Though my knowledge of the James Ray Sweat Lodge event tragedy that has to date killed three people is slim, it parallels in a very weird way a similar tragedy that took place years ago on Mt. Everest where more people died in a climb under the care of proven leader Rob Hall than ever before. The mistakes that led to that horrible tragedy are well chronicled in the book Into Thin Air.
I should start by saying both men were good at what they did, terrific people, and loved by many. So, how could they make so many mistakes when it came to caring for the people who had entrusted themselves to them? Sad to say, in the case of Rob Hall, money led to mistakes being made by Rob that normally he wouldn't have made and had never made in the past.
But, because of the large sums of money his clients were paying him to get them to the top of Mt. Everest, his normal good judgment was being eroded. Precautions were not being taken that should have been, and things were overlooked by Rob because he didn't want to upset his clients who were paying him big money to produce results. He let their need to get something for their money override his common sense. Afraid to say "no!", he was no longer as cautious as he usually was, meaning Rob overlooked what before would have been obvious to him and let him and others enter the danger zone in a reckless way on the climb.
A number of people died that day under Rob's care, and sadly even Rob Hall paid for his mistakes that day with his life. (Watch the Mt. Everest IMAX documentary where you hear the real phone call from Rob dying up on Mt. Everest asking to be patched into to his wife in Australia by way of radio to say goodbye to her before it was too late. Heart wrenching. Or, watch the Into Thin Air movie or read the book and you get a sense that overall Rob was a great person). Still, money and not wanting to disappoint people blindsided him as it can blindside us all.
As for the recent James Ray incident? I for one feel this was an accident on James behalf. But, in the legal system that kind of accident is still known as involuntary manslaughter. That is why it is being ruled a homicide on television at this point, and I don't expect James will be commenting at all since lawyers are now involved. But, I wouldn't be surprised if like what happened with Rob, James let money and the need to have his clients get the results they wanted (or he wanted for them) override his judgment, leading to these disasterous consequences.
In both cases then, the James Ray incident and the Rob Hall incident are precautionary tales given to us one more time. I admire James a lot. And, I really liked Rob Hall. But, the parallels between the two events are erie and tragic. That is why it would be good for all of us to reflect upon them and take note as lessons for us all.
Dr. Lisa Love is a Love, Life, Law of Attraction, Relationship, and Transformational Coach. Known for her ATTRACTING & KEEPING REAL LOVE COACHING PROGRAM, she is also the best-selling author of the book BEYOND THE SECRET: Spiritual Power and the Law of Attraction. She is also the founder of LOVEMOVIES!, which is dedicated to watching movies as personal growth and empowerment tools to help expand our consciousness of ourselves and our world. Plus, she is the author of other books such as ATTRACTING REAL LOVE: 4 Steps to Getting the Love You Want; SOUL SUCCESS: Creating Joy and Prosperity in Good Times and Bad; and MEDITATION: The Path to Peace.