By Ruth Graham
I am writing for the first time, the story of how Wangdulama Rinpoche raped me.
Of all the things to talk about, this is one of the hardest. It was shocking and sneaky. It’s hard for me to grasp – even to this day.
In my first article, I wrote about the Movement Center, but I did not write about my rape.
Before I talked to Frank, less than three people knew about this. But I’ve been waiting long enough. Waiting and preparing for this day.
I feel deep sadness from this crime.
I also feel a fair amount of worry, doubt, confusion, and embarrassment because the perfect recollection of events was stolen from me, because I’m certain I was drugged.
Worst of all, I didn’t know I was raped and drugged until I left the cult.
I was so naive. I didn’t even know what a roofie was.
I didn’t know what the different effects of being drugged were. I didn’t know you can be drugged by one person, who then brings you to the rapist at a second location. I thought I had a spiritual experience, and that’s why I couldn’t say no.
I thought I consented, because I walked there myself. And there are significant things I don’t remember, literal black spots.
I don’t remember when it was. Although I’m pretty sure I’ve narrowed it down to a window of time.
I was a member of the Movement Center for ten years.
I think part of my lack of certainty about the date is that when I lived and worked at the ashram, I lived an extremely isolated, simplified, and repetitive life.
I was completely under the control of this cult, and I did what they told me to do, and meditated and ate, every day at the same time, day in, day out. No vacations. No trips. No meeting with friends. I had no friends there.
I lived in as much isolation as I could, because I learned fast that talking to anyone was dangerous. The only thing that changed in my monotonous experience was holidays, the “gurus” birthdays, and retreat weeks.
This is part of why I don’t recall when it happened. All my days blurred together.
At the time the rape happened, I didn’t have a car. I didn’t leave the ashram for months at a time. I was also celibate. I had no libido. I thought I was asexual.
This is another reason I can tell you I was raped. I would not have said yes if I could say anything to anyone.
Another thing I feel guilty about is that I lived at the ashram for a year or more after this happened before I started to question things and mentally and physically prepare myself to leave.
I now know that I was doing something many people do when they are subject to years of extreme high-control groups. You ‘self-edit’ yourself to the point where you compartmentalize your trauma, so none of your emotions peek through to your abusers to use against you. You basically force yourself to normalize abuse.
You ‘memory hole’ yourself.
By succeeding in not feeling your pain because you self-edit your own mind, you don’t have to be vulnerable to anyone who will see it as an opportunity to bully or triangulate you.
Examples of this type of dangerous emotional vulnerability in this shit-hole cult would be:
(a) crying during a meditation class
(b) looking distraught or scowling while walking down the hall
(c) being irritable at work while experiencing a severe after effect of an assault.
All these are “weak spots” that would be like blood in the water to someone like Monica O’Neal, Jim Brissette, Sharon Ward, or Shoemaker himself.
Moni ONeal and J. Michael Shoemaker.
Or anyone who had to attack someone else on a particular day because they themselves feel insecure.
In fact, one of these memorable incidents for me was when Moni (Monica O’Neal or “Moan I” as I would secretly call her in my head) bodily cornered me one day at the base of the service stairwell (the stairwell used most by kitchen workers, furthest from Shoemaker’s apartment) at the compound and yelled venomously, “You need to open your heart chakra, Ruth! It’s completely closed!”
I think I yelled back something, but I don’t remember what it was. This is one of those incidents I feel weird about. I felt betrayed, and sad. Like if you’re falling into a dark place that you will never get out of.
Because this was mere weeks after I endured another sexual assault, right at the end of my stay there. Maybe I will share that later publicly.
Like everything else at that ashram, nobody had sympathy for anyone about anything. I was just sexually assaulted, and the care I got was being yelled at that my heart chakra wasn’t open enough.
Did anyone bother asking, “Are you okay?” or offer a hug? Or ask, “Is there anything I can do for you today?”
Nope, that’s not how compassionate wisdom works at that place. The compassion and wisdom work like a Chinese factory or a Russian gulag. Everyone for themselves.
It’s because of Jessica Becker that I have now learned that this type of abuse is called spiritual bypassing.
Spiritual bypassing is when a person attacks you for normal emotions, thoughts, or doubts you have or are presumed to have, and then that person makes you feel like your “sinful” or “lower” inner state is something that you need to be afraid of, or ashamed of, or guilty for.
Like someone accusing you of having lustful thoughts or being possessed by demons. Sometimes such people can approach you with this as if they were your friends.
In a sickly-sweet way, they teach you to cut out your own healthy responses to trauma. It’s a horrible form of abuse, and I was subject to it at that ashram for years.
I will never call it “my rape.”
I was raped, but it was Wangdulama’s rape of me. It’s his and his assistants to own, not mine. It was his rape. Of me.
On that day, I remember I woke up starkly depressed. The kind of depression that doesn’t move easily. The kind that’s heavy, like you’re underneath an entire cliff of malaise.
In the morning, I went to work in the kitchen. I was making dinner for everyone.
I worked there usually for eight or more hours a day. I would start at 9:00 am and work until 12:30 pm. Then I would go back from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
These were the same time blocks every day for years, with no days off, no vacations. One person often did the morning shift of cooking. It was all the “prep” for the actual cooking. I prepared the ingredients to be used. I cleaned, cut, measured, peeled, and did light cooking, like slow cooking beans or boiling broth. I enjoyed working alone. I could listen to my own music or work in silence.
However, one could never be sure if someone important would come to the kitchen. I was always on guard.
On this day, sometime in 2011, I think, I had an unusual pair of visitors.
Wangdulama would come to the ashram for months or weeks at a time from Nepal. He would always bring family and assistants with him. I believe (though I’m not sure now) the two assistants who visited me that day in the kitchen were cousins of his. Or at least that is what I was told. They are similar in age to me.
However, these two girls would not ever really talk to me, so this was a very unusual thing. They didn’t really approach me. We would sometimes share space during “seva” (service) days (sometimes they’d help us make Tibetan ‘momos’ or dumplings in the kitchen) or ceremonies/special events, but they didn’t show interest in me, and neither did I show interest in them. I never hung out with them. We lived in different worlds.
But one day, as I worked alone, after I was almost done with my prep work (I remember I was finishing early that day), they appeared. Just for me. They came up to my workbench alone and were talking to me and asking how I was.
I was happy about it because I was lonely. I was deeply depressed and lonely, but I knew it was safer to be alone. I think they were both dressed in their traditional clothes. So, it was odd to see them in the kitchen in fine embroidered silk shirts and skirts.
One of them asked me, “Would you like some tea?”
This was odd. None of them ever offered me anything before.
I think I said I didn’t need it because I had already had my morning cup of black tea. But they seemed insistent, so I relented.
They asked me what type I wanted, and I said “black.”
And they both left to get it.
The place to get tea, or “tea station”, as it was called, was one floor up on the main floor. A large selection was always available to all residents.
I don’t know if this is where they got it, but I assume they did. After a bit, they came back down and handed me a cup. I noticed it was lemon ginger tea, not black tea.
I thought this was an issue of a language barrier and nothing more. I was too afraid to even joke that they got it wrong, so I accepted it. And started drinking it as they watched. I think they hovered for a bit more and then left.
All in all, it was awkward. I don’t remember them having any meaningful conversation with me, but at the time I can say I suspected literally nothing. Just was weirded out that they got me a type of tea I don’t even like much.
Less than an hour later, I finished my prep work. I can honestly say I felt euphoric, but not weird. I attributed my euphoria to having a conversation with real people, which was rare for me in that place. In retrospect now, I know better. The conversation was exceedingly awkward. Their English was rudimentary. They watched me weirdly. It’s strange how I remember events leading up to it, but nothing after.
On that day, I wasn’t scheduled for the afternoon cook, so I went to find Jim (who ran maintenance at the time) to ask him if I could have some maintenance work hours (to pay my “tuition”).
Jim is a micromanager type of person. On that day, he was uncharacteristically brisk with me and commanded me to just “go outside and find something to do. I don’t care.”
I don’t know if he was in on it, but that was something that later gnawed at me. He almost never gave me a job without explicitly telling me what to do, and often hovered over me, criticizing my every move
People who know Jim know I’m telling the truth. So, in a state of increasingly bizarre lightness, I went outside to try to find something “to do.”
I decided on a patch of weeds around the semi-circular maintenance drive near the service entrance, near the main kitchen. That drive was where all the garbage was kept. It was on the east side of the property. The Swami’s apartment, and the main entrance, were on the west side.
I remember kneeling down to do weeding in a bushy area and feeling suddenly confused. Like my brain stopped processing tasks. Yet simultaneously, I felt happy and giddy.
So, I just kind of thought “oh okay” and decided to do my work nice and slow, because it was a cool, semi-cloudy day. I couldn’t do much at all, so I remember at one point looking up and thinking “am I okay?”
I remember thinking it was a stupid place to weed because there were no weeds, but I tried to weed a weedless patch of grass. And I was a little worried because I felt dizzy after a time, but I remember thinking “well, at least I feel good for once!”
Maybe five minutes later (not sure about my recollection of time at this point) the two Tibetan girls appeared. I say girls, but they were in their 20s like me.
I remember my vision was starting to be weird at this point. The two Tibetan girls said, “Come with us. Wangdula wants to see you.”
I got up and followed like I was high on nitrous oxide. I remember as I walked with them, one on either side of me, thinking “oh is this why I’m so happy? Is it because of the energy of the guru calling to me?”
Right now, I feel a lot of grief just typing this. How stupid was I? So, they walked me along the outside grounds, to the west, and out of the ashram grounds. This was a long walk, and this is where my memory starts to get spotty. I do remember my vision was streaky. I thought I was seeing auras. I saw halos of green and purple around the tips of the trees, and the figures of the girls were static and glowing.
I figured this was an aura, like how my vision would go blurry during open eye meditation class.
I learned to be passive around strange behavior, or experiences. I was a well-trained donkey. They walked me to the Tibet house, a little house outside the Movement Center grounds, less than a block away.
I don’t remember which route I took. I remember just walking outside the gate, and then being there. I remember walking into the small cottage and being ushered to Wangdulama’s room.
He wasn’t there, but there was a bed. It was a tiny room with a tiny bed. The walls were covered in bright tapestries and the bed in colorful quilts. I remember being asked to take my clothes off. I don’t remember how my clothes came off. I think the girls took them off me. I don’t remember being able to register that it was a strange request at all.
It was like I was enveloped in giddy fog. Yes, a tiny part of me thought “well this is weird”, but it couldn’t come to the surface. I don’t remember how I got onto the bed. I remember lying naked like a doll on it, spread eagle sideways with my legs practically falling off. I don’t remember how I got there. I remember feeling extremely giddy, and my vision was streaky.
None of it felt meaningful, though. I guess at that point I was too far gone to register fear or anger.
I remember he was clothed, but just flipped his monk’s robe to the side. He tried to penetrate me, and did, barely, but stopped because he couldn’t get hard.
I remember him smacking his lips at me grossly the whole time. I don’t remember if the girls were there in the room with me the whole time, but they were there at a certain point to translate for me.
He said (they translated, and I paraphrase because it was broken English): “You can get your clothes on, don’t ever tell anyone this happened or something very bad spiritually will happen to you.”
I don’t remember how my clothes got on. And all I remember is that on the way back to my room at the Movement Center, I have a flash of them holding me on each arm like they were holding me up. I also remember that the Tibetan girls walked me all the way back to my room.
They might have asked me “Are you okay?” right before they left me alone. I remember nothing else of that day or the days after. I’m pretty sure I did nothing for the rest of the day. Nobody checked on me. That didn’t happen there.
I might have gotten in trouble for not doing my “hours.” I don’t remember.
All I remember from that time is that I thought I had consented and had a “spiritual experience.” In fact, I felt deep shame over time because I couldn’t imagine how I consented to that. What came over me? That wasn’t me.
But I must have.
Those two girls never ever approached me again after that. And I also instinctively avoided them. I don’t think I met with Wandgulama again after that either.
Now I know what happened to me and that it wasn’t my fault. Now I know why the girls came to see me. Why they offered me tea, why they gave me lemon ginger, maybe, to hide the taste of whatever it is they gave me. (Scopolamine maybe? Some combination of things, like Valium or oxy with something else?)
Now I know why they came and found me after a certain time afterward; why my vision was streaky too, and why I was giddy, light-headed, then in a fog, then missing time.
It makes sense why they escorted me all the way back to my room, arm in arm like they weren’t sure I could walk, yet never asked for permission to hold me.
Why did they threaten me that something bad would happen if I told?
It’s because I was raped.
Two girls drugged me, trafficked me to another location, and I was raped. I realized this, my god, like four years after I got out of that place.
Who else has been attacked this way? I think what was sad for me is that I learned that sometimes women traffic other women for men. I still had a lot of doubts, but I have fewer now. I trust my memory. I’ve never been a drug addict. I was sober and working at the time they attacked me.
It really clicked for me though, after I learned that there were all kinds of drugs floating around that place all the time that I had no idea about. And then it clicked, even more, when I learned that birds of a feather flock together (rapists like Shoemaker and Wangdulama find each other).
It’s hard to admit that I was groped in the buttocks by both, when I first moved into the cult, at 19. I was a vulnerable teenager, and I froze and didn’t know how to say no. Of course, I hated it, but at my age, I was so normalized to abuse like this from other teenage boys and adults.
However, neither Shoemaker nor Wangdulama made any further moves on me as they did on other girls until this happened to me years later. I hope nobody else was assaulted like me. I was robbed of my natural instincts because I was drugged. I will probably never know the true story of what happened, like what I was given to drug me, who took part in it exactly, and what planning went into it.
But I will say this, because of other survivors coming out, I feel ready to try to make sense of what happened to me, and to own publicly that I survived this coordinated assault. I am a survivor. I’m not afraid.
If Shoemaker and his lackeys have nothing to hide, why is it that we the survivors are the ones being open about what really went on, while they threaten defamation, legal action, and bad karma, and shredding their documents simultaneously?
Why are they resorting to trying to say that a history of childhood trauma or addiction is an effective bludgeon you can use to defend yourself from the truth? It’s because we are in the right, and they are in the wrong. And we know it. And they know it. Thank you to all the other survivors I’ve spoken to or whose stories I’ve read. We deserved better. It was not our fault, and we can heal.
And I will have more to say later.
The first time that the Sakyong (Buddhist Leader) initiated a sexual advance toward Ann was in 2002 or 2003. Ann was in a padmasmbhava feast and a kusung (an attendant) came to get her to take her to the Sakyong to give him a healing treatment. He began making sexual advances and it was a struggle for her to keep him away and to provide the treatment. The Sakyong indicated that he was in the form of guru Rinpoche and that having sex with him was part of the practice; that it was an honor for her because he was her vajra guru. But Ann did not give in to him. She completed the hearing practice and left. Ann resisted the pressure for
Over time, Ann began to feel like the Sakyong believed that she was “his possession” and that he “owned” her. This was familiar to her from her childhood and it was deeply disturbing. Ann knew it was not a good situation, but she did not want to leave the sangha and the teachings.1 Ann became increasingly uncomfortable with her feeling that the Sakyong was using her for sex as she had been used as a prostitute. But he was her guru. Ann discussed her concerns with female Acharyas (Buddhist title) and other senior Shambhala women leaders. She specifically asked them whether the statement in one of the restricted Sadhana practices that reads, “whatever the guru commands I will follow” meant that she had to have sex with him “on demand” in the middle of the night, give money that she didn’t have, and be controlled by him. But they either didn’t seem to care, or they essentially said that it was “not a big deal” or that she should be happy about the situation, because it was “an honor” and it proved that she was “special.” As Ann continued to question what was happening, she asked a male Shambhala leader: “Why did he choose me? Why is he doing this to me?” Ann asked this because she felt that the Sakyong actually did not like her but that he only wanted to control her. The Acharya told her to be careful. He said, “The Sakyong does this — he looks for trauma survivors. He takes vulnerable women and makes them his possession.”
The Buddhist Sunshine Report has story after story of abuse within a Western Buddhist “community”. Carol Merchasin interviewed these survivors. She understands sexual abuse and coverups in groups like the one run by Shoemaker. She documents the trauma, the damage, the harm done by the leaders as well as the harm done by those who are complicit to the abuse.
Where’s Wangdu now?
The co-conspirators- from the two young women who “escorted” Ruth, to the inner circle- need to come forward before.
