A self-help guru famous for his appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show and the 2006 documentary The Secret was found guilty Wednesday of negligent homicide involving the deaths of three people in a sweat-lodge ceremony in 2009. James Arthur Ray charged participants $10,000 each to attend a five-day "Spiritual Warrior" event designed to "help participants overcome adversity to reach their full potential," reports The Los Angeles Times. Though the participants signed a wavier acknowledging the risk of death, the jury listened to recordings of him "urging participants to ignore their bodies' signs of distress during what he called a 'hellacious' event." "You will have to get to a point to where you surrender and it's O.K. to die," said Ray in the recording. He now faces up to 11 years on three negligent homicide convictions or a simple probation. "We totally believe that justice has been served here today," said Randy Neuman, the ex-husband Lix Neuman who died from the sweat-lodge ceremony. Ray made no comment following the ruling. According to The New York Times, he "seemed to breathe a sigh of relief when he was found not guilty on the first manslaughter charge. But he looked stunned a moment later when the guilty verdicts came in." A date has not been set for sentencing.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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