Debate Magazine

Sweat Lodge Death Trial Begins

Posted on the 06 March 2011 by Dplylemd

“You will feel as if you are going to die. I guarantee that.”

“You will have to get to a point where you surrender, where it’s OK to die.”

In an earlier post I talked about the hyperthermic deaths that occurred during the self-discovery sessions led by self-help guru James Ray. His sweat lodge ordeal ended in the death of three and hospital visits by nearly two dozen others. It appears that his trial is about to begin in Arizona.

I bet he now regrets the above words. Bet he’s sweating as if he were in his own sweat lodge.

The defense? Well, the participants were adults. They signed wavers. I wonder if those wavers mentioned the temperature and lack of ventilation and jam-packed conditions inside the lodge? Or that there would be no on site medical facility or personnel? Or that their 36 hour fast ended by a single meal just might leave the participants a bit dehydrated even before they entered the jerky factory. Brains, hearts, and kidneys don’t tolerate such conditions well.

Common sense, or as we say in the South “walking around sense,” seems to have flown the coop in this deal.

This one will be interesting to watch.

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