Swami Chetanananda Settled Sex Abuse Lawsuits With Cash and NDAs

Swami Chetananda

Michael Shoemaker claims to be a swami. The Swamis are said to be the oldest order of monks in the world. Buddha is said to have been a swami some 2500 years ago, and the order was considered ancient then.

Swamis usually wear ochre robes and are called sannyasins. The country of origin is India, and the religion is Hindu.
Swami is derived from Sanskrit and means “one with the Self.”

Depiction of Buddha with his ochre robes. 

The first swami known to have come to the west was Swami Vivekananda in 1893. This is known because he attracted media attention when he attended the Parliament of Religions connected to the World’s Fair in Chicago.

Vivekananda initiated several westerners into the order, including a French woman and a Jewish man. Since then, numerous Westerners have donned the ochre robes and called themselves Swami.

When an individual enters the swami order, they take a monastic name. Shoemaker assumed the name Swami Chetanananda. Almost all Swami’s monastic names end in ‘ananda,’ meaning “bliss.”

“Chetan” means “conscious.”

From what I gather, Swami Chetanananda has had a lot of conscious bliss. It may be true that many of his disciples have experienced the bliss of association with him – although perhaps with a little less consciousness.

But some paint a picture of a hedonistic man with deep sexual appetites, running toward sado-masochism. Women describe him as a man who consciously hurts people while enjoying sadistic pleasure.

This is invidious without putting on the garb of the Swami. But that gives him his edge, it seems.

Since the time of Vivekananda, people in the west have believed the swamis held some secret mystical knowledge that they could share.

In India, this belief has been ongoing for millennia.

People have attributed supernatural and psychic powers to the swamis, from levitation to becoming invisible, then materializing somewhere else, conquering the aging process, and seeing the future and the past from the beginning to the end of time.

Sai Baba on his throne before thousands of adoring devotees.

One Swami I recall was the miraculous Satya Sai Baba. He materialized amulets, rings, watches, and pendants seemingly out of thin air and holy ash from his fingertips. He could produce cosmic eggs made of crystal from his stomach by regurgitation.

Swooning devotees felt that the cosmos had opened and blessed them when he shared these treasures. But technology advanced, and the Swami was filmed with high-definition cameras. It turned out he was producing these items by sleight of hand. He hid jewelry in the sleeves of his robes and holy ashes in a capsule between his fingers, picked up under a stack of envelopes.

Even after this exposure, his popularity did not diminish.  He died with literally millions of followers.

Unlike Kruckman, Swami Sai Baba did not prey on attractive women and strangle them. Instead, the holy man raped underage boys. More than 30 of them came out publicly but that did not stop the millions from worshipping the guru.

No, Chetanananda is not unique.

The Swami Chetanananda allows his students to learn from him through traditional fire sacrifices and then a select group makes personal sacrifices to his fiery lust.Shoemaker, AKA Swami Chetanananda, has capitalized on this dynamic. He teaches yoga and meditation. He has a meditation where a group of students gather around him and gaze into his eyes. He calls this “eyes open meditation.” He says this teaches them profound truths and elevates them to higher consciousness. He interprets the scriptures and speaks of tantric yoga.

He can help someone halt the wheel of karma and stop rounds of endless birth and death associated with the struggling soul’s quest for perfection but doomed to reincarnate on earth again and again.

Earnest women seeking to learn these high truths are captivated by the guru who knows the answers to life’s mysteries.

He has the answer to death and pain and suffering. He is a man who promises that he is conscious of an existence beyond the body, beyond “all heavens and earths and hells, all hopes and fears,” and he can take them there.

And when the woman is young and attractive, he takes them to his bedroom.

“You can continuously choose to discover and live in a finer realm than the one you travel in,” Chetanananda said.

Then he tells a woman to take off her clothes, ties her up, or strangles her until she loses consciousness.

