Did Famed Indian Guru Nithyananda Swami Rape His Disciple Aarthi Rao?

Frank Report has turned its attention to the curious case of Nithyananda Swami.

Nithyananda is accused of raping an Indian woman, Aarthi Rao, on numerous occasions over a five year period from around 2005- 2010.

We are not directly investigating the many claims Nithyananda makes as to miracles – except insofar as it might impact his credibility.

This is a rape case.

The alleged victim was once an ardent disciple of Nithyananda’s. She was a married woman at the time of the alleged rapes – which occurred over multiple years.

One of the striking aspects of the case is that Aarthi alleges she was raped by Nithyananda  then would go home to live with her husband – then come back again to the ashram where Nithyananda lived where she was raped again and again.

The pattern allegedly went on for years. She evidently did not tell her husband that, when she left him to go visit the ashram, Nithyananda was raping her.

In purported emails made public – Aarthi – who herself has gone public with videos, media interviews and a Twitter account– evidently had to argue and fight with her husband to go back to the ashram to see Nithyananda – and be allegedly raped.

Aarthi Rao – Remote Rape?

Aarthi Rao – How Nithyananda cheated me

There is one purported email I have seen where [during the time period she was allegedly raped] her husband forbid her to go to live at the ashram with Nithyananda – and she resigns herself to this sad fate – with the consolation that her all-powerful guru, Nithyananda, will make everything right with his divine powers.

That does not mean she wasn’t raped. And perhaps we are even entering new territory for rape.

Aarthi was a believer in Nithyananda’s divinity. She apparently believed he was God.

If some being you thought was God commanded you to take off your clothes and spread your legs – and he would enter you with His divinity – and later you came to believe he was not God — is that rape?

In this new world of infant-izing women as helpless creatures – it perhaps is.

In a world where women are presumed to be adults and equal in their power of discrimination with men – obviously it is not rape.

I am not saying this is how it happened. We will look at the evidence and claims Aarthi makes. There may have been coercion.

But Aarthi was a disciple for years and continued to go back – and – if she’s telling the truth – get raped.

If any sexual contact occurred between them, it seems it was not until after she left her “guru” that she came to realize that it was rape and not consensual.

It is also important to parse between the fact that Nithyananda might be a fake guru – a liar in sheep’s clothing – and whether or not he raped Aarthi Rao.

Many of his critics seem to get this mixed up. They think because they believe he is a phony, perhaps a dangerous phony, a big time conman and wish to discredit him – that therefore he raped Aarthi Rao.  It is a logical fallacy to equate being a liar with being a rapist.

Image result for nithyananda with crowd
From a video of NIthyananda allowing followers to get a glimpse of him [called darshan].
In India, Nithyananda is quite famous.

He purportedly has millions of followers. It is hard to get any exact numbers of how many followers he really has.

One disciple told me 20 million. But there is no way to substantiate this. There are numerous temples, ashrams [like monasteries where monks and or nuns live – and often allow guests to come and live for a time] and schools that operate in his name.

It appears there are at least dozens if not hundreds of monks [swamis or sanyasins] and nuns [sanyasinis] who live at these ashrams and follow him.  But whether his dedicated, non monastic followers number in the thousands or millions is, as far as I know, not easy to ascertain.

Image result for ancient depiction of shiva
Nithyananda claims to be Shiva incarnate.

Nithyananda claims to be the incarnation of the Hindu national god – Shiva.  He is not the first or last to have made such a claim. He also claims to be able to perform miracles.

He claims he can

  1. make blind people see,
  2. delay the sun from rising in the sky for 40 minutes,
  3. teach people to see through walls and fog,
  4. materialize diamonds from thin air
  5. teach cows to speak Sanskrit and Tamil.
  6. open up a “third” eye in people
  7. heal diseases

These claims have been the subject of much derision in the media and elsewhere by many who think he is a brazen liar.

There was a video of a blindfolded child who apparently could read – thanks to Nithyananda’s powers – offered as proof that the guru could open a “third eye” which is beyond the physical – which can allow people to be able to see without the use of the two physical eyes.

In a debunking video, evidence was offered to suggest that the blindfolded child was wearing a hidden speaker in her ear and that someone was telling her what was being presented to her to read which she merely repeated.

Nithyananada Swami claims he is a direct incarnation of the Hindu god Shiva

Sex Tape Seems to Have Sparked the Rape Case

The rape allegation by Aarthi Rao came directly on the heels of the release of a purported sex tape that came out via Sun TV in India.

That tape shows two people, purportedly Nithyananda and famous Tamil Nadu actress, Ranjitha – engaged in sexual contact.

Ranjitha has not accused Nithyananda of rape.

In fact, Ranjitha and Nithyananda both claim the tape is a “doctored” fake.

Ranjitha evidently continues to support Nithynanada and left her acting career to become a nun, making vows to be a lifelong follower of her guru Nithyananda.

There have been different analyses of the video – both authenticating and debunking it.  The analyses that claim it is a fake argue that it was a morphed video.

A former driver of Nithyananda’s has taken credit for the video, claiming he filmed it secretly because he was unhappy that his celibate guru was a fraud.

Ranjitha claims that Sun TV used the “fake” video as an extortion tool against her and Nithyananda – demanding money not to broadcast the video.

This has not been proven but it has been established that in India many media outlets make part their income not just from what they publish but what they don’t publish – by demanding money from subjects of their stories.

This has been the subject of much debate and voluntary media governing bodies have acknowledged this as a major impediment to honest journalism in India.  A former employee of Sun TV reportedly said that it was a longstanding policy at the Sun to extort victims with the threat of publishing real and/or fake news.

That doesn’t mean the purported sex tape is not authentic.

Even if it is, that does not mean that Nithyananda raped Aarthi Rao.

It would suggest he was lying about being celibate.

The worshipful Nithyananda Swami – to his followers he is God – wearing his golden crown.

Nithyananda’s Location Is Unknown

The whereabouts of Nithyananda are unclear at present.  He has announced he is forming a new Hindu nation – a borderless nation.

That does not mean like in America anybody can just sneak in and get their driver’s license. It means that his nation is rather one of mind and spirit – not of geography.

However, it was reported that Nithyananda was going to establish headquarters on an island off of Ecuador. He may have planned to do so – but reports that he bought an island seems to be unsubstantiated and may be genuine “fake” news.

In any event, Nithynananda is not revealing where he is currently living – though he does make regular live appearances for his followers on YouTube.

He has not always been so secretive about where he lives and was, in the past, available in India for devotees to visit and get his “darshan” – publicly announcing his schedule online so followers could flock to see him.

The purported spiritual benefit of just being in his presence – that of an “enlightened” person and perhaps if they are lucky being able to touch his “holy feet” – followers believe will confer great spiritual blessings.

On a video of Nithyananda, his followers explained: “The word ‘Darshan’ means ‘to have a glimpse of’. Having Darshan of an Avatar can cleanse the karmas of lifetimes, and create a deep and lasting transformation in the receiver….. During Darshan, His Divine Holiness Paramahamsa Nithyananda creates Mandalas [a geometric configuration of symbols] with His hands. Mandalas are secret decoded Agamic energy circuits that harness the multi-dimensional energy of the universe. The energy He creates falls on you and settles in your system. Even if the Mandala enters into your system three times, you will manifest powers and powerful cognitions. Nothing more is required other than a ferocious intention to manifest them.”

People have come by the thousand to get “darshan” of Nithyananda.  But now that his whereabouts are unknown, this opportunity is not available to them.

Meantime the rape case is ongoing.  In India that means less than it does in the USA.  This criminal rape case has been ongoing for about 8 years. In India that is par for the course – nothing happens quickly in Indian courts. There is no speedy trial act in India.  Cases routinely drag on for 10 years or more.

Image result for nithyananda rape
Nithyananda claims he has or will create a new Hindu nation called Kailaasa.

Despite his whereabouts being unknown, and media reports that he is a fugitive, there is no clear indication that Nithyananda has absconded in an attempt to flee the jurisdiction of his rape case.

He appears to be on pretrial release subject to his own recognizance. No bail seems to have been required.

The evidence of his absconding is based on what appears to be the fact that he went to Ecuador and sought refugee status there.  However, there seems to be no evidence that any Indian court declared him a fugitive.

The rape case is ongoing. Nithyananda did not attend the latest court hearings – in 2019. It does not mean he will not stand trial. Evidently he has been excused from attending court. His attorneys were reportedly present.

There is no indication that I could find that any court revoked his passport.

Nevertheless, Nithyananda appears to be outside of India. There has been speculation he is island hopping in the Caribbean possibly looking for refugee status.

Whether he will appear in connection with the rape case – or appear for his sentencing if he is convicted – remains to be seen.

Aarthi Rao accused Nithyananda of repeatedly raping her over a five year period.

Litigation in the US Between the Alleged Victim and Nithyananda

There has been civil litigation between Aarthi Rao and Nithyananda in the USA.  Nithyananda sued her for false allegations of rape.

She is a US citizen and she lost that lawsuit. Nithyananda won a judgement of $460,000.

Aarthi Rao claimed she was financially unable to defend the lawsuit because of the inequality of legal resources between her and Nithyananda.

Aarthi claimed Nithyananda uses punishing litigation methods – employing the donations of wealthy devotees to retain a battery of lawyers – with questionable ethics – methods not dissimilar to what Nxivm sex cult leader Keith Raniere did to quash opposition and destroy enemies, using Seagram heiresses, Clare and Sara Bronfman’s nearly unlimited bank accounts to bankroll ferocious litigation and often using perjury and doctored evidence to try to win.

Aarthi Rao filed bankruptcy shortly after losing the lawsuit and it seems the judgment in favor of Nithyananda was never collected.

During discovery in that lawsuit some evidence was apparently revealed that seems to support Nithyananda’s claims of innocence.

One that is highly touted by his followers is that sexual potency tests were administered to Nithyananda– and they purport that he is impotent – not only just merely incapable of getting an erection but that he has a lower testosterone count than a new born baby – leading to the conclusion that he has not had sex in 10 years at minimum.

These tests have been disputed by critics of Nithyananda – saying there is no proof the tests are authentic.

Nithyananda claims he has never had sex in his life. His unusually low testosterone level – lower than the average woman, lower than a newborn male baby – if true  -supports his defense in the criminal trial.

Purported medical reports of the alleged victim, Aarthi Rao, have also surfaced.  If they are authentic, they reveal she has genital herpes and other STDS. These reports were released to me and seem to be publicly available.

The disciple who gave them to me said the medical reports were part of discovery in the US case Nithyananada pursued against Aarthi.

Nithyananda’s supporters tout this as proof that she is promiscuous – which means a lot more in India than in the USA.

His supporters also claim Nithyananda was tested and was found to be free of STDs. I have not seen that report.

They argue that since herpes is highly contagious, his being STD free suggests that Nithyananda is innocent- otherwise he would have caught herpes during their five years of alleged rapes.

There is also email and medical evidence that seems to have come out in discovery that purports that the alleged victim told her doctor that she may have got her STDs while cheating on her husband with a man who happens to be an avowed enemy of Nithyananda and purportedly sought to extort him for money.

Lenin Karuppan & Aarthi Rao
Aarthi Rao allegedly had an adulterous affair with Lenin Karruppan, an enemy of Nithyananda – something she did not tell her husband. Supporters of Nithyananda say Karrupan is behind the “fake” allegation of rape – in a bid to make money for him and Aarthi Rao.

As readers may have noticed, I use the word “purportedly” quite often in this case because it is not inconceivable that any or all documents – on  both sides – even those submitted to court – are counterfeit.

It is also important to note that the simple filing of a rape case in India is not proof of anything.

According to one report, 40 percent of rape allegations in India are spurious. Whether that is higher or lower than in other countries is hard to know. How the report came to the conclusion that 40 percent of alleged victims are liars is also hard to know.

According to the Indian National Crime Records Bureau, a total of 38,947 rape cases were reported in India in 2016. In 10,068 cases – about a quarter – the women claimed it was rape on false promise of marriage. In Andhra Pradesh state, 45% of all rape cases filed in the past two years fell into the false marriage category.

In many cases, false rape accusations are simply the result of parents covering up the “shame” of an unmarried daughter having sex.

Of 460 rape cases studied that went to trial in New Delhi in 2013 it was revealed that “more than one third turned out to be cases of couples having consensual sex outside marriage but, when the parents found out, they went to the police to end the relationship”.

