New Age ‘Warrior Retreat’ costs lives


This December 2013 video from the USA says about itself:

Death Dealer: James Arthur Ray’s ‘self-help’ killed three people. Now he’s back.

More than four years after Oprah-endorsed self-help guru James Arthur Ray killed three people in a heat endurance test outside Sedona, Arizona, he’s been released from prison. While Ray plots his re-emergence into the $11 billion self-help industry, the family of one of his victims is on a crusade to ensure that he — and other like him — don’t kill again.

From Wikipedia:

James Arthur Ray (born November 22, 1957) is a leadership and performance advisor, life coach, and author who was found directly responsible for the deaths of three people and convicted of felony negligent homicide. He is the author of Harmonic Wealth: The Secret of Attracting the Life You Want, which was a New York Times bestseller. …

Ray has attracted attention for his advocacy of the New Thought belief that positive thinking can heal physical ailments and his claim to have used willpower to stay free of all illness. …

On October 8, 2009, at a New Age “Spiritual Warrior” retreat

The expression ‘Warrior Retreat’ evokes several things. It tries to attract people by evoking ‘warriors’ like in fiction about native Americans, eg, novels by Karl May. While real native Americans are angry about James Arthur Ray’s practices, as we shall see. ‘Warrior’ also evokes wars, in which people die. Like people die in Ray’s ceremonies.

‘Retreat’ evokes, eg, going to a Roman Catholic monastery. It evokes the religious pretenses of Ray. However, in Roman Catholic monasteries sometimes things go awfully wrong, like in Ray’s ‘retreats’. Ray’s religion looks like a mixture between religion and fraudulent for profit business; somewhat like Scientology, Amway and NXIVM.

conceived and hosted by Ray at the Angel Valley Retreat Center in Yavapai County near Sedona, Arizona, two participants, James Shore and Kirby Brown, died as a result of being in a nontraditional sweat lodge exercise. Eighteen others were hospitalized after suffering burns, dehydration, breathing problems, kidney failure, or elevated body temperature. Liz Neuman, another attendee, died October 17 after being comatose for a week.[24]

The attendees, who had paid up to $10,000 to participate in the retreat, had fasted for 36 hours during what was claimed to be a vision quest exercise before the next day’s purported sweat lodge. During this period of fasting, participants were left alone in the Arizona desert with a sleeping bag, although Ray had offered them Peruvian ponchos for an additional $250.[25] After this experience, participants ate a large buffet breakfast before entering the nontraditional structure built for the sweat lodge.[26] The site owner reported she learned after the event that participants went two days without water before entering the structure.[27]

Following the deaths, Ray refused to speak to authorities and immediately left Arizona.[28] According to participants in the heat endurance exercise (which was misrepresented by both Ray and his organization as a “Native American sweat lodge ceremony”), a note was left that said Ray was unavailable—as he was in “prayer and meditation”.[29] Ray later confirmed, during a 2013 interview with Piers Morgan, that he fled the scene rather than staying to assist with the aftermath, because “I was scared.”.[30]

Print media began reporting that Ray conducted a conference call with some victims, one of whom recorded the call and provided it to the AP. During this call, a self-described channeler said that they had communicated with the dead and they had said they “were having so much fun” out of their bodies that they didn’t want to return.[25

On November 18, 2011, Ray was sentenced to two years in prison.[45]

Native American experts on sweat lodges have criticized the reported construction of the structure, as well as Ray’s conduct of the event as not meeting traditional ways (the words “bastardized”, “mocked” and “desecrated” have been used).  …

The Oglala Lakota delegation holds that James Arthur Ray and the Angel Valley Retreat Center have “violated the peace between the United States and the Lakota Nation” and have caused the “desecration of our Sacred Oinikiga (onikare, sweat lodge) by causing the death of Liz Neuman, Kirby Brown and James Shore”.[49]

There are fraudulent businessmen cum religious leaders like Ray in other countries as well.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV, 3 October 2019:

The fatal victim of a healing session in IJzendijke in Zeeland last Wednesday was a 34-year-old man from Oudewater.

They call it ‘healing’, though the IJzendijke business does not have any medical expertise.

The three people arrested in the case last week are suspected of manslaughter.

One of the suspects, a 36-year-old therapist from Terneuzen, is still detained. He is the owner of the location where the spiritual session took place. He is said to have played the biggest part in the incident. Another therapist, a 35-year-old man from Terneuzen, has been released. In addition to manslaughter, the duo are also suspected of owning and supplying hard drugs.

The third suspect, a 37-year-old Briton, can wait for the trial at home. Just like the victim, he was present at the multi-day ceremony, which also used narcotic and hallucinogenic drugs.

This ceremony by the IJzendijke business Iboga-Farm, is called Warrior Retreat, inspired by Ray. They don’t charge $10,000, like Ray did, for the two-day ‘retreat’: ‘only’ 765 euro.

