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View Full Version : Sedona Arizona sweat lodge deaths--Are Americans too docile?



Myra Bronstein
10-22-2009, 12:36 PM
Is this likely to happen in another country?

http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/65381307.html?elr=KArksD:aDyaEP:kD:aU2EkP7K_t:aDya EP:kD:aUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUU

A bunch of people suspend all common sense in the presence of an authority figure to this extent. People around them are dying and dead, not breathing, no pulse, there is no fucking oxygen, temperatures are dangerously high. People are not forced to stay. Yet when the con man--oops I mean "authority figure"--tells them to stay they do.

People are so docile that they ignore their own distress, along with the dying and dead, and stay put in an oven. Granted they were likely unable to think clearly due to the lack of oxygen. But hell, is this an episode more likely to occur in the US because of "the deliberate dumbing down of America"?

Are other countries as advanced in the deliberate dumbing down process?

Magda Hassan
10-22-2009, 01:15 PM
Certainly authority tries to dominate, and does, in many places outside of the US but the US does seem in many ways designed to produce obedience in people. From the children pledging their allegiance to the flag, the 'my country right or wrong' to 'the boss will look after me' mentality. I'm not sure if all that is directly relevant to this event. The people in the sweat lodge most likely were well off middle class looking for a peak experience of some kind. Certainly this ritual is not a part of their cultural experience and being greenhorns at it they need the guidance of some authority figure. It seems like the authority figure may have been more of a businessman than a shaman. Fifty people times$9,695 = $484,750 Teepee hire is not that expensive. Not bad for 2 hours work and a bit of admin.

Helen Reyes
10-22-2009, 03:01 PM
This probably couldn't happen in Scandinavia, the Baltics or Russia because people have a lot of experience in saunas and know their limits usually. Plus it's a fairly democratic thing, everyone's equal naked or in towels in the heat.

My understanding is the Native American sweat lodge tradition is likewise very non-authoritarian. There is no leader. I know the traditional vision quest is very personal, undertaken alone at one's own spiritual urging, for one's own benefit.

Of course you get the same sort of fatalities around the world in concert situations, people asphyxiated by the crowd, unventilated venue or both in combination with physiological effects from drugs.

Dixie Dea
10-22-2009, 05:28 PM
When I was working at a Womens Alcohol Recovery Home, we had a woman from an Indian Reservation. She told me that she had previously been quite ill and her parents took her to several Doctors trying to find out what was wrong with her. Many tests were done and nothing was ever found, So, they went to the Reservation Medicine Man, who talked her into going to "Sweats." If I recall right, it was for several days. Although, she was able to get out for breaks every so often. But it also did make her well. It had been my thoughts that her illness was alcohol related and the sweats cleansed her body from all the alcohol effects. Of course it did not curtail her drinking, so she did end up in the recovery home, but she was just no longer ill as she had been before going to the sweats. At that time, I hadn't much heard about sweats, so that story amazed me. Since then, I have had friends that enjoyed going to the sweats, for whatever reason...but not for me.... I get the heebie-jeebies when in any sort of heat....lol

Dixie

Keith Millea
10-22-2009, 06:06 PM
Where the hell do I start!I have participated in a number of sweat lodge ceremonies.This is a cleansing ceremony where you sweat out your impurities.Their are four rounds(openings) in which after each,you open the flap and jump in the cold creek.They are certainly HOT,and inside the lodge their is little oxygen.Native Americans have been doing this for centuries.

There were times when I couldn't last the whole four rounds.No problem,I could stop at any time and leave the lodge.I have never heard of a person dying from a sweat lodge.The so called "GURU" here is a fucking con-man.And I might add,I don't think much for people who pay $10,000 for a shamanic weekend.Yeah,take a real sacred ceremony and defile it with big bucks.Maybe the Great Spirit saw the sham and delivered His/Her judgement.Hopefully a court will bring it's judgement down on these fake wannabe Shamans.It's the new hip thing now,ya know.So all you spiritual seekers pull out your wallets and pay the high price for a higher consciousness.:musicus:

Maybe they can sell God too.......

