February 3rd, 2010
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 02/03/10

Sweat lodge guru James Arthur Ray is arrested and charged with manslaughter in connection with the three deaths at one of his events last October. We have the breaking news. Plus, new developments in the case of the American missionaries accused of child trafficking in Haiti.

Want more details on what we're covering? Read EVENING BUZZ

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Filed under: Live Blog
soundoff (260 Responses)
  1. Cessy-Chicago

    If there is any truth to bribing haitian police officers, then it sounds like they knew what they were doing. Yes, I can see that they wanted to help, but there are a lot of things that they can do and still do IF they really want to help. Say...give money? right?

    February 3, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  2. LisaL -Canada

    curious - how are the SOS Children's Village group doing? (that is where the 33 children were taken, correct?)
    is there just the one close to PaP, or are there more in some of the more remote areas of Haiti?
    do you know if they are involved in assisting with reuniting displaced children with family?
    how are they doing for resources (food, people, resources)?

    February 3, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  3. Dodie, Irvine CA

    These people were: Not registered as adoption, financial aid agencies… we cannot assume the rest of the world is akin to US laws. We must abide by their rules or pay the consequences. They seem to want to do exactly what they wanted. Thought they were above the law. Arrogant!

    February 3, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  4. Isabel Siaba

    I am a bit radical about this situation: the good intentions are not enough

    February 3, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  5. gretchen

    James Arthur Ray is a Charlatan,out for profit. It is to bad that people are still so gullible to fall for it.It's trully sad,that people lost their lives.That man is no better than Jim Jones. If he was allowed to continue,it could have been even more deaths.

    February 3, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  6. Emily

    Thanks for the info re. "natural materials". It's good that more people from Native communities have spoken out and I see that there are many here on the blog tonight!
    So glad for all of you that there seems to a beginning to the end of this story!

    February 3, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  7. Vince

    The focus has been on the missionaries but we hope that these kids who have been separated from their famlies can be reunited as soon as possible. As I understood, the parents are being investigated as well for giving their kids away. With the crisis in Haiti, it appears that the parents gave the kids away with perhaps a promise for a better life. That must have been the hardest thing for any parent to do!

    February 3, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  8. Renee

    @ Dodie: I am still clueless on the sweat lodges. So if I understand correctly a sweat lodge is a religious cleansing ceremony that happens in a tent made of fabric normally. There seems to be some songs and fire and prayers. Are these ceremonies segregated by sex?

    February 3, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  9. Heather - Spokane, WA

    It sounds like the americans had their hearts in the right place but their brains were not

    February 3, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  10. Gabriela Vaughan from Nicaragua

    I am absolutly agree with Dodie, it was really irresponsible, no matter if this was done with good or bad intentions!

    February 3, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  11. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    I am surprised that American conoulster warned 10 america missionaries, That's so awful for them, That is very serious kidnapped ophanage children as trafficking!

    February 3, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  12. Sharon Hastings

    What a story about the Baptist "missionaries". Surely they were not so naive and ill-informed. Maybe they were motivated by good intentions but this was certainly not the right way to do a good deed.

    February 3, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  13. Kathy Chicago

    This whole kidnapping plot of Hatian children just sounds shifty..

    February 3, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  14. Cessy-Chicago

    Any history of those American's accused in Haiti? Especially the group leader? I heard that they were working on something prior to the earthquake but never finalized whatever documents they were trying to get, and went to Haiti anyway when the earthquake happened. I mean, who in their right ming would think would do this? Even think that they will never be questioned once in the U.S.?

    February 3, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  15. Dodie, Irvine CA

    @ Donna Miller


    February 3, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
  16. Vivian - Montreal

    Has anyone seen the video about the where the kids were taken from?

    It was posted on the main page...yesterday.....they weren't taken from the streets, they were taken from a village outside the city.

    February 3, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
  17. Michelle

    This story just gets more and more confusing.
    I am not sure what to think about the church
    group and the parents.

    February 3, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
  18. Lori

    It is hard to know who to believe with so many sides to this story about kids trafficking.

    February 3, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
  19. Linda in Arizona

    The "missionaries" are now being proved to be liars. They lied to the children, the parents, and the Haitian authorities. They lied to the American media. They went into a destroyed country, and STOLE children whose parents were too poor to take care of them. They are traffickers, and not "noble" in any way. They may not fit people's preconceived notions of what traffickers look like, but they intended to put these kids up for adoption. Can you say "adoption mill"? I don't care what their motivation was. Who do they think they ARE?

    February 3, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  20. Donna Miller

    This is my first time writing on a blog. Just wanted to say thank you Anderson for the coverage you gave us on Haiti. Our church has an orphanage and a childrens home in Haiti, and we have so appreciated your reporting. Thank you.

    February 3, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  21. Dodie, Irvine CA

    This is very irresponsible behavior by the people who tried to cross the border into the Dominican Republic with 33 children aged two months to 12 years and no papers proving any of the adoptions were legal.

    February 3, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  22. Dodie, Irvine CA


    Very good statement. Yes, plastic is Toxic when heated. Natives use natural materials, we use wood for our sweat lodge! Depends on the Nation.