It is possible that the married Aarthi Rao needed a justification for having sex with Nithyananda – and rape was preferable to being an adulterous in conservative India. Rao purportedly now lives in India.

Corruption in India

What is less in doubt than cases of spurious rape is that India’s courts are corrupt.

According to Transparency International, judicial corruption in India is rampant, attributable to factors such as “delays in the disposal of cases, shortage of judges and complex procedures, all of which are exacerbated by a preponderance of new laws”.

In short, Indian courts and its police seems to be of a third word character – ranging between corrupt and blatantly corrupt.

In America, the Orwellian named Department of Justice, the FBI, and oftentimes local police are corrupt, but it is not quite as blatant – possibly because of the free press here.

In the US, there is no fixed price tag for “purchasing” justice.  Sometimes – if there is a political motivation – innocent people are indicted and tried. Sometimes, if the evidence is too persuasive – a well heeled guilty defendant is convicted, though usually very wealthy people in the USA are above most laws.

This is well known.

But a plain, unvarnished open and notorious purchase of “justice” from the US Department of Justice is not permissible – mostly because there is a veneer – a false pretense of utter integrity that fuels the criminal justice system in America that allows the US to put more of its citizenry in prison than in any nation in the history of the world.

US State Prisons Per State
The US has more than 2 million citizens in prison. India which is three times as populous has 420,000 people. About one fifth the number of prisoners.

The US has a highly profitable, burgeoning prison industry. Fortunes are made by keeping the supply of Americans in prison high- from private prisons, to vendors of supplies to lawyers and the growing ranks of prosecutors – who are immune from the law if they file false charges – business is brisk and profitable – and absolutely depends on keeping millions in prison in the US.

The Indian model is different.

While in the US, people make money from putting people – even innocent people- in prison, in the Indian system people make money by keeping people – even guilty people – out of prison – through bribery etc..

While both systems are reprehensible, the Indian system is probably the better method, since it costs taxpayers a lot less. And there are some like Blackstone who argue that it is better that 10 guilty men go free rather than one innocent person suffer.

In America, studies have repeatedly proven – through DNA testing and other dispositive methods – that at least 10 percent of convicted defendants are innocent. That means more than 200,000 innocent people are in US prisons today – having experienced the results of America’s prison industry – and its need to fill up cells – rather like so many hotel rooms.

Still, the fact remains that in India – “justice” can be bought at more or less fixed prices. There is no question that Nithyananda – via his many wealthy followers – has more money at his disposal than his alleged victim.

But evidently he has not been able to purchase – if he has indeed tried – his exoneration.

That may be because the case is too high profile.  It is also not inconceivable that the enemies of Nithyananada, who have money too, have purchased the original rape case against him.

There is a curious political aspect to this matter.

Image result for tamil nadu and karnataka
Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are bordering states with a long history of rivalry. A river seems to have sparked the hostilities centuries ago. The 765-km-long Cauvery river originates in Karnataka and flows into Tamil Nadu – and water is often an excellent reason for essential rivalry.

Nithyananda is a Tamil and he has taken up his largest field of work in Karnataka, a neighboring state. Politically there is a rivalry – and not a pretty one between the leaders of these two states.

Nithyananda’s growing influence in Karnataka may have prompted retaliation against him – as his followers claim. They also claim that the local municipal government is inimical to them and police have tried to plant evidence against him.

They also claim there have been assassination attempts against Nithyananda – which police have had tepid responses to.

Nithyananda on his throne. His followers see him as childlike – an innocent, divine being whose only thought is to love and uplift humanity.

An NDA That Suggest Orgies at NIthyananda’s Ashrams

While Nithyananda proclaims he is a celibate – and one of the leaders of the highly disorganized but ancient monastic order of Swamis – there are allegations that Nithyananda secretly teaches Tantric sex practices.

A purported non disclosure [NDA] agreement that Nithyananda’s organization requires of some students has been published online.

If the NDA is authentic, it suggests that Nithyananda’s definition of celibacy is different from the traditional definition of celibacy and against the well known, longstanding teachings and claims of the swamis – who take a vow of poverty and celibacy before donning their orange robes.

In the Ramakrishna order, believed to be the largest monastic order in India, for instance, its founder Swami Vivekananda [1863-1902], ordered that anyone found teaching or practicing tantric sex practices were to be driven out of the order.

