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.



  1. […] Wrangler” takes a penetrating look at the defense’s strategies and motivations, especially noting the corporate ideology behind the concept of Ray as a […]

    • Thanks for the mention. “Spirituality is No Excuse” is the best blog title ever to comment about James Arthur Ray!

  2. Well written, well thought out blog.

  3. Very interesting post that does shine a good light on the motivations and strategies being marshalled to protect JAR’s future income generating capacities. Makes me wonder if the defence is worried that JAR might stiff them on the legal bills as he seems to have stiffed everyone else.

    The ‘Magic the Gathering’ reference is new to me, did that get a mention in court as something that may have prompted some of the idiot challenges or is that just a generic influence?

    I’d like to re-post some of this (the financial finangling) on with links and encouragement to read it all and hope that’s OK with you.

    • Sure go ahead an post it. James Ray never had an original thought in his life, so he had a lot of influences from Steiner, Crowley, Von Daniken to $cientology. I almost hope the CO$ sues him for squirreling their tech! I know there are people who were in MOTL who have more information, I hope some of them will one day write an honest account of what really went on in the inner circle. To date, most of the “tell-all” books really haven’t told it all and were just New Age apologetics. I’m sure there will be a lot more coming one once people get to a place where they’re able to analyze the hold Ray had over them.

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