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Sweat Lodge Guru Posts Video Message to Followers: He's Still Here to Help

James Arthur Ray - photo provided by James Ray International (JRI) Investigators look over a "sweat lodge" on the grounds of Angel Valley Retreat Center, near Sedona, Ariz. Two people died and 19 others were taken to hospitals after being overcome while sitting in the sauna-like sweat lodge during a Sedona spiritual retreat, authorities said Friday. JamesRay.com

James Arthur Ray - photo provided by James Ray International (JRI)
James Arthur Ray (James Ray International)
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (CBS/AP) Although the self-help guru James Arthur Ray is charged with manslaughter for the deaths of three people, he isn't ready to give up on helping people with his motivational messages.

Ray posted a video online this week saying even though he's unable to produce live events, he still has a deep desire and passion to help people in any way he can. He invites people to join him online at least once a week.

"I'd like to be able to provide that value to you in this way, as my gift to you," Ray said. "Just to share with you some tools and techniques, some insight, some knowledge, some ways in which you can deal with challenges in your own life, some ways in which you can design and really achieve the life you deserve."

The families of the deceased aren't pleased that Ray is continuing to preach his beliefs. "Let us not forget that people have suffered permanent injuries and have died after trusting and following Mr. Ray's teachings," Virginia Brown said in a statement.

However, not everyone is offended by his teachings. Alyssa LeBlanc, 26, of Los Angeles said she watched his video on Facebook and argues his teachings have become stronger since he hasn't been holding his seminars. She applauds him for his efforts to keep helping people.

Kirby Brown, 38, of Westtown, N.Y., James Shore, 40, of Milwaukee, and Liz Neuman, 49, of Prior Lake, Minn., died following a two-hour sweat lodge ceremony in October. Brown and Shore both died of heat stroke, and were reportedly unconscious when emergency crews arrived at the site of the spiritual retreat near Sedona, Ariz. Neuman died after more than a week in the hospital from multiple organ failure due to hyperthermia from prolonged sweat lodge exposure. Eighteen people were hospitalized.

Ray pleaded not guilty to three counts of manslaughter. His trial is scheduled for Aug. 31.

  • Kealan Oliver

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