Saturday, July 16, 2011

Constitutional Rights Privileges and Responsibilities a la James Arthur Ray

When I asked my husband if he knew what the 6th Amendment of the US Constitution said … I was met with a blank gaze. When I asked him if he knew what rights were guaranteed under the 1st Amendment I was greeted by stony silence.

History was never my strong suit.” He answered with a sheepish smile.

So I thought I’d take a different tact. “Johnnie ... you know how you’re always talking about the ACLU?

Yeah, so what?

What does the ACLU do?

Make trouble for everyone.”

Johnnie … no no no no no no no! Geeze ... wrong answer.

Christ Jeanne, you know it’s true.

Johnnie, it’s still the wrong answer you Bozo. What does the ACLU do?

The ACLU are a bunch of leftist pundits and lawyers who’ll take on any stupid cause -- as long as it furthers their own agenda … regardless who gets hurt by it.

Johnnie!  You’re NOT listening to my question. What, does, the, A C L U do?”  By this point Johnnie had turned around and was stomping off to watch The O'Reilly factor. “Johnnie … ever hear of the first Amendment?” I screamed at his rapidly retreating form. “The ACLU litigates to protect people’s 1st Amendment rights.

I don’t give a shit what you think they do Jeanne … or why … they’re still a bunch of fucking morons.  I'm sick of this conversation Jeanne.  Why can't you and me ever discuss normal shit?

At this point I wisely gave up trying to debate the finer points of constitutional law with my husband. (sigh)

My later attempts at discussing U.S. Constitutional Statutes and how they apply to the law with various friends and acquaintances.
Question 1:
Name the first 10 Amendments?

Answer 1:
“You mean there are more than 10?”
(There are 27 enacted Amendments and six pending, including the Equal Rights Amendment.)

Question 2:
What is the 6th Amendment?

Answer 2:
“Thou shall not kill?”
(I think you've got the 6th Amendment confused with the 6th Commandment)

Text of the 6th Amendment
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Question 3:
What do you think about the 5th Amendment?

Answer 3:
“My Mom was really into Marilyn McCoo and that entire “Aquarius” thing.

People Just Don't Care ...

It has since dawned on me that the average person on the street doesn’t share my interest in the U.S. Constitution.  Until one of those rights gets trampled on ... or taken away ... then they're all over it.  Better wake up people ... because EVERYONE'S rights are being trampled on BIG TIME.

James Arthur Ray would rather you Didn't Care ...

OK, James Arthur Ray was found guilty of negligent homicide -- TIMES 3.  Not exactly what the prosecution and the families wanted, but hey it's a major felony (with jail time), which still counts.

So is James Arthur Ray sitting in a nice jail?  Er, um, ahhh, the answer to that would be ... ah NO.  Which sucks ... BIG time.  (High fives for Munger Tolles & Olson and James Arthur Ray's super special Defense Team.)

Why isn't James Arthur Ray sitting in jail (Ms Polk asked nice)?  Because Judge Darrow said he could stay out on his own recognisance until he was able to sort through all the paperwork James Arthur Ray's super special Defense Team filed.  (How's about an other round of high fives for Munger Tolles & Olson and James Arthur Ray's super special Defense Team.)

Guess James Arthur Ray figures the longer he gets to stay out of the poky ... the more likely Judge Darrow will be to let him stay out.  At least that's the way it looks to me.  But then what do I know ::: I'm just a fat middle aged woman. 

But wait ... this story get's even better!  Now James Arthur Ray wants all three charges dropped (how's that for a slap in the face of everyone involved in the trial?) and a new trial. 

I mean who gives a damn how much a new trial will cost the Yavapai County Court System (You just know Munger Tolles & Olson and James Arthur Ray's super special Defense Team is going to file even MORE paperwork) ... let alone ALL the witnesses (lost family time, plane fare, lost wages, hotels, car rentals, etc.) which includes doctors and medical examiners and paramedics AND VICTIMS, AND family members and ... the list goes on and on and on.  Oh and the Jury ... let's not forget the NEW jury ... endless side bar ojections ... mistrial motions ... you know the drill.

