SEDONA, ARIZ. — They came actuality to be enlightened. Seduced by the Red Hills of Sedona, and the article of a acclaimed self-help able who seemed to authority “The Secret” to claimed success.
JAMES RAY IN “THE SECRET”: Activity is meant to be abundant.
The airy retreat promised to be an acute journey. Participants would afford their fears, advance accomplished their limits, and become added alive. At atomic that’s what was declared to happen.
911 CALLER: Two bodies aren’t breathing. There’s no pulse.
DISPATCHER: Two bodies aren’t breathing?
Instead, what began as a airy re-birth concluded in tragedy.
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: I can’t breathe. And I’m aloof angry for every breath.
MELINDA MARTIN: Bodies are airsickness everywhere. Bodies were actuality abject out unconscious.
AMAYRA HAMILTON: What I saw was above annihilation I’ve anytime seen.
Now, anybody wants to apperceive what happened central this aphotic and mild diaphoresis lodge.
GINNY BROWN: She was adapted to afterlife in a diaphoresis abode in Sedona, Arizona.
Tonight, for the aboriginal time, you’ll apprehend the central chance from some those who were there, as able as those whose admired ones never came home.
Who–if anyone–is to accusation for the adversity in the desert?
GINNY BROWN: Kirby was consistently attractive to advance herself. Always. Whether it was reading, whether it was actuality a bigger surfer. It was an centralized drive, I think, of chastening to consistently be her best.
A self-improvement affairs fit Kirby Brown to a tee. The 38-year-old with a big smile, and an alike bigger adulation for the outdoors, had acclimatized into activity as an artisan in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
But she consistently fabricated time for trips home to New York to appointment her mother Ginny and brother Bob.
BOB BROWN: She was the best big sister anyone could ask for.
VIRGINIA BROWN: I’ve generally declared Kirby as bashed on life.
Kirby’s drive to be her best led her to this man — James Arthur Ray — a absorbing self-help columnist who advance an ambrosial bulletin in his motivational DVDs.
Ray’s aesthetics is based on article alleged the law of attraction. Artlessly put, if you accelerate absolute activity out into the apple about you, Ray said you would allure absolute things in return, like added money, bigger health, and a happier life.
JAMES RAY: You’ve got to be at the appropriate place, at the appropriate time, and do the appropriate things, get the appropriate opportunities, accomplish the appropriate decisions, accommodated the appropriate people, and get the appropriate after-effects and that’s aback all the laws band up abaft you and you absolutely activate to accept this bewitched life.
His upbeat bulletin addled a chord. Ray conducted seminars above the country, and wrote books. But it was this activity in 2006 that catapulted him assimilate the civic stage.
He became one of the choir abaft the badly accustomed motivational book and DVD “The Secret.”
James Ray, from “The Secret” DVD: That’s not who you are, that’s who you were.
“The Secret” book and DVD awash added than 10 actor copies and landed James Ray at the Holy Grail for any motivational apostle — an actualization on Oprah.
Soon, Ray was everywhere, from Larry King…
JAMES RAY: Larry, aggregate that appears to be solid is energy…
To the TODAY show…
JAMES RAY: You allure what you consistently anticipate feel and act upon…
James Ray advance his message.
Kirby Brown was so taken with his teachings, that she assertive her mother Ginny to appear a James Ray academy with her aftermost year.
GINNY BROWN: His activity on the date was absolute impressive. Aback I heard him speak, I was acquainted of the allowance he had.
And who wouldn’t appetite to accept this activating baton aback he said that a bigger activity was aloof aural reach, castigation for the taking, if you abandoned capital it enough.
Business man Dennis Mehravar, a ancestor of two from Toronto, capital to access up his able life, and that led him to James Ray.
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: As a absolute acreage agent, sometimes I’d go to seminars for motivations, ambition setting, claimed growth.
CHRIS HANSEN: Fires you up a little bit?
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: Exactly.
CHRIS HANSEN: Makes you anticipate alfresco the box.
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: That’s right, yeah.
Beverley Bunn, an orthodontist from Texas, anticipation Ray ability be able to advice her acquisition achievement alfresco of work.
BEVERLY BUNN: He was a activating person. He was absolute able and I was attractive for a little bit added bendability and balance. And I assumption accord or accord in my life..
So aback a accumulation of Ray’s believers met in Sedona aftermost October, they were accessible to chase him bottomward the aisle to beatitude and success.
After actualization in the phenomenally accustomed DVD “The Secret,” James Ray had burst out from the backpack of endless added self-help authors.
By 2009, “James Ray International” was, according to Inc. magazine, a multi-million dollar business–one of its top 500 companies.
Canadian agent Dennis Mehravar went to one James Ray blow afterwards another, spending a absolute of aing to $30,000 to asperse himself in Ray’s teachings.
CHRIS HANSEN: Did it accomplish you added successful?
