Ruth: The True Story of My Abuse Is Far Cry From Swami Defender’s Faux Version

Swami Chetanananda and Lama Wangdu

By Ruth Graham

In the story Defense of Swami Chetanananda From a Mysterious Source, an anonymous commenter named me, but Frank redacted my name.  Here is what the mysterious commenter said about me in the unredacted version:

Ruth Graham was allowed to live there because her father was Andrew Bonner’s cousin. He begged Andrew to let her move in because he feared for her life and safety. She was a cutter, homeless, jobless and living out of her car. Ruth also lived for free and was asked to do some seva every day. That rarely happened. She couldn’t get out of bed many days and could manage to focus on work for very short periods of time.  
She tried to join the army at the recruiting station in Portland but could not pass the mental health section of the interviews. “If” she was encouraged to apply for SSD it most likely because she did not seem capable of managing her life or holding a job. 

I suspect Sharon Ward, or someone in the circle, wrote this. J. Michael Shoemaker may have dictated it to Moni or Jen. Regardless of authorship, let’s check this for accuracy.

Swami Chetanananda with Sharon Ward

My father helped me… the commenter wrote:

Ruth Graham was allowed to live there because her father was Andrew Bonner’s cousin. He begged Andrew to let her move in because he feared for her life and safety. She was a cutter, homeless, jobless and living out of her car.

This refers to my second stay at the ashram. The ashram kicked me out because I owed $600 in rent. I wound up homeless, and lived out of a car. That part is true.

I did have a job or various jobs.

I was not a cutter. A cutter (I assume most know, but just in case) chronically self-harms, sometimes daily, usually cutting themselves with a knife, razor, or glass.

Here is what bodies of cutters end up looking like:

Here is my photo.

Here’s another one:

Now let us examine the claim about my father.

Ruth Graham was allowed to live there because her father was Andrew Bonner’s cousin. He begged Andrew to let her move in because he feared for her life and safety. 

My father was physically abusive until I moved into the ashram, the first time, at age 19.

One day witnesses saw him grab me in public and shove me to the ground. They called the police.

But this comment about my father refers to the second time I lived at the Movement Center. My father knew I was homeless. He didn’t do anything to help. I talked to him three times in three months, telling him I was homeless. He had money. He had space in his home. His child was homeless. Possibly in danger. When I called, he yelled on the phone. He did not lift a finger. Instead, he actively sabotaged my access to resources.

Still, I paid the back rent of $600 that got me kicked out, working as a cashier.

After being homeless and living in a car, Sharon told me she let me back because I was one of the rare people who paid them the back rent. She never mentioned my father.

Years later, Andrew Bonner told me my father asked Sharon to “let me” move back. But no one told me about it when I moved back.

Andrew Bonner is my father’s cousin.

If my father had begged for my return, I should have been told. I was still in sporadic contact with my father. Why did Andrew, Sharon, or anyone keep this rare, almost unique act of paternal solicitude from me?

Do I believe my father “begged” Andrew to get the Swami to let me back, or that my dad asked Sharon, and that’s why I was allowed to return?  No. I don’t.

Let’s continue:

Ruth also lived for free and was asked to do some seva every day. That rarely happened. She couldn’t get out of bed many days and could manage to focus on work for very short periods of time.  

At the ashram, I had a work schedule. I logged my hours. Jimi kept the reports of my hours. Michael Bazzani kept them when I worked for him. Doreen or someone on her behalf kept them when I worked for her.

I logged my hours on a piece of paper pinned to a wall for everyone to see. So were the kitchen prep schedules. Everyone could see their assigned jobs.

For years, I was assigned to work in the kitchen on certain days and later in the maintenance “team.” I had to report to Jimi at 9 am every morning. If I was a little late, I got hell for it. It didn’t matter that I showed up time and again, but Jimi wouldn’t be on time, and I would have to wait for him.

I wanted to go to college. But I had to take night classes to finish my Associates Degree, riding the bus late at night, because I was never given any leniency on my kitchen hours.

It would have been much easier if they had let me take classes during the day and work at night.

Jim Brissette, a caporegime for the Swami

I used to cry over it, wondering why I was not given flexibility, since I was attempting to be a successful person in the world.  Other young female students were.

Even for outside work, where the money would go to the ashram for my rent, there was no flexibility. I recall conversations where I begged for flexibility with my “hours” working for the ashram so I could just keep my job on the outside and pay the ashram rent.

I had to quit one of my part time jobs, because the ashram would not grant me flexibility with my ashram work hours. I lost a chance to make good money, because the ashram wanted me to work in their kitchens/yards.

