James Arthur Ray gets 2 years in sweat lodge deaths
James Arthur Ray was convicted of negligent homicide in the deaths of three sweat lodge ceremony participants.
November 18th, 2011
02:14 PM ET

James Arthur Ray gets 2 years in sweat lodge deaths

James Arthur Ray, a self-help expert convicted in the deaths of three people who succumbed to extreme heat of an Arizona sweat lodge ceremony in 2009, was sentenced Friday to two years in prison.

Ray had been convicted on three counts of negligent homicide for the three deaths that happened as a result of the ceremony in Sedona, Arizona. He faced up to three years in prison on each count.

Three people died and at least 15 others fell ill in October 2009 during a "Spiritual Warrior" retreat, a ceremony modeled after Native American purification rituals, that Ray held at a resort near Sedona. Prosecutors argued that the lodge, which was made of willow trees and branches and covered with tarpaulins and blankets, was heated to a perilously high temperature and that Ray was indifferent to those clearly having trouble.

Ray's lawyers countered that what happened was an accident, not a crime.

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Filed under: Arizona • Courts • Crime • Justice
soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. Eily's Granny

    What an arrogant, ruthless and greedy individual, exploiting the sad, senseless and spiritually bereft. He deserves to be in gaol for life. Furthermore he must have been well aware that Native Americans are angry that Non-Indians are misappropriating their cultural traditions and sacred rites, even when the culprits are well-meaning and not benefiting financially. I think giving £10,000 to charity would achieve a higher level of spiritual development than paying it to a charlatan. What is wrong with these new agers who have no pride in their own cultural roots or traditions ?

    November 18, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO

      I assume you mean he should be in jail for life. Or maybe in goal for life, like having pucks shot at him endlessly would be a punishment.

      I don't usually nitpick, but it's not often that you see a 4 letter word spelled this badly wrong .

      November 19, 2011 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mack

    James: Never forget these 3 words when u feel u let family, friends, and urself down. If u remember...... it should bring a smile to ur face. God is still there....just talk to him. And don't forget.....Screamin Yellow Zonkers!! No matter what u've done, I know his spirit lives inside u. U can rebound, but u need to chose the right path this time. If u can remember those 3 words above u will recall a period in ur past when times were tough, but life was good. Oh the memories at Camp Lutherhoma...Cabin 7 still #1. God Bless My Friend. You can and I believe U will rebound.

    November 18, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. gung hoe

    @bombo luv your idea tie in net at MACK luv that screamin yellow zonkers both very cool

    November 19, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    @BOMBO:
    That's how they spell jail in England, gaol, which I have to assume she is from, as she used £ instead of $.

    I have seen this many times in books written by British authors; I got used to it.

    November 19, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. **cosmicvox*

    James Arthur Ray should get 2 years in a Sweat Lodge.

    November 19, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
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