Current Page: 12 of 75
Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: Traveler99 ()
Date: July 01, 2019 10:03PM

"You can be moral without being spiritual but you cannot be spiritual without being moral."

A letter came to Devon Adler from a woman who had read "Guru? The Story of Heather." Usually he checks with me before sending things to Heather, but this one he sent direct to her and me at the same time. "She seems for real," he summarized succinctly. "And she's going the right way, for sure."

Part of this letter is copied below. A few parts were excluded to protect his/her identity, and the name of her current teacher was held out since it seemed pointless to give James Swartz another target to attack. "Any real teacher drives him nuts, since he knows he himself is a total fake," as Devon put it.

Of course, I would hope that he/she might post on this site him/herself, same as I would wish that the letter writer in the previous post would do the same. That is, unless under a pseudonym one or both of them already is.

The part of the letter, as described above, follows:


...I have a lot of experience with both Vedic and Buddhist teachings, until a couple of years ago I was not really familiar with Advaita. I saw a little You Tube clip of James Swartz and I was quite taken in by what he was saying ( no way would I ever refer to him as Ram). I read his books, listened to many lectures, took notes, and began having doubts. My doubts included the veracity of his claims in the poorly written Mystic by Default, his excessive criticism of other teachers, his rambling style, lack of rigor in his logic, his demeaning responses (always signed “Love”) to students who inquired on Shining World, his tendency to isolate students to his teaching only, rote cult-like responses, and his assertion that his wife is a qualified teacher (to which I would reply, she’s pretty, maybe smart, but do you really think that going through a James Swartz course qualifies you to teach people who may be well beyond your level?)

So I backed off from his teaching, got involved with a local Advaita group, sorted through various teachers until I found a superb one, I am so grateful for this teacher. It’s like going from a community college course on Advaita with an adjunct teacher (James) to taking a degree at Harvard Divinity school (my new teacher). One basic lesson he gives is that you can be moral without being spiritual but you cannot be spiritual without being moral.

Anyway, thank you for speaking, thank you for listening, and I wish you the best.

Warm Regards,

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: Traveler99 ()
Date: July 03, 2019 10:21PM

Another Letter from a Friend

From Devon Adler, author of the James Swartz-allegations inspired "Guru? The Story of Heather," came a message, copied in part below:

Hi Trav,

As you know, my wife and I have been traveling. We came near to Heather's abode, and I let her know we'd be around. Graciously, she invited us over. It was the first time for my wife to meet her in person. Here's what my wife had to say:

"There’s no way anyone could meet Heather in person and doubt her accusations of James Swartz. Her integrity shines"

Of course, you and I knew this already.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: Traveler99 ()
Date: July 05, 2019 11:11PM

Questioning Things...

This is partly a response to the Anonymous message writer of the 25 June post and to Earthquake in his/her most recent post (both found on page 11).

Yes, all is "Isvara." Also "yes," for whatever reason, Swartz has indeed managed to awaken a svadharma inside me that I had largely put aside.
However, this is not to say that I don't live largely out of a place where, to paraphrase Anonymous, I "create my own inner-world of peace and joy and let happen what happens, with me as the apparent doer."
Interestingly, it has shown that this can be the case even as I know that, "Life is short. Dark shit happens---and will continue to happen---all the time. What to do?"

Inner peace is possible even while one totally agree with, "Fuck James and fuck the unstoppable adharma that will forever occur."

And for me, the "What to do?" has seemed obvious, inevitable, and unstoppable.

Simply put, this is to help Heather, and to warn people about James Swartz. Even without being a confirmed rapist of underage girls and sex trafficker, he is a confessed criminal and proven fake as a worthy spiritual teacher. His spiritual history with his teacher has been shown to be based on lies. He has deliberately adulterated the teachings of Advaita as put forth by Shankara and Ramana Maharshi, and even skipped verses of "The Bhagavad Gita" to better fit his (mis-) translations into his (mis-) teachings. This is all proved. (It's all here in this forum. Read this, and "Guru? The Story of Heather," which is all her story as she alleges, and Swartz's own responses have seemingly affirmed, of what occurred with James Swartz), and what doubt is there left?


Earthquake wrote: In fact, it is. This movement still has a lot of traction. And people ho were once stalwart supporters of JS are no longer doing so. Or at the least they are seriously questioning things.

Questioning things...

Even great people get suckered in.

One of the most experienced spiritual persons I know, one who, if not 'there,' is certainly on the cusp, met me for coffee. He did not yet know I was involved with helping Heather. To him, James Swartz was an oddity and weak specimen of a teacher he'd met off and on in India over the years. He knew nothing of Heather or her claims at the time.
Naturally, I brought James Swartz up. "You know him, right?"