Spare yourselves harsh sentences like Michael shoemaker will undoubtedly get. It’s only a matter of time.
Get out. Save yourselves and others.
here is a poem excerpted from my new book entitled: The Ashram: A Dispseydoodle Retrospective of Epic Dipshittery.
Spiritual Bully: The Man has great energy, greater intentions. Will show you the ocean, will show you how to swim. Will energize you, will teach you. The Ocean we will go a dunking. Watch out, the bully likes to exact ‘is pound of flesh. He will get ya doncha worry. Magnanimous guy, promises the moon, fails to deliver. Trickery, sorcery, and more. Skeletons fill the closets ‘nigh. Three card monte dealer, he is, and the dealer always wins. Serious students of sadhana, we keep looking, watchful eyes. No hide, no hair. Beware the guy bearing gifts from Kentucky, its a free lunch exclaim many! Oops. A spiritual bully, does good, make no mistake, can’t tell the difference between good and evil, beware this black widow. Sisters, wild eyed, and cunning. The Manson sisters will get ya, flames a gaping. A bully always feels justified, they are in such pain. A spiritual bully, ogre a telling. A spiritual bully will leave destruction in their wake, lessons learned by many. A spiritual bully is YOU.
Frank, if your Oregon Commie Friends are too lazy to get involved too deeply…
Then why not write up a series of 100% FACTUAL but ‘humiliating’ flyers about what the Swami has done to these women — which you can then have distributed all over Gold Beach front doors very cheaply?
If the Oregon Commies are too lazy/afraid to distribute them —– you can pay a flyer delivery service to do it (as they’re pretty cheap, especially just for a local area).
The flyers would just be a super-quick “cliff notes version” of your stories about each woman.
Like Ruth’s story. Also Jessica’s story (ex flying monkey Jessica, not the waitress chick). Also that gangbang girl’s story from a couple months ago (cannot recall her name). And every other woman’s story.
You can have these flyers professionally designed, with artwork/photos, so they look very credible.
Do it routinely.
Make everybody in that town know the DETAILS of what he’s done to each and every woman. Over and over again. New flyers every few weeks.
Have them distributed anywhere he’s known or has students who still admire him, including his old hometown in Oregon, if necessary.
He won’t like it.
Also… Put these flyers on the front door of the local police stations and the local news outlets, and the local supermarkets where they shop. Other businesses too.
Pretty sure it’s perfectly legal to place non-commercial flyers on any front doors every few weeks, especially if they’re 100% factual.
But, of course, you’d have to verify what local regulations allow — and how often its allowed — before doing it.
You need to humiliate this asshole in every legal way possible.
Mail some flyers to meditation centers associated with Lama Wangdu and even the Dalai Lama’s associates.
If the women are hesitant to have their stories put on flyers — after going public on FR already — then what the fuck are they even doing here?
Take action any way you can to humiliate him. He’s an asshole.
Nobody believes those flyers. I lived in a city once were someone distributed flyers to every house and apt building in my neighborhood calling a woman who was apparently his ex-girlfriend a whore/hooker. With her photo included. Those just get dismissed as the work of a crazy person with a personal vendetta.
It’s humiliating though
I did that to an ex boyfriend once. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
You want me to use my real name? OK. Here is a deal.
Swami Chetanananda agrees that I have a point about everything I have written. He does not have to say I am right about any of my points.
All he has to do is two say, you know this person Horsetail who has been writing about me has some valid arguments.
If and when he does that, I will step forward and reveal my identity. Sound fair?
You will be waiting a long time. Because, he won’t do it.
A flaming (asshole) narcissist can never be shown to be wrong. Never.
No one else is right about anything ever. No one has a point about anything ever. Only superman himself is right about anything, and everything. In the meantime, you are free to write to me at email@example.com.
I will get back to you as soon as possible.
Hello Everyone in The Comments,
I have been thinking a lot on how to reply. I’m not always quick on how to best do social behaviors. However, I want everyone to know that I have been deeply moved by all the positive replies and really appreciate all the support. I don’t want attention however. This isn’t about me. I want this evil cult to end. I want the criminals who hurt me and others to face justice. I want release from the pain of them getting away with it year after year. I want to say “that happened, but justice was served” and walk away into the rest of my life. Finally have closure.
Is this too much to ask? I don’t think so. Don’t we all want the same of our abusers?
For those of you who detract or disbelieve my story, if I came after you in comments. To be honest, I’m sorry. Why? Because what does your disbelief really matter to me? It doesn’t. Your story is your story. Go at it.
In fact I’m going to implore you instead (and one person in particular whom I think knows who they are.) If you come out with your name in the open like me, I’d like that more than anything! I’d buy you pizza, beer or whatever you’d like!
I’d forgive you of victim blaming, doubting…really anything…if you came forward. That’s all I want.
I hate that this abusive world doesn’t believe just one woman. We have to have 30-40-100 victims come forward sometimes (more like often) for us to be believed. Sometimes there has to be a male victim for anyone to notice and start believing the women.
If you’re here in the comments with a lot to say, especially if you’re obviously a person who (I can tell) was at the ashram, (And I can see there are a couple in here who I never met, or met briefly, who were either here after or before I was), please come forward. Please. I don’t want this to just die out. It shouldn’t.
I’ve lost family in the past in order to stand for my belief in what is right, I may be losing more family by doing this. I understand there can be a great deal of fear in coming forward. A lots on the line for some. Also there can be a learned hopelessness that “nothing can be done”. This isn’t true. Something always can be done. Even if we never get the police to believe us, the truth is the truth and it being out there has impact.
