tv CNN Films Enlighten Us The Rise and Fall of James Arthur Ray CNN December 17, 2016 6:00pm-8:01pm PST
because let me tell you, i'm going to -- i will be all over the place, so just be prepared for that. i've had camera guys -- i used to have, you know, projection on either side because the oaudiene was really large and i'd every once in a while look up and i'm not on the screen, i'd be, like, seriously, you know, come on, you're getting paid to do what? all right. so i'm reminded of the story of a young 6-year-old boy. he bounded out of bed on this particular morning because he was excited. you remember how when you were young and really young, and you got excited about anything, well, i mean, that's how he was. he was excited because today was the day that he began kindergarten. and he wanted to go new places and meet new people. he wanted to color. all kinds of things. and so he left his familiar surroundings, he began to
interact very quickly with a different group of people. and it wasn't very long before he realized that he was different. >> 49, sedona, cpr in progress. two subjects passed out. >> code right now. about another 15, 20 people bound. >> we just had an additional bound, possible third victim. we're going to send an ambulance from sedona as well. >> we now have three codes and one burn victim. >> three codes and one burn victim? >> yep. >> all at the same time? >> all at the same place. >> the first two code patients are being transported right now to the hospital and the third one is being flown out. >> we need to try to get over there and figure out what type of crime scene we have. >> it was supposed to be a journey into spiritual discovery
and wholeness. >> around 60 people sat in a packed sweat lodge in the arizona desert. they were on a retreat organized by self-help guru, james arthur ray. >> but now a third person has died after being overcome by extreme heat. and authorities are classifying the deaths as homicides. ♪ >> tell us what people are going to expect at this event tonight. >> well, at any of my events what people should expect is to have lot of fun. i teach individuals how to create wealth and harmony in all areas of their life. everything i do is extremely
experiential, whether it's a two-hour presentation like tonight or up to an eight-day event which i do that and everything in between. ♪ >> hello. >> hey, how are you? >> good. >> james was one of the top speakers in his field. there were less than ten people who were in the category that james was in. >> self-made millionaire james arthur ray is transforming the way the world thinks. called the rock star of personal transformation by the press, please join me in welcoming mr. james arthur ray. >> thank you. what i'd like to share with you this evening in the short amount of time that we have, two hours will go very quickly, i promise, is the secrets behind what it
takes and how to operate to truly create the life that you desire and deserve. if i have any gift, it's that i'm able to take complex ideas and simplify them into a very practical and easy to apply formula. and that's what we're going to do here this evening. >> when i first went to a james event, i was kind of skeptical. i didn't know anybody there. and it was your traditional hotel banquet room filled with chairs with a stage in front which kind of looks similar to some of the personal development programs i'd taken in the past. >> i'm not sure exactly why you're here tonight, yet, but there's two things i absolutely know about you. >> everybody in that room, there was something going on in their life. could have been anything. could have been a divorce. could have been financial, it could have been anything. >> there's at least one area of your life -- >> part of me was in haze and i wanted that part to wake up. i want to be happier.
i want to be more successful. i'm not quite sure what that means yet, so i'm looking, i'm searching. >> i knew that i was an intelligent person, i was very motivated. i felt like i could do anything, but i always felt like flfs a little piece missing i didn't have the answer for. >> how many of you are truly committed to taking your life to the next level of achievement, really commitment? >> i thought maybe james ray has the one thing i need to hear. >> let me ask you this question, if i told you exactly what you needed to do to accomplish anything and everything you choose to accomplish, would you do it? no or yes? even if it seemed unusual, would you do it, no or yes? >> yes! >> good. i want to congratulate you for being here and i can help you. i really can.
>> he's going to be in heaven. combuka, tea. he loves it. protein bars and blueberries and strawberries which he hasn't had any real fruit, i think he gets one apple a week. we're going to get james out of prison. >> what'd you say? >> exciting, to have him come out and be free, but i think we're just starting, you know, it's starting over. >> good morning, everyone, yeah, we're here in at inbakai, arizona, at the lewis state prison. see the guard check here. we've been watching cars go by
that guard shack. a lot of media out here right now. >> he was once a popular motivational speaker. he had appeared on oprah, in the movie "the secret." james arthur ray, though, has spent the last two years behind bars after a deadly sweat lodge ceremony in 2009. today, after paying his debt to society, about two years in prison, he's about to be released. >> ryan, i think that's him. >> you think it's him or no? >> i think it is. >> i think it is, too. >> james ray was, indeed, released from the lewis prison and now he will be on probation for the remainder of his sentence right here in phoenix.
>> don't cry, man. you're going to make me cry. couldn't have made it without you. >> yeah, you could have. it just would have not been the same. it's all good, man. you're good. you're good. >> yeah. >> i found myself sitting in a chair today really talking to myself and saying, okay, james, get your head on and be grateful. you know, when i first went in, it spun me out really hard and i went through everything from shock, to anger, to victim, to hating god, blaming god, you know, look, why?
you know, i tried to help people and this is my reward? now i look back at it and i think, how arrogant, who am i to think that i should not have any challenges because i'm trying to do something good? and what's your motive for doing it? >> be strong. >> i will. >> you got this. >> appreciate it. >> how do you feel right now? >> just really blessed because, again, i -- i have nothing to complain about. the no.1 choice of dentists. compared to oral-b 7000, philips sonicare flexcare platinum
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oh, yes. okay. >> hello. this is -- i'm laura from colona, british columbia. i've been working on control all week. >> are you controlling control? >> i'm not really sure. i was there looking for transformation. i was at a point in my life where something needed to change in order for me to move to the next level. >> so, what could you do right
now just to prove to yourself that you don't care what anyone else in here thinks? come on. >> singing would be a problem. >> singing would be a problem. because you're worried about what other people think of your voice? >> yeah. >> okay. so what song are you going to sing? >> "oh canada." >> "oh canada." >> as the workshop progressed, i could feel my wall coming down. i really did learn how to take my guard down with people. ♪ oh canada we stand on guard for thee ♪ [ cheers and applause ] >> you're awesome. great job. now, wait, hang on a second. now, is that a breakthrough?
