Investigating James & Isabella Swartz's Cult-Like Behaviour
The truth matters, but does it matter to you? It has to be important, doesn't it? Though what is truth, is it 'truth'? Some version of 'my truth' or 'your truth'? Perhaps the truth is that which is, no matter what way it is perceived nor what way it is promoted. But what happens when we subjugate truth in favour of one's conditioning through a myriad of assumptions? Isn't personal assumptions and allowing ourselves to be influenced the very reason why cult's and cult-like groups use brainwashing? Are you able to claim your inalienable right and ability to think for yourself, to investigate all evidence and not simply seek confirmation bias?
Does presentation somehow imply honesty? For some time there's been an assumption regarding James & Isabella Swartz, that does indeed make the case. The website of Shiningworld has been carefully crafted to appear benign yet if one takes a peek under that facade they would see a machiavellian cult-like system, and a propaganda machine solely created to obfuscate the truth. Should you be a member of this cult-like group you are expected to;* think like the two leaders
* have the democratic views same as the two leaders (or prepared to be punished)
* give the two leaders power to interfere in your romantic relationships
* Always agree with the two leaders about everything
* Speak the same way as the leaders
Yes, that is correct - former students agree that Shiningworld has their own 'spiritual language', that you are supposed to use. It is a verifiable fact that the more you use their spiritual language the more you will be awarded spiritual titles. However, if you should not agree with and see things the way the Swartz' do then it is another verifiable fact that you will be publicly humiliated in either newsletters, E-Satsang pages, or incredulously threatened with entire websites devoted to you. Yes, they may appear benign to the most vulnerable or gullible in society, but in their psychopathic rages against those that trusted them the most, in their public ostracising of you, they will try to alienate you from your friends and even family members. Should the actions of these two evil monsters be ignored? Is personal self-development about by-passing sadistic intent, and leaving it to the courage (and stubbornness) of others to not back down no matter what? What an advertisement for the world and social evolution that must be.
Shiningworld is a well-oiled machine that perpetually promotes the views of both Swartz' as being right when compared to almost every other teacher, including the Guru of Swartz - Swami Chinmayananda. One only has to read the Swartz memoir 'Mystic By Default' to see Swartz's slavering ego drool gleefully in his many put down's of his guru throughout the entire book. Though let us take a step off the 'assumption merry-go-round' that is the hallmark of Shiningworld, taking a breath of fresh air free from the vomit-inducing dung that permeates their self-glorification banality...
Someone claiming to be the person who carried an oxygen bottle for Swamiji does not mean that person was permitted to teach any more than a teaboy or dishwasher. Is this not an obvious point? Indeed, it is my strong belief that James Swartz was not permitted to teach as he has claimed, and despite my repeated public assertions that I will provide screenshots regarding my permission if he would only provide his proof somehow, my requests are always met with silence. Likewise are my demands that James Swartz and I publicly release professionally audited financial records for the last three years. I have even got a chartered accountant who would do this for me. Yet I wish to go even further with this. I suspect there may be something of interest in Isabella Swartz' financial records also, and I am insisting that she also provides evidence, alongside her husband, and myself. I shall touch on this a little further down.
The information in this new post has been collated over some time, and it is anticipated that more information will be made public as time goes on. The post covers a broad spectrum of areas, so I have placed it in various sections to try to assist in reading it concisely.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Claim: James & Isabella Swartz teach Traditional Vedanta
There is only one eternal Jiva, not infinite unique individuals.
The eternal Jiva also manifests as three “little” jivas according to the state that it experiences
every object is a thought appearing in my mind. You verify this by investigating any object. You see that every object is made out of thought and thought is made out of energy
The whole creation, like any object, is only an idea, a thought.
There is only one jiva, who manifests as many and seemingly sees things a certain way owing to his or her conditioning.
We need this teaching so the jiva does not confuse its creation with Isvara’s.
For jiva, objects exist as long as you are placing your attention on them.
To make this simple, I shall roughly translate 'jiva' as the person. As can be seen, this teaching is in various places throughout Shiningworld - I get hundreds of hits for it on their search facility on their site and thousands in Google. The teaching that there is one jiva appearing as many that create that which is perceived, is called 'Eka-Jiva Vada' (One Jiva Teaching). While it is taught in some places labelled as 'Vedanta' it is most definitely not allowed to be taught in our Sampradaya (Teaching Tradition). Even though James Swartz and I have different lineages, we are still supposed to be in the same teaching tradition. Swartz claims to be a bona fide teacher in our tradition, but if he was he would not be permitted to teach this. The individual teacher is not, under any circumstances permitted to decide what can and cannot be taught in our tradition. It is only in modern types of Vedanta that a teacher has this ability. Here's the kicker, James Swartz does not answer to anybody else as he has not properly aligned himself to anyone else. As an example, not only am I aligned to my lineage, I go a step further and teach using their name. I am in the lineage. As such, I am not allowed to teach this teaching that the Swartz' seem to think they can. Here is personal teaching that I received regarding this teaching from a very well known Swami:
Neither Shankara nor Swami Dayananda taught Eka jiva vada even to advanced students. They had a reason for this.
