Two Swamis –Muktananda Raped Women and Girls; but Strangling is Shoemaker’s Arena Alone

The future Swami Chetanananda was born as J. Michael Shoemaker.  He studied with different teachers. Most of them are dead, so we cannot get their testimony about how wonderful he was as a student.

Here are some of the teachers he claims to have learned from.

Kangyur Rinpoche
Chatral Sangye Dorje Rinpoche
Ngawang Tenzin Rinpoche
Khenpo Dondrup Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche
Khenpo Pema Wangyal

Of those Shoemaker sought wisdom from, he found the most significant were Swami Rudi and Swami Muktananda. Both were disciples of Nityananda.

Shoemaker met Rudi [Albert Rudolph] in New York City in 1971. Rudi told Shoemaker about an experience he had at age 6 in a park in NYC.

Two Tibetan lamas appeared out of thin air. They put several large clay jars inside his body. They told Rudi that the energy and spirituality of Tibetan Buddhism were inside the jars. The jars would open when he was 31, and he would assimilate their content for the rest of his life.

Rudi never showed Shoemaker or anyone an x-ray of the jars inside his body. But we have Rudi’s good word about them.

Rudi told Shoemaker about other miracles.  Rudi met Nityananda at his ashram in Ganeshpuri. After Nityananda died in 1961, Rudi visited his shrine. Rudi explained, “He would step out of his tomb, and I would see him… This is the way my spiritual voyage began.”

Rudi was alone when the ghost of Nityananda made his appearance.  While we have no witnesses, we have Rudi’s word.

Swami NItyananda was good enough to leave his tomb and visit with Rudi. Lamentably Rudi was alone. No one else witnessed this miracle. But we have Rudi’s word for it.

After Nityananda stopped leaving his grave to see him, Rudi went to Swami Muktananda. He initiated Rudi into the Swami order.

Soon after, Rudi began teaching Shoemaker. But not long after he began, Rudi died in a plane crash in 1973. 

After he died, Shoemaker claimed he was Rudi’s successor.  Shoemaker fought with Rudi’s other disciples to take control of his legacy. He established the Rudrananda Ashram, Nityananda Institute to continue Rudi’s work.

Shoemaker and Rudi

In accepting Rudi as his guru, Shoemaker became part of the lineage of Nityananda.

Swami Muktananda
The time came when Shoemaker became a guru himself.

Muktananda initiated him in 1978.  Shoemaker became a swami, making the two vows of lifelong celibacy and poverty. Shoemaker changed his name to Swami Chetanananda.