if i'd have asked you a week ago if you'd stand in front of people and sing "oh canada we stand on guard for thee" would you have told me i was insane? >> yes. >> yes. that's a breakthrough, huh? >> yeah. >> who's next? >> it takes unwavering self-confidence to say i understand exactly how to fix not just myself which, alone, one a huge accomplishment, but als all of you strangers who have just shown up in this room. >> i was sexually abused as a child. i was so scared. i thought i wasn't important and i've come full circle. so i just wanted to share that with anybody that's feeling like me, because you can do it. >> we're all carrying all of these pain. >> you were. >> we were. >> and looking back upon how you used to be, how does it feel to
be totally and completely different now? >> there will be no stopping me. >> that fundamental human need to express your pain and try to find some way of ameliorating it is at the heart of all this. the self-help industry is a huge industry. it's $10 billion a year and that desire to improve yourself, that's not going anywhere. it's the history of america. we've always been seekers on one level. >> it's scary to have to -- to get into your emotional issues. because it's uncomfortable, but you know what's scarier, is not. >> james kind of represents his audience in a way because he's a striver. he was saying, i have the tools and the skills and the this and the that to help you achieve your dreams while i, myself, am actually, you know, this is me trying to achieve my dreams.
when i wrote about him in 2008, his goal was to be the top. >> most people look at their current state of affairs and say, this is who i am. >> he'd been in "the secret" which was this mega bestselling dvd of motivational gurus and now he was taking his shot to be that next big thing in the motivational speaking world. you'd have these giants of the industry. >> things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least. >> stephen covey's financial, deepak chopra spiritual. >> you and your mind and emotions cannot be squeezed into the volume of a body or even the span of a lifetime. >> tony robins was really the king. >> whatever you think you came for, more energy, more focus, more determination, more confidence, more certainty, more love, whatever it is, i can tell queue this, that's not why you came. >> but no one kind of ticked all the boxes of spiritual, financial wellness. that's what james was trying to
do. >> i've studied for three years with the indians, direct descent dents of the inkas. traveled through more temples and tombs than anyone you'd ever meet and studied in the business schools of at&t which kind of means i'm eclectic. re on us! switch your family of four to t-mobile, get unlimited everything, and we'll give you $800. that's right! $800 to spend anywhere you want. plus, all season long, get awesome deals on smartphones, tablets, and accessories. hurry in to t-mobile and get your holidays on us.
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any time i'm talking about the past, i'm over here, right, young 6-year-old boy. i'm taking you to the future over here because people read from left to right. if i want you to think about your vision, i'm going to do this. what is it you're going to create in your life? what are you going after? or if i want you to let go of something, you know, those old doubts and insecurities and fears, i'm going to put them into the past. that's really subtle, but -- but unconsciously, you start to organize these things. >> james was at the top of his game as a speaker and all of these opportunities were opening
up to him. and then the sweat lodge happened and literally, bam, in one moment, all gone. friends, colleagues, business associates, people he paid for years, did not stick with him. didn't want to have anything to do with him. assumed he was guilty the moment they heard something and literally ran for the hills. >> come on, sunshine. >> i don't think any of us know the lowest that it went or has gone or if it's even hit that point. but there's a lot of strength in him and he's not a quitter. >> the movement that james ray is part of really began in the early 20th century. there were books like dale carnegie's how to win friends and influence people" or "power
of positive thinking." the model was one of book writing and speech delivering. but in the late 1960s, early 1970s, the movement began to undergo a radical change. due in part to the popularity of what was called the encounter group. >> you came in here to get better, came in here to stroke yourself, for all that nonsense, this is the wrong place to be. this is not about getting better. this is about completing your transformation. >> as started in san francisco in 1971, a lot of people would note that today as the landmark forum, people would come into a seminar room booked in a hotel over a weekend. what it really became known for was the kind of shockingly confrontational nature of the actual seminar. >> why do you have to be a nice guy? why do you have to look hip?
why do you have to look cool? >> it was challenging for the people that were there. it was a little outrageous for the people who weren't. as was sort of a dam break, then you also had talk shows, oprah to dr. phil, that created this experience with the studio audience. you have this wider acceptance of the idea of a group of people coming together to be completely radically transformed. >> i guess i don't know the value of money. i don't know what a penny eegs worth, i don't know what a dollar's worth. i've never had that much in my life. >> where'd you learn that one, steve? mom or dad? >> i would say my mom. >> mom. mom a happy person? >> no. >> no. didn't think so. mom still alive? >> she passed away two years ago. >> mom still alive? >> you're getting into stuff that i didn't want to talk -- >> i -- i understand that. you see you're right on the edge of a breakthrough here, my
friend. do not touch him, please. >> james took, perhaps, a slightly different approach to self-development than some of the other people in industry. he was a little more direct about it. he didn't sugarcoat a lot of things but he really made you stop and think. >> are you listening or wanting to just defend your position? >> i was going to agree, actually. >> well, listen. so many times people ask me questions not to get the answer. they ask me questions so they can prove what they know. and you don't like that because i called you on your shit. you know what, that's why you paid me money. so do you want to learn or do you want to stay where you are? >> i'm standing here. i want to learn. >> then let go of pissed right now. and tell me what's good about me calling you on your shit.
why are you happy that i called you on your shit? >> makes me uncomfortable. i grow. >> yeah. good. nice job. >> he does have that flavor of, like, you know, pushing beyond limits. he would say, okay, you can get this far, okay, you got here, now you can go this far. thousand you got here, now you can go a little further. >> one of the things that james understood very well was that people grow, people transform in challenge. >> reach for the bar. come on. you can do it. >> so he could create these challenges. they were manufactured challenges, but they became an opportunity for realizing that you could do something that you didn't think that you could do. >> they seemed to get more and more elevated in difficulty.