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: Financially it did help, yes. You alpha assertive in yourself more.
(From “The Secret” DVD)
I can appearance you the aperture and you accept to be accommodating to do what it takes to footfall thru that door. Does that accomplish sense, no or yes?
Ray’s seminars — as apparent in his DVDs–consisted mostly of lectures and accustomed motivational exercises.
But there were additionally concrete challenges advised to put “mind over matter” to the test. Stunts like breaking a lath with your bald easily or walking over hot dress-down barefoot.
Ray alleged it “playing abounding on.”
MELINDA MARTIN: It was for bodies adverse their fears.
Melinda Martin aing Ray’s aggregation as an blow coordinator aftermost March. She admired her job, alike if she sometimes begin the contest she was active a little extreme.
MELINDA MARTIN: They put keys on the basal of these behemothic aquariums abounding of snakes. And these snakes were aloof activity crazy aggravating to escape. And bodies had to put their easily central and grab one of these keys. And bodies were arrant and shaking. It was absolutely something.
Still, Melinda says it all seemed controllable enough. She saw the participants as acute bodies who capital to advance themselves to the aing level.
MELINDA MARTIN: They would alum and get added acute as you followed these events. Apparently the best arduous blow was “spiritual warrior.” This was the acute of the extreme, this event.
According to James Ray, the airy warrior retreat would advance the participants above their perceived limits. Of all his events, this one was the best arduous – mentally, emotionally and physically. He encouraged those who came to “be courageous” — and adapt for a life-altering event.
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: Mr. Ray consistently says that this is his best material, this is his best work.
If the airy warrior retreat was one of Ray’s best events, it was additionally one of his best big-ticket — about $10,000. Ray would advance the bristles day blow in Sedona, at a active ability alleged Angel Valley Retreat Center, endemic by Amayra Hamilton.
AMAYRA HAMILTON: A lot of bodies backpack burdens. And actuality actuality helps bodies to bead the burdens. They become chargeless to be themselves.
Businessman Dennis Mehraver active up, forth with about 50 people, including orthodontist Beverley Bunn, who would be commutual up as attached with Kirby Brown.
CHRIS HANSEN: Did you feel a appropriate band with her?
BEVERLY BUNN: Appropriate away. And Kirby smiles the accomplished absolute time. You accept to understand. She’s beautiful.
Also branch to Arizona was Marta Ries.
Marta had been accessory James Ray workshops for years and was now alive for Ray part-time, allowance him with his acoustic presentations.
In fact, she says, it was Ray who aboriginal aggressive her to barrage her own business.
MARTA REIS: For the aboriginal time in my activity I could absolutely say that I was accomplishing article I absolutely enjoyed. I was allowance bodies creatively and I was authoritative money at it.
CHRIS HANSEN: James Ray gave you the accoutrement to succeed?
MARTA REIS: Yes.
CHRIS HANSEN: And you became a accepter in James Ray?
MARTA REIS: Absolutely.
At this retreat, Marta was aflame to absorb time with her acceptable acquaintance Liz Neumann. Liz was one of Ray’s adept volunteers — a affiliate of a accumulation alleged Ray’s “Dream Team.”
MARTA REIS: She was accession aloof abounding of life. And she would try annihilation and everything.
And there, they would all accommodated James Shore, a 40-year-old ancestor of three. Shore was at the top of his game, physically and mentally.
MARTA REIS: Acutely thoughtful. Articulate. Absolute annoying thinker. And absolute determined.
Last October, the participants aggregate in the Arizona wilderness, accessible to commence on their adventure. And from the start, it was bright the airy warriors would be activated in some abrupt ways.
BEVERLY BUNN: Aback I absolved in, this man had a brace of clippers in his hands. And he asked me if I capital a haircut.
CHRIS HANSEN: A haircut?
BEVERLY BUNN: And I said, “I’m not actuality for the hairdressing convention” I’m absolutely actuality for –
CHRIS HANSEN: Airy warrior.
BEVERLY BUNN: – with James Ray. And he said, “Well, so am I.”
The absolute aboriginal exercise? Shedding your old, amiss cocky by accepting a fizz cut.
MELINDA MARTIN: He would allocution about arena abounding on and what allotment of you has to die afore you can alive abounding on in your life. Does your beard angle amid you and what you absolutely want?
Beverley Bunn was afraid to cut off her beard and aloof a tad agnostic about what she’d aloof spent $10,000 to be a allotment of.
She grew alike added wary the aing day when, she says, James Ray was in sales mode.
BEVERLY BUNN: He had a new book that he said was advancing out. And throughout the course, he absolutely approved affairs us these books. Afresh he has added programs that were ran up into $26,000 — $27,000.
CHRIS HANSEN: So, you’re almost into this airy warrior retreat, and he’s already hawking absolute big-ticket items? Did that put you off
BEVERLY BUNN: Yes. Absolute abundant so.
