Truth Is What the Darkness Most Fears - Part One



“Playing Full On” Is Linked To Valor

(An invitation to James Arthur Ray and those impacted by the events of October 8th, 2009)

At the outset of this series of articles, offered in three parts, I feel compelled to acknowledge that although I have followed the events of and related to James Arthur Ray’s Spiritual Warrior retreat in Sedona, Arizona on October 8th (which left three people dead and more than 20 ill), I do not know James Ray and have never attended any of his seminars or retreats. However, as a member of the human family I have been unalterably impacted by the events of October 8th

One needn’t be a mystic, scholar or possess above average intelligence to construe that what transpired in the life of James Ray is an opportunity for him to walk his talk and apply the principles he teaches (each thing that shows up in one’s life is something personally created; who we are reflects what we attract to our lives). I find offensive the assertion that the participants who died and those stricken created what transpired solo, as if Mr. Ray is exempt from any part in its co-creation, let alone culpable for negligence. At the very least, consider that it was a co-creation, that this has shown up in the life of James Arthur Ray because he personally created it; who he is reflects what he has attracted. As a medium, I am confident that Kirby Brown, James Shore and Liz Neuman did not enthusiastically, intentionally “choose” to die. Nevertheless, as they continue to process what transpired, I do feel they are seeking for their deaths to serve the highest purpose possible.

That high purpose requires a series of heroic, “warrior” acts from James Ray. My sense is that many feel that it is too late for him to step into that role, as doing so might reek of a legal leveraging ploy; while others would likely deem that role a feigned maneuver for the sake of soliciting societal admiration. I’ve read articles in which Mr. Ray is portrayed as a cavalier, counterfeit charlatan and others in which he is acclaimed for possessing natural integrity and indisputably contributing to people’s lives. An event of this immensity almost always incites polarized points of view. Polarized viewpoints will neither serve the highest purpose for the deaths of Kirby Brown, James Shore and Liz Neuman nor bring the profound healing sought by those struggling in the pain-ridden pool of post-traumatic bewilderment and betrayal. In addition, undoubtedly the litigious actions already underway, the possibility of criminal charges, Hyperion’s postponement of the publication of two of his books and Minnesota Senator Kloubucher’s request for the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission to investigate both what happened at the retreat and Mr. Ray’s advertising techniques will assuage some of the deep ache and make deposits into the restitution accounts of those who have lost. However, I submit that these actions will not bring profound healing nor serve the highest purpose. I am implying here that I have an idea about what might, and believe that if Mr. Ray were to answer this call, he would find a river of relief, appreciation and support.

My outreach to Mr. Ray issues forth from the core of my hopeful, prayerful and expectant heart, and since I have considerable concern that my words might not have sufficient authority to sway Mr. Ray, I include a few of my favorite quotes (strategically placed) in this article. I extend an earnest and urgent invitation to James Ray to embody authenticity as the highest spiritual principle by going courageously within to obtain the answers to why – not why on an event level; not why related to the materials used to construct the sweat lodge; and not just why on a facilitator/coordinator/leader level; but WHY on a pure, vulnerable, revealing, and unmodified accountable human being level. “When an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears outside as fate.” – Carl Jung

We deeply and desperately need not to be further betrayed and disappointed by leaders/facilitators/role models that either decline walking their talk, pretend to do so, or do so just enough to slide between the cracks. We need him to be a true champion - to vulnerably disclose why he felt so inflexibly and dogmatically compelled to “push” people and why he ran from the sweat lodge event when tragedy struck. The bold, brave stand for our healing and his, lies in his courageous choice to apply “playing full on” to this situation and ride its wave so that he can share with us that perhaps he was shocked, appalled and even guilty as he beheld the aftermath of the Sweat Lodge – people dead, unconscious, wandering around in various states of distress, chaos and bewilderment. I implore him to accept that we need him to examine and acknowledge that perhaps part of him is not simply continuing on with his work because, as he stated “it’s too important not to”, but because the terrified part of him is running and hiding to perhaps elude, feign, rationalize and substantiate. “You meet your destiny on the road you take to avoid it.” – Carl Jung

My intent is that the energy embedded in these words will so stir Mr. Ray that he will immediately cancel all of his upcoming speaking and retreat engagements; organize a safe Sacred Circle that includes a few contemporaries who can support his journey to his inner shadow lands, to the emotionally wounded places in him, so that he might cease avoiding his destiny, so that in confronting his own shadow, he might find his own light. “To confront a person with his own shadow is to show him his own light.” – Carl Jung. I invite him to link “playing full on” with valor, to go beyond his comfort zone and take an honestly raw and courageously vulnerable stand by holding a free televised public gathering in which he shares the personal truths he has bravely confronted and uncovered. I advocate for his refunding the entire Spiritual Warrior Retreat fee to each 2009 participant or their next of kin as a gesture of compensation for their loss and duress. I urge him to set up a forum facilitated by qualified therapeutic trauma specialists for the survivors of the 2009 Spiritual Warrior Retreat, for those who’ve lost consciousness, shattered bones and injured eyes in past events, and for all his loyal clients who are now experiencing shame and confusion. I heartily recommend that he compensate the families of Kirby Brown, James Shore and Liz Neuman for their hospital, transport and funeral expenses, the hospital expenses for each of the 2009 participants that required that level of care and rehabilitation costs and loss of wage package for Sidney Spencer. I recommend that he establish a four-year college fund for each of James Shore’s three children, a loss of wage package for James Shore’s family, scholarships funds in the amount of $50,000 yearly for 10 years for artists in the name of Kirby Brown and for a humanitarian cause in the name of Liz Neuman. I’m not implying that each individual impacted by the events of October 2009 shouldn’t seek civil suit damages. Rather, I’m advocating for Mr. Ray’s volitional outflow of truth and compensatory gestures and for his immediate dissolution of James Ray International followed by a three year long vision quest sabbatical during which he fully addresses the healing of the personal issues that became the fuel and flint of the events of October 8th, 2009. I request he hold another free televised public gathering at the end of the three years to share his healing process so that we might be in the presence of an instrument of bona fide transformation that contributes so dynamically to our evolution that we are catapulted into the world many of us dream about. I urge him to become the place from which a genuine quantum leap occurs. No one can transform anything they are unwilling to acknowledge. No exceptions, no matter what.