>> just look eye to eye. connect eye to eye here. >> there was bending rebar, so two friends would put a piece of rebar between them and then you bend the rebar using your throat. >> keep going. keep going. come on come . come on. dig in. dig. dig. dig. yeah. >> you would also walk across fire. >> make sure to remember to wipe your feet. there's a water bucket right on the end. let's go. yeah! >> sticking your hand in a pit of snakes. why the hell would you do this? if you don't go through that brick, it will sting, but you will go through that brick. you can. it has nothing to do with strength. it's about energy. do whatever you need to do,
breathe from the mouth, bring that energy up, circulate that energy. bring it out your arm. bam. right through the brick. >> you see some people freaking out about just the thought that they would break a board. and then you'll see them break through it and you'll just see, like, this sheer joy that comes across their face of, like, being able to accomplish something that they thought was impossible. it's pretty powerful. >> here's another big round of applause. you kicked ass. you faced your fears. you went forward and you gave it everything you've got. so i want you to remember that. you see, only he or she who is willing to go too far will ever find how far one can go.
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this is piers morgan live, welcome to our viewers in the united states and around the world. want to begin with a story of how it went very wrong for the king of self-help. >> at the peak of his popularity, self-help author james arthur ray was one of the world's top motivators. in october 2009, he pushed too far. >> 911, where is your emergency? . what's the wrong? >> two people aren't breathing. two with no pulse. yes. >> okay. is this result of a shooting or something? >> no. it was a sweat lodge. >> a sweat lodge? >> yes. >> it was james ray's version of a native american sweat lodge ceremony where temperatures reportedly reach 120 degrees, killing 3 of his followers and sending 19 to the hospital. ray was charged with three counts of manslaughter for the deaths of 38-year-old kirby brown, 40-year-old james shore, and 49-year-old liz neuman. >> james ray now joins me
exclusively for an interview, the first time he's spoken since coming out of prison after all this dreadful tragedy. so james, your career was rocketing. were you a nice person then when you look back on yourself? do you look back at yourself with a certain degree of disgust, perhaps, at your actions and recognize that there was a character trait in you that you had to change? >> there's definitely character traits in me that i had to change and there still are. i don't know that i would say disgust, you know, i'm human. >> to go from that kind of wealth to getting wiped out and to lose your liberty, it's a huge toll on anybody, but do you think looking back it was an appropriate punishment given that three people who paid money to be in your constitututelage their lives? >> i have no complains.
you know, i feel like i've taken the punishment and god gives us what we deserve. >> until i create a compelling now and future was the topic. the past. it's been years of people telling me what to do and where to be and what to say and what not to say. i got to get back in the driver's seat again. >> how are you doing? >> coming to look at -- >> yeah. >> you said you keep a cool room. >> i just today them, it's going to go way down. it's way too hot. >> stifling in here. >> yeah. >> do we have a stool for me to sit on? >> i have it. >> i'll give you my book and my water and all that and if we just have a glass and tissues.
>> got. >> i'll just pick the stool up and walk over here and set it down, climb up on it and go. >> okay. >> that will work. >> okay. good. >> thank you. on october 8th, 2009, i was involved in a terrible accident and i lost three friends. people who i really cared about and i can't tell you how much anguish and pain that caused and still does for me. can we bring the lights up, please? have you ever had a situation in
your life where you felt like you got hit so hard in the stomach that you can't even breathe? life is hard. false or true? >> true. >> and life sometimes deals you some really tough blows. false or true? >> true. >> and at some point in time, you have to decide, we all have to decide, if we're going to fold or move forward in faith. life has taken some really tough swings at me, and by the grace of god, i'm still here. i'm still here. [ applause ] thank you.
♪ >> thank you for coming. >> what do i do? that's the million-dollar question, isn't it? i really believe that i help people experience more life. >> thank you very -- >> thank you, sweetie. i started my search when i was really young because i wanted to find as a very insecure, skinny, frail, bucktoothed young man with an extremely domineering father, i wanted to find myself. i grew up in tulsa, oklahoma, in the bible belt, right in the
buckle of the bible belt. my father was protestant minister. >> jesus' miraculous ministry of -- >> he was very charismatic. he really could touch his congregation and he was my first wow. >> back then, he was a hellfire and brimstone preacher, to tell you the truth, and he went very far with that because our church was very strict. >> dad was pretty easy. mom was extremely strict. she was brought up in a very, very staunch religious family, and everything was a sin. we couldn't go to movies. we couldn't play pinball because mom considered that a form of gambling. because if you played well enough, you could win a free game. >> always knew he had a special
calling. i told him that from childhood. i don't know if i put it in him, and i wondered if i was wrong in doing so, but i really felt like he was a special child. >> i love them both, but i think his mother's closer to james than i am. with john-john, i have a lot more fun. >> james was always very, very disciplined. i mean, i remember when he had a morning paper route, he'd get up at 4:00 in the morning. to me, he was always larger than life because he was my bigger brother, but he was actually kind of reserved. he was a goofy looking kid. if you put goofy looking kid and introspective together, it's a recipe for inadequacy.