After three continued canicule of acute concrete and affecting exercises, the participants were told about their aing test: two nights abandoned in the outdoors.
CHRIS HANSEN: Did you accept a sleeping bag?
BEVERLY BUNN: We had a sleeping bag.
CHRIS HANSEN: Did you accept water?
BEVERLY BUNN: No.
CHRIS HANSEN: Food?
BEVERLY BUNN: No.
CHRIS HANSEN: Any affectionate of a snack?
BEVERLY BUNN: No. We weren’t allowed.
CHRIS HANSEN: For 36 hours in the desert?
BEVERLY BUNN: Thirty-six hours.
CHRIS HANSEN: Did that assume advantageous to you as a medical person?
BEVERLY BUNN: The baptize allotment agitated me. Because you can alive afterwards aliment but you can’t go afterwards water.
Yet to her surprise, Beverley not abandoned fabricated it through, she enjoyed it.
CHRIS HANSEN: What did you do during that 36 hours?
BEVERLY BUNN: Actually, I accept an extremely, acutely active life. So, for me to be able to sit and do nothing, it was a abundant experience.
There was aloof one day left. What abroad was in abundance for James Ray’s airy warriors?
On the Sedona acreage was a accoutrement alleged a diaphoresis lodge.
Inside, Ray would advance a commemoration about based on a Native- American ritual, a affectionate of beef ablution meant to betoken re-birth.
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: He asked, “Has anybody been in a diaphoresis abode before?” I would say apparently maybe eight or nine bodies aloft their hands. And afresh his animadversion was, “well, you’ve never been to my diaphoresis lodge.”
Ray promised that his diaphoresis abode would be like annihilation they’d anytime been through before. And it was. Aloof not in the way any of them imagined.
Nestled in the red valleys of Sedona, James Ray’s airy warrior retreat had accomplished its final day.
After their 36-hour fast in the outdoors, participants accustomed aback at the retreat centermost to acquisition breakfast waiting. And there was one final challenge: the diaphoresis abode ceremony.
Sweat abode ceremonies are commonly apparent as ablution rituals, although Ray’s adaptation was billed as a analysis of endurance.
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: Afore we went, Mr. Ray said that you’re activity to feel like your bark is advancing off.
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: He said that, you know, you’re activity to feel like you are dying, right?
CHRIS HANSEN: Feel like you’re dying?
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: Yes.
CHRIS HANSEN: Did that alpha to affair you?
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: Able afresh I anticipation maybe he’s aloof exaggerating–
CHRIS HANSEN: Hypere.
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: That’s right.
Ray says those animadversion were never meant to be taken literally. But if anyone was up for a challenge, Ginny Brown says it was her babe Kirby.
VIRGINIA BROWN: I anticipate she knew that there was activity to be some concrete claiming complex in this. And that she would be accommodating to assignment hard.
CHRIS HANSEN: And she wasn’t a quitter.
GINNY BROWN: And she was not a quitter.
James Ray had been arch diaphoresis abode ceremonies in Sedona for six years, involving added than a hundred people.
But what these participants may not accept accepted was that there’d been at atomic one botheration in the past. Acreage buyer Amayra Hamilton remembers that aback in 2005 one man emerged from the diaphoresis abode absolutely disoriented.
AMAYRA HAMILTON: He was affective and we could not calm him down. And thought, “Unh-uh (negative). This needs help.”
What addled Amayra at the time, she says, was Ray’s acknowledgment aback she absitively to alarm 911.
AMAYRA HAMILTON: I said to James, “This– this guy is– is not okay. I’m calling– activity to alarm 911.” And he didn’t like that. I said, “I’m activity to do it anyway.” So, I alleged 911–
CHRIS HANSEN: Did he acquaint you not to alarm 911?
AMAYRA HAMILTON: Mmmm–he said, “Well, why would you do that?” and I–
CHRIS HANSEN: Why would you do it?
AMAYRA HAMILTON: Article like that.
A antecedent aing to James Ray says that’s not how it happened, and that adrift actor angry out to be fine.
In the afterward years Ray did accomplish some changes.
He beneath the ceremony, and kept bake-apple and baptize on duke to advice with dehydration.
What’s more, some of Ray’s agents were accomplished in CPR.
AMAYRA HAMILTON: And so I thought, “Oh, able at atomic he abstruse from it.”
So in 2009, associates of Ray’s agents were standing-by alfresco the lodge.
And about eight hours afterwards they’d alternate from their fast the participants aggregate for the acme event.
Among them was Dennis Mehrahver; Beverley and her acquaintance Kirby Brown; advance Liz Neumann; and James Shore, the ancestor of three.
BEVERLY BUNN: Everybody’s affectionate of excited. This is the aftermost event. And it’s the best intense. This is activity to get us there. This is what’s activity to–
CHRIS HANSEN: Transform your lives.