James Arthur Ray certainly doesn't give a damn about anyone but himself ... that much is obvious.  Seems like it's OK for James Arthur Ray to FUCK over the court system and EMOTIONALLY RAPE anyone brave enough to speak up against him and basically toss anyone and everyone he perceives as NOT ON HIS SIDE ... under the proverbial BUS.  ALL in the name of James Arthur Ray's personal brand of Justice.

The law states that before anyone ... James Arthur Ray included ... can be found guilty a crime, he gets a fair trial.  A wonderful idea ... a GREAT idea actually ... with one small problem.  This process only works when EVERYONE plays fair.  What happens when the bad guy and the bad guy's legal team DOESN'T PLAY FAIR?   The entire judicial process turns into a huge stinky messy pile of crap.

James Arthur Ray had a fair trial ... everyone bent over sideways to give him a fair trial.  Trial over, the witnesses and the jury have all gone home ... the only thing left is sentencing.  Unfortunately James Arthur Ray doesn't want to go to jail.  (Wow, I so didn't see that coming.)

Geeze ... I'm sorry dude ... but this trial is so over.  It's time for YOU to suck it up and take it ::: like the man you so obviously ARE NOT.  Don't forget ::: it was YOUR actions (and inaction) which helped kill three people ... you don't hear them complaining do you!  Oh yeah, in case you forgot ... the reason they're not complaining ... is because THEY'RE ALL DEAD!

I'll tell you a big secret.  Just in case anyone else hasn't already figured this one out ... James Arthur Ray doesn't give a damn if he's innocent or not (he's guilty by the way) and DOES NOT want a new trial.  He's just saying that to scare and intimidate people.  James Arthur Ray wants to go free ... he wants the DA, the Judge, the witnesses and everyone breathing down his ugly throat to leave him the hell alone ... so he can go back to doing the same-old same-old.

It's time for us to demand justice ...
NOW before it's too late!

That's OUR constitutional RIGHT!
So join me today ... MAKE NOISE ... CALL EVERY GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL YOU CAN THINK OF ... and then call them again.  Demand accountability BEFORE this situation gets even worse!

Contact the media, write your local newspaper, your favorite television and radio station.  Contact 60 minutes ... CNN ... FOX News ... MSNBC ... NPR ... BBC World News America ... Larry King ... Oprah (gott'a love her) ... Doctor Phil (wouldn't that be a hell of a show) ... write Op Ed pieces for your local newspaper ... Newsweek ... Time ... MAKE NOISE!!!
Then contact your friends and family members and ask them to contact everyone they can think of.

So don't wait ... start making noise today!

email the Governor of Arizona and tell her how you feel about the James Arthur Ray trial.

Contact your State Senator and tell them how you feel about the James Arthur Ray Trial

email President Obama and tell him how you feel about the James Arthur Ray Trial

File a complaint against James Arthur Ray's California based Defense Team at:

Info on the Constitution, Brady and other fun legal stuff.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Speedy trial
Defendants in criminal cases have the right to a speedy trial. In Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514 (1972), the Supreme Court laid down a four-part case-by-case balancing test for determining whether the defendant's speedy trial right has been violated in the case. The four factors are:
  • Length of delay: A delay of a year or more from the date on which the speedy trial right "attaches" (the date of arrest or indictment, whichever first occurs) was termed "presumptively prejudicial," but the Court has never explicitly ruled that any absolute time limit applies.
  • Reason for the delay: The prosecution may not excessively delay the trial for its own advantage, but a trial may be delayed to secure the presence of an absent witness or other practical considerations.
  • Time and manner in which the defendant has asserted his right: If a defendant agrees to the delay when it works to his own benefit, he cannot later claim that he has been unduly delayed.
  • Degree of prejudice to the defendant which the delay has caused.
In Strunk v. United States, 412 U.S. 434 (1973), the Supreme Court ruled that if the reviewing court finds that a defendant's right to a speedy trial was violated, then the indictment must be dismissed and/or the conviction overturned. The Court has held that, since the delayed trial is the state action which violates the defendant's rights, no other remedy would be appropriate. Thus, a reversal or dismissal of a criminal case on speedy trial grounds means that no further prosecution for the alleged offense can take place.

