Sweat Lodge Survivor Speaks | Worst $9,000 Ever Spent?

Will Arthur Ray be accused of murder?

Pictured: A sweat lodge in Hawaii. Many cultures have used sweat lodges for centuries, but they are very selective about the materials used. Image from Flickr.

Pictured: A sweat lodge in Hawaii. Many cultures have used sweat lodges for centuries, but they are very selective about the materials used. Image from Flickr.

James Arthur Ray a couple of weeks ago charged a few dozen of his followers $9,000 to attend a five-day retreat that culminated in spending couple of hours in a makeshift sweat lodge. Three people died and several others were hospitalized.

A lawyer representing a woman who survived the ordeal says Ray “created a death trap.” The “sweat lodge ceremony” took place after five days of activities that including physically taxing exercises and fasting. The lawyer represents Sidney Spencer, 59, who is suing Arthur Ray because she nearly died from kidney and liver failure.

An empire of crazy

The incident is still under investigation, but as sweat lodge survivors start speaking out, it’s beginning to look like there’s a very good change Arthur Ray will end up in prison. At first, I thought those prosecuting him didn’t have a leg to stand on because the whole thing was voluntary. In fact, many participants probably had to get hard money loans to pay the $9,000 fee for the retreat.

However, Beverly Bunn told The Associated Press that when someone reported that another participant was passed out, he said “Leave her alone. She’ll be dealt with in the next round.” I do believe that there is a term for letting someone die: negligent homicide.

Who is Arthur Ray?

Arthur Ray created the best-selling documentary “The Secret,” and he has appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” several times, gaining him quite the following. I can see a sort of “Million Little Pieces” scenario unfolding soon. Remember what happened when it turned out the author of that book was a fraud? Imagine what it would be like if it turned out an Oprah cohort was a murderer!

Arthur Ray urged all of the participants to stay in the 120-degree sweat lodge for the duration of the ceremony. Sweat lodge survivors say they were chastised if they tried to leave, though they were not physically forced to stay. Read the full story about Arthur Ray’s sweat lodge at ABC News, and listen to CNN audio from a sweat lodge survivor.

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