Tony Robbins is facing a series of potential lawsuits after at least 21 people were treated for burns after a late-night firewalking event. The fire walking resulted in second- and third-degree burn injuries at the motivational speaker’s event at the San Jose Convention Center. He called the event “Unleash the Power Within” — it was not clear if the burns were caused by the unleashing of the inner power or the superheated coals that they were walking on.
I must confess to be a snarky skeptic over Robbins and this entire industry of self-help and inspirational events. The most inspiring aspect of the industry is its ability to get people to hand over money to hear hallmark card aphorisms coupled with pseudo-psychological cheerleading.
Robbins and his staff set up 12 lanes of hot coals measuring 10 feet long and 2½-feet wide rested on the grass. Witnesses describe dozens of people screaming in pain “like they were being tortured.” Not torture. Self-realization. It just looks the same. At least no one died in this latest controversy from a self-realization program.
Others are quoted as saying that the fire walking was a “breakthrough” and “lifechanging,” like Henry Guasch, 19, who used his mantra of “Cool moss” to get through it.
In the most deadpan delivery for the occasion, San Jose Fire Department Capt. Reggie Williams noted that they gave Robbins an open-pit permit but “We discourage people from walking over hot coals.” He is obviously not fully self-realized.
The question of liability is obvious but that is something that written waivers and assumption of the risk would likely make difficult. There could be a question of whether the event organizers should have waited to allow more ash to form on the surface or committed some other act of alleged negligence. They could still find themselves walking into court. I recommend the Robbins lawyers use the mantra “Cool moss.” I hear it works at such moments.
It does not appear that, when Bill Clinton called Robbins for guidance, he suggested the fire walking avenue to redemption . . . and hospitalization.
Source: Mercury News