YAVAPAI COUNTY ATTORNEY’S OFFICE

Firm No. 00048700
Sheila Polk, SBN 007514
Bill R. Hughes, SBN 0019139
Deputy County Attorney
255 East Gurley Street
Prescott, AZ 86301
(928) 771-3344
vcao@ vavapai.us
Attorneys for STATE OF ARIZONA
IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF ARIZONA

IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF YAVAPAI

STATE OF ARIZONA ,

Cause no. V1300CR201080049

Plaintiff,

vs.

JAMES ARTHUR RAY ,
Defendant.

RESPONSE TO DEFENDANT’S
MOTION TO RESTORE CIVIL RIGHTS
AND SET ASIDE JUDGMENT OF GUILT

Division 7

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The State of Arizona strongly objects to Defendant’s Motion to Restore Civil Rights and

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Set Aside Judgment of Guilt for the reasons set forth below. The families of Kirby Brown,

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James Shore and Liz Neuman, the three people Defendant killed in a reckless pursuit of

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greed, also strongly object to the motions.1

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As explained below, Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-907(A) specifically provides that

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persons convicted of dangerous offenses are not eligible to have their judgments of guilt set

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aside nor their civil rights restored. In addition, court action under A.R.S. § 13-907(A) is

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discretionary. The offenses committed by Defendant in pursuit of financial gain are so
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The State respectfully requests leave to exceed the limitation set by Rule 35.1(b), Ariz.R.Crim.P. Trial in this
matter lasted approximately six months. Because this Court was not the trial judge and because the facts are
important to the issue at hand, the State has included in this Response a summary of the facts established at trial
with references to the reporter’s transcripts and accordingly seeks leave to exceed the page limitation.

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consequential that they should never be removed from his record. Defendant needlessly,

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disturbingly, inexcusably and unconscionably extinguished the lives of three completely

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innocent participants who trusted him and who had paid him $10,000 to participate in his

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seminar. As explained below, Defendant is rebuilding his self-help business, portraying himself

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as a victim who has been mistreated by the criminal justice system. Setting aside his

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convictions will only serve to hide the truth and would fail to protect the public.

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Attached hereto are multiple letters from the parents, a spouse, brothers and sisters,

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aunts and uncles, in-laws, cousins, and children of Kirby Brown, James Shore and Liz

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Neuman. The families of the three victims are unified in their strong opposition to Defendant’s

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motion, and their letters compellingly speak of the pain and sorrow that Defendant’s crimes

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continue to cause in their lives. Based on the well-reasoned objections from the Brown, Shore,

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and Neuman families, and the law, the motion should be denied.

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THE FACTS

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Because this Court was not the trial judge, and because the State is urging this Court to

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deny Defendant’s motion given the enormity of the impact of the crime, the deterrent effect,

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and the use of the sweat lodge as a dangerous instrument, the State recounts the facts as

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established at trial.2

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On February 3, 2010, Defendant was indicted on three counts of manslaughter, all class

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2 felonies, arising out of the deaths of Kirby Brown (Kirby), Lizbeth Neuman (Liz), and James

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Shore (James S.). The evidence at trial established that Defendant was a professional

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motivational speaker who, through his company “ JRI, Inc.” put on “ seminars” throughout the

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United States, with titles like “ Harmonic Wealth,” “ Creating Absolute Wealth,” “ Practical

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Mysticism,” “ Modern Magic,” “ Quantum Leap,” and “ Spiritual Warrior.” (RT-3/2/11, 104-05.) In
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The State hereby incorporates by reference the Trial Transcript.

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October 2009 , Defendant conducted a 6-day seminar at Angel Valley, near Sedona , AZ , which

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he promised would be a “ life-altering experience . ” (RT- 3/2/11 , 105-06 ; RT-3/10/11 , 140-41 . )

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The price was about $10 , 000 plus room and board ($1 ,600) . (RT-3/18/11 , at 137. ) Many of the

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participants had previously attended numerous other JRI events. (E . g. , RT- 3/2/11 , 104 ; RT-

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3/4/11 , 46 ; RT-3/9/11 , 92- 93 , 223-26 . ) Defendant described the Spiritual Warrior event as the

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“ top ”

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3/16/11 , 156 . )

of the pyramid of programs called the “ Journey of Power . ” (RT- 3/11/11 , 20-21 ; RT-

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The Spiritual Warrior Program. From the very beginning of the event , Defendant

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encouraged the participants to push themselves beyond their “ perceived limits. ” (RT- 3/15/11 ,

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185- 89 ; RT- 3/23/ 11 , 91-92 , 98; Exhibit 761 . ) As was typical of his seminars , however,

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Defendant did not disclose particular activities in advance . (E.g. , RT-3/2/11, at 110- 11; RT-

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3/15/11 , 187- 88; Exhibit 199. )

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At the welcoming ceremony , Defendant gave participants an “ enthusiastic talk” where

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they were encouraged to “ let go of something” and “ play full on , ” a term commonly used at

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Defendant’ s seminars. (RT-3/2/11 , at 124 ; RT- 3/4/11 , at 232 ; RT- 3/11/11 , at 23-24 ; RT-

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3/18/1 1 , at 141 . ) To demonstrate their commitment , Defendant encouraged participants to take

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part in a “ head shaving ceremony . ” (RT-5/26/11 , 235-37; see also RT-3/2/11 , 123-26; RT-

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3/9/11 , 59-60 ; RT-3/25/11 , 101-02 . ) Over 80% of the participants did so , with others cheering

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them on. (RT-3/2/11 , 125 ; RT-3/11/11 , 37-38 , 199 . )

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In the 5 days that followed, Defendant repeatedly talked about the participants

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“ stretching

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threshold[s]. ” (RT- 3/15/11 , 196 ; RT- 5/26/1 , 36 , 189; see e.g. , Exhibits 749 , 757. ) He told

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participants, thresholds were “ the body

[themselves] , ” in order to “ have an opportunity to grow , ” and “ pushing past [their]

...

trying to keep you small. So you have to push past it

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to be more.”3 (RT-5/26/1, 36, 189.) To this end, Defendant, assisted by JRI staff and “ Dream

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Team” volunteers, led the participants in a series of events and challenges during which

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Defendant controlled their sleep, ability to speak and move, intake of food and water, and

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where they could urinate and defecate. For example:

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Recapitulation. Throughout the week, Defendant encouraged the participants to stay up

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“ all night long” and write in their journals, an exercise he called “ recapitulation].” (RT-3/2/11,

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132-33; RT-3/11/11, 36; RT-3/18/11, 144.) Defendant instructed them to write “ how [they]

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learned about sex, ... every sexual experience that [they] had, every person [they] had sex

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with and how that made [them] feel.” (RT-3/11/11, 28; RT-3/15/11, 49; RT-3/23/11, 18.) He

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also instructed them to write about losses and deaths they had suffered in their lives. (RT-

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3/11/11, 35-36.) So instructed, some participants stayed up writing until the early morning

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hours, and others stayed up all night. (E.g., RT-3/2/11, 133, 135; RT-3/18/11, 144; RT-3/25/11,

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103-05.) Defendant also held “ recapitulation exercises,” with “ people crying, [Defendant]

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talking to them about their past sexual experiences, digging deeper, bringing more emotion

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out.” (RT-3/23/11, 16-20, 26-27.)

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The Samurai Game. On Tuesday, Defendant placed the participants under a “ code of

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silence,” where they were not allowed to speak. (RT-3/2/11, 152, 154.) He then had them play

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the “ Samurai Game,” which lasted approximately 7 hours. (RT-3/11/11, 38-39.) During this

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event, Defendant, dressed in a white robe with a gold crown, played “ God,” and presided over

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a series of competitions. (RT-3/11/11, 194; RT-3/15/11, 209-13; RT-3/23/11, 35.) JRI

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employees and Dream Team members wore “ black angel” costumes, and played “ angels of
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Another major theme was making a “ commitment” to “ play full on, ” which meant “ giving 100 percent, not quitting,
pushing through whatever issues that come up.” (RT-3/15/11, 203, 205-206; Exhibit 758.) Defendant also talked
“ over and over” about death, and “ for something to grow, something has to die first.” ( Id. 218-20.) He stressed,
“ [Y]ou have to have a breakdown before you can have a break through.” (RT-3/23/11, 27-31; see also RT-3/2/11
182.)

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death.” (RT-3/23/11, 34.) “ The instructions were extremely vague,” and participants were “ left

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to figure out the rules” by watching others “die” when they “ transgressed them.” (RT-3/2/11,

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152-156, 166-69, 172; RT-3/11/11, 38-39; RT-3/18/11, 156.) Those who died sometimes had

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to lie the same place for several hours and missed dinner.4 (RT-3/2/11, 161-64; RT-3/4/11,

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54-60; RT-3/18/11, 159.) By the end of the game, everyone died. (RT-3/22/11, 47.)

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The Vision Quest . After the Samurai game (which ended about midnight), Defendant

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instructed the Dream Team to put the participants on their “Vision Quest,” during which each

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participant was to spend the next two nights alone in the desert, to “ meditate” and “ have

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visions.” (RT-3/2/11, 173-74, 186; RT-3/8/11, 19-20.) The participants— who were still under

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their “ code of silence”— were led to isolated locations in the desert, where Defendant had

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instructed them to make a “ medicine wheel” about 6 feet in diameter out of rocks and sticks,

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and to stay inside the wheel, without food or water, “ until they came to get us.” (RT-3/2/11,

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175-77, 183, 186; RT-3/4/11, 61-62; RT-3/15/11, 56-57.) Defendant told the participants, if

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they had to urinate or defecate, they were to do it inside their wheel. (RT-3/2/11, 176-77.) By

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Thursday morning, when the Dream Team came to retrieve them, the participants had stayed

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in their medicine wheels for 36 hours, without food or water. (E. g., RT-3/2/11, 186-88.)

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The Sweat Lodge

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After the Dream Team brought the participants “ out of the wilderness,” Defendant gave

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additional “ lectures,” and held an “ open mic” to allow participants to “ share[]” their experiences

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during the Samurai Game and the Vision Quest. (RT-3/2/11, 188-89; RT-3/8/11, 16, 29-32.)

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For example, when one of the participants, Mellissa, broke the code of silence, she was instructed to lie down on
a hard floor with her eyes closed, where she remained motionless for about 5 hours (missing dinner), except
when the “ Angels of Death” came and got her up to use the bathroom. (RT-3/2/11, 154-64.) By the end of the
game, one of the homicide victims, Kirby , who had also been “ killed” very early on, had to go to the bathroom
“ very badly.” She was “ shaking," and looked very nervous and uncomfortable, but was unable to talk because she
was still under Defendant’s “ code of silence.” (RT-3/23/11, 50-51.)

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During this session, Defendant told the participants how

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performance , and that they “ were so worried about dying that they had forgotten to live . ” (RT-

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3/11/11 , 40. )

“ appalled”

he was at their

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After that , Defendant announced for the first time that there would be a “ sweat lodge ,”

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which would be the “ pinnacle event . ” 5 (RT-3/2/11 , 189-90 ; RT- 3/11/ 11 , 44 ; RT- 3/9/11 , 97 . )

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According to Defendant , the purpose of the event was for the participants to experience

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“ altered

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(RT- 3/24/ 11 , 209- 12; see also RT-3/ 15/ 11 , 262 ; RT- 3/16/11 , 205 ; Appendix A. ) It was “ a way

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to prove to [themselves] and

state[s] of consciousness , ” and “ program” their goals into their “ unconscious minds. ” 6

...

the universe that [they were] willing to do whatever it takes to

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truly accomplish the intention [they had ] said was the most important to [them] . ” (Appendix A . )

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In this regard, Defendant promised:
Altered states. You’re gonna have if you choose to play full on which I ’m gonna
challenge you to do , you’re gonna have one of the most intense altered states
you’ve ever had in your entire life and may ever have in your entire life .

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You will be in such an altered state, probably the most . . . profound altered state
you’ve ever been in minus psycho activities. Seriously , I mean you , you may see
visions , it’ s a , great opportunity for you to explore your own consciousness.
We’ve had people who just don’t even know where they are anymore
[Y]ou’re gonna be in an altered dimension literally
[W]hat starts to happen
and what has happened in years past is that you forget where you are , you forget
what you’re a part of and you know people start yelling crazy stuff in the lodge.
So it’ s gonna be a great opportunity for you to be able to be lucid in an
extreme altered state. And I can’t describe it to you till you’ve been there but
....

5

Except for a brief mention in JRI’ s waiver form (Exhibit 199 [noting activities “ may include” a “ sweat lodge
ceremony (a ceremonial sauna involving tight, enclosed spaces and intense temperatures)” ]) , Defendant had not
previously informed participants there would be a sweat lodge event. (RT-3/4/11 , 53; RT-3/9/11 , 97 , 193. )
6

Before going into the sweat lodge , Defendant gave two presentations to the participants concerning the event .
The first was recorded in its entirety , and was admitted into evidence as Exhibit 747. The second presentation ,
which Defendant gave outside the sweat lodge (see infra , at 9- 10; RT-3/9/11 , 99- 100) , was not recorded .

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you’ ll know what I ’m talking about tonight when it’ s done because it’s an extreme
altered state . ”
Appendix A.

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In discussing the event , Defendant told the participants he had conducted numerous

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sweat lodges in the past, and promised that it would be “ hellacious hot, ” “ the most intense heat

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[they] ever experienced in [their] entire [lives] , ” and they would “ feel like [their] skin was going

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to fall off [their] bod[ies]. ” (Appendix A ; RT- 3/2/ 11 , 196; RT- 3/8/11 , 246 ; RT- 3/2/11 , 196 ; RT-

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3/24/11 , 210- 11 ; 3/26/11 , 35 , 191 . ) Nonetheless , he said: “ [Y]ou’ ve got to just

...

surrender to

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it , ” and “ [Y]ou can do this. It’ s just a matter of whether or not you will . ” (Appendix A . ) He also

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told them:

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your heels after it’s over with. ” (RT-5/27/11 , 47; RT-6/2/11 , 194-95.)

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People may “ pass out , ” but “ not to worry about it , ” because , “ [W]e’ll drag you out by

People may be “ vomiting and spitting [up ] . ” (RT-3/2/11 , 196 ; RT-3/11/11 , 43 ; RT-

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6/2/11 , 30. ) But “ don’t give up , ” “ Just don’t think about it , ” “ [E]ndure it. ” (RT- 3/2/11 ,

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196 . )

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People would “ feel like they were going to die , but [they] wouldn’t. ” (RT- 3/2/11 , 190-

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94 ; RT-3/8/11 , 246 ; RT- 3/11/11 , 43 , 45; RT- 3/ 15/ 11 , 226 ; RT-6/2/11 , 30. ) They

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would “ be able to push through it . ” (RT-3/15/ 11 , 223. ) “ [They] just [had] to work

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through it” and “ just deal with it. ” (RT-3/24/11 , 210).

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195 .)

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They had to “ surrender to the onslaught of heat in order to survive it . ” (RT- 3/2/ 11 ,

“ [A]t

a certain point , [people] may bump up against a threshold. That’ s the body

...

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trying to keep [them] small . So [they] have to push past it to be more. ” (RT- 5/26/ 11 ,

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36 . )
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The reason he did not do “ a winey ass lodge ” like others did , was because “ when

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[the participants] emerge[d]” from his lodge , they would be “ different [people]. ”

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(Appendix A; see also RT-3/24/11 . )

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At no point did Defendant warn the participants about the signs and symptoms of heat

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illness (RT-5/26/11 , 37 , 118; RT-6/2/11 , 31) , much less that the “ altered state” he promised

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was the hallmark symptom of heat stroke .

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Defendant gave the participants about 15 to 30 minutes to change clothes. ( RT-3/18/11 ,

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163; RT-3/25/11, 114-15.) In the meantime, he spoke to the Dream Team for about 10

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minutes. ( RT-3/8/11 , 33-34 . ) He told them , “ [ E]xpect that anything could happen . There could

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be throwing up. Be expected that some people could get delirious and throwing up . Anything

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could happen . It could get a little crazy , to expect it . It’s normal .” ( Id . , emphasis added . ) There

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was no discussion about what to do if “ things went wrong . ” ( Id . 120 ; RT-3/23/11 , 131 , 137. )

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Before going in , Defendant gathered the participants around a small fire to burn their

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“ recapitulations journals , ” and to participate in a ceremony called “ sageing , ” which he told them

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would cleanse their “ energies. ” ( RT-3/8/11 , 53-55; RT-3/11 /11 , 44-45; RT-3/23/11 , 110. )

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Defendant instructed half of the Dream Team volunteers to go into the sweat lodge with the

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participants , and the other half to remain outside (surrounding the tent) , to “ hold sacred space, ”

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and put “ positive energy inside the tent . ” ( RT-3/8/11 , 56 , 207-08. )

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Before going into the sweat lodge , Defendant declared that he was the “ master” of the

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ceremony , and the participants must listen to his direction . ( RT-3/3/11 , 6 ; Appendix A [“ [Y]ou

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don ’t talk over me , you don ’ t say anything unless you ’ re asked to say anything . ” ]. ) He gave the

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participants strict instructions about what they could and could not do. He told them that they

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must enter the sweat lodge after him and move through the lodge only in a “ clockwise

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direction . ” ( RT-3/2/11 , 197; RT-3/9/11 , 177-78. ) He explicitly instructed them that they could
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not leave the sweat lodge during “ rounds , ” but if necessary , they could do so during the brief

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periods between rounds, when the “ flap was open. ” (RT-3/2/11, 219; RT-3/11/11 , 50; RT-

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3/15/11 , 226-27; RT-5/12/11 , 79 ; Appendix A . ) He did not allow them to bring water into the

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sweat lodge. (RT-3/2/11, 196; RT-3/9/11 , 103.)

