'Serious' medical problems at Prescott sweat lodge before deaths

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) - Documents released Monday by Arizona authorities investigating a fatal sweat lodge ceremony confirm that serious medical problems had occurred at past events led by self-help guru James Arthur Ray.

Three people died following the Oct. 8 sweat lodge ceremony that was the highlight of Ray's five-day "Spiritual Warrior" event at a retreat he rented near Sedona. The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office has focused a homicide investigation on Ray.

A man hired by Ray to build the sweat lodge told investigators that people emerged in medical distress all three times he has assisted with the ceremonies. He said Ray repeatedly told the most recent participants that, "You are not going to die. You might think you are, but you're not going to die."

The documents were released in Prescott, days after a judge ruled that they be made public.