Sweat lodge=lashed willow branches
old plastic sheeting,tarps,or canvas
rocks(preferably lava)

cost=somewhere around nothing !!!!!!!!!!!!

Paul Rigby
10-22-2009, 08:51 PM
Is this likely to happen in another country?

http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/65381307.html?elr=KArksD:aDyaEP:kD:aU2EkP7K_t:aDya EP:kD:aUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUU

A bunch of people suspend all common sense in the presence of an authority figure to this extent. People around them are dying and dead, not breathing, no pulse, there is no fucking oxygen, temperatures are dangerously high. People are not forced to stay. Yet when the con man--oops I mean "authority figure"--tells them to stay they do.

Do we have the full story on this event? Is there anything interesting going on in the background of both the authority figure and his overcharged guests?

I ask this because most people have certain powerful reflexes which would have taken them out of danger in the normal run of things. Was this a normal run of things and what happened to these powerful instinctive responses to danger? Seems to me we're missing something in this story.

Like drugs, perhaps?

Ed Jewett
10-22-2009, 09:49 PM
I don't know the details of the Sedona's story, but Myra's first post in this thread is a brilliant microcosm-is-macrocosm analysis of what is going on in this nation.

Magda Hassan
10-22-2009, 11:15 PM
I don't know the details of the Sedona's story, but Myra's first post in this thread is a brilliant microcosm-is-macrocosm analysis of what is going on in this nation.
Nice observation Ed. And , yes, you are right.
"Everyone go back to your desks, the building is safe, it is okay, you can return to your work place."
"The economy is improving. There are green shoots appearing everywhere. The people who brought you the meltdown are in charge of its recovery"
"Move along, nothing to see here"
:sheep::sheep::sheep:

Keith Millea
10-23-2009, 04:22 AM
Dixie,
It was really sad for me to watch these Native Americans try so hard to beat their demons.All night long singing,praying,beat the peyote drum.Then the Mother of all ceremonies,the Sun Dance.Four days of fasting,sweating,dancing,blowing their eagle bone whistles,while attached(pierced) by rope to the Tree of Life.So much strength to do this,and always go back to drinking,beating their wife.SAD,sad indeed.They tried so hard.My ex wife is Native American,but she couldn't use the sweat lodge because heat makes her break out in hives.Is that the heebie-jeebies?

Paul could be right about drugs being in the mixture.The area is pretty close to the peyote grounds.That place is sacred,and nobody should cut the cactus from that sacred place.I'm guessing that peyote wasn't used in this instance,just pure ignorance.:dontknow:

Dixie Dea
10-23-2009, 07:03 AM
Keith....

Yes, that is rather sad to undergo these rites, to beat their demons. ....and then go right back to their demons. Once, I lived near an Indian Reservation and knew some of the Native Americans that lived there. I heard many stories that upset me, at the time.

Oh...the heebie-jeebies....yes I also break out in hives, It happens when I am in the sun for very long too. But also I get very nervous and very jittery, like I want to freak out or something. ....so that is just what I call it.

Dixie

Peter Lemkin
10-23-2009, 07:18 AM
Dixie,
It was really sad for me to watch these Native Americans try so hard to beat their demons.All night long singing,praying,beat the peyote drum.Then the Mother of all ceremonies,the Sun Dance.Four days of fasting,sweating,dancing,blowing their eagle bone whistles,while attached(pierced) by rope to the Tree of Life.So much strength to do this,and always go back to drinking,beating their wife.SAD,sad indeed.They tried so hard.My ex wife is Native American,but she couldn't use the sweat lodge because heat makes her break out in hives.Is that the heebie-jeebies?

