Sweat Lodge Guru James Arthur Ray: From Poor Childhood to Self-Help Millionaire

Photo: James Arthur Ray.

NEW YORK (CBS/AP) James Arthur Ray was always seeking a connection between money and God, an Arizona paper reports in a profile of the self-help author and speaker who conducted a sweat lodge ceremony earlier this month which ended in three deaths and multiple hospitalizations.

Crimesider whether or not the money had been returned.Photo: Kirby Brown died after taking part in Ray's sweat lodge ceremony.Sheriff's investigators in Arizona's Yavapai County, about 100 miles north of Phoenix, are treating the deaths as homicides but have yet to determine the cause.Despite the negative attention Ray has received, his followers remain loyal and say they do not believe he committed any wrongdoing."I have really grown tremendously outside of who I was," Hermia Nelson, a New York businesswoman who attended Ray's retreats in 2007 and 2008 told the Republic. "James has shown us over and over again that he is real. . . . I don't think James is a reckless person or the organization was negligent. They take very seriously these types of events," she told reporters, referring to the sweat lodge tragedy.Perhaps to please his devout followers, Ray has vowed to soldier on. In his blog he wrote that he will continue to host seminars because "It's too important not to."

October 26, 2009 - Sweat-Lodge Deaths Won't Stop James Arthur Ray, No Mention of $9,000 Per Person Pricetag
October 23, 2009 - Sweat Lodge Hero? Victim May Have Saved Woman Before Dying, Says Participant Beverley Bunn
October 21, 2009 - Sweat Lodge Survivor Beverley Bunn Says James Arthur Ray Played God Before Deadly Ending
October 18, 2009 - Third Death from Sweat Lodge Ceremony Led by James Arthur Ray
October 16, 2009 - Self-Help Guru James Arthur Ray in Crosshairs of Angel Valley Sweat Lodge Homicide Investigation
October 15, 2009 - Desperate 911 Call: First Glimpse Into Angel Valley Sweat Lodge Deaths
October 13, 2009 - Angel Valley Sweat Lodge Deaths: Owner Didn't Have Permits
October 12, 2009 - Sweat Lodge Death Investigation Turns to Self-Help Guru James Arthur Ray
October 12, 2009 - Family Says New Yorker Kirby Brown was in Great Shape before Mysterious Sweat Lodge Death
October 9, 2009 - Angel Valley Resort: Two Dead, Many Hospitalized in Sedona Sweat Lodge Illness