“Enlighten Us” Asks: Who Is Ultimately Responsible For The Deaths At James Arthur Ray’s Retreat?


June 21, 2017 — By 2009, James Arthur Ray was worth several million dollars. His self-help empire had attracted both scorn and adulation. He had appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, touting his harmonic wealth and spiritual warriors’ interpretation of the way that the world attracts wealth and all good things to those who know how to use it.

His culture and retreats used to challenge all comfort zones and was considered risky by some, but commanded more than $10,000 day. His motivational speaking won him converts all over the world.

All seemed to be going well for him, until the accidents started happening.

Several injuries were suffered by his followers. But in October of 2009, everything changed. Two of his acolytes died after suffering heat stroke in a retreat’s sweat lodge; a third died within days. 

His empire fell apart. Worth more than $10 million at its height, it took little more than a single day for his business to collapse. Shortly thereafter, Ray was convicted of felony negligent homicide and spent approximately two years in prison.

Since his release, Ray has attempted to relaunch his self-help business, primarily through the Piers Morgan Show (Morgan has the same manager as  Ray). He is the product that he now tries to sell, contending that the conviction should be put aside, that he bears no guilt other than not being present enough. But this, he swears, does not warrant a felony conviction.

Enlighten Us, by Jenny Carchman, tells the story of James Arthur Ray without putting blame anywhere. It doesn’t hold Ray to any one else’s standard. It allows the viewer to decide.

Stream Enlighten Us on Amazon Video.


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