BEVERLY BUNN: Exactly.
Fifty-four bodies crawled central the abode with James Ray and formed a amphitheater about a pit that would be abounding with hot rocks. At about 4 anxiety high, 23 anxiety wide, it was a bound fit.
At a adapted diaphoresis abode — almost bisected the admeasurement — Dennis gave us a faculty of what it was like inside.
CHRIS HANSEN: That had to be appealing awash in there.
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: It was. I mean, you know, we were affectionate of sitting ancillary by side. You know, we were appealing tight, everybody affectionate of affecting anniversary other, right?
The commemoration would aftermost about two hours, burst up into eight circuit of 10 to 15 account each. At the alpha of anniversary round, hot rocks were brought in one by one.
With a alternation of chants, Ray aished them with water, bushing the accoutrement with steam.
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: I mean, the stones were hot.
CHRIS HANSEN: Is the damp just–
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: Oh–
CHRIS HANSEN: Pouring off you?
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: It’s just– like– I’ve never accomplished annihilation like that. I mean, it’s so hot that you’re assimilation wet in the first, like, aboriginal two minutes, aboriginal one minute. It’s absolute intense.
Ray’s blow coordinator Melinda Martin was outside. It was her aboriginal time alive the diaphoresis abode ceremony.
MELINDA MARTIN: The job was, “Yes. Aback bodies appear out they’re activity to be hot and they’re activity to be dehydrated. So, you aloof corrupt them bottomward and accord them some electrolyte water, and then, like, in ten account they’re absolutely fine.”
It was aphotic and mild central the abode until Ray propped accessible a accessory to announce the end of annular one. But Dennis acquainted no abatement at all.
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: Attractive at the opening, I see the ablaze that is advancing in a little bit. But there is no air. I mean, you couldn’t breathe. There was no oxygen here. Imagine, like you are aloof cooking. We were aloof cooking.
For their own safety, Ray encouraged the participants to leave abandoned amid rounds.
And a few warriors gave up afterwards the first.
CHRIS HANSEN: And what did he say to those bodies who were leaving?
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: Well, he said, “you are bigger than that, you are bigger that.”
MELINDA MARTIN: The accessory opened and the aboriginal accumulation of bodies came out I was absolute afraid at how bad the action of these bodies was already. These people–they don’t attending advantageous at all. They attending like they’re absolutely suffering, you know. And that was aloof the aboriginal round.
Inside: added hot stones, added steam.
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: By the time the– fourth annular start, I bethink I was aloof affectionate of laying aing to the ground, aggravating to air-conditioned off a little bit.
CHRIS HANSEN: You were all grown-up. You could accept all gotten up and said, “We’re out of here. This is dangerous, we’re activity ill.”
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: Um, hm. Well, I assumption my acknowledgment would be that you are blood-soaked in that absolute alert to him 13 hours a day for four or bristles days, little sleep, so your acumen is adapted than me sitting here.
Dennis says his bigger acumen did bang in about bisected way through the ceremony.
He showed us what happened next, aback he fabricated a breach -second accommodation to get out.
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: I thought, “Oh, you know, I can’t do this.” And apparently I abashed from actuality to–probably aloof like this.
CHRIS HANSEN: Right. You were about to accomplish your way about the blaze pit–
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: And that was it. Yeah. And that was it.
CHRIS HANSEN: And so you aloof went bottomward like there.
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: I aloof went bottomward appropriate there, yeah.
Unconscious, Dennis assumes he was abject out. The aing affair he remembers was actuality bashed off on the ground, ing, clumsy to move.
And afresh it got worse.
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: I’m aggravating to breathe and I can’t breathe. So I take, like, say, 10 breaths [pants] but I don’t– it’s as if I’m– nothing’s happening.
CHRIS HANSEN: Nothings advancing in?
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: And I alpha to see this atramentous spots on my eyes like, I’m aggravating to break up, I try to– aggravating to action it, and at that time, I mean, I alpha to say, “I don’t appetite to die, not here, not now.” I accept two kids, they don’t apperceive I’m here, that, you know, they’re cat-and-mouse for me to go back. I’m aloof saying, “Jesse, Jordan, I don’t appetite to die. I don’t appetite to die here, I accept two kids.” I’m babble their name as loud as I can, Chris.
Was this the activation James Ray had promised or the alpha of article tragic?
Halfway through James Ray’s diaphoresis abode ceremony, Dennis Mehraver had been abject out unconscious.
He came to cerebration he was about to die.
MELINDA MARTIN: He was hysterical. He was agreeable and adage he had a affection attack. And aloof agreeable at the top of his lungs. It was terrifying. Terrifying.
The commemoration still had accession hour or so to go but Marta Reis– the part-time Ray staffer– wasn’t as alarmed.
From accomplished experience, she says it’s not abnormal to leave a diaphoresis abode activity out of sorts, and in what she calls “an adapted state.”
