There is no New-Age activity so stupid, that granola-munching hippies won't try it. Out in Sedona, AZ., James Ray set up a personal cleansing spa for hippies with lots of time and money. Much of the cleansing week consisted of marathon, desert hikes without food or water, after which they would cram a couple dozen, smelly attendees into a make-shift tent, covered with tarps and blankets, then dump hot rocks in a pit and pour water on top to make steam. Apparently nobody figured out that extreme dehydration and steam saunas don't really go together in terms of human safety, as 3-4 of the hippies died and about 20 others were hospitalized. Here's the kicker....these idiots signed a waiver of liability for things such as.....
"physical, emotional, financial or other injuries" while hiking or swimming, or during a multi-day personal and spiritual quest in the wilderness without food or water or the sweat lodge.
Some participants told detectives they paid up to $9,000 for the event. Ray's company, James Ray International, is based in Carlsbad, Calif.
$9,000 to get abused in the desert! Look, if there are any new-age hippies reading this, contact me here in Birmingham, and I'll arrange to "cleanse" you for half that. For the bargain price of $4,500, you can look forward to long hikes in the Appalachian foothills, swimming in serene lakes, Native American-like incantations, total nutritional deprivation, verbal abuse, rustic accommodations(you'll sleep in my basement), natural activities(weeding my garden and mowing my lawn), and your head will be stuffed in my smoker while I dry the herbs you harvested from my herb garden. If that doesn't cleanse you, I don't know what will....or at least it'll make you want to take a shower, go back to school, and become productive citizens again. One way you'll thank me, the other way, your parents will thank me.