In April 2019, a 31-year-old man died at such a ‘healing’ session in Eersel town.

This Dutch 25 September 2019 video is a warning about such ‘healing’ by ‘spiritual’ organisation Inner Mastery International.

Kentish plovers are back at Dutch beach


Dutch Zeeland Kentish plover sign, photo Omroep Zeeland

This photo shows a closed off part of a beach near Renesse village in Zeeland province in the Netherlands. The sign shows a Kentish plover picture, with as caption: I am nesting here.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Rare Kentish plover revives in Renesse

The Kentish plover is back in Renesse. The rare bird appears to benefit greatly from the closure of a stretch of beach near the Zeeland village. Eight chicks were born from twelve litters.

Staatsbosbeheer is happy with the result. The beach will close again next year, the nature management organization has already announced to Omroep Zeeland. …

“I think it is very important to protect this bird species because I want to maintain biodiversity,” says Margo van der Meulen, bird warden. She is pleased with the intervention by Staatsbosbeheer, which closed the so-called Verklikkerstrand near Renesse to the public for the first time last year.

Trampled

The problem last year was that the closing off was not sufficient. The Kentish plover nests were trampled by holidaymakers and dogs.

This year, the set-up by Staatsbosbeheer was successful, mainly due to the deployment of birdwatchers who warned the tourists. They shared flyers and gave explanations.

Religious homophobia in Dutch Zeeland


This 2013 video from the USA says about itself:

Televangelist Pat Robertson made homophobic remarks regarding same-sex couples, saying gay couples make him want to vomit. Watch a clip in the video.

Televangelist Pat Robertson responded to a viewer question on his Christian Broadcasting Network show “The 700 Club”, saying there should be a vomit button so that he could press it every time he sees a photo of a same-sex couple kissing on Facebook.

Unfortunately, in Dutch Zeeland province there are not only beautiful birds, but there is also ugly religious homophobia.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

22 of the 33 churches in Tholen

former island in Zeeland; in the Dutch ‘Bible belt’.

strongly protest against the hoisting of the rainbow flag and the Sunday opening of a number of tourist shops. In a full-page advertisement in the local Eendrachtbode paper they write that the “Christian norms and values on Tholen are pushed aside”.

The municipal council of Tholen last month agreed with the hoisting of the rainbow flag on Coming Out Day, the day that LGBTQ people can come out for their orientation. …

According to the church councils, of [fundamentalist Calvinist] congregations, there can be no other relationship than that between a man and a woman. The hoisting of the rainbow flag on Coming Out Day goes “against the Biblical creation order.”

Starling murmuration among windmills


This 16 November 2018 video shows a starling murmuration among windmills.

Anja van Riet made this video in Zeeland province in the Netherlands.

Fish and birds are able to move in groups, without separating or colliding, due to a newly discovered dynamic: the followers interact with the wake left behind by the leaders. The finding offers new insights into animal locomotion and points to potential ways to harness energy from natural resources, such as rivers or wind: here.

LGBTQ liberation and homophobia in Dutch Zeeland


Zeeland rainbow flag design, by Vos Broekema

This is the design for the rainbow flag of Dutch Zeeland province. It is inspired by both the international rainbow flag and the Zeeland provincial flag.

Zeeland provincial flag

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

As the last province in the Netherlands, the province of Zeeland now also will hang out the rainbow flag. That will happen next Thursday on Coming Out Day. This has been happening for years in the other provinces. “It’s just logical to do it”, says a spokesperson for the province against Omroep Zeeland broadcasting organisation.

Coming Out Day is since 2009 an annual event on 11 October. The intention is that gay men, lesbians, bisexuals or transgenders (LGBTQ people) can then more easily express their sexual preference. Under the slogan ‘come out of the closet!’ there are in schools, but also at companies and in the hospitality sector social gatherings and meetings.

For support, the rainbow flag is hung out in many places. Zeeland province was always an exception. That changed when the GroenLinks party in the provincial legislature came with a motion earlier this year to declare Zeeland a rainbow province. The motion received a narrow majority. Yesterday, the provincial executive also changed tack.

SGP [right-wing Protestant party] executive member Harry van der Maas remains the only one against it. He said earlier that the fight against LGBT discrimination does not belong to the core tasks of the province. Van der Maas was not available for comment this morning, but the official position of the SGP is that “on the basis of the Bible no approval can be given to homosexual practice“. The SGP also opposes “the opening of marriage for same-sex couples, because marriage is a unique and exclusive union between one man and one woman”.

The decision of the province does not mean that all municipalities in Zeeland will also participate. Schouwen-Duiveland, Tholen and Reimerswaal [where the SGP is strong] have already announced that they will keep the rainbow flags out.