamesray

Thrustingbeast T. Beast

Seeing someone laying in mud with a pool of water around them is disturbing. How is that a fun little even? Li is delusional. #jamesray

TomMcFeeley Tom McFeeley

The @insession people are missing the point that vomiting, deliriousness, eyes rolling back are signs of heat illnesses #jamesray

dking1212 debb king

TM notes that not really hotter for JAR sweat lodge but other sweatlodges were not that hot. Li seemed to glide past that point. #jamesray

RayShouldPay James Ray’s Shame

QUESTION: You were searching for answers cause it was such a surprise that people died? A: I wouldn’t say it was a surprise. #JamesRay

dotfreedom DOROTHY

“I do know the policy was no pesticides on the property.”- Mercer #jamesray

The autopsy reports ALSO came back with NOTHING on the toxin screens. There were NO POISONS AT ALL. Just heat-related trauma. #jamesray


luckygalnj Martha Stem @ yogicher Anything to create “reasonable doubt” no matter how absurd #jamesray

La_Huesera La Vaughn

Black widow “colonies” living in blankets? Has Luis Li ever been outside? #jamesray

TomMcFeeley Tom McFeeley

Mr. Mercer: when people get their energy back, do they tend to smile, maybe put their thumbs up? #jamesray

yogicher J. Cheri

Is Li suggesting that the construction pile was closer than 100′? So close that just the proximity is what killed three people? #JamesRay

RayShouldPay James Ray’s Shame

The alpha and omega told Dennis to STFU. #JamesRay Li stalling.

yogicher J. Cheri

Li: you saw”chunks of rat poison?” – TM: I had seen that same rat poison there the whole time I worked at ANGEL VALLEY. #JamesRay

RayShouldPay James Ray’s Shame

Mr. Li tells the jury that Detective. Diskin didn’t tell the ME about the oh so intriguing “old rat poison in the pump house” theory. #JamesRay

dotfreedom DOROTHY

#jamesray ‘s ears are playing Full-On!

AFTERNOON: Cross Examination of  Theodore Martin Mercer

Mr. Li:  Have you ever purchased pressure treated wood have you ever made a fence?

Mr. Mercer: No I haven’t .

Mr. Li:  You understand that pressure treated wood has some … to prevent wood rot correct?

Mr.Mercer; unresponsive

Mr. Li:  If you’re going to build a house, say a log cabin that’s in say Sedona. you do not want to  replace that wood every year so you use pressure treated wood correct?

Mr. Mercer: Well yeah.

Mr. Li:  Is it a good idea or a bad idea to burn pressure treated wood?

Mr. Mercer: I would think it would be a bad idea.

Mr. Li:  Are you aware whether or not the ash not the wood is poisonous?

Mr. Mercer: I don’t know I’m a carpet layer I never work with wood.

Mr. Li:  Mr. Hamilton n, he’s the one who told you what wood to use?

Mr. Mercer: Yup.

Mr. Li:  It was not Mr. Ray that told you what wood to use that’s what you said on your tape.

Mr. Mercer: I did?

Li: You had told Detective Diskin that you actually used treated wood.

Mercer: I don’t know if I actually said it was treated or not.

Mr. Li asks to play exhibit 680

Excerpt from interview played

Mr. Mercer: “The only thing diff that happened on this sweat lodge that the other sweat lodge is we used this wood do you see that we used this wood instead of see the logs over there that we use for log cabins .”

Mr. Li: Is that treated with anything?

Mr. Mercer: I don’t  know. Michael the owner of the place, he’s a contractor so he should know.

Ms. Polk: he indicated that he was going to play through line 25 and he stopped short. Detective Diskin said ok I’ll check into that.


Mr. Li: If you said there was no pressure treated wood at Angel Valley that would be false?

Mr. Mercer: I don’t know myself because I don’t’ know what pressure treated wood looks like.

Mr. Polk: first of all this witness is not disagreeing, but  it’s being misread to suggest that some of its pressure treated

Judge Darrow Mr. Li let’s get the exact language

Ms. Polk: Detective Diskin says I see that one is

Mr. Li: What was your wife complaining of?

Mr. Mercer: She was suffering from headaches upset stomach  and …just to get checked out. She asked me if it was possible and I said it was possible.

Mr. Li: But you did say I think it’s the wood?

Mr. Mercer: I did say that yeah.

Mr. Li:  You were also interviewed about the rat poison correct?

Mr. Mercer: Yeah.

Mr. Li: You were asked about the tarps correct?

Mr. Mercer: Yeah.

Mr. Li:  If they only took a few square feet  they would have only taken 1% ….?

Mr. Mercer: I guess I’m not very good with math.

Mr. Li: Less than 48 hours the Hamiltons decided to burn the remaining pieces of the sweat lodge correct? Mercer: Correct?

Mr. Mercer: Yeah.

Mr Li: They decided to take the rest of the sweat lodge, throw it into a van and drive off with it correct?

Mercer: Yes they did .

Mr. Li: And you were there correct?

Mr. Mercer. Yes.

Mr. Li: Did your attorney Monica Lindstrom drive down from …(Scottdsale? Inaudible)

Mr. Mercer: It’s all done per diem she’s not charging us. Do you want to know how we got her?

Mr. Li: No. That’s ok.

Mr. Li: What are you burning in this photograph?

Mr. Mercer: Willow branches & tobacco pouches.

Mr. Li: Michael & Amayra Hamilton they are sitting there watching the burning of the willow and  the tobacco correct?

Mr. Mercer: Yup.

Mr. Li: They also raked the ground?

Mr. Mercer: Yes.

Mr. Li: They also removed the tarps and blankets?

Mr. Mercer: Yes.

Overhead showing: Exhibit 564

Mr. Mercer: I don’t think it’s been raked but it was certainly cleared up

Mr. Li: But the burning was less than 48 hours after 2 people died?