Keep in mind, I paid them from my wages earned from outside jobs. It went towards my rent. They always told me money was short, and thus, my hours of cooking were always specifically logged, as well as the money I paid from outside jobs.

I did yard and maintenance, even operated equipment for a credit of $8 per hour.

If my work hours at the ashram were short, I had to pay more money.  This is how I ended up owing $600 dollars. I lost my job, and the “balance” was short. I could not work enough hours at the ashram to make up for it.

Despite outside work, school and hours I worked for the ashram, I was never allowed to miss an evening meditation class.  When Swami gave talks, he would drone on for hours. I was told I was not allowed to leave the room until he was done, even if I had to go to the bathroom.

One time, after hours in pain, while the Swami seemed to discourse interminably, I had an accident on a meditation cushion.  I had no choice, for I was told adamantly, “you can’t leave even if you have to go to the bathroom.”

The law of physics suggests I was not the only one this happened to.

All the time I was there, I was hounded, while favored ones were not. While some could waltz in and do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted, I was watched and given no leniency.

Was it because I did not have sex with the Swami  or I could not provide drugs for him?

It is true, I got sick toward the end. I was no longer a teenager with boundless energy. I was underweight. The food was inadequate. I probably had low serotonin and melatonin levels from a deficient diet. I was hungry all the time.

Towards the end, I went on food stamps and bought sandwiches from the grocery store, devouring them in shame because people like Jimi liked to be diet policemen.

While I lived on food stamps, the money I saved them with my free slave labor helped Chetanananda buy international properties, first-class tickets, gems, fine wines, and drugs.

My illness continued unabated. I had kidney stones, infections, and anemia. I was depressed from the abuse. My body hurt.  I had an ovarian cyst.

After the ashram assigned me as Phyllis’s caretaker, my ovarian cyst burst. Ruth Knight found me passed out on the floor. Nobody checked on me when I came from the hospital. Not even Andrew, my dad’s cousin, treated me like family. He must have considered me an unsightly burden, a threat to his status by association.

I was merely an object from which to extract resources. I was starving for love and support from anyone then, and willing to devote myself to a cause.

But the whole place operates as if it is the exact opposite of what it said to be.

If they had given me 1% of individual attention, I would have walked into flames for them.

Happily, my health issues are all gone. I eat adequate amounts of protein and fat and live free from the stress of the cult.

Lastly, this comment: about me

She tried to join the army at the recruiting station in Portland but could not pass the mental health section of the interviews. “If” she was encouraged to apply for SSD it most likely because she did not seem capable of managing her life or holding a job. 

After I refused Sharon’s request to fraudulently apply for SSI, the discard phase began. Sharon started heavily implying the ashram can’t afford me, that I’m not a fit, that I “don’t care enough.”

I started playing to bide a little time. I said maybe I’ll join the army. I spoke with a recruiter, but never took the MEPS (the medical/physical exam).

Several years after I left the ashram, I planned to join the National Guard.  I completed the days-long full recruitment process. I got a 98/99 on the ASVAB, which put me in the top 1% of recruits.

I chose not to join the National Guard.  The day I passed my MEPS, news of a rape scandal broke from the fort I was assigned. It involved multiple officers and the gang rape of female recruits. I had experienced enough sexual assault and high control abuse. I didn’t want to go through it again.

As for the mystery anonymous commenter’s remarks about others, I cannot say anything. Perhaps you can judge the veracity of their comments by the yardstick of what I said happened to me.

But, really, it shouldn’t matter if I was a cutter. Or whether my father begged Andrew or Sharon to get me back in the door.  It matters that I was raped and sexually assaulted, and verbally and physically abused for years.

But little lies are meant to strike at the reputation of victims, stroke by stroke, sullying them, leaving doubt, absolving the culprits. I hope you can see through them.




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Frank Parlato


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  • I had to leave because I am a baby at about four years old, and I want to normal already. It how I am, and I am four, and I have have rested develop. I need the women in my family to remind that I am for, and I cant get on a plane , and I cant get a job, and I cant even go for visit overseas. and into these places that I know nothing how the people all have arrested development because they are all been together for 1969, with no idea that they are all living there and they cant control themselvea all alone since that generation. So they act like that and they tell me that they all were able to get a job, and go work, and on and on. So we all are unsupervised, and have money, and food.. kids meed to be supervised alot more at or age, when we have our own money! I am not putting any of them down, I am serious. I have to have my nannies help in all of these areas. lIke an instuition. It doest mean I am crazy, or that I had to be locked away in a mental instuitio..but it sure feels like it! So, I am not in the looney bin because I am dangeruous.. but I must be around people who understand this and do down blame me for that truth, or assumee things because I dont understand that lying is negative.. and end up here on this blog… I have to care of myself, andget some sleep, eat, and the basic needs have so that I dont get in bed with stanger at night and tell them ghost stories of Becker- Greenspan past. So this is where I am. my bedi in my appt,snuggling with my kittecn snd colorrng. I have been here since the last day I was on Frank. going to school, my dr, and going to get grocerys. Staying local to do my grocery shopping close by, not missing my apt with my dr, and using my credit just like my aunteese and siblings told me to do. Like a bg baby does, because I am a baby.. I am sorry that I didnt this, but I feel reallt ashamed, and scared, and embaressed.. this is my narrative and I cant handle even looking ag this anymore, so, goodnight.

