Sweat lodge leader James Arthur Ray prepares to leave prison

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by Jared Dillingham

Bio | Email | Follow: @JaredDillingham

azfamily.com

Posted on July 11, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 12 at 5:22 PM

BUCKEYE, Ariz. -- James Arthur Ray, who created a self-help empire, will be released from prison in Arizona on Friday.

Ray was sentenced to two years, after convictions on three counts of negligent homicide. The charges stemmed from a sweat lodge ceremony held near Sedona, which turned deadly.  

Dozens overheated and became sick, and three people died. Many blamed Ray, and accused him of pressuring people to remain in the tarp-covered structure even though they were sick.

Ray's family asked his followers for help after his supervised release.   His brother, Jon, said on Facebook that they were "...looking for assistance in the Phoenix area upon his release."

According to state prison records, Ray will be on parole through October.

Ray has faithful fans, who continue posting to his website.

One woman said she "...looks forward to hearing what he has learned," while another said she would "LOVE a new book from James."

Meanwhile, the family of sweat lodge victim Kirby Brown is launching a new nonprofit organization the day Ray is released.  

Called "Seek Safety," it aims to act as a self-help industry watchdog.

"It's what Kirby would've done. She would've gotten answers so it wouldn't happen to anybody else in the future," Tom McFeeley, Brown's cousin, told "Investigation Discovery."
 

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