Swami Chetanananda, a Vicious, Ravenous, Evil Wolf Among the Flock

Earlier this week FR published Couple Tells How Pervert Swami Chetanananda Runs Insane Asylum Ashram

The following is Part 2 of an interview with Daniel Glavin, 33, and Jessica Stirton, 29. Dan and Jess are a married couple who met at the Movement Center in Portland, Oregon. They left in 2015.

Swami Chetanananda, born J. Michael Shoemaker, operated the Movement Center. It closed when he moved to Gold Beach in 2020. Dan and Jess did not move with him. 

Part I ended with Swami Chetanananda advising Jess that her college plans were wrong. Instead, he said she should become a gemologist and live in one of his apartments in Los Angeles or New York. He said he would finance her in this endeavor. This offer came around the time the Swami grabbed her and inserted his tongue down her mouth by surprise. This unwelcome assault came at the end of a ceremony, in front of devotees, and in front of Dan. 


Michael did what he did to me in front of Dan to see how far he could push our boundaries and what our reaction would be. How can he chip away at psychological and physical boundaries with people to see where his power is, and whether he can keep getting what he wants, inch by inch and take a mile, or whether he needs to kick you out because now you know too much?


Is Michael wealthy?


His name’s not on anything. The Movement Center is a corporation. Sharon Ward is on the board, you know, and all the money moves through those board members and CEOs, and he’s not attached to any of it. Someone purchased the Movement Center for him. And when he sold it, all the money went to him.

Sharon Ward, she’s the lawyer. They have a record of settling with women he injures outside of court, which is what they’ve been doing over the last couple of decades.

Michael is extremely rich. He’s always covered in diamonds, gold and jewels. He has priceless artwork, rare artwork, rare statues, paintings, thangkas. I mean, nothing is a print. Extremely wealthy. Always drinking $500 bottles of wine.

Sharon Ward

Did he ever share the wine with you?


Oh, yeah. He’d be given the wine as gifts. There were many rich people who came there. Many rich people made donations.

Tell me about some of the people in the ashram.


I experienced an uncomfortable dynamic with Jen and Moni. They were abrasive and rude while constantly harassing me to do more for Michael.

They would ask me to drop whatever I was doing, homework or whatever, and have me do some menial task like set up Michael’s flowers or candles. And it was always followed with, “How could you not want to help your guru? Look at all he does for you, all he’s provided for you.
How could you not give us your time, right this minute?”

I didn’t know I was being lined up at first. I wasn’t working many hours. I wasn’t performing my jobs. It became clear they kept me around, not charging me for things, to be one of Michael’s next victims.

Jen and the Swami.

Moni and Swami

I was in a relationship with Jen. She had a chiropractic business that was successful in Oakland. She sold the business and moved from Oakland to Portland because he told her. This was before he exploited her sexually.

Dr. Jen Wilhelm, Chiropractor

I met her at the ashram. Michael was mad at her because she had breast implants.

Jen started to talk to me about how she felt her implants were like a poison to her. She wanted them removed. I drove down to Oakland with her. And she got her breast implants removed. And I remember him not being happy about that whole situation with me.

He was trying to get her and I to break up the whole time we were together. He always invited her to every special event. She was his private servant at one point.

She seemed a little unstable when she first came. And she definitely went a little crazy, then completely unhinged by the time we were leaving. It was almost like you were looking into her eyes. They were almost soulless.


Jen was extremely competitive for Michael’s attention. She and Moni both. They were very aggressive about who could please Swami to the Nth degree.

Moni  and Swami


They were rivals.


And teammates. That was uncomfortable. Why were they treating me so strangely? Why are they acting as though they feel threatened by me? But they’re pushing me forcefully to try to get me into whatever they’re doing. It was a strange dynamic. They would hate me if I spent time with Michael, and they would hate me if I wasn’t spending time with Michael. I had no interest in Michael.


Jen, Moni, Jimmy, Michael, Gretchen, Victor, Liliana. The inner circle was always in the process of bringing women in. Like Ava for example.


Ava had severe injuries from whatever Michael was doing with her.

He was always trying to recruit the youngest, prettiest women they could. A girl named Autumn was a pretty young lady with two kids, a single mom. And Michael said, “Yeah, I’ll give you a great apartment,” and let her move in immediately.

Swami Chetanananda with Autumn


Susan had sex with him. She complained he refused to wear protection. He said he’d never done that before. He would never use protection with anyone. He has herpes. Everybody says he confirms that, and he’s just openly spreading it.

The woman who drowned, did you know her?


We knew Liz well. One of the disturbing things is her grandchild.


Liz was so devoted and involved. She had her granddaughter there all the time. The granddaughter had her own bed area in Liz’s apartment. She was seven and the only child in the ashram. She would make funny drawings and put them in people’s mailboxes.

Taylor said he believed Liz was suicidal. And, it wasn’t surprising to him when people said she committed suicide. But I could not help but wonder about the one child resident and that her grandma caretaker suddenly went missing, and it was ruled a suicide. To me, that seemed worth looking into.


Were you there when she disappeared?


That happened about a month after we left. I knew her well, worked with her a lot. She didn’t seem to me that she was on the verge of suicide.

I was told she was battling an illness.

She cooked a lot of food, worked in the kitchen, moved a lot of pans around, cooked heavy pots of dal and rice. She made him lunch frequently and served it. She seemed fine to me. I was surprised to hear the story of her suicide.


Did you know anything about Gretchen’s sister, who supposedly disappeared?


No. But I know Gretchen lived with Michael in his apartment. She was the only woman who did. She answered the door for him. And did everything for him. The women were jealous of her. She was presented like his wife.

But I don’t know about Gretchen’s sister. I think something similar happened with Natasha’s sister. But Natasha’s sister didn’t go missing.

Her sister’s name is Marianna. She lived there for only a short time when I first moved in. I remember, she abruptly left and was shamed. I never found out why. But shortly after she left, her and Natasha’s father came rolling in. He was angry. He was trying to get Natasha out. I think he had some money, and there might have been some threats from him to Michael.


I’m fairly certain Michael did something to Marianna. I remember Natasha’s mother, father, and Marianna coming back and trying to get Natasha out of there. Her mom even bought a house near the ashram so she could be close to Natasha and help her because she was so worried about her.


Did you still talk to Natasha?


Yes. She is traumatized from everything that happened to her. She said they were doing crazy BDSM stuff. They were tying her up and all having sex with her at once. Michael and Jimmy used to tie her up, and everybody used to gangbang her with weird BDSM stuff.

Jimmy Brissette, Shoemaker’s right hand man.I

swami_chetanananda “Natacha … wearing pants for the first time in 7mo.. all surgeries complete.. time to walk again.. she is a walking miracle!”

I don’t know how it comes down in a legal context. It seems everybody who doesn’t understand says, “Well, you know, you agreed to have sex with him.” And it’s like, “okay, but I didn’t agree to get tied up, beat and strangled.”

And then, what are we supposed to do? Are we supposed to fault these people for having that happen a second time? Or a third time?

How do you even deal with something like that when it happens to you? In Natasha’s case, she had been there for years. Her only income was from him. Her family tried to get her out, and she wouldn’t go. So at that time, she didn’t have family because she pushed them aside.

So at that time, she had no support structure outside.  It’s extreme isolation of just Michael telling Natasha over and over again, that nobody loves her, that she doesn’t matter, that she’s never going to have any friends, and that he’s the only one who is going to be there for her.

I don’t know why she ended up jumping off that bridge, but he probably had a lot to do with it. I wouldn’t put it past him that he asked her to do it.

After she left, they’ve been harassing her, making it impossible for her to make money.

swami_chetanananda “Natacha, wearing pants for the first time in 5mo, heading to Gretchen’s yoga class..! A miracle of healing!”

Salman, Janet, Gretchen, Theresa, Swami and Steve.

Was there any allegations of underage sex or disturbing departures?


There was Kristin. She plainly told me the reason she left was because Michael was trying to have sex with her 13 year old daughter.

There was a lady named Shaffir. She had two young kids. Jimmy and Moni were doing weird sex stuff with Shaffir and trying to get her involved with Michael. She left angrily. She left with the chef at the ashram, whose name was also Michael. They left together with her kids.

And John, a younger guy. He was fit, a workout guy. He was about to become a Swami. He was slated to be the next open eye meditation teacher at the center.

It was dramatic when he left. He was a teacher, and an open eye teacher was rare. And he left after openly, and publicly accussing Michael of stalking his wife. That’s why he left. They had a social media argument about it that was public.  And in-person outbursts at the ashram.

He was ridiculed and shamed, called a liar and removed. I was told he was just a complete liar.

Taylor was in a relationship with Cassidy. Taylor approached Michael in his apartment once to ask him why he was doing these things to all these women and manipulating all his people? Michael responded by grabbing his penis and his junk, and told Taylor he could fuck anybody he wants. Taylor moved out after that.

swami_chetanananda with Nick, Vienna, and Tuscany…

Swami with Vienna


There were women in California also?


