Concerns surround Carlsbad self-help guru James Arthur Ray's redemption effort

Posted at 6:49 AM, Oct 31, 2018

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A Carlsbad self-help guru who went to prison after the deaths of three people at a sweat lodge is seeking redemption.

James Arthur Ray is back in the public eye, and he’s talking about the tragedy that occurred at his self-help retreat in Sedona, Arizona, in 2009.

Ray has recently released a book and is trying to rebuild his business, which some believe is the last thing he should be doing.

"Three people died at my event, under my watch, under my tutelage, and I have to live with that every single day … that's not an easy thing to do,” Ray told 10News.

In 2011, Ray was convicted of three counts of felony negligent homicide, and he served two years in prison. He was released in 2013.

While Ray continues his redemption effort, some are questioning whether he has learned from his mistakes.

“The fact that he would do this suggests to me he hasn't learned all that much -- the idea of trying to turn what he did into somehow generating money by the redemption book or whatever,” said Connie Joy.

Joy was a former client of Ray’s, and she has experienced his methods firsthand. She said he wasn’t qualified to help people then and isn’t now.

“Nothing’s changed. I mean, he didn't go off and learn how to do sweat lodges from Native Americans, go off to become a Kahuna; that takes you a lifetime. Same thing with being a Shaman,” Joy said.

Joy, who knew the three people who died in Ray’s sweat lodge, said even though he has paid his debt to society, he’s still a long way from making things right.

“I think this is just rubbing salt right back in the wounds for all of them and the people who are either financially ruined or mentally damaged by that entire event,” said Joy.

Joy and others who were involved with Ray are encouraging people to do their homework before they give their time or money to someone claiming to be able to help them.