MARTA REIS: You are definitely, you know, disoriented. You ability even, you know, say a few things that don’t accomplish necessarily faculty to the bodies that are there.
But this was blow coordinator Melinda Martin’s aboriginal time at a James Ray diaphoresis lodge, and to her the arena was added disturbing.
She saw one man appear with austere burns , accepting brushed adjoin the hot rocks on the way out.
MELINDA MARTIN: From actuality all the way bottomward all the bark was gone. The bark was gone. His knees, there was, like, no skin. It was aloof horrible. But he was additionally absolute delusional and was so anxious about leaving diaphoresis abode too aboriginal and absolution James down. He kept saying, “I’ve got to accomplishment it. I’ve got to comedy abounding on.”
Beverley Bunn was central the abode aing to her acquaintance Kirby Brown aback she absitively she’d had enough.
BEVERLY BUNN: I went from area I was. And got to a admiration position and started to clamber appear the door. And James was sitting there. Appropriate at the door. He said, “You are absolutely stronger than this. You’re stronger than this. You can affected this. It’s apperception over matter.”
So Beverley stayed, in a atom a Ray–close to the door– area there was a little added air.
That’s aback she and the others saw a axle of sunlight access the accoutrement from the back. One actor had aerial the alien covering.
BEVERLY BUNN: He was out of control. I can’t booty it anymore, can’t booty it anymore.
CHRIS HANSEN: He was accepting a agitation attack?
BEVERLY BUNN: He was freaking out. He was accepting a agitation attack. He aerial up the aback of the accoutrement and he went out. And afresh James Ray was like, “Where’s the ablaze advancing from? What’s happened?” And afresh he absolutely reprimanded that person, but he additionally let us apperceive that it was a cursing act.
Then, Beverley saw a changeable actor agitated out, not moving.
BEVERLY BUNN: They absolutely took her out.
CHRIS HANSEN: Who took her out? The added participants?
BEVERLY BUNN: James Shore took her out.
CHRIS HANSEN: James Shore.
BEVERLY BUNN: Yeah. And he went aback to area he was and because of that, bodies started calling out anniversary other’s names. And they aloof started about calling anniversary other’s names. But there was– it was such anarchy in there that cipher knew who was actuality alleged or who was calling you. Or if any of–everybody’s name got alleged or if anybody answered. You aloof couldn’t tell.
CHRIS HANSEN: And could you alike see?
BEVERLY BUNN: You couldn’t absolutely see.
CHRIS HANSEN: What was James Ray accomplishing during all of this?
BEVERLY BUNN: He afresh encouraged bodies to accumulate on going. “I’m stronger than this.” Tells everybody aback the anarchy is activity on. “Quiet down. Quiet down.”
CHRIS HANSEN: “Quiet down.”
BEVERLY BUNN: “Everybody– I’m in allegation of this. And everybody needs to be quiet.” And so–
CHRIS HANSEN: And bodies are accepting sick.
BEVERLY BUNN: Every– bodies are throwing up. Bodies are spitting. It’s– yeah, it’s very, absolute anarchic in there.
MELINDA MARTIN: In accession to the approved chanting and actuality he would say, “You’re stronger than this. You can do this. You anticipate you’re activity to die. You’re not activity to die. Action through the pain.” You can apprehend him absolute acerb adage that from the outside.
Whether aggravating to amuse James Ray, or aggravating to prove article to themselves, best kept going.
And by the final round, afterwards about two hours of apperception over matter, the anarchy had accustomed way to silence.
BEVERLY BUNN: It was quiet. And no one said anything. But I additionally anticipate that there was some added bodies that were casual out. And I don’t by that time, bodies couldn’t allege for themselves. They aloof couldn’t allege anymore.
When the commemoration ended, James Ray told his warriors it was time to leave. As Beverley fabricated her way out, she heard a aberrant complete advancing from her acquaintance Kirby Brown.
BEVERLY BUNN: I apprehend this comatose sound. I apprehend a [snorts] sound. And I’m looking. And I apperceive area Kirby was sitting. And Kirby was laying there. And the complete is advancing from her. And it was a comatose sound. And I thought, “Kirby’s anesthetized out.”
Outside the tent, Dennis was communicable his breath– still too anemic to move on his own– aback he saw James Ray.
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: He was like animated as if like, you know, it’s finished, it’s good. I was centermost up and affectionate of– he helped me out and accord me a aerial five. And I said, “James, I anticipate I died.” And he says, “Yeah, you were reborn– reborn.”
CHRIS HANSEN: Reborn?
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: Reborn. So go booty a battery and get accessible for dinner.
CHRIS HANSEN: Booty a battery and get accessible for dinner?
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: Yes.
Outside, Ray’s part-time staffer Marta Reis was cat-and-mouse for her acceptable acquaintance Liz Neumann to appear out.
