February 4, 2010

Paid $9,000 and All I Got Was Asphyxiated In My Own Puke

Self-help guru James Arthur Ray has been arrested on manslaughter charges stemming from the deaths of three attendees at his “Spiritual Warrior” five-day retreat. According to People Magazine:

During the “Spiritual Warrior” five-day retreat, for which Ray charged approximately $9,000, participants were pushed to their spiritual and physical limits by fasting for 36 hours and cramming into a 415-square foot, sauna-like hut – essentially a wood frame covered in tarps and blankets. People were passing out and vomiting, but still urged to stay inside the sweat lodge.

Hard to know what to make of this one. To believe in one’s program to the point where you recklessly endanger your followers is either the pinnacle of obliviousness or hubris. James Ray has his side of the story posted on his website.

This is Ray’s second fall from grace. He blew himself up financially when the DotCom bubble imploded. He turned that story of overreach into a parable upon which he built his comeback.

With three dead bodies in the closet, the comeback trail might be a tad rougher this time.