James Arthur Ray “Sweatbox”” Ceremony Leaves Two Dead

Oct. 10 2009, Updated 10:22 a.m. ET

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He’s a regular contributor on Today and a frequent guest on Oprah and Larry King Live.  He was featured in the movie version of The Secret.

Thursday night, best-selling author James Arthur Ray was in Arizona, leading a ceremony in a sweatbox.  Now two of his “followers” are dead and another 19 are injured, one critically.

Ray, a self-proclaimed “philosopher,” is the author of Harmonic Wealth: The Secret of Attracting the Life You Want.  “I guarantee that anything you desire is possible,” Ray states on his website, which also advertised Harmonic Weekend events.

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The horrific incident occurred at the Angel Valley Resort about 20 minutes outside Sedona.

Sweatboxes are traditionally used by several Native American tribes for physical and spiritual cleansing.  They’re small structures made from willow branches covered in canvas.  Water is poured over a small pile of heated rocks to create steam.  Typically, they hold no more than a dozen participants and often they are used by a single individual.

Ray’s sweatbox looked more like a small circus tent.  More than 50 people had been in the structure for more than two hours when 911 calls began coming into the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office.

According to a statement from the Sheriff’s Office, a criminal investigation has now been opened into the matter.

RadarOnline.com has not yet been able to reach Ray.  His next event is scheduled for Los Angeles October 13.

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