“We want no wolves in sheep’s clothing,” he said.

Image result for vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda maintained that the secret tantric sex practices had no place in the monastic order of the Swamis.

If the NDA is authentic, it opens the possibility that Aarthi Rao participated in tantric sex practices – which are in effect – having sex and calling it a spiritual yoga practice – meant to enlighten the individual.

The typical tantric sex practice has ritualistic elements to it such as lighting candles and incense, offering flowers and the ritualistic eating of meat, fish and grain and consuming alcohol with one’s left hand etc – and having sex with your partner as if he or she was divine.

According to the published NDA, this practice often goes on at the “celibate” Nithyananda’s ashram. The purported NDA demands practitioners to keep it secret or face litigation.

Here are a few excerpts of Nithyananda’s purported NDA:

A3. Volunteer understands that the Program may involve the learning and practice of ancient tantric secrets associated with male and female ecstasy, including the use of sexual energy for increased intimacy/spiritual connection, pleasure, harmony, and freedom.” (Page 9, Section A3)

“Volunteer understands that these activities could be physically and mentally challenging, and may involve nudity, access to visual images, graphic visual depictions, and descriptions of nudity and sexual activity, close physical proximity and intimacy, verbal and written descriptions and audio sounds of sexually oriented, and erotic nature, etc.” (Page 9, Section A3)

“By reading and signing this addendum, Volunteer irrevocably acknowledges that he/she is voluntarily giving …  unconditional acceptance of such activities and discharges the Leader and the Foundation… from any liability, direct or indirect, arising from such activities.” (Page 9, Section A3)

If this is an authentic NDA, it belies the notion that this is a genuine monastic order as claimed. It does not mean the alleged victim was raped. She may have willingly engaged in these sex practices and signed the NDA.

A video exists of Nithyananda and Aarthi Rao when she was a devotee  – filmed during the time period when he was allegedly raping her. It appears he is conferring some kind of “blessing” and/or healing.  Her critics say he was healing her of herpes.

Parsing relevant and irrelevant theories

The purpose of our investigation is to ascertain, if possible, whether of not Aarthi Rao was raped by Nithyananada.

Whether Nithyananda can perform miracles is not crucial to our work.

Though if he can’t do the miracle he claims, it would suggest he is a liar. We may not be able to prove it one or the other. Although we remain open to any demonstration of miracles.

Whether he and his followers have orgies in the name of spiritual enlightenment is also not essential. But it would tend to debunk his claim of being celibate – as the world understand the word.

And might also tend to debunk his potency test.

If he lied about being impotent it would show a troubling deceitfulness in his quest to be exonerated. If on the other hand, the potency test is authentic – it has strong probative value.

Whether of not Aarthi has herpes or other STDs – caught from lovers hidden from her husband or contracted from Nithyananda himself – is also not our concern except as it relates to the one distinct matter of our investigation – did Nithyananda rape her.

Whether she is promiscuous is not proof of her not being raped.

The question is, did Nithyananda coerce – not invite – but force her into having sex repeatedly over five years?

Stay tuned. We are just beginning.  We have a lot of evidence to present on both sides.

 


About the author

Frank Parlato

Frank Report’s founder and lead writer Frank Parlato is one of the internet’s most acclaimed investigative journalists. His writing and investigations have helped expose major criminal organizations and scandals.

Frank’s work has been cited in major publications all over the world, including The New York Times, New York Post, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CNN, Rolling Stone, and more.

He is also the publisher and editor-in-chief of Artvoice, The Niagara Falls Reporter, Front Page and the South Buffalo News.

20 Comments

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  • Indian women are sexually starved and their men ain’t any good !

    BUT WHAT IF THEY ARE CALLED WHORES BY THEIR MEN !?

    How would a woman feel if her husband states that she had sex with a man for 12 years ?

    This is what Rama said to Sita .How can such a man be a God ?

    SO THE WOMEN WHO CAME TO NITTY WERE SEXUALLY AND EMOTIONALLY NOT SATISFIED ! THAT IS THE TRUTH !

