For those who do not know, FR has been writing about a man who surpasses Keith Alan Raniere in infamy. His name is J, Michael Shoemaker, and is also known to the world as Swami Chetanananda.
By Leona James
J. Michael Shoemaker and Keith Alan Raniere are remarkably similar.
They are both traumatizing narcissists, and they are both getting the Frank treatment. Thank you, Frank.
Frank wrote about his relationship as a consultant to Raniere, and the advice he got from Roger Stone, who was also a consultant.
Neither Parlato nor Stone knew about the sex cult aspect of NXIVM. Both were aware of financial issues emerging from the group.
Frank was the whistleblower on Raniere. It was not easy. He is still caught in blowback.
Frank wrote that he and Roger Stone were kept in the dark about how NXIVM worked. We see this with Shoemaker and his cult.
Casual supporters of the Shoemaker cult have expressed doubt about what Frank published or what victims said.
NXIVM and Shoemaker are cut from the same cultish cloth.
I learned this firsthand in my difficult early (but ultimately successful) efforts to expose the multimillion-dollar con and sex cult of a self-styled guru named Keith Raniere.
For 50 years, Shoemaker has been abusing and scamming followers. Richard Read had no success, the media in Bloomington had no success, and to date, no success in stopping the abuse.
At least it is exposed.
Raniere was not the self-help apostle or genius I had been told he was when I worked for NXIVM, which billed itself as a new, once-in-an-eon, self-improvement “way of thinking,” as taught by Raniere. It was “the greatest invention since humans invented writing,” was how his teachings were sold.
I was told he had the highest IQ of any human ever tested.
Shoemaker is a college dropout.
It was a hugely profitable scam in which Raniere and his psychopathic henchwomen recruited sons and daughters of wealthy families with bulging trust funds.
Melinda Mandell charged the same in her civil suit against Shoemaker and Sharon Ward.
Mandell said the Nityananda Institute was not a non-profit church, but a for-profit business that benefited Shoemaker and his inner circle. Shoemaker has his henchwomen. Ward does his dirty work, while the yoga teachers serve a recruiting role.
Gretchen, Jen, and others perform this role.
Sharon Ward is deadly as Shoemaker’s legal muscle.
Raniere and his minions took in millions of dollars, which they invested in real estate, which was put in the name of Raniere’s enforcer, Nancy Salzman. Raniere systematically drained the trust funds of the scions of one of the most famous American fortunes – the House of Bronfman.
Sara Bronfman, Keith Raniere and Nancy Salzman on their way to persuade the Dalai Lama to endorse Raniere for a small 7-figure donation.
All the details of Shoemaker’s scams are unknown.
Read found Joan Ames gifted him close to a million dollars. Norman Bodek gave Shoemaker a house. The Krieger family gave Shoemaker property in California (and allegedly three sexual partners, a mother, and two daughters). Mary Grace Toia (the mother of Jesse Sweeney) has made substantial donations, as has Barnett Davis.
Barnett Davis believes in Shoemaker.
They also looted the trust funds of the offspring of the socially-prominent Cafritz family in DC – and took more through the children of Mexico’s former president, the fabulously wealthy Carlos Salinas, among others of Mexico’s elite families.
Carlos and his son, Emiliano Salinas.
Keith Raniere and Emiliano Salinas
No doubt, more financial scams will be revealed as Frank continues. The Gold Beach property reflects the hours of donated labor and other forms of exploitation of Shoemaker and his cult.
As I was coming to work handling public relations and other issues for NXIVM, and at a time I knew nothing about the inner workings of Raniere and his group, the controversial Republican consultant, Roger Stone, was just leaving his brief consulting gig with the organization.
Stone warned me about Raniere and the NXIVM setup.
Frank published an article on Shoemaker’s associate Russell Kruckman, which seemed to bring in information about Shoemaker
“Raniere’s course is some kind of mind control bullshit,” Stone told me in 2007. “It’s clear Raniere has lifted millions of dollars from the trust funds of his marks.”
Same with Shoemaker. Stone hit the nail on the head. Mind control, cult abuse, exploitation, and harm are what NXIVM, Raniere, Shoemaker, and Kruckman specialize in.
Stone told me, “In the three months I worked for them, I never saw any evidence of the secretive sex cult Raniere built to feed his own depravities. All I saw was rich middle-aged housewives and divorcees getting fleeced by this prick.”
One of Shoemaker followers called the members of the older generation “the sweet old ones!”
Cults can hide dirty business through culty tactics of isolation, gaslighting, separation and by-passing. Cults work hard to control the information their members and the public can access.
When will Shoemaker let Frank conduct an interview?
I am convinced Stone did not see anything depraved. I worked closely with the group, and never saw it either. It was hidden. It was not revealed to outsiders.
Same, same. This is what cults do. Don’t blame yourself if you were fraudulently recruited, if you gave money to this depraved cult that Shoemaker runs. The Shoemaker cult is a well-oiled machine with 50 years of abuse, harm, and exploitation they have hidden.
Up until now.
In my early struggles to expose how evil and corrupt Raniere was, I was hampered because law enforcement and the media refused to examine the truth, partly because the cult had the credibility of Bronfman’s support.
Keith Raniere and Clare Bronfman were not shy about encouraging law enforcement to chase their enemies.
Again, very similar to what Shoemaker is doing. He is wealthy and has placed phobias in his victims’ minds.
Remember, he strangles them and gives them concussions. They are terrified of him. Shoemaker or his henchwomen tell everyone in the cult that victims who speak out are “on the spectrum,” liars, drug addicts, or act like “adolescents.”
It is only because of the successful prosecution of Raniere that the “justice system” is now accepting human trafficking as one aspect of cultic abuse.
Thank you Frank!
Whistleblowers were indicted. Bronfmans hired attorneys well-connected to the law enforcement agencies handling the matter, and Raniere escaped prosecution for decades.
Shoemaker has been at this for 50 years. Sharon Ward duped the Oregon Public Broadcasting program into believing she was a dog trainer, not a cult henchwoman. She inserted herself into the police investigation of the death of Liz Bazzani.
Liz Bazzani’s body was found floating in the river days after she walked out of the ashram. Her death is ruled a suicide.
Because of the Bronfman influence, I was able to get little traction in my early, one-man effort to expose the truth about Raniere, his highly lucrative financial hustle, and his sex-cult where he was attended to by a harem of personal sex slaves.
Frank has again embarked on a one-man effort — to expose Shoemaker.
If you have information about abuse, exploitation, financial scams, or other potentially criminal activity, tell Frank or contact the law enforcement officers in the loop. Nathan Wollstein, Portland Police, Paul Chang, DOL, Jordan White, Gold Beach or John Ward, Curry County Sheriff, FBI or Human Trafficking Hotline.
Raniere is the reason I started the Frank Report, to tell the story directly, independent of mainstream media’s filters.
I laid out the shocking facts about an obscure, upstate New York-based cult and the secret sexual rituals of a small, elite harem of concubines whose fidelity and allegiance to Raniere was ultimately marked with a brand in their public area with Raniere’s initials.
Raniere with followers at his narcissistic Vanguard Week – a 10-day celebration of his birthday.
Shoemaker’s abuse is not visible. He does not brand, but he does strangle.