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Leader of fatal Ariz. sweat lodge cancels seminars

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  • Rob Schmidt
    http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2009/10/29/20091029sweatlodge-ON.html Leader of fatal Ariz. sweat lodge cancels seminars Oct. 29, 2009 04:13 PM
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 31, 2009
      http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2009/10/29/20091029sweatlodge-ON.html

      Leader of fatal Ariz. sweat lodge cancels seminars

      Oct. 29, 2009 04:13 PM
      Associated Press

      Motivational speaker and author James Arthur Ray is canceling his remaining
      2009 seminars in the wake of three deaths that occurred after a sweat-lodge
      ceremony he led in Arizona.

      Ray announced on his Web site Thursday that he needs to dedicate all his
      "physical and emotional energies" to bringing closure to the sweat lodge
      matter.

      "That means helping the authorities and the families get to the bottom of
      what happened," he said.

      The decision marks a sea change for Ray, a charismatic public speaker who
      recruits people for his expensive retreats through free seminars at hotels
      and conference centers across North America.

      Following the tragedy that led to the deaths and the hospitalization of 18
      other people, he initially vowed to continue holding the events and appeared
      at seminars in Los Angeles, San Diego and Colorado.

      In a posting on his blog on Oct. 20, Ray said he had "chosen to continue
      with my work. It's too important not to."

      Since then, lawyers for several of the victims have said they plan to pursue
      lawsuits, although none have been filed. His publisher announced this week
      that the December release of a paperback version of Ray's best-selling book
      "Harmonic Wealth" and a new hardcover title, "The Seven Laws of True
      Wealth," have been postponed.

      Authorities in Yavapai County are continuing a criminal investigation into
      the Oct. 8 ceremony at a high-priced retreat outside Sedona. Search warrants
      were served at the headquarters of Ray's company, Carlsbad, Calif.-based
      James Ray International, and detectives have interviewed many of the 55-plus
      people who were inside the sweat lodge.

      No charges have been filed.

      The sweat-lodge ceremony was the highlight of Ray's five-day "Spiritual
      Warrior" program. Interviews with participants and law enforcement officials
      paint a picture of a two-hour ceremony that degenerated into chaos as people
      became sick but were encouraged by Ray to remain inside for the entire time.
      --

      On the Net:

      James Arthur Ray: www.jamesray.com
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