His female followers, who have stayed with him over the years, know his proclivities. They tell each other that the swami’s cures imbalances and rids them of bad karma.

Chetanananda claims to know the past lives of the people who come to him. His strangling them is a mercy. He plies them with drugs or requires them to have sex any time he demands. But these actions are not those of a selfish sex addict but the compassion of a divine teacher. Some of his followers believe he is the incarnation of the divine—the embodiment of that spirit of joyous consciousness that is eternal.

He is one with the Self. He knows best. And women surrender their judgment to him, judging him all-knowing.
If strangling, urinating in their mouth, hanging them upside down, beating with a bat, using meth or cocaine, or participating in sex with other women with him is what they need for enlightenment, they do it.

He knows best.

If someone goes to the hospital on a stretcher with oxygen, jumps off a bridge, or becomes drug-addicted, it is excusable. Only the swami knows how much worse it would have been had he not done this.

He saved her loads of bad karma. Indeed if she died, as some have by following him, it was because compassionate swami was saving her lifetimes of sorrowful rebirth.

Since he knows all, those who follow him rely on a promise. He cannot be questioned.
The women who live with him reinforce this. They work to bring more women into his circle.

Swami Chetanananda’s teachings arise from the understanding of the true purpose of our life on earth: that we are in this world to grow. We are here to grow spiritually, to reach a higher and finer state, to express the unimaginable possibility that exists in each of us.

Recently Frank Report posted a contrarian view of Swami Chetanananda – a view that women are adults who make informed consensual decisions. The article is: Magoo: Students Consent to Joyful Sex With Kinky Swami 

A commenter who read this, shared with me her response to the story: 

She began by quoting the Medieval writer Christine de PIzan, 1404

By Christine 

“There is no greater sorrow for women than rape….. It troubles and grieves me greatly to hear men say that many women want to be raped” – Christina de Pizan, Le Livre de la Cite de Dames, 1404 (Please note the year this was written was 1404).

Only 310 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to the police.

That means more than 2 out of 3 go unreported. https://www.rainn.org/statistics/criminal-justice-system

Hate-filled opinions, like those expressed in this Frank Report article, Magoo: Students Consent to Joyful Sex With Kinky Swami are part of the many reasons that sexual assaults are not reported.

Why have women gone to attorneys to settle their sexual assaults out of court? The claims can be settled quietly and quickly without any blame being laid on the victims.

Shoemaker Rape?

In 1997, Oregon case # 970604804, Mandell vs. Shoemaker was settled out of court for an alleged seven-figure amount (that means millions!), and the court documents were sealed. No public exposure, no scandals, no reputations put on the line, and Shoemaker was not deterred from abusing more of his “students.”

Stephen English represented Shoemaker. Sharon Ward was also named in the case. English has continued to represent Shoemaker, and no doubt has earned a pretty penny on this type of representation.

Sharon Ward, a devotee with a law degree, joined Shoemaker in Indiana, married his brother, and followed him to Massachusetts, Portland, and Gold Beach. 

She knows everything discussed and negotiated – from every settlement and NDA that Shoemaker has been involved with.

Like many cult members, Ward may be willing to take a bullet for this horrible, abusive and disgusting conman.

If out-of-court settlements and NDAs are being negotiated by English like the rest of us sign holiday greeting cards, what does that say about adult consent? 

Most alleged victims don’t retain an attorney expecting a hefty settlement saying they consented. Most attorneys won’t take a case of alleged sexual abuse without a retainer if the “victim” says they consented to the abuse.

Time to take these NDAs to the light and find out what Shoemaker and his cult members are really doing to those they abuse.


By Frank Parlato

I agree. I spoke with another woman who has direct knowledge of Chetanananda’s abuse. She told me that in the last year or so he settled a court case with a woman out of court. He injured the woman badly.  They settled. In return for a sum of money, she signed a non-disclosure agreement.

This woman I spoke with [not the plaintiff] said Shoemaker has an ally in Australia, Russell Kruckman, who also calls himself a swami.