[1] from Stanford University
Substantive Due Process

"Substantive Due Process" is the fundamental constitutional legal theory upon which the Griswold/Roe/Casey privacy right is based. The doctrine of Substantive Due Process holds that the Due Process Clause not only requires "due process," that is, basic procedural rights, but that it also protects basic substantive rights. "Substantive" rights are those general rights that reserve to the individual the power to possess or to do certain things, despite the government’s desire to the contrary. These are rights like freedom of speech and religion. "Procedural" rights are special rights that, instead, dictate how the government can lawfully go about taking away a person’s freedom or property or life, when the law otherwise gives them the power to do so.

The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, adopted in 1868, states "nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law . . . " The facially clear meaning of this passage is that a state has to use sufficiently fair and just legal procedures whenever it is going to lawfully take away a persons life, freedom or possessions. Thus, before a man can be executed, imprisoned or fined for a crime, he must get a fair trial, based on legitimate evidence, with a jury, etc. These are procedural or "process" rights.

However, under "Substantive Due Process," the Supreme Court has developed a broader interpretation of the Clause, one that protects basic substantive rights, as well as the right to process. Substantive Due Process holds is that the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments guarantee not only that appropriate and just procedures (or "processes") be used whenever the government is punishing a person or otherwise taking away a person’s life, freedom or property, but that these clauses also guarantee that a person’s life, freedom and property cannot be taken without appropriate governmental justification, regardless of the procedures used to do the taking. In a sense, it makes the "Due Process" clause a "Due Substance" clause as well.

This is an extremely significant idea because of how it greatly expands the power of judicial review exercised by the federal courts. This happens in two ways:

First, it gives the federal courts unqualified discretion to decide what substantive rights are protected under Due Process and how extensive that protection is. There are two ways the Supreme Court does this:

· Under the substantive wing of the "Incorporation" doctrine, where the Court adopt selected provisions of the Bill of Rights and apply them to the states under Due Process. This can be called "Substantive Incorporation."

· Under the "Fundamental Rights" theory, where the Court adopts whatever substantive rights it thinks are so basic, natural and fundamental that they must be protected even without reliance on any particular provision of the Constitution. Instead the Court is said to root these guarantees directly in the word "Liberty" in the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause.

Second, once the federal courts decide what substantive rights are protected buy Substantive Due Process, it can use Judicial Review to enforce these rights by reviewing all state legislation for compliance with these rights.

In the original U.S. Constitution itself, there are not that many express restrictions on the power of the states. Most are in Art. I § 10 and in Art. VI. The Bill of Rights was added in 1791. But by it own terms, applies only to the federal government. See Barron v. Baltimore, 7 Pet. 243 (1833). The Bill of Rights contains both substantive and procedural rights designed to limit the power of the federal government. After the adoption of the 14th Amendment in 1868, the Supreme Court determined that many of the procedural provisions of the Bill of Rights (like the Fourth and Fifth Amendments) would also be protected by the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause, which was directed at the states. However, the Court also used the theory of Substantive Due Process to apply ("incorporate") many of the substantive provisions of the Bill of Rights (like the First Amendment) to the states as well. E.g. Gitlow v. NewYork, 268 U.S. 652 (1925). In the late 1800’s the Supreme Court also began to use Substantive Due Process to establish various substantive rights not actually articulated in the Constitution under the "Fundamental Rights" theory. See Lochner v. New York, 198 U.S. 45 (1905). Later on, the Court would repudiate the "fundamental rights" version of Substantive Due Process as an infringement on the authority of state legislatures. See West Coast Hotel v. Parrish, 300 U.S. 379 (1937); Ferguson v. Skrupa, 372 U.S. 726 (1963). In Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965), at least four of the seven votes that affirmed the right to privacy were based on the fundamental rights theory. This reliance continued in Roe and Casey. Even while different constitutional theories were advanced in Griswold, Roe and Casey to support the right to privacy all of them, directly or indirectly, rely on Substantive Due Process.

