Bond. James' bond...
...that bond, as you probably know by now, is a cool five million dollars.* (See updates below. ~CC)
By now it's all over the news: James Arthur Ray was arrested earlier today at his attorney's office in Prescott, Arizona. He has been charged with three counts of manslaughter for the three people who died last October after the infamous sweat lodge session at his Spiritual Warrior retreat in Sedona. You can keep up with the news here, and some of the many Tweets here.
PS added 4 February ~ This post is what Wikipedia would call a "stub," and, unlike my October 9 post linked to above, I'm probably not going to keep adding to it. However, while it's still "new" news, I did want to add a link to a few items:
The related story published on the Good Morning America web site on February 4.
The transcript of Anderson Cooper's CNN show on February 3, refuting James Ray's statements in a sham interview for New York Magazine.
And no discussion of this matter would be complete without Salty Droid's take on the matter (it's worth it for the Photoshopping alone).
* Not long after James Ray's arrest, it became known that he was having a bit of a "challenge" posting bond, which would have entailed coming up with $500,000 in cash to get out of the slammer. Once again Salty Droid was on it (this piece also has videos about James' plea and his attoney's comments) . Some people misinterpreted the statements from the Ray legal team as being that James doesn't have the money, raising questions of how it is that Mr. Harmonic Wealth himself could be so cash-poor. But, as former James Ray employee Amy Hall commented on the Droid's blog...
Amy Hall Reply:
February 5th, 2010 at 7:34 pm
If you listen closely… the atty doesn’t say that James doesn’t have the money… just that it isn’t liquid enough to come up with the $500,000 cash that he needs. For God’s sake the man owns 5 houses! His parents own their own house, his brother owns properties in OK. They could come up with it if they wanted to. James is in solitary confinement. He’s on a Monk’s Holiday!
There's also an interesting discussion on the Rick Ross forum about James and his brand of Harmonic Asset Concealment, as well as the long tradition of same among LGAT gurus (Werner Erhard of est/Landmark Forum infamy comes to mind).
Update, 28 February 2010: As most of you undoubtedly know, after much ballyhooing about his lack of funds to get him out of jail under that original five-mil bond, James' bond was reduced to $525,000 on February 25. (Here, from the Droid's blog, is a link to a PDF of the order.) The next day he walked out of jail a free man, sort of. There are conditions on his freedom as he awaits trial for three counts of manslaughter. Among these conditions: He had to surrender his passport and can't leave or attempt to leave the U.S.; he has to provide his lawyers with a written itinerary in advance of any travel within the U.S.; and he cannot conduct, supervise, or participate in sweat lodges or any other event that might induce a "significant risk of physical harm" to others. That latter provision is open to debate, of course, since there are other varieties of physical harm besides cooking people to death or goading them into injuring themselves by striking a board or a brick. (Inducing psychosis that might lead them to kill themselves comes to mind. I'm just sayin'.)
Judging by some of his most recent tweets on Twitter, James is setting the stage for his newest shtick, playing on the theme of transforming darkness into light. (Well, hey, a guy has to make a living. And when life gives lemons...)
Anyway, as I've mentioned before, and as you've no doubt noticed, I have long since given up providing a blow-by-blow account of all of the developments in this ongoing story. Plenty of others have taken up the slack, though, and have done a remarkable job. Among them:
Cassandra Yorgey Since her blog does not appear to use tags, I am linking to her first post about James Ray, but on the right-hand side of the page is a complete list, with live links, of her posts on this matter.
The participants on the Rick Ross forum Not surprisingly, the James Ray thread is very long; the link is to the page first mentioning the lowered bond. You can go backward or forward as you wish. I find this forum valuable not only for the discussion of the matter at hand but also for the insights into LGAT (Large Group Awareness Training) techniques.
Terry Hall at the Bizsayer blog. Terry is married to former James Ray International employee Amy Hall, whom I quoted above.
A February 26 post by Steve Salerno at SHAMblog did give me pause for thought, however. Although Steve has by no means "switched sides"– as he takes some pains to explain – he did note:
...I'm getting a wee bit uneasy about the ardor of our collective assault on Ray. I think there is danger in piling on, as some of us have—including your host. I think that we run the risk of unwittingly marginalizing ourselves: that in our zeal to find and trumpet every last incriminating detail, background circumstance or untoward facial expression--while at the same time ignoring or rationalizing away any possible mitigating circumstances--we make ourselves look like, say, the liberals who once were accused of "Bush derangement syndrome"...
...while Ray may be the poster boy for reckless/venal self-help, we probably shouldn't make him out to be the Grim Reaper, Adolph Hitler and Bernie Madoff rolled into one. Certainly not until he has his day in court. The guy almost surely is a megalomaniac—but if you're telling me that he intended to kill those people, or that he didn't care if he did...I'm not buying it. I think that in the person of James Ray, we have a messianic blunderer with no sense of consequences who may have honestly felt that he was showing tough-love on that October day, driving clients to push beyond their limits. This is not in any way to excuse what happened in Sedona. If anything, it underscores why self-help is so stupid, so scary. And that is where our emphasis should now reside, in my opinion.
As is usually the case on SHAMblog, an interesting discussion follows.