Self-Help Guru Out of Prison, Teaching Again

James Arthur Ray was convicted in deaths of 3 people

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Aug 24, 2014 3:05 PM CDT

(Newser) – A self-help author who spent nearly two years in prison for the deaths of three people following an Arizona sweat lodge ceremony is again hosting seminars in the state. Starting yesterday in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale, James Arthur Ray is leading discussions on how to deal with personal crisis. His website says ticket holders can speak with Ray about challenges they face in their lives. Ray was convicted of three counts of negligent homicide in the October 2009 sweat lodge ceremony he led near Sedona. Kirby Brown of Westtown, NY; James Shore of Milwaukee; and Liz Neuman of Prior Lake, Minn., died.

Tom McFeeley, Brown's cousin, tells KNXV-TV that it's an insult for Ray to hold his programs in the state where the deaths occurred. "The prison sentence was really just a time out for him," McFeeley said. But Ray said his experience could be of help to people, and added, "It would've been easier to do anything else, but when you find your purpose, you don't quit." A Ray seminar will run you nearly $300. (See how Ray reportedly sat in the shade while his followers roasted in a sweat lodge.)

In this Nov. 8, 2011 file photo, self-help author James Arthur Ray sits with one of his attorneys, Thomas Kelly, during a pre-sentencing hearing at Yavapai County Courthouse in Prescott, Arizona.
In this Nov. 8, 2011 file photo, self-help author James Arthur Ray sits with one of his attorneys, Thomas Kelly, during a pre-sentencing hearing at Yavapai County Courthouse in Prescott, Arizona.   (Michael Schennum)
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