>> next. oh, yes, grab a seat. just humor me for a moment because two of the most important people in my entire life are in the room. i call them mom and dad. so if they'll stand up right here. my mom is the most loving, beautiful, angelic person i've ever known, and she has to be to live with dad for all those years. give them one more round of applause for me, please. thank you. thank you for proving my point. now -- my dad and i have always had this frictionous relationship. he never really wanted to allow me to do what i do and he always -- it was always like
this competition, for whatever reason, it's bizarre, and it was really tough growing up because it was never good enough for dad and it was never anything close to what he'd accomplished. he wanted me to become a protestant minister, but i went into business and i did really well. i worked for at&t in the telemarketing office. i ran the morning crew and i didn't follow the manual like when my people would come in, i remember this was back in the '80s and i've always been a big rock 'n' roll fan so when they'd come in the morning, i would play "welcome to the jungle" by gunsnroses. i still love that song to today. i had it up loud, boom box. nobody was doing anything like that. my people were like, yeah, that's cool. they were all psyched up. it was so very cool for me because i realized, man, i can get people inspired and they can do things that they don't think
they can do. it felt like i had an ability that i didn't know i had. it made me feel like i could conquer the world. >> james ray has devoted the last decade to studying the thoughts, actions and habits of successful individuals, and tonight he's going to share some of those secrets with you. >> i'm excited and i'm challenged to be here this evening. i started keynote speaking and it was hard. i can't tell you how many hours i spent standing in my living room telling my stories to my couch. very quickly left his familiar environment and started interacting with different people. it wasn't very long before he found out that he was different. >> the life of a self-help speaker is very large and hard to break into the field. it's a tiny, tiny fraction
whoever have their own television show or speaking in arenas wearing a headset. more often they're speaking at a lunchtime meeting of insurance managers or a new age center. >> he moved to california. that was a huge, huge leap of faith. you know, he was
his product. so if he wasn't selling himself, he had no income. >> it was hit and miss, and i was just like, man, you know, i'm getting older and i thought i was going to do something great and i haven't, and it's probably not going to happen. >> how many came because you want more? how many came because you want more? say i. say i! >> i went to a tony robbins seminar. i was like, holy shit. it was like a rock concert. i remember saying to one of his
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a motivational speaking and bestselling author who served nearly two years in an arizona prison is in scottsdale this weekend hosting motivational seminars. >> james arthur ray is charging 300 bucks for a one-on-one self-help session. >> he believes he can help more people. the family of one of his victims believes he's done enough. >> you can't twist the fact that people who died, really an insult to the region and entire state where the crimes awere committed. >> i think he's dangerous. he doesn't understand his actions actually made these deaths inevitable. >> we're having an event for james that is designed to be an
intimate roomful of people. >> small number. >> who can bring -- it's ask what you want. having been in a room of several hundred people with james, and being in our living room, it's got a whole different personality to it. >> thanks for coming. >> you're welcome. >> are you guys local? >> no, we're from canada, actually. >> holy moses. you know, thank you, double thank you for coming. >> i was at one of your events in 2009 and i never got to get that hug from you. ever. that's the one thing i've always wanted to get because i owe you so much. >> thank you, buddy. >> you're welcome. >> i appreciate that a lot. >> i love your new spin on everything, compared to your old stuff and your new stuff. it's just got so much more soul and passion to it. >> how do you expand awareness? there's only one way.
pardon me? >> especially bad experiences. >> especially -- well, the bad is relative. right? was my prison experience bad? yep. was it good? yep. i mean, you're here only because i went to prison. i wouldn't have met you otherwise. >> it feels a little bit like you're picking, choosing, which experiences we're talking about here in terms of the struggles you went through. it wasn't just about prison. it was about -- >> let me ask you, and i appreciate this question, what determines bad? >> what happened in the sweat lodge seems bad to people. >> so you're saying that death is objectively bad. >> and death definitely when you don't think you're going to die would be -- >> but you are. >> this rationale, honestly, that kind of thinking, i'm just saying, i feel like a base line can be established that you can
move on and new decisions can be made. but i think there can be things that go wrong. >> yes. you know, all these tangents are valuable in a whole night in themselves. i'd like to come back to it, but i will come back to it. so let me ask you -- >> the sweat lodge tested our relationship with james. we've been supportive because this work really had some profound effects on our lives. we were going through a tremendously difficult time. >> to us, to me, james was god, a guru, whatever you want to call him, bigger than life. he came into our life right at the point when we were starting to rethink ourselves. >> there you go. good. >> our business was falling apart, they were foreclosing on our house. and she had picked up this cd
called "the secret." >> an all new oprah. it's making its way around the world and the buzz keeps building. it is "the secret" to creating the life you truly want. make more money, lose weight, fall if love, land your dream job. find out "the secret." >> so many times people say to me, well, i'd like to double my income in the next year. >> it may be called "the secret" but it isn't much of a secret anymore. >> the hottest self-ham program in years. >> and i guess the obvious question here is what is "the secret"? >> do you want me to tell you the secret? >> yeah. >> the secret, spoiler alert, is that if you think positively, positive things will happen to you. >> think of it as positive thinking on steroids, perhaps. sales are soaring in part of oprah and in part because self-help sells. >> "the secret" changed my life. i remember the day as long as i live. i was sitting in my office and my assistant came running to me and she said, james, oprah's on
the phone. >> james, i love what you said during the commercial break. i hadn't heard that before. >> thank you for giving that experience. true forgiveness. when you can get to that point, you can truly say that. >> i've been here since 1875. i haven't heard -- >> i have several friends who got involved in that book and film but because james is so articulate, intelligentic, he's one of the people he chose to be on the talk shows. >> there were four of us on oprah and i got a call back the very next day, oprah wants you to come back. >> we have some secret teachers back to talk about -- >> and that really was -- was his, you know, his rocket ship to fame. >> over the course of 2008,
2009, i did all of the events. >> we went everywhere his events were from california, to georgia. >> aloha. >> hawaii. >> 2008, we went to egypt with james. that was part of his worldwide society. >> just wanted to congratulate you on all you've done. nice job. great job. >> the worldwide society was like james' inner circle where you had some one-on-one face time with james. >> you have a shockra in the palm of your hand. >> he was amazing. >> how about did it cost? >> it was over 100 grand. >> for you and your wife? >> yes. >> per year? >> yes. >> grab a couple of hugs and congratulate each other. >> the moment someone starts getting attention, everybody
starts calling because they believe there's money there. >> he's been called the rock star of personal transformation. now self-made millionaire, james arthur ray, wants you to achieve your dreams. he'll be here to tell you just how to do it. >> i spoke in front of my largest crowd in toronto, canada. 14,000 people. it was a rush. i was just buzzing and then it struck me, i could speak to 20 million people in the same timeframe on television. i felt this inspiration, i felt this pull and it's going to happen. >> i was introducing james to different producers, you know, looking at potential tv appearances and things where he could do his own show. warner brothers, telepictures, it's harpo, oprah's company. >> i'm james arthur ray. i help individuals all around the world create harmony and wellbeing in every area of their life. >> we shot a lot of tape. >> hulk hogan, one of the most recognized figures in the entire world -- >> he'd built a business and built a frenzy. we figured if we can get him on the air, he's going to build a following.