Mr. Mercer: Well…

Mr. Li: So less than 48 hours?

Mr. Mercer: I guess so.

Mr. Li: Mr. Hamilton he also cut up the tarps correct?

Mr. Mercer: I didn’t see him cutting anything but I did see him putting them in the van.

Mr. Li: He eventually takes them all, puts them in his van and drives somewhere?

Mr. Mercer: Yes.

Mr. Li: Do you know that Mr.& Mrs. Hamilton, Angel Valley,  all of them have been sued by 10 of the participants correct?

Mr. Mercer: I’ve heard something like that but I don’t know.

Mr. Mercer: Did you ever talk to Mr. Hamilton about burning the construction wood?

Mr. Mercer: No I did not.

Mr. Li: Did you ever talk to Mrs. Hamilton about and your concerns?

Mr. Mercer: We weren’t really on friendly terms at that time so there wasn’t a whole lot of talking going on.

Li: It is absolutely never allowed at Angel Valley to use weed killer?

Mr. Mercer: That’s what I understood at the time.


Mr. Li: Did you talk to the detective about getting a lawyer?

Mr. Mercer: He told us that it wouldn’t hurt to get a civil lawyer.

That’s my lawyer over there.

Do you want to know how I got her?

Mr. Li: You had also been assured by Detective Diskin that you would not be investigated criminally is that correct?

Mr. Mercer: That’s correct


Ms. Polk: Going back to the sweat lodges held in2008 and 2009, t was a different frame right?

Mr. Mercer: Um In 2008, 2009 it was a new kiva.

Ms. Polk: But in 2008 2009 was the frame different?

Mr. Mercer: It was the same.

Ms. Polk: The coverings the blankets and the sleeping bags to the best of you knowledge were they the same?

Mr. Mercer: The same

Ms. Polk: To the best of you knowledge were the tarp the same of different?

Mr. Mercer: They were the same because of the way they were stacked

Ms. Polk: Were they the same stones or different ones?

Mr. Mercer: Different stones

Ms. Polk: The wood you used was it of the same type?

Mr. Mercer: Umm in 2008 combination of regular tree wood we found and the construction wood.

Ms. Polk: Just talking about the sweat lodge you assisted at in 2007.Did you ever observe anybody vomitting?

Mr. Mercer: No

Ms. Polk: Did you ever observe anybody become combative?

Mr. Mercer: No

Ms. Polk: Did you ever observe anybody become faint?

Mr. Mercer: No

Ms. Polk: Did you ever observe anybody frothing at the mouth?

Mr. Mercer: No

Ms. Polk: Did you ever observe anybody with their eyes rolling back in their head?

Mr. Mercer: No

Ms. Polk: Did you ever observe anybody become unconscious?

Mr. Mercer: No

Ms. Polk: Did you ever assist anybody in any way?

Mr. Mercer: Not at all

Ms. Polk: When did you first become aware that the subs you observed could be rat poison?

Mr. Mercer: 07

Ms. Polk: In 2007 when you retrieved the blankets, sweat lodge tarp to build a sweat lodge for Mr. Ray’s ceremony did you ever see any substance that appeared to be rat poison in the blankets themselves?

Mr. Mercer: No I didn’t

Ms. Polk: After new frame constructed in 2008 – 1st ceremony conducted in new frame was the one conducted by Mr. Ray?

Mr. Mercer: I think there was 2 sweat lodge before his …before we built it (?)

Ms. Polk: Did you ever render assist to those participants in those ceremony facilitated by somebody other than Mr. Ray?

Mr. Mercer: No I did not

Ms. Polk: Did anybody check on you?

Mr. Mercer: Basically it was Debbie and I that built it and put it together.

Ms. Polk: Did Mr. Ray ever come down and check on you?

Mr. Mercer: Nobody really came down and checked on us. The person who facilitated is not the one who puts together the sweat lodge.

Ms. Polk: In the other ceremonies conducted at Angel Valley was it Angel Valley or the person facilitated that put together the sweat lodge?

Mr. Mercer: Angel Valley

Ms. Polk: In 2007, talking specifically about people vomiting did Gary Polish tell you that was normal?

Mr. Mercer: Um he told em we’re gonna see some tings what did hesay He told me we’re gonna see some things you would not see at other sweat lodges.

Mr. Mercer: Can I elaborate?

Ms. Polk: Yes.

Mr. Mercer: That was the very 1st sweat lodge we had encountered so we went to Gary and we ..

Ms. Polk: Who is Gary?

Mercer: Gary Palish.  He said, you’re going to see things with Mr. .Ray that you’re not going to see with other groups.

Ms. Polk: Looking at the photograph taken in 2008, do these photo accurately depict for you what happened at Mr. Ray’s sweat lodge ceremony?

Mr. Mercer: No

Ms. Polk: Why not?

Mr. Mercer: Because right after the sweat lodge was over and the first half hour we were working on people that needed assistance.

There were 2 ladies there that didn’t know their name so we were..

Ms. Polk: The lady in the pink suit, do you know who that is?

Mr. Mercer: No I do not

Ms. Polk: Do you have any recollection of that lady?

Mr. Mercer: Specifically no I can’t’ say I know her

May I elaborate?

Ms. Polk: Yes.

Mercer: (elaborating) There’s so many people  & we did so many different sweat lodges you know I never got to know the people…

Ms. Polk: In 2008 immediately following end of Mr. Ray’s ceremony can you tell jury what your wife was doing?

Mr. Mercer: She was assisting people.

Ms. Polk: Do you know when she began taking photos?

Mr. Mercer: An hour, 45 min afterwards

Ms. Polk: Is that how the participants looked immediately following ceremony in 2008?