    February 3, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  23. Shawn Hendricks - Fairplay, MD

    During last night's interviews, the agreed upon script seems to have consisted of the single word, "compassion." What was this 'compassionate' church group doing? I am curious to know their previous 'compassionate' missions' impression among those they were 'assisting.'

    If the previous beneficiaries agree the church group was legit, then great. If not, then the Haitian authorities may have a legitimate beef.

    February 3, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  24. David, Indiana

    It does seem like Ray should've put a great deal more energy into reaching out to people who were in that sweat lodge.

    Context of a magazine article and odd question aside, the answer to that question has to be no. No it was not just time for those people to move on.

    February 3, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  25. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    Not to blame the victims here, but people need to use more common sense.

    February 3, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  26. Gabriela Vaughan from Nicaragua

    Hmm Talking about the guys in the Haiti's kids case, I think that Sometimes people who don't seems to be bad or capable to do something wrong, are the worst!!! This have to be seriously investigated!!

    February 3, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  27. Bekim Thaqi

    I think he should spend the rest of his life in jail, and the families of the victims should be taken care of financially as well.

    February 3, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  28. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    I am sorry for you, My heart goes to you.

    February 3, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  29. Cessy-Chicago

    James Ray will get what he deserves.

    February 3, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  30. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    Are people that desperate to find "spiritual enlightenment" that they would waste money on someone like Ray? What did they know about him before they did this?

    February 3, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  31. Anthonia-Bay Area!

    @Gloria- Yea Ray has been in custody for a while now. But I see what you mean, Its about time creeps like him are going to be behind bars!

    February 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  32. LisaL -Canada

    you know, the real sweat lodge ceremony is not really what James Arthur Ray is even doing. it is much more private, and typically not a 'paid-for commodity'.

    there are lots of self-help people who have great material, and seminars, and workshops. the principles in philosophies such as 'the secret' are widely embraced, if not widely understood.

    but anyone who claims to be helping others, and to have an outcome such as described here, is not really helping. he may have contributed to some people having life-altering experiences, but nearly dying sometimes does that to a person.

    February 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  33. starr formerly known as vincent

    @enny- beautifully spoken and true.

    @Anderson, glad you are so out spoken about Mr. Ray! There are genuine teachers in this world and if the Native American ceremonies are honored correctly, Nothing Like This would every happen!

    February 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  34. Jennifer - AZ

    Oh, hi everyone!

    February 3, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  35. Bob

    This guy is straight out of fear and loathing

    February 3, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  36. Jennifer - AZ

    Wow. This guy is unbelievable and I'm glad he's in jail. Hope he stays there. James Ray sounds like a greedy selfish shyster taking advantage of people who fall for this gimmick.

    February 3, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  37. Vince

    Why do people follow this strange leaders? Is it because they are searching for something more than natural living, life, faith and some how innocencely fall prey to these groups where the leaders think that they are Super beings. Look at Jim Jones....

    February 3, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  38. meg

    Mr.Ray reminds me of a cult leader-early version of a Jim Jones. The people that took the sweat lodge seminar seemthe definition of true followers–he;s the hierarchy & the followers don't ddispute even if it's detrimental to their health or life. I guess if you know it all in his opinion he did no wrong & the show must go on!!

    February 3, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  39. Diane

    Ray thinks this is what native Americans do? FYI: American Indians don't use plastics in their sweat lodges, exploit other people's belief's for millions of dollars, ignore signs of distress or let people die in there.

    I just heard on 360 that he thought these people were having so much fun in there (dying?) that they went on to the next level? Good grief, next he'll be charging those families millions for helping them die.

    So much for learning to "live your best life" through these charlatans that are endorsed by other billionaire or multi-millionaire gurus.

    February 3, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  40. Esmi

    i really cant believe they just let him walk away. it makes no sense.

    February 3, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  41. Emily


    I noticed your post there about plastic.
    That is a very good point!
    People could have been suffocated from using that, could they not?

    I always remember being told to keep plastic away from my face, etc for that reason.

    February 3, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  42. carol

    Has it been determine how those people died?

    February 3, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  43. Isabel Siaba

    @ David, Indiana:

    I agree completely ... Seems odd to be starting talking about James Arthur Ray after seeing what has been and is going on in Haiti throughout most of January.

    February 3, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  44. Dodie, Irvine CA

    @ mongosid

    I completely agree! This procedure should be left alone to those who know what to do.

    February 3, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  45. Alison

    It seems to me that Mr. Ray's ego got a bit bigger than his ability to see clearly the consequences of his neglectful actions. He's paying the karmic price now, as his legal woes mount, it's that simple.

    February 3, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  46. Gloria, Brooklyn, NY

    Wild, they finally got this guy!

    February 3, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  47. Elizabeth

    Anderson, This guy is a complete sociopath! People are dead and he just wants to make more money! Outrageous!

    February 3, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  48. Heather - Spokane, WA

    That interview he gave sounds really creepy!

    @Emily, thanks for the spell check re: 'open and shut' case 🙂

    February 3, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  49. Lori

    It seems like James Ray is not in touch with reality

    February 3, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  50. Emily

    What arrogance!

    February 3, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
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