But aural minutes, she says, Ray and the added diaphoresis abode veterans accomplished article had gone acutely wrong.
MARTA REIS: Accession said there’s still bodies in there. Some bodies were acceptable absolute frantic. They’re not moving, this and that. And that’s aback we array of ripped accessible one of the abandon of the diaphoresis abode and we pulled James Shore out. We pulled Kirby out. And afresh I anon performed CPR on James.
Property buyer Amayra Hamilton rushed to the scene.
CHRIS HANSEN: Were you able for what you saw?
AMAYRA HAMILTON: Chris, what I saw was above annihilation I’ve anytime seen. Bodies collapsing, bodies falling over, bodies ing, bodies — horrible.
Amayra and one of her advisers alleged 911.
( 911 call)
WOMAN: Two bodies aren’t breathing. There’s no pulse.
911 OPERATOR: Two bodies aren’t breathing?
911 OPERATOR: OK is this the aftereffect of a cutting or something?
WOMAN: No, it was a diaphoresis lodge.
911 OPERATOR: A diaphoresis lodge?
CHRIS HANSEN: Where’s James Ray during all of this?
AMAYRA HAMILTON: Oh, he was continuing there. I thought, “Well, maybe he’s one of those bodies that aloof gets bedridden and doesn’t apperceive what to do in a bearings like that.”
CHRIS HANSEN: Did you say annihilation to him?
AMAYRA HAMILTON: No. You know, we had an interaction. A brace years afore that I had alleged 911 afterwards his approval. And this time I thought, “This is way above anything—any antecedent situation.”
While cat-and-mouse for emergency responders to ability the abandoned site, the able did what they could.
One of Ray’s “Dream Team” volunteers was additionally a registered nurse. And Melinda Martin had been accomplished in CPR aback she aing the company.
MELINDA MARTIN: At aboriginal we had them on the tarps, and appealing anon there wasn’t abundant allowance on the tarps. Bodies were aloof lying on the ground. You know, I was axis bodies on their abandon so they didn’t asphyxiate on . It was incredible.
Beverley Bunn — an orthodontist with medical training — additionally helped.
BEVERLY BUNN: I’ve never been a actor in a even crash. But it would be– it’s like a disaster. A triage center. Or a even crash. Afterwards the plane.
She searched for her acquaintance and acquaintance Kirby Brown.
BEVERLY BUNN: And I attending through the tent. And I could see through the aperture to the added side. And I see Kirby’s abdomen activity up and bottomward and I apperceive they’re accomplishing CPR.
And Marta Reis apparent her acquaintance Liz Neumann unconscious.
Marta Ries: I was aloof basically talking to her and adage “I’m here. I’m here. Chase my articulation back. I’m actuality to advice you.” And I aloof kept acclamation her arm. I didn’t affliction if it was silly. I didn’t affliction if it was stupid. I was activity to do something.
CHRIS HANSEN: You’ve got EMS arriving.
AMAYRA HAMILTON: Yes.
CHRIS HANSEN: You’ve got choppers advancing in.
AMAYRA HAMILTON: Yes.
CHRIS HANSEN: Any point did you angle aback and say, “Oh my god, how did this circuit so angrily out of control?”
AMAYRA HAMILTON: Of course, it tears you afar that article this abandoned seems to appear in the abode that our focus is on calmness and on accord and on antithesis and quiet.
James Ray’s airy warrior retreat concluded with added than a third of the participants actuality rushed to the hospital.
The aftermost time Ginny Brown had apparent her babe Kirby, she was all smiles … And gearing up for her big chance at the James Ray airy warrior retreat.
CHRIS HANSEN: Ginny, how did you apprehend that article had gone tragically amiss in Sedona?
VIRGINIA BROWN: A trooper came to our door. Asked if we knew Kirby Brown. I– he aloof said, “your–” You know, I said, “I’m her mother.” And he said, “your babe has anesthetized in a diaphoresis abode in Sedona, Arizona.” I don’t absolutely bethink what happened.
CHRIS HANSEN: And did they say how she died? Why she died?
VIRGINIA BROWN: You apperceive initially we aloof anticipation some abhorrent adverse accident.
Kirby Brown died from calefaction achievement on the afternoon of the diaphoresis lodge. As did James Shore, the father of three who’d pulled an benumbed woman out of the abode afore casual out himself.
And canicule later, Liz Neumann — the Ray advance who’d followed his article for seven years — died in the accelerated affliction unit.
Back at the retreat center, some participants waited for James Ray to advice them accomplish faculty of what had aloof happened.
BEVERLY BUNN: Best of us backward up all night talking. And aggravating to amount out, you know, what is James activity to do? Aback is he activity to appear and allocution to us?
CHRIS HANSEN: So, you anticipation he would appear aback and at atomic accept a conversation.
BEVERLY BUNN: At atomic accept a conversation, at atomic say a prayer. At atomic say, “I’m apologetic that this happened. And this is what we accept to do. Advise us, adviser us, be our leader.” That’s what he’s been for the accomplished week.
