Getting the Whole Picture of What Happened in Sedona

sweat lodge deaths sedona

As the CNN Films documentary “Enlighten Us” debuts nationally on CNN, we are working hard to make sure people get the full picture of what happened in Sedona, and why we still feel James Ray is dangerous and representative of everything that’s wrong with the self-help industry.

Ray’s Trying to Rewrite History

He recently petitioned the State of Arizona to set aside his conviction, and in promoting the film, he is continuing to try to dodge responsibility and point a finger at alternative explanations for the deaths of his customers. It is important that the details of this case not be rewritten.

But Facts are Facts

The State’s response gives a very comprehensive account of what happened that week in Sedona, AZ, in 2009, when three people died and many others were injured–many pieces that were left out of the documentary. Here are a few of the important notes summed up for you if you don’t have the time or desire to weed through all 80+ pages!

Summary of State of Arizona’s Account of What Happened in Sedona

  • Participants experienced deprivation throughout the week’s events prior to the sweat lodge (pages 3-5)
  • Ray made numerous statements about how participants were supposed to experience discomforts that are actually classic signs of heat stroke (as an expert in heat stroke testified during the trial) (pages 7-8)
  • Ray told participants he was in charge of the sweat lodge (pages 8-10)
  • There were numerous witness statements that people in the tent were in distress. Ray minimized and ignored these pleas for help (pages 10-18)
  • The aftermath of sweat lodge was chaos, with people undergoing CPR and many others in distress and shock (pages 19-22)
  • Multiple medical examiners who saw Kirby, James Shore, and Liz, determined that the cause of death was heat stroke, and a great deal of expert testimony during the trial also corroborated these findings (pgs 22-24)

If you’re interested in reading the State of Arizona’s response in full, here it is:

As we’ve shared before, Matt Stroud’s piece for The Verge is also a very comprehensive account.

Please get all the facts! #knowyourguru

Protect Yourself!

And as always, when looking for self-improvement resources, consult our Red Flag guides especially before attending any self-help event.

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