Insurance providers for James Arthur Ray, the self-help author convicted of negligent homicide in the deaths of three people during a sweat-lodge ceremony in Arizona, have agreed to pay the victims’ families more than $3 million.
Other lawsuits are pending against the imprisoned guru.
Self-help author James Arthur Ray, convicted of negligent homicide, has been sentenced to three, two-year prison sentences to run concurrently and ordered to pay restitution of more than $57,000.
Three people succumbed to extreme heat of an Arizona sweat lodge ceremony led by Ray in 2009.
A self-help author convicted of negligent homicide expressed extreme remorse for the deaths of three people following an Arizona sweat lodge ceremony he led and vowed never to conduct another one, a probation officer wrote in a presentence report obtained by The Associated Press.
James Arthur Ray said he’s hopeful a Yavapai County judge sentences him to probation, while prosecutors say he deserves the maximum nine-year sentence for senselessly robbing three families of their loved ones.
A jury has found self-help gury James Arthur Ray
guilty of negligent homicide on Wednesday in the deaths of three of his followers during a botched sweat lodge ceremony
near Sedona in October 2009.
By finding Ray guilty of negligent homicide, the jury in effect decided that while Ray’s conduct caused the deaths, he wasn’t aware of or didn’t recognize the risk of death caused by his conduct – in this case, the manner in which he ran the sweat lodge.
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.
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.
The trial of self-help guru James Arthur Ray
, who is charged
in the death of three people at a sweat lodge in Arizona, resumes Tuesday.
Opening arguments in the manslaughter trial of the self-help guru James Arthur Ray
Ray is charged with three counts of manslaughter stemming from a sweat-lodge ceremony in 2009. More than a dozen other people had to be treated for various heat-related illnesses.
James Arthur Ray, 52, is currently awaiting trial on three counts of manslaughter
. He has pleaded not guilty.
Meanwhile Ray, a junior college dropout with a background in telemarketing, continues to peddle his beliefs — for a price — on his website.
Self-help guru James Arthur Ray — charged with manslaughter in Arizona for the sweat lodge deaths of three people — has now taken his motivational messages to the Internet.
His online activity has sparked a backlash from former followers and their families. [video]
Police arrested self-help guru James Arthur Ray
on Wednesday for the manslaughter of three people
who fell ill during a ceremony in a “sweat dome” at a retreat in northern Arizona last year.
Two people passed out inside the sweat lodge and died that night at a hospital. A third person slipped into a coma and died a week later.
Authorities said they quickly determined the deaths were not accidental and focused their investigation on Ray. [video]
Motivational speaker James Arthur Ray who led a sweat lodge ceremony in Arizona that turned deadly said he feels horrible about what happened but declined to comment on whether he was responsible for the deaths.
He refers instead to letters drafted by his attorneys that state he was not criminally negligent.
Even though lawsuits are beginning to appear over the Sweat Lodge deaths
at Angel Valley, the criminal investigation
into James Arthur Ray’s Spiritual Warrior session is far from over.
The Sheriff’s Office has released a new advisory about the investigation that asks the public to be patient with the plodding investigation.
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar is asking both the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate the circumstances related to the “Spiritual Warrior” program run by motivational speaker James Arthur Ray.
Three people died as a result of Arthur’s New Age version of a sweat lodge ritual.
“I’ve taught that we’re all going to have adversity and we can’t run from it,” Ray said at a recent recruitment session in Denver.
Meanwhile the founder of the website Americans Against Self-Help Fraud says he hopes and prays the sweat lodge incident “will put a chilling effect on the self-help industry.”
On one level, 51-year-old James Arthur Ray—who, the year after his life-altering television appearance authored the runaway bestseller Harmonic Wealth: The Secret of Attracting the Life You Want, and these days is involved in a homicide investigation—is just another Oprah guest gone bad.
On another level, he is a wakeup call for anyone who would dismiss all New Age dabbling as merely risk-free recreation, like incense and crystals.
When participants exhibited weakness, Ray urged them to push past it and chided those who wanted to leave, she said. “I can’t get her to move. I can’t get her to wake up,” Bunn recalls hearing from two sides of the 415-square-foot sweat lodge. Ray’s response: “Leave her alone, she’ll be dealt with in the next round.”
It marks a significant revelation in the criminal investigation
into Ray over the episode because it portrays him as driving participants to stay in the lodge despite signs all around him that the situation had gone bad. [video]
A Minnesota woman who was hospitalized with damage to multiple organs after she was overcome in an Arizona sweat lodge ceremony died Saturday, sheriff’s officials said.
The death of 49-year-old Liz Neuman brings the total number of deaths from the Oct. 8 incident at a resort near Sedona to three, Yavapai County sheriff’s spokesman Dwight D’Evelyn said.
Authorities are treating the deaths as homicides
, but no charges have been filed.
James Arthur Ray has become a self-help
superstar by packaging his charismatic personality and selling wealth. Those who first attend his free seminars hear a motivational mantra that promises that they can achieve what he calls “Harmonic Wealth” — on a financial, mental, physical spiritual level.
He uses free seminars to recruit people to his expensive seminars, starting with $4,000 three-day “Quantum Leap” workshops and moving on to the weeklong $5,300 “Practical Mysticism” events and the $9,000-plus “Spiritual Warrior” retreats like the one that led to the sweat lodge tragedy.
The investigation into the two deaths and numerous injuries
that occurred during a James Arthur Ray “Spiritual Warrior” seminar at the Angel Valley Retreat near Sedona has turned from a death investigation into a homicide investigation, said Yavapai County Sheriff Steve Waugh said.
Asked why the deaths have been classified as homicides and the investigation upgraded, Waugh said, “We believe there are indications that it was not accidental, and … we feel that there should be some culpability on some individuals.” [video]