October 29, 2009

Ray suspends money-grubbing

Leader of fatal Ariz. sweat lodge cancels seminarsMotivational speaker and author James Arthur Ray is canceling his remaining 2009 seminars in the wake of three deaths that occurred after a sweat-lodge ceremony he led in Arizona.

Ray announced on his Web site Thursday that he needs to dedicate all his “physical and emotional energies” to bringing closure to the sweat lodge matter.

“That means helping the authorities and the families get to the bottom of what happened,” he said.

The decision marks a sea change for Ray, a charismatic public speaker who recruits people for his expensive retreats through free seminars at hotels and conference centers across North America.

Following the tragedy that led to the deaths and the hospitalization of 18 other people, he initially vowed to continue holding the events and appeared at seminars in Los Angeles, San Diego and Colorado.

In a posting on his blog on Oct. 20, Ray said he had “chosen to continue with my work. It's too important not to.”

Since then, lawyers for several of the victims have said they plan to pursue lawsuits, although none have been filed. His publisher announced this week that the December release of a paperback version of Ray's best-selling book “Harmonic Wealth” and a new hardcover title, “The Seven Laws of True Wealth,” have been postponed.
Comment:  It took Ray three weeks to realize that continuing his seminars was bad? Hmm. Well, better late than never.

The money-grubbing made him look as if he was indifferent to the victims' suffering, as if cared only about his income. It wasn't a smart move when people were suing him for his indifference, neglect, and lack of foresight. Attendees could ask him about the tragedy and he could incriminate himself further.

That's why I thought he would go into seclusion when the tragedy happened. Glad to see he caught on only a few weeks late.

For more on the subject, see How James Ray Fleeced His Flock and Oprah Promoted Sweat Lodge Killer.

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