The sweat-type ceremony that claimed two lives during a five-day, nearly $10,000-a-person retreat in Sedona, Ariz., this week in no way resembled traditional Native American sweats, Native American leaders are hastening to say.
“We are curious to find out what happened there,” Richard Moreno, a member of Pira Manso Pueblo tribe, tells KPHO in Phoenix, here. “I’ve been participating in the sweat lodge since the age of 3 and I’ve never recalled being sick from being in the sweat lodge.”
The two people who died were among nearly 20 who ended up in the hospital after spending time in the huge sauna-type tent at the retreat site, authorities say. Self-help author James Arthur Ray rented the facility as part of a “Spiritual Warrior” retreat that promised to “absolutely change your life,” according to this AP report.