"Oh, yes. He loves to talk, mostly about himself. He also likes to say bad things about other people, especially teachers." He smiled. "He told me one really interesting thing once..." And my friend proceeded to tell a tale (which I'd heard before from other sources) of a story that Swartz had extolled about a certain other teacher. It made this teacher look very bad.

I listened, and then I said, "And you believed him?"

My friend froze. His smile went away. "You mean... He might have lied?"

I shook my head, "Amigo," I said. "I've been, unfortunately, doing a lot of research about that son of a bitch the last few months. And the more shocking thing would be if he ever told you the truth!" Then, of course, I shared the whole story--Heather's claims, her articles, my message to the Swartz-ites, Swartz's insane replies (love, hate, threats, offers of friendship, more threats, bizarre claims and comparisons --Yes, James Swartz and Jesus--,'s all in the "Heather" book) and all.

He went,"Oh, goodness." Then he said, "I'm not really surprised. He did kill animals, and brag about it," and told me (not the first source) of Swartz bragging about poisoning to death the neighbor's dog in India.

The point is, even my experienced, wise friend never "Questioned Things." He believed James Swartz's story about the other teacher, never bothering to wonder if a gleeful killer of family pets and known questionable as a spiritual teacher might lie.

So why do I do what I do regarding James Swartz? Primarily, to help Heather. Second, to help people--mostly very good people--who've been caught in many, many lies (both personal and spiritual) by an accused (and it seems likely) rapist, a confessed criminal, and a fake spiritual teacher who himself doesn't know what Enlightenment is because, based on his own words, he hasn't even Awakened yet.

Question things.

A follower of Swartz, or anyone else, should question everything!

The true teachers always at some point say, "Check out these teachings. Make sure you know at the deepest level that they are true." This in essence really means, "Make sure what I'm saying is real."

May every follower or would-be follower of James Swartz (and all other teachers) do exactly this. The real ones come out fine, and the false ones fall by the wayside. (James on the wayside? "Swartz, if he hadn't found the spiritual teacher scam, would have been a bookie and a pimp," is how one friend of Heather put it. Well, at least then he would have been a criminal with some honor, as he wouldn't have been hiding his true self behind a "guru's" guise and the name of Ram.)

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: Traveler99 ()
Date: July 08, 2019 09:18AM

A Spiritual Rant from Someone Who Normally Knows Better

A message from a friend who I really didn't think was that concerned about the James Swartz controversy. Well, he/she is now:


Dear Trav,

When you first told me of this whole James Swartz thing, I didn't think much of it. He's a nothing, really. Small-time.

Except something began to nibble at me. Even small-time fakes and narcissists can do a lot of damage to some people. I did what you said. I read the Cult Education forum and I read the book "Guru? The Story of Heather" at

Based on all of this, I have concluded that James Swartz is unfit to teach, and should probably be in prison. As you said, "He's a confessed criminal, based on his own words a likely rapist of at least one underage girl, and a proved distorter of sacred texts and teachings." He's was out of control sexually for most of his life (with setting his first wife into sex shows to make him money, with his happily recounted sexual activities with Indian widows forced by poverty to work as street and sewer cleaners, and that is without the accusations of Heather--who I find believable, by the way. Totally.)

Would any person want to have a spiritual teacher or guru who is like this and who has done these things?

Despite this, Swartz is coming to the USA. Sure, he's a US citizen, but with Heather having reported her allegations to the Federal Authorities over two years ago, isn't this their chance? "Small-time 'spiritual teacher' arrested for trafficking underage girls," would be a great headline.

So why is he coming to the USA?

According to his website, on August 3-4 he’s giving a retreat at Ashtanga Yoga Berkeley, Berkeley CA, contact:

He’s giving another retreat August 18-23 at Mt. Adams Guler Trout Lake County Park in Trout Lake, WA. Ph: 509 772-4616

Why, Trav, is a yoga studio in Berkeley wiling to host this self-confessed animal killer and proved spiritual fraud?

Would a little County Park in rural Washington State really host James Swartz if they knew of the contents of the Cult Education Forum and of who the allegations contained in the Heather book are based upon?


The letter went on. He wanted me to contact the Berkeley and County Park people.

I'm considering it, but, I have to ask--is there really a need anymore?

Hasn't any person interested in James Swartz heard of Heather's accusations, about the book, and about this forum?

If someone, after such knowledge, still chooses to trust this "immoral, degenerate spiritual fraud" (one of the nicer descriptions I've heard recently), then, isn't that, eventually, on them?

Or is this incorrect? Are there still those out there who are so naive, so new to things, so ignorant, that they blindly fall into this person's "mind-fucking web"?

Please let me know. Seriously. Life is much more and better than the parts that are spent revealing perceptions and truths about a low-rent criminal idiocy who thinks he's the smartest guy in the world because he has no conscience and others do.