Mr. Mercer: Yeah some of them

Describe for the jury how did the participants look immediately

Mr. Li: Objection Judge Darrow: Sustained.

Exhibit 867

Mr. Mercer: I don’t’ know her name but t I do know the lady because that’s the lady who didn’t recall who she was.

Ms. Polk: Describe for the jury how she was.

Mr. Mercer: She was up and she was looking at you but she had a huge smile on her face she acted like she was about 3 years old.

I kept asking her who she was where she was.  After about 45 minutes,  a couple of people took her off to her room. I saw her in the dining room m after that and she still didn’t know who she was.

Ms. Polk: Was Mr. Ray’s sweat lodge ceremony the same of different  from the one in 2007?

Mr. Mercer: It looks the same. People laying on the ground laying around some people were happy and some people weren’t so happy.


Zoom in lower right

Exhibit 864

Ms. Polk: Do you know what that man is doing with the feet?

Mr. Mercer: He looks like he’s rubbing her feet trying to get …. Looks like he’s rubbing her feet

Looks like the same scene with these 2 ladies talking to the one that was incoherent

People feeling good and people laying down People in various stages of distress I would say

Ms. Polk: Have you ever seen anything like this for ceremony facilitated by people other than Mr. Ray?

Defense: Objection.

Judge Darrow: Overruled.

Mr. Mercer: Not at all

Ms. Polk: What don’t you see?

Mr. Mercer: You don’t see …

Defense:  Objection

Judge Darrow: Overruled

Mr. Mercer: What you don’t see is big puddles of water and people laying in the dirt and just the general mess of the whole place too.

Ms. Polk: In 2009 after Mr. Ray’s ceremony, how many minutes passed before you realized something was really wrong?

Mr. Mercer: Maybe 5 or 10

Ms. Polk: During that 5 or 10 minutes, were people coming out of the sweat lodge?

Mr. Mercer: Yeah some people came out very empowered and other people came out on their face.

TomMcFeeley Tom McFeeley

Mercer: I had to sit on that man to keep him from entering lodge; he was trying to get his gf out. He wrestled him half hour #jamesray

TomMcFeeley Tom McFeeley

by RayShouldPay

Mercer: Man was irate; 2-3 hours later he didn’t remember a thing #jamesray

by RayShouldPay

“he seemed to be irate, out of his mind – we couldn’t reason with him” TM says of Martino. #JamesRay

Ms. Polk: Looking at the pile of treated wood that Mr. Li pointed out, did you ever burn this wood?

Mr. Mercer: There was no reason to use that wood because this wood was sitting here in a nice pile and it burns very well.

Ms. Polk: Do you know if this wood was treated in any way?

Mr. Mercer: No

Ms. Polk: Do you know who would know?

Mr. Mercer: Michael Hamilton

Ms. Polk: Do you know what Mr. Hamilton did before he came to Angel Valley?

Mr. Mercer.I’m not sure, but I heard he was a contractor.

Ms. Polk: Did you ever feel sick being close to the fire in 2008 with that wood burning in it?

Mr. Mercer: No

Ms. Polk: Regarding the sweat lodge. When that was in use did you need to use rocks to hold it down?

Mr. Mercer; Yeah.

Ms. Polk: Why did you need to use rocks?

Mr. Mercer: Just to make sure that the bottom was sealed and no air was getting in and out. Just to make sure it will get hot in there they don’t  want any air transferring in and out.

Then Michael came over and said, “Why aren’t you using this rubber deal?” So when we started using that.


Posted by: twinkiewrangler | April 11, 2011

Highlights from State of Arizona vs. James Arthur Ray


Highlights from State of Arizona vs. James Arthur Ray

Friday March 11, 2001

Testifying today is  Dr. Beverly Bunn, an orthodontist from Dallas, Texas.

Here are highlights from direct examination by Mr. Bill Hughes.



Dr. Bunn believes that #JamesRay knows better :: she wants to overcome her problems … he exploits it.

“Beverly, especially you are stronger than this. Mind over matter” :: says #JamesRay as Dr. Bunn tries to crawl out … so she stays.

Dr. Bunn says she stayed in #sweatlodge because she was dealing with things she was trying to get over and didn’t want to let #JamesRay down

4th round = six rocks #JamesRay :: Dr. Bunn starts to worry about having enough strength to crawl out.

At the end of the third round Dr. Bunn decided that she could only do one more round :: #JamesRay

Once everyone was forced to lay down :: things got even more crowded. #JamesRay

“This was the hottest fire ever, and the rocks were hotter than any other year” #JamesRay #Oops

Dr. Bunn the only witness so far to have a memory of the fireside chat #JamesRay

#JamesRay said they were the worst god gamers ever :: he’s appalled. {me too}

41 head shavings :: 3 deaths. Much success. #JamesRay

Afternoon Testimony:

Mr. Hughes:  When that took place did Mr. Ray stop the ceremony?

Dr. Bunn: No.

Mr. Hughes:  When the sweat lodge actually ended did you ever hear M Ray inquire about how that person was doing?

Dr. Bunn: No.

Mr. Hughes:  Were people sitting up or laying down?

Dr. Bunn: Laying down

Mr. Hughes:  What heat was like in round 6?

Dr. Bunn: I think by ROUND 6

Mr. Hughes: Can you describe what round 6 was like?

Dr. Bunn: Round 6 is when everything kinda went pretty crazy everyone in the sweat lodge was yelling at some point of time because a person had passed out or a person was unconscious.

Mr. Hughes: What did she look like?

Dr. Bunn: She was completely not mobile, not functioning for herself because you could see when she was brought to the door she was just lifeless.

Mr. Objection. Ask for response to be stricken.

Judge Darrow:  The answer that has just been completed stands.

Mr. Hughes: When this woman was dragged to the door can you tell us if the door was open?

