The Self-Help/New Age industry is completely unregulated. Any jerk/sociopath can claim to be an “expert”:
Journalists are often confused by the James Ray “sweat lodge deaths” case. This doesn’t surprise me, although the case is in fact extremely easy to understand —
Ray, a failed self-help teacher, deliberately tried to cook people to within an inch of their lives, to induce the onset of heat stroke, in order to make them feel they were experiencing an altered mental state.
He did not care about the dangers and did not stop the ceremony despite people screaming that they were having a heart attack, or telling him that people had stopped breathing. People could not leave because the sides of the tent were secured, it was pitch black and impossibly cramped, there was a pit of burning hot rocks preventing people from moving in the dark, and Ray controlled the only exit.
Ray reacts to being found guilty of 3 counts of homicide (screenshot, CNN)
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