>> i love you. until we meet each other again, have a great journey. god bless. remember, you're great. i love you. thank you. i've always had this intuition that i would write a memoir someday. i hooked up with a writing partner who loved the idea and i came up with a working title called "the fall" and we went out and met with four major publishers in new york. well, story came back, every one of them, great guy, great story,
needs to be told. where's the comeback? here i am a year and three months after my release and i'm extremely grateful, don't get me wrong, to be here and to have a second chance at life. i'm incredibly grateful. and yet nobody wants to be starting over again in their mid 50s. you guys have had a phenomenal week of productivity over there, to say the least. you know, here i am a startup again and i know what it takes and i get up and i'm like, you know, do i still have that in me? how are we doing numbers wise? >> numbers as in sales? >> yeah, total sales. >> i think the last count was a total of, up to ten? >> yeah. >> maybe ten. >> i mean, this has been a tough year. >> ready?
>> yeah, going to get you miked up. >> i came out of prison in debt. my credit is crap. i'd like to begin a conversation with you today that i think you're going to be interested in. it's about the topic of wealth, abundance and prosperity. i've got nothing tucked away. it's in the challenge, the crucible of challenge, that greatness is born. you don't grow, develop and advance by tripping through the tulips. going to prison sucked, but you know what, what greater place to recognize what's truly important? what greater place to build discipline and commitment? what greater place to practice what you espouse? it's been an honor and a
privilege. you've been a great audience today. i really love and appreciate you for your acceptance. three words, start immediately, begin flamboyantly, no exceptions. god bless. god bless you. >> thank you, james arthur ray, and he and his team are getting ready to go upstairs. if our ushers will come forward. >> my pleasure. thank you. >> hey, mike. nice to meet you. >> nice to meet you, too. in august i was almost in a fatal car accident. >> wow. >> this january, my wife wanted a divorce. then the end of january, i lost my job. but i am so focused on the positive and i'm going to be there on the third. >> good. >> and i do have a purpose. >> thank you. it was wonderful. >> pleasure. thanks for being here.
>> a lot of things i needed to hear. >> that was rock 'n' roll. like, perfect place, perfect time. you said something that grabbed me. >> good one. >> so i started a meditation carpet company. i believe meditation carpets should be in every household like the bible. >> i think i'm going to do this one. >> is is there a reason why you haven't considered this one? what i would love to do is work with you over the next six months. if you got a little inspiration today, think about getting that every single month. >> thank you very much for that palm reading. i did not expect to get that today. >> i'm going where you are as far as speaking and motivating. >> let me help you. >> i've been in my own crisis thing that's not what you went through. >> let me help you. i'd love to help you. >> where do i sign up? >> right here. >> i just need you to sign with your finger. >> with my finger? okay. >> hi, paula. >> i like you much better this way. can i work for you? i worked my ass off on this. i did this all by myself. >> i know you did.