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The sweat lodge was a low , tent-like structure , approximately 23 feet in diameter . (RT-

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5/4/11 , 236 ; Exhibits 144 . ) It was covered with tarps and blankets , and a “ big rubber deal” that

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helped seal in the heat . (RT-4/6/11 , 113- 15 , 141-42 . ) It had a single entrance , covered by a

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“ flap”

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feet in diameter and 2 !4 feet deep. ( Id. 136 ; RT-3/17/11 , 45-46 ; RT-3/22/11 , 233 . ) Before

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entering the sweat lodge , Defendant announced that the man who was heating the rocks said

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they were “ hotter than they’d ever been before . ” (RT-3/11/11 , 44-45 ; RT-6/2/11 , 143 . )

made of sleeping bags. ( Id. 137. ) Near the center of the dirt floor was “ the pit , ” about 3

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Approximately 56 people entered the sweat lodge . (RT- 3/8/ 11 , 143 ; RT-4/22/11 , 91. )

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Defendant entered first , and the others followed , single-file . (RT- 3/10/11 , 241 . ) Defendant

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directed the participants to sit in two circles , an “ inner circle” (surrounding the pit) and an “ outer

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circle.” (RT-3/11/11, 46-47; RT- 3/15/11 , 225-26 . ) Defendant sat next to the tent flap , where it

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was cooler. 7

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3/11/11 , 52; RT-5/26/11 , 42-43.) It was dark and crowded . (RT-3/3/11 , 9; RT-3/9/11 , 106; RT-

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3/15/11 , 232 . )

(RT- 3/9/11 , 149- 153. ) “ [N]o one was allowed to sit in front of Defendant. ” (RT-

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Defendant told the participants that he “ normally started with 10 rocks , ” but he “ felt

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good , ” so he would start with “ 12 rocks. ” (RT- 3/2/ 11 , 209. ) At Defendant’ s direction , the fire

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tender brought in the glowing rocks on a pitchfork , and put them into “ the pit. ” 8 ( /d. ; RT-3/9/11 ,
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In between rounds , Defendant put his head “ as close to the outside as possible . ” (RT-5/12/11 , 75-76 . )

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The fire tender, Ted Mercer , started heating the lava rocks in a fire about 2 hours before the ceremony , to get
them “ glowing red ,” and “ as hot as possible . ” (RT-4/6/11 , 145-47 , 159-60. )

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“ grandfathers , ”

and instructed the

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102 ; RT- 3/11/11 , 51 . ) Defendant called the rocks

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participants to “ greet the rocks. ” (RT-3/2/11 , 209- 10; RT- 3/10/11 , 12 . ) He ordered the door

3

keeper to close the “ tent flap , ” and poured water from a bucket over the rocks , causing a “ blast

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of heat. ” (RT- 3/2/11 , 209- 10; RT-3/15/11 , 234- 36 ; RT-3/17/11 , 177 [“ [ l ]t’ s like an explosion . ” ] . )

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The “ ceremony” lasted about 214 hours , divided into eight “ rounds. ” (RT-3/8/11 , 78 ; RT-

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4/6/11 , 195; RT- 5/12/11 , 78; RT-5/27/11, 80. ) Defendant controlled how long each round

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lasted , and when the next round began.9 (RT-3/9/11 , 104 ; RT- 3/11/11 , 77; RT- 3/15/11 , 254-

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55 . ) At the beginning of each round , Defendant told the fire tender how many more rocks he

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wanted . (RT-3/3/11 , 190 ; RT-3/9/11 , 104 ; RT-3/15/11 , 254- 55 . ) Each time, Defendant poured

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water onto the rocks, and the steam would “ rise up . ” (RT-3/9/11 , 105 , 153 ; RT- 3/11/11 , 52-53 ,

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122 . ) Soon it became difficult to breathe , and participants began to lie down: (RT-3/11/11 , 67 ,

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78-80, 84 ; RT- 5/26/11 , 43-44 , 49; see also RT- 3/25/11 , 21 . )

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When participants attempted to leave between rounds , Defendant pressured them not

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to , saying things like: (i) “ Come on warrior. You’re more than that. Live impeccably . You can do

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it” ; (ii) “ You’ re stronger than this. It’s mind over matter . You’ re stronger than your body” ; and

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(iii) “ You are not your body,” “ You are above your body. ” 10 (RT-3/2/11, 221-22; RT-3/10/11,

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17; RT- 3/11/11 , 75 , 85 ; RT-4/8/11 , 159-60 ; RT-4/20/11 , 276-77 . ) He also repeatedly

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encouraged those who left to return , telling them , “ Come on warrior. We need you . We need

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your support,” and “ [C]ome back in and honor your commitment . ” (RT-3/2/11 , 213- 14 ; RT-

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3/8/11 , 75- 76 ; RT- 3/15/11 , 237-38 ; RT-4/1/ 11 , 46-47 , 66-67. )

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The first round was about 20 to 25 minutes. (RT-3/11/11, 54.) The remaining rounds were each about 15
minutes. ( Id. 97.) The breaks between rounds lasted only about 3 to 5 minutes. (RT-3/11/11, 77, 83, 88-89; RT5/12/11, 74 [5 to 10 minutes].)
10
At one point, a man asked how he could relieve himself. ( RT-3/11/11, 97.) Defendant said, “ Do what you can do
where you’re at.” ( Id. ] RT-4/8/11, 171.)

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As the temperature rose, “ A lot of people seemed out of it.” (RT-3/2/11, 222-23.) There

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was “ [a] lot of moaning, people lying down, some delirium, confusion.” ( Id. ) Some people

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began to throw up on those sitting next to them. (RT-3/11/11, 151.) Others began passing out,

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and were dragged outside. (RT-3/2/11, 235; RT-3/9/11, 107-10, 199; RT-3/15/11, 241-42; RT-

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3/18/11, 189; RT-4/8/11-166-67; RT-6/3/11, 55.)

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Defendant knew people were passing out because he had positioned himself by the tent

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flap through which they were being dragged. (RT-3/9/11, 150-153; RT-3/11/11, 116; RT-

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3/16/11, 236; RT-3/23, 145; RT-3/24/11, 227; RT-3/25/11, 119; RT-4/8/11, 145-47, 160, 167.)

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However, at no point did he stop the ceremony, or check on the condition of the participants.

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( E.g. RT-3/2/11, 226; RT-3/9/11, 110, 152; RT-3/10/11, 203; RT-3/11/11, 112-13; RT-3/15/11,

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256-58; RT-3/22/11, 151; RT-3/23/11, 151; RT-4/1/11, 61; RT-4/8/11, 166-67.) In fact, he

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continued to insist that, even those who had passed out could not be removed “ during” rounds,

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but only during the brief breaks between rounds.11

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By the third or fourth round, those inside the sweat lodge began to display unmistakable

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signs of confusion and irrationality. A male participant began “ raving and thrashing,” and a

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couple of men “ wrestl[ed]” him out. (RT-3/18/11, 189-90, 230-31 [“ He was punching people

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and flailing” ].) Later, another participant, Lou Caci, became disoriented and his arm ended up

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in the “ pit,” where the glowing rocks were, and let out a “ blood-curdling scream,” and other

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participants pulled him from the tent.12 (RT-3/2/11, 224-25; RT-3/8/11, 64; RT-3/16/11, 21811

For example, during one of the early rounds, someone said, “ the person next to me his passed out,” but
Defendant said, “ [W]e’ll get to them after the round is complete.” (RT-3/15/11, 241-42.) On another occasion,
someone said, “ She’s having trouble. She’s having trouble.” (RT-3/25/11, 125-26.) Defendant said, “ [S]he’ll be
okay. Just let her breathe or leave her alone. She’ll be alright.” ( Id.) Similarly, during one of the middle rounds,
after several people had been dragged out unconscious and the flap was closed, someone said, “ fWJait. There is
one more. [But] Defendant said, well, you will have to wait until the next round.” (RT-3/9/11, 107-08, emphasis
added.)
12

Lou recalled that he became “ woozy, ” and when the flap opened at the end of the round, he thought the
ceremony was over, and “ went right for the rocks.” (RT-3/16/11, 218-19, 223.) Sara Mercer (the fire tender’s

-11-

1

21; RT-3/17/11, 234.) At another point, after Defendant ordered more rocks, his operations

2

manager, Megan Fredrickson, said, “ James, these people are your responsibility.” (RT-6/3/11,

3

208-09, 216.)
As the “ ceremony” moved into its second half, matters escalated still further:

4
5

By round five, people were screaming, throwing up, crying, and babbling. (RT-5/26/11,

6

52.) A man in the back started yelling, “I can’t take it. I can’t take it. I have to get out of

7

here. I can’t take it anymore.” (RT-3/11/11, 89.) But when he lifted up the back wall of

8

the tent, Defendant demanded, “ [C]lose the back of the tent,” and proclaimed, “ [T]hat

9

was a sacrilegious act.” ( Id. 89-90; see also RT-3/2/11, 237-38; RT-3/10/11, 191-92,

248-49.)

10
11

(RT-6/3/11, 209-10.)

12
13

About the same time, Sean Rohan passed out, and remained lying there, undiscovered.

After round five, William Barratt (aka “ Scott” ), who was returning to the sweat lodge after

14

a break, found his way blocked by a “ bigger woman” (probably Linda Andresano), who

15

was “ stretched out in that area,” and “ just lying face down.” (RT-3/24/11, 227-28, 239.)

16

Defendant asked another man to “ move her back,” and the man said, “I can’t. She’s

17

laying on my .. . legs.” (RT-3/24/11, 228-29; RT-3/25/11, 81-82.) So Linda stayed there,

18

with her head facing the pit. (RT-3/24/11, 230-232.)

19

20

Even some of those participants who left the sweat lodge between rounds continued to
display signs of disorientation and distress. For example, one of the young women who

daughter) , who was stationed at the door, recalled the incident happened between rounds, as Lou was attempting
to crawl out. (RT-5/12/11, 82-85.) Brandy Rainey, who was also outside, said Lou was “ out of it,” was “ not
responding to people, ” and was “ just sitting there, like, in a daze.” (RT-5/26/11, 61, 199; see also 3/8/11, 70.)
Nevertheless, Defendant did not stop the ceremony, or check on Lou. (RT-3/2/11, 226; RT-3/16/11, 226 RT4/8/11, 163-65.)
'

-12-

1

left was hallucinating and saying she “ didn’t want the Indians to get her,” and she

2

wanted to “ go home.” (RT-3/8/11, 114-15.) In an incident recalled by numerous

3

witnesses , Dennis Mehraver crawled out of the sweat lodge and began vomiting on

4

those who were laying on the plastic . (RT- 3/8/11 , 59; RT-3/10/11 , 18- 19 , 127-28 ; RT-

5

3/23/11 , 125-26 . ) He remained in that state for about 20 or 30 minutes , and then began

6

screaming , “ I don’t want to die . I don’t want to die .

7

(RT- 3/8/11 , 60; RT-4/8/11 , 160-61 ; RT- 5/26/11 , 73-74 . ) He continued to scream

8

hysterically for 5 to 15 minutes. (RT-3/8/11 , 61 ; RT-5/12/11 , 86 . ) While the Dream

9

Team members were tending to him he “ went limp , ” and “ stopped breathing. ” (RT-

10

3/8/11 , 61-62 ; RT- 3/9/11 , 37. ) Then he “ was back . ” (RT- 3/8/11 , 61-62; RT-3/10/11 , 22. )

11

Nevertheless , Defendant did not come out of the tent , or check on Dennis. (RT-3/8/11 ,

12

62-63; RT-3/9/11 , 109-10; RT- 5/26/11 , 74-75 . ) Indeed , he said , angrily, “ [G]et him out of

13

here , get him away . ” 14 (RT-3/9/11 , 109- 10. ) He also said , “ You’re more than that. It’s a

14

good day to die . You’ll be okay.” (RT-4/8/11 , 162 , emphasis added; see also RT-4/1/11,

15

60-62; RT-4/6/11 , 199- 01; RT- 5/26/11 , 74-75; RT-6/2/11 , 52 . )

...

[M]y heart, I don’t want to die . ” 13

16

• After Dennis crawled out, Ami Grimes passed out and fell on Kim Brinkley’s back, and

17

Kim yelled for 20 or 30 seconds (“ Someone is passed out on me . You need to come get

18

her. She’s passed out” ). (RT-6/2/11 , 41-43 . ) Eventually , four people carried Ami out “ by

19

each limb , ” past Defendant’s position at the door , and put her down on the tarp “ on her

13

Perhaps referring to the same person, Stephen Ray heard a man yelling, “ I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. ” (RT3/15/ 1 1 , 244-45 . ) And then he said, “ I feel like I’m having a heart attack . ” ( Id . ) Again , Defendant did not react. ( Id . )
14

When Melinda Martin (a new JRI employee ) demonstrated concern about Dennis’ s condition , she was scolded
by Marta Reis, a Dream Team volunteer: “ [J ]ust get that look off your face. The people are going to think
something is wrong . . . . [T]his is normal . This is what goes on . These people are having their own experiences.
You need to let them experience what they’re going through. You need to not try to alter that. This is their
individual experience . ” (RT-3/23/ 11 , 124-25 . )

-13-

1

15
tailbone,” and began hosing her off. (RT-5/26/11, 75-78, 81.) After several minutes,

2

Ami regained consciousness, and began throwing up repeatedly. ( Id . 78-79, 94, 97.)

3

“ She had no recollection of how she had gotten there or what was going on or why she

4

was where she was.” ( Id . 78.)

5

Between rounds five and six, someone began yelling, “[S]he’s not responding,” and then

6

later, “ She’s not breathing.” (RT-3/18/11, 211.) In response to the second statement,

7

Defendant said, “ [L]eave her there. We’ll deal with her at the end of the round.” (RT-

8

3/18/11, 211-12.) During this same break, a participant named Lynette came out, and

9

began “ kicking and crying and just kind of shoving the Dream Teamer [who] was helping

10

her.” (RT-5/26/11, 71.) She was yelling “ she wanted to go back to the way she was

11

before.” ( Id. 71-72.) Defendant did nothing. ( Id . 73.)

12

During one of the latter rounds, Kirby began “ deliriously” rocking back and forth,

13

repeating,'‘[W]e can do it, we can do if in a very loud voice, prompting others to tell her

14

to “ shut up” and “ stop saying that.” 16 (RT-3/2/11, 228-29, 231; RT-6/2/11, 203-09)

15

(emphasis added). After that, Melissa Phillips heard Kirby “gurgling” and “snorting,” and

16

Melissa mentioned “ five or six times,” “ quite loudly,” that there was “ something wrong,”

17

and “ she needs to be taken out.” (RT-3/2/11, 232-34.) But someone else said, “ She’s

18

fine.” ( Id. \ RT-3/3/11, 13-14.)

19

During one of the breaks, Laura Tucker and Laurie Gennari became concerned about

20

Liz, who was sitting between them. (RT-3/4/11, 92; RT-3/18/11, 172, 192.) Liz’s face

21

looked “ similar to somebody who is very drunk,” and she was “ sort of spacey and lolling
15

About the same time, Bill Leversee and Dennis, both of whom were already outside, began “ projectile vomiting
on each other.” (RT-5/26/11, 73-74, 77, 82.)
16

Kirby had previously exhibited the same strange behavior during the fourth round, with similar results. (RT6/2/11, 203-06; see also RT-3/2/11, 223-24. )

-14-

1

her head . ” (RT- 3/18/11 , 193. ) Laura called out to Defendant , saying , “ James , I ’m

2

concerned about Liz. ” (RT- 3/4/11 , 94-95 ; see also RT-4/8/11 , 168; RT-4/20/11 , 278 . )

3

When Defendant did not respond , Laura repeated herself, more forcefully . (RT-3/4/11 ,

4

95 . ) Defendant then said , “ Liz has done this before , Laura . She knows what she’s

5

doing . ” (RT- 3/4/11 , 95-96 ; RT-3/18/11 , 199; RT-4/8/11, 168-170; RT-4/20/11 , 278; RT-

6

6/2/11 , 151 . ) Defendant did not ever check on Liz. (RT-3/4/11 , 95- 96 . )

7

During the break after round six , Sidney Spenser “ passed out with her chin to her

8

chest. ” (RT-6/2/11 , 190-91 . ) Dawn Gordon and James S. called her name , but she did

9

not respond . 17 ( Id. 191 . ) James S. announced , “ I need help pulling her out . ” ( Id. 192 . )

10

Eventually , James S. and another person dragged Sidney out the door, right past

11

Defendant. ( Id. 192-97; RT- 3/11/11 , 113- 16 , 119. ) After James S . returned , a man from

12

the back said , ‘7 can’t get her to move. She’s not breathing.” (RT- 3/11/11 , 116- 17 ,

13

emphasis added. ) Defendant closed the door and said : “ [T]he door is now closed . This

14

round has now begun. We’ll deal with that at the end of the next round . ” 18 ( Id. 117- 18. )

15

About round seven, Stephen Ray felt something was “ really wrong , ” and said, “ I got to

16

get out of here . ” (RT- 3/15/11 , 246 , 248 , 250; RT-3/16/11 , 106-07 , 112- 13 , 185 . )

17

Although the round was not over , and it was still dark , ” he began “ feeling [his] way out. ”

18

(RT- 3/15/11 , 248-49. ) But as he was “ crawling and feeling , ” he passed out. ( Id . )

19

Eventually, Kirby , who had earlier been rocking back and forth , repeating “ We can do it , ”

20

began having audible trouble breathing , and James S. and Dawn kept talking to her ,

21

telling her , “ keep breathing . ” (RT-6/2/11 , 211-14 , 221. ) During an ensuing break , James
17

Dawn was not too alarmed when Sidney passed out, because during the “ briefing, ” Defendant had had said it
could happen. (RT-6/2/11, 195-96.)

18

At the end of the round, Defendant did nothing. ( RT-3/11/11, 121.)

-15-

1

S . yelled out , “ [W]e need your help over here . ” (RT-6/3/11 , 43-44 . ) Nevertheless the flap

2

closed . ( Id. ) When the flap opened at the end of the seventh round , Kirby was still in the

3

same place, and her breathing was unchanged . (RT-6/2/11 , 223-24 . ) Although James

4

S. announced , “ I need help getting her out , ” or “ I need help over here , ” no one

5

responded . (RT-6/2/11 , 224-25 ; RT-6/3/11 , 45-46 . ) After the flap closed , Defendant

6

announced , “ No one is leaving at this time . ” 19 (RT-6/2/11 , 225-30; RT-6/3/11 , 46 . )

7

During the break after round seven , Lou , who had previously left the sweat lodge after

8

burning his arm , returned (later admitting he was not “ clearheaded and of sound mind” ) .

9

(RT-3/8/11, 69-71; RT-3/17/11, 183.) In so doing , he passed right by Defendant. (RT-

10

3/16/11 , 236 ; RT- 3/17/11 , 176-77. ) After entering , Lou saw Liz lying on top of another

11

woman , who was saying , “ Could you help get Liz off? Can you get Liz off me?” (RT-

12

3/16/11 , 237-38 , 242 ; RT-3/17/11 , 179-81. ) Liz was breathing heavily , and looked

13

unconscious. (RT-3/16/11 , 238-45 ; RT- 3/17/11 , 179-81 . ) At some point , Laura Tucker ,

14

who was sitting next to Liz , asked “ Liz , Liz , do you want to leave?” (RT- 3/18/11 , 196-97 ,

15

199-200.) Liz said , “ [No] , no , no. ” ( Id. ) She sounded like someone who was “ very very

16

drunk . ” ( Id. 199.)