Since Muktananda initiated both Rudi and Shoemaker into the ancient order of swamis, the reader may want to know more about this guru.
Like Shoemaker, Muktananda said he was a perfect celibate.
We learn little about Muktananda in this article by William Rodarmor.
Muktananda had spiritual relationships with female devotees that he instructed them to keep secret. It was for their spiritual welfare. Everyone knows that 15-17-year-old girls are loose-lipped. They can’t keep a secret. They would share stories of Muktananda’s spiritual grace. He was much better doing nude training of women in their early twenties.
Muktananda gave young Mary his special blessings when he was 73. At his ashram at South Fallsburg, he taught in the evenings. Muktananda would stand behind a curtain, watching the girls go to the dormitory. He spotted Mary and asked her to come to his room.
He gave her jewelry to show that spiritual and worldly gifts conjoin through the love of the guru. He told her to undress.
Mary explained, “He had a special area which I assume he used for his sexual affairs. It was similar to a gynecologist’s table but without the stirrups. He didn’t have an erection, but he inserted about as much as he could. He was standing up, and his eyes were rolled up to the ceiling. He looked as if he was in some sort of ecstasy.”
Muktananda was initiating Mary into tantric yoga. He ordered her to come the next day. “Don’t wear underwear,” he said.
Underwear can block more profound spiritual energies.
Dispensing with redundant verbosity, the next day the guru said, ‘Take off your clothes. Get on the table.’
Another woman was Jennifer. He instructed Jennifer to come to his bedroom and take her clothes off. Muktananda had intercourse with her for an hour.
“He kept saying, ‘Sixty minutes,'” Jennifer said. “He claimed he was using the real Indian positions, not the westernized ones used in America.”
While he had sex with Jennifer, the guru uttered pearls of wisdom. Jennifer didn’t say a word. “The main thing he wanted to know was how old I was when I first got my period,” Jennifer said. “I answered something, and he said, ‘That’s good, you’re a pure girl.'”
Muktananda “used to watch me get undressed through the keyhole,” Jennifer said. She would open the door and see the guru outside.
“I became rather scared of him, because he kept coming to my room at night,” Jennifer said.
“He had a secret passageway from his house to the young girls’ dormitory,” Mary said. 
Whenever the great guru helped a female get higher knowledge, he would transfer them to the dorm. He visited the girls’ dormitory while they got undressed to teach them not to feel shame about their bodies.
“He would come up anytime he wanted to,” Jennifer said, “and we would just giggle. In the early days, I never thought of him as having sexual desires. He was the guru.”
Mary spoke with eight other young girls, who all said the guru gave them the gift of his healing penis.
“He had girls marching in and out of his bedroom all night long,” Jennifer said. 
In 1978, his followers renovated a Miami hotel for him. Muktananda slept in a room on the same floor as the women. He arranged that the youngest girls stay in rooms closest to his. The older ones further down the hall.
The Swami was generous.
“You always knew who he was carrying on with,” said Chandra. “They came down the next day with a new gold bracelet or a new pair of earrings.”
Mary knew that “anyone who had jewelry was going to his room a lot.”
His followers understood. He wasn’t exactly penetrating the women and girls. He wasn’t ejaculating. He was sharing his spirituality.
Chandra was a critic. She said, “If you’re going to be celibate, and you’re going to preach celibacy, you don’t put it in halfway and then pull it out. You live what you preach.”
The parents of a 13-year-old girl entrusted her to the ashram. Muktananda’s laundress and chauffeur cared for her. So did Muktananda.
The laundress explained, “Baba was doing things to her.” It was “Baba’s way of loving her.”
Chandra said, “I think he was probing around in her.”
In 1981, Muktananda’s disciple, Stan Trout, wrote an open letter. He accused his guru of molesting little girls. Muktananda explained he was checking their virginity.
Muktananda wrote that his devotees “should know the truth by their own experience, not by letters that they receive.”
“You should be happy that I’m still alive and healthy, and that they haven’t tried to hang me,” the great swami said.

The disciplic succession — Nityananda – Muktananda- Rudi – Shoemaker.

While Muktananda had great lessons to give his female disciples, and Rudi had miracles, the subject of our series, Shoemaker was not to be easily topped in either category.

In 1978. Shoemakler explained, he was teaching meditation in Bloomington, Indiana, when a goddess named Tripurasundarī came in a vision.

She transmitted her “essence mantra” to him.  No one saw this. Some have scorned his pretensions to divinity. But we have something better than an eyewitness. We have his word for it.

This goddess came and transmitted to him.

There is also the story of how Shoemaker could levitate into the air.  A portrait of Shoemaker levitating hangs in the Movement Center. While no one has seen him levitate, we have his word for it. And the picture as proof.

Like Muktananda, some students Shoemaker conferred his penile blessings on could not keep it secret.

In 2008, 11 former students described their experiences with Shoemaker.

Excerpts from:

Swami Chetanananda: An Open Letter from 11 Former Members

They worshiped his divine grace and lucky women got to worship more.

“We sacrificed a great deal to stay close to the guru: we relinquished close ties to family members and old friends, changed jobs and degree paths, ended marriages and partnerships or entered into them at Swami Chetanananda’s suggestion; we sold homes and delayed planning for our own financial security in order to pay for his programs and community projects….

“Most of us left the ashram after discovering… his lying, cheating, and manipulation; his rampant sexual misconduct with female students – including adultery and having sex with the daughters of his students; his secret use of alcohol, cocaine, and prostitutes; his behind-the-scenes displays of violence and anger; the egregious fundraising manipulations by him and his staff; his luxurious life-style attained at the expense of devotees; his terrifying threats to students who spoke openly about his private life; and the endless cover-up of all the above abusive behaviors….