  • Since Frank is no longer publishing content about Shoemaker, I have started a Facebook Group where we can continue to share information and support each other as we work to recover and to put this terrible man in prison where he and members of his cult belong. You can find on Facebook by searching for TMC-Shoemaker Survivors.

    • I wonder why Frank has thrown in the towel. Too many legal threats perhaps from Shoemaker, or perhaps from victims who don’t wish to be named and have threatened legal actions against Frank? What’s the story Frank? Have you given up?

  • Swami Chetanananda is an egomaniac, narcissist, psychopath, and drug addict. Plus he is a steroid taking (old) muscle man.
    This is precisely why most of the relationships he engages in blow up. Because, inevitably, the student runs into all of the implications of the above traits.
    Bah. Fuck you.

      • Well, I mention old because he doesn’t like the idea that he is getting older. Likes hanging out with young people. You know the fountain of youth stuff. Rotsa Ruck. Steroids . Muscle man.

        • Yes, he wants the young energy. But you definitely are ageist. You have mentioned it a lot. You should have found a young swami to fixate on. Does he really take steroids? What a waste.

  • Frank–you should write an article on the “anatomy of a cult”. How Swami plays “bait and switch” with students, and always succeeds. Since he can never be wrong. I read all about this in the book about the Epic Dipshittery of the Ashram. It’s a wonderful read.

  • “The myriad scandals around sex, money, and power that have tainted so many gurus are not surprising, given the structural corruptibility of the role.” (p.113)
    Taken from the Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power.

    Structurally corruptible is exactly right. Swami was corrupted by his own ego and power.
    What place does sexual abuse have in anyone’s life? None.

    The bool: The Guru Papers (title above) is a pertinent read. A lot of describes Swami Chetanananda and his band of cult pirates.

  • Its not one’s fault that he ridiculously and consistently overgives – without consent, discernment, or self control – and then resents everyone because of it.

    And people with a genuine need for help, healing, and charity, like Ruth, come along – and they have a short fuse and no patience for her.

    He’s way too insecure to ever change. He’s harmed too many because of his ABSOLUTE LACK of respect for people.

    Then he has to lie and exaggerate to make it seem like every person’s situation is so off the charts and thats why in his grand magnanimity, he gave them money, food, and a place to live.

    Always exaggerated. Hardly anything he ever says is true.

    The worst one at being true to themselves is HIM. He overgives because he’s starved for approval and validation, constantly

    They treat people like Ruth (family) – like shit – is because he/they knew they couldnt get anything back from her – so they mistreated her, talked shit about her constantly, labeled her with all kinds of made up mental diagnosis (based on symptoms due to her trauma and their mistreatment of her) – and then worked overtime to either get some disability money from the government from her, or throw her back on the street and sweep her out of their minds forever due to its inconvenience

  • Happy Solstice. Solstice is Swami’s favorite holiday. Who cares?
    Mine is Christmas. Fuck you, Swami!
    Guess what? I am wearing an orange shirt. Oh, orange shirts are only for teachers. Oh yeah? I will wear any color I feel like wearing. So fuck you again.
    Moni: name five nice things you have done for anyone in your entire time at the Ashram. And I will name 50 shitty things you did to people.
    Is that your Chod practice? Stabbing people in the back?
    What are you giggling about Theresa?
    Happy fuck you day, to the Church of Divine Dirty Business.

    • chod
      chod is a hindi/urdu slang word for ‘fuck’. Mostly used as averb though can be used as a noun. Is the most common word for fuck used in the Indian Subcontinent(mostly India, Pakistan and Bangladesh).


  • Just a general question:
    Does anyone know how Swami’s fasting is progressing?
    According to my calculations he should be dead by now.

  • Shadowstate is clearly demented. Posting all this political garbage on here. This is about Swami Chetanananda and his cult. Not American politics. Get off this site. Go find a white supremacist group.

  • Excuse me, Shadiowstate and Bangkok are the same dude. Both post irrelevant, fucked up, stupid nonsense.

    They should be banned from posting anything

    • Here’s an idea…

      You could always just disappear, never return to FrankReport, and not a single person here would miss you.

