Our Bill is now in the NY State Senate! Call your Senator!

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We have an exciting update on our effort to pass legislation to protect consumers of self-help in New York State. It’s now in the Senate!

We’ve already told you about the bill moving through the Assembly (and we could still use your help contacting your local Assembly reps to encourage their support!), and now Senator John Bonacic of Kirby’s own home district is sponsoring the Senate version of the bill.  Here’s a quick recap of what the bill does:

  • This is actually an amendment to the existing business law and executive law
  • It requires non-licensed self-help providers to
    • disclose potential risks that their events at the time of signing a contract for services
    • share a comprehensive risk management plan with consumers
    • make licensed professionals such as medical professionals and psychologists available at events to help in the event of an emergency
    • register with the State of NY as a non-licensed self-help professional
  • It includes penalties if these requirements are not followed by self-help providers

We now need your help getting this through the Senate. Start contacting your State Senators to encourage them to sign onto and support this bill.

To that end, we’ve created some tools to make this very simple for you:

We also ask you to share this widely among your network to get the word out!

If you’re not from New York, don’t despair! We are hoping to introduce this effort to other states as well. This will be easier once this bill is successful in New York. If you’re interested in helping us do this, feel free to contact us so we can use your help when we’re ready!

What else you can do if you are a seeker:

  • Start demanding these promises from your self-help providers anyway! So what if it’s not yet a law? Consumer demand is also a powerful route to change. Demand that your self-help provider show you their risk management plan, provide licensed professionals to help in the event of some harm or injury, and encourage them to share their qualifications with you and only do things they’re qualified to do!
  • Share your stories with us! Your stories have impact. If you’ve had a questionable experience with a so-called self-help guru or professional, tell us! Your story helps build the case for the need to have legislation like this.

Thanks for the support!

2 comments on “Our Bill is now in the NY State Senate! Call your Senator!

  1. skip thomas on

    I was living in Sedona for 12 years and was a the entrance off the highway of Angel Valley when first responders showed up at the tragedy of the James Ray deaths.. I went to an emergency 4 hour meeting called by Arizona native American tribes and the owner of Angel Valley was there as well. I worked with many tribes around the world as well as non-native Americans who perform the inipi ceremonies. (Sweat lodges) What the ignorant and arrogant James Ray did wrong is lengthy. I talked to people who built inipi’s and knew what James Ray’s was dangerous as well as how he kept the people from leaving in the midst of his ceremony. These inipi’s are much like a typical sauna with a spiritual leader guiding song, message… prayer. It is the “church” of the native cultures. As you can imagine the native Americans who called the emergency gathering of how this was abused by James Ray, were OUTRAGED by this person pretending to know what he was doing and falsely representing a sacred ceremony. (also it is wrong to charge for an inipi, James Ray charged over $12,000 for his Spiritual Warrior Retreat). I agree that people, self-help guru’s, have NO BUSINESS without appropriate representatives who understand the inipi ceremony and who’s ancestors have used it for thousands of years without killing anyone. I am a white man, educated and white native America ancestry. Having lived in Sedona for 12 years, award winning filmmaker and even owned a nontraditional healing center in Sedona…. I have seen a lot. It would do everyone good to better understand the do’s and don’ts in this industry that offers many blessings, yet attracts many who take advantage and use it with selfish intentions.

    • mm
      Jean Brown on

      Thank you for your thoughts, Skip. Yes, one of the things that became very clear to us from the beginning was how inappropriate it was for Ray to be conducting a “sweat lodge” and how poorly he replicated the practice. He really corrupted the tradition and did so in a way that was obviously very dangerous. We spoke with a number of Native American leaders who were so supportive and caring in the aftermath of the deaths and during the trial. We are forever grateful for that, and we hope that our mission will educate people about the dangers of uneducated practitioners misusing sacred techniques.


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