Mr. Ray, I leave you with words attributed to the Christ -

“If you bring forth what is within you,
what you bring forth will save you.
If you do not bring forth what is within you,
what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”

~ The Gospel of Thomas

Mariangela Pino Landau is the founder and director of a spiritual organization called The Center for True North. She is a medium, mystic, metaphysical minister, ritual and ceremonial facilitator, a poet and the author of Spiritual Adulthood.

© 2009 All Rights Reserved



  1. Dear Mariangela Landau,

    What a superb article! I can't wait for the remainder.

    Your words ring true and I felt your message. I hope Mr. Ray did as well.

  2. Dear Mariangela and Hank,
    I just read your article and commend you for taking this matter on in a direct, firm and commanding manner. As soon as this tragic event took place and hit the press I began receiving word of it from those that wanted to make sure that I was aware of what had transpired. I received messages over that weekend from at least a half dozen different sources. As you know we just completed our 22nd annual Fall Sacred Path Men's Retreat this past weekend. We had 50 participants including staff and we conducted 3 sweat lodges. I believe you know that I started holding lodges for my events commencing in the mid-80's. I have always invited Traditional Native American Sun Dancers to pour water for our lodges. Our lodges have always been conducted with the utmost safety, dignity and honor to the Lakota ways. Continued in the next Comment...
  3. Continued from previous Comment...
    My very first sweat lodge was conducted by Grandfather Wallace Black Elk, Great Grandson of the legendary Chief Black Elk. That lodge was filled with Native Americans including Grandfather Semu of the Chumash Tribe.

    It was an intense and challenging experience for me but I knew that I was in safe hands and that I was being pushed to my edge but that I was protected from above and within. Andrew Soliz, who pours water for us now, spoke about the lodge led by Mr. Ray in Arizona. Andrew's cousin Thomas co-led our lodges. He is a member of AIM (American Indian Movement).

    They both indicated that they did not know Mr. Ray but discerning from what they had heard they knew that he did not run his lodge in a proper way and that many elements of it were inappropriate, abusive and negligent.

    I am troubled by the fact that Mr. Ray calls his events Spiritual Warrior retreats. Continued on next Comment...
  4. Continued from previous Comment...
    I founded the Men's Center of Los Angeles and the Sacred Path Men's Retreats in the mid-80's and the subtitle of the Sacred Path Retreat has always been: The Way of the Spiritual Warrior. I heard these words spoken to me by the Great Spirit, "The Sacred Path, The Way of the Spiritual Warrior." I was inspired and instructed to bring good men together and to bring out the best in them and that they would therefore naturally choose to give back to others. Thousands of men of all ages have passed through the portals of our retreats without physical harm or emotional shame or abuse.

    Mariangela, you intimately know the profound nature of this work and Hank, you have personally experienced the power of this work firsthand. When it is done in a good way, people benefit greatly. .
    Continued on the Comment...
  5. Continued from the previous Comment...
    Many have been healed and helped on the Sacred Path. I went to Mr. Ray's web site to learn more about him. I have read comments by people that have attended this event and others that he has conducted. I feel an aura of ego attached to Mr. Ray's teachings. There appears to be a mercenary tinge to his work that smacks of avarice and entitlement. When one is run by one's ego and pride, one can be misguided and mislead those that follow. I believe we are living in a time in which false prophets are being exposed. One of the men attending our retreat, for example, had lost over $2 million dollars from his life savings through investing in Bernard Madoff's ponzi scheme.
    Continued on the next Comment...
  6. Continued from the previous Comment...
    I feel a sense of urgency that people need to awaken to the importance of exercising Mindfulness these days in discerning those that are real and truly committed to an honorable path with integrity from those that are essentially self-serving narcissists taking advantage of trusting souls.

    Thank you dear friends for being gatekeepers of The Path and sourcing the Divine word so that others may more clearly distinguish the twists and turns on their journeys to personal enlightenment.

    I would hope that Mr. Ray would take your admonition to heart and allow himself to be humbled and brought to a place in which he will do the right thing now. If you wish to include my words on your blog, you may.
    With love and admiration,

    Stephen J. Johnson, Ph.D., Executive Director
    The Men's Center of Los Angeles and
    Sacred Path Productions
  7. Testing 123
  8. All people deserve very good life and loans or just consolidation loan would make it much better. Because freedom is grounded on money state.

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