Beginning or end of round

Never opened during door close

Mr. Hughes: Did you hear anybody say anything about the woman being dragged?

Dr. Bunn: All I can recall is somebody calling somebody to the door to help drag her thru the the door.

Mr. Hughes: Was the woman dragged past where Mr. Ray was sitting?

Dr. Bunn: Right in front of him.

Mr. Hughes: Did you ever hear him ask how the woman was doing after that point?

Dr. Bunn: I did not.

Did you ever hear anybody say anything in round 6 about this person’s lack of breathing?

Dr. Bunn: Round 6 is where we heard she’s passed out.

Mr. Hughes: Did the woman every say anything?

Dr. Bunn: There was a lot of screaming going on with so many people calling each other’s names we just didn’t know who was answering

Mr. Hughes: Did Mr. Ray ever say anything?

Dr. Bunn: James said quiet down! Quiet down! I’m in charge here. Everyone needs to be quiet right now!

Mr. Hughes: Did anybody else say anything about the woman who was passed out?

Dr. Bunn: Someone said, I can’t get her to move. She’s not moving. She’s not breathing and he said I can’t deal with that right now the door is now closed we’ll deal with that at the end of the round.

Mr. Hughes: Did you hear the voice clearly?

Dr. Bunn: Yes

Mr. Hughes: Did Mr. Ray hear the voice?

Defense: Objection. Form of question.  Foundation.

Judge Darrow: Sustained.

Mr. Hughes: Can you tell us what Mr.Ray said in round 6 when people were telling him that a woman had passed out?

Dr. Bunn: Yes. He said, he door is now closed. This round is now begun and we will deal with that at the end of the next round … round seven.

Mr. Hughes:  Do you know how long that round lasted?

Dr. Bunn: Approx. 15 minutes.

Mr. Hughes: Do you recall anyone making statements about people in distress during the 7th round?

Dr. Bunn: Not if we were told to be quiet there weren’t a lot of people talking.

Mr. Hughes: Did Mr. Ray say anything in the 7th round?

Dr. Bunn: James asked for anybody who had gone out …. To join us for the last round.

Mr. Hughes: At any time end of 7th round, at the beginning of 8th, did Mr. Ray inquire about Sidney who had been dragged out?

Dr. Bunn: No he did not.

Mr. Hughes: Do you know where Kirby Brown was sitting in the 7th round?

Dr. Bunn: To my knowledge Kirby had moved. I knew where she was in the beginning and I knew where she was in the 8th round.

Mr. Hughes: Can you show us on the overhead?

Dr. Bunn: That’s where she started and that’s where she finished

Mr. Hughes:  Kirby was moved at what point she was moved?

Dr. Bunn: After the sweat lodge was over.

Mr. Hughes: Did you ever hear any comments about Kirby’s condition after the sweat lodge ceremony?

Dr. Bunn: I do not recall that specific name. I know that somebody was in trouble because nothing was being done about the person who was said to be passed out and we don’t know if she was breathing.

Mr. Hughes: Did Mr. Ray ever tell anyone to go out and check on the person who was passed out?

Dr. Bunn: He didn’t and I was waiting for that.

Mr. Hughes: Did he ever direct someone to go in and check on her?

Dr. Bunn: No.

Mr. Hughes:  Did you see or hear or observe Mr. Ray do anything to help that person?

Dr. Bunn: I did not.

Mr. Hughes: Apart from inviting people back in, did you hear Mr. Ray say anything?

Dr. Bunn: Other than order the rocks, no.

Mr. Hughes: Do you recall how many rocks for round 8?

Mr. Hughes: Do you recall Mr. Ray dumped water in the pit?

Dr. Bunn: Mr. Ray poured water on every round.

Mr. Hughes: Did you hear anybody in distress at round 8?

Dr. Bunn: Honestly at round 8 I knew that they weren’t helping.

Defense: Objection.

Judge Darrow: Sustained.

Dr. Bunn: I was really focused on myself at that point in time to live through the last round.

Mr. Hughes: Did you experience an altered state while you were in the sweat lodge?

Dr. Bunn: No to my knowledge.

Mr. Hughes: Do you recall whether people did take Mr. Ray up to come back to sweat lodge?

Dr. Bunn: They did.

Dr. Bunn: I know it was 4 or 5 several people were tripping over me coming back into the tent.

Mr. Hughes: What direction was the entrance facing?

Dr. Bunn: I was told that the entrance was to the South.

Mr. Hughes: When the 8th round ended, did you see or hear anybody in distress while you were still inside?

Dr. Bunn: Yes

Mr. Hughes: Can you tell us what happened at the end of the lodge?

Dr. Bunn: 2 different instructions — when it was over & door was opened Mr. Ray said everybody on outside circle was to leave first…So he changed his directions and said everybody on inside circle leave first and we had to go clockwise to leave. As I was getting ready to leave there was  2 gentlemen  in front of me that was dragging another  lifeless person in front of me .

(Dr. Bunn is getting emotional) …. And they asked me to push  … they drug her all the way to the door & as they were doing that I was passing Kirby and there was some snorting or some snoring sounds coming from her and she was face up.

They wanted to shake her or wake her up but I thought sooner we get everybody out ….

(Dr. Bunn is weeping and crying so hard she can’t finish her sentence)

Brief pause

Mr. Hughes: Have you been trained to resuscitate a person when they’re unconscious?

Dr. Bunn: I have.

Mr. Hughes: Was she conscious or unconscious?

Defense: Objection

Judge Darrow: Sustained.

Mr. Hughes: Can you tell us what you observed?

Dr. Bunn: She was not assisting in any way shape or form.  If you let go of her body she just laid there till the next time. They would pull and pull and I would push and she just laid their lifeless until I got there.

Mr. Hughes: Was there any response when you were administering CPR?