“He told us that the only thing we had to surrender was our tensions, when in fact we were expected to surrender… our families, our girlfriends if we were men, our bodies if we were women, our daughters’ bodies if we were parents, our money, our former religious beliefs and morals….

“For many years, he told us he was celibate, even though he had sex with most of his female students… Even now, he conceals the extent of his predatory sexual exploits from the ashram community…

“Swami Chetanananda regularly told his young women students that they were not destined to marry or have a fulfilling relationship in their lives (aside from the one with him). He told numerous young women that they should not have children or that their children would be born deformed… He told women students that sex with him was safe and would advance their spiritual lives. He regularly broke up relationships.”

It was clear these 11 did not understand Shoemaker’s exalted spiritual teachings.

Either that or they thought he was using his position to take advantage of women.

Others wrote about Shoemaker.

One wrote, “Michael Shoemaker had a special meditation for me within a week of my moving in. That was forcing me to fuck him in the meditation room, after which he told me if I let anyone else know, my spiritual gift from him would be taken away… I lived in the house with… girls in a room with four sets of bunk beds… I soon found out Michael had his pick of whomever he wanted to fuck every night.”

She also recalled Shoemaker’s guru, Rudi.

Rudi and Shoemaker

“When Rudi came to town, it was ‘men only time.’ I later found out that Rudi was homosexual. It was a gay orgy. On other occasions, the other men teachers who were married shared their wives who were willing to participate in sex for enlightenment.”

Some women were not as advanced and had to wait longer than a week before they were ready.

One said she lived in the ashram for less than four months. She received an invitation from Swami Chetanananda to attend dinner at his apartment.

He told her, “Please don’t mention this to anyone, as I am trying to keep it simple.”

“I was nervous about this invitation,” she said. “And wondered who the other guests would be. As it would turn out, I was the only guest.”

It was a spiritual feast.

She said, “There was no food when I arrived, the lights were off, and he soon picked me up and took me to his bedroom.”

It is unclear if she realized this special session had a divine purpose.

“I have not even mentioned the drugs I was exposed to countless times,” a woman wrote. “these were to help me ‘open’… I figured my partaking in them was part of my service to my guru.”

Another wrote, “Michael Shoemaker raped me in the meditation room.”

Some deny it happened, since Shoemaker is a celibate monk.

Others may deny it because Shoemaker did not ask them.

One woman said, “If he hasn’t hit you up for sex, you are just not his type.”

One person told FR, “Shoemaker blew the sex part when he introduced the BDSM stuff. And drugs that landed his partners in the hospital, or WORSE.”

One woman died.

Dan lived for three years at the Ashram in Portland, Oregon, with his wife.

“I can confirm these bad behaviors. He did it to several women I knew personally… When he tried to sleep with my wife, we left… Many of our friends left a year or two after once they had their own terrible experiences.”

Michael Shoemaker has taught the highest wisdom for over 50 years. Critics call him the Salami Swami.

He also has the title Strangulation Swami.

This is due to women reporting that the selfless guru cannot get an erection unless he strangles a woman.

Throttling a woman until she loses breath and hits the floor can bring enlightenment.

Not all disciples get this privilege.

One woman wrote to FR, “I lived at the movement center for years. If Swami Chetanananda didn’t try to lure you in, you weren’t his type. He liked very specific women, mostly younger.”

Some who correspond with Frank Report do not see the higher nature of his teachings. Someone said, “four decades of this is called a pattern.”

One said he is “a toxic predatory cult leader.”

Another wrote, “I taught Yoga at TMC for three years. What a huge mistake. I saw one of my friends and peers, one who was intimate with him, completely come unhinged and almost die from suicide. After that a lot of teachers quit at once, never to return.”

Some took to sarcasm.

“If the Swami has too much of a grip, he will castrate himself.”

And, “I must confess I’m into being strangulated by a limp dick old Swami for his erotic pleasure. And he says it will relieve me of bad karma too. Good deal.”

Women have contacted Frank Report to tell their stories.