Yes. Savannah was with another ring of the inner circle. She was part of the California group. She went down to Malibu.  There was an inner circle of women there, helping him find other women.

swami_chetanananda with Ali… in Malibu

Swami and Sianna, Malibu

That’s how Jen joined. Jen heard about Michael being in Malibu. She lived in Oakland. Through Savannah, Jen met Michael and ended up moving to Portland and getting involved. Savannah is another member of the inner circle that brings in women.

The last straw for me was December 2015. I did the Festival of Lights every year, which was a big banquet style dinner, where the ashram hosted a bunch of people, and it was a money making event.

It was a big to do because Michael was there. Moni made up a story that there was a team of people from the yoga teacher training who were going to be waiters, waitresses, and staff. I was in the yoga teacher training. I knew the name tags she made and laid out were not real people.

Then at the last second, Moni said, “Oh, all these people didn’t show up. I have no staff for this event tonight”

And she said Jen, Cassidy, two other women and myself were designated emergency waitresses. We didn’t have a choice. There was nobody else there. We had to be the waitress staff for this dinner. Those are the kinds of things that Moni and Jen would do.,

I was not pleased. So I served the wine and food half-hearted. I saw another woman who was not a resident, but a student.  She came to volunteer and brought her daughter, who was 15. A freshman in high school. She didn’t want to be there. Her mom dragged her along, and she was dragging her feet. I could understand that.

I watched what they were having this teenage girl do. Moni instructed her specifically to be the only person to serve Michael. I watched the interaction, and observed how they had her go to his table and bend over and give him his food. They were only allowing her to serve him. She was not a student there. She was just a random kid. She’d never been there before.

I saw the way Michael looked at her. He looked over her body, as she bent over. The expression on his face made me sick.

I told the girl, “You know, do you want to take a break? Tell your mom that it’s time for you to take a break.” And I just had her stop working and come sit with me.

At the Festival of Lights. Left to right: 15 year-old, Jess, unknown, Jen Wilhelm, Cassidy Millar, unknown, unknown.

I had a separate place where I sat with Alexis Sanderson who was a big name guest. Alexis Sanderson is an Oxford linguist who is a big name in Sanskrit studies.

He was the foundation of an offshoot company they started with Tom Fabrizio, where they were trying to legitimize the history and art element of the ashram, give it credibility, and I’m sure some type of financial thing went along with that.

The unspoken rule among the residents was that if you were entertaining Sanderson, you didn’t have to do anything else because everybody wanted to impress him. If he was having a good time talking, nobody would ask you to get up and do a different chore.

swami_chetanananda One of the happiest moments in my week is my regular meeting with Alexis Sanderson, with whom I am currently reading the very elegant 13th cent. Kaula work, Mahartha Manjari soooo beautiful!

There was a joke around the ashram that I remember. “Michael keeps Sanderson around because you know, Sandereson can reference 1000 year old texts where they justify having crazy sexual relations with underage girls.”


That was a joke that went around?


Yeah.  And the ashram purchased Alexis Sanderson a house next door, because of his name, and said it was such a big deal academically that they wanted to latch on – that they were housing the famous scholar. That would give legitimacy to the historical interpretation of Sanskrit texts and practice derived from them.

swami_chetanananda Listening to Alexis Sanderson lecture on Tantraloka chapter 3


About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • Swami is a true God man. I think you make up your stories.

    I have been there to Portland and Gold Beach and he never did anything to me. And I’m good looking more than these women who he did not do this.

  • Just for the all the reported illegal drugs around this cult compound alone…. someone needs to call child protective services. Like, years ago! Call today.

    This sounds like no.place that children would ever be safe. Get the kids OUT.

    How are/were so many adults okay with any children being present in this dangerous nut house?

  • Yeah, I completely feel Jess on this. Jen and Monica are indeed so similar.

    Like the Siamese Cats in Lady & The Tramp. They can’t outright destroy you, not right away at least. They have to take little scratches and bites at a time, slowly digest you because Chet wants your ass. So they resort to crazy and misery-making, gaslighting, making up rumors about you. Also, they are both nuttier than squirrel shit.

    The kind of crazy so intense it makes you dart off in a different direction when you see them slithering in your direction. Takes me back.

  • The women he isn’t that interested in sleeping with anymore, to stay close and in his good graces, recruit new victims for him to chew through. Craven animals.

  • Frank,

    Can we please stop going around in circles with this guy and all of the Rule 33 shit with Keith Raniere and all of his denial of his crimes?!