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the truth is, james never got quite as close to the sun as he felt he was destined to get. you know, the "the secret" got hn oprah, got him a fair amount of attention by association of it. he's not a household name. he's not tony robbins. he's not deepak chopra. in 2008, when i spoke to him, he was quite open about how what he was doing at the level he was doing it at was not really sustainable. >> by this time, my overhead was astronomic astronomical. my events cost a quarter million dollars to produce. my company had to generate $6 million a year just to break even before i ever got paid a nickel. hey, this is james again. still backstage, and i still want to connect with you. and then 2008, economy was going sideways. the most important time in your life. people didn't care about
harmonic wealth. they cared about save my house. >> you must surround yourself with people who think, feel and act resourceful. i look forward to seeing you soon. >> i was getting frazzled. >> something was going to shift eventually. >> james always had a pyramid, harmonic wealth is the bottom, and the pinnacle is spiritual warrior, but you were supposed to kind of graduate, grade one, grade two, grade three. but when i went to harmonic wealth in 2009, he had a special that day just for this group, i've never done this before, we're going to allow people to go straight to spiritual warrior. >> most of you have seen this before. can we see the pyramid real quick? >> his retreats were the upsell for the business. >> there's volume, there's price, right? volume is you can fill the stadium, price is you paid
$1,000 to come to this conference but you can spend $10,000 to do this retreat. >> so here's the opportunity. let's see it. >> that is where the real money was made. >> these are people just like you. they're making an investment in themselves. >> i had met this girl, kirby, at the event. she'd done two harmonic wealth. i had only done one. but we were trying to, like, why not go straight to the top? >> spiritual warrior was a five-day retreat that was difficult, and i would tell people, hey, don't come to spiritual warrior unless you're ready to roll up your sleeves and do some hard work. >> he recommended from the beginning that it wasn't for everybody, that it was going to definitely challenge you and if you really wanted and needed a way to get, to push through your boundaries, this was it. and i thought, well, everything else that i've tried hasn't been
enough, and so if this is what he's advertising, i would like to try it. >> welcome to spiritual warrior. time is short. time is short. question's not if you're going to die, you are. the question is, how did you live? time's short. tick tock, tick tock. >> the theme of the week was, there's been a lot of painful events in my life, and i'm going to acknowledge that they're painful. i gave them a series of exercises to dive deeply into their own psyche. why is it you can't have a great relationship? well, let's see how you are programmed about relationships and what did mom and dad do, how did that affect you and how -- you know, all these kinds of things which is not comfortable work. if you really truly set on bending commitment, i'm really going to do whatever it takes,
no matter how uncomfortable it is, no matter how frightening, then you'll have a breakthrough. that's what you really want, isn't it? >> he would pick two, three people at each spiritual warrior he would mentor and he actually pick me as one of them. >> there's a reason for everything we're doing here. i want you to get out of your traditional ways of behaving. in that way, i can push your threshold. you can push your threshold. i can help you facilitate that. >> he said this week to get the most out of it, you need to do this, you need to follow the rules and play full-on. >> the head shaving started on the first day. he asked, you know, is this going be just another program that you sit through or is this going to be the program where you really take it on and take your life to the next level? how serious are you, and how are you going to demonstrate to the universe that you're really serious about it?
and so immediately some people get up and they go get their head shaved. >> i warned you in advance it was intense. have i kept my word so far? yeah, well, we're just getting started. >> he told us some of the psychological practices he was using. it was all designed to push physical limitations and mental limitations so our natural intellectual resistances would be weakened. >> you can choose to sleep, but i wouldn't suggest it because it's going to be over before you know it and the work you get done here is the work you get done here. >> there was usually a main event that happened every day. one day, we played a samurai game. one day, we did the vision quest. everybody was pretty much on a huge high. we'd had all these breakthroughs and now we were going to go into
the sweat lodge and it was going to be a rebirthing process. ste, is finished. the people will love it. originally brewed for the holidays. enjoyed ever since. stella artois. host one to remember therthere is nothing typical about making movies. i'm victoria alonso and i'm an executive producer... ...at marvel studios. we are very much hands-on producers. if my office... ...becomes a plane or an airport the surface pro's perfect. fast and portable but also light. you don't do this 14 hours a day, 7 days a week for... ...decades if you don't feel it in your heart. listen, i know my super power is to not ever sleep. that's it. that's the only super power i have.
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we're gonna live forever! symbolically, when you're going into a lodge, you're going back into the womb. and symbolically, what you're going to do is to die. i approach the laws with great respect. i've been anticipating it all day long. because by the second or third round, i'm normally thinking, why the hell am i me? it will be the most intense heat that you've ever experienced in your entire life. you will feel as if you're going to die. when you emerge, you will be a different person. >> when he was saying what we were going to experience in the sweat lodge, i was like, okay,
it's going to be somewhat intense, but not anything like what he described. then when i saw it, i was like, what the heck? it wasn't even a tent. it was a dome and it was covered in plastic. i was like, wow, how's this going to work? are we going to, like, suffocate in there? >> it was way worse than i anticipated. but i sat down. i'm like, okay, trying to give myself some space here and he's like, oh, no, you have to scoot in. so people would, like, touch you. i'm like really, wow. the next group of people would come in and they sat right in front of you. so now you're sitting cross legged and now there's people in front of you and they're smushed up against you kind of using you as back support. and so my space is literally, like, this big. >> i was beside liz neu mman. liz was a member of the team
that was helping facilitate the event. she had been at this event numerous times in the past and she gave us some tips on what to do when it got hot. >> as we're all sitting there, they close the flap. a few people just panicked, like, screamed, like, just the initial of, like, holy moly, i'm in this really claustrophobic space. and then he says, "bring in the rocks." it starts getting hotter and hotter. >> you could hear various people talking and some people were in distress and unhappy about being there. and trying to talk themselves through it. >> he keeps bringing in more and more rocks and at one point he pours on, like, a five-gallon bucket of water and the whole thing filled up with steam and it just kind of waved over you
like you could just kneel feel touching your face, burning your face. it went down my nostrils and into my throat and i was freaking out. >> it was so, so, so intense. you couldn't breathe. by the fourth round, i had said i had enough and i crawled over and james was at the door and he was like, beverly, you know, you can do this, you can do this, you're stronger than this, you can get through this, play full-on. >> as a good mentor they paid me to be, i would say, come on, now, come on, you can do this. can't you? come on, you can stick it out. you know? i would encourage them. >> i was like yeah, okay, okay. >> what am i doing here? why am i putting myself through this? what is the point of me, you know, sitting here with all these other people and is it worth it? >> i had to leave. but then i was sitting there blaming myself, like, golly, is
there something wrong with me that i wasn't able to, like, stick it out? >> yes, there were people that were having a hard time, but every year there were people having a hard time. you know, to me, it was no different than running a marathon. >> at the end of the seventh round, james shore was right next to kirby, he was saying she's not moving, she's motte moving, she's not breathing, she can't breathe. james said, the door's closed, the round has gun and we'll deal with that at the end of the next round. >> i became concerned about liz. i don't know if it was the way she was breathing but i raised my voice and i said, james, i'm concerned about liz, and he said, liz has done this before, laura, she knows what she's doing. so i asked her if she needed to leave. and i got a head shake and a no.
