SEDONA, AZ - The sweat lodge tragedy is something that will stick with our state forever, and five years later one of the victim's family is working to make the self-help industry safer.
Kirby Brown's family will be in Sedona tomorrow hosting the "SEEK Safely Sedona Summit." The goal is to combat misinformation, lies and unsafe practices when it comes to self-help practitioners.
"Life has taken some pretty tough swings at me, and by the grace of God I'm still here," James Ray said in a clip on his website.
The clip calls the sweat lodge that left three people dead a terrible accident that claimed the lives of three of Ray's great friends.
"He stood about ten feet away from them and listened to them die. This was not something that just happened. This was deliberate neglect on his part.," Kirby Brown's dad, George, said.
The Browns said they have a hard time buying Ray's public display of sadness.
"What he put in place actually made death inevitable," Brown's mom, Ginny, said.
The tragedy happened in October 2009, after a weekend long retreat led by Ray. He said he'd never perform another sweat lodge ceremony, but he's back in the self-help industry holding events including one planned in Scottsdale this August.
"You know, everyone deserves another chance, but if he doesn't understand what he did, if he really doesn't understand what he did then he's still dangerous," Ginny Brown said.
It's that danger that motivated the Browns to start a non-profit in their daughter's memory aimed at educating people about the self-help industry.
It's called SEEK Safely. SEEK stands for Self Help Empowerment through Education and Knowledge.
For more information, you can visit their website.