Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Who is Douglas Sundling?

And Why is James Arthur Ray's Dream Defense Team so Afraid of his Testimony?

Truth is a valuable commodity these days, specially in the James Arthur Ray case.  With all Brady and constitutional rules the DA is forced to work around ... what may be presented to the jury has gotten smaller and smaller.  Toss in the constant threats of yet more mistrial motions, and you get an idea of how difficult a trial to prosecute James Arthur Ray's case actually is.

James Arthur Ray's defense team has access to the full resources Munger, Tolles & Olson.  To get the full picture ... imagine 200 full time lawyers, countless legal clerks, and more.  The Yavapai County DA Criminal Division has two dozen lawyers.  Do the numbers and you realize the DA is outnumbered 8 to 1.  Thankfully they've managed to present a good prosecution despite the huge disparity in numbers.

Douglas Sundling is an Illinois based, non-native American artist / writer / photographer who has attended hundreds of sweatlodges since the 80s.  In 2010 Mr Sundling set up a website "Death and a Bogus Sweatlodge", outlining what transpired during Spiritual Warrior 2009.

In 2010, Sundling contacted Yavapai County DA and offered his services as a witness.  He was placed on a long list of possible witnesses, which were disclosed to the defense.  On 04/22/2011, Ms Poke placed him on the State's Amended Lists of Witnesses.  James Arthur Ray's defense filed a 158 page motion (talk about overkill) to have Sundling and other potential witnesses excluded.

On 05/16/2011 Judge Warren Darrow filed a response to James Arthur Ray's motion to exclude.  In it he ruled that Douglas Sundling is an expert on Sweatlodges and will be allowed to testify.  It should be interesting to see how his testimony plays out, who will do the cross, ... and to see how long it takes for the defense to file yet an other motion for mistrial.

Death and A Bogus Sweatlodge
Douglas Sundling's Website

James Arthur Ray's Motion [158 Pages]
To Exclude Proposed Expert Testimony of Douglas Sundling

State's Response [8 Pages]
To Defendant's Motion to Exclude Testimony of Douglas Sundling

Interesting Links

Chicago Sweatlodge
Mentioned in Mr Ray's White Paper #1 and in Douglas Sunding's Website

Sweatlodge at Wisteria

Wikipedia on Sweatlodge

Wikipedia on Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868)

Black Hills Treaty Council sues James Arthur Ray – text of lawsuit

Sweat Lodge Saga Continues;
South Dakota Indian Tribe Suing James Arthur Ray For "Desecration of a Sacred Lakota Ceremony"

Lakota Nation files lawsuit against parties in sweat lodge incident

The Art of Doug Sundling
Read Sundling's bio, view his photographs, quilts and samples of his writing

Wink E. Wrangler
Douglas Sundling, who runs bogus sweatlodges criticizes 4 doing same Pot, Kettle.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Do Ray Li ::: the beat goes on and on and on and on

I got an other world class migraine while listening to Truc Do's cross examination of Dr Dixon.  Truth be known, nowadays I feel a headache coming on every time Ms Do opens her mouth.  She's rude, abrasive, talks too damned fast, mispronounces a lot of things, and doesn't know when to shut up.

While it's no secret [pun intended] I'm not a fan of James Arthur Ray.  I'm all for the rights and privileges guaranteed ALL Americans under judicial process [1] ::: James Arthur Ray included.

That said, it chafes my behind when James Arthur Ray's defense team exploits these rights to such an extent that their actions become an abuse of process [2].  James Arthur Ray's defense team tactics are so extreme (and waste so much time) they are causing financial hardship to the jury, the victims, the victims families, the witnesses AND the state [We the People - the folks PAYING for this debacle].

  • Arizona Rules of Evidence state that "a witness may be cross-examined on any relevant matter".  Rule 611.(a) states "that the court may impose reasonable time limits on the trial proceedings or portions thereof". [3]

While I'm not a lawyer it would seem to me that the relevance of the questions asked by James Arthur Ray's defense team could be called into question ::: along with the time and manner employed to ask them.
It sickens me that James Arthur Ray's defense team is willing to waste every one's time with multiple mistrial filings, redundant questions, innuendo and hearsay.  That it's legal for them to routinely obscure facts, harass witnesses, and threaten further litigation is simply outrageous.