when it was over, we were amongst the last to leave. i stayed in until people came in and took her and she didn't get under her own steam. and then i made my way out into -- i just remember how bright it was and how chaotic. >> i was laying on the ground and the woman to my right, i saw that she was unconscious. and then she started seizing. >> some people had passed out. somebody went back in to check whether everybody was out and
911, where is your emergency? >> he said to call if anything changed and one more isn't breathing and one person -- >> okay. so we've got three people not breathing and one -- >> yes. >> -- burn victim? >> yes. >> people were shaking and calling names to people that were incoherent. there was one lady who was, like, laying down and her eyes were rolled back in her head and just eh, eh, eh. like puffs of breath like she couldn't breathe. >> a mass unit, like literally a triage. people laid out everywhere on tarps. system of them are kicking and clawing. it was not right. it wasn't under control.
this is not how it's always been. >> i figured kirby would be doing the same thing i was doing, helping out, but i couldn't find kirby anywhere then i looked through the tent, she was right next to james shore getting cpr. >> the people who were unconscious, they were taken out first. i kept asking the policeman who was coordinating, did you hear any news from the hospital? and at sam point he said, yeah, two people were declared dead when they arrived in the hospital. and that's -- after that, all police cars came driving in because now there was a crime. they asked who was the leader of this? well, james ray. where is he? well, he was not there. >> i had gone back to my room and i was, like, still not all
together because i've just run this serious marathon on the tail end of an extremely emotionally taxing week already and so i get in the shower and there's -- and when i get out, there's a rap on my door and it's the police. are you james ray? yes. did you run this lodge? yes. well, you know we're investigating this as a homicide. what? you're scared shitless. you're in shock. it's real. so i grab my cell phone, i call my lawyer. he goes, you need a criminal lawyer right away. let me call someone i know. so this criminal guy, his name is steve, i've never talked to him before, i never met him. he calls me back and said, you need to leave. in himy mind, it's like, investigating this as a homicide, might get arrested, attorney saying get out of there. i mean, what would you do? >> just want everybody to keep
an eye on each other tonight. if anybody gets nervous, either go to the hospital or call 911. >> we went to the main hall, that's what they told us to do and they started taking depositions from us as to what happened. it was super confusing because nobody knew what each other was supposed to do. we all wanted answers. how is everybody? then where's james ray? never to be seen again. >> he never came to the dining room. every time the door opened, james james? no. not james. >> there was this opportunity for him to step into the role of teacher and leader and he failed. >> my whole entire vision is just this scared little boy running away from something that he's done.
>> when i first got this case, i had never heard of james ray. i never even heard of the self-help movement. i didn't know there was a self-help movement. initially i thought this is probably some kind of cult and some kind of cult ritual. without having any of the facts, that's what came to mind from looking at the sweat lodge structure and talking to some of the participants who were still dazed. initially, we had no idea why these people died. we didn't know if there was some kind of drug that they were using to get to this altered state that they were seeking. eventually, i felt it was clear what had happened, that james ray got the sweat lodge too hot. the question was whether or not that's a crime. >> whatever the reasons why these folks died, there's no question but that it was an accident.
>> our first goal was to talk to the government about why this was not a criminal case. >> it was supposed to be a spiritual retreat. >> but right off the bat, all the news trucks show up. >> tonight there is an intensifying swirl of questions and intrigue. >> pushing people to their limit or pushing too far. >> and we never saw james ray ever again. and he doesn't know what some of us are going through. >> and so i think there was a lot of pressure to bring criminal charges. >> james ray is in serious trouble. three counts of manslaughter against him in arizona. that's recklessly causing the death of another. each count carries the possibility of four to ten years in prison. >> i was so naive. i never thought they would ever
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after months of awaiting a court date, james ray has arrived here at the yavapai county superior court after being charged for the murder of three people. the question for the jury will be, did these people know what they were getting into? did they choose to stay because they wanted to push themselves or is ray responsible for their deaths? >> on october 8th of 2009, three vibrant, healthy adults entered a sweat lodge at a retreat center in sedona. each one was seeking to learn personal growth and the tools to success in their lives. instead of growth and enlightenment, kirby, james, and liz found death. the man who promised -- >> the reason james ray was very dangerous is because he's so good at talking to people. he can convince people to do
anything. >> mr. ray, through his staff, recorded all of his sessions with his participants during this seminar. >> it will be the most intense heat that you've ever experienced in your entire life. i guarantee that. we're not going to have lunch because the last thing you want in a lodge is a full stomach that has to be emptied in the lodge. >> he tells the participants that they're going to experience vomiting and an altered state and they might lose consciousness. he essentially gives them symptoms of hypothermia and tells them that that's what they're going to experience as if that were a positive thing. >> the state needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that mr. ray killed the three deceased, that he caused their deaths. >> the state said that people had died from heatstroke, but looking at the medical records at the time, the doctors who
were treating the people were saying had these people been poisoned from, like, an insecticide? one of the first things you would do if you think someone had a poisoning is you would do a drug test on them. they didn't do that. >> what if you had a blood sample right now that they took on the night of the accident, what if they submitted it and it says organaphosphate poisoning? what are you doing charging mr. ray? >> the fact is this case was, is james ray a good guy or a bad guy? and from the government standpoint, james is a really bad guy. okay? he's a cult leader. >> the state says that these folks were conditioned to obey. conditioned. >> if you feel like you just cannot transcend an overcome this, then when the gates are open, if you have to leave, you leave and you leave very, very in a controlled manner. >> you heard it. "if you have to leave, you leave." how does that condition somebody not to leave?
