James Ray Sweat Lodge Trial Begins

James Ray Sweat Lodge Trial Begins

ICTMN Staff
3/2/11

Opening arguments are expected to commence today, March 1, for the trial of James Arthur Ray, the controversial spiritual leader who faces charges of manslaughter after three sweat lodge participants died in the October 8, 2009 ceremony in Sedona, Arizona, reported ABC.

The 53-year-old "self-help guru" is charged in his Yavapai County Superior Court trial on three counts of manslaughter for the deaths of Kirby Brown, 38, James Shore, 40, and Liz Neuman, 49. Brown and Shore spent nearly $10,000 to spend the week with Ray, and instead died in the lodge, reported ABC. Neuman remained alive in a coma for more than a week, passing away on Oct. 17, 2009. Eighteen other followers were injured during the October 8, 2009 ceremony.

According to one survivor Beverly Bunn, who spoke on "Good Morning America," sweat lodge participants at the October 8 ceremony were collapsing and vomiting. Ray did not physically force people to remain in the tent, but he urged them to stay inside and scolded them to overcome their weakness. Then as his followers laid dying or injured, Ray fled the scene, said Bunn, reported ABC on October 23, 2009.

In an unrelated lawsuit, less than a month following the incident, on November 2, Lakota Nation leaders filed a lawsuit in Phoenix, Arizona, against the United States, U.S. attorney general, Arizona governor, James Arthur Ray and Angel Valley Retreat Center, for the “desecration of our Sacred Oinikiga (onikare, sweat lodge) by causing the death of Liz Neuman, Kirby Brown and James Shore," reported Sedona.biz. The lawsuit cites the Sioux Treaty of 1868 between the United States and the Lakota Nation, which states, "if bad men among the whites or other people subject to the authority of the United States shall commit any wrong upon the person or the property of the Indians, the United States will (...) proceed at once to cause the offender to be arrested and punished according to the laws of the United States, and also reimburse the injured person for the loss sustained." The lawsuit sought for the treaty to be recognized and enforced, and did not seek monetary compensation, reported Sedona.biz.

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unique's picture
unique
Submitted by unique on
Do it. Don't back down. Make them at LEAST acknowledge the wrong. The govt. will hate it. tsk tsk. Make the guilty party carry the freight. " on November 2, Lakota Nation leaders filed a lawsuit in Phoenix, Arizona, against the United States, U.S. attorney general, Arizona governor, James Arthur Ray and Angel Valley Retreat Center, for the “desecration of our Sacred Oinikiga (onikare, sweat lodge) by causing the death of Liz Neuman, Kirby Brown and James Shore,”

skinu's picture
skinu
Submitted by skinu on
RIGHT...WHY SUE NOW YOU PROBABLY GAVE HIM THIS ,BEEN WORLD WIDE AND MAN EVERYONE DOES SIOUX STUFF, LOOK IN YOUR CEROMONIES AT ALL THE EUROPEANS AND IT'S PLAIN AS DAY !!! HERE ON THE BLACKFEET IT'S HAPPENING ALL THE FAKE MED. MEN AND WANNA-BE SHOWS, IF YOUR SHAMAN AND SUCH ARE RUNNING THE SHOW IN ENGLISH IT'S CHURCH DORKS ,US SKINS RUN BROWN/BLACK NOT BLONDE/BLUE....WELL I'D SAY THE SOLD-OUT CREES WHO TEAR THESE DOWN SHOULDA BEEN CALLED HUH? THIS WOULDA SAVED A LAWSUIT,COUPLA LIVES AND LOTS OF DAM GOOD TARPS....ROFF LMFAO!!!!

arrow's picture
arrow
Submitted by arrow on
I am a Lakota youth and I'm wondering why the "Lakota Nation" has filed a lawsuit against these places and people, yes I did read the article and I understand what it says but I'm confused, 1: most tribes other than our people have had the sweat lodge ceremony as a part of their culture for as long as we have historicaly, so why have we taken it upon ourselves to to do this and say that this was our way of life like we are the only ones who have this? 2: who are the "leaders" who have filed the suit, are they traditional elders, tribal government officials, non-traditional Lakota? 3: who are they doing this for themselves, the children, all native people, or just the Lakota nation cause thats what it sounded like in the article not only in here but in a Sedona paper as well. And 4: why? I have always been taught that we as traditional Native people and I am refering to ALL TRADITIONAL NATIVE PEOPLE FROM ALL TRIBES, we dont own any ceremony it was given to us from Wakan Tanka, the Creator in any language, to take care of in a peacefull way, yea this man did these things with something he doesnt know anything about, but the spirits will see to it that he pays for what he has done, and the white mans law will do what they see as justice in there way, is this not enough, for me personnaly speaking as a Native youth it is enough, we should concentrate on fixing our own Native communitys from the inside, instead of trying to sue someone and some state just to get what? some attention? there are many of our own people making a profit off of our ceremonies, but we dont hear about that in the news do we, mabey we should.
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