“Kruckman and Shoemaker discuss which legal strategies on the phone and zoom to use to protect themselves from accusations,” she said.

I know of Russell Kruckman, 78, better known as Swami Shankarananda. He has fended off his own onslaught of women who allege he abused them.

I wrote about Kruckman in An Australian Keith Raniere? Similar Story With a Different Outcome.

Two kindred souls with a lot of bliss but not much conscience.



About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • How does one become a swami? Can anyone self-promote into such a position? How can the public determine who is legit and who is not?

    • Generally, a person joins on of the established sannyasin orders as a bhramachari (male) or bhramacharini (female), novitiates. They do not live together for obvious reasons. Ask Ghandi who had a co-ed ashram and had all boys & girls shave their heads, thinking they would find each other unattractive. I digress. After about nine years, a novitiate may take final vows and become a swami…..There is a secret initiation, not involving sex because that was renounced when becomining a bhramachari. Violation of the renunciation of sex practice should result in quietly being purged/excuminication from the order. There is little protection from someone claiming to be a swami, reverend, priest, holy person, etc.

  • Instead of exposing the sex in other cults, maybe the FR should return to exposing what went on in “our” sex cult.

    With all the past ex-NXer sources of Frank’s, isn’t it time to reveal more on the sex in Nxivm, beyond DOS and Keith’s regular harem? What actually was taught in SOP and Jness, and were these sexual teachings practiced by those students? Was there “swapping” among the members of this “sex” cult like hinted at in Berman’s book? Was there really an orgy on Necker like Tighe’s source said? Was V-Week an opportunity for Vanguard to have sex with women who didn’t live in Albany? Was there any BDSM taught in GBD as source “Jane” said. Etc, Etc….

  • Shoemaker rape? You say it as though it is up for debate. Why is there a fucking question mark after that statement. You’re starting to piss me off.
    Shoemaker raped me and I know I’m not the only one. You have the facts from this victims mouth. I am a victim of the salami Swami.

  • He and Russell have a lot in common. They both use and abuse their students to satisfy their sick needs and don’t care one iota for who the person is and what is in THEIR best interest, which is what these assholes purport to do at the outset and how they trick students to swallow their bullshit. And, in this case, swallow their semen and urine it seems. It’s a great spiritual practice, don’t you know.

  • Frank’s 2nd article about the “Swami” literally presents us with almost NO NEW EVIDENCE.

    Let’s ask ourselves… What have we learned from this new article about the Swami?

    We learned ONE factual thing… The Swami settled ONE lawsuit in 1997 for an UNDISCLOSED amount of money.

    That’s it. LOL.

    Did we learn any ‘facts’ about the amount of the settlement?

    Nope, because Frank’s anonymous source has deceptively used the phrase: ‘it was ALLEGED to be a 7 figure settlement’

    (But if there’s an NDA in place, how would she know anything about the actual figures?)

    In other words, she has no clue about the actual settlement figure.

    Let’s keep exploring, shall we?

    Frank also tells us that he personally spoke to another ‘anonymous source’ who confirmed that the Swami settled another lawsuit recently (but Frank refuses to give us a case number or any details about the case).

    We only have the word of an anonymous source that this actually happened, LOL.

    Frank then claims that the alleged victim (who settled this lawsuit recently) was ‘badly hurt’.

    Yet, Frank provides no details about what that means (likely because he has no clue).

    Physically hurt? If so, to what degree?

    Why weren’t the police called if she was ‘badly hurt’ to the point that she phoned an attorney?

    If she was BADLY hurt, she would have required medical attention. But doctors are required to report suspicions of domestic/sexual abuse, so why is there not a report?

    Frank won’t say. Likely because HE HAS NO CLUE and is just parroting gossip without facts.

    In today’s world, both police and the news media will give 100% anonymity to any sexual assault victims who come forward.

