2 die at Winfrey-guru retreat

October 11, 2009

A Brooklyn-born muralist was one of two people to die after collapsing at a $10,000-a-head retreat run by a self-help guru who's been a regular guest on "Oprah" and the "Today" show, authorities said yesterday.

Investigators, lacking a ruling on the cause of death, said they were looking into possible criminal negligence.

Kirby Brown, 38, now of Westtown, NY, and James Shore, 40, of Milwaukee, died Thursday at a hospital after taking part in a spiritual-cleansing rite in a sweat lodge outside Sedona, Ariz.

During his "Spiritual Warrior" retreat, James Arthur Ray, 51, had Twittered: "For anything new to live, something first must die. What needs to die in you so that new life can emerge?"

In all, 19 of the 63 people to join Ray at the sweat lodge were hospitalized with respiratory arrest, kidney failure or elevated body temperature. One was listed in critical condition last night.

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