Dr. Bunn: She didn’t respond in any way.

Mr. Hughes: Do you recall what Kirby’s mood was before the sweat lodge?

Dr. Bunn: She was on top of the world she was ecstatic about going through the event.

Mr. Hughes:  After the sweat lodge, was her demeanor different from that demeanor?

Defense: Objection.

Judge Darrow:  Overruled.

Dr. Bunn: Yes

Mr. Hughes: How was it different?

Dr. Bunn: There was no movement form Kirby

Mr. Hughes: Did you finally make it out?

Dr. Bunn: I did

Mr. Hughes: How long did it take you to circuit out of sweat lodge?

Dr. Bunn: 7-10 minutes because we were dragging that lady out it was taking a long time.

Mr. Hughes: What happened once you were out of the sweat lodge?

Dr. Bunn: I laid down and they splashed a 5 gallon bucket of cold water on me and told me to rest and I did a great job.

Mr. Hughes: Can you tell what you observed about Sydney?

Dr. Bunn: She was unresponsive and people were calling her name saying Sydney talk to me.

Mr. Hughes: Did you observe anybody else who was likewise unresponsive?

Dr. Bunn: I got up and that’s when I noticed the other people.

Dr. Bunn: Jeanne was a medical doctor and I told her I was an orthodontist.

Mr. Hughes: What did you observe?

Dr. Bunn: Mucus coming out of Sydney’s nose and mouth eyes rolling back in head barely, barely  breathing making a sound for air– not enough would go in paired some people up to talk try and pinch her hand.

Mr. Hughes: Then what happened?

Dr. Bunn: They started calling for medical attention on other side of the tent.

Dr. Bunn: I went to get blankets I saw another woman lying on the dirt laying on her arm and her arm was turning blue. I wanted to put her in supine position but she was unresponsive.

Mr. Hughes: Did you notice anyone else in distress?

Dr. Bunn: Next to her was another person I recognized as Stephen Ray.

Mr. Hughes: What did ye look like?

Dr. Bunn: He was responsive with mucus coming out of his mouth. All of his blood vessels had burst in his eyes.

Mr. Hughes: What did you do then?

Dr. Bunn: I was looking for Kirby and also started looking for Julie.

Mr. Hughes: Could you see anyone else in distress?

Dr. Bunn: I could see them doing chest compressions on James Shore.

Mr. Hughes: Who was doing compressions?

Dr. Bunn: Barb. One of the dream team members.

Mr. Hughes: What did you do then?

Dr. Bunn:  I was still looking for Kirby & I went to get more towels. I looked thru door of the tent after they lifted up back of tent and pulled them out. I could see her stomach going up and down.

At this point Dr. Beverly Bunn got so upset they needed to take a brief recess

Mr. Hughes: Why is it that you were trying to cool Sydney down?

Dr. Bunn: Her body felt like it was overheated. It feels like a fever so you cool it down with a cool cloth.

Mr. Hughes: Did you see any medical people tending to Sydney?

Dr. Bunn: There was no medical people  there.

Mr. Hughes: Did you see a first aid kit?

Dr. Bunn: The only first aid kit I saw was a Tupperware of gauze and bandaids and I don’t think that could help Sydney at the time.

Dr. Bunn: Brett was lying near Sydney

Dr. Bunn: And I was mobile so I was calling for blankets of towels or anything to cover her up

Mr. Hughes:  Was there anything about Bret lead you to have concerns about his well-being?

Dr. Bunn: He was crying and he was calling to Sidney Please breath please answer me.

Mr. Hughes: Did he seem coherent?

Dr. Bunn: He seemed pretty coherent to what he was doing.

Mr. Hughes: Talking?

Mr. Hughes: Did you check her eyes?

Dr. Bunn: I did check her eyes they were rolled back in her head.

Mr. Hughes: What about the lady with the blue arm?

Mr. Hughes: Any idea how long since you exited the sweat lodge?

Dr. Bunn: Probably been out about 10 to 15 minutes

Mr. Hughes: Could you feel whether her skin how it felt?

Dr. Bunn I don’t recall I was just more concerned about her cutting of circulation to arm really turning blue.

Dr.Bunn: Everybody had water around them they had been splashed with water

Dr. Bunn: All her clothing everything is wet

Mr. Hughes: What caused you to leave that woman and move on?

Dr. Bunn: What I was concerned about was that she was turning blue but her lips weren’t turning blue.

Dr. Bunn: We weren’t getting any response and short, short breaths.

Dr. Bunn: Asking to try and pinch the skin trying to get her to respond just to see if there was any kind of reaction you could get just knowing she was alive

Mr. Hughes: Are you familiar with A.V.P.U. ( scale for accessing consciousness?

Dr. Bunn: To be honest with you just basic CPR or first aid.

Mr. Hughes: Did you see people helping woman out?

Dr. Bunn: No

Mr. Hughes: Did you see Mr. Ray helping woman out?

Dr. Bunn: No

Mr. Hughes: To your knowledge, were there any medical people on dream team?

Dr. Bunn: Not to my knowledge.

Mr. Hughes: To your knowledge were there any medical people who were employees of Mr. Ray?

Dr. Bunn: Jeanne who was a doctor.

Mr. Hughes: Who called for assistance?

Dr. Bunn: I think it was Brett and one of the other dream team members because she was barely breathing at all.

Dr. Bunn: That’s when I noticed another person laying on the ground …. Stephen Ray not too far from her.

Mr. Hughes: Did you say anything to the dream team members?

Dr. Bunn: Is this normal this is crazy do you understand that this is not normal here?

Mr. Hughes: What happened then?

Dr. Bunn: Stephen Ray turned and opened his eyes all the blood vessels had burst.

Mr. Hughes: What did Mr. Ray do?

Dr. Bunn: He just looked at me.