      Let’s take that one step further…

      You could always consider improving the world by disappearing from it, as I doubt anybody would miss you.

      If you need suggestions, I could give you a list of adequately tall buildings and bridges which should have enough height to ensure the job gets done right. 🙂

      I could also give you a list of places that sell Seppuku equipment, if you prefer to choose the more honorable route. Have a good day. 🙂

    • Same person? Oh no, they are two separate jerks?

      Banned? No

      Nonsense? I agree here. Neither of them make any sense, and have nothing to share but anger.

    • I’d like to nominate you for the Einstein award for spectacular brilliance.

      Clearly, you’re an intellectual force to be reckoned with.

      Your high-powered perception must have gotten you far in life.

      Oh wait… I think your boss is calling you over the loud speaker…

      “Clean up on aisle 9, clean up on aisle 9. Bring the mop, Fig”

      Go get ’em, tiger. Show us how it’s done. Make that floor fucken sparkle!

      • Bangkok- did you learn anything at the Ashram?
        I didn’t think so. Your postings reveal a complete lack of insight.
        Get off this blog, you are wasting readers: time.

        • FIG
          Have you not figured out that Bangkok has nothing to do with Swami Chetananda? He is one of Frank’s followers, so you might as well just get used to it.

  • Ruth Graham was an insignificant student during her tenure at the ashram. Now, her story is dominating these comments, and article. How unfortunate. Let’s focus on Swami and his band of pirates.

    • Her story gives us one of the best insights into the operation of the Movement Center. Meanwhile, I am waiting for your story, Horsetail. I know it will be glorious.

    • How people in power, like Sharon, treated young people in the ashram who didn’t have the protection of money, family, nepotism or a sexual relationship with the swami and how their labor was exploited is absolutely relevant. Your dismissal of her and her story shows exactly how these things continued for so many years with so many young people without being stopped. Ruth is not the only one.

    • “Insignificant” –this kind of thinking, that she wasn’t worth the time and thus could be treated like she was inconsequential is exactly why there were few young people there, and what allowed people like Ruth to be systematically exploited. Shameful attitude lacking all sense of compassion and spiritual faculty.

    • Horse
      We’re you appointed the judge of the “students”?
      What was your assessment of the deviant swami’s sexual activity and drug use?

  • An orange blizzard of Bliss!

    Hey folks take a look at how far Steve Ott has got! Why did he leave Shoemaker? Is he reading the Frank Report? Can he offer some insights into drug use, labor exploitation, sexual assault at “ashrams” that Shoemaker ran?

    The Ācāryamaṇḍala of Heart of Consciousness
    Swami Khecaranatha (this is Steve Ott, the “teacher” who left Shoemaker a couple of decades ago) is the ācāryamaṇḍaleśvara – leader of the circle of ācāryas.
    He teaches at Nityakash (Maui), in the S.F. East Bay Area, and periodically at the local centers.

    Among Steve Ott’s “teachers” is Silver Ra Baker of Denton Texas, below is his information. Here is a link to a podcast that gives a story of abuse by Heidi Thompson, that started at the Denton Rudi center:

    Silver Ra learned from Swami Rudi (Albert Rudolph, remember him?) in one year how to be a “teacher”. Must have been a crash course! Why haven’t Shoemaker’s “loved ones” become teachers even after dedicating their lives to him for decades?

    Frank has published plenty of info on Rudi:

    Ācārya Rudraya (Silver Ra Baker) – Denton, Texas
    Teaching in person. Call 940-382-0732
    My inner life was activated when I was initiated by Swami Rudrananda (Rudi) in 1971, and he made me a teacher in 1972. Since then, I have dedicated myself to teaching at Rudi’s original ashram in Texas. Over the years I have incorporated other spiritual practices into our offerings, since Rudi had often spoken to me about creating a “Spiritual University” with Rudra Meditation as the foundation.

    I am also the principal architect of the Rudra Mandala and the builder of the Stupa of Intrinsic Transformation in Big Indian, New York. I devote myself to the preservation of that part of Rudi’s legacy, where people go on pilgrimage to his Samadhi Shrine. To remain teachable, I took initiation with Nathaji in 2020 and became an ācārya in his practice.

  • Let’s get back to basics. J. Michael Shoemaker is the leader of a dangerous and damaging high demand, high control group, often called a cult. “Pinky” has provided her testimony many times in many different online sites. She has consistently stated that J. Michael Shoemaker raped her in the 1970’s. Frank published it here:

    In the early 2000’s Richard Read published a series of articles that Frank republished detailing financial abuse, fraudulent recruiting, sexual abuse, gaslighting and threats.