    RAMA OPENLY TELLS SEETA MAIYA THAT SHE MUST HAVE COPULATED WITH RAVANA.This is in the Ramayana.Is this why Sita calls Eama,an impotent pansy ? dindooohindoo

    Book VI : Yuddha Kanda – Book Of War
    Chapter [Sarga] 115

    कः पुमांस्तु कुले जातह् स्त्रियं परगृहोषिताम् |
    तेजस्वी पुनरादद्यात् सुहृल्लेख्येन चेतसा || ६-११५-१९

    “Which noble man, born in an illustrious race, will take back a woman who lived in another’s abode, with an eager mind?”

    न हि त्वां रावणो दृष्ट्वो दिव्यरूपां मनोरमाम् |
    मर्षयेत चिरं सीते स्वगृहे पर्यवस्थिताम् || ६-११५-२४

    “Seeing you, who are endowed with a beautiful form and attractive to the sense, detained for long in his abode, Ravana could not have endured your separation.”

  • Now the white man says – did she say NO !
    Or did she say No-No-No !

    What does a woman mean when she says No-No-No !

    Sample the Rape Best practice of lLord Krishna ! This will illustrate the dignity of a Hindu women in Hindoo Scriptures by A GOD ! dindooohindoo

    Context

    While Krishna was “kissing swarms of glowing nubile women”, Radhe became most beloved for his joy – like “jasmine for a bee”.

    The Poetry

    Krishna “looked longingly”, his face turned back, The border of his garment held by his friend the forest earth He recalled Radhe’s “No! No! No!” while “he loosened her skirt knot”, Her syllables marked by her confusion, Her body wondrous in fear of love, her words barely intelligible.

    “Falling on her breasts’ firm tips” Radhe was like a laden kadamba tree, As tears were strewn by her “endless sighing and trembling gait”

  • By Western definition, Nithi didn’t “rape” aarthi. But by Indian stamdards, what he did was worse. His entire career was built on preaching celibacy and how to control your urges.

    In a hour long video given in ’12, Aarthi didn’t mention once that he “raped” her. Her only claims were abuse.

    BTW, the mainstream consensus here is that Nithi-Ranjitha scandal video is authentic.

    The Tamil Nadu – Karnataka rivalry is irrelevant. He was supposed to become an “aadheenam” (spiritual leader) of Madurai Matt(a group of monasteries). Once he was exposed in Tamil Nadu, he ran away and set up shop in Karnataka. That’s it.

    Right now, he ran away with a couple of young women, whose father has complained to police that he kidnapped them.

  • Aarti rao is smoking hot! Who wouldn’t want to run their tongue over her? She was not raped 50 times but rather she broke her marital vows 50 times. Later, when she realised that nithya was a fake (c’mon they all are), was overcome with remorse about her infidelity and in order to get back at him cried rape knowing fully well that primitive indian legal system is highly influenced by public opinion and rape is the best weapon to sway opinion.

  • I think there should be different degrees of rape. Like murder-first, second and third degree sex. Coercive sex? Sex under duress but kinda consensual cause you’re cute and smell good? Really drunk, I can’t believe I fucked you sex? Lackluster but God decreed transmission of pure energy seed into your undeserving-but-soon-to-be-enlightened vagina sex? I mean really. Five years is a long time to wait to cry rape.

    • I think this is the best written article on this topic. Kudos to the author and I eagerly await follow up posts on this topic. I love how he has separated out the issues. Is Nithya a fraud – sure. Most Godmen are. But it does blow my mind on how educated folks are his followers. Obviously there is more to it in terms of brain washing, hypnosis etc., I don’t know. But as much as I want to take Aarthi’s side (and I know her more than all of you here – Frank if you want to chat, we can but I am not interested in taking any risks whatsoever and couldn’t care 2 hoots – others than my own personal curiosity after having been her close friend for a very long time), her “story” doesn’t add up. It doesn’t add up thanks to our conversation even a week prior to her claiming she was raped. Something doesn’t add up. And again, love the neutral approach to the investigation and topic focus of this article and looking forward to reading more! What will also be interesting is to find out what she is upto now. Her Twitter and blogs have been silent for a while now. Is she even alive? It is also interesting that her ex-husband Manickam is missing from the picture. As is her brother (IIT Bombay alumni) and also her parents. I feel sorry for her (because of an old relationship) but I am not able to fully buy her story either.