Defense: Objection

Judge Darrow: Overruled.

Mr. Hughes: Do you know what he (JAR) was doing?

Dr. Bunn: Yes.

Mr. Hughes: Can you tell us?

Dr. Bunn: He was just standing there probably from where you can assess Kirby and James and he just stood there watching them do CPR on Kirby and James.

Dr. Bunn: I was waiting for a reaction on Mr. Rays face cause …

Defense: Objection

Judge Darrow:  Sustained.


Who is it you saw person

Mr. Hughes: Did you walk over to where Kirby was once you saw CPR being performed?

Dr. Bunn: I wasn’t allowed.

Mr. Hughes: Who told you that you weren’t allowed?

Dr. Bunn: Christine the dream team member would not allow me to go over there.

Mr. Hughes: And what did you do next?

Dr. Bunn: I told them about 10 times I know CPR and she would not allow me to go over there.

Mr. Hughes: Did you see who was performing CPR on Mr. Shore?

Dr. Bunn: Barb

Mr. Hughes: How far apart was the group was performing CPR on Kirby?

Dr. Bunn: They were just a few feet apart.

Mr. Hughes: Did you see anybody throwing up?

Dr. Bunn: Inside the tent mostly.

Mr. Hughes: When did you see people throw up?

Dr. Bunn: In the middle of round you would hear people spitting or the person next to you would throw up.

Mr. Hughes: Did you see someone on the ground named Christine?

Dr. Bunn: I did.

Mr. Hughes: Was there anything unusual about Christine as she was on the ground?

Dr. Bunn: Christine was on the other side of Sydney and Christine was having some sort of fit. She was yelling and screaming yelling profanities and yelling out James Ray! James Ray!

Mr. Hughes: Who is Christine?

Dr. Bunn: Christine job is a dream team member and she wouldn’t let me do CPR

Mr. Hughes: Do you know when ems arrived on the scene?

Dr. Bunn: The time was approximately 5:40 – 5:45 pm.

Mr. Hughes: Was it still light out?

Dr. Bunn: It was dusk.

Mr. Hughes: At some point did you alert the paramedics to some of the things you’ve told us about?

Dr. Bunn: Yes.

Mr. Hughes: How is it that you came to alert them?

Dr. Bunn: When the paramedics came down the hill, they seemed to branch off she asked us what happened and we took her straight to Sydney the others took us to the other side where Kirby and James where.

Regarding exhibit 230

Mr. Hughes: Let me ask you what you see in the photo?

Dr. Bunn: That’s the aftermath of the sweat lodge

Mr. Hughes:  Can you identify anyone in the photo?

Dr. Bunn: Meagan, Josh … the wife of the fire starter and the daughter they were in charge of heating the rocks.

Mr. Hughes: How did you know it was Ted?

Dr. Bunn: He was introduced to us right before said he had done this for several years making sure rocks were there he did the other fire where we burned our journals as well.

Mr. Hughes: Did Mr. Ray say anything to the participants?

Dr. Bunn: He told us now that paramedics were here. Please buddy up grab a participant and walk back to cabins, if you can.

Mr. Hughes: Did some people use golf carts?

Dr. Bunn: Yes.

Dr. Bunn: I walked back with my roommate Julie and we were walking back to our cabin, they drove up on us and the girl was Christine – yelling and screaming her eyes were huge and her pupils were all dilated and she wouldn’t talk.

Mr. Hughes: Did you notice anything about Amy after seemed out of the ordinary

Dr. Bunn: Amy was really, really sick she had a garbage pail next to her bed and she was throwing up she didn’t have lunch she didn’t’ have breakfast either.

Mr. Hughes: Did you observe Kirby participated in the events that week?

Dr. Bunn: To her fullest.

Mr. Hughes: You had been told about heat related illnesses by a guide in the Grand Canyon

Did the info concern you?

Dr. Bunn: What concerned me was that I knew there was people with high blood pressure and were over weight.

Dr. Bunn: And I knew you weren’t supposed to expose yourself to continuous over 20-30 min and we were going to be there over 3 hours.

Mr. Hughes: Did you ever speak up?

Dr. Bunn: No

Mr. Hughes: Why not?

Dr. Bunn: I was there as a participant not a rule maker.

Mr. Hughes: Did anyone know you were an orthodontist?

Dr. Bunn: I never told anybody I was an orthodontist.

Mr. Hughes: Did you believe the defendant knew how to run a safe sweat lodge?

Defense: Objection.

Judge Darrow:  Overruled

Dr. Bunn: Based on the fact he claimed he had done this for 7 years that’s all I had knowledge of

Mr. Hughes: Did he ever say where his knowledge came from?

Dr. Bunn: He said he had studied with many of the Native Indians.

Mr. Hughes: Did Mr. Ray show you a photograph where he was with people who appeared to be Native Americans?

Dr. Bunn: Yes. Mr. Ray has a huge sweat lodge side show that shows him with all diff types of people including Native American people

Defense: We request answer be stricken.

Mr. Hughes: What if anything informed you opinion about whether he could run a safe sweat lodge?

Dr. Bunn: I didn’t question Mr. Ray at this time.

Mr. Hughes: Why didn’t you question Mr. Ray?

Defense:  Objection. Pending question

Judge Darrow: Overruled

Dr. Bunn: You learn through the course of the week that you don’t question Mr. Ray on anything   …Things are not optional. As you learn there’s consequences or reprimand if you question Mr. Ray or you don’t do as he says of you don’t play full on.

Mr. Hughes: Was that something you had seen in previous course you attended?

Dr. Bunn: Yes.



Mr. Hughes: Can you tell us what the events were that influenced you as you were in the sweat lodge?

Dr. Bunn: No.

Mr. Hughes: Do you recall any specific events from Spiritual Warrior week that influenced you once you were inside sweat lodge?

