James Ray's Lawyers Want Autopsy Photos and Other Evidence Tossed from Sweat-Lodge Trial

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sweatlodge heat.jpg
Lawyers for Oprah-approved snake-oil salesman James Arthur Ray, leader of the sweat-lodge fiasco that left three people dead and dozens injured last October, are asking a Yavapai County Superior Court judge to throw out some key evidence against the "self-help" guru in his upcoming manslaughter trial.

Ray's attorneys filed several motions to suppress last week, requesting that financial records, testimony from previous events, and autopsy photos be barred from his August trial.

The lawyers, according to court docs, claim the evidence would confuse jurors, generate prejudice against Ray, and waste judicial resources.

Ray's been charged with three counts of manslaughter stemming from the deaths of three people at a self-help retreat in Sedona.

The victims, Kirby Brown, 38, James Shore, 40, and Liz Neuman, 49, each died while participating in Ray's "Spiritual Warrior" retreat after spending nearly an hour in a poorly ventilated sweat lodge.

Many of the other participants -- um, the ones who didn't die -- say Ray was pressuring participants to stay in the crammed tent even as people began passing out and throwing up from the heat.

Hearings to discuss Ray's lawyer's motions have been set for July 21 and 22.

Ray's trial is scheduled to begin August 31. 

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Thinks Twice
Thinks Twice

Nobody wakes up in the morning and says, Hey I think I'll join a dangerous cult that might kill me today. The process is gradual. Just like the process of selling out your principles and believing all the crap the corporate media sends you way is a gradual one. The people who died were not stupid. Cults don't want stupid people. Cults thrive on bright, idealistic and successful people with lots of money to take. Did you ever see a cult trying to recruit on skid row? That would be stupid. Check out Steve Hassan, an ex-Moonie turned cult expert on the subject. People who think they are too smart to be sucked in to a cult are the first ones to get sucked in.

Thinks Twice
Thinks Twice

55 wannabes times around $10,000 per head is $550,000. That's just for one 'spiritual' warrior weekend. Connie Joy, an alleged James Ray insider, has been giving interviews stating that Ray had hundreds of followers who all pay around $70,000 to attract 'Harmonic wealth.' Ray conducted at least one event per week and used high pressure sales tactics to get his marks to pay for his seminars in advance. He may not have made $1M per MONTH, but this huckster was rakin in the dough. He's not poverty stricken like he claims. Check out Tragedy in Sedona: My Life in James Arthur Ray's Inner Circle. You get an idea of how much money this fraud took these gullible folks for. You can order it on Amazona.

Thinks Twice
Thinks Twice

Right. So let's allow people to carry around large hunks of plutonium.


My wife talked me into attending a JAR weekend in Chicago a couple of years ago and I figured his program was along the lines of Anthony Robbins. I was mistaken. James Ray's presentation is like a lengthy, exhausting AMWAY presentation. Only in his case, he promises health and wealth if you buy his products--such as his ultra expensive weeklong exhaustathons in Sedona. Instead of overpriced boxes of soap, you get to spend time with his holiness during which he tries to convince you of his qualifications as guru and sign you up for yet another session with him. In short, you become a JARHEAD. At least he makes you feel good about getting screwed, except for that sweat lodge thing...

It was acutely obvious on the last night of the presentation that he is an extreme narcissist with no apparent regard for anyone's well being. He kept us standing interminably in a large circle while he conjured up some crocodile tears to show how much passion he has behind his calling to help us poor schmucks. One guy passed out and, putting on his doctor hat, he concluded that he's OK. I stayed until the bitter end--in spite of my strong desire to tell him what was on my mind--out of respect for my wife who would have been mortified had I done that. She wanted to do the Sedona thing, but I held out. It took the deaths and injuries in Sedona to finally convince her that he's an irresponsible money grubber.

If you feel your brain needs a good washing, I suggest you join Scientology. Their methods for breaking you down in order to get you part with your money have produced fewer fatalities--at least during the actual brainwashing sessions. And in their church, you get to brainwash newbies, so at least you have the satisfaction of screwing somebody over like you got screwed. That is, if you ever wake up and realize that you've been manipulated into believing some incredibly bizarre shit.

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