They speak of their traumatic experiences with Shoemaker. Or those of others they knew.

One woman is in the hospital today. Another woman drowned under mysterious circumstances. Another almost died when he strangled her too long, but he did get an erection.

But no one has yet come forward to explain how he is helping these women. For now, we only have Shoemaker’s word for it.

About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • I was involved with the Siddha Yoga movement and I remember seeing Baba in 1975 in Oakland. Throughout the years I went, off and on, to the Ashram in S Falsburg and the center in Brookline Mass. I could always feel a strong presence in my forehead when I was there, and heard very interesting stories of young disciples whose experiences eclipsed our belief system. Finally after many years, I began to chant the Rudhram daily, once in the morning and once at night. I felt as if the chant was drawing into me. It is worth noting that about a billion people chant this chant daily in India. It is like the Lord’s Prayer. Anyway, one morning I heard a strong voice ask me, “you want siddhis?”. I wasn’t afraid but embarrased as someone who is offered a tray of food for the second or third time. That night I went to a mosque with a Moslem friend of mine, and came home to my solitary house. What happened next was beyond any human experience I have heard. A laser like presence came out of a book by Paramahansa Yogananda, which I had on my coffee table. It went straight into my heart and opened it like a lotus. At that moment I was filled with divine love from head to toe. From that point forward, the energy in my spinal chord felt like it was rising into a refined state, and this state was fueling the chakra, which blessed me with extraordinary experiences.
    I know of the Tantra sexual system as well. although I am not an expert. However, when I was doing lengthy meditations as 16 years old, I used to make love with my girlfriend in the room that I meditated in; there was an extraordinary release of energy and you could tangibly feel it by standing outside the room and putting your arm inside the room.
    Everyman has his shortcomings and the guru in his humanness, displayed his. However, his teachings are authentic. While much has been made of his sexual exploits, we must all remember that they pale beside the Western religious scandals. This is life. But don’t lose the authentic vision.

  • An amended Oregon law that took effect Jan. 1, 2019 to increase the crime of strangulation during domestic violence to a felony. The crime of strangulation is generally a misdemeanor in Oregon and is only a felony under specific circumstances.

    Clackamas County’s leaders, lawmakers and advocates see this change as long overdue.

    “Domestic violence involving strangulation is always life-threatening and when a victim survives forever life-altering,” said Clackamas County Commissioner Sonya Fischer. “This important law change elevates strangulation to dangerous assault against those whose physical and emotional health are forever affected by someone they live with and once trusted.”

  • Young women groomed, drugged, physically and sexually assaulted by a man who was twice their age and supposed to be a confidant and spiritual mentor. In no other profession would this be tolerated.

    He’s a selfish greedy man that takes whatever and whomever he wants and doesn’t care who gets hurt, and has never faced any accountability. The people surrounding him protect him, do anything to stay in his favor and on his payroll. This is not consent.

    This is coercive control and manipulation of women who are traumatised and seeking help.

    • Well said. The posts from Shoemaker’s disciples only show the degree of psychological control he has over them.

  • Another thing. swami Chetsnands is enlightened. The women are not. They came to him to reach enlightenment. He gives different teachings to different women and men. Women are lucky because he can teach them something that men cannot get from him.

    But my settlement param guru Swami Rudrananda had special teachings for men.

    As a disciple one must be lower than a blade of grass.

  • The strangulation is to teach the women how to go into samadhi. He does not do it for fun. He does it to enlighten them

    • Having know several victims, you are way off base here. How dare you support his rape,assault and battery

    • For Bramacharya. You said “ He does not do it for fun. He does it to enlighten them”. Do you live with him? Have you witnessed and participated?
      He assaults and rapes people because it’s for their benefit? What planet do YOU live on? This man is a predator as were all in his so called “lineage”.
      Don’t despair, sodomy is on his menu too. But then maybe you’re just not his type.

  • It’s tragic that young women, likely drugged, can be convinced that a predator is providing them with enlightenment when in reality he is raping them. We give too much leeway to “religious” leaders, many of whom, take advantage of young people who have been taught to honor priests and swamis. Why has this man not been arrested?

