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A Miscellany 227
And they claim religion is good for you

by: JT

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A couple of years ago, I spent a few days in Sedona, Arizona. I briefly considered writing about the spiritual flim-flammery that seems to be a major part of the city's tourist industry, but decided not to bother - it seemed too easy a target.

But, today's news illustrates just how dangerous following this type of spiritual nonsense can be.

Two[1] people are dead and nineteen hospitalized last night thanks to attending a spiritual retreat at Sedona's Angel Valley Retreat Center.

As many as fifty participants in the retreat were sitting in a "sweat lodge" as part of the retreat. After two hours - yes two hours - in the sweat lodge, many of them started feeling ill. Surprise! Of course they felt ill, they were cooking themselves alive. Pure insanity.

Standard sauna safety rules call for a maximum of 30 minutes. It is generally recommended that be spread over 2 or 3 sessions with a 10 minute break in between. And if the sweat lodge was more like a Turkish bath - then 40 minutes is the recommended maximum.

Usually, when people manage to cook themselves to death in a sauna, it is because they are drunk and pass out. But to do it soberly as a spiritual exercise? You have to be delusional to think that will help mind, body, or soul!

One hopes the organizers will be held criminally responsible.



  1. The death count is up to three - one of those in hospital has succumbed.