Mr Ray was reported as being released on July 12th 2013. The deadly experience for participants on his “Spiritual Warrior” retreat in Sedona, Arizona occurred in October 2009. A desert “vision quest” of a day and a half for fifty paying acolytes left them exhausted, sleep and food deprived, and in need of rehydration. They then followed Ray across a six meter [20 foot] hot coal walk. Three people failed to survive the experience. A similar kind of incident, but without fatalities, occurred more recently in a workshop featuring the well-known motivational speaker Tony Robbins.
Mr Ray came to national attention in 2006 in a film The Secret, where he is shown promoting his life-changing journey towards wealth, health and happiness.
Christine Whelan writing in USA Today offers a balanced view of the potential benefits of self-improvement advice, and the plethora of those whom she describes as purveyors of snake-oil. Her estimate is that Ray and Robins are part of a thirteen billion dollars a year industry. She also advocates the evaluations of such programmes found in the book Self-Help That Works,now into its forth edition.
To be continued