The Scott Helmer Show • ORIGINAL AIR DATE: Tuesday, May 30, 2017
GUEST: Virginia Brown • SEEK Safely
Kirby Brown, born February 8, 1971, was “drunk on life.” She rode horses, mountain biked, hiked, surfed, loved blues and jazz, danced ‘till dawn and was always the life of the party. She owned a decorative painting business in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, where she had lived for 10 years.
Always seeking to learn more, be more, and improve personally and professionally, Kirby attended James Arthur Ray’s “Spiritual Warrior” retreat, an intense, 5-day experience in Sedona, AZ. Ray was an international motivational speaker and self-help author known for his work in “The Secret” and his frequent appearances on Oprah. Kirby and about 50 other people participated in many physically and emotionally challenging activities designed to bring them to the next level in their personal and professional lives. Many of these participants were entrepreneurs and high achievers—the type of people constantly looking to improve themselves.
On October 8, 2009, Kirby lost her life along with two other participants in the final activity of the retreat, a poor imitation of a Native American “sweat lodge.” Twenty other participants were taken to local hospitals.
James Ray was found guilty of negligent homicide in November 2011 and was sentenced to two years in prison for these three deaths. He served 20 months.
Why SEEK Safely? Kirby Brown’s family decided to bring positive purpose to Kirby, James Shore and Lizabeth Neuman’s tragic deaths by creating SEEK Safely.
Kirby’s search to find the deeper meaning in life and a deeper purpose for herself was a huge part of who she was. We want to be Kirby’s voice to keep others safe from physical, emotional and financial harm. When someone is seeking to expand themselves, they should not lose their money, their time or their life! Kirby’s parents, George and Ginny are licensed, clinical social workers and educators who have worked with those suffering from trauma, depression, anxiety, family dysfunction, grief, and challenging life transitions. Kirby’s siblings, Bob, Kate, and Jean, are professionals in various fields who are also raising young families.
If Kirby was alive today, we know that she would be speaking up – yelling, more likely – about the abuses she experienced. Now, we are Kirby’s voice.
Virginia Brown is a wife, mother of 4, educator and therapist in private practice serving individuals and families addressing healthy family dynamics. She has worked for the Archdiocese of New York in the Parenting Ministry and has provided clinical support, training and program development to various agencies in Orange County New York (department of Social Services, Probation, Dispute Resolution Center, Cornell Cooperative Extension). She is currently on the faculty for Driven Professionals, a networking group in NYC providing wellness seminars and skills training for professionals. She is available to give seminars and workshops on self empowerment, anger management and the self-help industry.
After founding SEEK Safely, Inc., a 501©3 non-profit, and as a result of the tragedy that created international coverage, Ginny and her husband George have been involved in numerous interviews and media productions in the US and UK.