I am frankly appalled at the apparent increase in fatal flaws of the world's supposed spiritual leaders. Recently, there was James Ray's disaster of a Native American sweat lodge ceremony, the "inipi", where 3 people died. A sweat lodge ceremony is a purification ceremony, a healing ceremony. For those of you who don't know, James Ray is one of the law of attraction gurus who appeared in the movie The Secret and who has made more than a mint authoring numerous books on the subject. I am personally sanctioned to conduct such ceremonies, and I can tell you that I have never heard of anyone ever dying as a result of participating in one. In fact, nothing bad is ever supposed to happen in a sweat lodge. Indeed, if there ever was a safe place on this earth, it would be in the sweat lodge. So what went wrong?
I don't know. Maybe it was the fact that there was a ridiculous number of people crammed into one lodge...69 to be exact. My lodge holds 8. The largest I have ever participated in was conducted by a Lakota elder and there were 20 women in there. No one died. Grandma knew what she was doing because there are centuries of tradition and protocol to follow and you can best believe that she followed them. Or maybe it was the fact that he charged nine thousand six hundred plus dollars for the retreat. Most Native American holy people are lucky to walk away with enough gas money to get them back home. Maybe they only receive an offering of tobacco, or a bag of oranges. Nine thousand dollars...are you kidding me?
Maybe it was the fact that whoever was running the lodge, simply didn't know what they were doing. Five gallons of water (only a bucket is needed) was poured over the rocks and the ceremony lasted for 8 rounds (there are only 4 rounds). Which brings me to my next question: Who was running the lodge? All indicators point to Ray himself. I wonder how many Sundances and hunblechas he participated in to earn him that privilege.
In the world of Spirit, there are consequences for every behavior, every decision, every conjure, and every intention. The Law of Attraction (LOA) is alive and well in magick and ritual. It causes one to wonder what decisions and intentions were driving this event that would draw death and tragedy to something so sacred? Maybe the fact that Ray played "God" in a game during the retreat speaks to his state of mind and perhaps the lack of consideration for the well-being of others. It appears that Ray attracted some pretty nasty energy with him as he crawled into the lodge that day, and he neglected to effectively bless the lodge to keep the nasties out.
And earlier this summer, there was the Hougan Hector tragedy. As you see in the video above, a lave tet was apparently performed for a woman and she ended up dying. A lave tet is a Voodoo ritual that is a cleansing, similar in concept to a sweat lodge only it involves washing the head. According to Hougan Hector himself:
"The Lave Tet is the cleansing, fortifying and finally baptism of one's head. The head being the "seat of the soul" for an individual, which serves as a vessel for the all important Met Tet and the other spirits that walk with an individual. In some non-asson houses the Lave Tet is the initiation into the house and commits the person to that house." (http://www.ezilikonnen.com/services/lave-tet.html)
The lave tet is supposed to improve the life of the individual in all areas, not kill them! So what went wrong here?
I don't know the details. According to one source, it is believed that Hougan Hector may have forgotten to serve his main loa Ogun. In Santeria and in Vodou, Ogun is known to be an extremely dangerous Spirit who has the power to kill and destroy as he sees fit. It is not uncommon for battles of all sorts to ensue when his children do not serve him correctly. Ogun is the God of War, among other very useful things.
Now, I serve Ogun. He has been very helpful to me and my family and my friends. But you can best believe that I do not forget him. In fact, in my recent move, the first altar I set up (after Legba's of course) was Ogun's. He has his iron pot and tools and other favorite things right out my back door in the garden. And, he has a special spot on my cast iron wood stove.
Another theory is greed. There are reports of Hougan Hector's fees increasing with each phone call. I don't know...I have never sought services from him, nor do I keep tabs on his fees. I have, however, turned to his site for information about Haitian Vodou at times. I have always found his site to be very helpful.
I am certainly not one to judge others. I only have my opinions, which are based on scanty information at best. James Ray and Hougan Hector have their own karma to deal with, but I dare say I am confident and relieved I do not share it.
Here is a video with James Ray talking about "Energy flows where attention goes"...
To read more about these incidents see: