Sunday, October 11, 2009

What Doesn't Kill You . . .

Here at Self-Help, Inc. we normally think of the dangers of self-improvement culture as being those of over-promising and under-delivering. Self-help literature promises its takers the world, and when it doesn't deliver, lays the blame at their feet.

Sadly, self-help guru and Secret co-author James Arthur Ray's "Spiritual Warrior" program delivered: It promised that participants, many of whom paid more than $9,000 to attend, would have their lives changed forever. Indeed. Two are dead, one is in critical condition, and eighteen others are hospitalized after a "sweat lodge" ritual went awry.

Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once quipped that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. The problem: some things simply kill you.

Our thoughts are with the families of the deceased, 38-year-old Kirby Brown of Westtown, New York, and 40-year-old James Shore of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and with the other eighteen victims.