Critics of Substantive Due Process claim that it is not the laws it strikes down, but rather the theory itself which is "unconstitutional." They claim that it is a pure usurpation of power by the Court since they Court can’t use Judicial Review to strike down a state law unless the law is really contrary to the Constitution. Critics claim that "Substantive Due Process" is an oxymoron and that there is no way a reasonable person with a sixth grade grasp of grammar could read the "Due Process" Clause to assure anything but procedural rights. They say that when the Court uses judicial review to enforce these pseudo-Constitutional rights they are stealing the legitimate law-making power from the state legislatures.

Supporters of Substantive Due Process, on the other hand, point to its long history and its dynamic ability to defend basic human rights from infringement by the government. They argue that Substantive Due Process provides comprehensive nation-wide protection for all our most cherished rights, which might otherwise be at the mercy of state governments. They argue that the doctrine is a simple recognition that no procedure can be just if it is being used to unjustly deprive a person of his basic human liberties and that the Due Process Clause was intentionally written in broad terms to give the Court flexibility in interpreting it.

Critics respond by saying that just because something is a basic human right does not make it a "Constitutional" right. Constitutional rights, by definition are enshrined in the Constitution.

Most Justices on the current Court support the theory to some extent or another, but there are grave differences as to how freely the Court should be willing to assert the Fundamental Rights theory that originally spawned the right to privacy.

[NOTE: While there actually are two slightly different "Due Process" clauses in the U.S. Constitution, one in the Fifth Amendment, applying to the federal government, and the second in the Fourteenth Amendment, applying to the states, it is the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause which is really important here, because it applies to the states. The Supreme Court has generally interpreted them to be identical in meaning. While substantive due process applies to both clauses, because it is the state law that is most relevant here, this treatment we will be speaking to the 14th Amendment clause in particular. It should be noted that there is a history of substantive due process in American federal and state jurisprudence well before the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868.]

[2] From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Brady material
Brady v. Maryland, 373 U. S. 83 (1963), [1] was a United States Supreme Court case in which the prosecution had withheld from the criminal defendant certain evidence. The defendant challenged his conviction, arguing it had been contrary to the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Maryland prosecuted Brady and a companion, Boblit, for murder. Brady admitted being involved in the murder, but claimed Boblit had done the actual killing. The prosecution had withheld a written statement by Boblit confessing that he had committed the act of killing by himself. The Maryland Court of Appeals had affirmed the conviction and remanded the case for a retrial only of the question of punishment.

The court held that withholding exculpatory evidence violates due process "where the evidence is material either to guilt or to punishment"; and the court determined that under Maryland state law the withheld evidence could not have exculpated the defendant but was material to the level of punishment he would be given. Hence the Maryland Court of Appeals' ruling was affirmed.

Brady refers to the holding of the Brady case, and the numerous state and federal cases that interpret its requirement that the prosecution disclose material exculpatory evidence to the defense. Exculpatory evidence is “material” if “there is a reasonable probability that his conviction or sentence would have been different had these materials been disclosed. ” [1] Brady evidence includes statements of witnesses or physical evidence that conflicts with the prosecution's witnesses [2], and evidence that could allow the defense to impeach the credibility of a prosecution witness.[3]

Police officers who have been dishonest are sometimes referred to as "Brady cops. " Because of the Brady ruling, prosecutors are required to notify defendants and their attorneys whenever a law enforcement official involved in their case has a sustained record for knowingly lying in an official capacity.[4] Brady evidence also includes evidence material to credibility of a civilian witness, such as evidence of false statements by the witness or evidence that a witness was paid to act as an informant.[5]

[3] From the Yale Law Journal
Great Article on Brady Violations

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Subjective World of James Arthur Ray

James Arthur Ray would have the world believe he is innocent and that his motives are pure ::: that his goals are to teach ::: provide a valuable service ::: help people grow and expand their lives.

James Arthur Ray told the world he was knowledgeable and certified to teach.  In James Arthur Ray's world ::: facts are irrelevant and lies are truths.