17

During the same break , Michael Olesen , who had been outside , also returned . (RT-

18

3/10/11 , 182- 84 . ) As he entered , he tried to get by Kristina Bivins , who was “ babbling , ”

19

and not making “ any sense . ” ( Id . 280- 81 . ) “ [H]er body was twitching and she just had

20

this glazed look on her face . ” ( Id . ) Michael stopped and waited for her to “ swing around ”

19

Dream Team member Mark Rock similarly recalled that , about the end of the sixth round, he began to hear
Kirby “ gurgle” ( it sounded like “ somebody gurgling their last breath” ) , whereupon he heard somebody say , “ Kirby’s
in trouble. She needs to get out of here now. ” (RT-5/27 /11 , 64-65 [“ It was very clear. You could hear the words.
Kirby’ s in trouble. She needs to get out of here . ” ]. ) Defendant said,“ [W]ere closing the gate. We’ll take care of her
afterwards” (or “ we’tl deal with that afterwards” ). { Id. 65-67. ) Nevertheless, at no point thereafter did Defendant
ask how Kirby was doing , or check up on her . (RT-5/26/11 , 76 ; RT-6/1/11 , 92. )

-16-

1

so he could get by. ( Id . ) However , “ [ S]he wasn’t responding . ” ( Id . ) Defendant said , “ get

2

out of the way and let [Michael] in. ” ( Id. 281-82 . )

3

About this time, Laurie Gennari said , “ I can’t do this” and “ totally freaked out , ” and “ took

4

off crawling as fast as she could clockwise” toward the open flap . (RT-3/18/11 , 200. )

5

However, when she got about 4 feet from the opening, Defendant “ bellowed , ” “ [N]o .

6

You’re too late . The door is closing . Find yourself a spot. We’re starting again. ” 20 ( Id. ,

7

201-02 , 206 ; RT- 3/22/11 , 218 . ) When the round was over , she “ blacked out” as she

8

was trying to exit , and later had to be assisted out . (RT-3/18/11 , 203- 04 , 220-22 , 230 . )

9

While the tent flap was still open at the end of the seventh round , Angel Valley

10

employee Fawn Foster , who was sitting outside , heard a male voice say , “ there is three

11

people down back here ." (RT-4/1/11 , 65 , emphasis added . ) Defendant said , “ [A]re they

12

still breathing?” ( Id . ) Fawn did not hear the answer. ( Id. ) Defendant then said , [L]eave

13

them there . We have one more round . ( Id. 65 , 271 , 275-76 . ) Recounting the same or a

14

similar event , Debbie Mercer (the “ door keeper” ) testified that , after the seventh round

15

(when the door was still open) , a male told Defendant that two people were

16

“ unconscious”

17

where they need to be. There’s only one more round . They’ll be okay until the end . ”

18

(RT-4/8/11 , 186- 87 ; RT-4/20/11 , 34-36.) He then directed that the door be closed . (RT-

19

4/8/11 , 186-87 . ) Sara Mercer , who was also stationed outside the door , similarly

20

recalled that someone inside the sweat lodge said , “ [A] few people were unconscious , ”
20

and would not “ react or respond , ” and that Defendant said , “ They’ re

When later asked why she did not keep going when Defendant told her to stop, Laurie emphasized Defendant’s

“ big, authoritative voice,” and stated:

I froze. I didn’t stand a chance. I was tired. I was hungry. I was terrified. I was panicking. I just
none of my rational senses were functioning at that point.

-

(RT 3/18/11, 206-08; RT-3/22/11, 218. )

-17-

1

and asked if they should be taken out. (RT-5/12/11, 81.) To this, Defendant responded,

2

“ [N]o. There is one more round left, they’ll be okay.” ( Id. 81-82, 88-90, 138-39.)

3

During the last (eighth) round, Defendant instructed everyone to “ lay down,” because

4

that round was “ going to be hot.” (RT-3/10/11, 184.) Michael Olesen noticed a “ large

5

woman” (Linda) who was “ leaning against the outer wall of the structure” with “ stuff

6

running down her nose,” and “ wasn’t responsive.” ( Id. 183-85.) Michael kept asking for

7

someone to help him lift her down, but no one did. ( Id. 185-86; see also RT-3/17/11, 33-

8

35.) After a while, Defendant shouted, “ [L]eave her. She’ll be fine. Lay down.” (RT-

9

3/10/11, 187.)

10

For the first half of the eighth round, James S. was encouraging Kirby to breathe, and

11

telling her it was “ going to be okay.” (RT-6/3/11, 47, 51.) He apparently lifted up the side

12

of the tent, to get Kirby (or himself) some fresh air, which caused a bright light to come

13

into the lodge. (RT-6/2/11, 183-86, 231-33.) Defendant said,“ Turn off the light.” ( Id. 187,

14

232.) The light went out. ( Id . 233.)

15

Defendant finally announced that the ceremony was over. (RT-3/8/11, 78; RT-3/17/11,

16

37.) He came out first, followed by his assistants, Megan Fredrickson and Taylor Butler. (RT-

17

3/23/11, 153; RT-4/8/11, 188-89.) Defendant raised his arms, and said, “ [H]ose me down.”

18

(RT-4/1/11, 67.) He sat in a chair, in the shade.21 (RT-4/8/11, 193-94; RT-4/26/11, 154; RT-

19

5/12/11, 104.) He turned to his personal assistant, Taylor, and asked her, “What did you think

20

about it?” (RT-5/26/11, 92-93.) Taylor said, “[N]obody does a sweat lodge like you, James.”

21

( Id . )

21

As indicated above, Defendant’s good health after the ceremony may be attributable to the fact that, throughout
the ceremony, he had stationed himself next to the door of the sweat lodge, where it was cooler. Furthermore,
although Defendant did not allow others to bring water into the sweat lodge, he was able to dip his hand in the
bucket of water he used to douse the stones, and “ splash himself with the water.” (RT-4/20/11, 41-43.)

-18-

1

Aftermath, Part l.

2

The scene that followed was later described by witnesses as “ pandemonium,” and “ total

3

chaos.” (RT-3/2/11, 242; RT-3/23/11, 152-53; RT-4/26/11, 152.) Several people were

4

unconscious and had to be dragged out of the tent. (RT-3/9/11, 116-19, 154-57; RT-3/10/11,

5

194-97; RT-3/11/11, 125-29; RT-3/23/11, 155-56.) “ People were throwing up. People were

6

moaning. People were asking for help. People couldn’t walk.” (RT-3/2/11, 242; RT-3/3/11, 25;

7

see also RT-3/17/11, 41 [“ [l]t looked like a battleground.” ].) Some people were “ struggling for

8

air at times,” and “ just very delirious or ... disoriented.” (RT-3/10/11, 200.) “[A lot of people] just

9

laid there. They were very shallow breathing. They looked like an animal that you’d see on the

10
11

side of the road that’s been hit by a car, just barely hanging in there. (RT-3/23/11, 140.)

Sidney, who James S. dragged out after the sixth round, was still unresponsive. (RT-

12

3/11/11, 133.) People were calling her name, begging her to talk to them. ( Id. 133,

13

141.) “ There was mucus coming out of her nose and mouth. Her eyes were rolled back

14

in her head. She was barely, barely breathing. Just making this sound and not even

15

gasping for air. Not enough would go in.” ( Id. 134; RT-3/17/11, 252-54; RT-3/23/11,

16

149-50.) Her “ body temperature was hot to the touch, but she was shivering.” (RT-

17

3/11/11, 138-39.)

18

Linda, the heavy-set woman whom Defendant had pronounced as “ fine” before the last

19

round, had to be dragged out by two or three people. (RT-3/17/11, 38-39; RT-3/24/11,

20

237-41.) Others were encouraging her to breathe. (RT-3/24/11, 241; see also RT-

21

3/11/135, 141-44 [describing a heavy-set woman as unresponsive, and breathing in

22

“ short, short, short breaths”]; RT-4/20/11, 46-47 [describing a “ large” woman who was

23

“ not talking coherently,” and whose “ eyes were rolling.” ].)

-19-

1

Stephen, who had passed out in the sweat lodge during one of the later rounds, was still

2

“ gasping for air,” and had mucus coming out of his nose and mouth. (RT-3/11/11, 135-

3

36; RT-3/17/11, 31.) “[A]ll of his blood vessels had burst in his eyes.” (RT-3/11/11, 135-

4

36, 147-48.) His “ back was arched,” his eyes were “ rolling all over his head,” and he

5

was breathing “ really fast.” (RT-3/18/11, 213-14; RT-3/23/11, 152.)

6

Tess Wong, who was lying face down, had a “ horrible sound coming from her, like

7

snorting.” (RT-5/26/11, 86, 122.) When others rolled Tess over, “ [She] was having a

8

seizure.” { Id. 86.) “ There was foam coming out of her mouth, and her eyes were rolled

9

back in her head.” { Id. 87, 122; RT-6/3/11, 68, 83-84.)

10

Kristina, whom Michael had seen “ babbling” inside the sweat lodge,22 was lying on the

11

ground, “ yelling profanities,” kicking her legs in the air and flapping her arms, and

12

calling, “ James Ray, James Ray.” (RT-3/11/11, 151; RT-3/23/11, 156-57; RT-5/26/11,

13

88-90.) “ Her eyes were huge,” and her “ pupils were all dilated.” (RT-3/11/11, 158.)

14

When told she was asking for him, Defendant “ talked to her for a second or two,” and

15

pronounced, “ she’s fine,” and “ she’s just having an [out of body] experience.” (RT-

16

3/10/11, 201.)

17

Two people dragged Liz out of the tent. (RT-3/8/11, 81.) She was “ incoherent, eyes

18

closed, moaning.” { Id. ) People tried to get her to respond, but she did not. (RT-3/9/11,

19

161; RT-3/23/11, 164.) Her breaths were very shallow, and there was “ saliva and foam

20

coming out of her mouth.” (RT-3/9/11, 161, 202-03; RT-3/23/11, 164.) Once she had

21

been hosed down with water, her skin became “ very very cold.” { Id. )
22

After the ceremony concluded , Michael and another participant dragged out Kristina , who was “ hanging onto . . .
a string that was wrapped around the structure . ” (RT-3/10/11 , 195-96 . ) As Michael described it, “ [W]e had to , like,
pry her hands off . . . because . . . she wasn’t going to get up or crawl or do anything . . . . She was in a different
state. ” ( Id. )

-20-

1

After about 15 minutes of tending to others, Debbie Mercer looked into the back of the

2

sweat lodge and saw three people lying there, two of whom she later learned were James S.

3

and Kirby. (RT-4/8/11, 192-93, 206; RT-5/12/11, 90-91.) She looked for help, but “ everyone

4

[she] saw was helping someone else,” so she ran to Defendant, who was still sitting in his

5

chair. (RT-4/8/11, 193.) She told him there were three people still in the sweat lodge, asked if

6

she could open up the back of the lodge to get them out. ( Id. 193-94; RT-5/12/11, 91; RT-

7

4/1/11, 68.) He said, “ [N]o, unless it’s absolutely necessary.” (RT-4/8/11, 194; RT-5/12/11, 91;

8

RT-4/1/11, 68, 73.) Debbie ran around to the back of the lodge, but was unable to lift the tarps

9

and the blankets. (RT-4/8/11, 195.) She called for help, and was joined by her 17-year-old

10

daughter, Sarah, who helped removed James S. and Kirby. ( Id. ] RT-5/12/11, 91.) Their “ lips

11

were blue” and their faces were “ ashen gray.” 23 (RT-4/8/195, 207.) Neither was breathing. ( Id.

12

198, 207; RT-3/8/11, 82.) Debbie began screaming for help. (RT-4/8/11, 198.) In the

13

meantime, Ted Mercer (Debbie’s husband), helped Sarah pull out the third person, a “ large

14

male” (probably Sean Rohan, who had passed out during the fifth round).24 (RT-4/6/11, 205-

15

07; RT-4/8/11, 206-07; RT-4/27/11, 244.)

16

Following Debbie and Sara’s discovery of Kirby and James S., Dream Team member

17

Jennifer Haley ran to Defendant, who was still sitting down, drinking water. (RT-3/8/11, 102-

18

03.) She told him “ two people weren’t breathing,” “ [h]e needed to come over there.” He said,

19

“get the nurse.” ( Id. 103.) Jennifer (who did not know of any nurse) began screaming, “[W]ho’s

20

the nurse? Where’s the nurse?” ( Id. 103-04.) She then ran back to Defendant, and said,

23

As described by others, James S. “ wasn’t breathing and there was foam coming out of his mouth. ” (RT-3/8/11,
102.) Kirby was making a “ really horrible sound, ” and had “ bile or vomit” coming up out of her mouth, and no
pulse. (RT-3/23/11, 159; RT-3/24/11, 116-17.)
24

When Sean “ [came] to,” he was “ unable to open [his] eyes, ” had “ extreme pain in the back of [his head] and
[his] back,” and was “ vomiting.” (RT-6/3/11, 209-10.) Later, he went into “ some type of shock," and “ started
shaking vigorously.” ( Id. 212. )

-21-

1

“ [T]hey’re purple. You need to come over here." ( Id. ) Defendant said, “I don’t know what to do.”

2

( Id . )

3

By that time, two Dream Team volunteers were doing CPR, but it was not working. ( Id.

4

104-07; RT-3/23/11, 158-56, 160-62.) Jennifer, who was not trained in CPR, pitched in to help.

5

(RT-3/8/11, 105-09.) While this was going on, Amayra Hamilton (one of the owners of Angel

6

Valley) and Debbie left in golf carts to call 911. (RT-4/8/11, 199-205; RT-4/26/11, 156-59.)

7

Eventually, ambulances, sheriffs’ cars and helicopters began to arrive. ( E.g., RT-3/3/11, 25-26;

8

RT-3/11/11, 152-53, 157.) Defendant ordered, “ [A]nybody that can walk, go back to your

9

rooms. Clear the area.” 25 (RT-4/1/11, 76, 80; RT-4/20/11, 43-46.)
When Sergeant Barbara of the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office asked Defendant “ who

10

11

was conducting the sweat lodge,” Defendant said, “ It was Ted.” 26 (RT-5/11/11, 309.)

12

Aftermath, Part II.

13

James S. and Kirby were pronounced dead at the hospital. (RT-3/30/11, 121-62; RT-

14

3/31/11, 31, 34, 48-49.) In both instances, the medical examiner determined the cause of

15

death to be “ heat stroke.” (RT-3/31/11, 31, 37-38, 50; Exhibits 370, 375.) Liz was flown to

16

Flagstaff Medical Center, where she was admitted into the intensive care unit (ICU) , under the

17

care of Dr. Brent Cutshall, a critical care pulmonologist. (RT-3/30/11, 10-11; RT-3/29/11, 6-9,

18

15.) Liz continued to remain critically ill throughout her hospitalization, and died on October 17,

19

2009. (RT-3/29/11, 28-33; RT-5/5/11, 25.) Dr. Cutshall listed her cause of death as “ [hjeat

20

stroke with an anoxic brain injury.” (RT-3/29/11, 32-33.) The Coconino County medical

25

As people were attempting to comply with Defendant’s instructions, Sara Mercer attempted to drive a woman
back to her cabin in one of the golf carts, but noticed that her eyes were “ fluttering” and “ rolling in the back of her
head,” so Sara returned her to get medical attention. ( RT-5/12/11, 96-99.) On the way back , the woman’s foot fell
out of the golf cart, and “ she let it just get run over.” ( Id . )
26

Ted Mercer was the “ fire tender.” (Footnote 8.)

-22-

1

examiner similarly described the cause of death as “ multisystem organ failure due to

2

hyperthermia due to prolonged sweat lodge exposure.” (Exhibit 362; RT-5/5/11, 27.)

3

Approximately 15 other participants were also taken to area hospitals. (RT-5/10/11,

4

106-07, 165-66.) The most serious cases were: (i) Tess Wong, who was placed in ICU, and

5

diagnosed with respiratory failure and coma, a collapsed right upper lung, and renal failure

6

(RT-3/29/11, 56-60); (ii) Sidney Spenser, who arrived in a “ deep coma,” and was placed in ICU

7

( id. 39-41, 208-12); and (iii) Stephen Ray, who had “ altered mental status and seizure,” was

8

placed in ICU in a coma and critical condition, and hospitalized for 4 days ( id. 238, 274-77; RT-

9

3/15/11, 250-51; RT-3/16/11, 107-08, 139-40, 146).

10

The lead detective assigned to investigate the deaths was Ross Diskin, of the Yavapai

11

County Sherriffs Office (YCSO). (RT-4/27/11, 164.) (RT-4/27/11, 177, 183; RT-4/28/11, 93,

12

100-01, 112-36, 141-50 [over 70 items]). As Diskin and other sheriff’s deputies interviewed

13

witnesses to the 2009 event and participants in previous “ sweat lodges” conducted by

14

Defendant,27 Diskin concluded the deaths were the result of the “ extreme way” that Defendant

15

conducted the 2009 event. (RT-4/27/11, 107, 221-22; RT-4/29/11, 66; RT-5/4/11, 213.) This

16

conclusion was further supported by the cause of death determinations of the medical

17

examiners, both of whom found the deaths to be heat-related. ( Supra at 30-31.)

18

Heat illness and heat stroke

19

As the jury was informed at trial, there is no laboratory or other definitive test for heat

20

stroke. (RT-3/31/11, 57-58, 64, 99; RT-5/5/11, 47, 151-52.) The diagnosis begins with the

21

determination that a person was exposed to heat capable of inflicting such a result, and then

22

examines the symptoms, and other likely causes of the symptoms. (See generally RT-3/31/11,

27

Diskin interviewed about 75 people (“ hundreds” of hours), not counting interviews conducted by others. ( RT4/28/11, 236-37; RT-5/4/11, 141. ) At one point, Diskin was working “ exclusively” on the case. { Id . )

-23-

1

57-60 , 64 , 85.) The overwhelming evidence at trial was that Defendant subjected the victims to

2

214 hours blistering heat , accompanied by artificially high humidity , which deprived them of

3

their ability to cool themselves through the evaporation of sweat . ( RT-3/29/11 , 260-61 ; RT-

4

5/5/11 , 35-37; RT-5/10/11 , 89-90. ) It is beyond dispute that the victims and numerous other

5

participants displayed classic signs and symptoms of severe heat illness.

