We utilize the principles taught in the movie The Secret and teach people how to apply them to their life and business.

The above statement is taken directly from Rachel Oliver’s UXL website and is fairly stereotypical of the connection between James Arthur Ray’s ‘The Secret’ book/movie and Polaris Media Group.

In fact ‘The Secret’ is mentioned so frequently on Polaris Media Group associate’s websites you’d be forgiven for thinking the entire company was simply a business opportunity built around the book.

Polaris EMC member Tony Rush swears by it:

I found the movie “The Secret” to be far more credible and scientific.

So what happens when you take the credible and scientific ‘The Secret’ and apply it to an event that’s a bit more involved then your standard ‘everybody sitting in a conference room telling eachother how great they are’ event?

You wind up with two people dead.

Like Polaris Media Group, ‘The Secret’ author James Arthur Ray likes to hold conferences which is presumably where he makes all his money.

‘Buy my book, now meet me at a conference!’ seems to be the deal.

For the princely sum of US$9,000, 64 people attended the ‘Spiritual Warrior’ retreat and as part of the ‘crowded inside a ‘sweat lodge’ (big tent sauna) for over two hours until two people died and a further twenty one were taken to hospital.

Temperature inside the lodge rocketed to forty nine degrees Celsius.

The sweat lodge is that shabby looking hovel on the right there. Note that it’s not even standing height and looks like a hobo shack, I hope participants were eating gold plated lobster for dinner every night.

Now I’m not a scientist of a self-help expert, but surely common sense would tell you that you don’t sit in a sealed tent for 2 hours straight in a forty nine degree environment.

Furthermore, native American traditions expert Joseph Bruchac explains that the lodge participants were sitting in was insanely overcrowded and completely different to a traditional lodge.

A sweat lodge, similar to a sauna, is an enclosed space where water is poured on heated rocks. Such structures are often used in Native American ceremonies and are intended to cleanse the body.

Traditional lodges are usually made of willow branches and covered in canvas or animal skins, and are not meant to be air-tight.

The authorities said that the lodge at Angel Valley was covered in plastic and blankets.

Joseph Bruchac, an expert on Native American traditions and author of “The Native American Sweat Lodge,” said that number far surpassed the 8 to 12 typically present at such a rite.

“It means that all these people are fighting for the same oxygen.”

It might just be the cynic in me but in looking at the poorly constructed tent above (which looks like it’s about to collapse at any second) I can’t help but get the feeling this particular event was just haphazardly thrown together.

Rightly so, authorities are now deciding whether or not to charge James Arthur with criminal negligence.

What I find amazing is that despite clearing US$500,000 for the event sitting in a haphazard tent in the middle of nowhere was the best they could come up with.

Far be it from me to question the motives behind such a setting, but when James Ray explains that the tent “offers an ideal environment for my teachings” I can’t help but shake my head.

Really…you’ve got to totally melt people’s brains before they’ll accept what you’re trying to teach them?

If you need people to be in a mind mush state to get your teachings across, your teachings probably aren’t that concrete to begin with.

Polaris Media group, although from the sounds of it nowhere near as extreme, also offer little events like this on their infamous conferences.

Whether it be walking across coals or going for a yacht cruise there’s always that one ‘event’ that is designed to be a highlight of the conference.

Whilst I’m certainly not suggesting that anyone sets out to kill people when coming up with these events, I think these deaths highlight what can happen when people blindly follow teachings that blur the psychological theory of treatment without holding any relevant qualifications.

Let’s face it, what happened at ‘Spiritual Warrior’ could just have easily been a Polaris Media Group event.

Unfortunately, it’s also a stark reminder of what can fester when you actively engage in a ‘if you quit now, you’ve failed’ environment, which is the only explanation I can come up with as to how this event went on for as long as it did.