The issue with the above teaching is it conflicts with the traditional teaching. Teachers that use this are trying to give the whole thing very quickly. It is what the 'neo' crowd do and it causes lots of problems, in this case, spiritual bypassing. In this teaching, one is saying that there are no others, that one's mind has created the appearance of others, alongside all other objects that the individual perceives. Not only is this teaching unhelpful it is also unnecessary. It is an intellectual diversion that will not move the student forward, but keep them rooted where they are. Or, it will be an ego boost regarding thinking you are the only person. Experience shows that you are an individual among others, and a traditional teacher has more than enough tools, without complicating things in this way. This teaching is an intellectual trap and Swartz' use it to keep students from claiming their freedom. As long as they retain the neediness of students, they receive the glorification and money for Spanish homes in the mountains equipped with a Swimming pool and a jet-setting lifestyle.
It is claimed that this teaching is for 'advanced students', and if you don't understand it, you have to go back to the start. This tactic is a common tactic that is used in groups that try to control another person. James & Isabella Swartz often punish students in this manner. They tried to do it with both myself and Stan, as well as countless others. This is an ego-boost trick. If you can understand this teaching you have an ego-boost one way. If you can't then it's a boost the other way. It has been said by other Vedanta notables that in this teaching there is only 'lose for Tradtional Vedanta', while there is 'win' for the ego.
This theory leads the person into the trap that the world is only a dream, something created by the mind. If the world is only a dream who cares about anything, right? This is the underlying theme of Shiningworld and is why they are the experts at spiritual by-passing. Of their stuff of course. God forbid anyone else in the world will burp or fart wrong, and the Swartz' are onto them like ravenous flies on a turd.Verdict: Debunked.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Isabella Swartz Invalidates Herself as a Traditional Vedanta Teacher
We don’t use the term “Brahman” or “absolute” to refer to pure awareness/consciousness/the self
The thing is, even though this made me laugh it is sadder than anything. For a person who claims to be a Traditional Vedanta teacher to tell students 'we' don't use the term 'Brahman', is one of the most ridiculous and harmful things that a teacher can, ahem, 'teach'. There is a modicum of Sanskrit that has and should be used, for very good reason. It doesn't take a genius to work out the proper Sanskrit terms for consciousness, but the Sanskrit terms vary because it is the context that is key to freedom. We never, ever, ever tell students NOT to use the term 'Brahman'. Isabella - Queen of the Damned, you have just invalidated entire Upanishads with this.Verdict: Debunked.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~James Swartz Doesn't Understand The Basics
God is very jealous. It wants one hundred percent of your love.
Hells Bells. Literally, haha. I haven't got a clue what you think you are teaching but in Traditional Vedanta God is impersonal. God does not care one bit either way for such things. I'm starting to think you are teaching a spiritual version of National Lampoons. You have lost your mind regarding what you are teaching. Perhaps you think it is Christianity?Verdict: Debunked.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Claim: James & Isabella Swartz Propagandize James Swartz Brought Vedanta To The West In A Way Others Did Not, And As Such Is the most Popular Western Teacher
James Swartz is propagandised as a person who has given incredible service to the world. Yes, as a matter of honour, where credit is due it should be given. Though before that, perhaps we should drill into the detail of this claim a little bit. Just in case we are all victim to propaganda machinations that are so smooth they would make Joseph Goebbels proud. Shiningworld claims that James Swartz brought Vedanta to the west in a way that can be understood. On that basis, he is self-promoted as the most popular Vedanta teacher in the west, and one of the most popular globally.
This claim that he brought Vedanta to the west in a manner that can be more easily understood is gaslighting an entire hemisphere of the world. There is an assumption in this claim (and it has been made elsewhere before) that western minds are not able to grasp the subtleties of what is taught in the East. I'm questioning that, for those who say this about hundreds of millions of people are gaslighting. Even if it is westerners themselves making such a claim.