    In Dec. 2021 Natacha published on her site a testimonial about her abuse at the Movement Center. Frank republished it here:

    In early 2022, a couple of Shoemaker victims asked Frank for help to expose Shoemaker the same way he had exposed Keith Raniere. Frank got to work and articles about the abuses of Shoemaker began to show up on the Frank Report. Plenty of victims, flying monkeys and onlookers have joined the online parade of information. Some factual, some fictional and a lot of it totally disgusting.

    J. Michael Shoemaker is an evil man who has harmed 100’s of people, direct victims (Jen, Natacha, Liliana) victim/perpetrators (think Patty Hearst’s example), family members (Dr. Dan’s family, Natacha’s family, Bazzani family) the public in general by running scam businesses under the tax code of a “church” (think Trump and his family foundation) or the number of “loved ones” who used food stamps and Medicaid while living at the Movement Center.

    I believe that the best place to expose Shoemaker is in a court of law. Facts can be found in court transcripts and sometimes justice and truth appear. A jury of our peers may not understand cultic abuses, and yet, the evidence is placed in the record for all to see. Weinstein, Epstein, Raniere were exposed. They all still have loyal followers who continue to support them. If Shoemaker is charged with criminal activities and found quilty, I am sure he too will have loyal ones who cannot let their lives be made worthless by accepting the ‘truth” that Shoemaker was a criminal con artist.

    Here is a page from the past that could have been written today.

    To Whom It May Concern:
    I am writing this letter in support of the Leaving Nityananda Institute (LNI) web site and the group of former students of Swami Chetanananda who created this site. (
    Over the years since the mid-nineties, I have counseled numerous former students of Swami Chetanananda who were leaving him, his Rudrananda Ashram, and the Nityananda Institute — all in Portland, Oregon. These former students came to the Cult Resource Center (CRC) for advice and counseling. They manifested symptoms of dissociative disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, non-specific guilt, and fear of their former guru and his current disciples.
    For many years the CRC was under the umbrella of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon. As Director of the CRC, I helped people recover from abuse of a wide variety of cults in the Northern Oregon and Southern Washington State area. Most of these are Christian-based groups and about a third of the over two-hundred identified groups are within the greater Portland area.
    With over twenty-five years of experience in this field, and having worked with more than a thousand cult-affected individuals and families, I have rarely seen a group of former cult members who suffered from such high levels of fear of retribution from their leader. As I met with them individually or later in groups, I was struck by the torment they went through in sharing the truth of their experiences.
    They described the presence of guns inside the Ashram, of Rottweilers trained to kill, and of “powers” that the swami claimed to have over them. Some had been threatened orally by Swami Chetanananda, others produced threatening letters written by him.
    I understand that Swami Chetanananda’s group is placing the “blame” for the LNI web site on one or two “vengeful” people. It is common for cult leaders to engage in damage control tactics and to blame their former students for lying and engaging in “vendettas.” Such tactics present the leader as the innocent victim of slander and revenge and often succeed in further intimidating both former and current followers.
    There is a vast difference between “revenge” and taking back one’s power by speaking the truth. Those of us who work in the field of recovery from mind abuse know how important it is to be able to speak one’s truth openly and without fear of retribution. As I met with former students of Swami Chetanananda in group meetings, with sometimes as many as ten people participating, I saw again how important speaking the truth is to people who have been abused by a cult leader.
    The material on the LNI website accurately reflects the stories I heard from many former students of Swami Chetanananda. I commend these former students for their courage and fortitude and for the healing they have facilitated in themselves and others by creating this web site.
    Sincerely, Wm. Kent Burtner, M.Div, M.A.

    May 2001
    My name is Chris Arthur (MD). I am a psychiatrist and live in Portland, Oregon. You can contact me at 503-229-1053.
    For a few months in 1993, when the Nityananda Institute was setting up its ashram in Portland, I attended meditation sessions and attempted to maintain contact with a friend, B., an ashram resident and the younger sister of a long time friend of mine. B. was suffering from severe depression at that time, and other mental problems, and I was interested in seeing if she would leave the bizarre atmosphere of the ashram. No such luck. She was in love with the Swami.
    I enjoyed the yoga technique, learned from the self-explanatory tape of Swami Chetanananda and the able teaching of R., MD, and reinforced at the meditation sessions with Swami Chetanananda.
    After seeing the obvious cult situation and noting the harm to others I wrote to Swami Chetanananda about this and urged him to change, to get out of having “followers” which he could not handle, and become an ordinary working person with equal relationships. I was of course escorted from the premises and told not to return.
    After that I enjoyed the same type of meditation with another teacher in Portland who had trained with Stuart Perrin. I still do it sometimes, and show it to others. Nothing is wrong with the meditation technique.
    A year ago I spoke to a newspaper reporter and then to a person who had left the ashram having been harmed by the Swami. I was told a believable story of ashram members being injured during sadomasochistic activities conducted for the pleasure of the Swami, involving a Portland prostitute.
    At that time I wrote to R., urging her, as a doctor, to confront the Swami and to put a stop to his sexual and physical abuse of ashram members. I received no response. It is not surprising to me to learn that Swami Chetanananda may have been indulging in alcohol and drugs and has become ill. That would explain a lot about what I witnessed during my brief encounter with him and his followers.
    I urge everyone still visiting the ashram regularly or living at the ashram to get away for a year or two to recover a sense of individuality and balance.