    We get it! All you do is keep beating a dead horse! There’s no milk left in this cow for you to squeeze out! That utter is dry!

    How about some new shit for once!

    Prison updates for Clare Bronfman, Allison Mack, Nancy Salzman, etc?!

    Probation updates for Lauren Salzman, Kathy Russel, etc?! What about Lauren and her dog grooming business?! Are her customers recognizing her for who she is or what?!

    What’s going on with Kathy Russel?!

    For Godsakes, Frank! Do something fresh for once in a long ass fucking time! I’m seriously almost with Frank Report entirely because you’ve lost your mojo and it seems like it’s not only coming back but getting worse! Damn!

    • No shit. I could not agree more. I think you are extremely gracious to imply Frank ever had any mojo.

      The only thing I could imagine to be interesting to me, is we all analyzed Franks federal case here at the old Frank Report. I think it’s fitting, don’t you? …Frank, how about it?

      The Emperor has no clothes. Tick tock

      • Yes, I plan to do exactly that. And you’re right the Emperor has no clothes and I shall certainly prove Your Emperor’s naked falsehoods.

        Stay tuned old lady.

        • Ashen you say that you’re “planning on doing exactly that”, are you talking about what I asked you to report or what Mrs. Schmidt asked you to report?

        • Frank, when you say that you’re “planning on doing exactly that”, are you talking about what I asked you to report or what Mrs. Schmidt asked you to report?

          (The other comment was a typo).

        • “What do you want me to report?“

          Did you not read what I said before?!

          Here’s a snippet of it.

          “How about some new shit for once!

          Prison updates for Clare Bronfman, Allison Mack, Nancy Salzman, etc?!

          Probation updates for Lauren Salzman, Kathy Russel, etc?! What about Lauren and her dog grooming business?! Are her customers recognizing her for who she is or what?!

          What’s going on with Kathy Russel?!”

          • “I will try.”

            How about you actually *succeed* because you put your mind to it?! You know that kind of stuff is why we are all here!

            And damnit! Get your “REPLY” button in the comments fixed on your website so that it doesn’t glitch on certain comments and isn’t there to press so I have to do it somewhere else for the tenth billionth time!

            You apparently already got all of this fixed and it STILL doesn’t work!

            You need to overhaul this outdated system and do what everybody has asked you to do where you make it like all other social media where everybody can “post”, “reply”, “edit”, and/or “delete” their comments instantaneously!

            We all keep asking you to do that l, but you’re too damn focused on controlling people’s first amendment rights that you’d rather have this archaic worn out, garbage of a system than do what is right!

            Please just listen to your readers for once! This isn’t rocket science!

      • I can assure you Mrs. Schmidt that no one here gives two flying fks about his federal case. No one gives a shit about the endless federal cases circling around most everyone of any importance in this country to which by the way he’s pissed off a lot with his reporting m.

        He’s a real joy kill for their rape and torture fun. Not all of us have contributing here have lived in a bubble. and know how this works. I’m sure you can go entertain yourself by slapping a baby, ruining someone female rivals life or kicking someone in a wheelchair rather than troll someone trying to help people that have been deeply hurt by a maniac. Now get the f out of here before we feed you to Salami.

    • Well, Frank is helping the victims of this monster speak out for the first time in decades.

      Victims are seeing they are not alone battling his vicious attacks forcing them into hiding. So while you may think FR belongs to you, we are grateful someone is finally listening. If you hate it so much, stay on your own articles. Simples.

  • I’m no lawyer but to me this sounds like human trafficking. Is the FBI investigating this cult of human excrement?

    • And there’s my statement posted in 2014 in the comment section of the Leaving Nityananda article.
      I have made a few edits to clarify it.
      Michael Shoemaker raped me.
      Is that clear enough?

