A Miscellany 227
And they claim religion is good for you
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.
- 2 Die in Sweat Lodge at Ariz. Retreat - CBS news report
- 'Two die' at US spiritual retreat - BBC news report
Two 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.
- The death count is up to three - one of those in hospital has succumbed.