Native History: A Non-Traditional Sweat Leads to Three Deaths
This Date in Native History: The often misguided and misrepresented spiritual representation of traditional Native practices broke into mainstream media on October 8, 2009 when James Arthur Ray, a 53-year-old “self-help guru,” saw tragedy strike his latest retreat.
Taliman was quoted by CNN following the tragedy as saying, “What right does Ray have to mimic, mangle, and manipulate Native ceremonies that have been carefully handed down among indigenous cultures over millennia? Ray does not own any rights to Native spirituality, because they are owned collectively by Indigenous Peoples and cannot be sold.”
Ray however is one of many who Taliman also referred to as a “huckster posing as the real thing” and was only found guilty of a crime when the loss of life occurred.
Following the guilty charge Ray was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay $57,000 in restitution to the families of the victims—he was released from prison on parole on July 12 of this year