James Arthur Ray was one my favorites of all the Attractionbots. Too bad he’s evidently an out-of-control maniac with a God-complex:
The police report for the sweat lodge deaths at Ray’s retreat is out. The New York Times has the full document.
3 dead. 20 had heat-related injures (1 woman had scorched lungs). 3/4 of them passed out. They were told vomiting was good for them. They had also fasted before entering the lodge.
A nurse was present (though not inside the tent) but was unable to assist given the severity of the injuries. Ray told those begging for help he would just deal with them later.
James Ray reported as saying:
You are not going to die. You might think you are, but you are not going to die.
and when a participant thought he was having a heart attack and was saying ‘I don’t want to die. I don’t want to die.’ Ray replied:
It’s a good day to die.
[Participants] had to surrender to death to survive it.
‘[When told they] needed to open up the back of the lodge to get the two other victims out, he replied that it would be “sacrilegious” to remove the tarps and blankets covering the wood frame structure and that she should do so only if necessary.’
The weekend retreat cost $9,695.
The most galling parts of the report include:
After the deaths, Ray had a channeler on a conference call advise the survivors that the deceased had out-of-body experiences and had so much fun they decided not to come back.
As would-be rescuers struggled to drag three unconscious victims from an Arizona sweat lodge ceremony in October, the leader of the event, James A. Ray, sat outside in the shade, according to newly released police reports.
At another event, Ray entreated participants to break bricks with their hands. Several of them also broke their hands.
In a previous event, Ray had the participants dress up like homeless people and then he took their identification and dropped them off in San Diego. They were to pretend to be homeless. Some of them dug through garbage to feed themselves. During this exercise participant Colleen Conaway jumped to her death out of a three-story window. At a staff meeting later, Ray’s employees were not told of her death.