  • Daniel Shaw – author, Traumatic Narcissism

    There it is, the “shaktipat” picture of Muktananda that I and so many other worshipped on our altars. I didn’t want to believe that he was an abusive sexual predator/pedophile, so I didn’t think about what I’d heard until I left the cult after 13 years, 1994.

    When I was finally ready to hear, it was much worse than I’d feared. By then, I’d been with Gurumayi, the more aggressive of his 2 successors, and experienced all the other kinds of abuse and violation aside from the sexual. Every Muktananda offshoot turned out to be another predator. Caveat emptor, people, caveat emptor. (quote provided with permission)

  • I’ve one question……

    Is there a guru who doesn’t bang his flock?

    It amazes me that Nicki Clyne and the rest of the harem (flock) don’t see they’re being used.

    I guess ugly dudes have to figure out a way to get laid.

    • Well nowadays it is being brought to light. Reading the backstories on the salami Swami’s lineage here, my answer would be no. They all did it. However chetanananda- salami-swami Shoemaker has taken it to the next level with strangling them and hanging them up; with at least one instance resulting in a hospitalization for a fractured skull. This man is dangerous. And so are his spectators, participants and flying monkeys.

    • He is not banging them as you crudely say. He is enlightening them.

      You have eyes, but you do not see.

  • Frank, thank you so much for writing this story and the previous one as well. I fervently hope and pray that more women who have been sexually molested by this man will come forward and testify against him. How else can he be brought to justice? It is an outrage that he is still free to continue molesting and traumitizing young people.

  • Swami Muktananga, Shoemaker, aka Swami Chetanananda, Raniere, aka Vanguard, Russell Kruckman, aka Swami Shankarananda, all creepy cult leaders Frank has written about.

    They all went to the same creepy cult leader school where they learned how to scam and abuse and harm.

    What I know about the Movement Center in Portland Oregon, run by this dangerous and damaging man named J. Michael Shoemaker is that in 2017, one woman walked away from the center in the middle of the night and was found drowned.

    In 2018, one woman jumped off a bridge breaking the bones in her legs.

    In 2019 one woman escaped and was found in a behavior health unit and one woman, “with Swamiji’s (aka Shoemaker) blessing” died after discontinuing her cancer treatments.

    There are devotees of Shoemaker living in Gold Beach, Oregon who have been with him since he began his first Ashram in Indiana in the early 1970’s.

    The rape report published by Frank Parlato took place at that very Ashram. These devotees are like Rainere’s devotee, Clare Bronfman.

    Her judge said that “While she (Bronfman) might not have known about DOS (the female branding society, controlled by Rainere)… she did not want to know either… She maintains that she was an innocent bystander… completely blind to Raniere’s crimes….”

    This is what the creepy cult leaders do, they indoctrinate their followers and make them blind to their abusive behavior.

    The creepy culty leader cultivates this type of devotee, with a pattern of willful blindness when it comes to their very own cult leader, Raniere, Kruckman, Muktananga or Shoemaker. Their followers all want to participate in the rich, make-believe cult world while remaining unaware of uglier aspects of the harm their cult leaders are doing.
    Many family members and friends of the women harmed by Shoemaker were/are his devotees. Some were “born into the cult” and some were fraudulently recruited as adults. Are all of them “willfully blind” like Clare Bronfman?

    As members of a cult, they put themselves under the authority of the cult leader, J. Michael Shoemaker. They welcome new members into the cult and groom them to submit to the leadership of the cult, they normalize abuse and harm. A sister of the woman who drown is still a member of the cult, she happily embraces Shoemaker and cares for his needs, the very man who has some responsibility in her own sister’s death.

    These followers, they see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil. What will it take for them to open their eyes, open their ears and open their mouths to denounce the abuse, pain and harm that Shoemaker has inflicted on them and on others?

  • Shoemaker has the habit of paying money to those whom he has hurt and getting an NDA from them. I am aware of two such cases. He has sold the Movement Center buildings ($8M to the City of Portland) and moved with just a small contingent of followers to Gold Beach, OR.