>> would you please begin by stating your full name? >> beverly. >> would you tell us why you made the decision to stay? >> i felt that i had a lot of stuff that i was dealing with and trying to get over and mr. ray obviously knows better than i do, having been through these sweat lodges before, maybe he knew we needed a little bit more help or needed to stay there a little bit longer. i also didn't want to let him down. >> james ray did not want people to die. there's no question in my mind, he wasn't trying to kill anybody. what makes this a crime is that james ray knew that people were in medical distress. the participants told james kirby brown is not breathing right and he says, leave her there until the next round. that's on him. >> remember, these people paid an enormous amount of money for this new age gibberish.
people paid a premium fee and were pushed to extreme limits in the name of self-improvement. >> we were labeled as either a cult or cult-like. >> if you make james ray out to be a guru, you become a devotee, you become a follower. >> if i allowed myself to look at the news or go online and read what people would write and, you know, particularly when it comes to those comment sections on blogs and "stupid, fat, deserved to be dead," all this stuff. >> you kno"you know, who pays f retreat, what wackos. >> she wasn't an intelligent person, it was part of a cult or these people are idiots. >> what i learned from spiritual warrior didn't come from the course. it came from what i had to overcome in my life as a result of having been there. (vo) it's the holidays at verizon,
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we, the jury, in the above spitement action and upon our oaths do find the defendant, james arthur ray, on the defense of negligent homicide, guilty. >> so, where are we, and what's the situation here? >> you know, this is my dream home. in 2006, when is the t"the secr i became blessed and went into a whole new arena, started getting into the media and all these things. i thought, you know, it's time for me to get my dream home. what's happening next week is an estate sales company is coming in. i'm having to liquidate everything because my house is either going to be foreclosed
upon very shortly. i haven't been able to make the payments for almost a year now since the accident. i really need to sell as much as possible because i haven't worked in two years. >> just catch us up, where are we now in the whole process? >> we're waiting for the judge to make a decision. potentially, i could go over and be sentenced. i mean, the state is attempting to put me away for nine years. so, you know, god willing that doesn't happen. my prayer now is just to be in the place i need to be to embrace whatever the journey is. as i look back now really honestly, i recognize my arrogance. there's a lot of huberous that
comes with being a savior. i want to convey my deepest sorrow. to the families. nothing i can say or do is enough. i know that. i'm so sorry. i'm so sorry. >> the evidence from the trial, presentence proceedings, show that mr. ray, as misguided as he was, believed he was helping people, and the evidence is that people believed they were being helped. the court is still left to wonder, how is it that so many educated, knowledgeable people,
ignored basic common sense? but mr. ray, when a person has your incredible abilities to gain people's trust, there is a large, large responsibility that goes with that trust. and that responsibility was not honored. that was violated. >> james arthur ray has been sentenced to two deaths at a sweat lodge ceremony. >> no one is happy with the sentence tonight. >> he could have gotten nine years but he will spend two years in jail. the families said two years is a joke for the loss of three lives.
so, i finally broke the silence with my doctor about what i was experiencing. he said humira is for people like me who have tried other medications but still experience the symptoms of moderate to severe crohn's disease. in clinical studies, the majority of patients on humira saw significant symptom relief. and many achieved remission. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common, and if you've had tb, hepatitis b, are prone to infections, or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. if you're still just managing your symptoms, talk with your gastroenterologist about humira. with humira, remission is possible.
can't the world be my noodles and butter? get your mind out of the gutter. mornings are for coffee and contemplation. that was a really profound observation. you got a mean case of the detox blues. don't start a war you know you're going to lose. finally you can now find all of netflix in the same place as all your other entertainment. on xfinity x1. in october of 2009, my world changed dramatically.
i am responsible. there was thing that's were overlooked and missed. i'm responsible. there was people assigned to certain duties, trained well, paid well, that was their job. it doesn't matter. i am responsible. >> i don't think of james any more. one of the things that i believe very strongly is that our environment is important. and i don't include him in my environment. i stepped away, very deliberately from all things personal transformation for a number of years. in the course of of the last year and a half or so, i started to realize that to get to the next step, i was going to need to go there again.
>> i was very hesitant for a long time. now i feel like i may be ready for someone elses perspective. >> i have not looked at this stuff for a couple of years. >> this book is in here, the secret in s in here. this is a board that talks about yourself, not worth loving, north worth living. when you break the board, that means -- i feel i have now. love, joy, and happiness and i deserve it. i have it all. probably the biggest learning lesson of everything for me was to be responsible for your choices in life. i start traveling and taking time off, and i didn't feel like
i had a networking project to figure out how to make more money or friends or things like that. it was just actually experiencing live, myself, and letting myself experience it. so i'm not forcing things. >> when i look at the event in sadona, i wonder how that happened. >> i think i know the answer to that question. it had to happen. because it was the only way i could experience, learn, and grow through the things that i have done. that's what i think is the reason for me. am i drinking the kool-aid?
the following is a cnn special report. >> police. 755 15th street. >> what's going on there, ma'am? >> it is one of the greatest unsolved crimes in history. >> we have a kidnapping. there's a ransom note here. >> a little girl vanishes from home christmas night. >> it's just like you got hit in the stomach. where's my child? >> hours later she's found strangled to death. >> i couldn't do anything but scream. >> keep your babies close to you. there's someone out there.