As explained by testifying physicians , the path from heat exhaustion to heat stroke is a

6

-

7

“ continuum . ” ( RT 3/29/11 , 22-23; RT-5/10/11 , 81 . ) It

8

surface of the skin to “ throw off heat , ” thereby depriving the brain , the kidneys , and other

9

organs of the blood and oxygen they need to function . (RT-3/29/11 , 108-11; RT-5/5/11 , 37-38,

10

121-22. ) Early in the process , the symptoms may include flushing , fatigue , muscle cramps ,

11

nausea , and vomiting . ( RT-3/29/11 , 22-23, 114; RT-5/5/11 , 38; RT-5/10/11 , 73, 96.) At this

12

stage (“ heat exhaustion ” ) , if one is taken out of the hot environment and provided with cool

13

liquid , they are likely to do well . ( RT-3/29/11 , 100-01 ; RT-5/10/11 , 96-97. ) However , as the

14

body heats, the prognosis gets worse. ( RT 3/29/11 , 97-98, 260; RT-5/10/11 , 96-97.) At some

15

point , organs fail , and death ensues. ( RT-3/29/11 , 101 , 104-05; RT-5/5/11 , 42-43; RT-5/10/11 ,

16

96 . )

starts when the blood moves to the

-

17

The “ big red flag ” signaling the passage from heat exhaustion to heat stroke is a

18

person’s exhibition of “ mental status changes. ” ( RT-5/10/11 , 81-82 ; see also RT-3/29/11 , 115.)

19

This can range from something as subtle as making bad decisions or acting “ a little “ goofy” to

20

more serious symptoms , such as acting intoxicated or violent , having seizures , becoming

21

unconscious , or going into a coma . ( RT-5/10/11 , 74-77; see also RT-3/29/11 , 115; RT-5/5/11 ,

22

38; RT-5/6/11 , 212-15. ) Once people begin having such “ mental status changes , ” they are

23

heading down the “ path of heat stroke , ” and if they do not receive prompt treatment , they can

24

die in “ as little as an hour. ” (RT-5/10/11 , 77 , 81 , 96. )

-24-

1
2

ARGUMENT
Setting Aside the Judgment is Discretionary with this Court.
Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-907C states (emphasis added):

3
4
5
6
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8
9
10
11

C. If the judge, justice of the peace or magistrate grants the application , the
judge, justice of the peace or magistrate shall set aside the judgment of guilt,
dismiss the accusations or information and order that the person be released
from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the conviction except those
imposed by:

12

the State opposes the motions because some crimes, such as those perpetrated by

13

Defendant, are so great in their magnitude, affect so many people, and are so senseless, that

14

they should never be set aside. This is one of those cases.

In addition to the reasons for denial of the motion that are set forth in the victims’ letters,

15

Three lives are forever gone. Children, daughters, a wife, mothers and fathers, brothers

16

and sisters, and other family relatives have been senselessly robbed of the presence, the

17

companionship, the parenting, the support, the opportunities and the love of Kirby Brown,

18

James Shore and Liz Neuman. The permanency of this loss, the senselessness of this loss,

19

and the unconscionable nature of the Defendant’s actions in causing this loss must be

20

reflected in the denial of Defendant’s motion to set aside his convictions. The Court should

21

consider the permanent nature of the loss of the three victims; the substantial harm and terrible

22

emotional impact on their families; the opportunities Defendant had to avoid senselessly

23

causing their deaths; and the opportunities and the significant obligation Defendant had to

24

assure the safety of participants who paid to attend his event.

25

26
27
28

In determining whether to grant or deny the motions, Arizona Revised Statutes §13-

101(5) directs courts to consider the deterrent effect of doing so:
It is declared that the public policy of this state and the general purposes of the
provisions of this title are:

-25-

1
2
3
4
5

The purpose of this statute has never been more vital than in this case where Defendant,

6

operating as a business, neglected his obligation to conduct a highly lucrative business in such

7

a way as to ensure the safety of his participants. Requiring Defendant’s convictions to remain

8

intact serves a significant and important purpose in insuring that, throughout this country,

9

businesspeople such as Defendant operate in such a way that lives are not needlessly harmed

10

or lost. When someone such as Defendant causes the deaths of multiple people in a criminally

11

negligent manner, the fact of the conviction, and the effects of that conviction on the

12

perpetrator (including the loss of civil rights) will deter others from putting profits ahead of

13

safety.

5. To insure the public safety by preventing the commission of offenses through
the deterrent influence of the sentences authorized.

14

This is particularly important here, as Defendant is reportedly rebuilding his self-help

15

counseling business since his convictions. Allowing Defendant to truthfully say his convictions

16

have been set aside would allow many in the public to incorrectly believe Defendant had been

17

exonerated, and is not responsible for the deaths of Kirby Brown, James Shore and Liz

18

Neuman in the pursuit of financial gain. This is particularly true, since Defendant was recently

19

interviewed in a 2016 CNN documentary (“ Enlighten Us: The Rise and Fall of James Arthur

20

Ray”), and painted himself as a victim who had been treated unfairly in the criminal justice

21

system.28

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24
25

Judgment of Guilt Should Not Be Set Aside Because Defendant Committed a Dangerous
Offense.

26

because A.RS. §13-907(E) prevents setting aside a judgment where the criminal offense is a

Finally, the State objects to the request to set aside the negligent homicide convictions

28

See “ In Enlighten Us, a disgraced guru fails to find redemption , ” by Matt Stroud of “ The Verge” at
www . theverqe .com/2016/4/18/11434916/enliqhten-us-disaraced-quru-iames-arthurrav+&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&al=us

-26-

1

dangerous offense. The three homicide convictions were the results of deaths caused by

2

Defendant’s use of a dangerous instrument (the sweat lodge).29 The facts established at trial

3

and set out above detail exactly how Defendant used the sweat lodge as a dangerous

4

instrument, needlessly and senselessly causing the deaths of the victims.

Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-907(A) provides:

5

Except as provided in subsection E of this section, every person convicted of a
criminal offense, on fulfillment of the conditions of probation or sentence and
discharge by the court, may apply to the judge, justice of the peace or magistrate
who pronounced sentence or imposed probation or such judge, justice of the
peace or magistrate’s successor in office to have the judgment of guilt set aside.
The convicted person shall be informed of this right at the time of discharge.

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11

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24

A dangerous instrument is anything that under the circumstances in which it is

25

used is readily capable of causing death. A.R.S. §13-105(12). A dangerous offense is an

26

offense where a dangerous instrument is used. A.R.S. §13-105(13). The fact the convictions

27

were not alleged as “dangerous” in the judgment is irrelevant to whether or not they are

28

dangerous for purposes of A.RS. §13-907(E).

Section E states:

E. This section does not apply to a person who was convicted of a criminal
offense:
1. Involving a dangerous offense .
2. For which the person is required or ordered by the court to register pursuant to
section 13-3821.
3. For which there has been a finding of sexual motivation pursuant to section 13118.
4. In which the victim is a minor under fifteen years of age.

29

In State v. Adams, 155 Ariz. 117, 745 P.2d 175 (App. 1987) , the defendant argued his

30

prior California conviction could not be used as a prior dangerous offense because he was

31

placed on probation. Under the California statutes an offense involving the use of a firearm in
29

The trial transcript is replete with descriptions of how the sweat lodge was intentionally misused by
Defendant to create a dangerously hot environment, an environment which multiple experts testified was capable
of causing the fatal heatstroke that killed Kirby Brown, James Shore and Liz Neuman.

-27-

1

the commission of a felony requires a term of imprisonment. In the prior case, the defendant

2

had pled guilty to a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, a handgun. In exchange for the

3

defendant’s plea the State dropped the other counts against him and the enhancement

4

allegation. The Court of Appeals affirmed the use of the prior as a dangerous offense and

5

noted the following:

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8
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13

Clearly, the dismissal of the punishment enhancing provisions of California Penal
Code § 12022.5 did not alter the essential elements of the offense to which the
appellant pled guilty. The determination of the “ dangerousness” of a prior
conviction for purposes of A. R.S. § 13-604 is a question of law which was
properly decided by the trial judge. See State v. Hunter, 137 Ariz. at 239, 669
P.2d at 1016.
Id. at 122-23, 745 P.2d at 180-81.

14

In State v. Leon, 197 Ariz. 48, 3 P.3d 968 (App. 1999), the Court of Appeals addressed

15

a slightly different issue, but reached the same conclusion. In Leon, the defendant committed

16

new offenses while on probation for a prior felony disorderly conduct conviction involving the

17

recklessly handling, displaying, or discharging a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. The

18

offense had not been designated as “ dangerous” at sentencing. Because of this prior

19

conviction, the court sentenced the defendant pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-604.02 which provides

20

for sentence enhancement for crimes committed while on release for a prior conviction

21

involving the use or exhibition of a deadly weapon (now § 13-708(B)). On appeal the defendant

22

argued that he could not be sentenced under the statute because the prior conviction had not

23

been designated as “ dangerous” at sentencing. The Court of Appeals disagreed and found

24

that: “[t]he fact that the prior offense has been designated "nondangerous" under § 13-604 is,

25

therefore, irrelevant to the court's enhancement of the sentence under the second sentence of

26

§ 13-604.02(A).” Id. at 50, 3 P.3d at 970. The Court concluded that “ because his prior offense

-28-

1

involved the use or exhibition of a deadly weapon , ” his sentences were properly enhanced . Id
.

2

at 50 , H7-8 , 3 P. 3d at 970 .

3

Guidance on this issue can also be found in cases involving the use of a prior as
a

4

“ violent

5

Ariz. 378 , 84 P. 3d 206 (App . 2003) , the Court of Appeals considered whether a defendant with

6

a prior conviction for disorderly conduct was not eligible for mandatory probation on a drug

7

possession charge because the prior qualified as a “ violent” offense. In the prior case , the

8

State had agreed to dismiss the allegation of dangerousness in exchange for the defendant’ s

9

plea . While the court distinguished between “ dangerous” and “ violent , ” it found the prior

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offense” to take a defendant outside of Proposition 200. In Montero v. Foreman, 204

conviction took the defendant outside of Prop . 200. Relevant to our issue is the following:

In Montero' s prior disorderly conduct case , as part of a negotiated plea
agreement , the State dismissed its allegation of "dangerousness , " thus removing
the possibility of an enhanced sentence on that charge . But the State made no
representation that the offense would not be considered "violent" for purposes of
disqualifying Montero from probation should he be charged with further crimes.

20
21

This Court recently held that the trial court can determine , as a matter of law,
whether a defendant has a prior conviction for a violent crime by looking the
statutory definition of the prior offense . Cherry v . Araneta , 203 Ariz . 532 , 535 ,
P14 , 57 P . 3d 391, 394 (App . 2002) . Montero was convicted of disorderly conduct
in violation of A . R . S. § 13-2904 (A)(6) , which provides:

22
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24

A . A person commits disorderly conduct if , with intent to disturb the peace or
quiet of a neighborhood , family or person , or with knowledge of doing so , such
person:

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6. Recklessly handles, displays or discharges a deadly weapon or dangerous
instrument.

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30
31

Hence , Montero' s prior disorderly conduct conviction was for "recklessly
handling , displaying , or discharging a deadly weapon or instrument." Such
conduct necessarily involves the "criminal use of a deadly weapon or dangerous
instrument." Thus , it falls within Proposition 200' s definition of "violent crime ."
-29-

1
2
3
4
5

A. R . S. § 13-604.04 . Accordingly , the fact that the State did not elect to
seek an
enhanced sentence for Montero's disorderly conduct conviction based on
its
"dangerousness" does not mean that the crime was not a "violent crime" so as
to
disqualify him from probation should he commit additional drug possession
offenses .

6

Montero v. Foreman , 64 P. 3d 206 , 209- 210, 204 Ariz. 378, 381-382 (
Ariz. Ct . App .

7

2003).

8

Based on the foregoing, including the strong opposition by the families of
Kirby Brown ,

9

James Shore and Liz Neuman , and the need to deter similar misconduct
in the future , the

10

State respectfully requests the motion to set aside the judgment and restore
Defendant’s civil

11

rights be denied.

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RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED this

H Klav of November , 2016 .

*

Sheila Sullivan Polk
Yavapai County Attorney

COPY of the foregoing mailed this
day of November, 2016 , to:
Thomas K . Kelly
Attorney for Defendant
By

-30-

LETTERS FROM VICTIMS

Hello, my name is Amrita Shore and I want to share with you the heartbreaking tragedy
that took place on October 8, 2009.1 am the middle child of three children born into a lovely
family that consisted of my siblings Inaya and darshan, our 2 loving parents Alyssa Gillespie
and James Shore. Growing up in today's society you always hear stories or watch movies
where one of the parents pass away. But never in a million years would have imagined that, that
would be my reality. But on October 8, 2009, a man named James Ray killed my father.
I remember the day like it was yesterday. I remember the smell, the heat that rushed
over my body, it was a sensation I had never felt before and prayed to never fell again but that
was false hope. I remember opening the front door and seeing my mom and little brother sitting
with tear-stained faces staring back at me. my sister and saw the sadness in my mother's eyes
and before anyone even said a word I knew. It's a feeling I could never describe in words. It was
so cold and so sad that I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemies. But the torture didn't stop
there. Even after what my family had been through, he put us through more. My mom had to go
to quart more than once and she had to fight. She had to fight so that a dreadful human being
could be putin jail.
Because of that day, I have never been the same and I will never be the same. James
may
Ray
have gone to jail, but I am still in jail. I'm locked behind thousands of doors that he put
up. I struggle with all the questions that are left unanswered. Because of him, my mother was a
widow before turning 40, I've never spoken the word “ dad” to anyone and probably never will.
My siblings and I have absolutely no father figure to look up too. How does a 9-year-old process
the death of her father? Well in my case I didn't really. I for some reason though I needed to be
strong for my family, because who else would? My dad was gone. My mom was weak, my sister
was beyond words and my younger brother? Well, he was just too young. So that's exactly what
I tried to do. I watched as my family tumbled apart and slowly picked up the pieces. But still,
even after all the pain, this man had put us through, my mom still had to spend years in quart
and her free time with lawyers. James Ray needed to pay for what he'd done to my family and
the other families who'd been affected by him.
I haven't heard my father's voice in 8 years and to this day I am looking for answers. To
this day I've never met the man who killed my father and it breaks my heart more than anything
to see him out of jail. A terrible man killed my father and now he's out? I was too young to
understand back then but I understand now. It's hard for me to see someone who ripped my
entire world right from under my feet, living a happy life. It almost seems as if nothing has
phased him. It disgusts me that a man whose actions have been so horrible could even be
considered “ Innocent”.
So, I guess to the conclusion this letter or essay or whatever I'm writing, I am asking you,
no I am begging you to not let this man go innocently. He is so far from innocent that it pains me
to think that his record could ever be wiped. He is a murder and it's hard enough that he's out of
jail. Don't let him be free of the burden he placed on his back the day he killed 3 people in a
Sedona sweat lodge. He has done nothing for my family except cause pain and deep sadness.
James Ray has destroyed the ground which my feet used to stand so strongly upon. He has
taken almost everything from me. I ask you don't let such a sick man have the satisfaction of
“ freedom”.

Thank you, Amrita

To whom it may concern:
th
I lost my mother, Lizbeth Neuman, on October 17 , 2009 as a result of a heat stroke
th
suffered during the October 8 , 2009 "sweat lodge" conducted by James Arthur Ray. After
spending seven years trying to come to terms with her death, I was informed of Mr. Ray's
recent motion to restore his civil rights and set aside his conviction. I won't claim to fully
understand the laws related to these motions, but what I can attest to is the ongoing pain Mr.
Ray's actions have inflicted on me and my family. Unfortunately for us, there is no motion that
can be filed to bring my mom back. We have been forever sentenced to a life without her . We
have to live with the anger caused by the reckless behavior of Mr. Ray who showed no concern
for my mom's life; a woman who considered him a long-time mentor and friend.
Seven years ago, my family and two other families started an exhausting two year
process that entailed a lengthy criminal investigation, painful and frustrating trial, and
disappointing conviction. It was revealed by numerous witnesses that previous years' sweat
lodge events had led to ill participants under Mr . Ray's lead; however, that information was
withheld from the trial. It is perplexing to me that the court did not allow this information to be
used as it is 100% relevant and would have likely led to manslaughter charges. Instead, this gap
in information left the question unanswered as to whether or not Mr. Ray knew what he was
doing was harmful. The fact is he showed a history of reckless behavior at this annual event and
other events. In spite of Mr. Ray’ s knowledge that his sweat lodges made people ill and in spite
of all of the warning signs throughout the 2009 event, he continued to use his position of power
and authority over mentally and physically exhausted people who paid him thousands of dollars
to improve their lives. He persuaded his pupils to ignore the symptoms that their bodies were
succumbing to life-threatening heat stroke; all so they could achieve enlightenment and growth
out of their struggles. This enlightenment would come through a near-death experience that
the defense dismissed as metaphorical. The fact is that Mr. Ray created a deadly environment
and ignored countless warnings that people were seriously ill.
The question today may be if Mr. Ray has taken responsibility for his actions and if he is
likely to harm others again. Besides his plea for forgiveness prior to sentencing, I have not seen
or heard Mr. Ray show remorse, nor has he asked for forgiveness from me or my family.
Instead, his interest has been in rebuilding his career with new credentials: ex-convict who
against all odds rises back to fame and fortune. Certainly being able to say his conviction has
been "set aside" will aid him in achieving his new goal. From my perspective, Mr. Ray has done
nothing to earn back the rights he is requesting; nor the "title" he seeks for his conviction. His
lack of remorse and the truth behind the harm he knowingly caused, do not warrant granting

these motions.
I hope that in making a decision on these motions, you will consider the victims. You will
consider me who for the rest of my life will celebrate my birthday on the anniversary of the
October 8th sweat lodge; someone who has two children (now 6 and 3) who never had the
chance to meet their Grandma Liz; and someone who feels very strongly that Mr . Ray got off
too lightly given the permanent loss he has caused for three families.