  • To begin with, I think it’s important to keep in mind that studies and research have shown that sexual assault and abuse victims often behave in ways that may seem counter-intuitive, particularly in terms of having later contact with perpetrators, that make it hard for laymen (and even law enforcement, courts and juries) to properly evaluate their claims. And in an unfamiliar culture like that of India, where what they call “godmen” like Nithyananda are as much of a fixture as, say, televangelists in the US, it may be particularly hard for us to make sense of, or evaluate, the relationship between someone who who may be viewed as the incarnation of a god, and a follower.

    I think there’s even an argument to be made that in the cultural context of India, there is such a power imbalance in any such relationship, that it’s almost akin to statutory rape. That may well even be why there is a long mainstream tradition of such gurus remaining celibate, in order to put a check on something so prone to abuse.

    In Nithyananda’s case, I think it is worth noting that the Indian media often compares him to – and it’s possible that he plagiarized from – the infamous late guru and cult leader Rajneesh, AKA Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and later Osho, who had a significant US-based following centered in Oregon that became notorious for bizarre activities including an attempted mass-poisoning, as was partly covered in the recent documentary Wild Wild Country. It’s also interesting that while Osho’s following in the US has dwindled to a few old diehards after his exile and death, in India he remains a popular figure with a large ashram and a significant following – and one of the NXIVM DOS loyalists, Sahajo Haertel, has some connection.

    As far as evaluating Nithyananda’s claims and veracity, I think that if it can be shown that he has veered from sort of normal white lies and self-aggrandizements that are typical, to acting like a pathological liar, then he becomes discredited and it is legitimate to treat anything he says as questionable. And I’d say that making grandiose, undocumented and almost certainly false claims about miracles and cures, puts him in a category similar to “world’s third smartest man” Raniere, or “war hero” (stolen valor, contradicted by military records) L. Ron Hubbard of Scientology (who was ruled a “virtual pathological liar,” almost habitually unable to tell the truth about things like his background, by a judge).

    In cases like these, one even starts to wonder if these individuals aren’t suffering from a sort of delusion that makes it difficult for them to even know what is true, or real, themselves. That also gets to a sort of old paradox: what’s the difference between a guru and supposed seer who, say, claims he receives direction from or channels god/s (or can make animals talk), and an obviously mentally ill person standing on the sidewalk shouting about voices that are talking to him?

    Also, since Nithyananda doesn’t even seem to be among India’s top 10 gurus, I doubt he has 20 million followers any more than does Scientology (which uses the same number, but by all reliable measures and reports is down to about 20,000 actual members, though they have accumulated outsized wealth, real estate and power). And like Scientology, his organization lists somewhat upwards of 100 centers around the world – 144, but they all share about 3 dozen of the same contact names and phone numbers, with no physical addresses given, suggesting they can’t really be that large:

    https://inner-awakening.leadpages.co/global-center-list-new/

    How do you trust an organization that can’t even be honest about something basic like its size – and probably misrepresents it by orders of magnitude?

    p.s. Frank, a quick check shows that you might even be able to “investigate” them down in Florida; they have a much-touted “University” that appears to actually be little more than a small, mostly online, unaccredited degree mill; plus a couple of local groups without any actual sign of more than a small number of devotees.

  • It seems too complicated to get to the bottom of. I find it hard to form an opinion either way.

    So he has actually been the one teaching tantric sex. Then again that’s assuming the NDA is legitimate. That is the big problem here, all these documents, videos, medical results and whether they are authentic.

  • This Guru is an ethnic Tamil.

    Who else is an ethnic Tamil?
    The rap singer M.I. A., the former wife of Benjamin Bronfman, the nephew of Clare and Sara Bronfman.

    And M.I.A. was an attendee of the NXIVM bash on Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island.
    A bash attended by Sara Bronfman, Ben Bronfman, Allison Mack, Kristin Kreuk, Mark Hildreth, Alex Betancourt, Emiliano Salinas, and other NXIVM luminaries.

    Are there political ties between the Tamils of Southern India and the rebellious Tamils of the island nation of Sri Lanka?

    The rebellious Tamils of Sri Lanka are known to engage in terrorism.

