Feeling the Burn: 21 People Singe Feet During Hot Coal Walk at Motivational Event

They signed up to "Unleash the Power Within," but they didn't expect it would come with such a burning sensation.

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Jerod Harris/WireImage

Motivational speaker Tony Robbins

They signed up to “Unleash the Power Within,” but they didn’t expect it would come with such a burning sensation. According to the Associated Press, 21 participants suffered burns after walking across hot coals at an event held by motivational speaker Tony Robbins on Thursday. Three of the wounded were burnt so badly that they were rushed to the hospital.

The injuries happened during “The Firewalk Experience” which comprises the first day of “Unleash the Power Within,” Robbins’ flagship three-and-half day seminar, during its stint at the San Jose Convention Center. “The Firewalk Experience” consists of participants walking across a bed of coals heated to an excruciating 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, in order to “learn how to annihilate your fears” and “understand that there is absolutely nothing you cannot overcome,” Robbins’ website explains. Unfortunately, withstanding burnt feet was one thing that some coal-walkers couldn’t really control.

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“I just heard these screams of agony,” San Jose resident Jonathan Correll, told the Associated Press. Correll, 25, wasn’t at the event but heard the screams emanating from the convention center, as he stood outside gawking with a fast-growing crowd. “People were in pain. It sounded like people were being tortured,” he said. “It was really just chaos.” Correll saw three ambulances rush to the scene, with some victims being treated by paramedics on the scene and others having to be wheeled away on stretchers.

However, not everyone shared his harrowing version of events. Carolyn Graves, a 50-year old real estate agent from Toronto, claimed that those who were injured “were out of state,” and thus not in the correct frame of mind to walk painlessly across the fiery floor. She glamorized the event to the New York Times, noting that the fire walk “transformed people’s lives in a single night,” serving as a “metaphor for facing your fears and accomplishing your goals.”

Robbins Research International, the San-Diego-based organization behind the “Unleash the Power Within” program, has staunchly defended its inclusion of the fire walk. “More than 6,000 attendees participated in the traditional fire walk across hot coals,” they said in a statement. “We have been safely providing this experience for more than three decades, and always under the supervision of medical personnel.” The fire walk was organized as 24 separate lanes, each eight feet long, that participants were instructed to walk across.

While they admitted that a “small number of our participants experienced pain or minor injuries and sought medical attention,” the organization assured it will “continue to work with local fire and emergency personnel to ensure this event is always done in the safest way possible.”

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29 comments
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KB_Corkless
KB_Corkless

Good work friends, now that you've unleashed the power within, it's time to just unleash - period. Next week's exercise is the cordless bungee jump-of-faith. Let's annihilate those fears!

jsutton
jsutton

I doubt that Robbins will be invited to speak again.

Diawatha Lunsford
Diawatha Lunsford

the dippity do dah done used the wrong type of rocks! a take geology class or two and find out how this is NOT a Miracle!

pc1397
pc1397

See what I did there? Hi-larious!

ps to Mike-- your sweater and smile are creeping me out man.

ddavel544
ddavel544

...If ya wanna play in the Devils  playground...expect to get burnt!

bobbybob77
bobbybob77

If ya wanna play in God's playground...expect to beat slaves, stone homosexuals, and discriminate against women!

ddavel544
ddavel544

Beating slaves, stoning homosexuals, and discriminating against women....is going on in your neck of the woods...??.....bobbybob77...?

poljunkie
poljunkie

A little naive, i'd say.  After they saw the first 2 or 3 people get burned, what inspired them to try it for them self?

getburnt
getburnt

Thats what people do when their faith is on another evil man

checksixb17
checksixb17

Here we. Are in 21st century ignorance is alive and well in the USA. Fire burns people to death every day and yet we ignorance . P T Barnum was right...Never underestimate the ignorane of the American people.

mikejody
mikejody

Amazing what people will do who do not know God, do not understand His truth, and will not receive salvation in Jesus' Name. Absolutely ridiculous. 

CodourFather
CodourFather

 God has nothing to do with stupidity. Jesus will not save you if you do not use your turn signal. Ironically there is a group-think mentality that corresponds to our modern commercialized Spiritualism, so it is easy to believe that this is a matter of belief in a higher power. The twisted-logic reality is that they paid so much money that they believe Tony is in fact higher leader, not the truth –merely a leader for hire. God figures nowhere in this equation of a fool and his money are soon parted, until the collection plate is passed. I do not know and you don't either. Not ridiculous, Absolutely superstitious.

pc1397
pc1397

I couldn't agree more. Alhamdulillah!

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bobbybob77
bobbybob77

What's more amazing is that you think people need to know YOUR god, the evil mass murderer of the old testament.