Sincerely,
Andrea Puckett

TO:
RE:
FROM:

Superior Court of Arizona for the County of Yavapai
JAMES ARTHUR RAY's Motion to Set Aside Conviction
with a Dismissal of Charges
Virginia Brown

During the 10 month, 2011 trial of James Arthur Ray, I was reminded that
the court system is the LEGAL system and not necessarily the
JUSTICE
system. A grand jury had handed down an indictment of manslaughter in
February 2010 which the prosecutor was unable to prove since the
presiding judge had ruled against presenting evidence of "prior
knowledge" (which defines manslaughter) since it might be "prejudicial"
for the jury. We went to Arizona five times to witness the prosecution
continually defend the right to prosecute as the defense presented motion
after motion for mistrial. We were present as the judge apologized for
giving the man responsible for the deaths of three people, our daughter,
Kirby, James Shore and Liz Neuman, 2 years of prison time for the lesser
charge of negligent homicide. And now the court would consider
restoring
civil rights and setting aside judgment of guilt for the man responsible???

Every person deserves a second chance and James Ray is no exception.
However, should the second chance to gainful employment be in the
same
field in which he recklessly caused the deaths of 3 people and life
sustaining injuries to at least 5 other people? It is ironic that since Mr.
Ray
had NO professional degree to help people, NO credible training, and NO
license to practice, his conviction of negligent homicide did not result in a
revocation of any license, allowing him to return to the same arena where
he orchestrated his deadly sweat lodge.
While Mr. Ray may have served his sentence of 20 months for the deaths of
3 people, we have been given a life sentence of loss for his depraved
indifference for the life of our daughter. Kirby's death leaves a CHASM in
our lives. Every Family event is bitter-sweet because Kirby is not here with
us. Sweet, because we have been blessed with 7 beautiful grandchildren,
bitter, because they will never know their amazing aunt Kirby. We will

never have the pleasure of seeing her expand her business, find her soul
mate or spend holidays with the family she loved.

¬

I refuse to live with bitterness or forgiveness, however, forgiving
James
Ray does not mean that I trust him. Mr. Ray has been filmed crying on
stage before his audience for his 3 good friends who died in this terrible
"accident". The 3 people he knew were in distress, whom he left
unconscious in the dirt. He has publicly stated that "he takes full
responsibility" and yet he also says that he is the only person in history to
be found guilty for other people's decisions. He has not accepted
responsibility for the fact that he orchestrated events that made death
inevitable. He has painted himself as the VICTIM of unfair prosecution
in
which he lost his business and his liberty. He has publicly stated that
"Sedona HAD TO HAPPEN" so that he could teach others
to overcome
adversity. While James Ray has built a new business, re-inventing himself ,
spinning the facts, we have established SEEKsafely, a 501©3 charity to
empower consumers to be aware of charismatic charlatans and promote
ethics and safety in this unregulated industry. We hope that Kirby's
tragic
death will save the lives of others who seek to grow.
I beg the court. DO NOT grant this petition to set aside this conviction
which would allow Mr. Ray to further manipulate the facts, obfusca
ting the
truth and misleading potential followers. To grant this motion would
be to
participate in the fraud that HE is the victim. It is unbelievable to me that
we, who have lost our daughter in such a traumatic manner should
have to
beg the court to uphold its own ruling. Please do not allow this final
travesty of justice.

Virginia (Ginny) Brown, Kirby's mother and founder of SEEKsafely

TO:
RE:
FROM:

Superior Court of Arizona for the County of Yavapai
JAMES ARTHUR RAY's Motion to Set Aside Conviction
with a Dismissal of Charges
George H.Brown

I am the father of Kirby Anne Brown, one of the three victims in the Sedona
Sweat Lodge incident. There is sufficient information that demonstrates
the deliberate choice on Ray's part to ignore the plight of the three
deceased as well as the other 19 people who were injured.

Ray sat less than 12 feet from Kirby. He could hear her struggle for breath,
was told that she was unconscious and finally, that she had stopped
breathing. He repeatedly refused to provide help saying, "we will deal
with that at the end of the round." When James Shore asked for help for
himself and Kirby, after dragging an unconscious Sidney Spencer from the
tent, Ray again responded "we will deal with that later". We now know
"later" never came. Ray knowing the status of Kirby,
James and Liz, exited
the tent. He flashed the victory sign, satisfied he had survived the "most
hellacious hot" sweat lodge ever, even outdoing his rival, Tony Robbins.
His deliberate ignoring of those in distress for the sake of his own self aggrandizement makes him culpable.

Ray knew the dangers involved when, as the result of the 2008 sweat lodge,
3 participants were removed unconscious from that tent. They would have
died, save for the intervention of a Canadian anesthesiologist, Dr. David
Kent, who administered CPR to revive the victims. He later confronted
Ray and his staff warning that someone would die if Ray continued in this
manner.
Today, Ray is making a request to set aside his conviction so he can market
himself as an enlightened penitent. Ray is first and foremost a salesman.
His main product is now his "enlightenment" gained from the deaths of
Kirby Brown, James Shore and Liz Neuman. He is already selling himself

as a victim of the sweat lodge event, not as the one responsible for causing
these deaths through both his actions in setting up the conditions of the
lodge as well as his refusal to act when participants were in distress. This
alone makes him dangerous.

My family lives daily with the loss of Kirby. There is no getting over the
hurt and injustice of her being taken from us.
We have been given a life sentence at the hands of Ray's self -glorification.
I therefore object to the motion to set aside the verdict. This would be an
insult to those who died at his reckless and callous hand.

George H. Brown, Kirby's father and founder of SEEKsafely,inc.

October 29, 2016

To the Superior Court of Arizona,

Regarding the State vs. James Arthur Ray, Motion to Restore Civil Rights and Set Aside Judgement of
Guilt and Order:

I am the sister of victim, Lizbeth Neuman, who died as a result of the sweat lodge run by James Arthur

Ray in October 2009. The impact of that event still hits me the hardest at this time of year as we face the

anniversary of her traumatic death. That impact, I believe, is magnified due to the fact that Mr. Ray had,
and still has, a national ( and even international ) following and influence. There have been many times
over the past 7 years that references to the book he co-authored, The Secret, have come up in television
shows or conversations, and stir up the grief of losing my only sister once again.
I was relieved when Mr. Ray was convicted of a crime, albeit a lesser crime than I feel was committed.
Although he received what I believe to be an extremely lenient sentence, I am grateful that he did have

to serve a prison sentence . He is now a free man, able to live his life with few restrictions, namely the

restrictions of his civil rights. To restore those rights and set aside the judgement of guilt and order
would in effect allow him to return completely to his life pre- October 2009. That is a luxury which the
deceased, their families, and many of the survivors who continue to have health and psychological
symptoms, will never enjoy.

That event cannot be undone. Neither should the consequences of the judgement against Mr. Ray be
undone. I implore you to deny this motion and allow Mr . Ray to continue to live with the fallout as the
rest of us are forced to do .

Sincerely,
Sara L. Oldre

Bill Hughes
From:
Sent:
To:

Cc:
Subject:

Thursday , October 27, 2016 11:29 AM
Bill Hughes
Bill Hughes
Motion to restore rights- JAR

I wholeheartedly oppose the motion to expunge JAR ' s record of conviction for three
charges of negligent homicide,
knowing that it was originally to be manslaughter.

LOOSING A CHILD IS EVERY PARENTS WORST NIGHTMARE !
My first born son, Richard drowned in a freak accident!
My son, James death was no NO ACCIDENT!! !

This was a case of JAR being consumed with his control and power over others. He
made a choice to to ignore the cries
for help from my son Jim and others who were aware that Kirby Brown was is
great distress and having trouble
breathing.
With in minutes my son was also finding it difficult to breathe. (There is no question
that the sweat lodge was
improperly built with plastic tarps rather than breathable fabrics used by Native
Americans, as well as being too hot !).
Jim opened a flap in the back to get air and was quickly chastised by JAR that he was offendin
g the " spirit warrior" ! !!
By being told they had to wait until the end of the round
time had run out and BOTH KIRBY AND JIM WERE DEAD
!
AS SOON AS JAR AND HIS CO- HARTS WERE AWARE OF THE DEATHS, AND OTHERS
SUFFERING, THEY JUMPTED INTO
CARS AND SPED AWAY, MAKING NO CALLS TO THE POLICE OR RESCUE SQUAD! HE HAD
ABSOLUTE FOCUS ON RUNNING
FROM THE SCENE OF HIS CRIME.
HOW IS IS POSSIBLE TO WIPE THE SLATE CLEAN FOR THIS ARROGANT, NON- CARING
ABSCONDER ?
I frequently see the pain in my three grandchildren and their mother s eyes. My
'
oldest granddaughter, Inaya has
frequent bouts with overwhelming sadness
I miss him so so many evenings when he came to pick up the children at our
home, he would sit down and talk about
his day and we would reminisce while I made dinner .
He would ask what I was cooking, and then say, " well maybe I could stay a little longer
and have a couple of bites".
ALyssa and the kids are vegetarians, and Jim was too when he was home, but he
missed those beef stews and fried
chicken meals.

I beg you as a mother who has lost two children to please, please to not reinstate this

mans civil rights. As you know, he
was charged with three counts of negligent homicide, could have and should have received
the maximum sentence of
three years consecutively but only served concurrently . How is this justice?
I failed to mention Liz Newman, who also lost her life
and the other people who have developed various health
problems due to the extreme heat, and improper control of the whole devastating,

expensive event.

Sincerely,

Jane Shore Gripp
Sent from my iPad

October 26 , 2016
Jean Brown

To: Yavapai County Superior Court

Re: James Ray’s motion to set aside his ruling

To the Judge Presiding over James Ray’s motion ,
I am the sister of Kirby Brown, one of the victims of James Ray who died in his version of a
sweat lodge on October 8 , 2009.1 am writing to request that James Ray’s motion not be
granted.
I could certainly talk about how this motion affects me personally, but I’m going to address you
from a more professional perspective. In the years since my sister ’s death, I have been involved
as a founding member of SEEK Safely, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to trying to
prevent what happened to my sister happening to others.

As a member of this organization, I have learned a great deal about the self-help industry, its
and it customers . Given what I know about the industry, and what I have seen
from James Ray in the years since the deaths in Sedona, I believe he still poses a great risk to
the public. Furthermore, I believe the court has an important role to play in setting a precedent
for other operators in the self-help industry.

“ professionals”

Because there is no professional licensing board in the self- help industry, James Ray has
returned to this arena, promoting himself as a teacher and guru for people who are motivated
to
improve their lives personally and professionally. He sells things like books and DVDs, but his
most valuable currency is his story . He is already spinning his story as one of a hero
emerging
from the greatest test of his life , and a victim who overcame the greatest adversity. He talks
about his loss. He uses his actual victims (Kirby, James Shore, and Liz Neuman) as character
in
this story, referring to them as “ his friends” rather than his customers. He even goes so far as to
suggest that the victims’ decisions led to their deaths. You can witness this yourself , in CNN’s
documentary, “ Enlighten Us.”
He discusses what happened in Sedona as a tragedy that befell him, rather than the gross
violation of professional trust and the willful act of negligence that it was. As a result, I believe he
would manipulate the court’s decision to "set aside the judgement of guilt" and use it to further
his story that he was the victim in Sedona. Why this concerns me is that this isn’t about
casual
conversations he’ll have with friends, or even about getting a traditional job. He will use this as
he pitches his professional services to people, convincing them to trust him.
My feeling all along as a member of SEEK has been that I cannot help people who know
what
happened in Sedona and still decide to trust James Ray. I’m concerned with helping people
lik
my sister, who (had she lived) would have, upon hearing about the manipulative tactics used b
Ray and the dangerous way he operates, decided that he didn’t deserve her money or trust.

Again, I believe he would use this motion to further his claim that he bears no responsibility
for
what happened. As I said , he is selling his story, and this judgement would further enable
him to
sell a lie. His actions — his manipulations, recklessness, and hubris — in Sedona led to the
deaths
of three people. Do not bolster his ability to put others in danger.

As mentioned, I am also concerned about the precedent this would set for other operators in
the
self-help industry. We have reached out to many of these professionals, and most of them
choose to have nothing to do with us . Nevertheless, my hope is that James Ray’s tale is
a
cautionary one for them, encouraging them to act more responsibly. What message
might it
send to those professionals if Ray ’s motion is set aside ?
I will touch briefly on the personal side of this. I have trouble with the fact that Ray
expresses
little to no remorse about what happened , other than how it has impacted him.
His attitude
toward my family has been dismissive, even angry. During the proceedings in the
case of
Colleen Conaway (who died at one of his events in July 2009), Ray referred to us
derisively as
“ those sweat lodge people. ” He will not talk to members of the media
unless they agree not to
speak with my family. This is not the behaviour of someone who is remorseful,
humbled, or
made wiser by his own mistakes. Setting aside his conviction would likely only
add to the type of
arrogance that led to the deaths of Kirby, James Shore, and Liz.

On another personal note , I must mention that the reality for my family is that
we will forever live
with the loss of our sister, daughter, aunt. To allow James Ray to effectively
walk away from the
legal ruling of his role in her death is an abandonment of justice.

Thank you for considering my position on this matter.
Sincerely,

Jean Brown

Jerome K. Gillespie

October 25, 2016

*

^

Re: State v . James Arthur Ray

Your Honor:

It has been a few years since the passing of James Shore but the magnitude of his absence is still fresh in
my mind. My name is Jerry Gillespie and I am one of Alyssa Gillespie's younger brothers. When I would
see James play with his three children (Inaya, Amrita, and Darshan) their eyes would light up with Love
and James would be grinning ear to ear with a big smile . When I began to have children of my own, I
strived to be as good of a Father to my children as James was to his. I think of James daily, even in his
passing but even more so when I am with Alyssa and her children. James left a*huge void of happiness
that will never be replaced. Every family celebration, birthday party, graduation, as joyous as it may be...
is never quite complete. There is metaphorically always an empty seat at the table which James belongs
in, with us, with his wife, with his three children.
My siblings and I have tried to give comfort to Alyssa, Inaya, Amrita and Darshan over the years. My
sister Heidi has made many trips to Colorado to spend time with them. My brother Ben taught Darshan
how to ride a skateboard. When Darshan showed interest in hockey I bought him his first Chicago
Blackhawks hat. But there is no comparison to the experiences and Love that a Father can bring to his
wife and children,
My sister Alyssa was thrust overnight into being a single parent of three young children. Feeding,
clothing, bathing, household chores, homework, making dinner, driving each of them to ail their sports,
theater, after school obligations... all by herself. Not to mention doing this all on her income alone.
Alyssa has tried her hardest to provide every opportunity for her children that they wanted to pursue
and make them feel as if they could have as normal of a childhood as their friends had.

I plead with you, your honor, not to set aside the judgment of conviction.

History may not repeat itself verbatim, but it does rhyme. I would be deeply saddened to hear of
another family put through the same trials and tribulations that Alyssa and her children have been

forced to struggle with.
Thank you fpr your time.

Respectfully,

Bill Hughes
From:
Sent:
To:
Subject:

Tuesday , October 25 , 2016 11:32 AM
Bill Hughes
James Arthur Ray petition to "set aside the judgement of conviction"

Mr . Hughes-

I am Tom Gripp, step father of James Shore and husband of Jane Shore Gripp. Please forward my
strong objection to
James Arthur Ray' s petition to " set aside the judgement of conviction". It is my understanding that
Mr. Ray is asking that
after being responsible in the deaths of 3 people, the injury of some twenty others, and conviction
for same, he wants
this expunged from his records. The testimony in this case includes Mr . Ray 's cowardly lack of not offering
aid to those
who were injured or dying in the sweat lodge and his leaving the scene to go back to California
as quickly as he could.
Mr. Ray should no more be able to expunge this record than we can expunge the fact that our
son met his death at
Ray ' s hands. We can not expunge the fact that our three grandchildren lost their father
and don' t have the material aid
and comfort that a father provides. Our hearts break when there is an event at their school that
Jimmy would have
attended and they are without his presence. We can not expunge the fact that his widow goes
forth in life without his
support and company.

For me, that greatest impact of this petition is the effect on my wife. The petition is reopenin
g a horror which we have
spent the last 8 years trying to reconcile. We cherish the memories of Jimmy, ache at his
loss, and try to find ways to
move on with our lives. It was a help to know that at least to some degree, James Arthur Ray
had been held accountable
for his actions. This petition to legally expunge records of the sweat lodge events and the trial
is a further victimization
of all who were affected by Mr. Ray's actions.

Thank you,
Tom Gripp

l

Bill Hughes
From:
Sent:
To:
Cc:
Subject:

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 6:15 PM
State vs. James Arthur Ray

Dear Mr. Hughes
I am the uncle of Kirby Brown, who was killed in James Arthur Rays' recklessly built and run sweat lodge .

As a family member who attended part of James Arthur Rays' trial, I find it astounding that he would approach the
courts to have his rights restored. Obviously the rights of my niece, and others, have been cancelled forever. I also
realize that damning evidence that was suppressed at the trial cannot be used against him at this time, but even jury
members were upset that information was withheld from them that would have assisted them in delivering a more just
verdict for the deceased individuals and their families.
James Arthur Ray apparently continues with his arrogance and lack of remorse to the point that no court should
entertain anything he would bring before them. I am hopeful that the courts in Arizona will see the wisdom and justice
of refusing James Arthur Rays' requests.

Sincerely,

William A. Kirby

l

Bill Hughes
Sent:
To:
Subject:

I

Thursday, October 27 , 2016 9: 16 AM

Bill Hughes
James Arthr Ray

Mr. Hughes,
I write the following to the Superior Court in the State of Arizona in protest of James Artur Ray'
s motion to
have his conviction vacated and to have his civil rights restored. Please feel free to contact me
if there is any
other information that you might need .

When my cousin, Kirby Brown, was suddenly taken away from us it left a hole inside
of me. To this day, I still
feel that lack of presence. I still can feel that she is gone.

Kirby was a presence. She brought so much joy wherever she went. She had this magical
power to make
everyone in a room feel like they were best friends with her and she loved everyone in
return.

This is a feeling and a magic that has been taken away from this world by the irresponsible

actions of one man.

James Arthur Ray built a career out of cultivating people’ s misplaced or excessive admiration in
the name of
financial gain. And he did a wonderful job of it.

He took the concepts and ideas from such great works as The Power of Positive ThwWuxp by Dr.
Norman
Vincent Peal and passed them off as his own “ Harmonic Wealth” theory. It is easy to see how one
could fall
under the thrall of someone with so much charm and charisma and who seems to have all the
answers.

Unfortunately, what he was selling wasn’t really the answers. What he was really selling
was trust
He was propping himself up to get people to trust him, to believe in him and trust what he says and and belief.
trust what
he does. This trust became a dangerous thing for an uncaring, irresponsible man like James Arthur
Ray.

But the real problem isn’ t that he simply propped himself up as some sort of self-help guru. The real problem
is
that he never once showed that he actually cared about a single one of his followers. Compound
that with the
fact that he decided that his product would be more marketable if he forced his followers into extreme
exercises.