The Known Facts
During Spiritual Warrior 2009 Sweat lodge
  1. Dozens of people became ill during sweat lodge.
  2. Three People (Kirby Brown, James Shore and Liz Neuman) died.
  3. After being informed that people were in distress, James Arthur Ray did not stop the sweat lodge.
  4. After being informed that people were in distress, James Arthur Ray did not immediately facilitate the removal of these people from heated lodge.
  5. After the event ended, James Arthur Ray exited first and did not make sure everyone had exited and/or been removed from the sweat lodge.
  6. After the event ended, James Arthur Ray did not call 911 to get at for the many people who had fallen ill, were unconscious and were not breathing.
  7. Upon learning people were unconscious, not breathing and/or were in severe distress, James Arthur Ray did not offer any support.  He simply watched.
  8. After the event, while people were still in distress, James Arthur Ray went to his room to eat and shower.
  9. After the event, when asked to be interviewed by the police, James Arthur Ray lied, called his lawyer then refused to be interviewed further.
  10. Before leaving Angel Valley James Arthur Ray did not speak to any of the participants still on site.
  11. When James Arthur Ray left Angel Valley he did not release the names of any of the sick or dying to police and/or the various hospitals and morgue they had been taken to.
  12. James Arthur Ray has stated he left Angel Valley and the state, ostensibly to prepare for a paid event he had scheduled the next day.  After being confronted about the deaths during the event, James Arthur Ray again refused comment. 
  13. After confrontation, James Arthur Ray canceled all future events and stated he was starting his own investigation.
  14. James Arthur Ray then began transferring all corporate funds into his own personal accounts and lawyered up, committing corporate embezzlement [4] and fraud.
Criminal acts

"A normative definition views crime as deviant behavior that violates prevailing norms – cultural standards prescribing how humans ought to behave normally."[5]
The questions placed before the jury should be.
  1. Was James Arthur Ray's Sweat lodge too hot?
    - did an unusal amount participants suffer heat related illness?
  2. Did James Arthur Ray take adequate precautions to protect participants?
    - Did James Arthur Ray provide emergency medical support?
    - Did James Arthur Ray hire and provide an on site doctor, paramedic, or nurse?
    - Were IVs, oxygen, defibrillator and resuscitation equipment available during the sweat lodge?
    - Was there an Ambulance standing by during the sweat lodge?
    - Were all staff members trained in CPR and Emergency First Aid?
    - Was a 36 hour Vision Quest (food water) fast too dangerous an activity to hold prior to a sweat?
    - Was witholding water for 36 hours while outside in the high desert potentially life threatening?
    - Was placing people outside alone in the high desert without supervision, let alone food, water and proper clothing dangerous?
  3. Was James Arthur Ray's behavior ::: before, during and after ::: the sweat lodge negligent?
    a.  No certification or training in running a sweat lodge.
    b.  No certification or training in Holotropic Breathwork™. [6]
    c.  No certification or training in The Samurai Game®.
    d.  Would a reasonable person have stopped the sweat lodge when people became ill?
    e.  Would a reasonable person have made the sweat lodge so hot?
    f.   Would a reasonable person have called 911 upon discovering people were dying?
    g.  Would a reasonable person have left the scene?
Once these answered in the jury's mind, they must decide if James Arthur Ray's actions were outside the norm, contributed to the deaths of three people and constitute negligent manslaughter.

Lastly, I'm bothered that a man who has stated he's too broke to post 5 million in bail, is somehow able to afford a multimillion dollar defense.
Links and References

1.   The Judicial Process. Article III of the Constitution of the United States guarantees that every person accused of wrongdoing has the right to a fair trial.  Constitution of the United States

2.   abuse of process n. the use of legal process by illegal, malicious, or perverted means. Examples include serving (officially giving) a complaint to someone when it has not actually been filed, just to intimidate an enemy, filing a false declaration of service (filing a paper untruthfully stating a lie that someone has officially given a notice to another person, filing a lawsuit which has no basis at law, but is intended to get information, force payment through fear of legal entanglement or gain an unfair or illegal advantage. Some people think they are clever by abusing the process this way. A few unscrupulous lawyers do so intentionally and can be subject to discipline and punishment. Sometimes a lawyer will abuse the process accidentally; an honest one will promptly correct the error and apologize.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

3.   Arizona Rules of Evidence

Rule 611. Mode and Order of Interrogation and Presentation

(a) Control by Court; Time Limitations. The court shall exercise reasonable control over the mode and order of  interrogating witnesses and presenting evidence so as to (1) make the interrogation and presentation effective for the
ascertainment of the truth, (2) avoid needless consumption of time, and (3) protect witnesses from harassment or undue embarrassment. The court may impose reasonable time limits on the trial proceedings or portions thereof.

(b) Scope of cross-examination. A witness may be cross-examined on any relevant matter.

(c) Leading questions. Leading questions should not be used on the direct examination of a witness except as may be necessary to develop the witness' testimony. Ordinarily, leading questions should be permitted on cross-examination. A party may interrogate an unwilling, hostile or biased witness by leading questions. A party may call an adverse party or an officer, director, or managing agent of a public or private corporation or of a partnership or association which is an adverse party or a witness whose interests are identified with an adverse party and interrogate that person by leading questions.  The witness thus called may be interrogated by leading questions on behalf of the adverse party also.