I have other survivors to connect to who dared, so I followed them. In just a months time I’ve learned so much and I’m so grateful. For me it was a no brainer. It has been an awesome (in the real sense) relief to speak out. I understand other people are afraid they won’t feel the same. I posit that maybe you might? It feels good actually!
I don’t need you to connect to me, if you never want to talk to me ever, but just want to come forward, please do so and contact Frank. He’s good at what he does. He wants this guy in jail possibly more than I do.
I just want victims to feel safe to come forward. If you want to talk to me, feel free and contact Frank and he’ll connect you to me.
If you’re really believing that “someone else can do it” please reconsider. You might be the key in bringing this all down, you never know.
If you think “whats the point” or “there’s too much”, well what IS the POINT? Only you decide. And it can only change if we start changing it ourselves.
This isn’t about anger, although anger is fine and fuel for the fire as they say. This is about justice and truth. Truth is the one human superpower we all have. People saying “Ruth is Truth” as if I’m the only one is pretty funny though, lol. Nice of y’all, but weird to see. <3
Oh and ofc major thanks to Frank for this.
Oh and one more thing as well, I do appreciate reading and getting cross-connections with other cults and cult leader news in comments. I think cult victims all share similar wounds and its important we connect. This is how you build cases too, by learning from other incidents. Thanks for that too.
(I wonder if I had a PR agent what they would say about my comments lol.)
Love to all, Ruthie
You’re my hero.
I’m a rape victim of Shoemaker.
I also lived in the ashram although not at the same time as you. I appreciate you, I totally believe you and I thoroughly respect how you are processing and handling your circumstances.
I don’t know what the statute of limitations is for this crime, but if there’s any way you can bring charges against this thug, you should seriously consider it. If you happen to know a really good lawyer, this is where one might be very helpful. Highly unusually, there are two other witnesses/accessories to this crime, Wangdu’s “cousins”. My guess is that they were also being abused. By going through immigration records, it should not be too hard to identify them. If they were offered immunity in exchange for testimony, you might be able to nail this POS. It’s a gruesome process, but it’s not impossible.
The psychologists always talk about “closure.” It’s the biggest lot of crap. It’s just their way of getting rid of you and your problems. What you need is “openature,” to split this cult wide open and expose the truth. And also the cult of the lamas. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a case in point. Not only did he bless Keith Raniere, serial rapist and probable murderer. He also blessed Shoko Asahara, now hanged, the Japanese cult leader who sarin-gassed the Tokyo subway. Another protege of His Holiness is the extremely creepy Marina Abramovic and her “spirit cooking”. She has a kind of death cult aura all of her own. This is a bona fide Japanese journalist, Yoichi Shimatsu:
Abramovic talks here about the Dalai Lama keeping the embalmed corpse of his teacher in his living room. Pretty weird.
In the ruins of Berlin in 1945, Russian troops were amazed to find Tibetan monks who had committed ritual suicide. Until they fell out of favor, they were doing their best to help Hitler. The swastika symbol was appropriated by the Nazis from Tibet.
Don’t be fooled by the saffron robes.
Professor Alexis Sanderson had a long association with this community. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexis_Sanderson
One of the top scholars of Indian Shaiva philosophy, and a brilliant and nice man.
Swami first contacted and began pursuing a professional relationship with Sanderson decades ago, culminating with Sanderson moving to Portland where he lived until the Ashram closed down and Swami moved to Gold Beach.
The bottom line is the relationship ended poorly (as they all do with cheese doodle). Expectations of Sanderson’s scholarly work were most likely misunderstood, miscommunicated, if they were communicated at all. But my real point of emphasis is: While Swami was genuinely interested in Sanderson’s scholarship, his real interest was in obtaining Sanderson’s endorsement.
Which, if one paid careful attention, Sanderson never actually gave, nor was ever going to give due to the neutral nature of his scholarly work. Once again, Swami Bozoananda had a mixed, and political agenda that he hid from most everyone. In other words: Bozoananda was a recognition whore. That was all he was after, and when Sanderson refused to co author a book with the Swami: he was out.
All relationships end up in the scrap pile with Swami chee, because all relationships will bust out with a true narcissistic psychopath. Are you reading this? Which one of your spies is monitoring these comments? Fuck you. Fuck all of you. What I am outlining here, is the truth. Whomever is reading these comments on behalf of the Swami, go tell him I said he is full of shit. He tried co-opting Sanderson all those years as way of gaining recognition, and to help counteract his already crumbling reputation.
Use your name so they know who you are – Dan
Oh, it could only be a few to know about Sanderson and the book.
I’m quite sure he knows who “horsetail” is. I’ve seen a few of those at Fantasy’s not realizing that store it was as much a staple for that place as Whole Foods. Let her or him vent.
They will come out when they are ready. A lot of rage there. In the beginning, I tried to grasp for “the good guys/gals” because I couldn’t deal with the idea that I was literally surrounded by monsters.
I had a lot of love and years invested in what I now know I didn’t “lose” it was always a mirage. Grasped for any shred of real. Nope, just a sucking wound of terminal betrayal.
Some people on here are quick to defend co-conspirators because of “their” experience of that person which in reality could be a few short months to someone’s decade. They are all groomers to some extent, especially the ones still sticking around.
Offering people they knew, often pretty women up like a special piece of chocolate, exotic fruit or fine liquor on his alter then vilifying them when they didn’t enjoy being a sacrifice. That’s why no one bonds with anyone there.
They all know anyone is only as good as his opinion of them and when that becomes ill they will disappear. That’s why it’s all such shallow and fleeting connection.
