Jurors in the manslaughter trial of James Arthur Ray have heard the complete briefing the self-help author gave to dozens of people before they entered a northern Arizona sweat lodge ceremony he conducted, AP reports.
Prosecutors had earlier played snippets of the recording, but defense attorneys contended the snippets had been presented out of context.
In the recording, Ray told participant, who paid up to $10,000 each to attend the event, that as “true spiritual warriors” and their “altered state” they would endure heat so intense it would make it feel like their skins was coming off of their bodies.
“I will be right there with you,” he said.
“You will have to get to a point where you surrender to death,” Ray said. “When you are going into the lodge symbolically you are going back into the womb of mother earth.”
“It is such a great metaphor …” the author said. “My body dies but I never die.”
Prosecutors maintain Ray psychologically pressured participants to remain in the lodge even when they weren’t feeling well, contributing to their deaths.
This video demonstrates what normally occurs in a sweat lodge ritual (not associated with James Arthur Ray):
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