    • Sarah Stevenson of Innovative Housing worte explaining that a public bond was used for the purchase of the Movement Center. She said that the transaction was done at “arms length”. Most likely while holding thier noses. Here is a copy of the correspondence regarding concerns of using public money to support a dangerous and damaging group. No one was at all concerned about the issues raised about Shoemaker and his group.

      RE: Swami Chetanananda, aka Michael Shoemaker, please forward to the Mayor’s office
      City Info
      Thu 9/19/2019 1:00 PM

      • You
      I have forwarded your original email to the Mayor. Thank you.

      Jonah Willbach
      Information & Referral Specialist | City/County Information & Referral
      Office of Community & Civic Life
      Kelly Building, 4747 E Burnside St
      Portland, Oregon 97215
      503-865-2628 (office)
      Pronouns: he/him/his

      Sent: Thursday, September 19, 2019 10:38 AM
      To: City Info
      Subject: Re: Swami Chetanananda, aka Michael Shoemaker, please forward to the Mayor’s office

      Hello Jonah, Thanks for this information. Please forward my original email on to the Mayor. That was my original intent. I will contact Ms. Callahan. I have reached out to the director of InnovativeHouseing and to the president of their board as well.

      I want to reiterate that I believe that the city may have concerns about supporting the purchase of an $8million dollar property and passing that money on to a bogus religious institution (as reported in the news articles I referred you to in my earlier email) that is a dangerous and damaging high control organization
      I do hope that the city will take time to do the due diligence necessary before committing the city to a partnership to purchase the property.

      Thank you,

      From: City Info
      Sent: Wednesday, September 18, 2019 5:45 PM
      Cc: City Info
      Subject: RE: Swami Chetanananda, aka Michael Shoemaker

      Hello again,

      Thanks for helping me narrow my search. It appears an Affordable Housing Bond was issued by the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) for this project. The PHB Director is Shannon Callahan and you can email her at The Commissioner-in-Charge of PHB is Mayor Wheeler.

      I hope that’s helpful,

      Jonah Willbach
      Information & Referral Specialist | City/County Information & Referral
      Office of Community & Civic Life
      Kelly Building, 4747 E Burnside St
      Portland, Oregon 97215
      503-865-2628 (office)
      Pronouns: he/him/his

      Sent: Wednesday, September 18, 2019 2:57 PM
      To: City Info
      Subject: Swami Chetanananda, aka Michael Shoemaker

      From: City Info
      Date: September 18, 2019 at 12:41:31 PM PDT
      Cc: City Info
      Subject: FW: Swami Chetanananda, aka Michael Shoemaker

      Hello Mr. Willbach:

      This was reported in the following news media:

      “The Movement Center” or “Nityananda Institute”
      Daily update ⋅ September 17, 2019
      A Laurelhurst Ashram May Be Converted into Affordable Housing
      Willamette Week
      … the Portland Business Journal reported. The Movement Center, also known as the Nityananda Institute, put the property up for sale earlier this year.
      Flag as irrelevant

      Will Portland’s 61-room Mann Home estate become affordable housing?
      Portland Business Journal
      Founded as the Nityananda Institute in 1971 by Swami Chetanananda, the Movement Center established itself in the Mann home after purchasing it in …
      Flag as irrelevant

      I informed Innovative Housing and got this reply within the hour, indicating how deeply they investigated the sources and how concerned about the issue they seem to be.

      RE: use of public funds in the purchase and renovation of the Nityananda Institute
      Sarah J. Stevenson
      Wed 9/18/2019 12:18 PM
      • You


      Thank you for writing. We are purchasing the building via an arms length transaction, which means there is a totally unrelated seller and buyer with no business or legal relationship other than the sale of real estate from one to the other. We will have no involvement whatsoever with their business activities, accounting practices, or legal issues.

      Thank you,

      Sarah Stevenson (she, her, hers)
      Executive Director
      Innovative Housing, Inc.
      219 NW 2nd Avenue
      Portland, OR 97209
      (503) 226-4368 x2
      Like us on facebook!!
      Link your Fred Meyer Rewards card to Innovative Housing, Inc. and they will donate cash to our programs. Find us by name or # 86076.

