SURVIVOR RECOUNTS SWEAT LODGE TRAGEDY
October 22, 2009

Associated Press

More than 50 followers of spiritual guru James Arthur Ray had just endured five strenuous days of fasting, sleep-deprivation and mind-altering breathing exercises when he led them into a sweat lodge ceremony.
It was supposed to be a religious awakening, the culmination of a $9,000-plus-a-person retreat outside Sedona, Ariz., aimed at helping people find a new vision for life. But it wasn’t long before the ceremony turned into a terrifying experience.

People were vomiting in the heat, gasping for air, and lying lifeless on the sand and gravel floor beneath them, according to participant Beverley Bunn. One man was burned when he crawled into the rocks, seemingly unaware of what he was doing, she said. Ultimately, three people would die. Read More…

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Chief Arvol Looking Horse leadin prayer at a gathering to protect the sacred site, Bear Butte in the northern Black Hills of South Dakota.

Chief Arvol Looking Horse leadin prayer at a gathering to protect the sacred site, Bear Butte in the northern Black Hills of South Dakota.

Of course there would be a tragedy at a $9000 sweat “ceremony.” The inipi is a sacred rite for Native people and all looking to understand the Red Road and the “Mitakuye Oyasin” way of life as Heȟáka Sápa (Black Elk) taught us. There is no price tag for a spiritual awakening. The tragedy in this story is that some yuppie fuck is making money from a ceremony he should never have been exposed to. We measure the intent of a person then allow them into the sweat lodge.

Kicking Horse

If you want to read the response from Keeper of the Sacred Pipe, Chief Arvol Looking Horse regarding the Sedona incident click here.

29-20 Arvol Looking Horse
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