    Updated March 2003
    Contact LNI at

    One can still do kundalini yoga at sunrise and sunset and derive full benefit from the practice.
    Peace, Chris
    December 2000

  • What kind of hold does that guy have on so many smart people? Keith Raniere used “neurolinguistic programming” to program followers. Does Michael Shoemaker use neurolinguistic programming, too? Such smart people getting so sucked in to such a nightmare is so scary.

    When you were 19-years-old, older adults should have protected you.
    Horrible that they didn’t.

    Thank goodness you escaped that unhealthy situation. You’re very bright and very able to create Your beautiful future! 😊

  • Heads up folks, Weinstein found guilty of rape. The court allowed his history of prior sexual assault to be brought into the courtroom. Look out culty rapists, 50 years of harm and abuse, yes Shoemaker, that means you. Your history of sexual assault could follow you into the court house like toilet paper on your shoe!

  • I agree it‘s not relevant if you were a cutter or not, but in this post you did not deny it, you just posted some pictures and honestly you could still have scars that just don’t show in those images. So are you saying no, you were not a cutter?

    It basically sounds like everything in the anonymous email was true except for you failing the mental health portion of the army interview.

    BUT I don’t think any of that information is detrimental, it just adds context.

    • Ruth said, “I was not a cutter” in the article. Ruth might care to elaborate. But I think those five words pretty much sum it up.

      • Oops you’re right. Maybe I was distracted from the text by the underwear pictures. I think simply saying I was not a cutter is enough.

        • I was just confused about what she was saying is all. It’s my fault, I was distracted from the actual message by the cut-and-paste definitions, The stock photos of people with cuts all over their bodies and the images of her in her underwear. It’s been clarified though.

  • Let me preface this by saying this is not a criticism, just a question. Ruth wrote, “I lost a chance to make good money, because the ashram wanted me to work in their kitchens/yards.”

    Why did you not then move out of the ashram so you could make that good money?

    • She’s previously told us she did not move out because she had no place to go. Again, how is this the ashram’s problem?

      • Well how is is anything anyone’s problem is that what you’re saying? In a way you could say nothing is the responsibility of the ashram. Nothing is the responsibility of anyone. Yes? Let’s be entirely nihilist about it.

        I am aware that the ashram ultimately had this kind of Kafka-esque essential meaningless suffering as part of the con, a way to selectively take credit and shift blame when needed. It’s all just a charnel ground right? A cycle of suffering, and karma. And every individual person is basically alone in it, yes? Oddly though, Michael was supposedly immensely powerful and could transform us just with his thoughts, words, eyeballs or fingertips, but at the same time, he is not responsible for anything. Is that what you are espousing here?

        Nobody is responsible, except whenever something bad is happening, then it’s your fault, and when it’s good, it’s the Swami’s doing.

        Right? Reminds me of how CEO’s of fraudulent companies try to blame the fraud on selective scapegoat employees. “It wasn’t me! I didn’t know this was happening!”

        If the ashram wasn’t themselves existing as a place to help people then they shouldn’t have posed as such.

        I should have been hired as an employee and/or made into a legitimate tenant on a lease. Everything above board. Are you going to say it’s my fault for not knowing my rights and demanding this from the beginning?

        If they were trying to actually give me legitimate help shouldn’t they have properly employed me, so that I could pay taxes, have health benefits (as they did for others) and have wages commensurate with my work as well as a work history.

        If they were not responsible for my living situation then why were they acting as a residential facility? I know they violated my rights as a tenant, which they also did to many others. The constantly used the threat of eviction and my “replaceability” to keep me working without daring to ask for proper compensation. So, is this also not their fault too?

        Why do they constantly need to lie about how they traded my work for a place to live? Is that also my fault?

        • “I should have been hired as an employee/ and or made into a legit tenant,”

          Ruth: do you still not understand that it was a school? Not an apartment building? You were enrolled in a school and worked in trade for tuition. That part of it you need to get clear on because that is how they structured TMC legally.