Paul could be right about drugs being in the mixture.The area is pretty close to the peyote grounds.That place is sacred,and nobody should cut the cactus from that sacred place.I'm guessing that peyote wasn't used in this instance,just pure ignorance.:dontknow:

Psychogenic drugs like peyote and magic mushrooms et al. usually bring to the fore the natural instincts and natural intelligence in persons - and I find it hard to believe they would be 'responsible', if used. Other drugs not associated with Native American Sweat-lodge practices could do otherwise. I fear American's are generally obedient to authority figures and getting more so. So, when fascism comes [if it hasn't already is only a matter of definition, IMO] all will be well prepared and self-rationalizing about its need. The game is almost over and the Bad Guys have almost won. The passivity of the Nation is almost beyond belief....not in this matter...but on bigger ones of War, Big Lies, Government Spying and Torture, Loss of Democracy, Covert Ops up the Yazoo, Gov't overthrows external and internal, Grand Theft by the rich of all those not rich, and more.....not to mention the poisoning of the entire Planet (and making it into an American shopping mall). Kitsch has become Kunst; Peace has become War; Up has become Down; Right is Left, Lies have become Truth, and Sanity, Altruism and thinking for oneself are being extinguished...as is the will to resist this madness. The vulgarity of some rich wannabe bohemians paying that obscene amount of money for something that can easily be found for free says it all. The pied piper took his toll. They are the most obedient types, generally. I'd be interested to know more about Mr. Piper/Leader and if he is just a stupid charlatan or akin to J. Jones.

Myra Bronstein
10-23-2009, 07:25 AM
I don't know the details of the Sedona's story, but Myra's first post in this thread is a brilliant microcosm-is-macrocosm analysis of what is going on in this nation.
Nice observation Ed. And , yes, you are right.
"Everyone go back to your desks, the building is safe, it is okay, you can return to your work place."
"The economy is improving. There are green shoots appearing everywhere. The people who brought you the meltdown are in charge of its recovery"
"Move along, nothing to see here"
:sheep::sheep::sheep:

Exactly. I thought survival instincts were the strongest. Apparently, in this case, they're not as strong as the instinct to blindly follow a con man even if means a slow horrible suffocating death.

The Sedona con man is continuing to hold (charge for) his services even while a homicide investigation is ongoing. Looks like people are still patronizing him even though he has not informed anyone of what went wrong, and what corrective action he's taken to insure it doesn't happen again.

Kinda mind blowing. It could well be a CIA type obedience experiment. But it's probably just a greedy con man scamming people who are lining up to die an expensive death.

Hell, I'd be willing to off 'em for half of what he charges.

:sheep::sheep::sheep:

Ed Jewett
10-23-2009, 08:20 AM
Peter Lemkin is on the money -- God, how I wish I could call him a lame-brain or something, but I'm afraid he's nailed it, especially in his sentence about our collective passivity.

Interesting too his note about the Great American Shipping Mall given this tidbit of a story [ http://cryptogon.com/?p=11791 ]; seems our parking lots are emptying.

Myra notes that the survival instinct seemed dormant which brought to mind a book I've read, recommend and is on my bibliography for my compilation "Summon The Magic"; it has also recently been promoted by Catherine Austin Fitts in her blog at Solari.com: http://www.deepsurvival.com/ .

Check out an inner link for The 12 Rules of Deep Survival, where he says (interestingly): "Survival should be thought of as a journey, a vision quest of the sort that native Americans have had as a rite of passage for thousands of years. Once you're past the precipitating event–you're cast away at sea or told you have cancer–you have been enrolled in one of the oldest schools in history. Here are a few things I've learned that can help you pass the final exam."

