October 13, 2009

Owners speak on sweat lodge tragedy

Resort owners ask for prayers after Sedona lodge deathsPRESS RELEASE October 13, 2009
Angel Valley Sedona

We express our deepest feelings of sympathy, love and support for the families and friends of those who passed on and for those who are still recovering.

We want to thank all the many people who have sent us tokens of their love and who have offered their support. Many prayer circles have been created to pray for all involved.

We want to express our sincerest feelings towards the Native American Community for this having taken place on the sacred land that we are the stewards of. We have been offered assistance by Native American friends to heal the land, which we have accepted with gratitude. We also know that an initiative has been taken among those who lead sweat lodges in the authentic way, to get together and review how incidents like this can be avoided in the future. We feel the pain of the Native American Community.
Here's a hint. The way to avoid incidents like this is to not rent your land to New Age hucksters like Ray who aren't Native and have no idea how to run a genuine Native sweat lodge.

You gotta love what the Hamiltons haven't said:

  • They're "stewards" of Native land...but no Natives are involved in running the Angel Valley Spiritual Retreat Center or its sweat lodges. Why not? Who or what gave these non-Indians the right to permit sweat lodges?

  • Someone somewhere is launching an initiative to make sure future sweat lodges are authentic. But the Hamiltons are mum about their own deadly sweat lodge. Did they say or imply their sweat lodge was authentically Native? Or did they explicitly say it was not Native and had no Native expertise behind it?

  • The press release continues:Saturday October 10, after the police had released the site of the accident, we performed a ceremony in prayer and meditation on the sweat lodge site, together with those participants of the retreat that were still around and our staff, finalized by a prayer song by a Native American Elder. Our ceremony was our attempt to come to terms with what had happened, We prayed for Kirby Brown and James Shore and their families, for all others involved who need support, either physically or emotionally, for the Native American people and their tradition, for all those who struggle with what took place and for our own healing. We laid a heart in stones as a memorial to Kirby and James.

    We ask all who see this to send your prayers and love to all involved and affected.
    We ask to help transform anger and judgment.
    We ask to pray that something positive will come out of this.

    Michael and Amayra Hamilton,
    Co-founders of Angel Valley Spiritual Retreat Center and owners of the land.
    I'm transforming my "anger and judgment" into postings that ream you for your New Age practices, Hamiltons. I assume that's what you meant.

    If this tragedy helps put you out of business, something positive will have come out of it. We can only hope.

    Alas. Despite their loving prayers and reassurances, the Hamiltons may be partly to blame:

    Arizona sweat lodge did not have permit

    County didn't OK structure where 2 died in ceremony

    by Glen Creno and JJ Hensley
    Yavapai County building-safety manager Jack Judd said there was no record of an application or permit for a temporary structure at the Angel Valley Retreat Center near Sedona.

    Judd said no inspection of the structure was conducted before it was dismantled.
    The sweat lodge was dismantled...really? Destroying the evidence violates every police procedure I've seen on TV. <g>

    For more on the subject, see Ray Speaks on Sweat Lodge Tragedy, Ray Retreats from Tweets, and How Sweat Lodges Can Kill.

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