But James Ray did not alarm a final affair to mark the adverse end of his warrior retreat.
Ray additionally never visited the hospitals area the afflicted and dying had been taken.
He larboard Arizona the aing morning.
BEVERLY BUNN: That part, I won’t get over.
Dennis Mehravar was advised at the hospital for acute aridity and was afraid not to see Ray there.
CHRIS HANSEN: What does that say about James Ray?
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: Well, Chris, that’s absolutely area I alpha cerebration that maybe the man I followed for the aftermost three, four years is not the man that he says he is.
But by afresh Dennis was focused on aloof one thing: aerial home and adhering his two sons.
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: It was the best day. And of advance they don’t apperceive what happened to me so I’m, you know, captivation them and kissing them and I don’t appetite to let go of them. And they’re apparently thinking, wow, dad is actuality a little bit weird.
In the advancing days, Ray did ability out to the ancestors of Kirby Brown. But they say the action was too little, too backward — and afresh some.
VIRGINIA BROWN: Accession from his alignment should accept been on my stoop– on my balustrade that Friday morning captivation my hand. Accession from his alignment should accept been authoritative the arrangements.
CHRIS HANSEN: Did James Ray anytime alarm you?
VIRGINIA BROWN: He alleged me the Tuesday after. Bristles canicule later.
CHRIS HANSEN: And what did he say?
VIRGINIA BROWN: He didn’t apologize. He said, “I am so upset. And I accept to acquisition out what happened.”
CHRIS HANSEN: He had to acquisition out what happened?
VIRGINIA BROWN: Yes.
CHRIS HANSEN: He was in the diaphoresis lodge.
VIRGINIA BROWN: That’s right. He said, “This is the best abominable affair that has anytime happened to me in my life.”
The Browns say Ray followed up with a brace of accord cards and a analysis to advice with expenses: $5,000. They say they didn’t banknote it.
BOB BROWN: It was ridiculous.
GINNY BROWN: It was calumniating and upsetting.
But Marta Reis, who formed for Ray part-time and has admired him for years, says she’s abiding there’s a acceptable acumen why he larboard boondocks afterwards visiting the hospital.
MARTA REIS: I candidly accept in my affection that, you know, maybe lawyers, bodies like that were apparently auspicious him not to. I apperceive that he apparently capital to.
In fact, what had happened in Sedona was already the accountable of a badge investigation.
And on the night of the tragedy, Ray had been bedfast for several hours by sheriff’s detectives.
Investigators, forth with the afflicted families, capital to apperceive what had gone so angrily wrong.
CHRIS HANSEN: What was the absolute account of your daughter’s death?
VIRGINIA BROWN: She was adapted to afterlife in a diaphoresis abode in Sedona, Arizona.
Everyone was now allurement questions about the aberrant commemoration in the arid that concluded with three bodies dead.
James Ray — the ancient media awareness — was now befitting a low profile.
Several canicule afterwards the tragedy, the aggregation organized a appointment alarm for those who were at the retreat to assuredly allocution about what had happened.
JAMES RAY: It is so acceptable to apprehend your voices. I anticipation I was all but cried out. I really, really, absolutely capital to be with you guys on the final night
The alarm was declared to accommodate the affectionate of cease that never happened during the retreat.
JAMES RAY: It’s accept to grieve, it’s accept to be confused. I’m confused. I feel frustration, and I feel affliction and yet in the bosom of that you got to do the things that booty affliction of you which is activity to accomplish you bigger and it’s activity to accumulate you advantageous and it’s activity to accumulate you affective advanced and that’s best for every distinct one of our ancestors associates who ability still be ill or in the hospital or those families that of the deceased.
But for Beverley Bunn at atomic the alarm backfired.
She was bent aback one of Ray’s volunteers declared a commemoration that had been captivated at the diaphoresis abode site. A analytic claimed to accept announced with the asleep and allegedly had this to say:
James Ray volunteer: She said that they had larboard their bodies during the diaphoresis lodge, and that they were accepting so abundant fun that they chose not to appear back. That was their best that they made.
BEVERLY BUNN: They were accepting added fun in this added life.
CHRIS HANSEN: About like they chose to die?
BEVERLY BUNN: Correct.
CHRIS HANSEN: How’d you acknowledge to that?
BEVERLY BUNN: I put my buzz on mute. And I aloof cried. Because I couldn’t accept what I was hearing. But the bad accordance amid some participants were bound acceptable the atomic of James Ray’s problems.
Detectives from the Yavapai canton Sherriff’s administration had launched a all-encompassing investigation.
Was there affirmation to allegation Ray with a crime? Had he created an alarming environment, and afresh done annihilation aback it was bright the bearings had angry deadly?
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: I was there, this could accept been prevented, Chris.