That’s not mastering the art of impermanence, that’s called disassociation. In this place the more sociopathic, self-serving and cold blooded you are the more you are hailed as enlightened. It’s nothing personal.
We were just supply to a broke ass version of Lestat. Be thankful we jumped the wheel. All the people supporting and even pretending this shit isn’t happening are going to have to reincarnate with that man.
I see some giant hillbilly inbred family out in the middle of BF nowhere in a three room shack with five teeth between them, all the Hills have Daddies eyes, (some extra) eating squirrel nuggets and and wrestling gators for entertainment while all the literal sister wives fight over who Daddy loves most based on who is pregnant with his latest mutant.
What? It’s just a much less fancy and more fertile version of what you already have going on… well and the whole tooth thing.
Strip them back of “spiritual” accoutrement and they are already this, as you say. They haven’t grown much from the mid-west hillbillies they all started as. Lipstick on a pig. I guess we can find some comfort knowing he’ll have many more lifetimes with Moni, the vindictive cold fish, and the two-faced whispering assassin. They all deserve each other.
The Midwest didn’t make Shoemaker a criminal. His own warped mind did. He could have been born in NYC. So what
sounds like he is still robbing you of your life
Highly evolved spiritual being.
Ruth it took a lot of inner strength and courage to remember what was done to you, let alone to come forward publicly and re-live it while writing every line.
Your story of rape and the way the ashram “family” treated you while living together under that roof is truly heartbreaking and criminal. I want to thank you for telling the world what these people did to you; how they wanted to consume you, use you and destroy your life.
I am so very happy you have been able to get on top of the damage and pain they caused you.
I feel only love for and gratitude for you.
This story, as unfortunate as it is, is one person’s account. I never heard a single bad story about Lama Wangdu, and in fact, have a lot of respect for him and his work. I do not discount the author of this story, and if it is true, it is indeed awful awful stuff. It does highlight however, how poorly young people in this community felt treated. Sadhvi: are you there? Are you listening? Are ya there? Are ya listening? Are ya there? Are YOU listening? You deaf, closed, cold hearted cult leader. You turned your back on long time students and supporters.
Young adults in this community were consistently treated poorly, as there was no effective mentoring occurring. Instead, it was a dominant male figure, who liked to keep people under his thumb, give them poor advice, and in every way mislead them. This is not the way to develop people.
Sadhvi: are ya listening? Are ya there? Are ya listening? Are YOU paying attention?
Swami Chetanananda, whom I am referring to as Swami Chee, which is short for cheese doodle, is after recognition. He takes credit for others accomplishments, and talents, and none of the blame for anything, ever. What a guy.
Years ago, as the story goes, he sought the audience of a well known Indian spiritual teacher commonly referred to as Papaji. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._W._L._Poonja
Apparently Papaji refused to see cheese doodle, as he recognized him as the egomaniac that he is. Of course, this is just a story, but it is plausible, and Cheese doodle was running around India in recent years trying to find something.
What he was seeking was recognition. This narcissistic, psychopathic, addict, abuser, orge, spiritual bully, has a fragile ego, which is characteristic of these mental illnesses (see Donald Trump).
In his fragility, he is in constant pursuit of being recognized. Keep looking cheese doodle. You ARE being recognized, presently. For exactly, what, and who you are. See the list above for a good description. Are ya there? Are ya listening? Are ya there? Are ya paying attention to the FACT that long lists of people ended up wanting nothing to do with you? Open hearts, open MINDS? Can you learn anything? Can ya? Will ya?
Other people have mentioned being groped in the breast and butt by LW in comments here. He also groped me in the buttocks before I was raped, many years before.
It was well known in the community that this was “just how he is, an old man who doesn’t know better.” I am sad that I allowed myself to normalize any of it. Why do think our stories are not true? You admit you STILL admire LW.
What part of you is not ready to face what he is? Is part of you a chauvinist dinosaur like him, from a “different era” that just accepts public sexual harassment of women as normal, and therefore not a sign of worse underneath?
“This story, as unfortunate as it is, is one person’s account. I never heard a single bad story about _____________, (fill in the blank) and in fact, have a lot of respect for him and his work.”
That’s probably the same thing Larry Nassar’s first victim was told when she tried to come forward. Or maybe even Harvey Weinstein.
This comment reeks. I never saw anything. He’s an upstanding man BS. Haven’t we moved past this?
“This story, as unfortunate as it is, is one person’s account. I never heard a single bad story about Lama Wangdu, and in fact, have a lot of respect for him and his work.”
This is a ridiculous thing to say after a victim has shared their story. Why would you have respect for him or his “work” after you hear a detailed account of him raping someone?
I was also groped by this same man suddenly in front of other people. I was told by at least two other people that they were groped and sexually touched in similar manners out of nowhere.
On the subject of cults, manipulation and grooming,
Actor Ezra Miller has been accused of running a cult. He also seems to have a penchant for throttling women just like the Salami Swami, and grooming and screwing young women like Raniere. Doing all those freaks one better, Miller seems to be running an armed encampment in Vermont and goes around strapped and wearing body armor.
Rolling Stone, Business Insider, and Variety, among others, have run exposés on this weirdo.
“New details have emerged about The Flash star Ezra Miller’s cult-like behavior during their [his] time in Iceland.”
[Side note: Miller claims he’s “non-binary” and pretentiously insists on the “they/them” pronouns. Since I don’t play that game I’ve corrected these news reports in the interests of clarity and preserving the integrity of the English language.]