      The city may have concerns about supporting the purchase of an $8million dollar property and passing that money on to a bogus religious institution (as reported in the news articles I referred you to in my earlier email) that is a dangerous and damaging high control organization.

      Please take time to do the due diligence necessary before committing the city to a partnership to purchase the property.

      From: City Info
      Date: September 18, 2019 at 12:41:31 PM PDT
      Cc: City Info
      Subject: FW: Swami Chetanananda, aka Michael Shoemaker

      So far we have found no evidence of any City involvement with the purchase or renovation of this property. Do you know how the City of Portland is involved? That might help us narrow our search.

      Thank you,

      Jonah Willbach
      Information & Referral Specialist | City/County Information & Referral
      Office of Community & Civic Life
      Kelly Building, 4747 E Burnside St
      Portland, Oregon 97215
      503-865-2628 (office)
      Pronouns: he/him/his

      From: Goble, Pauline
      Sent: Wednesday, September 18, 2019 10:53 AM
      To: City Info ; Wheeler, Mayor
      Subject: RE: Swami Chetanananda, aka Michael Shoemaker

      OMF Property Management is not involved at this property.

      From: City Info
      Sent: Wednesday, September 18, 2019 8:41 AM
      To: Goble, Pauline ; Wheeler, Mayor
      Cc: City Info
      Subject: FW: Swami Chetanananda, aka Michael Shoemaker

      Forwarding email re: “proposed City involvement” with purchase and renovation of property…

      Jonah Willbach
      Information & Referral Specialist | City/County Information & Referral
      Office of Community & Civic Life
      Kelly Building, 4747 E Burnside St
      Portland, Oregon 97215
      503-865-2628 (office)
      Pronouns: he/him/his

      Sent: Wednesday, September 18, 2019 6:48 AM
      To: City Info
      Subject: Swami Chetanananda, aka Michael Shoemaker

      To Whom it May concern:

      I am writing to you about the proposed involvement of the city in the purchase and renovation of the property at 1021 NE 33rd Ave in Portland. This property houses the Movement Center and the Nityananda Institute.

      The “Abbot” of this Center and Institute,Swami Chetanananda aka Michael Shoemaker should not be rewarded for his unscrupulous behavior that has harmed many of his “students” over the years. The questionable practices of this “swami” and his staff is well documented in the articles written by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Richard Read. ( Seattle Bureau Chief, Los Angeles Times, 1200 Western Ave., 17G
      Seattle, Wa. 98101, Cell/Signal/WhatsApp, 503-913-4189, @RichReadReports, (
      Michael Shoemaker was sued by Melinda Mandell for misrepresentation, Intentional infliction of emotional distress, breach of contract and Racketeering. This case # 970604804 in the Oregon Judicial System ( was settled out of court and sealed, the monetary award is rumored to be over $3 million. Gordon Carey represented Melinda Mandell and his is an active attorney in Portland who can be contacted to provide additional information regarding the case.
      Ex students provided information regarding the dangerous and damaging practices of Shoemaker including rampant sexual misconduct, use of drugs and alcohol and violent behavior. ( Support services were provided to these ex-members by cult recovery specialists, who worked as counselors for people leaving this damaging organization. Local specialists in spiritual abuse and high control groups will be participating in a one day workshop this Saturday in Portland, sponsored by the International Cultic Studies Association. They can provide more information about the horrors and dangerous behaviors that were reported by ex-students of the Movement Center. (
      All of the information referred to in this email is available on line and in public sources.
      Given the law suit mentioned above for breach of contract and racketeering, prior to any involvement of city funds with the Nityananda Institute or the Movement Center, a serious forensic audit of the organizations accounting should be undertaken.
      I am currently in the Portland area because a loved family member was recently brutalized while a resident at the Movement Center. She is recovering from her abuse and considering legal options. This behavior was reported to the Portland police.
      Shoemaker’s ex-students reported that following their exit from the Movement Center they were threaten, manipulated and emotionally blackmailed. Since this is a public space, I will not leave my name here at this time, but I will contact the Mayor’s office to provide my contact information.

