People Still Signing Up for Guru's Sweat Lodges
James Arthur Ray is out recruiting, and audiences are buying, despite deaths
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2009 5:43 AM CDT
This Sept. 2007 picture picture provided by Rev. Meredith Ann Murray shows her with James Arthur Ray at the Spiritual Warrior Course at Angel Valley Retreat Center in Sedona, Ariz.   (AP Photo/Courtesy of Meredith Ann Murray)
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(Newser) – James Arthur Ray has hardly missed a beat since three people died in one of his sweat lodge ceremonies two weeks ago: The self-help guru is back on the road peddling his workshops, and many members of his audience seem unfazed by the deaths. "When you're pushing the limits, unfortunately, things can happen," one who recently signed up for a workshop tells the Los Angeles Times. "I'd rather live that life than be a couch potato."

The sweat lodge tragedy fits into Ray's oft-told story of triumphing over adversity, and he admitted at a recent recruitment session, with tears in his eyes, "I've taught that we're all going to have adversity and we can't run from it. I've certainly learned a lot in the past 10 days." But opponents of Ray's line of work are still hopeful, as one says, "that this will put a chilling effect on the self-help industry."