In 2005, he had people break boards with their bare hands without having a properly trained medical staff on
hand in case someone got hurt. One woman shattered her hand in this exercise. (New York Post article
. 20091

In 2006 he had his followers put the sharp point of an archery arrow against the soft part of their necks
and lean
against the tip. One man suffered injuries during this exercise as the shaft snapped and the arrow point
deeply
penetrated his eyebrow. (As reported by KPHO-TV in 2009)

In July 2009, Colleen Conaway attended a seminar hosted by James Ray International in which the
attendees
were directed to dress as homeless people. She jumped to her death at a mall in San Diego. After her
death, his
seminar went on as if she were never there. (New York Post article. 20091

This last occurrence happened a mere three months before he lead three people to their deaths in his
sweat
lodge.

2009 was also not the first time that Mr. Ray exercised a lack of caution in his sweat lodge. In October of
2005,
at the same resort in Sedona, paramedics treated a 42-year-old man who was unconscious after spending
time
in
a sweat lodge. (AZCentral.com article. 20091

Not only has this man established a pattern of putting his followers in danger, but he established a pattern of
not
caring and not taking any responsibility. After the death of Colleen Conaway, he did nothing to show
his
concern. After one of his followers was medically treated for spending too much time in one of his sweat
lodges, he continued to perform sweat lodges, and even made them hotter and more extreme.

But from my perspective, the worst thing that he ever did was take a piece of my family away from me.

The charges and the sentencing that James Arthur Ray received were much too lenient in the
first place. Now
he continues his pattern of not taking responsibility by asking the court to declare him innocent his
of
crimes.
2

The man caused the death of three people and spent a mere 20 months in jail. In my opinion, he already got
away with murder. Now he wants the courts to change the past so that he can, presumably, continue his self
help career without a conviction hanging over his head.

His sentencing was already a travesty of justice. Reversing his conviction would simply show that there is no
justice at all.

The request alone shows that this man has not paid for his crime. It shows that he has not taken responsibilit
y
for his crime. It shows that he believes that he did not do anything wrong in the first place. In the end: it
shows
that his sentencing was far too lenient because he has not repented or reformed in any way.

I beg of the court to not bend to his will. I beg of the court to let this paltry conviction stand so that,
at the very
least, we can say that he was convicted of taking the lives of three people whose worst crime was to
believe in
an uncaring person who showed impaired empathy, impaired remorse, and disinhibited, egotistical
traits like
James Arthur Ray.

I thank the court for its time.

Sean P. McFeeley

3

From: Christopher D , Shore, brother of James S. Shore
To: Mr Bill Hughes, Yavapai County, AZ

.

.

-

Mr Hughes

I am writing in response to Mr. James Arthur Ray's request to set aside the judgment of conviction
in the deaths of
my brother and two others in October 2009.1 am an active duty Marine officer currently serving
in|

^ ^m

When I listened to the opening statements of this case in March 2011, the details reminded me of mishaps
where
Marines have been killed in training. A confluence of events contributes to the situation which causes
the tragedy
and leaders make bad choices. The same applies in this instance.
As a Marine officer,I have been imbued with the ideals of responsibility and accountability.
When Marines or
other service members die in a mishap, decision-makers are held accountable for their deaths. They
are removed
from command or even the service depending on the circumstances.

On that day in October 2009, Mr. Ray owned the safety for the lives in the training he designed

. The choice of
wood to burn, the construction of the sweat lodge with no ventilation, the fasting and or deprivation
/
which
occurred before the event were his responsibility, even if he was not making the individual
decisions. That is what
it means to be in charge, to be the leader followers look to for guidance and direction. By
attempting to set aside
judgment, Mr. Ray is abrogating that critical responsibility.
A leader observes, decides, and acts based on the situation unfolding. In a misguided,

misinformed, reckless
manner, Mr. Ray pushed people beyond their physical limits. Mere feet away from him, people
were dying,
including my brother, James. Others were suffering terribly Without all of the facts
of the case before me,I do not
recall what actions were taken by other participants or staff members, but whatever took place
was too late

.

.

The people trusted Mr. Ray that this purging of impurities, overcoming weakness, or whatever
cliche motivational
notion was in their best interest and was safe. Neither was the truth. Mr Ray had only his
own interest in mind, his
own fulfillment of the empty promises made in his speeches and promotional materials. He
cared nothing for the
welfare of the people under his charge; his focus was solely on the spectacle of the event. Throughout
the
preparation and execution of the event, Mr. Ray made a series of terrible decisions.

.

I recognize that my position means that I do not understand what my brother hoped to gain

from this experience. I
wish he had not been taken in by a man who promised insights into enlightenment or purity, etc.
Unfortunately,
that is exactly what happened.
Due to Mr. Ray's negligence and self-worship, three people are dead. He did not intend for this
to happen, but
they died on his watch, in his care, in conditions he designed. To set aside judgment in
this case would mean that
my brother and two others died in an accident. This was no accident. It was the culmination of a
collection of bad
decisions under the direction of one leader: Mr. Ray.

I emphatically recommend that the judgment of conviction remain. Mr. Ray has already demonstrat
ed a
willingness to put people in fatal danger . Enabling him to do so in the future will place
more at risk Thank you for
your time.

.

CX>, Shore
Christopher D. Shore

Anthony Kirby

Mr. William Hughes
Yavapai County Attorney’s Office

255 E. Gurley Street

Prescott, Arizona 86301

Dear Bill,
I am outraged by James Ray plea to have all past charges he was convicted for dropped. The
man who should have been tried for manslaughter is now requesting the court to declare him
innocent of the lesser charges that he was given, putting forth a motion to set aside his conviction
and dismiss all charges.

-

Three families have suffered greatly for seven years now. My own sister, Ginny and brother in
law George Brown, have dedicated themselves with the establishment of a not for profit
organization, SEEK Safely Inc., to prevent such events from ever happening again.

- -

To even consider this plea would be travesty and needless to say would send a very bad message
to three families who are struggling as well as the other 20 individuals and their families who
were sent to the hospital as a result of this careless, poorly designed exercise. Not to mention
considering such a plea would be sending a message to self help providers that carelessness is
OK if you didn’ t really mean to have it happen.

-

Kirby Brown was my niece. Like her other siblings, Bob, Katy & Jean, she was an important
part of my life. Seeing her always brought a smile to my face. She was an incredible force and
her attendance at the Sedona Retreat was a sign of her interest in continuous personal
improvement. I have now lost that and it can never be brought back. The only thing my family is
able to do is make sure something like this doesn’ t happen again. Overturning this conviction is
not supporting this effort to hold self-help practitioners, even those already convicted of
negligence, accountable.

In fact, in New York State SEEK Safely is attempting to get legislation passed that will require
practitioners to inform participants of risks associated with their exercises. In addition, if risks
are possible, the draft legislation requires that a risk management plan is in place to deal with
both physical and emotional episodes that could result from these trying exercises.
SEEK Safely Board Members have been working with a couple of State Legislators to draft
legislation that we hope to present to the full legislative body sometime in 2017. We actually
would encourage the State of Arizona to consider a similar bill in your state. We would be
willing to work closely with you on this. When we finalize our draft we would be happy to work
with your State. With two states working together to get state legislative changes happening that
will protect consummers, perhaps Federal legislation could be the next step. We do understand

that the great state of Arizona was outraged by the events at Sedona in 2009. Legislation in your
State may be doable as well.
The Brown and Kirby families would greatly appreciate Yavapai County opposing James Ray’s
motion for two reasons; that given the nature of the convictions showed a general lack of concern
for people who paid $9,500 for this week long session, as well as doing so is contrary to the
interests of justice given the great harm that this criminal conduct caused. James Ray has never
taken responsibility for his actions and to grant him this motion would send a message that he
was not a fault. This would be a horrible conclusion to send to the public after all the time and
effort was that was dedicated to getting Mr. Ray convicted.
As I have said our concern of the future repetition of such actions and the need for a deterrent
effect to prevent others from acting in such a depraved and reckless manner is critical. Mr. Ray
did say “ you will feel like you are going to die” but you won’t. Even further the defendant
continued with his lack of remorse telling the media after he got out of prison that it (Sedona)
happened for a reason, because he learned from it. This episode isn’ t about James Ray it should
be about public safety.

Thank you for the opportunity to express my outrage and concern about the possibility of
overturning this conviction and the message it would send to both participants and practitioners
in the self help industry.

-

Sincerely,

Tonyicirby C/
Uncle of Kirby Brown & SEEK Safely Inc. Board Member

7

November 1st, 2016

RE: V1300 CR201080049
To The Superior Court of The State of Arizona,

In regard to the motion to vacate the convictions of and restore civil rights to James
Arthur Ray, it should be understood that although there were no weapons involved in
his crimes, he remains an active threat to his community, most notably his followers and
enthusiasts. His weapon is his psychological appeal to the folks who seek his guidance,
and the deadly, unorthodox self-help tactics for which he was (and is) engaged in, but
uncertified and unfit to practice.

During the past decade, Mr . Ray' s reckless pursuits to build his business and his peculiar
brand of guided self-improvement have led to severe physical and mental injuries for his
adherents, including broken bones, burns, lacerations, seizures, loss of consciousness,
and suicide, culminating in the dramatic 2009 heat stroke deaths of 3 retreat
participants under his persuasive supervision. The lenient sentencing for his subsequ
ent
negligent homicide convictions has left the legacies of his victims strewn about,
while
granting him the freedom to insincerely repent, reestablish his practice, slip back
into
the public eye as an important figure in his field, and slickly incorporate into his
teachings the "tragedy" of his own personal demise and "struggle" to reemerge
.

Although Mr . Ray is under no obligation to appear differently, his unapologetic
demeanor is alarming. It should be noted that since the moment of his release, he
has
been on a mission to restore his "guru" status to where it was the moment before his
crimes. To the detriment of his current and potential followers, this likely
translates to
additional compromising and deadly predicaments which would otherwise be
preventable. The difference is that, when the next tragedy occurs on Mr. Ray s
' watch,
any court that's responsible for vacating his prior convictions may be symbolically
considered an accomplice to his new crimes.
My request of this court is to take James Arthur Ray' s heedless, derelict
intentions
seriously, past and present, by denying him the recent motion put forth by
attorney
Thomas K. Kelly. My plea is not an act of revenge, but a call for justice by someone
who
was directly and permanently affected by Mr. Ray' s despicable and irreversible actions
.
I sincerely hope you will consider my argument.

Truly,
- Deborah Goldstein

Close friend to Kirby Brown, one of James Arthur Ray's sweat lodge victims

CATHERINE & ALDO MAGNANINI

October 27, 2016

TO: The Court of Yapavai County, AZ

We understand that James Ray has petitioned the Court to set aside his conviction
in the deaths of Kirby Anne Brown, James Shaw and Elizabeth Newman. Kirby
Anne Brown was our niece. Our families were very close and our children grew
up together. Her death has left a great void in our lives - one which will never be
filled. We still mourn her.
We attended the trial and after all the testimony, were shocked to hear that Ray
received such a light sentence for the part he played in the deaths of three people.
He was alone responsible for these deaths. By vacating his conviction, it releases
him from this responsibility and it diminishes the importance and value of the lives
of Kirby, James and Elizabeth. The families involved have suffered enough pain.

We respectfully ask that you deny James Ray’ s petition.

Catherine & Aldo Magnanini

Bill Hughes
From:
Sent:
To:
Cc:
Subject:

Thursday, October 27, 2016 11:01 AM
Bill Hughes
Kirby Brown

Dear Mr. Hughes,
I am writing on the behalf of my cousin Kirby Brown. First and foremost, I appreciate all you have done
and continue to
do on my cousin's behalf and for our entire family.
I have recently been made aware that James Ray is filing to clear his name in a manner of speaking. While
his
unmitigated gall and sociopathic tendencies continue to know no bounds, I would hope that the Court
and the people of
Arizona would understand that it is beyond absurd for him to expect any quarter whatsoever for his unspeakable
actions. He should be spending the rest of his life in prison, the fact that he is not is a travesty unto itself,
but what is
done is done. However, to request further leniency is laughable and reprehensible all at once.
We as a family have all suffered terribly with the loss of Kirby and struggled to come to grips with it all.
My Aunt Ginny
and Uncle George found strength from places I can’t imagine and have proven to be the strongest, most spiritual
people
that I know. They have taken sorrow and created something meaningful for everyone else who seeks selfbetterment
with their SEEK Safely foundation in Kirby’ s honor. I can’t say how much I admire them and how proud I
am of them for
their resolve and faith. We all miss her terribly- please make sure that Ginny, George and the rest of us
are not made to
feel slighted and disappointed yet again at the hands of this subhuman, narcissistic con man.
Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this letter, all the best to you and yours...

Sincerely-

Garrett Chelius

l

IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF ARIZONA
October 26, 2016
STATE OF ARIZONA, Plaintiff
v.
FAMILY OF KIRBY BROWN , Victim
In Response to:
MOTION TO RESTORE CIVIL RIGHTS AND SET ASIDE
JUDGMENT OF GUILT AND
ORDER OF James Arthur Ray, Defendant
Victim, by and through his own volition, herby requests the
court to restore the lives
of Kirby Brown, James Shore, and Liz Neuman, a judgment sent
down on October 8,
2009 by one James Arthur Ray.
On October 8, 2009 the three victims were manipulated, coerced,
abused, tortured,
and left for dead while attending Mr. Ray's 'Spiritual Warrior' event
. Somehow, the
defendant was only convicted of negligent homicide and spent less
than two years in
prison.
In a gross misrepresentation, the crimes committed are designated
as
‘nondangerous and nonrepetitive.’ Nondangerous - three people
were killed.
Nonrepetitive - Again , THREE lives taken.
James Arthur Ray gets to live his life every day, but my sister does not. We live with
that pain and anguish every day, all day.
Based on the foregoing, the victim respectfully requests this application
to restore
the lives of Kirby Brown, James Shore, and Liz Neuman.

Robert Brown ( brother of Kirby Brown)
If this motion seems foolish, we only ask that you consider Mr. Ray’
s just as foolish.
Restoring the lives of these three innocent people is out of
the hands of the court,
however, holding the responsible party accountable is not.

Bill Hughes
From:
Sent:
To:
Cc:

Thursday, October 27 , 2016 6:53 PM
Bill Hughes

Subject:

James Ray

Dear Mr. Hughes

Thank you for all the work and effort you have put into the James Ray trial and this motion .
I am Kirby Brown' s aunt. Kirby was a beautiful, vivacious young woman. She was a force of nature
and had an impact on
all who knew and loved her. Her young life was cut short by this predator. She is sorely missed in
our family every
day. She leaves a void no one else can ever fill.
I am appalled that James Ray has the opportunity to have his civil rights restored and possibly his
conviction
vacated. What a terrible travesty of justice! Because of his arrogance, greed and neglect, Kirby, James,
and Liz can
never have their lives restored. James Ray has never shown even the slightest bit of remorse for the
deaths in his sweat
lodge. He has even acted like he is the victim on TV and in the news. His followers, including Kirby,
trusted
them in a safe and responsible manner. He betrayed their trust. They were good innocent people seeking him to lead
to better
themselves. It was James Ray's actions that directly caused their deaths.

I am begging the court to listen to the heartache of the families that loved Kirby, James and Liz. We will
live with the pain
of their deaths for the rest of our lives. Please do not add to our grief by granting James Ray s motions.

'

Thank you
Jerelyn Kirby

l

Penny Cramer
From:
Sent:

To:
Subject:

Bill Hughes
Wednesday, November 02, 2016 1:21 PM
Penny Cramer
FW: Conviction of James Ray

Sent: Wednesday, November 02, 2016 1:20 PM
To: Bill Hughes
Subject: Conviction of James Ray

To the Arizona Court of Law,

I am opposing the motion that the lawyer of James Ray is making to set aside his judgement.
James Shore was my brother-in-law and he died due to James Ray's negligence and misconduc
t. My sister Alyssa lost
her husband and their three children lost their father. It has been very hard for our family but
especially for them. It is
still a painful and awful tragedy that should have never happened. James Ray should not have
this conviction
overturned or his name cleared in anyway that may lead to his future involvement in such
activities that could
endanger other people. The people that died at that day will not get another chance and
neither should he.

Thank you,
Heidi Gillespie

Bill Hughes
From:
Sent:
To:
Subject:

Monday , October 31 , 2016 5: 29 AM

Bill Hughes
Re: James Ray

Dear Mr. Hughes,

Even though Kirby Brown was a woman I met only five times, I considered her a friend
and someone blessed
with outstanding qualities. For that reason I joined my daughter to witness the first
week of the trial in
Arizona. It was most instructive. But when the actual sentencing was announced, I was
angered, hurt and
disappointed more as an American citizen than as a friend of Ms. Brown. This guy
got away with murder.
To now vitiate that weak result would be an insult to all Americans not just the three
who lost their lives and the
dozens of others hurt in the worst example of negligence I have witnessed. This was no
accident but rather a
case of money (profit) first and concern for people a distant second.

I do hope your decision will be rendered with more sobriety and responsibility than have
been expressed until
now.

Yours truly,
Stanley Goldstein

l

tfe* jamut S’, fyjfrteAfrie,

October, 25 2016
Re: State v. James Aurther Ray
I oppose the motion to set aside the judgment of conviction and restore civil rights for James
Ray.

I am the brother of Alyssa Gillespie and have witnessed the destruction of her family from
James Shore' s death.
James Ray puts his ideas & beliefs before the safety of the people at his conventions. I
personally attended a James Ray seminar with my wife and witness his recklessness first-hand.
He cares more about promoting himself and his "teachings" then the financial, personal and

physical wellbeing of others.
My fear is if he is allowed to resume his conventions & seminars there will be more incidents &
deaths.

Regards,

Benjamin Gillespie

November 1, 2016

Mr . Hughes

County Attorney

Yavapai County, AZ
Dear Mr . Hughes:

I'm writing you to protest motion put forth by James Ray to declare him innocent
of the charge he was given.
The fact that he wasn't convicted of a more serious crime was is troubling enough,
but to think that he might
be declared innocent of the lesser charge is unconscionable.
James Ray' s negligence and blatant disregard for the lives of the three people
who died shouldn't be
rewarded with a declaration of innocence. His actions ruined three families and ended
three lives much too
soon. Ray only thinks of himself and is most likely formulating his next scheme to bilk
others out of their

hard earned money and possibly their lives.

Please add this letter to the others that you' ve received .