However, as Earthquake recently hinted, if some are still being helped of course I'll keep going.

Are they, though?

How much proof do we need, from how many sources, that James Swartz is:

--a Spiritual Bully
--a Spiritual Fraud
--an Unworthy Spiritual Teacher
--not "Awakened," and certainly not "Enlishtened"
--a confessed and gleefully proud killer of a neighbor's pet
--a, based on his own responses to the charges, very likely guilty rapist of at least one underage girl
--an alleged, and based on his own responses likely guilty, trafficker of two teenage girls, one underage, across state lines for sexual purposes (a violation of the Mann Act)'
--a person many people have written, in this forum, should be avoided at all costs.

Over 110 posts, over 5500 views, and counting...

He doesn't have that many followers. When is enough enough?

Seriously, though. To repeat: Friends of and from this Forum, please let me know if enough has been done, or if it is worth continuing. Again, if some can still be helped who have not been reached, I'm in.

Otherwise, again to repeat, there are nicer things to research and write about than a person who to me is utterly despicable and a total waste as a human being.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 08, 2019 09:51PM

Report this to the park in Berkeley.

Why? S people may do last minute recruitment to ensure people will be in too much of a hurry to read what's on the internet!

And, online harm reports about bad teachers often get buried because disciples AstroTurf the internet/social media to make harm reports harder to find.

Time it takes to send a report to the park in Berkeley is the same as posting here.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/08/2019 09:56PM by corboy.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: earthquake ()
Date: July 08, 2019 10:13PM

Trav99, you and Heather have created this, and it's gathered a lot of momentum. Although this has been huge exposure, the internet is a big place. Isvara wanted this, else it wouldn't have happened. It is Isvara. It has to serve a purpose, though we can't have the perception of Isvara.

JS and all seem quite quiet over all this. Which is curious.

I guess, what i'm feeling, is that since this has started, there is a responsibility to it all. You, Heather, indeed all of us that have joined you both in solidarity.

Heathers book, and this forum, both truly great. But are they enough? There could still be more to do.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: Valma ()
Date: July 09, 2019 12:15AM

Taking into full account and knowing well that the wheels of karma turn sometimes slowly but surely as any Vedanta student knows, why would James Swartz have waited to write a long letter to Heather recognizing whatever happened between them and her other friend, asking sincerely deeply for forgiveness for the harm caused in their life, asking what can be done to amend and help overcome the traumas they were subjected to. Heather would inform us all that such had happened. All former or current students of JS would respect him for doing so; forgiveness would heal the traumas, disappointments and doubt that crept into the mind and heart of all those who at one time or other followed JS as a teacher and came to hear about those allegations.

However, it is late in the day. Why did that not happen? Instead, JS is ever so eagerly teaching Vedanta at an age when one would perhaps wish him to retire and live a more peaceful life. But can one live a peaceful life with such allegations in one's baggage whilst not having done one's utmost towards each person involved? James knows now that any of his statements will be scrutinized carefully.

Besides with age, memory tends to fade, one may say conveniently "i dont remember any of it." Yes, with age we tend to forget things, especially events that we want others to ignore, yet the laws of Karma never forget any of our deeds, good or bad whether we recognized or admitted our errors or not.

Can more be done in this particular case? Who would have imagined a few months back that such a public Forum would appear? I feel it has served its purpose. Now whatever has to happen will happen whether through impact of this forum or outside its scope.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: Traveler99 ()
Date: July 09, 2019 10:38PM


In addition to the three posted responses to my last post, which are covered below, some e-mail messages came in.

One said that my slowing down or leaving the forum would (it was put more explicitly) arouse James Swartz sexually. Ugh. A reputed homophobe like him (scared of his own hidden impulses?) reacting like that? At his age? Really? "Why give that twisted f--- a sexual high?" it concluded. (I do believe the writer was trying to use sarcastic humor. She's done so before. Oh, well...)

A second message said that if even one more person could be saved from Swartz's distorted teachings and "sadistic, psychotic, narcissistic energy," how could I consider slowing down?

A third e-mail message said that it was my duty to fight the darkness however I could, and asked if I had found any American spiritual teacher at this time to be "worse" than James Swartz.

To that, I had to admit that I couldn't. Not only are his teachings knowingly false, his claims regarding his spiritual history to be mostly lies, and his own past to include self-confessed killing of a neighbor's pet dog and obsessive and constant sexual activity with poverty-stricken and desperate Indian widows (this in the early 2000's), but he is also a known and public bully of his own students and jealous critic of other spiritual teaches. So, to repeat, James Swartz, based on the above, and even without Heather's allegations factored in (even though Swartz's own reactions to them help to make them seem more "true" than "alleged"), is the worst.

