In a society that seeks quick fixes and the flavor of the month, along with financial abundance, the movie The Secret became a phenomenon in 2006. This led to appearances on Oprah and other popular television programs and media venues for speakers such as James Arthur Ray, whose book Harmonic Wealth rose on the best sellers lists and drew a steady flow of registrants for his expensive spiritual retreats. It was at one of these retreats held in Sedona, Arizona, that dozens fell ill and at least 2 participants died as a result of something that went awry at a sweat lodge ceremony. Article taken from Examiner.com, Philadelphia
In fact, 3 ended up losing their lives.
Last night on Dateline.NBC they were recapping events from this tragedy. They interviewed some of the participants, all of whom are intelligent individuals with successful careers and bright futures. But there was a common thread wound around all of them.They were looking for something they hadn’t found yet.
The Angel Valley Retreat Center, where the weekend events took place, is owned by Michael and Amayra Hamilton, who rented it to Ray for a five-day “Spiritual Warrior” retreat that promised to “absolutely change your life.”
Participants paid between $9000.00-$10,000.00 for the retreat.
One man emerged from the Sweat lodge halfway through the ceremony because he thought he was having a heart attack, and instead of summoning medical aid, Ray said “It’s a good day to die,” according to a search warrant affidavit. Source: CBS.com news
Participants, at least the ones who made it out alive, continue to be haunted by events of that fateful weekend in 2009. It did change their lives, but not for the better. Three lives ended unnecessarily only because they thought they were doing something good. They put their very lives in the hands of the wrong person.
People do it everyday. We’ve all done it at one time or another.
But there is One who contains within Himself all we will ever need to be fulfilled in this life and that is Jesus. No, I didn’t say rich, I said fulfilled.
What makes Him qualified?
He has been here since the beginning. John 1:1
At the appointed time He came to earth, born of a virgin. Isaiah 7:14
He lived a sinless life. 1 John 3:5
Voluntarily gave His life for us by going to the cross. 1 Peter 2:24
Rose again on the third day. 1 Corinthians 15:4
Appeared to many eyewitnesses after His resurrection. Acts 13:31
Ascended to the Father, where He intercedes for us today. Romans 8:34
Gives us His Holy Spirit who leads us into all truth. John 16:7
At the appointed time He will come back. Hebrews 10:37
James Arthur Ray is charged with 3 counts of manslaughter and faces a minimum of three years in prison and a maximum of 12 for each manslaughter charge.
I pray for those today who continue to be deceived by James Arthur Ray and others like him…….He continues to lecture on his website.