CHRIS HANSEN: Did bodies die because James Ray was irresponsible?
DENNIS MEHRAVAR: I anticipate he aloof wasn’t able for it and aback it happened, he aloof abandoned it.
Ray’s blow coordinator Melinda Martin was so abashed and abashed by what happened, she never alternate to work.
MELINDA MARTIN: I don’t apperceive who’s to accusation for anything. I mean, I don’t anticipate anybody advised for this to happen, that’s for sure.
While the Sherriff’s administration was alive the case, James Ray assassin a aggregation of attorneys to do his own investigation. The aftereffect is this certificate they alarm “the white paper” which denies any apathy whatsoever.
In it, Ray’s attorneys say he took all-encompassing precautions and could never accept predicted what they alarm as a adverse accident.
Ray’s attorneys point out that all the participants had been warned of the risks in releases they signed.
And added than the 36 hour fast, they had been again told to hydrate.
What’s more, they say no one was affected to break central the abode — and at atomic 16 bodies did leave. Ray calls his participants “educated, boxy people” who should accept accepted “their own limits” and been able to “take affliction of themselves.”
Marta Reis, who formed for Ray part-time and was alfresco the diaphoresis abode on the day of the tragedy, says no one had to booty part.
MARTA REIS: Nobody’s cogent them to break in. Nobody’s cogent them to go out. They’re accomplishing it the way that they appetite to do it.
CHRIS HANSEN: There are some who say he went too far in auspicious bodies to break in the diaphoresis abode aback they were accepting difficulty.
MARTA REIS: I assumption it’s subjective. Because what I heard was what I would alarm amenable encouragement.
CHRIS HANSEN: Your sister, your daughter, was smart, athletically fit, independent. Why do you accept she didn’t aloof get up, say, “to hell with this”?
VIRGINIA BROWN: I don’t–
CHRIS HANSEN: –and leave?
VIRGINIA BROWN: I don’t anticipate she could. And I anticipate she would accept believed him saying, “Don’t pay absorption to how you feel. You will be fine. This is not a problem.”
Ray’s attorneys allegorize his advance central the abode to a drillmaster auspicious on a chase runner.
It’s a allegory Kirby Brown’s ancestors rejects.
ROBERT BROWN: I ran a marathon. And you apperceive what I didn’t do afore a marathon? I didn’t sit in a arid for 36 hours afterwards aliment and water. And aback I ran a chase there were paramedics there. If I anesthetized out somebody was appropriate there to advice me. This was not a marathon. This was article that he put these bodies through recklessly.
But absolutely what went amiss is still in allotment a mystery: there was no thermometer central the tent, so no one’s abiding how hot it got or why some bodies died aback others emerged around unscathed.
Ray’s attorneys accept appropriate there ability accept been a architecture blemish in the lodge– a anatomy that Ray’s aggregation did not design, body or maintain.
It has back been broken bottomward and the armpit has been angry into a memorial.
But what about Ray’s accomplishments during the ceremony?
He says he and his advisers had “no abstraction of the calmness of the problems” until the commemoration was over. Had they known, Ray says, they would accept stopped.
But on this analytical point, Beverley Bunn tells a adapted adaptation of events.
She says Ray was acquainted that at atomic one woman was in austere trouble.
BEVERLY BUNN: At the sixth annular is aback you hear, “She’s anesthetized out. She’s anesthetized out. Can’t get her to breathe. I don’t apperceive if she’s breathing.” And by then, by the time we heard that, the rocks had been brought in. And he bankrupt the door. And he absolutely accustomed it. And he said, “the door’s now closed. This annular has begun. And we’ll accord with that at the end of this round.”
CHRIS HANSEN: Accord with what?
BEVERLY BUNN: The actuality that’s anesthetized out.
CHRIS HANSEN: So, he starts accession annular alive that there’s a woman benumbed in the diaphoresis lodge?
BEVERLY BUNN: Yes.
In February, Ray was arrested and answerable with three counts of manslaughter.
He’s pleaded not accusable and is chargeless on bond while apprehension trial.
Ray is additionally in talks with the Browns and some participants — including Dennis and Beverley — about a banking settlement.
Ray beneath our appeal for an on-camera interview, admitting he’s still accouterment motivational talks via his website.
[James Ray webcast “On Coaching”]
The greatest charge you’ll anytime accomplish and accumulate is a charge to yourself.
Ginny Brown abandoned wishes that her babe had accepted what seems so bright to her now: that the man who seemed to authority “The Secret” to a bigger life, was absolutely arena with fire.
GINNY BROWN: As my adolescent babe said, “James Ray is artlessly a artefact recall. He was–“
CHRIS HANSEN: Artefact recall.
VIRGINIA BROWN: He’s a artefact recall. He was affairs article that doesn’t work. And acquired death. And he needs to be taken off the market.
© 2013 MSNBC Interactive. Reprints
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