Sweat Lodge: Is it dangerous?

Sweat Lodge: Is it dangerous?

Jo Nuske posted 16 Oct 2009


The Sweat Lodge : Risks

This news release appeared October 11 2009 on the 9 news website.

Secret_SweatUS police are investigating to see if criminal charges can be laid against The Secret author James Arthur Ray over the deaths of two people during a "sweat lodge" spiritual cleansing ceremony.

At least 19 people were rushed to hospital from the sweat lodge at the Angel Valley Spiritual Retreat in Arizona and one person is still in a critical condition.

A sweat lodge is a sauna-like enclosure where water is poured on heated rocks to cleanse the body.

The two people who died after sitting in the sweat lodge were identified Saturday as Milwaukee man James Shore, 40, and man and a 38-year-old New York woman, Kirby Brown.

Authorities say Ray rented the retreat centre location as part of his "Spiritual Warrior" camp that began on October 3 promising to "absolutely change your life".

Yavapai County sheriff Steve Waugh told the Associated Press that his detectives were focusing on Ray and his staff as they try to determine if criminal negligence played a role in the deaths. No charges have been filed.

Waugh said the 64 people who were in the crude sweat lodge had fasted for 36 hours, then ate a breakfast buffet on Thursday morning.

They then ate a buffet breakfast before going to a seminar and on to the sweat lodge, which they entered at about 3pm. A little more than two hours later, Mr Shore and Ms Brown were taken out of the lodge without a pulse and not breathing.

Rescue crews arrived at the remote property to find other people experiencing medical distress and a nurse hired by Ray was directing rescue efforts including CPR.

Shore and Brown were pronounced dead when they arrived at a hospital.

Authorities are yet to determine the cause of the deaths and illnesses but have ruled out carbon monoxide poisoning.

An autopsy was conducted on Friday, but the results are pending additional tests. The 19 others who were taken to hospitals suffered from various ailments, including respiratory arrest, kidney failure or elevated body temperature.

Sweat Lodge Opinion :

36 hours of fasting, then overloading the body with food, then participating in an intense physical and emotional experience?   Did this facilitator know what they were doing? So what should have been different?

About the author

Jo Nuske
Serene Spirit since Mar, 2016


The spiritual awareness “industry” has boomed since we first launched this website in 2009. My personal journey of learning began 52 years ago when psychic awareness was considered a mental disease. I love the acceptance that now embraces the worl...


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