James Arthur Ray told the world ...

he had studied and been initiated into the shamanic rituals of Hawaiian Huna.

he has studied with Native American teachers to conduct Sweat Lodges

he studied Holotrophic Breathwork® under Stanislav Grof, M.D., Ph.D.

he is certified to teach Holtrophic Breathing®

he is certified to teach The Samurai Game®

he is God

James Arthur Ray told his clients they would grow rich in all areas of life if they followed him and his teachings.  Then he made them sign impossibly long disclaimers before his events. 

James Arthur Ray told his followers if they read his books and attended his retreats ...

they could accomplish anything ...

they would gain health ...

they would gain wealth ...

they would be safe ...

James Arthur Ray told the world he is an honorable person ... his actions before and during his trial have proved otherwise.

James Arthur Ray has NEVER stopped a sweat lodge while people lay unconscious.

James Arthur Ray left to shower and eat while dozens of his clients lay unconscious after Spiritual Warrior 2009.

James Arthur Ray DID NOTHING while dozens of people lay dead or dying in the mud.

James Arthur Ray lied to the police when asked who was in charge of the Sweat lodge.

James Arthur Ray then lawyered up ::: refused to speak with the police ::: and the fled the state.

James Arthur Ray embezzled millions in corporate funds and used this money to pay for his legal defense.

James Arthur Ray has consistently denied ANY and ALL responsibility for anyone maimed or killed during ANY and ALL of his events.

James Arthur Ray has NEVER apologized to ANY of the victims or their families ... never apologized to the people who's money he stole.

James Arthur Ray sat back and allowed his defense team to do everything in their power to dehumanize, insult, defame, invalidate and offend anyone testifying against him.

James Arthur Ray allowed his defense team to file countless lengthy objections, motions and complaints against Yavapai County.

Now James Arthur Ray wants his verdict vacated so they can start the trial process all over again.


People like James Arthur Ray have way too many loop holes allowing them to circumvent the law.  The outrageous laws that allow this to happen need to be challenged.

If enough people make enough noise we can make a difference.

We the PEOPLE have more power than James Arthur Ray could ever envision. But we need to speak up. Call, write and email YOUR government officials NOW!!!

I'm trying everything in my power to make a difference.  Will you please join me?

email the Governor of Arizona and tell her how you feel about the James Arthur Ray trial.

Contact your State Senator and tell them how you feel about the James Arthur Ray Trial

email President Obama and tell him how you feel about the James Arthur Ray Trial


California is the only state in the nation with independent professional judges dedicated to ruling on attorney discipline cases.

The State Bar of California investigates complaints of attorney misconduct. If the State Bar determines that an attorney's actions involve probable misconduct, formal charges are filed with the State Bar Court by the bar's prosecutors (Office of Chief Trial Counsel).

The independent State Bar Court hears the charges and has the power to recommend that the California Supreme Court suspend or disbar attorneys found to have committed acts of professional misconduct or convicted of serious crimes.

For lesser offenses, public or private reprovals may be issued by the State Bar Court.
Also, it can temporarily remove lawyers from the practice of law when they are deemed to pose a substantial threat of harm to clients or the public.

Lawyers may seek review of State Bar Court decisions in the California Supreme Court.
The State Bar Court conducts hearings and makes decisions and formal recommendations on disciplinary matters.

Since 1989, the court has used full-time judges appointed by the California Supreme Court, legislature and governor. The court is divided into two departments a Hearing Department and a Review Department, headed by a presiding judge.

File a complaint at:

U.S. Supreme Court

Caplin & Drysdale v. United States, 491 U.S. 617 (1989)
Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered v. United States
No. 87-1729
Argued March 21, 1989
Decided June 22, 1989
491 U.S. 617

In Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered v. United States, 2 the Supreme Court rejected the constitutional challenge to seizures of attorneys' fees. However, the debate over seizures of fees often misses an important concern. The real issue at stake is not whether prosecutors can seize attorneys' fees, but whether attorneys should be able to accept the fees in the first place. This misplaced focus reflects the fact that the attorneys' fee issue has been viewed primarily through the lens of defendants' Sixth Amendment right to counsel, without adequate consideration of lawyers' ethical obligations to decline their clients' ill-gotten gains.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sticks and Stones and Words ALL hurt

On July 3rd I got some twitters asking me to send an email to Polk about my experiences with James Arthur Ray. It was absolutely the last thing I wanted to do. I talked to my husband and asked him what his opinion was. He said he thought I'd regret not writing it, so "you'd better get busy".