4.   Embezzlement is distinguished from swindling in that swindling involves wrongfully obtaining property by a false pretense, such as a lie or trick, at the time the property is transferred, which induces the victim to transfer to the wrongdoer title to the property.  The fraudulent conversion of another's property by a person who is in a position of trust, such as an agent or employee.
5.   WIKIPEDIA - Crime

A normative definition views crime as deviant behavior that violates prevailing norms – cultural standards prescribing how humans ought to behave normally. This approach considers the complex realities surrounding the concept of crime and seeks to understand how changing social, political, psychological, and economic conditions may affect changing definitions of crime and the form of the legal, law-enforcement, and penal responses made by society.
n. the crime of stealing the funds or property of an employer, company or government or misappropriating money or assets held in trust.

6.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holotropic_Breathwork

There have been several criticisms of breathwork's safety, with critics pointing out the well-known physiological dangers associated with hyperventilation, such as hypoxia and Can cause low blood oxygen, seizures. There is little peer reviewed scientific evidence of its effectiveness in treating illness.  Although altering the breathing can be relaxing to some people, hyperventilation is also a symptom of panic disorder. However, breathwork and hyperventilation are not synonymous as many types of breathwork listed above regard hyperventilation as unnecessary and only occurring when the exhale is not relaxed.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Karma Chameleon

When you look at this photo what do you see? What type of person do you suppose this man is? Is he warm and inviting ::: a good friend ::: an honorable person ::: a loving son?

Do you see a tortured soul ::: a wounded heart ::: a hidden darkness ::: evil? Of course not ::: no one can ::: and that's the problem. James Arthur Ray is a chameleon.
I first saw this photo of James Arthur Ray well after having met him in 2007. The man I met bore little or no resemblance to the person in the photo. The man I met was a monster. A monster I might never have met had I not heard about him on Oprah.
If you heard it on Oprah

The Secret is OutHave you ever wanted to believe something so very very much that it ached? Have you ever dreamed your life could be different ::: that you could be more? That was his hook ::: James Arthur Ray ::: he promised to help you breathe life into ALL of your dreams.

I can't believe I was so STUPID I believed in Oprah
I can't believe I was so STUPID I believed in the Secret
I can't believe I was so STUPID I believed in James Arthur Ray

I wonder how many people on this planet [besides myself] fell down the James Arthur Ray rabbit hole?  Judging from the fallout ::: a LOT.  Thousands of people bilked out of millions of dollars, scores of people injured and maimed, and four people dead [that we know of].

Fast forward four years and four deaths later ::: and the James Arthur Ray chameleon has morphed once again. Technically speaking the man's still under arrest ::: although he doesn't act that way.  Then again James Arthur Ray's delightful hubris has always been part of his charm.  I mean who doesn't love a man who loves pretending to be God?

Isn't it funny how many people confuse the term "out on bail" with "I'm free do do what I want"?  His insufferable bravado is mostly gone ::: at least in public ::: replaced by countless inane and meaningless Twitter tweets. The endless "Free" public seminars have ended ::: only to be replaced by strange YouTube Videos and a subscription based live web radio program "Living in the Flow" which I believe has also ended.  (Wonder if his subscribers are still being charged?)


James Arthur Ray
Morph to the Angry Prisoner


        James Arthur Ray
        Morph to the Innocent Man
        fighting to avoiding a trial

James Arthur Ray
Morph to the misunderstood man forced to endure a trial

Portrait of a Chameleon
 Who's the REAL James Arthur Ray

I can't help but wonder who James Arthur Ray really is ::: and what he'll eventually become.  The trial is in session.  If things keep going they way they have ::: it's going to be a long trial ::: and an equally long time before we see James Arthur Ray's next chameleon shift.

While doing some background work into James Arthur Ray I located information on his father, Dr. Gordon A. Ray.  From what I've been able to discover, Mr Ray senior is both a highly educated and accomplished man.  James Arthur Ray seems to have earned his much hyped education and highly exaggerated credentials via osmosis.  His father garnered his accolades the old fashioned way ::: by actually earning them.  

Here's a link to a video of Mr Ray senior giving a talk.  I think you might enjoy some of the similarities between Father and Son.  If you're interested you might click on the link leading to his Dad's website. www.tocreateyourdestiny.com  Take a look at the stuff he's selling ::: a lot of the same stuff James Arthur Ray sells.  I wonder who started first?

In closing I dedicate Karma Chameleon to our own favorite Chameleon ~ James Arthur Ray.
Boy George and The Culture Club