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Jewish Journal

Self-help guru investigated in sweat lodge deaths

by Brad A. Greenberg

October 14, 2009 | 4:22 pm

Sweat lodge ceremonies are intense, but not nearly as mind-altering as pop culture would have you believe. Still, there are dangers—tragically, and fatally, learned by two men in Arizona last week. Police have now turned their attention to the self-help author who runs the spiritual retreat.

Speaking last night in Marina Del Rey, the guru James Arthur Ray brokedown in tears and said he’s mourning along with the decedents families:

“We’re looking for answers,” he said. “I’m as frustrated and confused as other people are.”

Ray added that he wrestled with whether to go through with Tuesday’s seminar, which he said was scheduled weeks before the sweat lodge deaths.

“My advisers told me, ‘Don’t do that. You don’t know who’ll show up. They’re going to eat you alive,’” he told the audience. But he said it was important for him to keep his commitments.

“I’m grieving right now,” Ray said. “I’m grieving for the families.”

Read the rest here.

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Since launching the blog in 2007, I’ve referred to myself as “a God-fearing Christian with devilishly good Jewish looks.” The description, I’d say, is an accurate one,...

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