Keith Millea
10-23-2009, 06:17 PM
Myras link to the story didn't work for me,so I used their search,and came up with all their stories.

http://pd.startribune.com/sp?aff=20&keywords=sweat%20lodge%20deaths%20Sedona

Here is one.This guy has a multimillion dollar organization.And yes,Americans can't get enough of him.:hmmmm:


http://www.startribune.com/nation/64487677.html?elr=KArksUUUoDEy3LGDiO7aiU



Self-help empire of motivational speaker in turmoil following sweat lodge deaths

By FELICIA FONSECA and BOB CHRISTIE , Associated Press
Last update: October 16, 2009 - 7:59 PM




SEDONA, Ariz. - James Arthur Ray led a group of more than 50 followers into a cramped, sauna-like sweat lodge in Arizona last week by convincing them that his words would lead them to spiritual and financial wealth.
The mantra has made him a millionaire. People routinely pack Ray's seminars and follow the motivational guru to weeklong retreats that can cost more than $9,000 per person.
But Ray's self-help empire was thrown into turmoil when two of his followers died after collapsing in the makeshift sweat lodge near Sedona and 19 others were hospitalized. A homicide investigation that followed has cast a critical spotlight on Ray's company.
Critics are citing the sweat lodge tragedy as evidence that Ray is a charlatan who is not to be trusted. A relative of one victim accused Ray of exhibiting a "godlike complex" during the event that he said recklessly abandoned the safety of participants. Dedicated followers say they fully trust Ray to lead them through exercises that greatly improve their lives.
Shawna Bowen, once a James Ray fanatic who was among those who tended to the ill, has had a change of heart since the deaths.
"I could not imagine people looking to him after he made such egregious errors with human life," she said. "I don't think he has the right to be leading others right now. I think he needs to take a good look at where his ego, where his power trip got in the way"
Ray wept openly during his first public appearance after the deaths. During a free recruiting seminar for his program Tuesday in Los Angeles, he broke down in tears, the confident pitchman momentarily gone.
"This is the most difficult time I've ever faced," Ray told a crowd of about 200 at a hotel in Marina del Rey. "I don't know how to deal with it really."
Ray has become a self-help superstar by packaging his charismatic personality and selling wealth. Those who first attend his free seminars hear a motivational mantra that promises that they can achieve what he calls "Harmonic Wealth" — on a financial, mental, physical spiritual level.
But his technique is not just motivational speaking. It's a combination of new age spiritualism, American Indian ritual, astrology and numerology. The sweat lodge experience was intended to be an almost religious awakening for the participants.
Ray uses free seminars to recruit people to his expensive seminars, starting with $4,000 three-day "Quantum Leap" workshops and moving on to the weeklong $5,300 "Practical Mysticism" events and the $9,000-plus "Spiritual Warrior" retreats like the one that led to the sweat lodge tragedy.
About 50 people attended the retreat near Sedona, the center of the new-age movement where practitioners draw energy from the surrounding Red Rocks and various vortexes to heal others.
Sweat lodges, commonly used by American Indian tribes, also can be part of the healing process. Stones are heated up outside a lodge, brought inside and placed in a pail-sized hole. The door is closed, and water is poured on the stones, producing heat aimed at releasing toxins in the body.
The ceremonies have been part of Ray's "Spiritual Warrior" retreats for years.
Few details of what actually transpired during the two hours participants were inside the 415-square foot sweat lodge have emerged. Sheriff's deputies in Arizona's Yavapai County are investigating whether Ray or his staff may have been criminally negligent. No charges have been filed.
The Rev. Meredith Ann Murray, spent three hours in a sweat lodge led by Ray in 2007 that she said was done safely and helped her conquer claustrophobia.
"You're warned about all the possible things that might happen, how to take care of yourself, how to listen to your body," said the 56-year-old real estate agent from Bellingham, Wash. "I've done some amazing things I never thought I could do."
But in 2005, during a previous "Spiritual Warrior" retreat at the same resort, a man had to be taken to the hospital after falling unconscious during a sweat lodge ceremony.
Ray, 51, grew up as the son of a Tulsa preacher. Bored with college, he says he pursued a career as a telemarketer and began leading training classes for his employer, AT&T. He began honing his self-help business in the early 1990s.
In a 2008 profile in Fortune magazine, Ray said 5,500 people paid for his seminars in 2007. His books also are major sales drivers, and he told the magazine his revenues went from $1 million in 2005 to an estimated $10 million in 2006.
He soared in popularity after appearing in the 2006's Rhonda Byrne documentary "The Secret," and he later was a guest on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and "Larry King Live" to promote it. His 2008 book "Harmonic Wealth" made the New York Times bestseller list.
Whether Ray manages to maintain his success in the wake of the deaths depends in part on his supporters, and how long the tragedy dogs him as he goes from city to city recruiting paying customers for his wealth creation/spiritual harmony philosophy.
Critics point to the Sedona events as yet more evidence that Ray is a huckster, who, like other motivational speakers, present their philosophies as a magic bullet to all of life's problems.
"It's honing in on peoples' needs, their hopes and desires, telling them what they want to hear," said Rick Ross, founder of a virtual library of information on controversial groups and movements. "That's how any good con man makes his mark."
Linda Jackson of Brentwood, Calif., already is looking forward to an event Ray has scheduled in the San Francisco Bay area later this year. The 59-year-old says Ray has a rare gift that coupled with charisma, power and a "walk the talk" attitude only helps mankind.
Only God knows whether the recent tragedy will help or hurt Ray, she said. "Maybe it was necessary because he has to be cautious about something."
Ray has no plans to slow down, said his spokesman, Howard Bragman. He'll continue conducting seminars and be a leader, educator and mentor to the thousands who seek his help.
"One of his messages is about dealing with adversity," he said. "He's very clear and his team is very clear that we're going to continue his important work."
___
Christie reported from Phoenix. Associated Press Writer Daisy Nguyen in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