Thanks,
Jim Magnanini

Suzanne Magnanini

November 1, 2016

Dear Mr. Hughes,
I am Kirby Brown's cousin and i write to strongly object to James Arthur Ray' s motion to set
aside or vacate his judgment and have his civil rights restored. He should have been convicted

of manslaughter when he was tried.

Kirby and I grew up together and though our lives might have appeared to be very different to
outsiders, we shared many of the same experiences. Both of grew up to be world travelers and
we both used more than one language when working. Although we both were born and raised
on the East Coast, we both settled in funky mountain towns in the West, she in Truckee, CA,
and l in Nederland, CO. Needless to say, we were very close and years after her death I miss her
still. She was killed a few days before coming to visit me and husband and our newborn
daughter. I don't believe in "closure" and I know I do not have the words to adequately express
my personal grief or that of my family.

What I do know profoundly, as a professor of literature, is that as a charlatan, James Arthur
Ray's most valuable asset is the story he can tell. Indeed, a charlatan' s story is always what he
is
selling and we should not be fooled into thinking it is the elixir or the cure that he actually

peddles. If the charges against James Arthur Ray are vacated and his civil rights are restored, he
will be able to tell a tale of his innocence, or worse yet, of his persecution at the hands of the
court. And he will be turned out once again into the completely unregulated Self-Help Industry
with a tale of redemption. He is already responsible for the death of three people and has
harmed many more. I urge the court to deny this dangerous charlatan the possibility of telling
any story that will empower him to do more harm. I urge the court to deny his request to
vacate the charges against him out of respect for his victims, their families, and for the safety of
all those he may attempt to harm in the future.
Sincerely,

Suzanne Magnanini, PhD

Bill Hughes
Office of Yavapai County District Attorney
Prescott, Arizona
November 2, 2016
Dear Attorney Hughes,

Re: State of Arizona vs. James Arthur Ray - Motion to Restore Civil Rights
and Set Aside
Judgment of Guilt and Order
I am writing to you as a family member of Kirby Brown. My cousin s
’ eldest daughter, Kirby
died due to the overwhelming criminal negligence of James Arthur Ray, the
defendant in this
case. I am in total opposition to the motion before the court requesting restorati
on of his civil
rights and to vacate the three convictions.

For the court to grant this request would be a complete travesty of justice.
Kirby’s life was cut
extremely short due to the criminal behavior of this man. Mr. Ray has not
taken responsibility for
his crimes nor has he shown any remorse. The Brown family has suffered
enormous grief, pain
and loss as have the other two victims’ families. Their lifetime of grief would
only be
if James Ray is granted this request. Given his attitude about these deaths, Mr. Ray increased
would see it
only as an affirmation of his innocence and as license to continue to behave
in such a reckless
manner, endangering the lives of others.
I understand that you Attorney Hughes consistently demonstrate solid judgmen
t
work reflects a strong and deeply-rooted sense of justice. Our family is counting and that your
you to
on
strenuously oppose this motion. Kirby’s family members have already experien
ced significant
trauma and stress and deserve to see justice served.

I appreciate your time and consideration of this request.
Sincerely,

Mary Ellen Quinn
cc: Virginia Brown

APPENDIX A

APPENDIX A
Unofficial Transcript of first presentation James Ray gave to participants before going
into the sweat lodge
James Ray:
So the question is not whether you’ re going to physically die. The question always is how did you live? So
you’ re going to have an opportunity this afternoon to once again partake in a tradition. A sacred ceremony and
a practice that is as old as time itself. A tradition that interestingly enough is properly understood a death and
rebirth experience. And a way for you to prove to yourself and to prove to the universe that you’ re willing to do
whatever it takes to truly accomplish the intention that you’ ve said is most important to you. And for many of
you, you have the pouches hanging around your neck as symbols of what you decided was truly important for
you. It’ s an experience that I promise you might very well be one of the most difficult things you’ ve ever done
with me if not in your entire life. Cause I know because that’ s how it is for me and I will be right there with
you. How many of you have ever been in a sweat lodge before? Not many but a few of you. How many of you
know what a sweat lodge is? Okay. I was talking to a Native American friend of mine yesterday as uhm I went
and I had an appointment and a person very, very steeped in the traditions of the Native American peoples. And
he knows what we’ re up to out here and he has a great respect for it. You see it’ s interesting that when I first
came to Sedona many years ago before I’ d ever done the first Spiritual Warrior I knew exactly what I wanted
you to experience but I didn’t know how. I didn’ t really have any contacts here and I didn’t really know who
could help me pull it off and yet I knew I wanted to do it here. Not here Angel Valley but here Sedona. And a
a whole chain of events, a series of events led me to this place and led me to this now friend of mine who was
helpful. But when I very first came and talked to one of the Native American’ s here in Sedona about sending
you on a Vision Quest it was really interesting because his first response was white people can’ t do that. And
he he really meant that and I said yes they can. And then when I told him about the sweat lodge he kind of
chuckled and white people can’ t do that. I said yes they can. So when I was talking to my friend yesterday he’ s
been a part of many of my lodges and he’ s been a part of many, many lodges. And he was saying yesterday no
one has been in a sweat lodge until they’ ve been in your lodge. He said the only sweat lodge I’ ve ever seen that
even comes close to your lodge James are the Lakota sweat lodges. And he said you know the Lakota are
crazy. We’ ve we’ ve talked about in many different contexts and even here that the only the only thing that’ s
been empirically demonstrated to move you forward in your own evolution are what, who remembers? Altered
states. You’ re gonna have if you choose to play full on which I’ m gonna challenge you to do, you’ re gonna
have one of the most intense altered states you’ ve ever had in your entire life and may ever have in your entire
life. Let me tell you in advance even though I’ m leading the lodge there comes a point in time just like we saw
our friends with the books where I have to I have to not be James anymore. Because I’ ve been in a lot of lodges
and there’s no lodge like my lodge. It will be the most intense experience, the most intense heat that you’ ve
ever experienced in your entire life, I guarantee that. You will feel as if you’ re going to die. I guarantee that.
But you see the true spiritual warrior has conquered death and therefore has no fear and no enemies in this
lifetime or the next because the greatest fear that you’ ll ever experience is the fear of what, death. You will
have to get to a point where you surrender and it’ s okay to die. And that’ s the extreme value of this ceremony
because symbolically you will go into it it’ s a lodge is a rounded structure. They’ ve been they started building
it today. Some of you may have seen that happening if it’ s, if your lodging is over this direction. But they built
sticks up in a, in a rounded fashion and there’ s one entrance. They throw tarps over the top of it, it’ s very low,
you cannot stand up in it because heat rises and we don’ t want it to rise too far. And when you’ re going into a
lodge symbolically you’ re going back into the womb. You’ re going into the womb of Mother Earth and
symbolically what you’ re going to do is to die. To all that shit and all the limitations and all the stories and all
the things that you’ ve allowed to be your truth and have caused you to sell yourself short and it’ s such a great
metaphor. You know if you’ ve been on this journey with me for any amount of time you know there’ s all kinds
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of physical metaphors and there, there’ s probably nothing greater than the lodge, my lodge. Because at some
point in time you just have to let go and say if I’ m gonna die it’ s okay because I don’ t ever die, not really. My
body dies, I don’t die. You most likely will feel like your skin is going to fall off of your body. It’s hot,
hallatious hot. And even though I’ m leading the lodge I guarantee you every single year I approach the lodge
with great respect. I’ ve been anticipating it all day long because by about the second or third round I’ m
normally thinking why the hell am I me? Why couldn’ t I just do a weiney ass lodge like someone else does and
the reason is because when you emerge you will be a different person. Because when you have faced your own
death you stared it in the eyes and you’ ve overcome it, then life’ s never the same it’s really just not. It’s just
not. Now I’ m sure there’ s gonna be some questions. But have I told you to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate,
hydrate, hydrate, hydrate? Have I told you to take salt all week long, yeah? So please remember that. We’ re
not going to have lunch because the last thing you want in a lodge is a full stomach that has to be emptied in the
lodge for everyone else to sit on. Not a good thing. When you enter the lodge you are entering a temple. I ask
you to treat it as such. While it’ s rustic in the traditions you are entering a temple. It’ s every bit as sacred as to
go to the Vatican or anywhere else that you may go to worship, the Taj Mahal. Historically you are moving
into a temple. Anytime you move into a sacred circle then you only move one way in a sacred circle. Who
knows which way? Clockwise so let’ s give you a visual. We’ re gonna be entering from the south correct?
Yes. And the south represents what? Transformation and what element? Fire, how appropriate. Now so we’ ll
have a doorway in the south. When you come in you will go clockwise and you’ ll go all the way around to the
first spot available. I will go in first, Meghan will follow, Taylor will follow Meghan and then it will shake out
however it shakes out from there. You fill in along the back, you’ re gonna be sitting on Mother Earth, right in
the dirt. So whatever clothes you brought to we told you to bring I don’ t know what it says in the participant
guide, a bathing suit or something? Hopefully it’ s not a very nice bathing suit because it will be munged up by
the time we’ re done, I promise you. So whatever you choose to wear you know if you have a bathing suit that’ s
fine uhm I guarantee you that no matter now cutesy you might look normally you ain’ t gonna look cute when
you’ re done. So I would encourage you to to you know a pair of shorts and a t-shirt is a good way to go for the
ladies, you know swim trunks for the men. But we’ re gonna go in, you will not be able to stand up. You’ ll
make one full rotation around the lodge and you’ ll stop wherever the position is. Now invariably what starts to
happen almost every year is that you think you’ re gonna sit with that much space between you but you’ re not.
You’ re not. If you have touchaphobia you’ re gonna have to get over it because everybody’ s gonna be butted up
against everybody, shoulder to shoulder. So you’ ll tuck in as close as you can to each other against the back
wall. In the middle is the pit okay? So once the back wall is full all the way around then if you come in and
you come full rotation and there’ s no more gaps so you’ ve got to make a full rotation right? So excuse me let
me correct that. You’ ve got, you’ ve got you will stop I’ m not gonna make you make a full rotation. You will
stop wherever the line is stopped but pretty soon someone’ s gonna come in and it’ s full up to here. Now we
need to leave one space here for our stone master who’ s gonna bring in what’ s called the grandfathers. Now in
the Native American tradition everything has a consciousness, everything is an energy and they believe the
stone people are the most ancient people on the planet. And so out of respect for the tradition they’ re gonna be
they’ re heating our grandfather’ s right now. They’ re heating them right now, getting them to a fevered pitch.
And they will bring them in normally one maybe two at a time. I will call as the grand master in this temple
and I need you to think of it that way because the person running the lodge is just is like a priest if that if that if
you understand that. Treat it with respect please. That means you don’ t talk over me, you don’ t say anything
unless you’ re asked to say anything. But I will call for the grandfathers and they will come in and traditionally
what we do is the grandfather’ s come in is we all yell in unison Aho Grandfather. Let’ s practice it. Aho
Grandfather. And so as they come in each time they come in Aho Grandfather which is just a symbol of respect
to to the consciousness of earth itself. And so Aaron is gonna be our stone master. He will be taking the
pitchfork and sliding them on in and you know I just follow my inspiration. But for those of you who have
been in a lodge before I normally start with about 12 stones first round if that tells you anything. We’ re gonna,
we’ re gonna lift off fast okay? Now once once this outside line then this first person’ s gonna come all the way
around and sit in front of Meghan, you cannot sit in front of me because I have to run the ceremony. So you
will sit right whoever’ s on the inside row will sit right in front of Meghan and if you’ re on the back row what’ s
2| P a g e

really nice for your your fellow lodgers is if you’ ll pull your knees up in front of you then they can lean against
your legs as a back support. Okay? Once we’ re all in, let me back up. Before we enter we’ re going to do a
sacred fire ceremony out here in front of the lodge. You will bring all of your pages that you’ ve recapitulated
out of your notebook. You’ re gonna tear them out of your notebook and you’ re gonna offer them to the fire in
assemble of release. And let the fire just bum them and transform them. And we’ re going to breath and feel
yourself lighten and it’ s just gone, just just symbolically those things are gone from your life. You will also
offer your stone to the pit where the grandfathers are. Now we have a person, the people, this is a very sacred
lodge. The person who’s down here preparing our grandfathers is not just heating stones. He he is praying over
those stones, he’ s, he’s, he’ s holding sacred space over those stones, he’ s setting intentions for a great
experience for you over those stones and so please when we get there we’ re gonna circle around the fire but
remember this is this is something that’ s as old as time and we need to take it seriously. And approach it with
with great, great respect. Willing to do that say yes. Good so we’ re gonna offer the stones, you always release
with your right hand whether it’ s the papers or the stones. Energy comes in from the left and exits through the
right so you always are gonna give away what you don’ t want into the fire with your right hand. You’ re gonna
have your tobacco pouches around your neck like many of you already do. You will be saged before you get in
to the temple. Now sage historically has been a cleansing agent and so please remember as always it’ s not the
ritual it’ s what you bring to the ritual. You will stand like this like a 5 pointed star and you’ ll be saged all the
way around your body, all the way around. You’ ll have to lift up one foot, lift up the other foot. They’ ll go all
the way around your body and you’ re gonna breathe. You breathe and you set your intentions and you release
any fears, you release any lack of courage, you release any limitations. This this is your ceremony and you
begin at the moment that you start to get purified with sage. When the Dream Team is finished saging you, you
will turn around and they’ ll will do it from the back again. Around the back you don’ t have to lift your foot the
second time. They’ ll just go down your foot, up between your legs and around and around, they’ ll get around
your crown shakra, they’ ll get around your heart and when your saged you’ ll get a hug and then when you enter
the lodge after we’ ve already released things in the fire, you’ ve been saged, you enter the lodge, you pause for a
moment out of respect at the doorway. And you do whatever comes naturally to you out of respect quickly.
You take a breath, you set your intention, you get your heart, mind and spirit in alignment. You squat down and
you’ ll have to crawl cause you can’ t stand up in this. You might, you might be able to to shimmy like this, I’ m
not sure. It’s really low? Okay good nowhere for the heat to escape. Damn it. Now once we’ re all in then
we’ ll begin the ceremony. Now I’ ll call in the grandfathers. Once the grandfathers are in we’ ll close the gate.
It’ ll go completely pitch black. If you have darkness or claustrophobic issues this is an opportunity for you to
get over them, to set yourself free from that. Cause it’ ll be pitch. Eventually your eyes will adjust and you’ ll
see some some glow from the middle of of the pit. Now those of you, I will just tell you those of you on the
inside circle you get more of the heat. Everyone gets the heat but it’ s hotter on the inside then it is on the
outside. So there’s two ways to approach any kind of activity in life. There’ s thinking only of me or there’ s
thinking of me and others. And I encourage you to take option two which is me and others and so there might
come a time during some of the rounds in the lodge where someone’ s in front of you and they go hey can I just,
can we switch places for a couple minutes and it would be a really nice gesture to to be willing to do that. Now
here’ s what we know about heat. Heat goes which direction? Rises. There’ s not gonna be a lot of places for it
to go cause the lodge is low. However heat does rise so when it gets hot, by the time we get to like the twenty
seventh round, just kidding. I will promise you we’ ll have at least seven rounds, at least seven rounds and again
it just depends on how I get inspired. And and and you’ ve got to just, you’ ve got to surrender to it and you’ ve
got to get into the sacred space. And one of the ways we’ re gonna do that is we’ ll be doing some chanting,
we’ ll be saying some prayers, you’ ll be only when I tell you though. I’ m the master of the lodge and so when I
tell you to do something then that’ s when you do it. When you come into the lodge and you’ ve set your you
find your place then you’ re gonna take your tobacco pouches off and your very, you’ re gonna very gently, it’ s
made out of sticks. So it doesn’ t, it can’ t take a lot of duress but you’ re gonna tie your tobacco pouches on the
framework of the lodge right above your head. So symbolically all of your intentions and your rituals that
you’ ve done already are right above your head and you’ re gonna have, you’ re gonna have the the first pouch
which represents what, who remembers? Underworld good, closest to you and then going up. Alright so you
3