          None of us were tenants or employees, we were residents and volunteers who signed up for classes taught at TMC.

          you need to let it sink in. It will probably enrage you/ it enraged me! But this is important to know and grasp so you understand how they legally protected themselves. If you want to dismantle a bomb you don’t just kick it and say: dumb bomb! You have to figure out how it works and cut the right wire.

          • Hi Sharon, is that you? I’m almost certain it’s you. I have a pretty good memory for the way people talk, especially when it’s the same tired arguments I’ve heard used to threaten me almost a decade ago. I don’t think you know what I need to let sink in. I think you need to let it sink in that you are not in the same position as before, yet, you think the same tricks will work.

            How is exposing this scam to the light of day the same as kicking a bomb? Is that a threat? Or are you thinking you’re the precise bomb defuse here?

            So if you have some precise truth,can you tell me, where are the transcripts for the classes I took at this “institution”? What was my expected graduation date as a student? Where are the other alumni and what did they graduate with? What was the average date of matriculation? Was this expected time of study communicated to people and well understood? What are the credentials that people receive and how are credits transferred to any other institution? How were expectations of performance made equitable (respecting things like title 9) to all people?

            Did you have a title 9 coordinator? I don’t think it’s legal for even students of “institutes” to have their mail made publicly accessible to everyone. I don’t think it’s legal for even students to be given different expectations of “tuition” based on who is sleeping with whom. I don’t think it’s legal to have an indefinite education with no graduation date. I don’t think it’s legal to access people’s private rooms without their permission and take their things. I don’t think it’s legal to demand students to “be publicly friends with” another tenant who has just sexually assaulted them. I don’t think it’s legal for work-study with dangerous tools to have no workers compensation available. Nor for it to violate OSHA. What did Molly graduate with? What work/study and classes was Ayaz signing up for?

            I think the correct analogy for what I’m doing is I’m power washing scum with the light of truth. The funny thing is all the scum, despite being supremely cowardly in it’s nature, still has a need to float up to the top anyway to announce itself and it’s behavior, so people can see what it really is about and how it operates. It’s almost like even scum has a heart that deep down seeks truth and accountability.

            Thank you for showing the world the many ways that totalist groups can operate hiding their abuse in plain sight. Thank you also for giving me confidence that while I have grown and changed, you have not. You remain the same. How is this in your favor?

  • Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud is the second largest investor in Twitter behind Elon Musk, while the Qatar Investment Authority has poured $375 million in the platform, per Bloomberg.

  • Dirty up the victims. This is the role of the abusers and their cohorts.

    Lay down all the lies, confirm each others stories and silence the victims.

  • To the anonymous reporter who observed this at the ashram:

    “ She couldn’t get out of bed many days and could manage to focus on work for very short periods of time.”

    What did you do to assist her? I thought this was supposed to be a healing spiritual community. Where was the concern and compassion?

    I’m hearing a lot of judgment. How did people help one and other in the ashram? There were doctors available, did they assist when one was weak or ailing?

    What suggestions did Swami have when people were unable or unwilling to work? What was the intervention or remedy?

    • I never saw anyone extending kindness or love to each other. Some people made friends somehow within the competition for Shoemaker’s attention, but you were ostracized if Swami had no use for you. USE. Not love, not caring…USE.

    • There were many different types of healing practitioners in the residential and extended community. MD, ND, Accupuncturists, etc, etc.

      Most of them happily helped to care for each other either out of the kindness in their hearts or some sort of trade.

      When Natasha was recovering, when Swamiji’s mother was at the end of her life (and many other times) the community has gathered and worked in shifts to heal and help each other. People were often quite eager to practice their healing powers they believed they were gaining through their devoted practice and faith in the methods and philosophy their teacher-guru was presenting to them at the time.

      • Why then were they so unkind to Eva’s mother when she went to help her daughter after she had been injured by swami

        • The culture of the school was denigrated by Swami’s disgusting Rules For Thee But Not For Me attitude.

          By the time Eva lived there the place had fallen into shadows and secrets. I’m sure Eva’s mother was not the only one who felt uncomfortable there the last few years it was open.

          • I get that but her daughter had a head injury. Yeah I guess you might say she was uncomfortable trying to find out what the hell happened to her daughter.

          • Meaning very few people lived there at the time Eva did; comparatively less than previous years. And several who were enrolled in the residential program at that time also seem to have a variety of health issues and some with addiction problems.
            And let’s not forget the residents were completely confused and told many layers of lies. Not to excuse any of it, but just to put it out there. Most people there probably genuinely believed Eva fell in the workout room at 3am. Sadhvi can be VERY convincing!!! And then Swami is: My way or the Highway. And Jen Wilhelm pumping the Gossip Mill full of horse shit.
            When you’re bombarded with lies and then told not to trust your intuition but only follow the guidance of your teacher…. Well I’m sorry this all happened and I sure wish Eva had called the police and put his ass in jail right then and there.

