Guru at Sweat Lodge That Killed 2: 'I'm Being Tested'

James Arthur Ray says he has hired investigators to probe incident
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2009 8:05 AM CDT
Guru at Sweat Lodge That Killed 2: 'I'm Being Tested'
Investigators say the "sweat lodge" structure at the Angel Valley Retreat Center in Sedona, Ariz. did not have a building permit.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The self-help guru who ran a spiritual retreat where two people died during a sweat lodge ceremony last week says he is "being tested" by the tragedy. James Arthur Ray told a seminar audience that he is "frustrated and confused" and has hired his own investigators to find out what went wrong. 'This is the most difficult time I've ever faced," he said, breaking down in tears. "I don't know how to deal with it really."

Nineteen people from Ray's "Spiritual Warrior" retreat in Arizona were hospitalized after the incident and one remains in a coma. A cousin of one of the dead called upon Ray to prove that participants "were not mistreated and not put in a reckless situation," adding that he suspected Ray of exhibiting a "godlike complex" that may have dissuaded people from opting out of dangerous activities.
(Read more ceremony stories.)

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