As many people know by now, 3 people passed away due to their participation in something called a sweatlodge ceremony.

In essence, this is a Native American ceremony where people go into a little handmade hut of coverings with some very hot rocks. Then someone pours water over them, creating a lot of steam, and for about 45 minutes to an hour they go through either a bunch of chants, meditations, and prayers, or sit around in total silence. It can get really uncomfortable, but participants are encouraged to try to stick it out, being told they will attain a spirituality that will change their lives forever.

In this case, it wasn't run by Native Americans, but by motivational speaker and author James Arthur Ray, who played a very prominent part in the movie The Secret. Supposedly, Ray was there, encouraged people to stick it out even though there seemed to be a higher number of people who were complaining of being in distress, and was there when the first two participants expired. A quick call to his lawyer, and the next time anyone heard from Mr. Ray he was out of town, saying he was dismayed by what happened, saying he would continue holding these sweatlodge ceremonies, saying he was conducting an investigation, but saying nothing else. He didn't own up to being responsible for anything, and isn't answering questions.

Logically, I understand a part of why he can't own up to anything. If he does, he opens himself up to a lot more problems and issues than he has now. Then again, I'm not so sure. He left the scene of a crime, and was a participant in the crime, which they say is being investigated as a homicide, so that could bode worse for him in the long run.

However, the biggest problem I have with him in this instance is that he's supposed to be a leader. Leaders don't back away from their responsibilities. When things go wrong, leaders don't go hiding behind the law, or the fear that they're going to get in trouble. Three people have died; someone has to take the responsibility for it.

If you're a leader, do you know how to take responsibility for when things go wrong? I'm betting you know how to take credit when things go right. Sometimes it really isn't the leader's fault. They certainly don't know what everyone who works for them is doing, that's for sure. If it's not work related, they can't take responsibility. Even if they are, some things are their responsibility, some things aren't. But true leaders know how to tell the difference, and when to own up to it.

I'm disappointed in Ray; to me, it diminishes him and everything he supposedly stands for. And that's a shame.