            Who accompanied her to the hospital? Did they lie to the EMTs? Did anyone ride with her in the ambulance? Or speak for her?

          • everyone there is scared of him, and scared of getting on his bad side – he is very mentally-emotionally unstable

        • Partially true but not entirely. We all had our own friendships and relationships with each other. I received the best healthcare of my life from the variety of practitioners in the community. The student and practitioners were available and open to trades. While there may be a few who were not into trading but that doesn’t mean there weren’t other doctors to ask for help. In my experience one only needed to approach the doctor and ask if they were open to trade or sliding scale. Because all of them had sliding scales.

  • Thank you Ruth for being so open and sharing your story. I find this so disturbing; and also dismayed that the victims (again) have to be in a position to constantly defend themselves. Sharon– the reptilian-hearted hag– liked to target weaker members and she seemed to see you as her pet project. She wouldn’t dare pull this shit on Swami’s favorites because she knew they’d tell him, so she bullied people behind the scenes like the spineless coward that she is.

    Meanwhile people like Howard, Michelle, Patty, and Bob would do a few hours of work a day and get paid full-time wages, health insurance, and not pay rent. They would sit on their asses in their offices doing virtually nothing!

    SC was always pushing Sharon to accept new students, but the crusty old barnacles–Theresa, Sharon, Howard, Bob– hated new people and thought anyone young needed to enslave themselves to them in order to be worthy of Swami’s attention. This is a big reason why almost all young people left, there was no support or mentorship and no spiritual guidance. Swami was interested if and only if he wanted to fuck you. If not, you had the choice to be degraded and pushed around by the old timers or you leave. Money protected a lot of the more established/older students, but if you didn’t have it, look out.

    They couldn’t touch you if (and while) you were one of Swami’s playthings, but they’d wait until you were out of favor and start turning the screw real hard. I don’t think Monica paid rent in 20 years and she spent her life sewing and doing Chod in her room like a lunatic. It just shows the depth of sickness that pervaded that place on every level under the surface. Swami didn’t give a shit as long as he got his dick wet and his bills paid. He’d spend all his time there placating the old timers, courting and grooming new young women, and getting high with his girlfriends.

  • Interesting how you’re only defending ruth from the commenter. What’s the nature of your and Ruth’s relationship frank? Curious lies. Curious Curious lies. You don’t even notice that you’re making yourself look like an idiot. Claiming the source as absolute fact about other people, but a liar about just this one person. Pathetic logic.

    • It’s funny how you question the relationship Frank has with any woman he chooses to believe and support.

      He was one of the first to believe Catherine Oxenberg and many other parents whose daughters were being abused.

      Do you question his relationship with them as well?

      Your mind goes directly to the gutter. It speaks to who you are. Sad.

      • I’m Catherine Oxenberg’s book she said Frank was giving her massages and telling her that they would have a better chance of saving her daughter if they “mixed their prana together” or some such. So…*shrugs*

  • No they won’t come forward because of Ruth. Those who know her know she just uses this as a platform to lie just like you Frank.

    • Could you amplify your comment a bit? You’re a little indistinct here.

      Who won’t come forward with what?

    • And you hide as you criticize her. Yet you accuse her of lying.

      Who are you then? You suggest you know Ruth and her conduct at the ashram but you’re too cowardice to reveal who you are.

      If you’re so certain Ruth is lying and fabricating her story why not step forward and give your name? I’d love to hear your experience at the ashram and why you feel as you do towards Ruth.

      She seems honest, brave and plausible as an objective reader.

      • No one needs to give their name. As a matter of fact: Ruth did not reveal Her name for several months. In fact, Frank’s stories only got traction because of Jessica Becker’s wild claims and his Mystery Writer who was tossing around empty accusations and downright slandering some folks.


  • This same one trying to take up some war on porn? Seems like she has more immediate issues to deal with. People be strange.

    • I think Erasend your butt-hurtness over having a subject so seemingly close to your heart- porn – questioned in any way, is showing. Ruth say something you didnt like? is that why you cast aspersions on her mental health?
      I doubt she’s any stranger than you, but she’s certainly strong smart and grounded, – has a lot of enviable qualities, imo.

      Funny how survivors ( who, some might say, are life’s real winners) get right under the skin of some folk, just for doing that.

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.” In addition, he was credited in the Starz docuseries 'Seduced' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

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 premieres on May 22, 2022.

IMDb — Frank Parlato,_Jr.

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