New age "guru" and friend of Oprah, James A. Ray — who charged people $10,000 to enter his Arizona sweat lodge of death, resulting in the deaths of three people in 2009 — was found guilty of negligent homicide yesterday.
Ray sat silently during the televised proceedings, his face breaking into relief when the manslaughter charges were rejected. He became grimmer when the clerk announced that the jury had convicted him of the lesser charges.
"You will have to get to a point to where you surrender and it's O.K. to die," Mr. Ray said in a recording during the ceremony that was played at the trial. After he spoke, a chaotic scene took place, according to witnesses at the trial, who described severely ill people being dragged out of the lodge.
Ray could face anything from just probation to 11 years in jail. Either way, he can surely find a way to turn this into a self-help speech.