Besides worthy notables such as the Ramakrishna Mission who successfully introduced Vedanta to the west in Chicago over 120 years ago, we only have to look at more recent data to debunk that James Swartz is as popular as he claims. After all, investigating how popular one is now would surely indicate how popular one is full stop.
In looking to see what effect something has, we need something to compare that against. For this, I shall use a well-known lineage.* Its first centre was founded in Saylorsburg, USA, in 1986. The second centre was founded 4 years later in India. In total there are over 60 centres around the world, including multiple in the USA. James Swartz has no centres established anywhere.
* Are we meant to believe that a centre that was established in 1986 and spread, establishing many other centres in the USA and the west, was not already effective in the west a long time before James Swartz & his book came along?
* James Swartz and a prominent western Swami created their own Youtube channels in 2011. James Swartz currently has 4.28 thousand subscribers. The American Swami has 97.8 thousand subscribers. Yes, an American traditional teacher of Vedanta is showing to have an immensely greater interest base compared to James Swartz.
* James Swartz has not been able to maintain a larger student-teacher base than around half a dozen people at a time. Some lineages in actual Traditional Vedanta currently have over 500 teachers. It is mathematically improbable that the hundreds of teachers in the west are not able to teach effectively in comparison to the mere handful of James Swartz.
I have been following quantifiable data over many months regarding the performance of both Shiningworld and actual Traditional Vedanta sites. To get a more accurate description I stayed away from some notoriously inaccurate tools and instead used professionally 'paid' versions:* The first analytical test showed that Shiningworld had 394 organic visitors over the last 90 days. This is in comparison to a well known American Swami whose website has had 6,803 organic visitors over the last 90 days.
* In the second testing of both websites, I wanted to know how much both sites are being looked for online. The testing revealed that Shiningworld has received search traffic totalling 632. While the actual Traditional Vedanta site has received search traffic totalling 3,440.
It is plain to see that it is mathematically highly improbable that James Swartz is the most popular teacher in the west. He does not speak for nor represent the west in regards to Traditional Vedanta. I have kept screenshots of all these tests if any Shapeshifter wants to challenge the results.Verdict: Debunked.
Simply because a website looks nice, doesn't mean what it says is true. Simply because someone has written a book and says they brought Vedanta to the west in a way that can be understood, does not mean what was brought was Vedanta, and it hardly means that existing Traditional Vedanta in the three globally main lineages were not doing so to great effect already. Are we seriously meant to believe that what James Swartz teaches would somehow be more effective in the west than his Guru? Because that is exactly what you are being asked to believe by him, as Swami Chinmayananda was teaching here decades before James Swartz became known through his book. Yes, it is yet another incredulous attempt to place himself above his Guru, as well as other greats such as Ramakrishna, Vivekananda & Swami Dayananda regarding their decades of teaching in the West.
The more one promotes themselves as being able to do things better than others, the more they are using propaganda to elevate themselves into a position of supreme authority. This is factual regarding James & Isabella Swartz. Perhaps you do not believe me? Then tell me, who exactly do they answer to in Vedanta? This should be easy, but it is not so. Logically they should be answerable to the Chinmaya Mission, yet they are not. The fact that they answer to no one means that they are not aligned with any existing set and standardised lineage. And because they answer to no one but themselves they simply do not have any clear direction in their teaching. A person is a teacher of Traditional Vedanta if they stick squarely within the teaching tradition. In this case the dashanimi sampradaya.
If the teacher does not have anyone else to answer to, then they may begin to make things up as they go along. This is what has happened in Shiningworld, and it is why this topic had the material that it had earlier. I can tell you that it's been noticed that the Swartz' have tried to tighten up the teachings in their e-satsangs recently (perhaps in response to the balance that the online criticism of their teachings gives to their glorification e-satsangs), yet their years of lackadaisical attitudes and answering to no one else, has ingrained many problematic issues. James & Isabella Swartz have tried to build a legacy, yet the public legacy is one in which they are kind and loving people, whilst the truth in private is that they are evil. Indeed, for two people that don't seem to have much in the way of income, they seem to be able to whizz about on aeroplanes anywhere they want, while they have a Spanish property in the mountains, fully equipped with a swimming pool! All proceeds and embezzlements from innocent people who trusted them. It's quite a racket you guys have going...
In closing, another sign that James Swartz is not a teacher of Traditional Vedanta is the now infamous rants that he goes on in classes. A teacher of traditional Vedanta will always stick to the teaching that is being presented. Swartz' has recently begun to rant about me, and possibly Stan, in his zoom classes, I am lead to believe, this time without naming. Perhaps Swartz might stick to teaching the text the students attended for instead of debunked ramblings...
"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."
~ George Orwell