Favorite Installation Artists

Monday, October 19, 2009


A lot of folks were seriously injured in Sedona recently. Three of them are dead.

James Arthur Ray was holding a "Spiritual Warrior" event which included a poorly managed sweat lodge exercise.

Mr. Ray seems to be able to manage himself rather well. Fees for the event reached $10,000.00 according to published accounts. His web site (click here) is a slick bit of self promotion. Scroll down to the "Continue Here" button on the bottom of his page to see a video of him explaining his philosophy, such as it is. The guiding principal seems to be "Harmonic Wealth....Attract the Life You Want".

According to Mr. Ray, he will ...."show you 6 Laws of the Universe that will help you rise above all external circumstances". Really? That seems to be information that the general population would have keyed in on by now. How does something that universally beneficial remain a mystery to all but Mr. Ray? And why is the news only available to those in an altered state?

Three things about all this make me very, very angry. The first is, obviously, the loss of life. The second is that it does a disservice to the residents of Sedona by picturing the area in a negative light. And the third is that by misusing the term "warrior" and holding an event in a "sweat lodge" Mr. Ray insults the native culture to whom these honorable terms and traditions rightly belong.

Sedona and its environs are hypnotically beautiful settings. It is a truly breathtaking piece of Arizona real estate in a state that has stunning vistas in abundance. The area has long attracted those interested in crystals and vortexes and New Age ideas. Although I would not choose to follow the proponents of these principals, its a choice I make for myself. Whatever paths others choose, to whatever enlightenment they seek, is entirely up to them. Yet I am fairly certain of one thing.

No one chose to die.


  1. How terrible - in so many ways. I'm glad you're helping to expose this charlatan. Surely he should be prosecuted for negligence or something?

  2. Leigh,
    He will be facing the judicial system before long. Families are hiring legal help and news reports are alerting the general public to such abuses. Unfortunately, it came too late for several people.