June 23, 2011

SEEK to warn against New Agers

Nonprofit to serve as voice of sweat lodge victim

By Felicia FonsecaIn hindsight, the family of a woman who died in an Arizona sweat lodge ceremony said the red flags were obvious--nearly $10,000 for a weeklong retreat with no refunds led by a self-help author who employed high-pressure sales tactics and had people sign away the risk of serious injury and death.

Kirby Brown's family wants to make sure no one else is put in that situation again. They have formed a nonprofit group to help others avoid the kind of tragedy that unfolded at a 2009 retreat nestled among the Red Rocks of Sedona.
And:The group that Brown's family formed, called SEEK, or Self-help Empowerment through Education and Knowledge, cites market studies in estimating that the self-help industry generates $10.5 billion a year. Its intent is to educate people on how to choose a self-help guru, a motivational speaker or a coach through basic questions: What's the refund policy? What are the leader's credentials? Are safety measures in place for physical activities?

Ray used free seminars to lure people to more expensive events such as the five-day "Spiritual Warrior." He conducted the sweat lodge for several years in Sedona, the center of the new-age movement where practitioners believe they draw energy from the surrounding Red Rocks and various vortexes to heal others.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Ray Guilty of Negligent Homicide and Ray Misused Native Teachings.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

First rule: Never sign away their liability.

By the way, why do New Agers talk about "vortexes"? Isn't a vortex like a cyclone or a whirlpool?