Saturday, April 9, 2011

Tears Outrage and Sacrilege

James Arthur Ray Trial - April 8, 2011

I've watched the James Arthur Ray trial almost Every day since it began. These days I have a ritual, I point one browser to
CNN Live and another to Twitter. There are roughly 50 people who's tweets I follow and respond to, all of them tweeting about #JamesRay.

James Arthur Ray would have the world believe the deaths of Kirby Brown, James Shore and Liz Neuman were all tragic accidents. His lawyers would have us believe organophosphates or some other poison is to blame, anything BUT the insane heat inside the sweat lodge, let alone the ugly and chaotic way victims were ignored and left to suffer (sometimes face down in the mud).

Sometimes the testimony is mind numbingly dull, other times it's sad and heart breaking. I've appreciated the tweets/comments (humor, sarcasm, shock, dismay, sadness) as they have helped me to assimilate the horror of what transpired during the 2009 Spiritual Warrior Event. That said, Friday April 8, 2011 was a hard day to watch. Debbie Mercer testified.

Friday, while Listening to Debbie Mercer's 911 calls, I found myself crying like a baby. Suddenly it was all too real ::: the fear and concern in her voice ::: as she described the physical condition of the sick, the dead and the dying.

The Hamiltons (owners of Angel Valley) allowed James Arthur Ray to return year after year to hold his sweat lodges. For years the Hamiltons knew (or should have known) people were fainting, getting horribly ill, vomiting, and nearly dying from heat exhaustion ::: so they should have known something was horribly wrong ::: but then it's too easy to judge.

Ted and Debbie Mercer were there for most of James Arthur Ray's sweat lodges, and helped build the big lodge. I like the Mercers, they seem like honest caring and sincere people. I don't want to think about how many more people might have died if Ted and Debbie Mercer hadn't helped as many people as they did. How many more people would have died had Debbie Mercer not taken the time to help and to call 911.

It's beyond shameful that these two souls were forced into the position of having to make the right choices ::: let alone forced to ask what to do ::: when those in charge (that's a laugh) couldn't, wouldn't and didn't.

James Arthur Ray sat in the shade and cooled off, he shrugged, DID NOTHING. In years past he flew into a rage when 911 was called. By the time James Arthur Ray's Heat Endurance Event ended, so many people were sick, unconscious and near death, no one checked or noticed there were still people inside the lodge. They were too busy tending to the sick and dying to notice some people were missing.

So three poor souls lay lost and forgotten, (by everyone BUT Debbie Mercer) their lives ebbing away within the sweltering steam and heat. Sacrilege to stop the sweat, sacrilege to peel back the covers and remove the dying, sacrilege to question the authority of self professed [demi] God James Arthur Ray.

Kirby Brown and James Shore, were discovered dead, faces ashen, lips blue, with their hands intertwined, another man was found as well. Sacrilege!

Debbie Mercer screamed for help.

Debbie Mercer asked James Arthur Ray if she could lift up the tarp on the lodge to get them out. No, that would be sacrilege ::: he stated still sitting in the shade.

Debbie removed it anyway, tugging away the heavy layers of tarp. Debbie and Ted Mercer pulled these people out, with the help of their then 17 year-old daughter. (What type of nightmares must this young woman now suffer?)

Sacrilege that James Arthur Ray's defense team hinted at an affair between the Kirby Brown and James Shore. :: Wink :: Wink :: Smirk :: Cheap and profane words, slandering the dead. No thought for the family members present in the court.

God forgive me, but there's way too much guilt to spread around. I'm reminded by the words said during the Nuremberg trials. "I was just following orders" or "I was just doing my job" It seemed as if a good portion of the German population had been hypnotized and seduced by Adolph Hitler.

The Blame Game

It's way too easy to state everything (4 people dead, dozens injured and maimed, thousands bilked out of millions) is James Arthur Ray's fault ::: and that he's a money grubbing narcissistic sociopath who doesn't give a damn about anyone but himself.
The question we should be asking is how was the spiritual Juggernaut that was James Arthur Ray in his prime - created ::: and by whom? And should any these people (how ever well meaning) be held accountable for his actions?

In the Beginning - just a man talking

In the beginning James Arthur Ray's words seemed harmless enough. He was, is, a good looking man with a glib tongue and quick mind. He seems to have come from a picture perfect all American family. Minister Father, loving stay at home Mom. Then again he was/is good at avoiding the truth while telling people what they want to hear ::: good at appealing to people's wishes and desires, what ever they may be.

James Arthur Ray was Good at hiding his dark side

How people saw/see James Arthur Ray, says more about THEM than James Arthur Ray. If you're an honest person you tend to take other people at their word and see them as honest. This simple fact of nature is one of the reasons sociopaths like James Arthur Ray are able to get away with the things they do.

When you mix in the fact that highly respected people such as Oprah Winfrey, Larry King along with almost every major television network was interviewing and promoting James Arthur Ray as "the real thing" ::: the die was cast.

Is Rhonda Byrne (Author of the Secret) responsible? Prior to being part of "The Secret Book and DVD, James Arthur Ray was still a mostly unknown motivational speaker.

Are Oprah Winfrey, Larry King and others in the media responsible? They created and promoted the James Arthur Ray who's words and actions ultimately lead to the deaths of four people and the maiming of countless more.

Are Michael and Amayra Hamilton (Angel Valley owners) responsible for allowing sacrilege to occur, not just once, but many times on their property? How sad that three people had to die before these events finally stopped!

Are JRI employees Josh and Megan Frederickson responsible for enabling James Arthur Ray's power and covering up his misdeeds?

While it's most likely true that someone else would have been found to heat the rocks for James Arthur Ray's Heat Endurance fiasco ::: Ted Mercer was the one who did ::: and will be forced to live with that simple fact for the rest of his life.

Ultimately it's up to the Jury to decide if James Arthur Ray will be held accountable for the deaths of Liz Neuman, Kirby Brown and James Shore.

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