A scenic Arizona resort was the site of a tragedy as 2 people died and 19 others were hospitalized as a result of taking part in what was supposed to be a Native American cleansing ritual.  Sixty-five people taking part in a “Spiritual Warrior” weekend fasted for 36 hours, ate breakfast and then were put in a 415-square foot homemade “sweat lodge.”

After about 2 hours a call was made to 911 telling authorities that 2 people were not breathing and 19 others were suffering from a variety of heat-related ailments.  Somebody sold these people a bill of goods that had them thinking this was “cleansing” and that this “cleansing” was good from the physical and spiritual standpoints.

Self-help expert and author James Ray ran the event, and after the tragic turn of events Ray refused to speak with authorities and fled the state, in a classic example of, “Do as I say, not as I do.”

At the root of this is the misguided believe in cleansing and fasting, as it relates to the concept of lasting self-improvement.  This isn’t a case of blaming the victim, but it is a case for showing how unproven and unreliable techniques are sold to willing participants.  So many people feel so “dirty,” that they are in a constant search for “cleansing.”

Eating healthy isn’t enough, so people fast. Exercising isn’t enough, exercising to the extreme is adopted. 

Otherwise healthy habits are misused to the point where they become unhealthy, both physically and mentally. You might be happy, but you aren’t really happy (“You’re fooling yourself, you know.”) and that there’s always something missing from your life.

Ray is the classic peddler of this kind of pap.  From his web site, “Many so-called successful people make a tremendous amount of money, but their relationships are on the rocks. That’s not real wealth. Likewise, there are others who qualify as a creative genius, and they’re physically sick all the time. The real key to creating the life of your dreams is achieving true Harmonic Wealth® (remember the emotional impact and magic of the harmony of a choir). That’s where you find contentment… peace-of-mind… a deep connection to (and understanding of) the world around you and your place in it. ”

Ray, with his trademarked system that you’ll pay him to access, will show you how to achieve this “Harmonic Wealth.”  Ray has so much faith in his program and has established such a level of connection to the world around him, that he went on the lam after 2 people died and 19 others suffered severe injuries at his Spiritual Warrior event.

It’s tragic that so many people look to people like Ray, and even more tragic that 2 people had to die in their quest to be a Spiritual Warrior.  Perhaps this tragedy will give others to think once, twice, three times before casting their lot with self-help leeches.


  1. This article further makes me question any cleansing program. I have encounter many of those programs, as some of my training clients, have tried them. My opinion is……..eat naturally whole foods, participate i daily exercise….and the body will cleanse its self.


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