“According to Insider, multiple people have stated that Miller acted like a cult leader during their [his] time renting a spacious Airbnb in Reykjavik, Iceland, which was home to “a menagerie of Icelandic artists, expats, and spiritual confidants… One woman, who visited the house in March 2020, referred to the Airbnb as a ‘commune,’ noting how the guests living in the house were ‘hypnotized’ by Miller’s every word and unfazed by their [his] mood swings. Rumors soon began to circulate in Reykjavik that The Flash actor was running a cult due to [his] monologues on spirituality and emotional outbursts, as well as their [his] insistence that they [he] possessed supernatural powers, requesting that guests should participate in group meditations.
“However, not everyone who visited Miller’s house was enamored by them [him]. A 23-year-old woman reported witnessing Miller fly easily into a rage over trivial matters, swearing and screaming at one group of friends for trying to pick which song to play over a speaker…The woman also recalled a time when Miller confronted her and her friend about wanting to leave the house. ‘You don’t like my hospitality,’ said Miller, who warned the pair that they [he] could read minds. When she eventually left the house, she stated that it felt like escaping… ‘It was one of the weirdest days I’ve ever experienced.’”
“Another woman, an 18-year-old musician, also shared her experience with Miller, recounting to Insider that she had sex with Miller three times [in a hotel] and communicated sparsely with friends and family. She also stated that the actor became fixated on her breeding capabilities and worshipped her ‘perfect’ womb while telling her that her family was holding her back from a better life. ‘Ezra was super manipulative. They [he] kind of had us all under their [his] finger,’ she said. ‘They were [he was] able to twist and pull everything that I thought I knew about the world.’”
“…the woman went home to her apartment where her roommate proceeded to share documents with her about how cult leaders promise spiritual awakenings or material goods to manipulate targets and isolate them from their friends and family. ‘[It was] the exact same thing that I was in with Ezra and that really scared me,’ the young musician said, who was so terrified of seeing Miller again that she fled her apartment until the actor left the country 10 days later. The woman has stated that while she only spent six days with Miller, ‘it honestly felt way, way longer’”
According to Rolling Stone,
“Chase Iron Eyes and Sara Jumping Eagle filed for an order of protection on behalf of their 18-year-old child Gibson, a well-known Standing Rock activist. (Gibson uses she/they pronouns.) The parents alleged to Rolling Stone that Miller had groomed Gibson, whom the actor had met when Gibson was 12, and earlier this year said Miller supplied Gibson with a high dose of LSD.”
From the same article https://www.rollingstone.com/tv-movies/tv-movie-news/ezra-miller-young-children-vermont-farm-1372295/
“Two sources with knowledge of the situation expressed concern to Rolling Stone that it is an unsafe environment for children, alleging there are unattended guns strewn around the home on Miller’s 96-acre property. One source, who, like the other, requested anonymity for fear of retribution, recalled an instance where one of the children — a one-year-old — allegedly picked up a loose bullet and put it in her mouth.”
Miller’s property is a 96 acre unlicensed (illegal) cannabis farm in Stamford, Vermont.
“Video footage from April reviewed by Rolling Stone appears to show at least eight assault weapons, rifles, and handguns lying around the living room, with some weapons propped up next to a pile of stuffed animals.”
Ezra Miller has been arrested several times recently for assault, disorderly conduct and harassment. He’s under investigation by German police for accosting a woman there.
As for the Reykjavik choking incident:
“In the video, the woman can be seen approaching Miller, joking about starting a fight. Miller can be heard saying, “Oh, you wanna fight? That’s what you wanna do?” before placing their [his] hands on her throat. Miller then pushes the woman to the floor and continues to strangle her before surrounding bar patrons move to intervene. “
In my day, only movie villains hit women. Now, it seems movie stars can hit women and still have fan support and studio contracts. Many on social media excuse this freak’s behavior. Wearing a gun and tactical vest, normally anathema to the Hollywood liberal set, is called a “fashionable safety measure” IKYN. Of course Ezra Miller is “non-binary”, which makes him a darling of the Hollyweird. Though I notice his sexual pranks and shenanigans are all targeted at young women. Often very young women.
Ezra Miller stars in the $200 million movie The Flash, due in theaters June 2023.
Ezra has become the character he played in the movie “We need to talk about Kevin“
Your story is gut wrenching. I am so sorry for everything you’ve experienced.
You are incredible brave to come forward. It couldn’t have been easy to do so.
Hopefully, more people will come forward to tell their story and help stop this monster from victimizing more women.
Thank you for sharing! Take care!
Ruth I am so sorry to hear you spent 10 years of your life like that. I am glad you are no longer there, and I hope you are now doing well.
Do you think it’s possible for just one spiritual community to not prey on and rape the young women therein? Just one of you filthy bastards that can keep your dicks to yourselves? Why you all think you have the right to abuse women, mostly already abused and seeking refuge?
“Do you think it’s possible for just one spiritual community to not prey on and rape the young women therein? Just one of you filthy bastards that can keep your dicks to yourselves? Why you all think you have the right to abuse women, mostly already abused and seeking refuge?”
Exactly. I actually thought i had found a safe place away from aggressive men. I sincerely wanted to be celibate, doing spiritual work to change my life in a positive way. It never occurred to me until I was raped that I had actually walked right into the spider’s web.
Try the Catholic Church. They only fancy boys.
If that were true, I would have never ended up there to begin with.
All Gold Beach and Curry County residents should be warned of Michael Shoemaker and his inner circle.
Drugs, rape, assault, deaths, suicide… all under the guise of spiritual growth.
Keep reporting FR. Swami Chet / Michael Shoemaker’s days are numbered.
