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Hot Coals Burned 21 People Who walked Tony Robbins' Fire-Pit!

Updated on April 7, 2015

Light My Fire? Tony Robbins

You've probably seen motivational speaker, Tony Robbins, infomercials telling you that there nothing you can't do...if you will just plunk down your money, and buy his success courses or attend his, you can do anything including, walk across hot coals events, if you will just pay him for i events.

Well...something smells fishy in Boston and it ain't the fish!

Walking The Fire Pit:"Release The Power Within"

21 of Robbins" stouthearted believers suffered burns, while attempting to walk hot coals across a fire pit, at one of Robbins' fire pit walks, that was 10 feet long, and heated to between 1200 to 2000 degrees! This kinda puts a new spin on the saying "I got burnt" when you don't get what you've paid for, or getting your "audience all fired up" doesn't it?

This event was called "Release The Power Within" but instead some participants were burned by the power without!

The San Jose fire department, said most of the fire-walkers suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns. Robbins' website says that, fire-walking provides participants the opportunity to "understand that there's absolutely nothing you can't overcome" Oopsy!

I'm sure the fire-walkers who got the opposite results, would probably vehemently disagree with that view!

Screams Of Agony And Chaos!

Defending themselves, Robbins' company, Robbins Research International, released a statement stating that 6000 people walked the fire pit that day.

One witness, Jonathan Correll, said "I just heard these screams of agony!" " People were in pain! It sounded like people were being tortured!". He said he saw "three ambulances, and about 10 to 15 people on the ground, being treated by paramedics, and some people being wheeled away on stretchers" "It was really just chaos," he said.

The fire walkers were supposedly, warned that they might get burns or blisters, and that the intention of the event, was to get them to divert their attention away from the hot coals, and look to the power within, and be fully focused on walking the fire. (I can see how that might be kinda hard to do with hot coals burning under your feet!)

They Believed They Could Walk On Hot Coals

The fire-walkers must have believed they could walk the hot coals or they probably wouldn't have done it. What went wrong? Are all of these people just dupes? What about the 6000 others who supposedly walked the coals that day and didn't get burned? Maybe, because they were warned before hand they might get burned, some of them, didn't think their burns were bad enough, to be reported. Or...maybe, they just didn't report them, no matter how badly they were burned!

Interesting indeed! An enigma wrapped inside a conundrum!

A Pretty Penny Or And Ugly Dollar

Robbins' website says he "has written five books that are published in 14 languages, and has sold more than 40 million audiotapes of a professional development system dubbed "Personal Power" . His infomercials are reportely running every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day throughout North America, since April 1989. So he's making a pretty penny or an ugly dollar wouldn't you say?

If someone promises you, that you can do anything, including walking across a fire-pit of hot coals, for a price....please think twice....before you do it.

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    • vveasey profile image

      The Medicine Man 5 years ago from Detroit,MI

      A K Turner

      Thanks for commenting. I think some motivational speakers can help some people get motivated to do certain things they wouldn't normally do. But it's also a very large, profitable, money making business.

      Also psychologically, many people are influenced to act differently in large groups than when alone. The start conforming to group behavior...because everybody is excited and reacting enthusiastically, they feel they should respond the same way...they get caught up in the emotional atmosphere of group behavior, and this makes them change their behavior at least while they're part of the group.

    • vveasey profile image

      The Medicine Man 5 years ago from Detroit,MI


      thanks again

      You say "I believe in personal choice and accountability rather than blaming the other guy". So do I...

      But doesn't accountability work both ways, for the other guy too?

      If someone intices you visit them in a certain area and they rape or rob you, will you take accountability for that and not blame the other guy? Just asking

    • A K Turner profile image

      Joseph A K Turner 5 years ago from West Yorkshire

      Interesting hub, loved reading it. Made me look up another article, makes some interesting points, that coals are generally insulated by the ash, and if "fire walking," were done at day what you would actually see is a bed of white ash. In terms of motivational speakers, they've been around for ages, very few actually change your life, much more likely to change your perception so you believe your life is better.

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 5 years ago from Midwest

      actually, the point of firewalking is more about conquering fear. There is a method also to sky diving for example. Most people don't get hurt, but sometimes the chute fails. I imagine it's pretty scary to take a leap of faith, in whatever form you do it. So, it's more about proving you can overcome your fears and inner limitation. I have known a few people that did fire walking and they said it was the most liberating experience of their life to learn about mind over matter etc. (Not with a Robbins program let me clarify lol)

      It is very effective at getting people past their fears and feeling they can conquer anything, which usually leads to more motivation in general in life, at least for awhile. I'm not saying I agree with his techniques don't get me wrong, just that I don't think he is scamming people. He did give warnings about the potential for burns. Most junk food packages list ingredients and sales pitches and don't tell you "our food can make you sick and fat"... I believe in personal choice and accountability rather than blaming the other guy. I do agree that the infomercials etc are a bit extreme - but if he has helped some people find their inner strength along the way - that can't be a bad thing entirely. I am sorry that a few people got hurt, typically that doesn't happen.

      I definitely understand your points in this hub, and I can agree with much of it. I just don't agree that people are being defrauded, - influenced, yes - but we are just as enticed by advertising for other things. In the end, we make our own choices how we spend our money :) That being said, there are many great ways to inspire and motivate people without the use of hot coals and I sure as heck wouldn't do it! ;)

    • vveasey profile image

      The Medicine Man 5 years ago from Detroit,MI


      thanks for your comments and for being the first to comment on this hub.

      So in a sense you're saying that fire walking is nothing special. It's more like a trick you can learn.

      But that's not the way Tony Robbins presents it. He presents it as showing that there's nothing that you can't do.

      Which is contradictory and misleading if his firewalking pitch is just a trick you can learn.

      And it wouldn't be a sign that there's nothing you can't do, even not get burned by fire, because people did get burned.

      According to his organization, participants are told that the might get burns or blisters during the firewalk. This information is not shared in his promo.

      You're right people aren't forced to spend their money, but they can be inticed to spend it. Ergo the commercials that bombard us everyday. Doesn't Robbins fit in that category?.

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 5 years ago from Midwest

      Interesting hub and I am sorry people got hurt. The truth of the matter is though that firewalks are a tool used regularly to get people to rise above and do things they thought impossible (not just by Robbins). There are actually tricks to doing it effectively - namely moving quickly across the coals and not stepping down full weight. Watch most fire walkers and you will see they don't get hurt and they do it with speed. Robbins has been doing this a long time and the majority of people do not get hurt. This was some kind of an unfortunate fluke.

      Now as to Robbins making money doing what he does, that is debatable I suppose, but people aren't forced to spend that money either ;) I've seen people spend money on all sorts of things I find absurd lol