The Defendant: James Arthur Ray- self-help guru & author
The Victims- Kirby Brown, 38 James Shore, 40 and Lizbeth Marie Neuman, 49
What happened: James Arthur Ray author of ran a sweat lodge ceremony in Sedona Arizona stating (taken from CNN):
“You’re not going to die,” “You may think you are, but you’re not going to die … You need to surrender to death to survive it.” “The sweat lodge ceremony consisted of eight rounds, with each round lasting 10 to 15 minutes. While they were not prevented from leaving, participants have said they were encouraged to wait until the breaks between rounds.
In interviews with authorities, some participants recounted feeling distress in the first few rounds. Later, they told police, people began to pass out, others began to vomit and still others went into shock. Some were encouraged to lie down in the dirt to seek relief from the heat.”
The ceremony was meant to be a rebirthing and resulted in two deaths that initial day (October 8, 2009) and a third death 9 days later.
James Arthur Ray is charged with 3 counts of reckless manslaughter and if convicted, can face up to 10 years in prison.
His website is here.