February 3, 2010


... manslaughter.


Ignorance is Bliss said...

A post like this is what is known as Crack-bait.

Lem said...

Football players have died of heat strokes at summer camps for years and no one has ever gone to jail over it... None that I know at least.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

Oh this is just part of the show! Grab your popcorn and get comfy, folks-- it's a special Arizona edition of The Big Bad Law Show!

While the deaths are tradgic, the folks who died were consenting adults. What did they think they were getting into? If you want the deep religious experience, it comes with some risks. The New Age spiritual process is not 100% safe. Part of the power of it is that you might die.

Besides, we in this culture train our young people that they need religion in their lives to be fulfilled. No surprise that they then look for it in interesting places.

The retreaters signed up for this event. This Ray dude ought not to be charged for providing what he advertised. Maybe his brochures need a warning label or something, but that's it.

But Arizona needs a show trial... and the show must go on!

Henry said...

How do we know that death isn't part of the therapy? This is New Age. What's this "they died" crap?

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

Crack does say that the tipping point is close for the public to stop bowing down to these cult leaders as if they are on to something other than a pure swindle for cash that puts confused and vulnerable victims into a living hell and death. Cults need to raise their game.

Big Mike said...

@Julius Ray, I'm kind of appalled by your comment. Are you saying that the "consenting adults" knew that what they were participating in was potentially lethal? From where did you get that?

Ray's attorneys have said he took all necessary safety precautions and wasn't aware of any medical problems until the ceremony was over.

Yup. That's why the people died, because he took all necessary safety precautions. And the stuff I've read from the survivors, is that he was aware that people were having trouble breathing but refused to let them leave the sweat lodge. Then they were dead and it didn't a whole lot matter whether they could or couldn't leave the sweat lodge, because they were beyond caring anymore.

Paddy O. said...

I can't tell from the article, so I'm curious. Did he physically prevent people from leaving?

It sounds like he used verbal pressure and such to convince people, but is that enough for manslaughter? Could they have gotten up on their own?

That seems to me to be the big question, because if so, they do seem to bear responsibility for their own welfare.

I think Lem's example is definitely a good one for this kind of case.

bagoh20 said...

C'mon reporters, raise the bar a little, pleeeeease.

The story repeats similar comments from survivors, but never informs us of the cause of death of anyone. Isn't that like the most important fact?

$9000 for that crap? Where do you find such easy suckers? It's not the danger, I would not expect that to be lethal myself, but 9 grand to be a "spiritual warrior" and get spiritual advice from that guy? I honestly don't know anyone that dumb with or without the money.

Synova said...

Unknown medical problems might kill one person, but three?

And the thing... you know... if you get heat stroke or something, you're not required to treat yourself. Other people are supposed to help you.

So suggesting that the people in distress were responsible for getting themselves out of distress is just wrong.

And at the most, the fact that these people were willingly led rather than forced, either to do the ceremony to begin with or to stay when they began not feeling well (not feeling well being the plan, after all) is why it's manslaughter rather than murder. So their own part of it is already taken into account.

As for the other participants with "no hard feelings" toward their guru, even if they're glad he isn't doing more cleansings... well, if they admit that he's a sham, a criminally reprehensible fraud who killed people - that means they have to admit that they were a dupe.

People will do a lot to avoid admitting that, including perpetuating it all.

Kensington said...

Ray will just have to visualize himself "not guilty."

That shouldn't be a problem for him.

traditionalguy said...

Bagoh20...Why do people fall for New age? People who are lost without direction or power in their lives intuit that by submitting to an authority and power source that they will obtain some authority and power which they are seeking. The cults charge lots of money for that dream and do not deliver much except confusion, or they can on occasion succeed in causing an out of control connection with an evil power that hates humans, especially human women. Sounds like the power that Mohammed found giving him a revelation in a cave.

Kirk Parker said...


"Why do people fall for New age? People who are lost without direction..."

Better if they just sign up for law school.

Methadras said...

I wonder what Ramtha has to say about this?

Pogo said...


Well, don't let that get you down, James Arthur Ray. You can quickly achieve harmonic well-being when you realize that splitting the word in two makes it Man's laughter.

Now that's a transformation!

bagoh20 said...

I have great difficulty seeing anyone with 9 grand to spend on this narcissistic crap as a victim.

"Lost without direction"? If you have that kind of burning money and are "without direction", You are just too stupid or selfish to pick one.

The Crack Emcee said...

"A post like this is what is known as Crack-bait."

Yea, and here I am with the damn hook still in my mouth:


A "spiritual retreat" with James Arthur Ray ain't no football summer camp.

Anyway, I'm blogging all day at my house, so stop on by with some friends if you want:

I'm spreading "Good News" like Tg and shit.

kentuckyliz said...

Tg - thyroglobulin?