Dr. Bunn: the whole week influenced me the whole motto for the week. You just don’t feel right if you don’t play full on. I don’t want to let him down at that point in time.

Mr. Hughes: Did you ever see Mr. Ray go up to paramedics or emts and offer then any info?

Defense: Objection.

Judge Darrow: Overruled. That’s a yes or no question and you may answer that if you can.

Dr. Bunn: I did not see him offer any assistance.

Mr. Hughes: Thank you Dr. Bunn.


Mr. Kelly: you were interviewed several times that evening Oct 8 and Oct 9 by detective Shawna Willingham have you had a change to read your testimony:

Dr. Bunn: Yes.

Mr. Kelly:  She’s concerned about your emotional state. Have you sought professional counseling?

Dr. Bunn: I visited with a counselor twice.

Mr. Kelly: It’s really bothered you?

Dr. Bunn: Yes.

Mr. Kelly:  I’m going to hand you exhibit 199 and ask you refresh recollection of Spiritual Warrior guide you downloaded before you went to Spiritual Warrior.

Dr. Bunn: Yes There’s at least 1 page missing. It appears to be similar.

That’s the page that’s missing – what to bring what to wear ….

Mr. Kelly introduces a copy of Spiritual Warrior release waiver indemnity and disclaimer and asks that it be admitted into evidence.

Dr. Bunn: Correct.

Mr. Kelly: and that document you had some 3 months prior to showing up in Sedona & that document notifies you that there will be high risk activities such as holotropic  breathwork,  sweat lodge (a ceremonial sauna) vision quest  in wilderness without food or water?

Dr. Bunn: Correct.

Mr. Kelly: As a Dentist licensed by the state of Texas, you provide an informed consent document before you begin?

Dr. Bunn: Correct.

Mr. Kelly: And they all read that document, correct?

Dr. Bunn. I’m not going to answer on behalf of my patients.

Mr. Kelly: You expect your patients will read that document?

Dr. Bunn: Yes

Mr. Kelly:  You knew the Spiritual Warrior retreat would include a sweat lodge, holotropic breathing?

Dr. Bunn: It always says these activities may be included it doesn’t say anything about high risk.

Mr. Kelly: The release of waiver is for James Ray international the corporation correct?

Dr. Bunn: I wouldn’t know.

Mr. Kelly: You release waive and discharge James Ray International Inc. (the company) is that correct?

Mr. Kelly reads the waiver: “In consideration of being permitted to participate in Spiritual Warrior event and being granted access to the premises I agree to release waive and discharge JRI the COMPANY volunteer assistants and others associated with the company from all liability in any claims of damage or resulting in death whether caused by the negligence of the release”

Mr. Kelly: When you signed this document you were dealing with an individual that is not James Ray correct?

Dr. Bunn: I don’t’ understand the question.

Mr. Kelly: You were familiar with heat stress on human body because you had hiked the Grand Canyon correct?

Dr. Bunn: In September 2010 – 1 year after Spiritual Warrior seminar.

Mr. Kelly: You were told to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate …

Mr. Kelly: You were told repeatedly to hydrate.

Dr. Bunn: I have to answer no to that

Dr. Bunn: We couldn’t when we were on our Vision Quest because we had no food or water

Mr. Kelly: You exercised free choice to go to the Grand Canyon and exercised free choice to go to Spiritual Warrior correct?

Dr. Bunn: I did.

Mr. Kelly: You freely singed documents.

Dr. Bunn: I did.

Mr. Kelly: What happened during Holotropic breathing? You actually fell asleep?

Dr. Bunn: At times. It put you to sleep

Mr. Kelly: Did you hyperventilate?

Dr. Bunn: And was woken up several times to continue to hyperventilate.

Mr. Kelly: You’re an educated professional woman who has a doctoral degree you’re capable of making your own decisions? You made the decision to go to yoga correct?

Dr. Bunn: It wasn’t an option.

Mr. Kelly: You me Liz Neuman?

Dr. Bunn: Not really I didn’t interact with Liz much.

Mr. Kelly: Did you know that Liz didn’t’ participate in Holotropic breathing?

Dr. Bunn: No I did not Liz Neuman was a dream teamer.

Mr. Kelly: You knew it was a game?

Dr. Bunn: Yes.

Mr. Kelly: Mr. Ray had a Halloween costume on?

Dr. Bunn: He was dressed in a robe with a gold crown yes.

Mr. Kelly: During Holotropic Breathing when you fell asleep that’s ok?

Dr. Bunn: Because they woke me up so I guess it wasn’t ok

Mr. Kelly: Did you see people raise their hand and say hey I’ve got to go to the bathroom?

Dr. Bunn: I don’t recall that.

Mr. Kelly: Are you aware that another key factor to substantial heat stroke is elevated core body temperature?

Dr. Bunn: Correct.

Mr. Kelly: Do you know water weighs 8.5 pounds per gallon?

(Asking rapid fire questions is a NLP confusion technique)

Mr. Kelly: When you were hiking in the Grand Canyon, you could stop and drink water at any time correct?

Mr. Kelly: Had somebody collapsed because they had an elevated body temp and were dehydrated they didn’t follow directions, you would have used every skill that you had to help that person Correct?

Dr. Bunn: Correct

Mr. Kelly: 41 of the participants cut their hair so at least 20 didn’t correct?

Dr. Bunn: According to my calculation it would make it 9 because I was told there was 50 participants

Mr. Kelly: The other, they made the decision to cut their hair?

Dr. Bunn: We did.

Mr. Kelly: People were encouraged to cut their hair to help them become better people.

Letting go of your appearance and becoming the person you are inside?

Dr. Bunn: I missed that part to be honest with you.

Mr. Kelly: It was part of letting go.

Dr. Bunn: I was told that later.