Jan Klimkowski
10-23-2009, 06:35 PM
Spiritual tourism at $9k a pop.

Take a three day trip to enlightenment. But don't get too hot and sweaty....

Time to bring back the Merry Pranksters, minus the MK-ULTRA EA-1729...

Myra Bronstein
10-23-2009, 07:02 PM
Myras link to the story didn't work for me,so I used their search,and came up with all their stories.
...

Thanks Keith.

Helen Reyes
10-23-2009, 08:12 PM
But Ray's self-help empire was thrown into turmoil when two of his followers died after collapsing in the makeshift sweat lodge near Sedona and 19 others were hospitalized. A homicide investigation that followed has cast a critical spotlight on Ray's company.

Dianetics has been described as the first modern American self-help book. Its later incarnation the Church of Scientology does something very similar to sweat lodges to treat drug addiction under its Narconon front organization (not Narcotics Anonymous, see http://www.crackpots.org/). Patients/inmates are told to sweat out their toxins in saunas and are administered massive doses of nicotianamide or niacin, which causes hives.

I almost think it woud be more beneficial for most of these people to spend a weekend outside in Yellow Knife with a bottle of Night Train and a pack of Camels. Even with travel expenses it would come in under 9K for most of them. Why don't these modern shamans ever teach the Hobo Tao, lead excusrions under a bridge to chug a gallon bottle of wine and shoot the bull all night?

Keith Millea
10-24-2009, 05:25 PM
I almost think it woud be more beneficial for most of these people to spend a weekend outside in Yellow Knife with a bottle of Night Train and a pack of Camels. Even with travel expenses it would come in under 9K for most of them. Why don't these modern shamans ever teach the Hobo Tao, lead excusrions under a bridge to chug a gallon bottle of wine and shoot the bull all night?

Good one Helen! :laugh:



He soared in popularity after appearing in the 2006's Rhonda Byrne documentary "The Secret," and he later was a guest on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" and "Larry King Live" to promote it. His 2008 book "Harmonic Wealth" made the New York Times bestseller list.


Yep,once you make it to the Oprah show it's all gold.This goes back to the mindless obedience thing.Oprahs devotees(and their are millions)will follow her sales pitches no matter what.The daytime Goddess;believe in her oh mindless ones.Hey last year she promoted an author whose non-fiction book turned out to be pure fiction.No problemo,the guy just forks up another book.All Is Good......sorta