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can just I don’ t know if you’ re gonna tie a knot or you stick it under the stick or whatever but be gentle because
the structure is is obviously it’ s not gonna take a lot of duress. You’ re gonna, you’ re gonna put that up above
your head, no knots okay? Yeah cause they’ re too hard to get off and you’ re gonna want to take it off later,
you’ re not gonna leave it in the lodge. So we’ ll do at least seven rounds because you have seven pouches. We
got to do at least one for every round every pouch. And normally the first round for me is just a warm up round
so you’ re just gonna have to get in that space where hey you know it’ s just like holding the books or doing
anything else, I’ m gonna have to transcend my physical body. And you can do this. You can do this.
Regardless of whether you think you can or you can’ t you can, I know you can. We’ ve been doing this for
years, you can do this. It’ s just a matter of whether or not you will . And there’ s gonna come a time where
you’ re gonna want to run, you’ re gonna want to bolt. I know cause I feel that way too and it’ s in those
moments where you get to say hey, this is my chance to live impeccably. This is my chance to live honorably
and to to live my values above and beyond my moods. Because mood says get the hell out of here but this is
my commitment and what I’ m willing to do and so that’ s why it’ s such a great, great metaphor. So every single
round we’ ll bring in, the first round I will use you’ ll get saged outside. First round I will use, I’ ll offer some
sandalwood, we’ re set right? Offer some sandalwood to the fire and to the lodge. Sandalwood historically has
been has been the incense of the angel, the Archangel of Earth. Now one of the things you’ ll know about my
lodge if you’ ve been in a lodge before is that I’ m very eclectic as we are, as we all are. So I’ ll I may teach you
Hebrew chants, which is not very Native American. I may call forth Archangels. 11 really don’ t know what
I’ m gonna do until I get in there and it starts to happen but I will pull from every tradition at some point in time
that I’ ve been exposed to and will bring all those energies and all that sacredness into the lodge and that’ s one
of the reasons why my Native American friend says hey your lodge is so amazing because there’ s nobody who
does that. No one else who does that. So I’ ll offer sandalwood uhm to the fire to begin first round and then
we’ ll start our first round. We may do some chanting first, we may say some prayers first, I definitely at some
point will ask you to offer up your prayers to the lodge and to the universe for each of your seven pouches. So
so when it’ s time for the underworld it’ ll be time for you at that point to proclaim forth what you’ ve committed
to doing in in that direction with your unconscious issues in this instance. And you’ ll need to proclaim it like
like you really mean it and you’ ll keep doing it until you feel complete on that. And so we’ ll have that time
with each round, the pouch specific rounds to do your prayers, your proclamations uh for your intentions and
and that’ s where you really find your strength. You’ ll find your strength in the unity of this group. You’ ll find
your strength in the connectivity to your intentions and the things that you’ ve said were important to you out in
the desert. Now a couple things physically. Because heat rises when it gets really, really hot the closer you get
to Mother Earth the cooler it is and so you might if it’ s just really hot you might want to to just lay your face
down or get down closer to Mother Earth and she will cool you. It will probably be slushy and sandy, you
know I mean there’ s never, there’ s not been a year where I haven’ t come out with sand all up in my ears and
nose and hair and everywhere else. But you know that’ s what showers are for. We talked about switching
places, possibility. If and I’ m not saying this intention but I’ m just gonna tell you my one of my teachers taught
me a long time ago prepare for the worst and expect the best. So my expectation because I know what you can
do, my expectation is that you’ re gonna go through this like a Samurai. And you’ re gonna overcome
whatever’ s going on in your head; this mother fucking James Ray shit right? Or whatever you’ re gonna
transcend that and it’ s gonna show you, it’ s gonna give you a very powerful reference of what you’ re capable of
doing, what you’ re really capable of doing. Now that being said if you, if you just get to the point where you
just, you just you gotta leave, you you just feel like you cannot then a couple things. Is that please remember
this is extremely hot in the center and many of you are gonna be close to that. Now it’ s a sacred temple and you
only move what way? Clockwise, so if you have to leave then you need to and you’ re right here you can’ t duck
out this way. You have to go all the way around and go out of the lodge. Now after every round we’ ll open the
gate for more grandfathers and sometimes I’ ll leave it open for a little while for just to let some fresh air in.
And so you cannot leave during a round. If you have if you feel like you just cannot transcend and overcome
this then when the gates are open if you have to leave you leave and you leave very very in a controlled manner.
Very carefully because there’ s legs and it’ s dark. There’ s legs and there’ s knees and there’ s elbows and you
know the last thing we want is anybody in the pit. We’ ve never had anyone in the pit but just make sure you
4| P a g e

make your way around and and you exit out of the lodge. Now that we’ ve prepared for that I’ m expecting the
best. However when we leave the lodge, when it’ s done then I will go out first and the outer row will follow me
all the way around and and please here here’ s what’ s gonna happen. You will be in such an altered state,
probably the most you know profound altered state you’ ve ever been in minus psycho actives. Seriously I mean
you, you may see visions, it’ s a, it’ s a great opportunity for you to explore your own consciousness. We’ ve had
people who just don’ t even know where they are anymore. I mean if any of you saw Mike after he held the
books last night he, he, he wasn’ t there. It took him awhile to get back into his body and get grounded and it’ s
gonna be similar at the lodge. It’ s gonna take you awhile to get your bearings back again and come into the
third dimension because you’ re gonna be in an altered dimension literally and so what that means and and and
let me tell you up front because what starts to happen and has happened in years past is that you forget where
you are, you forget what you’ re a part of and you know people start yelling crazy stuff in the lodge. Well that’ s
disrespectful. It’ s disrespectful to the lodge and I’ ve had I’ ve had to to warn one particular person in past years,
hey if you don’ t quiet down I’ m going to ask you to leave because you’ re disrupting the ceremony. So it’ s
gonna be a great opportunity for you to be able to be lucid in an extreme altered state. And I can’ t describe it to
you till you’ ve been there but you’ ll know what I’ m talking about tonight when it’ s done because it’ s an
extreme altered state. Now that being said when we exit invariably there’ s at least one or two people who are
like oh my God it’ s over I’ ve gotta get the hell out of here. You know and they and they try to stampede and
that’ s very dangerous. You’ re gonna have to keep your shit together as much as you can in an extreme altered
state and just hold on. You know it’ s over; you made it, congratulate yourself and just hold on. If you just wait
till the lines get out of there it’ s gonna take you you know two minutes to get out of there instead of stampeding
the door and potentially hurting yourself or hurting someone else. When you come out there’ s a there’ s an
extremely healthful, physiological experience on this, for this. You will purge toxins like you’ ve never purged
toxins before. You know it’ ll be running out of your nose, it’ ll be running out of your pores. You you will get
rid of a lot of physiological toxins which is very healthy. Now your pores are gonna be wide open so when you
come out first of all I want you to come out reborn. You’ re coming out of the womb of Mother Earth. Come
out reborn and the first thing we’ re gonna do is hose you down with cold water. Now that’s not gonna be your
favorite thing probably but there’s a physiological reason for this. Your pores are wide open and the toxins that
are in your system are gonna come out on to your skin and if they haven’ t dropped off in the lodge yet then
they’ re sitting on top of you. If you don’ t, if you don’ t close your pores then those toxins are gonna go right
back in, does that make sense, say yes. Good. So you need to close those pores that’ s why why it’ s always
very very important after a sauna or anything else to take a cold shower or a cold plunge. Because you’ ve got
to close those pores and get the toxins and the cold water will close it’ ll be shocking I promise you but it’ ll also
feel amazing. It’ s kinda one of those shock amazing things at the same time. And it will rinse all the toxins off
of you and then you’ re gonna want to hydrate. And we’ ll have, we’ ll have all your waters. Hydrate between
then and now and we’ re gonna be there shortly, very shortly. Alright so hydrate, hydrate and bring water with
you down there and we’ll have a table out there you can leave your water on and so you get sprayed off and
then you drink and then we’ re going to from that point we’ re gonna take a break. You have forty five minutes
to go get cleaned up and then we’ ll have a celebratory dinner. Now here’ s the other thing that’ s really cool
about sweat lodges. You when you come out your skin will feel like it’ s never felt before. It will be like baby
soft skin. I mean it’ s, it just peels off the crap, it really does. It’ s very very good for your skin to do this. We’ ll
have a celebratory dinner at 6:30 and then at 7:30 we’ ll be back in here to share our personal breakthroughs and
our experiences. So we’ re supposed to be there in fifteen minutes. What questions do you have? Oh jewelry
thank you. You must remove all your jewelry, all your jewelry. Now I personally am not gonna remove this
ring because first of all it doesn’ t really come off. The thing about but this ring will heat up at the same time
my body does but necklaces won’ t and they’ ll burn you. They can literally scorch you you know cause cause
it’ ll be getting hot and it’ ll get in your skin. So all earrings and and necklaces and watches and everything else
needs to come off. If you have a wedding band and you want to leave it on that’ s great uhm I’ m gonna leave
this one on uhm but only because of the reasons I’ ve already, this is a very special ring very important to me
and and it doesn’ t come off very easily. Any other quick questions on the lodge? Yes.
5|P a g e

Unknown:
Janies are we close enough to the creek that we can get in that?
Janies Ray:

No, no, no you get the hose. Okay quickly, come on quick.
Unknown:

About how long does it take?

James Ray:
The lodge?

Unknown:

Yeah

James Ray:
Oh I don’t know.
Unknown:
Yeah just approximately

James Ray:

Two hours maybe, three hours. Oh oh yes one other thing I almost forgot, a very important thing. Historically
you give you always give a gift to your stone master. The person who’ s preparing your stones and he is very
lovingly doing that. He’ s worked with us for many years. A wonderful man and he puts a lot of heart and this
is hard work. It’ s very hot down there around that fire, he’ s heating up those stones right now and so so you
know if each of you would bring 3 to 5 dollars, just 3 to 5 bucks is plenty and if we all give 3 to 5 bucks then
we can, when are we gonna do it? We’ re gonna give it to Melinda, she’ ll put it in an envelope and then I’ ll
present it to him from us. So if everybody’ d just be prepared to do that, give it to Melinda. 3 to 5 dollars uhm
is is is really more than enough, okay? Yes?
Unknown:
James does this raise your blood pressure?

James Ray:
Uhhhh, yeah it could. It could. Just like working out raises your blood pressure. So you’ ll have to choose to
take care of yourself as you feel that you need to take care of yourself. Other questions? Take, Meghan’ s
giving me all kinds of signals. Take your makeup off, we don’ t want it running onto our legs and shit and you
know in the lodge. Take your makeup off. Yes?
6| P a g e

Unknown:

Uhm if there’ s a choice to sort of is it easier if your skin is exposed or covered with a t-shirt? Not easier, does it
make a difference?
James Ray:

There’ s no easy. There’ s no easy on this. Uhm I don’ t know, I’ ve never worn a t-shirt. You know traditionally
you go in naked and there’s some of you I just don’t want to see. So so please at least wear trunks. Yes?
Unknown:
What if you need to use the restroom during?

James Ray:

You go before you get in.
Unknown:

What about during?

James Ray:

You go before you get in. Take out contacts if you wear those, yeah earrings, necklaces, no glasses.
Unknown:

I know but should we leave them back in our thing or right outside
James Ray:

It depends on how blind you are unless you need them. If you can, if you can walk down there without them, I
would encourage that. Leave them in your, in your room. Okay other questions quick, quick, hang tight folks
we’ re all trying to scramble here too fast. Uhm 3 to 5 dollars, your tobacco pouches, your stone, your pages
that you’ re gonna bum and a a determination of steel and a commitment to show yourself and the universe that
you’ re willing to live your values above and beyond your moods or your physiological creeks and crones.
Unknown:
And where is it that we will meet?

James Ray:

We’ re gonna meet straight down there, you’ ll see the lodge. Okay straight down here at like 2:15 like seven
minutes from now. Ready, GO!

7|P a g e

IN ENLIGHTEN US, A DISGRACED GURU FILES TO FIND
REDEMPTION

tin Enlighten Us, a disgraced guru fails to find redemption - The Verge

TWEEJECH

1HE VERGE
REPORT

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ENTERTAINMENT

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TRIBECA

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Mi .

CULTURE

Page 1 of 11

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CARS

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REVIEWS

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In Enlighten Us, a disgraced guru
fails to find redemption
A new documentary on James Arthur Ray doesn' t go far enough
by Matt Stroud | Apr 18, 2016, 12:52pm

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On a ranch outside Sedona , Arizona on October 8th , 2009 , more than 50
followers of self-help guru James Arthur Ray approached the conclusion of a

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Page 2 of 11

Warrior" seminar they paid $10,000 or more to attend. Ray
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i attendees to shave their heads, and meditate without food or

water in the desert for days. For the seminar’s finale, they were asked to

participate in a sweat lodge ceremony . Every participant would be ushered into

a makeshift dome and encouraged to endure crowded, moisture-soaked,
circulation-free extreme heat while Ray sat next to the dome’s only entrance.
The ceremony did not go well. By nightfall, people were hallucinating and
screaming for help in the middle of the desert. A first responder who arrived at

the scene described it as looking like a mass suicide. Three people eventually

died from heatstroke, and 18 others were hospitalized.
Ray was convicted of negligent homicide and sentenced to two years in prison.
Shortly after he was released in 2013, I wrote a feature for The Verge about

Ray’s crimes, and the beginning stages of a comeback Ray hoped to mount.

THREE PEOPLE 0IE0 FROM HEATSTROKE
Now, a new CNN Films documentary , Enlighten Us: The Rise and Fall of James

Arthur Ray , follows Ray’s progress since then. Directed by Jenny Carchman —

a producer behind documentary films such as Public Speaking , Martin
Scorsese’s film about New York author and actress Fran Lebowitz

Enlighten

Us debuts at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

Ray’s rise to fame followed his inclusion in The Secret

the ubiquitous film and

book that spawned a self-help empire. Ray capitalized on his Secret inclusion
by selling books, DVDs, and tickets to speaking tours.

The cornerstone of Ray ’s business empire were his live events. In cold

auditoriums, he would give high-energy presentations for free or very

inexpensive prices. He would then offer an upsell: special, more intimate, multi

¬

day sessions that cost hundreds of dollars. In those sometimes daylong

sessions, Ray would upsell again, offering the opportunity to participate in multi

¬

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g

Page 3 of 11

erest n

^ ^^ ^

at ons with Ray and his self -help team . That’s
neTwe-day "Spiritual Warrior^ "

XWaf leacn

^
and to Ray s fall and his imprisonment

seminar in the Sedona desert

.

/

f

Granting extraordinary access to Ray and his family , Enlighten Us documents
Ray’s early life and rise in the self -help industry through file footage and family

videos; his fame after being included in The Secret, and his attempts to rebuild
his business after his prison release.

Much of the film ’s success lies in what’s not said . Ray says ad nauseam
both
in the film and in real life that he feels sorry for killing three people. But those
apologies are never said in the context of offering sympathy for his victims’
families , or regret for taking his schtick too far. Ray’s apologies are , instead , in
the context of his ruined career and complaints about an overzealous criminal
justice system .

In one scene , more than an hour into Enlighten Us , we see Ray in a blue T-shirt ,
his hair streaked with blond and nearly shoulder length , attempting with teary

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he fl dflie Sedona crime scene when trouble began to

^

^

oblivious to the chaos because he had gone to his room to take a shower as it
transpired . "When they told me there were people in serious distress , I was like ,
What?’" he says in the film . " I was in shock . . . I mean , my entire life completely
collapsed within a period of about 15 minutes."

Ray does not seem contrite. When he addresses his crimes in a subsequent
2015 presentation shown in the film , he tells a crowd of about 15 people
gathered in Phoenix that he’s been treated unfairly .

THOSE musics ARE ms sms m THE comm OF OFEERIHO sworn
"The

case that ensued set legal precedent , " he insists. It was, he says, "the first

time in the history of this country [when ] consenting adults participated willfully
in a legal activity . . . an accident occurred , and it was prosecuted as a crime." He
later says that the sweat lodge tragedy "had to happen for [ him ] to learn and
grow. "

Such scenes in the film are powerful depictions of Ray’s blatant narcissism . But
they also represent where Enlighten Us fails.

The implication that no accident has ever been prosecuted as a crime is
patently false: airplane crashes , hunting accidents, accidental heatstroke deaths
in cars, the BP oil spill. Accidents are prosecuted as crimes all the time , and yet
the filmmakers brush right past that , allowing Ray’s willful misdirection to pass
as meaningful commentary .

Furthermore , relatives of victims are never interviewed on camera in Enlighten
Us . I followed up with some of them to see what they thought of the film . Ginny
Brown is mother of one of Ray’s victims , Kirby Brown . Kirby was one of the

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Page 5 of 11

tocU be dragged out of Ra s sweat lodge and who died of related
Ja
ffljffibs FSficMreSboth Ginny and Kirby sister

^* ^ ^

^

’s

, Jean, the film.

Ginny said that Enlighten Us makes it seem as though the 2009 sweat lodge

tragedy was an isolated incident — truly an accident with no warning signs.

That’s false. Sweat lodge ceremonies organized in Sedona by Ray in years prior
to 2009 had gone haywire, sending multiple people to nearby hospitals for heat
stroke. Ray did nothing to stem the danger inside his sweat lodge, and in fact
pressed in 2009 to cram more people inside, and to make the tent hotter, more
intense. What’s more, just three months before the 2009 sweat lodge tragedy, a
participant in one of Ray ’s San Diego events, Colleen Conaway , committed

suicide during an exercise in which Ray encouraged his followers to pretend
they were homeless. Ray ’s 2009 arrest warrant outlines those prior events and
more. The film ignores them.
In the wake of Kirby ’s death, the Browns started a nonprofit organization

called SEEK Safely, designed to "educate, empower, and promote the public
about the unregulated self help industry." Despite Ray’s insistence in the film
that he "lost three friends" in Sedona , he has never attempted to contact the
Browns and has failed to sign the SEEK Safely Promise — a set of guidelines
for self-help professionals to "support every individual’s right to a safe and
constructive journey so that each person might find the personal growth and
change he/she seeks."

OFUTIVFS OF VICTIMS Mmo mama ON mm
Ginny — herself a licensed clinical social worker — tells me that no one from
the Enlighten Us film crew attempted to contact the Browns. (Through a
spokesperson, the filmmakers behind Enlighten Us deny this claim.) Ginny

independently contacted Jenny Carchman, she says, and the two had lunch in
Manhattan. But Carchman declined to interview Ginny on film. Kirby’s sister,
Jean Brown, says she also attempted to get in touch with members of the

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Page 6 of 11

never returned her phone calls. (Through a
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b filmmakers behind Enlighten Us could neither confirm nor
deny this was the case. ) The result , Ginny says, is that the film fails to tell the
whole story it’s attempting to tell .
, but they

TWEET

" I don’ t think [the filmmakers] did enough work to sort out what happened ," Jean

says. " I understand that it’s a film about James Ray , and not about Sedona . . .
But if you ’ re looking at Sedona as a pivot point in his life , then don ’ t you want to
know for yourself
not from his perspective what really happened ?"

She continued : "When he says in the film that he believes what happened in
Sedona ‘had to happen for [him] to learn and grow , ’ that tells me that any
introspective work he did in prison was all about how to turn his crime into a
story of his own personal growth , and not about considering what he may have

done that caused three deaths. That the film doesn 't press him on that point
makes me feel that while Carchman may not have paid for her access to James
Ray , it certainly seems she bought in ."

ms luu wmim NOW Fiu mr SMALL oom COMRFMF ROOMS
Carchman explains it differently . In an interview with The Verge , she says the
decision not to include victims’ families was purely a narrative decision .
"We decided after a long conversation that this was a

story that was going to be
told through the point of view of the people who were there" in the sweat lodge ,
Carchman said . "It was important for us.. . to follow the characters into the sweat
lodge as they were experiencing James’ events and James’ trajectory and
pyramid of courses and the lead up into signing up for Sedona . We made the
decision that we really needed to hear from the people who were actually
experiencing the sweat lodge itself ."

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inline investigator who blogged obsessively about the Ray trial

^
on — and who obsessively
tracked the story about Colleen
Conaway’s suicide dismissed that explanation and agreed with the Browns.

"Ray seems totally convinced that it was worth people dying for him to become
the man he is today ," Jones says. "They made a movie about James Ray
stepping over graves into glory, without including a single word from the families

of the dead. It's almost as ridiculous as James Ray still telling people how to find
wealth and success... like he did."
Jones is right to imply that Ray sells a path to success without having much

success to show for himself. There’s a point in Enlighten Us where Ray
complains that book publishers tell him and his agent that he’s got a "great
story" that "needs to be told," but that his story lacks something very important:
a comeback.

Despite Ray’s obvious ambition, Enlighten Us shows Ray nowhere near the
level of success he achieved after The Secret’ s release: his large gatherings
now fill only small hotel conference rooms, and when he attempts to upsell,

those sales often fail to materialize. If Enlighten Us is truly successful in any
regard, it's in showing that a guru who deserved to fall is having quite a lot of

trouble getting back up again.

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