I tried writing on Saturday, but cried every time I attempted to put into words how my one and only meeting with James Arthur Ray had affected me ::: still affects ::: me. To this day I still can't completely wrap my brain around the why part.

I just feel so damned stupid. I mean what kind of a person becomes rabidly suicidal at the words of a stranger?! They're ONLY words, but they still hurt ::: and that simple fact fills me with hopelessness and shame.

I can't write in a letter how much energy and effort it took for me to attend My Ray's free event.  On days like today, I can barely walk ::: can't raise my arms above my head ::: can barely brush my hair up in a ponytail, let alone get dressed easily.  On days like today ::: I talk to the cat, play with our greyhounds, cry, pray, watch old movies and pretend I don't hurt.

On days like today my closest friends are the reflections of Doris Day or Jack Lemon on my HD TV.  I laugh at their antics and try to imagine what it would feel like to be back in a simpler time ::: in a world I understood much better than the world I now live in.

Allergies force me to live my separate from almost everyone else.  I'm like a person locked inside a building with a big picture window ::: watching the world go on around me  ::: seeing but never being seen or touched.

Lord how James Arthur Ray filled me with Hope ::: that's the thing I'm most ashamed by ::: that I could be so hungry for health ::: a hand up ::: a pat on the back ::: someone to help me find a better healthier life ::: that I became a total idiot sap and bought into his con.

In 2007, when James Arthur Ray looked at me with total disdain, it reminded me of all the people who've judged me by my outward appearance and found me wanting.  When James Arthur Ray said I'd never be anything but a looser and a fat slob ::: it was as if he'd brought forward my worst fears and my shame at how illness had shaped my body.

I could write a thousand concertos, record countless songs, publish more stories, photos, win awards, etc. ::: but nothing, absolutely nothing I could accomplish in this world would ever change the view people like James Arthur Ray have of people who look like me.

It's been four years since I met James Ray.  Four years later and I still have nightmares, and still cringe at the thought attending a pubic event.  How stupid is that?

The thing is, I'm just one of who knows how many nameless faceless people who have crossed James Ray's path.  How many other people has he pushed into despair with his words? 

Which brings me to an other question that's been bothering me ::: what really happened to Colleen Conaway?  What did he say (he was with her moments before she jumped / was pushed) to cause such a tragic end.  Why did he lie about it afterward?  Why the cover up?  Why wasn't he charged?

Why is James Arthur Ray able to steal millions -- commit corporate fraud and grand theft -- and be allowed to use that money to fund one of the most despicable defenses I've ever seen?

Why is it legal for Munger Tolles and Olson (ANY LAW FIRM) to accept money from such a questionable source ::: without any legal ramifications?!!

Why is James Arthur Ray walking free after being found GUILTY?  Where is the justice for the people he killed or permanently maimed?

I'm tired, don't feel well and I'm rambling ... sorry about that.  This whole trial thing has really got me down.

I spent most of the 4th writing a letter to Polk.  I spell checked it and then sent it before I could chicken out and delete it.  I've had horrid nightmares every night since.  I've pasted a copy of it below for anyone who's interested.

For the record I didn't write it for me ::: I intend to find my own salvation ::: grace ::: hope.  I wrote it in the hopes it might help keep James Arthur Ray from ever having the power to hurt ANYONE again ::: EVER!

Sheila Polk, SBN 007514
County Attorney
255 East Gurley Street, 3rd Floor
Prescott , AZ 86301

phone: (928) 771-3344

Ms Polk:

You and I have never met.

I am part of a group of a hundred or so people who have been following the James Arthur Ray trial via the Internet (blogger, twitter, CNN Live, facebook, etc.). I received some twitters this morning from [NancyOgilvie] and [@La_Huesera La Vaughn] asking me to send my story to you.