      July 25, 2014 at 6:10 PM
      I was i a member of the Rudrananda Yogashram in the early 70’s when Rudi was still alive. Michael Shoemaker was Rudi’s lead teacher in Bloomington, Indiana. Rudi lived in NY. I was the 37th “devotee” to move into the house. I was hired to work at the Tao but was told I’d be required to move into the ashram and also do the “spiritual work”. I agreed, not savvy enough to know I was in danger.
      I am female. I worked at both the Tao Restaurant and the Ashram Bakery. I was also the bookkeeper for the businesses.
      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. He literally ambushed me while I was meditating alone in the dark, after which he told me if I let anyone else know my spiritual gift from him would be taken away. WHAT???? That was a gift?
      I was an immature, left over hippie seeking guidance and a safe place to change my
      Life.. I was too scared & weak to tell anyone what happened to me. However, since I lived in the house with the other members…10 girls in my room with 4 sets of bunkbeds & some sleeeping on the floor; I soon found out Michael had his pick of whomever he wanted to fuck every night. I was shocked. It wasn’t that special.
      We all worked about 80 hours a week and received $35 for it (karma yoga). From that $35 we all were given $8/week to spend. I know… I did the payroll. I also watched Shoemaker take blank checks and write them to himself for $1000 at a time. That was a lot of money back then. Of course I was disillusioned and became rebellious. I gained 25 pounds to protect myself. Michael paired me up with a guy I barely knew and kept tabs on me. I had a boyfriend in “skag” as he used to call the outside, who inspired me to get the hell out of that place. He offered me a place to stay. I was BROKE. I literally walked away in the night and never went back. Before, when I had expressed a desire to leave Michael had said I would surely end up in a mental institution if I left.
      Going backwards a bit…when Rudi came to town it was “men only time”. I later found out the reason was 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.
      I hoped this man would spontaneously burst into flames for all the things he did to people seeking a spiritual teacher. And yet I read he is still at it only on a much more horrific level. How can he be a teacher of the truth and love when he will not cop to his own truth and he injures and humiliates his followers. He is a liar a rapist a thief and a charlatan; still at it. It’s a shame people are so desperately seeking spiritual guidance that they would be abused, fleeced and brutalized by Michael Shoemaker in an orange dress.

      I don’t really know how I stumbled upon this website, but I took a trip down memory lane. Disgust and hatred resurfaced from the scar Michael Shoemaker left on my payche. He scared me back then and now he is a complete demon.

  • He has become absolutely psychotic. A walking demon, surrounded by his hyenas and spiders: Moni O’Neal, Jim Brissette, Gretchen Kreiger, Sharon Ward, Theresa Khan, Lilliana Lopez, Victor Usov.

    You are all parasites on humanity. I am so disgusted and appalled, and hope you all end up rotting in jail. How dare you mock, humiliate and attack anyone who leaves and tries to speak out against you, saying they’re “crazy”. This is beyond words. Cockroaches.

        • I couldn’t be more happy to hear that. She was barely legal when she came there to heal from already considerable trauma.

          Anyone dare to mention that his youngest and last horrifically abused victims are Latina women? Lili by any honest account is a creative genius, worked like a dog for him and was promised medical school.

          She did NOT have the kind of opportunities that the 95% white and privileged collection of women he keeps. He banked on that. He’s also deeply underestimated her. She’s a force to be reckoned with that one. I hope she and everyone else he has done this to come together as great tsunami to crush him. I’m rooting for her.

          • I’m sorry to hear that about Lilliana. I hope she can manage to stay away from his clutches, because as those of us who know, know, he doesn’t let go easily and keeps you strung out for a long time, probably waiting out the state of limitations.

            And yes, he promises a lot of things to his new recruits. Getting into your heart’s deepest desires and dangling them in front of you, training you like a dog to do exactly as he says, when he says it.

            Then… you meet the real guy.

          • White woman here who was made to clean toilets and wash dishes for them for years.

            I did notice he went for brown skin at a certain point (perhaps it was a fad?), however, I need to clarify that the women he was interested in were predominately well off, talented and/or connected/genius not of a certain race (oh and feminine).

            I believe he had a long-standing relationship with a black woman I can’t remember her name right now (Ive been out for a while). Anyway, in fact, I think he specifically had a hard-on for sadistically breaking down strong, socially intelligent, feminine women, especially women with very obvious sexual abuse histories (I did not have that so I wasn’t his “type”).

            I, a poor white woman.. still was publicly groped by Michael at 19 and again a few years later (don’t remember when). But he never went further with me because I figure I just wasn’t attractive or rich enough or didn’t play the right social cues for him to be turned on by my reactions (like a true sadist- I never understood those innuendos enough to be afraid and/or interested in him in the right way? I don’t know).

            I just want to clarify he didn’t just go after young latinas and he didn’t just start doing that when mariana and lilliana etc came. He groped me at 19 nearly 10 years before mariana and natasa and liliana came but no further because I was a dirtbag poor girl with bad teeth, and I’m almost certain of that.

            He didn’t “privilege” the white women because they are white either, he specifically sought after well off and or extremely talented, pretty women, especially women with abuse histories he could use to manipulate. However, I SHUDDER to think what he has done to nepalese women while at his properties in Nepal….Nepal is a very poor country with a lot of corruption and sexism….

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