  • Please tell us what is being done to bring Shoemaker to justice. I know the mother of a young woman who was hurt by him but although the young woman is facing major psychological and health challenges, he is free to live a luxurious life style.

  • Frank, only you can gather and present the facts of such a sad, despicable story in a way that makes my stomach churn with disgust and anger, and at the same make me laugh until i’m crying. I salute your journalistic views and insights. May the Salami Swami rot in hell. We seek justice for his victims; every last one of us.

    • If I had not gotten calls from real people, who identified themselves, who were his victims, I would not have ventured to write these stories. New victims are coming forward.

  • Heh – I visited Muktananda’s ashram in South Fallsburg with Keith Raniere a few times for events there. Guess Raniere was learning some of his “spiritual” techniques from the guru. Muktananda gave us each a sanskrit name – mine translated to “inner melody”; Raniere’s translated to something like “truthteller”. That was a howl – and probably helped cement for me that guru mumbo-jumbo peering into one’s soul is just a bunch of nonsense. Probably gave Raniere a good ego stroking though – being able to fool the exalted guru.

    Something to note in all of this – it’s always easier to warp young minds around this kind of garbage. Teens and early twenties when their brains are still so plastic and magical thinking can feel so real. Blessings to all the parents out there trying to help their children navigate these waters to reach the more stable ground of maturity.

  • I taught Yoga at TMC for 3 years. What a huge mistake. I saw one of my friends and peers, one who was intimate with him, completely come unhinged and almost die from suicide. After that a lot of teachers quit at once, never to return. I had a meeting with someone who has followed him for decades who helps run his center. I wanted to share how disturbed I was by what was happening at the ashram. She assured me that all relations were consensual and that she had never had sex with Shoemaker (as if that was proof that everything was fine) and that any mental health issues had by students were entirely their own and had nothing to do with Shoemaker.

    I was once invited to a teacher dinner at his very lavish penthouse at the ashram. He sat on a throne atop a tiger skin rug while teachers sat on the floor. This man is clearly suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), and potentially (and likely) other personality disorders as well, such as Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD). The harm he has caused, and its echos, are immeasurable.

    Every time I walked into TMC, long before I sat in meditation with Shoemaker, I felt that something was wrong. I was encouraged to be more involved there, outside of the classes I taught, and I am so glad I did not. I am very sad that amazing instructors, like the feldenkrais teachers such as Linda Lack, are willing to host workshops there. These wonderful workshops draw people into Shoemaker’s grasp. I have confronted Linda Lack about this and she refuses to change course because these allegations have not been taken to judgement.

    Since I taught at TMC for three years, I want to take responsibility for the students I may have drawn into TMC, putting them at risk of harm by Shoemaker. It is one of my life’s greatest regrets. I wish that I had listened to that tiny voice that was telling me, from the start, that something wasn’t right. I have known many wonderful, loving, wise, and caring people who have taught there and helped support TMC’s functioning.

    May we strive to create a world where as little harm is done as possible to all beings, everywhere. I wish healing and blessings on everyone who has been negatively impacted by Shoemaker and his unfortunate patterns. I urge anyone supporting him, his wealth, his power, his institutions, to shift their course.

    Warmth to all

    • Have his victims come together to file charges against him?

      How is he getting away with this? These narcissists are cunning – hoping those, like you, brave enough to contact FR may join together to expose him as the sadistic fraud he is and end the abuse.

      • It is likely that despicable Shoemaker chose women over 18 y/o to later say that the sex was consensual therefore no crime was committed. However, rape is rape, at any age… he should rot in jail or in hell or both

  • Yoga often is a step on “the path” to gurus and swamis and cults and sexual exploitation. Ask the Vancouver actresses. Those seeking spiritual enlightenment are often mindfucked instead.

    • How can you differentiate who is a “true” swami and who is not? It seems many have large followings with seemingly intelligent people who serve to legitimize the rhetoric.

      • Are there any such things as “true” swamis? If there were, they would be real pissed at all the fake, exploitative swamis and gurus giving them a bad rap by mindfucking all the pretty young actresses.

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083