I had hoped once the trial was over and Mr Ray was found guilty ... I could put my memories of him away and go on with my life, secure in the knowledge that Mr Ray's words or actions would never again cause anyone harm. Now I'm being told there's a real chance that Mr Ray may only get probation ... and he may eventually start over doing the same things he did in the past.

This is a difficult letter for me to write. Even now, four years after the event, I still have nightmares about what transpired. To this day I struggle to understand why a man I had never met or had any contact with would verbally assault me in front of a room full of strangers.

My husband and I met James Arthur Ray at the Anaheim Marriott on May 31, 2007, while attending one of his free seminars. (please see attached email invitation and link posted immediately below)

Orange County, CA:
May 31, 2007 at 7:00 PM
Event Location:
Marriott Anaheim
700 West Convention Way
Anaheim, CA 92802

I'm currently disabled and have been on SSDI since about 1990. I suffer from Tourette's, fibromyalgia, celiac disease, dysautonomia (causes labile blood pressure and cardiac arrhythmia) and degenerative bone disease, along with severe food and chemical sensitivities/allergies. I was confined to a wheelchair for a while, nowadays I walk with a cane or walker.

Prior to becoming disabled I had a successful career. I've been listed in "Who's Who of American Women since 1991, I'm also listed in "Who's Who in America" and "Who's Who in the World". My illustrations, graphics, photographs and stories have been published internationally and garnered me numerous awards. I'm also a published composer/musician.

I've learned people (like James Ray) often judge other's by how they look, how much money they have, what they do, who they know, etc.. Which is the main reason I mentioned who I used to be, awards I've won, and what I used to do before I became too ill to live a normal life.

When the Secret came out I was initially put off by it. That said, I'm ashamed to admit that after hearing Oprah rave about the Secret, I allowed myself to get caught up in all that baloney. I respected Oprah's opinion so I purchased the CD. By the time I purchased the book I was a woman on a quest.

I read eventually read Mr Ray's book "The Science of Success", and signed up for emails from James Ray International. I began walking more (a good thing), making affirmations (a silly thing), and in general making a fool of myself (a sad thing). When I received an invitation to one of his free events taking place a few blocks from my home, I signed up my husband and myself (a really stupid thing).

I had wanted to hear Mr Ray speak and thank him for reminding me I'm more than my body.

To understand what a big deal this was for me you need to understand how sick I'd been, how difficult it was (and is for me to get around) and how little I get out. This was the first time in years I attended a public event. The first time in years I gone someplace public without wearing a special mask (w/ activated carbon filters). The first time in years stood in line for hours (they started the event 2 hours late).

My husband and I sat close to the front, at the end of an isle, so I could keep my walker next to me. We watched and listened to Mr Ray speak about his life, how poor he'd been, how he made himself over. We heard stories of people who had healed completely or became rich after reading his books, listening to his CDs and attending his seminars.

Towards the end of the event, Mr Ray told everyone to pick up the packet of information we'd been given at the front door. He told us to fill out the contract for an upcoming seminar without thinking. "Say yes, do it now, before you change your mind. Don't worry about the money. The money will come once you sign up."

My husband was nudging me to fill it in. We were too broke, and I didn't feel right borrowing from his father. I already owed him money for special medications I'd been taking. I read the small print and saw Mr Ray's so called iron clad refund policy was meaningless. He kept talking and saying "if you sign up today, you can bring someone with you for free." So we asked a JRI employee if they carried their own paper, that I'd pay them off monthly. The answer was no. It was for our own good, so we could learn how to make money on our own.

The person I spoke with spent 30 minutes trying to talk me into signing for something I couldn't afford. Telling me not to worry and that the money would come to pay for it. I told them about my allergy problems, and they said I'd be fine. "No one ever got sick at a James Ray event. People get better."

In the end we decided not to sign up for the events they were selling that day. We didn't have the $10,000 they were ultimately asking for, not counting transportation, hotel rooms, food, books, CDs ,etc. I'm ashamed to admit, had they offered to carry their own paper, and given us the means to pay them back over time ... we'd have signed up without question. But they didn't ... and we were broke, and I wasn't willing to legally bind myself to something I knew I couldn't afford.

