…and Call Him in the Morning

As it unfolds, this has become my favorite story of the year so far.  We pick it up at the arrest of the so-called “Sweat Lodge Guru”:

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Authorities have charged motivational speaker James Arthur Ray with three counts of manslaughter for deaths that happened after a sweat lodge ceremony he led in northern Arizona last year.

The Oct. 8 sweat lodge ceremony was intended to be the highlight of Ray’s five-day “Spiritual Warrior” event at a retreat he rented just outside Sedona. He told participants, who paid more than $9,000 each to attend, that it would be one of the most intense experiences of their lives.

You read that right.  Five days in a sweat lodge, $9,000.  The “Spirit” on display here would seem to be entrepreneurial, yes?

About halfway through the two-hour ceremony, some began feeling ill, vomiting and collapsing inside the 415-square-foot structure. Despite that, Ray urged participants to push past their physical weaknesses and chided those who wanted to leave, authorities and participants have said….Two people… passed out inside the sweat lodge and died that night at a hospital.  [Another] slipped into a coma and died a week later. Eighteen others were hospitalized.  One participant… previously told The Associated Press that Ray did nothing to help the sick.  Ray’s attorneys have countered that he took all necessary safety precautions and wasn’t aware of any medical problems until the ceremony was over.

Can you hear him, goading them on?  There is no ‘I’ in quit, people!  Don’t let a lack of oxygen, blowing chunks, and an irregular heart beat interrupt your spiritual journey! One participant, an orthodontist named Beverly Bunn, reported, “There were people throwing up everywhere.”  Puke for Purity!

Documents released in the investigation showed that some people lost consciousness and others suffered broken bones at past Ray-led events and that Ray largely ignored medical problems that arose. NY Times

Great stuff.  He lines up these rubes to pay top dollar for deadly abuse, and when the shit hits the fan, they blame him, not themselves for being the damn fools they are.  Do you love it?  They obediently sit their fat middle-age asses in a room you could boil a lobster in, and actually believe the fraud when he tells them not to worry.

Okay, they clearly got what they deserve.  But in round 2, the Witch Doctor will get what HE deserves. because the indisputable fact that there are gullible saps in the world doesn’t give anybody license to rob, cheat, or kill them.  Even if you have a PhD, a hired media whore, and a batch of books to peddle.

Doctor Perspiration is not without advocates, of course.

On a conference call Mr. Ray held last week for sweat lodge participants….one recount[ed] the comments of a self-described “channeler” who visited Angel Valley after the retreat. Claiming to have communicated with the dead, the channeler said they had left their bodies in the sweat lodge and chosen not to come back because “they were having so much fun.”  — NYTimes

You hear this?  This honking quack says those barf-covered corpses are off somewhere, dead as Obama’s health care bill, because they’re having such fun in hell or wherever their gullible souls repose.  Can you wait for this one’s testimony on cross-examination?

Americans are imbeciles when it comes to matters of mental health, and even worse about the hilariously accredited professionals paid for its administration.  It has always been so.  The  so-called science of psychology isn’t scientific, and its practitioners are snake-handling shamans.  Sam Goldwyn famously  observed that “Anybody who goes to a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined.”   He didn’t know the half of it.

This entry was posted in Gen. Snark, Maj. Snafu, Corp. Punishment. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to …and Call Him in the Morning

  1. The thought of you, author, writing about the horros of having people stay in a sweat lodge is amazing considering you live wit no a/c in south Florida. I’ve stayed at your house…..I wanted to leave and you told me to perservere but to be fait, you only charged me $8900.00 for the five days.

    • Lu Senz says:

      I has the same experience last August, Webeneezer. He charged me a lot less per day, but made me buy each ice cube a la carte, and they melted in about 3 minutes!

  2. Beardsley says:

    The episode would be a lot funnier if there weren’t three dead bodies to contend with. But that duly noted — and that “channeler” needs a public flogging — it’s eerie how closely these self-declared gurus are to your garden variety evangelical. Each sells the same snake oil, just different flavors.

  3. GaryTell says:

    This is truly an incredible story. I wonder if Ray will ever fight this in court or if he will accept some sort of agreement..?

  4. GaryTell says:

    “..it’s eerie how closely these self-declared gurus are to your garden variety evangelical..” – I’ve thought this before, Beardsley.

    • Beardsley says:

      What is your connection to this story (or this individual)? The web site you link to has an array of photos, but I don;t understand the connection, if any.

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