James Arthur Ray is a self-proclaimed Personal Development guru and a self-help author, who has recently been accused of three murders at a sweat lodge in Arizona. The U.S. Courts have already started with the hearing process, as the first set of legal statements has been churned out.
The incident occurred on October 8 – 2009 when a ceremony was held at the sweat lodge. Whether it was a publicity run or a reunion of some sort, it is not known. It was a 5-day retreat, people gathered around and Ray was a prime player in the incident. Reports say that 2 people died at the retreat, while the 3rd person died 9 days later. Also, 15 other people fell sick.
The author’s lawyers say, (Quoted) “We do not seek to minimize the tragedy of the sweat lodge deaths. But these deaths were not the result of criminal conduct. Mr. Ray and his team relied on Angel Valley to provide a safe environment, warned people of the risks, did not force people to participate, did not prevent them from leaving, and did everything they could to prepare for any problems and to assist when problems arose.”
The Sweatlodge didn’t follow the perfect safety measures. Its temperature was high as hell, the lodge itself was made of tree branches and it was covered in blankets. In other words, it meant severe dehydration and suffocation for its occupants.
If James Ray is convicted, he will be sent to prison for 10 years or probably more. The sweat lodge incident was based on some sort of competition. Participants were not stopped from leaving, but they said that they were encouraged by Ray and his partners to stay inside until the breaks. All rounds were 10 – 15 minutes long, with people passing out in the later ones.
Families of the dead say that Ray was aware of the fact that those people were exhausted, but he chose not to do anything about it. Ray, alongside his Spiritual Warrior and personal development techniques, has been running his gigs for years now. Prosecutors say that Ray’s psychological traps were convincing enough for participants to stay inside the lodge, while he kept pouring water on the blazing rocks to create more steam.
Looks like James Arthur Ray is going to have a lot of time at his disposal, to practice his weird techniques behind the bars.