There must have been a couple of thousand people at this event. It seemed like they were all signing up for future seminars. We felt as if something really important and life altering had just passed us by. I reminded my husband that my main reason for attending this even was to thank Mr Ray for reminding me I'm more than my body, and to give him a small gift.

Mr Ray was at the end of the room talking with dozens of people, hundreds more waiting to speak with him. Every so often he would look away from the crowd, a bored expression on his face. Then he'd step forward to the next person and flash this on-demand smile of his.

As I made my way up the isle toward Mr Ray he flashed me an expression that bordered on disgust. I've seen that look before, from so called beautiful people who are offended by the sight of fat or disabled people. Semi bald (my hair occasionally falls out when I'm sick), pale and bloated from my allergies, overweight and walking with the aid of a walker, I was a natural target for mean spirited people.

One of the reasons I didn't get out much in those days was because I knew how bad I looked. At best people would stare at me or come up and ask me how long I'd been on chemo ... at worst people would point at me and snicker.

I asked my husband if he'd seen Mr Ray flash me a strange look. He shook his head and shrugged, then asked me if it was possible I was over thinking things. So I decided to stay in line and wait to speak with Mr Ray.

When I reached out to shake Mr Ray's hand he looked at me, reached for my husband's hand and then crossed his arms. When I started to thank Mr Ray, I spoke five words ... at which point he interrupted me to ask if we'd signed up for any of his seminars.

When I started telling him we had no money and were unable to attend, he again interrupted me.

James Ray
"I'm going to do you a favor" he said, "Don't ever say that again, [that you don't have money] the universe is listening."

"But I don't have any money right ... (I was going to say right now)"

James Ray ... interrupting again ... now shouting

"But it's true."

James Ray ... shouting even more loudly
"Then borrow it!"

"I have no one to borrow from."

James Ray ... speaking in a loud and angry tone
"You mean to say your life is so miserable that you have absolutely no friends who can loan you money?"

Me ... quietly
"No, my friends are struggling to."

James Ray ... shouting
"You'll never be anything but a fat slob and looser if you don't attend my retreat."

The brutality of his words, the sound of his voice, the anger in it's tone took my breath away. I think some of the people standing next to me were shocked by his words, but in reality I don't know.

If I live to be a 100, I'll never forget what Mr Ray did next. He looked at me and smiled, a hard cold angry smile that chilled me to the bone. Then Mr Ray walked away from me and motioned to the woman standing behind me. When she came forward, he put his arm around her and turned on a 200 watt smile as her friend took a picture of the two of them together.

Whispers from people around me
"Did he just call that woman with the walker a fat slob?" "What did she say?" "Look at that lard assed bitch, James is right, she's nothing ... a nobody."

All I wanted to do at that point is run. But I'm disabled and was lucky to get around with my walker. So I waddled out of the conference room in a slow shuffle, surrounded by strangers, struggling to hold back tears. While making my way to the parking structure all I could think about was finding the highest part and jumping off. Please know I've never reacted this strongly to anyone's words!

I doubt if I will ever understand why Mr Ray spoke to me the way he did, let alone why I reacted the way I did. I cried for weeks afterward. To this day I don't know why the words of a stranger filled me with so much hopeless despair, that for months afterward all I could think of was ending my life.

While I know autoimmune disease will eventually kill me, I'm going to struggle to stay alive for as long as physically possible. I've come to terms with my illness and the day to day pain that comes with it. I try to take each day as it comes, and strive to live my life as fully and completely as physically possible. Some days are better than others. I live for the good days.

I'm writing to you now for the others Mr Ray has harmed ... both by his words and his actions. I don't believe I'm the only person he has treated this badly ... because his words seemed too easy and too practiced. I can't help wondering how many other people gave up on life, or worse yet, committed suicide because of something he said or did. I only know I'm appalled at how close I came to ending my own life the day I met Mr Ray.

Please don't let Mr Ray hurt any more people. If he doesn't get jail time and there are no ramifications for his actions, I'm afraid he keep doing bad things.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.


Jeanne Barkemeijer de Wit