    The courts will also keep their names private (just as they did for many victims of NXIVM during Keith’s trial).

    But instead of justice, they allegedly only wanted money. …And that assumes these settlements are REAL and aren’t imaginary, since we only have one confirmed settlement from 1997.

    Let’s keep exploring things…

    This anonymous bullshitter also told us that the Swami’s attorney is signing NDA agreements “like most people sign holiday greeting cards” (implying that there’s many NDA settlements each year).

    Yet, the ONLY ‘verifiable’ lawsuit (that Frank has presented) is the 1997 lawsuit. That’s it. Nothing else. What a joke.

    How is that different from Bill Clinton’s settled lawsuit from the 1990’s?

    In fact, Bill Clinton had several women claim they were sexually assaulted by him.

    Yet, many liberal members of FrankReport (like Claviger, Erasend, Nutjob and Aristotle’s Sausage) honestly believe that those sexual assault claims are a big NOTHING-BURGER.

    In fact, these same people actually supported Bill Clinton’s presidency.

    So, if most people don’t care about Bill Clinton’s sexual lawsuit settlements nor his other sexual assault claims, why do they hate the Swami for a single settled lawsuit from 1997?

    It’s called liberal HYPOCRISY.

    By the way… I can promise you that Mr. Claviger supported Bill Clinton’s presidency with 100% certainty, since he’s made it clear that he hates Republican viewpoints.

    Mr. Claviger claims to be fighting against the ‘mistreatment’ of prisoners.

    Mr. Claviger claims that unreasonably long prison sentences are ‘unjust’.

    Yet, Mr. Claviger also wished ‘DEATH’ upon a member of FrankReport for simply disagreeing with him, LOL.

    Why did Mr. Claviger wish death upon a member of FrankReport? …Because he DISAGREED with him over the COVID issue. LOL.

    Mr. Claviger said something to the effect of: “if there’s any justice in the world, you and your family will get COVID” (and presumably die, or at least suffer greatly).

    Does that sound like a person who really cares about ‘justice’ and ‘good treatment’ of people? LOL.

    What about other liberal clowns like Erasend, Nutjob and Aristotle’s Sausage?

    These 3 guys also supported Bill Clinton’s presidency even though he had sexual abuse allegations against him by multiple women.

    Yet, these same 3 guys hate Trump for allegedly peeing on a bed.

    In other words, these 3 guys hate Trump for allegedly peeing on a bed (even though there’s no proof he ever did that) yet they still love Bill Clinton after several REAL allegations of sexual abuse by REAL women.

    Does that make sense? LOL. Nope.

    How will these 4 nitwits defend themselves? They can’t. It’s called checkmate. 🙂

    • —Yet, Mr. Claviger also wished ‘DEATH’ upon a member of FrankReport for simply disagreeing with him.

      I remember when the scoundrel Mr. Claviger, wished death upon you Magoo.

      It was a dark day for the Frank Report!

      FYI: Your poor parents wish the same….

      • I believe Claviger wished death on Bangkok and I have it from Magoo himself that Bangkok did in fact die from Covid. I will be publishing Magoo’s complete comment on that soon. But unless he is lying Bangkok died of Covid and this was not long after Claviger told Bangkok that he might in fact die from Covid.

  • It seems Frank has unearthed something that is every bit as vulgar as NXIVM and more sinister.

    The readers skipping this series of articles are missing out on watching a true investigative journalist works the story.

    The cast of characters are few so far — I’m sure Frank will find a few Pam Catfritzs and
    ANancy Salzman types enabling the good Swami.

  • So many women suffering at the hands of this conman. The “consent” comes over time- based on psychological conditioning that leads one to believe the swami is all knowing.

    Women are responsible but he is a conman; a fraud who accepts money and writes it off under the guise of a church.

    Meanwhile he’s strangling women, doing drums, and putting so many lives at risk.

    He needs to be fully investigated and stopped.

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
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com