Sweat Lodge Guru James Ray Charged With Manslaughter
New Age guru James Ray has been charged with the deaths of three people in a controversial sweat lodge ceremony. INSIDE EDITION has the latest.
New Age guru James A. Ray was led to an Arizona court in an orange jumpsuit and shackles, charged with three counts of manslaughter.
Ray is accused of causing the deaths of three people in a sweat lodge during a New Age retreat near Sedona last October.
Ray is one of the authors of the new age phenomenon The Secret and has become a self-help superstar. But his lawyers say he can't raise enough cash for bail, which is set at $5 million.
Andrea Puckett's mother died in the sweat lodge disaster. INSIDE EDITION's Les Trent asked Puckett, "What is your reaction to the news that James Ray has been arrested and is going to be charged?"
Puckett responded, "Definitely very pleased with the outcome of the investigation. It's been a big relief for me and my family."
Melinda Martin once worked for Ray. She's the first insider to speak out. She says Ray pressured some of the distressed victims not to leave the sweat lodge.
"He would say, 'You can do this, you're stronger than this. I know it feels like you're going to die but you're not going to die. Stick in here, you can do this,' " said Martin.
She told investigators she gave one victim CPR, and that Ray did nothing to help.
"I saw him with my eyes not doing anything. I saw him watching. He was just watching kind of in shock, and then kind of looking around as if he was in a bad dream."
James Ray says he did everything he could, and denies preventing anyone from leaving.
His attorneys said after his arrest, "The charges are unjust. This was a terrible accident, not a criminal act."
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