As one excellent teacher was quoted in a post above, "You can be moral without being spiritual, but you can't be spiritual without being moral." (James Swartz, of course, has shown himself to be neither.)

Plus, there are the three posts above.

Corboy is right. It hurt nothing to write to Vance at Ashtanga Yoga Berkeley.
It would also not take much just to call the County Park in Washington State to give them a heads up.
Also, loyal Swartz-ites are most likely trying to cover his tracks and the revelations of his mis-teachings, confessions, and the accusations. (That later many of these loyalists will have strong regrets for having supported such a "teacher" cannot be doubted.)

Earthquake writes that all of this is Isvara, and all aspects of that can never be understood by any of us. (Very true, of course.) He/she adds that James Swartz has been strangely quiet in response to all of this.

That has interested me, too. It has to be killing him, not to respond in his usual shotgun-approach way, threatening, cajoling, offering, shouting, insulting, asking for friendship, and more, all in the same message, trying to find the weakness or hook he can use to "shut that asshole up!"

I can't believe he would ever conclude that he was incapable of finding 'the key to Traveler's silence." He had to keep the internal illusion that he's smarter than everybody else. It could be that Swartz has concluded "Traveler is too stupid to respond to my highly-intellectual messages, so why try?" It could also be, as I guessed early in this forum, that smart people around him have somehow got him to shut up. "James, every time you write something, he publishes it, and your writings can make you look bad." (No kidding there. His messages have basically proved Heather's accusations to be facts, and have shown him to have delusions of James Swartz = Jesus, among other things.)

Earthquake concludes that there still be more to do.

Seems so.

Valma writes about a possibility that I thought could happen early on. James Swartz acknowledging he'd made horrible mistakes in his past, including with Heather, and sincerely apologizing and asking for forgiveness.

Early on, I really did think that was a possibility.

Only after Swartz's own responses began to come in did I realize that he was not just unrepentant, but was about as spiritual as a Nazi executioner. An apology wouldn't be coming.

Very astutely Valma writes, "James now knows that any of his statements will be scrutinized carefully," which is another likely reason for Swartz's silence, as discussed above.

Valma adds that Swartz might conveniently try to have forgotten some things due to old age, but that Karma will never forget (plus, as has been posted about above, Swartz himself, after initial denials, admitted to having known Heather at the times in question and even threatened her with the revelation of parts of her "sordid" past if she didn't quiet down. As Devon Adler in Guru? The Story of Heather, Heather herself in this forum, and I have pointed out many times, how could he have known her, and these things, when he was a 40 year-old spiritual teacher, and she a 14 year-old, unless...?)

Valma concludes that it would have been hard to imagine just a few months ago that such a public forum regarding James Swartz would have appeared, and that it has served its purpose.

Valma was the first to suggest that perhaps this forum has already done enough. However, much as part of me would like to devote more time to other things, Valma was outvoted.

Plus, another e-mail message came in. In part it read:

"Have you contacted Be Scofield? She has a huge following. She hates bad teachers, and has gained renown for going after them, and successfully. Why not contact her?"

In fact, I have heard of Be Scofield. My author friend Devon Adler ever tried to contact her, but got no response. It seems she is after much bigger fish than James Swartz.

Despicable as he can be concluded to be, at least Swartz's following, on the scale of the really big teachers, is relatively miniscule. Would Be Scofield want to use her valuable time to go after an evil saber-toothed minnow when she sees bad sharks swimming around?

If anyone in this forum does have contact with her, please do ask her to take a look at James Swartz. Please do let her know of the Heather book, about who it's allegedly based upon, and about this forum.

Perhaps she might decide to examine James Swartz herself after all...

It's nice to finish this post with such a delightful thought.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: MynameisHeather ()
Date: July 10, 2019 03:22AM

I'm resonating with Valma's wise words.

I spoke out on this forum because I felt (and still feel) it is my civic duty to warn people of James Swartz, who is maliciously deceptive and harmful.

I've done what I can do. I've spoken the truth.

I can't save other people from harm that may come by their association with JS.

I cannot save people.

What I can do is focus on my continued healing...and living a joyous and constructive life...despite my PTSD symptoms and terrible memories of abuse.

I have a wonderful and happy family...I am blessed to be surrounded by good people and goodness.

I have told the people will do what they will.

I wish all people associated with JS the very best...I hope and pray that no more harm will occur.

That's all I can say for now.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: James Swartz—What is the Truth?
Posted by: MynameisHeather ()
Date: July 10, 2019 04:45AM

Thank you Traveller99 and everyone on this thread, for giving your time & energy & effort toward justice in regards to James Swartz.

I'm in deep gratitude for your support.

Options: ReplyQuote
Current Page: 12 of 75

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This forum powered by Phorum.