Mr. Kelly: It was to overcome vanity.

Dr. Bunn: I didn’t’ hear to overcome vanity.

Tom Kelly: Kirby Brown, you and Julie decided to cut hair on last day, but struggled with the decision and finally decided that’s what you wanted to do on the last day?

Dr.Bunn: Correct.

Tom Kelly: 4 days preceding you made the decision not to cut your hair does that make sense?

Dr. Bunn: Yes that makes sense.

Mr. Kelly: You’re not familiar with the corporate structure of JRI?

Dr. Bunn: No.

Mr. Kelly: You don’t know how Meagan and the dream team members fit into corporate structure?

Dr. Bunn: Somewhat I do.

Mr. Kelly: You had to pay money for lodging and food

Dr. Bunn: On top of the amount we spent for Spiritual Warrior yes

Mr. Kelly: You’re not familiar with the corporate structure of JRI?

Dr. Bunn: No.

Mr. Kelly: You don’t know how Meagan and the dream team members fit into corporate structure?

Dr. Bunn: Somewhat I do.

Mr. Kelly: You had to pay money for lodging and food

Dr. Bunn: On top of the amount we spent for Spiritual Warrior yes

Dr. Bunn: You’re asking me something that I really don’t know

Dr. Bunn: It’s not a yes or no answer for me

Legal Resources:

Understanding Negligence

Arizona Laws 101: A Handbook for Non-Lawyers by Donald A. Loose

Elements of a Criminal Negligence Case


Criminally Negligent Manslaughter A homicide resulting from the taking of an unreasonable and high degree of risk is usually considered criminally negligent manslaughter. Jurisdictions are divided on the question of whether the defendant must be aware of the risk. Modern criminal codes generally require a consciousness of risk, although, under some codes, the absence of this element makes the offense a less serious homicide.

There are numerous cases in which an omission to act or a failure to perform a duty constitutes criminally negligent manslaughter. The existence of a duty is essential. Since the law does not recognize that an ordinary person has a duty to aid or rescue another in distress, an ensuing death from failure to act would not be manslaughter. On the other hand, an omission in which one has a duty, such as the failure of a lifeguard to attempt to save a drowning person, might constitute the offense.

When the failure to act is reckless or negligent, and not intentional, it is usually manslaughter. If the omission is intentional and death is likely or substantially likely to result, the offense might be murder. When an intent to kill, recklessness, and negligence are present, no offense is committed.

In many jurisdictions, death that results from the operation of a vehicle in a criminally negligent manner is punishable as a separate offense. Usually it is considered a less severe crime than involuntary manslaughter. Although criminal negligence is an element, it is generally not the same degree of negligence as that which is required for involuntary manslaughter. For example, some vehicular homicide statutes have been construed to require only ordinary negligence while, in a majority of jurisdictions, a greater degree of negligence is required for involuntary manslaughter.

Unlawful-Act Manslaughter In many states, unlawful-act manslaughter is committed when death results from an act that is likely to cause death or serious physical harm to another person. In a majority of jurisdictions, however, the offense is committed when death occurs during the commission or attempted commission of a misdemeanor.

In some states, a distinction is made between conduct that is malum in se, bad in itself and conduct that is malum prohibitum, bad because prohibited by law. In these states, the act that causes the death must be malum in se and a felony in order for the offense to constitute manslaughter. If the act is malum prohibitum, there is no manslaughter unless it was foreseeable that death would be a direct result of the act. In other states that similarly divide the offense, the crime is committed even though the act was malum prohibitum and a misdemeanor, especially if the unlawful act was in violation of a statute that was intended to prevent injury to other persons.

Criminal negligence

: a gross deviation from the standard of care expected of a reasonable person that is manifest in a failure to protect others from a risk (as of death) deriving from one’s conduct and that renders one criminally liable
compare gross negligence in this entry

Gross negligence

: negligence that is marked by conduct that presents an unreasonably high degree of risk to others and by a failure to exercise even the slightest care in protecting them from it and that is sometimes associated with conscious and willful indifference to their rights
see also recklessness
compare criminal negligence in this entry

The failure to use reasonable care to avoid consequences that threaten or harm the safety of the public and that are the foreseeable outcome of acting in a particular manner.

Criminal negligence is a statutory offense that arises primarily in situations involving the death of an innocent party as a result of the operation of a motor vehicle by a person who is under the influence of Drugs and Narcotics or alcohol. Most statutes define such conduct as criminally negligent Homicide. Unlike the tort of Negligence, in which the party who acted wrongfully is liable for damages to the injured party, a person who is convicted of criminal negligence is subject to a fine, imprisonment, or both, because of the status of the conduct as a crime.

West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Negligent homicide is the killing of another person through gross negligence or without malice. It often includes death that is the result of the negligent operation of a motor vehicle, which includes the operation of a boat or snowmobile. It is characterized as a death caused by death by conduct that grossly deviated from ordinary care. Negligent homicide may be charged as a lesser-included offense of manslaughter. It is also sometimes referred to as “involuntary manslaughter”. State laws vary, so local law should be consulted for specific requirements.

The following is an example of a state statute dealing with negligent homicide:

“(a) (1) A person commits negligent homicide if he or she negligently causes the death of another person, not constituting murder or manslaughter, as a result of operating a vehicle, an aircraft, or a watercraft:

(A) While intoxicated; or

(B) If at that time there is an alcohol concentration of eight-hundredths (0.08) or more in the person’s breath or blood…as determined by a chemical test of the person’s blood, urine, breath, or other bodily substance.

(2) A person who violates subdivision (a) (1) of this section is guilty of a Class C felony.

(b) (1) A person who commits negligent homicide if he or she negligently causes the death of another person. A person who violates subdivision (b) (1) of this section is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.”

Posted by: twinkiewrangler | April 11, 2011

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