Man responsible in sweat lodge deaths speaks

CREATED Nov. 26, 2013

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MILWAUKEE – A former self-help guru, whose role in sweat lodge deaths that claimed the life of a local man, is speaking about that tragedy for the first time.

James Ray hosted the Arizona retreat where James Shore, of Milwaukee, and two other people died. The retreat included an exercise in a sweat lodge. Ray is now a free man after serving 20 months in prison for his role in the deaths.

In his first interview, Ray maintains he was unaware that it was a life or death situation, and that he didn't stop followers from leaving the tent. He added that he's not ruling out a return to the world of self-help.

“Was I arrogant? Yes,” Ray told CNN's Piers Morgan. “People fly in [from] all over the world and ask me how to have a better life and it tends to go to your head. You tend to think you've got all the answers."

Ray does say he will never take part in another sweat lodge ceremony.