    • Forty something years ago I spent a lot of time in Sri Lanka and had long conversations with many Tamils. There is a lot that you don’t know about the circumstances of the Tamil people of Sri Lanka. Please look into it before coming down harshly. There are somewhere between 80 to 100 million Tamil people, most of whom live in the Tamil Nadu regions of south India. The Tamils of India have the same rights as other Indian ethnic groups, etc. They can vote, go to university, obtain a passport and are citizens of their nation, as opposed to being a disenfranchised 80 to 100 million “noncitizens.”

      There used to be more Tamils in Sri Lanka than the 3 million estimated to live there now. All of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka who talked with me had no civil rights. None.

      They were not allowed passports, or any national citizenship, the right to vote or even to pursue an education. Many who talked with me wanted leave their Sri Lankan homeland yet had absolutely no legal way to even get identity or citizenship papers to try to leave legitimately. These were real human beings, just like all of us, people very much wanting the opportunity to have very basic human rights, the sort that many of us in the western world are accustomed to having. Certainly I cannot be the only westerner who understands this. I will never forget the Tamils in Sri Lanka, those who opened their hearts, spoke to me and stated the facts of what they were up against, nor what long-held prejudices have been used against them as a people.

      As for “Paramahansa (great or highest swan) Nithyananda,” he might have gotten luckier than many fake gurus, but frankly, these false idols are a dime a dozen. Nithyananda wouldn’t have needed any attention or “adulation,” if he really had reached any state of awareness or love. He would not need to be bothered by playing at magical thinking, either. This is like a circus act, and the naive are bound to be satisfied with it, especially in India, where there is a guru-dusciple traditon.

      I see him primping and posing, dolled up with his huge rudraksha beads and gold. And I know that those like him claim it’s puja, gifts of surrender and adoration from his disciples, which he doesn’t want to reject from those who love him. That’s always the justification, again based upon tradition. This guy is like America’s version of a televangelist who wants more Cadillacs and “churches.” Naturally Nithyananda’s devotees get hostile and out-of-hand defensive, seemingly oblivious to the blatant hypocrisy. He reminds me of a bad joke I heard as a little girl, about how come Jesus smoked Raleigh cigarettes.

    • Shadow, as a conspiracy theorist, you should know that there are no coincidences!

      There is also a connection in that Nithyananda is picking up where once-popular libertine guru Baghwan Shree Rasjneesh, AKA Osho, left off, if the doesn’t even have some direct connection to Osho and his teachings that just hasn’t been revealed – and Sahajo Haertel, NXIVM DOS loyalist and reported cash “mule,” has ties to the Rajneeshis, possibly quite deep (she went to boarding school in India).

      One of the Bronfmans has an Indian guru – does that tie them in, too?

      With that much more, there’s obviously a deep and nefarious conspiracy afoot – possibly then tying NXIVM to international terrorism!

      Plus doesn’t Nithyananda look a bit strange – like he could be one of the reptilians?

      • Shadow, as a conspiracy theorist, you should know that there are no coincidences!

        Fire away, Slick. You ought to talk before quoting liberal icon FDR. As a die-hard demoncrap, you fall for left-wing conspiracy bullshit all the time. I bet you were one of the 100 people at the last Biden rally and probably fell for his old “Pull my Finger”, Slick

        • Once again, you demonstrate my point that the 2 to 4 line drive-by trolls are for all intents and purposes programmed robots, incapable of anything other than schoolyard insults, and like cultists function only as toxic parasites.

          Frank had better hope his jury isn’t filled with thoughtless, uncritical individuals like this, or else he might as well just take a plea bargain for a reduced sentence now.

          • Once again, Slick, you prove my point. Two paragraphs that say nothing, but prove your own pointy head.

            Frank would be fortunate to have like-minded people such as myself who are Constitutionalists and believe in the Rule of Law on the jury. He would certainly not have that with Islamo cultists like you on the jury.

    • Nithyananda and Aarthi are both full of crap. So called Swami’s with herpes, screwing a married woman, she cries rape when her husband finds out. Jeez what a nasty little bitch.

About Frank Parlato

About Frank Parlato

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in major publications all over the world, including The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CNN, Fox News, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, and more.

Frank Parlato was the lead investigator and coordinating producer of Investigation Discovery's 2 hour blockbuster special 'The Lost Women of NXIVM.'

Frank Report is dedicated to Frank's investigative journalism and the pursuit of truth.

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