Ruth- Thank you for being brave, honest, and forthcoming. You were targeted. These people have the tactics of abuse down to a science.
There’s no doubt you were drugged and raped. I hope the authorities can prosecute/investigate these animals.
Monique O’Neal, Jim Brisette, Sharon Ward, and shoemaker- your reign of abuse and destruction is known.
Truth ultimately overpowers the fear you instilled.
Ruth, you are so brave for standing up here to speak the truth of what happened to you. It’s hard enough speaking out against rape without the added confusion of being drugged and trying to put muddled pieces back together.
Especially with the peanut gallery and their thoughtless comments. You’ve taken a huge step and you should be proud of yourself.
I remember you from back in the day. We were living different programs, but I recall being struck by how hard you worked (how hard they put you to work).
That you prepped every meal for them, cleaned the toilets by the offices, among other things I’m sure I didn’t see, they still made you pay for programs, many of which you wouldn’t even get to go to because you were too busy prepping retreat meals, it makes me sick.
The way they treated young people, fueled by their decades-old pent-up resentment over years of the great swami driving them like dogs, was part of why I left.
I could never have imagined “spiritual people” to have so much hatred and vindictiveness in their hearts for the vulnerable. Compare that to how they treated those with money, or Swami’s flavor of the month (whom they also hated but were too cowardly to overtly act out against) was so utterly despicably greedy and nasty.
True viciousness if ever I saw it. Coupled with their plastered on fake-ass smiles, it was no wonder we all felt half crazy most of the time. Talk about a fucking distorted house of mirrors.
Each and every one of them was out for themselves and couldn’t give a damn if someone was bleeding out in front of them. Most especially if that person was somehow blocking their pathway to their great all-powerful master. Every last one of them were vicious craven animals.
Regarding LW, the lip smacking just captures that moment so vividly. When you said that you were so excited that the guru was calling out to you, hit me hard. We were all so fucking brainwashed, and believed they truly wanted the best for us, that our guru loved us deeply and had our best highest interest in mind.
It’s so deeply evil that I can hardly breathe thinking about it even after so many years.
I’ve written some things here anonymously that have happened to me. But your bravery is inspiring. Stay strong, Ruth.
Pretending to be a celibate monk while sexing it up. Gee. I wonder where Raniere got the idea from?
Does anyone actually believe that any of these monks are celibate and not abusing their religious “authority” for sexual favors behind the scenes?
Been reluctant to intrude on these threads but, Ruth, I am awestruck by your honesty, sincerity and courage.
I feel closer to my sister Gina’s spirit reading your words.
Gina was bedazzled with the trappings of this exotic culture and I have often wondered if she didn’t die with some similar secrets to those you are all sharing here.
Good on Frank for giving you this space to speak your truth without too much of the circus show as yet that has overtaken the NXIVM survivors stories.
Please stay strong and supportive of one another. It could get hectic.
I’m deeply sad you experienced that. I do believe you. I’m sure you aren’t the only person offered this kind of tea party, and I hope you are not the only person to speak to it.
As we know, you have family that were forever members, and that would most assuredly attribute to how you compartmentalized this. I feel for everyone affected, and have the deepest sadness for those who came in via family, because that’s an additional layer of brainwash. “My “so and so” is an upright, accomplished, well respected person…. if they love him, he MUST be good.
Also, most of these people would never turn on him on behalf of another. He generally has to do something directly to them. Pretty self-absorbed bunch of twats really, and I agree that people DO get caught up in being in the “special club”. That doesn’t mean it’s ok to rape them. I don’t read that remotely being the case with this author, and Wangdu was a pretty beloved fixture there.
Even if she hadn’t been drugged, and it certainly sounds as though she were, most would be happy to be singled out by a special teacher no matter what school it was. That is human nature. Thank you for sharing Ruth.
This is very brave on your part, and I hope with my whole being you and your truth is supported by your family, and you can all find healing together. He’s torn enough families asunder.
What a profoundly unfortunate story. I question the authenticity of the information. Regarding a comment posted in response to something I point out: “A young lady who is served homemade ice cream…” Have a little compassion. Maybe she needed to wash down the taste of the dozen dirty men she just sucked off?”
You obviously know nothing of this community. The young lady being served ice cream was really all about this pattern of identifying people as special, requiring special attention for spiritual reasons. Bullshit. There are no special students. Only students. Swami Chee was indulging his own collosal ego, and messing with everyone’s minds and expectations by his flagrant acts of favoritism. That is my point. And, ironically, what I witnessed over the years, is that by far the biggest losers in the entire affair were the recipients of the special deals. Everyone lost in this one. It is ridiculous to deal with anyone from the perspective that they are special, because all that accomplishes is to boost someone’s ego.
Special deals go south. Period. quit fucking relating to people in that way, it does not work..
Regarding a reference to one of the manson sisters’ saying open your heart, its completely closed. I believe that happened. This manson sister imagines herself as a teacher. A special emmissary of Swami Bozoananda. She aint no teacher of nuttin. She is a lunatic, who has been interacted with inappropriately by Swami Cheese Doodle, for a very long time. It is obvious, that his special tutelage of her, has truly created a monster and the results have shown that, time and time again. Why can’t you learn from your mistakes? Because, you are an egomaniac who has been corrupted by the energy, that is why.
Horsetail, ‘What a profoundly unfortunate story. I question the authenticity of the information.’
– Are you one of those ‘Only victim in the village” types?
Lots of types in here. That is definitely one. Here’s an ode to the ones that agree with you in secret but pretend like they aren’t friends with you when shit gets real. https://youtu.be/o3s2Pf_ZBik