Guru charged in sweat lodge deaths says he's broke

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

FLAGSTAF -- A man who built a multimillion-dollar empire as a motivational speaker and sweat lodge operator contends he's broke and cannot post bond in an Arizona criminal case that threatens the survival of his self-help business.

James Arthur Ray was charged earlier this month with three counts of manslaughter stemming from the deaths of three people following a sweat lodge ceremony he led last year in Sedona. His bond has been set at $5 million, a figure his attorneys say is "excessive and oppressive."

Ray himself has touted his wealth and success in numerous media interviews and on his Web site, including an estimated $10 million in revenue in 2009.

He told "Fortune Magazine" for an April 2008 article that his financial goal was $21 million a year.

Court documents show Ray is severely in debt with a net worth of negative $4.2 million.

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